First, what exactly IS a local celebrity? A local celebrity is someone who is well-known within a local community, town, city or region. Local celebrities are often known for their knowledge, their business or their personality. Perhaps a better, more accurate term is “trusted resource.” One example of such a person is an on-air radio or TV personality. He or she is known within the community, but not necessarily known at all outside of town. Leon Harris, news anchor on WJLA, is someone who is considered a local celebrity.
Business people have the opportunity to become local celebrities too, but it usually doesn’t happen by chance.
Why You Want to Become a Local Celebrity
Home sellers want to work with experts. And everyone calling the people you’re calling claims to be an expert who “provides excellent service.” So what does that phrase even mean? You need a real and meaningful differentiating factor for you and your real estate investment business to stand out.
When you’re well-known in town for your integrity, your involvement in the community and your industry knowledge, you have an advantage over your competitors. You’ll have an easier time getting appointments and will find people are more willing to work with you.
Here are five recommendations on how to build your celebrity status.
1. Share Your Story
You want home sellers identify with and relate to you. Maybe you accomplished something they want to accomplish and can be their inspiration. Tell them about how you did it. Now is not the time to be modest. If you’ve had a life changing experience, talk about it and write about it. For example, let’s say you’ve overcome a serious illness by changing your diet or lifestyle, share your story. Maybe you were in deep debt and dug yourself out. Tell people how you did it. Home sellers will connect over shared experiences. And once you find something in common, chances are they will like you more. And people do business with people they like.
2. Do Something To Give Back
It’s important to do things for your community that allow people to see and remember you. A few ideas include hosting educational events, raising money for a local charity, speaking on real estate related topics.
As an example, just a few weeks ago, Fairfax VA hosted the Fit Foodie Weekend. Several local chefs, an author and local business woman, and the group fitness manager at a local gym were billed as the weekend celebrities who participated in the weekend’s activities and helped raise money for the American Diabetes Association.
3. Get Media Coverage
Getting yourself mentioned in the local publications or broadcast media isn’t as difficult as you might think. The key is to look for opportunities to contribute to stories journalists are already working on. Build relationships with the reporters who cover your area of expertise so they will call you when they need a reliable source. This doesn’t mean hound them incessantly and call weekly to pitch ideas for promoting your business.
It does mean to reach out with information that serves their audience. Media coverage is not about you; it’s about sharing value with readers and viewers. You can also send media people your comments and compliments on stories they’ve recently published, perhaps adding a follow up point or a recommendation for covering a different angle.
A great way to find out about media opportunities is to sign up for HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. You’ll get daily digest emails with requests from reporters nationwide looking for sources for stories they’re writing.
As a bonus, when you do get online media coverage, you’ll often get a link back to your website, which increases your SEO.
4. Step Out Of The House
Aside from media coverage, another great way to become well-known in your community is to attend networking events (like our monthly meetup). You can always search online to find interesting business networking functions. Make sure to go to events where your target market is too, not only gatherings where your peers are. If there’s a photographer covering the happenings, get in a picture!
5. Show Your Authentic Personality
Having “star” quality is more a matter of the over-all impression you give rather than how you actually look. Especially in this age of social media, it’s important to be aware of the message you’re sending. Having an authentic personal style opens doors and can move you to the front of the line.
Ways to share your personality include showing your face on your website. I’m not saying plaster it all over and take up the entire screen, but people do want to see and know the man or woman behind the company.
Show your face, not just your logo, on social media sites. Sure you can use your company name for your Facebook page or Twitter handle, but you can still use your own name and photo in the description. People want to know you are a real person. Have a robust bio on your website that describes who you are and what your experience is.
Lastly, infuse your personality into everything you do. Your web copy, your videos, your blog. You ARE posting these pieces of content, right?
As real estate wholesaler, it’s important to stake your claim to local celebrity status and increase your credibility as a trusted resource. It isn’t rocket science, but you do need to make the effort to promote yourself and your real estate investment business.