We Are All Publishers Now
Earlier tonight, I came across an article on Mashable titled: “How Lawyers Are Using Social Media for Real Results”. This reminded me, over the past few weeks I have had two clients ask for my assistance in getting started with Social Media. I am always desiring to “add value” to my real estate clients in anyway I can. So while this article is geared toward the commercial real estate professional, it really applies to any professional service provider and businesses of many types.
The Digital Promotion of your Personal Brand
As a commercial real estate professional, you are an expert in your niche and if you don’t have a niche you better get one. At the very least, you have focused on a geographic market, or product type (i.e., office, industrial, retail, etc.) However, today most of us are specialists; such as tenant reps, project leasing specialists, and investment sales. Many take it even further and specialize in particular industries or transaction types.
Through your years of experience you have a reservoir of market knowledge, prudent advice and real estate strategy to share with your clients and prospects. You jump at every chance to tell any new prospect how knowledgeable, experienced and capable you are, and you relish the opportunity to remind your existing clients of how great you are.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.
At the core of this content strategy is the belief that if we deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
In essence, it is communicating with our clients without selling, by focusing your content on how you will solve the everyday pain points of your customers.
In my opinion there is no better tool to implement a content marketing strategy than utilizing a blog.
1. Showcase Your Expertise
If you commit to write at least one post to your blog every week, you will begin to build a large body of information that is available to anyone who researches on the Internet or anyone you can direct to your blog through a variety of methods. By reading your blog posts, readers, prospects and clients will learn about your business, your experience, your thoughts on the industry, and your body of knowledge.
2. Build Credibility and Trust
Credibility and trust are primary qualities an individual or business is going to look for in a real estate service provider and is a dynamic that is built over time. Unless you are walking in the door as a result of a powerful referral that trust and credibility is not immediate. Your reader or prospect may not even know you, but after spending some time reading some of the information on your blog, they will begin to get a sense for who you are, how you do business, and what you know about your industry niche.
3. Enhance Your Reputation
People like to do business with people and companies they know, like and trust. You may have your tagline on your business card, letterhead or marketing materials and a well crafted mission statement or elevator speech, but do your clients and prospects have a sense of your core business values and what you are trying to accomplish? Do they know what’s important to you as a company? On your blog, you can post about charities you are involved with, share customer success stories, demonstrate solutions you offer and problems you’ve solved, all with the end in mind of building your reputation and brand.
4. Create Customer Loyalty
The more customers know you, the more loyal they become and staying top of mind improves your odds they will refer you to someone they know. As you feature different solutions you offer, they are more likely to do even more business with you. You might also feature some of your best clients and highlight their testimonials regarding your services.
5. Be Found
Blogs are a strong tool for search engine optimization. Search engine spiders like fresh content. A regularly updated blog provides fresh, keyword-rich content that search engines love. This will cause your site to rank higher when potential customers search for your products and services and drive more traffic to your entire site.
6. Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
I am guessing you have plenty of capable competition. Commercial real estate brokers have been slow to adopt blogging and other social media tools. Stand out from the pack of brokers who are pounding prospects with interruptive cold calls, direct mail and email campaigns, you never know who is reading your blog.
In today’s digital economy, informed buyers today look to blogs and other social media sites for sources of information, reviews and recommendations. Until they are ready to buy, they will surf the internet gathering information. If you do not have an active blog targeted towards your niche, you are missing out on sales opportunities.