Five Tips For Developing Your Personal Brand
When you hear the word “brand” you may instantly think of top companies such as Apple, Starbucks, Nike, or BMW. These Fortune 100 companies literally spend a fortune on making sure that their branding is exactly how they want it to be, that they’re targeting their ideal customer, and that their brand image stays positive in the minds of the public.
As a commercial real estate professional, creating a personal brand is just as important for your career. A personal brand will help you stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from your competitors in your market; it will give potential customers an idea of who you are and why they should work with you; and it will help you become known as an expert in your market. So how exactly do you develop your personal brand? Here are five tips for branding your commercial real estate business:
Define Your Brand
Your brand tells current and potential clients what they can expect from your company and how you are perceived. Keep in mind that you can’t be all things to all people; there are high-quality brands, and lower priced value brands; each of which serves a different purpose. Your brand should be a reflection of who you are and who your ideal client is. For commercial real estate you should be projecting a professional image that lets people know that you are experienced, reliable, and knowledgeable about your market and specialty. Do your research so you fully understand who your competitors and target audience are so you can find a way to differentiate yourself in your market, and develop a brand that promises the right things to the right people.
Develop Your Brand Strategy
Your brand strategy is how, where, what, and when you communicate your brand message. In today’s world of social media, email marketing and advertising are a large part of your brand strategy. Think about all of the distribution channels that you could use to get the word out about who you are, what you do, and why potential clients should work with you. You don’t have to use every social media platform; find out where your target audience is and be there. For commercial real estate, Twitter and LinkedIn are the two top platforms but feel free to jump into Facebook and Instagram as well if you have the time to commit to it.
Speaking of time, consistency is essential in developing your personal brand. If you are on social media, you need to post consistently, and what you post needs to have a consistent tone of voice. Is your tone formal, funny, or casual? If you send out email newsletters, you should also do so on a consistent schedule. This could be once a week or once per month; as long as it’s consistent it doesn’t matter how often it is. What you communicate, both visually and verbally, are a large part of your brand.
Incorporate Visual Branding
The visual foundation of your brand is your logo. If you don’t already have a logo, hire a professional to design a logo that represents you and your company, and that will appeal to your audience. Use your logo everywhere that you reasonably can so it becomes recognizable in your market.
In addition to your logo, you will want to develop your brand color palette. This is typically one or two main colors that are used for the majority of your visual marketing, and two or three secondary accent colors. Think of McDonalds for example; their logo is red and yellow, but they also use black, gray, and white as their accent colors.
Once you have your logo and your color palette ready to go, design a few templates for your marketing materials. Having templates will save you a ton of time in the long run. At a minimum, you should have templates for your email newsletter, brochures and flyers that all look like they belong to the same company. If you use clean, straight lines on one template, don’t use curvy details with circles on the next. Keep it consistent so your materials become instantly recognizable over time.
Integrate Your Brand
Your personal branding should be incorporated into every aspect of your business. How you answer your phone, what you wear during property tours or presentations, your email signature, your social media posts; everything is part of your brand. If you are portraying yourself as a high-end professional you wouldn’t show up to a client presentation in jeans and sneakers with messy hair, and crumbled up marketing materials. Keep in mind that your employees should also be aware of your brand attributes and follow them as well.
Remember that brands aren’t built overnight. It takes time and consistency, but with proper execution of your brand strategy your brand will continue to grow. Plus, strategic branding will bring added value to your company’s products or services causing your brand to be more in demand over time.
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