THE TRUTH IS, writing a blog post takes time. If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all.
But what’s the point of that? The last thing you want to do in a busy, information-saturated world is waste people’s time. It’s an insult and you’ll put them off.
After all, these people have given up time in their busy days to read what you have to say. Don’t ruin this special relationship forever by churning out rushed, poor quality content or waffle.
Always think: What’s in it for them? Continue reading How Long Does it Take to Write a Blog Post?
MANY YEARS AGO I spent $100,000 in advertising in one year. But I didn’t make truckloads of money and became utterly exhausted with the sales process. Yet I still see companies using this approach today: Selling short courses for over-inflated prices to recoup the money they spend on advertising.
When I spent that exorbitant chunk of money on advertising, I then had to hire more people to sell the courses. I had to train these people about what was in the courses, and train the trainers and, well to cut a long story short, spend so much more on resources and overheads that I didn’t make a huge sum of money out of the whole venture at all.
Getting your own “branded” email is a cinch!
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE INTERNET HAS democratised many elements of starting your own small business, but, in particular, it has made marketing a small business a whole lot easier.
Another super easy thing to vastly help your business along is getting your own “branded email address”. What do we mean by a branded email address? Simply an email address that carries your branding in the domain name, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org versus the far less professional: email@example.com.
Don’t miss a golden opportunity to build brand awareness!
I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH a few different Novocastrian real estate agents recently about a property I was renovating. One of them had a billboard near a train station, another paid for bus stop ads, and another created trailer signs that could be towed and parked in strategic places. None of them used Google or Facebook ads. This was a missed opportunity, and I’ll tell you why in a moment.
Outdoor advertising, along with DL flyers and advertising in your local newspaper, are designed to keep your brand in front of mind with people who know you and live in your local area. Brand awareness is an incredibly important marketing strategy for any business. We took a look late last year at how bookkeepers can learn from real estate agents about marketing using Facebook.
Social and digital marketing is crucial
Although outdoor and print marketing are important brand building tactics, digital and social media marketing should form a part of your brand campaigns. The internet is where most people turn to get information quickly, even local information.
We used Facebook ads in our social and digital marketing strategy we used for McGrath real estate agent Derek Farmer. A client list of names based on mobile phone numbers was used to target people in the Northbridge area who already had some past experience with Derek — they’d met at an auction, open home, he’d sold a friend or neighbour’s home, or they’d previously bought one of his listings. We helped Derek achieve Page 1 rankings on Google without using any paid advertising.
Targeted Facebook ads keep you front of mind
This targeted advertising helped build brand awareness with those people in a relatively non-invasive way, so that when Derek did reach out to them by phone, email or in-person, they would already be very aware of who Derek was and the type of property sales he specialised in.
This ensured Derek didn’t lose a listing because someone couldn’t remember who he was, and ended up listing their property with an agent who did take the time to build brand awareness within their local community and with past clients.
Do you want help growing your online and social media presence?
Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses. Alternatively, you can learn more about Facebook targeted advertising in our Facebook training courses.
Researching the Market is a Crucial Part of Every Business Strategy
In a previous post, Is Your Charge-Out Rate a Marketing or Business Strategy?, I talked about Mark the painter, who charged a really low day rate that ultimately proved to be unsuccessful, because he couldn’t carry out the volume of jobs he needed to for it to be profitable.
When I asked Mark why he chose such a low day rate, he said it was because no other painter could possibly compete with him. Sure that’s probably true, but obviously, for good reason!
What Mark really should have done was to research the market to determine precisely what other painters are charging, and for which services.
A good starting point is to determine the average price for your industry. Be diligent and look at as many businesses in your local and surrounding areas to ensure you’re getting a clear picture of what people are charging.
It’s really hard to justify charging much below the industry average, even if you’re trying to get new business.
As I mentioned in the last post about day rates, low prices is a numbers game. Unless you’re able to turn work around exceptionally quickly to justify taking a cut on your profit margin, then it’s probably not worth it.
In our work with National Bookkeeping we discovered that bookkeeper charge out rates fall into some distinct categories based on their knowledge, experience and how they prefer to work. These rates are a great guide to help you become comfortable with your own hourly rate.
Give customers savings in other areas
Rather than reducing your rates to get new business, try to give customers savings elsewhere. You can do this by providing something your competitors aren’t, which is why researching the market thoroughly is a crucial part of your business strategy.
If you determine that your competitors charge a call out fee or a fee to prepare walls, this is a good place to start reducing or eliminating those charges in order to make yourself more competitive.
How are people finding you?
If potential customers are finding you via your website, it’s important to have a good call to action that contains reasons for people to make contact with you. Then make sure you highlight the reasons to call.
Competitors copy so keep changing your offers
Believe it or not, one of the most challenging aspects of your market research and the OFFER you make to potential customers is that your competitors will also be researching what you are doing and if they feel it is a good offer they may copy it — so you may want to have a couple different offers and discounts and change them regularly to stay unique.
Use WordPress, a Blog and Social Media posts to keep your business looking fresh online and as well as attract the attention of potential customers — we cover all of this in our Digital & Social Media Marketing Courses.
You can learn how to research the market by enrolling in the Market Research Module of our Business StartUp Training Course as a stand alone mini course. Visit our website for more information or to enrol.
I RECENTLY MET A PAINTER during a residential renovation I was involved with in Newcastle (an extremely valuable experience that will help us add to our property investment courses.)
We got talking about how he wins new clients and he said:
I advertise on social media that I’m available for $150 a day because no one can compete with it.
The price he chose is insanely cheap, and he knew other painters wouldn’t be able to compete with this as a day rate. However, there are downsides to this. Such a cheap day rate also means that he’ll be stretched financially and that he won’t be able to hire anyone else to do the work. He’ll need to be paid daily and likely can’t afford to provide any sort of credit (like 7 day terms etc).
It made me wonder whether it was such a good idea because cheap prices is a volume game. Companies like Amazon and Kmart are willing to lower their profit margins to undercut other retailers if it means they make up for it in the volume of product their shift.
In other words, rather than make $20 profit on an item, and only selling 200, they’re willing to make $5 as long as they sell 100, minimum. Otherwise, it’s just a bad business strategy. You may want to read more about blue ocean versus red ocean strategies.
Is trades and services ever a volume game?
Mark, the painter I was talking about, received lots of enquiries. In that respect, his social media campaign had been a success! But Mark wasn’t a big company; he was a one man band. Now he spent most of his days driving around and quoting for jobs.
This meant that when he was working for clients, there were often days where he could only work a half day or had to break the day rate down into an hourly one. Some days, Mark only earned $100. This was simply because he wasn’t doing the number of jobs he needed to in order to make his low day rate a profitable strategy for his business.
Focus on your business strategy first
What Mark had inadvertently done was prioritise his marketing strategy over that of his business. He’d generated lot of interest in his business by advertising his services at such a low day rate, but by not setting any terms or conditions around that rate, it makes it really hard to Mark to increase his rates next time those clients ask him to work for them again.
Setting rates correctly is something we cover in our Business Start Up Online Training Course. In particular, we look at determining a business strategy for your business, before you start marketing your business and services.
The question of pricing and what we offer in our advertising is something we consider before ever going live when we help clients with their marketing strategies too. Hire a marketing manager to oversea all your digital and social media marketing for a low monthly fee.
Blog ref: #698
Real estate agents are seeing purple!
THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY IS undergoing substantial disruption. Only the real estate agents and agencies that decide to innovate will make it out the other side.
A big part of that means letting go of the traditional model and embracing a new, transparent real estate sales model, but many agents are still reluctant to change.
And that’s a mistake.
Disruption to the real estate industry coming from many sources
Although much of the disruption is coming from technology companies, such as REA Group and Domain Group in Australia, as well as the tech giants Facebook and Google, other established players, recognising that the timing is right, are entering the fray too.
Together, these businesses are changing the way real estate in this country and across the world is bought, sold and rented. If real estate agents aren’t proactive about this change, they’ll end up being reactive. And they’ll miss out.
One of the Case Studies in our Digital & Social Media Marketing Courses centres upon a McGrath agent based in Sydney’s Cammeray. This agent, Derek, comes to realise his own personal brand is as powerful with local residents as the McGrath brand because he is a hard-working agent and his vendors love him.
Via the virion Digital Agency we were able to help Derek create a website and social media campaign to further hone and build his brand as a property expert.
Jim’s to cut agents’ grass
Take Jim’s Group, the franchise group known for mowing lawns and fixing broken antennas. Last week, they announced their intention to enter the real estate fray with a new, low-cost service for both agents and homeowners.
The division, which is being headed up by a Jim’s Group veteran and the former sales director of low-cost real estate service Hello Real Estate, will charge agents a flat $1,800 a month franchise fee.
Homeowners will also be able to suggest how much commission they’d like to pay the agent to sell their home. (It’s understood there’ll be a threshold for how low commissions will actually go.)
Jim’s agents will work remotely from their home offices — or their cars — as most Jim’s franchisees currently do, and they’ll have substantially lower overheads so they can provide the same service to homeowners as a traditional real estate agent, only for less.
As an existing and trusted franchise group in Australia, they won’t have to overcome the same barriers like name recognition and trust that new entrants to the market — your Purplebricks, say — did. (Of course, the Purplebricks service is also quantifiably different to the proposed Jim’s service.)
Agents who don’t think Jim’s will make a serious dent in the industry may be right. But that misses the point; the franchise model is about giving business owners a cushion between them and flying solo. Plenty of people work in franchises — real estate is the most franchised industry in this country — but not all of them do. There’s plenty of room for independent agents to take this idea and operate their own agency the same way — and keep their $1,800 franchise fee while they’re at it!
Proptech sector friend or foe?
That brings us to the biggest source of disruption in the real estate industry: the proptech sector. In Australia, agents need to be cautious of
- REA Group,
- Domain Group,
- Facebook and
But they also need to be wary of any new entrant that puts an “Uber” spin on the sector. (Domain recently opened up its developer APIs to encourage tech startups to use their data to create disruptive new services.)
At the moment REA Group and Domain are focussed on moving closer to the transaction, but they’re also heavily investing in tech to ward off any disruption from tech titans Facebook and Google, which they consider the biggest threat to the real estate industry in this country, and the world. (eBay-owned Gumtree also shouldn’t be excluded from this conversation.)
Would you advertise with a competitor?
Both real estate groups have acquired (or launched through partnerships) their own mortgage broking businesses — Domain’s Domain Loan Finder is a JV with online broker Lendi; REA Group acquired mortgage broker Smartline, and launched its own white label service in conjunction with NAB, called realestate.com.au Home Loans.
Trades & Everything Else!
They each also own stakes in tradie sites Oneflare (Domain) and hipages (REA), connection services Compare & Connect (Domain) and Beevo (Domain), property data and mapping firm PriceFinder (Domain), real estate CRM MyDesktop (Domain) [read more about the best real estate agent CRM’s], and property inspection app Homepass (Domain); Domain will also launch insurance comparison service Domain Insure and real estate agent training and education program Domain Academy.
And REA Group is busy building robots and virtual assistants, which can respond to customer enquiry — requests for Section 32 documents, schedule inspections, and so on.
Neither Domain nor REA are likely to bite the hands that feed them by introducing a real estate agency service or cutting agents out of the picture entirely — this year, REA Group posted revenue of $633.5 million from its Australian operations, of which $538.2 million was derived from agents advertising on its site.
Agents need to innovate NOW
But by owning the real estate “ecosystem”, they make the role of the real estate agent much less vital — and ripe for a new service to come in (like a Jim’s Real Estate) and say, “hey we can do it better.” Before long, that’ll become the “traditional” real estate model, just as the classified websites that usurped newspaper classifieds are now considered the “traditional” model of buying and selling stuff online.
To stay ahead of disruption, agents need to educate themselves. Continuing professional development (CPD) is a mandatory part of staying licensed in every state or territory. Provided agents undertake recognised training and keep their CPD points up, they can study anything relevant to the business of real estate.
Digital marketing is a fundamental part of real estate. Agents who understand how to market themselves online to get new business and demonstrate transparency about how the process works will stay ahead of the curve. Derek Farmer used educational videos and blog posts to explain the buying and selling process, and share market news and analysis.
This makes a sales agent an indispensable source of knowledge and a trusted advisor to buyers and sellers throughout the process, which can’t be replicated by a robot, virtual assistant or app. Virion also helps agents create a digital market strategy for their business, and to fill up their website or social media pages with content that provides information to buyers and sellers they’re currently getting from … Domain and realestate.com.au!
Agents should create their own property ecosystem
Domain and REA are doing their darndest to keep people on their sites for longer. They’re sewing up the entire property buying and selling process with complementary services (insurances, connections, mortgages) and they’re pushing more and more into content (videos, journalism, content marketing); Domain is particularly innovative in the content space, thanks to its Fairfax roots.
As a result, buyers and sellers are coming to agents forearmed, and again, the role of the agent is diminished. But agents can stay in home buyers and sellers minds by creating their own property ecosystem: start a website, fill it with good quality content, use a CRM to manage your lists of buyers, sellers, tradespeople — who have become one of the most important players in the sales process — and pump messages out your database regularly.
Finally, look at introducing a different fee or commissions structure for certain types of property or across the board. This is where the industry is heading and fighting it will only leave you in the same position the newspaper industry was in with the advent of online classifieds; cable TV providers with the rise of VOD services; music labels with streaming services, and so on.
Visit the EzyLearn website to learn more about our continuing professional development (CPD) training courses. To create your own property ecosystem with a digital marketing strategy and content, visit Virion’s website for more information.
Reviews tell a whole lot more
IT CAN BE DIFFICULT to tell whether online ratings and reviews are real or not. One easy way to get a pretty good idea of what’s real and what’s not is checking for a balance of positive and negative ratings and reviews that have been left by real people who’ve used their Gmail or Facebook account.
Reviews are better than ratings
If you’re a person who relies on ratings and reviews to make purchasing decisions, you’ll know you can’t really tell the trustworthiness of a businesses if it only asks customers to leave a rating (usually out of 4 or 5). Similarly it’s hard to tell what people really think of a business if they’ve only left ratings rather than reviews.
Businesses with a good mixture of ratings and reviews, where a customer has been able to leave a comment justifying the rating they gave the business, make it much easier to make a decision.
Check the content of reviews
You don’t need to read thousands of reviews for a business, but it helps to read a few of them to see what customers are saying. This also helps determine whether these reviews are truly independent or not.
What are reviewers actually commenting on, and if they’re negative, is there a pattern? Is a local restaurant consistently understaffed or does a plumber often fail to turn up on time? Are the complaints about things that would concern you or are they petty — a long queue at a cafe that still serves good food and coffee, for example.
Positive reviews provide useful information
If the reviews of a business are mostly positive, do they provide any useful information? Hundreds and hundreds of reviews that simply say “great” or “fantastic” don’t tell you enough about what customers thought were great or fantastic about that business.
People might have really liked something that doesn’t suit your needs. It is also a good indicator that they’re not entirely true or real reviews either.
At EzyLearn we provide testimonials from our students, which include their full name and location, and why they chose EzyLearn to study in the first place. We also offer a money-back guarantee and free samples of our course content, so students know they can trust they’re making the right choice.
Want to brush up your skills in cloud accounting software? Ready to progress to intermediate or advanced levels in MYOB, Microsoft Excel, Xero or another accounting package? Need help with social media? Take a look at our wide range of online course options or visit our website for more information.
Our Xero online training courses include EVERYTHING for ONE LOW PRICE. Furthermore, if you select our Lifetime Membership option, you’ll have LIFETIME access to our ongoing course updates. All EzyLearn courses are accredited by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and can be counted towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Find out more about our Xero online training courses.
Record retail inventory quickly
IN A PREVIOUS POST we discussed how Expensify, an app which you can link to your Xero accounting software, can help businesses like yours’ keep track of expenses easily, accurately, and securely.
And while it’s a great expense app for professional services businesses or tradespeople, Expensify is also great for retail and online shops or hospitality businesses.
Input data and send to Xero
Shops and hospitality businesses require inventory or stock — and lots of it. But it results in an accounting and bookkeeping nightmare at the end of the month when it needs to be entered into Xero and then recorded against sales. Of course, we suggest business’ try to reconcile their transactions more regularly than just at the end of every month.
Take a photo of bills and invoices from suppliers and upload them to Expensify, which will input all of the data and then send it through to Xero.
Create expense reports
Online and offline retailers don’t have to worry about this too much unless they also produce their own products, but for cafes and restaurants that host functions or cater for events, separating the expenses directly related to those functions and events is an important way to track their profitability.
Automatic approvals cut bookkeeping time
By turning on the automatic approvals feature and setting expense rules, you can cut your bookkeeping time by having recurring or trivial expenses automatically approved and sent to Xero, so you can spend more time on the complicated ones that require closer inspection.
By keeping an eagle eye on your expenses using Xero and Expensify you’ll be able to see precisely where your business is most profitable and where it’s not so you can modify it accordingly.
Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.
Are you making the most of Google?
JUST AS YOU CAN USE Google Calendar to create a staff roster, you can also set up and create Google Calendar appointment slots. This is a fabulous way for businesses like hair and beauty salons to let their clients make appointments online.
To enable your clients to schedule appointments using Google Calendar, you’ll need to have a G Suite account for work (or school). G Suite accounts can be a little tricky to set up, but we have courses to show you how, and the beauty is, they come with a boatload of useful tools for small businesses — such as Google Sheets, Docs and Forms.
Create appointment types as staff
Before clients can book appointment times, you’ll need to set up the appointment types. For hair and beauty salons, you may consider setting your staff as the appointment types or the types of appointments you offer — cut and blow dry, foils, etc — so clients can pick the staff member or the appointment type they’d like to make an appointment with.
Create booking button
Use the link Google provides for your appointment page to create an ‘online booking’ button in Facebook or in WordPress, so client can easily access your online booking system from your Facebook page and website.
Move all bookings online
Online bookings won’t eradicate the need to take phone bookings, so it’s really important that you move your entire booking system online.
Our Google training courses show you how to setup your G Suite account, share calendars and more. Once you’ve setup your G Suite account, you’ll be able to create Appointment Slots and share your appointments page with clients. Visit our website for more information.
Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses. Find out more about the secrets behind LinkedIn and how you can find more work and more clients.
Create an Online Induction with PowerPoint
At EzyLearn we have a bit of a soft spot for PowerPoint. It’s the oft-overlooked program in Microsoft Office that is typically associated with slideshows and presentations, and often boring ones at that. But it can do so much more.
You can generate animations, videos, movies, advertising, web design embellishments and graphics using PowerPoint. It’s a great ally to the social media or design person in your organisation. This creative design program can also be used to conjure up the most eye-catching and modern pictorial slides to enhance any presentation and keep people absorbed.
But did you know PowerPoint can also be used to create an online training induction course? Induction training is imperative for any business that hires contractors to perform work for them, either onsite or elsewhere. Induction training is necessary that any contractor or employee understands your company’s policies and procedures, whether they’re going to be working at your premises or not.
Our PowerPoint Training Course takes you through how to create your own induction training course using PowerPoint, which you can then deliver to your staff and contractors using a learning management system, or we can deliver your induction training for you.
Simple inductions that work
The end goal of an induction course should be to have all your contractors complete it, and learn something from it. You need to strike a balance between an induction that includes every last bit of information about your business, how it functions, its policies and procedures, and one that only covers the bare essentials.
Use images to illustrate risks and scenarios, as opposed to describing them. This is easy when you’re using PowerPoint to create your induction training. And remember the PowerPoint golden rule: One idea per slide.
After you’ve created your induction training course in PowerPoint, it’s vital that your contractors actually complete it. This is why it’s important to authenticate each contractor or student who takes your induction training course — it also helps if you include a short quiz at the end, so you can see whether they paid attention.
There are a couple of different ways you can authenticate students to ensure the correct person is taking the induction course (and not their mum or friend or partner, for example). We talk about the different authentication methods you can use on our website, but keep in mind that only inductions delivered to students via a learning management system can authenticate students.
PowerPoint is, quite simply, fabulous.
Brush up on your PowerPoint skills, or learn how you can use PowerPoint to create your own Online Induction training courses, with our PowerPoint training courses. Read more about PowerPoint and how it can help you with your social media and design work.
PowerPoint: The Great Visual Aid to What You’re Saying
Many people don’t realise what an excellent design tool PowerPoint is. It can be used for a lot more than just creating slideshows and presentations and is a great marketing and design tool for all kinds of business functions.
Generally speaking, when using PowerPoint, you should feature only one idea to a slide. A PowerPoint presentation is not an essay. It shouldn’t be filled with verbose text (unless perhaps you’re in a university lecture). In fact, as you will learn in our updated PowerPoint Training Course, sometimes a PowerPoint slide shouldn’t contain any text at all, or at least, very little.
PowerPoint presentations that are going to be used as a visual aid should do just that: visually aid the audience through your presentation. It shouldn’t contain your speaking points and you shouldn’t recite from it verbatim. Ideally, you should treat it as a source of further information (or illustration) for the oral portion of the presentation.
Illustrate your points
Okay, in a perfect world, there’d only be one idea per slide, but PowerPoint presentations are tedious enough to create, without having to use a new slide every time something we wanted to articulate contained a subtopic or, more likely, a few subtopics.
But rather than using tried and trusted (*zzzz*) bullet points, try to illustrate the points and use a small amount of text to give more detail. For example, if you’re presenting your company’s latest financial results, rather than writing out how much revenue each department generated, include a pie chart or graph to illustrate this for you.
Shape your points
If there isn’t any way to easily illustrate your points, use shapes and textboxes instead. This breaks up the monotony of a slide filled with bullet points and makes the information you’re presenting easier to digest.
It’ll make it easier for your audience to take notes, without missing any of the spoken part of your presentation. It’s also easier on the eyes, since it breaks up all the white space on your slide.
If you must use bullet points…
Sometimes there’s no escaping it, we get it. Even though we’re not fond of bullet points in PowerPoint presentations, they’re sometimes unavoidable. So don’t worry, we still teach you how to use them in our PowerPoint Training Course. We even use them ourselves.
If you must use bullet points in your presentation, try to use them in an interesting way. Put them inside a shape, change the background of your slide, or do both!
The key to a PowerPoint presentation that really pops is knowing how to use every function PowerPoint has to offer. That way, you’ll never have to settle on bullets when there’s a more creative option available.
PowerPoint — Use it for Facebook and other social media
Did you know you can use PowerPoint with social media? We already know you can create modern, eye-catching and memorable presentations and slideshows with PowerPoint but you can also make movies and videos, animations and advertising graphics. These can then be published on an array of social media, including Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook – Great for Local Marketing
In its decade of existence, Facebook has built up a wealth of data about its users, data that it likes to sell back to those who need it, in the form of targeted advertising. Facebook advertising, though similar in its approach, is very different to Google Adwords in what it delivers. Real estate agents discovered the value of Facebook advertising early, and have used a combination of images and videos to successfully deliver their marketing messages and sale pitches directly to their target market and in order to set their prices.
Be Local, Not Global
Real estate agents specialise in knowing their local area. It’s how they get listings and it’s how they find buyers for those listings. In a former post, when we talked about setting your prices, we suggested getting to know your market and who your customer are. As a contract bookkeeper, you can, in theory, work for any business, based anywhere in the world, but you should still specialise in your local area, the reasons for which are twofold:
- Fewer to compete with: This isn’t about being the biggest fish in the smallest pond. It’s about getting clients, and that’s what you want. If you’re based in Sydney, specialise in Sydney. Don’t try and compete with everyone in Australia, if you can just complete with Sydneysiders.
- Convenience: The truth is, lots of businesses still like to meet their contractors in person. If you’re happy to fly all over the country to earn your regular bookkeeping rate, then by all means. If you’d rather not, then look for clients that are nearby — in the same state, at least.
When you’re setting up your Facebook advertising campaign, instead of trying to target everyone interested in bookkeeping services in Australia, stick to your state or local area, depending on the size of the market for your services in your local area. Sure, this reduces the pool of potential people seeing your advertisement, but it also reduces the pool of potential competitors.
When Local is Appealing to Global Clients Too
And just a note on getting international clients: Try to land international clients who are looking for an Australian, because you have skills they need — you’re in the same country as their Australian clients, you understand Australian tax, and so forth. Remember also that Australian wages are higher than anywhere else in the world, so international businesses need to be willing to pay that because you provide a service or possess skills they can’t get elsewhere.
Our EzyStartUp Course covers researching the market, setting prices, and an introduction to marketing and business planning, plus much more. If you’re starting a bookkeeping business or you already have started on, enrol in our EzyStartUp course to ensure you’re not selling yourself short.
Alternatively, learn all about marketing your business online with our Marketing, Advertising and Sales courses.
Our Facebook Marketing Course which not only teaches you how to set up a Facebook Page, but how to use Facebook for business, how to advertise on Facebook; it also features our own real life case study.
Focusing on Education Rather than Sales
THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED the way businesses market their services to prospects, from a simple sales message to an educational one.
Real estate agents caught onto this shift in buyer trends early and started creating online content to cater to these buyers.
Visit the website of any real estate agent and you’ll find lots of images and videos educating potential buyers about their services, previous sales and the local area they represent.
Just like bookkeepers can learn from real estate agents how to set their prices and perfect their sales pitch, a bookkeeper should also take note of how real estate agents are using video and images online to develop and hones their digital marketing messages.
How Video and Images Help Attract New Business
- Identify yourself: As a contract bookkeeper, your identity is your brand. Create a website or LinkedIn profile (or both), and include a picture of yourself. If you’re operating a business, don’t hide behind your business name. Include pictures of your team, even if that’s just you at this stage.
- Educate with video: Show prospects that you know your stuff, by creating short videos explaining common issues businesses may have using MYOB, QuickBooks, Xero, etc. You may also create video tutorials that explain how you like clients to set up MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks etc.
- Capture the local scene: Establish yourself as a local business, by taking photos when you visit a local business (whether it’s a cafe, hardware store, or clothing shop) and put them on social media. Be sure to connect with those businesses on social too, so they can share with their customers. Do the same with your clients. It’s a good way to establish firm connections with the businesses you work with, and to update them on your other business projects.
Using video and images to build your online presence should be part of your broader marketing strategy.
Our EzyStartUp Course covers researching the market, setting prices, and an introduction to marketing and business planning, plus much more.
Alternatively, learn all about marketing your business online with our Marketing, Advertising and Sales courses.
Social Media Marketing Course for 2017
Digital marketing is one of those fine arts that sometimes takes many attempts to get right and I’m guilty of that myself. I wrote a couple blogs recently about content marketing because I spend a lot of my time creating and modifying strategies, optimising and planning the content that my team creates for EzyLearn and other websites. However, I think many people are unfamiliar with what the term “content marketing” means — my mistake! I should have used the words that most small businesses associate with online and digital marketing: “SOCIAL MEDIA”!
Social Media Course — We Include EVERYTHING
So, now that I know social media is the keyword, I’m going to explain how every course we offer ties into your Facebook advertising and Facebook Page and why all of these aspects are important to you if you are going to spend more time and money building a strong online brand.
No matter who you are or what you do you will need content and you will use that content to promote you and the services you provide. I have been using all of these tools to help convert EzyLearn into an “online only” training company in 2006 but I was able to explore how to provide these services to real estate agents when I managed the social media strategy for Derek Farmer, a real estate agent in Cammeray at the time. Here are the content options we had to play with:
Photographs and Images
Images are used in Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and on your blog (if you have one). They are used to make a blog easier to read and in industries like real estate where good photography is important to get a high price and make a successful sale they are used to showcase the product being sold. I recently spoke to an asbestos removal company and photographs of what they do and how they do it are also an important part of their “content”.
We show you how to include images in blogs and even include fundamental image editing skills using GIMP (it’s very powerful and it’s free!)
EzyLearn has several hundred videos as part of our online training courses and sometimes we use them to give prospective students examples of our training, explanations about how our special offers work or even videos of me explaining the EzyLearn journey since the late 1990’s! Real estate agents like Derek Farmer use video to help educate property sellers about the various aspects of the property selling process and what to look out for.
We show you how to get your video up to YouTube, or more professional services like Wistia and show you the analytics you can get about your video viewers and how to make a better video next time — it’s all about drop off rates. We also show you how to get a Call-To-Action within the video itself.
Blog marketing is my personal favourite because I love writing; you can really play with the keywords that Google loves so much and you can fill a website up with content that shows you are active.
We teach you how to create a website, create web pages AND blog posts, how to optimise them for the keywords you want to be discovered for and how to measure and understand the visitor analytics.
Facebook Pages, Timeline Posts, Advertising and Remarketing
This is the one that EVERYONE is interested in and for good reason; the demographic targeting is fantastic. Facebook is becoming increasingly important for real estate agents to promote themselves — indeed, Social Estate and BuddyBid are just two companies getting in early to earn a couple of hundred dollars a month for each real estate agent they take on board.
Note: This is something that any work at home mum (or dad) can do! You just need to understand how to generate new content or “republish” other interesting content on a Facebook Timeline and how to create a Facebook Ad. We cover all of this in our Social Media Marketing Course.
Our written guide and training course videos show you how to set up a Facebook Page for a local business (ideal for tradies, service providers like accountants or bookkeeper and of course real estate agents). By using a Facebook page you can assign the administration of that page to someone who simply schedules posts — that someone can be YOU.
Most people with a Facebook Page then need to make sure their Timeline is filled with content so that they pop up regularly in local news feeds.
Feeding Your Facebook Timeline
Most people think it’s important to create a Facebook post every day but that’s hard to do if you need to generate original content. Instead most people re-post other content that is relevant to the audience — this is often referred to as curated content (for instance, where you make a comment or affirm your belief in an article).
Real estate agents often simply refer to the plethora of real estate blogs available and here are some examples used by David Howe, an honest and diligent McGrath agent in Northbridge, Sydney, who asked our designer team to create a website for him:
This method of posting other people’s content is good enough to show that your Facebook Page is active. However, from an internet marketing perspective it tends to send people away from your Page and onto other websites where your competitors might advertise — especially if you report material by ratemyagent, openagent, realestate.com.au or domain!
In our social media marketing course we show you how to make a post like this and schedule them all in advance but also how to get your own unique content and how to link to content where none of your competitors are listed.
Facebook ads are relatively simple to create so there is NO reason to get someone else to do them (particularly if they’re going to charge you the equivalent of 4 hours’ labour!). The key elements of a Facebook Ad are their structure: Campaigns, Adsets, then individual ads and once you get that right and understand how it works, creating a Facebook Ad can be done by someone in your office or who you trust (again, a work at home mum).
We show you the type of posts and ads that Derek Farmer paid to promote in his local area, why he chose to do it, how much he paid and what his viewer and reader statistics were. We’ll also show you how to advertise to your own client base in their Facebook Feeds and how to remarket to people who’ve been to your website or Facebook Page.
WordPress, Hosting, User Management etc
I believe that your own website is the best “landing page” for any marketing money spent because YOU OWN IT. The more traffic you direct to your own website and the more content you put there that is valuable to your customers and future potential customers the more valuable YOU and YOUR WEBSITE will become.
In our Social Media Marketing Course we include every aspect of how to manage your own website using the very popular WordPress Content Management System. This includes having multiple users be able to publish content. We also teach you how to optimise your blogs and pages for important keywords using tags and categories, how to use meta tags on your pages and even on images so everything gets indexed by Google and how to make your website look fantastic with professional themes (templates).
Lead Capture and Email Marketing
Having a call to action on your website or Facebook Page is critical to truly analyse it’s effectiveness and understand it’s success — what’s working and what needs to change. A very important part of that is to capture the email address of people who visit your site and most websites do that using a giveaway, free reports, white papers etc. Once you have a potential clients email address you effectively have permission from them to send them email messages.
We use a number of different email marketing solutions including Campaign Monitor and Aweber, and these are very similar to MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact and a plethora of other email marketing solutions. We’ll show you how to use these systems to capture website visitor details and send them messages automatically.
Capturing, Analysing and Understanding visitor traffic
Google Analytics is the most popular website traffic analysing system and you can use it to measure the effectiveness of your website day-by-day, week-by-week and for specific date ranges.
We show you how to implement the code on your website, how to access the visitor traffic information on your PC and even your mobile phone and what elements to look for to understand what your website is doing.
Conclusion about Social Media Marketing Course
We do all of this using our own website examples as well as Derek Farmers website so you can see what real businesses do to succeed online. Whether you want to do all of this yourself, hire an experienced internet marketer or find a suitably qualified work at home mum (or dad) this course will give you an abundance of knowledge and strategies to manage what you do.
See what’s included in our Social Media Marketing Course and enrol today at a huge launch discount!
[button link=”http://ezylearnonline.com.au/courses/marketing-training-courses/digital-marketing-social-media-courses/” color=”orange”] Social Media Marketing Course Contents[/button]