Most everyone in the Rain is an entrepreneur. We're out there in the streets looking to pay the bills, building our futures, making short term sacrifices to achieve long term goals.
ActiveRain can help you and there are steps to make sure you get the best return for your time. Build your presence and be effective with your time. That's assuming you're not just here for the SOCIAL aspect of AR and would like some extra business for your time spent here.
1. It's a fundamental, but complete your profile. Who are you? Where are you? What do you do? What's your specialty? Tell people a bit about yourself.
2. Keep pounding the drum about WHERE you work. Establish your street cred with the community and the consumers who find you. Edit your signature block to make it clear where you work. Fill out your profile/blog sections that autopopulate your comment header. If you don't know by now that we work in OHIO then I've massively failed.
3. This is perhaps the most important for building your business with home buyers and sellers. What do have that the consumer wants AND Z & R don't provide? That is where your gold mine is located. For us it's an extensive knowledge of patio homes and other low maintenance lifestyle home choices in the Cincinnati area. It's what makes my phone ring. Exploit your niche for everything you're worth.
4. Make it easy to reach you. Being an expert is pointless if you don't give people a way to contact you. Make sure your phone number and email are visible. And RESPOND when someone reaches out.
5. Don't be a jackass. You know the "everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarden" bit? It's true. Kicking sand in the faces of your fellow Rainers is a pretty stupid thing to do. I've got a small list of Rainers that will get a referral from me when you can ice skate in the Underworld because they've repeatedly demonstrated they have no restraint or consideration for others. If you don't play well here I'm not trusting family and friends with you.
6. Help others. This community is a pay it forward kind of place. I know what I know because others helped us, so in turn I spend a fair amount of my "free" time helping fellow Rainers. I don't do it to be top of mind for them, that's just a side perk of valuing this community.
7. Sincerely participate in the community. Don't be a serial commenter. Read a post and leave a REAL comment. And DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT copy and paste someone else's work, either here or on your own sites.
8. Don't sweat the points. They don't pay the bills and you can't cash them for a week on the beach. Points come from doing the right things to build your business and relationships. Even if you're paying full bill every month, AR is probably one of the cheapest real estate monthly expenses you have and will pay for itself MANY times over if you use it right.
9. Choose your topics to build your business. If you're in a big city, maybe AR referrals will work best. But for most of us, it's the consumers. Go back to Item 3, give the consumer what they want and can't get elsewhere. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Blogging isn't a quick fix, but 50 posts to your niche will trump 500 generic real estate themed posts.
10. Blog regularly and push traffic to where you want it to go (IDX search pages anyone??). Call to action in place?
11. Pay attention to the lessons in the Rain. Learn and implement. I took way too long to adapt to the lessons right in front of me. Once I started focusing on more pure real estate things, giving home buyers and sellers what they wanted, THAT is when our phone started ringing. Our AR/Wordpress/IDX combo is now responsible for at least half of our 2016 business.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of BLiz