Blogging (derived from Weblog) is an online journal that maintains a continuing narrative of information. This is the basic definition, but like the rest of technology today it is evolving as fast as you can type the word “change.” Blogs are utilized for anything and everything: breaking news and commentary, business, personal journaling, educational resources and political observations. I personally have a marketing blog to maintain a running dialogue of marketing tips and strategies. There are many reasons to utilize a personal blog for your origination business.
Quickly becoming a mainstream method of communicating, blogging is a dynamic, flexible tool that requires minimal technology know-how and little to no cost to maintain. Many in the business world are now using blogs as an essential part of growing their networks. Where a website is fairly fixed and somewhat boring, a blog allows you to become personal with those you want to do business with. You become more visible and gain credibility as an expert in your field. Blogging is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition and reinforce your reputation as a mortgage expert.
Mortgage blogs are becoming popular with originators that want to educate their clients as well as increase business. Dan Green has developed a fantastic blog. He didn’t fully realize the marketing potential until one day a borrower came to Dan and said, “My Realtor gave me five lender business cards. I read your blog first and decided then that you were the lender I would use.” Pretty powerful marketing. Ronnie Roach is another lender that has been blogging for three years. He now offers free classes to Realtors, teaching them how to set up and maintain a blog for their business.
According to Michael Sippey, general manger of TypePad, people read blogs to find out the point of view and connect with the writer. This is key to those in relationship businesses, as a blog can take an informal tone yet still pass along valuable information to the reader. Your passion and knowledge will translate into loyalty from those that read your blog. This value, along with your enthusiasm, is what will sell your services.
There are two main components to a successful blog: interesting content and getting the right people to look at it. Most of us in sales are good at talking, that’s why we are good at sales. So don’t get hung up about the writing. Use this talent to speak in your blog, describe what you specialize in, products and services you offer and how you can benefit your customers. Post tips that will be valuable to those you are trying to attract to your business. You can include success stories and testimonials from happy clients. Post links to articles you liked (or didn’t like) with just a few comments from you.
Also, use your blog to answer questions or concerns you receive from clients. Most likely, if one person has a question, many more will also. Blog about local housing issues, developments and forecasts.
To get your blog read, invite everyone you speak with to visit and comment. Add the URL address to your business card and e-mail signature. Put a link on your Web site. Once you talk with a potential client, send a follow up e-mail with a link to an interesting article on your blog. As blogs have become more common in the business world, customers are using this as a shopping tool. They want to feel connected with those that will be helping them with their real estate and financial needs.
You can also register your blog for free with many blog-specific search engines. Post comments on other blogs related to your field such as Realtors and financial planners and your comment will link back to your site. The more you can utilize this cost-effective, public relations tool, the quicker you will see an increase in clients and production.
The best thing about it is that you can set up a blog in a short time with little to no cost. WordPress and TypePad are two well-established blogging services that can walk you through the process of setting up your own blog and both offer many tools to make your blog successful. It is recommended that you post to your site frequently, giving people a reason to check back often.
Do you love what you do? Are you good at it? If the answer is yes, then starting a blog is one of the best ways to let the world know. And the fact that it is so simple and easy to maintain makes it all that much sweeter. Blog away!
By Bliss Sawyer