Let me guess. You’ve heard “experts” tell you repeatedly that if you aren’t doing your own social media, you aren’t doing social media. Right?What about this, if you have to outsource your social media, you are doing it wrong?
And this one… The last thing you should do is outsource your social media, it’s about making connections and building relationships and that’s something that can’t be outsourced, right?
I’ve heard every single one of these and then some.
I’ve heard them from “experts” and from “newbies” and everything in between.
And guess what? Every single person I’ve heard this from is “inside” the real estate industry.
Every . Single . One .
Oh, I’ve seen it mentioned in passing outside of the real estate industry, but not with any real weight to it.
Not really. People building businesses know it’s not realistic.
The thing is (I’m going to reveal something to you here . . .) even I agreed with it. I believed it. I lived it.
That is, until I started wrapping my mind around reality.
So what changed my mind about all of this “outsourcing social media” hoopla?Well, I built my real estate business and was frustrated that the “experts” kept telling me I needed to be in expert in all things online. All things including social media. That I needed to work on my business, not in my business, while at the same time telling me I needed to be directly managing my social media, all . the . time .
I realized, I just didn’t have time to do the lead generating I was doing and be “present” when I needed to be on social media.
I even tried the whole “”Ten Minutes A Day” myth that is still perpetuated in our industry. Yes, it’s a myth.
This myth happens to work very well in conjunction with a well thought out and implemented social media strategy, that someone else manages. Not as a stand alone, single strategy to generate social media leads.
Really. Have the strategy, have it managed by someone else, and you spend your “Ten Minutes A Day” connecting on a different level within your social media networks, while your implemented strategy (implemented by someone else by the way), continues to run without you present.
I was beyond frustrated with the idea I had to be all and do all.
It was at that moment that I stopped listening to the “experts” and started doing my own thing.
I did my research. I learned a heck of a lot. I’m still learning.
It seems that, within real estate, we think it’s an “all or nothing” situation.
You see, we seem to think that outsourcing social media means we are giving it all up. We are giving up control, we are giving up our personality, we are no longer interacting, we are no longer available . . .
On the other hand, we think that managing our own social media means we need to be on it and available 24/7, answering every question that comes our way, personally, responding to every request and comment, personally.
Let’s get real – on both sides.
Outsourcing social media does not mean sending it off and never touching it. On the other hand, completely managing our own social media is also ridiculous to consider, especially if you have any growth plans to expanding your real estate business.
Let’s be realistic.
There is no way you can respond to every contact made via a social media network and still work on your business.There is no way you can effectively create continuous, engaging content for your social media networks and still work on your business.
It’s not possible.
Nor is it realistic.
Nor should you even consider it.
What are your talents?
What are your passions?
What are the most important things you should be doing for your business?
You need to be doing those things and handing off the rest.
And yes, using leverage for your social media efforts is viable and realistic.
Here’s the deal. While I wholeheartedly believe outsourcing your social media is viable and realistic and will help you grow your business, I know it is not a good idea for you to outsource your social media to a basic VA (virtual assistant). It just isn’t.
Why on earth would you want to put someone, possibly from another country, you don’t know and who doesn’t know you, in charge of the image and outreach of your business on social media networks?
Unless they understand who you are, what your personality is, who your clients are, the real estate industry as a whole, your local market as a focus, how you serve your clients, what prospects are looking for in your area . . . you are making a mistake thinking you can outsource something as important as this to a VA.
You just are.
Do you really think you’ll find a VA that is a master at this? The thing is, VA’s tend to be “jacks of all trades, masters of none”. In other words, they are perfect for data entry, flyer creation, basic editing, basic task implementation, etc.
If you want a VA for something specific, that takes expertise, knowledge and experience, you need a specialist, not a traditional VA.
If you want a successful social media strategy, that stays on top of the changes, keeps you connected with your fans and captures leads for nurturing, you have got to hire an expert.
Experts that know the real estate industry. Experts that can reach out in your voice, to your prospects, to drive traffic to your business.
As I mentioned above, I was frustrated in my own business.
I’m not anymore.
Now I have a business that bridges the gap. Bridges the gap between social media and reality, when it comes to your real estate business.
The whole “social media must be from the agent” is still perpetuated strongly and loudly. However, for the agents who know it’s not realistic and frankly, know it’s a lie, for the agents who have found an excellent way to outsource, their businesses not only bring in more leads via their social media channels, but they are more relaxed about the entire process.
You see, social media is a lead generation channel, a “pre-relationship” channel so to speak.We refer to it like it’s all about relationships when really, it’s all about funneling. For networking, it’s relationship building. For prospective clients, it’s funneling. Funneling them into your sales funnel allowing you to actually build a relationship with them.
You can’t build a deep relationship with someone in a check-out line, in a grocery store, at the movie theater. You have to move both you and that person to the next level, a coffee shop. And then on to the next level, dinner out. And then the next level, deep conversations in your home.
“Lead” funneling is exactly the same thing. You can not build a deep relationship with someone solely on the front end of a social media channel. You have to funnel them to different levels.
If you are on the level of scale, in other words, you know it’s impossible to build a lot of relationships on a one-on-one scale, you’ve got to have a system set up to help build relationships for you. It’s not impersonal, it’s bringing people through the funnel.
It’s akin to “group dating”.
If you have zero desire to scale your business, to grow it, to make it larger, this isn’t for you.
However, if you are interested in leveraging your time and using sources to help capture and build social media relationships, this is definitely for you.
Interested in learning more? Check this out.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.