How to Win Friends and Influence People
The following tutorial is a printed version of the webinar being offered on ActiveRain University. Be sure to check the schedule regularly for many new up and coming classes!
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Rain!
How can I grow my Sphere of Influence here on ActiveRain? How can I develop a referral network? How can I attract more readers to my blog? How can I best promote my services/products to the ActiveRain membership?
Why Am I Here?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is this - why am I participating on ActiveRain? What do I want to accomplish as a result of my involvement? Who am I targeting? Who is my audience?
As a licensed real estate professional, there have been four (4) primary purposes for my membership on ActiveRain:
1. Meaningful Relationships: The friendships I have developed here on ActiveRain have become some of the most deeply satisfying and enriching relationships in my life.
2. Referral Network: The office I am affiliated with is a regional brokerage here in the Western US. As such, I don't have the benefit that many of the large National chains do with a built-in referral network. But even so, much of the time, we're all simply referring in the blind, handing our valued clients over to someone we hardly know, if at all. ActiveRain has become a very effective referral network for me, for both incoming and out-going referrals. I know literally hundreds and hundreds of brokers and agents all around the country. And I know them personally, through my involvement here on ActiveRain. When I refer my valued clients, I can have peace of mind knowing that I've entrusted them to someone who will take the very best care of them!
3. Wealth of Information: The steady stream of excellent, timely, highly relevant real estate related information is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant! It's like a 24/7 continuing ed class on steroids, only you don't have to pay or travel.
4. Google Juice: With thousands of members publishing content everyday, the collective Google Juice and corresponding ranking of our articles is scary good! Potential clients find my blog posts through their organic searches, resulting in closed transactions!
As a real estate broker those are my main reasons for participating on ActiveRain. But maybe you're a loan officer. What is the geographical extent/reach of your market? Do you want to connect with consumers, agent/brokers, or both? Perhaps you're a regional service provider, like a home inspector, or a title/escrow officer, and your business is more locally based.
Who your primary target audience is will determine where much of your energy and attention will be focused on as you invest your time and energy on ActiveRain.
Your ActiveRain Profile
The next step is to ensure that your ActiveRain profile provides an eye-catching and engaging snapshot into who and what you are. Many people, both fellow members and consumers will be accessing your profile page to find out more information about you. Will their experience there encourage them to explore further and return? Or will they be bored to tears, and quickly click through to someone else?
Check out some of the profiles of the ActiveRain Ambassadors and other leading members to gain some ideas on how to expand and improve your own profile. For some additional help in sprucing up your ActiveRain profile, access the following articles:
Perhaps the most effective thing you can do here on ActiveRain to grow your audience and expand your influence is to actively and consistently comment on other member's blog articles. The creative minds who originally designed this network provided incentives for doing so and reward us with 25 points each time we comment, up to 10 comments per day. Unfortunately, there are those who rack up 'cheap' points by leaving meaningless comments like 'Great Post!' or 'Thanks for sharing!'
I am a huge believer in the Karma of Commenting. There is this unspoken Law of Reciprocity when it comes to comments. What you'll discover, is that the more you comment on other member's posts, the more comments you'll receive on your own articles. However, there is a caveat that goes with this premise. In order to increase the likelihood that others will willingly reciprocate, two things need to happen. First, your initial comments must contain substance and depth. They need to add value to the stream of conversation. And secondly, your own articles need to have content that is engaging and warrants comments from your readers.
For your further reading enjoyment:
Associates, Subscriptions, and Groupies
Three additional tools you can utilize to further enhance your digital reach and gain greater readership is by adding Associates, subscribing to other member's blogs, and participating in various ActiveRain Groups.
Associates - As you meet and encounter other members, you have the ability to 'Associate' with them. This enables you to categorize/organize these associated members into specific groups that you can customize. To associate with another ActiveRain member, simply access their profile page, and click on the button under their profile picture. Then, you can add them to a pre-existing default category, or create your own custom associate category.
As you're adding them as an 'associate' you can even pen a nice personal endorsement or add a brief word of appreciation for this person that other members can read.
Another valuable way to network with other ActiveRain members is to 'subscribe' to their blogs. As you're reading articles and making your daily comments, simply access a particular member's blog page, and click on the 'Subscribe to Blog' link just below their blog page picture. Now, whenever that member publishes a new article, their profile pic and blog link will show up on the right hand side of your 'Blogs' page, in descending order, with the most recently published member at the top.
ActiveRain Groups allow you to connect with other members based on particular vocational disciplines, or specific topical or geographical interests. To access the Groups, click on the Groups link on the top header bar (A). You can then access/scroll through the list of specific group categories (B), and then sort them by name, the date they were created, which ones have the most posts published to them, which ones have the most subscribers, and which ones are the most active (C).
In addition, once you join a group, you can push your blog articles to be published within those groups by simply clicking the respective group box on the 'Post To' section of your Blog Publisher.
The Law of Influence
And lastly, another surefire way to expand your meaningful connections and increase your measure of influence is by actively helping/serving other members. In the popular book, The Go Giver, the authors list the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success. Law #3 is the Law of Influence - "Your Influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first."
I can remember back to when I first joined ActiveRain. Like most newbies, I was overwhelmed with the seemingly massive learning curve. I made boatloads of mistakes as I attempted to navigate around the network. Fortunately, there were a number of other more seasoned members who willingly encouraged and mentored me, members like Maureen Francis, Kristal Kraft, and Ines Hegedus-Garcia. I owe much of my blogging success to the kind and unselfish support of members like these.
Perhaps one of the best ways to put the Law of Influence into practice is to support and encourage new members. If you go to the New Member Roster, you can send our newest members a note of welcome and encouragement!
Don't forget to check out the ActiveRain University Class Schedule for a great variety of new and exciting webinars coming soon!
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SoundBiteBLog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: email@example.com