While you’ve probably heard the phrase “you are your brand”, maybe it hasn’t held much gravity. Marketing buzzwords and phrases may not always seem worthy of your attention. While some certainly aren’t, staying current when to your marketing approach is important. A business’ brand — including logo, graphics, written content, customer service, and other associations — carries a great deal of weight when it comes to attracting the right prospects.
LOs should work intentionally to create a cohesive brand that accurately represents them. If you’re not purposefully creating the brand you want for yourself, then you risk these outcomes: having an amorphous brand that confuses people, or having a brand that says something completely different than you want it to. Neither of these will help you attract and keep the right clients. LOs looking to maximize their branding efforts should follow the following strategies:
Stay true to yourself
The first step to assessing your branding is to make sure you’re clear on what sets you apart from the competition and what you want to highlight about yourself. What kinds of qualities do you want your brand to convey to your prospects and clients? Start with one main attribute to focus on. Perhaps you want to be known for being a highly-skilled and knowledgeable loan originator, or maybe you want to stand out for your honesty and genuine character. Whatever focus you chose, start shaping your brand around that.
Shape your visual brand
The most obvious elements of branding are the visual aspects including the logo, color scheme, and graphics you share on your marketing materials, both in print and online. While, of course, these are not conclusive in defining your entire brand, they are important elements for your visually-captivated audience. Visual elements should be consistent and clear. They should work together cohesively to send the message you want. Simple changes, like making sure your photos are high in resolution and updating your profile picture if you haven’t in the past year or so, can communicate to prospects that you are up to date. Having a well organized website will convey a more modern feel to prospects; this is especially effective when it comes to attracting millennial prospects. With email marketing, move beyond text alone. Include interesting photos and videos to keep your audience engaged.
Reassess your online persona
Visuals are a major element of how your brand is communicated online, but there are several other elements that also contribute. Check in with your written content — does your “About me” page read in a personable way? Online interactions contribute to your brand just as much in-person ones do. LOs should post and share relevant and interesting content on a regular basis. One approach could be to tap into the interests of potential clients and start sharing specific content with them. It’s also positive to interact with online contacts by liking and sharing others’ content. This helps keep you a part of a larger online community and spreads your brand.
Prioritize customer experience
While it’s important to focus on the outside factors that define your business, the face-to-face service you give clients is at the heart of your brand. These interactions form the majority of your reputation and can either promote or prevent further business. Each time you go above and beyond for your client, you strengthen your positive image and increase the likelihood of referrals and repeat business.
It may seem like a back-burner priority to many LOs, but good branding is a defining characteristic of successful businesses today. If you haven’t prioritized your brand identity in the past, now is the time to start maximizing its potential. By defining your brand with visual, written, and personal elements, you’re investing in your own reputation and success. Take the standout features of your business and make sure that your brand communicates them loud and clear to potential clients.