For better or worse, your reputation will follow you like a shadow throughout your career. Just ask Lindsay Lohan, Bill Clinton,or Justin Bieber. While sex tape scandals and visits to the Betty Ford centre are fairly far removed from the mortgage industry, brokers do need to be aware of the kind of image they’re presenting to the public. While it’s true that you can always let your work speak for itself, putting in the time and effort to build it can cement a good reputation and do wonders for your career and business. Here are some advice from some of the best in the business:
Don’t be stingy with your expertise. According to Small Business Marketing Guru’s Michael Griffiths, becoming a trusted voice within your industry starts with having the right mindset. “You have to be a person that is willing to share information, help others and genuinely care about other people being successful.” He also says it’s important to share information with other (brokers). “So many business owners are afraid to give away their intellectual property because someone else might do better than them. We give everything away. This shows others how good we are and that we have solutions to people’s problems.”
Getting quoted by local or national media outlets is a no-brainer. Not only is it free advertising, but also it gives your business more weight and credibility in the eyes of the public. And while you might not be interested in national recognition, creating contacts within the local news community could be just as valuable to your business.
Utilize social media
Being a trusted media contact is great, but you don’t have to wait for ABC News to ring. Griffiths advises (brokers) to use social media to its fullest advantage – blogs, YouTube videos, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all at your disposal. “For many people reading this they’ll be saying ‘I don’t have the time’. You will be surprised at how easy and quickly this can be done, it is just a matter of making it a priority,” he says.
It’s always better to have someone else toot your own horn. Posting positive comments from clients on your website and LinkedIn page is smart way to build your reputation and gain trust from potential customers. “Forums,” says Linda Sultmann, principal consultant of White Room, “carry a lot of weight with prospective purchasers, particularly for product businesses, and glowing references for services businesses are great.”
Sometime you just have to show up. Go to networking events, attend workshops, host seminars – get your face out there and meet people. Small Fish Business Coaching’s Michael Altenburger also stresses the importance of volunteering.
Sharing your knowledge and expertise with new mortgage professionals is an excellent way to boost your reputation. Altenburger also suggests it pays off to extend your reach outside of the business by becoming a teacher, trainer or public speaker.
Associating your brand with a sporting team or school event, which can help create familiarity with
your business, and establishing your company within the local community is another way to positively affect your reputation, suggests Sultmann.
Joining the local Chamber of Commerce,Rotary Club or Business Network are also easy ways to tap into your local community, meet likeminded professionals and possibly gain strategic relationship partners.
Cementing customer relationships with a small gift is a brilliant way to build your reputation, says Sultmann. Not only will it be a pleasant way to thank clients for their business, but also it gives customers another opportunity to talk about your business with friends.
Humans are pretty good at sniffing out sincerity. As your mother would say, ‘just be yourself’. According to Griffiths, “People want to be around others that they like and trust – so allow people into your world, allow people to see the real you. Your values, ethics and the way you do things mean everything.”