As a product of the late 70's and early 80's I was fortunate enough to be immersed by L.A. Music. It was everywhere. All over the country music fans have pilgrimaged to the Sunset Strip. The Whiskey and the Strip was and still still is to many the holy land.
Jim Morrison, The Chili Peppers, GNR and the Hair Bands of the late 80's. And somewhere in there you can stick the New Wave vibes of Berlin and Oingo Boingo and their evil twin brother of New Wave- Punk.
La La land has given birth to some of our cultures most cutting edge alternative movements...some good....some bad. So when I was looking for a title to my post today I thought:
Social Distortion Which made me think of the band:(warning some foul language)
Interesting name for a band, interesting words and theme for a song.
They I guess are now playing small gigs in the OC. They are sure looking old, not so punkish. Kinda peakish. Sometimes movements end up that way.
Funny thing about punk rock. They protested the establishment to create their own vibe. They strove for individuality and all they became was just another average punker.
The Koolaid Krusaders
The Social Storm going on about the web and especially in real estate is occurring almost as I hunt and peck. As the sheople begin to gather in San Francisco for the bi-yearly trip to Mecca to hear from the Lord Inman and his disciples of all that is technology. God Bless Brad. He is the Johnny Rotten of real estate.
If you are a reader of this blog, you know I am a skeptic of most online movements. Technology is an easy sell. A sales pitch on on unverifiable benefits is always fun to watch. SEO info sellers are famous for this as they hawk stuff that talks about all this minutia that is intellectually stimulating, and in most cases a waste of time. It is unverifiable because Google won't tell you how to beat them will they?
And please do not quote Matt. He seems very affable. But so does Karl Rove. I would relish having a beer with either. But Matt works for a multi gajillion dollar entity that wants you spending money on Ads. And he and his company are beholden to its shareholders to do so. And yes Matt has his sheople too.
Its profitable having your own sheople. Thought Leadership is where you should aspire if you are an online real estate marketer. Here is a hint. Make sure it is relevant to your marketplace.
Online Real Estate Has Become an MLM Meeting
Actually I would guess Inman will be the best ever this year as there is more content to pull from as the real estate community grows every year.
However, conferences are great for networking but also for "group think". Ever been to a MLM conference? How scripted is that deal?Everyone is smiling, everyone is convinced, and no one is making any money.
The first thing I ask anymore when agents/marketers/advisors throw advice around is how much have you made doing that? Usually there is silence and then an uncomfort as I just took us into a real weird space. But it is a great way to cut to the chase when someone is trying to convince you of something.
Nothing worse than a fat guy trying to tell you how to lose weight right?
I think Twitter definitely holds promise for Realtors. But please do not tell me it is the be all to end all. Just ask wheres the money? In fact hwere is the money on any internet activity. As most have not figured out the first step, let alone blogging, let alone microblogging.
But Twitter is the next big thing. Yet no one makes money at it. And Koolaid drinkers drink. While still waiting on a paycheck from blogging.
But the Koolaid continues to pour and the wisdom of the crowd follows in tow. Jim Jones is smiling in his grave.
Okay some people are making money at real estate blogging. Soon someone will make money at Tweeting real estate. I know people are making money at these in several other industries but I am talking about real estate here.
I did just recently counsel a Private Investigator on using Twitter. He does lots of cheating spouse type investigations (sadly enough). And we found a few divorce groups that looked promising. He was instructed by me to follow the conversations then enter into them slowly as he gained trust. Then he could offer advice and even links as resources. Of course some of them could be his.
While I am at it. Do you want to know the secret to Twitter? Besides the above strategy. On whole offer value. Same goes with anything else you do online. Blogging, comments, etc. Paul Chaney said in a recent interview that some of his comments on others sites are bigger than his own blog posts.
The Power of Leadership and Community
When you become a thought leader you get people to follow you.
- Those punks of politics-Libertarians
- And Hard Core Punkers of Politics-Independents
- Raving fans
It is interesting how we humans are absolutely wired for belonging. We all need to belong. It is that darn DNA thing. And if you are repulsed by this, then you are more inclined to join the first person to mirror your repulsion and ask you to join his "repulsed human community club" ;-).
The words in the list above are favorites for the Koolaid Krusaders of Social 2.0.
2.0 stuff is only makeup on a pig. The rules that apply today is not much more unique than a generation ago. If humans truly behave based on emotion, then I do not think that I or anyone I know, has spawned any new emotions over the past twenty years. Although my youngest has given me doubts at times ;-)
Yet we keep hearing that the public has changed. If anything we humans are more human and frail than ever. Marriages are being held together by threads as spouses work then run home to jet Mary to Soccer and Johnny to Baseball. Dad works two jobs to keep the kids in a safe and good school district. While the predators and a terror cell might be just around the corner.
The emotions are the same, just elevated. Remember doing Nuclear bomb drills in school. Holy Sheet are you kidding me? At 8 years old I remember thinking that this is way to off the radar for comprehension. Today you got planes going into buildings. Watch out that dark guy might just be a terrorist.
Nothing has changed. People are people. And we trade one not acceptable fear for the acceptable prejudice of the day.
And the net was supposed to make decisions easier. Here is some advice to home buyers go see the damned property! The picture online is nothing like the real thing. Seriosly. In many ways one can argue that the Internet has made the decision making process even harder.
I remember when we bought our house. I got hold of one of those email tools that would send me listings based on my criteria. Man I had the whole city sent to my email box. Yah that was useful. Not. All this technology crap are just tools.And they will remain as crappy tools so long as they are not used with any sort of strategy. Once I developed a more useful strategy like getting pre-approved first then narrowing my criteria. Then we were in our house in a couple months.
So what communities do you belong? Online and off. Are you a follower? Or are you a budding leader? The leader makes the dough.
Thought Leadership and Commenting
You see that is what comments are for. That is how you participate. Do you just say yep when you comment on a blog or forum? Or even worse do you place what is nothing more than a classified ad? Or do you add to the value of the talk? And by giving you stake your claim to fame and you get your own Tribe of followers. You are either the Chief or you are the Indian. The Chiefs get all the squaws by the way.(to all the ladies my apologies as I am a male chauvinist and need to come up with some female metaphors. Please forgive.)
The Social web has its evangelists. They are the leaders. They have their own agendas that may or may not benefit you. At the end of the day you want the mantra to include you and benefit your profit margin right?
But so many of the evangelists preach ideals that often times are sugar gooey and just don't always fly in my opinion. These ideals have spawned a new vocabulary.
The Idealism of the Koolaid Krusaders
Interruption Marketing-The godfather of the Internet deemed the interruption dead. I say it is alive and well so long as long as the offer has any value. If Ed McMahon showed up at your door I think you might get excited about the interruption.
Community-I have met some real cool people online but when I really want to connect I pick up the phone. The phone easily wins over any technology. And when you want to beat the phone. go stand in front of another human and connect. If you do not believe me then write a blog about how much you love your mom and then go visit her in person. Spend a day showering her with intimacies that you have not shared in years. Tell me what did the better connecting.
By the way if Inmans online community was so hot he wouldn't have the need for his conferences every 6 months.
Web 2.0-More prettier choices thats all. Makeup on the same pig. Sales and marketing sucks. And don't tell me 2.0 is not marketing. If you are not out there looking for a new client then you are running a hobby.
If Web 2.0 is the savior of real estate then why isn't the real estate bust already well over?
New Media- Huh? This phrase is often used as an excuse to fan the arrogance of the geek class. I witnessed a group of esteemed marketers Tweeting to one another at a recent conference. I found the exercise extremely rude although the Tweeters felt very justified with their heads buried into their laptops. It seemed to me to be a modern day version of passing notes across the classroom.
We are not journalists. Far from it. Be very careful there because if you start claiming that you are a new form of journalist then I can only imagine the law suits coming your way. We are in fact editorialist's in some form maybe. And we are not entitled by our tools to anything special. Just because one has voice does not mean it always needs to be said. By the way, the archive of the Tweets were not a very good representation of the talks at all.
Transparency-How is this a new concept? Its always been sales 101 as far as I know.
All these tools in the so called social media are just tools. They will only succeed when employed with strategy. The best way to develop your strategy is to go back in time and study Direct Response Marketers prior to the net.
You will find that writing was second nature to these guys. They "posted" their words abundantly. They understood the need for narrative and publishing.
Its nothing new. As usual, hopefully it is capturing you prospects and leads? If not, could it be? If not, perhaps you should scrap it.
There are strategies being employed by yours truly and others that are making money in the new environment of 2.0. I have found John Reese to always be out in front of the trends. He blogged before anyone even heard of blogging. He is now doing the 2.0 thing in ways that none of the Krusaders even are mentioning.
You can get it here.