A few years ago, one of my clients ended our business relationship. It was amicable enough; she was trying to help the bottom line and business had been tough due to the economy. She said she was going to lower her marketing budget slightly and do the writing and design work herself.
We maintained contact. After all, we’d become friends after working together for five years. One day she called me to have lunch where she admitted that her business was in steady decline. She asked if I’d be interested in taking her back as a client.
“Of course,” I said. She pulled out a few pieces that she’d done since we’d parted ways. Right away, I noticed the problem. Her advertising and direct mail once drove new prospects to get in touch. Now there was nothing in her ads that would convince potential clients to pick up the phone.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “We can fix this. It’s just going to take a little time and a few adjustments to get you back on track.”
“What do I need to do?” she asked.
Focus on your audience
One of the biggest changes in marketing over the last century has been the shift from mass to targeted advertising. Which is more effective: Advertising to an entire community or advertising to the potential home buyers and sellers within that community?
Advertising to everyone has two distinct disadvantages: It's more expensive and less effective, which makes the return on investment extremely low. By focusing on a specific audience and providing them with an effective message, you'll get a better response.
No matter which city you live in, you'll find a number of REALTORS® competing for a finite amount of business. They'll advertise in a number of ways: Print, billboards, signage, social media, and direct mail. With competition high for the attention of potential clients, you don't want to get lost in the shuffle. One of my professors called it the “Me Too Syndrome.” Let your personality shine. Add value to their experience. Make your advertising stand out through creativity. Humor makes your message memorable.
Building your brand cannot be done with a few one-off ads. You can run the most creative ads ever, but they will not build your brand effectively in the minds of your clients. Consistency is the key.
It’s easy to fall into a rut. Positioning yourself in the minds of your clients is a difficult proposition; however, if done correctly, the return on investment can be rewarding. By creating unique messages, focusing on the consumer, and making yourself stand out from the crowd, you'll build your business over time.