Crazy title for an article, right?
I know. Stick with me, though. I promise this isn’t some sort of “clickbait.” There’s a powerful message if you read it to the end.
Actually, this was never intended to be read outside of my small Facebook group of less than 3,000 members. This “article” you’re reading was just something I randomly posted one night in an attempt to bring some value to the other members.
The response to my post was so overwhelming that I figured it might inspire you, too.
Btw, my name is Mike Bell. I run the Lighter Side of Real Estate. Maybe you’re one of the 419,000+ followers on my Facebook page? If not, no biggie. If you’re a real estate agent, then this message is for you.
Onto the story…
I recently saw an agent complaining about how her Facebook posts weren’t fetching much engagement.
Her post conjured up a memory about a breakup I had with an ex-girlfriend.
(And yes, there’s a connection here. A strong one. So stick with me here.)
See, I wasn’t a particularly good boyfriend in my twenties.
Granted, I feel I was a good guy and all, but I was a rough around the edges when it came to understanding women.
I guess all men are to varying degrees.
My biggest malfunction? I hadn’t learned one massively important thing about women:
Women. Crave. Compliments. Compliments to a woman are like water and sunlight to a seed.
But I hadn’t realized this yet back on July 27, 1996. I was dating a young lady named Brandy.
That day is etched into my memory because it was supposed to be the most romantic night of our 9 month relationship… her birthday dinner. We’d been looking forward to this for weeks.
Brandy was a football-lovin’, flip-flops-wearin’, cussin’-like-a-sailor southern gal. Beautiful as the day is long, but also the type who could easily fit in with the guys.
She was feminine but not what you’d call a girly girl. You know the type.
Oh, and speaking of type… she was also the type to run late.
In fact, we were dangerously close to missing our reservation, which was making me antsy since I wasn’t quite sure how swanky restaurants worked. (Would it matter if we were late? Would they turn us away?)
So there I was sitting on her couch, not-so-patiently waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom from doing who-knows-what for the last god-knows-how-long.
As I glanced at my watch for the millionth time, I heard the bathroom door swing open and then…
…the sound of heels striking the hardwood floors as she sauntered down the hallway.
“Heels? Really? Her?” I thought.
When she appeared in my view, I was mesmerized. From head to toe she was almost unrecognizable (in the best of ways).
New dress? Check
New hairstyle? Check
New stilettos? Double check! I love a woman in stilettos!
I must’ve looked like a six-year-old boy gazing at an ant farm for the first time because she looked uhh-mazing.
It was the first time I’d ever seen her dressed to the nines. I felt like I was falling in love with her all over again.
So yeah, that’s what I was thinking… but what did my 21 year-old, knuckle-headed self SAY?
Something to the effect of, “C’mon, we gotta go. Like, now! We’re late!”
She didn’t peep a word on the drive there, but I didn’t think much of it since I had the radio up.
But moments after arriving and being seated, I noticed a tear rolling down her cheek.
I was puzzled, but she didn’t want to talk about it. I did, but I didn’t press the issue since we were in public.
Later in the car, she revealed the reason to me: she didn’t “feel pretty.” More specifically, she didn’t think I felt she was pretty.
I apologized profusely and expressed how beautiful she looked to me.
But it was too late. I missed an opportunity. An important one it would turn out. And it wasn’t my first time.
Soon afterwards she broke up with me. Not solely because of that incident, but it was certainly a domino in the chain reaction of our demise.
That experience taught me a valuable lesson about relationships…
… and twenty-one years later I’m still learning from it.
Oddly enough I’m learning things from her perspective of that night.
This is where personal branding on social media comes in
See, all real estate agents have a bit of Brandy in them. All agents want what she wanted:
To look your best.
To stand out from the crowd.
To be freakin’ N-O-T-I-C-E-D!
So here’s my advice…
Always brand in stilettos
Translated: Present yourself “to the nines” by posting the most useful / entertaining / valuable content you can muster up…
…EVEN IF (and this is huge)… even if nobody acknowledges you for it through likes, shares, and comments.
Sure, you want and need validation from others just like Brandy needed from me. We’re all wired this way.
But here’s the unfortunate truth…
People WILL do you like I did Brandy. In other words…
They WILL notice you.
They WILL appreciate you…
…but then not say anything because they’re running late for a dinner reservation like I was (or a bazillion other reasons).
And that’s okay.
Not everybody who enjoys your content is inclined to go the extra mile and tap the like button. Or the share button. Or, heaven forbid, string together multiple letters to form an actual comment.
Yes, we humans are that freakin’ lazy and/or sidetracked. And this laziness can skew your perception of how effective social media is for building your brand.
Don’t let that happen!
Just know that people are watching and appreciating your content (just like I silently appreciated Brandy’s beauty that night).
Some people will speak up. Some won’t. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because when people notice you, they’ll remember you.
And when they remember you, you stay top of mind.
And as a real estate agent who’s competing with tons of other agents…
… top of mind ain’t a bad place to be.
And do you wanna know the fastest way to become top of mind?
Again, it’s all about posting great content. But “great” is so vague, isn’t it? So let’s define it. Rather, let’s define what great content is not.
Contrary to what you might normally associate with “stilettos” and “dressing to the nines,” great content is NOT:
It’s not content that makes you — and only you — feel great.
No. Great content is content that makes you relatable to others. It’s authentic. It’s clever. It’s witty. It’s outside-the-box.
It genuinely stands out to people who consume it.
My “stilettos” metaphor is about doing your best and not getting down on yourself… even if you feel nobody recognizes you. So please don’t walk away with the impression that great content should be pretty to look at and that’s it.
Prettiness by itself doesn’t stand out anymore. “Meaningfulness” is where it’s at. Not to mention, pretty is already expected from agents. And most times, it’s severely lacking in any real value for your audience.
Your brand deserves better than that.
And speaking of your brand…
You might not know this, but your brand is not your logo (which is just a bunch of pixels).
Your brand is not your color scheme.
Your brand is not your headshot.
Your brand is not something physical or tangible.
Instead, your brand is what people feel when they think about you…
… it’s a perception — not a tangible thing you can hold.
… it’s your stand out-factor — what makes you unique and authentic.
… it only exists in the minds of others (it’s a feeling).
And great content is what creates your brand.
Another thing about great content is that it shouldn’t be as painful to create as stilettos are to wear. (Not that I have first-hand knowledge lol. I’ve just been told.)
They are painful though, right?
After running the Lighter Side of Real Estate for years, and seeing the severe lack of quality content out there, I decided to build something never seen before in the real estate industry…
…I call it my “Inner Circle.”
It’s my treasure trove of content that’s “dressed to the nines” for agents who want to brand themselves in a more personable and meaningful way…
…all waiting for you. With your branding on it.
There’s zero pain for you. The work has been done FOR you. It’s the perfect way to wear stilettos (metaphorically, of course) when marketing & branding yourself.
So go on, give it a peek right here. (Members say it’s “like Netflix for real estate marketing & branding.”)
Maybe it suits your style. If so, I’d sure love you to join us. If not, thanks for reading this and I hope you never look at stilettos the same way again. :)
Chief Chuckler in Charge
Lighter Side of Real Estate