Online marketing can be a tough nut to crack, but if done right, its rewards on the profit side are undeniable. Through various digital advertising strategies, you can generate a lot of leads of varying qualities, which you can then follow up with your systems at the back end. Joining Paul David Thompson today is Josh Eberly, partner and COO at Conklin Media, a marketing firm that helps businesses increase their leads, sales, and profits through digital marketing. Josh explains the various options an online marketer can run to generate leads, such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, and Facebook ads. Combined with an efficient follow-up system at the back end, online marketing can help boost your sales and profits in a way you never thought could be possible.
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Online Marketing Essentials: SEO, PPC, And Facebook Advertising With Josh Eberly
I’m joined by Josh Eberly, who is a marketing expert in real estate investor. Josh, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Paul. I’ve been looking forward to the show and ready to talk marketing.
This is not one of those conversations about marketing, where we’re talking about the pie in the sky out there conversations. We’re going to get into what we’re doing because Josh is the guy that I’ve hired to do my pay-per-click. This is an actual conversation that you might be having with somebody you’re hiring or the things that you should be thinking about in your business to do this online marketing. Josh, share with our audience who you are and what you’re up to these days.
Thanks for the intro, Paul. I’m Josh Eberly. I am the COO of Conklin Media. I also am the Owner and Founder of 717HomeBuyers.com. We have a couple of other companies in the past up there in spirit. What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to grow my real estate investing business and that could be through anything from wholesaling to buy and hold and to private money. I’m also trying to grow our services on the marketing side.
Let’s talk about Conklin Media. What are they doing and what’s your role there?
I’m the COO, Chief Operating Officer. We are a mid-sized agency based in Lancaster, PA. We are focused on business growth. A lot of our clients are going to be in the $10 million to $50 million range, bigger companies that are looking for sustainable growth, across the board and we’re a full-service agency. We do everything from website design, development paid traffic and SEO. You name it in digital marketing, we do it. We’re very particular about who we partner with and who our clients are. That’s Conklin Media for you.
The reason I brought that up is that it reinforces your expertise in your experience in the field of digital marketing. Let’s talk about 717 Home Buyers. That’s your real estate investing business, is that right?
That’s correct. I started in real estate years ago and I was in the digital marketing field at the time and I was like, “I should marry the two and get smart about what I do.” I started working online with a simple website. Everyone has a care-it website and what not. I quickly started developing my marketing channels, doing some marketing deals, and getting some deal flow. We turned it from a hobby into a business that a lot of people want to do. I’m now the owner of that site. We also partner with other investors and their localized area to apply the marketing principles that we’ve learned. We spent a lot of money failing and figure things out. We now do that. We’re looking to grow our services and looking for partners in different areas as well.
You have a business of services to other real estate investors like me, for which I am one of your clients. I know what you do for me, but share with the audience that service and who you’re focusing on helping.
We are focused 100% on the real estate investor who wants to scale. We’re also focused strictly primarily on either the buy and hold or the wholesale investor. We’re looking for motivated sellers. That’s the biggest thing. What we provide is we provide PPC, normally Google Ads. We do Facebook Ads as well for some of our clients. We also provide SEO services for those investors. What we found is a lot of those investors want to focus on what they’re good at in their business which could be selling, the operations side or they love real estate and want to make money. A lot of them have a hard time with technology or understanding what to do online. We fill that gap where we come in, we have experience in the field, we have experience in the niche and industry, and we apply our knowledge and help to become a part of your team almost seamlessly.
Your service is relatively small solopreneur or growing real estate investors who are looking to find motivated sellers. You help people like me find motivated sellers online, which I’ve done a lot of marketing and I’ve experimented with a lot of things. I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at everything except for the online stuff. I’m a technical guy. I’m an engineer by trade but there is a lot to figuring out SEO somewhat, but pay-per-click. I don’t even know about Facebook Ads. I like to go through each one of those. For those on the call who may not know exactly what these things are when we say SEO and pay-per-click and we’ll talk about the role of each one of those. Let’s start with SEO. What is it and why is that important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The simplest way to put it is if you go to Google, Bing or Yahoo back in the day and you type in any words into the search bar, the results that come up are what we call search engine results. You will see at the top, it will be some of the results, and they’re a little bolder and next to them, it would be what we call PPC. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll notice that there are about ten results in order. Those are what we call organic listings. SEO is simply the practice of trying to optimize your organic listings and trying to rank higher in Google, so that you get free traffic to your website.
This is an algorithm for which Google or the equivalent bots are out there scraping the internet for all these keywords that people type in. When you type in, “Sell my house fast, Lancaster,” then Google’s already indexed to the internet based on that. They rank a given website based on this not entirely fully understood the algorithm by us, but we can influence that algorithm by sprinkling our website with that same content. Is that a fair assessment?
That’s a fair assessment. As you mentioned, nobody knows Google’s algorithms. If anyone claims that, do not hire that person. There are 60-plus ranking factors. If you talk to your Google account rep because when you sign up for an account, they offer a free call in which you spend more money. Even those guys, they have no idea what all the ranking factors are. There are 60-plus out there. There are things we know that can affect and do move the needle for you. We like to focus on those first. Google is sending out what I call spiders.
They’re sending out these little spiders throughout the internet and as people are making websites and publishing pages and you’re putting content out there, Google is crawling them and these little spiders are telling Google what that page is about. Google is collecting all that information and then it has this ranking algorithm and says, “Paul’s site over here is about real estate investing.” What makes Paul’s site more relevant than Josh’s site about real estate investing or there has to be some ranking algorithm. That’s where you get deep into SEO and start to learn about all the things that can help you rank higher.
If you could rank the top 2 or 3, in your opinion, what are the things that people should focus on first when doing SEO?
The biggest things with SEO that you should focus on and a lot of it is simple. Title tags are what your pages are titled. If you type in a keyword into Google and your site comes up, you’ll notice that what you titled the page is the result that you see there. That’s important. The second thing is verifying your site in the Search Console. A lot of people think there’s some tactic they need to do first but if you verify your site in the Search Console, Google tells you a lot of things you need to fix. That’s a big one there.
The third one is building quality links and/or getting mentions from other websites to yours. Back in early 2000, people were selling these link farms. There are all these ways to manipulate the search engine rankings and Google put a squash on that. They kept up with it over the years but if you notice the big sites and what builds authority now is getting quality links in content mentions on authoritative sites. If you can get on bigger sites, if you can get on a podcast, you get other places and they linked to you, they’re passing their authority back to you.
[bctt tweet=”Digital marketing is all about building authority.” via=”no”]
It’s the same as if you went up on stage with Robert Kiyosaki’s like, “Paul is the best guy in Little Rock, Arkansas.” Everyone’s going to come to talk to you. Imagine if you were on Business Insider or Forbes or something and they’re like, “The best real estate investor in Little Rock is Paul. Everyone on the internet is going to think that you are the best person.” It’s about building authority. A lot of people mistake that number three, which is building authority. They mistake that and they don’t focus on that but it is a game-changer.
This is what was referred to as backlinks. You have other websites linked to your website, not that you’re linking out. It’s uni-directional, not bi-directional in these links. For example, if we have an investment website in CNBC links to our website, it gives us a lot of credibility and authority. That’s the idea behind it. As you mentioned from a real estate investor who’s trying to develop a relationship, who would be the right places that we should be trying to get people to link to our website?
The first one is simple and it’s free. It’s local business directories. A lot of people forget about these because they think they’re spammy or they’re free to get on so there must have been to be valued. Local business directories are one of the easiest ways to start getting ranked in your area. I have a list of over 100 and I’m happy to share those. You can go on, sign up for free, get a free link back to your website. That starts getting you indexed. It gets your business name there.
Is this the equivalent of a local version of a Yelp for businesses like the Chamber of Commerce and these kinds of things?
Alignable, Chamber of Commerce and FreeBusinessDirectory.com, those types of things on those sites do have a lot of domain ranked. They are linking out to a ton of places but there is some value there. Especially if you’re in a market where a lot of your competitors haven’t done link building or they don’t have high domain ranking websites, it can get you ranked on the first page very quickly.
I’ve experimented with this strategy of going in front of a house that I’ve helped and I take a quick vlog type video that is less than two minutes, “This is a house, this seller had some problems. I came in here and helped it.” It was a video and I upload that to my YouTube channel then you put the appropriate tags in your YouTube channel and then embed that into your website. From what I understand, Google prioritizes videos, especially ones from YouTube over everywhere else. Is that still a viable strategy?
Yes, it’s still a viable strategy. I would say it’s not as authoritative as getting a physical text link back to your website from a site. It is good because Google is going to see and measure a very important metrics like time on page is important. If you think about it nobody is going to read for ten minutes on a website. Some people do and on average, if you’re in the real estate game between 2 to 3 minutes, someone’s going to understand what you do, how you do it and then what to do next. Video on there will keep them on the page longer and more engaged. With the video too, they’ll watch the video and then read some of the text. Video is helping a lot of other ways than a link from YouTube back to people on the page which is one of the ranking factors for SEO.
The priorities you said, the third one was link-building. What was the second one?
Verifying your site in Google Search Console.
The first one was?
I believe we said on SEO, the title tags.
A big takeaway from here on SEO, these are things you could do for yourself. That’s all doable but there’s a couple of things there that you mentioned that I haven’t done. That’s SEO and that’s probably something in a lot of cases you can pull off yourself. There are services like Carrot and LeadPropeller that do a good job of making it easy for you to get a website up. There’s a service fee associated with it but they make it easy to get a website up and build that credibility if you can drive people to that website. Let’s talk about those pay-per-click ads, which I’m glad that I have you helping me because I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve tried to learn it. I’ve tried to get into Google’s AdWords and it’s quite daunting. First of all, how important is it and how would you suggest somebody start if they want to do it yourself at first?
I’ll split these into two, the important part, and then start. I know from my marketing background and where we work out a lot of research and development that if you’re running paid media and you’re bidding on keywords that you want to rank for organically, Google favors you in the organic rankings. You can look this up. It’s very interesting. I’ve seen this time and time again where we have a big client comes in, they have a big PPC budget, they’re spending a lot of money and then they decide to shift a little bit away from those keywords and the organic rankings fall. There is some correlation there.
This is the business mindset that I have for it. If I want to know how to make money in my business, the fastest way in real estate to me in marketing especially if you’re starting, is to run PPC ads. Here’s why. If I’m going to go after We Buy Houses Little Rock or We Buy Houses Lancaster organically, I want to know what keywords make me money. It’s one thing to rank for keywords and get traffic to your website. It’s another thing to get traffic and make sales and money. PPC provides me that research and that this on the front end of knowing, what keywords are driving sales for me. That when I go invest time on SEO and I go and do these other activities, I know where to invest my time on SEO. I’m not wasting money or resources or time later down the road on SEO, which takes much. You’re looking at much longer periods.
PPC is very important to me in that aspect. It sets the groundwork and the foundation of, “If I am a business, where do I need to spend my money and time trying to write organically and building this thing up over a period of time?” Secondly, as I said earlier, it’s on user psychology. The people who are typing into Google, “Sell a house fast or we buy homes,” or anything of that nature, they are looking, for the most part, to move and take action decisively. They’re at the bottom of the funnel and marketing. We always talk about marketing. I always say there are three parts of the funnel. There’s the top of the funnel, which is like, “I’m generally interested.” In the middle of the funnel where, “I may have seen something and I’m exploring my options.” There’s a bottom of funnel which is, “I want to buy right now.”
When somebody types in sell house for cash, they’re in a bad situation life-wise and they’re at the bottom of the funnel so they’re ready to take action. They want to sell their house, they want to get out of that situation, and they want to get rid of their problems. PPC allows you to be at the top in Google by paying to be there at any time. That’s why it’s important to me because one, to get the research, understand what makes my business money. Two, I can supersede all of my competitors by being at the top.
Those leads before they do. From a real estate investment standpoint, I don’t know, Paul, if you have any metrics on your guys’ side, but most people when they fill a lead format for us, at least here in Lancaster, they won’t go and fill other lead forms out. They’ll talk to us first as long as our follow up is good. It’s strange but it’s about 60% to 70% of them only talk to us first and then they go look at other options. If I can get first in order in Google and get that lead in first, I have a much greater success rate than waiting on than scroll down the page on Google and click on my ad.
Let’s dive into that a little more because that’s huge what you said. You set the stage here. This is having a Google ad words account and you’ve selected a certain set of keywords that you want to pay for. You have an ad that is up there, so when people type in, “We Buy Houses Lancaster,” or some variation of that, there’s a whole science and figuring out which one is the most commonly used in your area. You rank for the top 5 or 10 of those, and you show up in the ad there that’s delivered. When somebody clicks on it, you bid to pay, “I’ll pay so much per click,” and that changes per market, per lead or AdWord, etc. Competitive markets that are high are like Dallas or Nashville or something like that, those numbers are much higher than they would be in Little Rock or Tulsa or Lancaster.
[bctt tweet=”It’s one thing to rank for keywords and get traffic to your website, and another to get traffic and actually make money. ” via=”no”]
You have a budget and you can say, “I’ll spend $100 a day or $500 a month.” You get to set that up and there are a whole art and science to doing that, which is what you offer services is figuring out how to maximize your budget. That set aside and you explained that very well. In my experience, Josh would agree with this, when someone clicks on that and you get a lead into your website that says it came from pay-per-click, those are the easiest leads to convert and often the most profitable. You have filtered someone down to that time when they are ready to sell much more than when you go, work hard, do a bunch of letters, and all this stuff. The cost of that is it costs more to get that lead. Your cost per lead tends to be higher for pay-per-click. I don’t know your numbers but it depends on the market. You might get 5 or 10 of those leads per month, but they tend to be very good high-converting leads.
I’ll speak to that a little bit. We run numbers and I track the keywords when a lead comes through. I know locally for us, we’re in the 1:7 to 1:8 range on closing on leads. We’re in a decently priced market. We’re not in the highest-priced markets but we are paying a substantial amount per lead. What I do know though from my business and the real estate mind kicks in here is if I put $1 in, how much money am I going to make on the backside? I always think of my real estate business as if I have to spend some money to make a lot of money but I know what the metrics are. I’m going to do that day-in and day-out. Those are the metrics that we as a company help you track as a real estate investment. A lot of investors start out and they’re like, “I’m going to try AdWords.”
They throw a lot of keywords in there, they spend a lot of money, nothing comes in, they don’t know what to do with the lead or how to talk to the lead. A lot of people give up. The same is true of any paid media or even online leads in general. People give up because they’re not able to close or they don’t have the correct training or mentorship to be able to close those deals. That’s where we come in on our end where we partner with people to create those systems for them. We even talk to them on the backside like, “When the lead comes in, are you guys following it up? Are you guys doing these things? How are you talking to the lead?” That’s the value of what we bring to the market.
It makes no sense to spend $1,000 to as high as $8,000 as what you were saying per lead to not follow up and call that person who spent the effort to find you on their website. You spend all this time and effort to get them there, you wait 3 or 4 days or 1.5 weeks to call somebody and they sold it. They’re desperate and they went through all the effort to get there and you weren’t responsive. My take on it is if you’re brand new, you don’t have a lot of experience, and you’re still learning how to close deals, pay-per-click is not where you start. Pay-per-click is in the hierarchy of leads.
Once you’re good at closing, you know how to get these leads, how to take them down and how to monetize them. You’re thinking, “How can I put in $1,000 to get $5,000 out?” You have the ability to measure it. Once you can measure it, you can triple your money based on your ads, depending on your market. I’m throwing a number out. You can potentially triple your money, put $10,000 in, and get $30,000 out. You put $10,000 in marketing in and three months later you might have three deals that you’ve closed and made $10,000 a pop. These are not extreme numbers or examples. That’s a viable number.
I always tell the story of our first deal. This is always a fun one. I’ll pause before I jump into that, Paul. Learn how to close first and then jump into these things. The number one mistake I see a lot of people in real estate investing is that they have all the fancy methods. They pay for all the courses, they do all this stuff, but they don’t know how to close deals. It’s like you’re running the race, 99% to the finish line and you don’t cross the finish line. You have to figure out how to close deals. How do you talk to sellers? Are you the person to close deals? Maybe you’re not great at communicating with sellers, it’s somebody else on the team, or you find a partner, whatever. You got to start to close some deals, get your feet wet a little bit, and then start into marketing. It’ll be a lot easier.
To speak to your point there, money in and money out. Our first deal, we turned on the ads and we spent some money. It was about $100 and we got a lead in quick. I was amazed because the lead that came in, ready to go wanting to sell their house, it was like everything you dreamed of. We bought the property and we’ve turned around and listed it the next day. We ended up netting about $28,000 on that transaction. I put $100 in and create $28,000. That doesn’t happen every single month. The idea is that if you can measure it effectively and get your conversion rates down, know when a lead comes in, what’s our closing ratio, and what’s our costs, you can build a machine. That machine can start to work for you and create a business that is free for you to work outside of it instead of working inside of it.
You turn on the marketing machine, you step out and you become the business owner. I would say that’s the phase of life that I’m developing myself. I’m not there yet. I’m trying to raise myself away from being in the business to have a business that I work on. I have people in the business working for me doing certain things. One of the things that I’ve done is instead of trying to work in the marketing, I now have outsourced the marketing, the online stuff to Josh. I’ve business partnered internally with Cody and he’s the marketing guy internally and you guys handle our marketing and I look back for reports. As a business owner, what are the key performance indicators? What are the numbers? I’m thinking about it for a CEO would.
As a random example, I put in $1,000, I paid the invoices, I have all the things, where are the numbers and where are the results that I’ve gotten back? I’m still working on how to have those numbers dialed in perfectly so that I know which marketing avenue and marketing channel is the most effective. What I have seen with pay-per-click, the quality of the lead beats practically everything else out there. I’ve yet to find anything that when you get the right lead, that lead is ready to layover. It’s like, “Take my house, I’ll give it to you.” That is what’s so fantastic about that angle once you get to the stage of your business where you’re ready for it. That’s not where you start so depending on where you are in your stage, know that this is out there.
I’ll tell you real honestly. Josh has seen my attempts and he was very polite about it, but I bungled the whole thing. I tried it. I was throwing spaghetti against the wall and none of it stuck. I was like I can’t figure this out. I’m going to do the stuff I do know. I threw my hands up and then I met Josh. I said, “I’m willing to try again but I’m not going to be the guy doing it. I need you to do it for me. I want to see those metrics so that I know my money being spent is giving me some return on the backend.” It’s not a one-week return, it’s several month processes because you have to set it up, establish your credibility and they start getting the leads trick clamp. Is that a fair way of putting it?
It’s a fairway. To your point earlier about costs, a lot of people when they start, the big mistake I’ll see too when people start is they’ll only go after broad keywords or they’re only going after keywords that are associated per se with the wholesaling or the real estate market in general. They’re only going after, “We Buy Houses.” There’s a lot of gold in the long tail, which are the keywords that people aren’t thinking about such as, “How do I sell my house as-is near water?” or something of that nature where it’s not a traditional search. That’s where we come in and shine and we try to help people because we have a keyword list. It’s like 800 to 900 keywords at this point. We have a negative keyword list that a lot of people understand and they get in AdWords like, “I can put a negatives keywords to not bid for.”
You’re going to get a lot of those when you start up into this game. The other thing too is there’s a thing called quality score. If you’re not in AdWords and you’re not in this industry, you probably don’t know what that is. If you go on AdWords and you throw in a bunch of keywords and you have your ads running, Google rates the relevancy of the search with the ad and with your landing page on a scale of 1 to 10. The closer you are to ten, the more relevant it is. Google decreases the bids for those keywords. That’s a good way of keeping your costs low. A lot of people who do it themselves, they end up having bad keyword scores because they call them all together. You’re paying sometimes twice as much as somebody that has an optimized account. Dollar goes a lot farther if you optimize the account and look at the intent of the searches and matches the keywords.
We’re going to move on to Facebook Ads, which a lot of the same concepts apply and that there are certain nuances. Both for pay-per-click and for Facebook Ads is these are not for the faint of heart. You have to put some money up and you got to do your research, take the courses, hire the people, whatever it takes. You’re going to spend some money, whether it’s your time to invest in a course or you hiring somebody else to do it for you to understand the nuances and it changes. It’s not just one thing that you figure out and you’re done. That’s what’s true with marketing in general. This is not a set it and forget it philosophy. You’re constantly testing the market. That’s pay-per-click, now let’s do the Facebook Ads, which I have not done yet for real estate investing. I’ve done it for doing webinars for my course which I had moderate success with but I was very confused the whole time. For real estate investors, you have done some of this. What’s your take on that? Where does this rank in the priority and how well does it convert?
What I will say with Facebook Ads is you better be ready to follow up. The quality of the lead that you’re going to get from a Facebook Ad is a lot of times less qualified than a PPC ad or someone found your brand equity over a referral. A lot of investors run Facebook Ads or who have been doing Facebook Ads understand it’s a numbers game. You need to generate a lot of leads and you need to have an automated follow-up system to make this work very effectively for your business. The first place to start that a lot of people start out is remarketing.
As you mentioned earlier, Paul, remarketing is somebody who visits your website. They don’t fill a form out or they don’t call you or whatever your conversion is and they leave. On Facebook, you have the opportunity to show them an ad to try to incentivize them to come back to your Facebook or take an action. The first place to start a lot of times in your real estate business is setting up a Facebook pixel and then getting an ad for people who come and who are interested in your website but aren’t ready to take action right now and you can show them ads.
One of my favorite things to do on a remarketing ad is to even say, “We have a cash offer for your house. Click over here.” You want to incentivize people knowing that they came to your site and whatever they saw there, it wasn’t enough to convince them to put their information in. On the backside, if you knew that they visited a specific page on your website like how it works page, have a PDF guide, how you guys work with sellers to sell their house, and they don’t have to clean their house out, all that stuff. You want to give them relevant material based on the actions on the website. That’s remarketing.
On the front end, more of a cold marketing side, I have run a lot of ads for investors in different markets. It works differently as I said in PPC and every market. The important part here is to speak to someone looking to sell their house for cash would be coming from. You want to be empathetic. You don’t want to come off too strong. You want to this to your businesses, you want to enlist all the benefits, no commissions, no fees, close fast, things of that nature, right on the ad and you want to picture in their mind or that use of either a house that they would associate with selling.
If you live in a middle-class neighborhood or market and that’s what you buy, you put that in the ad. If you buy distressed properties, you put that in the ad. You want to give them an idea about what house do you buy or you want to create video assets to show on the ads where it’s your face, you’re building credibility and trustworthiness with the ad. Once you have those, you want to run the ad, you want to get your audience targeting down which you can select I believe in Facebook to a special audience. You have to select certain qualifications, but you can select people from a variety of different targeting choices.
[bctt tweet=”Learn how to close deals first, and then you can jump into all those fancy marketing methods.” via=”no”]
There are 50 now that they broke it out into a special category. I look for people who are looking to buy or sell even buyer type deals. You put that up there with your targeting set up. What you want to do is you either want to drive into your website to get a conversion on an ad or you can do what’s called a lead format on Facebook. A lead format on Facebook is simply they click on the ad, a little form pops up on Facebook and ask them for their name, email or phone number, whatever it is. They never have to leave the site. They fill that in. It can be auto-filled by their Facebook profile and that information goes right over to you. There’s a way of advertising on Facebook natively to get seller leads versus making them go to your website. What they found is that on Facebook, if you do the native forms, they’re going to be low quality but they’re going to be cheap. If you drive them to your website, they’re going to be much higher quality, but they’re going to be expensive. That’s a catch-22 between the two.
That was a whole lot to process. I don’t even know all of that myself. One thing I want to clarify, we’re talking about ads in the pay-per-click, all of these are little digital footprint ads. They’re text-based ads that you see based on a search. When you’re talking about a Facebook ad, what I think of it is a true ad. You sit down, you think about. “What is the frame of mind of the person who is on Facebook at any given time and how can I present to them some asset that is going to speak to their state of mind?”
Facebook’s ability to parse that out is incredible. It takes some experience to figure out how to do that. I have not gotten there yet. I have tried and it is something to take on. It is not something you go into lightly. So far, I have not yet gotten to the place where I want to go to Facebook Ads. Speak to that as to somebody like me, somebody who’s actively doing deals, we’re doing pay-per-click, we’re starting to get results with pay-per-click, when does it make sense? Does it make sense to go to the Facebook Ad direction?
It makes sense to go to the Facebook Ad direction when you want to have enough traffic on your site to get the remarketing campaign going. A lot of people will not have enough traffic especially if you’re starting off. You’re going to have a couple of visitors a day. It’s not going to be enough to drive the results you want. It makes sense when you have the backend build up enough operationally in the follow-up. That’s the important part with any of these paid advertising programs. The paid side is one part of it, the actual follow-up is the other side. If you cannot follow up or your team can’t follow up right away and you have a system in place, make sure you get that in place before you even start on the paid ad.
You’re pouring money down to drain. What you are saying there is somebody who can respond to that lead, they can pick up the phone and call them within an hour if not faster. You want to respond to a pay-per-click lead quickly or a pay-per-click ad. You want to be able to respond and if they don’t buy or sell either their property to you within those three days that you put them into a CRM, Customer Relationship Management System in the backend that has a virtual assistant or an outside salesperson who knows who has triggered actions to follow up until they do get a sale.
If you don’t have that in place, spending a lot of money on pay-per-click has spent a lot of money especially on Facebook Ads, it doesn’t make sense. From the Facebook Ad direction, you can get a lot of leads quickly that you can work on. Whereas with pay-per-click, they tend to trickle in but they tend to be very high quality. It’s a trade-off and I’m not at the place yet in a business where I’m ready to put the money into the marketing, create the assets and have the system at the backend at scale to respond to 50 leads a week maybe. Is that unreasonable?
That’s not unreasonable. This works well for real estate agents. I have friends in the industry, it’s less than $2 a lead in real estate. You can get a lot of leads very quickly. The lead quality is not going to be amazing. As we said, if you don’t have some in the backend, it doesn’t matter. We have a great rule at our company, it’s five minutes or less. If the lead comes in, the phone doesn’t get picked up, they’re getting called in five minutes or less, and they’re getting more than five minutes or less. We measure that as a KPI in our company. An important thing for real estate investors to be reminded of is this classic saying it’s, “Hire slow and fire fast.”
Be careful who you bring on your team. You want to have trusted people on your team, but if people aren’t able to motivate themselves and take care of the responsibilities in the backside, you as the business owner are on a lot of risk especially if you’re paying for those leads. When we have partners come on board, I always question them and say, “How’s your backend? What’s your lead follow-up system?” To me, I’m looking at the relationship more as we both succeed. We both make more money whereas we could do a great job of generating leads and my partner comes to me in a month and says, “This is working out, Josh. See you later because their backend is not in place.”
We’ve covered the three big topics we planned. Are there any ideas or questions that I should have asked but didn’t that you want to make sure people hear about advertising and what you do in your business?
I would say another free tip to a lot of people to overlook is Google My Business. Make sure you set that up and make sure you get the postcard in the mail. You have to type the code in, but that will help you a lot with localized search and also give you a little presence online. A lot of business owners forget to do that or they’re not sure but it’s free. You don’t need the guys who are going to call you and ask them, tell you they worked for Yahoo, Google and Yelp all at the same time. You can set that up yourself. It’s an easy process. It takes ten minutes.
I was guilty of that. I was talking to Josh and he was auditing my stuff and he said, “Have you done this thing like automate and confirm your business?” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Here, I’m going to show you.” Within a couple of days, a postcard came to my PO Box or my mailing address, I was able to confirm my business address and now, I show up as a legitimate place. When people look for me, they can natively see where my mailing address is. I look much more legitimate when people are searching for the internet, I’ve been confirmed. That’s a big take away, do that if you haven’t already. Josh, we have touched on this topic. There are entire courses out there. There are entire huge things to go into and it’s important if you’re running this business in order to get leads consistently. If audience are interested in learning more about what you do, what you offer, where can audiences find you?
I cannot express how helpful he has been to our business. I fully endorse him. He is the marker that we use. He is who we’ve also recommended to several people who are happy. To learn more about what I’m doing, what Josh is doing and in the online community that I’m building, we’re doing things like virtual meetups and live Q&As. I’ve been a guest on one of what Josh did, Josh had been the one that I’ve done. If you want to hear more about those things, text the word, Investor, to 33777. On behalf of me and Josh, thank you for sharing this time with me as you lead a life completely of your own design.
- Josh Eberly
- Conklin Media
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About Josh Eberly
Experienced Full-Stack Marketer with strengths in executing high-end digital campaigns to grow businesses. Has worked with over 1,000 websites to increase yield, drive revenue, and launch marketing campaigns.
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