Did you know that you can pretty much boil down every type of blog post into one of nine archetypes? It’s an incredibly useful thing to know, since it means that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to write a post.
Next time you’re fiddling around, trying to figure out what to write, consult this list:
- Share a resource
- Repost someone else’s post
- Announce something cool
- Reveal something about yourself
- Ask a question (that you’d really like the answer to)
- Offer up something your clients can only get from you
- Reply to a question
- Congratulate someone
- Wish someone well
Let’s break this down so you can see these posts in action.
A share post allows you to do exactly what it says: share a resource or an idea that you find useful — and think will be useful to your audience. The point is not to share any old thing; think about your clients first, then compare what they like and need with what you’ve found to be useful.
Let’s say that you’ve recently found a fantastic roofer — and it’s storm season where you live. This is an ideal time to share your experience with your new roofer friend with your clients. Name names, be specific and honest, and release the post in a timely fashion. This is pertinent, useful and qualified information your clients can actually use.
A repost isn’t a shortcut. It’s an insight from you, about a topic you’ve seen elsewhere, so that you can overlay your expertise.
You know how you hate seeing people who just constantly repost other people’s content without any commentary or added value? That’s not what you want to do. If you’re going to repost someone’s content, add your own special sauce. Say why you’re reposting the content, and what you think about it.
Here’s how this should work: You identify a post you find relevant and insightful from someone in your sphere, on the news or on the web. Think about what you can add to the conversation. Write a short paragraph or two that sums up your position. Then post your introduction with a link to the post.
Sounds super obvious, doesn’t it? But the secret to making an announcement post worthwhile is to announce something that is actually worthwhile. Seriously. Meaningless announcements for the sake of saying something — anything — aren’t worthy of your time and are a diservice to your clients.
The best types of announcements have something to do with your business that can benefit your clients.
Maybe you’re about to release your updated favorite contractors list. Or you’ve written an e-book about staging properties. Or you’ve just run an analysis on why neighborhood “A” has appreciated more than neighborhood “B.” Or you’re celebrating the fact that your favorite restaurant is reopening after a massive renovation, and you’re holding a happy hour with your clients to celebrate on Tuesday.
You get the point. Announcements should be about your business and offer insight into the way you do business. You’re not announcing things for your health, afterall.
Reveal posts make you human.
“A revealing post is not intended to showcase your deepest, darkest secrets.”
Let’s say you’re interested in wine and food (like me). You could reveal that you’re excited about that new restaurant or that you’ve just found the best farmers’ market in your city. The point is to showcase things about yourself that allow your client base to see that you’re a real person, who takes an active interest in your community. In other words, you have a life, so use it.
A few things to keep in mind: Don’t reveal anything that would embarrass your most conservative client. But do reveal things that you can revisit time and again; this is part of building your personal brand. So, if you love wine, the color red, the number eight or modern design, talk about those things in the context of how they enrich your life. And if you can make those revelations pertinent to your client base by involving them, so much the better.
That’s why it’s important to reveal with care. You want control over your personal and professional life. But the importance of revealing a little more about yourself is huge, because people remember you as a person as much as they remember you as a Realtor.
The point of asking a question is to get a real response. So (at the risk of being obvious) don’t ask stupid questions.
Instead, show your thoughtful, insightful and contemplative side. Ask questions that will provoke a meaningful response. I’m not suggesting you have to become Jean Paul Sarte; I’m just saying that it’s better to ask questions about your community or real estate, since that’s the business you’re in.
I’d rather not see you ask a dumb question just to provoke a response.
What’s a dumb question? Here’s an example from Facebook I saw recently: “At what point does the question ‘did you wipe your butt?’ lose its meaning in your parental vocabulary?” (I’m not kidding — I actually saw this question posed on Facebook recently. It did get a response, but really? Eeeew.)
You could ask dozens of questions the answers to which would be useful to you and your clients. Why not ask your constituents for their best hardwood floor contractor if you need one? Or whether people are in favor of the local school bond? Or whether they think the value of their homes have gone up or down? You get the point. Ask the right questions, and ye shall receive.
When you make a special offer, the point is to make it something that people can only get from you. That’s what makes it special and exclusive. It also makes it meaningful, because a great offer shows thoughtful preparation.
What can your clients and constituents only get from you?
That’s easy: You. And your expertise. And your company. Why not offer up something that you’ve created, like a special report on a particular neighborhood?
I’m not talking about preparing a monster 340-page treatise; I’m saying you could offer a nicely prepared presentation for download about recent sales in the neighborhood, paired with your thoughts about where the neighborhood is going. Kind of like a CMA on steroids. This kind of in-depth analysis is like catnip to buyers and sellers. If your offers are truly special, you will be too.
Sure, it’s content development, but it’s also great marketing for you. It positions you as the expert. There’s nothing wrong with that.
For lots of people, this is a tricky post. Why? I think it’s because answering a question is, in fact, not easy. It takes commitment to identify the right questions that your clients are asking, and a willingness to go out on a limb to answer them. A meaningful reply respectfully expresses your opinion, supported by facts, even if it’s somewhat controversial.
Let’s consider what a worthy reply might be.
If your clients and prospects are up in arms about building a new stadium in town, this could be a great time for you to reply to this issue and answer questions about it. For example, in San Francisco, where I live, there’s talk of building a new basketball stadium for the Oakland Warriors next door to AT&T Park, where the Giants play.
Now, I’m not a sports fan, but I do worry about having two venues like this right next to each other. What will happen to traffic and property values? What about crime and annoying fans? Are there investment opportunities? When is it likely to happen? How long will construction take?
All meaty questions ripe for a great post by a local Realtor. And it probably has multiple installments.
See what I mean? You can reply to a question and make it relevant — all while serving your clients.
If ever there was an easy lay-up post, this is it. Congratulations posts are one of the nicest posts to write, because hopefully you’re genuinely excited about who you’re congratulating for their achievements.
Here’s the rub, though: you need to put your own perspective on their achievement. “Great job, Bob,” just doesn’t cut it. Say why what Bob did was awesome, and how what he’s doing benefits the community or your clients.
Most important, be generous. Name names, even if they’re your competitors. Heaping well-earned praise on others reflects nicely on you. So if you’re going to congratulate someone, go for it with your heart and soul.
This a variant of the congratulate post. When you wish someone well, do it from your heart and provide some perspective on the subject’s achievements. The trick is in choosing who to send off and why.
You can wish people well on a new job, new house, completing a project, winning an award or any number of life achievements. Recognizing contacts and clients in your sphere is always nice, but don’t forget people who you may not know directly, like political or sports figures. What’s important here is that the people you are wishing well having something to do with why you’re blogging or posting.
Sound off! Let me know what you think. Are there post types I’ve missed? What’s been the most successful type of post for you?