David Baker is the Managing Director of Lift Mortgages Responsible for growth and commercial performance of LIFT-Mortgages. His career prior to Lift Financial involves the City Of London and well known institutions such as Yorkshire Building Society, LLoyds Bank and Santander. I keep mentioning David in Social Media Training in reference to “there’s a bloke on LinkedIn who talks about Interest Rates and gets hundreds of likes on each post” so I thought it was time we chatted to David about his journey, LinkedIn success and how to stand out in the financial sector.
Q: So David – do you want to introduce yourself and tell us how you got involved in Financial Services? Was it destiny or was it a journey you took after sports, rock & roll or a TV career didn’t work out?
Hi Alex. I am Managing Director of LIFT-Mortgages we are a mortgage brokers that specialises in high value mortgages. I don’t think it was a destiny. I worked briefly in travel but it wasn’t great so I tried financial services age 21 and never looked back.
Q: Let’s start with the obvious. I know so many people in accountancy, financial services and professional services and I rarely see them on social media. I see nearly every one of your posts every day. Obviously part of that will be the LinkedIn algorithm – but is your brain wired differently in that you want to put yourself out on social media every day? Do you naturally love social media or did you learn to love it?
The business owner at LIFT always tells me I am wired differently to most people. In my personal life I rarely use social media other than for photos of my kids. In my work life it is a great way to stand out from a very packed mortgage broker market and a chase to showcase your knowledge.
Q: Financial Services is a heavily regulated industry. How does this alter your approach to posting on Social Media? And do you feel this is why it holds back people in the industry posting?
We have good compliance people and a simple policy to follow. I don’t feel restricted at all as I only post about mortgage facts that are in the press anyway or commentary on what I am seeing in the market. I avoid anything controversial for obvious reasons.
Q: I half joke when I saw you’re “the bloke who posts about interest rates” – but you do post about more than that. How do you decide what is a good idea to post and what isn’t worth posting?
I simply try and note down what clients are talking to me about in the day and post about that topic that day or the next. When rates were rising most of the back end of last year it was all I posted about and I wanted to balance some of the really poor press that was out there. These days I have a mix of rates / policy changes and general mortgage information I think client will like to know.
Q: Some of your best performing posts are the personal updates. Do you feel it’s important to post about your life outside on LinkedIn?
This is new from me and you taught me this. Before we spend time together I never did a social post about my family or hobbies. Now I try and stick to the guidelines you gave to me and get a mix of personal and work stories.
Q: Do you ever face days when you genuinely can’t think of anything to post. How do you overcome this? Rarely happens but if I have nothing worth saying I simply don’t post. I try and make sure each post has a point and will help someone.
Q: In a training session with the Lift Financial team one of your colleagues said. “I posted about my wife making me a pie … and got a business enquiry. And when I post about serious stuff that everyone needs to know – I’m met with silence!”. I know why this works. You know why this works. Do you want to explain to our readers the value of a post like this from your perspective?
For me it showed the human side of the poster and it was a break from all the sales / training stuff on LinkedIn that can be a bit boring. Who doesn’t like to see a pie with someone’s name on it in puff pastry
Q: Is there any time you cringe over LinkedIn and how did you get over it?
Not really been an issue. I like new business and this is a great way to win it so I am not to proud to post on social media to meet new clients. It is a networking site after all
Q: Which brings us neatly on to the training. After speaking a couple of times at your Young Professional Events you booked up for 2 LinkedIn Training sessions with around 40-50 members of the team? What were the biggest changes you saw after the training?
People were more confident in posting and they realised that even reaching 200 people is a good post. As we both know not every post needs to be getting 100,000 views to be a success.
Q: One thing you did that I really liked after the training was your gamification. You set a challenge for every member of the team to post on LinkedIn. How successful was this?
Thanks. Mixed results. A few people now post every day so I am taking it as a win but a lot of people possibly went back to old ways where they don’t feel they have anything to post sadly. I am working on it.
Q: I know after the challenge a lot of colleagues were noticed to be putting themselves out there. Fear of friends, colleagues, family members noticing they’re promoting themselves can put people off posting. What advice would you give for those struggling with that?
If your friends are like mine they are going to give me stick whatever and my LinkedIn is source of great entertainment for my group of school friends. I ignore it and join in with the banter safely knowing that the next new client is just round the corner.
Q: How do you judge the success of social media ?
The amount of current clients that know what is going on in the market before I have to tell them. Saves me a job and it the best news letter you ca ever share.
Q: What is your biggest social media marketing success story?
150,000+ views on a post about how the press only post the bad news.
Q: What is your biggest social media marketing failure? And what did you learn from it?
Cant think I have had any bad ones as such but every day is a school day. You learn the type of post your audience likes (and does not like)
Q: If you started your business again would you have anything different with your social media marketing?
I would make sure I dedicated time to social media. It is so powerful and if business don’t use it in this day and age I think they are missing out.
Q: You’ve been on our social media courses and follow our content. What’s your biggest social media marketing lesson from Altrincham HQ?
Use of personal post to show clients there is a human behind this robot mortgage rates exterior.
You can connect with David Baker at Lift Financial here
You can follow the LinkedIn Company page here
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