As most of you know, I’m big on brand building. I see value in it from professional growth allowing me to steer in more business as well as personal growth allowing me to showcase other passions and endeavors and opening more doors of opportunities. But how did I get here and how am I profiting from it? Well every success has a great story behind it…
In 2010, I got screwed over by a billionaire client who I worked relentlessly for getting him real estate deals adding up to a $200M fund and putting me on track to make a few extra zeros from commissions. Well, after him telling me that, “people like me don’t get rich by paying people like you a 3% commission and you’re worth $50,000/year max”, our business relationship ended. And while for the next 24 hours that followed, I was pretty pissed off, I thought about what the silver lining was and realized that despite not making the money, I learned that I was damn good at real estate—and I needed to figure out how to make everyone else aware of that. And that’s when the magic happened, and the first day I dedicated myself to focusing on my brand.
Building a brand takes time. It takes effort. It takes patience. It takes doing the work that most people won’t do. But once you set a foundation of who you are and what you represent, you’ll be able to leverage your brand in your daily business and life goals whether it be driving in more sales or having an engaged following who will support you in personal causes (think raising money for charity, etc.). Branding begins with simple steps and here are a few ways of getting started:
Stick with What You’re Good At
There are so many ways to get your brand started so you can create a following and engage with people. Blogging and vlogging have been great for me. They are both something I enjoy and I feel I’m good at. I think about topics that I find interesting. For example, my vlog showcases my AirBnb empire and how I make money from them, as well as my daily life. I enjoy teaching people about real estate, how to make money and motivating them. I don’t try to reinvent the wheel or learn new tricks that I cannot teach. Everything I put out whether it’s in my writing or my videos is something I am passionate about so that it can reflect appropriately through the channel I distribute it through.
I hear people tell me how they cannot do what I do because they aren’t going at writing. Well, if you’re not good at writing, try vlogging or creating a podcast. Odds are, you’re not as bad as you think; everyone has a different style and it may just take some time to find your own. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be authentically you because remember, your brand is all about you.
Ok. So maybe I am not currently practicing what I preach as my blogs, vlogs, and posts have not been the most consistent lately…but I am aware of this and in the process of working on it! With that said, I am currently creating a calendar and time-blocking days and specific hours to focus on the aspects of my brand; it’s been super helpful and also encourages me to be more prepared. I also map out what days I want to vlog, blog and post. Keeping organized can go a long way. Nothing can be built correctly when it lacks consistency.
This is seriously the most important aspect of brand building. A brand is YOU, not someone else. And don’t worry about the masses; it’s a guarantee that you’ll be criticized by at least one person. The second you start caring about what other people think is the second you stop being yourself.
I remember the first time I went on national television in 2012. I was scared sh*tless right before the interview, not because I didn’t know my stuff but because I was so concerned with not saying or doing the right thing. And to this day, I’ll never forget some of the best advice I ever received from the cameraman right before my segment began– “Don’t be scared, just be yourself.” And as simple as that statement was, it calmed me down, and I ended up crushing the interview. I was funny, energetic, sarcastic, animated– all things that are “naturally me”, and I was concerned about national television producers not liking it. But funny enough, those exact things are why producers keep asking me to come back on. Don’t be a false advertisement. Be yourself.
So how do I translate my brand into money? Well, it’s a numbers game, guys. Visibility is a powerful thing. The more people that see me, the better odds I have of someone calling, texting, or emailing me. In addition, I attract people that like who I am and what I represent because I always make sure I put out my true and authentic self. People engage with me both personally and professionally and “follow” both on social media and in my endeavors whether they be business related or not. I don’t need to hunt for business leads, but instead, because of what I’ve created–a sustainable brand that people see and know– no single paid lead can ever be stronger than a solid-built brand.