The Right Way To Use Facebook
Some call it a sickness; I call it a success trait. I find myself constantly taking notes, writing down good ideas: in the car, at a party, pumpkin patch or, in this case, at the movies.
I recently found a piece of scratch-paper, buried on my desk, from months back when my wife Melanie and I went to see the blockbuster hit ‘Social Media’. It was a good movie - but, the best part was the extraction of these four business and marketing strategies I’m going share with you here.
1. Opportunity gap exploitation.
2. Niche marketing and subcultures.
3. Strategically obtaining cache clients and using peer pressure to defeat enemies.
4. System for repeated and predictable success.
This is a brilliant formula, here’s what it looks like in action:
Most agents use Facebook in entirely the wrong way. The power is in their ‘model.’ One you should copy.
In 2005, shortly after the launch of Facebook, MySpace had a registered 100,000+ million users compared to Facebook’s only 8 million users – so how in the… did MySpace let the Facebook over take it as the dominant player in social media? More important, what does this have to do with real estate and your income? ANSWER: A lot.
At the 2009 WEB 2.0 Summit, Facebook’s first president and former Napster cofounder, Sean Parker, spoke of how, at the time, the college demographics were the only demographics of the population not currently using MySpace. Thus, by exploiting the college market, an underserved market with little to no competition (opportunity gap exploitation) they established a beachhead among college students, requiring an .edu email address for user registration.
Through exclusivity, Facebook quickly built fan loyalty. But, here’s the brilliant part. Facebook did not immediately hit every college campus, instead only select niche populations, starting with Ivy League powerhouses, of course, Harvard first. Within the Harvard community, it then strategically went after sub-culture populations i.e. “the cool kids” where by recruiting them; others would naturally want to be a part of Facebook, spurring viral growth.
Once Facebook owned Harvard, it moved swiftly to other elite schools: Berkley, Cornell, Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth, employing the same strategy. Stanford, Baylor and Columbia, however, Facebook considered these the “enemy schools” since these schools already had established social networks. So rather than directly waging war against those established networks, Facebook used peer pressure.
By capturing a number of other elite schools whose social networks were densely-connected to the enemy schools, their student bodies, the remaining holdout schools (Stanford and Columbia) eventually fell to Facebook. Baylor not as connected to the Ivy leagues, required Facebook to wage war by setting up networks in geographically neighboring schools (Southwestern, UTA, Texas A&M) and in a matter of months, the holdout (Baylor) crumbled under the weight of their friend connections with students at neighboring schools – Facebook won. From there, they secured beachheads internationally, employing the same strategies at Oxford, Cambridge, and other European powerhouses. The outcome was the same, Facebook dominating the college market, serving as their foundation of growth.
Now, here’s the question? – do you see how this formula is perfect for real estate?
Facebook Strategy #1: Opportunity gap exploitation: One of the biggest mistakes I repeatedly see agents make is failure to think like an entrepreneur. They get into real estate, instead, for very childish reasons, as example“…because I want to." This is the fastest way to fail in business. The marketplace doesn’t care what you want. They only care what they want. So without an “opportunity gap” to step into, a gap in the marketplace that is not currently being served, you start at a huge disadvantage, where – to exist – you must wage war against bigger, more well-established competitors (ie. MySpace, Mega-agents) at a beachhead they already control, with resources, at a fraction of theirs. Outcome: you lose. One of the biggest complaints / reasons / excuses I hear from agents as to why they’re not currently achieving the income goals they’ve set for themselves is (a) limited budget keeps them from competing with mega agents, and (b) difficulty generating high quality leads. Guess what? Thinking like an entrepreneur, exploiting opportunity gaps solves both these problems; puts you in a place with no competition, servicing a population who sees you as the only game in town – just as college students did Facebook.
One way to arrive at an “opportunity gap” is to, like Facebook, take essentially the same product as their competitor (ie. MySpace) and niche it – target and cater exclusively to a specific somebody eg. the college market, requiring an .edu email for registration. The challenge in real estate, where virtually all agents, fundamentally, do the exact same thing (list and show homes) is differentiation. A quick flip through any real estate publication reveals just how identical agents look to prospects – picture, slogan, logo, page of listings – all the same. One way to differentiate yourself, as Facebook did, and as I did in my own real estate business to achieve a 2,100% increase in year-to-year income, is to create a Niche Only Program™ – you the founder and CEO – exclusively catering to a single population. It has long been known, in order to multiply your income, you’re best advised to increase your value to clients in multiple ways. Offering a Niche Only Program™ is one pathway to accomplish this task. Like Facebook did with college students, you’re able to quickly establish a beachhead in your selected niche.
Facebook Strategy #2: Niche Marketing / Subcultures: Write this down: “If you can’t make money without money, you can’t make money with money!” One of the biggest success myths of all time is, “it takes money to make money” – wrong. Having money only makes making money easier. Having no money, requires a smarter, more intelligent, more strategic approach. This is why 80+% of agents fail, because they don’t do any of this. Facebook was started with only $1,000 of capital. Thus, without “resources” – Facebook was required to be much more “resourceful,” strategic and deliberate in their growth strategy: Starting with niche college markets and subcultures; Ivy League schools and the “cook kids” within those niches. There’s absolutely no point in jumping up and down in an ocean and thinking you’ve done something. You want to jump up and down in a puddle, where every dollar of “resources”, time, effort and energy spent can make maximum impact. This is how you achieve Facebook-type growth; you shrink the size of your niche market from many colleges, to a few elite Ivy League colleges, to a few elite fraternities within that college. When resources are limited, selection is key. Only by knowing the “fish” you want to catch first, before you go fishing, can you make sure to use the right “bait” i.e. marketing message – spending money only on marketing and advertising that guarantees to put your “bait” in front of the right “fish”: mailing lists, niche publications, etc., etc., most likely to bite. As my dad once told me, “Son, you can’t catch a Salmon with a bobber and worm!”
Facebook Strategy #3: Cache Client / Peer Pressure: This is the “head of the snake” strategy. Not all prospects in a niche are created equal. Not all Harvard students have the same power, within every niche population or subculture, there is a Power Player. Knowing there were eight Final Clubs at Harvard, ‘The Phoenix’ being one of them, to which Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, belonged, they targeted this group first, knowing, once ‘The Phoenix’ was on board the other seven would follow suit – then, soon after – the entire student body. On the national scale, Facebook did this by targeting elite Ivy League Schools, rather than Joseph and Marry Community College, knowing once they controlled two, three or four of the elite schools, starting with Harvard – the “head of the snake” – others would quickly follow. So one way to get max leverage from available resources is to target “Power Players” within the niche you identify and select – thus by visibility – puts pressure (directly or indirectly) on the “followers” to use your services too. It wasn’t long after Facebook established beachheads in the elite schools, that smaller colleges and less prestigious state schools were seeking out Facebook, requesting Facebook to establish a network at their school as well. A profitable exercise is to make a list of the “cool kids” and “power players” in your niche – whereby securing one or two such cache clients, you will, through strategic visibility of these “power players” using your services, attract viral growth.
Facebook Strategy #4: Systemized Attack: Steps #1 - #3 above, once established effective; the ‘system’ was repeated internationally to establish beachheads in European powerhouses: Oxford, Cambridge, etc., then expanding, knowing in advance, the results. ‘System’ is one of my favorite words, because, by definition, a system produces consistent, predictable, reliable results. This means going to bed knowing, not wishing, hoping or praying – but knowing – within a small window of certainty what the results will be in advance. Having a growth ‘system’ allowed Facebook to launch multiple attacks in multiple countries simultaneously, without worrying about expenditure of resources, knowing the outcome of the ‘system’ in advance – knowing every dollar of “resources” was being maximized. This is the most powerful secret to achieve Facebook-type growth; you build a marketing ‘system’ capable of producing consistent, predictable, reliable results, then, repeat steps #1… #2… #3… as often as possible, on simultaneous fronts, knowing within a small window of certainty what the results will be.
There you have it: A brilliant and proven 'model' to build an empire. Adapted to real estate: 1) Identify an opportunity gap, a currently underserved niche market. 2) Build a Niche Only Program catering exclusively to that niche clientele (just as Facebook did with college students) as a means to increase value and create a sense of “fraternity” 3) Secure the Power Players within the selected niche, whereby having such cache-clients, and others seeing they are your clients, you attract viral growth 4) Move the ‘system’, repeating steps #1… #2… #3… from one niche to the next, knowing, within a small window of certainty, the results in advance, thanks to a powerful ‘System’.
For a more detailed discussion on the Niche Only ProgramTM concept, you’re welcome to a complimentary copy of the 28-page report I recently created: www.AgentControlMethodReport.com
I hope you enjoyed this article, thanks for reading.
It’s been said Ryan Fletcher “doesn’t look like much” – but clients who’ve earned millions as direct result of his work, know better than to underestimate him. After 47 straight rejections from medical school, Fletcher took to real estate. Frustrated by only selling two homes his first year, he pioneered a new approach to client attraction and creating exceptional value for specific clients, leading an amazing 2100% increase in his year to year income – from $8,846.32 first year commissions, to $182,972 his second year – working a fraction of the hours with all clients coming to him, required to complete an application just to secure a phone appointment. Free Report gives details: www.AgentControlMethodReport.com plus, provides a copy of the exact ad Ryan paid over $10,000 to create.
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