How to Develop an Online Social Media Voice People Want to Hang-Out With

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Developing an online social media presence is not on the top of most real estate investor’s to do list. It comes way down the list after “meet with the contractor, buy some cabinets and get a tenant in the rental property”. But let me tell you why you should do it now, and just how you can manage this process (pretty painlessly.)

Getting Known As “Number One” In Your Business

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Just about everything in business is all about perception. Building a strong online presence which includes social media is a big part of that perception. So let’s dive in and go over some of the components of building your online persona.

Decide What Your Desired Outcome Is

Much like deciding on your exit strategy, it’s really important that you decide early on what your “why” is; what is your desired outcome for your social media presence. Are you…

  • Strictly trying to build your core real estate business of buying and selling houses which includes an online presence? Social media is great for that.
  • Trying to build a “tribe” as Seth Goodin would say or a community? Your tribe will eventually become a group of folks that are there to help you promote and grow your business. The best case scenario; create a group of “Raving Fans” as the book by Ken Blanchard talks about.
  • Are you looking for other influencers to become part of your tribe? You can easily identify these folks and interact with them on their social medial pages.
  • Building a personal or business brand that will allow you to branch out into other areas? This is really powerful. One day you will be tired of trading your time for dollars. Look down the road 5 years and figure out how what you do today to build a social media presence can help you with your “next steps”.
  • Launching services, books or products? Your online presence will be the deciding factor on just how fast this happens for you. Start today even if your ideas and dreams only live in your mind.

Maybe what you are trying to accomplish is a combination of all of the above. There isn’t any right or wrong answer here, and this outcome will likely change over time. But make no mistake, a building a strong social media presence will be essential for your business growth over time. A perfect example can be found right here on BiggerPockets.

Related:BP Podcast 012 : Wholesaling and Marketing with Sharon Vornholt

Don’t Be All Business All the Time

People do business with other people that they know, like, and trust; not companies. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and let your personality come through. There is only one “you”. This is all part of creating that online voice that people want to hang out with. People love stories. They love hearing about your personal or family triumphs. Be willing to share important personal news like that new baby that just arrived. They also love hearing about challenges and problems in your real estate business. Last week I shared (what turned out to be a funny story) I wrote for my personal blog after I got over being mad. The title of the story was ““Don’t Be an “Askhole”; Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Real Estate Mentor”. I have a share button on my blog so it’s really easy to share, and I put it out to all of the social media sites. And boy did that title get me a lot of comments! The type of information you share on one social media channel will be different from another, but I always share all my blog posts across all of the major sites.

  • Twitter is all about quick, 140 character messages like “check out my new listing here at… or here is my latest blog post and here is how it will help you”. Give them a reason to read your posts. Offer a freebie from time to time.
  • Facebook allows you to get a little bit more personal. In fact, Facebook users expect you to get personal along with your business posts. They want to get to know the person here.
  • LinkedIn is much more business oriented in general, so the rules are a little different and the audience is more business-like.
  • YouTube is one of the most underrated social media channels by real estate investors. This is a place you can showcase your expertise, let your personality show through, and grow your business and your brand.

Don’t make the mistake of discounting the value of having a strong presence on Facebook. I have made many long lasting business relationships on this particular site. You will meet a lot of people that are in your same business or complimentary businesses that have similar goals and interests on Facebook. These folks can and will open many doors for you. A real bonus is that I have also made many lasting friendships that started on Facebook. For real estate investing, Facebook and YouTube are by far the two sites that I find to be the most useful. Twitter is great for list building and it’s quick and easy to do. I would pick a couple of social media sites and stick with those in the beginning.

How Can You Develop that Online Voice People Want to Hang Out With?

There are a number of things you can do.

  • Network with other “influencers” online just as you would offline; read and comment on their blogs and forum posts when you have something of value to contribute, but always be yourself.
  • Be conversational. Don’t say “Great post” and leave it at that. Social media is all about engaging with folks, joining in the conversation, and building relationships. Once again, other types of social media are very much like the community here on BiggerPockets.
  • Create a business page on these sites. Secure your company name and your personal name on the major sites. Then take a few minutes and add your logo, some information for branding, and a short bio.

This doesn’t have to be a major undertaking in the beginning. Just share your blog posts (another reason to start a blog), comment on what is going on now in your business, and find a way to showcase your expertise by offering helpful tips, videos or other industry related articles. You don’t even have to write all of these articles yourself. Just share news others in your industry would want to read. Over time, being known as “the industry expert” will happen organically if you just concentrate on providing good content and being the best “you” that you can be. Give people a reason to want to hang out with you; to seek you out and listen to what you have to say. The number one thing is to always provide great content with no strings attached. Don’t have them opt-in to get it. But it’s not only OK but you should offer them a freebie every now and then for signing up to your list. This should be something of value that is just for the “special people” that take action. Always be building your tribe and your list.

Next Time…

By now if you’re still reading, you are probably saying “There is no way I have time for this” Next time I will show you how you can connect with your “tribe” and build a strong social media presence and an online social media voice people want to hang out with in about 30-35 minutes a day.

Photo: Spencer E Holtaway

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.


  1. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for this informative and insightful article. I use WordPress for blogging and my website. as a real estate investor I am interested in creating a niche for my company. Social media sites will be high on my agenda for getting the word out.
    I am also looking at creating an ebook for my particular area.

    • Sharon Vornholt

      Those are all great ideas Charles. Social media has become very important, but none of us have a lot of time to waste on it, so it’s really important to decide what to focus on.

      Be sure to create something to give away like a 15-20 page report for list building purposes.


  2. Sharon,
    CONGRATS on hitting the century mark with your BP posts! As with all your posts you have once again provided fantastic information for both the beginning & experienced RE investor. I am continually amazed at the great content that you provide to the BP community. You sometimes mention that you are not tech savvy yet many of your posts here and on your Louisville gals blog touch on technology, social media, websites, blogs etc. that help the everyday investor become more efficient running their business. I’m not a tech savy individual by any means yet when I read your posts you inspire me to embrace technology, especially the social media aspect of it. For instance starting a blog ( I have no idea how) and using YouTube will be immediate goals to set. Keep up the great work, looking forward to the next 100 posts!!
    Anthony Z.

    • Sharon Vornholt

      Hey Anthony –

      Hitting that 100 posts was quite a milestone for me. Thanks for the encouragement.

      I really am not a naturally “tech savvy” person. I have tried to find easy ways to do things, and I am always on the lookout for free or low cost tools to pass along. So when I find something, I usually write an article about it or do a short video.

      I have some suggestions for your blog (I’m pretty sure I have written a couple of posts on this subject so search for those).

      1. You will need hosting. I use Hostgator ($9.99 a month). They also sell domain names now.

      2. Buy your domain name. This is what your blog/site will be called.

      I have bought most of mine through, but since Hostgator does that now, I probably would just have everything there if I were to start over again. But there are a number of places where you can get your domain name.

      *Choose your blog name carefully. Mine – Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog was in hindsight, not the best one to choose. Don’t limit yourself with your name. “Louisville” in my title hasn’t hurt me in the long run, but in the short term it wasn’t the best choice. Don’t pick something that will not be an “evergreen name” such as “Real Estate Investing While You Are A College Student”. You won’t always be a college student.

      While you are buying names, buy your name. I have purchased “”
      Some names are already gone. You will want a .com domain that is your name for branding purposes down the road. Just do this and figure it out later. It will probably cost about $12 a year for each domain.

      3. Go over to once you have done steps one and two, and have someone set up your blog. ($5.00). Just search for someone to set up your WordPress site.

      You can learn to do it, but don’t waste your time now. Get your first site up and learn on the next site.

      4. Word of advice: Don’t get a free blog at Pay for hosting and get a blog site.

      You have a whole lot more options, and if you ever want to sell an Ebook, a course or an affiliate product you can’t do that with a site. It isn’t allowed.

      5. Tweak your blog – especially the “header”. Make it look special. There are a million “themes” to choose from. You might also want to order something special from Fiverr for a header at some point.

      6. Write something; a short article, a “10 tips article”, or just about anything. No one will be seeing your blog initially so just get busy and start creating some content. Be sure the spell checker on your computer becomes your best friend. No one wants to read a blog that isn’t correct.

      7. Make a short video with your phone or flip camera. Just play around with this. You will eventually need a YouTube Channel. To set this up, you will need a Gmail account (they are linked). So just go over to Google and set up an email account if you don’t have one.

      I hope this helps you get started.

  3. Another informative post.

    Social media can get you out there and you can meet a lot of people and better stay in touch with other contacts. I find Facebook to really help to get to better know and stay in contact with people I meet in other situations.

    Surprised you didn’t include G+ in that conversation.

      • I liked Google+ a lot when it came out. I found that that actual platform and interfaces to be more user friendly than Facebook.
        At the time I got away form doing much with it simply because it was new and not that many people were using it. Seems like that is changing though.

        I need to go back and use it more though. Automating some stuff with that would be a lot of help. I have not found anything good to do that so far.

        • Sharon Vornholt

          Funny you should say that Shun; my next post just came out here on the site a few minutes ago and it is on automation, what to post and the frequency for best business building practices.

          I use “Hootsuite”. You can schedule your posts in advance. Check it out. Once you have your posts in there that you will be repeating like a link to a “freebie”, you can save that post and next time just copy and past the link. And its … FREE to use.

          One good thing about Google+ is that it is so integrated with Google it helps your rankings.

          Thanks for your comments.

        • Hey Sharon,

          Thanks for the heads up. I’ll check out that post.

          I actually use Hootsuite for the other stuff. As far as I can tell you can only link a Google+ page not a profile. Since I don’t use it much I hadn’t created a page so haven’t gone back to do that then link it back to be able to automate things.

          Maybe you address this in that other article so I’ll see what that says.

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