Imagine you’re a client in the market to buy a home. You’ve never heard the words “personal branding” or “personal brand statement”, but you have heard there’s a big real estate conference in town. You figure that’s as good a place as any to find an agent who can help you find a home. So you drive downtown to the Marriott ready to talk turkey with the real estate agent of your dreams.
As you stroll into the event ballroom, you stop in surprise. The room is full of real estate agents all right. Each one is dressed in their best power suit, ready to spout off listings, home features, and open house dates in effort to make you their next client. As all eyes turn in your direction, you feel like a deer in the headlights, and you suddenly realize something.
You have no idea which of the hundreds of agents is the best fit for you.
If you had to choose your real estate agent right then, what would you do? Based on the information you have – which is really only a first glance – the only differences you can see have to do with what color suit they’re wearing, and even that seems negligible. Most of them are wearing some shade of blue or grey.
Where are you going with this, Serhant? I’m a real estate agent, not a home buyer. Why do I care what color suit these imaginary agents are wearing? This doesn’t even apply to me.
Yes it does. Without a personal brand, you’re just another real estate agent standing in a hotel ballroom in a grey power suit, trying to stand out among the competition.
What Personal Branding Is NOT
When you hear the words “personal branding”, what pops into your brain? If choosing fonts and colors is what immediately comes to mind, then we need to talk. I’ve got some game-changing news for you.
Personal branding ISN’T just about colors and fonts and logos. Those are symbols or representations that make up your visual identity, but it’s actually much bigger than that. And there’s ONE thing that has to be done BEFORE the logo, fonts, and colors. The very first step to creating a strong personal brand boils down to just one thing.
Defining your personal brand statement.
In this article, I’m going to reveal what a personal brand statement is. Before we dive in, let me clear up a few more things when it comes to what personal branding is NOT. I already covered that your logo is only a small part of your personal branding, but personal branding is also not a social media feed full of picture perfect images.
We’ve all seen those pristine, highly curated Instagram feed where matchy-matchy images are positioned in a grid with trendy quote cards and slider posts. This looks pretty when you check out the person’s profile, but it’s not real, and it shows.
Is it wrong to use a certain type of images? No, not at all. But you should NEVER rely on stock images to be your personal brand, and here’s why.
According to a recent study by Stackla, an online marketing firm, 86% of consumers say authenticity is a VITAL consideration when they’re deciding which brands or businesses to support. Why? Because people can see right through that “perfect” image. Without authenticity, trust dies.
“That’s fine, Ryan,” you might say. “I’ll just rely on my reputation then. THAT’S my personal brand … right?”
Wrong. Your reputation is important, but it’s not YOU. Reputation is a result of doing the work to create a personal brand, but it’s not your personal brand.
What Personal Branding IS
I admit it. I’m obsessed with helping real estate agents build their own personal brands. Personal branding has been the most impactful thing I’ve done for my career. And being intentional and strategic about my personal branding has helped me build the most recognized real estate brand in the world.
A personal brand is a complete package that represents you wherever you are. It includes your strengths, skills, successes, and accomplishments. And it’s not something you just throw out there into the universe and hope it sticks. It’s a living, ongoing entity that you create and nurture proactively.
Your personal brand is everywhere. It’s inside all your projects, everything you say and do, and how you show up online and offline. The good news is, it’s 100% under your control. YOU get to decide the impression you want to leave people with.
You want your personal branding to amplify who you are and what you do – and what makes you unique from any other agent. I know that sounds like a tall order. That’s why we’re going to start small with the very first step to creating a personal brand – creating a personal brand statement.
Creating a Personal Brand Statement
Inside my Serhant Brand Strategy System, I teach my three phase framework for creating a personal brand:
One of the very first things that’s covered in this system is creating a personal brand statement.
A personal brand statement is a way you can quickly identify yourself and stand out from your competition. It’s a concise way of broadcasting your core identity, the things that are most important to you.
What you want to do is create a statement that magnetizes your ideal clients straight to you in a way that makes them WANT to work with you. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – people don’t like being sold to, but they LOVE to go shopping with friends. Show customers why you’re the person they want to shop for a new home with.
A successful personal brand statement incorporates not only what you do – sell real estate – but what I call your “and”. For example, I, Ryan Serhant, am a real estate broker AND a media expert. This helps me stand out for something unique and original to me. Every agent has an “and”, and my brand new course, the Serhant Brand Strategy Course, is a step-by-step roadmap to uncovering your “and”, defining your brand strategy statement, and building a strong personal brand.
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