Great Question- Wrong Answer
A couple of thoughts on common mistakes I see with independent agents around the country when it comes to branding and control of that brand:
I often wonder what so-called Google juice is worth. It stands to reason that we all want to be the search engine result, but when it boils down to it, who or what is the result? I realize that we all must begin somewhere, but in order for you to understand my thought process we must travel back in time…
What’s a domain name?
We’ve all thought it at least once, maybe five times that we should have purchased a really cool domain name back when the craze hit. Instead, many of us really had no access or crystal ball to really see the value in owning “sex.com” or how about “realestate.com” or even your “ownname.com.” Instead, we let the the folks in the know do the domain buying and we now see these common household words fast becoming traded assets. Yes, assets. When a domain can draw as much as $3million at auction, it makes you realize just how valuable a brand name can be. Yet we sit here in Part II of the great rush to snatch up valuable names not realizing the potential value of names- even our own.
What’s My Point?
We didn’t know what we didn’t know back then, especially that google.com would become what it has, but today we have a reference as to what can happen with these latest and greatest *.coms out there. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and others are fast reaching legendary status, yet we fail to realize that our brand is there for the taking at no price. Will we someday in the future say things like “twitter juice?” One must wonder.
I would also bring front and center the nasty implications we face by allowing our names to be used by media (wannabe) giants at no cost to them. Aren’t we in fact their juice? Aren’t you the draw now on sites like Active Rain, Inman News, Zillow, or even Trulia in long tail search? I wonder just how valuable we see our own names, or even that we’re owned by someone else and create cash income for that someone else for a once in a thousand chance of at least one or two referrals a year? Therein lies the difficulty in assessing the value of services that offer to promote you by using your own name.
Own your name (and intellectual property) in every way possible. Why not own the actual results of the long tail search? Take pause- every decision where your name and intellectual property is concerned should be considered a branding decision.