Personal Branding Success via the Content Factory

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Mortgage and real estate professionals are an aging or older industry as a whole. They are deemed to be the people who are not fond of the term “Personal Brand” and prefer the term “digitizing reputation” instead. 

I am super glad to be invited by Phil Treadwell to talk about how people from the Mortgage or Real Estate Industry can leverage hacks that I have found the most effective in Building Personal Brands from my years of experience in Digital Marketing.

So if you are one of the mortgage or real estate professionals who on a day-to-day basis is trying to figure out what to do– a post for your business or just about you personally, what types of things should you be putting out to move forward with your personal brand? This podcast is for you. 

So you could continue to put out stuff like 

  • today’s report on interest rates
  • what’s going on in the economy
  • check out this neighborhood over here
  • here’s another listing that we have 
  • so and so closed a house. Congratulations! 

Do all that kind of stuff that is expected of you to do as a real estate agent but below are things that you should be doing. These are simple hacks but super powerful. Once you learn how to do it, you’re never gonna see digital marketing the same way:

1. Make content via your phone and make it channel independent

Put out all the content you can push out and let the algorithm do what they do. And not to say that you need to be picking a couple of platforms but what you need is really to make vertical cell phone-style videos, 

  • short little 30-second stories
  • edifying other people via gratitude
  • sharing your knowledge 
  • You can do market updates

But here’s the thing. You make the content independent of the channel. This is what everyone else does– they make content for YouTube, they make content for Facebook, and they make content for the website. No. You make it independent. 

Just tell Stories

We did this for my friend who owned a karate studio. So instead of taking his brochure, which was for Young’s martial arts, we started showing pictures and telling stories of these kids and how they had the discipline and how they were well-behaved and how they got their brown belts.

And I realized this one hack–telling simple stories on your cellphone in a way that doesn’t look like an advertisement was the key to social. And this is something that struck me because I had been working largely with huge companies like Nike, Red Bull, Starbucks, and Target, and running their ads is great. You know, Carl Jr. Says, “Here are a million dollars, get us as many fans as you can”.

But what I found is that the videos that were not directly in line with the brand, are what’s working. 

X “Contact me if you need a mortgage or if you’re a veteran, I can tell you about your benefits.”

Instead of direct selling, it has to be slightly indirect such as the below:

These were ones collected on a cell phone, not a professional TV camera crew. Not filmed like it’s for a movie, but simply on your cell phone, interviewing people, selfie-style.

And we found out that having things that were less than perfectly authentic, performed better.

So we took ads like the above video and we put over a million dollars a day against them. Now, I know not many folks in mortgage and real estate are spending a million bucks but we found this worked at the highest levels and it worked for tiny little businesses too.

So instead of just saying, 

X “Hey, veteran, you’ve been serving your country, now it’s time for us to take care of you.” 

Veterans love to tell their stories, so have them tell their stories instead and put them out there. 

We found out that on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, you just put a bunch of these stories out there and the system will find other people just like those people, and there’s no need to target them, there’s no need to be fancy.

Send a Signal of abundance by creating Gratitude videos

Anytime you have gratitude, you wake up in the morning and read first Corinthians and it inspired you or your wife cooked an omelet this morning and you’re just so grateful that she made breakfast for you, or a client said something to you and that just made you realize something, or a friend of yours that just achieve something.

Anything that you’re grateful for when you put that out there in short little stories when you’re talking about them instead of you, it hits way better on social media and it actually does better in lead gen. 

Think about this: When you do the exact same thing that everyone else does, you’re going to get the same results–which is the masses.

But the psychology here is when you’re spending your time with gratitude and you are thankful for other people–your church, being able to play golf. It could be the smallest thing. You’re sending a signal of abundance.

X Instead of “I don’t have enough and I’m out there just trying to get as many leads and as many connections and trying to hit up people for referrals and trying to get all the real estate agents to send me all their loans.”

No, you’re showing abundance and that abundance is communicating that you are a relationship-oriented person and you take care of your clients and you’re doing a good job. And the abundance mentality is also saying that you’re successful without ever having to say that you’re successful. 

Co-Create Content with other Digital Marketing Experts

So what we are doing with this episode is co-creating content with other digital marketing experts and when Phil put this out and chops it up in the different pieces for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, the system is gonna find my audience and now show this podcast to my audience as well.

So think about who do you know?

 I’m not just saying go to any A-list celebrity that you know but who do you know in the community? 

It could be customers, it could be people that are not necessarily well known that you can co-create content with. So the algorithm will target according to the content, not according to the targeting that you specify.

Videos Edifying other people

Because that vibe is what comes through and that’s what people are attuning to. So when you’re in a moment of gratitude and you’re honoring someone else that has nothing to do with real estate or mortgage, that’s when you’re in that powerful position and people then trust you.

And then when it’s time to get a mortgage; when it’s time to call up an agent because you wanna buy or sell your house, then who are they gonna think of? 

They don’t really know who the best real estate agent is, and they really don’t care. They don’t understand all the details. They just want someone to take care of it, and the person they think can take care of it is the person they trust.

It’s really that simple. Co-creating content is the best, especially when you’re edifying someone else.

Even if you just take your shower or you go on your morning run or whatever and you have something that just struck you, at that moment while you’re sweating you make a video edifying them or edifying that thing and that’s super powerful because then people see you as you are instead of that business card thing where you’re dressed up all the time, which looks like a yearbook photo. It’s just way more interesting. It hits on all different levels. 

X Instead of putting the owner of the firm saying, “I’m James of Kansas City accident attorneys, and if you get in a crash, you need to call me, we fight, we’re tough against the insurance companies, and we’ll get you the compensation you deserve.”

No, everyone knows what that’s like and it’s interesting because we still see people default to this kind of speech for people to trust them and we resort to listing our accomplishments, listing our reputation, we have to list all of these things. 

But really people trust and inherently trust people that they have something in common with and that they like.

And if you’re sharing a story and you become relatable, people like that. They like you, and most people will trust you if they like you, unless you give them a reason not to. 

Show a depth of relationship.

Show moments of you and that other person hanging out. 

Share the connection that you have with other people and not like, “Oh, I’m gonna take a selfie with somebody at a conference.” Just like all the hundred other people that wanna take a selfie. No. Show the vibe that you have. Show the connection.

That way, other people will say, “This is the way this person, Phil Treadwell behaves in his relationships. I think that when I’m buying or selling my house, there’s gonna be issues along the way with the inspection or getting the right leads or an open house, all the different things that have to happen with the paperwork and the bank and all that. And I think Phil is gonna take care of me. I get the sense that he’s gonna be there for me because of the way he behaves in his other relationships”.

And I want to steal the punchline, “Personal Brand is about the person and not the brand and it has nothing to do with your logo.

That in turn is creating what it is you’re wanting because you’re staying top of mind for people. They know what you do before they need you, but you need them to stick around long enough that they go through that season of life that they think, “Oh, who do I know that does X” and you are there.

You have to have that trust before they have that need. 

Show gratitude authentically without judging yourself about how you sound and I guarantee you that if you put stuff out there like we’re talking about, you’re gonna see your business transform. And it’s not because of technical marketing, weird hacks, and software and stuff like that. It is simply because you communicate the humanity of who you are via cellphone video. 

People talk about content marketing and how you need ‘great content,’ but how, exactly does one create ‘great content,’ especially with limited resources? Here is the Content Marketing Course that can help you out!

Need someone to help you with your content. Here is a DIY Package just for busy people like you!

 2. Edit your content

We call it processing the content. I happen to like Descript because it’s a Swiss Army Knife for processing video. It does everything–transcription, cleaning up the sound, and allowing you to cut things without having to be a pro at video editing. You can edit it like a Word document and you could also use other tools. Whatever tool you like or just have a VA do it, so this step is a Process. 

Want to process your videos or have a VA but not sure how you can teach them to process your videos the right way? Here is the Video Editing Course covering the basic guidelines and functions of the tools, things to consider when editing or starting to learn video editing, tips, and advice that will help you or your VA’s  along the way.

 3. Cross-Post and Repurpose

We found that when you share these vertical stories that are 15 to 30 seconds and you cross-post and repurpose-meaning you put them on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn, even the system will find out who is most likely to engage.

Want to learn more how you can leverage the power of Repurposing. Here is an Office Hour Episode where Dennis explains what repurposing content means and how it plays its part in the Content Factory. Learn how you can turn one piece of content into many other forms of media which you can then use as blog posts, snippets, etc.

4.  Deploy the Dollar-a-Day Strategy

When one of your video content works, you just put a dollar a day, $5 a day, and repurpose it to your Google My Business listing, and the system will find other people that are more likely to engage with the content.

Because everything that’s feed-driven–social media, is all about having the algorithm find the people that are most likely to engage with that content. 

Except with TikTok? Watch this and see the difference it has with other channels:

Not sure how the Dollar-a-Day strategy works? Here is a course that will help you catch up so you can start driving results for just $1/day.

In Summary, 

First step is you produce the content.

Second step is you process the content. 

Third step is you post the content. 

So once the content’s been edited into different formats, vertical, square, real stories, YouTube, podcast style. It’ll be repurposed and then it can be posted. That same content can live on every channel.

Now if you are in real estate or mortgage and you wanna generate more leads, you probably know that Google’s very important because you wanna rank on city name, terms such as  “mortgage” or “new homes for sale”, or your city name. Well, guess what?

If you take that repurposed content, chopped up in different places in different ways– create the content, edit the content, post three phrases, put it on YouTube, and take that YouTube video and embed it in a blog post. Now you have Google inside of Google because Google owns YouTube.

Take that blog post and share it inside your Google My Business. You take that same video that was originally on YouTube, but you upload it natively to Facebook and you run it as a lead or you just post it to Twitter, and upload it natively.

Not posting a Facebook link to Twitter, not posting a YouTube link to Twitter. But uploading it natively. If you upload natively to every one of these channels, then now you’re on all the channels, and now you don’t have to worry about, “Well, I don’t really have time, so what are the two channels that I should spend the most time with?”

And you might be thinking that if you do all the channels, then you’ll going to be a jack of all trades and master of none. Do a poor job across all of these channels and you rather just pick one or two wrong but that is the wrong way of looking at it. 

Did you know that you can hire a virtual assistant for $500 a month full-time, and all they do is take your content?

Remember, there are four stages here:

  1. Producing the content is what you do. 
  2. Editing the content, the VA does that. 
  3. Posting the content to all the other channels, the VA does that as well.
  4. Promoting it with Dollar a Day Ads, Ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, whatever, the VA does that too. 

So of the four phases, the VA does the three that take up the most effort, which is 95%.

And you only need to do one thing, which produces video on your cell phone. You don’t have to do anything else.

You don’t have to say who’s in the video. You don’t have to upload it anywhere. You don’t have to give any kind of directions, because if you have an iPhone, that’s automatically being uploaded to the cloud while your sleeping and you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to tag it. You don’t have to say where it is. You don’t have to say who is in which video. It’s all automatically being tagged and processed.

And then the VA notices that there are new things on your phone and it’s time to kick into gear. 

So all you need to do, which is ridiculous, and no one seems to quite understand is literally just make videos. Not providing directions. Not uploading it. Zero friction. So the easiest possible thing is you make the video and you give a VA access to a shared folder. Have the most frictionless possible way of creating content so that you don’t have to be involved in the editing of the content.

I don’t wanna learn how to mess with video editing tools. Do you? There’s one every day that comes up. I don’t wanna have to mess around with posting content because I just don’t have time for that. I wanna generate leads on social media, but I don’t wanna have to be there on TikTok and Instagram reels and dancing and singing.

Like I don’t have to do any of that stuff. And I don’t wanna mess around with ads. I want someone who knows how to use the dollar-a-day technique to find the winners and then put $10 a day against the winners in my neighborhood, generating more leads. I just need to see how many homes I’ve sold because of this and track it by the lead source of these four stages of what we call the Content Factory.

Get a VA

Because for 500 bucks a month you can have a full-time VA that just sits and pushes this stuff out for you $3 an hour. 

You can go directly into this group and start posting saying, “I’m Phil Treadwell, and I’m a mortgage broker. I heard, Dennis and Phil talk about the content factory and I’m looking to hire VA”.

And you should say, “Please make a one-minute video explaining what you’ll do for me so that you can qualify or demonstrate that you’ve done some research about my company, and then I’ll interview the top three and pick one” or you could sign up for our program called Office Hours and we will help you find a VA.

So for $300 a month, you get access to all of our training and we have a live weekly call. You don’t have to come to the weekly call, it’s like insurance if you need me or these other people and we’ll help you. 

But you might be like some people that are like, “Well, I don’t wanna do that, or, I just want to save money and learn how. I don’t even want a VA. I just wanna go through the training and set up the ads myself and edit the videos myself”. You can do all that stuff yourself too. Build your website yourself, do all that yourself. But if you want help, then we offer paid services to help you kind of matchmaking company. 

Our whole mission is to create. So you can either just go to the group page and hire them directly and that’s fine because it’s creating jobs or have us help. 

Want to do the hiring process yourself but not sure how? Here is a VA Hiring Course that can will teach you exactly how.

In Closing, Humans want to hear stories. We all know that on a visceral level, and yet we still do the talking head-type videos but I hope this podcast will convince you to tell stories, put them out there and let these algorithms do what it does. 

Interested to learn some more about how you can grow your online presence and turn yourself into a thought leader? Here is the Personal Branding Course that you can check out. 

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.