I can’t tell you how many Starbucks stores I see in a given month. There’s one across the street from where I live. There’s one across the street from where I work. Even as I visited a small town in Michigan, there was another. Why bring this up? Because it shows the power of branding. It takes only a second to spot that iconic green and white logo and know what business that is. Agent branding should be no different.
I can’t tell you how many versions of one agent I see in a given month. I’ll see one photo of them in an email. I’ll come across a different photo of them in their marketing. And I’ll see an entirely different side of them on social media as they use a nickname from college. Why bring this up? Because it shows the power of no branding. At first glance you wouldn’t know these are all different versions of the same business. So why is agent branding different?
Your identity is the company. It is the logo. It is the storefront. It is the commercial. It is the latte, two creams, no sugar, with almond milk. It is the coffee cup left on a table. It is everything. So if you’re an agent, you must be as easily identifiable as possible to a potential client regardless of where you are seen. These are the basic steps to improve your branding:
Step One: Get a Quality Head Shot
Do you think Starbucks would have become as successful as it is right now if it used a logo designed in Microsoft Word? The answer is no. Be professional, think professional. So why use a selfie from your friend’s party? Or that glamour shot from back in high school? There are photographers for every budget and lifestyle, whether you’re dining with Ramen or in Rome. Even in a pinch, some of the newest smartphones have camera capabilities that, when used properly, can look impressive. Portrait mode being one of them.
Step Two: What’s Your Name?
If your name is Jennifer Smith but you go by Jenny Smith, then keep it and stick with it. Everywhere. Don’t use Jennifer Smith in your emails, Jenn Smith in your advertising and Jenny Smith in your social media. If a potential client is trying to find you on social media after seeing your flyer in the mail, make it easy for them to spot you and connect the dots. Starbucks is Starbucks wherever you see it.
Step Three: Be Active
Now that you have a professional photo and a company name, use them everywhere. And I mean, everywhere. Put that same exact photo in your email signature, business cards, social media and marketing. Keep your name consistent on all platforms. Take it to the next level and throw a small community BBQ and hire a local eatery to cater. Make your brand known and visible.
I’m not saying if you follow these three steps you’ll become as successful as Starbucks. That’s quite the stretch. What I am saying is if you follow these three steps, you’re laying down a foundation for success of which you can build upon. And maybe, just maybe, the next time you’re in line at Starbucks, somebody will tap you on your shoulder and say they recognize you from your emails…and your marketing…and social media.