Cultivate These Five Mindsets to Become Your Community’s Go-to Expert
Savvy real estate agents have long understood the importance of becoming a known entity in their communities. Selling is about relationships, and individuals planning to move or invest in their forever homes need to trust the agents representing them.
Back in the not-so-good-old-days, agents would try to gain name recognition by speaking at the Rotary Club or at Chamber of Commerce breakfasts or by handing out stacks of business cards at networking events. But those face-to-face, impersonal methods don’t work in the COVID or digital age, when people spend, on average, 2.5 hours scrolling through social media every day, and human connection has become a rare treat.
That’s why it can make such a huge difference to the bottom line of your business to invite your community members to get to know you and to meet them where they are: online. You can do this pretty much for free with an Internet connection, a bit of know-how, and not a single in-person meet-and-greet.
Every business can benefit by becoming the community’s go-to authority.
Powerhouse business coach and former realtor Krista Mashore is effective at embracing the human “touch” on the Internet to position herself as the go-to authority in her field. She teaches these authentic-relating tools to thousands of entrepreneurs like herself. She sees their success play out every day in the testimonials she receives from her clients.
She was getting her hair done one afternoon when a woman in another chair told her hairdresser she’d seen Krista’s videos all over Facebook:
She was really, really happy to meet me. And she said she felt like she already knew me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I literally have hundreds of stories like that.
She shares these five suggestions on how to get yourself recognized wherever you go by making yourself a trusted voice in your community.
1) Engagement marketing: Serve, don’t sell.
"Serve, don’t sell" is used by business giants like Whole Foods, Apple, and Ikea. Engaging and creating a relationship with people doesn’t happen by sending out postcards or a newsletter every month. You want to offer your knowledge and outstanding service in a way that reaches zillions of people yet still has a very personal touch.
Whole Foods does tons of education. They offer customers information on healthy living and eating. They give useful tips on how to eat inexpensively, and they create articles on how to feel healthier based upon what you put into your body.
Engagement marketing helps develop trust from your community. You’ve given them a lot without asking for anything in return. You’re their go-to authority.
2) Connect by leading with your humanity.
Human connection is the key to personal and career success. That’s part of the definition of engagement marketing -- marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online materials such as videos, blogs, and social media posts that do not explicitly promote a brand or business, but are intended to stimulate interest and connection.
Krista does this by creating free video content, and she is a bestselling author of four books. She says:
I’ve created tons of free video content about keys to success, which establishes me as the authority. I make sure my books are well written, have valuable content, and are very professional. When I go to a conference, people stop and tell me they love my videos and books and how much I’ve helped them.
Remember, the point is to give value and establish yourself as the authority, not to become a celebrity! The key is to post your videos on your website and email them to your clients and your prospect list. Also, you want to post them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any new social media platform that comes along.
[Related: Your Five-Point MarComm and PR Plan]
3) Show your community you care.
People love the fact that we support local businesses. So one of the ways that you can support your local business is by going to their establishment and buying or ordering something. Then interview the owner or manager with your phone’s camera. Let your viewers know what the establishment has to offer. Be that go-to trusted resource of positivity!
Look for someone who’s doing something good. Talk to teachers, talk to firefighters, talk to policemen, talk to librarians. Talk to anybody and everybody to find out how they’re doing and what they’re doing to accommodate your community.
That’s what people want. They want to smile again.
4) Think like an entrepreneur.
Even if you work for a larger company, in most cases, you are not really an employee. You’re a business owner. You usually need to develop your own clients. You need to stand out from the pack, not just do what folks around you are doing.
Many new loan officers try to “fit in” and follow in the footsteps of the mortgage professionals around them. They act as if they’ve been given a job description with certain duties: Go to networking events, cold-call firms, work with anyone who walks through the door, work weekends and nights, and answer the phone 24/7.
You’ve got to start thinking like an entrepreneur. Create your vision — which might change from time to time — of the type of business you really want and design your brand around that. Do the things your colleagues and competitors are not doing.
Don’t just follow the leader. Be the leader!
5) Retain customers with communication.
Do you know that it costs you seven times more money to obtain a new client than it does to keep an existing one? Statistics show that when selling to a new prospect, you have a 5-20% chance of making the sale. But when you’re selling to an existing customer, that probability skyrockets to 60-70%.
Treat every client equally, no matter what size the commission or payout is. Keep in contact with them and show you value them. The number one way to stay in touch is using social media and creating videos that provide value.
With social media, you are showing up where they are. When you do this consistently, you are staying in their awareness. Even if they don’t have a need for your services, they’re reminded to refer you to those who may.
[Related: Five Steps to a Successful Content Strategy]
Jenny Johnson works for Brava Digital Marketing.
Krista Mashore has an exclusive coaching program that teaches professionals how to become the go-to authority in their communities. She has spoken on the Inman stage and has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Wall Street Journal, Authority Magazine, among other publications, and has been a guest at numerous podcasts including Conscious Millionaire. Click here to take her 5-day challenge to attract, connect, and convert more clients.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
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