The Power of Social Media Marketing

How brokers can make real money using free tools

By Sandra Gebhardt

Social media can feel overwhelming, usually because we don’t know how to use it.
The very first thing we need to do is to realize that social media is a tool. We often think of it as our escape from reality, our own distraction.

Start looking at social media (Facebook, mainly) as a free advertising tool. You will find that you can start using it efficiently.
We want to say out loud, “Facebook is for making money.” Once we get our mindset wrapped around that, you’ll find social media much easier to integrate into your day-to-day life.

Picture this…
You are able to put 5,000 people into a room and create your dream networking situation. Anyone can be in this room:
referral partners, current clients, friends, fans, future clients, influencers of any sort, celebrities — the list goes on and on.

Multiple times a day, you can share your dreams, thoughts, goals, details about your business, your family — the same sort of things you would share at a real life networking event.

This is exactly what your personal Facebook profile does. You are able to hand-select 5,000 people to share your message with. If you don’t align with someone, you unfriend them or block
them. This is not a luxury we even have in real-life networking situations. We tried in the 90’s with “Talk to the hand because the face isn’t listening,” but that never worked out all that great.

The power of posting, interacting and starting conversations with people on your Facebook profile is unlimited. Creating real conversations, real business relationships, and business transactions happen daily.

That said, social media marketing can be a very time-consuming marketing tool for sure. But compare it to how much time you spend attending many social networking events in person. If you plan it right, and set up the tool to serve YOU, in around 20 minutes a day, you are able to strategically interact with your community online. Increase your interactions from real-life events.

Create new powerful relationships from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas.

Now, don’t confuse the type of social media marketing I am writing about with content creation. We are talking about using social media to create a strategic brand with people you select. Content creation includes businesses online that have a marketing team. They are shooting and editing many videos a day, posting on different platforms, staying on top of trends — it is a full-time job.

Most small business owners don’t have the budget for a full-time marketing person. You should not be spending your time away from the money-making activities you are skilled at. Rather, there is a very sweet spot that is often overlooked because it is not flashy, trendy, or overly cool. That sweet spot is using your social media to build knowledge, likes and trust. This by interacting and posting as if you were
interacting with people in real life. It is not flashy, but it is steady and true. Follow the system, and you will see your brand (you) becoming more noticeable. People will reach out to do business with
you. Referral partners will reach out to see how you can help grow each other’s businesses.

The 20 minute fool proof 5x5x5 system

To get you started, I am going to break down a quick system to increase your social media marketing efforts. The best part is, it only takes about twenty minutes a day.

1. Five Friend Requests:

The 5x5x5 system starts with sending out 5 friend requests daily. Be strategic in who you are inviting to connect with  you. Think about that dream networking situation. Who do you want to invite to your “networking event?” If you meet people in real life, ask them to connect online. Send a friend request right away.

2. Five Interactions:

Next, we are going to interact with 5 different people. This simply means that we are going to find 5 posts to comment on. Comment the same way you would if you were talking to this person in real life. Be social and use 2-3 sentences to actually interact with their posts. Imagine that person is showing you the picture they posted or telling you the story face-to-face.
Respond accordingly.

3. Five Direct Messages:

The third “5” is to send 5 direct messages to your connections.

Don’t send a friend request and a direct message on the same day, unless you already have a connection.

This is everyone’s least favorite step.
People share concerns about being too pushy, too salesy, or too annoying to others. It feels like a big deal to send someone a direct message, but it’s NOT.

The only time it’s a bad idea to send a direct message is if you are trying to only sell them something. If you are starting a direct message with a pitch for recruiting or a product, you are doing it wrong. If you are starting a direct message with “hey girl, hey! I haven’t talked to you since high school,” you
are doing it wrong. Think of the direct messages as a side conversation at a networking event. You are starting a conversation. You can answer questions they may have asked. Wish them a happy birthday. Tell them you are thinking about them and hope they have an awesome day. Ask who a good referral for them is right now. Just send a message as a conversation and watch your friendships grow!

4 & 5. Five Power Lists with 5 people on each:

Make 5 aspirational lists of say, power players you’d like to reach out to, people you want to get in
front of, ideal clients, business insurance decision makers, your fan club. Then go back to step one and reach out!

Ready to start your social media engine? Don’t be shy!
Don’t let the magic of social media slip away! Don’t hold yourself back with fear or not knowing where to start. Close your eyes and think, “What would I talk about (post) if I was in a networking situation
right now?” Interact, be social, and remember that social media is a free resource you have.

Don’t waste it! Take action!

Start interacting with others. Send out connection requests.

Send direct messages, post about your life and business. You will be blown away by the results.

And if you need help, I’m just an email or phone call away!

SANDRA GEBHARDT is a digital marketer with years of experience being famous for being a power connector and helping small business owners fix advertising and marketing issues. She has worked with thousands of small business owners, trained in high ticket consulting groups, spoken at multiple events including TedX, been featured in two documentaries, runs a top rated podcast called

Binding Authority ( podcast) — all while being a wife and keeping the world’s cutest 4 year old entertained, happy and safe from falling off tall things he climbs.

Known as the “Queen Bee of Organic Social Media Marketing,”

Sandra is passionate about teaching agents to build their own personal brand. She also runs a group consulting course where she focuses on coaching and helping agents build smart
marketing plans!

Find more information about this complex, sarcastic, fun-loving gal at:

Gebhardt was a 2023 Ellevate Foundation Women’s Leadership Summit Keynote Speaker

See coverage in our May issue