Social Media: It's About the Contact, Not the Conversation

We have a real treat for you today here at the Tomato.  Brian Brady, easily one of the most well-known Mortgage Bloggers on the planet, has just delivered to us, a solid piece on a topic that we both feel really needs some clarity: Social Media.

If you are struggling to embrace social media as a viable marketing strategy, this post, and the announcement at the end is your ticket to success.

It’s About the Contact, Not the Conversation

By Brian Brady

Blogging ain’t enough if you want to put up big numbers on the scoreboard.

Google calls me “America’s #1 Mortgage Broker” but funding loans is not what I do for a living.  You might consider yourself to be a “real estate consultant” or a “short sale specialist” but I assure you that your job is not selling houses.

You and I are Marketers…Salespeople…Client Attractors.  Our number one job is to find prospective clients.  Now, I know that many folks detest that role. Nobody likes the pushy insurance agent at the Chamber of Commerce meeting or the overbearing stock broker at the family picnic.  In contrast, many of us embrace the Web 2.0 revolution as a way to generate business.  Certainly, blogging is one medium to attract clients BUT…

Blogging ain’t enough if you want to put up big numbers on the scoreboard. I play this game to win so I’m all about scoring points.  Every day, I want to hit a grand slam, catch one in the end zone, score a hat trick, or hammer three-pointers.  I EXPECT to win, every single day, because of my social media strategy.

Five years ago, I started learning how to use social media to circumvent the pending “Do Not Call” legislation.  Since college, I always made my living on the telephone.  A typical day consisted of me rooting through my rolodex, with two-phones glued to each ear.   That damned “Do Not Call” list threatened my very existence

LinkedIn changed all that, in 2003.  I was invited to LinkedIn and found that I was the only mortgage guy in a roomful of well-earning tech folks, who owned homes.  Myspace came, in 2004.  I honed the rich demographic data to connect me with REALTORs by creating and promoting a group called MLS on Myspace.  Active Rain was a no brainer.  Facebook is the perfect combination to mix both consumer direct and professional referral platforms.

Folks on the ClueTrain might suggest that social media are “all about the conversation”; I couldn’t disagree more.  It’s all about the contact.  Your social media efforts, which include blogging, need to have some sort of ROI if you intend to thrive in business.  I measure my ROI by contacts made daily.  My goal, every morning, is to find five new contacts who give me permission to market to them.  I engage in pull marketing through rich content and engaging hooks (I’ll discuss those hooks on the webinar).  It’s designed to be non-intrusive and qualifying, always getting participants to “raise their hand” but it starts with the contact.   If you’re blogging your little heart out and nobody’s reading you, you’re like that tree that fell in the forest.

Let me give you an example.  The Facebook status bar is a tremendous tool; it’s like Twitter with pictures.  I feed the Facebook community by sharing things about my life:

1- I rejoiced when the Phillies beat the Rays to win the World Series
2- I listen to George Strait
3- I voted for Mc Cain
4- I lock mortgage rates below 5%,  for selected clients.

GlobalConnectionWhen I dropped that sub 5% rate, on my Facebook status bar, every disco lovin’, Obama supporter, from Tampa Bay, wanted to talk to me…WHY?

…because I hold their interest.  They needled me on Election Day, hated me when the Rays lost the World Series, and were appalled that a guy in suspenders listens to old-school country music but I hold their interest.  I love people so that gives me a leg up on the competition.  I congratulated them when President-Elect Obama won and taunted them throughout the World Series but I love the contact.

The contact then, becomes a conversation.

Do I troll the social media, looking for likely candidates, then spam them with a friend request? Absolutely!  I love people…seriously, I LOVE them.  I think everybody I haven’t met is just a friend in waiting…and so should you.  THAT is our job, folks. The buying, selling, and financing of houses is the easy part.

PS:  Every time I speak or offer a webinar, some REALTOR says “Well, he’s a lender.  It’s different for him”.  That is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.  I get more business from consumers than I do from REALTOR referrals and those consumers come from my social media efforts.

PPS:  If you don’t like the webinar, we’ll refund every penny we charge you for it.

PPPS:  That was a joke; the webinar is free.  See you in two weeks !

Thanks Brian, we are thrilled to have you on the Vine!

Read more from Brian Brady:
Brian’s Website
Brian’s ActiveRain Blog
Brian’s Post Archive on the BloodhoundBlog
P: (858)- 777-9751