YPN Virtual June Breakfast: Strategic Brand Presence

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. While our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli are on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on the next YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!




Is your why your job title? Think again.

So, you’re working on your personal brand. You may be familiar with phrases like “finding your why” and “people want to work with someone they trust.” But how do you actually build this? How do you tap into a “why” that’s not only authentic but also resonates with future clients? Aly’s advice is straightforward: stay grounded with your passion and your purpose. What’s your purpose? It’s what you do, what you know and how you’re going to serve the world. What’s your passion? It’s the things that light you up and the things that break your heart. “No one can replicate you,” Aly said. “So, stay rooted in your passion and purpose – this is your personal brand.” “Don’t pigeon hole yourself into one thing. If your brand is ‘First Name, Last Name, REALTOR®,’ that closes the door with your job title,” Aly said. “If you don’t already know, there are a lot of other REALTORS® out there! Be more than your job title.” Entrepreneurship is having a solution or a better method. As Aly said, if you have a why or a purpose behind that method, it ups your game. Looking critically at being a real estate broker, there are many ways to guide your clients through the purchase and sale of real estate. However, none of those transaction steps are unique to you. What do you bring to the table? What motivates you to be more than a REALTOR®?

Reach out to people without a motive.

“Leading with the transaction over who you are, misses the mark,” Aly said. Enter your personal brand. Still unsure what exactly this is if it isn’t helping people buy or sell houses? Aly recommended a few prompts:
  • Who are we as humans and how can we connect over this?
  • We all have survived mentally and physically. How did you do this? (It’s oftentimes your why.)
    • In other words: what were your survival moments? (Examples: parenting, relationship, big life event)
  • Why does this need to exist?
  • Why is my way a better way?
Once you feel confident about your why and how you’re sharing the stories behind it, begin broadcasting it with your sphere. In this crucial next step, use this why to form relationships with people. “Reach out to people without a motive,” Aly advised. “Check yourself and how you’re engaging with people.” If the first thing someone says in response to you reaching out with a “hi, how are you” is “I don’t need to sell my house,” then perhaps the message your brand is setting isn’t what you think it is. Plus, the relationships people have with you is not one of mutual trust.

Build trust with stories about you.

YPN Advisory Board members Michael Bencks and Amy Wu joined Aly to workshop their personal brands. When Aly asked Michael what motivates him to jump out of bed in the morning, his answer was immediate: breakfast with his daughter. “I am not a morning person,” Michael admitted. “I’ve always been friends with my snooze button, but lately, she’s been asking if we can go out and get breakfast together. And, suddenly, I find myself jumping out of bed, at like, 6:00 AM, and looking forward to those breakfasts.” “This is your why!” Aly said. “Getting breakfast with your daughter motivates you, and when I hear that, I hear that family is your purpose. That is what resonates with people. Tell that story!” People connect with you based on stories. Michael ignores his urge to snooze his alarm because he loves getting breakfast with his daughter more than anything. This story tells more about Michael than statistics. Aly prompted Amy with the same question: What motivates her to jump out of bed without an alarm clock? What excites her at the sheer notion of doing it? Amy and Aly drilled down into the deeper motivation behind helping her clients. Of course, she loves helping people, and it makes her feel rewarded. But why does that make her feel that way? Amy then shared a story about how her family came to America when she was a child, seeking a better life. They came to the U.S. to give her chances they didn’t have, and Amy is passionate about paying that forward. This is Amy’s why. Aly encourages each and every person to open up and lean into authenticity. The power of a personal story provides a narrative behind blanket statements like “helping people” and “supporting families.” Being that vulnerable without feeling awkward is easier said than done, but for every person who may not appreciate your story, there are five more it will resonate with. Stories stick, and they are the building blocks of trust.

You have a story to share. Now what?

Here is Aly’s three-step guide to building trust through stories:
  1. Share who you are.
  2. Have an authentic, real conversation.
  3. Collaborate with like-minded people.
Then, post about it on social media! This is your strategic brand presence. There are about 2.5 billion social media users in the world, so to leave it out of your business is to miss out on a huge opportunity to build a meaningful network. Aly advised organically integrating your profession into your posts. “It should be 80% you and 20% what you do,” she said. “Emotion equals motion, so if someone has an emotional connection to you, the motion they’re going to take is: take the next step with you. Posting about closings and listings is not going to do that.”  


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