Founder and CEO of The News Funnel
As part of my ongoing effort to shed light on the Content Creators and their strategies, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rod Santomassimo, CCIM, Founder and President of Massimo Group, LLC about how he has built his own personal brand. Rod is an author, entrepreneur, social media guru....and someone you should be following!
Rod has spent the last several years building a massive online following by blogging and being extremely active on social media. Below, Rod explains how he managed to leverage content marketing to become an industry thought leader and gain tons of new business for Massimo Group.
Michael: How did you go about building your own brand?
Rod: Since my target audience was on a national basis, I realized I couldn’t possibly reach out on a personal level, at least not with a significant travel budget and orchestrating speaking events throughout the country. I needed to rely on all three tiers of building my presence. We call this the “Presence Pyramid” at the Massimo Group. Personal interaction, Physical mailing and digital correspondence. Also, since I wanted to be seen as an authority I committed to both writing and then extensively marketing my first book about 4 years about, which then led to my second book release last fall. These books have proven to be terrific reinforcements of my brand.
Michael: What is your view on blogging for real estate professionals?
Rod: Blogging is the hub of all social media. You can tweet, have a Facebook account, a LinkedIn account and all the other latest and greatest platforms, but the essence is your blog. This is where you get to share great content, without asking for business, or leading prospects to a specific campaign. Also, I have found that most other platforms, such as Facebook and especially Twitter are not very social. Sure folks join LinkedIn groups, but very few actually participate or contribute to discussions.
Michael: How do you get your own thought leadership messages out to the marketplace?
Rod: We really rely on my blog, and I urge all our team members to contribute. From my blog, our Massimo Minute, my team generates tweets and other social media content that is distributed via the more popular channels, as well as third party channels. Also, as I noted above, any content we produce ultimately drives people to our website and blog.
Michael: What advice do you give brokers on building their own brand?
Rod: Start. It’s that simply. We have found, through the 1,000 + commercial real estate clients we have worked with, that the ultimate position is to implement all three phases of presence that I referenced above. However, if you are just starting out, at the very least create a personal marketing calendar on what you wish to accomplish each and every month for the next three months. If it’s simply 20-minute relationship building morning coffees – great start there.
Michael: How would you advise a broker as to best use social media to differentiate themselves?
Rod: Be authentic. This is more important than anything else. Yes you want to provide value and share great content, but don’t try to be anyone by you. Worse, don’t attempt to write in a voice that is not your own. If you look at the more popular bloggers in CRE today, each has a unique voice and each focuses on different aspects of the CRE business and professional life.
Michael: Who do you look to for inspiration on blogging and building a thought leadership brand? Who does it really well in your opinion?
Rod: I really don’t focus on the industry for this. I look to great thought leaders like Nido Quebin and Darren Hardy to name a few. If we just follow CRE bloggers, it will be really hard to create differentiating content. Michael Hyatt also has a great blog. In regards to CRE bloggers, I love Alan Buchanan and really enjoyed Bo Barron. In fact, I enjoyed Bo’s Blog so much I hired him to help run our company!