A Word on Branding... Think Small for Better Results

Let's talk for a minute about branding. This is a topic people LOVE to talk about, but few ever really take advantage of.

When we think about branding, most people think about a strong logo and some sort of omnipresent reputation that transcends all others and results in a "household name." But truly, branding is much deeper than that. When you think about branding, you need to think about your customer just as much as, or maybe even more than, you think about yourself.

You will find that if you develop a brand mindset, marketing will soon become 100% easier. Let's look at real estate agents, for example. The average real estate agent wants to market to EVERYONE in an effort to not lose out on business by targeting one group. So, they end up marketing to baby boomers, millennials, lake dwellers, luxury home buyers, and first time home buyers all at once. Even their websites and "about us" sections indicate that, regardless of where or what you are buying or selling, they have experience and can help! The problem is, when you work like this, you are spreading yourself too thin and never become an expert (or brand) in any market. Any long time agent will tell you that after a few years they found themselves working with primarily one group or another - its just too much to try to hit up every. single. person. in your market for business.

If, on the other hand, you choose one market and stick to it, you will find marketing and business development to go much more smoothly. Pick an audience you enjoy working with or have found yourself to be successful working with. Consider external factors, such as how saturated that niche is, how difficult it is to break into it, and how much business is really there. Narrow it down as much as possible. First time home buyers who "blank." Fill in the blank with "just graduating from college," "just had a baby," "just relocated," etc. You get the picture. When you have identified who you will be selling to, its just a matter of figuring out how to reach them; if you have done your research and put thought into the group, it will be pretty easy to figure out.

Now, build your brand accordingly. Your social media pages, website, business cards, print materials, and everything else should be geared toward that audience. If you chose First Time Home Buyers Who Just Had a Baby, you will want to have tons of information available on daycares, preschools, school districts, neighborhoods with playgrounds and/or pools, neighborhoods with close proximities to shopping and dining, etc. Become THE resource for this demographic. Start a Facebook group just for them (don't sell on it, just provide info). Provide robust resources on your website. Start an e-newsletter. Get to know the mom bloggers in the area. And so on. You couldn't possibly do all this if you were marketing to everyone.

The good news is, when you choose a market and learn to reach them effectively, the business comes. Not just the business you are targeting to, either. You will get to a place where you probably start working with several different clients sets, just off referrals and name recognition. Those moms you started working with may turn into high level execs and you man end up working with luxury buyers. Who knows! The point is, when you start small and brand yourself to a particular niche, you will be much more successful in your marketing tactics.