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“Whose cow is that?”
“Well, let’s take a closer look. Oh, looks like it’s old Bubba Mills’ cow; it’s got a big ‘BM’ sizzled on its rear.”
All summed up in a few words … branding is all about identity. For mortgage professionals, branding is vital because there are so many of you out there who you have to let people know whose cow is yours.
Branding is also more complicated than a swift, blistering poke with a hot iron. The Internet–with Web sites, social media, mobile technology, etc.–has added layer upon layer of added to-dos to your marketing to-do list.
The digital age has drastically changed how people learn about mortgages. Today, the vast majority of those seeking mortgage assistance start their search with the Web—browsing Web sites, blogs, reviews, articles, etc. so they’re less likely to believe you’re the best lender just because you say you are. Plus, consumers are now much more likely to ignore traditional, interruption-based marketing messages.
How can you brand more effectively in this complex digital age to let people know which cow is yours? Well, fire up your poker because here are five tips you can start using today:
1. Accept and become a student of the digital world
First and foremost, you have to accept we live in a digital world now and practically all consumers get most of their information online. Traditional media now supports digital, not vice-versa. The more you learn about digital marketing communications, the better you’ll be at promoting yourself and your services.
2. Forget the push and remember the pull
The old world of branding was all about pushing information to prospects. Now it’s all about pulling. By that, I mean consumers want valuable information, not volumes of information. So think of pulling consumers to you with content that’s useful and practical—information they may not easily find online. Before you send anything out or post to your Website or on social media, ask if a potential buyer or seller would find this information valuable. If not, trash it.
3. Know that your Web site is integral to your brand
Now, more than ever, your Web site is the first sizzle of your brand online. When people learn your name where will they turn? The newspaper? The Yellow Pages (what are those anyway)? No, of course not. They’ll visit your site to learn more about you. Any money you put into your site to make it more appealing, educational, interactive and persuasive will be money well spent. And beyond your site, adopt and use other online media such as blogs, e-mail, social media, e-newsletters, etc. and give them all the same look and feel with your design and copy.
4. Appreciate and capitalize on the mobile revolution
Yes, I said “Revolution.” That’s a strong word, but in this instance, it fits. Wherever you are right now, if there are people around, check out what they’re doing. Yep, looking at their phone. The phone is quickly replacing TVs, desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, books–everything but the kitchen sink. What’s this mean? All your digital communications better work on mobile devices.
5. Adopt lightning-quick responses
One reason digital communications has caught on is that it’s efficient. But it’s also fast. So your responses to inquiries have to be fast. Digital communication is also much more about customer experiences and interactions. Think about all the places where a potential client might interact with you: your e-mail, your website, your Facebook and then develop a strategy to engage them from those touch points.
Bubba Mills is CEO of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. He may be reached by phone at (800) 957-8353 or visit CorcoranCoaching.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.