Messages and Marketing

Learn the steps I take to ensure that the messages I’m delivering are going to be impactful and my marketing campaigns are a success.

Messages and Marketing that mean something

The 3 reasons originator’s marketing doesn’t work is because the message is wrong, the marketing doesn’t mean something to the audience and there is no call to action.


The first thing you need to do with your marketing is determine a specific message that you want to deliver.  Being top of mind and being in front of people is nice and has to be done, but that’s not marketing that’s simply a reminder. 

  • My approach is to Start by Saying “What do I want to achieve with this” and  It can be 1 or 2 things. 
  • The you work backwards.  If you’re end goal is a phone call, then what can you say in your ad that would prompt someone to call in?  You can extend an offer, you can tell them to call, you can entice them without giving the full details by saying “call for details”
  • Another approach is the Jay Baer approach where Marketing is about offering something so valuable that after they see it they would pay for it but you gave it to them for free.  His marketing strategy is all about helping someone not hyping up a product.
  • Cause Marketing is another way to go about it.  You do some sort of charitable work, market that your doing it, ask others to join you or participate and then gain exposure because everyone likes doing good things.  This is not an immediate gratification marketing strategy but it is still a marketing strategy. 

Making your marketing mean something

You may have the best looking ad, or it may get in front of thousands of people but if it doesn’t appeal to someone it doesn’t matter.  It’s better to have a highly appealing message to a small number of people, than a low appealing sexy ad in front of ten thousand people.

  • We do mortgages, but what we really do is help people own homes, help them save money, and help them make sound financial decisions without ever having to question if they did the right thing at a later date. 
    • If that’s what we do then why do I see loan officers market 1 particular program? Why do they market their ranking/awards or last years volume, why their personal interests?
  • 99% of loan officers make their ads completely different than what they would tell a client in person.  That’s why they never get a call.  Advertise as if you were talking to the audience face to face.
    • Example:  If a client is sitting in your office and they said “We’re trying to buy a house and wanted to get your help or guidance on how much we can afford and what the process is like.”  Is the first thing out of your mouth “I was ranked in the top 1% in the nation last year” or “Our company was voted best places to work” or “we have a bank statement program”  NO!  You appeal and tell them how you can help with their goal of purchasing a home.  Your advertising and marketing should tell them the same thing you would tell them if you were face to face with them the first time you met.

A Blueprint for meaning

You can create your message on your own as long as you follow some sort of guide.  The examples I gave before should be a great starting point and for most of the marketing you do you’ll be able to figure it out.  However whenever I get stuck on how to frame the ad or what to say I use the following as a guide.

Blair Warren who is considered by some a marketing guru has a line that always stuck with me about marketing.  I’ve used this as a guide for many ads to ensure I’m connecting with not just 1 person, but I have the chance to connect with as many people as I can in my ads. 

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help throw rocks at their enemies.” 

If you’re sure what to put in an ad I’d recommend reading this over and over, then thinking about how you can touch on each point in your ad.  This should give you at least a framework for whatever marketing piece your about to do.

Call to action

Everyone has a call to action in their ads but is it actually something that will make someone jump into action?

  • Call for more information, apply now, call today, a phone number.  These are not things that will trigger someone to act.  These are invitations not action items. 
    • Instead of “call for more information”  what if you said “Call me for a private consultation” or “call to schedule a free private consultation” 
    • Apply Now – they don’t even know you and how the heck can they apply in a print ad?  If it’s online that could be possible but the wording “apply now” sounds like you want them to do a full application.  Marketing is to get someone to have a meaningful conversation not to take an application.  “sign up for my newsletter” is fine since you’re just gathering data, but no one will do a full application just because you say “apply now.”
    • Call today?  Why your ad shows me everything that you offer… What if you rephrased this as “call for a free information meeting/consultation on all of our products”  “Call to find out what product will best meet your needs”

Cause Marketing

This is when you do something for charity to gain recognition, present yourself as someone doing good and give legitimacy to what you do.  I’m 50/50 on cause marketing even though it’s effective I think you have to be careful and do it in a tasteful way.

  • Champion a Cause that means something to you and be very active.
    • I work with 2 charities, the local school education foundation and west coast sports associates.  The ED foundation raises money to provide gap funding for the local schools.  My mom was teacher, they don’t have a good budget so many teachers buy supplies with their own money.  The Ed foundation covers stuff the state budgt doesn’t.  WSA provides funding for less privileged children’s sports programs. I play college baseball so both of these mean something to me so when I champion the cause it isn’t fake, it actually means something to me.
  • Give back in 1 on 1 with clients.
    • Another way is to build a 1 on 1 charity with a client.  I.E. when you close with me I’ll donate $100 to the charity of your choice,  this is something you don’t put out on social media or ask for recoginition.  This is between you and your 1 client. 
  • Don’t sell yourself out.
    • I’ve seen LO’s show up at a charity event take a picture and write this long social media post that comes off as totally fake since they don’t even work with the charity other than 1 day a year.  I’ve saw 1 LO buy a homeless man a sandwich, take a picture with the man and then send it out on his social media.  That is 100% fake and not the way to use cause marketing. 


We all understand that facebook ads, magazine ads, open house flyers etc.. .are considered marketing and I am 100% in agreement that we should do these.  When you do these make sure you have a plan and you follow what we’ve outlined earlier.  Don’t just throw one together since it won’t have any impact and it won’t get the results you wanted.

Examples of marketing that you may not think is really marketing, or you have done but you didn’t use it as marketing. 

  • Holiday cards: A lot of us send out holiday cards but that’s just a reminder.  What if you sent the holiday card with a message about being thankful for your clients and that you would be very thankful for any referrals?  Use the standard holiday card but make in an opportunity for referrals.
  • Birthday cards:  Same thing here.  Happy Birthday is a reminder, Happy Birthday and I’ve included in this email a free appraisal coupon that you can give to anyone you want.
  • Newsletters: We all do these, they are great reminders but make sure you have some call to actions in the newsletter.  Another great idea is to in the newsletter put something that makes it personal.  Give an interesting fact about yourself or your team member.
  • Raffles/Give away: Buy something for $100 or $200 and then run a social media give away.  Example:  Every client that has posted an online review gets 1 entry into our raffle. 
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