Remember when Josh Phegan launched his real estate coaching brand digitally?

Observing from the sidelines I was impressed with the quality of his online execution. Hence, in this video, rather than quiz Josh about his highly acclaimed coaching programs, I gain his thoughts and experience on the world of digital marketing. 

Listen in to learn why Josh encourages his clients to focus on retention marketing first and foremost and chooses email as his favoured marketing tool. He explains why he believes you should talk one-to-one with your audience and give so much value away for free that you capture your prospect hook, line and sinker.

Click below to watch the video.

Following is the video transcript.

Melanie Hoole

Today, I’m with Josh Phegan and I’m going to quiz him about all the coaching and activities that he does and produces in the digital world. 

I feel very honoured because I follow your activities Josh, and as a marketer and digital person, I feel like you are really raising the bar, not just for coaches but for all of us in the industry.

You’ve produced a really slick brand and clearly, you’re “all in” with your marketing activities. 

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Not your coaching or sales courses, because this is the digital marketing show. We’re going to talk about all things digital. 

So, what’s your favourite social media platform and why?

Use different social media platforms to reach different audiences

Josh Phegan

I think that as you evolve, you develop a platform that you naturally have an affinity with because it gives you a benefit by being there. 

But, you know, it’s really interesting to consider what you favour versus what your audience favours. 

For example, when we do work in London, it’s very much about Twitter. Then when we come to the commercial sector; commercial, industrial and retail, it’s very much about LinkedIn. 

When we tend to operate with some of our older real estate sales clientele it’s very much about Facebook. Then when we’re talking to the next generation down we’re talking a lot about Instagram. Then, but not so much or important are things like TikTok and Snapchat that sit with them. 

So, I guess with my generation we were on the edge of Facebook but really Instagram is our main social media platform because I’m much more motivated by imagery and video content than language and what people are saying. 

Use social listening to learn about customers

So, for me personally, it’s an interesting tool for exploration about what you do. Social media is one of my discovery tools, to find new people, new products and new brands.

Melanie Hoole

How often do you review your strategy, specifically your online strategy and how it’s working to attract new business for you?

Josh Phegan

It’s a really interesting thing. You’ve got to have a clear idea about what you are trying to achieve because the end goal of what we’re doing is engaging with our existing customer base. 

Don’t forget to focus on existing customers

I always ask my clients, “what do you have more of? More new customers or more existing customers.”

Usually, people who have been in business for a little while will say I have more existing customers. Okay, great, so what are you doing for them? You’re spending all this money to go and attract new customers but you’re doing nothing to work with your existing customer base. 

If you have a basic methodology and philosophy that one customer served-well leads you to your next customer then your job is to focus on how you serve those people. 

‘Social’ media are companies who want you to pay for ads

I think that people get quite confused when they hear words like digital and social, and don’t actually understand what that is. They need to understand; where does email fit, where do social media platforms fit, where does live chat sit? 

Social media is basically a media company that wants you to pay to play, so if you don’t want to pay then you can’t play, right? 

So this is the whole conversation around understanding that emails are a much more effective tool if you have the benefit of a huge open rate. 

Understand how engagement works

If I look at my social media, 10% of my audience will actually engage and interact, whereas if I go over to email then it’s at 35%, so I’m seeing three and a half times more engagement. 

Side note from Melanie: engagement is always higher when the list of people have opted in to receive information, such as with email. The stats to look with social media are reach (how many people are seeing your brand) and click-throughs (how many people engaged with your brand), then signups (how many people were happy to be added to your database to receive more information from you via email or text or an online group).

So what am I going to try and do? I want to engage with every single customer that I work with. They have to have an email address to get a social account. So you can either be in the pay to play space or you can be in the space of the people that you already know. 

Side note from Melanie: Josh is highlighting here that you should focus on people you already have in your database, not solely on attracting new people to your brand online. Slight correction to what he says – people can open a social media account without an email address. They can actually use their mobile number instead. You then get access to this information if/when they complete a lead form either on the social media platform or your website – which is the idea Josh is sharing.

Don’t forget email – it’s a valuable tool

A lot of people think, “I don’t need to send emails.” Well, I ask people how many subscribers do you get? How many unsubscribes do you get? Do you call your unsubscribes to find out why they unsubscribed? Usually, those unsubscribe moments are the best moments because they’re actually telling you the content wasn’t on par or we’ve actually just done a transaction. 

If your contact has just done a transaction, find out what that transaction was, then you can work out what that means for you into the future? Can you do a future transaction with them? Is there an immediate transaction you can help with, particularly if you’re a real estate agent?

Melanie Hoole

That’s interesting. Your engagement stats are very high for email by the way. And I’m assuming it’s aligned to your client retention strategy.

You do daily email. Does that work for you? How does that work? 

Josh Phegan

Retention has been a massive part of it. 

I think about it this way; you learn a lot and I also feel that the conversation should be to provide value first and invoice second.

But that’s not for everyone. We are massively focused on providing truly valuable insights that actually help people to produce incredible incomes. In order to go and do that, you’ve got to start by thinking, how do I become valuable to my customer? 

Understand your customer’s problems to know what to write

The easiest way to understand this is to get very very clear about what your customers ‘problems’ are.

And decide whether you are building a database or building an audience?

If we were in an amphitheatre and you had an audience of people and you were putting on a show, and had lots of people coming in but they were immediately leaving, what would you do? You would change the show, right? You would do something different, right! 

Well, that’s what’s actually happening in the email world. It’s about understanding how people come and why they leave your digital content, and it’s about the acquisition of that data or a customer’s information?

Every single person that’s on my email has either seen me speak or has been referred to me. So it’s 100% permission-based. Obviously, Seth Godin (famous marketer) will talk a lot about that but it’s also people that are naturally very interested in what it is that you have to say, so it’s the value proposition of what you bring to the table. 

Melanie Hoole

How do you visualise who you are talking to?

Josh Phegan

We write one-to-one, always have.

One of the early things that happen in any businesses is hopefully the development of a customer avatar. 

Make sure you develop customer avatars

With the customer avatar (or persona) you identify what are their likes, preferences, brand things, that are of importance to that particular person – and you write to that person. 

Inside of any business, you need to be really clear about what your end customers actually look like, and what are the problems that those customers go through. 

Now the way that that becomes really good in digital is you speak to more of your customers. So I speak to a minimum of 30 of my customers every single business day, over the phone. The benefit of that is that when I go to write something I actually write based on the problems of what my customers have got.

If you think about it from that perspective, you’re going to get a much better solution in the way that you write content. However, traditionally people don’t do that – whether or not it’s in the digital format or in an offline environment. They just don’t do that stuff, you know.  

Example Agent: 

“Hey, I’m going to be in your street today.”

Example Prospect: 

“Well, okay good, but how does that relate to me and my situation?” 

Remember, you don’t have to do what others do

If you’re going to become really good in the digital marketing space, my belief is that you don’t have to follow what other people do. You find the thing that’s going to ramp up substantial value and you do that really well.

You move the ‘free line’ and then the customer can engage your services when they are ready to buy. 

It’s interesting that digital moves quite quickly in that I now find that I join brands or services online, during the period of time that I am thinking that I might purchase, and then once I have purchased I unfollow. So that’s a new world too. 

Melanie Hoole

Yes, there’s a lot of marketers out there that need to get smart on the fact that when somebody’s been through their shopping cart or has become a customer that they need to take them out of their audiences on Facebook. So they’re not being retargeted. 

Josh Phegan

Exactly, and the Google ads Network and all of that sort of stuff right? 

People don’t think about their marketing as an integrated approach, they think in one-off transactions. So it just happened on email or on our web store but why do we have to impact that on what actually happens on our Facebook audience? So, you know, that’s a big conversation. 

About this video series’s video series brings together the best digital and social media minds in the real estate industry, to share the wonders of the web and magic of mobile. Subscribe to or follow us on social media (below) for free tips and tricks to grow your reputation and attract prospects, digitally.


hoole cta navigating facebook

Written by Melanie Hoole

My team and I specialise in helping real estate and property professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile and implement inbound marketing activities to attract leads. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing contact me for help.

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