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I’m noticing a trend.  Are you?  Have you noticed all of the YouTube videos showing up on pages 1 and 2 of Google lately?  You knew Google would do it, and they have.  After Google bought YouTube several years ago, you had to believe that Google would start putting more emphasis on video in search.  Well, it looks like the day where Google has just become completely infatuated with video is upon us.  So, what does this mean for the average Realtor?  Well, it means if you are not currently involved in video marketing then you need to go ahead and start… today!

“But, I have a ‘radio face’” is a response I get when I bring this up to a lot of agents.  I’ve got to be honest – some of them really do.  Not to worry.  This problem with insecurity is easily solved whith a screen recording software, like Jing.  Simply prepare a Power Point slideshow and record your screen as you read the slides and be sure to ad lib so you don’t put your viewer to sleep.

“But my voice sounds like a Smurf’s voice.”  I’ve got a solution for that as well.  If you have a “not for radio” voice or are kind of monotone, like I am, then you can actually hire someone to read your script and record your video for you.  Check out www.fiverr.com and search for someone to read your script for $5.00.  They’ll email the video back to you when they are done, and you are ready to upload the video to YouTube.  Problem solved!

Be yourself!  Yes, it is ok to have a script and read it.  Actually it can be very helpful because it will keep you on track and prevent you from rambling.  There is one major problem with reading from a script – The Robot.  The robot is that person inside all of us who detaches from the outside world and shows no emotion, enthusiasm, or passion.  Be careful not to lose those things when you are reading your script.  Loosen up and have fun with video.  I think some of my best videos are the ones where I’m just talking to the camera like it is my best friend who just asked me a question.

Try these tips to get your feet wet with video.  After you get going with video the next step is to get that video to move up in Google to page 1 and get more sales.  

In the meantime, if you have a video marketing success story, please share it with us below.

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Today, I want to have a heart to heart with you about our red headed step child.  No, I’m not talking bout Google+, but that was a very good guess.  I’m talking about Linkedin.  Of course, we all know LinkedIn, but we don’t show LinkedIn the same love that we do most of the other social networking platforms.  If used properly, Linkedin can be an incredible tool to grow your real estate business.  Here’s how you can use it to make more money this year.

1. Make Lots O’ Connections – LinkedIn is the only social network I know of where people use the site to do business.  When you get on LinkedIn, you do so with the mindset to do business; whereas, you get on Facebook or Twitter to play games or just shoot the breeze.  This makes doing business on Linked in much easier.  Realtors should use LinkedIn to connect with others in the industry (mortgage, title, homeowner’s insurance, etc) with the prospect of doing future business, look for vendors – database management companies, virtual assistants, etc – that you can outsource services to later.

2. Recruit Other Agents – I know most real estate offices pay their agents a percentage of the total commission or a flat fee for any closings from an agent you recruited to the company. Why not use LinkedIn to recruit other agents to your office and earn some cash off of someone else’s hard work?

3. Grow your Online Reputation – Not many tools can get you more or lose you more business quicker than recommendations.  Online recommendations through LinkedIn are very powerful business building tools.  The easiest way to get recommendations is to actually write a recommendation for someone first.  Trust me, 90% of the time that person you wrote the recommendation for will return the favor and write a recommendation for you.  Ask for a recommendation (or better yet, provide a recommendation) for home inspectors, mortgage partners, closing attorneys, surveyors, past clients, etc, etc.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that is grossly under utilized in the real estate industry, but there are certain benefits for the agent who uses it well.  If you want a 4th secret way to use LinkedIn to grow your business, then connect with me on LinkedIn here, and I’ll send a private message with top secret way #4.

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Last week I wrote a blog about writing effective real estate blogs (click to read).  In that article, I mentioned that one way to get more opens and reads is to write a strong title.  In today’s information overload world we live in, I believe a strong title is THE way to dramatically increase your reads immediately.  In that post I mentioned that my personal experience shows that the headlines that cut through the bull and tells the reader what is inside.  That is what you will see in 80% of my writing from now on, BUT that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment with your own headlines.  So today, I’m going to give you some ideas on how to write real estate blog headlines that pop.  Here we go…

1. Cut the Bull – Yes, I’ve already mentioned the style that gets more opens for me, so I wanted to go ahead and get this one out of the way.

2. Use Numbers – If you notice I use numbers in a great deal of my blog titles.  I do this because it lets people know what to expect and numbers get reads.

3. Use Famous Names – Last week, I wrote a blog post about Twitter that mentioned Charlie Sheen. I could have easily titled that blog “Twitter Lessons Taught by Charlie Sheen” and probably gotten just as many blog opens.

4. Shock and Awe – No, not too extreme, but having a surprising headline can increase opens but you have to make sure your content fits the headlines or you’ll lose readers.

5. Ask Questions – Ask a question that many people can relate to and give the answer in your post.  How about, “How Can I Save $200 Per Year on my Homeowner’s Insurance?”

6. Scare Me – If you can cause concern with readers in your headlines then they will click to read the post for more information to calm those fears.  Example – “The One Mistake Home Sellers Make that Costs Thousands”

7. Mix It Up – Don’t overuse one style.  Mix and match.  Use 2 or 3 of these tips within the same headline.

Keep these ideas in mind when writing your next blog title, but be sure you pay attention to which style headlines get better open rates.  That information helps you to improve your writing skills.  Since I’m always looking for some great headlines for my blog posts, please share your headline writing tip with me below.

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Video has become an incredible way to trump all of your other SEO tactics because of the incredible importance that Google is placing on video right now.  This trend is not expected to end any time soon, so now is the best time to start your video marketing efforts.  Yesterday I gave you 3 ways to get over your fear of video marketing.  Today, I want to give you some tips on how you can improve your video marketing results. 

1. Be sure your videos offer great value to your viewers.  Don’t just do a video for the sake of doing a video.  You’ll lose viewers and never get them back again.  Show them or tell them a way they can save thousands of dollars buying or selling a home.  Do videos on Frequently Asked Questions or questions buyers and/or sellers should ask when preparing for their purchase. 

2. Be sure your videos include a call to action.  Think about what you want your viewers to do after they watch your video.  Do you want them to visit your website, call you, sign up for your newsletter or free report?  Whatever you want them to do – ask them to do it before your video ends.

3. Be sure your videos have a clear message.  Do not try to cover 10 different topics in a 3 minute video.  That video should cover 1 topic and only 1 topic.  The other 9 topics will make 9 other videos.  Now you are wondering when you’ll have time to do all 9 of those videos instead of wondering what the first video topic is about, aren’t you?

4. Be sure you tag your videos with relevant keywords in your video titles and descriptions.  Also, include your URL at the end of the video on the bottom of the screen.  Before uploading your video to YouTube or your site, change the file name of the video to your keywords and the subject of the video.  If your video is about saving Dallas home buyers thousands of dollars then name your video file “savingdallashomebuyersthousands.wav”

5. Be sure to upload the video to your website as well as YouTube.  Feature your videos above the fold on your home page so viewers don’t have to scroll to find the videos.

6. Be sure to keep your videos short and to the point.  Your goal should be to make the video no longer than 2 – 3 minutes.

Try the 6 tips above when working on your real estate video marketing for optimum results of your time and efforts.  If you are just getting started with video marketing, trust me.  It gets much easier the more you do it.  In just a couple of months, you’ll be a video pro.  If you use the tips above and SEO your videos a little bit, you’ll see that you’ll start to dominate Google as well.  Once you’ve dominated Google searches, your sales and listings will soon follow.

If you have some great video tips that you would like to share with the group, then please do so below.  We would all love to hear your stories.

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