Why You Should Be Using Beacon Technology

 

What is beacon technology?

Beacons that are placed in a specific location, typically inside of a business, use Bluetooth to detect smart phones that are within a specific range. These beacons can then communicate with that device via Bluetooth. This type of technology can be a game changer if you own a small, retail business.

Retail stores are by far the best place to use beacon technology. If you own or manage a retail location, then you must engage in marketing techniques that use this type of tech. Beacons allow a business to know how many potential buyers are in their store at a given time based on the Bluetooth signal from their smart phones. The potential customers’ phone must have Bluetooth turned on a the time, so it may not be able to target every person within the store.

Since you have already spent a lot of money trying to get these customers into your retail location, you want to make sure that you make a sale. Beacons allow you the opportunity to send out targeted ads to people in your retail location on the spot.

Think about this.

You own a clothing store and use a beacon technology. You can send out a flash sale coupon to anyone in the store who has their Bluetooth turned on. This coupon could be emailed, texted, etc. and include a 10% off all purchases within the next 30 minutes.

You can also send personalized coupons or discounts that relate to a specific detail about your exact location.

There are many beacon technologies, however, Facebook may have the best. Facebook offers their Beacons to qualifying businesses.

With this beacon, which is very easy to set up, Facebook uses its Places Tips function to find cell phones within a specific location and brings local businesses’ posts to the top of that person’s news feed.

This means that you can create Places Tips specific content that you know will automatically be shown to people who are on Facebook within your location.

Let’s take a look at an example.

You are the owner of a restaurant / bar and you have a special Happy Hour menu, so you create a Places Tips piece of content that is shown only to people in the restaurant. When a couple comes in and logs into Facebook so they can check-in to let all their friends know where they are, they will see your post at the top of their feed that talks about your Happy Hour specials. That couple now orders or asks the server / bartender about these specials and a sale was made because of the Facebook Bluetooth Beacon technology.

Having the ability to show an ad to a willing and able buyer gives you a huge advantage. Making sure that you have the right type of content created is the difficult part.

Remember, no matter what industry we work in, we are ALL in the content creation industry.

If you haven’t requested your Facebook Bluetooth Beacon yet, be sure to do so now!

How to Setup a WordPress Site from Start to Finish in Less than 10 Minutes

wordpress-logoI  always hear people mention that they want to start a website or start a blog, but they have no clue about web design or no idea how to get started. Luckily, WordPress provides a quick and simple way to start a  blog which can lead to advertisers spending money on your site. If you can create a Word document, then you can create a basic WordPress site.

To help you get started, I created a step by step tutorial on the exact steps to get your new WordPress site up and running within 5-10 minutes. And most importantly, without any HTML or web design knowledge being needed.

You can also download the PDF version of How to Set Up a WordPress Website with BlueHost in Under 5 Minutes which includes screenshots as well.

  1. Go to Bluehost (clickable affiliate link to receive discounted rates)
  2. Click on Products – Shared Hosting
  3. Select the Plus package which is the most popular package offered
  4. If this is a new domain, then type in the domain that you would like to have to find out if it is available
  5. Fill out the account information
  6. Fill out the package information. The best price option is when a 36 month plan is purchased, this is recommended.
  7. Un-select Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, SiteLock Security
  8. Fill out payment information and submit
  9. Once logged into your account, you will find yourself at the Control Panel as shown below.
  10. Under Website – Click on Install WordPress
  11. Click on Install
  12. Select the domain where you would like to install WordPress, which is the domain we just created.
  13. Click on Check domain
  14. Click on Advanced Options
  15. Change the Title to the name of your Site, for example – Chris Stocker Inc
  16. You can update the admin username at this point
  17. Create a new password of your choice (Remember security issues and keep it tough)
  18. Agree to the terms
  19. Install WordPress
  20. Once WordPress is installed, you will need to login.
  21. Installing a WordPress Theme can be done for free or by purchasing a theme.
  22. Click on Appearance – Themes – Add New
  23. Find a theme that you like and click on Install
  24. Once the theme is installed, click on Activate

Why You’re Missing Out on Business by Ignoring LinkedIn Ads

 

linkedin-logoAs we approach 2016, we have to remember to continue to market like the year we are in. Where are people’s eyes at most of the day? On their social media accounts, primarily Facebook. I have discussed in the past why Facebook Dark Posts are the most cost effective strategy when targeting a customer. However, LinkedIn is not so bad itself.

In fact, LinkedIn offers a great opportunity for B2B lead generation and their ad targeting is great as well. Let’s get into how you can effectively use LinkedIn ads to grow your business.

Sponsored vs Text Ads

LinkedIn offers two different options of advertising, sponsored updates which show up in a user’s timeline and text ads which typically show up in the sidebars. Both options can be beneficial, in fact, running both at the same time can be your best option. Text ads in the sidebar are typically a bit cheaper, but may not show the same results.

Sponsored updates show in the timeline which means that they will also show up on mobile devices or tablets, as well as the desktop version of LinkedIn.com.

If you choose to use a sponsored update, you can use something that you have posted in the past, or you can create a brand new status update. What you want to include in the status update is totally up to you, but I recommend either a link to an article or a white paper download in order to collect their email address.

Ad Targeting

Now we can get to the targeting of who the ads will be shown to. I can provide a lot of different examples, but let’s just start with one. Let’s say that you want to connect with dentists. Maybe you sell dental supplies and want to connect with the dentist themselves, or even more importantly, the office manager who may actually purchase the supplies.

You can target these people in a few different ways. You can select to target people whose occupation is “dentist, orthodontist, etc.” You can also select a certain radius within a specific zip code. With this, your status update with a link to download a white paper that a dentist would be interested in will show up in their LinkedIn feed.

dental-linkedin-targeting

Here’s a more aggressive approach to targeting that can be even more effective. If you have a specific location that you sell these dental supplies to and know the dentist office name, you can then find out the name of the office manager or purchasing manager of the office. With that name, you can target that specific person if they are on LinkedIn. Create a list of the names that you want your sponsored update to be shown to and add them into the targeting list on LinkedIn.

This is a great opportunity to make first contact with someone and have them sign up for a white paper and provide you their email address.

As I mentioned, there are several more examples that I can provide about how you can use LinkedIn targeted ads to reach your target customer.

If you would like more information about how you can best execute on these ads, then contact me today.

4 Ways Realtors Can Use Social Media to Sell More Homes

house-for-sale

 

If you are a realtor, than your game is all about selling more homes. We live in 2015, going into 2016, so it is important to market like it is 2015. What does that mean? It means that more people are on Facebook and Twitter than anywhere else. That means while they are in the car also! The For Sale signs that are in the yards of your listings probably are not being seen as much. Why? Because not only is the passenger in the car looking down on their phone, so is the driver half of the time!

So, we have outline 4 ways that you as a realtor can use social media to sell more homes.

Content about the Area

No matter what industry you are in or what you sell, you are a content company. What does that mean? You sell homes, not content right? Wrong.

Content is the basis of gaining a sale. Let’s look at an example of why creating content about a specific area is going to help you sell more homes.

You have several listings in West Palm Beach, FL, so here are a few ideas that you can create content about:

  • Top Rated Schools in West Palm Beach, FL
  • 5 Up and Coming Neighborhoods in West Palm Beach, FL
  • Why 20-Somethings Should Buy in West Palm Beach, FL
  • 10 Family Friendly Activities in West Palm Beach, FL this Fall

These are just a few topics that you can create content around. Why does this help? You are providing value to people who may be searching for a home in your specific area and have a few questions. People are more willing to buy from people who provide value to them, not just a sales pitch.

It is perfectly acceptable to include a lead form or email signup form on your site where this content lives. In fact, that is the main purpose of this content.

Not only will creating content based on an area that you are selling homes help you sell those homes, it can lead to additional listing opportunities from people who see that you are creating this content and know you are going to sell their home for them.

Twitter Search

Using Twitter is another way to share great content with your potential buyers. In the first examples above, we were creating our own content and sharing it, but now, we can take content created by others and share that as well.

By using Twitter Search, you can find articles and other forms of content within a specific location to share. For example, in West Palm Beach, FL the local newspaper shares an article about the decrease in crime rates over the last 24 months, you may want to share that article because crime rate is a factor in the home buying process.

Just like you are using Twitter Search to find potential buyers, potential buyers are using Twitter Search to find a potential home to buy. When sharing your content, or other’s content, it is important to include relevant hashtags. For example, using #westpalmbeach in your tweet.

You can also use one of several tools to help schedule these tweets ahead of time, so that you do not need to be on Twitter at all times to post these. For example, if you have 5 new listings this week, you can schedule 5 tweets about each one throughout the next week at difference times.

Find out how to schedule tweets for an effective Twitter strategy.

Video Tours / Live Streaming

There are two different ways that you can use video to help you sell more houses. First, instead of just using images when doing a listing, why not take your smart phone or video camera and do a complete walk-through of the house and post the video with the listing? A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video could be worth thousands of dollars in commissions!

These videos do not need to be a very high production with special lighting and special effects. A simple smart phone camera can be used to record while you walk from room to room. If you want to make it even more effective, talk throughout the tour to explain the brand new travertine floors and the newly remodeled kitchen with the quartz countertops.

Another form of video usages that can be utilized and effective is live streaming. There are two main players in this area, Periscope and Meerkat. These allow you to use the camera on your phone to live stream video to users. How is this helpful may you ask? Let’s use an example of the real world.

You decide that you want to run an Open House for a new listing from 9-1 on a Saturday. I am a potential buyer and I see this open house sign, but unfortunately, I am on my way to drop kid number 1 off at soccer practice because kid number 2 needs to be at football practice. Meanwhile, kid number 3 has a lacrosse game from 10-11:30. After that game is over, I have to drive across town pick up kid number 1 and number 2 and get them lunch. I look at the time and the open house is now over, I missed it and missed out on the opportunity to see the house.

Now, if I drove past that open house sign, and I saw “Watch Open House on Periscope from 10-11” I now know that I can log onto Periscope and watch a tour of the open house live on my phone while I am waiting for kid number 3’s lacrosse game to end. I no longer missed out on the open house and since I became very interested in that property, I send you a message to schedule a private showing of the house and 24 hours later an offer is submitted and accepted.

Another home sold thanks to live streaming an open house.

Facebook Dark Post Ads

Facebook dark posts are something that are highly under-utilized because most people don’t know they exist. You may have ran Facebook ads before, but have you ran a dark post?

What is a Facebook dark post? Basically, a dark post is is a status update that you can create, but it doesn’t actually show up on your Facebook wall. Well, why is this good if it doesn’t show up on your wall? Because, you can target a specific demographic that you want the post to show up in their feed!

How does this work?

Remember that content that we spoke about above? Well, now is when we can really begin to use it. Let’s say we wrote an article about the best free playgrounds in West Palm Beach, FL. We can now create a Facebook dark post with a link to the article (which on our site, we will have an email newsletter signup so we can collect this person’s information). Now, we can also choose from hundreds of demographic choices to whom we will show it to.

For example, we may want to show the ad to the following persona:

  • Female
  • 30-45 years old
  • Married
  • Parent
  • Rent (we can choose this option because they may be looking to buy a home)
  • Has Children

Once we publish this ad, which we can do for as little as $5/day, this ad will only show to the people in this ad demographic. Once this post is seen by the mother’s that we have targeted, they are likely to share, like, comment, etc. on this post. That means that we will now reach a much larger audience and reach other people in this target demographic. We are now increasing our odds of having one of these people sign up for an email newsletter and also one of the people they share with being a person looking for a new home.

Another example to use Facebook dark posts is whenever a new listing is ready to go. Facebook allows you to target a specific zip code along with an annual income. If the home you are selling is a $500,000 home in 90210, then you can target people with an annual income to afford a home in that price range in that zip code.

That’s it! These 4 simple ways to use social media will ultimately help you sell more homes.

If you have any questions about how to implement any of these strategies, please reach out.

My 10 Favorite Podcasts

10 Favorite Podcasts (1)I don’t know about you, but I can’t actually work in silence. I must have some background noise. My noise of choice are podcasts. I listen to podcasts while exercising, working, writing, at the beach, and driving (south Florida traffic provides a lot of time to catch up on podcasts!)

Here is a list of my 10 favorite podcasts. These are all business related, but touch on all aspects of the business realm. And these are in no particular order.

Home Work

I first came upon this podcast when I began working from home over two years ago. I was working from home and wasn’t organized and didn’t feel like I was being very productive in my home office so I turned to the internet to look for tips. Aaron Mahnke and Dave Caolo are very good at providing tips on creating home office hours, vacations, tools, and more.

If you work from home as a freelancer or telecommuter, I highly recommend this weekly podcast which updates every Friday.

Social Media Marketing Podcast

This podcast is brought to you by Michael Stelzner who is the author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. The podcast includes interviews from industry experts and success stories of using social media to grow business. I’ve found a lot of tips and strategies from listening and highly recommend it.

Entrepreneur On Fire

This is the podcast that turned me onto podcasting. As like the Home Work podcast listed above, this was one of the very first podcasts I came across. I needed a bit of entrepreneurial spirit and motivation and came across John Lee Dumas podcast which features a daily interview with entrepreneurs. That’s right, a DAILY, podcast. What makes this podcast even more amazing is that I started with episode one and now John has a huge following and brings in over $200,000/mo from his podcast. I highly recommend attending one of his free webinars on podcasting called Podcasters’ Paradise. You can sign up for the free webinar, but the on-going Podcasters’ Paradise can be a bit expensive at first glance, but well worth the costs if you are looking to monetize your podcast.

The Dave Ramsey Show

This podcast does not always include business information, but it is my favorite money management podcast to listen to. Like most Americans that went to college, I’m swimming in student loan debt and have always had a goal of paying off all of my debt and being debt free. I actually run my business debt free as well. I recommend this podcast for anyone who is looking to follow a simple system to get out of debt.

The EntreLeadership Podcast

This podcast comes from Dave Ramsey and includes interviews with top management leaders and business executives. Each episode includes a clip from Dave Ramsey speaking at a conference or EntreLeadership seminar. If you are looking for leadership and management style podcasts, then this one is for you.

The Smart Passive Income Podcast / AskPat

These are two separate podcasts from Pat Flynn. The Smart Passive Income is the initial podcast which sparked the Ask Pat one which is just a quick daily question from listeners that Pat gives an answer to. Pretty self explanatory huh? The Smart Passive Income podcast includes interviews with top internet marketers that have created large passive incomes. What is a passive income? Basically, making money while you are sleeping or not working. But don’t let the name fool you, there is a lot of work that goes into it!

SEO 101

The SEO 101 podcast is hosted by Ross Dunn and John Carcutt who are two of the top people in the SEO world. This is a weekly podcast that summarizes the weeks top SEO news from algorithm updates, SEO spam, interviews with industry experts, and updates from search marketing conferences.

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield is the author if Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies and this podcast offers a lot of great step by step how to’s in social media. I really enjoy her Facebook marketing episodes because she breaks things down to an easy to follow step by step process.  She also includes interviews from other social media experts and their proven ways of managing social media.

Social Pros Podcast

This podcast is hosted by Jay Baer and Jeff Rohrs. The interviews are with real world social media managers which is what I love the most about it. These interviews get into depth about specifics from the social media campaigns that they have ran in the past or are currently running. This helps spark strategies and ideas for social media campaigns that I manage.

Life on Fire TV (Video)

This podcast from Nick Unsworth is very similar to Entrepreneur on Fire but includes more tactical information on how to succeed in living your life on fire and living out your passion. I love this podcast because it is a video and it breaks up the audio podcasts and gives me something to watch. There are a lot of interviews that are done at the entrepreneurs’ house, sort of like MTV Cribs style, and provides some additional motivation.

 

5 Reasons to Use Snapchat for Your Business

snapchat

A lot of people have opinions of Snapchat. Unfortunately, majority of those people have never used it or know what the app even does.  They may have negative things to say about it because their teenager uses it, but that doesn’t mean that businesses can’t take advantage of this app.

I grew up with a phrase, “Don’t knock it, till you try it”

Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t knock Snapchat for your business until you try it. Continue reading