Taking your Online efforts Offline – Part III


One month after Inman Real Estate Connect, most of us start forgetting what we learned and go on with our routine.  A post like this one that tells you about my presentation may sound like any other Yada Yada Yada…..but listen up – you may get something from it.

Part I of this series talked about rewarding your sphere with your online influence and it reminded you to keep it real.

Part II talked about being creative, branching out your blog and creating a brand that makes an impact and is remembered.

In Part III I want to talk about taking all those efforts and actually focusing on F2F (Face to Face) meetings that will strengthen connections and make your efforts tangible.

Easier said than done

Tweet-ups are HOT now and someone somewhere is trying to arrange some kind of Twitter get-together now.  Let me tell you that it’s easier than it looks and it doesn’t matter the size of the group either.  With the help of TweetDeck I have managed to group my Twitter followers into different categories and this helps me follow different types of conversations at the same time.  I have my local followers, I have my close Twitter friends and I recently created an architecture group to follow even another type of conversation.  (Rick does think I’m crazy, just in case you were wondering).

So one night I posted a photo of a mojito on TwitPic and a local follower said, “when are we having mojitos, Ines?” – one thing lead to another and we arranged a Miami Mojito Tweet-Up 3 days later.  10 people showed up and we had a quaint but very powerful get together at a local bar in South Beach.

What’s amazing about this small event is that I felt so much closer to each one of these individuals.  Their tweets were meaningful, I went out of my way to re-tweet and pay more attention to what they had to say and our relationship was strengthened.  This applies to any F2F type of interaction.   From this small tweet-up I received a call to participate in the local social media events, to participate in a case study on the use of social media for business and was even featured in a business directory in the UK….and the best part is that we enjoyed mojitos and had a great time!

F2F can be achieved from any of the social media outlets – think of individuals with like-minded interests and make it happen.

No Face to Face Effort is too Small

The next type of F2F interaction without actually sharing the same physical space is video.  Although we are seeing more people use video today than we were seeing 6 months ago, I cannot stress how important and how easy it is to use video on a day to day basis.  There are so many platforms out there that make this possible and you have no excuse NOT to use these.  Here’s a few:  Seesmic, Skype, Facebook, TokBox, EyeJot….please go take a look, you will be surprised how easy it is to use these.

Jeff Turner was telling me a few months ago how surprised he was that Facebook Video was so underutilized – I began following his lead and leaving Happy Birthday Video Messages and from one message to a Venezuelan friend from my childhood I actually sold a vacation home here in Miami…..that easy!!  Video happens to reinforce that connection when actual F2F is not possible.  (I personally don’t know what I would do today without Skype…..we video chat with people from all over the world….a truly amazing tool).

What are others doing?

Linda Davis from Eastern Connecticut Real Estate Blog and who has had a well established real estate business sends a newspaper to over 6000 homes in her market area.  Because Linda’s customers are not web savvy, her blog provides content for her newspaper.

Linda was the same person who said in the last Bloggers Connect in San Francisco, “If your Real Estate Business sucks, blogging is not going to help!” – ( I *heart* Linda).

Our own Mariana Wagner, with powerful on-line as well as off-line marketing, incorporates some traditional methods with technology.  She has a newsletter that pimps out her blog, she still does door knocking in her neighborhood, has neighborhood picnics and if you haven’t received or at least seen a “@MIZZLE sticker”…. then you should consider removing the rock from over your head.

St. Paul’s only Teresa Boardman could not be left out of my presentation.  If you know anything about T, you know that she loves photography and will find her with camera in-hand at all times.  Teresa has managed to document the whole city and gets called by her community to use and display her photos.  In addition to that and with the use of Flickr groups, she goes on “photo walks” and achieves F2F with like-minded individuals (or at least people with the same passion for photography).

Joe and Rudy accomplished the ultimate F2F event ever with their Blog Tour USA in 2007.  To think that they actually toured the US and met hundreds of bloggers from all over the place.  I personally felt a connection when they came to Miami and was so glad we got to spend quality time together.  I’m not telling you to go tour the US, but I am telling you there are no boundaries.

And finally – Agent Genius Extraordinaire himself, Benn Rosales.  Benn admitted to me that he uses no print media at all.  His efforts vary from coffee socials small in scale and he uses social media to help others and in return they often pay it forward.

It goes back to the concept of using your on-line influence to help others without expecting anything in return.  The ultimate goal for anyone using the Internet and Social Media to market their business is to achieve some sort of real, live connection.  Social Media is about keeping it real, about being genuine and about not having a hidden agenda.  Transparency has reached a new height and you will be outed if your motives are contrived.

**original article on AgentGenius.com **

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