How to Define Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is essentially your reputation.

It’s what people are going to be saying when you’re not around. Whether you’ve worked towards intentionally developing it or not, you have one. A personal brand can affect how people talk about you, both publicly and behind closed doors. That pertains not only to you, but your business as well and as a REALTOR®, it can determine what kind of business you get as a result. Knowing how to define your personal brand gives you the power to dictate what’s being said about you (to a point) and it will help to attract the people you’re hoping to reach.

If you’re starting from scratch, try summarizing three aspects of yourself you want to be reflected in your personal brand. As a real estate agent, these three characteristics shouldn’t be something that could naturally be assumed. Surface level aspects such as integrity can have a negative effect on your overall brand as this should be a given.

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While these traits shouldn’t be surface level, they do need to be true. It’s important to forge your brand around an accurate portrayal of yourself. You’re going to be interacting with people who have a preconception of you through the brand you create. If you aren’t authentic, it will show. 

Make a list, check it twice

If you need help getting started on finding those three aspects of yourself, the best way to start is to make a list with two columns. On the left side, write down everything you’re passionate about. This can be anything, from yoga, gardening, fashion, to sports, there’s no limit to what excites you.

Next, try to think of a few words you’d use to describe yourself. Anything from funny, calming, or an intellectual. You can try filling this list yourself, but the people around you likely have a sense of your brand figured out in their minds, so be sure to ask around. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a colleague or past client, you’re looking to find out the kind of impression you left on them.

Preferably, you want to come up with a list of positive qualities that people have said that describe you as a person. 

Every person has a story

Once you have your lists completed, you’ll want to start looking for connections between the two sides and see what works best for you.

Every person has a story, and this is your chance to create yours.

You could be the excitable sports fanatic or the full-time mom who enjoys a good pun. Figuring out what version of yourself you’d like to portray first will help you figure out who your target audience should be and how best to reach them.

Other elements of your personality are going to shine through on their own over time, but this is the best way to establish a solid base for your brand.

You don’t need to appeal to everyone

A common issue people run into when developing their personal brand is trying to appeal to everyone. This shouldn’t be your goal. By doing so, you risk appealing to no one. More importantly, you’ll potentially miss out on clientele who would’ve otherwise been drawn to your brand. Ignore the people that don’t mesh with your aesthetic and work towards better servicing those that do. It’s about sorting, not convincing.

Whether you’ve been marketing your personal brand for a long time or if you’re still in the early stages of creating one, this method of defining your brand will come down to the same thing. It involves taking a deep retrospective look at yourself and determining the person you are today, who can relate to that person, and how best to reach them.

But remember: just as you’re always changing, so will your personal brand. Be sure to re-evaluate your branding periodically.  

Laura Stewart is a REALTOR® and Vice President of Sales and Marketing with REC Canada and the co-founder and owner of From the Ground Up Media, a media company with a focus on personal branding that was forged from over a decade’s worth of Laura’s hard work with one of Canada’s top real estate firms.

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