Good Day Class.

Today we have the honor of having Kevin from the Florida Mortgage Blog as our substitute teacher (guest writer). Like tending to a garden, Kevin will be teaching us how to apply that same nurturing to social media.

Please take your seats and have a listen to what Kevin has to say.

Without further ado, I’ll turn the class over to our substitute teacher.

Welcome Kevin.

The floor is yours.

Hello Class

It’s great to be here. Today’s lesson is longer than normal, so let’s get started.

Today’s Lesson

I’ve long believed in the idea that we need to cultivate and nurture our customers and clients in order to foster natural, meaningful, organic relationships.

Social media marketing – using websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like – is the perfect vehicle by which to achieve this – to tend our social garden, if you will.

We’re all in this blogging and social networking gig for some sort of personal gain, but it’s important to remember that there is real and measurable value in taking time to place the needs, interests, and strategic goals of others before our own – at least some of the time. I say “some of the time” because we should of course always remain mindful our own interests.

We just need to be sure that we take time to keep the social part of social media alive and well.

Hey, Thought You Might Like to Read This…

Remember back in the “good old days,” when the “How to Climb the Corporate Ladder” Gurus would suggest that we clip out newspaper or magazine articles our higher-ups or customers might find useful, and then offer them as a means of building our reputation as intuitive, informed, and valuable individuals?

This is pretty much the concept we need to using to drive our social media efforts, only now we can send links through services like Twitter! Pepper these links with the right hashtags and we can increase our following because some folks out there felt they received some benefit from the little golden nuggets we’ve found!

Each “hey, thought you might like to read this after our last conversation”-type Tweet brings us one step closer to clients and customers thinking “Hey, that person is a darned useful member of my network!”

Never forget that people do business with people they like.

The Post-Man May Only Ring Twice, But You Should Deliver News and Tips More Often…

I am, at times, all over the map with my social media efforts. However, one thing that’s kept me in line (as if that’s possible) is a blueprint I’ve set up for managing my days. As we move ahead with our respective Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing efforts, I really feel that a key to ongoing success is developing some sort of repeatable process – a routine.

I like to look at my social network as a neighborhood. On a flexible but orderly schedule, I pop by and say “¡Hola!” to folks, leave some useful tips, news and information, and then get the heck out of their way.

Remember: It’s never about making the sale. At least not overtly. You’ll develop your book of business over time.

For now – just plant a few seeds in quality soil (carefully selected / targeted contacts) – fill up your watering can with useful and nutritious info – and drip, drip, drip your presence in front of your audience.

In closing, take time to weave into your brand a helpful bit of occupational Umami – a subtle and fresh sense about you that says I’m a helpful and valuable member of your social network! Make this a key part of your brand, and you’ll land on the must-follow and must-know list of more and more people as you go along.

Today’s Assignment

When using social media, are you also marketing yourself and/or your blog?

Has it worked?

Have a story to share?

Comment here so we can all learn together!


happykevin1_270x300.jpgKevin Sandridge is a social media enthusiast and Florida Home Loans Specialist based out of Winter Haven, Florida. He blogs regularly over at his Florida Mortgage Blogger blog discussing topics ranging from mortgage news and trends to online social media efforts.


Photo Credit: Randy Son Of Robert

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Barbara – thanks so much for allowing me to share some of my thoughts on social media with your readers! This blog continues to be a frequent stop for me, and I hope the post is helpful!

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Fix Up Bank Owned and Foreclosed Properties with an FHA Streamlined 203K Loan

  2. I liked this:

    “Remember: It’s never about making the sale. At least not overtly. You’ll develop your book of business over time.”

    Through circumstance I’ve done things back to front. I found contacts without any real networking tools (i.e. I used my email address – pitiful I know). I did concentrate on relationships – what else did I have? Having established some contacts allows me to indulge in learning about social media marketing. I’m accustomed to doing without so learning about networking and marketing and all the appropriate tools is interesting. Thank you.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)´s last blog post..Doodling My Way To Creativity

  3. Yes, I do network when I use social engines, and you can’t believe it, but the more often I use them, I learn to use them better, and as a result we build a community.

    (Change of I to We intentional)

    Sorry if it’s a bit duh

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Thursday Haiku: The hope of two thousand years

  4. I use Twitter to have conversations with people, to support their work and to ask for support with mine – that latter meaning blog posts, ebooks etc…

    My focus is actually the latter two as I don’t take the extra time out of my day to have basic Twitter-conversations.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Help Me Cure Someday Syndrome: the Someday-Busting Affiliate Program

  5. @Paisley – you’ve done well, then. Forging relationships at the onset seems to have set you in the right direction!

    @Miguel de Luis – Yes, indeed! I’m with you on the community building 100 percent!

    @Alex – that’s really what it’s all about. We’re all in this together. Those not willing to adopt the pay it forward model “need not apply!”

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Contact

  6. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I use the social media. Especially for my blog and articles. I have noticed that there are spurts in traffic especially if you have written something that is relevant to all.

    Linda´s last blog post..Vectrix VX-1 Great Green Fun

  7. There’s a line in a Joni Mitchell song that goes “I’m always running behind the times — just like this train….” Maybe you are familiar with it?

    Anyway, I’ve really been trying to get on the social media train and stay there, but seem to flounder and get overwhelmed, even tho friends have kindly offered me suggestions, Barbara included.

    Kevin, I’ll be back here in a couple days to glean what I can from the comments, to hopefully get another piece or three of the puzzle.

    My blog community is good-to-go, so I must be able to get the hang of this social media thing too, especially Twitter, right??

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Jannie CD Give-Away (whoo-hoo!)

  8. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    This was an excellent post and information sharing – thank you again Barbara and Kevin for the good lessons.

    I find the IT things very difficult and I am dependent on my own Geek Girl for all the help I can get. She is working on a twitter button for me this weekend, but she does not use all the social media tools herself.
    I have to be patient and walk gently to get assistance during finals and professional paper writing times….I know I will need to hire someone when she gets too busy.

    But I want to keep a hold on my contacts I have already and I am afraid that my social media skills are so slow that I am losing ground?

    I truly do not know what I would do without my support community – well, then again yes I do…I would be writing in notebooks in my favorite chair!

    Good post and information for me! Thank you

    Patricia´s last blog post..Fairy Foot Prints

  9. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    good points. i like the idea of planting seeds. it’s not always about the sale, but like you said..planting seed on fertile soil (the bible says that too) and basically that means to me, in worthy places..not every soil, or social networking place is worthy of our time. i’m not sure i do that with social networking, i’m trying to scale back a little bit, but stay consistent.

    Natural´s last blog post..I’m Not Dead, yet

  10. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Kevin,

    You are truly a sage. I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve grown my Twitter-folk through completely organic means. Not a pesticide in sight. I work very hard at cultivating and nurturing my online relationships and I view folks as friends, not sales targets. Sure, I may not have 25,000 followers and I may not be blogging to the bank, but I know those things will come in time, and they’ll be sticky when they do.

    Excellent class, Barbara. Thanks for having Kevin in to teach.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Community expansion challenge

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kevin,

    What a pleasure it is to have you as our substitute teacher today. I love how you reminded us that it takes time to nurture our online relationships. It does come down to quality, doesn’t it? As much as we all could use black hat methods to increase our links, readership, and/or followers, what would numbers be if there aren’t genuine people behind them?

    Like you, I also enjoy sharing something worthwhile with my followers (on Twitter). When more people see we are sharing valuable data (mixed in with a little bit of playfulness) with others and not just talking to talk, the sooner they will realize they too, want to be a part of our “circle”.

    Thank you for the valuable lesson and fun assignment. I’m having a grand time just sitting at the back of the classroom as others raise their hand to speak. Great discussion, teach. 🙂

  12. Barbara – it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for allowing me to substitute today! I hope I’ve provided some value. 🙂

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..What Every Orlando First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

  13. Oh I’m right with Jannie on this. Feel the same way overwhelm, confused etc. And people have helped me as well. Any insight on my resistance?

    I plan to watch some videos about Twitter this week. It’s all so confusing. I also believe your idea of routine is right on. Would like to hear more on that!

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..How to Become A Bold “Bozo” On The Bus

  14. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Very informative Barbara; thanks for featuring Kevin.

    I use LinkedIn and Twitter for networking, as well as my blog. Twitter I enjoy just for short check-ins with people. I like to keep it light and playful over there and to promote other people. Occasionally I will make a business announcement. I haven’t received any sales from this, however. My newest clients have been found “by accident” in regular day-to-day conversations.

    Davina´s last blog post..Positively Breathing — The Significant Victim

  15. @Jannie – Twitter is a great place to start. One short cut you might want to consider is Ping.fm. http://www.ping.fm This is a service that lets you connect several social media sites together (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) , so when you post something – it goes to all. Just type in your message, pop in the relevant “Hey, thought this was interesting… URL” and your message goes out to all of those services at once. A nice “One stop shopping” option.

    @Patricia – First, you’re doing one of the MAJOR “To Dos” already by posting comments on this blog! You’re creating valuable backlinks to your your site while also sharing your thoughts and feelings on given subjects… the PERFECT social media combination! So, GREAT JOB! 🙂

    Second, you are not losing ground. So many folks out there are getting social media WRONG, that your honest and sincere efforts are cutting through the morass like a hot knife through butter! Keep sharing, growing, sharing some more, and you’ll see things coming around!

    @Natural – I am absolutely guilty of spreading myself too thin trying to test out too many social media avenues at once. Take the point I made above to Jannie about Ping.fm. It’s a nice way to feed your thoughts and impressions to several networks at once. This might free up some breathing room for you.

    @Tumblemoose – Thank you George, for your kind words. Not sure I’m much of a Sage, as I find myself pulling much of what I have left of my hair out at times trying to wrestle with some of these very points! But, it’s been fun sharing here, and I’m very thankful for Barbara’s offer to pop by and do so. Slow and steady wins the race as we forge our own Seth Godin-like “Long Tails” out there!

    @Tess – you’re doing great just by stopping by and commenting here! Again, consider Ping.fm or some other such service to help knock out a few steps at once. Then, just keep doing what you do over at The Bold LIfe!

    @Davina – I can’t tell you how many days I come up against where posting another article seems pointless. But then I realize that one – it’s OK to skip a day and two – it’s a drip effect I’m really working on here.

    The Internet doesn’t forget. I’m confident that as folks out there seek our services, they’ll find us based on the size of our presence via Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. It’s our job to be sure that what they find when they land on our blogs is worthwhile – as your work at Shades of Crimson clearly is!

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..Dear Client, I Want Our Relationship Back…

  16. gochiNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kevin, thank you for taking time to teach this class! I have only relied on plain ol’ organic traffic in growing my blog before, but now that I am starting to read up on how to “market”, I realize that there are ways to do it without sounding like an ad. Networking is one of those ways and I plan to fully capitalize on it in the future.