The Real Estate Syndication Show

WS1940 Why You Need To Build Your Personal Brand | Treva Graves

February 12, 2024 Whitney Sewell Episode 1940
The Real Estate Syndication Show
WS1940 Why You Need To Build Your Personal Brand | Treva Graves
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode of the Real Estate Syndication Show, we had the pleasure of speaking with Treva Graves, a coach, national speaker, and the founder of Bloom Personal Branding. Treva brought a wealth of knowledge on the importance of personal branding, especially in today's business environment where personal connections and reputation are paramount.

Treva emphasized that personal branding is essentially your reputation and how it's a critical aspect of how others perceive your trustworthiness and decide whether to do business with you. She shared insights on how personal branding has shifted from company-focused to individual-focused, highlighting that people prefer doing business with individuals they can relate to and trust, rather than just a company name.

Throughout the episode, Treva provided valuable advice on how to discover and articulate your personal brand. She suggested asking yourself questions like what problem you solve, what makes you unique, and what your secret sauce is. She also discussed the importance of having something personal about you that humanizes you and makes you memorable.

We also touched on the concept of niching down to find your tribe and how a focused personal brand can lead to better results. Treva pointed out that the more specific you are about the problem you solve, the more you'll attract the right audience.

Treva left us with the thought that before you market yourself, you should spend time developing your brand, which is essentially your reputation. She encouraged listeners to think of their brand as the foundation of their relationships in business.

For those interested in learning more about personal branding or seeking guidance, Treva invited listeners to reach out to her through her website,

Remember to tune in for the next episode, where we'll dive deeper into actionable steps for building your personal brand, including social media and website strategies.

Thank you for joining us today, and don't forget to like, subscribe, and share the Real Estate Syndication Show with your friends. Let's continue to grow our community and our understanding of the power of personal branding in real estate and beyond.


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Treva Graves: People don't do business with companies anymore. They do business with people. People are going to check you out and make sure that you are someone they want to do business with. Personal branding is really another word for reputation.

Whitney Sewell: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I'm your host, Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Treva Graves. She's a coach, national speaker, and founder of Bloom Personal Branding. She works with business and sales professionals, leaders, coaches, and politicians. And she's an executive contributor for Brains Magazine, where she shares her thought leadership to inspire people to show up every day and to be their best selves. She's a certified personal brand strategist and confidence coach through the American Confidence Institution. She's going to lay out many ways over the next actually two days that you should have, why you should have a personal brand, even what a personal brand is, why it's very important today more than ever, and some questions to help you think through exactly what your personal brand should be. Trevor, I'm honored to meet you and to have you on the show. I know you have some amazing skill sets that the majority of our listeners are going to learn so much from and are going to benefit from. They're businesses, and I'm looking forward to the conversation. But before we do, give them a little bit more detail about who you are and your business, your focus, and then let's jump in.

Treva Graves: Sure. Thank you so much for having me. Well, I have been in business for about 10 years now. I am the CEO and founder of Bloom Personal Branding. We've been around since 2013. I started out really more so in the image and executive impression business, helping people present themselves, communication skills, you know, all of those kind of soft skills, you know, that we talk about in the business world. But I eventually started working with people on building their brands. And so this included entrepreneurs, leaders, so on and so forth, you know, things kind of morph and change over the years. And so for these last probably five years of my business, it's been really focused on helping people build their personal brand and how and why that matters in our world today. I think a lot of people don't fully understand how important it is. And hopefully by the end of today, you'll have a better grasp of it and how it can help you succeed in your business.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, it's a very important topic and I think it's something that is often, you know, minimized or just thought, oh, that's not, you know, I don't really need that type of thing. But, you know, so let's start at a very high level just so the listeners can understand the importance of a personal brand. And so, you know, what is a personal brand? Why would I do that versus, you know, this business brand that I've been focused on for so long?

Treva Graves: Mm-hmm. Well, I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make, whether they're an entrepreneur or a leader, is they start out with trying to market themselves before they really, truly understand who they are and what makes them unique. And personal branding is really another word for reputation. We all have a reputation, whether we realize it or not. And that reputation is what is going to connect you to your audience, to the people around you, to the people you want to establish relationships with or do business with. So that's really basically what it is. It's your reputation, and your reputation then really is an assessment of your trustworthiness. So people are going to check you out and make sure that you are someone they want to do business with. And, you know, just kind of seeing, is this someone I can like? Are they warm, friendly? knowledgeable, will I trust them? So that's kind of basically what it is.

Whitney Sewell: And why focus on a personal brand versus just like being solely focused on building our business brand?

Treva Graves: Yeah. Well, that's really where the relationship begins, in my opinion. Let's just take real estate, for example. Real estate agents are a dime a dozen. There's lots and lots of agents out there. But it's like, why would someone want to do business with you? And that's really where personal branding comes in. Branding used to be about companies. So for example, you know, take Century 21 real estate. You know, the back in the day when they wore the gold jackets and, you know, that was kind of the gold standard, right? It's like I could work with anyone at Century 21 because of the company brand. But there's been a huge shift in the marketplace now and people don't do business with companies anymore. They do business with people. just through some research that I've done, you know, millennials, for example, do a lot of their, their business through learning and gaining testimonials or endorsements from other people. So it's, they're not really just looking at a company anymore. Like, wow, that's great. It's gotta be, they're going to do business with the person that's in the company, no matter what company it is. So hopefully that makes sense.

Whitney Sewell: It does. It makes a ton of sense. And the listeners would know this about me, I hope, anyway. I talk about it pretty often or at different times on the show. And we're like helping them to think it through how they're raising money from investors, right? How are you connecting to investors? How are you building those relationships? And I've talked often where this It really happened. The Lord just had a plan here. I mean, because I didn't have this planned out, but I saw it start to work, Triva, where, you know, when I first started networking really hard in this business, I was brand new and I would meet people at a conference, you know, there's thousands of potential people there. And I'll talk to as many people as I possibly can, just like everybody else is doing, right, trying to meet investors. But, you know, everybody shakes their hand and says, well, you know, what do you do, right? And I immediately lead with our foundation or the way we want to help families adopt children and get past the financial burden of adoption and those things. And so, I focus on that, and then I say, hey, we do that through our commercial real estate business, right? And so, investors get to play a role in this, but it doesn't affect their returns. Well, that immediately changes the whole conversation dynamic. And then, you know, to fast forward here, when I follow up with them a week, even if it's two weeks later, hopefully it's not that long, but if it is, they still remember me even if they talked to 100 people that day, right? Because it was very different and there was a conversation than everybody else and there was a relationship component that I started seeing happen versus me just talking about LifeBridge Capital.

Treva Graves: Yes. Absolutely. That is so important. And each of us have our careers, right? We're known in our career by what we do. But we also have to have something else about us to talk about that humanizes us. And that is a huge part of personal branding. And what you just said with adopting children and all of that, my husband and I have an adopted child. Wow. I didn't even know that.

Whitney Sewell: Just so the listeners know, I did not know that.

Treva Graves: So right now, I'm thinking that draws me to want to know more about you and what you do. And so it's that feeling, it's that energy, that emotion, that is what drives the relationship, probably more so than, oh, I'm an investment baker or a venture capitalist or whatever, you know, whatever it is that you do. And so it doesn't matter if it's, you know, something very personal and the whole adoption thing. it could be talking about maybe you have a love of dogs or you hike mountains or you know whatever it is there's got to be something else about you that is unique to you that people are going to remember you by. And that's a perfect example of what you just said. The people that you networked remember you more for maybe your foundation than the other part of who you are. So very, very good point.

Whitney Sewell: You know, speak to someone that's struggling to find that unique piece that helps them stand out. Cause I feel like often it's a, it's a big struggle, right? I've talked about that on the show before and people might say, Oh, Whitney, that's like, I don't know how I'm so different than the other guy that's got the same kind of business. Right. Or, you know, what is that thing for me? How have you maybe helped people or maybe an example?

Treva Graves: Yes. Well, and that really is the key right there. You know, how are you going to differentiate yourself from everybody else around you? And that is where you really have to spend some time thinking about who you are. You know, what problem do I solve for my clients and customers? What makes me unique? Why would they choose me over somebody else? And so, for example, I'll just use myself as an example, but the problem that I determined that I solve for people is self-doubt. In my business, I work with a lot of people who are unsure of themselves and they're insecure. There's this new business owner that wants to start a business, but they're full of this insecurity and worry. With the problem that I solve for people, my uniqueness is the flip side of that. It's confidence. So I help people build their confidence to be better leaders, to be better networkers, to start businesses. But it's really going through a series of questions and asking yourself, what am I good at? What's my secret sauce? What do people come to me for? What do I research on my own time? You know, if you kind of just start digging deep that way into really your values, your passions, your purpose, your strengths, that's where your personal brand is going to live in those things. So that's where I would start.

Whitney Sewell: I think it's a good list of questions just to think through, no matter how established you think your business is, but as you're trying to build this personal brand, like you're talking about, you know, what are you good at and the secret sauce. You know, I was just in a meeting yesterday and somebody was struggling to think through on the team, even some, as we're laying out like SOPs, things like that. And they're like, you know, all these things that we do, how do we document? And that was one of the questions I said, well, what do people come to you for? Like, I need you to write those things down. You know? Yes. Like, what do people come to you for? So, it's interesting here that, you know, that's a uniqueness, right, that you have. Obviously, people are asking you. They already have the confidence in you that you know this thing.

Treva Graves: Yes, absolutely. If you can determine the problem you solve, what your unique value is, you can then come up with this sort of brand vision or message, your brand message. And so, for example, you know, I was talking about the problem I solve is self-doubt. My uniqueness is confidence. My message really is weaved in everything that I do and that is believe in yourself. So it doesn't matter if I'm talking to friends just on a friendship level or talking to clients or I'm writing content for social media. The common thread in all of that in what I say and what I do is is my brand message, believe in yourself. I might not be actually saying those words every time, but that's how I present myself. And that's authentic to me.

Whitney Sewell: Speak to, maybe help the listener think about the end goal of the personal brand, right? Is it, you know, maybe they have a you know, something they're selling, you know, under that personal brand, or maybe, you know, they have a real estate business similar to us where, you know, they're raising money from investors over here, they're buying commercial real estate, but this personal brand kind of complements, it's almost like the first door into the house, right, to building that relationship, to getting them over here to then teach them about what we do in real estate. Or what are your thoughts on like the end goal of the personal brand?

Treva Graves: Well, of course, the end goal of personal branding, I don't know if it ever really ends, but I can speak to that. You know, for example, if you are someone who is in sales. And what do you need in sales? Well, you need leads. You need to close the sales. And so if your brand is working for you, you should be generating more sales and more leads. If you are in leadership, and you are building teams, and your teams are actually flowing and working together so well, and you're expressing your uniqueness to help your team, then to me, that's a win. Because that says that those employees like you, trust you, follow you. If you have a product, they're probably going to buy from you. So it takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. But the more that you really immerse yourself into, what is it about me that I can help serve other people with? Because that's really the bottom line. It's about taking that unique value about yourself and exploiting it by serving other people. And that's what I always think about is how can I take me, my uniqueness, and serve other people?

Whitney Sewell: What are some other maybe common hurdles that you see clients struggle with that maybe you can help the listener with when they're in this process?

Treva Graves: Yeah. I think the biggest problem is really figuring out the problem that they solve for people. You know, I've worked with clients, I've had grown men crying, you know, working with me because it's, we're digging down into a deeper level. And that's really where the emotion lives, right? It's finding out what makes you really tick. The problem you solve is often the person that you once were. if that makes sense. Many times, you know, we all have things in our past we overcome, and now we're on the other side. And now we can help other people and serve people with it. So many times, we dig back into going back years sometimes and figuring out, okay, what is, you know, tell me about even your childhood or your younger years, or what is it that makes you do what you do today? There's gotta be a reason or something that they've maybe overcome, or they've just developed an interest in it. But it's digging deep, and that's the hardest part. And once you have that problem figured out, the rest starts to flow from that.

Whitney Sewell: And when you say the problem figured out, you mean the problem that you're going to help people with? Yes. I can see it being hard to like figure that out, right? And how even like talking through that with somebody like yourself that's done it would be helpful. Yes. Sometimes just somebody on the other side asking some questions like that makes you think differently or in ways that you wouldn't normally, right?

Treva Graves: Mm-hmm. I mean, I always wondered what would it be like to go to like a networking event and instead of shaking a hand and saying, oh, you know, what do you do for a living? I wonder how people would react if you said, yeah, what problem do you solve for people or what's your uniqueness? They probably like, whoa, what does that mean? I don't get it. But that just tells me that they probably have not really done the work, you know, to know what their personal brand is all about. So it takes some work. It takes time. But once you've got it and you know what it is, it just makes things so much easier. whether you're searching for a job, all of those things. I mean, how impressed would an HR person be if you came in and you started talking about yourself and here's my uniqueness, how can I help serve this position the best in what I do for people? It's a different way to think.

Whitney Sewell: I love that question, and even thinking about asking that, right, to new people, you know, what is your uniqueness? And somebody approached me, probably been a couple years ago now at a conference, and they, you know, he said, hello, you know, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, Whitney. And then this guy says, who are you? You know, and I could just tell the way he said it, it just kind of caught me off guard. I'm like, okay, he's like, this is intentional. And it's, it's, it's a layer deeper than like what everybody else has asked me.

Treva Graves: Right.

Whitney Sewell: You know, what do you do for work or living or, you know, what do you do versus man, who are you? You know, and it's, it gets to more of a personal level.

Treva Graves: Right. It's asking the question, really, why do you do what you do? You know, that, that often tells me more about someone. You know, some may just say, well, I needed a job, OK? But for many people, there are reasons why we're doing what we're doing, right? So it is a level deeper, yes.

Whitney Sewell: How often do you see people find a problem that they can help people with and maybe even get excited about being able to do that, right? But then it's totally different from what they expected.

Treva Graves: That does happen. That does happen. And that's why digging in and doing the real like that personal work on yourself is so important. I've had actually a couple of clients by the time that we are kind of done digging in there, they sit back and go, Whoa, that's not really what I what I expected this result to be. And so because of that work, you know, they might veer off into a little bit different of a direction. And you know what, that's okay. Because if they would have stayed that course that they thought initially, then they probably would have struggled, you know, in their in their business in some way, shape, or form. You got to find your tribe. And it's a lot, too, with your audience. And not everybody's going to connect with you. That's OK. I think your tribe will find you if you're putting yourself out there in the right way.

Whitney Sewell: Speak to that for just a moment before we have to end this segment. I want the listeners to know we're going to do another segment, and we're going to dive into a lot more about the personal brand. And I'm hoping some action items, some things you need to know, whether it's websites, social media, maybe we'll jump into some of those things as well. But, you know, you talk about you have to find your tribe. And, and, you know, often I hear people say, cause obviously we've done almost 2000 episodes on this podcast. And so I get questions all the time. Well, Whitney, why should I start a podcast when there's so many podcasts and my, and you correct me if I'm wrong here, but, but my response typically is, well, your audience is going to be different than mine. Right. And people are going to connect to you to you in ways that they would never connect to me and vice versa. And right. And so, and your audience doesn't have to be, 200,000 people, it could be 2000 or, you know, people that really love you. And that's a great audience. And you know, what else would you say to that?

Treva Graves: Yeah. Well, here's, here's another little tidbit I'll share with you. And when you are determining that problem that you solve, the more niched down that you can be, the better off it will be. So you don't want to be too broad. You want to just, get it narrowed down as far as you can. And the more narrowed down that you are, that is what's gonna connect you with the right audience. That's where you need to be. And I think because otherwise, if you're too broad in something, people aren't going to really connect with you. They're not going to know you as well as you want them to. And so if you can really narrow that down, that's what you need to do.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, I've always heard like niching down, but that can seem difficult sometimes. Because I do fight the temptation to think, well, that's too narrow, right? Or I'm not going to reach enough people because I'm being so niched down or so narrow. But that's wrong. That's what you're saying.

Treva Graves: That's wrong. Right. You want those core people, if you've got it niched way down, Those are your true tribe members down there. The other ones may flit in and out. And if you're too broad, they're not going to find that connection with you. And so I always say, you know, instead of so, for example, I could say I work with entrepreneurs. OK, that's broad, right? But if I said I work with women entrepreneurs who are starting brand new businesses with less than $10,000 in capital, I mean, do you see how much deeper that goes? That's going to help determine my audience and who I want to work with, too.

Whitney Sewell: I can just feel that person saying, you know, when they hear that, oh, that's me, right? They're relating, oh, that is me. This is the person that can help me, not just because they help women, but it's numerous things, right? That, oh, all those things are me, right?

Treva Graves: Right, yes. So to me, it's like diluted focus is going to get you diluted results. If you can be hyper-focused on one thing, the one thing you solve, your results will be much greater because you're focused in. You'll get better results.

Whitney Sewell: That's incredible. I love that right there. You made a couple quotes here that were really good, but diluted focus will get you diluted results. I could apply that to so many aspects of my life or business, right? I mean, that right there, why would we not apply it to our personal brand as well? All right, that just makes a ton of sense. And so, well, Treva, well, a pleasure to work through a number of these things, thinking through personal brand. I just think, man, before you start a personal brand or any brand, really, man, you need to think through a number of these things. But, you know, the questions that you left us with today, and like, what am I good at, my secret sauce, why do people come to me? You know, what do I love spending time on those things? And the problem that you solve, figuring that out, man, if we could just I encourage people often, get out of the business for a half a day, out of the meetings, and just go think. And I think those would be some good questions to just sit and think about and try to come up with answers on. And so is there anything you'd leave us with before we end this segment?

Treva Graves: I think what I would say would be your reputation is with you all the time. In order to really connect with the right people, you know, before you start marketing yourself out there, which we'll probably get into social media and those and some websites and things in the next episode. it really starts with brand development. So whether you're an entrepreneur, a leader, whatever your business is, most people are in the business of creating relationships and sustaining them. And so think of your brand as, this is my reputation, and this is my stepping stone to creating a long lasting relationship and having success. in life and in business.

Whitney Sewell: Awesome. Treva, thank you so much. This has been so helpful. I know it's been helpful to the listeners as well. Tell them how they can get in touch with you and learn more about you.

Treva Graves: Yes, yes. Well, you can reach out to me. Just go to Everything about me is there. And if you want to schedule a call with me, just go to my contact page and I'd be happy to meet with you and discuss with you how I can help you build your personal brand.

Whitney Sewell: Thank you for being with us again today. I hope that you have learned a lot from the show. Don't forget to like and subscribe. I hope you're telling your friends about the Real Estate Syndication Show and how they can also build wealth in real estate. You can also go to and start investing today.