How do you build your reputation as a builder?
If you’re a relatively new business owner, you may struggle with how to build your reputation as a builder when you don’t have a lot of projects or years of experience.
AND if you’re an experienced builder (or somewhere in between), you can still fall into the trap of thinking your reputation is simply about how many projects you’ve done, and even how many awards you’ve won (or not).
You own your reputation, and you always have the opportunity to establish it exactly how you want it to be.
Word of mouth marketing is HUGE in any industry, and especially in custom residential renovating and building. But if you’re not controlling what people are saying about you, you’re missing out on controlling how your reputation is perceived out there by others.
And if you’re in an area where there’s lots of builders doing what you do, you are also missing the chance to differentiate yourself. Which means that clients will struggle to find you, and figure out why you are who they should be working with.
Whatever your years in the industry, your reputation is something you can start intentionally creating now.
It’s Amelia here, Co-Founder of Live Life Build. For this blog post, we’re sharing a short clip from one of our amazing Expert Sessions from inside our ELEVATE Membership platform.
In this video, you’ll hear me talk with Nicole Hatherly, from Brand True North, about how to build your reputation as a builder.
Nicole is a leading Brand and Leadership Strategist, Profile Expert, Intergenerational Leadership Specialist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer and podcast producer, she offers 26 years’ experience delivering award-winning strategies for iconic and international brands and global thought leaders.
Now, as Founder and Director of Brand True North, Nicole works with business leaders, thought leaders, founders and entrepreneurs to position their brands for maximum impact and their personal brand, leadership brand and profile for high credibility and trust to deliver invaluable media exposure and prestigious business awards.
Watch this clip now, and learn more about how to build your reputation as a builder. The transcript is also below.
For the full session, head to ELEVATE to join up. You’ll be able to watch it, as well as many other fantastic sessions to help you improve your projects, business and life.
Treat others the way that we want to be treated. That’s a golden rule.
I’m going to invite everyone here to take the next step. Change that to the Platinum rule.
Treat others the way that they want to be treated. And not a lot of people do that.
That’s how reputations get made. That’s what we’re talking about. Reputation is an imprint on our heart and our head. It doesn’t actually exist. It’s actually changing someone’s perception.
I think it’s such a personal undertaking, when you build and renovate a home, particularly your long term family home, that you want to like the person.
You know, it’s not just the case that you want to you want to find somebody who you can, you know, who ticks all the boxes in terms of the logical process you’re going through, and the checks that you know you need to make and the intellectual kind of decision making around choosing a builder.
But there’s so much emotion tied up in it, that that emotion translates to: is this person actually really a kind person? Are they, you know, do they share similar values? Do they, you know, take care of their team? Do they run a business in a way that is the kind of business I like to do business with?
And particularly in this day and age where people are understanding their spending power in terms of shaping the world around them, they want to spend money with people who run businesses and have a reputation that is in alignment with their own personal values and the way that they kind of like to operate their life.
And if builders are hiding what their reputation is, or they’re dressing it up in a whole heap of words that have no meaning to them or authenticity, then it’s very difficult to cut through and create that emotional connection which has so much more leverage in the in the relationship and the securing of work and those kinds of things.
So true. And the two things – I love the point that you just made about – I call it “homogenised words”. And so I’m not sure what’s on the websites of all of our incredible professionals out there, but I’m sure there’s one or two who are building someone’s “dream home”. Who are … that’s the homogenised version of what we think everyone out there wants to know.
What I want to know is – what differentiates you. How do I choose you and forget about all the rest? And that sits in the problem you solve for me. So what problem do you solve? And it’s got to be more niche, or it’s got to be more granular than just building and renovating.
And it sits in our DNA as builders – not that I’m a builder. As builders, it sits in there, everyone’s got a different story. Everyone’s got a different way of coming in. Everyone’s got a different set of talents and skills. Everyone’s got something that they master in. And everyone’s got a difference. So not everyone’s the same.
And unfortunately, you know, again, 97.9% of, of anyone in the industry will stay that homogenous safety zone. Where those outliers will go, “Hey, I do build and I do renovate – however, this is how I do it”. And that’s the difference.
And I love that because it gives you your own story. You own your reputation. If you don’t take ownership of your reputation and drive the words that you want other people to pass on in word of mouth, then other people will make up theirs.
If in a lifetime, you got 1,000 clients or customers, you’ve got 1,000 different stories out there. Or you can have one. You can show up that way. You can deliver your words that way. You can be that person. And that’s how you get your reputation.
It’s so key, isn’t it, because you know, we’ve been doing research before this session just around the stats around word-of-mouth marketing. They’re extraordinary, some of them.
92% of people trust reference recommendations from family and friends
88% of people look at online reviews as a trustworthy source
… which is incredible, because our builder members will know that there’s operators out there who fabricate a lot of their online reviews, but that still exists.
So there was another really good one that I saw that …
Brands that create an emotional connection are three times more likely to generate word of mouth referrals than brands that don’t.
You know, all of these things. And it’s like you say, you know, with word of mouth marketing, being such a strong proponent in the world of securing work in any kind of industry, if you’re not controlling that narrative, if you’re not actually giving people the words and the way to talk about your business to others, then it’s very difficult to control the messaging that goes out into the world about you.
And so I know this through Undercover Architect, and I’ve seen this obviously, in you know, you can see some big brands and there’s, you know, very clear directives about how they want you to talk about their business. But then they’re also living it in all of their operations and the way that they present themselves and those kinds of things.
And it’s interesting to see how – I remember first, at Undercover Architect trying to work out well, what do I do differently? I don’t know what I do differently. I’m sure our builder members will go well, ‘I build and renovate houses, like there’s 40 other builders in my, you know, 5km radius that do exactly the same thing’.
But it’s interesting, when you start to have conversations, I got feedback that well one of the things that people really love was just how honest and upfront I am with them about things. And I’d always taken –
Hang on – an architect, being honest? HA!
I’d always been really worried and nervous about that. But it was actually really appreciated by the people I most loved working with.
And so it’s this thing of – how do you go from that being recognised to just then fully owning it and going, “Yep, okay, this is the way I do business, because then I attract the people who love this and want this and want to work with me in this way”.
And so it’s so powerful, because you get to be who you want to be, who you love being, who you enjoy being. And you get to work with people who become like friends, because they see the world like you do.
And I love that because it’s not what you do. We all know that you can build and renovate. Everything says that. It’s – we don’t want to know more about … we don’t want to know more about the reasons why … not the reasons why, but more about your building and renovating. We want to know about your warmth and trustability. So it’s warmth and confidence.
Actually, we’re not going to be measuring you on your competence. That’s a given. We’ll get some credentials, we’ll get you know, are they competent? Do they do a good job? Yeah, it was a beautiful, beautiful outcome. What would they like to work with?
So you know people who are competent in your field and other fields, it’s like, “yeah, I can rely on them. They’re going to get the job done”. But you want to go and have lunch with them or coffee with them? Do you want to show up and see them every day? No! You would rather stab your eye with a fork.
And the other side, right? You could have a great bloke as a builder. And that’s that over-warmth. And you don’t want to criticise him because he’s such a good bloke, but can we get the job done – that competence? That’s a reputation as well. We need to balance those out.
So if we’re just showing exactly on our website, our competence. Gold star builder. And everything about what we have done, delivered, won. Rather than what you get, what we deliver, what, you know, all of the benefits for them. And that trustworthy, humaneness, a bit of a human story. You’re absolutely right, we’re just going to go with a human story. That one time out of 40.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. Well, can you perhaps give us some tools and some tactics that our builder members can start to sort of maybe do a little bit of self analysis about what reputation actually means and how they could start to identify it in themselves? And take us through some of the I know that you’ve got some fantastic exercises to do. And just give us some insights into how they can start framing this in their head.
Because I’m sure that they’ve already got – the wheels are already turning about how, what it is that’s special about them, and how they might be able to differentiate themselves.
Perfect. And again, in wanting to under engineer, this, the first question I get asked when we’re repositioning a brand or a person’s brand or their personal brand, or their reputation is “where do I start?” So we’ve got that covered. And I’ve got a few things there.
And the other one is, “where does this go?” Once I work out, you know, what the what, what the reputation is? Where does it go?
Now if we’re not clear about our reputation, what we stand for or how we do things, we can’t ever, ever hope that anyone externally, and our homeowner partners could ever get clear. So if we’re not clear, they’re not clear.
It doesn’t have to be plastered all over the place, but you just need to be able to be aware of it, so you show up all the time. And so I’ve got an exercise, which is called a reputation map. So it’s really simple. We get to do a little bit of fun.
So I’m going to take you through some of these really simple exercises. How I get started with just four simple questions. We’ll put those out where that goes on a map, and then that opens out an understanding of ‘right, this is what I do differently’.
And it’s all from what we were talking about – the Platinum rule. Not the golden rule. Not what we want people to know. But what do our clients need? What have we asked them? What do we know of all the clients that have been before us? And how do we translate that?
And so people go “Oh, yeah, that’s for me. I didn’t even know that that was my problem”.
So we’ll dive into the “how the #$%! do we start and where the #$%! does it go?”
This has been an introduction to just one of the many sessions inside our ELEVATE Membership platform.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build your reputation, join ELEVATE where you can see the full Expert Session with Nicole Hatherly about how to build your reputation as a builder.
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