In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, the banking industry finds itself at the crossroads of innovation and tradition. One individual who has positioned himself at the forefront of this transformative journey is James Robert Lay. With a keen eye for technological advancements and a profound understanding of the financial sector, Lay has become a prominent figure driving the digital growth of banking. James has successfully guided banks and financial institutions to reimagine their customer engagement strategies. Embracing the power of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and personalized experiences, he has enabled these institutions to transcend geographical boundaries and connect with customers in ways previously unimagined.
Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lay of Digital Growth Institute
Listeners. I’m so excited to have James Robert Lay here with us. He is the founder of Digital Growth Institute, and we’re going to be talking about banking on digital growth. That’s the topic today. I met James Robert when we were at the Total Expert Accelerate23 Conference in San Diego, a few months ago, back in June, and we met so many significant people there that we’re having on the podcast. So, kudos and shout out to one of our sponsors, Total Expert for making this introduction. And again, it’s just a testimony to that event and the speakers they brought together. I sat and listened to James Robert Lay speak. And by the way, it’s James Robert, it’s a first two names, and got some insights into that. Marc is joining me here on the podcast. You gave me some insights into two names, two first names, and how they go together. Marc, you said you must be from the Houston area or somewhere around there, Marc and you picked up on that right away.
Yeah, that’s for sure, it’s all across the southern belt of the United States. We have double names; my grandson’s name is Marc Henry for example.
Maybe we’ll start calling myself David Lee here, seeing as my middle name is Lee. But anyway, so excited to have James Robert Lay here. So, James, welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here! very honored and blessed.
David, thank you very much, Marc, thank you as well for giving me the opportunity to share time with both of you today.
The thing that I enjoy most listeners about James Robert is first of all, he is a servant leader. He exemplifies that, we had one conversation and I’m enamored, of course, me and technology and doing podcasts. I’m enamored with a studio now where this is audio only, but if you could see the studio he set up, I started drooling all over it when I was looking at the setup and he immediately sent me, let me set you up with the guy who put together a studio. He set up. Follow-up stuff. I love people who just connect with you but it’s rather than just nice to meet you and go on. This is someone who gives back. So, you’re going to enjoy this interview today and we’re really going to get into it. James Robert, one of the things I would like to start with is let our listeners get to know you a little bit. Tell us about your story, and your journey to where you’re at today.
The long story short, my last real job over 21 years ago was playing at a punk rock band and waiting tables, and there was a girl in the library who told me we were both students at San Jacinto College in the Houston area, and she said, your band is not very good. And in fact, it’s horrible and you need to do something with your life, and so I wanted to impress this girl and the internet was still in its infancy back in 2001, 2002 and so started a web design company and found myself into the financial services space, and as they say, the rest is history.
And your story is, did anything come with that relationship? She helped your trajectory.
She did and she continues to, to this very day. We ended up getting married and having four wonderful children together and she’s a big part of the business behind the scenes and keeps me in line and keeps me in order.
I’m impressed with her already, just the fact that she redirected you as she did. And that was, that’s a good advice. We also, had a musical group and I was a part of this. We share that in common. I didn’t realize that part of it.
I’m really impressed going back to your relationship and how that built out and you guys are not going to believe this. This is synchronicity at its finest, I had a musical break too. Can you believe that? Three of us. No way. That is crazy. That I did know. So, we were called the Mo tops.
What were you playing? What were you playing?
Had a saxophone back then, believe it or not. Saxophone. Dave, what about you? Yep. Crazy. This is crazy.
I was a vocal teacher and so there’s the vocal guys that got together and the name of our group, we probably don’t want to put on the radio. It’s called Peter Pimple in the Zits. It was a complete tongue and cheek college group, but we did Sean and Nam music. So, I was one of the lead vocalists.
James Robert I’ve been looking forward to this immensely and we’ve got a lot of great questions for you. So, I’ll get started. We’d like you to share with our audience. What is exactly digital growth? Because I can look at that, those two words and think of all kinds of things, but I know you can hone right in on it and make sure we all get the right picture.
It’s a great question and a lot of it comes down to the fact when we work with financial brands and mortgage leaders, You ask them that question and a lot of times it’ll turn to technology, online banking, mobile banking the mortgage application, if you will, just the technology, the CRM and the way that we look at digital growth, it is more than technology, it is a system, it is a process that is centered around the modern consumer journey that unifies three or four key players. You have the marketing team, the sales team, the ops team, and the IT team, but they’re all working towards a common goal to do three things. Number one is to increase website traffic. Number two is to generate leads, and then number three, most importantly, is to convert those leads into deposits or into loans, into mortgages. But it all comes back to being centered around the modern consumer journey.
That is great. I’d like a little follow up question there when you’re inside an institution doing it. Is there a lot of cross-sectional learning there, are the lessons you learn in working with say, consumer direct are you picking up and developing trends that you can build off the other inside digital growth foundations?
Absolutely. I consider myself a digital anthropologist and study the intersection of marketing sales, technology, and human behavior. And I liked the way that you framed this. What are the trends? What are the patterns that you can pick up and apply across different business lines within an organization? Whether that be mortgages, whether that be retail or depository, whether that be SMBs, there are definite patterns for sure and when we look at the buying journey, if you will, we can segment that into awareness, consideration, purchase, adoption, advocacy, but I’ve been rethinking the buying journey through more of an emotive lens now to where step number one is clarity and that’s because everyone enters a buying journey, regardless of product type, regardless of if it’s a mortgage or deposit product or an SMB product, everyone enters a buying journey, feeling some level of confusion. That’s why step number one has to be clarity. Clarity turns to courage, to commit, to move forward with confidence, which is when you apply, but not just apply you complete but then the fifth step there is confirmation. Confirming the decision of someone when they actually completed the application and then nurturing them to that bigger, better, brighter future.
What do you think are the key elements that hold people back from moving forward on their digital journey and the digital growth journey inside their companies?
I liken this to the four fears. It’s fear of the unknown number one, fear of changes is number two. Fear of failure is number three. And then there’s the sneaky little fourth fear that I call the fear of success. Oh, my goodness, if we commit to maximize our digital growth potential, what if we are successful with that. What does that mean for our future? Which really comes back to the fear of the unknown. So, they’re all interconnected. And I think the good news is each one of these fears that holds either an individual or team back an organization back, they all could be addressed. Fear of the unknown, you can address that through education. To help the unaware become aware of what future opportunities are. Fear of change, you can address through strategic planning and getting everyone aligned and getting everyone on the same page. Fear of failure test and learn, failure becomes the fertile soil from which new growth springs anew and then fear of success, I think once an organization begins to move forward and they realize that they are successful, they’re measuring progress, not perfection, and I think when you measure progress by looking at where you’ve come, particularly once every 90 days, and my goodness, we’ve come a long way. It’s so easy to get hung up at where we have to go, particularly when we’re dealing with technology and new technologies and technologies that are always changing. We don’t want to measure where we have to keep going. We want to measure by where we’ve come, and that builds confidence that builds momentum.
James Robert, one of the things you talked about was bringing those groups of individuals. I want to go back through that before we go into some of the other points that we want to cover here, because that in itself is what were the groups you did with four or five groups? You say you bring together to create this digital growth journey. What were those groups again? Any amount of groups to gather to make a cohesive journey is something else. Talk a little bit about that.
That’s a great follow-up, marketing, sales, technology, operations, and leadership. And sometimes it can feel like you’re herding cats, but the reason I am adamant about bringing these five players, these five characters is without alignment there’s tends to be confusion leads to conflict. And then when you’re in a state of conflict continuously, it feels like chaos. And once again, it comes back to that idea of the consumer journey. Step number one let’s get everyone clear. Let’s get everyone on the same page because clarity is the antithesis of confusion.
I agree with you on that. It’s the art of bringing that together, which really comes down to leadership. That’s another whole topic on that, but I want to stick on the digital journey here, the digital growth journey that we’re talking about, and I want to get into the various roles. What role does humanity play in the digital growth journey? Humanity is one of those interesting topics, human in the middle of it.
Yes. It’s so important, particularly now, as we’re moving into this new age of AI and artificial intelligence. Whenever I wrote banking on digital growth, my first book I made a huge mistake and it was the whole reason that I’m wrapping up my second book, banking on change, but the first book presented a formulaic approach to growth where DX plus HX equals growth, meaning a positive digital experience when combined with a positive human experience leads to growth, particularly in complex buying journeys, like getting a home, getting a mortgage it’s not something that we do every single day and when people have questions, yes, they’re going to go to Google and now they’re going to go to chat GPT, but even in the age of AI, I hypothesize that people still will trust people. It’s just the way that people will connect with one another. That’s the big transformation and I think the other thing coming back to your previous question about getting everyone aligned and what I left out in banking on digital growth was we left out a key player DX plus HX. Yes, that can in fact lead to growth, but we left out the employee and so now I’m looking at this as E X plus HX in parentheses, meaning a positive employee experience. Navigating the complexity of change leads to the positive human experience that can then go on to be exponentially multiplied in some cases through a positive digital experience.
And there’s so much about what you’re saying here that needs to be tied together what’s the one thing that you can do today to begin and make progress on this journey so that you can feel good about what you’re doing and what you’re accomplishing.
It comes back let’s look at the human experience here. Let’s say I’m a mortgage lender or I’m a mortgage leader. How am I showing up in the digital marketplace? The town square, if you will, is no longer necessarily Main Street but it is TikTok, it is Insta, it’s even LinkedIn for that matter and that’s where people are going to ask these questions and to get answers to questions that they have. And what’s one thing you can do very simple. Just, I call it the drop and give me 10 exercise, drop and give me 10 questions that people have about what you’re doing or about buying a home, getting a mortgage and what your insight is, what’s your expertise is record a short 30, 60 second video, and just put that out on the internet is probably not going to look very good to begin with but that’s okay, starting is the hardest thing to do, but once you start, it’s about getting momentum and building that confidence and continuously adding to it you opened up, you said, you can’t see the studio here because this is obviously podcast only from what you’ve seen, this is 21 years in the making. This isn’t something that started, yesterday or a week ago or a year ago. I continuously am compounding wins on top of wins on top of wins, and I think that’s the thing. When you’re playing this digital game, you have to play a game in decades, not in years, not in quarters, not in months, not in weeks, not in days, but you got to play a long game on this.
And what should be realistic expectations as someone’s starting to work with this. You said when people say, I don’t have time for months, days, years, we’re in the middle of survival right now and looking at what are some immediate things you mentioned videos, I’m a big proponent and believe that it’s such a powerful tool in communication, where do people start on this digital growth journey, videos?
I’d say the most practical, fastest quickest way to win is with video and there’s a couple of reasons and there’s a couple, let’s talk use cases. Let’s talk practicality, because like you said, we don’t have years, we were in survival mode. You can do the drop in 10 drop and give me 10 exercise with video content but guess what that video content does that video content then can be extrapolated out and run that through ChatGPT, turn that into a LinkedIn post, turn that into long form content and that further positions your expertise within the marketplace. I think there’s a tremendous opportunity, practically speaking, to unlock, to capture and then to amplify your expertise as a lender for people who have questions and concerns, you’re just providing them once again with clarity and a path forward and when they are ready, and I actually want to talk to someone, you’re going to come top of mind in their head when they reach out and this is the multiplication. This is the exponential potential of digital because it takes two minutes sometimes to record a two-minute video. Does it have to be perfect? That’s the thing its perfection is the enemy here. Let’s just get it to 80%, but it’s two minutes that can then go out and create, hours, tens of hours, hundreds of hours, in some cases of viewable content that people are watching and consuming on their terms. And so, it’s, once again, it comes back to the definition of digital growth. It’s a process centered around the modern consumer buying journey that puts people at the center of our thinking and doing.
Fascinating. this is such a topic that we’re needing to learn listeners and I really want to encourage you to get James Roberts book.
Can I add one more practical takeaway here, Let’s say you meet with a prospect; you have a conversation. It’s a great conversation. Turn on Loom.com or Bom.
You followed up with a video immediately recorded after we hung up on our first discovery call just getting to know each other and talking about what we’re going to talk about here. You followed up with that and I immediately picked up on it and it was so easy, intuitive to use.
It is because it adds a level of humanity that was not possible before you could send a follow up email saying, Hey, thanks so much. It was great, but it’s just texts. If you think about communication and communication is heart to the digital growth experience and if you think about where does communication like, communication is one half of the trust equation. Trust is built upon two things, words, and actions, what you say and what you do. In communication, we are able to now asynchronously communicate and present ourselves visually through video to continuously place positive deposits into the trust fund that sits between people’s ears. Another practical takeaway. That’s really good. It’s about habits. It’s about habits.
It’s so true. And it’s getting those habits started. I think the biggest thing, a challenge of getting a habit moving or getting moving in a new inertia, going in a certain direction, such as digital growth, doing videos specifically in that case it just is It’s taking the first step and be willing to press through I think you made a great point is perfection is the enemy of getting something done and just starting and moving in that. And so, a lot of people will say I have to have a studio. I have to have this. No, you just have your smartphone pointed at you, hit the record button and it’s done.
You have the greatest technology capability in your pocket. I remember being a kid growing up in the eighties, ask if I could use my dad’s VCR from like Curtis Mathis and try to record a video with, and now to see what my kids are doing and it’s very intuitive but, and I think that’s the thing. It’s we have to let go of what we know to a degree we have to unlearn what we have learned. It was Alfred Tulford who was a futurist back in the 1970s. He wrote the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write. It’ll be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. I want to give the listeners one other practical step that they could take, because once again, it’s about getting started. I call this the Three Two One exercise, every day. Take 15 minutes, just 15, time block this on your calendar, because if you don’t time block it, it will not happen, but just time block on your calendar. Three, two, one. Three – connections. Go make three connections every day on some social platform. Pick one, don’t try to do them all. I don’t care if it’s TikTok or Insta or LinkedIn, you pick the platform that you feel like you have the greatest potential in. Go out and make three new connections every single day. Two – go out and comment on two other people’s posts, so that way you’re connecting with three, but you’re commenting on two people’s posts every day. So then now you’re actively engaged in the conversation and then One – you make one post every single day and by the end of the year, you’ve made 365 posts takes you about 15 minutes a day. I don’t know what, I don’t know what to post. I don’t know what to post. ChatGPT, I’m an MLO. What should I post today on social media? Chat GPT is a collaboration tool that can help spark creativity, but it’s the matter of perspective. Perspective is the sum of context and framing.
The interesting thing that you said there, this personalization of the relationship you’re creating, what you’re doing is we’ll carry on for miles and miles of good faith between people. That is just super. I got a quick question want to give you an opportunity to wrap up your rationale for writing the book at the time you wrote it.
I wrote baking on digital growth to provide a strategic framework, a blueprint that can guide Lenders and leaders forward on this digital growth journey that everyone is taking, and everyone is at a different stage and the way that I broke this book up is into really three sections. Section one is to establish a strong foundation. What do you need to do? Because if you don’t have a strong foundation, whatever you do going forward is going to crumble and fall. Section two is about building a digital growth engine, and that’s really where we’re getting into buying journey and the technologies that are needed to support that buying journey and then section number three is how to maximize your future potential once you have that growth engine there and that’s getting to some of the things that we’re talking about here today. I start there for this conversation though because it’s the fastest thing. It’s the easiest thing for people to do because they don’t have to really go out and get any new technologies. They’re able to leverage the platforms that are available today and the technologies that they have, i.e. their phone and go out and create value like literally now, and what this comes down to is giving more than you get, you’re going to put out way more time, effort, energy to give content away and when I think sometimes that’s a scary thing for people because it’s I’m giving all of this, what am I getting in return? If you play the game like that, you’re going to lose. I speak from experience. I used to not want to give and give, but the minute that I made the commitment that I’m just going to keep giving and I’m going to keep giving and I’m going to keep giving. There’s some type of universal law that I think it comes back to you tenfold.
It does. And you exemplify that in so many ways. Every conversation we have, you’re giving back more and more. I love it.
So, on the subject about giving, want to give a shout out for a book from Joe Polish who has always said life gives to the giver, but he wrote a book called what’s in it for them. Because I think a lot of times it’s I’m going to do all of this stuff. What’s in it for me. But if you flip that perspective around what’s in it for them, that’s when it comes back to you as well.
So true. So true. It was such a basic principle that so many people missed.
What do you think James Robert, what are the biggest threats to mortgage lenders in the age of AI?
The biggest threats to mortgage lenders in the age of AI, I would say are ourselves. And it’s our inability to adapt our behaviors and our habits which are rooted more deeply in our feelings. We, 95% of our behaviors run at a subconscious level and we have to be very conscious of why we do what we do, why we think what we think, why we believe what we believe and if we fail to transform our belief systems, the future has the potential to become a bit challenging as consumer behavior is transforming, really driven by technological transformation and that’s one of the reasons a lot of people ask James Robert, what’s the most important technology that I need to master as a lender in this age of AI? and I said, it’s sitting right between your ears, learn how to master your mind and your mindset and you’re going to be okay because it’s this idea of, I believe, EQ in combination with AQ, meaning emotional intelligence and AQ is adaptability quotient, meaning your ability to emotionally connect with people and adapt your own behaviors is just far greater than knowledge and IQ alone.
So true. We live in a world, at least in the mortgage world. I think other industries like us are very commoditized. How can mortgage lenders rise above what seems to be a real commoditization of everything we do?
It is almost every single vertical has been commoditized because of digitization. When you look at and Peter Diamandis has written about this, he calls them the 6Ds. I touched on some of them in banking on digital growth, but when an industry gets digitized, it gets democratized. And then it also gets demonetized and so rising above that, I think it comes down to how you perceive yourself once again and what I mean by that is when you look at the mortgage buying journey, what role are you playing? Are you playing, are you trying to play the role of a hero? in quote, unquote, save people. I wouldn’t recommend that because that leads to commoditization. Everyone’s trying to be a hero. Everyone’s trying to talk about, the same rates and the same quote unquote, we have great service, all table stakes to transform that thinking people aren’t looking for a hero because in their own minds, they’re the hero of their own story and their own narrative. The opportunity is to take on an even more important role, which is that of the helpful and empathetic guide. Every story worth telling, every story worth remembering has two key roles. You have a hero and a helpful guide. Without Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke is lost on Tatooine. Without Daniel, without Mr. Miyagi, Daniel’s son from the Karate Kid is lost and still getting beat up by Johnny. Without Dorian finding Nemo, Nemo is still lost, and I think that’s the key theme without a guide, people are lost. And that’s how we rise above commoditization, committing to playing the role of the helpful and empathetic guide.
Which goes back to giving, which goes back to your whole formula of giving those that give what’s in it for them, which is again, Joe Polish’s book, it’s a great podcast. I encourage everyone to go listen to Google Joe Polish and this is the podcast. I listen to it all the time. It’s all marketing and when you look at the overall mortgage industry, what’s one small thing mortgage lenders can do today to maximize their future digital growth potential.
Right now, in this present moment, send three videos to past clients and just thank them for the opportunity to guide them on their home buying journey, just thank them, that’s it. Don’t ask anything else, just thank them and see what happens and then if they reply, now’s the opportunity to then, do you know someone else who I might be able to help guide them along the journey, just like I did for you, because you build these habits in of just giving gratitude and giving thanks people, we begin to notice, and even once again, to connect this back, the most trusted marketing channel in this digital age, in this age of AI, it’s people trust people do business with people. It’s just the way that people connect with each other. That’s the big transformation.
And if you can connect with people effectively by video, it has an advantage, or we’re doing this on just audio only basis and we’re getting tens of thousands of downloads each and every week. It’s just amazing what we’re doing. It’s just so important, but I love that. So, start, that’s going almost to the three, two, once again, still record three videos. Let’s go ahead and follow a little bit further the next thing they can do on the second, what’s of the three, two, one, what’s the. Two thing, which you said, comment on other posts. So go on LinkedIn, which is probably the best B2B platform or if you’re dealing with realtors, you’re talking to them on a lot of time on Facebook or some of their other social medias that are more consumer facing and then again, make posts yourself and I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck is making your own posts. I can do some videos. I’ll create some videos and try to put that out, but they get the writer’s block, and you raise a really good point. ChatGPT is going to be the biggest enabler to getting you started in this journey. I love those tools and those tips. Very good. Outstanding.
Let me give everyone just one more quick one and obviously you see how my mind works. It works in numbers and acronyms because it’s how this ADD mind can actually remember things and go on to teach people to repeat the process, but the process, it comes back to the definition of digital growth. Play a game of tag because you mentioned realtors play a game of tag with realtors. It was with kids. We love playing tag. My kids, I watched them now. They still love playing tag with each other. And the game of tag is this connect with a realtor, in real life, social media doesn’t matter. Connect with them, the T just thank them for the connection. The A ask them what question or what’s a question that they’re getting right now from people in the market because the market is conditional, the market’s always going to be changing. And if you’re asking really good questions, we’re going to then be able to go to the G, which is then to provide guidance to guide them so that they can guide their home buyers that they’re working with as a realtor. So, play the game of tag with realtors.
It’s never better time to take the tag acronym and turn that into something actually, especially when you look at some of the changes. One of the things we’re talking about this on the podcast here recently, James Robert is the fact that the real estate commission is about ready appears never thought this would ever happen is that is about ready to have a major rock dropped into that boulder dropped into that otherwise calm forever since 1908 model of there’s a three, three to three and a half percent commission paid to the listing agent, three to three and a half percent paid to the selling agent that represents the buyer that appears now, with recent developments that the buying agent or the selling realtor commission could go away. That’s creating huge disruption into this. How does a digital growth strategy play into this kind of disruption?
It comes back to being that guide, providing people with clarity into the space. And I think the other thing too is collaboration opportunities. If, anytime that there is massive disruption it’s easy for people to get all stuck in the chaos, but for the lenders who approach this with a sense of calm for realtors, because the realtors are going to be Oh my gosh, Hey, you know what, let’s just take a breath because it’s the calm that attracts people in the storm, being here in Houston, I think of all the hurricanes that have ever come through here, it’s the eye where you have the calm, be the eye of the storm and that’s where people will look for refuge.
And we certainly have a hurricane hitting the real estate market, if you’re not getting changes, all changes, you’ve got a great book out already published. Let’s talk about that. And then the book that you’re about to publish, talk about it. What’s behind the book. Why should be people reading it? I think it’s pretty obvious, but seem like a rhetorical question, but why should people read it, especially in this days where the sands are shifting.
Banking on digital growth. As I was sharing before, it provides that strategic framework that can guide a lender and a leader through otherwise what can feel like turbulent times and if anything, maybe it’ll give you some help, but more importantly, it’ll give you some hope and I have some very specific mortgage buying examples in the book. It, whether you’re a community bank mortgage lender, or just general mortgage lender direct yourself there’s a lot of practical applications that you can take away regardless of where you are on the journey. The second book though, banking on change, which it is my estimation to be complete end of year or go to market Q1 of 2024. It’s the deeper things that we need to do as an individual. As a team and as an organization to navigate kind of this ongoing complexity. The examples of what you’re talking about in regard to percentages being paid out, it’s been like this, for over a hundred years and any time that there’s this major disruption and for some reason, I think we’re going to continue to see this disruption and a lot of it’s being driven from technology. Those who are comfortable feeling uncomfortable will be able to go further and farther and faster, but don’t think that you have to go alone. There’s the old African proverb. If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. So, find a group, find a peer group, find a group of like minds who are all committed to creating a bigger future together. And continuously meet up and share the knowledge. This is, come back to some ancient wisdom here, ancient quote unquote, Napoleon Hill was writing about the mastermind. The need to win multiple minds come together. You can perceive things from a different perspective. I’ve had a lot of lenders and leaders read banking on digital growth. That is an individual, but they read it as a team, and they do a book study together because they’re cross-pollinating ideas and they’re seeing things from a different perspective.
It’s a great book for listeners to grab and read with your production group, to read with your company within your company, do it as a project, do it together. I like that saying that really opens up a conversation about your university. You have a training program, and you have an offer for our listeners that I’m very grateful for. Talk a lot, a little bit about that. It’s a great way to meet up with like-minded people as well.
It is, and if you think about, the idea of to transform confusion into clarity, to transform the fear of the unknown, step number one is education to see things from a different perspective and of course, yes, the book is helpful with that, but one of the things that I, it’s basic. You want to learn something new. You got to hear it sometimes seven to 10 times and it’s funny because I’ve had people who have read the book two, three. I think the one person shared, because they were doing an internal book study with their organization, and they read it five times. I said, his name is Frank. I said, Frank, you read the book five times cover to cover. He said, yeah, did not skip a page. I said, interesting. What happened when you read it the third, fourth and the fifth time? He said, every time I saw something different that I missed the first time, or I was at a different stage and so I was like, fascinating. So the Digital Growth University takes essentially what’s in the book and expands it out and provide strategic thinking tools and peer group reflection, cohort coaching and so what I did for your listeners is if they go to www.digitalgrowth.com/david they can get access to class number one and class number one is really learning from the past to leap ahead of the present so that we don’t get stuck in the cave of complacency, but we can begin to see a path forward into a future that is bigger, better, and brighter, and we create that bigger, better, brighter future for ourselves by creating a bigger, better, brighter future for others.
I can’t wait for our listeners to take advantage of that. Again, if you could give that website address one more time, we’ll have it in our show notes listeners, but some of you are traveling or working out as you’re listening. So, repeat it one more time. So, they’ll pause, and we’ll go grab a pen and write this down.
All right. Very good. Appreciate that. Would you pass a message on to your wife? I’m so glad she talked you out of your rock band and I got you into doing this because I learned a lot in this conversation, Marc, and I always have enjoyed our conversations with you. I was so mesmerized by your session, when you spoke at Total Expert Accelerate 23 in San Diego, I didn’t want it to end. It went, oh, went by so quickly. And I filled up, I don’t know how many pages of notes I scribbled down as fast as I could. Finally, I just went out and got that QR code and downloaded your book and it has been so good. I encourage listeners to download his first book, make sure you get set up, pre purchase his second book, sign up for the university and then also you have your podcast. Talk about your podcast that you’re doing.
So, the banking on digital growth podcast has truly been a gift from the COVID era, the COVID experience, because banking on digital growth, the book was scheduled to launch in April of 2020 and I’ll never forget the day that I got my first cancellation from a conference that I was going to be doing a keynote speech at saying, Oh, we were shutting things down and then it was like, just the dominoes fell another conference canceled. And what do you do when life gives you your lemons? You make lemonade and that launched the Banking on Digital Growth podcast, which is now a top 5% global podcast. It is helping financial brand leaders and mortgage lenders all literally all around the world. It’s been such an honor to be able to facilitate and continuously learn a lot of good mortgage lenders we’ve had some conversations with and what are they doing? How are they navigating the complexities of change? It’s a great way to continue to learn and just, it’s been an honor to be able to share this time with you today.
I appreciate it so much. Marc, any final thoughts as we wrap this up?
Just as exciting and as wonderful as I thought it would be today. Thank you so much, James Robert.
Thank you, Thank you both.
Appreciate it so much folks, make sure you get signed up for the podcast. Get that. Listen to that as often, as many times as you need to get signed up for the free class that you get to take as a result of listening to this and then get the first book and make sure you get the second one and it gets, when it gets published Q1, James Robert, Thank you so much. What a blessing to meet you and to hear you talk, I don’t want to end this, but we’ve got to wrap it up, which means we’re going to have you back. We’re going to have you back soon because we need to follow up on this important topic. You have too much to share for us to capture it all in one podcast. Thank you, sir. Look forward to having you back.
- Digital Growth Institute
- Digital Growth podcast
- Special link for Lykken on Lending listeners
- LinkedIn – James Robert Lay
About James Robert Lay
James Robert Lay one of the world’s leading digital marketing authors, speakers, and advisors for financial brands. As the founder and CEO of the Digital Growth Institute, he is on a mission to teach 100,000 marketing and sales leaders at financial brands how to confidently grow loans and deposits in the Age of AI.
James Robert wrote the best-selling book, Banking on Digital Growth, and his insights have been featured in outlets including U.S. News & World Report, The Financial Brand, American Banker, Credit Union Times, and Credit Union Journal. He regularly speaks at conferences and events around the world while also hosting the weekly Banking on Digital Growth Podcast to educate marketing, sales, and leadership teams.