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The idea that you need to be everywhere to be effective online is completely wrong. The key is to start on one platform, have a well-calculated plan and build from there.
The two main ways to grow a following are to spend money for someone to execute for you or to invest the time and effort to do it yourself. These options have often been referred to as debt or sweat.
Although scaling your growth on social media is hard to do without hiring someone to help you, starting out or beginning to build momentum is usually achieved by taking action yourself.
Here we’ll focus on the steps needed to get focused and build momentum. These steps will be broken down using the word “sweat” as an acronym.
S: Study your ideal client
All marketing efforts should begin with identifying your ideal client. Who is it that you want to work with? Who is it that your experience and expertise will benefit most? Is your ideal client a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or a homeowner in a specific community? Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, you can begin to study where they spend their time. This will give you a better understanding of which platform to focus on to build your presence.
The social media or video platform you decide to focus on should be driven by the one where your ideal client spends the most time. If your client is a first-time homebuyer, then they may be spending most of their time on TikTok or Instagram. A more mature seller or buyer may be on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. An investor may be on LinkedIn or YouTube more often.
Spend time researching which platforms your ideal clients spend their time. Once you’ve identified which platform you should focus on, you can shift to the type of content your ideal client engages with.
W: Who’s winning in other markets?
The beauty of living in today’s world is that you can easily figure out the type of content potential prospects will respond to by studying agents in other markets that have built followings on the platform you wish to grow on. This leads to a search for agents that you can use as case studies. If you’re looking for agents that are doing well on Instagram, you can find 23 of them here.
Once you’ve found a few agents that present themselves and their business in a way that you would like to model, go to their wall (home page). Click on the Reels button and as you scroll down their wall the number of views and engagement of each Reel will show up. Identify the top five to ten reels they posted and produce content like those, highlighting your market instead of theirs.
If YouTube is the platform you are looking to build on, you can find a list of video types with an agent example here. Once you’ve identified agents on YouTube you would like to model your videos after, go to their page and click on the video tab. Once the dropdown box comes up, click on the popular tab. This will show you the most popular videos for this agent.
Again, model the video after the one they shot. Copy their title while changing out their city for yours. By modeling what has already worked for agents in other markets, your time frame for success will accelerate.
E: Escalate your activity
The next step is to escalate the amount of activity you are taking on your targeted platform. This not only includes posting more, but it also means liking and commenting on other people’s posts in your targeted market area. The most effective way to do this is the $1.80 strategy that Gary Vaynerchuk stated was how he built his extensive following online.
The $1.80 principle states that you should give your “two cents,” otherwise known as comments, on 90 posts that are relevant to your area or your ideal client a day. This may sound extreme, so consider doing it at whatever scale you can do.
I’ve done this myself at times where I set a daily goal to leave my “20 cents” or 10 comments on other people’s posts per day. Whatever level of commitment you can make, make that commitment. Just remember, the more you engage, the faster you will grow.
You can find posts to comment on by utilizing hashtags or becoming active on local platforms that have big followings. For instance, #YourCity (whatever it may be) will show you all the posts recently made using that hashtag. Use this to find content creators, local pages or local businesses that have an audience interacting with their pages via questions or comments.
Add value by answering these questions or adding to the comments and becoming a resource. Following active members who comment and interact on these pages is another great way to build your audience as well.
When you escalate your activity and become a resource, your following will grow.
A: Add value
The agent who adds the most value to the market will always, eventually, become the top-producing agent in their market. What are the biggest pain points for your ideal prospect? Produce that type of content to grow your presence and the trust your ideal clients will have in you.
Forget about making yourself feel/look good by letting people know that you’re number one. Focus on giving them what they want, whatever that is.
Answer the questions you most often receive. Talk about programs for first-time homebuyers that help with closing costs or that provide down payment assistance. Talk about the local schools if your ideal client is a family with children.
Whatever they are concerned about should be the focus of your content. When you focus on them, they will notice you and your value, in their eyes, will grow.
T: Take the long view
Success on social media is a process. Yes, you can have one post or video go viral, but true success is built through building a following that views you as their local resource. This takes time. It requires consistency and commitment. But time will pass either way.
A year from now, or three years from now, will your business be better if you make the commitment to be consistent on social media or through video production today? I believe it will. This is not something I think can happen, it’s something that I know can happen.
It took me 72 videos and 14 months to get my first 100 subscribers on YouTube. But now, just a few years later, I’m adding over 500 YouTube subscribers per month. When you look at the amount of time viewers watch my videos monthly, every second of real time people are watching four seconds of my videos.
Imagine how building a YouTube channel that provided four seconds of marketing for you for every second of real time would change the trajectory of your business.
Social media and YouTube are marketing machines that can transform your current and future business in ways you can’t imagine. Now is the time to get focused and build your presence in a way that attracts more of your ideal clients.