Though there are plenty of marketing strategies that sales professionals employ on a daily basis, all of these efforts should stem from a solid foundation — a strong brand identity. Your brand can refer to anything from your visual elements (logo and colors) to your interactions with clients. If you haven’t already considered the power of a good brand, observe companies like Apple who have built an empire off of a reputable brand. Loan officers who want to amplify their success should focus on establishing a brand identity — one that they intentionally create and maintain. Though developing a brand offers the potential for greater success, there are many common mistakes people make when it comes to building their brand. Here are 5 mistakes that could get in the way of your branding progress:
For busy loan officers, approaching their brand passively is a common but detrimental tendency. Rather than building and curating it intentionally, they allow it to shape itself. Your color scheme, testimonials, content, blogs, images, videos, and your customer service should all be considered components of your brand. When you’re clear about how your brand looks and the message it conveys, you’re able to make sure it’s cohesive in all of these elements. Each aspect of your brand is an opportunity to communicate something positive about your business. Make sure you seize that opportunity wherever you can.
Neglecting your visual brand
While an LO’s brand isn’t only about visual elements, they do make up an important piece. Things like your logo, profile photo, and your color scheme all contribute to your visual brand. Outdated or incohesive visuals can send undesirable messages to clients. They can say you’re out of touch, or they can fail to communicate anything about you at all. Give your visual brand the attention it deserves with things like a high-quality logo, recent photos, and a color scheme that spans all your marketing materials.
Another mistake some LOs make with their brand is inconsistency. Your website, blog, emails, printed materials, and social-media posts should work together to create a unified image and identity for your business. It should be easy for prospects and clients to identify your business from the competition and to get a sense of who you are. Check-in with all of your online and print identities and ensure they align. It’s also important to maintain your brand consistently. This means engaging and posting regularly to the pages you have. Regular posts show that there’s a person behind the company, and they keep your brand fresh.
Taking a chameleon approach
Though looking to other successful professionals for inspiration can be useful, creating a similar brand can be detrimental. Your brand is an opportunity to differentiate and stand out. While your services may be similar to other LOs, your brand can communicate what sets you apart. Determine your strengths, weaknesses, and the things you want to be known for, and build your brand from there.
Your brand should be about you, not about what you think your clients want from you. Hopefully, those two things align, but crafting a brand with the main intention of appealing to prospects can set you up for failure. If your brand misrepresents you, it can cause you to lose credibility. If it feels phony, it can deter prospects before they ever make contact. You want to create your brand from things that are true to you. Your personality, the style of the services you deliver, and the things that make you love the work you do can all be expressed in your brand and are a great way for prospects to get to know you.
Your brand is an intangible presence that speaks for you and your business. When you build a strong brand, it can attract prospects and encourage them to make contact with you. If you fall into these common branding pitfalls, your brand can actually work against you, deterring potential business. The more you know about mistakes, the easier they are to avoid so, keep these common errors in mind as you work towards building a strong, successful brand.