If you’re a real estate investor and you want to get started in online marketing, you know there’s a lot to learn: Targeting, retargeting, custom audiences, ad sets, split tests and more.
It can be overwhelming, but you need to fix something else first.
If you really want to get leads and close deals through online marketing, you need to get into the right mindset.
In this episode, you learn how to set your mindset up for profitable online marketing.
Show highlights include:
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You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Adwords Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads in deals online. Outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: Alright, hello everybody, it's Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com, and welcome back to the REI Marketing Nerds Podcast. I hope all you wonderful people are having an awesome day today. I'm sipping some lovely black tea, which is very, very nice. Not coffee, that will come a little bit later today. For right now I'm enjoying that, and this episode is going to be really, really important one. It's one that's very, very close to my heart because this is going to address a really common issue that I see with real estate investors that are getting started with online marketing, and it's something that over and over I see really sabotage people. I mean, really prevent them from having success online, doing more deals online. It's a big deal. This is the issue of mindset. This online marketing mindset. That can sound a little abstract. Really want to mean by this is just how you think about the online marketing you're doing to find motivated sellers and how you think about how that process should go. This may not seem like a big deal, it is absolutely huge deal. The way I want to start is I want to think about how most investors are going to think about online marketing and where they go wrong, and then I'm going to dive into how to think about online marketing in such a way that's actually going to build in a permanent advantage for you, and is going to make everything that you do online from that point forward much, much easier.
So let's think about where we go wrong in the first place. There's a couple really common conceptions that investors have about online marketing, whether we're talking about organic, like SEO, ranking your website in Google, whether we're talking about pay per click, are you doing Google Ads or Facebook Ads, whatever it is. There's a couple major mindset errors that people make that really sabotage them long term. One is that they think of online marketing as a store. You think about, I want Gatorade. This show brought to you by Gatorade. No. That would be dope, I would definitely take a Gatorade sponsorship. Let's say I really want Gatorade, I definitely want it to be neon blue, so what am I going to do? I'm going to go to a grocery store. I'm going to go grocery store I'm going to walk in, I'm going to find the place where they have the neon blue Gatorade that I want, and I'm going to see a price. That price to give me whatever it is, $2. I'm going to take that Gatorade to the register, I'm going to pay the $2 that was on the sign and I'm going to get exactly what I wanted. I knew the price, I knew what I wanted, I got the Gatorade, everybody's happy. People kind of assume that that's how online marketing is going to work as well. I want motivated seller leads, I'm going to go to the place online that has a motivated seller leads, they're going to cost a certain price, I'm going to pay that price and I'm going to get a motivated seller. When in actuality it's much more complex that, it doesn't really work that way at all, it's much closer to something like stock investing than it is like going to a store, but we'll get into how it differs in a little bit. For now I just want you to think about people who think about this process as, they're just going to go in, pay the price and get the thing. Totally understandable because that's how most of the economy works, but not actually how the online marketing is going to work.
The next mindset that I want to think about is the checklist mindset, and this is really common, totally understandable because when you start to learn about online marketing as an investor there are a lot of guides, there are courses, there are checklists, there are best practices, and so people think of online marketing as something that has a checklist, something that's going to be kind of connect the dots. There are known ways to succeed, "To get motivated sellers I got to do step A, step B, step C. So if I do step A, step B, step C, I'm going to get the result that I expect. I did A, I did B, I did C, give me my motivated seller leads. I'm going to get the same result every time if I follow that process." There are things that are like that. Computer programming is like that. It's a lot more complex than this, but in general you go to the gym, you lift the weights, you get bigger, you get stronger, that's how it works. Online marketing is much more adaptive and evolutionary than that, so it's not always a case of following the checklist to get the same result every time. We will talk about how it differs again, but just think about we've got these two mindsets now. We've got the store mindset, we've got the checklist mindset. Okay?
And the third mindset the really sabotages people is the speed mindset. These are people who are basically thinking of online marketing like, "Look, I need results. I'm going to go in, I'm going to do it. Of I don't get the results I'm going to back out." Right? So they think it's going to be a pretty fast process, and if they don't see results right away, well they just say it doesn't work and they leave. This is, I would say, where this falls apart, is this lack of understanding of how complex systems and competitive systems work specifically, but if you went to the gym and you lifted weights once or you lifted weights even for a month, you wouldn't leave thinking like, "Well, I didn't become Arnold Schwarzenegger so I'm not going to lift weights anymore." We have an understanding with weight lifting that is going to be a gradual process. When we get online because everything is so fast, text messaging is fast, emailing is fast, be fast to set up, fast to get going, fast to spend money, we expect the whole process to be fast and it just doesn't end up working that way. So for all these people, whether you got this store mindset or you're going to walk in, pay the price and get what you want, whether you got the checklist minds that we're like, "Look, I should be able to do A, B, C and get the motivated seller leads that I need.", whether you think it's going to be you know you have this fast mindset we're going to walk in and get the deals and if you don't get deals right away you walk out, these mindsets are poison and they are costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. and that is not an exaggeration. I will get into valuing some of this stuff a little bit later in this episode, but keep this in mind, and I am being literal here. These mind sets cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your investing business. So figuring out your mindset, how to think about online marketing, how to think about how you're going to go through it, these are vitally important.
So how should we think about these things? What mindset should we have? So I'm going to give you a couple different ones, but I want to frame this whole conversation by saying that online marketing is much closer to dealing with a biological system than it is to dealing with computers, the way that typically is. It's much closer to body building or the stock market than it is to say I push one on my computer and I got a one back. Things are weird and they change and they evolve, it's kind of like dealing with some weird kind of alien organism where you got to figure it out, you don't know exactly what's going on and it's always different, it's changing and then it turns blue and then it eats your partner and then you're trapped in space and you've got trick it to go into the life thing and then you push the button and you shoot it off into space. The metaphor started to get off went off the rails but you get what I'm saying, it's a complicated.
Alright, so let's get into some of the more powerful, positive mindsets we can have. The first mindset I want you to take away from this is the give and take mindset. The give and take mindset. What I mean by this is that your online marketing process is a process of giving and taking information into and from the system. You can think of this as a relationship. You put information into the system, the system gives you information back, it creates a feedback loop that becomes the core of everything that you're doing. You do something, the system responds, you respond to the response. It's this constant ebb and flow, this give and take, and this process continues forever. You are never really done even. If you set up an online marketing campaign you crush and you do tons of deals and you make tons of money, until you retire it is not over, because what worked yesterday doesn't necessarily work tomorrow. What works today isn't necessarily going to work a week from now. You might have crushed it on My Space with your My Space marketing stuff, but hey if you're around today, you're not marketing on My Space. I don't know, by the time you listen to this maybe My Space made a huge comeback and My Space is the most popular social media platform. Who knows, but I'm guessing you're not doing a whole lot of My Space marketing. The rate of evolution online is so fast but you have to be open to continual adaptation and evolution. The only constant here is change. There is no set path, there is no checklist, there is no thing that works all the time. Instead what there is, is you being open to giving information into the system and taking information out. I'm going to give you a specific example, because that can sound kind of general, but I want to bring this down to the nitty gritty, something you can really use.
So let's take for example this scenario of you're an investor, you've been putting a lot of time in your website, you're blogging and you're making links and you put pictures up, you have video testimonials, everything's awesome, firing on all cylinders, and your website is ranking, you notice in your little dashboard on your website, website rank is going up. Your Google ranks are going up, you're getting higher and higher in the Google rankings, that's awesome, but you notice you're not getting much more traffic, you're not really getting a lot of clicks, there are more people coming your website, you're not getting more leads. Why not? "The rank is going up, why aren't I getting more leads?" It's actually really common issue. That's the information you're getting out of the system, "The rank is going up and I'm not getting more clicks, I'm taking information here. What do I do with that information? Well I'm going to think through this. People are seeing my website more often, it's showing up in Google, but they're not clicking. Why not?" Well there's a couple different reasons that might be. Maybe my site title is inaccurate or not interesting enough. I name you know my real estate investing site Dan Buys Cell Phones, that might be a catchy name but if people are looking to sell their house, they're not going to click on that name. Maybe my name is like ABC Real Estate Solutions or something, and it's just too general, it's not interesting enough. Do I have a description of my website that people can see in Google that entices them to click? Am I giving them enough to make them think that I can solve their problem? If my description of my website when they they see it in Google it just as "A real estate website", this will do nothing to get them interested enough to click on the website. Maybe if I said something like, "Hey, 100% local, I'm here to help you sell your house when no one else wants to buy it." Wow, okay, that's much more compelling. You think people are going to be more likely to click on that than they are and clicking on "This is a default WordPress website" or "My real estate website"? Yeah, absolutely. Maybe my rankings are going up but they're going up for keywords I don't actually want. Maybe I'm actually ranking really well for the word "realtor", but because I'm not a realtor, people aren't actually clicking. Maybe I'm ranking for all sorts of random stuff. Like I mentioned the video game Grand Theft Auto once on a website, and then my website is ranking really well for "sell my house in Grand Theft Auto", which by the way is a real keyword that shows up all the time. You get that little tidbit for free, go check your account see if you're showing up for Grand Theft Auto stuff, super annoying, see that all time. But hey, if I'm ranking for this it's going to show my rankings going up, but I'm not actually ranked for the stuff I want so my clicks aren't going up. So what do I do? Well okay, I can change my site title, I can change my website description, I can see which keywords I'm ranking for and change my strategy. This is the giving information into the system. I took the information and my rankings are going up, I'm not getting the clicks, I gave it back more information in terms of what I did to change things, and I'm going to wait, I'm going to get more information back. This is an evolutionary process of you engaging with the data that's coming out and then seeing what happens and then engaging again. This is the core of all effective online marketing. I'm telling you, there is no definitive thing that works everywhere. Okay? There is no checklist.
So let's talk about that, because again the question is well why isn't there a checklist. If you're a real estate investor, motivated seller leads, chances are your business, no matter how awesome you are, it's not universes away from the investor down the street. You guys are probably do in similar types of deals, similar types of deal structures, you've got similar types of marketing. So why does everything change so much? This all has to do with context. This by the way is the second mindset I want you to take away. The context mindset, being aware of context. Context changes everything. Different markets have different costs, and different seller behaviors have different search patterns, have different marketing channels that will work best and on and on and on. Not to mention that your market is even, even though your market is different from the market down the street and the market two states over, your market changes from month to month, from week to week, from day to day, from hour to hour. Your markets very different depending on when I decide to look at it. There's a call a classic saying, you can never step into the same stream twice, because it's always moving, it's always changing. Like your market might do a certain thing in March, and it's going to do a very different thing on December 25th. Your market is going to be very different, if I'm looking at motivated sellers and how they behave at 2 PM or 2 AM. We all agree, if you think about your own behavior, you're very different person at 2 PM than you are at 2 AM. I know I am. So markets vary wildly between each other, and then even within the market, they vary wildly from context to context, depending on when you look at it and what aspect of that market you're looking at. Something may crush in one market and fail miserably in another. You might do something that crushes in your market in January and then fails in February. So there is no one roadmap that is going to show you exactly what to do in every single situation, because the context is always different. There are best practices, there are things that give you the highest percentage chance of success, there are ways to structure your PPC accounts, there are ways to set up your website, there are ways to build links, there are ways to build content, there are ways to make ads. These are best practices that data has shown us over time, give us a good chance of success, but they don't guarantee success. You always need to learn to apply those best practices to your individual market, your individual context, your individual goals and your ability to close and your ability to talk to people. Maybe you're virtual, maybe you're local, maybe you don't go out to see people's homes, maybe you do. All these things make a huge difference. So we want to get away from the store mindset and into that mindset of the give and take. We want to move away from the checklist mindset and get into a mindset of the context is what matters and I have to figure out the context and adapt to it.
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Dan: The next mindset we really want to get into is the mindset of experimentation and getting better every day. This really addresses the person who's thinking of this as a fast process, and I'm going to liken this to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Last year I started taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons, and I love it now. It's so fun. If you know familiar, it's a kind of wrestling essentially, you're wrestling you're on the ground, you're trying to go for chokes and arm locks and all this really cool stuff, super fun, it's an amazing workout, I highly recommend. But when I got there and I started, I was terrible. Just terrible, just the worst. I mean, worse than most people at start. Not a natural wrestler, not a natural athlete, not naturally competitive. None of this is lining up for me. If I had just gone for the first week and thought, "Well look, I haven't been able to use anything I'm learning in this class, Jiu-Jitsu doesn't work, I'm not going to go anymore." then I would quit and that would have been the end of it. But I kept going and I kept going and I kept learning and I got a little bit better and a little bit better and I would experiment with this technique over here and experiment with this technique over there, learn from this person, learn from that person, and now almost a year and a half later, I am slightly less terrible than I was when I started. But I had the experimentation mindset. I had this mindset of "I am getting better every day. I'm going into class to try stuff, to see what works, to learn from experience and get better every day because what's at the end of this process is worth it." This is the only way to find what works for you, this is exactly the same in online marketing. You are not going to start where you're going to finish. You're going to start way worse, and you've got to experiment yourself to success. Now we test everything in our online marketing. I'm testing stuff basically all day every day, whether it's our ads that we're running, the keywords that we're running, our bid strategies, the positions that we run our ads on, the landing pages that we, the forms that we're using, even down to the color of the buttons that we're having people click. We test every single element of that because, hey, I'm actually wrong a lot of the time. My intuition about what should work is very often wrong and it's going to be exactly the same for you. So we have to experiment to figure out where success is hiding, is just part of the process. Something I talk about a lot is I come from a web design background, I did web design before I got an online marketing, and it pains me to say this, but ugly websites for real estate investors often outperform pretty websites by a lot. In fact after I've done this for so long and been through this process a lot of time, one of my rules of thumb is the better looking the website is the worse it's going to do. That's not always true, but it's true a lot of the time. So how can you figure out if that's true for you? You've got to experiment, you've got to try it out.
Now I think most people get that. I think most people get that kind of basic concept of you gotta try things, you got to test. One of the traps that we all fall into is that we view an experiment that doesn't achieve our goal as being a failure. Let's say I'm testing two different websites, a pretty website an ugly website, and I think the ugly website's going to win, and neither of them do particularly better than the other, I'm like, "That's a failure." But you have to reframe that, because failure in experimentation is necessary. Failure is the only way you learn and grow. Someone told me this, I can't remember who gave me this quote, but I thought this was amazing, it said, "Success is a terrible teacher." I actually think this was from the REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group. "Success is a terrible teacher", that is so true. If you just do what you think is going to work and it works, you don't learn anything new. You do not grow, you do not advance. Success is awesome, but you are not growing. It's failure that teaches you. It's failure that causes you to grow. There is a famous Thomas Edison quote, and this is one of those quotes where, I don't know, maybe he never said it. Maybe he never said this at all, but I love this quote, and this quote is from Thomas Edison, he's talking about trying to invent the filament that's inside the light bulb. Thomas Edison didn't invent the light bulb, what he did was he made it economically viable by creating this filament that would make this a much more economical process to make these, manufactured these light bulbs. He worked on this for a long time. The quote is "I've not failed 700 times. I haven't failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways of making this light bulb will not work. When I have a limited the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work." And this is really how I want you to think about this process. You run an ad that you're really sure about, you think is going to be awesome and it bombs, it is not a failure. What it is is an education that is going to show you the way to what will work. Not meeting with success shows us the way forth, that's the way it's always been. It's incredibly important if you're getting into this online marking space, because most real estate investors get discouraged early, and they give up. They give up, which is really terrible, because they are not understanding the value of what they're going after, and how difficult it should be to get that valuable thing.
So just to review real quick, I've got one more piece of this that we're going to get into, but I want to come back to this issue of mindsets. We set up these three months in the beginning. One is the store mindset. I'm going to walk in the store, pay a price and get the thing I expect. The mindset I want to take away about online marketing instead is this idea of give and take. This continuous evolutionary process of learning and growing and then having to work your way around problems. The second mindset is the mindset of the checklist. There should be a list of things I have to do, if I do those things I get the leads that I want. When in reality there is no checklist, and the mindset you should have is the mindset of context awareness. Understanding the context changes everything, every market changes, every market's different, things are constantly moving and so we have to adapt to that context and evolve along with it. And then finally the mindset of this should be fast. I'm going to get in there, see if it works and then get out if it doesn't. And remember that instead what we have to have is an experimentation process. This experimentation mindset, this understanding that failure pushes us forward, and that the thing we're working for is valuable enough to justify the effort. Alright? Now if I'm going to say that, if I'm saying the value at the end is worth it, how do we value this whole process? Because I know what I'm telling you right here is basically this is going to be difficult. So how do we know it's worth it? How do I know if I'm going to Jiu-Jitsu class every week and get my butt kicked, which by the way I am. Hopefully I'm still doing this podcast in like ten years and I can look back of this episode and be like, "Now I'm a black belt and I'm amazing." But I'll tell you right now, it's tough right.
So how do I know the end of that process is going to be worth it? Let's talk about valuing our online marketing. What is all my marketing worth? What is all this effort and experimentation and mindset stuff, what is it worth to me as an investor? I'm going to walk you through a basic thought process, these are based on real national numbers, pulled these out of some of our client accounts today basically.. Let's say you're targeting a single keyword in your market that generates about 1000 searches a month, so we're doing something like "sell my house", "sell my house fast", whatever it is. Okay. We're generating about 1000, this keyword generates 1000 searches a month. Now if we rank our website, top spot in Google for that keyword, we're ranked really, well we did a bunch of work, we did a bunch of SEO work, worked on the blog, whatever we did, we got the top spot for that key word. That's probably going to generate around seven and a half leads a month. That's not that much, right? Seven and a half leads. Now over time we're generally going to need about 20 of these leads to close a deal. That's based on our clients. Your close rate might be a little better, might be a little worse, but it's generally around their. So you're generally going to need 20 of these leads to generate a deal, so that means we've got this key we're generating seven and a half leads a month, that means this key word is going to generate for us, this one key word, about one deal every two point six months, that's about...I have this as being four and a half deals a year. Okay. Close to five deals a year. Let's assume that that's true. We're generating about four and a half deals a year. Again, we're not setting the world on fire, but this is one keyword in a broad channel. Now if our average deal value, meaning what we take home from one of these deals is about $10,000, that means in that one key word is worth on average about $45,000 to your business over the next year. Four and a half deals times $10,000, $45,000 in profit from a single keyword. Over the next five years that one keyword is going to be worth $225,000. One keyword, 1000 searches a month, seven and a half leads for one deal every 2.6 months, about four and a half deals a year. $45,000 a year from a single keyword. By the way I'm not skewing these numbers, these are real world numbers. Let me give you kind of a hypothetical example. If I took out a TV commercial in your market and I just got on there, just like some James Bond villain kind of stuff, but let's say I'm doing this. I get on the TV commercial and I announce to everyone in your market that I have hidden $45,000 somewhere on main street in your town and that the first person who finds that money gets to keep it. So it's the same amount of money, $45,000, same amount of money we generated over a year from this key word. I just hid this somewhere in your town. Could be anywhere, it's on main street though, first person to find it gets to keep it, and there are no rules. Okay? Now what do you expect would happen? How much competition is there going to be? How hard do you think people are going to fight to find that money? Do you think somebody might get in a fist fight? Do you think somebody's going to have a sword? I think the likelihood of someone having a sword is probably fairly high. We're in a pretty competitive situation, I think we all expect that, I think we all expect some kind of like purge or Battle Royale time situation where there's a lot of competition for this $45,000, so why do we expect there to be so much competition for the $45,000, but we expect there not to be that much competition for the online keywords that we're targeting that are going to generate that same amount of money every single year? If there's something that generates that much money do you expect it to be difficult to attain? I know I do. It's difficult to pick stocks they give you a return of even a couple percent. Now am I saying this is impossible? No, of course not. We generate deals every single day for our clients, real estate investors all over the world, all over the country are doing this every single day, so it's not impossible. In fact it's relatively simple, but it isn't easy, and it's not going to be fast. This is just the reality, because if you think about what the value is, one key we're generating $225,000 over a five year period. Well you can have hundreds of those if you really work at it. So this is something that is intensely valuable, would change the entire structure of your business. And of course it's going to be hard, just like it's hard to get my black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, just like it's hard to get a body look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Just like it would be hard to take your homemade flame thrower go up here and find that $45,000 that I shoved in the mailbox at 123 Main Street in Middletown, Connecticut. Please don't do that, that was a joke, but you get what I'm saying.
So even though it's technical, even though it's complicated, even though there's all this computer stuff, in the end your success here is really going to be about your mindset and what you expect, because if you get in there and you expect to fight and you expect to do the work and you expect to grind and you expect to give it the time and the effort an the investment than in needs, you're going to do that because you know the value at the end of that process is worth it. If you get into it thinking it's going to be easy and it's going to be fast, you're going to get frustrated really quickly and you're going to back out of that competition, and I'm telling you, this is why people leave so much money on the table. They get frustrated and they give up. So I want to be able to take what we talked about in this podcast, apply this to how you think about your online marketing, and I want you to go out there and make a ton of money, because it is out there, you just need to be able to have the right mindset in order to pursue it.
Thanks guys, hope you got a lot of value out of this episode. Couple things, first of all, show notes for this episode, I'm about resources and all this cool stuff, you can get that AdWordsNerds.com/podcast, that's AdWordsNerds.com/podcast, it'll have certain link and stuff for this episode. The other thing, check us out, we got a free Facebook group, it's called The REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group, you go on Facebook, type in REI Marketing Nerds, you'll find it, totally free to join, or you can go to AdWordsNerds.com/group, that's AdWordsNerds.com/group, that will take you straight to the Facebook group, and I would love to see you there, I'm in there every week doing free trainings, we do live hangouts, we do questions and answers, lot of really awesome investors and they're sharing information, sharing success stories, sharing their strategies, sharing their data. It's really a really awesome community. So come and join us and I'll see you in the next episode, be sure to give me a like or subscribe if you dig this podcast, and I will talk to you very soon. Alright guys, cheers, bye.
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