There are thousands of ways that you can become recognized in your market, whether it’s old standbys such as door-knocking or sending mailers to a geographical farm, becoming the Snapchat celebrity for your local area or the one thing that never goes out of style — being of service to your community.
No matter how you choose to market your services, your branding is the cornerstone of your success.
Seth Price and Barry Feldman in their new book, The Road to Recognition, lay out a step-by-step process that shows you how to create an effective brand, market that brand and use it to convert leads, as well as to retain both present and past clients.
You have a brand — do you know what it is?
The first step in creating an effective brand is to realize that you already have a brand. To understand what that brand is, listen to what others say about you. Here are some questions to consider:
- When you Google yourself, what do you see?
- What do your online reviews say?
- Is your brand associated with a specific location, price range or market segment such as luxury or probate?
- What do your clients and colleagues say about you and the services you provide?
These are all clues that can you to better understand what your current brand is.
Authentic and unique
A key question Price and Feldman ask is, “In the age of digital distraction, how do you stand out and capture attention in your marketplace?”
Their first recommendation is to be authentic and unique.
Your print, digital and in-person personas must all match. For example, if you’re using an old picture and people don’t recognize you when you show up for an appointment, you’re hurting your brand.
The best way to stand out from others is to be unique. To survive in today’s market, you must niche your services. Using the “shotgun” approach that tries to be everything to everyone no longer works.
Instead, target a specific audience and then become the specialist who focuses specifically on their needs.
Create a unique value proposition (UVP)
For years marketing experts have urged sales professionals to create a “unique selling proposition.” This approach focuses upon the unique marketing services that the salesperson provides and is feature-focused.
Price and Feldman explain why today’s market requires something more — a “unique value proposition” (UVP.) This approach is both client and benefit focused.
It articulates how your services meet the clients’ specific needs such as obtaining the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time. To use this approach, you must be able to articulate what you do, why you do it and why it matters.
This is especially important when it comes to your website or any other online marketing media. As the authors observe, “When it only takes two clicks to surf away from your website, you must use your UVP to engage them immediately.”
Some suggestions for doing this include:
- Position yourself as specifically as possible based upon your expertise and experience.
- Present your brand with class, consistency and continuity.
- Be mobile-ready — your site must look good across multiple types of devices.
- Market to a “tribe” of like-minded people who share your common interests.
- Aim not only to connect in your communications but to inspire and educate.
- Define your top values (your “X” and “Y” factors as the authors call them) and avoid the Zzzz (snooze) factor.
Create actionable content
According to Price and Feldman, “Valuable content has magnetic power — think broadly and execute narrowly.”
For example, if you’re marketing to first-time buyers, consider the type of services they may need such as credit repair, down payment assistance, understanding title and mortgage services, etc.
Next, locate local sources that provide these services. You can also provide them with a free report that requires them to provide their contact information to receive the report.
Put goodwill to work
Being of service is one of the best ways to build your brand. The authors advise not to wait for opportunities to come to you. Instead, find ways to be helpful.
Ask, “how can I help you?” Be the first to volunteer or get behind meaningful missions. Also, look for ways to mentor and help others.
Be a connector and an influencer
Connectors are constantly introducing people who may be able to help each other or who share common interests. This is an important component of becoming an influencer.
Another way to become more influential is to surround yourself with those who are influencers and to be of value for them.
For example, doing charitable work allows you to connect with these individuals as well as be of assistance as you work toward a common goal.
You can also do what the authors call a “roundup post” on your blog, website or Facebook business page.
Here, you aggregate thoughts and recommendations from multiple experts in one place and share them with your sphere. This can include recommending books, blogs, podcasts, etc.
Make LinkedIn the cornerstone of your online marketing
The authors believe that LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking resource in history. They describe it as a “global, virtual and perpetual networking event. It’s not the place for your dogs and cats. It (LinkedIn) means business and is the personal branding epicenter on the internet.”
To capitalize on LinkedIn, recognize others, acknowledge their contributions and connect them to other individuals who can help them.
What road will you follow?
If you want to create a powerful brand that will drive your business for years to come, The Road to Recognition is a strategy-packed guidebook that will take you there.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/