Your customers own your personal brand!
I am in the first couple of chapters of Jeff Jarvis’s book What Would Google Do http://www.buzzmachine.com/what-would-google-do/. In his chapter New Publicness he proposes that “your customers are your ad agency.” This is what having a personal brand is all about!
I am going to quote Jeff and do a simple “replace” function. I will replace every use of the words “advertising agency” with just “advertising” and I will replace the word “company” with “agent”. Here is how his opening sentence would read:
“For more than a century the public face of [agents] has been their advertising, slogans, brands and logos. How much better would it be if an [agent’s] public face were that of its public, its satisfied customers who are willing to share their satisfaction…” For agents, extend that to friends, community members and acquaintances. He goes on to say “The more your customers [think community] take ownership of your brand, the less you will spend annoying people with your ads.”
How does this apply to real estate agents and our personal brand development discussion? It says that by making the investment to stay connected in a meaningful way with your community is critical for your brand. You don’t just want to have the highest awareness (oh, I see her ads everywhere), nor do you want to just claim the biggest volume (he is a top producer). You want to be the most trusted, the most respected, the most approachable, the most expert agent in your community. You will know that you have achieved this status when your personal network describes you using these words.
Remember, it is not what you tell your community about yourself that is your real brand. It is what your community says about you that really matters.