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So, yesterday I shared with you my little marketing secret. My gem that works every time I use it. My ace in the hole, so to speak… Storytelling! One of the storytelling strategies I shared with you was to tell a “Story of Success.” I told you that I would share with you my Story of Success today, so here it is.
Last month I received a phone call from an agent in Birmingham, AL by the name of Vinnie Alonzo. I’d met Vinnie several times before but never personally shared with him what I do to help Realtors grow their business. Well, Vinnie called me after he attended a class I taught about how Local Search can boost an agent’s business, and he told me that he had a problem that he was sure I could help him with. I liked his confidence in me, but I wanted to know his problem before I committed to helping him. Vinnie’s problem was that he couldn’t find himself. No, no, not exactly that way. He couldn’t find himself on Google when he would search anything other than his name. He told me that he would like my help with SEO. Vinnie is a very driven and competitive agent, like many are, and he was NOT happy with the fact that 3 or 4 agents in his office were on page 1 of Google when he was nowhere to be found. He asked if I would help him get to page 1 of Google because he gets it. He understands that an individual agent must be easily “found” everywhere, including having a strong presence on the web as part of his marketing in today’s real estate market.
Well, since I’m never afraid of a challenge, I scheduled an appointment with Vinnie without asking many questions. At our first meeting we discussed and worked on his keywords and his on-page SEO. I gave him homework to SEO the rest of his website and make it more SEO friendly by adding more of his keyword “Birmingham Homes.” Between our first and second meetings I went to Google and indexed Vinnie’s website.
At our second meeting, Vinnie and I discussed blogging and how blogging regularly can help to add more keywords to his site, as well as add more fresh content. His homework assignment was to write one blog that contained his keyword, Birmingham Homes, and post that blog to his site. He also was to re-write that blog post 2 more times using a different title and writing each post marginally different than he did the last. It was then that I almost lost Vinnie. Although he thought I was torturing him for the sake of torturing him, Vinnie trusted me because he saw the results of my work in the Local Search class I taught. Vinnie had never written a blog before, even though he knew he needed to be writing frequently. I showed Vinnie a blog post that I had written about how/where to come up with topics for real estate blogs, and I left for my office.
Well, even though I thought I may have lost Vinnie during our second meeting, I was pleasantly greeted with an email from him when I arrived at my office. You guessed it! It was his very first blog post – Do Birmingham Homes Sell During The Holiday Season?. Not only was this Vinnie’s first blog post, but it is a darn good one. It is very conversational and informative and his keywords are in it. I quickly proofed it (because it is who I am – I can’t help it!), and replied to his email that he had done a marvelous job. I received his other 2 blogs over the next 2 mornings, and we were ready for our third meeting.
At meeting #3, we discussed how Vinnie was going to use social bookmarks to drive more traffic to his first blog post and use the other 2 blog posts for article submissions. Vinnie was still excited and optimistic that we he could do this; however, he wasn’t seeing any results as Google still had not indexed his site. Despite the lack of immediate visible results Vinnie was still eager to tackle his week 3 homework assignment… backlinking.
Sometime between week 3 and week 4 meetings, I received a phone call from Vinnie. As soon as I heard his voice on the other line I knew he was excited about something. “We are on Page 8, my friend!” Finally!!! Big G had finally indexed his site, and Vinnie’s hard work was starting to payoff. He was seeing results, and there was no stopping him now.
When I arrived at his office for our week 4 meeting, Vinnie still had a huge smile on his face, and he was chomping at the bit for more instruction. We discussed how one of his blog posts needed to be rewritten because the article site rejected it, and we discussed how to properly backlink and why backlinks are important. I gave Vinnie his homework, about 150 backlink sources, stressed to him that he needs to be careful that his backlinks are not spammy, and I left him and his assistant, Cindy, to let them get to work.
A day or two after our week 4 meeting I received another excited phone call from Vinnie. “We are on page 4 now! We are moving on up!” I have to admit that I thought Vinnie, in all of his excitement, was going to break into the theme of the TV show The Jeffersons, but sadly he didn’t.
At our week 5 meeting, Vinnie and I discussed the power of the press release. I left him with his homework assignment again, and the next day I received the first “special report” that is the subject of his press release. Vinnie is currently making modifications to his second special report, per my request (I know… I already admitted I have a problem!), and I have a feeling that I’ll have his revised second report and report #3 today.
Well, Vinnie’s website is currently on page 3 of Google for his target keyword. Google still has not found most of the backlinks that Vinnie has posted, and he has yet to send the press releases out to the world (wide web). So I have no doubt that Vinnie will see his website rank on page 1 (most likely spot 1) of Google once it catches up to the work he has been doing over the past 5 weeks. So, you may ask, “How is this a ‘Story of Success’ when Vinnie’s site hasn’t gotten to page 1, spot 1 yet?” Well, today the success here is that Vinnie is extremely pleased with the results he’s gotten so far. He said that he is happy to see that he is at least showing up now when he is searched. Once the dust settles, and he finds himself on page 1, spot 1. The Story of Success won’t be that he’s on page 1, spot 1; but the Story of Success will be that he did it himself.

If you or anyone you know can benefit from being found on the first page of Google and you would like me to help with that process, then please don’t hesitate to call me at 205-202-1723 or email me at andy{at}stratussocialmedia.com. I’m always happy to help.

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