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You vs You

You vs You

FearThe universal truth about fear is that it affects everyone one of us. But when was the last time we stopped to really analyze our fears?

Not only to see what they are but also to see what they stop us from becoming.

How many opportunities do we miss by avoiding things we’re afraid of?

The reality is we’ll never know. There could be life-changing jobs, friendships and business connections, just waiting to be taken or formed.

And that’s the scary side effect of letting fear control our lives: we never know what we’re truly capable of achieving. We risk years of regret, what-ifs, and should-have-dones by giving fear the keys and letting it decide our ultimate destination.

Despite all its uncertainty, fear does make a few guarantees:

  • Fear kills dreams.
  • Fear holds us back.
  • Fear distorts our world.
  • And fear determines our success or failure.

It has the ability to infect our minds, sneak its way into our everyday language, and consume all of our thoughts —if we let it.

We can’t let our fears stop us like this, if we want to achieve at the highest level. In fact, top-performers learn how to act in spite of their fears. They crush fear before it has a chance to fester and destroy.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

  • Michael Jordan: Arguably, the greatest basketball player of all time. Do you remember how he began his career? He didn’t even start on his college basketball team. He wasn’t just handed a plate of basketball talents and told “Enjoy!” Not at all. He worked his ass off until he reached the pinnacle of success. And he knows what it takes to overcome obstacles and barriers.
  • What does he say about fear?

    “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

  • Fears are just an illusion. Something we create in our heads that stops us from achieving at the highest level. Look where this belief got him in life: Hall of Fame, Greatest Player of All-time, and still getting multimillion dollar endorsement deals years after playing in the NBA.
  • Another great example: Warren Buffett, the greatest investor of our time. He’s amassed so much wealth from savvy investing that he’s literally bailed out entire countries on the brink of bankruptcy. Our government and top CEOs around the world turn to him in times of crises for investing advice.
  • What is one of his basic tenets of investing?

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

  • Translation: His greatest investments have come from taking huge risks in the face of fear. When there’s blood on the streets and nobody can think clearly about their investments, Buffett’s out there buying stocks, hand over fists. He doesn’t let fear stop him; in fact he uses it to his advantage. And he’s one of the wealthiest people of all time.

Successful people leave clues for us. So what are top-performers, like Buffett and Jordan, showing us?

Face your fears, and you’ll get the payoffs.

Without taking risks, without facing our fears, and without pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, we can never reach our true potential.

It’s really that simple.

SO why don’t more of us do exactly that?

Because a lot of us hear advice like this and think “Ha! Easy for you to say! You don’t have [insert disadvantage], and I don’t have [insert excuse about time or resources].”

Immediately, we react with how our situation is SO special, SO unique, and SO different from everyone else.

It’s an automatic defense mechanism that flares up.

What’s really happening here?

We’re creating a story for ourselves. We’re rationalizing our fears and inaction. Nobody wants to feel like a fool; I get that.

I used to feed myself story after story. I hated feeling bad about myself, and stories created quick fixes to feel better.

In reality, I was hiding from the truth.

So let’s be honest with each other

The truth makes us uncomfortable, especially when it exposes weaknesses inside ourselves. It makes me cringe when I think back on the laundry list of excuses I used to delay improving myself. In fact years ago, I had dozens of books on personal development, filled with tactic after tactic, scattered all throughout my room. I had no excuse not to follow through, yet I allowed fear remain in control. I’d go chasing another tactic, claiming I wasn’t ready yet; I needed to work on just one more thing. And nothing got done.  

I knew it was BS then, but it was comforting to hide from fear.

I did this for years; until I realized we have the power within us to make decisions, and we empower ourselves by taking actions toward our goals, no matter how daunting they may seem today.

No matter how fearful we might be, we never improve by continuously consuming information alone. You have to go out in the world and try things.

You can have disproportionate rewards in life.

100x your next closest competitor. I’m talking about absolutely crushing your goals; Defying your wildest expectations, with regard to every area life achievements.

But to do that, you must escape the shackles of fear.sales team analysis-resized-600

Behind every fear is the person you want to be. If you tackle your fears, you can become the person of your dreams.

Yoda said it best, “Named your fear must be, before banish it you can.”

And that’s exactly what we’re doing today: Banishing Fear. For life.

For years, decades even, you may have walked around, letting fear guide you, letting it beat you down and make you its victim.

Today, let’s turn the tide. Flip the script and make fear your slave.

Today, let’s face fear head on and empower ourselves to break free.

Your challenge for today: start crushing your fears in five simple steps

1) Specific goals: Make a list of 5 things you’ve really wanted to do but haven’t because fear has been holding you back. It can be anything, even something as simple as saying “Hi” to a colleague when you walk past them in the hall all the way to initiating a full-scale conversation with someone new. Be creative and don’t hesitate to write anything down. If you want it, list it. Even if you think it’s silly or you can’t do it just yet, don’t let that stop you for now. Just write it all down, and we’ll get to that later. Ideally, you should spend 2-3 minutes brainstorming things you want to do, but it may take you less time.

Whatever you do, just get to 5 things.

Here are a few questions you might ask yourself to uncover hidden areas where fear may be stopping you from acting:

·      Have you wanted to make small talk with someone specific but keep putting it off?

·      Have you wanted to speak up in a meeting, but can’t find the words to say or the confidence to deliver it?

·      Have you been putting off asking that girl/guy out to lunch?

·      Is there some place you’ve wanted to go, but felt it would be weird to go alone?

·      Is there a group or organization you’ve wanted to join, but didn’t know who you’d be able to talk to there?

Once you have your list of 5 things, move on to the next step. But don’t skip ahead. Be thorough here. I promise if you go through the exercise correctly, you’ll reap the rewards.

2) Selection: Now that you have your list of 5 things/action items, take a second to review it. Really go back over it and make sure you don’t want to add anything else. Okay, what you’re going to do next might shock you, but I want you to select only the top two goals that you’d like to achieve. Shelve the other four things for now. You’re going to focus all of your mental energy on this one goal. This should be the utmost important to you. Something that, if you accomplished them, would make you feel incredibly excited, overjoyed even. Circle just one.

Keep moving, now, to the next step.

3) Systematize: Here’s where get very strategic in our approach. Anyone can make a list of goals and feel good for a moment. But for most people, goals go into a pile of dreams and wishes to remain unfinished. We differentiate ourselves by creating a plan to follow through. So now, let’s create a simple set of action steps to help achieve your goal. For example, if my goals was to start a conversation with one of my colleagues, I’d include the time of day I planned to talk to them; I’d make sure to plan on starting the conversation on day when I wasn’t pressed for time so I could be more present and authentic; I’d even go so far as to script out a conversation, not only with what I’d plan on saying to initiate a quick chat, but also, with what I’d say to exit the conversation, if I started to feel uncomfortable.

4) See: Create a vivid vision of yourself following through on your goal and conquering your fears. Let the positive emotions wash over you that come from taking this action. Allow yourself to enjoy this moment, and see yourself as truly being successful. Remember, our minds can’t tell a vision in our heads apart from something that actually happens to us. So you can use this to your advantage and practice in advance, without actually having to take action just yet. The more vivid and real you can make your vision, the more powerful this exercise becomes. So include, how things look, smell, and feel in your visualization.

5) Lastly, start fulfilling your dreams, today. Go out and take action toward your goal. Now that you know what you want to do, how to do it, and have seen yourself be successful, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Most people don’t work on their dreams or try to channel greatness. They let life happen to them and fear ruins every accomplishment. What will you do?

The post The ONE Thing That Stops Every One Of Us From Achieving Greatness appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Contact our CrimmCoCreative team. We can help you with your business blockages and get you on the path of success that you deserve. Contact CrimmCoCreative

Scared of Success?

Scared of Success?

Fear of failure is one of the main factors stopping people getting what they want. We can be so scared of failure that we don’t even bother trying! It’s one of the main factors that differentiates people who get what they want and those who don’t. What if we viewed mistakes as learning rather than telling ourselves we failed? Here are some quotes about failure that I hope will inspire you to succeed:Failure

1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

2. “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar

3. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

4. “Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.” -Marilyn Monroe

5. “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” – Henry Ford

6. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

7. “Some people experience failure and give up. I see it as a new way to grow and develop!”– Amanda Gore

8. “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

9. “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” –  Bill Gates

10. “There is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

How To Rank Using Your Competitors’ Keywords

How To Rank Using Your Competitors’ Keywords

trafficAre you tired of your competition outranking you? Or even worse, seeing them rank for keywords that you don’t even show up for?

In this post, I will teach you, step by step, how to identify keywords your competition is ranking for and how to create content that will outrank them. This approach is so effective that by leveraging it on Quick Sprout over the last 12 months, I’ve been able to increase my search traffic from 160,773 visitors to 280,428 visitors a month.

That’s 119,655 more visitors a month. Or 74% more search traffic per month.

Before we get started, you need to create a list of all your competitors first. Once you have the list with the corresponding URLs, you can put those URLs into SEMrush.

SEMrush

For the sake of this blog post, let’s assume Quick Sprout is your competitor. You would enter www.quicksprout.com into SEMrush.

semrush

In the left sidebar, click on the navigation option “Organic Research,” and then click on the “Positions” option.

export

Make sure the graph is set to the “All” time period option, and then click the “Export” button. At this point, you’ll be given three options.

csv

Click the CSV option. This lets you get a data dump of all your competitor URLs and the keywords they rank for.

Here is what the CSV should look like if you typed in Quick Sprout’s URL.

csv

Once you have your CSV file, you are ready to start analyzing the data.

Analyzing the data

Open the spreadsheet, and delete all columns except keyword, search volume, and URLs.

csv

Now that you’ve removed the unnecessary columns, you need to highlight all of the URLs in the URL column.

csv 1

Once you select the URLs, right-click, scroll down to the “sort” option, and then click “ascending.”

csv 2

You’ll get a “Sort Warning” popup on your screen. Select “Expand the selection,” and click “Sort.”

csv 3

You’ll notice that the homepage URL and the keywords the homepage is targeting will be at the top. Delete the rows that contain the keywords for the homepage URL.

You are doing it because you want to go for long tail phrases as they will drive more total traffic, and they are easier to rank for. Typically, internal pages rank for more long tail phrases than a homepage, which is why you want to delete the rows that contain the homepage URL.

csv 4

Now you want to select all of the content under the keyword, search volume, and URL columns.

csv 5

After you have selected the content, scroll up, and select the “Data” navigational option. Then select “Pivot Table.”

csv 6

You should see a screenshot that looks like the image below. Make sure the data is in the same fields and same order as in the image below.

csv 7

Click on the blue arrow, then click “By value”, and then “Greater Than.”

csv 8

Make sure you enter 3,000 for the amount as you only want to target keywords that have enough search volume. The last thing you want to do is focus your efforts on ranking for keywords that only get searched a few hundred times a month.

Keep in mind that search volume doesn’t mean clicks to your site. For example, if you rank number one on Google for a term that has a search volume of 10,000, you’ll be lucky if you capture 20 to 30% of those visitors.

csv 9

You should now see a CSV file that looks like this.

csv 10

Now, you see all of the internal URLs on your competitor’s site, the keywords it is ranking for, and the search volume for each keyword.

The keywords that SEMrush shows you are the only ones for which your competition ranks in the top 20 results on Google. These are the keywords you want to go after.

Create new content

Now that you have a list of keywords your competitors are going after, you should look at their content.

Once you do, create your own content, incorporating similar keywords.The key to this process is to make sure your content is better than your competitor’s. If it isn’t, you won’t generate more social shares, links, or traffic.

If you are having trouble with the content creation process, read the following guides:

A great way to ensure that your high-quality content gets seen is to follow the steps in this blog post I wrote. It will ensure that you are getting the exposure you need so that you can outrank your competitor.

Conclusion

It isn’t very difficult to outrank your competition and generate more search traffic than they do. All you have to do is follow the steps above, using SEMrush and the CSV file you export.

Once you do that, make sure you focus on writing and promoting high quality content. It works so well that by following my own advice, I have been able to increase Quick Sprout’s search traffic by 74%.

by NEIL PATEL

How else can you generate more search traffic through content marketing?

4 Lessons From Frozen

4 Lessons From Frozen

Engagement Is Everything

“It doesn’t have to be a snowman”Jasmine

There are many things that Jasmine needs: sustenance, protection, attention, reliability, and love to name just a few. And your audience needs the same (regular content, customer service, responses, reputation, and care, respectively). But beyond the basics of her life, she craves (and craves and craves) engagement. There’s no big lesson there; a child wants to play. But the learn has been that it rarely matters what form that engagement takes. She’ll take play time, story time, listening time, helping time, even bath time. To her, attention and interaction is absolutely the most important thing in the world, and I cringe at how many times I fail to provide it. I have vowed (many times) that the offer to “play with me daddy” will never be turned down, but it’s not always that easy. Heck, sometimes engagement is even a chore, and that is painful to admit.

Social marketing is no different. Have I always responded, 100%, to my audience on Facebook or Twitter? Have there been questions asked, doors opened, comments made that have just been ignored? Absolutely. Will I recognize, thank, or even see all of the social shares of even this particular post? It’s ideal, but the honest truth is a hard-to-swallow no. (That speaks to a larger issue of priorities, but this post will be long enough already, so I’ll save that topic for another day.) But every tweet, mention, and share is a possible invitation to play, and we should recognize that if we ignore or deprioritize these it’s at our own peril. Though you might not feel like building a snowman today, realize that it’s not the snoman that matters; it’s the engagement that your audience craves.

Lack Of Focus Is Okay

“I’ve started talking to
the pictures on the walls”

If I ask Jasmine to walk to the bathroom and brush her teeth, an entire hour can pass (okay, what seems like an hour) before she ultimately gets to her destination…if she ever does. On one hand, her ability to be distracted is maddening; on the other hand, it’s amazing how she sees possibility in everything. Color her Dug from Up (#squirrel!). What I am realizing is that her lack of focus is only part of the problem; the other part is my lack of patience. Cue the parallel to consumers, employees, and any other audience for your brand. Each one of us is constantly distracted, constantly looking somewhere else, constantly allowing our attention to be grabbed by any number of dings, beeps, alerts, and brain wanderings. As marketers, this drives us crazy because we want 100% of the focus on us, what we are producing, and what we are trying to say. But as regular people, we are the same exact way.

What I have learned from my daughter is that she needs pretty regular instruction, laser-focused guidance, and just enough leeway that she doesn’t realize she’s right on track. Too often, especially in social, we do the exact opposite of this. We post random words and images, we have no real strategy for CTAs (other than to always include one…somewhere), and we do a poor job with patience. Yes, it may take a prospect (much) longer than you’d like to progress in the funnel, but with patience and care, you can get your audience where you want them to go. Just realize that the patience-and-care part can’t be shortcutted. Without any clear plan of action, you’ll find the toothbrush in the underwear drawer, the stool turned upside down, and your audience in a totally different room of the house (#truestory). We tend to get very impatient due to the pressures to engage, convert, and ultimately prove ROI, but don’t blame the distracted; it’s in their (um, our) nature. Look at your own part of the process, and do your best to make the plan stupid simple to follow. In other words, hide the Elsa doll; otherwise, you’ll never really be the center of attention.

Words Matter

“I wish you would tell me why”

To a three-year-old, language is very fuzzy and fluid. It’s a great time of experimentation, learning, and play. But to a four-year-old, words suddenly become very important. The often-relied-upon “in a little while” or “later” just doesn’t cut it anymore; “Don’t touch” no longer seems to include using feet or elbows; and “you didn’t say [fill in the blank]” is heard almost every day. But not only are words important because they open up a new world of loopholes, they are important because they open up the grey area on the truth-lie spectrum. Yes, marketers, this should sound familiar.

Fuzzy language, partial truths, and sly misdirection have been part of marketing from its inception. Some would argue that it’s a necessity, others would argue that it’s an evil, and others would argue that it’s both, but the fact is that it’s part of the landscape. Never has a brand’s words mattered as much as they do in our current age of social marketing. I won’t trot out the normal list of brands who have gotten into serious hot water due to a word or phrase carelessly tweeted, but such are good reminders that our words, every single one of them, matter. Transparency and wicked clarity are the only tactics to combat an audience who loves the opportunity to prove authority wrong (yes, that audience includes four-year-olds). At the end of the day, my Jasmine is a reminder to me that no matter how temporary I think my words are, there is a lasting impact, and, just like social reminds us from time to time, those words, especially the ones we would like to take back, can be very, very permanent.

Love

“I’m right out here for you, just let me in”

No matter how much we prioritize engagement, focus smartly, and come to a common ground of communication, the relationship means nothing without love. Our job is to love our audience unconditionally, even though they will not always reciprocate. They may even hate us from time to time, and they might even have a very valid reason for that emotion, but we do not give up on the relationship, we do not write them off, and we do not hate them back. You might not always like your audience, but you should always love them (they are why you have a brand, right?). Luckily, my four-year-old has a few years to go before straight-up rebellion should kick in, but I know this lesson is coming, and I’m preparing for it now. As a brand, unconditional love (both giving and inspiring) should be of the highest priority, since all else (conversions, sales, loyalty, etc.) relies on it. And social is the best outlet we have ever had to foster such. When you look at your social channels, do you see love? Do you see love in the form of generosity, helpfulness, honesty, and engagement? How good are you at loving those whom you want to love you back? Social has turned a holiday card friendship into a daily relationship, and how you tend those relationships now will heavily inform when the tide turns. I’d advise you, and me, to prepare for the teenage years now. Because love, unconditional love, is the only way we will survive.

Engagement, Focus, Clarity, and Love

“Do you wanna build a snowman?”

First, I deeply apologize if Frozen is now stuck in your head, but welcome to the world of having a four-year-old daughter. And her birthday wish would actually be for you to be Frozen-filled today, so I’ll consider that your present to her. These four lessons, and how they relate to brand marketing, hit home with me today, and I thank you for taking the time to take this journey with me. I’m sure there are many more lessons to come, and there are likely many of you who have your own lessons to pass along. The comments area is there for you, so I encourage you to drop some wisdom for me, my team, and the rest of our readers. I’ve built the bottom level as a foundation, so who is going to help build the rest of this snowman? I’m hoping it’s you.

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ABOUT MATT HOLLOWELL

Matt Hollowell

Matt is a lifelong student of design, marketing, publishing, and content creation. His passion sits at the intersection of content and design; in fact, you can often find him there with a cup of coffee in one hand and a notepad in the other. As SME’s Creative Director, he supports both the brand and clients, which helps to satisfy his lifelong love of never knowing what’s coming next. When not at his desk, you’ll find Matt serenading his two amazing daughters, reading gritty British poetry, or obsessively listening to podcasts. Send him your podcast reccs here: @mhollowell.

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CrimmCo Moves Your Business to 70,000 km/ph

CrimmCo Moves Your Business to 70,000 km/ph

Is your business a vortex moving forward at 70,000 km/pr or is it standing still?

CrimmCo Helps Businesses Move Forward.SocialManagement

 

CrimmCo has 4 brands that can help your business achieve VORTEX status. We are best know for our CrimmCoSocial brand which is our social media marketing and management branch. CrimmCoSocial manages your social network by engaging with your fan base and creating unique and engaging content that keeps your customers and future customers coming back for more. This keeps your brand in the forefront of when they are ready to spend money with you. We do the heavy lifting.

CWebDesignrimmCoWeb is our website design and re-design branch. Here we can create from scratch a custom designed website built for your marketing needs or we can simply enhance your current website to increase traffic and sales. No project is too big or too small.  We pride ourselves in building sites that are created based on the needs of our clients. We listen and dig deep to discover what your needs truly are. Our award winning design team is at your disposal and ready to implement a sales driven website based on our extensive interview with you.

CrimmCoSEO is our “look at me” branch. CrimmCo SEOWe feel that even the coolest and most elaborate website built on the planet is completely useless if it is invisible. If you are serious about increasing brand awareness and sales, it is imperative that your site is seen by the masses. We can achieve this with our seasoned SEO team. While some might argue that this strategy is expensive and takes time to see results, this is probably the best and most effective way to increase your visibility. We start with on site optimization using local keywords, and then move on to offsite strategies like link building and local citation building. Our team understands what Google is looking for and we deliver for you.

CrimmCoAteamCrimmCoAdmin is our business services branch. Here we offer admin and business management services. If you are a start up company or a small business who could use help keeping things organized and running efficiently, this is the service for you. While we provide excellent support for almost any type of business, we are especially effective with real estate agents and brokers. We have worked with large brokerage firms and know this ins and outs of the sometimes complicated world of real estate. Hiring our support team to do what we do best allows you the freedom to do what you do best. Rest assured that CrimmCoAdmin has your back.

Our Services are completely customizable and scalable. Contact us at 808.214.0884 or Click Here

Hire CrimmCo to create your 70,000 KM/PH business vortex
Social Media Privacy Settings

Social Media Privacy Settings

How to Check Social Media Privacy Settings

social media how toAre you concerned about your online privacy?

Have you checked the privacy settings for all of your social media platforms?

Personal social media management is now more important than ever. As marketers, we’re usually out there promoting our business, yet we still need to be conscious of our privacy.

In this article you’ll discover how to adjust the privacy settings on your social media sites, so you share only what you want with the people you want.

Why Check Your Privacy Settings?

Content uploaded to social media platforms is not always secure, so it’s imperative to understand how to use the privacy features your social media sites have to offer.

social media privacy settins

Find out where to check and adjust your privacy settings on top social media networks.

If you would rather have us do it for you Click Here

Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is the new kid on the block as far as social media platforms go.And yet it’s one of the fastest-growing, surpassing established platforms like Twitter when it comes to daily usage.

The photo and video sharing app has over 150 million active users, and about one million snaps get created every day. Its rising popularity has made it difficult for real estate agents to ignore.

  • Market penetration – Millennials dominate Snapchat, but there’s an emerging 30s to 40s demographic on the platform.

    About 14.4 percent of smartphone users 35 and up have the app installed – a market penetration of about 15 percent is generally the tipping point when a platform goes mainstream.

    What’s more is that the app is predicted to skew much older within the next two to three years. And Snapchat isn’t attracting plain Joes – the app has seen exponential growth among elite top earners age 30 to 45 on both coasts.

    So whether your target market consists of millennials or mature buyers, Snapchat helps you extend your reach.

  • Low barrier to entry – You can download the app for free, and you don’t need a pricey camera to produce content. The content doesn’t have to look polished either, so you don’t need to be exceptionally skilled at photography or filming. As a matter of fact, content that’s rough around the edges is generally viewed as more authentic and relatable.
  • Easy-to-produce content – With Snapchat, all you need is a camera phone to produce content on the fly, making it convenient for real estate agents with limited resources. Take photos or 15-second videos to showcase listed properties, neighborhoods, schools, and nearby attractions. Spice up your content by adding captions or using filters.

    Share your content with individuals via private message,or entire groups via Stories. You can determine how long the receiver of your message can view your content (from one to 10 seconds) before it gets deleted automatically.

    Any content you share on Stories will be available for 24 hours, and you’ll be able to keep track of who has viewed it.

  • Custom on-demand geofilters – This new feature works much like regular filters in that they let you add decorative overlays onto your content.The only difference is that geofilters are location-specific, and only certain geofilters are available depending on the area you’re in.

    To see which ones are available in your area, just swipe across the screen after taking a photo or video, then use them like you would an ordinary filter.

    You can also create your own geofilters for a small fee. There are two kinds – personal geofilters don’t contain logos, business names, or markers, while business geofilters promote businesses or brands.

    The former can be used for private events like birthdays or weddings, while the latter must adhere to Snapchat’s business guidelines.

    Branded geofilters are a great marketing tool that helps you go hyper-local with your content. They’re also fantastic when it comes to real estate events like open houses and association meetings. Just make sure attendees know your geofilter exists, and encourage them to use it during or after the event.

  • Memories – The app is known for the ethereal quality it gives your content, which gets deleted after a brief period. However, this shouldn’t discourage real estate marketers from producing substantial content.

    The Memories feature lets you collect your snaps, bring them together to create an album, and save them for others to view. This allows real estate marketers to tell better, longer-lasting stories that revolve around a specific property or neighborhood.

    But even without this feature, users can take screenshots of snaps or messages they receive for future reference.

  • Online engagement – The average Snapchat user spends about 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day. Over 25 percent of users spend just as much time messaging friends and poring over media content through Live Stories and Discover.

    Compared with Twitter, it’s five times more effective at getting people to spend time on the platform on a per-user basis. On average, Live Stories attracts over 20 million people each day.

    This means that even app users with few contacts can expect a high level of online engagement, granted they respond to messages and produce content on a regular basis.

  • GhostCodes – You can increase your followers by going to the app’s Add Friends section, which lets you look people up via username, Snapcode, your address book, or a nearby location.

    GhostCodes, a separate app, lets you discover Snapchat users who are listed under specific categories. This allows for a more targeted way of adding people. It helps you grow your following, since you won’t have to rely solely on your address book or people you already know.

    The app also makes it easy for others to find you and your real estate company. Just be sure to list your interests and to categorize your snaps so that GhostCodes can place you in one of the available categories for Snapchat users to hone in on.

    The connections you make on this platform can help you build a solid referral network and meet new clients.

  • Personal branding – By using this app, you’ll be able to show people who you are and how you work as a real estate professional. Snapchat lets users see you in real life situations, which makes you come off as authentic to potential clients in ways that paid advertising can’t accomplish.

    While some agents make sure that their content revolves strictly around their profession, there are those who share a few snaps that aren’t related to real estate to show themselves in genuine, unguarded moments.

    Using Snapchat also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of different property types, neighborhoods, real estate practices, and the industry at large.The platform can give you exposure as a trusted expert in your area.

Real estate and Snapchat are a match made in heaven – the former is a highly visual industry, while the latter does a good job of showcasing photos and videos. The app’s real-time functionality creates a sense of being in the here and now, which allows for authenticity and better engagement.

Snapchat can be incorporated successfully into your existing social media strategy as long as you produce the right content. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the app, and don’t shy away from asking followers what they’d like to see from you.

Some Great Holiday Shopping Stats For You

Some Great Holiday Shopping Stats For You

One of the first things I do before I start writing about a topic or idea is search for supporting statistics. Why? Stats are a great way to support the positions you take and the advice you share.HolidayShopping (1)

When I started writing ShortStack’s holiday eBook (be the first to get it here!), my process was no different. I immediately started hunting for the most up-to-date holiday shopping statistics. I quickly found my way to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) website. To date, they are by far the best source for holiday statistics I’ve found.
Every year, the NRF releases a holiday guide, in tandem with their annual holiday forecast, which includes the most relevant data about historical holiday sales, employment and consumer trends. These resources, along with the holiday destination they call “Holiday Headquarters,” are amazing troves of information.
This year, after coming across so great many holiday statistics I decided to create this blog post to share the ones I found most insightful.
Take a look at them below!
Shopping Behavior and Spending Stats
• 28% of consumers plan to spend more than 50% of their total holiday shopping budgets November 28 – December 1 (aka Black Friday weekend).
• Consumers will spend an average of $459.87 on gifts for their family, up 6.5% from $432.00 last year, and $80.00 on gifts for friends, up from $75.00 last year.
• A typical person celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah will spend $804.42, up nearly 5% over last year’s actual $767.27.• Those celebrating the holidays will spend more on gifts for their co-workers ($26.23 vs. $24.52 in 2013), and others such as their babysitter and even their pets ($30.43 vs. $26.65).
• 40.9% of shoppers will begin spending in November, up slightly from 38.8% last year; 15.5% will begin in the first two weeks of December.
• 42.3% of those polled say free shipping/shipping promotions are important factors.
• Consumers say that helpful, knowledgeable customer service (30.3%), convenient locations (47.9%), low prices (41.2%) and sales or price discounts (74.7%) also play a role in their decision to shop at a particular retailer.

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• 6 in 10 say quality of merchandise (60.9%) and selection of merchandise (59.4%) are important factors in their decision to shop somewhere.
• For the eighth year in a row gift cards are the most requested gift item among those celebrating the holidays.
• 62% say they’d most like to receive a gift card, followed by clothing (52.5%), books, CDs, DVDs or video games (43.1%), and electronics (34.6%).
• One-quarter (24.8%) of consumers say they’d like to receive jewelry, up from 23.3% last year.
• When asked if the state of the U.S. economy would impact their holiday spending plans, four in 10 (41.4%) said yes, down almost 20% from last year and the lowest amount since NRF first asked in 2009. Of those who said yes, most agree they will compensate by spending less overall (75.6%). Others will shop for sales more often (49.0%), comparison shop online more often (34.4%), use coupons more often (37%), buy more practical gifts (28.4%) and use last year’s decorations (24.8%).
• Self-gifting will decrease this year as shoppers opt to shift their budgets towards spending on others: 56.9% of holiday shoppers say they plan to take advantage of sales and discounts to purchase non-gift items for themselves or others, and will spend an average of $126.68, down from $134.77 last year.
• Nearly 50% of consumers plan to keep track of retailers’ promotions and sales through advertising circulars.

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Posted by Chelsea Hejny

Online Stats
• The average shopper will do 44% of holiday shopping online.
• 2 in 5 consumers said that they will spend more time researching online in order to find a good deal.
• Before making a purchase, shoppers reference 12 sources of information.
• 64% said YouTube is the most influential channel for making shopping decisions.
• Free shipping is deemed the second most important factor for shoppers when purchasing online.
• Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store.
• 44% of consumers want the ability to buy online and pick up their purchases in a store.
Mobile Stats
• 84% of store visitors use their mobile devices before or during a shopping trip.
• Consumers are using their mobile phones in the store to research products and find last minute ideas. 69% said that they would use their smartphone for holiday shopping.
• Nearly one third of consumers say they’d like to receive holiday deals via their mobile device.
• When it comes to why consumers choose to shop where they do during the holiday season, one-quarter of shoppers say easy-to-use mobile websites is an important factor in their decision to shop with a specific retailer.
• Broken down by age, 41.1% of 25-34 year olds are somewhat or very comfortable using their device to pay for items at the register, compared to just 14.4% of those 65+. Men are much more likely than women are to feel comfortable with the technology (32.6% vs. 22.5%).
• 1 in 3 consumers use their smartphones to find information they need rather than asking an employee.

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How to Enable Reviews on a Facebook Business Page

Enable Reviews Facebook

Reviews can be a great resource for a business. Good reviews are proven to help businesses gain more customers, and while negative reviews will indeed turn away some customers, they are also a great opportunity. Negative reviews tend to have a complaint attached, and you can address that complaint. Fast customer service can help retain customers and can show new users that even if a problem does occur, you’re there to help solve it.

Facebook is not a review site. You aren’t going to find aggregated reviews and star ratings for everything. It’s not Yelp, it’s not Metacritic, and it’s not OpenCritic. They focus heavily on the social aspects of the internet, and not so much the one-sided reviews. Facebook doesn’t want to be a customer service portal – if anything, Twitter is going that route – and they make it correspondingly difficult to find reviews.

So how can you, as a business on Facebook, open yourself up to reviews?

Outdated Information

One quick thing before we begin. If you’ve been looking for information about reviews on Facebook, you’ve probably run into all sorts of old articles or topics in their community help center. Facebook recently made some changes to how their category system works and how their review system works. This means a lot of the advice published in those posts is incorrect. This article is correct as of the publication date, but Facebook can certainly change things again. If they do, please let me know in the comments and I’ll take a look at what’s changed.

So far there are two major changes. The first is to the category system. In the past, when you created a page, you had to pick your category. Remember this screen? It’s still there, but it’s not as relevant as it used to be. You’re no longer 100% locked in to the category you pick when you first create your page.

Facebook Create a Page

Now, when you go to your page settings, you see a box that says “Category.” This box will have one entry, which is the category you picked when you created the page. However, you can remove that category and you can add more categories, up to three. Facebook says they will “keep the most specific three” so you can add more and they will keep the most specific. If you added media company, company, local business, and repair shop as four categories, they would eliminate “company” as being too generic compared to the others.

This is all a side effect of the recent page layout redesign, where they more or less unified how pages look. There used to be quite a significant difference between different categories, which you can see in the examples in this article from Buffer. Since they unified looks, they had to unify features, otherwise category would still control what you were able to do on the page.

The second major change is that reviews are no longer tied to the map and address function of Facebook. In the past, you had to have a specific category, that being local business.

Map on Facebook

You also had to have location information enabled, which is how you get the map on your Facebook page. Only then would you get reviews. This meant that businesses not tied to a local address wouldn’t be able to get reviews, and it meant that if you wanted a map you had to have reviews, and vice versa. Nowadays, you can enable reviews without having the map. You can also have the map without enabling reviews. However, you do still need to have an address plugged in if you want a map, so that bit hasn’t changed.

Some features are in fact still tied to the type of page you’re using. All types of pages get a short description, a website link, a services list, and reviews. Email is only available to companies and organizations, local businesses, people, sports pages, websites, and blogs. Phone numbers and addresses are only available to companies and organizations, local businesses, and people and sports pages. Maps, check-ins, and business hours are only available for companies and organizations and local business pages. You can see the full chart here.

Some Examples

Since it’s easy to miss the reviews section on a Facebook page these days, I’ve dug around and found some examples of various businesses.

  • Moz. This page tends to be pretty well optimized, and they have decided not to use reviews, so you won’t see the review section anywhere on their page.
  • Hobbytown USA. This business is a retail chain with locations across the country. They have an address added for their headquarters, which shows the map on the right side a bit down the page. They also have reviews in the upper section of the right column. You can see they have a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, but you can’t see anything beyond that. However, if you click the stars, you can see the reviews specifically. They only have 11 reviews and you can read the reviews left by people if you so choose.
  • A Different Hobbytown. As the above stated, that was their corporate location. Individual stores have their own pages and reviews, and this is one such example. They have a map and review section independent of their corporate location. They have a higher number of reviews, a higher rating overall, and are not verified.

I’m having a hard time finding a page that has reviews but doesn’t have a map, likely due to how new the ability is and how few brands have decided they really want reviews. Nevertheless, the Facebook help center and the option in a private testing page of my own confirm it’s possible, I just haven’t seen it live. If you’ve seen one live in the wild, shoot me a link.

The same goes for pages with a map but without reviews. Most local businesses know the value of reviews and leave them on, and it’s hard to find one that has disabled reviews. Again, if you know of one, shoot me a link. Facebook says it’s possible, I just haven’t found one in the wild.

Enabling Reviews on Facebook

The actual process for enabling reviews is pretty easy, and can be done in one of two ways.

The first way is to have a local business or have a business where you don’t mind the address being public. So, this works well for restaurants, grocery stores, chain locations, and corporate headquarters. However, it doesn’t work very well for bloggers or freelancers who don’t want their address published publicly.

All you do in this case is add in your address information, if you haven’t already. This will give you a map and the reviews associated with it. You can, according to Facebook’s help page, disable the reviews and just keep the map if you want. Specifically, they say “Note: Adding an address to your Page will automatically enable reviews, but you can still disable them.”

The second process is what you have to use if you don’t have an address to add, or if you have it added and somehow don’t have reviews, or in any other situation where you want reviews and don’t have them. Simply go to your page and click settings up at the top. From there, in the general tab, will be a section near the top labeled reviews. Simply allow visitors to review your Page, and save the changes. That’s all there is to it! You can see all the settings easily in this image:

All Settings Facebook Review

Adding or Changing an Address

Address information is still limited by the category of the page. You need either “companies and organizations” or “local businesses” to have an address on your page. Add one of these to your page categories list in order to add your address.

Adding a Location to Facebook PageAdding an address from there is pretty simple. First, click on the about section on the left column of your page, under the profile picture. Then click the “edit page info” link in blue in the upper right corner below the cover photo. Under the General tab of the window that pops up, you should see a Location section. It will have a map and boxes for your address information. Add in your address, but keep in mind that you can only have one address. If your Page represents a retail chain, make it your headquarters address. Other pages for individual stores can use their own addresses.

Below the map is a “show map and check-ins on the page” option. Click this if you want the map to be visible. By default, adding in the address will enable reviews, so you can follow the process above to disable them if you don’t want them.

You can also add a bunch of useful local business information in this tab. You can inform people of what sort of parking your business has available, what hours you’re open, and a general impression of your price range.

Note: If your “general” tab doesn’t have the location section, Facebook probably doesn’t have you recorded as a local business or company page. In this case, remove all the categories in your categories box and put in Local Business or Company, depending on which you are. Make sure to write down the categories you had before, if you want to add them again when you’re done. Save your settings, then refresh your page. You may have to wait a minute or two for Facebook’s system to recognize the change and refresh again. Then follow the steps above, going into the edit page info box, to see if the Location section is available.

Dealing with Ratings

One caveat that comes with enabling ratings on your Page is that now you have to monitor and deal with negative ratings and reviews that come in. There are a few quirks to this system that you should know.

First of all, you can’t simply edit or delete a review. Facebook makes them all but permanent, and it requires a review on Facebook’s end to get one deleted. I’ll tell you the process for that in a minute.

Secondly, reviews have the same privacy visibility settings as posts. You can, of course, always see all of the reviews on your page. However, when someone posts a review, it can be set to only them or only to their friends, so a negative review might not be as bad as you might think. If only one user and their friends can see the review, it doesn’t necessarily impact your brand as a whole. Of course, you should still address them before they get out of hand, and the same user can leave reviews on other locations you can’t hide as easily.

Poor Rating Fan Page

Interestingly, your overall star rating is also just made up of publicly available star ratings. Anyone who reviews your business with a one star but keeps it private to just their friends will not affect your star rating for people who aren’t friends with that person. Keep this in mind if you ever want to try to publicly shame a business into addressing your customer service issue; make your review as public as possible and they’ll have more incentive to deal with it.

If you find yourself with a flood of negative reviews, it’s not a technical issue on Facebook you need to solve, it’s an issue with your product or service and it’s a customer service issue. You need to address the problem at its source, and only then can you try to get your reviews back up on Facebook and other sites that might have reviews for your business.

When you encounter a negative review, the first thing you should do is research it to see if it’s a valid complaint. If it’s a valid complaint, your process is easy; address the problem, resolve it with the customer, then ask them to edit their review to reflect your customer service experience. They may or may not change their rating, and that’s all you can do.

If the review is not valid, you have some options. What constitutes an invalid review?

  • A review that was left by someone you know has not purchased your product or service.
  • A review that reflects events that didn’t happen.
  • A review that isn’t an actual review of your business or product/service, such as one for a business with a similar name.
  • A review that is mostly just an excuse for the person to spew racist or bigoted hate speech directed at your employees or the owners of your company.
  • Any other review that violates the Facebook community standards.

When you encounter such a review, simply go to the review and click the V in the upper right corner. Click report and follow the instructions. Facebook will review the review and delete it if they find it violates their standards. If it’s a negative but valid review, they will leave it and not remove it.

Additionally, you can’t have a review removed if it’s just a star rating with no comment. The reviewer needs to leave a post that violates the community standards.

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The Worst Real Estate Advice Your Clients Hear

The Worst Real Estate Advice Your Clients Hear

As a real estate professional, you sometimes have to compete with well-intentioned friends and family members offering your clients some not-so-great advice from the sidelines. Most of that advice tends to be aimed at the pricing of the home, which may hinder your client discussions.

Realtor.com® recently highlighted some of the worst of that advice that real estate professionals say their clients download (5)recite to them, including:

  • “Price the house based on what you paid, plus a little extra for profit.”
  • “Price the house based on what you feel is right.”
  • “Add the cost of renovations you’ve made to your price.”

Sound familiar? It’s important that you set your clients straight and let them know that pricing a property shouldn’t be based on what their gut says or what they think it should be. A home’s list price should come from comps and square footage. You may need to step back and carefully explain to your clients the importance of comps and why real estate professionals use them — before just jumping right in to comp review mode and the price.

Also, beware that home owners may sometimes hear advice to price their home higher, despite what the comps say. For example, they may hear:

  • “Price your home high because buyers will come in low.”
  • “‘Not in a hurry to sell? Price the home high’”

Explain to them the dangers of pricing too high. “If a home is substantially overpriced, it’ll end up sitting on the market for a long time,” says Bill Golden with RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside. If the house lingers on the market, buyers often start making low-ball offers. “In the end, these homes almost always sell for less than if they had priced it right to begin with.”

Indeed, Tracey Hampson, a real estate professional in California, says “if a home is priced correctly, you will get full-price offers and even over-asking-price offers.”

Source: “The Very Worst Home-Pricing Advice You’ll Ever Hear (and Why),” realtor.com® (July 21, 2016)

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