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How To Define Branding

The key to branding and growing your presence is consistency. Create a plan.

Ashley Gravano
Insider
Ashley Gravano
A consistent grid of megaphones

Marketing is so important to stay relevant in the mortgage industry – any industry in fact as an individual and as a company. Many of us have rules and regulations based on our position or company as to what we can and cannot post on social media dictated by our employer and some of the rules or guidelines we place on ourselves for many reasons. Some of us are only comfortable sharing our company posts and some of us are excited to record videos or post photos from personal and professional events. To each her own, right? 

I personally started very small with marketing on social media many years ago. I would only share a picture or two at a conference until I started following a few major players in the real estate space. That is when I started really turning it up. I created a series around markets in the industry and interviewed local realtors. 

Then I began visiting local spots and taking photos and sharing them and all the sudden found myself engrossed in branding, creating content, and picking up speaking engagements to local Realtors on how to do the same. I started doing retake after retake then decided to just GO LIVE which was crazy scary for a video interview, but it worked! 

It has evolved over the years with different positions I have moved into, but I still love doing it. So, let's ask some other Mortgage Mom’s: how do you define “branding” and how can other Mortgage Mom’s get started or grow their presence?

What are the four or five adjectives you would use to describe the professional you? That’s your brand.  It’s how people describe you and what you do. Being in control of the adjectives people use for you is branding.

Christy Soukhamneut CMB

Former Chief of Staff/Director of Mortgage Strategic Initiatives

Flagstar Bank 

As with many things, it’s important to shape the message for your brand. The first step in getting started is to define your brand.  Ask two or three business associates how they would describe you.  That’s the brand you have today. To grow that brand and your presence, you need to be in front of your target audience in a way that allows them to see you as those five adjectives.  

For example, if you want people to see you as a leader in the technology space, you could post two to three articles a week about technology and its impact on our business. You can follow five to 10 leaders in the fintech space and comment on their posts.  Check with your local Mortgage Bankers Association and see if you can speak at their next event on fintech. Also, use #fintech in every post you make.  

The key to branding and growing your presence is consistency.  Create a plan.  Ruthlessly execute on it.  Don’t give up too soon. Stay the course and watch the growth happen over the next six to 12 to 18 months. 

Katie N. Clements, AMP

Sr VP Mortgage Consultant

First Horizon

I would define branding for myself personally as how can I set myself apart? A lot of times in the mortgage industry we can offer a lot of the same products, so it is important to identify what sets you apart. In my business, I pride myself on always being available for my referral partners and customers no matter what time of day it might be. Customer service and making sure our customers are at ease throughout the financing process is extremely important so making you or your team always available is very helpful.

I would encourage other Mortgage Mom’s who are just getting started to get involved and volunteer for as many things as you can. It isn’t easy with us being busy raising families but my business more than doubled when I became involved in both real estate boards and the local mortgage banker association board. This not only gives you so much industry knowledge, you also meet incredible individuals that will help grow your business. In the changing market that we are in now, knowledge and who you know is extremely important! 

Jen Peachman

Manager of Strategic Partnerships

Capacity 

The way I look at it, branding is the opportunity for the authentic promotion and positioning of both you and your company. It’s the advertising, the image, and the sharing of your why. It’s the highlighting of your passions and your product, promoting your relevance and your involvement, sharing gratitude for and announcements supporting your partnerships and alliances, and being an ambassador to share your impact on your industry, your business and the communities you support. 

My advice for other Mortgage Mom’s looking to grow their presence is to get involved, tell your story and make connections! Social media is likely the easiest and most prevalent platform to begin your journey. Choose the channel that’s best for your target audience, start making connections, following folks that are important to you, and get out of your comfort zone. Engage with your connections’ posts with comments (not just likes), share information/updates on a regular basis, and commit to growing your audience, engagement and presence. 

Watch those influencers that have branding that you identify with for ideas, and reach out to others for help along the way. So many of my best friends in this business I’ve met online or through social media, and so many of us are willing to help. Be open to really connecting and collaborating with folks, telling your story and growing your network, by being you!

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Women Magazine November 2022 issue.
Ashley Gravano
Ashley Gravano

Ashley Gravano is vice president of product solutions at Mortgage Cadence.

Published on
Nov 21, 2022
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