The World Has Officially Run Out Of Ideas…

So far we’ve seen just about every advertising method possible used… If it exists in the material realm, it’s probably been used and/or sold as advertising space:

Radio, TV, billboards, magazine pages, banner ads, the side of your car…

Or, if you want to get a bit more extreme: People selling the back of their heads on Ebay for advertising space… Once I read about that crazy little phase, I thought I had seen it all. Apparently I was wrong. VERY wrong:

Watch this advertising stunt

I know, I know… The intent was not to have the little signs carried by the flies read so much as it was to raise awareness and to create… I’m going to say… Please forgive me… BUZZ! I’m sure they reached their goal, and that’s wonderful. But I just can’t stop thing to myself: “Just how long did it take to attach those tiny little banners to those “organic airplane replacements?”  (My new term when I see a fly from now on) No real point to this post other than to share what I found interesting.

Chad Weber – Loan Officer Marketing Lab

The Title Of This Post Is: AHHHHHHH!

I’m one of those obnoxious guys that is up every morning at 4:30 a.m. It’s a great time to get in a workout, jog for a few miles, and clear the mind for the day. This morning I was sitting on the porch watching as the night sky was chased away by rising sun – It’s amazing how much of a difference 15 minutes makes! Why was I sitting on the porch watching this when there’s loads of work  calling… I mean screaming my name? Well, I’ve generally found that when I get myself into a rut, when I begin to feel overwhelmed with the demands of running multiple blogs, websites, responding to emails, posting on Twitter, LinkedIn etc – It helps to give myself a change of pace – If only for a little while.

I do quite a bit of writing. Blogging, emails, presentations, seminars, how to guides, reports, web-copy,  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH… Ever felt like that before? I have. Yet something as deceptively simple as giving your brain a few moments to enjoy a new sensation, surrounding, and stimuli can have an amazing impact! That’s what I did this morning. As I jogged I was contemplating that my inbox registered 58 unread emails before I went to bed last night.I also had the unwelcome reminder that I need to prepare a 64 slide presentation for business owners to be delivered tomorrow at 2:30 – Ugh…

I actually enjoy all of these activities, but toss all of them into the same bucket with a heaping mixture of phones ringing off the hook and deadlines to be met and it’s easy to find yourself typing AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH all over again. Do you operate at your best when rushed, stressed, and feeling over-worked? Not many of us do. Sometimes I can feel the creativity just melt away when I feel there’s too much to be done, and I’ve already delegated plenty to my assistant. What to do?

Go watch the sunrise – Have dinner at a new location with foods you’ve always wanted to try, experience new music, ponder the unponderables, and laugh a whole heck of a lot at a funny show or movie. I’m telling you it works. I often feel like a broken record with what I type and teach, but then I realize that it’s just me. I’m subjecting myself to the same old messages and surroundings over and over again, and the brain reaches a limit.

Simply taking a 30 minute jog around the neighborhood at 4:30 a.m. with everything so quiet and peaceful was a great relief for me. I tossed in a 15 minute session of watching the sun rise, and I suddenly felt rejuvenated! Was this a career-changing experience? Nope. That’s not what I was looking for, just a momentary pause while I found and pressed the “reset” button. I must say I’m feeling good today…

Chad Weber
Loan Officer Marketing Lab
http://www.loanofficermarketinglab.com

Free Mortgage Marketing Resources

digital-worldIf you take a moment to search through the archives of Lenderama, you’ll find several posts addressing the use of graphics on your blogs, websites, etc. While a well placed image can certainly help boost your conversions as well as the readability of the page, there’s a right way, and a wrong way to go about finding compelling imagery for your site.

Many loan officers will grab any picture they see on the web and place it on their website. While this may seem to be the easiest way to dress your site up, it is often the illegal way as well. Just as you’d never take a photo from someone else and hang it on your wall, web imagery is often protected by copyright, licensing laws, etc – unless otherwise noted.

So what’s a budding web  mortgage marketer to do when it comes time to dress up a blog post or page? Here are some free resources for you:

http://www.sxc.hu

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

http://www.freefoto.com

Each of the above sites allows you to browse through tens, and even hundreds of thousands of images to find something that will fit your site or blog. (Yep, the image I posted came from one of the above sites)

Bookmark or save links to the sites above and use them as needed. Won’t cost you a dime! Make it a great week!

Chad Weber

Loan Officer Marketing Lab

Social Networking For Loan Officers

So we’ve been chatting about social networking here on Day #3. There’s been alot of talk about sites such as Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace and others. (Active Rain and LinkedIn as well) The big question out there seems to be whetehr or not this is a profitable use of your time. Here’s my take on the subject:

– Anything that can expand your Sphere Of Influence gets a big thumbs up from me

– Anything that can become viral gets another thumbs up

– Any tool can be abused and drain your time – Smart time management is required

– Never try to use social networking as an excuse to ignore offline networking and prospecting efforts

I only recently began using these tools to market the Loan Officer Marketing Lab, but I’ve been using “the big 3″ for the last few years to market my web development firm. Let me tell you… It works – but it must be managed as a database tool.

I view people as my only true asset in business. If no one is there to hear my marketing message, then what is the point of being in business. If I have a group of people ready and willing to hear what I have to say, then no matter what I’m selling, I have a pre-built audience. The competion who ignores building a database, and online “audience” will always be 30 steps behind you since every time they wish to bring in more business, they have to market to cold groups as opposed to warm.

That’s the beauty of social networking – It builds your audience, it exposes you to more people you otherwise never would have had an opportunity to market to, and it’s relatively painless to build. Use these tools in a respectful manner, and you’ll soon grow to love social networking as well. Here’s a handy little guide we posted to the blog this morning:

http://www.loanofficermarketinglab.com/3unbreakablesocialmedia.pdf

Make it a great one!

CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab

Proven Script to Get Realtor Respect

Yesterday we talked about “Marketing Grenades” – A way to get noticed by your target market. Today the conversation steers to how to get realtors to respect you… Quickly.

See, many loan officers focus their marketing efforts on trying to lure the agent in with promise after promise after promise, not realizing that most agents are not even close to taking you seriously. It’s a lot like spam. You get a bunch of claims that SOUND good in theory:

– 10k in 24 hours

– Quit your job next week and never work again

– Make 6 figures per month every month

– I need to transfer 100 million to a U.S. bank, I’ll give you 20% (I get so many of these!)

Admit it, 6 figures per month sounds good doesn’t it? But would you take that email serious for even a second? Why not? Because you know better. Just as realtor’s have learned to “know better” than to take most loan officers seriously.

As long as you’re not being viewed with respect, your marketing messages are flowing right into 1 ear, and directly out the other more often than not.
So how do you change this unpleasant sequence of events? Have a look at the script I used. Download it, feel free to use it or modify it to fit your own marketing tools.

Script: http://www.loanofficermarketinglab.com/realtorrespect.pdf

It’s meant to be used with the video, but have a look and pay close attention to why it worked. Respect… Make it a great one!

CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab -

Marketing For Mortgage Leads: Using Grenades

So I released a 17 minute video this morning called “Mortgage Marketing Grenades.” I thought it was a fitting title for the concept. What is a marketing grenade you ask? It’s a marketing campaign that is loud enough to cut through all the other noise, it affects more than 1 prospect at a time, and it makes an impact on the target market.

That’s over-simplifying it, but you can see how these goals can certainly contribute to the success of your marketing campaign. “1 at a time” marketing can really bleed your pipeline dry when you’re operating in a tough market such as this one. Group marketing is far more effective when things get “sticky.”

Here’s a free guide that walks you through a marketing strategy I applied years ago to get real estate agents to acutally take the time to speak with me instead of rushing me out of the office. Nothing complex, but it worked like a charm:

Here’s the sample

Enjoy, and make it your best week yet!

CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab

A bird Attacked Me In My Car Today!

That was the title of the email I sent out to realtors a few years back. Why am I telling you this? Because it really happened, and it got me a whole bucket full of closed loans. Want to know how a violent bird attack on my person resulted in closed loans?  Here’s how it happened:

I was headed to the office around noon, and it was a beautiful day out. So I decided, what the heck, I’ll put the convertible top down. I smiled as my favorite song started playing through the speakers, the top was down, I leaned my arm on the door sill and thought about how perfect of a day this was.

That’s when I saw it… This small bird was sitting on top of the traffic light seeming to monitor all the cars approaching this 4 way street crossing. I pulled up to stop for the red light. As this fluffy little bird with skinny legs turns to look in my direction, he leaps up and starts flying in an erratic pattern toward my car. No biggie right? WRONG! Boy was I about to pay for this assumption!

I was puzzled that he was now only about 30 – 40 feet from my car and was swooping lower and lower as he approached me head on – Almost like a crazy game of “chicken” – never mind the fact that he was moving, and I wasn’t.

Twenty  feet, 15, 10, 5 and “swoosh” he zips by the top of my car at full speed near enough for me to have reached out and brushed him with my fingertips had I wanted to. I figured that he was either suffering from some bizarre bird-hangover or he was just making his point that he wasn’t intimidated by me and my 2,900 pound hunk of metal. Bold bird huh?

But he wasn’t finished…  No not by a long shot! I turned my head forward again to watch for the light to turn. 3 seconds later I’m being assaulted from behind by this crazy Sparrow from hell! (Actually I’m pretty certain it was a mockingbird) He is hovering in the air about 5 feet from my head screeching like some sort of banshee and zipping down in mock dives!

Perhaps he thought I was encroaching on his territory, or maybe he just didn’t appreciate the music I had chosen to listen to on such a beautiful day instead of listening to him sing… I will never know. But just as quickly as he appeared, screeched, and dive bombed, he zipped away again. I craned my neck to see where he went, and just as I thought I caught a glimpse of this feathery devil, I felt a rain drop on my forehead.

No big deal, it’s just rai…. Wait a minute. What the heck? Why is this “rain drop” milky white and dripping down my…. OH NO HE DIDN’T! Apparently this was the parting shot from this bold little bird. If he couldn’t chase me away, he was going to show his disdain for me and my bright yellow car the best way he knew how! Sick…And I never carry napkins in my car either…

So what do you think? Interesting story right? It really happened, and yes, I ended up using my tie as a make-shift napkin that day. Better than driving around with bird droppings on your forehead! So how did this email get me 3 loans in about 2 hours?

At the time of this happening, I was quite active on My Space and with a real estate specific blog. I rushed back to the office after what we from this point forward shall refer to as “the incident” partly to blog about this, and partly because I had a sudden urge to dump my tingling head into a 100 gallon bucket of water and soap!

So I get back to the office, and I posted the blog exactly as you see the story recounted above. I posted onto MySpace, posted onto a few other select social networks, and then I wrote a short recap and emailed it to my realtor prospects within my auto responder. (This is a list of about 200 – 210 top producing realtors that had double opted in to my email newsletter)

I sent the email out, linked back to the blog post for the “expanded” story, and placed a quick “oh by the way” note at the end of the email. The results? Normally my emails get opened at a rate of about 40 – 45%. This email showed more than 70% had opened within 1 hour of sending the email.

My blog, MySpace page, and others had more than double the number of comments normally received, and my “oh by the way link” had showed more than 27 clicks in that same hour. What was my “oh by the way?” This was a link to a short 4 page email marketing guide I had customized for the real estate industry. Nothing more than a collection of marketing suggestions, ideas, creativity boosters, etc.

By the next morning, I had plenty of emails from agents laughing at the story, inviting me to lunch, and thanking me for the guide.

3 of the agents ended up in a conversation with me on the phone, and I landed a total of 3 loans referred within a 24 hour period… So the lesson of this story? If you want to get 3 loans in 24 hours, you need to get bird poop on your head… Ooops, wrong moral… Sorry about that.

The true moral is that standing out from the crowd, even in a seemingly unrelated fashion can get you noticed. I wasn’t suddenly a better loan officer for having been attacked by hell-bird. Not at all. But I had a funny enough experience to make the right agents laugh, notice my link, and in turn notice me. I’d been there emailing those agents for months up to that point.

It took a bird crapping on my head story to get their attention, but once I did, I closed plenty of loans because of it. 1 of the agents that referred me a loan that day became a regular, and we went on to do plenty of business together.

This is the power of networking, whether it be in person, or online. The MySpace page, my blog, my email list. All of these tools served as my distribution channel and helped to spread the word of my ordeal, and the email marketing article. Whether you have a funny story to tell, or a useful article to share, you need to expand your reach. Be friendly, be helpful, be consistent. Now have a great weekend and watch out for those angry birds!

CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab

The Edge Of Your Seat!

I was speaking to a group of local business owners this past weekend at SCORE. I run the Online Marketing part of the seminar each month. It was my job to get the group to wake up after their hour long lunch break. Well, I decided to come prepared with all sorts of cool facts to get them interested in the topic again while the greasy burgers settled in their stomachs. How did I do it? With  these:

– 1 in 8 couples who married in 2008 met online

– More than 31 billion searches are performed on Google every single month (Does not include Yahoo, MSN, etc.)

– It took televesion 13 years to reach 50 million users, and radio 38. The web? Just 4 years

– MySpace now has more than 200 million registered users – If these users were made into a country, they’d make up the 5th largest country in the world

– In 2008 more people used the web to find local businesses than the Yellow pages

– Shoppers who “pre-shop” onlineare more likely to refer friends and family than those who do not

Interesting stats huh? Thought you might enjoy them as a reminder of how important the web has become on both a business and a personal level. The crowd quickly sat up and started scribbling down these facts at the seminar and it was easy to get audience interaction going after this point. So what am I saying here? That in your daily marketing efforts, sometimes it’s not really what you say so much as how you make the information relevant to your audience.

I did this at the seminar by asking how many were on Myspace, how many shopped online, how many forward emails and refer friends to interesting websites. All hands went up each time. After 45 seconds of having the audience prove the truth of what I was saying, I moved on to my Power Statement: “The essence of marketing is to get your message in front of as many people who are already interested in your product or service as possible.”

The crowd was silent as I then compared costs of online marketing to direct mail, yellow page ads, newspaper ads, magazines and more. I then pulled out a chart to show the small exposure each of those mediums offered when compared to a properly marketed website. The crowd didn’t even wait for me to get to the Q and A portion of the presentation as hands shot up and questions were rapid fired my way. This is the very same group who moments earlier were slowly shuffling into the room looking as if they were dreading sitting in a seat that was filled with pointy thumbtacks…

The transformation took place with a simple twist of the message. I let them prove the truth of my words to themselves by making the facts relevant, and then comparing to the traditional marketing approach. This is a powerful marketing tool, and one that I hope you adopt for your own message.

CW – Loan Officer Marketing Lab