If you were asked to write down a list of some of the most recognized people you can think of, along with something they are known for, it’s likely you could come up with a list pretty quickly. They would probably be a list of entertainers, politicians, business titans or personalities – but they will all have one thing in common: They have a personal brand.
These people may be known for an image they portray, a tagline/something they say consistently, or a specific niche that they focus on. In the mortgage business it’s also important to find something that sets you and your personal brand apart from everyone else. When coaching originators, these are some of the first questions I ask when helping them develop a strong personal brand.
- What do you want to be known for?
- What sets you apart from other originators out there?
- What part of the market do you want to focus on?
- Do all three of those things line up and can you clearly communicate the message?
- What is your competitive advantage and value-add?
- Can you focus on this long-term or will you have to pivot?
Once these things are identified, it’s important to form them into a brand that fits you and your personality:
- Create a brand identifier: Create a phrase or title that not only states who you are and what you do, but also the value of your brand.
- Have a purpose and mission: Zig Ziglar says “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Make sure you clearly know what you are trying to accomplish.
- Make the past fit the present: How does your past experience(s) deliver the most value to your customers and referral partners?
- Have a signature: Find a certain style or appearance that makes you unique, and always portray that in your business. Is there an accessory, piece of clothing or color that you wear that differentiates you?
- Know your pitch: When people ask what you do, you should have a quick verbal statement that conveys who are and what you do. Be authentic and be memorable.
- Own yourself online: You should have domains for your name and brand, as well as social media handles that exhibit your brand.
Branding is about balancing trust and attention. You can get someone’s attention even if they don’t trust you enough to work with you; but being a trustworthy mortgage professional doesn’t help you if you can’t get anyone to do business with you. Originators who have effectively built personal brands are more successful at targeting their intended audience and generating leads because their brand is easily evidenced in everything they do.