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By Ralph Roberts

RISMEDIA, Nov. 16, 2007-Martha Stewart, The Donald, Oprah, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton. As soon as you hear one of these names, a face pops into your mind. You probably can describe what each person does. You may even react emotionally. That’s because these people have brand presence. Through their own self promotion and a lot of help from the media, these people have achieved celebrity status.

While you may not crave celebrity status, you can achieve a certain level of brand presence on your own by creating your own buzz-marketing blitz:

Market yourself on paper. Start with your own business cards and brochures. Hand them out to everyone you know and everyone you meet. Publish and distribute your own newsletter. Launch a direct mail campaign.

Market yourself to the media. Your real estate expertise makes you a valuable resource for the media. Whenever a story about your neighborhood breaks, the media looks for experts to interview. Make sure that expert is you. Offer to write articles for local newspapers and magazines. Call TV and radio stations and offer your services as a real estate expert. Offer to speak to local groups for free.

Market yourself on the Internet. Home buyers and sellers often perform research on the Internet long before they begin seriously considering buying or selling a home. By establishing a Web presence, you step into the buying cycle very early on and significantly improve your chances of winning the listing or selling a home to a buyer. Every salesperson should have at least one Web site or blog. I have over 200.

Keep in touch with a drip e-mail campaign. When people visit your Web Site or blog, offer something special to encourage them to pass along their contact information, particularly their e-mail address. Add each visitor’s name to your contact database and a drip e-mail campaign. A drip e-mail campaign automatically sends the person a series of e-mail messages over the course of weeks or months; when the person is ready to make a purchase decision, you’re there to take the order.

Advertise everywhere. Wherever people happen to hang out or obtain information about buying or selling a home, you should be there. If your customers watch TV, you should be on TV. If they tune into the radio, they should be able to hear your voice occasionally. If they read the papers, you should have an ad in the paper.
I put my phone number and e-mail address on everything. That makes some salespeople a little nervous, because they don’t want everyone calling them at all hours of the day and night. I have assistants who handle much of the added work, and I strongly recommend that you do the same.

Yes, having to field calls, answer questions, talk with reporters, write articles, and do all that other self-promotional stuff requires more time, energy, and effort, but if you want to be a top-producing agent, that’s what it takes.

Ralph R. Roberts, official spokesperson for Guthy-Renker Home and author of Advanced Selling For Dummies and Flipping Houses For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons), can be contacted at 586.751.0000, or by e-mail at RalphRoberts@RalphRoberts.com.

For more information, visit http://www.aboutralph.com.

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