What Are You Saying With Your-Sphere-of-Influence Marketing?
Sphere-of-influence marketing is the cornerstone of mortgage marketing. It doesn’t completely set itself apart from all other forms of business marketing, but is different when compared to many. Mortgages as a product don’t market like retail items or something more spontaneous. Someone might hear a commercial on the radio and decide that a double cheeseburger with all the trimmings sounds good and they might run out and get one. This rarely happens with a refinance or the purchase of a new house. So what does it say when you communicate with your clients in a way that seems as though you are just a salesman?
The statistical data of ROI for digital marketing vs. direct marketing is overwhelming. Digital doesn’t come close. The free market has a fascinating way of setting the acceptable price of value (which we’ll save for another article). Suffice it to say that certain mediums work better than others and you get what you pay for. In the last lesson I talked about your sphere of influence — what it is, its basic makeup, and, more importantly, its value. So what do you say to your sphere of influence? I’ve spoken with loan officers and real estate agents across the country and have successfully marketed to loan officers and real estate agents for about a decade now. Of the percentage of loan officers that don’t do direct marketing, most, if not all, won’t admit that their aversion to the direct marketing medium is directly related to not knowing what to say. (I wrote a 3-part article regarding this hard truth, which you can find by clicking here). Not knowing what to say causes some to jump into very poorly thought out “Marketing Programs” that offer little input from the user, little involvement, and fewer results in the end. It’s the Set-It-and-Forget-It approach, which is normally discovered through the Bump-Into Method of marketing and advertising.
In all my years’ experience working with loan officers, brokers and real estate agents, it comes down to the hard truth I mentioned above, so let’s take a look.
If you open any marketing email, the phone book, the newspaper, or anything with written words on it, you’ll discover some very similar characteristics in almost all of them:
- A photo
- Contact information
- Articles about everything from keeping your grass green to the best recipe for apple pie. Articles about raising children, to the latest numbers in the agricultural markets and farm reports.
These are the signs of the “activity of marketing” without having any idea what to say or why. Here are two samples of the hundreds of examples I see every month:
Sphere of Influence Examples that don’t work
Example 1 – This example has a twist that takes focus away from the reason it was sent. It’s a non-marketing marketing ploy. It’s a perfect example of a lack of connection between the supposed writer and their reader. Admittedly, the info isn’t bad but it’s very Set-It-and-Forget-It. This makes the piece very disingenuous. So with its slick look and style, it’s only got a photo and contact information, which goes along with our list of three items above. Canned content is easy to spot and leads the reader to believe the sender isn’t engaged. There’s nothing about the sender. What’s the message here, who is this person?
Example 2 – This is an example of a newsletter that’s even worse than the first example. Aside from its poor quality, it absolutely defies the logic of marketing and here’s why: It completely excludes both the sender and the reader! This much industry content and jargon is never received well by the reader and causes the second attempt to be deleted or thrown away very quickly. Neither consumers nor referral partners respond well to this type of canned content. It’s the wrong approach. The sender is disconnected from the content and it’s painfully obvious. It might as well say, “Please call me, I’m begging you!”
Just for fun I threw in this third example, which is the type of thing that’s used to market to you, the loan officer, broker or agent.
Example 3 – This is an example of the “Authority” marketing approach. The goal of this approach is to present oneself as the “Authority” and then work to appeal to your intellect. You’ll notice that the piece doesn’t say much. In fact, like my wife, Alison, says, “He says a whole lot of nuthin’!” This is the type of marketing designed to impress you with “industry” sounding jargon that turns out to be no more than an email campaign like the two examples above and the results are typically the same.
So, what do you say to your sphere of influence? Well, that part is simple: Share yourself, share your knowledge and become family! For PDF examples click here.
This magic touch bears repeating. Simply by sharing yourself, sharing your knowledge, and becoming family you become someone real to your clients. …Aren’t you real after all? Here’s something that we call the Zander Effect. It’s one of the greatest mortgage marketing ideas we’d seen up until that point. One of our clients back in 2009 sent in a picture of his wife’s ultrasound to put on his newsletter — an ultrasound of their soon to be born son, Zander. Josh has chronicled the birth and life of his son from that point forward and in what we think is an almost extreme example of sharing oneself, we’ve yet to see anything so effective. It’s not necessary to share so much personal information, but if you read the testimonial from Josh regarding his newsletter (click here to read) you’ll see what we urge everyone else to see. Sharing anything from life experiences, personal accomplishments, interesting situations with a file, community events you’re involved with, charity associations, Little League sponsorships, etc., are all key to your client having interest in you and all you are willing to share. They stay engaged with you and who you are. They become ambassadors for you and your business; they care about you because they know you. They use your services because they trust you. They refer you to the people they know and care about because they relate to who you are and what you are about.
This is why we say, “Share yourself, share your knowledge, and become family!” This is the best element of sphere-of-influence marketing.
We know that not everyone knows how to do this. It’s easier than you might think and this is why we offer help with both content and teaching. “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.” Seriously, it’s easier than you might think.
If you have questions about sphere-of-influence marketing or any of these ideas, don’t wait, give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to show you examples and explain the process in more detail. This is why we offer a Free Marketing Needs Assessment. By doing an assessment we can get to the root of what you’ve been doing, help you make some changes to your perception of your sphere-of-influence marketing and make it successful for you.