OMG.....each and every paragraph is worthy of a separate blog. My only fear is that it will be missed by many because there is so much good stuff crammed into one post...just like our incredible time together....so much important stuff crammed into a few hours. You are an amazing wonderful friend with unlimited kindness, sharing and boundless energy.
...And you have a PHD in this Type E personality thing!
Via C Tann-Starr (TannStarr.com TannStarr.ws REMAX People Realty)
When social media divas take time out of their busy schedules to share several of their business secrets one should never squander the rare moment that is the gift of shared time. Trendsetters, movers and shakers are fascinating people. You never know what nuggets of wisdom you're going to receive from them. On the flip side, you may find yourself in the position to help them out on a project when you least expect it simply because they need something that you do. You may not know how important your past life's work is, or a hobby you love, until you actually share a bit of yourself with another person.
In the blogosphere, just like in mathematics, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Start with little pieces that you feel comfortable with. As your relationships grow, the rest will follow. What you decide to do or share is completely up to you.
Whether a relationship, vendor or consumer, everyone is always looking for something that they need. Being present is half the battle. Sharing something of yourself another part. Letting people know who you are and what you do and what you want is how the dialog gets started. Your likes and dislikes will attract and repel people towards and away from you. What you do with your talents, attitudes and resources create your moments of opportunity. Each window of opportunity will determine what doors open and close regarding your future. Your interpersonal communication skills do not have to be perfect, they just have to be put to good use so you do not miss your moment when it arrives.
Social media is about being social. Most people want to like who they are spending time and doing business with. It doesn't matter if they find you on AR, Twitter, Facebook, Trulia, LinkedIn... What matters is that you pick your platform and run with your virtual ball. You have to create a court to play in. The more you write, the more readers comment, the more you evolve, the more people come back to read you and continue the conversations. They watch how you respond to others with your comments and they make decisions about whether they want to associate with someone who thinks and reacts like you do. You have to brand your blog. You have to brand your projects. You have to brand you...
You can not divorce your brand from you and your art. Writing is an art form where you get to express yourself in many variables or nuances of persuasion. Every time you debate a point you are trying to influence someone. If you don't believe that then get out while you can. Social media requires a skill set based upon information packaged to engage the readers' imagination so they can picture what it is that you see, feel and hear and take a virtual journey with you to a targeted destination. It doesn't matter if you are chatting between Mafia Wars or Sorority, writing in the comment sections, direct messaging or tweeting your comments. What matters is that you are engaged in a dialog, period.
Original content is the key. You will be known by your body of work so arguing one platform is better or worse than another is a moot point. Search engine optimization is also a moot point if you have nothing to say. Micro-blogging is still blogging so don't think your twitter conversations are not being indexed and compiled. Something as simple as sharing a link can say a lot about you...
If you do decide to say something, know your audience. If you try to please everyone you will actually please less people. Be honest with your voice. People will respect you more in the end if you are consistent. I always say I am not here for everyone, but I can be here for someone. Social media has enabled a lot of people to be there for me. If you write about what interests you, you will always have something to share and you will meet people who like and dislike what you do. Sometimes you can create a niche for yourself without realizing your body of work has inadvertently brought you there because you constantly talk about certain subjects. In social media, perception is reality, so if you do not pay attention to, or fail to manage your digital identity, you may find yourself going down roads you never intended to travel. The road less traveled may or may not be a good thing... It depends upon your intent. What do you intend when you write for someone else to read? Are you trying to learn something? Are you trying to share what you have learned? Are you trying to open a door to the next level or gain something intangible to enhance your life?
Savvy media branding is the name of the game and if you do not embrace social media you are doing your firm and personal projects a huge disservice because social media can open doors. Social media introduced me to Margaret Rome and a host of other stellar writers like Elizabeth Weintraub, Chris Elizabeth Griffith, Andrew J Lenza, Paul Slaybaugh, Gary Woltal, Laraine Shape, Lenn Harley, Broker Bryant, TLW, Poppy Dinsey, Richard Weisser, Sheldon Neal, Paddy Pizappi, Susan Mangigian, Jason Crouch, Jeremy Blanton, Jesse Clifton and Josef Katz.
There is only one Mandycap. Melodious rocks. I can not imagine life without Amanda Hall and Melody Botting somewhere in there. The ActiveRain Group Club Chaos has over 600 active members that are all connected by six degrees of separation. There are no strangers in our virtual family. That's a lot of bay-bays converting to brick and mortar friendships who are LinkedIn, Facebooked up, Tweet-peeps and addicted to the Rain. We travel to hang out and have a beer, raise money for cancer, blog for causes, talk about Autism and PDD-NOS while joking about staplers and restraining orders. We laugh and we cry together. We drop F-bombs and atta-boys. We are journalists writing in an international forum who in a blink of an eye become jesters blogging about handcuffs, spandex and virtual par-tays. We are a bunch of licensed professionals who do our own laundry, wash our own toilets between negotiating million dollar transactions and $500 dollar rentals. Sometimes we make movies. Sometimes we write books. Sometimes we appear on national television. Sometimes we go bankrupt. Sometimes we remember our fallen heroes and friends. Sometimes a newspaper or magazine will link back to us and if we are really blessed we'll get a request for an interview. The one thing that we all have in common is we are real people who embrace social media and are not afraid to use it. We write from the heart and people listen because there is a quirky sense of truth to what we have to say, even when others don't agree with the premise that started the post. Social media brings comments to the table. The dialog is what's valuable. Don't ever underestimate your readers. Readers can open doors just as fast as your friends do...
Social media can be the ultimate end game if you only have thirty seconds to make a first brick and mortar impression. You may think you have more time, but truth is, you don't. Smart people tend to make up their mind fairly quickly. Can it be changed? Of course a mind can, but what if you never get another opportunity to meet with the person again? If someone is important to you, you should say what needs to be said while you have them before you each opportunity you get. If you always act as if this meeting may be the last time you'll find the conversations will be rich, diverse, animated and ultimately more meaningful to both sides of the table. You may even discover that the other person is really looking forward to spending some more time with you because they have no idea where the next conversation will take them. People look forward to networking with people who engage their creativity and make them feel that anything is possible if we work together.
Networking only works if you are sincere. People can tell if you really want to be there and if you read their blog. Bullcrap will only get you so far. Fans are fans for a reason. Never lie and say you are a fan of someone you do not read. You will be found out by something as simple as not knowing the name of their spouse, kids or their dog, especially if they always talk about them. I am a huge fan of Margaret Rome's blog and highly recommend her book. We clicked with our very first conversation, I also have her on speed dial so the series of invitations I recently received and the opportunity to spend some quality time with a very talented Realtor turned author was a tremendous treat.
My favorite two M Rome conversations of the day, in sum and substance:
 You have to believe in your product. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that what you bring to the table has value and you have to know its okay to walk away if people do not want to associate with you or you discover the target audience is not what you believed it to be. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and keep on trucking when people do not value you or your time. However, if you do find that gem of a relationship, cultivate and respect it. Treasure it. Savor it. Guard and protect it. Third party introductions are priceless but if you can't get one, then the only one who can open or close a door to forge a new personal and/or business relationship is you. "Hindsight is when you wake up one day and realize it was this unassuming relationship that changed your life and career choices for the best that was yet to come."
 One of the beautiful things about the ActiveRain Real Estate Network is the relationships forged between writers who become friends. "When people write honestly, you learn a lot about them and have an opportunity to decide at what level you would like to interact with a person. Sometimes, when you follow a person's blog, you discover you know more about your favorite writer than you do about some of your own relatives..."
In my case with Margaret, I discovered that if you stick around long enough in a relationship you may wake up one day to discover that your friend is famous, you missed the transition and were clueless because you were too busy just hanging out and having fun. It's a very nice feeling, a wee bit shocking at times, yet has the added bonus of making you feel as if you can do anything you want because the only one stopping you from moving forward and doing well is you. Successful people who share insights often inspire others to strive towards success. When they are struggling with the little things in life too and make it plain that the hard work doesn't end because something good is happening at this moment, you may realize you can never afford sit back and rest upon your past works and momentary satisfaction. You have to keep moving forward towards the small goals that are important to you.
Life is precious, life is unpredictable so enjoy your life while you can. When you write you need to always remember that your words may live on long after you are gone. That includes your brilliant moments, your pithy remarks and your stupidity. :-)
What do you want to do with your life? You can change it today if you try. Start with something small and just go do it. Marget was waiting for someone else to write about Type E personalities. When the person she expected to write the book never got around to it, she decided she'd write about what she knew from her perspective. It turned out to be a very good read. I like being entertained when I read and I like it even better when the voice between the pages is so natural and casual that I'm surprised the book is over and I've completed 200 pages with ease. Margaret Rome has a way of connecting with people as a Realtor that overflows into the pages of her writing.
I think that is also my favorite part of ActiveRain. The platform and community members create the ability for the public and professionals to gain access to people they would otherwise find impossible to connect with.
I took 88 pictures while running amuck in Manhattan with Margaret. She loves books just as much as I do so we have a lot of eye candy from the BookExpo to sort through and eventually share with you. What was even more fun was getting to watch her do well in the publishing forum and realize she is such a genuinely sweet and humble person that fame didn't change her a single bit. It just made life a little more interesting when she travels on her book tour (LOL).
If not for ActiveRain and other social media platforms I would not know so many lovely people exist. I would not have made friends with some of them, much less have had the ability to carry on daily conversations with people from all over the globe. The cool thing is when we are not meeting in real life I still get to play with my friends from the comfort of my home. Two years ago I wouldn't have touched social media with a ten foot pole. Now look at me. I'm being read in 24 countries, relocating clients entering the United States and translating my e-mail through Babel Fish. Who knew? I certainly did not see that one coming (LOL). Are you making the most of your social media relationships? Wanna know how?
Make friends first. The business will follow. Social media is a tool, just like your telephone. Don't abuse it or take it for granted... Respect the community rules of the platforms you are on. There's so much you do not know about the people you are reading, you may want to think twice before you leave that nasty comment on a competitor's blog. They may be a lot more influential than you think... including the people who admire and follow them.
Publisher: The Silloway Press * Pub. Date: November 2008 * ISBN-13: 9780980205794 * 200pp
If you haven't read "Real Estate The Rome Way," you may want to float on over to The Silloway Press, Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles to get yourself a copy.
Elizabeth Weintraub (About.com) did a wonderful book review. I really enjoyed reading her perspective on Margaret's book so of course I have to link back to it especially since I went on-line and got my hands on two copies (pre-ordered and hot off the press). We have little minions, so we need back-ups of the important stuff (LOL). This is an interesting work because it talks about so many different aspects of Real Estate from a first person, Type E witness point of view. ;-)
Didn't you know? Margaret Rome is an industry authority with a compelling Type E personality (LOL). She was kind enough to autograph both of my copies, so if you have a chance to meet her at a book signing, please do. You will not be disappointed plus one does not have to be a real estate professional to read and enjoy this book. You just have to be someone interested in real estate. If you are a first time home-buyer or a seller about to place a home on the market this is definitely the book to explain the process to you. If you've been in the industry for 30 years, you should still check this title out. I bet she may be able to surprise you (LOL). There are a few sum and substance recaps regarding cases you may enjoy discovering. It's not a heavy read, but it's a good read, very direct and to the point. I have my paperbacks sitting on the bookshelf with my Trump University collection of titles. Not too many books get mixed in with the Trump mix. They have their own special little spot in my real estate heart (LOL).
Peg Silloway of Silloway Press has a LinkedIn page and was a Platinum Exhibitor at BookExpo America. I shall have to blog about our BookExpo jaunt at the Javit's Center as well. Can't waste 88 photographs (LOL). It was an honor and privilege to be a guest of Margaret's publisher at this event. We spent quite a bit of time brainstorming on my two books in progress and if not for blogging on ActiveRain none of this would have happened.
Here's a little eye candy from Norma's (located within the confines of the Meridien Hotel). The food is absolutely fabulous. Le Parker-Meridien, New York, is an awesome place for a fine dining experience, indeed. BTW, they actually have a $5,000 dish on the brick and mortar menu. Seriously!!! It's something Presidential and I can only imagine what kind of delightful foodie paradise yummies goes with that kind of spread... :-)
Margaret and Lee Rome at Norma's
I love atrium's lighting effects...
56 Le Rue, indeed... Lobby of Le Parker-Meridien
There's a lovely bit of eye candy everywhere you turn en-route to Norma's in the hotel...
Margaret is great to have on an eye candy hunt... We're going to meet at Norma's again. :-
Labels: Book Expo America, Carolyn Tann-Starr, New York, Norma's, Real Estate the Rome Way, social networking