“…You, my friend, are a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others.” —Seth Price
Enhancing your personal brand can help take your business to the next level. Real estate writer and speaker, Seth Price, recently joined us for a webinar to share tips on how to create a personal brand in the complex world of digital media. When you think of Seth, you think of personal branding. For him, it’s the key to scaling a business, negotiating well, raising money and attracting new customers — yet you must build a reputation. Seth shared how to do the following:
- Develop a strategic approach to making your mark in this world.
- Combine new and old tools to build trust at scale.
- Leverage your personal brand to connect in real time.
“If you don’t show up on Google, you don’t exist.” In the digital age, it’s all about how you stand out. Today, people are more distracted than ever — which makes it challenging for businesses to garner and maintain consumer attention. If your presence does not appear on platforms like Facebook and Google that can capture attention and show who you are, you don’t exist. Seth notes, “You need to have a brand to be relevant today. Either you manage it yourself or it manages you.”
“Recognition is not just for the rich and famous.” Branding is no longer just for big businesses or the rich and famous. If you think of Tesla, you’ve probably heard of Elon Musk, and if you think of the Corcoran Group, you’ve probably heard of Barbara Corcoran. These are all big businesses built around the persona of an individual. Personal branding is an expression of our trust and authenticity, and how we market ourselves. When you walk into a room, people naturally have a perception of you. Only you have the power to focus what you want your brand to be in the world.
“As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make the rich and famous brands appeal to others. We can create recognition and trust just like them.” When we leverage our brand, we can scale our businesses at a rate we couldn’t do if we were not leveraging branding. Your website, business cards, and mission statement are not your brand — they are simply representations of your brand. Seth explains that no one cares what you have to sell, until they have a problem. The goal is to reach consumers before they have a problem. For example, if you begin interacting with someone long before they buy a home and long after, you can almost guarantee you will get future business and referrals from them.
“It boils down to trust + attention.” In the real estate industry, service is key to our business. To provide exceptional service to consumers, you must have their trust and attention. When determining your brand, think about what you want people to know you for. Seth shared these questions to help get you started:
- What are your goals?
- What do you stand for?
- What’s your special sauce?
- How does the world see you?
- What does Google say about you?
- What do your social profiles say about you?
“What’s the impression people have when your name is read or said?” When you’re not in a room, how do people describe you? Seth suggests asking friends and family members to describe what you do. If that description is not spot on, there is a disconnect on how you are communicating your expertise and how you are being perceived. Ideally you want to create an experience with prospects prior to meeting them that is in-line with what you do and who you are. Your brand is not solely just about what you do, but also what you stand for. There is a lot of power in deciding who you are above all else, and with that, you will start to attract people who love who you are.
“You need brand assets for your road to recognition.” Images are more important than ever in this visual world we live in. Seth stresses the importance and value of having a great and current headshot (i.e., hi-res, looking at the camera), and making sure it’s everywhere until you’re famous. First impressions are how the world sees us. In addition to a great headshot, “You need a website that aligns with your name/brand in every way. It needs to work on all mobile devices and it needs to be written for human consumption.” Having your own website is the difference between owning and renting. A website that you control is an asset that you have, no matter what happens in the marketplace. It’s also a place where you get to build your reputation for that destination. Most importantly, your website needs to be responsive and the content needs to include your unique personality and brand. Pro tip: If you write the content and blog posts for an individual that is your ideal customer vs. the general public, you will increase the readership fivefold.
“Your LinkedIn profile is part business card, cover letter, testimonial page and a living database of your network.” LinkedIn is still the biggest career-based network in the world. Facebook is largely comprised of entertainment such as cute animal videos, but LinkedIn is all business. Seth highlights the importance of the platform, encouraging you to “Use it to create your own personal landing page, share your expertise, to prospect and meet new people.”
“Billions are on Facebook but most are not branded well.” As an agent, you should make sure your entire profile is filled out, include a link to your site, use images that represent your brand, share what’s important to your target audiences, while staying in-line with your brand. Someone should be able to look at your page and instantly understand that you are a community leader and the “go-to” real estate resource in your market. Why is this important? Because “Deeply understanding your audience will help you create experiences that solve their problems.”