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Making the Scene: How to create new public Scenius scenes

I’ve written a ton about Scenius scenes, but, until lately, we’ve kept the scene creation praxis fairly close to our vests. I had documented the process very early for the folks who were involved in the original discussion of the Scenius idea, then shared that video how-to with other folks by email.

But we’re doing things differently than we were last November. And I took up the topic of scene creation in public in Seattle both Thursday and Friday. On Friday, I promised to cook up newer, better documentation by Monday.

I’m a day early. Click on this link to be swept off to a comprehensive site on how — and why — to create a public scene.

The site features three videos, including a link to the one made by Jim Reppond at Friday’s presentation.

There are also links to some of the pages mentioned in the first video, which is intended to be the canonical scene creation reference, as well as links to BloodhoundBlog posts on the how and why of Scenius scenes.

Let me know when you create a new public scene and I will add it to the index at

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Making a Scenius scene to make an impact on your target market

Lender Bob says, “Hey, I’m a lender. I want to get Realtors to notice me. Hell, I want to get in front of them so often they can’t forget me. What can I do?”

Realtor Beth chimes in with, “He’s got the right idea. I’m a Realtor. I’ve got a blog and all, but I don’t feel like I’m talking to the people in my farm. How can I get my name and my ideas in front of them ever day?”

Vendor Bill adds, “I’ve got things once worse. I need to sell marketing ideas to Beth and Bob, both, but how can I break through the clutter?”

These are problems that can be solved by Scenius scenes. With the right scene, you can aggregate content and share it with people you want to do business with.


Lender Bob can link to financial news and stories on factors that influence interest rates. He can make this scene available to Realtors in his market, who will have Bob’s free content available to share with their own readers. Florida Lender Kevin Sandridge is getting ready to do just this in his market.

Realtor Beth can link to local news stories and then echo that content to other weblogs in her market area. I’m doing this with Phoenix Area Headlines, but Beth could do other things as well. For example, she could do a “best of local blogs” scene to spread the link love around. Or, like Chicago Realtor Thomas Hall, she could do a scene on green real estate.

Vendor Bill has the easiest job of all, if he learns to think Scenius: He doesn’t need to cut through the clutter, he needs to slice it and dice it and serve it up in his own scene. I’m playing with this idea with Switched-On Marketing.

There’s more. Eric Blackwell is using a scene as a way of getting his 100+ agents to get on-board the social media marketing train. Cheryl Johnson and I are both using Scenius scenes to manage our listings on-line — but that’s an advanced-class topic.

The point of this: If you’re in the business of self-promotion, we’ve got a better mouse trap. We’re still only playing with stout hearts, but, if you want in, here’s the background:

I’ll be teaching everything there is to know about the Scenius praxis at Unchained. What we’re doing now is a subset of those ideas, but it’s the subset that is most appropriate to building your business — or simply to building up your weblog. if you want to learn how to do this, say so.

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The scenes reader can tell if you’re working at your desktop web browser or on your iPhone…

…and switch Cascading Style Sheets intelligently. What it needs are more shared scenes.

Making a shared Scenius scene is work. Not a lot, but some. What do you get in return:

  • Added-value content for your blog and for any blog that echoes your scene
  • A quick way to promote news or ideas you think are important without writing full blog posts
  • By your links, you draw attention to your blog from other blogs in your content sphere
  • Your scene links back to your blog, so the more it echoes, the better for your SEO posture
  • When other blogs echo your shared scene, they are exposing your blog to their readers, which can lead to new readers — or new business

Your weblog put you into the narrowcasting business, and that’s a great thing. Building a shared Scenius scene will put you into the broadcasting business, a boon that gains in benefits — for everyone — the more it echoes.

What’s in it for me? With each scene, I’m taking a link back to BloodhoundBlog — a non-monetized weblog. In other words, I’m working for free, which is not at all unusual. You live in a world infested with sleazoid vendors, each one of whom wants to nick you for monthly fees for work you can easily do yourself. I will show you — for free — how to build yourself a broadcast platform that will benefit everyone involved, yourself the most.

There are a few people working (behind the scenes as it were) on shared Scenes that will debut in the next few days. This is a bandwagon worth jumping on. Good for your readers. Good for the writers you feature. Good for the blogs echoing your shared scenes — and good for their readers. And good for you.

Review the terms and conditions and let me know when you’re ready to get started on your own shared Scenius scene.


Making the Scenius scene: I’m prepared to share an entirely new style of blogging with you — but you have to hold up your end

I wrote last week about the Scenius blogs we’ve been playing with. The concepts we’ve developed constitute a new style of blogging, a hybrid of the best features of link-blogging and RSS feeds with much better control and with none of the defects.

A Scenius blog called “Switched-On Marketing” is riding in our sidebar, along with some other real estate blogs. I have another one called “Phoenix Area Headlines” running on our client-focused real estate weblogs.

That last sentence is important: I maintain one Scenius blog for “Phoenix Area Headlines”, but I can echo it wherever I want it to appear. And it comes in like a blog, not like a feed or a widget, with full control over the appearance and with all the links behaving as expected.

Why is that important? Because I now have a reliable source of keyword-rich dynamic content that I can share with other Phoenix-area weblogs. Other Phoenix real estate webloggers are free to use it, but I’m much more interested in hanging around the sidebars of weblogs run by my clients or future clients.

The “Phoenix Area Headlines” Scenius blog is composed of content that will be interesting to readers of any weblog in the Phoenix area. It’s a regularly-updated supply of new content for any weblog that hosts it.

The “Phoenix Area Headlines” Scenius blog is rich in keywords that will cause the blogs that host it to score well with search engines. I’m giving my neighbors content and also boosting their SEO.

The “Phoenix Area Headlines” Scenius blog consists of highly dynamic content. There are new posts every day, and old posts scroll off the bottom every day. What this means is that search engines will see new unique content on every page they spider, every time they spider, if those pages are echoing my Scenius blog.

And the “Phoenix Area Headlines” Scenius blog links back to I’m using sweat equity to buy a place on your sidebar. Your readers win, you win, I win — everybody wins.

The “Switched-On Marketing” Scenius blog does the same sorts of jobs for real estate and marketing weblogs: I give you interesting keyword-rich dynamic content and you give me a sidebar link.

That’s just a piece of the Scenius technology, and I’ll be teaching everything — including everything we come up with between now and then — at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. But I’m prepared to teach some of it now — for a price.

What’s my price?

Here’s a way of looking at this aspect of the Scenius technology: Open-source weblogging.

I’m accumulating and editing a great host of real estate marketing information for “Switched-On Marketing” — which I then share with anyone for free. You can echo it on your blog. You can subscribe to its RSS feed. You can even read it on your iPhone.

If you want to share in the ability to create this kind of content — and I can show you a lot of cool ways to deploy it to create dynamic, auto-maintaining content for your own weblogs — I want for you to share at least one Scenius blog with the world.

I want for my list of Scenius scenes on that iPhone reader to be rich with fascinating content. I will show you how to build Scenius blogs for any purpose you can think of — if you will build at least one to share with your larger weblogging community.

That’s not too much to ask, is it? After all, as I discussed above, a Scenius blog can be a very smart way to forge relationships with other webloggers who may be able to bring you new business. It’s not exactly sack cloth and ashes.

And here’s the other end of things, just one small demo of what Scenius blogs can do in the everyday life of a real estate weblog:

If you go to our Phoenix real estate weblog, you will see “Our Current Listings” running on a Page. In the sidebar of every post and Page of that weblog, you’ll find “Our Current Listings” echoed again, only this time at a much narrower width. And if you go to the About page for our single-property website for 56 West Willetta Street, you’ll find “Our Current Listings” echoed again, this time at a much wider width. Every echo you are seeing is the same one Scenius blog, and it is echoing simultaneously on dozens of pages on many, many domains, inheriting the local CSS appearance everywhere it appears. I can promote “Our Current Listings” anywhere I want from one Scenius blog — and the content is always up-to-date.

Scenius blogs are leveraged weblogs, and there is a lot more you can do with them.

If you want to echo “Switched-On Marketing” on your weblog’s sidebar, use this code and follow the instructions we posted last week.

<!-- BEGIN Scenius -->
<?PHP $scene = "scenius"; ?>
<p><div style="display:block; width:95%;
height:320px; overflow:auto; padding-left:6px;
padding-right:6px; padding-top:3px;
border:1px solid #a9a9a9; ">
<?PHP $ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_exec($ch); curl_close($ch); ?></div></p>
<!-- END Scenius -->

Here’s the feed, if you want it for your feed reader:

If you want to echo “Phoenix Area Headlines”, here’s the code:

<!-- BEGIN Scenius -->
<?PHP $scene = "phoenixnews"; ?>
<p><div style="display:block; width:95%;
height:320px; overflow:auto; padding-left:6px;
padding-right:6px; padding-top:3px;
border:1px solid #a9a9a9; ">
<?PHP $ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_exec($ch); curl_close($ch); ?></div></p>
<!-- END Scenius -->

And here’s the feed: will get more interesting, going forward, both as a Scenius blog reader for the iPhone and as a clearinghouse of information about Scenius blogs. But the way for it to get most interesting is for you to get involved. If you want to learn how to do this, I’ll teach you — for the price discussed — and I’ll promote your shared efforts here and on

So: Speak up and let’s get started.

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Virtually belly-to-belly: Don Reedy’s salesmaniacal YouTube video voicemails.

Reacting to this post from yesterday on a better way to handle video testimonials, Don Reedy brought us this idea in the comments:

Greg, this is really easy, and does take planning, but not much time.

I’ve started trying to communicate with prospects, people I just meet coming and going, and folks in escrow by using my laptop, recording a 30-45 second message, posting as an “unlisted” video to YouTube, and then linking a picture of myself with a “play button” on my torso to that link.

I embed the picture with link in emails. They fly through, are almost always clicked on, and provide that belly to belly contact emails don’t always do. And yes, often that simply results in future actual phone calls, but the goal of creating value to and for the client is surely helped along by this methodology.

Here is the photo of Don he sent to me in an email:

And here is the video I see when I click on that image:

As constructive criticism, I think I want the photo to be bigger with a bigger YouTube-like Play button, plus also a reiterated call to action in text form: “I’ve made a ‘video voicemail’ just for you. Click ‘Play’ to see it.” For the video, I want Don’s head and shoulder bigger — closer to the webcam — and higher in the frame.

Those are quibbles, though. I love the idea, and the “Yeah!” special effect is fun. It might work to tack on a business card at the end, along with a link-back, in the video and in the description section, to any client-specific web pages.

This is cool, though: Using rough-and-ready tools to put a very personal touch on voicemail-like contacts. Using smartphone video with one-touch YouTube posting, Don’s technique would be useful for all kinds of client follow up.

As an example, here’s the ‘script’ for a movie you’ll have to screen in your imagination:

Hey, Jim and Shirley. Greg Swann here with a quick video voicemail about the houses I looked at for y’all today. I’ll have a web page for you later today with photos of the homes I visited, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes: Westwing Mountain may be the answer to our prayers. The homes are a little pricier, but they’re newer and most of them are in great shape. And the views are simply breathtaking… [insert slow panorama here] Watch your email for my pix. Talk to you soon.

Not as fast as a voicemail, but it delivers the goods where a voicemail can’t. I rate that a win.

This is a cool idea, a Scenius present from Don. How do I know it’s a Scenius-in-the-making? Because if you think about this Don’s way, you’ll come up with a dozen great ideas of your own.


What form should BloodhoundBlog Unchained take this May?

I’ve heard from a number of people privately asking about the prospects for another BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix this May. So far I’ve not done anything about this — this for a couple of reasons.

First, I don’t know what to do in terms of content. We’re doing a lot of interesting things, but I’m not sure it’s the kind of material I can teach. Of course, there’s all kinds of other stuff out there, but I’m not sure how it coheres.

Second, I don’t know what to do about the show. The format we used last year — 72 hours of total immersion — was very successful, but it was also a boatload of work. (When the trolls get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they like to come here and insist that Unchained is a profit-making business. I’m sure my wife will be gratified to learn this.)

To my mind, the most satisfying Unchained experience so far was the
Scenius on Swallow Hill Road
. Not the show we did in Orlando, which was good, but the more or less continuous Scenius we ran from the house we rented as our accommodations for the trip.

That’s an appealing scenario, but it’s decidedly limited in the number of people who can attend. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — for me — but it might not work so well for you.

So: I think I need to hear from you. If you want to do Unchained this year, speak up. But if you do want to do this, be prepared to put up your money. Whatever we choose for meeting space and accommodations, they’re going to want to see the dough before they commit to anything.

Here’s my pledge, in return: If we do Unchained this year, we will do it to nine decimal places, as always. We will take you places no one else is going, to put you even further beyond your competition.

But don’t dawdle. I’m going to have to make a go or no-go decision shortly. If you want to do Unchained this year, make the leap now.


San Diego dogs: When BloodhoundBlog Unchained comes to San Diego during the NAR Convention, will you be ready to stand up and howl?

When we wrapped up BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix, Brian Brady and I were already talking about doing an event in San Diego during the National Association of Realtors Convention. Since then, we’ve both gotten really busy, which makes planning for anything difficult.

But: We’re both bursting with lots of new ideas. Brian was regaling me on the phone tonight with some incredible viral conversion ideas. I know that Teri Lussier wants me to talk about persuasive copy, but right now I’m more interested in the persuasive power of the elephant in the room. Plus which, there are a lot of Bloodhounds we can call upon to talk to us about what they’ve been doing.

As with last year’s Unchained in Orlando, the NAR has attempted to lock up every possible meeting space, and, as with last year, they’ve failed to lock us out.

My question is this: When we come to town, who is coming with us? What we’re going to do is a one-day event, an all-day marathon of ideas. I’m inclined to support freedom-loving people everywhere, so we might also stage an adhocratic mastermind session while we’re there — partly a scenius, partly a demonstration of the intellectual mettle of this little apartnership we have going. When the Bloodhounds howl, criminals and cockroaches run for cover.

This is just running a flag up the pole to see who salutes. The price is $100 for the one-day event, and, if you make the commitment, we’ll give you a $100 break on the price of our next full conference in Phoenix. If you want to join us, click the PayPal button below.

Click on the PayPal button shown below to get your $100 ticket for BloodhoundBlog Unchained in San Diego on Friday, November 13th, 2009

Here’s a real kick in the head: I will turn 50 years old that weekend. If you’re in town with us Friday, we’ll cut you a piece of birthday cake.


The Heart of Unchained

Three days later and my head’s still not right.  Have you ever returned home from a few days away and felt like you needed another vacation in order to recover from your vacation?  You might say the Unchained Conference was like that… but you’d be off by a factor of 10.  Unchained was roughly 32 hours of fast-paced information downloaded without filter or pause in a two and a half day schedule.  Vacation?  I need an I.V. drip.

You might also think, based on what I just wrote, it would be difficult to name the #1 highlight of the entire three days.  But you’d be wrong again. (You’re really not very good at this game. 🙂 )  There were hundreds of moments to choose from and I’m gonna list a few, but there was a definite highlight – an apogee if you will.  It was during that moment I realized I was experiencing everything it means when we say the bloodhound way.

In the kick-off class of the conference, yours truly was the instructor and I didn’t know what to expect.  The feel of this conference – the expectation – was very high-tech.  Yet I’m using terms like “old school” marketing and making a point of saying that all the shiny gizmos and gadgets handed out over the next three days  were just so much dust gatherers without a framework rooted in old fashioned sales and marketing.  To say I was a little anxious about kicking off an online conference with my offline message is like saying the Christians felt a little concerned about entering the lion’s den wearing nothing but butter-flavored bikinis.  I’ve never been so glad to be wrong.  Highlight of the class: we had two attendees benefit from the scenius of the group and nail down their niche, then go online to PURCHASE THEIR DOMAIN NAME AND LAUNCH THEMSELVES right there in class.  God bless people of action.

Once the moments began to roll, they just never let up for three days:

  • Mark Green and his brilliant CRM class experienced one technical difficulty after another due to hotel bandwidth limitations, yet they never stopped finding ways to continue and learn.
  • Dave Smith shared his Tucson Real Estate WordPress blog secrets and opened our eyes to the near perfection blog site marketing can achieve.  Just mention “images” to the students in that class and watch a knowing smile grow across their face.
  • Greg Swann rapped (yes, I mean “rapped”) his own translation of Odes 3,26 by Horace and that wasn’t even the high point of his presentation!  The blessing of Greg is his absolute lack of secrecy or fear of competition.  He freely gave away so much code and single site knowledge that we had to mentally double-bag everything just to make it home.
  • If you were to ask him his niche, Brian Brady would tell you VA loans and that’s true enough.  He is, after all, America’s #1 Mortgage Broker.  But what he gave all of us was a hunting scope and the ability to hit targets in our own niches.  Duck season?  Rabbit season?  No, it’s New Client season… and there’s no limits.

The great stuff just kept coming.  How does one even begin to describe Ryan Hartman?  I’ll tell you the truth: his ideas are so many steps ahead, the true gift was just getting to know the guy in person and discovering how cool he is.  Kelly Koehler once again dropped jaws with her system for catching a lot of fish using very small, very accurate ad bait.  And I haven’t even mentioned Brad Coy, Mark Madsen, Scott Cowan, Don Reedy and all the other scenius contributors.  It’s no exaggeration to say every time I sat down next to someone, another nugget of gold rolled into my lap.  Never mind that I finally met Geno Petro in person… he’s a walking, talking highlight reel all by himself!

A lot of great stuff to choose from right?  But as I said in the beginning there was one moment, for me, that completely captured the bloodhound way.  It came during Eric Blackwell’s class.  “No surprise,” you say?  You’re right, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.  Eric is the star of this event.  His SEO knowledge makes him the high priest of online marketing, the Elvis Presley of Google’s rock and roll world.  From 8:00 in the morning till often times midnight Eric was surrounded by people looking for answers.  The only moments Eric had to himself were when he was on stage talking to the entire class.  Make no mistake about it: the room was full of online marketing real estate agents and when Eric spoke pencils flew.  (That’s not true actually.  When Eric spoke keypads on laptops flew… or whatever it is keypads do.  I’m guessing mine was the only pencil in the room.  I’m old school; did I mention that yet?)

Eric did not disappoint and we all came away with cutting edge ideas on how to increase our SEO and thereby increase our business.  But the highpoint for me had nothing to do with “google juice” or “link love” or “ranking in the serps”.  The highlight came at the end of Eric’s class; when he shared a story with us.  I won’t retell the story here because it’s Eric’s story and I could never do it justice.  Besides, these experiences rightfully belong to those who’ve spent the money and made the effort to improve their business.  What I will tell you is this: there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  Eric reached out and connected with us on a very personal level.  He was passionate and in turn touched the passion in our own hearts.  It had nothing to do with SEO… and everything.  In the end it was the high-tech guru – the SEO rock star – who exemplified everything you ever needed to know about skinnin’ cats.  It was Eric who connected with us on that personal, belly-to-belly level and in doing so revealed the heart of the bloodhound way.


If you want to learn what we know — and to learn what we are learning — you’re coming to BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix

Okay, this is my last pitch for BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. If you can’t figure out which side of the bread has the butter on it, you’re just going to have to wear a bib.

Here’s the deal: What we’re going to teach you, nobody teaches. We’re going to go hands-ons, step-by-step through the things you need to be doing to create a state-of-the-art marketing profile. By the time you leave Phoenix, punch-drunk and exhausted, you will have built yourself a brand new marketing profile — just in time for the real estate market to make its rebound.

We’re going to be together for 72 hours, and out of that you might sleep 15 hours. The rest of the time we’re going to be working — in eight three-hour hands-on labs and in between-class and after-class sessions where we can learn, think and grow together.

The goal is to build a scenius, a shared genius among the bunch of us, so that we all come away smarter and better-equipped to take on the wired world of real estate.

What are you going to get for your money?

State-of-the-art weblogging techniques, photography and graphic arts expertise, social media marketing acumen and the salesmanship skills necessary to make belly-to-belly conversions. (Excuse me: To Skin cats.)

On my side of the quad, you’ll learn search engine optimization and search-engine marketing, lead generation and management techniques, landing pages and a whole lot more.

Taken together, we’ll be covering every step of the real estate marketing process from the customer’s first tenuous investigations through first contact, incubation, the sales cycle and conversion.

And these classes will be taught by actual working real estate professionals who are actually doing this work in their own practices.

Like who? Mister Ubiquitous, Brian Brady, is the Dean of Marketing. He’ll be leading Linda Davis, Kristal Kraft and Sean Purcell on the content side of the campus. I’ll be serving as the Dean of Geeks, working with Eric Blackwell, Kelly Kohler and the inmimicable Ryan Hartman.

There will be other people speaking, including Mark Green giving a presentation on CRM marketing. And there will be a support staff of experts to keep the show on the road: Teri Lussier, Jamie Lussier, Brad Coy, Scott Cowan and Cathleen Collins.

And then there will be the students… There will be some amazing minds in our scenius, and the act of throwing us all together for three days is going to make everyone smarter, more agile, more adept — better equipped to take on the challenges of real estate marketing in the age of the internet.

And with that, I’m done. If you can’t see the value in this thing, so much the worse for you. Just about everything I do self-selects for brains, and BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix is no exception.

If you want to come, there’s space for you. But you probably ought to jump now. We’re two weeks out from the event, and air fares can’t be getting any cheaper. To take some of that sting away, I’ll give you $100 off if you’re an Unchained Alumnus or a first-timer with us.

Click the PayPal button that applies to you, then follow-up here to set up your flights and your hotel room.

CyberProfessionals: $397

Unchained Alumnus: $497

Frist-Timer Price: $597

The event runs from April 28th to May 1st, 2009. Many more details can be found at the BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix weblog.

If you want the same old thing, you can have it seventeen times a year, fourteen of those times “for free.” If you want to learn what we know — and to learn what we are learning — you’re coming to Phoenix.


Battle Back With Your Posse

Seth Godin calls it a “tribe”, I call it a “posse” but they are both slang words for network.  If you’ve heard me speak at any of the Unchained events, you learned about my “deliberate posse creation” using social networks.

Seth describes that we belong to many sub-groups within our network:

If you think about the tribes you belong to, most of them are side effects of experiences you had doing something slightly unrelated. We have friends from that summer we worked together on the fishing boat, or a network of people from college or sunday school. There’s also that circle of people we connected with on a killer project at work a few years ago.

Hold that thought if you’re coming to Unchained.

Look at the Government’s response to the housing mess.  Rather than accept the fact the we can’t trust everyone with a house (we tried and it failed), we’re trying to fix an amputation with a bandage. TARP and HARP are bandages, soon to be blood-soaked and soggy.  We need to cauterize the wound.

Our industries are still TARP-ing and HARP-ing about who’s to blame for the financial crisis.  What a colossal waste of time.   I can’t find one  REALTOR nor one originator who can reverse the losses the banks, investors, and homeowners suffered…BUT…if we all start doing our jobs,  we can turn this thing around.  Call it a grassroots effort to “battle back” from this mess.

Direct counseling with no bullshit.  Keepin’ it real.  Advising folks who will never be able to afford the property to rethink their priorities and filling those houses with willing and able homeowners…THAT’S how we’re gonna “battle back”.

Okay, if you’re coming to Unchained, keep that message in mind and go back to the Seth quote.  You have a network and we want to get the message out.  You’re not going to be alone in this endeavor.  Read what else Seth said today:

What would happen if trade shows devoted half a day to ‘projects’? Put multi-disciplinary teams of ten people together and give them three hours to create something of value. The esprit de corps created by a bunch of strangers under time pressure in a public competition would last for decades. The community is worth more than the project.

This is what Greg Swann calls a Scenius.  Mix Scenius with a compelling message and I call it “roundin’ up the posse”- that’s what we’re gonna do at Unchained.

I’ve been thinking about a project for our group posse; I think I have one.  When you arrive at Unchained, we’re going to “tag” you by prior knowledge and/or interest:.  SEO wonks, SMM extroverts, copywriters, and SEM devotees.  You’ll all be breaking up into your posses and working on a project at night. is that project.  If you click through today, it’s just a Go Daddy landing page but watch what happens between now and the end of Unchained.  The site will grow into a group weblog/social network/electrified marketing machine, throwing off a bunch of Google juice to each respective Unchained attendee.

…and you’ll OWN your home market. There’s hardly ANY overlap among the folks coming to Unchained.  Maybe you don’t buy into my message and that’s okay.  You don’t have to participate after Unchained but if you do, will be a bonus to your already made-over online presence.

It’s the Business School approach to solving problems.  You’ll make some friends, build something awesome, and maybe even get some business from the “product”  down the road.

HOMEWORK FOR UNCHAINED? Start thinking about how you can bring that “Battle Back” message to the masses.


If I could show you how to leverage your marketing efforts to get tens of thousands of dollars worth of added value, added reach, added impact and added sales — would you be willing try on some new ideas?

Pre-script: Here’s one of the secret benefits of working at BloodhoundBlog: If you screw up in really interesting ways, Direct Response provocateur Richard Riccelli will phone or email to tell you what you’re getting wrong. I’ve recast this post in response to a very instructive voicemail from Richard.

I had an email from Matt McGee — I had had it around Christmas, too, but Matt was kind enough to send it again. I’m going to deal with it as a colloquy.

Cari and I were chatting last night about Unchained ’09 and we’re both curious about the way you’ve been describing it on the blog:

We’re not going to tell you how we work. We’re not going to show you how we work. We’re going to work with you, hands-on, step-by-step as we overhaul your marketing strategy from the ground up.

Can you provide some more detail on what you mean there — the stuff about not teaching, but doing? For example, if Cari’s there, she’s not going to be able to (nor does she want to, nor will I want her to) FTP in to her main web site or her blog and start rewriting pages, updating page titles and other SEO stuff, tweaking keywords, etc., on the fly.

Why wouldn’t she want to know how to do this? It’s easy to do, more unfamiliar than arcane, and we’re going to be right there, talking about what to do, how to do it — and what to do if something goes wrong.

BloodhoundBlog was less than a month old when I first wrote about the skills Realtors will need to compete in the age of the internet. We each of us should know how to do these things, both to solve our own problems, when we need to, and to make sure that hired vendors aren’t ripping us off. A big part of the work I have done here since then has been talking about the kinds of tasks Realtors and lenders can and should be doing on their own — to control costs and quality and simply to make sure these jobs are getting done in the first place.

Are you expecting attendees to show up armed with FTP information and ready to start changing their web site/blog?

Oh, you bet. That’s the point. People can work in copies of their sites, if they’re afraid of making mistakes, and I’m all in favor of working on copies of files, in any case. But no one learns anything without actually doing it, so we’re going to dig in and do the stuff we’re talking about.

I’m just talking about my slice of the pie, for now, and we’re going to be doing a lot more than just technical chores. But there is nothing to be wary of about any of this. We’re not going to be rebuilding engines, just changing tires. But we need to know how to change our own metaphorical tires, so we’re going to go through everything step-by-step, in a safe, fun environment.

I’m not so much alarmed about the hands-on stuff related to social media. I’m sure there’ll be great value in a hands-on approach to peoples’ Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts. Mostly concerned about the plan for web sites and blogs.

Here’s the big picture: Matt and Cari and everyone else has gone to a zillion and one seminars. We each took careful notes (well, not me), and made big plans to put those notes to work as soon as we got back to the office. And then… Nothing happened. Events intruded, as they always do. And the ideas that seemed so clear in the seminar became cloudier day by day. And by the time we finally sat down to make an earnest effort with our notes, everything was forgotten.

I talk a lot about geek stuff, because it’s where my attention is focused right now. But at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix, Eric Blackwell is going to teach real, hard-headed, hands-on Search Engine Optimization. And Kelley Koehler is going to put students through the paces on Search Engine Marketing. And Brian Brady is going to help you set up your presence on Social Media Marketing sites. And that’s all still on the hardware side of the quad. We’re also going to go though Direct Marketing and Direct Response and belly-to-belly selling techniques — and we’re going to learn all of this by actually doing it.

We’ll work in three-hour labs, so there’s plenty of time to do the coursework while we’re talking about it. And each class will be taught by an expert in that particular subject, so you’ll be learning best-practices from the person best-qualified to teach you. But you’ll actually be doing the work, hands-on, step-by-step, so that you will learn not just the theory — not just the rapidly-scribbled notes — but the actual practice — the praxis as we say around here. And when you go home, you’ll know it in your bones…

Plus which, there will be plenty of time between labs to work in small groups perfecting your new marketing profile. This is the “scenius” idea I’m always talking about, the shared genius that erupts spontaneously when smart, passionate, motivated people work together to master difficult tasks.

But there’s more to this than that. Why do you need to learn the techniques we’ll be teaching — and why do you need to learn to do them yourself? Because if you don’t learn how to do this stuff yourself, it will never get done.

Witness: The Heap-optimized contact form I made available earlier this week would have cost each individual user at least $1,000 if they had had to go out and contract for it. The real deal, though, is that none of them would have contracted for it, they would have kept on entering their contact information by hand — or not at all. That’s the kind of highly-leveraged solution I’m always interested in. (But I won’t be teaching anything quite that arcane at Unchained.)

But consider engenu. Cathleen Collins and I built more than 1,400 new engenu pages in 2008, this on top of all our other work. If we had had to pay a teenager to build those pages, they would have cost us at least $15 each — except that we wouldn’t have done any of those new pages at that price. Instead, we got the cash equivalent value of $21,000 worth of new web pages — at the expense of the time we would have spent doing the same work by inferior means.

That’s leverage, and by leverage I don’t mean borrowing money to invest it, I mean the leverage of Archimedes: “Give me a lever and a firm place to stand and I will move the Earth!” There is no excuse for anyone not to know how to use an FTP client, but, if you will put your mind in my hands for three hours, I will show you amazing things that can be done by FTP.

We as real estate professionals need to learn how to hold our own hands, that’s a given. It’s a travesty that Realtors and lenders are always the victims of crap vendors selling crap products.

But more than that, we need to learn how to compete in the modern marketplace. Within our teams, we need to learn how to do the jobs we need done, and we need to learn to do them with what will seem at first to be an unimaginable efficiency. It’s not a matter of, “Do I do this myself or do I hire out?” For most of the stuff we will be teaching at Unchained, the cost of hiring the work out will be so steep that, if you don’t learn how to do it yourself — rapidly and at minimal expense — it will not get done at all.

BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will deliver to its students tens of thousands of dollars in value — the ability to do things that would cost tens of thousands of dollars it those jobs were farmed out to vendors. But looked at the other way, Unchained will deliver infinite value, since the tens of thousands of dollars students will save will almost certainly be money they could not have afforded to spend in the first place.

I’m very glad to talk about this, since I think the hands-on nature of the curriculum is the unique selling proposition for Unchained. Just think: You’ll save thousands by doing jobs you could never have afforded to do with contractors, and — for the first time in your life — you’ll reap actual productivity benefits from a real estate conference!

But this is not without a price. You’ll pay for your seat, of course, and your airfare and hotel room and your ground expenses. But the larger price, perhaps, is that you have to give your mind over to this way of working. I can’t speak for the other instructors, but I intend for my students to work my way — by which I mean learning to think in terms of a world that can be moved with the right leverage. At an absolute minimum, that means that, in my class, we’re going to really learn how to use an FTP client.

It’s Friday, the day we all say, “I’m sick of spinning my wheels. I’m going to learn a better way of working.” I’m all for it. Come to Phoenix and let’s get to work. I guess we’re asking more from our students — our colleagues, our guests — than we had foreseen. Stretching yourself to take on new roles might be a little bit scary. But it’s empowering, too, and we’ll be right there, right beside you, every step of the way.

If you want to learn how to convert more sales in the coming wired world of real estate, no one is doing the work we’re taking on. Click the appropriate button below to sign up now.

CyberProfessionals: $397

Unchained Alumnus: $597

Regular Price: $697

Each three-hour lab will be taught by an expert, by a working real estate professional balanced on the bleeding edge of hi-tech marketing. We’re building this curriculum for our own self-improvement, too, so we know there is simply no better investment you can make in your career this year.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

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Living that Seattltude: Bloodhounds listening above the Sound

Still recovering from two exhausting days in Seattle. Brian Brady and I both had a great time. Taught a ton, learned a ton and met a lot of truly wonderful people.

The Zillovians were excellent hosts, pulling out all the stops for both the BloodhoundBlog Unchained event and for REBarcamp Seattle. They basically gave an entire floor of their offices to the, with spaces big and small for people to get together.

Zillow’s offices are on the 41st and 46th floor of a vast office tower. I would marvel that the building has its own Starbucks, but so does every other structure in Seattle. Here’s the view, looking north and east over the Puget Sound:

Here’s a panel from the Unchained conference featuring Rhonda Porter, Marlow Harris, Brad Coy and Rich Jacobson.

We capped off the day with a debate featuring Glenn Kelman and me. The photo shown here was taken by Marlow Harris. Marlow also shot some video clips, and I may post those later today.

REBarcamp Seattle was a lot of fun for me, mostly because I just did my own stuff and didn’t worry about it. Here’s Zillow’s Drew Meyers delivering the convocation:

On Thursday night, Scott Cowan approached Brian, asking him if he thought I might have time to talk to him on Friday. Brian laughed at the question saying, “If I know Greg Swann, he’s not going to go to any classes. Just grab his ear and ask what you want to know.”

Brian knows me better than I know myself. He signed us up to lead a session on group blogging, then later sent me off to teach a class on setting up Scenius scenes (for which I will provide better documentation Real Soon Now). Other than that, I spent my day in small offices (with incredible views) going at things one-on-one with anyone who wanted to talk to me.


Al Lorenz is building a media empire in bucolic Lake Chelan, Washington. He wanted to learn how to build a Scenius scene, but he ended up teaching Brian and me a ton of juicy tidbits about Joomla.

Al later drove the computer for my Scenius demonstration, which was well because I cannot type and talk at the same time. Brad Coy was very helpful in that presentation, too, simply by keeping me grounded to an intelligible level of techno-babble.

I talked to a lender, I didn’t catch her name, about how to build weblogs for her strongest spheres of influence as a way of staying in front of them without being a pushy, obnoxious salesperson.

I had a wonderful conversation with a Seattle Realtor, again I didn’t catch a name, about how to tailor her listing presentation to a declining market.

The sales manager and the owner of a moving-company franchise were there, trying to figure out how to build a Web 2.0 presence as a way of developing an cultivating relationships with future movers. I spent some time talking to them, but it’s a real bear of a marketing problem.

The highlight of my day was going through engenu in detail with Scott Cowan. I had intended to do this on Thursday, but I couldn’t get enough wi-fi juice to get to my FTP server. We were able to work on Scott’s computer on Friday, and we built a site with multiple pages. With Al Lorenz earlier, and later with Scott and Andy Kaufman, I got to talk about how engenu permits you to restructure sites at will — adding, removing, moving or reorganizing sites as events transpire and objectives change.

This is something that I’ll be talking about at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix — and I will tell you that, if you learn nothing else at Unchained, if you learn how to use engenu it will repay all your costs and then some.

Here’s an illustration of what I’m talking about. Suppose you have a family relocating from another state. You start previewing houses for them, building an engenu site so they can see the houses you’re looking at. At first the site might look like this:

  • The Covington Family Home Search
    • 123 Elm Street
    • 751 Oak Street
    • 19-A Pine Street

The top line is just the name of the web site for the search, and then each indented line is a separate web page for each house. That’s fine when you have just a few very similar houses. But the Covington’s aren’t sure those three houses, all in Oakdale, are right for them. So you add more content to the site, but you also reorganize it like this:

  • The Covington Family Home Search
    • Oakdale
      • 123 Elm Street
      • 751 Oak Street
      • 19-A Pine Street
    • Elmdale
      • 7511 Pine Terrace
      • 3516 Elm Circle
      • 4532 Oak Lane
    • Pinedale
      • 7 Oak Avenue
      • 34 Pine Trace
      • 51 Elm Boulevard

So now you have nine houses organized by town. I like to use Google maps to make it easy to picture what’s where. But the Covingtons are ready to come to town, so they send you a short list of their favorites, with the other houses sorted out as possibles an rejects. So let’s rebuild the site:

  • The Covington Family Home Search
    • Short List
      • 7511 Pine Terrace
      • 3516 Elm Circle
      • 123 Elm Street
    • Possibles
      • 751 Oak Street
      • 19-A Pine Street
      • 4532 Oak Lane
      • 34 Pine Trace
    • Rejects
      • 7 Oak Avenue
      • 51 Elm Boulevard

So the Covingtons come to town, and, not surprisingly, they end up putting a contract on a home they thought would really not suit them. The site might look like this now:

  • The Covington Family Home Search
    • 51 Elm Boulevard
      • Inspections
      • Rejects
        • 123 Elm Street
        • 19-A Pine Street
        • 34 Pine Trace
        • 3516 Elm Circle
        • 4532 Oak Lane
        • 7 Oak Avenue
        • 751 Oak Street
        • 7511 Pine Terrace

    We’ve isolated to the one house we’re buying, but we haven’t forgotten the others. The new Inspections page might contain a PDF copy of the inspectors’ reports, perhaps also with an embedded Youtube video showing the home inspector talking about the condition and health and safety issues of the home.

    Suppose the Covingtons want you to supervise the seller’s repairs, and also to keep an eye on remodeling contractors they have hired to work on the home after close of escrow but before they can move in. The site might look like this:

    • The Covington Family Home Search
      • 51 Elm Boulevard
        • Inspections
        • Repairs
        • Remodeling
          • Kitchen
          • Bathrooms
          • Pool and Patio
      • Rejects
        • 123 Elm Street
        • 19-A Pine Street
        • 34 Pine Trace
        • 3516 Elm Circle
        • 4532 Oak Lane
        • 7 Oak Avenue
        • 751 Oak Street
        • 7511 Pine Terrace

    The point of all this is that engenu lets you build and rebuild your sites — very easily and as often as you want. We’re literally just adding and moving folders around on the file server, then reinheriting the structure of the site and all of its link relationships — a process that takes less than a second. You can click here to see a site I have built and rebuilt like this.

    Cathleen and I used engenu to build 1,400 unique pages in 2008, this on top of everything else we did. Real estate professionals have a publishing problem. With engenu, you can pound out and share new web sites and web pages as quickly as you can collect the content. And thanks to REBarCamp Seattle, the number of people who really understand engenu has doubled — from three to six. 😉

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    Blogger? Hell, No! I’m a Cyber Pro…Just Like You

    I’m glad that Greg Swann addressed the whole blogging question.  Today, I’m going to share with you,  the members of the CyberProfessionals group, the genesis of the Bloodhound Blog Unchained University of Online Marketing Event, in Phoenix, on April 28-May 1, 2009.    I also want to tell you about the Bloodhounds and how this rag-tag group of agents and originators transmogrified from a pack of swaggering bloggers into some of the most nimble marketers on the web.

    I think it’s important for you to know who we are …

    …and why you should listen to what we have to say.

    My online marketing game started on LinkedIn, in 2003. I had just moved from Phoenix to San Diego as a National Sales Manager of a start-up mortgage bank.  As start-up was the key word, I had to retain some personal production to pay for the higher cost of living, associated with the SoCal Lifetsyle.  I was invited to LinkedIn by a buddy in the tech field.  With the soon to be enacted “Do-Not-Call Legislation” on the horizon, a platform filled with high earning geeks was a phone-dialing, mortgage originator’s dream.  Rates were under 5.25% and LinkedIn was the “Online Chamber of Commerce” meeting…and I was the only mortgage guy in the room.

    I didn’t call it social networking then, I called it prospecting.  You see, I’m a lot like you.  I started my sales life dialing the phone 300 times a day, selling municipal bonds and mortgage-backed securities to widows and dentists.  I moved over to mortgage origination in 1995 and dialed homeowners with FHA loans, selling them savings of “over one hundred dollars a month”.  LinkedIn wasn’t about the conversation to me, it was about the contact. Online media wasn’t some “experience”, it was a chance to get in front of someone and sell them…and it worked…and I was hooked.

    Do you remember how you felt when you tried something new and it worked?  It felt amazing, didn’t it?  That was me when I closed my first loan from LinkedIn.  Only two things felt better than that first closing:  the first time I kissed my wife and the day I held my newborn daughter in my arms…

    THAT’s how big that rush was for me.

    I had my consumer direct channel on LinkedIn.  In 2004, this young gal I worked with sent me an invitation to MySpace.  What I found on MySpace was a way to search for people by “profession” so I connected with REALTORs there.  I started a group called “MLS on MySpace” and invited REALTORs to feature their new listings.  It was like an “online pitch session”, filled with potential referral partners, and once again, I was the only mortgage guy in the room.   Now I had a consumer and professional channel through which I could market my loan origination practice.

    Two years later, I was invited to Active Rain.  I showed up there and saw 5000 agents and less than 500 loan originators.  The cool part was that the agents were all dominating the blogging while the originators weren’t.  I honed my writing skills and started sharing marketing ideas and loan programs with a bunch of hungry REALTORs.  I felt like I had snuck in the back-door to the NAR convention; once more, I was one of the few mortgage guys in the room.  I met Linda Davis there and found out that we were both members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  I met Kristal Kraft on Active Rain and found out we both grew up in The Garden State.  Cheryl Johnson invited me to write on NELA Live.  I recruited Teri Lussier to Bloodhound for the Project Blogger Contest.  When I finally met these ladies, in person, it was only natural that I rushed over to them and hugged them.  Yep…I’m a, women, I hug everybody because I love people.

    Kind of sounds strange for an introverted blogger, doesn’t it?

    I am NOT a blogger,  CyberPros…I’m a marketer, just like you.

    Naturally, I read BloodhoundBlog, a few months after I joined Active Rain.  RUSSELL SHAW was writing on Bloodhound Blog and Russ has street cred.  I started watching Greg Swann expose Keith at Housing Panic and read all those glorious tales about real estate investing from Jeff Brown.  It was a rough and tumble atmosphere, filled with very smart people and I begged to play.  Three Christmases ago, I was granted my wish.

    Soon thereafter, I played my typical “bridge the Digital Divide” game and bought a bunch of REALTORs donuts.  Again, I was the only mortgage guy in the room and I started getting used to that old game.  What I didn’t expect was the excitement I’d feel when Greg Swann and I started talking about the possibilities of the “brave new world” of online marketing.  Here was a self-proclaimed introvert, dominating the online space and a garrulous, back-slapping, donut buying, mortgage salesman talking about how we would overtake Inman News and become the online source for the convergence of technology and marketing.  An unlikely couple of partners but magic happened on that rainy, Arizona day.

    We started experimenting with our respective talents- experimenting and copying each other.  The introvert was building landing pages, based on the Myers-Briggs personality profile and the extrovert was connecting with anyone and everyone who wanted to hear him talk…and then we copied each other and experimented some more.  The other Bloodhounds were coming up with even BETTER ideas and we were in the middle of a scenius which you can watch unfold in the first two thousand posts on Bloodhound Blog.

    I know this is long-winded but I want you to get the full effect of the Bloodhound influence.  Understanding how we got into the “Online Marketing University” business is important because it will foreshadow what you can expect from us this April.

    About a year ago, I suggested that we all get together for a weekend of golf, drinks and masterminding, in Phoenix.  Someone from the outside suggested that we help HIM put on a conference and I went beserk!  I was, literally, screaming into the phone about how we spent a year building up the Bloodhound Brand and that WE needed to host a conference.  The Bloodhound Unchained Social Media Marketing Conference was born.  We weren’t sure of our ability to host a conference but we knew that we were doing a lot of valuable things that were getting good results in various markets.  Hosting this conference forced us to think about the process.

    The Zillow folks financed this venture and for that, we owe them a great deal of gratitude.  David Gibbons and Drew Meyers sold Spencer Raskoff on the idea.  I’d like to think that we gave them more than their money’s worth, in publicity.  If you saw us in Orlando (which I’ll discuss next), that boondoggle couldn’t have happened without the investment Zillow made.  Every real estate agent and loan originator, who makes money in the Web 2.0 space, owes a small debt to Zillow.  This is a revolution and the Zillow people have that glint of upheaval in their eyes.

    It was no picnic.  We suffered potshots from the “blogging elite”, had folks organize counter conferences in bars, and generally stuck our neck out on the line.  We pulled it off and the next thing you know, conferences sprung up in bars in San Francisco and Houston, and in hotels in Atlanta.  Everyone wanted to get in on the “blogging conference craze”…

    I told you that we’re not bloggers.  We’re marketers.  There IS a difference.

    We decided to preach the gospel in Orlando and realized that we had to expand our curriculum if we were to be truly relevant.  We proclaimed that blogging was but a part of social media marketing, in May.  We realized that social media marketing is but a component of online marketing, in Orlando, in November.

    Orlando was simply amazing.  We packed 12 hours of content into one full day.  Sherry Chris of Better Homes and Gardens was our keynote speaker.  Mitch Ribak discussed online conversion.  Kelley Koehler broke down her Google Adwords strategy and landing pages.  Eric Blackwell preached the religion that is SEO and a whole bunch of us shared other online marketing strategies.

    We lost money but that was okay.  We had a great trip and were invited to speak to you, the CyberProfessionals.  That’s where we REALLY had fun!

    What we saw in the CyberProfessionals group was people who have been making money on the internet, selling real estate, with various strategies. It was your group that convinced us that we could put together an online marketing university curriculum….so…

    we did it.

    Check out what we have in store for y’all.

    PS:  I would be tarred and feathered if I didn’t offer you a way to sign up right now.  CyberProfessionals get the special $397 conference pricing (a $300 discount).  Reserve your spot before they go away.  We’re about 33% full right now.

    PPS: Are you ready to commit right now?

    A good marketer makes the purchase process as easy as possible, so, if you’re ready to commit, all you have to do from here is click a PayPal button to reserve your place at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix.

    Fair warning: This won’t be cheap. If you’re looking for the best possible deal, and if you qualify, joining the CyberProfessionals might be your best bet. And if you’ve entrusted us with your money before, either last May in Phoenix or in November in Orlando, we want to express our gratitude with a special Unchained Alumnus price. But whatever you end up paying, we’re going to make it worth your while and then some.

    Here’s how the prices break out. Just click on the appropriate button to make your payment:

    CyberProfessionals: $397

    Unchained Alumnus: $497 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)

    Early-Bird Price: $597 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)

    Regular Price: $697 (after 12/31/08)

    Here’s the thing: We know money’s not falling from the skies right now. If you need to make payment arrangements, let us know by email, and we’ll work something out.

    We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!


    BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will be a hands-on overhaul of your online and offline marketing – enroll now to be sure you get a seat

    We’ve got the dates for BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix: April 28th to May 1st, 2009.

    We’ve got the location: The Radisson Phoenix Airport Hotel North, 427 North 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008.

    And we’ve got the game plan: A three-day Guerilla Marketing Boot Camp during which you’re going to completely revise your marketing profile — in class. We’re not going to tell you how we work. We’re not going to show you how we work. We’re going to work with you, hands-on, step-by-step as we overhaul your marketing strategy from the ground up.

    What are we missing? You. Skip ahead if you’re ready to register for the most intense real estate marketing conference you will ever attend.

    Got questions? Here are some BloodhoundBlog posts discussing Unchained in Orlando and anticipating the scenius to come in Phoenix:

    Want to know even more? Why not. We’re in the marketing business, after all.

    Who should come to BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix? If it’s part of your job to attract and convert new business, we have what you need. On BloodhoundBlog, we talk a lot about Social Media Marketing, but in our own businesses, we work with Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Direct Marketing and good old-fashioned belly-to-belly sales. We also work directly with internet-based tools from PHP to RSS to CSS — acronym soup.

    Why should you come? We’ll be going through every bit of this at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. Not lecturing as you race to keep up in your notes, but actually doing the work, hands-on, on your own marketing materials.

    How will you benefit? Not only will you completely overhaul your existing marketing profile, you’ll learn how to keep everything up-to-date going forward. Our belief is that our kind of broad-based marketing, done properly, should put your business beyond competition.

    Is BloodhoundBlog Unchained for everybody? Absolutely not. You don’t have to be a total geek to live in our world, but you have to have a geek gene or two. We’re going to cover a lot of highly-detailed ground very quickly. We want for you to have to strain to keep up, and we want for you to spend every spare minute refining your work. If your plan is to come to Phoenix to have a rowdy ol’ good time — do that. Just don’t come to Unchained. But do take note: If you know for sure that we’re teaching what you want to know, don’t dawdle. We have 75 seats available — total. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and it could be a year before we do this again. If you want to join us, enroll now.

    What’s next?

    Three quick steps. 1. Enroll for the conference. 2. Book your hotel room. 3. Arrange your transportation.

    Step 1: Enroll for the conference

    Fair warning: Unchained in Phoenix won’t be cheap. If you’re looking for the best possible deal, and if you qualify, joining the CyberProfessionals might be your best bet. And if you’ve entrusted us with your money before, either last May in Phoenix or in November in Orlando, we want to express our gratitude with a special Unchained Alumnus price. But whatever you end up paying, we’re going to make it worth your while and then some.

    Here’s how the prices break out. Just click on the appropriate button to make your payment:

    CyberProfessionals: $397

    Unchained Alumnus: $497 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)

    Early-Bird Price: $597 (you must act on this offer before 01/01/09)

    Regular Price: $697 (after 12/31/08)

    Here’s the thing: We know money’s not falling from the skies right now. If you need to make payment arrangements, let us know by email, and we’ll work something out.

    However: We reserve the right to decline your enrollment. We’ll be talking to you by email or phone to determine where you’re going to fit in our curriculum. If we determine that we’re not a good marriage, we’re going to refund your money and give your seat to someone else.

    Likewise, if you cancel before March 28th, 2009, we will refund your money in full. After that, we’re committed — so you’re committed.

    Step 2: Book your hotel room

    Even if you live in Phoenix, you have to stay at our hotel to enroll in BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix. Why? Because we’re building a scenius while we’re together, and it won’t work if we don’t all work together. You’re coming to Unchained to get away from your daily distractions. You’ll have time to take care of things by phone, but we need your full concentration on the course matter.

    Book your room using the code Bloodhound. You’ll pay double for the room if you don’t.

    You’ll be staying the nights of April 28th, April 29th and April 30th, 2009. You will be checking out on May 1st, 2009. Your room rate for your three nights should be $109 per night.

    Double-occupancy rooms with two queen-sized beds are available, so, if you like, you can arrange for a roommate among other Unchained students. Let us know by email if you need help lining up a roommate.

    Here’s who you call to make your reservations:

    Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport North
    427 North 44th Street , Phoenix AZ 85008
    Reservations: (888) 201-1718

    Step 3: Arrange your transportation

    Phoenix is an easy city to get into and out of. We are a hub city for US Airways, Southwest and Alaska. We are also serviced by dozens of other airlines.

    You will be flying into Phoenix Skyharbor Airport. Accept no substitutes.

    BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will run from 5 pm on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 until 5 pm on Friday, May 1st, 2009.

    You will need to arrive no later than 3 pm MST on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009.

    You will need to depart no earlier than 7 pm MST on Friday, May 1st, 2009.

    The Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport North is located less than one mile north of Phoenix Skyharbor Airport. The hotel operates a shuttle bus to and from the airport, so you will not need to rent a car.

    That’s the drill for now. We’ll be in touch to talk to you about the curriculum and how to prepare for your classes. In the mean time, you might give a look to BloodhoundBlog’s archives or to Real Estate Weblogging 101. We’ll be covering all that and more in much greater depth, but it never hurts to study.

    We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

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    Thinking out loud about BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix

    Here’s where we start, and we knew this last May in Phoenix, but we hadn’t yet figured out how to pull it off:

    BloodhoundBlog Unchained is not a conference or a seminar, it’s a workshop, a lab. We don’t want to talk about or teach or lecture about our style of marketing strategies, we want to deploy them. We want for the people who entrust us with their time and their minds and their money to come away having implemented their own unique versions of our tools, tricks, tips, tactics and techniques.

    So that’s the beginning: Unchained in Phoenix will be a hands-on overhaul of your online and offline marketing.

    This is a Unique Selling Proposition — totally unlike all of the redundant twitwit echo-chamber festivals — but don’t get too excited yet.

    Why? Because overhauling anything is a big job. What we’re planning will take a lot of time, a lot of hard work, a lot of skull sweat and possibly repeated conquests of your own self-imposed mental limitations. Translation: We plan to wear you out.

    When we first started talking about this “boot camp” kind of approach, we thought about doing it in two tracks, one more advanced, one less so. In both cases, it makes sense to me to work toward the goal of a complete overhaul of your marketing profile. How do the journeymen gain access to the master-track material? Don’t worry. We have plans for that, too.

    So now we look like this: BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix will be a hard-charging boot camp for journeymen and masters at modern real estate marketing. I worked out a class schedule yesterday, and I think we can cover — and I mean thoroughly cover — eight major topics over the course of three days.

    We’re not set in stone on these, but here are some classes that make sense to us:

    Search Engine Optimization
        Guerrilla SEO — Optimizing your blogsite
        Advanced SEO topics

    Search Engine Marketing
        Maximizing organic SEO results
        PPC, Analytics and ROI

    Social Media Marketing
        Establishing a ubiquitous presence
        Working in the salt mines to bring home the salted bacon

    Living in a web-wise world
        Building, customizing and maintaining a web presence
        Practical PHP for non-geeks

    Direct Response Marketing
        Building profitable offers
        Testing and analysis to maximize profits

    Sales — You know, the stuff we do for a living
        The sales training no one gave you
        Pushing to a conversion in a pull-marketing world

    The Art of Real Estate Sales
        Building your own marketing materials with DTP tools
        Cascading Style Sheets and you

    What am I missing? Cathy talked to me last night about doing a class on staging, and Sean Purcell covered some aggressive listing ideas at Unchained in Orlando. What would you add or change in this curriculum?

    Each class we offer will be a three hour lab, so we’re not going to gloss over an idea while you take notes at a furious pace. Instead, we’ll have lots of Wi-Fi power and lots of power strips so you can actually work out the details of the marketing ideas we’ll be covering live — on your existing file servers, web sites and collateral materials. Whether you take the journeyman or the master track, you will be revamping your marketing in class to reflect what you are learning.

    Repeat that: We’re not going to send you home with notes, hopes and plans to rework your marketing. We’re going to send you home with a finished overhaul of your marketing strategy.

    Repeat that yet again: We’re going to do everything we can in three days to help you dominate your local market.

    In the schedule I worked out yesterday, I’ve got us working from 8 am to 8 pm on the first two days, and from 8 to 5 on the third. My plan is eight three-hour labs plus time for guest speakers — 30 hours of content in three days. That’s an exhausting pace by itself, but to get the most out of BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix, you should anticipate starting your day at 6 am and working with your team-mates at least until midnight. We can build a big scenius for the entire event, smaller ones in each lab and tiny little scenius scenes when two to eight students get together to perfect what they are learning.

    And that’s what we’re aiming for, a super-sized scenius of like minds exploring the outer reaches of excellence in real estate sales and marketing. We can come together as giants, each of us in our own way, and leave as giant-slayers. Who should dominate your market? We’re betting on the big dogs.

    This is not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be cheap. For one thing, to make this work, we’re all going to have to stay at the same hotel, which means that Unchained is going to have to pay for the rooms. But the upside of that is that you’ll be able to work with your team-mates until the wee hours of the morning.

    How much, total? The full, final price is going to run $997. Did I hear an ouch? It will cost you that much — plus the hotel — to go to Inman Connect in New York — where you will hear monkeys in monkey-suits recite spoken versions of their magazine articles and weblog posts. If you like that kind of stuff, then that’s the kind of stuff you like. But for the same money — less the cost of a Manhattan (or Phoenix) hotel room — we’ll put you directly on the path to more money and a greater market share. They’re an event. We’re an investment.

    Emphasize that: The whole world of real estate marketing has been turned upside down, and all you hear, it seems, is facile instruction on how to forge relationships — with other Realtors and lenders. Unchained marketing is about conversations that lead to conversions. Not making buddies — making sales.

    Even better: No vendors. Brian Brady and I certainly like the financial cushion provided by naming sponsors, but we exclude vendors and their wares from our shows for two reasons: First, we’re just plain vendor-hostile, for the most part. But, second, we don’t want for you ever to suspect that — if we should actually say something nice about a vendor — we’re doing so for any reason other than a sincere belief in the quality of the offering. A trade show like Inman or the NAR Convention is Vendorslut Central. We’ve never done it, and we never will.

    There will be a limited number of spaces available, and the class-size for each lab will be 25 students. We’re interested in serious people who are looking for serious results. We’re going to charge you a ton of money for the thrill of being worked to death. But you will gain access to some of the best minds in online and offline real estate marketing, and you will go home with a brand new marketing plan, fully-formed and fully-armed.

    We live on the strength of this online scenius, so now I need for you to jump in and tell us what we’re getting wrong. We’re planning to deliver a ton of value, so we need for you to tell us how we can deliver even more value to you. Bloodhound marketing is all about making the buyer crazy for the product, so please do let us know if we’re not all the way irresistible yet. This is a perfectible praxis, after all, as is all marketing.

    Tell us what we’re getting right, tell us what we’re getting wrong, but, above all: Tell us you’re free this coming May. Because that’s when you’ll be perfecting your real estate marketing at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix.

    Want to sign up today? How can we turn you down?

    Click on the PayPal button shown below to get your $997 enrollment in BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Phoenix, May 2009

    Our final dates and location will be determined in the next few days. But if you want to make sure you snag one of the few available seats, make the commitment now. As always, we’ll refund every penny of your money if you find out you can’t join us.

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