Carrie is the CEO of Carrie Bobb & Co, CEO of hellojenny, Co-Founder of The Carrie Bobb Foundation, a wife and mom to three kids & a doodle.
The strength of a personal brand on a digital platform is directly correlated with the strength of actual relationships. It only counts if it's real. If you have a million followers, but no one is listening, what's the point?
As brokers, our product is our relationships. It's part of why people hire us. Having a personal brand on social media has never been more important to the brokerage business. When you start showcasing relationships and making your brand about the amazing people you have surrounded yourself with, that's where you find the magic. Because it is the magic to being successful in any business. It's the people.
Your relationships are the secret sauce to building an authentic personal brand in commercial real estate. Here are five steps to doing it in a tasteful, meaningful way.
1. Pick a platform and own it.
One of the best ways to become better at social media, in general, is to pick a primary platform and master it. Once you get comfortable with the ins and outs of a specific platform, it is a lot easier to master other platforms. The hardest thing to do is to try and master multiple platforms at the same time. Pro tip: Do not post the same content across multiple platforms. It is a classic rookie mistake. I wish I had learned this much sooner!
2. Be outward-facing.
The biggest mistake we can make with social media is to be inward-facing, meaning the posts and messaging are all about us or our business. It gets old and grows stale real fast. It becomes really hard to create consistently good content. There's a finite number of things we can say about ourselves.
When you make it about the people and the businesses you work and play with, there will never be a shortage of content. The people you post about also says a lot about you, and research has indicated that posts with a face or a person in them receive 38% more engagement.
3. Pass the mic.
Use platforms to showcase other people — clients, colleagues, mentors, people who have inspired us. When highlighting a listing, for instance, share a story about the landscaper, a local barista, a small-business owner tenant or the security guard. Featuring the people who are there every day that make the property special makes it personal.
When featuring a tenant, rather than highlighting a gym, highlight the trainers. When people are involved, they are more likely to share and the reach is exponential. (Side note: Personal trainers are some of the best influencers when it comes to influencer leasing incentives.)
4. Practice radical collaboration.
When others say nice things about us, it means more than if we said it ourselves. Find like-minded people in your community who you can collaborate with and leverage each other's platforms.
This could include things like an Instagram Live, hosting a takeover of each other's platforms, teaming up on a giveaway, creating a challenge, sharing audience tips on each other's platforms, filming a video together, sharing content, cross-promoting each other's posts and more. The more we collaborate, the more we grow our digital army.
5. Give it away.
The secret behind social media for business is to share and provide value with no strings attached. There is no hook. It becomes about who we are and what our business is about. Take it or leave it.
People seek out content providers who create tips or tools that save time or make life easier. This doesn't have to be intense. It can be as simple as favorite photo editing apps, takeaways from a recent book, workflow tools, top five favorite pizza restaurants in your market or so many other little things that can be big things for engagement.
There is also the opportunity to create value specific to your niche with things like how to write an exclusive clause, the top five things to look for in a pop-up lease or different ways to structure a personal guarantee.
My highest engagement posts by far are showing behind the scenes. People like seeing how others are building something. And when it's not perfect, that's the best part. Show the many mishaps and bloopers, and your social media presence becomes very personal and very real. It doesn't get more authentic than letting your audience peek into the business you are building.