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When you think of branding, popular names like Apple, Pepsi, Ford and Nike are sure to come to mind. Each company has built a successful brand that has risen above the competition. They have carved their niche and built a legacy that would assuredly be missed.

Just as these brands have worked to build their reputation and create a unique image of how the world views their product, so should you with your personal brand.

There are many aspects that create a successful brand. Below are a few basic steps to put your brand on the best possible path to success.

Develop a Strong Brand

From the Internet to social media, consumers are watching our every move. Making an inaccurate statement or presenting your brand in an inauthentic manner can be disastrous.

This makes it imperative that you define your core values from inception; weaving them into the very fiber of your brand. Your principles will be the driving force behind your brand and will allow consumers to gain insight into who you are and what matters most to you.

Running your business based on core values will not only help to build your business, but maintain your brand as a leader in the marketplace. Once this happens, consumers will be far more likely to sing your praises to friends and family.

Before you try to grow your brand, ask yourself these important questions:

• What makes you special?
• What is your niche?
• How do you want clients to view you and your brand?
• What do you want to be known for or as?

Grow Your Online Brand

The Internet has made it perfectly acceptable to sell a home to a buyer you have never met in-person. The Internet has also increased the expectation among consumers that your business will have a credible online presence. Prospects you have never met are forming opinions about your business and your brand with the click of a mouse.

First impressions, especially ones formed via Internet content, are not just influenced by how your website looks, but also by how often your business appears in searches based on keywords and whether or not you have a presence on the more popular real estate sites.

Establishing a good reputation, off-line and online, is the only way to be truly successful in business.

Spread the Word about Your Brand

With the explosion of social media, REALTORS® have an incredible opportunity to increase sales and profits in an affordable way.

Top Benefits of Using Social Media to Market Your Brand:

• Raise marketing ROI thanks to better targeting, better product solution, customer experience and word-of-mouth
• Gain insights to explore new market segments and improve marketing effectiveness
• Identify new business opportunities and improve cross/up-sell abilities through increasing contact with existing and potential customers
• Increase customer loyalty by promoting transparent dialogue and improving employee/customer interaction efficiency
• Decrease customer service costs through self-helping communities

Determine which social sites are important to your business. Then work these sites into your overall marketing strategy. Make a commitment to spend time on these sites 3-4 times per week.

Remember, growing your brand is a process and will take time and a little elbow grease. By creating a plan to build your brand now, you open the door to new opportunities and a much brighter future.

Amy Chorew is vice president of platform development at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.


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