Using Facebook to build your personal brand

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days with Hobb Herder in a course called MegaManagement. I have since signed up for their coaching for owners and managers of real estate offices however one of the things that I came home with was the idea that most real estate offices are essentially dinosaurs. They are effectively frogs in a pot of water that has become fatally hot and yet they have no idea that it is happening. What they do know is that its hard to recruit talent. It’s hard to keep talent. The techniques that most of the offices are coaching are from the 70’s and 80’s and really doesn’t reflect the new internet economy in the least. Hobbs Herder which is an advertising firm for real estate agents really spends a significant amount of time in the off line collatoral business and the building of agents personal brands. First this makes a lot of sense, as most agents don’t have a good idea of how to differentiate themselves from all the other agents in the marketplace. The main reason is that in the personal services industry like being a real estate professional it really comes down to number of impressions over time to become top of mind when your contact or client decides to buy or sell. What is discounted however is the use of social media and how social media has displaced at least for the younger generation print media.

Facebook LogoIf you read any publication like Inc, or Fast Company you’ve probably seen Facebook mentioned on the cover at least a couple of times this last year and if you took some time to read the article you would see how Facebook started as a place for college students to network. Since that time Facebook has expanded to allow anyone with a social network to build their own relationship trees and to share information with friends and associates. However what may be missed is that Facebook is a highly efficient system for disseminating information about what you are up to to these people. I can’t tell you how many times during the last year I get phone calls from people just wanting to know what I’m up to and we chat and of course I inquire at the same time as to what they are up to. We might chat for 20 minutes while multitasking on the computer or whatever and even though I was in the conversation I forget the commentary. However with Facebook I am able to log into my page. Update information on myself which automatically updates everyone who I’m a friend with on my update so they can see what I’m up to on their Facebook page. What’s even more interesting is how many people are online Facebook of people who I am keeping up to date on Facebook. It seems that Facebook through its highly addicting interface and its efficiency of tranfer of information allows me to see what other people are up to quickly and they are able to do the same with my information. This ultimately makes me more efficient.

Now how does this play into building a personal brand as a real estate or any other personal services professional. Well ultimately you want all your clients to be on Facebook or something like Facebook. Why, for the same reasons I talked about earlier. Clients are looking for highly efficient models of keeping track of everyone else they know including their agents. It keeps us top of mind with our clients and because their friends who will be part of their network will likely look through the photos and “how we met” portions of the friends photos it gives you a way to get referred without even trying.

So what is the message here…. Be on Facebook and make sure that you have invited all of your “good” clients to be on Facebook as well. If you do this then it is highly likely that your client will remember you without having to mail out monthly recipe cards and its likely that your clients friends may end up wanting to be your friend too and ultimately doing business with you.

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