In today’s world of explosive internet business, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have a targeted plan of exactly how you are going to carve out your business niche online. Someone in the advertising industry once said, “Doing business without advertising is like winking in the dark: you know what you are doing it but nobody else does”. Like marketing in newspapers or magazines, you need to identify your target market. However, unlike print marketing, if you get your online marketing well established, you can reach a much wider, virtual audience. Word of mouth is not what it used to be; now anyone can search online with 4, 5, or more different search engines and find out exactly what they need at the touch of a button. If your business is not positioned carefully and correctly, no one will know you are there.
Most important when marketing online and especially for real estate investors, would be to keep your website personal by including photographs and making sure that the copy is friendly, everyday and conversational so that prospective clients reading it get the warm, fuzzy feeling of being comfortable in dealing with you. You have to make a very good “virtual” case for yourself as you are introducing yourself and your business through an impersonal website, so you have to fill in the blanks by creating the right impression from the outset. If you simply have what is known as a “landing” page where prospective investors can send you their details by email, not many of them are going to do that. There is no particular reason why they should pick you out of other real estate investment companies.
While your website is being designed and set up, remember to have a link on the emails you send out that directs clients back to your information or contacts page. These people will then probably also end up going one step further and subscribe to your publications. Another pointer is for you to be online regularly. You need to keep up with what is happening in your industry: join real estate forums, become a member of online panels, have a question and answer page where what you say is visible to all your clients. Regular contributions to a blog spot can create online interactions with potential clients. Work on being seen as a “trusted advisor”. Make sure your web site has up to the minute information about your industry, so clients will be saying, “Look at Joe’s site, he is bound to already have that information clarified”.
Communication is all-important. Don’t let phones ring or continually go to answering machines. Yes, this is online marketing, but you still need to establish, nurture, and maintain your client base. You want to answer the phone as much as possible for that added personal touch. Become a force with which to be reckoned in your business niche. Listen to what your clients want, offer them well-thought-out answers, voice your opinion as much as possible, and eventually you will see the results in the bottom line of your real estate investors’ business.
In developing your successful online business, you have to think like the successful professional that you want to be. Write articles and put them online and people eventually come to see you as an expert in your field. Learn how to become the center of attention online: you want your company to appear first in all online searches. Find “teleclasses” where you can email details and spread the word first hand. When newsletters and well-established web sites start publishing your opinions and articles, you just know that you have finally made it! Search engines rank websites by the number of other online sites to which they are linked. Therefore, every time something of yours is published and linked to your website, your position in the search engine rankings improves.
The key to any marketing success is through contacts and referrals which ultimately result in sales. Online marketing is no different. Instead of playing golf and exchanging business cards, you have social networking sites on which to interact. These are a fount of information for establishing more contacts, building new relationships, and promoting what is of prime importance, your own successful business.