No other agent embodies the drive, enthusiasm and creative touch required in today’s property market more than Nic Fren. For 16 years Nic has pounded the pavement and barely put the phone down in the relentless pursuit to become Sydney’s go-to agent & marketing professional.
Nic took the time out of his busy schedule from Bespoke Media Management for a chat about his experience with social media in growing his business.
1) Why did you choose social media for your career?
It’s not something I consciously chose, more so a career that chose me. I had done extremely well as a real estate agent on social media and was leading the industry in this space when other agents started reaching out to me to help them. It ultimately became obvious (to me) that I had a skill that others needed and slowly it started to take over my real estate career to a point it became a full blown business.
2) What inspires you most about working in social media?
The cliche ‘no two days are ever the same’. I love the creative part of it. No two people are the same, no two markets are the same and therefore what people want and need differs. I get the most joy from people who are not on social media who know they need to be. They have no inhibitions or preconceived notions about what to do or say online so they are more free to experiment and explore.
3) Who is a role model or example to you in the Social Media Industry?
There are so many legends in this industry that it’s hard to just pick one, but I would have to say my top four would be:
Bea from B! Social – Bea and I met at the Social Media Institute awards in 2019 (we were up against each other for an award in 2019 & 2020) and she’s been such an inspiration to watch her grow and the guidance and support she’s given me. We had a chat late last year and I told her I wanted to get into more of a coaching and training role. As a result I’ve created an event that’s gone beyond what I thought I could pull off.
Ming Johanson – Again, I met Ming at the Social Media Marketing Institute awards in 2019 (and we also were up against each other for an award in 2020). I’ve learnt so much about the business and more importantly a person through this connection. As my business started to rise so too did the negativity I started receiving online. I’d never been in a situation before where so many people I’d never met thought it was ok to bully someone so badly they ended up in a really dark space. Having gone through that before, I got a lot of guidance and support from Ming. Plus she’s just a crazy character who’s always good for a chat.
Michael Dooley – This poor guy cops so many phone calls off me it’s crazy. I’ve actually never met him, but I’ve seen the work that he’s done and the growth of his business over the past year. What I love about what Michael’s doing is that although we are in the same business we are not competitors, even though we service similar industries. I think that plays a key role when trying to grow as a business owner and to have that support from someone who is in your space who wants to see you do well. Plus I might have copied a few of his ideas from time to time hahah.
Lastly, Mireille Ryan, I can’t remember how we connected, I think I saw an ad or something on Facebook early 2019 and we first spoke. Through this relationship and the mentoring and opportunities Mireille has given me, it’s given me the confidence and backing to go out there into this space and own it. I don’t know where or even if I’d have a business still if it wasn’t for her and the support I’ve received.
4) What excites you most about the future of social media?
I think we are at the beginning of an exciting time. I feel there’s a bit of a shift coming and the key players in this space are having to think of more ways to stay relevant. I’m in my mid 30’s so I still remember “My Space” and the journey the platforms have gone on, but lately I’m finding myself being drawn to TikTok for the simple reason, it’s fun. With Instagram and the shopping features and sponsored ads etc etc, to me, particularly since I’m pretty heavy in that space, it just feels like an advertising platform sometimes. I like the escape from reality and seeing the creativity from people on other platforms. I feel like after 2020 and everyone having to go digital that I saw the same thing everyday online and I’m really excited to see things changing in terms of content, how people are using these platforms, how these platforms are effectively changing business operations and building leads and brands.
5) Why is continually learning important to you?
You have to otherwise shut your doors now. With all the changes to the platforms you need to not only be up to date with what’s going on but ahead of the game. If we take the recent Facebook saga for instance. It was crucial for those of us in social media marketing to be able to have answers, not only for what was going on, but how/where to steer our clients literally at the drop of a hat.
I study a lot about us as a people, what moves us and what we engage with. This came in quite handy over the past 12 months with COVID. Understanding that there was a COVID fatigue going on, we started to implement campaigns based on the research we had done in understanding our audiences psyche at the time and producing good quality content that didn’t get lost in the noise.
6) What advice would you give to someone getting started in social media?
JUST DO IT!!!
It’s more than just pretty pictures posted on Instagram. You have to put yourself out there and let people see the real you. This can be quite daunting at times but it’s social media for that reason. People want to see YOU. You have to have a plan and a clear goal on what it is you are wanting to do. When I started my company I started in real estate marketing, got a few clients and then thought I could tackle everything from fashion, cars, hospitality and entertainment. Then I started putting my focus in areas I had no knowledge of. When I decided that real estate was my strength AND my passion and devoted my business to that, we skyrocketed.
Get a mentor – there are so many amazing people in this industry who actually want you to succeed and will always take your call to help.
7) What is it important to me a member of the Social Media Marketing Institute?
The Awards – I joined the SMMI in Jan 2019. I had about 6 or 7 clients and while I was a successful real estate sales agent & known for my own social media success, I wasn’t known for being a business owner or marketer for the industry. Picking up two finalists positions that year at the SMMI awards placed me as one of the leaders in the industry and gave me the backing and recognition I needed out there in the marketplace for people to take me seriously. Fast forward to today and 7 accolades later over a 2 year period, I now have the leading marketing influencer agency for Australia and New Zealand and a client base of over 300.
The Institute – Since joining over two years ago I have met some incredible people who have not only been a huge support to me, but become my friends from all the over the world. Each having different strengths in different industries, they have played a key part in my success. Social media marketing can often be a lonely world trying to find those in your click, who “get it”. I’ve found the relationships I’ve built in this network invaluable. It has been incredible to bounce ideas off different people, reach out to them when I need help and it’s really been a humbling experience when others in the group reach out to me for guidance or advice.
The SMMI will not only help you grow your skills, but will provide a network of people who want to help you succeed and will do what they can to help you achieve your goals.
Written by the team at the Social Media Marketing Institute