Today’s REI Classroom Lesson

Sharon Vornholt goes over various tips to help you build a brand that you’re happy with. If you don’t take control of building your brand, you most likely won’t be happy when someone else creates your brand for you.

REI Classroom Summary

Creating content such as blogging and videos can help showcase your expertise in the real estate investing industry. In addition, as you network with others, you’re building your brand. Listen in as Sharon explains more.

Listen to this REI Classroom Lesson

Real Estate Investing Classroom Show Transcripts:

Mike: Welcome back to the flipnerd.com REI Classroom, where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.
Sharon: Hi, this is Sharon Vornholt. I’m back here today with another REI classroom show. And we are going to talk about branding today and I have three quick tips for building your brand.
Mike: The REI Classroom real estate lesson is sponsored by the investormachine.com, FlipNerd’s private investor coaching program and your blueprint to investing success.
Sharon: Now the first time is that you need to understand clearly what your brand is. So your brand is the way people feel about you. Some people like to say it’s what people say about you when you walk out of the room. So, your brand is all about creating an experience. No matter what your business is, that is your brand. And in most cases your brand is going to be you. So you start there and you build your brand around you, your values, your personality, and certainly about doing a great job. But understand that it’s about creating an experience.
Now, there are the physical components of a brand, your colors, your logos, the look of your website, the font you use. Some folks have shirts or ball caps, whatever it is that you use for branding. You want to certainly have a uniform physical appearance across all your platforms. But, at the end of the day, your brand is really how people feel about you. It’s about the experience they walk away with, that feeling, good or bad, and we hope that it’s good. So that’s what your brand really is.
Now, understand also that if you don’t build your brand, somebody else will do that for you. And I can almost guarantee you that you’re not going to be happy about it. So if you do nothing, on one side of the coin you might just simply be invisible. So you don’t have a bad brand, but you don’t have any brand. And if people are looking to do business with you and you don’t have a presence, they don’t know about you, then that’s almost worse than having a bad brand.
So the second thing that happens is that your brand gets created for you. Let’s say that you go along and you do a great job forever, and then you have one terrible experience, one person, one seller, that’s not happy with something that you did. And they get online and they tell everybody. If you don’t have a brand built, if you have not consciously started to build your brand, then you don’t have anything to contradict what this person is saying about you. How many times has somebody gotten mad and just . . . used to be they would say, they would tell seven people. Now they get on the internet and a million people now. So you want to be conscious of creating your brand.
So how do you do that? How can you quickly create a brand? And that’s really the third piece of this. Well, what you need to do is really take these two avenues, one is content creation and one is networking. So let’s talk about content creation. Now, almost the . . . I don’t think you’d get anyone to disagree with the fact that blogging is a great platform. I’ve been blogging for a long time. Lots of people have blogs. They get in forums and they talk about their expertise and those sorts of things. So certainly that is one way to do it.
And I have to tell you from a person who started out being a blogger six, seven, eight years ago, I’m not really sure how long it’s been, I didn’t start out feeling like I was a writer. And I don’t know too many people, unless they’ve been trained to do that, that feel like that. You start out just writing about your experiences.
Now, another way to do that and to build your brand rather quickly is through video. Video is an awesome platform. For real estate investors, let’s assume you do have a website and it has a blog component. You don’t have to write anything. You can simply create videos. You can do how-to videos. You can create videos that are you walking through a house, as a wholesaler, or you can do before and after videos as a rehabber.
There are just a million ways that a real estate investor can use video in their business. And video is very quick when it comes to creating your brand. There’s a statistic out there that says one video on YouTube has the same power as a million written words. I mean, that is huge. So with video you can create a brand. People will get to know you. But remember, not everyone’s going to resonate with you, but that’s okay. You will get the people to work with you that are meant to have to work with you.
Now, you can do podcasting. You can do any one of the million ways of content creation. And I would encourage you to pick one. If you’re just getting started and you’re comfortable with video, shoot some videos. Heck, you don’t even have to be in the videos. Video, walking through a house, looking at a house, talking about repairs, you name it, you can do a video on that and I will guarantee you that people will be interested in it.
So you’ve got that side of it. The other side of it is networking. And I know I’ve talked about networking a lot. Mike Hambright, whose site this video will appear on, we’ve done whole podcasts on networking. Networking is very powerful for building your brand and it will start to build your brand locally. So the perfect place to do that is, of course, at your REIA.
So let’s say that you’re brand new, you don’t know anybody, where you go in and find out who’s the person you talk to, to volunteer. Volunteer to take names at the door, to collect money if it’s like my REIA and there’s a meal involved. There’s a fee that you pay to come into the meeting and you get a meal in addition to that. See what jobs need to be done. But that’s how the players in the group, the board or the officers, that’s how those people will get to know you. And it’s also in the case of standing at the door, checking people in, that’s how people will get to know you. You’ll be there with your name tag on, and so forth.
Now, once you’ve done that, you begin to build an awareness of who you are. Then you have to make a point to go around the meeting and talk to people. And I know that’s painful for some people, but I would challenge you to just go with . . . go to a networking event, any networking event with a plan. Make a plan to have a conversation with two or three people, or to introduce yourself to two or three people. And don’t feel bad about saying “Hey, I’m brand spanking new and I’m here to learn.” People will respect you for that and, always, when it comes to building a brand, being yourself, so own it. If you’re brand new, own it.
But that’s the quickest way to build your brand with your content creation and through networking. So I want to challenge you to get a plan, just a simple plan, to attend your area meetings and to do what we talked about, going to meet people, or volunteer, and create some type of content. Now, if you don’t have a platform and you create good videos or you are a decent writer, you can contact bloggers and they will accept guest posts once you are an expert in your field. And you don’t have to do a million deals to be an expert, but you have to write about what you know. So, just keep that in mind.
This is Sharon Vornholt and I’ll be back soon with another tip for you. Thanks so much.
Mike: Are you looking to change your life through real estate investing? If you’re interested in either getting started or taking your business to the next level, please check out FlipNerd’s private program at theinvestormachine.com. This is the most robust real estate investor coaching, networking, and mastermind on the planet, and designed for your success.
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Sharon is a full time real estate investor who has been investing since 1998. She is an expert in marketing and branding your small business, and is also the creator of the Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog and hosts a podcast called "Let's Talk Real Estate Investing".