Super-charge your Referrals by Blogging
Just about 4 years ago on September 6th 2009, I posted for the first time here on The Tenant Advisor. My blogging journey which started out as an experiment has been a wild ride and one of the most important experiences of my twenty plus year career in commercial real estate.
The Tenant Advisor by design was intended to be the centerpiece of my social media and digital marketing initiatives. What I didn’t know is that it would become the centerpiece of my entire marketing effort. The majority of new business that comes my way has always been via referrals typically from an existing client or professional contact. Many people mistakingly only associate online marketing with direct sales and don’t understand that a well executed blogging strategy gives your advocates an effective tool that can transform your professional contacts into referral machines.
I have always believed that in today’s world anytime someone refers you to someone whom they think might need your services is that the first thing that person you are referred to is going to do is Google your name and see what they can learn about you. Prior to blogging what they would find is my professional profile on the Colliers website and maybe a few articles in the mainstream business media where I have been quoted in some story.
Today if you google my name, the first thing they will find is a link to the Tenant Advisor, filled with articles and information which is why I write the majority of my articles with my target client profile in mind. Sometimes I write on subject matter that I know will be popular with the industry but not necessarily the typical office tenant, but keep in mind other brokers are tremendous referral sources as well. If you want to increase your referrals you have to expand your visibility and enhance your credibility and there is no better tool to do this than and well executed blogging strategy.
Now, I can tell you people have found me on the internet specifically looking for a broker and I have converted those prospects into new clients and closed transactions. However when people ask me how I make money from social media the answer is simple. I get 10-15 more referrals every year than before embracing social media. I get 4 or 5 phone calls per week from someone I didn’t previously know. Sometimes they are looking for information on the Houston commercial real estate market and sometimes they want to talk about social media. The point is the conversation starts and a business relationship begins and typically at some point down the road some of these new contacts refer me to someone that needs my services. Just this past week two of my Colliers colleagues, one in Canada and one in California called for help with a client requirement in Houston.
Someone asked me recently for cold calling tips. My response was I am the last person that could help you, “I don’t cold call.”Some people believe cold calling is a vital business development tool and some think its a thing of the past. My point is I don’t really care about that argument, because my phone rings. So you can expect I will be blogging for another 4 years.