Living in Spain is rather strange at times. I have said before in these pages that Spanish life is rather conformist, what one person does successfully everybody else follows in general. Successful estate agents beget copycat models, and the same can be said of academies, theme bars, delicatessens and a huge etcetera. Google is the absolute killer in this area though because people started to use it and everybody else followed. Loads copied but none got traction. In fact just like in English there is a phrase which says “Look for it in Google”, ie Google it.
When you are looking at starting a pay per Click campaign online you are told to test in Yahoo as it is a lot cheaper than Google to test a market. But the people telling you this are usually coming from the States where Google controls about 70% of the search market with Yahoo and Bing making up most of the rest, if we discount YouTube which is a huge search engine but for videos.
In Spain Google has 99% of the search market so there is no point in testing a market using Yahoo PPC because you will not see results from the local market.
This got me to thinking some time ago, how does one become the Google in their own marketplace? How do you become the 300 pound gorilla that others follow in a backhanded complement sort of way. Twice this week I have been called the most active estate agent in Europe in terms of social media. This is all part of my attempt to become the authority in the area of Spanish Estate Agency. In a shrinking, fearful market where about 80% of Spanish based estate agents have gone to the wall, I have been steadily increasing my visibility up to the point where the take up of the new affiliate or referral scheme that I have put together has been astounding.
These are just the first steps of course. Being perceived as an authority carries a responsibility to constantly innovate and lead the market but at the same time it presents Golden Opportunities and they are being offered to me on an almost daily basis now just because of the online visibility of my personal brand.
(Part two to follow tomorrow)
(If you are interested in following that brand then the best place to do that is Twitter @grahunt but the YouTube channel Valprop, the blogs here and at Houses For Sale In Spain and a multitude of leveraged other places where my stuff appears allow you to easily follow what is happening here.)