Your branding will be your first – and possibly last – impression with someone. That makes branding a critical part of your marketing strategy. And it needs to be powerful.
Branding can seem like a daunting process but this one-time effort may be easier than you think. The (relatively) simple elements involve defining your “special sauce”, creating a logo, slogan and elevator pitch and applying it to your marketing. To help break these steps down even further let’s look at each one in turn.
1. Picking your special sauce:
Your special sauce is what makes you you and what makes you unique. This can include things like (but not limited to):
- Your local knowledge (for example with specific neighbourhoods)
- What you do differently than other sales reps
- Your specific marketing plan
- Your ideal client type
- Your ideal market
- Your life stage
- Market specialty (condos, lofts, first-timers, move-up homes, downsizing)
- Hobbies/causes/lifestyle (for example a technology geek, a holistic agent, design oriented, local hockey coach, outdoorsy)
For example, let’s say you are an agent who is largely outdoors focused in your personal life and who works professionally with a lot of outdoorsy types (like parks workers). You would ideally want your branding to reflect that.
2. Creating a logo and slogan:
Now that you have your unique identity and value proposition as an agent, that needs to be turned into a logo, slogan and short elevator pitch.
The logo can be elaborate or simple, depending on your own personal style and budget (or graphic-design skills). But you will want it to reflect the concept that you’ve come up with. You can test out your graphic design skills, but if you find out that you’re a real estate professional and not a designer, you have options. You can have a logo designed by a freelancer (fiverr.com is a great low-cost option, or 99designs.ca/pricing, where you can get a logo for $400+) or hire a professional design company (which can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars).
To continue with the “outdoorsy agent” example, perhaps you would want something with a log-cabin style house, a house with a tree or leaf or something that signifies homes and the outdoors.
Next you’ll need to create your slogan. Ideally you want to keep it short. This is not only because you’ll have limited space for your marketing and design materials but also to keep it easy to remember. It should absolutely be no more than once sentence, but ideally less than six words. For example, “Real Estate: The Natural Way”, or “Real Estate, Naturally”.
Lastly you’ll want to create a quick, single-paragraph (or less) elevator pitch. This should convey your brand, but unlike the slogan elaborate on the initial concept. For example, the elevator pitch for “Real Estate, Naturally” could be something like this:
“Real Estate, Naturally…where nature meets home. The natural real estate process that I ensure for my clients is infused with the serenity and happiness – but also fierceness – of nature.”
3. Work it:
The final step is to take your new branding and apply it to all of your existing and upcoming online and offline marketing materials. This includes:
- Facebook and other social media profiles
- Email signature
- Business cards
- Listing presentations (print or electronic)
While all of the above sounds daunting and expensive, if you’re limited in your time and budget you can do it piece by piece. Keep in mind that once you have a concept and design, having individual materials created to your branding is an easy process. It can often be done yourself by using software and your logo and colour scheme.