Debe has been in ActiveRain long enough to get near that 1M point mark and the reflections she writes about in this post are important for all Newbies to read. We all started out as Newbies and we have all learned SO MUCH through our time right here in ActiveRain!
We've all heard the rhetoric out there about the various social media platforms--how some work, some don't, others may be among the 'up and coming.' We've read ad nauseum about AR down-time and various complaints about the platform being different than it was in years past. Well, I'm here to tell you, any experience in life is what you make of it. So, I thought I'd share a little bit with you about my own ActiveRain experience.
Nearly at the big 1M point mark, I've been reflecting lately about my tenure here--and let me tell you, there's nothing to worry about with respect to the consumer and points--they don't care, nor do they even KNOW about our 'point' system! I began on ActiveRain VERY slowly. It was the absolute MOST uncomfortable thing for me to write my first comment--UNTIL I finally got the courage to write my first POST!
I watched the oldies but, goldies like Missy Caulk, Renee Burrows, Sally Cheeseman, Brad Andersohn, Lenn Harley, Todd Clark, TLW and Broker Bryant, Rich Jacobson, among others but, just couldn't muster up the courage to write a post. They seemed so comfortable with it but, it seemed so foreign to me.
When I finally did get the courage to write, the stress was almost immediately gone! People actually commented--not many but, hey, I didn't know them from Adam and couldn't imagine what they found interesting in my local posts! (Yep, I started out writing local because I didnt' want any 'personality' showing through--thought that might be bad for business! LOL)
From the original members and some of the ones that came to AR before me, I learned how to blog, what to blog about, how to use keywords and everything that I needed to know to become the Mayor of Charlotte NC on my blog!!
Once I was comfortable with blogging, social media began to be the 'next best thing.' We learned how to create a FB profile, a Twitter profile, then Facebook fan pages, LinkedIn, and everything under the sun, we learned RIGHT HERE ON ACTIVERAIN!
We learned where to post your listings, how to use YouTube, create a Delicious account, how to create market reports, how to create eye-catching business cards and later, how to build our own WordPress sites and SO much more--yes, all right here on ActiveRain!
I've made lifelong friends here, sent and received tons of referrals, found a fantastic lender and, oh yes, received wonderful business from my efforts here! In fact, I can honestly say that ActiveRain is LARGELY responsible for my business growth--and yes, you can confirm that with any of the other Charlotte bloggers here!!
I've joined forces with other members to start Charlotte's first REBar Camp and been a member of the planning committee every year since. I've attended conferences from the West Coast to Florida and had the honor of meeting some of the most fabulous people through ActiveRain.
I've learned to Skype and have various friends on Skype that I can quickly contact if I have a WordPress question or just need a referral name for a client moving to a city near my Skype friends--almost all AR 'buddies.'
I think one of the most valuable tools that I have, being a member of ActiveRain, is the SEARCH tool here. For real estate related questions, I use AR's search tool more than I use Google! Someone here has written a tutorial or an experience about just about anything that you have a question about.
What CRM do you use? How do you use SnagIt? What type of video camera do you use? What type of camera should I buy for real estate photos? Anything you want to learn about your business is right HERE! The best part, it doesn't cost any additional money when you use the search tool!! You don't have to pay a so-called 'expert' to help you--it's here and it's FREE for the taking!
So, if you're a newbie, jump right in--we don't bite! It's a great place to hang your hat and stay awhile! ActiveRain is a great place to pick up a few new friends and gain a whole bunch of knowledge to grow your business too!
Happy blogging everyone!