“Understand that you need to sell you and your ideas in order to advance your career, gain more respect, and increase your success, influence and income.” – Jay Abraham
So how exactly should you be promoting yourself?
I have a lot of discussions with Brokers about branding, which they often think of in terms of logos, business names and slogans. Those things may be a part of your brand, but fundamentally your brand is a promise to your customer. A brand tells your customer what they can expect from your business and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
When I buy a can of Coca Cola I know exactly what I am getting. The brand is a promise that I will get the exact same drink as I am expecting. I may like it or I may not, it may be good for me or not, but I know what I’ll get.
What you are trying to achieve with your brand is that when people see it they are familiar with it and associated with some predictable benefit to them. You want your brand to be recognisable and trusted.
For small to medium sized Mortgage Brokers, building your business name and logo into a recognisable brand is something you need to be careful about as it is probably the fastest way to waste your money for zero new clients. In particular, Brokers should not try and copy the advertising methods utilised by big companies to build familiarity and trust with their brand.
“Branding is overrated.” – Regis McKenna
Big companies have completely different marketing goals, a much longer time frame, far higher existing consumer awareness and financial resources than you do. The methods they apply now as a large business are likely completely different to the methods they used when they were a small business. They are already well known to the general public, you aren’t.
Anytime an advertising agency suggests you should do some advertising to ‘build awareness’ or ‘build your brand’ you should run the other way. You should only spend money on advertising that you can test against the immediate leads it generates. Anything else is wasting money.
Following on from this, you should always know how your new clients heard about you. You might have a technical way of tracking where your new clients have come from, as occurs with a lot of online marketing, otherwise you should always ask your new clients how they heard about you. This way you can assess what is and isn’t working in your marketing and which referrers you need to thank.