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Personal Branding

August 20, 2012

From Sandie Tate

Personal branding isn’t just a trendy buzzword… it’s becoming a key brick in a carefully built image that must span both in-person and online relationships and interactions.

Your personal brand is simply how you express who you are and what you stand for. It’s one of the first ways to create an impression with new clients and reinforce your value with existing customers.  There are many tips on how to establish a personal brand, but here are a few to start with.

1. Remember it’s not really about you. That phrase may seem counterintuitive. After all, it’s your brand! But building a personal brand is about figuring out whom you are targeting and then highlighting the skills and expertise that matters to that market. Ask yourself: “Who do I want my customers to be?”  Your brand should address the things most important to them.

2.  Develop your expert status.  You know real estate, but how can you prove that you know real estate?  There are many ways but all involve simply sharing your knowledge with the public.

The easiest way is to join an online community, such as a LinkedIn Forum. Once you’re a member, participate in discussions. Start new topics. Answer questions from other members. Make it a daily habit to share your online voice in some way until you are recognized as an expert. Writing an online blog or a regular column on real estate issues in your community newspaper can also do that. In the print world where news teams have been cut, ongoing, relevant content can be a welcome offer.

3. Harvest testimonials, reviews, and recommendations.  It’s been discovered that Millenials (18-34 year olds), who are a larger demographic than the Baby Boomers, rely on online reviews to make buying decisions more than they rely on opinions from their family or friends! There are LinkedIn recommendations. Endorsements from BranchOut and BeKnown.  Reviews from Honestly.com.  If you’re uncomfortable asking for them, start with people that you respect and offer to reciprocate by writing a recommendation or review for them, too.

4. Say cheese! Because so much of our information is gathered via the internet, more and more people want to see who is the real person behind the virtual world? Obviously a high-quality headshot conveys something different than one that shows you kicked back on the couch or at the family picnic. A professionally taken photo is relatively inexpensive, but pays dividends.

Sources: http://jobmob.co.il/blog/personal-branding-ideas/, http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/6736/personal-branding-trends-for-2012-part-1

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