My Smart Blog - May 2020



the Newsletter

MAY 2020

How to Strengthen Your Credibility During the COVID-19 Crisis Be a Connector, Communicator, and Community Leader

your social value. Collect the contact information of all of your resources and connections and have it ready for when it’s needed. Think specifically about small-business owners, nonprofit organizations, and other reputable connections you can help foster. Then do what you do best! Keep talking with people. Reach out to your network and see how people are doing. Just touching base with people will raise their spirits and give you opportunities to be of value to them. Be a Coordinator: Loans and real estate transactions are a series of difficult decisions in an ever-changing landscape. Let’s be honest: It’s generally chaos. Luckily, the best real estate professionals thrive on solving challenges. Many of the people in your network are struggling with real challenges right now, so pick up the phone and talk with them, particularly those who work closely with you or are influencers in your community. Help coordinate anything they need to make their life better. They’ll remember it and make your life better in the future! Be Charitable: People running charitable organizations are being flooded with calls and pulled in a thousand directions right now. As a salesperson with the skills we’ve just discussed, you have the ability to help even if you’re stuck at home. Call and ask how you can assist with connections and coordination. Become a servant for an hour or two a day and work as hard (or harder than) you’d work on your own business. It’s a true win-win, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: You

In my last newsletter, I told you that this month I’d dive into Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” and how it changed my life. However, with everything that’s happened in intervening weeks, I’ve decided those insights will have to wait. What matters now isn’t how a book revolutionized my business years ago — it’s how you and your business can weather this coronavirus crisis and come out on top. Mining my years of experience, I’ve come up with several strategies you can use to ensure that when this pandemic blows over, your company is even stronger than before. By leveraging your natural talents, you can gain credibility and community support in your marketplace during this crisis. Here are four roles you can step into to make that happen: Be a Connector: Salespeople are natural connectors. Maintaining trusted relationships is one of the keys to success in the real estate industry, and making connections is its bread and butter. Right now, you can leverage your ability to connect people’s needs with the right solutions to increase

always get more out of it than they do because you feel good about yourself. You can’t help it. You’re wired that way, and the people you meet and interact with along the way will become staunch supporters of you and your business after this all settles down. Be a Champion: The current pandemic is devastating small-business owners in your sphere of influence. Find out how you can help them and get the word out! Post reviews on social media encouraging people to use these businesses and encourage people to order takeout or delivery from local restaurants. You’ve probably developed a Rolodex full of contacts in all kinds of businesses, so you can be the center of the wheel of commerce in your local community. Tell people in your sphere of influence who you know, like, and trust. Your contacts will appreciate that you’re fighting to help your local businesses, and the business owners will naturally want to pay you back in the form of future referrals. Personally, one of my core beliefs is that you need to give in order to receive. And to put it bluntly, there is no better time to give than right now, when people need it most. If you have the means and resources to reach out and help people, do it! Your community will thank you, and you’ll come out on the other side of this thing not only a stronger businessperson but also a better human.

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Sometimes, a little change can go a long way. Walmart illustrated this perfectly when the megachain decided to switch to using more energy-efficient lightbulbs and cheaper floor wax. Those two simple substitutions have cut the company’s annual costs by $220 million. Of course, with thousands of stores nationwide, even the smallest savings will have a multiplying effect for a corporation like Walmart, but this lesson can still be applied by small-business owners looking to grow. As a business owner, it can be tempting to lose yourself in the big picture. Milestones like helping more clients, launching new marketing campaigns, and opening another location are the exciting investments that really get a CEO’s blood pumping. But beneath each of these major decisions, there are many minute changes that could save your company time and money. What standard operating procedure (SOP) needs to be made more efficient before you bring on a larger client load? Which social media site will give you the most bang for your marketing buck? How much more will you be spending on toilet paper with two locations? It’s tempting to overlook the minor details, but tackling these inefficiencies could save you more than you expect. If you aren’t one to pore over every expense report and crunch the numbers, you’re not alone. The good news is that most likely, there are members of your team with the perspective and knowledge to help you out. This is especially true when it comes to day-to-day operations. Employees are great at noticing redundancies in SOP, underutilized spaces in the office, and other areas where money may be wasted. Empowering your team to speak up when they notice these money-saving opportunities can do wonders for your bottom line. Saving a few hundred dollars per year on things like lighting and floor wax may not sound impressive, but that’s money you can put toward improving your employee retention, customer experiences, and marketing effectiveness. In today's competitive market, even the smallest changes can give you a vital edge. How Small Savings Can Make a Huge Difference GROWING YOUR BUSINESS? CHANGE THE LIGHTBULBS


Constant technology use can leave us feeling drained, so it’s good to do a digital detox by unplugging periodically. Digital detoxes have become very popular, but for most managers and business owners, cutting technology out of their lives isn’t just difficult — it can be irresponsible! You can’t throw your smartphone in the sea and expect to have a job next week. While completely quitting tech isn’t realistic, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a digital detox while sticking to your responsibilities. Here’s how a few successful entrepreneurs manage this balancing act. Arianna Huffington puts her phone ‘to bed.’ HuffPost founder and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington says the first part of her nightly routine is “escorting my phone out of the bedroom.” Huffington doesn’t allow digital devices in her bedroom and relies on an analog alarm clock. “Charging your phone away from your bed makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone,” she says. Erich Joiner has a hobby separate from his work. Running a content creation company that caters to big brands means Erich Joiner, founder and director at Tool of North America, is plugged in most of the time. To get away from the demands, he races cars on the weekend. During that time, Joiner puts his phone away in order to focus on the race. “While it takes a lot of focus, which can be strenuous, it also mentally cleanses, or 'digitally detoxes,' me during the weekend,” Joiner says. “By Monday, I can go into work with a clear mindset, ready to take on my week.”

Celia Francis tracks her online activity. Sometimes technology can help you cut down on

technology. Celia Francis, CEO of online marketplace Rated People, downloaded the app Moment to monitor how much time she spends on social media. This data helped her build healthier habits. “It helps you understand how you use your phone, establish usage goals, and disconnect at the right times,” Francis explains. “My phone is always off by 9 p.m. and isn’t switched back on until after the morning routine.” You don’t have to completely abandon technology to enjoy a successful digital detox. Instead, look for times when you can put your devices away and focus on something else. Even if it’s just for an hour before bed, you’ll reap the benefits.


Why Do Businesspeople Wear Ties? The Storied History Behind Our Favorite Power Accessory

origin stories. One tale credits Chinese soldiers from the third century B.C., who were immortalized in terra cotta wearing neck scarves to protect “the source of their strength, their Adam's apples.” Another story gives the nod to Roman legionaries, who wrapped cloths around their necks to stave off wind and rain in the second century. But the most popular version dates the tie back to 1636 when King Louis XIV of France hired a group of Croatian mercenaries who wore neck wraps to protect their throats from weather and sword slashes. Over the years, those protective strips of cloth became suave status symbols.

In his 1975 book “Dress for Success,” John T. Molloy wrote, "Show me a man's ties and I'll tell you who he is or who he is trying to be.” A necktie is just a strip of fabric, but Molloy was right about its symbolic power. For centuries, putting on a tie has meant the wearer is getting down to business, and that sentiment lingers despite Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and Mark Zuckerberg’s gray T-shirt. Though just 6% of men wear ties to work daily according to a Gallup poll, neckties are still an accessory of choice for lawyers, politicians, bankers, and executives — regardless of gender. Plus, many formal occasions require them. But why did people start wearing neckties in the first place, and why do neckties have staying power? As it turns out, answers to both questions are up for debate.

subdued, skinny ties of the ‘50s to the 6-inch-wide psychedelic prints of the ‘60s. Today, ties can be knit, leather, or even rubber. Increasingly, though, they’re left sitting in the back of the closet, forgotten along with their fascinating history. If you want to learn more about ties and even how to tie one, check out

The Why Behind the Tie

No one knows for certain why ties stuck around. Maybe yesterday’s soldiers have become today’s CEOs battling in the boardroom, or perhaps wearing a tie is one of the few chances for a businessperson to show off their unique style. Over the years, tie fashion has ranged from the

The Who Behind the Debut

According to The Washington Post, the modern necktie has three different


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Inside This Edition


How to Strengthen Your Credibility During the COVID-19 Crisis


The Money-Saving Methods Most Entrepreneurs Overlook How Entrepreneurs Digitally Detox


Why Do Businesspeople Wear Ties? Be Inspired


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