For those of you who didn’t tune in last week, I wrote a blog post here on BiggerPockets called, “The Power of YouTube: How My Real Estate Channel Netted Almost 10k Subscribers in One Day.” You see, YouTube is a very powerful platform that so many people completely overlook. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free The reason for this is because most people don’t understand how it works, so they just completely dismiss it. People think that creating videos is like doing brain surgery. In reality, it’s completely easy to do. I should know because since 2006, I’ve created hundreds of videos on YouTube and I continue to do so to this day. So I’m starting a series of blog posts to help those here in the REI community to start using video to get to the top of your local market. Video is powerful and an avenue that I think you all should be taking advantage of if you want to market your business for FREE. But first we have another issue to handle before we start this process of creating great videos, and that will be creating an educational, SEO-friendly and completely optimized website for our given market. We must first make sure our foundation is stable and ready for service. This is something that I talked about in an earlier blog post about getting your website ducks in a row. Related: 14 Effective Pages for a Fully Optimized, Lead Generating Website Nightmare on Opt-in Pages Street Before we even do one video, I must talk about something that I come across far too often. What I’m talking about is the opt-in REI websites that focus strictly on that opt-in page. They contain… No “Epic-Wow” Content No Bio Info No Explaining No Solutions If you have one of these websites or opt-in pages, then there is nothing wrong with them. These are great platforms when trying to capture those leads and covert them into buyers or sellers. The issue is when you have that page as the homepage of your website. This is like a person coming up on the street and throwing a CD in your face and telling you to buy it. I don’t know who you are or how your music sounds, so why force me to buy something before I listen to it? When a potential lead hits your website for the first time, you don’t want to sound or look like a sleazy car salesman. Your goal is to come out of the gate and provide as much information as possible about yourself and your business. From there, you want to introduce them to tons of pieces of content that educate them on solving a problem. Those problems can range from potential foreclosure to divorce issues to tax issues and more. The second that a person hits your website, they should be able to pick up on all of these details on the front page. Allow them to search through your content and read about all of the things that can help them solve that issue. From there, you must create that opt-in page that you can link to from within that content, which is where that person can make an educated decision on whether or not to give you their information. Become an Authority Locally One of the keys to success in any city is to become a brand of authority — and not just some random website. Unfortunately, so many so-called REI people will tell you that all you need is an opt-in page, and the rest will come through direct mail, driving for dollars and working with wholesalers. The truth is that it takes more work than you can ever imagine if you really want to be a force in your local market. You see, I’m one of those people who loves to show real life evidence of what I mean when it comes to authority brands. Here’s Some Research What I would like you to do is Google any of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world. Just like any industry, all of their websites will be somewhat the same. Meaning that all of their sites will consist of information, services and products that they sell. I’m 99.9% sure that you will not find an opt-in page anywhere on the front page. Most of you may be wondering, what does this mean? This tells you that first and foremost, you don’t have to have an opt-in box on your front page to have success in any industry. What you want to do is provide valuable information to the potential lead, and then allow them to make further decisions. Many websites just produce great content on each page that links to an opt-in page. This is what a number one high authority website focuses on and the reason why they’re more popular locally than the spammy website that looks like it’s just trying to capture leads. Related: How I Landed My First Real Estate Deal With a $39/Month Marketing Budget Overall, just think about creating something of value instead of simply pushing an opt-in page in front of potential leads. Just know that you can grow your REI business locally without going the route of using opt-ins on your front page. Think about getting this part of your REI website down before we move on to creating targeted videos that can be found locally in the search engines. I always talk about building your foundation first, which is the website, and then starting your marketing — from social media to doing direct mail — the smart way. Now, I’m not saying don’t to use opt-in pages; I’m just asking you to focus more on the content first and then present the opt-in to them in the form of links on the page. Where do you position the opt-in page on your website? What kind of value do you offer people in your local market? Leave your comments below!