Most people see Lady Gaga as a counter-culture freak, especially when she first hit the music scene; for example, there was her "meat dress."

But, I see her as a person who is fearless when it comes to branding and sharing her message.  She knows what she stands for. She never loses sight of her goals. And the more she sticks to her values, the more popular she gets. So what are Lady Gaga's secrets?

  1. She stands for something: Through her songs and appearances, she stands for gay rights, anti-bullying, freedom of expression. It reflects in everything that she does. Does your website, information tab on Facebook, blogs, sales meetings, etc., reflect a defined message of who you are, what you do, and what you stand for? 
  2. She always delivers: If you’ve ever watched any of her performances, they are over the top—and the delivery is almost perfect. It's no surprise that top loan officers try to differentiate themselves from competitors by always delivering, whether it's a complete underwriting file or a killer marketing piece. Do you always deliver?
  3. She gets what she wants: A lot of people don't get what they want because they don't ask for it. Your goals are powerful tools to help you focus on exactly what you want, and help define what you don't want. What is your one big hairy-ass goal?
  4. She isn't afraid to break the rules: When it comes to marketing herself, it’s no coincidence that she ignores how it supposed to be done. It takes courage to question the norm, but it takes guts to actually do something unique and different. (There is one exception: you have to take into account mortgage lending rules and compliance.)
  5. She ignores the critics: While Lady Gaga is denounced by parent groups and politicians, her fans don't care. They love her. The secret is to listen to criticism, learn from it and then do your own thing. If everyone agrees with you, then you might not be saying nor doing anything worth talking about. Do you consistently market to your raving fans? 

So, if you had the courage to brand yourself in the mortgage business, what would you stand for?