Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

105) #ExponentialInsights: Content Creation: The Skill of the Decade


Content creation will be the number one most in-demand skill over the next decade.

If you want to maximize your digital growth potential, you need to master creating killer content.

But where do you start?

To answer that, I turn to someone who has built an incredible brand YouTube with phenomenal content: Jennifer Beeston, SVP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate.

She joins the show to share the insights she picked up along the road to 4.5 million views on YouTube.

We discuss:

- Why YouTube can help you maximize your digital growth potential

- Why you need to work with compliance when launching your content

- Why it’s not about the views, it’s about the conversion

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Jennifer’s YouTube

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

In my industry. People are so desperate for basic information because the stuff that and if banking, credit hum marketing. People are listening to this, the stuff they they've been delivered is bullshit. You are listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Laigh and welcome to the one hundred and five episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Jennifer beast into the show. Jennifer is a nationally known mortgage originator who has built a brand around the ability to make the mortgage process easy to understand was zero stress. She's been ranked a top one percent Linda in the nation she's licensed in forty six states and has been ranked forty five in the nation and by National Mortgage News. She's also been featured in articles by US News, business insider time, NBC News and countless others, and her passion is exposing nonsense and lender lies. As Jennifer has created a library of mortgage education on Youtube, which is received the Tom Fairy bombomb video award for consumer education videos in two thousand and nineteen, and that's exactly what we're going to talk about today, using Youtube to maximize your digital growth potential. Welcome to the show, Jennifer. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I'm excited about this conversation and I'm just curious for you. What is one thing that you are excited about right now, personally or professionally? Your pick. Oh, that's a good question. I'm excited for the market to change so that how buyers can get into houses again without having to, you know, beat each other down in the street. Yes, yes, yes, it's it's been an interesting time, to say the least, and your right. Things are things are coming, things are changing and when we think about things changing, your journey, you've just crossed twentyzero subscribers on Youtube. You have more than tenzero following you on instagram on Linkedin, plus another seven thousand on twitter, putting your total audience at about Fiftyzero people who are following it. And let me put that another way, Fiftyzero people have subscribed to your content, looking to you to help make the mortgage process easy to understand, with with the zero stress. Before we get to...

...where you are today, I want to go back in time when you were a clueless first time a home buyer, ending up Max qualified, eating top Rawmin at your house because of a burden instead of benefit. What happened to you? Let's go back in your mind. What happened here? That sparked you on a journey to educate your clients so that they could understand what they're getting into in the first place. Yeah, that was a miserable, miserable time, and you definitely know my housing should be a benefit and not a burden, and I find that with anything, when you live through it, you know it better than anyone who's read about it or seeing it in a book. So you know, I was the first time homebuyer before I was in the more industry. I actually wasn't even on the loane. I was as stayathome mom, and my husband and I at the time decided we wanted to move those whose work and we were so excited and we talked to the lender who my sister had used. My sister's really smart she's a mortgage lender now too, and we just said, hey, you know what, what do we qualify for? Right, and that's that's what everybody does. What do I qualify for? Those are the that is the worst question to ever ask the lender, unless you know what type of lender you're dealing with. Right. And in this case the MOMS like Oh, yes, of course, and like you know, bad on us that we didn't really go okay, let's look at the math. We just thought, Oh, professional says we qualify, we must qualify. You know what I've said in a million times. I will never forget that day going to the mailbox. I had a baby on my hip and I almost drop to him and it was because I opened up the mail and I saw the and I was like, Oh my God, and we hadn't taken into how much property taxes were going to be. Oh Yeah, the first year is a homeowner. I actually threw away the property tax bill like three times because it's the guy's last name was Ford, so I thought it was a Ford dealership. Horrible. So No, you know, I was clueless. I didn't know anything. You know, my my husband at the time, you know if he has my ex now we're good friends. He was just like, oh well, he said we could qualify, and no one really reads paperwork, like even my clients who've seen me a million times on Youtube. I'll still say them. Guys, I can tell you didn't read the disclosures. Can you please, please read those? Like I know a lot of its boiler plate, but for the love of God, read the disclosures, because as someone who went through that experience, I mean it's a huge reason why I'm in the mortgage industry to begin with. I couldn't be a state at home long anymore, you know, which, which was good in the end, but that's how I ended up in mortgages because I was like, okay, you know, there's a better way to do this and there's a way to make it so that people don't have to make these types of life choices. And you know,...

...throughout my career and mortgages, you know if anyone's in banking, there's a lot of way with mortgages to kind of lose your way and just go after the money. Yes, and you know, my path has been to really educate, educate, educate, and all those clients over it all the time because they want that house coort experience that I'm not willing to be a part of. So I really appreciate this because one of the big lessons that we teach, and I've written about in banking on digital growth, is the need to help first and sell second. And you come at this with a lot of empathy because you've been there, you've lived it, you've experienced it, and I think that's what has made your personal story that much more relatable on the other side of the table. And so let's let's flash forward a bit. The day is January, twenty seven, two thousand and seventeen, a little more than four years ago, and this was the day that you started your youtube channel that is now received almost four point five million views, and at this time you are where many of our listeners are today, no matter if their personal brand is something that they're thinking about building. Maybe they're in mortgages, maybe they're in small business. Maybe they're a branch manager or they're looking to grow. That what gave you the courage to start down this journey to begin with, recording and uploading video content to Youtube, when you had zero subscribers and zero views? Probably persistence and ignorance. Now, look, it's really hard to start. Like I love my old videos because they make me laugh so hard. You know, at first I was doing really heavy. I don't wear makeup, I don't know how to wear makeup. Like every time I try to put on makeup I look like a clown and my first videos I literally look like it's nuts and it's so stilted and horrible. It's like, hi, I am Jennifer Beaston. Today we're going to talk about what a mortgage it. They're horrible, but you know, the processes is that to get to somewhere that you're comfortable, you have to just embrace okay, what's the end goal here? And I had a couple different end goals I was working towards. Like you need to have that in mind because if you're going to go after social media or anything else and you're exciting instant results, you'll get a few pats on the back, you know, in the mortgage industry, from realtors and a couple clients. But for the long term gains, you gotta just stay there and just accept defeat. And you know, with views like even now I have a bunch of subscribers, like I have a big business. I still have no idea which videos will do well, but I have to remind myself. Hey, Jennifer, you know you got five hundred views on that video, but five hundred views is just... five hundred people's walking into your store. How would you feel if five hundred people walked into your office in a day? Yes, yeah, and I think that's the key. I think number one it's courage and then I think number two it's that ongoing recommitment and that consistency that ultimately will build confidence over a period of time. And if you think about it's been a four year journey. And just I mean just this morning I got an email from Jim Moruse, who has been friend, he's been a guest on this show, and he sent something over from Gary Vander Chuck and he said that the number one gary did, the number one in demand skill for the next ten years is going to be those that understand the power of content creation. And so let me ask you, when things get tough, when that seed of doubt comes into your mind, of you know, why are you doing this? Like how do you how do you silence that voice? Because that's I'm telling you from the conversations that I've had, that voice is what keeps so many people from a starting or be continuing through the dips and the lows. You got to get over yourself. I mean that's a bottom line. So many people like, because I talked to like signs of mortager Jais and are like, Oh, well, you know, if I look like you, Jen I would do it, and it's like it has nothing to do with that, nothing, and like there's there's some people who are like, well, I felt a great video, but I didn't like my outfit. No one cares about your outfit. Knowing they're looking for. You need to know what they're looking for. In your industry and my industry, people are so desperate for basic information because the stuff that and if banking, crediting, marketing people are listening to this, the stuff they they've been delivered is bullshit. I'm sorry, no, it is. It is and I and I'm right there with you, and that's why I always look, you know, for particularly the home buying journey. Always are looking at more of those working in the mortgage business to try to transfer some of that knowledge back into the bank and crediting space, which can then be duplicated into the small business space as well. And here's the thing. You know, when when you're looking at buying a home, I relate finances and financial services very closely to healthcare. When you're sick and your symptomatic, we all go to Google. We Google those symptoms. That's a double edged swore, because knowledge can definitely power, but knowledge can also scare the hell out of us or or create even further confusion or actually make us make very bad decisions, like like in your story here. Just because you qualify for a mortgage at x amount does not mean that is it going to be the best fit and can create more pain than... wouldn't joy. And so when you when you look at this journey here and going from zero subscribers, zero views, up to Twentyzero on Youtube with four point five million and four years, what has that journey look like? What does a day in the life of or day in the week of Jennifer Beast and look like when it comes to producing videos that help first cell second, because one of the other big hurdles I hear is time. I just don't have time to do this, and I'm like, well, you're not making time. I agree with you on that. I mean it is one of those things where, yeah, it does take time. I'm writing down every single like it. I also use all my experiences as content, so that's a lot too. So if I have something going on with a client that I think is interesting, I'm actually at a point, which is lovely, where people will call me and they'll be like, Jen this is what happened to me. You need to talk about it, because we've now created a community where people are trying to help other people, and I'm seeing that more and more. I really feel like last year is the inflection point. Yeah, where, and I think it's good, people were trapped inside dreaming of houses and, just as you know, Zillo got play, I got play, a lot of other people in the content creation for that got play. But you know, I love looking at my comments right now and seeing people answer each other's questions ask more questions, because I can literally pick through them now and be like, okay, this is what you guys are asking, let's talk about it. Yeah, and the time time is what you make of it, right, like I don't go to the gym, I should. I say I don't have time, but I do have time to spend six hours on tick tock a week. So it's all about choices. And with content creation, for some people it's really easy because they're constant. You know, if you're thinking a lot, if you have ideas, if you take notes, great, but if you don't have any ideas and you know you're not creative in any aspect, content creation probably isn't for you. Like that's the thing is we have so many people saying, oh, yeah, every mortgage under every banker, you guys should all do this, but the bottom line is is, you know, there's a lot like, if you want me to make an excel spreadsheet, please don't. I'm the worst person. And that's the same for content creations. So if you can't make the time, then it's not a value to your your business. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever now. Consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But... doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. You're going to invest in the things that are important and find the time for the things that are important. When it comes to time, it's what are we going to give up so that we can create that space to invest in Xire Z and your it's creating content might not be for everyone, but they're particularly if you're at a banker credit and you have other resources. So you could be the subject matter expert but other people are helping on the back and to bring that subject matter expertise to bear within the market place. And it all comes down to, and I like what you said, it's the community. It's building community. I was listening to Joe Rogan. He was talking about that idea of community and I really believe community is it's what binds and bonds people together. Caroline Gurvin, who is also on Youtube. She's I don't know if you know caroline. She is a fitness instructor that has grown an audience from about Fifteenzero people still at the start of the pandemic. My wife and I started following her when all the gym's got shut down. She's now surpass over a million subscribers. It's amazing. It's an amazing story in the community that she has built of like minds. And you're right, you can always go back to the community. What are people what do people have questions about, and use that to fuel future content. So a very practical exercise for the dear listener is what I call drop and give me twenty. It could be about mortgages, it could be about small business learning, whatever the case might be getting a credit card? What are the top twenty questions that you get? Just think through that and use that as your seed to begin that content creation, regardless of what the medium is. It could be video, it could be audio, podcast, it could be just written articles. But if people have questions, they're looking to you for answers, which is where another guest on the show, Marcus Sherratton, wrote a great book called they ask, you answer and we can always come back to the people that were looking to create value for to answer their questions to help first sell. Second, with Youtube being your primary source of business, how do other social channels play into the into this growth strategy for you? Could you started in Youtube, but then you've are also using some of these other channels to compliment that journey? Yeah, so the other channels are more another way of verifying...

...who I am right, because people might see something on like because all here like, Oh, you talk a good game on Youtube, but then I checked you out on Google reviews, right, real client reviews, I looked at your instagram, you know, and then, you know, tick talk is something that I've moved into as well because, from my perspective, I think tick tocks highly addictive. I think it's a great platform. I think bite size information has a lot of value in our society. So, you know, that's seating, in my opinion, a future generation. M Yeah, can I just add something very, very important, please. Someone's in banking and thinking of doing social media, you need to a hundred percent talk to your compliance department. Going at any of this stuff without consulting with your compliance department. If you're a credit union in our bank and you don't have a compliance department for this type of stuff, let me tell you, guys, you need one. Do not go after this without talking to compliance because, as a mortgage lender especially, you can lose your license if you're not putting the right disclaimers, if you're not putting your licensing correct, if you're, you know, making you've got to watch out for you DAP. There's so many different things to be careful of. Don't be afraid, but, you know, don't risk your livelihood by not hearing with your company's compliance. I think that's so important. That's a great I that's a great point and one that I'm encouraged by, because I'm seeing marketing and sells teams collaborating more with compliance, helping to educate, compliance of what does this even mean to begin with? In the first place, let's start collaboration here, because I know that something that you've done some content collaboration very recently with growing ACORNS and CNBC. How has content collaboration transformed becaause you've been doing some like just for years, working almost directly with consumers, but now you're doing some content collaborations. How is that transform? Just your thinking here? I have to be really honest and tell you that that the collaborations a very new piece to me. I have a collaboration coming up in a in a week with another producer on youtube. Like I'm looking at it more and more. I think it's I mean, like if you want to grow your audience, it's inevitable. Like I'm a mortgage originator. Mortgages are very transaction based to a large extent. So you know I'm never going to have a million people audience because nobody cares for hitches that much. So if I want to continue to grow, especially since I am licensed in forty six states to do mortgages, you know I'm very strategic about who I will collab with. Like you know, CNBC knocks on your door, of course you're going to say as you're like yes,...

...please, thank you. Oh, you're going to have me, you know, with the the CEO from Redfin. Okay, absolutely. But you know, there's been other people who approached me to collab where it's just like you know, you're kidding, right, because they are trying to bring some sort of which is an interesting way we're going as well. Is like how they have influencers and beauty or hair products. I'm starting to get approached by the companies who want to use what I've built. Yes, advice on financial products, and I'm just like, you know, if it was something amazing like it's just it gets a little murky. So collabs for the sake of education, for the State of the consumer? Yes. COLLABS for the sake of money and someone else's brand, absolutely not. That's a great point and I think that comes back to your purpose of why you got into this to begin within the first place, and so you're able to fall back on that as almost a North Star, so that you're not going outside of your niche, because it's your niche. It's your Knicks, niche expertise that is gotten to this point and then at what point does that become delusion and it almost becomes a cost instead of a game? You mentioned compliance here, and I want to come back to this because when you think about video, when you think about social media to maximize your digital growth potential, what is a common belief in the mortgage industry, it could be in the financial services, the banking space for that matter, of you them as siblings, are close cousins. What is a common belief about video and social media that others have that you just passionately disagree with? Views, and it's something I have to take completely remind myself all the time. People are so affected by how many views they get. They're like, well, I'm not getting twentyzero views, so it doesn't matter. And the biggest thing I can tell you is it doesn't matter the views, it matters the conversion. Yes, you have twenty three thousand people watching you, and the common like there's bots too. So, like a lot of the stuff you see, it's fake. So, like I was looking at one someone else in my industry and I was like, I was like, how is it even possible? And so I'm looking at the views, I'm looking at the comments and the comments are like cool, job, awesome, Yay, I like your hair, you know whatever, and it was a dude and it's like, okay, this is all bots. Right, right, and so the biggest thing is is that the views don't matter. It's the conversion. and Are you connecting with people and be learned? All that, like beyond making money and it's a you know, content for the sake of building your business, are you actually doing something positive for other people with the information that you have gained in your life? If...'re doing something positive and you're helping other people, even if you're not making money directly off a bit, which I would say easily was the first three years of my youtube, awesome, like we could all do a little bit better in the world. We could all help each other out a little bit. You know, I spent an hour on the phone last night talking to people. I'm not doing their loan. I'm not going to do their loan. They're working with another lender. They're having serious communication issues. They're really stressed out, you know, they're not sleeping and just sitting on the phone talking with them of about okay, this is why the winders asking for this condition. No, they're not trying to discriminate. This is guidelines. Like does that pain me? No, but is that good Karma and twice sleep while at night? Yes. So you have to be some level of altruistic in this. Other I see now I agree and I and I live that same thing. I want to, I want to give far more than I will ever get. I want to. You know, our whole mission here, our whole bigger purpose, is to make the world a billion times better by getting a billion people beyond financial stress towards a bigger, better, brighter future. Because it's to me, it's the financial stress that's taking a toll people's health, their relationships, their overall sense of wellbeing. I've lived that personally. Now I don't necessarily work at a financial brand, but I've been in this space for almost twenty years and I'm trying to take everything that I've learned, all the patterns, the trends, and then transfer that knowledge into the hearts and minds of others so that they can can can it's just as like self perpetuating of giving. And so when when we think about this, and I got another one for you, like like a common belief, and you touched on this a little bit before. But I can hear the naysayers right now. She can do this, Ji Jen can do this, she could have all of this success and growth because she's built this brand and this content around her. But I'm actually I'm betting, I'm betting that the personal brand going forward in a post two thousand and twenty world is going to create far more value than just the corporate brand, particularly at a community financial institutions. And so when we think about that, how important is personal branding when it comes to aligning marketing and sell strategy? You've lived this, but it just you're you're leading the way for, I think, so many right now in the space. So I look, I think that people are sick of being marketed to. I think everyone's like and it's always been interesting to me with banking and that you know, for instance, when I first started off I was at Washington mutual, remember them, whamo. I was there for three months before they disappeared. And you know all these big banks have this glossy advertising. They had in the branch. I was in two guys that...

...were incredibly Chrismatic. You could put those guys in a commercial talking about what they do every day. You know, having dinner with their family, whatever. People would be ruining the phone off the hook, but they don't look. The problem with marketing, and I'm sure I'll offend many people, so hi. The problem with marketing is they're always looking outside of what they have. They're looking to what's worked in the past. So like, Oh, let's get a deal with celebrity, let's get and steal a celebrity. No, I want to meet the person who works in your your bank brands. WHO's Kelly? What's Kelly doing at the bank branch? What about Bob? What's their office like? Do they have something funny that happens there? I want to know who works and for you and why I should work with you. Well, you're a hundred percent correct with that thinking because, number one, yes, people are tired of getting marketed to. We the Internet transformed this whole game, because now we can come and educate ourselves. But, as I mentioned before, that can get people into trouble. It's like a double edged sort. That's why we go see doctors after we google our symptoms and scare the hell out of us, because we need that objective expertise, knowing that we're not going to die. But number two, it's it's narcissistic marketing, when all we talk about is our great rates, are amazing service, these look alike product. It's all commoditize, but it's the human aspect. It's people do business with people, people bank with people, People Trust people, and I think the more that we can utilize that, that basic thinking, just like you talked about making connections and making relationships. It's almost what we're doing in the real physical world, but we're just taking this to a digital space. This has been a fantastic conversation, Jennifer, and I've learned a lot. What are the the ways that I like to wrap things up is set the dear listener off with a very small, practical, actionable item that they could apply within just their own life to make some progress here around what we've talked about video, personal branding, because all change, all transformation, begins with a small, simple step. It's just that one thing. What's that one commitment that you could recommend the dear listener apply to take action, to move forward with confidence? Sure a good way to start anything is to think about something that you know a lot about. What is one thing that you can contribute. To start with one thing. So if you're like, well, I want to get into video but I'm overwhelmed, okay, what's one piece of advice that you could share? And if it's sixty seconds, put it on ticktock. If it's, you know, up to two minutes, put it on twitter. If it's five minutes, put it on Youtube and post it and then commit to just going like, if you're going to get into social media, commit to at least a year, you know, at least two to three videos a week. And just think about...

...the worst case scenario on all of this is you'd put out content that will help people in the future. That's the case, why wouldn't you do it? Because you don't like your hair or your outfit? That's ridiculous. So that would be my two sense. Just don't look at it from a business perspective. Look at it as a bettering from the world perspective. It will always help you and everyone else in the end. You mentioned. Why would it? You do it because you don't like your hair, you don't like your outfit. I hear so much fear, fear of the unknown, fear of change, even fear of failure. What would be your advice to help someone overcome those three fears to move forward? Because you're right, your worst case scenario, if you commit to this and you do it for a year, is you're going to be creating value and helping others in the future. Don't let the fears hold you back. Final question. How would you recommend someone overcome those fears of selflimitation beliefs? You need to get over yourself. I mean that's a bottom line and I say it. I say it too. You know, sometimes my team will film and you know, it's like, well, you know, I'm having a bad skin day. Get over yourself. No one cares. Like you just the fear of all of this. It's are these real fears, like no one's going to stab us. Like the worst case scenario is you go on video and you look, you know, not perfect. Who Cares? If you have six views? No one noticed. You're fine, you'll survive. I gotta tell you, you're reminding me here of my wife, because when, when, before I wrote banking on digital growth, I had advisors telling me all all the time, you need to write a book, and need to write a book and I am going to get to it. Well, finally it was, may know, it was January of two thousand and nineteen. I was with gray mackinzie on his podcast and he was like what's what's the big thing that's going to happen this year? As like this is the year I'm going to write the book, and I was like, I didn't realize what I said until I said it. So I put it out there. It's like I got to follow through with this now. So I started talking to publishers and whatnot, and something was holding me back. My wife finally called me out. She was like stop being and we're going to keep this, keep this family friendly. But she sees some choice of words and like just get over yourself and just start doing it, and like you're right, and I think, I think that truth that you're sharing something that we all need to hear, because we oftentimes get in our own way. But all transformation, all growth, begins with two things. Number One, telling the truth to yourself about where you've been, where you're at and where you can grow next. And then number two, a lot of times it is just getting some training, getting some education around what those next best steps are to help overcome number one, the fear of the unknown, because as you start to move forward, that's where you build your courage, that's where you build your confidence. Jennifer, if anyone is listening, this has been a fantastic conversation. They want to...

...continue the conversation with you. Just connect even what is the best way for them just to reach out follow along the work that you're doing. Okay, while they can always get to my youtube channel, which is Jennifer Beaston, you can always email me at beast in at ratecom. And I mean we've got instagram, Tick Tock. If you Google Jennifer Beaston and you don't find a bunch of stuff, I actually need you, guys, to call me because I have failed. I'm pretty sure I'm pretty findable at this point. I love that. I love that. Just Google me, just Google Jennifer beastm google the Google Jennifer learned from Jennifer. Jennifer. Thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. It's been great. Thanks as always. In until next time, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear? Tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcast or spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improven insights, visit www dotgital growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling book, banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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