As Sitzer | Burnett unfolds, training and coaching content has been on trial. That’s because the way that coaches, companies and individuals have taught objection handling has become part of the conversation. Are agents being encouraged to insist on a specific commission? Are they being told to mislead their clients about the negotiability of commissions?
As Rachael Hite pointed out in her recent analysis of training materials, the content we create — training materials, agent scripts, blog posts and more — live online forever. Thus, even a piece of advice from years ago can come back to haunt you if and when the buyer commission environment changes.
Not sure what’s out there with your name or brokerage on it? Here’s how to check yourself and make sure the advice you’re sharing online is as solid as it can be.
1. Create a content inventory
Start by Googling yourself and checking your platforms to put together a spreadsheet with all of your online content. This should include blog posts, website pages, social media content, video content, email newsletters and more.
If your work has been published by others or if you notice that your content has been shared widely, make a note of as many places you can find as possible. Include contact information for webmasters and site owners in case you need to reach out to them with corrections or takedown requests.
2. Set priorities
Decide the order in which you want to tackle your content. Some evergreen content may be good to hold off on and some ultra-timely content, like market updates from years past, may be low priority as well. If you’ve written a lot about commissions, you’ll probably want to update that first. If you’ve written a lot about NAR or any other topics that are currently in the news, start there.
3. Review analytics
Dig into your Google Analytics account to see what content has been working well and which content needs to be updated or upgraded for better performance. Check engagement, bounce rates, conversion metrics and other measures and update both strong performers and underperforming pieces.
4. Check for accuracy
It will take time for you to move through each piece of content, especially if you’ve included images, market statistics and time-sensitive information. Work your way through everything and make corrections and adjustments as needed.
5. Verify links
Check all internal and external links and correct broken links. If you’ve linked to studies, reports or other supporting documents, make sure they are still accurate and relevant. Broken links undermine the authority of your content and are harmful to your search engine optimization results.
6. Assess relevance
Decide whether your content is still meaningful and relevant. Are you talking about a red-hot market that no longer exists in your area? Are you talking about a neighborhood that has changed significantly due to an influx of new construction or due to a new commercial center? Make sure you’re updating in keeping with market conditions and the information your reader needs to know now.
7. Check SEO
Make sure you have updated and fully completed meta descriptions; optimized titles, headers and subheads; tags and categories; and any other elements that you’ve identified.
8. Mobile responsiveness
Check your content links on both desktop and mobile versions. Many users consume your content on the go, so check smartphone and tablet compatibility and correct the layout if needed.
9. User experience
Make sure your content is readable and well-organized. Break up long blocks of text with subheads, bulleted or numbered lists, and images or charts for illustrative purposes.
10. Visual content
Replace or update visual content, either stand-alone elements or those that serve as an accompaniment to your written content. Check images, videos and infographics for relevance, resolution quality, updated branding and other elements.
11. Verify compliance
Check with your broker, compliance officer or other experts if you have any doubt about whether your content complies with current laws, regulations, Fair Housing guidelines and other industry best practices.
12. Confirm calls to action
Review and update the calls to action at the end of your content to make sure that they still fit with your marketing goals, relevant contact information, branding and marketing strategies.
13. Check social media profiles
Check your social media profiles for current images, headshots, branding elements, contact information and bios. Make sure that all of the links to social platforms are working on your website, video accounts and other channels.
14. Create a better content calendar
If you don’t already have a content management system, implement one and make sure to include consistent audits and updates so that you can stay on top of this task in the future. Identify content that should be updated monthly, quarterly and annually.
15. Archive or remove outdated content
Even though you may have spent considerable time and money on it, content that is no longer relevant or useful can cause confusion and undermine your authority and impact. Archive it, make it private or otherwise remove it from public view.
16. Repurpose content
Repurpose or update content as needed. Drill down on a general blog post to create a series of more detailed posts. Use a service like Rev.com to turn your video content into a transcript and then into blog posts or infographics outlining the main points. Remember if you update, include a date up top to show that you’ve recently revisited and reverified the information.
17. Lather, rinse, repeat
Don’t think of your content as a one-and-done proposition. Keep revisiting it, rethinking it and refreshing it as needed so that it’s always a good representation of your current thinking and insights.
Keep your audience informed and engaged when you keep your content current. It’s good for your readership (or viewership) and good for your professional reputation.