When buyer’s agent Julie Crockett came to Hoole wanting help promoting her Buyer’s Agent Courses, we were happy to share our own success with marketing funnels for training courses.
Having established one of the first property-buying businesses in Sydney over a decade earlier, Julie recognised that as demand for buyer’s agents rose, there was a need for more buyer’s agents, and the best people to transition into the role were existing property professionals.
Raising the buyer’s agent bar
Rather than being threatened by the increase in competition, Julie embraced the change and put her hand up to support others to build their own buyer’s agent business. Julie is actively encouraging sales agents and property managers to switch careers to the buying side of the property transaction and is excited to show them the ropes.
Buyer’s agents, in general, are a proud bunch and wish to protect the reputation of their sector as a whole. Julie, along with other existing buyer’s agents, are keen to attract high-calibre agents into the industry and maintain a high service standard.
Having spent the first half of her career as a teacher, Julie has both the business acumen and teaching experience to give newbie buyer’s agents all the tools, templates and training they need to get themselves up and running.
Calling in the course marketing experts
Julie has successfully built a Buyers’ Agency that not only sources properties but runs training courses for property investors to educate them on the home buying process. This extension to her property investor services has been another feather to her bow.
When I first met with Julie, she shared that she’d been finding it hard to get traction with courses for real estate professionals. She knew Hoole specialised in the property industry and regularly ran training courses for industry professionals on real estate marketing, so engaged our services to help her get her first buyer’s agent course off the ground.
Becoming a buyers’ agent is a significant career change, and training is a big investment. We knew that each person who came across her course might need a bit of time to get to know Julie and her expertise before taking the plunge. With this in mind, our approach was to focus on getting Julie’s personal brand better known within the real estate industry by offering free advice and information ahead of selling her course.
The Hoole strategy
Our overall goal with this first campaign was to create awareness of Julie Crockett ahead of sharing details about her Buyer’s Agent Course, boost her online visibility, and drive sales.
1. Brand refresh
First, we refreshed Julie’s existing branding by refining and polishing her logo, visual identity and messaging, giving her a fresh set of enhanced brand assets to use across all her marketing moving forward.
2. Digital makeover
We set up or updated all of her personal profiles, i.e. the places where you can discover ‘Julie Crocket’ online. This included social media profiles and pages on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. She also established a Google Business Profile in her name, ensuring that the name Julie Crockett remained a common denominator between all the services she offers.
3. Brand photoshoot
To help lift her personal branding, we organised a photoshoot for Julie and guided her on places and people to feature in her photos to help tell her story and show her in action as a buyer’s agent. She now uses these photos across all her marketing to reinforce her personal brand.
4. Marketing messages
We developed a fresh set of marketing messages that focused on the biggest pain points and most attractive benefits that agents looking to switch property careers would empathise with. We wanted to ensure that we didn’t overwhelm prospects with too much information, so we planned out distinct messages that would act as breadcrumbs, bringing the right people through Julie’s marketing funnel.
5. Video series
Next, we created a series of four videos that showcased Julie introducing herself and sharing her back story, showing excitement around the increased demand for property buyers, the opportunity for agents to switch careers into home buying, and finally, her Buyers Agent Course.
The videos, as a key component of her marketing funnel, were embedded into website pages, social media advertising campaigns and email communications. Julie’s videos offer potential course participants a taste of Julie, her communication style and some details as to what they can expect to learn on her course.
6. Landing pages
We transitioned all the marketing messaging from Julie’s Buyer’s Agent Courses website to a funnel-style landing page so that we could create a more streamlined user experience without distraction. Julie can now guide prospects through the course information, ending with that all-important call to action to talk to Julie ahead of signing up.
7. Email marketing
Additionally, we wrote a series of emails as part of her marketing program, drip-feeding information out to close to 3,000 real estate industry professionals over an eight-week period.
8. Marketing campaign
Once all of the above was in place, we were finally ready to run an eight-week marketing campaign for Julie that introduced her as an expert, the opportunity for property professionals to switch to a fresh and lucrative career, and generate participants for the first training course.
9. Monitoring results
Throughout the campaign, at the end of each week, the Hoole team shared details of the number of people that had been reached by the marketing campaign, how many had clicked to watch or read more, and how many had submitted a request to talk with Julie about their personal circumstances.
Thanks to paid social media advertising, Julie reached thousands of prospects and had several people sign up for her course in what was a relatively short space of time. In total, this first eight-week campaign was seen by 32,000 real estate industry professionals. Julie received a steady flow of enquiry and gained several participants who were willing to pay several thousand dollars to take her course.
As a result of these activities, we drove much higher traffic to Julie’s website landing pages than had been achieved with her website up to that point. A lot of people were opening her emails (20 to 30%), which isn’t always guaranteed. Very few people (1%) unsubscribed from her emails, which was a fantastic result as email deliverability is so important when marketing.
Julie was ecstatic, the Hoole campaign was a success, and she had achieved her first goal, to have enough participants to run her first Buyer’s Agent Course.
10. Collecting & incorporating feedback
It is worth noting that, as this was a startup business, we encouraged Julie to ring prospects who had shown interest but had not yet reached out to speak with her. Happy to take on this task, Julie found it was a great way to get market feedback and a set of frequently asked questions that we then added to her course funnel, which in turn helped to get people across the line.
As well as the first course participants, other people have let Julie know that they are planning on taking her course in the next few months, so it’s now firmly on their list of future training opportunities.
Keep up your marketing momentum
In the case study above, we have explained how to establish a marketing funnel to promote and sell your services. But marketing is more than a one-off campaign, it’s about planting the seed in people’s minds and then keeping up the momentum.
In Julie’s case, we’re targeting real estate agents and property managers looking to retrain or contemplate a career move. They may call Julie next week or in a year’s time – what’s important is that we have successfully established Julie as the person to talk to if they are interested in becoming a buyer’s agent or looking to improve the way their newly established buyer’s agent business is run. From there, it’s about keeping up the marketing momentum.
What comes next?
Success requires effort, perseverance and the determination to keep going. Julie is confident that she is on the right track, and with her marketing momentum underway, clear branding and a strategy in place for promoting her course each time it is run, she will continue to grow her client list, nurture her email database, and see the attendance for her course grow.
Experience tells us that the longer Julie continues in the same direction, the bigger and more popular her courses will get. Now that we have established a marketing framework and strategy, it’s all about maintaining those efforts and staying in people’s minds.
To do this, we are now helping Julie to share further ‘social proof’ to demonstrate that she is a leading industry expert available to help property professionals retrain as buyer’s agents. She’ll need to keep up the hard work and ask for Google reviews and testimonials from her first set of course participants. She’ll also need to record case studies and share engaging blogs with others in the real estate industry to position her as a training and mentoring expert.
Importantly, we don’t want to go silent on our potential future course participants. We want to continue giving information and advice and making the idea of transitioning to a new career sound fun rather than simply trying to sell something to them when the next course commences.
What do regular blogs bring to brand marketing?
Provided they are well-written and informative, blogs showcase your expertise, build trust and generate interest in your services. They provide social proof that you are busy and active, they educate people about the opportunity and allow you to share insights that you glean with your fans and followers.
You can share blogs on your socials, as ad campaigns and via emails, and lead people to your website. Another benefit of blogs is that they can be repurposed as videos to target those people who prefer watching videos over reading.
Regular blogs also improve a website’s ranking in search results, so that in Julie Crockett’s case, when people are researching a career change and considering becoming a buyer’s agent, they will land on Julie’s website.
It’s important to note that blogs should refrain from selling your services. Instead, they position you as the expert and as someone with great advice who has all the experience needed to help.
Blogs are also the content that keeps giving. People may google you and come to your site one or two years after you posted a particular blog. We call this evergreen content, and it requires you to write articles that will remain relevant for the long term.
Social posts and videos are also invaluable. If you put advertising spend behind each new blog you ensure that each one reaches your target audience and keeps you front of mind. These different marketing elements present Julie as someone who knows her stuff in an authentic and engaging way.
As we’ve said, good marketing is about planting the seed, not hard selling. The more Julie is seen, the better – because we don’t know exactly when someone is going to say, “Today is the day I will become a buyer’s agent”, but we do want to encourage prospects to stop procrastinating and take her course.
Get our help
Buyer’s agents and course providers are both rapidly growing sectors in the real estate industry, and over the past few years, my team and I have seen an uplift in real estate professionals wanting our help with real estate brand marketing.
If you’re a real estate professional who wants to take your business and your brand to the next level, take some time to talk to me, Melanie Hoole. I’ll show you how digital marketing can help position you as the expert in your field and get you in front of prospects with a clear marketing proposition.