If you’re looking to see exponential growth in your business, patience is the single most important quality you can have.
So many salespeople want to see their profits grow by leaps and bounds as quickly as possible. What those people fail to understand is that you win in business through persistence and a willingness to play the long game—ultimately by creating brand awareness and loyalty in your customers.
In other words, you need to capture the mindshare of your target audience.
What is mindshare?
When I say “airline,” what name pops into your mind? Maybe you think of United Airlines, American Airlines, or Delta. Whichever name you think of first, statistics show that you’re going to use that airline 76 percent of the time.
I’m only using airlines to give you an example of how this works. The truth is that winning mindshare is crucial to the success of all businesses.
When they’re looking to buy, people tend to go with the first or second brand they think of. That’s why it’s so important for you to become synonymous with your industry—whatever it is—in the market you serve.
How do I become industry-synonymous in my market?
Here’s the thing: winning mindshare is definitely not easy. It often takes a great deal of time and money.
For real estate agents, getting mindshare means creating an awareness of you and your business that flows through your community.
My brother Stephen is an agent, and he has found incredible success through this approach. One of the things he does regularly is run branding ads on Facebook. These ads have nothing to do with his listings—they’re focused entirely on offering value and building awareness of his business.
Stephen doesn’t get direct leads from these ads. What he does get is top-of-mind awareness. This means so much, because Stephen’s sphere of influence is the highest contributor to his sales. This year, he’s expecting 40 closed deals from his SOI alone.
Of course, those branding ads are just one part of Stephen’s strategy. He also puts up signs around town, sends postcards to farm his community for leads, and leaves copies of his customized magazine at local businesses (such as doctor’s offices, car dealerships, and lawn care services).
Together, these strategies have helped him capture mindshare in his market. Stephen regularly gets comments from people saying they’ve seen his Facebook posts or his signs around the neighborhood. He’s become synonymous with real estate in his community.
People don’t necessarily call Stephen and say they got his postcard or read his magazine. That’s the mistake 99 percent of businesses make—they want people to come to them directly and list a single marketing effort as the reason.
Winning mindshare isn’t as neat and tidy as this. It means building awareness of your business over time, so that it becomes the business in the minds of your target audience.
How can I start building my brand?
At the end of the day, your business will only succeed if people know, like, and trust you. One of the best ways to get to this point is to become the subject matter expert in your community.
For example, if you’re a roofer, you can create content (such as a blog post or video) that will educate your potential customers. If you’re looking to target home buyers, you can tailor your content to suit their needs:
- 6 Signs Your New Home Needs a New Roof
- 6 Things Home Buyers Need to Know About Roofs
These topics aren’t designed to get you a bunch of new leads. The point of this content is to demonstrate your authority to a specific clientele.
Most businesses don’t understand this. They’ll write two blogs—maybe 10 blogs—and no one calls. They get no leads. Because it seems like no one wants what they’re selling, they stop those particular marketing efforts.
What these businesses don’t realize is that it takes multiple touchpoints to capture mindshare. By giving up on something right away, they’re missing out on more deals in the long term.
Top producers understand that building mindshare takes time. In my brother Stephen’s case, success came about because he marketed in several different ways. As potential customers saw Stephen’s brand on Facebook, in the mail, and around town, they got the impression that he was a big deal. This went a long way, because people ultimately want to work with people who they look up to.
Be an authority.
Create valuable content that positions you as successful and establishes you as an expert.
Beyond that, do whatever you can to become omnipresent in your community.
When you do these things, you’ll find that your reputation will improve and your sales will increase. When you follow through by providing an amazing customer service experience to every single client, your business will continue to grow by referrals and word-of-mouth.
So, before you give up on that marketing effort you’ve just started, give it some time. Judge its performance after 90 days, and then examine it again after six months. See how each tool or strategy fits into the larger puzzle that will help you build lasting, profitable relationships with your customers.
When you play the long game and capture mindshare within your community, you’ll be rewarded with a thriving business that lasts as long as you want it to.