#154 Mail-Right Show Why Local Influence is Important With Guest Josh Elledge
Josh Elledge is an adult man with a child-like, irrational fear of umbrellas. You could ask him to explain–but if he could–it wouldn’t be an irrational fear, now would it? A nice Midwestern boy from Michigan, Josh also used to be fat.
Not just chubby, or the owner of a now-trendy “dad bod,” but seriously overweight (ask to see his old drivers’ license photo). Ever the problem solver, he lost 55 lbs through ‘the couponing diet’ and now he enjoys going to restaurants that serve chicken waffles and biscuits, and ordering the salad. Just to test his mental toughness.
Josh is a serial entrepreneur who builds the companies he needs most in the world. In 2014, He launched UpMyInfluence (previously upendPR) to help entrepreneurs like himself attract the perfect audiences and grow their brands without the crazy costs and contracts associated with traditional PR companies. Since then, UpMyInfluence (UMI) has evolved into a purpose-driven platform bent on totally DEMOCRATIZING access to influence. Josh wholeheartedly believes UMI has a moral imperative to help entrepreneurs own their expertise, share their wisdom, and serve the world with their collective messages. Oh, and to help our members grow revenue too!
Here’s A Full Transcription of Our Interview With Josh Elledge
Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show. We’ve got a really great guest here and also I’ve got my co-host, Robert. Would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the audience, Robert?
Robert: Sure, since I’m not wearing my fancy baseball cap today. My name is Robert Newman. I’m the founder of Inbound Real Estate Marketing and if you want to learn more about me or my company, you can hit my website, which is .
Jonathan: And we’ve got Josh from UpMyInfluence.com. Would you like to introduce yourself quickly to the audience and viewer, Josh?
Josh: Yeah. So, I’ve been in the media over 2,000 times myself in support of my other company Savings Angel. I actually work as a consumer expert, a consumer advocate, a consumer reporter and I help consumers save money on everything.
So I’ve been doing that for about 11 years and as a result, Savings Angel as a company has done quite well. We’ve done over 6 million dollars in revenue and I’ve spent less than $500 in advertising. Everything I do is just serving audiences, giving value, trying to do good in the world. And so, with our success with that, I got kind of invited over and over again to do consulting for other companies that wanted that similar media success. And so, I just started doing some pro bono work and that turned in paid consulting. Then, that turned into starting an agency and now we have this amazing platform where we help individual business owners, small, medium size business owners become media celebrities so that they can increase their authority, their influence and ultimately their revenue, make a lot more money.
Jonathan: That’s great Josh. In our pre-show chat, I told Josh that our audience are mostly Real Estate Agents struggling in the field trying to build their great businesses and I thought Josh would be a great guest for the show because one keyword that he emphasizes himself is influence and I think being seen as a major expert about property and seen as an influencer in your community is really important to build a really great Real Estate business. What do you think Josh?
Josh: Yeah. It’s critical and it’s become even more so. We this amazing thing. There’s social media. We’ve got the Internet and back in the day like 5, 10 years ago, I think it could be very easy that you could just advertise, advertise, advertise, advertise and then people would say, “I don’t know who this is but I see them everywhere so I’m just going to do business with them.” In the old days, I think that worked. Today, consumers expect a little bit more and what I mean by a little bit more is they say, “Well, wait a minute. Everybody’s advertising.”
The average consumer’s exposed to over 10,000 brand messages a day now because of this hyper-consumer world. And so, as a result, we just don’t make emotional connections with any of that. And so, it’s imperative today, particularly if you look at what your competition is doing, if they’re making money, they’re doing things to connect with their potential audience. And so, if you’re using social media, you’re doing live streaming, you’re doing podcasting, you’re doing YouTube videos, you’re on the right track. Again, if I’m speaking to individual Real Estate Professionals, you should be doing great work to serve audiences on as many stages and platforms you possibly can.
Some of those might be your own social media accounts but I really love working with other people and serving other audiences. Look at where your audiences are already pre-congregated and find ways to bring value to them. Obviously, you’re not going and selling, selling, selling but you’re serving and when you serve, people say, “Well, you know, I kind of like that Josh guy. I got a lot of value out of that. I’d like to find out what else he does.” And so, they do a Google search or you give your website address at the end of the presentation. Not everybody but those who are looking will do business with you.
Jonathan: I think that’s so important and it must really resonate with you as well Robert because, in a way, that’s been a key part of building your own business offering that real value to your audience Robert.
Robert: Yeah. 80 to 90 percent of the conversions that I get come from YouTube. So the live media element, my personal experience, I’m an SEO guy Josh and I drive a lot of traffic through my content on my website and the content drives the traffic and that’s the text-based content, so text message in the most literal sense. But when I’m getting people calling me and contacting me, it’s universally almost, I may even be under exaggerating the number where it’s eight or nine people out of ten are talking to me about a video that I’ve done. And my message is I review Real Estate technology platforms. That’s the number one driver of enquirers and people that contact me and it’s strictly, actually, it’s almost always expertise-based questions. That’s how I’m interpreting what you’re saying. They don’t call me to order services. That’s not what they’re doing. They’re calling me to ask questions and basically ring my bell in terms of my expertise.
Robert: The way that I’m interpreting what you’re saying is if you’re a, actually, no. I don’t want to interpret it. I want to ask you a question. Let’s put yourself in the shoes of being a, you’re in Orlando, I think we mentioned earlier. Is that right? So, let’s just say that you wanted to be a Real Estate Agent in Orlando. Give me an example of maybe something that you personally, like what kind of media would you do and what maybe would you talk about if you were trying to get into the Real Estate game?
Josh: Yeah. Well, listen, at the very beginning, I can tell you exactly what I would do today and I would be a servant in Facebook groups. That’s a really, really good way at the very, very, very beginning because it certainly doesn’t require any investment and it’s pretty much a solid thing if you can play the game right. So, here’s what I would do if I were an independent Real Estate Professional, is that I would optimize my personal Facebook profile and there’s a lot to that but it’s really critical. I think Facebook would probably be your best platform to start with and I think that we can move on and start talking about LinkedIn and Twitter which are really, really critical, particularly if you’re working with influencers. But at the very, very beginning, find your Facebook groups that have to do with, you know, for example, in East Orlando, there’s an East Orlando group.
There’s an Avalon Park group. There’s Stony Brook group. There’s a Waterford group. I’m like naming all of these neighborhoods in my part of town. Make sure I’m a member of them. Now, you are not going to get in there and start spamming. That would be the worst thing. That would turn people off. They would hate it. You would get banned. Just don’t do that. But you go and you become known as the person who just really understands the housing market or you’re just going in there and you’re answering questions and you’re not giving calls to action. But what will happen is, if you become an indispensable resource in these groups, then what will is that people will hover over your name, they’ll look at your profile.
In your profile, you’ve got calls to action. You’ve got free downloads. Your call to action should not, “Call me for a free consultation.” That’s everybody. Instead, what you should do is you should put together a report that talks about, you know, “I’ve interviewed 100 parents about the best elementary schools in East Orlando and here’s what I’ve found. Would you like this report?”
If I were a parent and I had kids in elementary school, I would so want to get my hands on that report. So now you give them something. And so, you ask for their email address and phone number. In exchange, they download the thing and then you reach out to them and you’re like, “Hey. Are you looking to move? Are you looking for a move? Are you looking to sell? Are you looking to buy? I know this area really well. I don’t have to be your Real Estate Professional, your Real Estate Agent but count on me as a resource. I’m someone that really knows this area very, very well and I’d love to answer any questions I possibly can, help you, you know, if you’re maybe thinking about next year or whatever.” And you start to build up this database of people that like you because you’re a giving person. Again, I would say, if I were talking like early phase 1, if I’m just like, “I’m a Real Estate Agent. Now, what do I do?” That’s what I would do today.
Robert: That’s brilliant. I love your specificity. Thank you so much. That’s a great way to go and you could follow, I would think, a slightly similar strategy when you kind of felt like you had the content wired in, you can re-purpose the content for LinkedIn groups which is more for professionals but you can still probably spend the same kind of content on LinkedIn the same way that you did with Facebook.
Josh: Yeah, for sure.
Jonathan: I thought that was a fantastic answer, Josh. You also mentioned Twitter. When it comes to a lot of Agents, they dismiss Twitter because it doesn’t generate any leads. So, where do you see Twitter in this landscape of social media and influence building? Because I was intrigued that you mentioned it?
Josh: Yeah. So, Twitter is really, really important in terms of establishing your authority and your social proof, particularly if you ever want to do any public speaking, if you ever want to work with the medium, if you ever want to do partnerships with somebody else. So, authority comes from two places and I’ll talk about causation, correlation. People think, “Oh, okay. Well, that Real Estate Professional makes a lot of money so they’ve got a lot of authority.” Not necessarily. Authority really comes from two areas. It comes from social proof and it comes from your associations. So, if you have a big social media following and if you’ve got respect in that regards in terms of like numbers of people go to you and they bought your book, numbers of people are doing something. They’re on your email list. They’re following you on social media, whatever it is, that’s social proof. Your future clients will look at that and say, “Well, wait a minute.
Everybody else is buying homes from Jonathan. I don’t want to miss out. Obviously, there’s something that he does that everybody else understands, that I don’t yet understand.” So that’s social proof. Number two would be your association. “I see that Jonathan hangs around with Robert.” Well, Robert is like, he’s our City Councilman or Robert is the president of the HOA. He’s an important person in our local market and everybody knows his name. Maybe he’s a local celebrity or something like that or just someone professionally within the industry that’s well respected. So, you work your way up to associating with those people. So that might be also media people.
So, if you’re on your local TV station, that’s major positive association. In my world, I’ve spoken at some Tony Robbins events. So when people learn that I have an association with Tony Robbins’ organization, that instantly just boosted my credibility. In fact, someone who’s listening to this right now had an opinion of me and they said, “Well, this guy is probably like a 4 out of 10 in terms of like how important he is or whatever.” But now, I mentioned, “Oh, I speak with Tony Robbins,”, there’s like, “Oh, okay.” And then, in their mind, I just went from a 4 to like maybe like a 6 or something like that. So it’s really important that people figure out what your association is.
You go to a lot of websites and they say, “As seen on,” and then they put all their places, you know, Fox News or wherever, Huffington Post, New York Times. You see that a lot. We do that because we want people to know we’ve gotten past some gatekeepers who believe that we’re someone that you should pay attention to and someone you should listen to.
Jonathan: So, can you kind of go back to the Twitter bit?
Josh: So, Twitter is really important. If you ever want to work with the media, Twitter is the platform to do that. So, if you want to go on your local news and you’ve only got 30 followers on Twitter, that’s going to communicate something. Now, if you have 3,000 or 30,000 followers on Twitter, that communicates something entirely different. And so, Twitter is the platform where you make those first introductions to pretty much anyone you want to partner with or work with. Facebook is a little bit more of a personal platform.
Twitter is one where it’s more kind of professional and certainly, anyone working in the media, every influencer I know, well, not everybody, 90 plus percent of influencers I know actively use Twitter. And so, when they see that this is a platform that you take very seriously, it gets you into front doors and it gets you directly to the people that you want to work with. So I’ve got, I think, about 57,000 followers on Twitter myself. I could pretty much reach out to anyone and they’re going to be like, “Oh, who’s this Josh Elledge guy?” Because I’ve got that social proof. Now, again, if you’re at the beginning, it’s not very difficult to build up an audience on Twitter. All you have to do is just share stuff on a regular basis. You can schedule all this stuff. You can repeat tweets as long as it’s not within 24 hours. You can fill up your queue with content. Again, optimize your profile. I can’t stress this enough how important it is that we perfectly optimize our Facebook, Twitter, our LinkedIn. Listen, you cannot over-invest in your LinkedIn profile in 2018 and beyond. It’s that critical if you want to get work done because that’s the platform where people go to research who you are and what you do.
Jonathan: I think that’s fantastic.
Josh: Twitter’s critical. It really, really is. You don’t have to spend your time there but you need to get the ball rolling there. It’s really important.
Jonathan: I think that’s fantastic. We’re going to go for our break folks. We’ll be back. We’re going to be discussing how to become an influencer in your local market with Josh. We’ll be back in a few moments folks.
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Jonathan: We’re coming back, folks. We’ve had a fascinating conversation about influence. I say that jokingly but actually, I think it’s one of the areas that a lot of Agents, Real Estate Professionals underestimate and it’s one of the leading things which will determine their success, how much they’re seen as an influencer and a person that really produces results.
Robert: Let me just say something for 2 seconds on that. I just want to add something, Jonathan. I’ve had the good fortune to work with, I’d say in Southern California, maybe 80 percent of the top 2 percent of the Real Estate Professionals and I’m talking about like volume revenue that they produced. Most of the revenue here is done in the Luxury market and that would the same in Florida. The biggest Real Estate team or one of them in that area is the and they focus on Luxury as well. So you’ve got that particular brand of Real Estate Professional considering the influencer element. It’s not just a piece of dialogue, it’s critical, it’s part of their business plan. Every single one, it’s part of their mission which means that this topic, like touching on this for Agents that may not be there yet or are wondering how they get there, I feel like this is like the, “Okay. What if you wanted to?” Anyway, I just wanted to add that in. If you’re going into Luxury, if it’s ever part of your mission, if you want to touch the top of your Real Estate market, then being an influencer is pretty much absolutely necessary.
Robert: Go ahead.
Josh: Think of
Jonathan: Yeah, great.
Josh: Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.
Jonathan: I was going to ask you, you know, you mentioned your profile, you know, getting your profile right, connected with Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Can you give some insights on what you think is a right profile on these platforms? How would you approach it?
Josh: Yeah. You can certainly just look me up and you can take a look at mine. Mine tend to perform quite well. I’m just @joshelledge. My LinkedIn performs exceptionally well and just copy what I do. That would be a good start. I’d say the most important thing at the very beginning is you have to invest in great photography. So you have to have a great photo, a great headshot professionally done. Just spend the money because you’re going to use that for years to come. That is a very, very wise $200, $300 investment, probably cheaper if you’ve got a friend that knows what they’re doing, they have a good DSLR camera. You want to optimize your bio and everything that you write, your cover image, that sort of thing. Everything should be written to the audience and you talk about what is in it for them and how you can make their life better. And then, I would also use your social media profile to share indicators of authority.
What makes you important? Why are you someone that they should pay attention to? Some of this is like look, if you’ve got any money to invest, this would be money well spent in terms of optimizing. Invest in your authority for future returns because someone who’s perceived to be very successful in their business just has a higher conversion rate in everything they do. If you’re doing Facebook ads and you’re just getting started and you’re kind of brand new in the market, you’re going to pay a lot of money for lead gen. If you’re already an established, recognized and you’ve got a lot of clout and a lot of authority behind you what you do, you’re not going to have to pay as much. You’ll pay a third of what a new Agent would have to pay.
That’s why I say even if you’re working, let’s say you’re working with a Brokerage. If everything is all about branding the Brokerage, I think that’s a mistake. Granted there are some rules but I think it’s so critical. I’m sure you talk about this a lot. You have to promote your own personal brand. You might change Brokerages. You might move on. You might go independent. I don’t know. I talk about this with network marketers all the time. If you’re just known as brand X lotion guy, that’s dangerous because you could move on from that company but if you’re not known as a skin care anti-aging guy, then what do you have?
In today’s YouTube world, you know, YouTube and podcasting world, the more value you can give and the more education you can give, people will follow you and they will become raving fans and they’ll share your stuff with other people. That’s really the position you want to put yourself in. Now, again, I really want to make sure we talk about the media. I hope we get to kind of transition and talk about that because that’s where we really, what I talked about previously, that’s just getting up to the point where you can get your bills paid. Now, let’s talk about really growing your practice and getting into those upper tiers.
Jonathan: Yeah. Off we go. Give us some insights.
Josh: I wanted your permission. Yeah. So, obviously, that is going to come from, because anybody can get on social media so that’s going to get you up to a certain point and maybe that’s getting close to 6 figures in personal revenue. But what I want to talk about is how can we get to 2, 3, $400,000 in revenue and beyond and I’m talking about personal take home like your profits, right? And so, that’s where I really want to get an Agent. And so, that’s going to come when you are seen as a subject matter expert or a thought leader for your market, for your area and people come to you. And also really important, is that you share these media wins or these indicators of authority. So, if you go to my website, you’re going to see a lot of media logos.
If you go to SavingsAngel.com, I’ve been in the media over 2,000 times and I’m not going to be bashful about sharing that with you because new people coming in, I want them to make sure that they know who they’re talking with. I’m not just some fly by night guy who just threw up a website one day. Listen, in Real Estate, there’s a ton of fly by night people. And so, it’s really important that we do the work as professionals to say, “Look, we are not that. I invest in my branding.” And this is really critical too. Your branding, you will get, I’m sure Robert’s got some great ideas on this one. You will attract the caliber and level of clients in correlation with the level and caliber of your branding. So, if your website and all of that looks really, really good, you’re going to attract really great clients. If your social media and your website, it looks amateur hour, I’m sorry but that’s what you’re going to attract as far as clients. The clients with a lot of money that are into Luxury, they’re not going to work with just anybody.
Robert, you’re the expert on that. But I can’t stress how important it is to find ways to make those investments, smart investments in your branding. It’s like investing in putting on more muscle mass. So, if you’ve got strong inner core muscles, life is easier for you. You just don’t gain fat as easily so you’ve got a gift that goes with you everywhere you go. If you’ve got strong branding, strong authority, it’s a gift that goes with you. Your marketing and advertising is a walk in the park compared to somebody who doesn’t have that.
Robert: Yeah. And just to tag on to your comment. In the Real Estate business, because I haven’t touched on this in a bit in any of our podcasts so I am going to touch on it now, there’s two ways you can go. You can have the really beautiful branding site and that is a way to go and you’re right. Some clients look at that. The second way you can go is how much information does it provide. You don’t necessarily have to have something that looks like a million dollars as long as the information that you have on it truly sets you apart from everybody else.
It’s can’t be terrible but it doesn’t have to be like a site that you spent 25 grand on to have somebody design. It can be a vlog and as long as it looks clean and the information is organized but really good, you can actually, expertise is also, unfortunately, very rare. You try to sell 5 or 10 million dollar homes and their expertise is not in line with the value of the product that their high degree of expertise because you’re dealing with entrepreneurs and CEOs and CMOs. And you know what, they’re looking at, “Okay. I’m going to pay you in excess of a few hundred thousand dollars.” And that’s my money. That’s not your money. That’s my money that’s providing the expertise. Sorry, go ahead, Jon.
Jonathan: Yeah. Great stuff. Unfortunately, you were breaking up a little bit Robert but there we go.
Robert: Oh, sorry.
Jonathan: No, it’s no problem. Another area I want to touch Josh is you’re well-known in the Florida area. You appear on television. How does an Agent, you know, we’ve touched upon it but if they do want to get on to local radio, the established media, what are these outlets looking for from a so-called expert about Real Estate? Got any insights about that?
Josh: Yeah. So, a lot of people like the idea of being on TV. Obviously, they’d love to talk about their brand. They’d love to talk about their work but that’s not the job of a Journalist. That’s not the job of a Broadcaster, Producer. Their job is to entertain, inform, inspire and enlighten their audience. I give them stuff that that audience is going to be glued to their TVs or chair or whatever watching. And so, it’s really important that you come up with fun, topical subjects that you pitch. For example, like if I were a Real Estate Professional, I would maybe, I don’t know if that would, it wouldn’t play for TV but for digital stuff, I would maybe do an article. Like if you wanted to do something that had the potential to go viral, you might do something like, the 10 weirdest things I have ever seen in a backyard or bedroom when touring houses, or something like that.
You just come up with like these lists. Certainly, with local broadcast news, I would probably talk about big development news, like that’s what I would pitch on. So, when something breaks, let’s say an employer just announces that they’re adding 2,000 jobs to the local economy, boom. Go immediately, like as soon as you see that break, reach out to your local broadcast and say, “Look, I want to talk about the economic impact of this and what’s that’s going to mean to the housing market.” And then, you pitch yourself as a subject matter expert. Again, you want to be very helpful. You definitely don’t want to sell at all, especially for that first 3 to 5 segments that you do. You have to be really, really careful because if they see, “Oh, the only reason they’re going on air is because they just want to promote their brand.” It’s like you have to be very, very protective against doing that. And you might say, “Well, wait a minute. What value do I get?”
The value you get is that you were just on TV and now you take that video and you embed it on your site and in your social media and everybody sees it and all of a sudden like, “Whoa! Jonathan is like the go-to Real Estate professional. He’s like getting invited on TV.” It’s not like you’re getting invited, you’re inviting yourself. You’ve got to do a pitch where the reaction from the Journalist, the Producer, the Broadcaster, is something where it’s like you don’t want the reaction where it’s like, “Oh, well, okay. I guess we could do a story on that. We weren’t really planning on that.” The reaction you want is, “Oh my gosh. Yeah. We need somebody. We’re going to be talking about that anyway. Thank you so much”. So that’s the kind of stuff that I would do.
I think that’s going to be much easier. I was kind of talking about some clever kind of viral potential thing. That would go better for social media. Like you could pitch that to larger maybe digital influencers that earlier one when you come up kind of with that clickbaity kind of topic. But for TV, it’s all about local, topical, like what’s going on, what’s in the news and bam, you are Jonny on the spot and you’re helping.
Now, you want to make sure that you work on a relationship with these Journalists first which is why we use Twitter. I’ve got a whole Twitter course I’d be happy to give to those that are watching this and it will explain exactly what my process is for step by step. Basically, how to make friends with Journalists is what the course goes through. And then, how to then take that and then get tons of media. If you go to UpMyInfluence.com/free, then for 10 days, you’ll get access to my full Twitter course and that’s a $400.
Jonathan: That’s fantastic Josh. We’re going to end the podcast part of the show folks. Josh has been gracious, because he’s a busy guy, to stay with us for another 10, 12 minutes where we’re going to be discussing some more about this fascinating subject. But we’re going to round up the podcast part of the show. So, Josh, how can people get a hold of you and learn more about you and your services, Josh?
Josh: I do a pro bono webinar probably about every other week. If you go to UpMyInfluence.com and then you click on Webinar, you can see when my next one is scheduled. I do those live. I answer a lot of questions and if you’re on and you let me know, “Look, I’m a Real Estate Professional,” I’m going to tailor and I’m going to answer your questions specific to who you are and what you do and what your goals are. I normally charge like $800 bucks an hour so this is a great way for me to give you free help and I’ll explain all the foundations to growing your authority, growing your business, making a lot more revenue and of course, I’ll share with you as well some different ways that could potentially work together as well if that fits within your business.
Jonathan: And we’ll make sure that all these links are on the Mail-Right website with the full interview, the video of this great discussion. There will be a full set of show notes and a transcription of the interview. So I’ll make sure that’s all there folks for you. Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to, Robert?
Robert: They can find me at inboundrem.com. They can just go to any part of my website and probably learn a lot about me. I just want to trail on here. Josh is one of my favorite type of content marketers. I’m on his website right now and I’m looking at the content that he’s offering for free to our audience members, especially those that really listen to what I say. I strongly recommend that they go look at his Twitter marketing series of videos. There appears to four. Looks like he’s giving away 30 or 40 minutes of his time. I can tell by everything that we’ve experienced today that he is definitely somebody that knows what he’s talking about and probably you can pick up a lot of value off just his free content on the site. I just want to throw that in there.
Jonathan: Oh, that’s great. And if you want to get a hold of me folks, it’s really easy. Go to the Mail-Right. We’ve got over, I think over a 100 of these interviews. It’s really a University course 101 about how to set yourself up to become a successful Real Estate Agent in your local community. I think it’s a great resource. Plus, you’ll be able to learn more about Mail-Right and our SaaS platform which is designed to help you with some of the things we’ve discussed with Josh. We’ll be back next week with an expert or a subject which we’ll be discussing that I’m absolutely sure will help you get the success that you’re looking for, for yourself and for your family. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.