Dennis Herman of www.Ez1Realty.net in Wisconsin asked several good questions. Each question could be a blog in its self, but I'll try to answer a few of Dennis' questions in as short a space as possible.
What is name branding?
The short definition of branding is making your name synonymous with your occupation and giving that connection the widest exposure possible. You want establish your name as a brand. When people think of your name they automatically think of real estate in the same breath.
What are the most cost effective ways of branding?
The least expensive way of branding I know of is to meet people.....meet a lot of people. Walk up to them and shake their hand, introduce yourself, tell them what you do and give them two - three business cards. Ask them mention your name to friends and pass along your card. Make your short conversation, interesting, complimentary to the person you meet and leave a lasting good impression. Your personality will have everything to do with how you're perceived. This is one form of viral marketing. To save space in this blog I'd ask you read about it. It works on the principle of you tell two friends and they tell two friends, or through networking etc.. Naturally you'd expect me to suggest TailGateTags are your second least expensive way of getting branded in your community. Order two for your car. One to tell who you are...the other to give your contact info. Your message will be seen hundreds to thousands of times daily for years... Now that's real branding!!!
What types of messages are effective with branding?
You may wish to create a slogan. Make is a very short slogan. 4 words at most. Make sure your slogan sings or is easy to say and remember.........and directly to the point. e.g... We Sell Homes Fast! ... Quality Homes For Less! If you have a long website address.. e.g.... www.wesellreallywonderfulhomestoeveryone.com or... www.wesellincrediblygreat properties.com/123jb Who can remember that. Change it NOW! If there's a slash after the .com with more text leading to your home page your URL is next to useless. Have your website URL tell your story, or who you are in as few words as possible. In the case of individual agents we suggest using your name as your URL. Remember you want your name known and branded. Should you decide at some point to change companies your name URL will transfer with you. There are of course many more branding ideas... I wish I has room for all of them.
What are the costs of branding?
Branding can be as expensive, or inexpensive as you wish to make it. It can range from a simple handshake and introduction to an all out advertising campaign costing millions of dollars. The key is consistently. You should have your name in front of the public every day, day in day out never ending. That's why TailGateTags are so good. The public has a short memory and constantly needs reminding. Example... Everyone knows of Coca Cola, but yet they continue to spend millions of dollars on daily advertising. WHY? Because the competition is lurking just around the corner to take what-ever market share they can grab. It's the same in any business. If you're out of sight....you're out of mind. Self promotion never ends.
What kind of branding should I avoid?
If your branding and marketing isn't 100% honest don't do it!! Don't over sell yourself, or for that matter undersell yourself...tell it just like it is. Don't lie!!! Don't plagiarize the branding of others, however you can use it as an influence for your own marketing. You can also learn how others are successfully branding themselves. Give yourself a strict code of ethics in your branding and marketing. Lastly....if you tell people you're good at what you do......YOU HAD BETTER BE GOOD. Word has a way of getting around.
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