You’ve heard and read a lot about personal branding, and now you’re ready to post some blogs, upload some videos and build some social networking profiles. Whoa. Was that the sound of screeching tires? I’m a mortgage broker! Did someone say, post some blogs? About what, you may ask? If the idea of blogging gives you writer’s block, you’re not alone. Coming up with compelling blog topics as a mortgage professional can be intimidating. First of all, remember that the idea behind personal branding is to differentiate yourself from the pack in terms of your knowledge, skills and abilities. It comes down to communicating to others the things that make you remarkable and convey your knowledge. It’s not about bragging. It’s about positioning yourself and demonstrating how you bring value to your customers, business referrers and the work that you do. In our work with corporate brand development, we ask companies to answer the three most important questions about their brand: ►Who are we? ►How are we different? ►What are we capable of becoming? We point out that a brand must be built from within, where unique talents, experience, intellect and passions are unearthed and leveraged to become what no other company or organization can duplicate. When it comes to personal branding, the process is very similar. In fact, by now I assume you have already put some thought into your personal branding project and have identified the competencies and interests that are a part of your brand. If not, now is a good time to do so. Based on the values you identify, the next step is to position yourself and your personal brand through a series of brief essays or articles—or blogs, as they are known on the Internet. Blogs are meant to be thought or positioning pieces and are best when they express your own ideas and reveal your creativity and ability. As thought-starters, below are eight general areas that you may wish to address in blogs supporting your personal branding campaign: ►What factors influence rate? ►Secrets for building your credit score ►Choosing a neighborhood ►Why should, or shouldn’t you, consider FHA? ►Is this a good time to buy? ►Is this a good time to invest in real estate? ►I declared bankruptcy in the past. Can I get a mortgage? ►If I’m self-employed, how do I get a mortgage? Of course, this list could go on and on. But used as basic starting points, the above ideas can assist you in creating blogs that are helpful to the consumer and position you as being knowledgeable. To garner more ideas for blogs, leverage Google Alerts and set your search terms on Twitter to get updated on industry trends and factors that influence the market. These are tremendous sources of information. Remember to be authentic and let your personality shine through. Give readers a sense of your style and who you are when speaking to these and other topics. You want to be seen as a thought leader, or at least a thoughtful person, even if you haven’t yet had that much experience. Patrick H. Seroka is president and chief executive officer of Seroka, the only Certified Brand Strategists in North America specializing in the mortgage industry. With Seroka, you'll experience unique, second-to-none client service and benefit from compelling marketing communications. Plus, we guarantee your growth. For more information, call (262) 523-3740 or e-mail [email protected].