Advertising by word-of-mouth sure would be nice, but it’s not practical when beginning your career or have yet to build a massive portfolio.  Until then, you need to advertise!  Before sinking money into Facebook Ads (or whatever some random LinkedIn Coach tells you is “hot”) create a plan, calculate a budget, and make minor adjustments as you go.  Here are some steps to help you create a successful process.

1. Focus on your Uniqueness.  Your uniqueness can be anything from a certain service you offer, process that’s followed or your quirky personality.  Think of something that distinguishes you against every other commercial real estate agent in your market.  Your business should focus around something unique and interesting.

2. Calculate your Budget.  How much are you willing to spend this month / quarter / year on advertising efforts?  Do you need a lump sum for one big event, or would you rather focus on many small activities?  This is the main factor in how you proceed, so be sure to take care in making a decision that won’t lead to a future of Top Ramen dinners for 6-months but will also increase your business’s leads.  A happy balance is difficult, but necessary.

3. Make a Plan.  Are you finally going to try Facebook or LinkedIn ads?  If so, expect there to be a learning curve.  I wasted $300 in one weekend with no leads to show for it!  On the other hand, before my SEO efforts began kicking in my Google Ads were bring in ROI of 5x expenditure…but I sunk thousands of dollars before I hit that mark.  Plan out what you want to try and how much you’re willing to spend per month or quarter while you’re getting the hang of it.

4. Be Realistic.  If you’re trying an advertising medium yourself, (forgoing hiring an expert) then leave yourself some wiggle room for “figuring it out” time.  You wouldn’t expect someone to ride a bike for the first time perfectly, don’t assume your adverting efforts will be perfect in the first round.  It takes time and multiple experiments to learn what works and what stinks. This will prevent you from the expensive and pointless “try once and done” marketing.  If you do that, you may as well throw your money down a hole.  Work at advertising until you’re good at it!

5. Start Small.  I’ve met too many people that believe “go big or go home”.  Nope!  For instance, if your plan is to eventually have Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ads, try one first.  Starting with one will help you hone your message, test what works, and get the process down.  Once one advertising medium is working to your benefit, add in another!  There’s no reason to burn out trying to do everything at once.

6. Trust = Leads.  The Internet has changed how people view businesses.  Trust is now something businesses can achieve just by owning a website.  Why do people buy a $35 Yeti tumbler when competitors are charging $12?  Yeti has made it very clear that their products last – the $35 tumbler won’t melt in the dishwasher, it won’t dent when dropped, it won’t sweat…it’s trustworthy.  That feeling allows them to charge 3x what competitors do.  You can also achieve trust by showing your uniqueness, outlining your exclusive process, and telling your story in a personal manner.  Learn more trust building strategies.

7. Website.  Seriously, folks.  Only a third of the commercial real estate brokerages in the United States have a website.  Hardly any agent has his or her own website.  A website is the perfect way to showcase your services, uniqueness, and build trust!  Without a website, you’re climbing an uphill battle.  It’s time to look into getting a website for yourself or your business.  Check our websites for you!