Sneak peek into 7 broker industry keynote speeches
A seasoned business mentor specialising in the mortgage industry, Therese O’Neill (pictured above), has unveiled seven transformative building blocks poised to reshape brokers’ careers in 2024.
These key themes, which she will present as keynote speeches throughout the year, have emerged from years of positive feedback garnered during her one-on-one and group coaching sessions with brokers.
Reflecting on her experiences, O’Neill said, “throughout 2023, I experimented with various topics to gauge interest among brokers.”
“These seven topics particularly resonated with me, as I believe they address the most pressing challenges facing broker business owners today.'”
- Conquering imposter syndrome in leadership
Delving into the first topic, O’Neill shared how brokers can deal with imposter syndrome – where someone doubts their abilities and feels like a fraud, even though they may be skilled and successful.
“It’s that whisper in your head saying, ‘Who am I to lead?’” said O’Neill. “Amazingly, 54% of women and 38% of men currently suffer with imposter syndrome or have done so in the past.”
In her keynote speech, O’Neill outlined common signs and discussed the personality types most susceptible to it, relating these aspects to real-life scenarios in the mortgage industry.
“A common time for imposter syndrome among brokers is when learning a new skill. The industry tells me I need to do commercial lending as well as residential. I do all the studies; I ace it and then I get my first commercial deal and I go into a head spin,” O’Neill said.
“You begin over-analysing everything and those feelings of anxiety and imposter syndrome kick in… You’re sitting there looking over 30 lenders thinking you need to research more. And when you’re logging the deal and submit for approval, as soon as you hit send, you’re expecting a decline.”
She then explained how to break the cycle of imposter syndrome by separating feelings from facts, reframing thoughts, and seeking external perspectives.
After introducing this subject at an International Women’s Day event in Melbourne last year, O’Neill said it deeply resonated with the audience.
“I could see people nodding along and by the end 30 women came up and shared their similar experiences – even those brokers that are extremely successful and you’d never would think would have these feelings came up, which breaks the stigma.”
- Personal branding strategies for a connected world
O’Neill’s second topic is about personal branding, sharing how to deal with stepping out from behind a corporate logo and showcasing your personality, which can feel daunting.
“I guide individuals through the process of infusing their brand with personality, emphasising its importance in today’s social landscape,” O’Neill said.
“I offer practical advice and tools, such as avoiding stock images in favour of authentic content and contemporary branding photos tailored to social media and creating reels and short-form videos that connect to a specific audience.”
Importantly, O’Neill also talked about how to deal with negative feedback.
“I have this internal policy called the Tom Panos rule: if you hate on me on social media and I don’t know who you are, I have no compunction but to delete your post and I will not lose any sleep over that,” O’Neill said.
“If I do know you and I have inadvertently offended you, I will pick up the phone and have a chat to you.”
- Marketing strategies for millennials
O’Neill’s third topic aims to demystify the millennial generation, exploring their age demographic and shedding light on their pervasive influence.
“Millennials constitute the largest cohort in Australia today, projected to dominate both the workforce and consumer market in the coming years,” O’Neill said.
“Love them or loathe them, businesses cannot afford to overlook millennials.”
Emphasising their penchant for inspired brands and corporate social responsibility, O’Neill mapped out the values and desires driving this demographic.
From there, the keynote speech offered practical strategies on how businesses can tailor their approach to capture millennial attention, with a firm stance against using clichéd and dated marketing techniques that fail to resonate with this savvy audience.
- The power of community marketing for your broker brand
O’Neill’s fourth topic delves into the practical strategies for identifying key business networks and establishing connections within the local community.
She stressed the significance of building relationships based on genuine assistance rather than aggressive sales tactics.
“By supporting local businesses through actions like leaving positive reviews, promoting their social media presence, and sourcing settlement gifts from artisan stores, brokers can foster reciprocal relationships that yield long-term benefits,” O’Neill said.
- Networking for introverts
Another important topic for the more analytical and quiet broker types is O’Neill’s speech on networking for introverts, which emphasises the challenge of attending events due to anxiety.
She suggested arriving early to ease into the environment and preparing conversation starters in advance.
“One of the best things you can do as an introvert is to get there early and volunteer to help. Instead of standing there with mounting anxiety over who you should talk to, give yourself a mission. Hand out name badges or food,” O’Neill said.
“Not only will you get to meet a lot more people and appear helpful, it’ll quiet down your negative thoughts.”
- The power of social gratitude
In her sixth keynote speech, O’Neil will reveal a powerful social media strategy called “social gratitude” to boost brand engagement and follower growth.
“Social gratitude is the greatest social media secret you’ve never heard of and is a game-changer for your brand,” O’Neill said.
Before posting, she suggests engaging with 30 organic posts in your feed, liking and commenting on them. This not only enhances engagement but also fosters a sense of reciprocity among users.
“By actively participating in conversations and understanding your target audience’s interests and concerns, you can tailor your content for better engagement,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill emphasised the importance of two-way communication on social media, highlighting that merely broadcasting messages isn’t enough.
“This approach not only attracts more followers but also strengthens brand relationships and loyalty.”
- Broker awards: Tips and tricks
By breaking down the broker awards landscape and the submission process, O’Neill’s seventh keynote speech encourages self-nomination.
“This is not the Logies. You need to nominate yourself, and you need to do your own submission,” O’Neill said.
“It’s not about being egotistical, either. Rather, it’s about benchmarking your business against best practice – and that’s an important process to do for any business owner.”
O’Neill underscored the significance of diversity in award recipients, advocating for representation from various backgrounds.
She highlighted the symbolic value of winning or being a finalist, stressing its impact on brand perception and opportunities. Additionally, she discussed the practical benefits like improved networking and credibility.
“And remember, if you are going to make a submission, nominate somebody else first. What lender, BDM, or supplier has stood out to you this year? It’s all about practicing that social gratitude.”
Where can brokers access these speeches?
With various engagements throughout the year, O’Neill said the best way to reach her is through her social channels.
“Just swing me a message and we can tee something up or I can let you know about the availability of my upcoming events.”
Keep up with the latest news and events
Join our mailing list, it’s free!