I could write an entire book around branding but for ease let’s just think of it as your promise to your customers that you will deliver something different and highly desirable if they work with you. These are the things that you do better than your competition or things you do that your competition does not. This is also referred to as your Unique Value Proposition. To be of value, you must deliver on your promises consistently at every point of contact with the customer, time after time. While you will of course help all the opportunities that come your way, it is best to build your business and brand around your ideal clients. In fact, your marketing plan should be designed to target as many of them as possible. Every day you are speaking with clients and helping them, you are building your brand.
What Is A Brand?
Your brand is not just your logo or your look. It is the way customers or referral sources view you. Online testimonials are one of the best indicators of who you are and what you provide that is outstanding. When a prospective client researches you they want to find “social” validation that you are who you say you are. You must focus on building the right perception of your brand in the marketplace. If your service is a secret between you and your clients, then you aren’t building your brand and you are missing opportunities. That’s why you need to include asking for testimonials as a part of your Database System to ensure you are positively building your brand every day.
It doesn’t take a huge investment in marketing, but it does take some introspection and making a non-negotiable decision about how you want to be perceived. More clients are using the internet to find out about you before they choose to do business with you. Every post you make or testimonial you receive is accessible, so be mindful of what you post. It’s also true that every conversation you have is building your brand so keep anything negative or judgmental to yourself. I get a kick out of loan officers and Realtors® that fire clients on social media or brag about it. This behavior will diminish your brand and cause others to see you poorly.
Your brand is based on the perception of others not how you see yourself. You should constantly ask for feedback on what you can do better or improve. In addition to talking with your clients, conduct a semi-annual review with your referral partners and solicit their feedback. Sometimes your clients will tell them, rather than you, where you could have done better. Commit to making quick changes to correct any deficiencies.
Help For Building Your Brand
If your current system can’t automate brand building, choose a company like Reach 150 or Social Survey that can help build your brand for you. They will send out the testimonial requests on your behalf and then use those to remarket your services to other prospects. They can also share the testimonials on social media which enables your database and natural sphere of influence to also see the brand you are creating.
Even if you think you have a negative brand now because you had a few bad transactions or lost a few referral partners, you can change it. Perfection is unattainable 100% of the time but we can become committed to getting better and better. Make a decision today that you will remain committed to building a better brand for yourself.