Richard Milligan is president of 4C Recruiting, a company
specializing in coaching leaders in the area of recruiting.
Milligan coaches based on a system known as Recruiting
Made Simple. It focuses on building systems that will allow
a leader to maintain a primary role in leading a team while
having a clear, sustainable plan for recruiting success. More
information can be found at www.4Crecruiting.com. Reach
Milligan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 414-1150.
Entice the Best by Building
Your Leadership Brand
Social media can convey your vision, values and beliefs
in the competition to recruit top originators
By Richard Milligan
The evolution of mortgage recruiting is generating a lot of noise recently. Mortgage leaders are often puzzled why their direct solicitations often return lackluster results.
A few are making significant progress by being
early adopters in an ever-changing market. One of the
changes needed is for leaders to develop personal
leadership brands through social media.
Few have invested the time to develop their brands,
but consider this. Twenty-five percent of mortgage
originators say they moved to their next company
through direct solicitation.
So, if direct solicitation is only responsible for one
out of four being recruited, how are the other 75 percent being recruited? In looking at the data, it is obvious that social media and personal leadership brands
play an important role.
Let’s define a personal leadership brand. The concept
describes the image conveyed by a leader’s vision,
values and beliefs. It is authentically them. It clearly
reflects how they live and act.
Developing a personal leadership brand allows
someone to clearly communicate what is effective
about their leadership in the areas of social media,
community, work and personal relationships. Take a
look at this data:
■ n 92 percent of people trust recommendations
from individuals (even if they don’t know them)
■ n Social media content has 561 percent more reach
when employees share versus a company sharing.
■ n Content shared by employees is reshared 24
times more frequently than when shared by
■ n Employees on average have 10 times more followers on social media than their company.
■ n 82 percent of people are more likely to trust a
company when senior executives are active on
■ n 77 percent of people say they are more likely to
buy when the CEO of the business uses social media.
C-level executives must have a social media presence
that represents their personal leadership brand.
■ n Companies that invested in the personal branding initiatives of employees found that employees
were 27 percent more hopeful about their company, 20 percent more likely to stay and 40 percent
more likely to believe in the competitiveness of
■ n Branch managers are the most effective recruit-
ers, according to a recent study, and they will be the
ones overseeing new mortgage originators. Thus,
having a clear leadership brand for branch man-
agers makes sense.
To put it all together, leaders who have a strong personal brand through social media build trust faster,
engage people quicker and have happier employees.
Push or pull
Social-media leadership brands matter regardless of
leadership title. Thus, all leaders must know how to
build their leadership brand.
A proven model that works well for building a
leader’s brand on social media starts with projecting
attractive leadership. If one hasn’t heard that term, here
are three critical parts. One, have a clear vision and be
clear on one’s core values and beliefs. Two, be able to
articulate your vision and values extremely well. Last,
live and act in accordance with the vision and values.
This framework provides a very clear path for how
leaders should use their voice inside social media.
Many leaders who become active on social media
feel pressured to become thought leaders or content
creators when this isn’t necessary. Worse yet, being
too perfect and professional can make one seem
The good news is that the three parts of an attractive leader can become the content strategy. What
is the vision and what are the values? Tell the story
every chance you’re given. This means identifying
and documenting the moments where one is living
in alignment with the vision and core values.
Recruits need clarity on who the leader is. By representing an attractive leader, they now give a recruit
something to clearly gravitate toward.
This is a push-pull effect called polarization. Where
one is aligned, they are pulled toward the leader very
quickly. Where one is not aligned, they will push away
quickly. Either one is a win, as an issue many leaders
have is hiring people who are not a fit for their leadership style. This doesn’t happen when they are clear on
who they are and what they value. So, clarity of leadership brand helps recruit while also helping to retain.
Social media consistency
A question many have is how active should they
be on social media. Data says at minimum one time
per day. LinkedIn has found that 20 posts per month
can help you reach 60 percent of your unique audience. Thus, consistency is critical.
Consistency comes from having a system in place to
support the goal. Here is some direction in creating a
system around delivering ongoing content for representing a clear leadership brand.
Start by building a clear profile following this method.
Who is the leader outside of work, inside of work, and
how do they define one’s values and beliefs? Determine when to create content for posting and time
block this. Determine this in advance because if one
relies on spontaneous creativity, they will fail due to
Determine when to post content. Posting at peak
times will get more attention, but focus on consistency over everything. Most people who find a
leader’s social profile and content are intentionally
seeking it out. Thus, the time of day isn’t critical
Engage with the audience. Relationships get built
by back-and-forth communication. Lead with building community first because this is how to best get
known. It only makes sense that relational capital is
necessary to further relationships.
Leaders should share their story. There is depth in
sharing the journey of getting to this moment. All
great stories involve a beginning, struggles and happy
endings. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing only the
Share the kryptonite. Superman is interesting
because kryptonite is his weakness. Flaws make one
human. In sharing the flaws, you become relatable
and connectable. What can be learned from the
leader’s life? Most human beings connect best via
stories and experiences. Share these regularly.
Leadership brands matter heading into 2019. If one
is willing to put in the time to build their brand, they
will reap the rewards of growth due to providing
others with clarity about who they are. Your personal
value proposition matters now more than ever. n