Christy Murdock Edgar is a nationally-recognized real estate writer who creates content for some of the industry’s biggest names. She also consults on content marketing strategies for companies nationwide, and has a regular column for Inman News.
Today on Stay Paid, Christy offers tangible content marketing advice that you can use to grow brand awareness and increase sales.
- Create content about topics you have a passion for.
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
- You can get better results by focusing on one or two social platforms and seeing what works.
Q: Introduce yourself to our audience.
Before getting into real estate, I spent 15 years teaching English. The whole idea of coaching people in the writing process was really familiar from that.
I got into real estate with a friend and was doing that over the summer. From there, I started putting together the writing and the real estate.
Q: How does a new professional start with content marketing?
I always think of it as three big aspects. You have your core, which is your website (or wherever you house your content).
Then, you have whatever your big piece of content is that comes out on a consistent basis. It could be a blog or a video.
After that, you have whatever you’re doing to drive traffic to that content. It could be social media or an email list.
Those are really the three things you need. There are so many great platforms out there that cost nothing. Price is not a barrier—it’s the time you have to create.
Q: What level of consistency have you seen work?
I always say it’s whatever you can do and will do on a consistent basis. That’s more key, to me, than how many things you put out. Would I love for you to put out 12 pieces of content a month? Absolutely. But, if you can do 1 to 2 per month, that’s great.
This is also important for SEO. If you have Google crawling once because you post 12 things in a row, that’s not as good as posting things on a regular basis.
Q: What topics should real estate agents write about?
You write about what you’re passionate about. Everybody has a homebuyer’s guide or something about the financing process. I’m happy to write those for you if you pay me. But I’d rather you latch onto the thing that makes you great—the thing that makes you an expert.
Instead of writing tired evergreen posts, think about what you love. If you love the outdoors and want to share all the best hiking or fishing spots, do that. That’s a niche that you can create for yourself and an audience that you can appeal to.
I know a real estate agent who takes pole-dancing classes for fitness, and she has sold a lot of houses to a lot of pole-dancing enthusiasts. She got a lot of flack for it when she started, and her broker didn’t like it. But she just believed in her experience, and she’s got a lot of great people she works with who love her.
Q: Where else can agents get their content out there besides their blog or YouTube?
Medium is a really big site. You see some big names there, and it’s got a certain cachet right now. Another place I think is interesting is Quora. Go on Quora and answer people’s questions about the things that you’re interested in. People appreciate a really thoughtful, meaty answer.
There are also all kinds of communities on Reddit, and you can get to know people there.
Q: What are some tips you would give people to help them get found by people in their area?
Start with keyword analysis. Run an analysis of not only the ideal keywords that you think you want, but also your competitor’s keywords. Identify two or three other people in your market who are killing it, and see which keywords they’ve optimized for.
Q: What are the biggest obstacles for people who want to do content marketing?
Vulnerability is so key, and people are very afraid to be vulnerable. People don’t even like that word. Being open and sharing who you are feels risky, but you have to do it. To get that really authentic voice and that real heart connection with people you have to put yourself out there.
And people just won’t do it. They want to sound like this Don Draper/robot kind of person. But, if you think about that show, Don Draper didn’t really find his genius until he opened himself up to the universe. If you don’t get rid of this veneer, you’ll never get the response you want.
I will be 50 next week. I have written for years, and I never wanted to do video. I started making myself do video. I started hearing from long-time customers, and it connected us in ways that I just found incredible.
People don’t care what you look like or how wrinkled you are. They care about how you feel. My business went to a whole new level just by doing that.
Q: Is it a struggle to balance not offending people—or being unprofessional—with being vulnerable?
Some people will not like this answer: my thinking is that we are at kind of a paradigm shift where a lot of those old rules and ways of thinking are going out the window. This isn’t true for everybody, but it is for a significant part of the buying public.
I don’t think it makes sense to constrain yourself based on rules that are designed for people who are older—especially if you’re a young entrepreneur and you have something really authentic to say that is going to help a huge group of people.
My thinking is to go for it, be you, and find your tribe. Let the rest of the people go on and find somebody else who works for them. Find the people you connect with and serve them the best way you can.
I just did a big article on generations for Inman, going back to the Silent Generation. There’s this big break at my generation (Gen X) where people don’t trust advertising and aren’t offended by someone just putting it all out there.
I’m so tired of people being afraid of what they’re supposed to be doing because they don’t want to offend anyone.
Q: When you produce content, what do you find is the best way to distribute it?
It depends on what you’ve done and what you’ve built. I have some clients who do very little on social media, but they have massive email lists. For some people, it’s social media—it could be Facebook or Instagram.
I don’t think you have to be active on every platform. Pick one or two platforms and be really consistent with them. Don’t try to do all of them. Become the master of your platform. Do new things. Look at the people who are great in that space and emulate some of what they do. Find the thing that you get the most out of.
Create some landing pages, or some drip campaigns where people have to opt in. I actually just had a client who had a drip campaign where every single piece linked to a video or a blog post.
Q: Which routines have driven success for you?
I think of what my mother used to say, “I was too dumb to know what I couldn’t do.”
You can’t put limits on yourself. If you’re putting limits on yourself, they’re not real. If you want to do something, go do it. And, if you can’t do it today, figure out what you can do to make it happen.
- Write down what you’re passionate about. Then, take that topic and start producing content around it. Produce one piece of content per month.
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