Newbies may believe they can’t build an online business presence until they’ve closed a deal, but that’s just not true.
The world is digital. Whether you like it or not, your reputation is visible —online or offline—people are checking you out before they even meet you. Most everyone Google’s businesses and people they are considering doing business with, or glance at their LinkedIn profile or Facebook page – especially when the work requires an up-close and personal relationship.
The goal of having an engaging and compelling personal brand is to create a recognizable identity that highlights your professional reputation, endears loyalty and builds trust. Still, as more and more businesses get online, it can be hard to make a lasting impression. As a new agent, determining how to showcase your brand can be a daunting task.
How do you create a name for yourself before you have even closed your first deal?
Follow these five steps to building an unforgettable personal brand that will highlight your unique value.
Step 1: Determine How You Want to be Seen.
Yes, you are a real estate agent but that’s not all you are. There are thousands of real estate professionals out there competing with you so ask yourself ‘How do I stand out from the crowd?
Think about what sets you apart. Do you have a knack for DIY home repair? A background in historical architecture or art? Start to prioritize which qualities you want to highlight to your audience. While you want to be remembered for your professional expertise, don’t focus 100% on real estate.
Consider specific words or content you can use to describe your unique value and perspective- the way you describe yourself should be memorable.
Step 2: Audit Your Online Presence.
Gain a good idea of how your brand appears online, then you will be able to makes adjustments as necessary.
Start by doing a Google search for your name. View the public version of your social media profiles to see how you look to a prospective client/buyer. Was your profile easy to find? What do people see when you first pop-up on their screens?
Create a Google alert of your name so you can keep track and monitor what is being said about you online. There may not be a lot of traffic around your name, but it’s still imperative to stay on top of anything that may come up so that you will be able to react.
Step 3: Build Your Social Media Pages.
The best (free) way to rank highly in Google search is to set up a robust presence on social media.
Make sure your profile picture is professional and clean; you can use the same headshot across all your profiles to stay consistent. Spend time drafting a 100- to 200-word biography that describes your personal style and experience.
Usually, just a few social pages are enough to reach your main audience; focus on the popular platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Post engaging content and respond to comments on your posts. You can even use Facebook and Instagram’s live features to extend your reach and allow your followers a more personal view of your life.
Social pages are an excellent way to make yourself accessible to your prospects and clients to showcase your expertise online.
Step 4: Become a Thought Leader.
There is no better way to establish a name for yourself online than to become a thought leader in your local area.
The real estate market is crowded- there’s a lot of competition with agents. The new agent that adds the most value, will be the agent that stands above the crowd.
People care about you as a person as much as or more than they do about your business. The golden rule for building a brand that emphasizes your skills is to post content that offers entertainment or adds value for your audience 80 percent of the time and content that promotes your business the other 20 percent.
Step 5: Engage to Build Your Network.
Your personal brand does not exist in a vacuum. Value is lost if no one sees your awesome blog post or content.
Initiate online conversations with industry leaders and other subject-matter-experts about relevant topics to get things going.
Don’t be afraid to take a strong position on an issue, but avoid topics like religion and politics.
Networking offline is just as important. Visit trade shows, set up a happy hour at local bar, or attend neighborhood gatherings. Keep track of the people you meet and consider how you can add value to their lives, even if you can’t sell them anything.
Personal branding is the key to standing out in a 21st-century business environment. As a new agent, you must show potential clients why doing business with you is a worthwhile investment.
it’s important for new agents to realize you don’t have to wait until you close a deal to build a reputation.
Define your unique value proposition from the start, so you can stand out from the crowd.
I’m curious- what are you doing today to establish your brand? Please share in the comments below.