I know that one of the most common reactions to setting up a blog style website is – ‘why do I need a blog?’ Often I get this response even to having a website. Usually this is accompanied by ‘my business is doing fine!’ First off, I personally don’t enter business to just ‘do fine’ – and secondly, if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. The check move process I’ve talked about this week is about setting up systems of growth that can be distilled into easily managed processes (setting you up to ultimately step out of the business to again, work on the business and not in the business).
So why have a blog style website? It’s all about the check moves.
Let’s look at a typical example/situation. Let’s say you just have a basic blog associated with your property management business. The blog run topics designed to help people live in a rental situation. You frequently post articles about apartment living, local communities, events, etc. After awhile you have built up an audience and you have regular visitors. You have people subscribed to your RSS feed, you perhaps have a email newsletter that you send out on a regular schedule, you have people following your Facebook page eager for your next update.
Suddenly, every time you post an article, send out a newsletter, or make an update on Facebook, you are making a massive amount of check moves. For example, if you have 1000 people subscribed via email to your RSS feed (through something like Feedburner), whenever you post an article update, those 1000 people get emailed the article. Instant 1000 check moves. The same goes for your email newsletter, and your Facebook page.
The real power in the blog website comes from the expansive social influence and the prospective funnel.
The social influence factor is usually what people are talking about when they talk about social media. The general idea is that for every X amount of people who you have interacting with your blog/facebook/twitter or whatever, Y amount of external people are being influenced by you and potentially drawn in to your content and what you are doing. It’s simply circles of influence. You start a blog and have few, if any, readers. But as you update on a consistant basis, your primary readership starts to grow as people discover you. Those people share your awesome content with their friends, and some of their friends become part of your primary audience. Tell me any other place where you can – with consistency – build an audience in this way.
The prospective funnel is just another key tool in finding people to become your tenants. Naturally not everyone who discovers you online is going to qualify as a prospective tenant (eventually the majority of your audience will be people who aren’t even in your city – when you get to that point though, you can do many other things than just property management). However, the social influence factors will be key in bringing to you those people who actually are prospective tenants.
For example – I think most property managers of larger apartment complexes will run a ‘refer a friend’ promotion. In my experience this has been advertised via posted note around the apartment complex – possibly in the elevators – and sometimes via newsletter. What if you actually made the process so simple that everyone in the building would do it? Why not turn the refer-a-friend into something utilized online like an affiliate program. Set up a system where you provide unique URLs for each of your tenants. They then share those on Facebook/Twitter/Email, etc. Their friends click the link and are taken to your website where they get drawn into your funnel – if their friends end up renting with you, they get the refer-a-friend bonus. I can tell you right now you are 1000 times more likely to get someone to share an awesome opportunity on Facebook (especially if you make it possible at the click of a button) than you are to get people to contact their friends based off a flyer in an elevator – even if there is a not insignificant amount of money involved.
So why should you have an active website? Because it’s the largest, most leverage-able, most easily managed, most profitable asset that you could possibly have for your business.