What is a personal brand?
Essentially, it’s the reputation you have as a business and in business. As a Realtor®, your personal brand is essential because you personally provide the service.
You may also have a broker, but that brand doesn’t define your business. You can change brokers, but you can’t change YOU!
How do you build a powerful personal brand? The good news is that a lot of the tips of branding a business apply to personal branding as well. Here’s what you need to know.
Determine What Makes You Different
The way you serve clients isn’t like anyone else. If you think of yourself as “someone who buys and sells houses,” you’re no different from tens of thousands of others. But if you think about what makes you unique, you can see how your service stands alone in your market.
You can differentiate by having a unique attitude – be playful and fun, or be extremely data-oriented, for instance. You can be different because of who you serve – maybe you focus on older folks who downsize or on finding homes for young families.
No matter how you slice it, you need an answer to the question, “Why should I choose you as my Realtor® rather than the dozens of others who offer the same service?”
Once you have that answer, it becomes the foundation of your personal brand.
Build Up a Good Online Reputation
Just like any business, you need a strong online reputation. This involves claiming your Google My Business profile and social media handles. (You don’t have to be active on all social media, but you want to have your name claimed in case you decide to later!)
You also want to build your brand by encouraging positive reviews. You can get reviews from anyone, even folks who didn’t close a deal with you! As long as you treated them professionally and they had a positive experience, they can share that on your behalf.
As you interact on social media and your website, be sure you maintain yourself in accordance with your uniqueness and brand at all times. Don’t be like this chef who turned a minor criticism into a major debacle by losing his cool!
It takes time to build a reputation, but as you do, you’re building your personal brand. This will pay off in great leads and consistent business for years to come!
Combine Your Online and Offline Outreach
Connecting with audiences online is an important part of your marketing mix, but nothing will replace offline marketing. From sending seasonal postcards to being present in your target neighborhoods, you need to be sure you’re visible in your market.
Fewer people are marketing through the mail these days, which makes it the perfect place to stand out. I even get mailers from Google, so don’t think I’m making this up!
And of course nothing replaces the rapport and trust you can build by being present, face-to-face with your target market. Whether you do pop bys, participate in local events, or walk your dog through the neighborhood, it’s important that people know your name, face, and personality.
When you combine online and offline marketing, your personal brand will have staying power. You won’t go out of business if Facebook crashes or Pinterest changes its model. That’s important – you don’t want to be reliant on someone else for your marketing platform.
How’s Your Personal Brand?
I saw a quote that sparked this article. It was, “Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” That’s the essence of your personal brand.
What do people say about you when you’re not around? Do they know who you are and what you do? Do they have a positive opinion of you? If they look you up online, what do they find? Do they ever see you in the neighborhood?