The Real Estate Syndication Show

WS1941 How To Create Your Personal Brand | Treva Graves

February 13, 2024 Whitney Sewell Episode 1941
The Real Estate Syndication Show
WS1941 How To Create Your Personal Brand | Treva Graves
Show Notes Transcript

Elevate your personal brand from good to unforgettable with today's episode of the Real Estate Syndication Show, featuring personal branding expert Treva Graves. Discover the strategies that make a personal brand stand out, with actionable insights and advice from a leading expert.

Treva emphasizes the importance of an active social media presence and SEO optimization, starting with a Facebook business page and leveraging Google Business for SEO benefits. She also discusses the significance of color and font choices in branding, ensuring they reflect your personality and connect with your audience.

Logos and professional brand photography are highlighted as essential elements for a strong visual identity and personal connection with your audience. Treva advises focusing on one or two social media platforms where your audience is most active, aiming for consistent engagement with at least three posts a week. She shares tips for efficient content creation, including time blocking and using scheduling tools like Buffer.

Treva's final advice is to be fearless in showcasing your brand and to prioritize providing value over selling. She also mentions her involvement with Dress for Success, showcasing her commitment to giving back.

For more insights and to learn about Treva Graves' services, visit Subscribe to the Real Estate Syndication Show and share this episode with friends who could benefit from these branding insights.


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Treva Graves: If you are not on social media sharing your uniqueness, you're going to miss the boat big time. And it's not like you have to reveal these deep dark secrets about yourself, but you do have to have a presence on social media.

Whitney Sewell: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I'm your host, Whitney Sewell. We are back with our guest Treva Graves today, and I hope you listened to yesterday's segment where she dove into the personal brand and some questions that you need to answer that are going to help you to… create a unique personal brand, right? It's going to help you in your business. It's going to help you to connect with investors or clients. It's going to help you to raise more money, I mean, ultimately, right? This is a relationship business, and we want our investors to know, like, and trust us. And this is how they're going to do it, right? We're going to continue the conversation today in some more technical side of things on the website, things you need to know and do, and some things that are going to help you to really strengthen that personal brand. to help you, even diving into social media, how she creates her posts, how often, some things that, I mean, just lay this stuff out and you're gonna see a difference in your brand, I bet, within 30 days. Trevor, welcome back to the show. Honored to just have you for this long and continue the conversation around building a personal brand.

Treva Graves: Thank you again for having me here.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, honored to dive back in. And I know in yesterday's segment, I hope the listeners, if you didn't hear yesterday's show, I hope you will go back, where she just laid out a number of things you need to get right before we dive into the mechanics of what you need for your personal brand, which I hope we're going to dive into today. So just a number of great questions that she laid out that I think if you're struggling with Figuring out what your personal brand needs to be or look like will help you get a long ways down that path. So, but, Trevor, well, let's jump back in today in personal branding and, you know, what do we need in a personal brand? What are some of the mechanical things or between website and social media? We hear all these different things that, man, it can be quite overwhelming. Right? When we think about all these things that, oh my goodness, you know, I need to be posting on how many sites or I need to be doing what or my website or, you know, help us break that down a little bit so we can all understand and see what we need.

Treva Graves: Yes. Well, first of all, in business, you know, if you're, I wouldn't worry so much right away to get a website going. I mean, even if you just have a Facebook page to get started with, you know, Facebook seems to be the, it's the largest social media platform with, you know, over a billion people on it. But I would, you know, definitely set up probably some type of business Facebook page just to get you started and just start obviously connecting with with your own personal contacts and and kind of expanding you know again those building social media following takes takes a lot of time and effort. We'll talk about that a little bit more but Uh, you know, if you're ready to, you know, create that first website for yourself, um, it's really important. Again, you know, having that brand development now created versus, you know, making the mistake that I did when I started, you know, 10, 11 years ago, you know, I was creating all these websites and doing all these things, but yet I forgot about the brand development. And so now you've got the brand development, you've got the problem you solve, your uniqueness, your message, who you are, what you stand for, your secret sauce, it's all ready to go. And you're building a following now and you are ready for a website. One of the first things that I would think about are colors, and every color has a different feeling or a different meaning to it, right? You know, reds are more you know, vibrant, energetic, strong, passionate. You know, blues are trustworthy. You know, classic greens are a little bit more earthy, harmonious, those types of things. But do a little bit of research on your colors and those colors should match your personality. I think, you know, a lot of times people They may not give a whole lot of thought to color, but color truly matters. And remember, your brand is all about creating emotion and connectability, and colors do that as well. So colors matter. And even the font matters. So if your personality is big and bold, then choosing fonts that match that. If you're a little bit more feminine, elegant, depending upon you and the audience that you are working with, you might want to choose something that's a little bit more scripted. fonts and colors matter. And I'd probably work with someone, you know, like a creative person who does specialize in websites can kind of help you with that. And they'll create this brand guide for you so that you know exactly your fonts and colors and all of that. And that should just flow seamlessly into any of your marketing materials or flyers or things that you create. So don't forget about those.

Whitney Sewell: That's interesting detail. Cause I would say, you know, early on that is where I would have, I never placed enough importance on those things. I don't know something. It seems so simple to the colors and font. Right. And even just having that just brand those things that, that highlight our brand and having them documented. So I know every time we create something on the website or a new page on the, like it needs to follow that. Right? We didn't think about that in that detail early on, and I wish we had. But okay, so let's say we have the color and the font. What's some of the next things?

Treva Graves: Yeah, well, you know, some businesses, well, I think most businesses have like a special logo. And maybe, you know, maybe your logo is just your name, but have a creative person maybe come up with a cool way to present your name. My company is Bloom, so obviously that has something to do with a flower. Another part of my brand that I talk about sometimes is my love of flowers. And so I may talk about that in some of my social media posting, but I've always felt that flowers are a symbol of growth. um growing thriving achieving that's kind of a part of of my brand and and that and i help people do that i help them grow thrive and achieve and and that's a flower so i i incorporated that personal side of me into my logo and Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. It just depends on what your business is, but your logo is really your visual identity. And so take some time and put some thought into what you would like your logo. to be.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah. I find that a logo can be a major sticking point or hold up at times. Yes. Oh, is it right? Should it be this? Oh, I don't really like it. All these things. But, you know, how, I guess, how stuck should we be on, you know, getting it just right? Or, you know, could we change it later?

Treva Graves: Well, I would probably caution you on changing it later. That would be something I would not recommend because this kind of becomes a part of you, your brand, what you're known for. And if you're changing things down the road, that might confuse your tribe, your audience. you know, why would they do that? So, I mean, if you're starting a completely different business, then absolutely you would have to do that. But I think your logo is something that should stay with you and your business and don't overlook that. I mean, spend time on it and get it right the first time.

Whitney Sewell: All right. What's after the logo after we've gone through that hard process of figuring out what's next.

Treva Graves: Well, OK, so let's just touch on briefly on brand photography, because this is very important. So don't overlook this part of your brand as well. Again, this is all the visual part of you. So you always want to have a good headshot. You probably need a business headshot, but you also need a lifestyle headshot, something that's not in a suit. I mean, the world today, we live less in suits than when I started my career all those years ago, but some kind of lifestyle shot where maybe you're out in nature, maybe you're drinking a cup of coffee on a cozy couch or something that's just not too businessy. Because if you do any type of speaking, or you need to submit your photo, you know, for an event or something like that, you know, kind of get the feel of, okay, what are they looking for? Is this a business type thing, or is this something a little bit more casual and laid back? Just so you have options. So those are two things that I would definitely recommend. And then other photography for your website or, flyers or brochures or social media. This is where you want to be showcasing parts of you and your personality. You know, like one of the shots I think I had taken I was walking down the street with a client. I think I had my computer or something like that. But just getting some action shots kind of related. I think another one was I was having a cup of coffee with a friend, or I was sitting and I was actually working with a client. So just different shots in different places showing you and what you do. And then also, it could be other lifestyle shots. If you're talking about you in your bio or the About Me section on a website, you might want to have something a little bit more fun and relaxed versus you in something a little bit more formal. But yeah, just mixing it up and making sure this all ties to your brand and who you are. I also have a photo of me in a field of flowers, because that's a part of who I am. And I love flowers, and it's my logo. So it all ties together.

Whitney Sewell: That makes a lot of sense for your brand, right? I mean, like you said, it connects in a big way, but it does show a different side potentially than say you sitting in the office, you know, in a very formal attire and on the phone.

Treva Graves: Yes, yes. What's going to, remember, what's going to connect you to your audience isn't necessarily your business photo. you know, in a suit. They want to see what does she do, you know, what does she like, what does she love. It's that emotional connection again, what grounds me and what connects me. The person out there, he or she might also love flowers, they might love coffee, they might love whatever it is I'm talking about on social media. And I can talk a little bit more about that as well, but yeah.

Whitney Sewell: I think that's a great suggestion and not typically focused on enough are those photos like you're talking about. And so I just did another, I've done this a few times, but another photo shoot, you know, and I'll have this young lady come and spend the day with me almost, you know, that's a really good photographer. And I have a friend who ultimately follows me around and carries a bunch of shirts and jackets and all, you know. And we just walk all over the place, you know, getting all kinds of photos. But, you know, some of the points that you made I can relate to. You know, we went downtown or on a number of places. We sat in a coffee shop. You know, I even went out and got a horse out and got on his back and rode him around while she's getting photos of that. But of me in the office as well, you know, so it's all kinds of things to show those different things that like you're talking about, to build that connection in different ways. And you don't have to just be in that suit and tie like I think used to be expected many years ago.

Treva Graves: Absolutely. And don't don't chintz on the photography. You know, this might be a little bit of an investment, but I wouldn't just be, you know, slapping up iPhone photos. I mean, you need a professional to take some nice, some nice photographs.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, for sure. For sure. What's next?

Treva Graves: Well, let's just talk a little bit about social media and how important that is. Now, I actually sat in, I was doing a training session one time, this was with a group of real estate agents. And this lady raised her hand and said, I don't, I'm not doing so any social media. And I said, well, why not? And she said, well, I just don't want my personal life on social media. And it's like, I get that. I get that. But if you are not on social media sharing your uniqueness, you're going to miss the boat big time. And it's not like you have to reveal these deep dark secrets about yourself, but you do have to have a presence on social media. I mean, it's just, you have to be there if you want to be successful in business today. I had mentioned earlier having a Facebook business page. The other page that I think is important that some people tend to neglect is Google Business. Google Business is huge for SEO just because Google is the biggest provider of the information highway. It's the biggest platform. And Google often, I'm not the SEO expert, but I do know that Google plays a huge part in how much you're interacting and they kind of follow those trends. And so make sure that you have a Google business page. Make sure that all of that information, your business, your hours, your testimonials, you know, encourage clients to go there to leave you positive reviews, the more active you are on there, and the more testimonials that you gain. The higher that SEO will go, but SEO fluctuates, you know, it might be higher, it might go lower at times, but just make sure and post on there too. I mean, you can do, you can do a social media post on Google. That was something honestly that I neglected to do a few years ago when I was starting out, but, um, I do see the value of it now and also helped my website traffic. So don't, don't forget about, about Google.

Whitney Sewell: Well, you know, I guess dive in a little more on maybe what platforms you would suggest focusing on, uh, and how often to post, you know, let's talk about a few of those things.

Treva Graves: Yes. Well, uh, platforms, here's the deal. I would not recommend being on every single platform. because each platform is a little different. We know that Instagram is very visual, right? TikTok is all about videos, of course. LinkedIn is more business-y. Facebook is kind of kind of everything, everything really. Depending upon your business, go where your clients and potential clients are. I focus on two. Number one, LinkedIn. For me, that's where my world sort of lives. And so I tend to focus more on providing my content and my newsletters on that platform. If you are someone who is a cook or something like that, LinkedIn is probably not for you. You're going to want to be on Instagram or Pinterest. So picking one or two platforms, as I mentioned, LinkedIn for me and then Facebook is my other platform. If you're trying to be on too many platforms, you're probably going to go crazy trying to keep up with all of them and finding time to sit down and write content and post on all of those. So be active in the two platforms at the very most that you that your audience lives in. And I would aim for three posts a week. If you have time, you can post all you want every single day. But if you can get two to three, three is kind of the magic number, then you're doing really well.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, I think it's some really good suggestions and to not be overwhelmed too, like just focus on these two platforms and maybe you grow into more later, but it's like, let's get this done first, right? And then the goal of three posts for a week, you know, I think even that though can sound overwhelming, right? Like, how do I have that much to talk about? What do I come up with? Help get past, because I hear this all the time. I struggle with this too. It's like, okay, well, you know, what's some more content I can come up with? How do you help, you know, or how do you come up with, you know, just the consistent content and the thought creation and maybe some processes you use to do that?

Treva Graves: Yes. Okay. Well, what I do is I take You know, I kind of chunk block my time out for the week. And so I spend probably sometimes for sure two hours, about two hours, I would say, sometimes a little more, but about two hours a week, I spend strictly on content creation. What I do is I always try to provide some type of value. I mean, if your post is not providing any value, it's not going to get very many impressions or likes or follows or whatever you want to call it, but always provide some kind of value in it. Now, I might, you know, for myself being a coach and a speaker, I might have a selling post where I'm trying to sell my service once a week. You don't want to be salesy every single time because people get turned off by that. So I might provide one post as a selling. My second post might be some kind of inspirational quote or Monday motivation, something to kick off the week that provides a little inspiration. And then my third post might be, here are three steps to building your personal brand, you know, or these are, here are three mistakes to not having a personal brand. So, you know, something with a little meat to it. Now, maybe you don't want to do an inspirational post and you want it to provide steps or strategies or, you know, something that requires some kind of like, Oh, that's what I need to do. But you know, one or two of those, and maybe a selling, a selling post with the inspiration kicked in there.

Whitney Sewell: in there somewhere. Yeah, I love that. Just the way you laid that out there, even the going back to the time blocking just for a moment. It's like, you know, thinking through when are you going to do that this week and really being intentional, putting that on the calendar. I just, I feel like I'm constantly looking at my calendar and thinking through how to better use my time. It's a major struggle, right? But this is something that is that important, right? Blocking it out and not having the distractions, I feel like, for a few hours so you can think through those things, right? And so you find, you know, in that, say, you said two to three hours per week, you can come up with those three posts, you know, for the week or for the next week or, you know, something like that.

Treva Graves: Yes, and I use a scheduler to help me schedule the content. I use Buffer, I just have the free version. I can go in and post on several different platforms, but I just have my two that I mainly use, as I mentioned. But all the platforms are in there. You pick which ones you want. You write your content, you pick the time to post it, and then it posts for you. So you're not having to go into each platform and scheduling and writing. So that helps. Another thing that you could do is, if you're struggling for content, go to Google Trends and see what's trending right now. I might look up personal branding, or confidence, or imposter syndrome, or the topics that I talk about, and just see like, OK, is this a topic that's trending right now, or is it really low? So I'll try to stay away from the topics that are not trending right now. But the beautiful thing I would be cautious of, but it's also a time saver, of course, is AI. And AI is super popular right now, of course. I use AI. I might write my post out, and then I might throw it into AI just to see what it does. But I always want my post to be my voice, not somebody else's, not some fake robot. But AI can kind of. help you out, you know, it's not always accurate as we all know, but a lot of people use it. And I would just, I would use it with, with caution, but you always want to stay true to your brand voice. If this sounds like something that you wouldn't say, I would not use it because people will say, oh yeah, that's AI, you know, that's chat GPT or whatever. So just be cautious of that.

Whitney Sewell: I wondered, and unfortunately, we're running low on time. I could talk about this a long time and would love to learn from you. But I wondered when AI was going to come out, because I know people are asking about that. I mean, it even came up last night in a small group I'm in. You know, it's like people are talking about how they're using AI or writing emails with AI or whatever it may be. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think you said it well, that you have to be careful that it's still your voice, right? Yes. That it's not a machine using words that you would never use.

Treva Graves: Right.

Whitney Sewell: Trevor, any other last tips around this that you would leave us with before we move to a few final questions?

Treva Graves: You know, I would just say that don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Sometimes, you know, I run into people who need to have all the ducks in the row or, you know, everything has to be perfect. And you know what? It doesn't have to be perfect. Tweak it along the way, but just get yourself out there. Be visible don't be afraid to share i know we live in a world today where you know everybody's got their opinion on something and we need to be kind of cautious and aware of what's happening in the world around us but. Don't be afraid to be visible and share. Share who and what you are all about because I think the world needs you and your clients and your customers want to see you, hear from you, and learn from you and follow you before they make those consumer decisions on whether or not they will ever buy something from you. So just be visible.

Whitney Sewell: OK, to move to a few final questions, what are some of the most important metrics that you track? And obviously related to personal branding or brand, what should we be tracking?

Treva Graves: Well, I would stay in touch with and follow When you post things, see what's clicking. Look at the impressions, the likes, the follows. If you're posting things and it's getting low impressions or nobody's interacting and engaging with you, and it's important to have that call to action in your post. drop a comment, you want to have them do something. But if nobody's engaging or interacting with you, then you need to change it up a bit. And so you're going to have to connect with someone who can help you with your social media posting. So keep track of those types of things.

Whitney Sewell: What habits are you disciplined about that have proven success for you?

Treva Graves: I feel that my consistency with posting matters. If you are not consistent, if you post one week, it's once, and the next week it's four, and then you don't post for three weeks, you're going to lose your audience. It's consistency, consistency, consistency. If you're going to commit to doing it three times a week, then you better do it three times a week. That would be what I would share with you, is just be consistent.

Whitney Sewell: What's the number one thing that's contributed to your success?

Treva Graves: Giving more than receiving. And what I mean by that is sometimes as service providers, we're afraid of giving out too much for fear of, well, if I give them too much, they're not going to hire me. But I find that to be the absolute opposite. If you are truly in your uniqueness and serving your customers and your clients and your audience, the more they are going to connect with you. And so, and chances are, buy from you if you are in that type of career. So it's serving more than than receiving. Hopefully that makes sense.

Whitney Sewell: Yeah, for sure. No, that's a great answer. And it goes right into my last question, which is, how do you like to give back?

Treva Graves: Well, I have a passion for helping women. There's an organization that I love. It's called Dress for Success. And it's helping women outfit themselves that are in disadvantaged situations and they're re-entering the workforce. And so I give a lot of my time and passion into helping those women present themselves and nail those job interviews and feel good about themselves and get the job that they want.

Whitney Sewell: Wow, that's an interesting way to give back. It's a neat group. That's really neat. I've not heard of that before. So thanks for giving back in that way, but also thanks for giving back to us over two days here, two segments, and really diving into a number of just very practical action items that I think most of us, if we really took the time to sit down and plan it out, could make happen, right? And would probably in a month or two months, we would see a big difference in our, hopefully, personal brand or at least our business, right? Yes. And so, grateful for your time, of course, and to meet you. Tell the listeners again how they can get in touch with you and learn more about you.

Treva Graves: Yes, yes. If you go to, you will find all kinds of information about me, who I am, what I do. And if you are ready to work on your personal brand and need help and assistance, just go to my contact page, book a free call with me and I can help you get started.

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.