Business advice from Daniel Elliott:
- What's your unique selling proposition? As is evident in our Big Canoe real estate blog, we love the community where we sell real estate. We have intimate knowledge of the community and our passion shows through in our blogging and the way we serve our real estate clients.
- When & why did you start your current business? We started IBA Mountain Homes in August 2005. Selling real estate in the North Georgia mountains, and more specifically Big Canoe, is a great way to make a living. We have no commute and get to enjoy the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains.
- What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? Using the internet to advertise. Originally, our internet advertising campaign was completely PPC driven. Since we've started blogging, our natural rankings have soared, and we no longer have to rely on PPC.
- What person has had the most impact on the success of your business? My wife Karin. How could there possibly be any other correct answer? :)
- What do you like most about internet marketing? I think the best part of internet marketing is the freedom to engage our blog visitors in a friendly and conversational way. Writing about our mountain community here in Big Canoe isn't a sales pitch to buy real estate. It's an honest testimonial to what a great community Big Canoe is.
- If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? We started our real estate blog in December of 2007 for our Big Canoe homes for sale site. We wrote blog after blog, and we often wondered if anyone was reading a single word. Nobody ever commented on our blogs which was discouraging. Nobody ever contacted us regarding our blog. Sometimes, I felt a little like the village idiot of North Georgia talking to myself and writing notes that nobody would ever read. Then things started to change. Even if nobody was reading, we were creating a larger footprint / presence on the web. In late February, the New York Times contacted us to be included in a tiny article in their travel section. They would not have found us if it wasn't for our blog. This resulted in several leads for us. In April, we started to have the occasional visitor leave a comment. In May and June, the comments increased more, and ALL the leads we have received in the past 2 months have resulted from our blog articles. We also have found that often our leads come from blog articles that aren't specifically discussing real estate. These people felt they made a connection with us for another reason. Recently, we had our community paper contact us (and link back!) about a local event we had blogged about. So while some people may think I am still the village idiot, at least I know that they are reading what I write. :) Simply put, my advice is to be persistent and try not to get discouraged. Blogging will produce quality leads.