3 Lessons from My Business that Could Change Yours
“All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” - Bob Burg
Community Service = A Powerful Networking Tool
If you are in business for yourself and are still in the startup or solo-preneurial phase, you may find that time is something you do not have to waste. So you choose your commitments very carefully, and, may find that you have to sacrifice important moments to your family and friends in order to accomplish your business objectives. With that being said, many of us opt to pause giving time to volunteer service. But I have found that my volunteer service has brought me the biggest business, go figure!
In light of Burg’s quote above, however, it makes sense. I volunteer within organizations that are directly related to my industry so as I am wrapping Christmas gifts, I literally may be rubbing elbows with the CEO of a major firm who is doing the same. The volunteer opportunity allows me to meet and get to know some of my industry’s players and vice versa. My genuine heart of service and good deeds also help to position me as a trustworthy person that these business leaders get to know and like.
Now, do not misunderstand me, the purpose of volunteering should not be to “rub elbows” with the rich, famous, elite and well-connected of your industry! However, if that becomes one of the byproducts, so be it. And it seems, more often than not, that is the exact result because many of us like to align ourselves with others that can sacrificially give back as that speaks volumes about your character, work ethic, and business acumen.
Generating your own content saves you marketing dollars
I learned this lesson almost a decade ago and it still holds true year after year. When I started out as a REALTOR® and property manager during “The Great Recession” it was too costly to spend money on traditional marketing avenues like commercials, billboards, newspaper ads, and the like. Instead, I tried pouring out all my heart and soul, everything I had learned growing up in a family of real estate investors into blogging and social media posting. People told me that when they read my posts, they connected with me so they got to “know, like and trust” me through my musings. The results was that I was able to thrive and start developing a team in the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. Then, I was promoted to managing 3 RE/MAX offices simultaneously all from the little blog I started.
Fast forward almost a decade and now I have started a new business as a consultant to real estate professionals, due to all that I have learned as a real estate agent and managing broker. In just the span of a year, I have been featured in international publications like the Huffington Post and have clients in different states and on various continents, again all because of the original content I have posted. I really believe that I could have spent $100k on advertising and not seen such a hefty return in my first year of being a solo consultant.
So for all of you that have given up on posting your own content to simply just reshare what others are doing, I want to encourage you to give it another try because you may be missing business opportunities that will look to you for your original ideas.
Prayer changes things
We all know how important being at the right place is at the right time. That is easy to say but how on earth can we ever make sure that happens?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
All the good that has happened and all the doors of opportunity that have opened for me have been by God’s hand. As cute as I thought my housing blog was back in 2008, if God did not give me favor then no one would have cared what I wrote. Likewise, I could volunteer until my fingers were raw but unless God moved on the hearts of those present, I would have been unmemorable. So prayer is my qualification to the two points above because:
“Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1 NIV
These have been my learning lessons and I hope they provide encouragement to you as you progress in your business. I would love to hear from you! Give me a shout by following me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor. And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Here's to your success!