Long gone are the days of paper ads and word-of-mouth as your primary forms of growing a business. Nowadays it is all about the internet. How many times do you search for a company or individual before doing business with them? Everyone goes to the web to find recommendations, ratings, contact info as well as to pay for services. You want to make yourself easily accessible for clients and by creating a brand, a social media presence, and marketing materials to give yourself the best chance to grow and make a presence in this industry.This will be the time to show your individuality and creativity against the competition! Just make sure that you have an active web presence to really stand out from the crowd.
How Do I Build a Website?
For anyone that isn’t the most tech-savvy, this aspect of building your business can be a little intimidating. The good news is that there are a few different avenues you can take that will help you in creating your site. There are many websites such as WordPress or SquareSpace that guide you through setting up your own site and offer templates to help you do so. If you don’t feel like dealing with building the website yourself, there are also companies you can hire to do it for you. Having a website is good to have for a couple of reasons, such as:
- To create a web presence and optimize your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). As mentioned earlier, you want to make it easier for clients to find you/information about you, and having a website will help with that.
- These days, paying by checks is considered a little outdated. You can make it easier for the client as well as yourself by setting up online payments through your website.
- Create blog pieces or use your website to link to your other social media accounts. For example, you could blog about trends in the real estate appraisal world, tips on how to prepare for an inspection, or even your journey to becoming an appraiser. This is a nice way to show off your creative side and makes you stand out from the rest, as well as gives your clients a chance to get to know you.
Social Media: Why Is It So Important?
As mentioned earlier, social media is a necessity these days. If someone is in search of a business to do work for them, they will most likely get on the internet and start searching. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a popular phrase when it comes to marketing and social media, and it basically means the route that you take in order to maximize the amount of people that visit your site. Whether it’s a post on LinkedIn, a tweet on Twitter or a status update on Facebook—these are all different, but useful avenues of getting your name out there. When someone looks up your company, these posts or tweets will pop up and lead them to your website.
While social media can be a very positive part of your business, it is always important to remember to BE SMART with what you post. In today’s day and age, social media can go viral in seconds, so always make sure that you are both professional and knowledgeable before you put it out there for the world to see.
Additional Marketing Material
Marketing Materials While a web presence is going to be the biggest part of how you market, there is still use for physical marketing materials, in conjunction with your online branding. In a world where everything is online, sometimes it helps to give someone a concrete form of your information, especially with older generations or traditional referrals.. Some examples include:
Business Cards: having a business card handy can be useful in a couple situations, like an unplanned meeting of a potential client, for someone who will refer you to a new client, or to hand out at networking events. The less searching someone has to do to find your information, the better.
Brochures and flyers for your marketing niche: to have available at trade shows/ conventions. Be sure they include your services, contact information, social media accounts/website, and the same overall look to your unique brand.
Ads: having ads out puts you one step ahead of the game. If someone hears about you through an ad, that’s one less step in the search process for them. Again, the less work they have to do, the better. Ads can be put:
- in related magazines (real estate/appraisers/banking)
- online (including on social media or search engines)
- newspapers (online or in print)
- media (television, radio/streaming services)
Now that you’ve finished our Start Up series, you know a little more about what owning and creating your appraisal business is all about. We have looked at how to get started with your business as a new appraiser, creating a business entity, building a client list, creating a financial plan, the in’s and out’s of business insurance, and last but certainly not least, marketing your new business. Now that you know more about what is involved in with starting your own business in this industry, it’s time to get started! Use the information we have given you as guidance in your new journey, and refer back as often as you need!