Ready to get your name out there and develop thought leadership in real estate and entrepreneurship? PR expert Lisa Fettner offers her secrets.
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Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of helping agents, brokers and executives shine on stage, in articles and through industry recognition.
As a self-proclaimed “stage mom,” I wanted to share how you can use your voice to teach and inspire other industry professionals, helping them learn, grow and achieve success.
One of the great aspects of real estate is that there are an infinite number of ways to be successful in this business — so it’s important to share what has worked for you. Think about a challenge you faced as a new agent — wouldn’t it have been helpful to get advice from an “older you” to help overcome it?
How to get started
Step 1: Start at the end
When you’re developing a talk or writing an article, you must start at the end. What are the key takeaways you want your audience to remember when you’re finished speaking or they’re done reading? You can’t develop the path to get them there unless you know where you’re going.
Step 2: Think in soundbites
Crafting your message effectively means thinking in soundbites. Soundbites make your message memorable and shareable — and they’re the perfect way to summarize the information you want to communicate. Soundbites and punchlines are the stepping stones in the path of your talk or article.
Step 3: Don’t just inform. Inspire
Always remember that your article or presentation is not about you, it’s about your audience. Use relevant stories and examples to reinforce your key takeaways and soundbites. You don’t want to simply share knowledge; you want to inspire action.
Step 4: Find the opportunities that work for you
The good news is that there are many speaking and writing opportunities available. Industry publications, such as Inman, are always on the lookout for article contributors, and there are many industry events for you to speak at — at the local, state and national levels.
Plus, don’t just limit yourself to one area. Don’t just do a talk — write an article or blog on your chosen topic, and share soundbites and out-takes on social media. Everywhere. I once gave a talk at a conference, which I then turned into an Inman article. Inman then shared key soundbites and takeaways as Instagram posts (which I reshared), each of which received 1,000+ likes. Extend the impact of your hard work.
Listen to the experts:
Finally, I spoke with several conference organizers and publicists to get some additional insights and here are their suggestions:
- Tailor your topic to fit the listed panels. Find one that aligns with your expertise and provide your unique perspective or takeaways.
- Think beyond real estate. You are the president of your own global/local business, so consider speaking at small business or entrepreneurial events/conferences.
- Find your unique value proposition. Think about it like a listing presentation but for a talk or an article. What’s your perspective and how does it differentiate you from others who might want to speak on the same topic?
- Create a one-sheet that includes areas of expertise, testimonials and links to past speaking engagements or published articles. Update the document each time you speak or write. It’s a great central place for everything you need in an application.
- Treat your speaker application or article draft as if you were submitting an offer, and the conference organizer or editor is the property seller. Make sure you’re considering their needs so that it’s easy to pick you.
- It’s better to be authentic than perfect. Let your personality shine — it’s part of what makes you unique. Conference organizers and editors want a variety of opinions, tactics and styles.
- You must have good video — especially if you want to speak at an event. Be sure to record yourself anytime you have a speaking opportunity — it can be from an office or association meeting. Conference organizers want to see what you’ve done before.
Deciding to write or speak takes courage, but the reward can be tremendous. Stage fright is real, but you can get over it. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Just take a breath, and put your foot on the path.
Lisa Fettner is vice president of Affiliate Services and Industry Relations at Christie’s International Real Estate. Connect with her on LinkedIn.