You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You’ve heard that line before, right? And it’s true. Sure, you might get the opportunity to make a second impression, but that first impression happens once and only once.
As a loan officer, where are you most likely to make a first impression? Well, it depends. But, chances are, when someone hears about you for the first time, they’re going to go straight to your website or your social media platforms to find out more about you.
When they do that, what are they going to find?
Who Are You?
I remember when I found out that the most visited page on my website (by far) was the “About Me” page. I was shocked. I figured it would be the “What’s My Rate?” page or the loan application, but no. It’s the “About Me” page. I did some research on other loan officers and branch managers and found the same thing.
I even moved the button to different places on the page, and the “About Me” was still always clicked the most. It really got me thinking. I had always thought that people didn’t care about who I am as much as what I can do for them. But they really do want to know who I am.
This means it’s critical that you have a profitable first impression—both on your website and your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. So, what do you want that impression to be?
Before we can answer that question, I’ve found that there are a number of other things we need to think about first. You need to understand the folks who visit your website—their state of mind and what they’re hoping to find. We need to talk about levels of intimacy (no worries—this will be rated PG). I also want to talk about content—what you should absolutely put on your profile. Then we’ll wrap up with some common mistakes I see—so you can avoid them. So here’s our agenda:
- Knowing your potential clients
- Varying levels of intimacy
- Important content you should have
- Common mistakes I see
How to Attract—and Connect with—Potential Clients
Here’s the thing: we’re really in the business of attraction. We’re not in the mortgage business; we’re in the attraction business. People can get a loan anywhere, and we want them to get it from us. That’s what makes all of this so important.
When you connect with a prospect, whether they’re a borrower or a real estate agent, I guarantee that the first thing they’re going to do is try to figure out who you are. Who am I talking to? Who is this person my realtor connected me to that’s leaving voicemails on my phone? When they go to your website or social media, it’s important that they get a favorable first impression.
When we talk about the levels of intimacy, the lowest level is just words—some sentences or a paragraph of who you are. The next level is a photo of you along with the words. The next level is a photo of you and your family. It can be you and your partner, your kids, your dog or cat, your parents, your best friends—whoever makes up your family. The next level is words plus a family photo plus an audio message from you that they can click on.
How to Choose the Perfect Profile Photo
Let’s talk about your photo for a bit, because it’s actually really important. Make sure you have a photo on your “About Me page” and your profile pic on Facebook and Instagram. And make sure it’s a recent photo. Don’t be using a photo from 20 years ago. That’s deceptive. When people meet you and you don’t look like that, you’ve already put up a trust barrier. Make sure it actually looks like you. Don’t do a glamor shot if you’re not going to look like that when they meet you.
If you’re not the only person in the photo, make sure it’s clear which one is you. If it’s you and your significant other, don’t use a smooching photo. Most people don’t want to see that. And don’t use a faraway photo. Make sure people can see your eyes. Which means don’t wear sunglasses. And make sure it’s appropriate. A photo at the beach in your swimwear probably isn’t appropriate. Smile. Use good lighting. Let your personality shine through. Look good, but look how you’re going to look when you meet them.
If you’re thinking, “well, I don’t like the way I look,” listen, that’s the way you look. God made us all imperfect in a perfect way. When people meet you, they’re going to see what you look like. If someone is so shallow that they’re going to judge me on my physical appearance, then I don’t want to work with them anyway, right?
In summary, here’s a checklist:
- Use a recent photo
- Go for realistic, not glamor
- Pose solo (or make it obvious which one is you)
- No smooching
- Get up close and personal
- No sunglasses
- No shirtless or bikini pics
- Good lighting
- Smile/look happy
Why You Should Record an “About Me” Video
The most intimate of all is a photo + text + a video. A video is the very best way for someone to get to know you and feel a personal connection with you—even before you meet. A lot of people are hesitant to make a video, and I tell them that they honestly need to get over that.
I have people telling me all the time, “I don’t like the way I look on camera. I don’t like the way I sound on camera.” Well, I’ve got some bad news for you. The way you look and sound on camera is exactly how the rest of the world sees and hears you all the time. You’re just seeing and hearing yourself through a lens you don’t normally use, and it looks/feels strange. But it doesn’t look strange to us. Just be you.
Where should you film this video? My personal preference is somewhere that’s not my office. I want to be in my backyard or at the beach or in a little park, maybe in the front yard with my wife and kids behind me planting flowers and a little unicorn is grazing off to the side. It just really personalizes it, makes you seem relatable and down to earth—like an actual human being, not just a loan officer in a suit.
The Simple Formula for Your “About Me” Video
The next question people ask is “What on earth do I say on this video?” This is a really big deal—but you don’t need to stress about it. Here’s the simple formula I use:
- This is who I am.
- This is who I help.
- This is how I help them.
Who do we help? Two groups of people—the borrowers and all of our referral partners (real estate agents, divorce attorneys, accountants).
I’ll share an example from Melinda Wasinger, one of our students from when we taught a class about this.
This is who I am: I love real estate and strategizing with my clients to help them meet their goals. With more than 20 years in the finance industry, my goal is to make the home-buying experience easy and stress-free for my clients.
She didn’t give any personal details, which is fine, but you could add some if you want. I enjoy camping. I love the beach. I’m married. I collect stamps. This is my cat, Fluffy. You could talk about a service organization or association you belong to—this helps you build trust and shows you care about the community. Next is who she helps.
This is who I help: All real estate owners and buyers in the valley who want honest answers, superior service, and a knowledgeable advisor to help them navigate their home financing. I also help Arizona real estate professionals who want to grow their business and showcase their properties with the latest marketing technology available to the real estate market.
This is how I help: My team works with each borrower to determine the best financing package for every scenario, taking into account not only the impact of the loan on their finances today, but 5, 15, 20, and even 30 years down the road. And I help real estate professionals get to a smooth, flawless, and on-time closing with weekly updates on their file. And I follow up on their leads like green on a pickle.
Now she’s going to get even more referrals from those people going forward, which is really cool.
I’ve said before that we took a survey of 10,000 real estate agents and asked them their three biggest complaints about loan officers. They said:
- Doesn’t close on time
- Doesn’t keep me updated on the file
- Doesn’t follow up on my leads
If you’re not sure what to write in these sections, making sure you address those three concerns is pretty big.
The Biggest Mistakes People Make on Their About Me Page
I see a lot of the same mistakes over and over, and I’d love to help you avoid them if at all possible.
Mistake #1 is not having an “About Me” page at all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a loan officer’s website and they don’t have an About Me page. Mistake #2 is that the “About Me” page isn’t about them personally; it’s all about their company. People don’t do business with companies; they do business with individuals. Mistake #3: having a very low level of intimacy. Mistake #4: your video is too long. Mistake #5: you chose the wrong photo.
These mistakes are really easy to avoid (or correct). Just read back through this post for all the great advice I’ve gleaned over years of experience.
Do you need some help with your “About Me” page or social media profiles? Or just some help getting your business off on the right foot in general? We’d love to offer some custom advice based on what will truly work best for you and your business. Click here to set up a FREE strategy call TODAY.