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My newest marketing idea – Sean LaRue’s Site

By Jim Marks

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By Jim Marks
— Sent from my Palm Pre, I am all thumbs…

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How do you spell Twitter without a Strategy? T-O-Y…

By Jim Marks

imagesIt didnt take me near as long to decide I didnt agree with the message in Rob Hahns post The Tragedy of a Twitter Strategy as it did for him to write it.  Rob is kinda known for his lengthy, pithy and well thought out introspections of current social media culture and habit. Usually, I can full heartedly agree with him.  Ocassionally, I get the grand AHAH! and am amazed at the insight and vantage point he scribes from.  Every Blue moon?  He is just dead wrong.

Today there is a blue moon…

To fully understand my sentiment you really need to read Robs entire prose.  But if you are short on time or terrible ADD. (guilty as charged) Let me sum up for you the paragraph that raised my cockles and sent the “that is the exact opposite of how I feel” feeling down my arm, through my fingers and ultimately out to my keyboard…  Here is the flawed opinion…

Rob Hahn says “Plus, please recognize that Twitter inherently assumes that you already have a relationship of some sort; it’s the only way in which a 140-character text message makes sense. If we don’t have a relationship, or a distant business relationship, I really don’t care what you’re having for lunch.

If we’ve embarrassed ourselves at karaoke together one drunken night, then I actually care that you’re doing laundry. Probably. Maybe. Sort of.

So, want more followers on Twitter? Go out more. Throw parties and events. Want to maximize your investment in Twitter? Go make more relationships — you know, away from the keyboard. Then use Twitter to maintain and expand those existing relationships.

This just is not right…  and I was forced to respond…

Rob,

Hey my, “did he really use his YALE education to come to that conclusion?” dearest friend…

You are missing the point as duly expressed within this pearl of wisdom…

So, want more followers on Twitter? Go out more. Throw parties and events. Want to maximize your investment in Twitter? Go make more relationships — you know, away from the keyboard. Then use Twitter to maintain and expand those existing relationships.

Look, if you WANT to use twitter as a toy, go for it. No rules, no holds-barred. Go ahead and sling it around like a toy gun at a shooting range. If it brings you friends, maintains relationships or destroys your existing ones… who cares, its a toy.

But if you WANT to use twitter as a sphere of influence building tool? (the SOI is still the number one quoted source of biz for agents) then have a strategy. A strategy means, decide WHO you are going to invite into your SOI, decide how to convert them, and go about it in a systematic method.

Look Rob, if you and I didn’t know each other, and JeffX and I were best friends… and you and JeffX were best friends… You probably NEED to be in my SOI, and I, yours. I may be an asset to you both socially and professionally and visa versa. But outside SM, I cant just call you and say.. Hey Rob, I know a guy you know…etc. etc.

It breaks my social contract with MY friend, JeffX… (this is the Seinfield equivalent of “worlds colliding.”) But with the SM space and Twitter I AM allowed to contact you, reach out and talk about Jeffx as our mutual friend, and common interest. We share this in common. Much more meaningful than a bad song in a Karaoke bar.

Imagine, now if I reached out, deliberately and systematically with all my current friends of SOI. These are people who I have a ton in common and the only distance between then now, a total stranger and members of my SOI? (which they will soon be)One conversation.

Twitters’ relaxed social nature facilitates this type of conversation. I ge the opportunity to reach out and meet new people with whom a have a ton in common and my SOI grows strategically and exponentially. Most important is these are people who have a valuable third party reference of my caring and trust worthy character. (which makes them perfect SOI members and possible future clients)

Now ask your agent clients this question. What woould it do to your business if you could use twitter to reach out to people just beyond your current SOI, and increase your SOI by 3 times… or 5 times.

What would this do to your business?

Now, instead of meeting people over a course of “you make me feel like a natural women,” and inviting them to hang with me ONLINE.. I will be meeting people in a designed manner and inviting them to meet me OFFLINE..

This is how you build friendships and future clients.

What a Day… Partners Trust goes LIVE!

By Jim Marks
Click here to download:

PT_site.skitch (801 KB)

Over the last few months I have been creating websites, Social Media Strategy and support, etc. for a COOL new brokerage named Partners Trust.  These guys are big hitting LA Realtors that are forward thinking and GET social media…  I cant wait to talk more about their progress and success stories as time goes by… Stay tuned and I will keep the info coming…

Jim Marks | jimmarks@virtualresults.net | 949.436.6106
Ping me here Google Talk: jimmarks551 Skype: virtual.results
Read VR's Latests Blog Post 10 Fave Twitter Tools for Realtors

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Time to cut your comment links? Probably.

By Jim Marks

chainlinkcutterFor years, SEOs have engaged in a practice called Link Sculpting.  Link sculpting is merely the idea that each page of your site has Page Rank and that page rank can be passed to other pages on your site or elsewhere on the Internet.  Lets imagine PR points as currency. (Because it really is) If my Homepage has $20 worth of pagerank to invest and I have 20 outbound links on my site, it was common knowledge that Google would pass $1 worth of PR to each of the pages linked from that page. ($20/20=$1)  A thoughtful SEO, however, could manipulate that PR currency  to deep pages that he/she want to increase both the traffic and indexation rate.  We could do this by “nofollowing” some of the links, telling Google NOT to follow the link,  therefore making the existing links flow MORE Page Rank.  Let me explain.

If my Page has $20 worth of PR and 20 links, we can assume the each page linked to will get one PR dollar.  If I then NO FOLLOW 10 of those links, the balance of the PR cash will just average onto the rest of the links.  Therefore the 10 links that remain as Follow will get $2PR each.

With this theory, and thousands of PR points to invest, I can “sculpt” my page rank to drive traffic and indexability to pages that might not otherwise see the Google light of day.  It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, because as these pages index, rank and create traffic patterns, (and inbound links) THEY earn PR points which in turn can we sculpted off to other pages in need…  The entire site can be boosted, as it will have more indexed pages, a higher PR in general, more traffic, etc.

BUT NO MORE…

In a statement that rocked the SEO world, Matt Cutts, at SMX Advanced on June 3rd, stated that it is no longer effective to nofollow some pages in order to flow more Page Rank to the remaining followed pages.  Basically, Matt stated (this is an example) that if your page has $20 worth of page rank and 20 links, 10 of which are no followed, the no followed links will still receive NO PR, but the remaining 10 followed links will only receive the $1PR each.  In other words, nofollow links usurp PR, they just don’t pass it…

Here is a quote from Rand Fishkin, owner of SEOMoz,

“I’m saddened to say that given this change, we, as SEOs, are going to have to also recommend the best practice that comments (in all forms of UGC) no longer accept links. While Google has said that linking out to “good places” provides some value, that merely suggests that webmasters and site owners should select good resources editorially and link to them with live, followed links. Comments that contain links, unfortunately, will actively detract from a site’s ability to get pages indexed…

So who does this effect and does it effect you?

IMHO,  this by and large only will effect those with moderate or low-level SEO experience.  If you do not do SEO on your site, or have hundreds or thousands of pages with PR to pay with  then this change will have little or no effect on your site.  On the other hand, If you are a LARGE site with 1000s of pages and have, or are a talented SEO, you will simply revert to the practices of old.  Unless this policy changes, I will start creating my outbound links in a manner the robots can’t see or follow (in Flash, external Javascript with blocked calls, in plugin content,etc…)  My gut tells me there is a WP plugin on the way that will do this. (Developers get busy)

But if you have a decent sized site, with lots of PR and don’t know SEO really well, this conceivable could hurt.  Frankly, I just dont understand why Google would do this. It seems really counter-intuitive to me.

Commenting and sharing community traffic IS web 2.0.  If I can engage this community and leave a link that explains my credentials, that is cool.  If I can carry the conversation back to “my place, even cooler.  But a comment, without a link feels less authoritative to me.  It loses some of its street cred, whuffie, social currency.  I want to give the link to my commenters.  I want my readers to know who is commenting on my site…and their authority within my community.

But until I hear a change in this policy, UNFORTUNATLY, my advise to my clients may have to be…  “You just cant allow comment links until Google figures out the ramifications of this decision to our social media world, (and hopefully) reversed this decision.

It took almost two years and hundreds of hours of research…

By Jim Marks

before I finally figured out EXACTLY what it takes to be a Social Media Rockstar.

rockstarNow, I am NOT speaking of the “I followed 5000 people that I know have auto-follow to get a bigger follow base” type of Rockstar..  That would be too easy.  I want to be the “I have 5000 followers that love me, engage me and hang on my every word” type of Social Media Rockstar…” You get it, the “other social media rockstars will fly thousands of miles to attend a conference I am attending…  NOT because I am speaking…but because I am THERE”  Rockstar…  Are you getting my point?  I want to be the “people are SO engaged in my life, they take the time to learn that my wife is awesome too!” Rockstar…  Yes,  I was possessed to become the “I am sooo loved that any charity I touch becomes blessed, just cause I am involved and so incredibly passionate and sincere…”rockstar.

Yeah, thats the type of SM Rockstar I want to be…  So how did I figure it out?  I am tricky…

Step One:  Find someone who IS this type of Rockstar…

Well, I looked, and looked, and looked…  and I found him…  Well, to be honest, he wasn’t actually hiding…  he was freakin’ everywhere…  filling up my facebook, my Twitter, My LinkedIn, Speaking at every RE engagement known to man, etc…(he is a SM Rockstar , after all) but I found him…  My unassuming, social media uber-rockstar patsy to be?

Jeff Turner…alias @ResPres (look at that face?  This is gonna be easy!!)

Step Two: Befriend him (Sh-h-h)

This, surprisingly enough, was not that difficult either.  I emailed Jeff… then Facebook friended him, tweeted a tad…  invited him to lunch under the pretense of “some crazy business idea” and just oozed my self-serving, sucrose-enriched charm…  The funny thing was, it was almost TOO EASY…  It was like Jeff….  ACTUALLY CARED about what I had to say…  no, no… it was much stranger than that…it was as if Jeff actually cared WHO I WAS…  He listened, and engaged me, and respected my opinions, and shared important ideas freely.  He almost made it too easy…

WOW, this guy is goooood…  but I found the chink in his armour…

He was the same way to EVERYBODY…  Nobody can be that interested in everybody… can they?

Step Three:  Learn all his tricks

This is where my plan derailed a bit…  I paid attention, I really did…  but I just couldnt figure him out, what was he hiding?…  how did he do it?…  puzzling.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…  This super great guy… This caring, engaging, thoughtful, social, guy…  This killer communicator, charitable, funny, guy…  Yeah, this pensive, warm and downright AFFABLE guy that everyone SHOULD want to communicate and be social with…  HAS A VERY UNIQUE AVATAR!!

jeffturner-avatarHow could I have missed this!!  Could this really be it?  What else could it be?  Let me take inventory one more time…

Is he smarter than me?  Well, probably, but that cant be it..

Is he more successful than me? Well, I think so, but that cant be it either…

Is he better looking than me?  HELL NO!

Nicer, more engaging, thoughtful, caring, INTERESTED…  of course, but who cares.  IT HAS TO BE THE AVATAR!  I ‘VE GOT IT!!

Step Four: Use this new found knowledge to conquer the SM world!!  So, here it is, my fool proof Social Media Strategy.

@jimmarks…  be gone.

Introducing…@vrpres

vrpres11

Wait…  where are you going…  arent you gonna follow me?   Hello!!  Did you see my AVATAR??  (happy april fools day!)

Do Realtors Know…What they dont know?

By Jim Marks

As I travel to seminars and speak to Realtors , I am running into a problem that I never actually considered. The REASON, I thought, that Realtors (in general) werent effective in realizing income on the Internet was that that they didn’t understand how. Understandable. All realtors should be as good at selling houses as the The Mayo Home Team, or at least that’s what a person expects when hiring one. Internet marketing is a whole cottage industry away from Real Estate. Perhaps they were trying, but just missing the mark. The actual problem, I now see, is more systemic than that.

Most Realtors dont know what they dont know.

The Idea that a Website is should be built to create REVENUE and not a brand? I didn’t know that.

The concept that I can create a website that APPEALS to my searchers and creates a DESIRE to self-identify? Really, I didnt know.

The theory that I can actually track my visitors progress through my site and see which parts they enjoy and which they dont? and that I should actually build the site THEY WANT? I didn’t know that I didn’t know that, either.

So, lets take the next couple of weeks and set a plan in action to learn what we need to know… and then we will learn that…

Make sense? Who knows…. stayed tuned.

 

The Seattle Real Estate Podcast (sample)

By Jim Marks

Jim Reppond and the Reppond Team, Coldwell Banker’s number one team in Seattle, host this informative blog on Seattle Real Estate. Whether your a seasoned investor or a first time home buyer, Jim’s vast knowledge of the Seattle Real Estate Market will captivate and educate…[display_podcast]

Read The Transcript

Jim Marks: Hello and welcome to the first episode of the Seattle Real Estate Podcast. I am your host, Jim Marks of Virtual Results, and my guest for this episode is the founder and namesake of the Reppond team, the number one producing Coldwell Banker Bain team in all of Seattle, Jim Reppond. Jim, welcome.

Jim Reppond: Hi, thanks Jim.

Jim Marks: I’d like to open this inaugural podcast by telling our listeners a little bit about yourself, your team and your experience in the Seattle real estate market.

Jim Reppond: Well, I got started in real estate way back in 1976. It started with me when I first got out of college of purchasing 55 acres down in Eugene, Oregon, to open a organic winery. I was young and rather naïve and didn’t really know what I was doing and realized pretty quick into it that I was a little in over my head a bit, and it was probably a good idea to sell the property. At that stage, I was thinking that probably the best would be to sub-divide it and I again didn’t really know what I was doing, so that’s when I went and got my real estate license. From there, I did sub-divide it and fortunately did make a little money and moved on into more real estate sales work. Read More »