I have spent a lot of time trying to think of innovative ways of marketing myself. Most business people who use social media have become familiar with the term "personal branding". Personal branding makes a lot of sense since most of us are trying to stand out from the crowd, and just riding the coat tails of your brokerage's image won't cut it any more.
One of the agents in Canada who has taken personal branding to the next level is Active Rain's own Valerie Zinger. She is an Ottawa area agent, but her newest campaign has been very effective, so effective in fact, that her name is well known in my area, more than 200 miles and three real estate boards away. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty certain her name is on the tips of people's tongues all over our very large nation. I will have to check on that. Maybe some of you can enlighten me on that.
I don't know how she managed to swing this, but her cross marketing campaign with Kentucky Fried Chicken must be paying dividends for her. I went into my local KFC and ordered one of her box meals the other day (I know, I know, fried chicken isn't healthy, but I was hungry and in a rush).
I really like the way that her boxed meals are presented. They look fiery, hot, spicy and full of passion (I guess being married to a French fellow can add a lot of passion in your life - I'll let you in on a little secret though, she's really a Prairie girl, so that passion must be a learned trait).
I also like the way that they have captured her essence with a simple word, "wicked". It's very effective, very concise, and doesn't beat around the bush. I'm not sure how much money Valerie must have spent on this marketing campaign, and which advertising agency she consulted with to come up with such a sleek look, but I'm mighty impressed. I'm thinking that it's well beyond what I can afford on my advertising budget this year.
I also admire her attention to detail and the consistency in her message. I would go as far as saying that I believe her French language campaign to be even more effective. "Diabolik" is a rough translation of "wicked", but is a closer translation of "diabolical". It's strange how hard it is to translate adjectives exactly from one language to another. I have not met Valerie in person, but I can imagine that she spends some time on diabolical things.
The food was your standard KFC (or PFK for you Francophones) fare, some chicken, fries, a chicken sandwich and a coleslaw salad (my choice on the salad). But that's not the point, the medium is the message. Valerie has managed to get her name out there far and wide, and that's really what advertising is all about.
I'm not going to have the budget to compete with Valerie this year, but I'm hoping for a big year in 2012. If I put my nose to the grindstone, tighten my belt with some expenses, I'm sure I can convince someone out there to get involved with a cross marketing campaign. I have some ideas, but I might as well start at the top.