Life as a business loan broker can be complicated with many demands on our time. Critical tasks like closing deals, doing your taxes, and hiring a new receptionist are first priorities. Too often, marketing doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Taking into account the demands of business ownership, how much time should you dedicate to marketing each week?
Let’s first talk about what marketing is. Many people think of it as writing blogs, buying advertisements, and networking. But what is marketing really? It is all of these things and more. Any activity that could potentially generate a sale sometime in the future is marketing. A simple handshake, a friendly introduction, an exchange of business cards can all lead to a potential client in the future. Now that we have a better of understanding of what marketing is, let’s figure out how much time a typical loan broker should be devoting to it.
Capture all of your marketing activities. Grab a fresh piece of paper, a pen and your team. Think about everything you do that is, or could be, related to marketing in the course of a year. Write it all down.
How many people do you meet or are you introduced to?
How many charity events do you get involved in?
Consider every situation in which you were surrounded by people, potential clients. Consider every time that you were introduced to someone new. What about the opportunities that you DIDN’T take advantage of? Write these on a separate sheet of paper.
Now let’s categorize your brainstorming. Take out a fresh piece of paper and rewrite everything in the following categories: In Person OR In Office, I Must Do vs. I Can Outsource. Use the example below to organize your thoughts.
By categorizing in this way, it will be easier for you to visualize your time and see where marketing fits into your daily activity.
Now is the time to get realistic. Look at your matrix and decide which activities will give you the biggest long term impact. Write down the activities that don’t make the cut on a separate piece of paper titled Future Marketing, and then cross them off of your matrix. For the remaining items, be realistic about whether you really need to be in person for so many of them, and whether there is a way that someone else could do them. From years of coaching business loan brokers we often find that many feel they need to personally do everything to make their business a success, but this is rarely true. The most successful loan brokers are typically those that build a team to help them, freeing up their time for the highest reward activities. So, now is the time to move items around to their most realistic categories on the matrix.
- Put the activities from Quadrant 1 into your calendar right now. These tend to be items like networking events or coffee meetings and have the least scheduling flexibility.
- Now, for quadrant 2, bundle these items up into 2 or 3 sessions over the course of each week. Don’t do them one by one, here and there — you will become unfocused and it’s almost guaranteed that other things will interfere. Instead, bundle them and schedule them on your calendar right now as repeating weekly events.
- Finally, you are going to get the most leverage from Quadrants 3 & 4. Pull out another piece of paper and draft a plan to expand your team and get these items off of your plate. You can hire locally, on Craigslist or LinkedIn, or you can hire a firm that specializes in these tasks. Either way, create a plan to locate the help you need. Now, schedule the time for that on your calendar right now.
Are you still unsure about how much time you should devote to marketing? We could have told you that you should typically be spending 30% – 50% of your time marketing (which is the ratio for the most successful business loan brokers), but that wouldn’t have been much help. The key is being as leveraged and efficient as possible, so that your time creates exponential growth month after month. Take the time to free some time for marketing with the plan outlined above and become an even more successful loan broker.