A lot of you probably love advertising on Facebook, or maybe you have found marketing success through Instagram, and that’s great. Just realize, that although you may have “x” amount of followers or “x” amount of likes, you really don’t own those sites. If one of these platforms ends, or (like recently) changes their algorithm, you could find your business in real trouble.
That’s what I want to focus on this week. What is currently happening in the world of marketing, and how you can position yourself moving forward. Remember, just because something works today, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work tomorrow, and I want to share with you my tips and thoughts on how you can better prepare yourself and your business for change.
Want to have it all? Well, the best day to get started is TODAY. Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who want to take their life and business to a WHOLE new level of success. I’m Brooke Keeling, multiple six-figure business owner, passionate entrepreneur and your host.
Welcome to another episode of the Love Your Living podcast…
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. I am Brooke Keeling and I am so excited to be here with all of you as always. Now today, I am talking about a topic that I have been diving deep into in both my online business and also within my real estate business.
Now, I’ve talked a lot recently about just some of the changes that we’re anticipating to see and how it’s going to affect businesses moving forward, how it’s going to affect the online world. I’m always so intrigued with understanding where different market trends are headed and also being able to put plans in place to protect my businesses and just be more in the know of what’s happening.
We always have to be conscious of what’s on around us and what we’re forecasting, whether it’s economy, whether it’s business, whether it’s certain trends; you have to be in the know of what’s to come. I was just watching a very quick little portion of something that Gary Vee did recently. And I think that’s what sets so many people apart is not just living in the day to day or watching what people are doing that makes them successful today.
Because usually, when that’s like the newest trend, it’s really hard to start tapping into it. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t be doing it, it’s just understanding, like if everybody’s in one place and only focusing on one thing, how can you differentiate and how can you build up different pillars and different audiences and what’s the newest latest greatest, which it’s never-ending in technology. It’s never-ending in business.
And sometimes it can seem a little daunting. For me, it’s very exciting and I love it and I can’t get caught up in it all of the time, but I do think it’s so important to just understand where market trends are going so that you can put systems and strategy in place to grow and to also grow in down markets if we happen to see those over the next couple of years, which I think we will see a shift and a change.
So, that particular topic happens to be marketing, and marketing on a more general platform, I guess you could say. I have been interviewing some incredible people, as you all know, and I promise they are coming out soon. I have been having the most incredible conversations, not only through my podcast interviews that I’ve been doing, but also by some of the people that, as I’m going through saying yes and new experiences, it’s opening doors to new relationships and it’s just so fascinating that I hear these things over and over and over again, but you learn so much from those experiences and the people that you’re able to connect with.
And so, I’ve interviewed a couple of people that have very big presence within the marketing world. Like I would consider them experts within the marketing field. And one in particular, Liz Dennery, she is the most graceful woman that I think I have ever been in the presence of, and I honestly haven’t even been in the presence of her. It’s like over conversation, and you guys will hear that one.
She owns her own PR company. She started out at Harper’s Bazaar and has had two successful businesses and now her business is called SheBrand. You can check her out. I have a full interview with her. But she really helps people build brand presence and awareness and specifically now with women.
And I asked her, in this world where there is so much noise – there’s so much noise on social media, we’re all on social media, everybody has stories and we have so much content coming out to us and how we’re perceiving and reacting to it and just in the world of marketing in general, there’s always things that are changing.
And I asked her, you know, what is going to be really important for people moving forward, specifically businesses? What’s going to be really important for businesses to focus on? And I pretty much already knew the answer because I’ve been researching this a lot with my real estate business. And she said relationships, which, you guys, I feel like in this world of crazy technology and robots coming and ordering anything and everything on Amazon, removing the human connection that we have with each other and social media platforms just constantly, constantly, constantly in our faces and online businesses constantly selling and sales funnels, all of this stuff, there’s so much noise around us.
And so, as a business owner, it is crucial to understand how do you differentiate, how do you stand out above that noise? How are you able to be seen? And I truly feel like a lot of that, which is completely different than where my focus was five years ago, is relationship building and it’s through connection, it’s through truly just having compassion and maybe slowing down a little bit, as much as I don’t like to say that, and being able to really build the foundation.
It’s going to be so important if you don’t have a strong foundation within your business. It’s something I truly feel like you should really focus on over this next six months to get yourself in a place where you feel more confident.
And one of the fascinating things that Liz said is, look at all of the changes that Facebook has had over the last several years and how much it’s changed. Now, just recently, within my real estate firm, my broker had come in and was, I believe, teaching on how to run Facebook ads. And my mind was blown a little bit because running Facebook ads is not an easy feat.
It is not something that I feel like the average person can do and can do in a way that – and you guy can all chime in. You are more than welcome to message me and give me your own opinion, but Facebook ads and their algorithms and everything that they are doing changes by the day. And for someone to manage that, that is literally a fulltime job to stay up with what are you looking for your audiences, is it sponsored ads, is it boosting, is it this, is it that? Like, doing all of the testing and the metrics and all of that, I don’t feel like it’s worth someone’s time to learn how to do that and manage it day in and day out.
And it’s very difficult because, like I said, the algorithms change every single day. And we’ve seen Facebook ads skyrocket. I’ve seen the cost of a lead within my real estate business skyrocket through the roof. And so how do we counteract that and how do we continue to move forward, because the responses that we’re getting as business owners – and if you think about it as a consumer, if you are a consumer – it’s a lot tougher to convert and it’s a lot tougher to stand out.
And so, on one side of it, cost per lead is going up for business owners to $25 to $35 a lead, and then our conversion rates are also going down. And so it’s just something to be really mindful of as we shift and we move through the different changes, which there’s always changes. And I remember having a conversation with an incredible woman not too long ago and she said, you know, business is about – it’s a puzzle. It’s about problem-solving every single day. As a business owner, it is our job to problem-solve.
And I totally agree with that. It’s also our job to stay up to date with what our competition is doing, where are market trends headed, what are we foreseeing, how is the economy going to affect certain things – and to not get caught up in that, but what is next, so you can always stay ahead of your competition.
So, on the marketing standpoint, I’ve had so many conversations too. I’ve had coaches that are like, don’t waste your time on spending money on websites and don’t waste all your time on making sure that you Instagram feed is perfect. Now, talking about Instagram and Facebook, everybody that’s all in on Instagram and is building their following and that’s your one focus, to build awareness, that cannot be your one focus.
It is not a sustainable business. And what most people don’t understand is it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 followers or if you have 30 million followers; you do not own that platform. And Instagram is owned by Facebook. And so if your one focus is there on building connection and you don’t have anything else to capture those people and that audience and your ideal target market to create a list, which is such a big deal if you hear about that, creating a list, that’s when you are able to really capture that audience and grow your list. And that’s something that you can always have.
If Instagram was gone tomorrow, if you’re bloggers that are out there that have big followings, if it’s gone tomorrow, you don’t own any of that. That’s not a business. And so it’s really important to be mindful of how you’re capturing contact information and how you’re converting leads and what you have set up on the backend. It’s not just about a pretty Instagram feed or how many likes you get or running a Facebook ad, but then what? How are you capturing those people that want to interact with you?
So there’s so much more to it than just having a following, or I’ve worked with different people, and also watching other entrepreneurs or working with my own groups that I have, what I see all too often is people focusing on the wrong things; focusing on all of the pretty creative things, redesigning your card 100 times before you actually give it to anyone or getting that video just perfect before you do anything. You’re doing a rebrand before you even really had a brand.
And I can get caught up in some of this sometimes too and I think it’s so important that we understand that we have to do the work of putting ourselves out there too and not just hiding behind this place of, well it’s not perfect yet. Because, in the beginning, it’s never perfect.
And I was just having a conversation today talking about how, when we start out a business, we are expected to know all of the things. It’s like when you are graduating high school and someone says what are you going to do with the rest of your life, I don’t think that you can truly answer that. And I also don’t think that you can truly answer who you are in the beginning of any business endeavor.
It’s part of the journey. It’s part of us being open to the experiences. And when you’re open to those experiences, when you know that you can start, and maybe you don’t have all of the answers, but when you start there and you start to put yourself out there and you start to have the conversations, that’s when everything becomes so clear because you’re having the conversations that you need in order to answer the questions.
You’re seeing people’s problems in reality versus thinking maybe you know what their problems are, and that’s how you’re building marketing off of it. That’s how you’re able to connect.
When we’re so caught up in making our websites just perfect and making our Instagram feeds just perfect and focusing on how many likes we have in a certain area or redoing all of the work before we just put the work out, it doesn’t allow us to do the work that so many of us are hiding behind. But also, with marketing, you have to have strategy behind it.
There’s strategy behind everything that you should be doing. There’s strategy in the words that you need to be stating with people and what you’re offering and what your goal is, what you want someone to do. And everything that you speak is around that one problem that you are offering to help solve or help someone achieve so that there is clarity in it.
And it’s also such a big part of not feeling like you have to be everything to everyone. Now, I just redid – I was just in New York and I just redid all of the modules and video in New York City for my paid program, Made to Get Paid. And as I was going through each of the different modules, my eyes were just opened to so many things and I’m like, oh my gosh.
It’s my program, but I’m like, this is brilliant,. This is literally brilliant, and the fact that so many people get caught up in having everything perfect and putting all of this content out but the content doesn’t make sense, in talking to the wrong people and not having clarity on exactly what it is that you want to achieve. And whether it’s business or it’s a life goal or it’s whatever it may be, it’s the same process and allowing yourself to get clear and also allowing yourself to put a strategy behind whatever it is that you’re doing so that you don’t just feel like you’re working and working and working and you’re not seeing any results.
So, I was just blown away at the content and the clarity that I was seeing as I was going through – and I’ve recorded this already before too, but just going back to it and reviewing it again and again and speaking the words again, I hear these conversations every single day from so many women, from so many entrepreneurs that are trying to do all of the things.
And sometimes, all of the things don’t make sense because they need to get done in a certain order. And so having our marketing platform set up, it’s so important, but also knowing what it is – marketing is all about telling stories and it’s all about helping someone solve a problem, and that’s where we’re able to step in and get really clear on this is the problem that I can help you solve or this is something that I can help you create for X amount of dollars.
It’s an exchange, a product or a service for a deposit of some sort. But I think what we’re seeing in the online space is that so many people think it’s super easy. I’m just going to throw something out there and all these people are going to buy it and I’m going to be rich.
Sorry, it’s not going to work. You will not see the result that you want to see. I’ve had so many conversations with people that have actually made it to a point where they’re very successful. And for the most part, it’s taken them a year and a half to three years to gain that momentum.
And I was just listening to an interview recently and one of the questions that came up, that I think comes up for everybody, especially in the beginning, I know it came up for me, I asked this question so much for such a long period of time. And I was like, but how long does it take? I’m doing the work, but how long does it take?
And the reality is that it depends. There’s so many different factors that depend on how long it’s going to take you to get to where you want to go. And maybe that’s an income goal, maybe that’s a certain status or level of business, whatever it may be for you. But what we have to remember is that it takes time.
It truly is a journey to get to that end goal. And usually, it’s never an end, because by the time you’ve achieved that piece of the puzzle, then you set another goal and you go on that. But it truly is about who you’re becoming and what you need to learn along the way in order to get you to that goal.
And everything that is thrown at you, every contact that is thrown at you, every encounter with someone, every conversation, every struggle, everything is there to teach you something on this path to get you where you want to go. And what you have to remember is that if you’re doing the work day in and day out, you’re doing the work, you have your content plan up and going and you have a presence on Instagram and you have a presence on Facebook for your marketing and you have emails going out to people and you have different offerings and you’re having conversations and you’re asking for the sale or you’re putting yourself out there and you’re still not seeing the results, know that you are planting the seeds to create that magic that you want.
And when I was listening to this interview or podcast, I don’t remember what it was, but the woman that was telling the story is a great friend of mine, I’ve mentioned her many times before, her name is Susan Hyatt, and she said that in her first year of business, in her coaching business, her goal was to make $100,000.
She wanted to replace her real estate income. She had previously been in real estate and she wanted to be able to replace that income. And she didn’t know how she was going to replace it, but she took a lot of those different tools that she had used in real estate to build up her coaching business. And that year, she made $99,500.
And yes, she didn’t hit her goal, but she was damn near hitting her goal. And what she said is that for the first five months, she busted her ass. She was doing all of the things. She was showing up every day. She was doing speaking engagements. She was doing anything that she could possibly do to get herself out there, which is one lesson that I want you to really, if you’re doing something, if you’re putting your heart and your soul into your work, are you allowing yourself to be seen?
Because that is one piece that so many of us, we hide behind our computers before we get anything completed and we’re not putting ourselves out there along the way to show people, this is what I’m doing, this is what’s coming, this is what I’m working on. So that when you’re ready to put yourself out there, when you’re ready to collect deposits, when you’re ready to have an offer, people understand what it is versus just one day all of a sudden you have this offer and no one buys.
So, what she was saying is she did all of this stuff for many months, many weeks, and the first five months, she didn’t make any money. It was the last six months of the year where she made like 99% of her income. And it was because of the seeds that she planted in those first five months.
So, I want you to really remember that if you’re doing something, it’s not going to happen overnight. If you have an incredible idea, you need to work on it. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take blood, sweat, and tears. It does for any business to get up and running and off the ground. And it’s going to take an incredible mindset to get through some of that, which is a completely different topic.
But know that whatever you’re doing in marketing, you need to be able to tell a story. It needs to be able to align with that big picture vision that you need to have and allow you to be seen and be heard. And also, know that there needs to be strategy behind it. So, when I’ve talked to so many different people over the course of the last several weeks and just understanding, what do I need in my business? I feel like things are a little stagnant – or not even stagnant, but they’re just a little stale.
Like, in real estate, it’s turning, right? The business is doing what it is. I’ve had that business for seven years. There’s a lot of things that I worked really hard to implement, and now I’ve just kind of like set it and forget it. And so, I kind of feel like it’s time for a refresher. It’s time to take it to the next level. What are some of the things that I’m learning in my online world that I can apply to my brick and mortar business? Because there’s so many different things that overlap.
And in any business, you can’t just set it and forget it forever, right? And so I’m having to go back and just kind of figure out what’s working, what’s not working, what are the trends that we are forecasting? What are all of these marketing gurus and experts seeing and how are all of the shifts and changes that we are anticipating and forecasting going to affect my business and how do I need to prepare now?
And so, a few different things that we’ve started to do within my real estate business, we started doing quarterly events in addition to our customer appreciation, which is so fun. It allows us to connect on a deeper level with our past clientele and give them something nice and say thank you and also see them. Because in my real estate business, the average lifecycle of a sale is five to seven years and so it’s not just a, you know, you can sell someone every year or every six months or every three months or it’s a reoccurring sale that comes up.
So there’s a lot of different things that change. You need to know your average lifecycle, but also, how do you serve those people and allow them to feel like one, and not bugging them to just call them and say what’s going on, it’s not really my thing. I want to give them something fun.
I want to be able to connect with them in a way that I would want to be connected with and give back to them and their families for appreciation and gratitude and let them know that I truly do care very, very much about my clientele. I don’t want to be a burden, but I want them to know that I’m always here.
And so that’s one of the things that we’re doing that aligns with who we are as a company. It aligns with our value. It aligns with our culture and we are all very family-oriented and want that to be very much forefront of the things that we’re doing. So knowing what your core values are and doing things within your business that make sense for you is so crucial.
Please, please, please take my advice here. And when you’re thinking about doing different things with marketing or how you’re going to set up your business, yes, it’s great to see how other people do things, but I want you to know that it is okay to do them your way.
The same goes for marketing, especially with marketing because if it’s not your voice, if it’s not something that you truly like to do, which there’s plenty of things that we don’t like to do, like cold calling, guess what, we do it every single day regardless. But finding things that align with your values are going to allow you to see such a bigger return on your investment and allow you to connect better and also have fun while you’re building up your businesses.
So, that’s something that I’m super excited about. So that’s one of the things that we’re implementing into. Another thing is just trying to create more of an experience and get away more so from, you know, paid leads are never going to go anywhere for me, and there’s a lot of people that feel very differently, but I feel like if you’re going to get to a certain level, you need to put different pillars into place.
So relationships are one thing. Your sphere of influence is another thing. paid leads, paid advertising, it’s a must if you want to get to a certain level. And I’m not scared to put money into something in order to grow my business. The key point there is if you’re paying for a lead, it’s what you do with them next. It’s you being able to convert that from a cold lead to a customer or a client and be able to build that rapport, which is something we’re really, really great at.
So, a couple of things that I’m changing in my real estate business, but also, so many of the conversations that I have had, I’ve been able to look at both of my businesses and see where they fit in. And a big part of my way of digesting some of that and some of the questioning that I have is that I look at old school tactics and new school tactics and what’s better.
Because you see all of these massive influencers starting to really gain momentum, or people that have really grown over the last couple of years, and how are they doing it? How are they creating these audiences? And as the market gets more saturated, how do some of the smaller names tap into that?
And I think that – you know, I have very differing conversations with different people. I have people that are all about the paid advertising, that are all about the strategy, that are all about more is more, which is totally my game, right? But then I also have really great conversations with people that are going kind of the old school route; relationships and nurturing and slow growth and old school tactics such as handwritten notes and just making phone calls, which we do in our business.
But what’s better? That’s the question. What’s better? And I know that I’ve been in this middle ground working with a lot of different strategists and teams and whatnot in my own businesses, and my opinion on this is that one is not better than the other. But I also feel like you need both. I think that you need a combination of both.
I think you must have strategy behind your marketing efforts, behind any business, there needs to be strategy. I think that you really should look at types of advertising, paid advertising, whether you’re doing direct mail, whether you’re doing Facebook ads, whether you have different platforms that create leads and you’re buying those leads. I think that is also a really great idea, whatever makes sense in your business.
On the other end of things, I also think it’s incredibly important to bring some of those old school tactics back in, especially with what we’re seeing in the marketplace right now. People want to be able to connect. They always have. People work with people that they know, like, and trust. So it doesn’t matter the strategy that you have behind. You can have the most brilliant strategy, but if you’re not able to connect with these people on a deeper level, they’re not going to buy from you.
And so if you are so gung ho about the growth mindset and moving forward at such a quick pace, like I am in all my businesses, don’t forget about the relationship side of the business as well, nurturing people that you already have and doing some of the easy tasks that just take a little bit of time, having a phone call with someone that you’re not even trying to sell them, you’re just reaching out. You’re checking in. You’re letting people know that you’re thinking about them. That’s going to be so, so important if you’re not doing that in your business today.
And also too, just looking at who you already have, who already likes you. So often, I hear this all the time from my team and I haven’t recently. We’ve really shifted gears, but I hear all the time, like, we need more, we need more, we need more. And earlier this year, I said to them, I don’t think we need more of anything. We have everything that we need right now. All we need to do is tap into who we already know and who we already love and focus more on that, which is so incredibly powerful.
And I was having a conversation with an incredible marketer and she said the exact same thing in that it’s not always going out and getting more of all of these different things. It’s looking right here in your own back yard at what relationships you already have and who your contacts already are.
So, don’t skip out on that either. And I’m not saying go and send out a Facebook message to everyone that you’re friends with on Facebook and trying to sell them something. That is absolutely not what I’m saying. That couldn’t be more opposite because I have gotten that a lot recently too. And I’m telling you guys, you have to build a rapport with people before you try to sell them anything.
So many good conversations, one of the other things that I heard about Instagram recently is that one, you guys, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and so the algorithms of Instagram are likely going to change sometime in the near future. So, if you don’t already know that, please be open to understanding that everything is going to change again, and then it will be the next thing, which is again why I think Gary Vee is just brilliant.
He’s saying, everybody’s on Instagram, I’m over here on LinkedIn because no one’s over here, and he’s building up different pillars, which is what sets him apart from all of his competition. Different platforms, different conversations, different strategy, but when you’re not in the loop of everyone else – like he’s doing better than everybody else on all of those platforms, but he’s also on some of these other ones as well, building that pillar up. That way, when one tanks, your business isn’t gone in the blink of an eye.
So, with that, a lot of the big, big influencers – this just happened with iTunes as well, a lot of the really big influencers that have already, “Made it,” whether it’s a really high-engaging podcast, the algorithms of iTunes have changed, and so it makes the smaller names be seen and heard a lot less. Instagram does that as well and will continue to do that.
But also, a lot of these bigger influencers or different products, they don’t look for other big influencers. They’re looking for micro-level influencers because those people tend to have more connection with their audiences, more comments, more likes, more engagement. And so that’s something that people are really starting to look for, rather than buying paid leads or buying numbers and not focusing on the other part of it.
So, my whole point with anything marketing is I do feel that marketing is such a huge piece of any business, and really, what it is is it’s relationships. It’s being able to build relationships with people and help them with a goal that they have or help them solve a problem that they have. And having strategy behind it is crucial so that you’re not just out there doing all of the things for all of the people and busy not getting results.
We need to learn how to put ourselves out there better in a very clear way and also differentiate; differentiate what we’re doing with our marketing plans, the different pillars of marketing. So if one thing changes or shifts, you are not totally thrown off and there goes your audience. So, being really mindful of the fact that you don’t own Facebook, you don’t own Instagram, you don’t own these things and paid leads are starting to go down.
So it’s so important, now more than ever, to really tap into those relationships that you already have, nurture those people, and allow those efforts to complement each other and work together to help you reach your goals in business and in life as well.
So, I hope you guys found some little takeaways in that. I found it incredible to talk about just all things marketing. And again, I’m so fascinated by where our business is headed, what trends we see. And I think it’s fun. Sometimes, it gets a little bit like, oh my gosh, things are changing at such a rapid pace always. But when you can just keep a finger on it and not get too overwhelmed and know that everything is always going to change, business is always going to change, the economy is always going to change, you can’t control it. And so you just need to be able to be educated on it and implement it in your business and be smart.
So, I hope you guys all found some interesting little takeaways and you enjoyed this episode. As you know, we have some incredible guests coming on the podcast, so if you have not already left us a review, I would so appreciate it so that more people can find us as we release all of these phenomenal interviews that I have been working so hard on. And share this with your friends. Please, share it out, leave us a review, I will forever be grateful. So, I will see you all next week. Have a fabulous week and we’ll see you later.
Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of the Love Your Living podcast. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love or simply take your already-pretty incredible life to the next level, head on over to loveyourlivingonline.com or simply check out the link in this week’s episode of show notes to instantly download my 6-Figure & Beyond Business Blueprint. You’re going to absolutely love it.