Time to fire up the spotlight and shine it on My Top 10 Web Resources for 2011. I am grateful for all of the impact that each of these resources have made on PhoenixDesertRidge.com & the way I approach business and I am excited to see how my relationship with all of them will evolve in the coming year. The internet changed it all for me and it was plain to see that getting educated about how to leverage the web to my advantage would be paramount to my production for years to come. So I began researching and discovered that there is change in the air. At first whiff I thought I surely I'm being set up for a scam, but I was wrong. Why did I think this?
Each of these businesses have a common thread; all of them have free content floating around on the web. "Free" always makes me suspicious. And I just couldn't figure out why companies were just giving it away. Finally, I took the leap of faith and began reaching out to these companies and owners to see if this was going to lead to some sort of trap where they sit you down for one of those 2 hour seminars and try to sell me something. What I discovered was that these business people were dedicated to the give first attitude and it was paying off. I interacted and experienced how an unselfish attitude opened the door to my trust which in some cases led to my deciding to purchase from some of these mentioned vendors.
These are My Top 10 Web Resources for Business from 2011:
- Practical Social Media University : Steve MacDonald (founder) provides excellent training for biz owners that allows them to learn social media, web applications like WordPress, Yelp, etc at their own pace. Steve and Practical Social Media University have a fabulous and ever growing library of material that is available to students for a very low monthly fee. I told Steve that Practical Social Media would not be properly named without "University" as part of the name because of thee vast amount of content available to those who get their education there. Thanks for everything Steve!
- Connect Interactive is headed up by Norma Maxwell. I first met Norma about two years ago before she moved away from Arizona :<( and I couldn't help but be impressed and humbled by her willingness to meet with me to discuss business on the web. Norma and her team are proficient in online strategy, marketing, design, and business development. Norma introduced me to Steve MacDonald and Steve taught me a-lot about social media so that I could gain a quick understanding of the basics of social media which are critical for me today. Thanks Norma!
- BYOB Website: Rick Anderson is amazing! Rick is an architect turned web-guru who teaches people how to use Thesis to build their own websites. Rick has over 700 training videos that take you by the hand and make using WordPress a snap. My new website (still a work in progress) PhoenixDesertRidge.com is a direct result of what I learned from Rick Anderson. Building your own website is not unrealistic; it can be done, and it can be rewarding. It is not for the faint of heart though, so if you love the freedoms afforded by WordPress, but want someone else to develop the site talk to Norma at Connect Interactive and she will wow you with the results!
- Success Learning Institute and Scot Kenkel are my new found real estate learning resource. I found Scot a few weeks ago while surfing the web and am still gleaning from all of the ab-fab content that he makes available for free. Scot teaches how to be productive as a real estate agent by using some familiar low tech tools that many have pushed to the way-side. I am currently reading Scot's 225 page eBook: How to List & Sell FSBO's. I will certainly sign up for some of his paid training soon.
- HubSpot: This is one power-punch of a company! Hubspot cranks out more free material than you would think possible. Seems like every week I am receiving something from HubSpot. One of my favorite's has to be the webgrader: a website that will grade your website and make key recommendations for improvement. Cost? Free! Try it with your website: WebSiteGrader. Follow HubSpot on twitter.
- Timely: I learned about Timely from Laura Roeder (more on Laura later). Anyhow, Timely is a tool that allows a twitter user to pre-write & schedule tweets to go out according to your calander. You can instruct the tool to send out your tweets 3, 5, or 9 times a day (maybe more). What's cool about that is that it frees you up to focus on other things and still remain engaged on twitter even if you aren't able to be Johnny-on-the-spot each and every hour. I still interact at will from my smartphone when I want to share something with my followers, but Timely helps me stay in the game even when I'm not.
- Yelp: Oh man Yelp is way way cool! Steve MacDonald showed me how to use Yelp as my very own personal review site. I can send my Yelp url out to clients and ask them to write a review for me. I store up the reviews and share them with my prospects. Yelp is kind of like a modern day online storage drawer where we can keep our referal comments. I love it!
- CoppyBlogger: I love, love, love Copyblogger. Brian Clarke is the brainiac behind the big curtain at Coppyblogger. He has taught me tons about blogging and I have never given him a dime. Oh, wait I take that back I have paid him for his ScribeSEO service that will comb through a blogpost and grade it for web optimization. I no longer use Scribe because it taught me how to predict what Google likes because I used it so often. Still, it kept me honest and I may someday go back to it. I currently receive all kinds of valuable blog instruction from Brian and it has made blogging less of a chore and given life to my real estate blog posts. Thanks BC!
- Active Rain: Began blogging onn Active Rain a couple of years ago and learned all about what makes a post rise or fall on Google. Long tail key words and the power of a platform like AR. Google views every writer as one, so all the boats rise as the tide rises. If you write a blog post on Active Rain Google considers it to be one of your very own millions of posts because each author is viewed as Active Rain rather than an individual url like a WordPress site is. Was that confusing?
- Laura Roeder: This chick is pretty darned cool if you ask me! She is another one who is constantly giving and producing content. Twitter is her big thing, and other social media sites are all weaved into her teachings. If you want to learn twitter from the master follow Laura on twitter.
That's about it for My Top 10 Web Resources for Business from 2011. Thanks to all 10 of you for the hard work that you and your staff members pour into your business. Go into 2012 with a smile and know that your generosity is not going unnoticed. Your give first attitude is contagious and appreciated.