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Rosalia Lazzara Interview | Content Hive

On the MLC Show for Property Professionals we had the privilege of interviewing Rosalia Lazzara.

Rosalia Lazzara is the Founder of The Content Hive and Elevici.

Rosalia is a social media expert, Tiktok dancer, motivational vlogger, travel junkie, fitness freak, and a volunteer with Manchester Youth Zone and Princes Trust.

You can learn more about how Rosalia and the Content Hive by clicking here.

Scroll down to read the transcript of the interview, or you can listen via our podcast, or watch the interview via our YouTube channel.

Click on the buttons below to listen to the interview on our podcast or watch via YouTube

Rosalia Lazzara Interview | Content Hive

How’s the past year been?

Hi Sean. I’m all right, thanks, as well as I can be during what’s going on.

Please tell us about your early career and what your background was prior to setting up The Content Hive.

It’s been a crazy year how this all came about, as you can imagine. I just spent my last six years in financial services working in between a brokerage and then after working for a brokerage, I worked for a lender, a specialist lender.

My background is in financial services which all came about by accident, as it usually does. I didn’t wake up one morning thinking, “Gosh, I really want to sell a mortgage.” “Like, I think that’s just a fantastic idea.”

It came about by accident as my formal education is in languages. I studied to be a linguist and then fell into this. So here I am. And then because of COVID my employed career was turned upside down and my business was born.

You are pretty active on Tik Tok. Can you tell us a bit about your experience of using Tik Tok, and whether there are any opportunities for estate agents, mortgage brokers, self-employed professionals on there? I think many see Tik Tok as solely an entertainment channel.

Oh, it definitely is. I mean, if you’re having a sad day, and you just need to laugh, because it’s just all about having fun, right? It’s all about just having fun in your business and in life.

Tik Tok was born out of lockdown and furlough so I spend a lot of time on there and mainly because I’m a dancer, nothing to do with mortgages, I realise that, but that’s what I originally downloaded Tik Tok for, just to get a bit of fitness at home, practise the trends that are going on.

Then when I got bored of all that and started my own business, I realised that it could be an opportunity to share really short, snappy messages, really short and sweet, kind of top tips about what I do at The Content Hive and Elvici and how I can share my top tips.

It’s great because whether you are a whizz at video editing or recording, you don’t need to be because a lot of the features are on there for you.

It’s just a really good short way to get a video out there and to get some of your messages out there.

Which digital platforms would you say property professionals should be focusing their time on, if any stand out perhaps more than others in terms of being more relevant? I think a few people may get over-chunked a little bit with thinking, well, how am I going to have time? How am I going to create the content necessarily for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn? Now you have Tik Tok too. Everyone’s talking about Clubhouse. Are there any digital platforms that estate agents, mortgage brokers, IFAs, and the like you think should maybe be focusing their time on more than others?

That’s a million-dollar question, Sean. Everyone asks the same question.

Which platform should I be on?

Whenever our meetings begin, because I mainly work with mortgage advisors, IFAs, all in the property space and mortgages and lending, everyone’s question is always, “Oh I don’t have Instagram.” “I don’t have Facebook.” “Do you think I should be on there?”

It’s like that FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling because you think you need to be everywhere and anywhere.

I’ll be the first one to hold my hands up and say, I only use one platform mainly for business, which is LinkedIn because the way I see it if you’re trying to catch a certain fish, right, your ideal client, there’s no point sitting there in a tiny little river, hoping that a great fish like a tuna comes along and you get to catch it.

You’ve got to go fishing where the fish are.

So my top tip and the biggest advice that I give to my clients is, don’t feel like you have to be everywhere and everywhere just because all of your competitors seem to be.

Do what works for your type of client, your ideal client.

So 90% of my business comes from LinkedIn.

So of course, even if I create a Tik Tok I don’t actually post it on Tik Tok. I just download the video and post it on LinkedIn.

That’s how it works for me because that’s where I get the majority of my business.

Whereas I’ve got other clients who literally just use Facebook because that’s where their ideal client is.

So for property, I would say first figure out within that niche or within that sector, what kind of client are you trying to attract and where did they spend their time and then go there, and dedicate your time to that channel.

Once you get that right, then transfer it somewhere else. So I could be on YouTube, I could do Instagram, I could do all of it, but just nail one first, you know, get that right, and then move on to another one.

I think that is great advice. A number of property professionals, especially in the mortgage industry, are looking to increase their leads either A to grow their business or B there’s a lot of new brokers looking to increase introductions of work. Where would you recommend they start and what are the steps they should take to increase introductions online?

Again, great question, because everyone wants to do this with an expectation of getting something back. So every time one of my clients thinks, “Well I’m not posting at all at the moment,” I’m like, “Okay, so they want to start posting.”

Then the next question is, “How many leads can you get me?” And I’m like, “None. “I can’t promise you leads.” I can’t that’s not what you get. That’s not what the intention is for social media. It’s all about building relationships. That’s why it’s called social media. It’s about being social.

The first step and the goal of being on social media should be to build rapport and to build relationships during these remote times, we’re working remotely.

I haven’t seen a physical client in over a year. I haven’t met any of my clients face to face. I’ve met them all over Zoom.

So my clients are just little computer people. One day, I’m sure I’ll get to meet them in person. But the point is, I’ve been able to build a strong enough relationship whilst we’ve been working from home.

I think I put my success down to the educational content that I put out there. I’m not pitching, I’m not advertising. I think I’ve sold one thing over social media, which was a webinar. That’s the only thing I advertised for sales. Everything else was just giving away my value, my content, my education, everything that I could do to help people via these social media platforms.

Off the back of that, the next step is to get content out there and educate people.

Step two is to build relationships through being engaging.

Engage with other people, comment on other people’s posts, write personalised messages without the pitch, you know, get to know people. Take the conversation off of social media and try and get onto a Zoom, try and get onto a phone call, try and get them into an email. Don’t keep it just on social media, try and expand the relationship and create multiple touchpoints with your client.

Those are for me, the most two fundamental steps, which is to put the content out there to get your brand awareness and to share your knowledge.

Secondly, be social. Just be normal like you would if you went into a physical networking meeting or you met someone. You wouldn’t just regurgitate all your pitch at them and then walk away and get out of the room. You would actually stay there and have a conversation.

Be prepared to spend that quality time with your viewers, with your followers, before you expect them to pay you for something.

Everyone seems really stressed about time. I think a lot of people might say, “Well I’ve got my website, “I have got a social channel, “but I’m just so stressed for time right now.” And therefore they may be tempted to say that’s one for tomorrow.

Or I feel a bit over-chunked. I think deep down, I know I should be doing something on here, but whether it’s a confidence thing or time I am not.

What would your advice be for people who say, in between trying to make 9 billion pounds a year, stay healthy, stay well, run the house, home-school, etc, and that’s without anything else in your life like hobbies or so forth, what would your advice be for them in terms of looking at time management and social media posts/creation?

That is such a core part of what we’re going through at the moment. So, there was a wave, there was a time where we all spoke about social media wellbeing, and reducing that social media presence, because it was so overwhelming and so taxing on your mental wellbeing.

Whereas now we’ve done the total opposite. We’ve done a complete U-turn and we’re spending more and more time on social media for personal reasons, and now for business reasons as well.

So especially in my business, it feels like I’m on it 24/7, because more than ever before, I used to probably just go on it for personal reasons because I used to see my clients face to face.

That is predominantly the main or the common pain point that we share in financial services, which is 99% of advisors are used to getting their business through referrals, word of mouth, through having a shop in the high street. That is what they’re used to.

So social media was just a by the by thing, just a thing on the side. Now it’s completely the other way round where they find themselves they’re not visible.

They can’t just be seen on the high street. They’re not bumping into clients anymore. They’re not building relationships at the pub saying, I’m a mortgage advisor, you know? That’s not happening anymore.

So they find themselves online but still strapped for time. I’m not saying that everyone should solve that problem by hiring a social media manager. I’m not saying that we are the solution to that every time. In fact, I think there’s a lot that advisors can do on their own before even thinking about hiring a social media manager and incurring that cost in their business.

So first things first, if you are strapped for time, the number one thing you could do is set aside one hour a week where you create the majority of your content within that hour and pre-plan it.

So I plan all of my content a week ahead. So I know what I’m going to post everything next week.

Now things might change. Something, I might react to or I might get inspiration on the day and might just create a quick post on the day, but really I’ve got my content planned out because I don’t have time.

I’m doing all of my broker’s content and all of my IFAs content. I barely have time to do even my own. So I’ve got the same pain point as you guys.

What I do is I set a time may be on a Saturday or a Friday where I say right, I’m going to write five posts and these are the posts I’m going to post next week.

Now the second top tip is consistency is much better than perfection or volume.

So if you can only handle one post a week, just do one post a week. Don’t overthink it. It’s better to do that.

A lot of advisors, I find that they wait for that utopia moment, that perfect time when they say, “Oh, when things are quieter, I’ll just start posting.”

It doesn’t work like that. You might as well just post now weekly, then wait until April to post daily. Just start now. Just do one thing.

Yes, I completely agree. I think you should have a go at various things yourself, even if it’s like you say, an hour on a Friday watching a video on whatever it might be. Could be to do with your social media content and strategies that are working now.

You do need to do that to keep up to speed with it.

Even if you know stuff now, I just think that little bit of housekeeping is massive for people like you’ve just referenced there.

The problem is I think a lot of people are outsourcing because they don’t know and they haven’t got a clue. I think that’s really dangerous, because how are you going to know that what they’re doing for you works? Also like you’ve just said people will say I want leads.

Then that means they lack the patience to be a good client and for the partnership to potentially work, because a week in, they’re going to be saying where are the leads?

Yes because they’re looking for that low-hanging fruit.

They’re looking for who’s going to buy now and they think that because you’re a social media manager you secretly know where all the customers are hiding. Like they think they’re hiding behind the posts. Oh, where have you been? Yes, they’re like yeah, I was here!

That’s not what a social media manager does.

I feel like my brokers buy, or my clients buy from me, for one of two reasons.

One, they know what they’re doing or they know what they want but they just don’t have the time. The biggest reason is, you know what, Roz we can afford this. We can afford for you to come into our team and for you to be our social media manager, our marketing person, our strategy, we want you to do this right?

We haven’t got the inclination because especially in a broker’s world, in financial services, the best use of an advisor’s time is to actually advise. That’s where your time should be spent. So everything outside of that if you’ve got the luxury of the time do everything else yourself. But if you don’t, if you feel like you need to be spending more time with new applications, now cases are taking twice as long these days to get through. There are lots of things to firefight on a case, like down valuations, timings on deadlines, and things like that. So that’s where the advisor’s time is best spent, which if the advisor’s doing everything on their own in the business they’re spinning so many plates. So what ends up falling off their plate is the social media stuff. They end up putting that on the back burner because they haven’t got the time.

Now the second type of broker that I see, is someone who isn’t doing any of it yet because they’re not really sure what to do, how to do it.

So they want to outsource everything, the knowledge without learning about it first. So they expect to hand over this whole online presence to you as a social media manager but then expect this huge return. The hardest thing about that is if you’ve never done it before and if you are inconsistent already, you’re putting a big load and expecting something very quickly.

I’ve never been in this situation before but as an example, I’ve got a new advisor that’s potentially going to sign up but he hasn’t even got a LinkedIn profile yet and recognises that his ideal customers are on LinkedIn. So we’re starting from complete zero. He hasn’t even got a profile yet. And his first question was how quickly do you think we can see leads? He hasn’t even got one follower. He hasn’t even got one connection yet. So we’re starting from complete scratch.

The other thing I’d like to say is, reflect on where you are in the process, where you are in the journey. Are you starting from complete zero where you haven’t posted anything?

So technically you have no social media presence, even though you have a profile, but you have no presence. Or, have you already been consistent and done something and you’ve got something there in the library of your content, but you just need to take it to the next level? That will determine your journey on how quick or how soon, you may see a return.

I think auditing your time, and if you, like you’ve said, if you’re going to do something like that and it is only an hour a week, I would say the best thing you can try and do is then make that hour work in the most enjoyable way for you, because otherwise you’re probably not going to want to do it, and therefore it’s hard to keep as a habit.

So if you’re confident on video then it makes sense to do that. If you aren’t confident on video, or in essence visual formats, then like you say you might be an amazing writer, and then you’ve got loads you can do in relation to that.

The other thing like you said before is I think people have got to show patience, you don’t put seeds in the ground do you and turn up two days later and go where’s my flower?

Where’s my sunflower? I want this massive 12-foot sunflower what’s going on?

The other flowers will say: “Are you new?”

That’s not how this works. You put the seeds in, water it, look after it, show a bit of patience, you’ll get the benefits in time.

I think that would be crucial for people.

Congratulations on the work that you’ve done in such a short space of time as well with Content Hive. It’s brilliant.

What would be the most common issue or problem that you’ve helped a new client solve?

The reason why Elevici and The Content Hive work really well together is that I consider myself to be a sales consultant.

So a sales strategist, a sales advisor, who happens to also know marketing and social media which is very rare. It doesn’t normally go together.

So when I look at the social media plan for a client I go much deeper into just creating a nice post and a nice article. I start without them even realising, I start to give them a consultation on the sales front.

So I had an advisor just as an example who runs a very elite like high-end firm.

The majority of the leads come from private banks and really high-end introducers. He says: “I want to go on social media and I want to find developers. I want to find investors. I want to find self-employed and portfolio landlords” etc.

I was like, sorry, remind me again where you get the majority of your leads from? He was like, introducers.

So why not grow your introducer network and get more introducers who give you more leads?

If that strategy works let me show you how you can do that on social media. So I can show you, so everyone thinks that you go on social media to find the end consumer and to find the person who actually pays you, but it doesn’t have to work that way.

If you get the majority of your leads from an estate agent, build your rapport and relationships and your social media presence with estate agents. So the most common problem to answer your question is that advisors or my clients tend to separate sales and social media into two separate categories.

Whereas I’ve been able to show them how they can get sales leads and their sales strategy as another pillar in their business through social media.

Like any business you don’t just have one income stream, or one, sometimes you do, and that’s the problem. So if you have one pillar in your business and that is the main source of your leads, so in financial services, for example, every single advisor says all my leads, you know, what’s your lead gen strategy?


Anything else? Not really.

Well, if that pillar fell down where would you get your business from, right?

Where does it come from?

I like to see myself as multiple pillars within the business. Maybe I can only offer two pillars out of five, right?

But the point is, try and balance out your lead gen strategy and your sales strategy. So that’s where the Elvici part comes in with The Content Hive, which is balancing that sales approach, the sales funnel, the sales strategy, but just using social media as well. So that would be the problem.

You’ve done so much in the last 12 months. What are your goals and ambitions for the next 12?

Wow, so I’ve always been very into goal setting because 10 years ago I discovered personal development.

I know that sounds very obvious, but it was just like, wow, there are books out here to help me. I went into that and it was all about bettering yourself and improving yourself, and striving for more and goal setting.

So I’ve always been a goal setter. Like an overachiever. Once you get there, you’re like, so I achieved it now. What’s next?

So I fell into that trap, Sean, where I was just over goal-setting too much, you know? I wanted to strive for more. In early 2020 life was just going a little bit too perfect. I loved my job, I loved my life, I loved my house. I turned 30 and I was like, wow, like, this is great.

Then a little thing called COVID took some of that from underneath my feet. I thought, well, that’s not in my goals. That’s not my plan.

So the answer to your question is, I’ve learned to let go a little bit more, right? I’ve learned because had my goals gone to plan last year, I would not be sitting here today. I’m very glad I didn’t achieve my goals last year.

It’s the first time in 30 years that I’ve said that because I always try and control the outcome.

I want to be the owner of my destiny. Whereas last year, because I didn’t achieve the goals that I had planned, I’m now here today with two businesses, I’ve replaced my full-time income with my own businesses in the space of six months. I’m very, very proud of that.

I think what happens in the next 12 months is, one don’t get COVID. That’s goal number one. I’d like to stay alive and stay healthy.

Goal number two is to get to the end of the year. There’s a certain figure that I have in my head that I want to achieve, which is double what my employed salary was, because why not?

I’ve got two businesses, so I should be able to, you know double it up, you’d imagine.

I want to become a recognised person in the industry, one representing women. So that was one of the only reasons why I stuck to financial services because when I came into the industry, it was an accident.

Then I realised that it was underrepresented by women.

So I want to be just as inspirational and as recognised in the industry, like the Kim McGinley’s and Sarah Tuckers and, Nicola Firth from Knowledge Bank, etc, and there’s just so many inspiring women in the industry that I would like to see myself as a peer with them.

So just stay positive. I think you’ve just got to take one day at a time and do your best that you can in that day.

I fully endorse that. I think that’s absolutely fabulous and I’ve got no doubt you will do that. I wish you all the best with that. If people are interested in reaching out to you, and finding out more about your services how would they go about doing that?

So I love connecting with people on LinkedIn because I get to learn about their business. They get to see mine. So that’s the best place. Send me a message let’s have a chat on there. Most of my conversations are on Zoom. I’m always having a virtual coffee with someone even whilst I actually go out for a walk. We just put the webcam on and we just walk and talk. So I really like that.