Are You Choosing Fear or Success?

When you see mega-successful Agents and Brokers do you ever wonder how they KEEP on getting more and more successful? How are they effortlessly getting tons of new mortgage leads or real estate leads? How do they keep on getting lots of great clients? How are they making more and more money every year?

Want to know their secret?

They are choosing to be successful.

Success is a choice. A choice that’s available to everyone. But without knowing it, you may be choosing fear.

Watch this short video to find out what you’re choosing, and how to make sure you’re always choosing success.

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To your success,


Ingrid Menninga has xray vision for carving out marketing opportunities and the creativity to convert them into gold!

Ingrid delivers high impact, low cost, customized marketing strategies for turbo-charging entrepreneurs and small business owners to great profits.

After 12 years of working with legendary companies such as Carlson Marketing Group, Pizza Pizza, Invis Mortgages, and Royal LePage Canada, she left corporate Canada to launch JOLT Marketing.

In just 3 short years after starting JOLT Marketing, Ingrid has carved out a spectacular success roster working with Canada’s leading Real Estate and Mortgage brands such as Slavens Real Estate, GWL Realty Advisors, Mortgage Architects, Dominion Lending Centres, and Oriana Financial, to the tune of delivering a 250% increase in sales and participation on average. Having achieved high accolades for skyrocketing sales for countless companies, Sales Agents and budding Entrepreneurs with high profit marketing campaigns, Ingrid is frequently asked to share her expertise in industry journals such as Canada’s Real Estate Magazine – REM, at speaking engagements for RE-Bar Camps and InMan’s Agent ReBoot, and in Sales Seminars for industry organizations such as IMBA (Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario) and other leading industry organizations.


Video: How To Make Money with Social Media

There are lots of Agents on the social media bandwagon, and there’s lots of buzz that social media is the “new and hot” way to connect with clients and get more business.

Recently, JOLT Marketing’s Director, Ingrid Menninga, was asked to participate in a panel discussion for Inman’s Agent Reboot conference. Hundreds of Agents listened while panel moderator and Social Media Director for InMan, Katie Lance, grilled KW Commercial Agent Benjamin Bach, and our own Ingrid Menninga, on how Agents are making money with social media. The two panelists present 2 very different, yet extremely successful, approaches for using social media to increase sales, and make more money.

Watch this video on the recent Inman Agent Reboot Panel Discussion – How to Make Money with Social Media. Approximately 30 minutes with great pointers on how to find your target market in social media, which sites deliver the best return on investment (ROI), how to use your personal brand to separate yourself from the competition, and how you can find “your” social media hotspots that present you well, and let you shine.

Here’s the link to the video:

If you’d like to know more about how to turn your social media activities into money in the bank make sure you sign up for the LeadSwell Secrets“Top Ten Ways To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business”

Social media sites such as facebook, youtube, blogs, twitter, and linkedin present an unbelievable opportunity to grow your personal brand (and be remembered easily in your local area!), make yourself a community figure (i.e. get recognition easily) and turn strangers into connections into closed deals.

Click here to sign up for the LeadSwell Secrets  “The Top Ten Ways To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business”

Video Courtesy of Benjamin Bach – thanks for sharing Ben!

How To Make Great Youtube Videos

Video is exploding in popularity among real estate professionals, with more and more sales reps jumping on the amateur promotional video trend. Videos are low in cost, easy to make, provide a lot of useful information in a short period of time and take almost no effort for your audience to watch. Videos also give your audience clues about you, your service and your professionalism that can never be obtained from a postcard, newsletter or other marketing materials.

Read the full article written by JOLT Marketing‘s Ingrid Menninga in REM here

10 Tips On How To Get Your Article/Press Release In the News

Real Estate and Mortgage Agents often ask how they can be “that guy” that always seems to score interviews on radio and tv, and articles in the local paper.

There’s some science behind the magic – read on to see how you too, can be a media savvy Real Estate or Mortgage Agent.

1. Read first, pitch second. In social media circles there’s a lot of chatter about listening first and engaging next.  The same principle applies to media relations.  Scan the publications you think reaches your target market and identify the reporters you think cover your space, then read their articles.  A good technique is to bookmark those sites and schedule reading time each week. If you have an RSS reader like NetVibes or Google Reader, many writers have RSS feeds that you can plug into your reader to catch (just) their latest.  Regular reading will give you a better sense for the reporter’s style and focus and enable you to write a better pitch. Don’t try to tackle the world at once.  Instead, incorporate this into your schedule and find a couple new writers to follow each week.

2. Engage. Engagement can come in several forms. First, if you enjoy an article a reporter you follow has written and have something of value to contribute to the conversation, post a comment.  Caution: avoid commenting merely for comment’s sake.  Second, if you’re on social media channels, like Twitter, follow those reporters and add them to a list.  Watch and read what they Tweet.  Tweet links to articles you find interesting and be sure to include the reporter’s Twitter handle in your post. Finally, if you find an article especially compelling, send them a note and tell them why.  Most people enjoy positive feedback, especially from their readers, so if you enjoyed a piece of work, let them know.  No pitch, no pressure, just conversation.

3. Pitch a story, not a product. Reporters are after a story, something that is useful and compelling for their readers.  Rather than pitching about how great your service is, tell them how it solved a problem. An old textbook I have lying around defines “news” as something that defies expectations.  What is it about your story that defies expectations?

4. Short and relevant. Of the vast volume of pitches reporters receive; most of them come by email.  Since that makes for a cluttered inbox, relevancy and brevity go a long way.  When I reach out to a new reporter – someone I haven’t contacted before – I generally like to include a reference to something they’ve written.  For example, my first sentence might read, “Mike:  I saw you wrote about the mortgage trends and local housing affordability and thought you might be interested in some analysis we conducted on that demonstrates our area is still affordable for young families.”  It demonstrates that I know what “Mike” writes about and have a pitch that’s related to his beat.

5. Consider other story angles. The story angle refers to the perspective from which a story might be explained.  Take Apple’s iPad for example, which was covered from a range of angles – from the business impact on Apple and the competition, to gift guides and product reviews.  There’s even a human interest angle as which iPad apps help austistic kids development demonstrates.  The story angle can often be driven by timing, for example, as Valentine’s Day approaches many publications are putting together their gift guides, so this news peg is more appropriate right now, than it would be on February 15th.

6. Try another channel.  You’ve pitched a great story to a reporter you just absolutely positively know would be interested, but there was no response. If you’re that sure, try reaching out to them the old fashioned way:  snail mail.  You could go for a simple letter, which would has the advantage of cutting through the clutter of email, or send them a sample of you product.  Pick five reporters you have really gotten to understand through reading, write them a pithy personal note that explains why you think it’s would be of their readers’ interest.

7. The phone still works. Just like snail mail can help you cut through the clutter, so too does the phone. If you’ve done your research, know what the reporter covers, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone can call a reporter.  Be sure to have the key point you’d like to get across in mind before dialing.  Since deadlines tend to loom in the afternoon, I tend to make calls in the morning, and just like any other call, extend the reporter the same courtesy:  “Hi, I’m Frank, I’m with Company Name and I’ve got a story in which I think you might be interested.  Do you have a minute to talk?”

8. Focus on a relationship. By relationship, I mean a professional relationship: one built on trust, relevancy and courtesy.  Understand that reporters are paid to accomplish a task:  inform their audience with accurate and timely information.  Reporters keep notes on their sources, and likewise, you should keep notes on your conversations with reporters. Keep track of what you talked about, when and any ideas that you might have in mind for contacting them in the future.  Above all, there are three simple guidelines: be honest, be helpful and be responsive.  Don’t make a reporter wait. They won’t.

9. Tools that can help. It often helps to include videos, high quality  images or other supporting documents/images that add “beef” to your story. Another great tool – a 3rd party quote that supports the point of your story. Thid party validation will make a huge difference in getting your story picked up.

10. Be persistent. If you know you’ve got a good story, don’t shy from being persistent.  I’m not suggesting you call them three times a day or email – that’s stalking and perhaps, a little weird.  However, if you have something new going on in your business, it’s a good reason to reach out to them again.

In closing, don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back – reporters are busy!  Keep in mind that no response doesn’t mean you’re idea isn’t good.  Good pitches and good contacts tend to get saved in folders for future reference.   PR in generally tends to ebb and flow, a little momentum often carries you a long way.  Hang in there!

These 10 points on how to get picked up by the press is courtesy of the PR Web blog.

5 Tips On How To Write Great Articles To Pitch To The Local Press

In the Real Estate and Mortgage industry there is a huge potential to get lots of free press coverage, ie FREE MARKETING, in your local media.

One of the ways to get your name in the newspaper without paying for advertising is to create valuable articles related to your business for the local media to cover.

Here are the top 5 Things you Need To Consider When Writing Articles:

1. What You Will Write About? Make sure your article covers news on a local level, that is relevant/valuable and timely for the community, and will appeal to your target market.

2. Why would the local news care? Your article will only get picked up if the local news thinks it’s newsworthy. For every idea you think of writing about, ask yourself…why will the press care? When you answer this question you must think from the presses and readers perspective. If your article is just about you, the truth is the press and community will probably  not care. But, if your article is about giving back to the community, your analysis of the local economy and industries that is something the press is more likely to care about.

If you want to figure out what the press cares about make sure you chose 3 or 5 select local media outlets and study what they include in the media as “news”. If your topic never gets covered, it’s probably because the press doesn’t care, so tweak your story a bit so it includes an angle the press is interested in, whether it’s on a new neighbourhood, charitable acts, demographics in the area or any other topic that gets picked up.

3. Who Will Back Up Your Story? Any good article has 3rd party validation – a quote from somebody that is not the story author, who can back up the story with a solid quote. Chose your “back up” person carefully. There is a chance the local news will call your contact, and ask for more information. Make sure you have chosen a good source, and that the person takes their press quote seriously. If you ask a random person for a statement and then the news calls on them to corraborate, and your contact doesn’t remember saying his quote, or can’t explain it, or says that you just told him to say it, you will not only not get press coverage, you will probably never get any press coverage from that new source again.

4. When did your event/insight/analysis happen? Content that is timely is very important to the press, so make sure your article pitch has relevance NOW – whether it’s something that’s launching soon, or just passed. If you wait a week or more after an event to send it to the press you are probably too late. They want new, fresh, content. Not “old news”!

5. Where does your article have the most relevance geographically? Local news cares about what’s happening locally. If you are thinking of re-using your companies national press release you need to add a local context to increase your chances of getting picked up. For example, if the new housing stats have just been released and you want to turn this into an article, you need to add a few paragraphs explaining how this news is relevant or different from what’s happening in your local area. Add some analysis, a quote from yourself, a supporting statement from another person (your “back up” source) and you’ve already added a local context and made your companies national housing information into local news!

Another thing to keep in mind is that an article is NOT a sales pitch. If you want to talk about yourself and how great your sales were, this is not the place. Your local press is looking for “news”. All the content in your article, and your title need to indicate that your story is actual news.

Some example of good article topics are:

  • Who’s buying: Local Real Estate Market Supported by First Time Homeowners and Retired Downsizers
  • 2011 Local Real Estate Trends
  • Rising Rates To Have Largest Affect  On Seniors and First Time Buyers in XXXX Town Name
  • XXXX Charitable Foundation Receives $200,000 Donation From XYZ Real Estate & Mortgage Company
  • Local Agents To Build New House In 24 Hours For Charity

After you’ve carefully considered the what, when, why, where, who of your article write out a first draft, edit it carefully, and have another person proof it. You want to make sure that your article sounds good, reads well, will interest your target market, and represents you well. You also want to make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions and spending the time it takes to make a great article to pitch to the media. You can count on about 10 hours to brainstorm, write, proof and edit.

That may seem like a long time….but you will get your name in the paper, i.e. FREE ADVERTISING, in return for your time.

What are your thoughts – have you tried to pitch your articles to the press? How did it turn out? Did your story ever get picked up?

If you’re worried that the press won’t pick up your story, don’t worry – that’s our next blog post!