Presenting Yourself as a Professional

MAR 26, 2014 10:44am ET

If I have one piece of advice to mortgage originators looking to brand their services, it would be to make sure your materials are designed to show your professionalism.

Too often, marketing efforts by people who are professionals tend to look like ads from businesses that people deal with on a daily basis. As a result, your business can be seen by consumers as providing a commodity, not a service. In fact, that is what is behind my advice here.

Before I discuss that, let me go back to a conversation I had many years ago, when advertising by attorneys first became permissible, I had a discussion with my late father, who happened to be a lawyer although not in private practice at the time.

My opinion was there was nothing wrong with attorneys marketing their services to consumers (this was long before I became a reporter BTW). But he stopped me in my tracks when he said the problem was that the practice of law could end up looking cheesy (less than professional).

To bring this discussion to the present day, Cellino and Barnes, a law firm in the New York area already well known for its marketing (and I will admit the firm has a catchy jingle), rebranded itself when it acquired a telephone number which consists of the same digit. The marketing efforts (including a website URL on its billboard ads) are built around that single digit.

Single digit phone numbers are easy to remember. But there are two other marketers in the New York area which have built their advertising around a single digit phone number. Both are car-for-hire services.

So what you need to think about is: If you are advertising your abilities as a professional, do you want lumped into the same grouping with a car service in the consumers' eyes?

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