Mark Ferguson shares how he got free real estate investor PR. Watch the video interview to discover how he got in Realtor.com, Trulia, Money, Forbes, more.
Josh Elledge: Alright, Mark Ferguson of InvestFourMore.com. I’m wondering if you can kind of start off by sharing what Invest Four More is and what you do, right, what is your business?
Mark Ferguson: Hey Josh. Yeah I’m a real estate agent. I’m a real estate investor as well, and I started Invest Four More as a blog just to talk about my investing, and that kind of went on to being an agent, and talking about Fix-and-Flips, rental properties and I’m just trying to give advice on all things real estate.
Josh Elledge: Good. And so how do you now teach your audience? What tools or what products and services do you offer?
Mark Ferguson: I’ve got close to 400 articles on the blog that are free. I’ve created whole 5 or 6 books, two paperback books on Amazon that were new release best sellers, so that’s pretty exciting and I’ve got some coaching products as well. So I’ve got some video training and some other more personalized coaching products as well for flippers, agents and rental property owners.
Josh Elledge: Great, great. So you’ve had some pretty good success in working with the media and I was wondering if you could kind of share some of the things that you’ve done, and maybe a little secret to your success like what are you doing and how are you using UpMyInfluence?
Mark Ferguson: Yeah, no. No, I kind of joined up with UpMyInfluence just to get a little more exposure in the media. My blog had always done really well with SEO and Google. But I know I could not rely on that for all my traffic. So I wanted to get more exposure in the media and of course more links back – media helps SEO too in your site. And using UpMyInfluence I mean, I was expecting to get a lot of advice on media but I mean you’ve helped me out with my blog and products as well, which was not expected. I really appreciate that. The “Help a Reporter Out”, the HARO alerts have been amazing. I have been quoted in probably 10 articles at least in a couple months…
Josh Elledge: Yeah and off the top of your head if you can kind of maybe rifle through some of the websites or publications or where you have actually been seen?
Mark Ferguson: Yeah, I mean Trulia has featured me a couple times, which is one of the biggest real estate sites you know in the world. Realtor.com has featured me and some of those articles were picked up by the Huffington Post. I just found out Forbes picked up one, Time Money picked up one. So yeah I was, I was a bit surprised when I saw that. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. So it was very cool.
Josh Elledge: Yeah and you have got some, you have got more coming down the pike?
Mark Ferguson: Yes, so I have got a reporter in, I’m in Colorado, and a reporter in New York did a featured story on me and the housing market with the Associated Press. So they had a photographer driving hour away to come do a photo shoot with me for this story. It hasn’t been released yet and I don’t know exactly when it’s coming out but I mean that was pretty exciting too.
Josh Elledge: Yeah for sure. So, so for those who, so you mentioned your service called HARO. Now HARO has a free level that anybody can do and it requires you to check the e-mail three times a day at 6:00 AM, noon and 6:00 PM. But of course the advanced levels allow you some advanced notice and keyword targeting and so that’s really worked out well for you?
Mark Ferguson: Yeah, I used HARO before I worked with you guys. Well I should say I tried to, I didn’t really use it because like you said I get e-mails three times a day and there is like 50 different topics you have to sift through in each e-mail, and it was really a waste of time.
Josh Elledge: Yeah.
Mark Ferguson: I also didn’t know how to pitch them when using that. You guys taught me
how to do that as well, how to pitch them, how to build a media page all of that. And with the alerts that you guys created for me, I get an e-mail as soon as that alert pops up with my keyword, if it’s real estate or rental properties. And the subject tells you exactly what that story is about. So I can delete anything that isn’t important and focus on the ones that are and yeah that’s, I mean that’s probably 90% of the reason why I have done so well in the media lately.
Josh Elledge: Wow! And of course the advantages you know getting them before anybody else, which is really, really nice. So that’s, that’s awesome. And if you find their early access is, is obviously that seems to be pretty helpful too?
Mark Ferguson: Yes for sure, and I don’t, I don’t know how many people are you know pitching these reporters but I am sure getting in there first, helps. They probably get an influx of people when those e-mails come out three times a day you know. If you get one two hours before, 30 others come in I’m sure that’s a huge advantage.
Josh Elledge: Yeah no kidding, that’s great. So in terms of and if you don’t mind me asking in terms of education or value that you have gotten from your UpMyInfluence membership in terms of you know good advice and consulting and, and that sort of thing. I am wondering if you could kind of share a little bit more about that if you will be willing to.
Mark Ferguson: Yeah, no happy to. Like I said, I was expecting more media play, which I got a lot of you know. I went through your videos which were very helpful with Twitter and building media lists and all of that. But what I wasn’t expecting was you to help me out even with product pricing on my real estate blog. And launching my book you helped me out with that. You helped me out with you know SEO, things to focus on, site design, sales copy, I mean they are just an incredible amount of things that you guys helped with that I was not expecting at all. So I know and you know we do our calls once in a while and we get side tracked on. We are not talking about media, we are talking about other stuff, which is very cool for me and it’s, it’s been a great help on my site and business.
Josh Elledge: Yeah I know from experience that’s, that’s pretty atypical for most PR firms. I think most PR firms are pretty good at what they do. You know and that one thing is media exposure and you know I have, I have always had a philosophy that you know good PR should have a business, should have you know a business motivation to it. So we are just not doing PR for ego sake but in fact, we are doing PR because we want the exposure. And then ultimately we want to do a lots and lots of business with people.
Mark Ferguson: Right, yep exactly and you have — yeah you have not only helped me get PR but you have helped me kind of implement that in to more sales, more income using that PR the right way.
Josh Elledge: That’s great. So Mark, so people who come to Invest Four More and that’s investfourmore.com what are some of the things that you had already mentioned? You have a huge library of blog articles but you also have a podcast and you have some other resources that that people can take advantage of…?
Mark Ferguson: Right, yeah I, I have got a free e-book, I think it’s 64-pages long on you know Retiring With Rental Properties. All the blog articles, I have got a podcast video, a weekly show. I talk to investors, agents, you know people who are just inspiring you know outside of real estate as well. Yeah and I have got some coaching programs where we do conference calls you know with me personally, walkthrough people you know how to buy rentals, how to buy flips, what numbers to look for, what mistakes to watch out for. And really I built a site to kind of be an awesome resource for investors not you know making millions overnight with no work. I think there is a lot of people out there promising that. I am a realist, I am more about building you know fundamentals and really being successful using common sense and proven strategies.
Josh Elledge: Yeah well you know and, and I think that that this is probably part of why you have been so successful with the media is that you, for this industry in particular, I think people really appreciate your authenticity and you know so many audiences are just craving that. I appreciate the hype and the motivation that sort of thing, but really I think most audiences just want to connect. And if they can connect with someone who has done the deal, which you have, you have the success to backup what you teach. In my opinion it’s kind of the perfect formula. So congratulations on not just your business success but as of late as well your media success. It’s a, it seems to me to be a great cycle.
Mark Ferguson: Yeah, no. Thank you, I appreciate all the help you have given me and there is, yeah, no way I’d have the media success I’ve had without you and Rachel who helps you as well. It’s been a great help to me.
Josh Elledge: That’s awesome. So thank you so much. Mark Ferguson of InvestFourMore.com. Thank you so much for kind of sharing your experience and, and us working together.
Mark Ferguson: Thank you Josh.
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