People work too hard at selling their services vs. selling themselves these days. It seems that none of us are having fun any longer and unless your client can have some kind of fun they don’t really want to participate. And, if you can’t get them to say ‘yes’ to your home staging services, pretty soon, it won’t be fun for you either. The problem? You don’t want to fully commit, but that is what it takes…full commitment. Let me give you an example: Each year Chick filet; the chain that runs a funny tongue in cheek campaign with cows advertising for you to ‘eat more chicken’ has a cow appreciation day…if you show up dressed like a cow, with any cow theme, you get to eat for free. Last year 400,000 people dressed like cows. Their biz is up 12% and they don’t open on Sunday’s…They committed to something personally and professionally and it works. So, the question is, what are you committing to? Now, lest we all jump to conclusions and assume I am suggesting you attach a cow theme to every home you stage, allow me clarify. Today the world needs to laugh. I need it, you need it and your client needs it. Additionally, it helps your business to stand apart from every other Home Stager that is saying exactly the same thing to the same potential client. What can you say or do that is different? That will literally help you to stand out, be remembered and stay in the mind of your customers? This is reminiscent of what we do with Pockets of Emotion™ when we are staging, but for now, let’s stick with marketing. You can do a variety of things: 1) Stick with a consistent them, like Chick Fila has done, all year round. 2) Change your marketing monthly to suit your specials and occasions but with an underlying consistent message. 3) Be consistent with anything. If you choose to stick with a theme like Chick Fila has done, you need to first stop and think about who you are marketing to and what kind of theme would appeal to them. This is no different than prior to beginning to stage, you define the customer as we state in the first step of our home staging pyramid. Same thing applies. When it comes to choosing a fun marketing theme, think about what works in your marketplace. When I was only doing real estate investing, I was marketing to a funky, hippie town that was a very desirable place to live but I really had to get into the mindset of my potential seller. So, I had an artist take my image and turn me into a characature of a hippie girl and I held a big peace sign that said “Karen Buys Houses” and the tag line was “Activate your Flower Power and Join me on a Sit-in about selling your home today!” Then, I did a follow up campaign with peach patches and Cheech and Chong air freshners. Yes, it was bold but the results were amazing. I ran the campaign for 2 years. I did a similar campaign with a cowgirl theme and received the same outstanding results. These were consistent campaigns, directly targeted at my buyer and they worked for as long as I ran them. Secondly, you can also run campaigns each month to suit a special, an event or a holiday. If you do this the one mistake people make is they forget about an underlying message that must always be consistent. Even now, I run multiple Home Staging Training Campaigns throughout the year but always have a consistent message about ‘the business of home staging.’ With my own home staging company, I would run marketing campaigns every quarter to coincide with the specials I was offering and then I would always attach my tag line of “Anybody can make your house pretty, we make it sell!” By doing so, my marketing would stand out, but each time a client or prospect would receive a piece of marketing they would see my tag line and know that it was from me. Finally, as long as you are consistent with anything, it helps. It may not be chick fila but at least it will trigger memory response for your customer. This does not mean just putting out your logo will make any difference at all, it won’t. But, if you decide that you still want to market like everyone else by just using a few pretty photos and your logo and assume your client will immediately race for the phone…please, at least offer an amazing USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as I have done above. Ultimately, the more fun and consistency you can offer your customer, the better off you and your business will be. I realize I will receive flack for this as many of you will interpret this as less than professional, or less than serious…but think about it. If you had 10 people with great results or a team with great results tell you what they could do for your home, would you take the boring, serious, traditional person, or the one that also had great results, but added a bit of humor, compelling marketing and a fresh perspective? I know the answer…but you are welcome to tell me your thoughts!
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