Finding More Time for Marketing – Part 1

I need more time!You want to grow your practice by increasing your focus on marketing activities. You know this will take time. Yet you feel overloaded these days already. Where can you find some more time?

I remember a few years ago when my daughter was getting ready for her big sister’s high school graduation ceremony. Time was running short. She was getting stressed. Was it related to her hair or her outfit? I don’t remember. I do remember her crying out, “Time, time. I need more time!”  Don’t you feel that way sometimes?

While you can’t create more hours in the day but you can change how you spend your time each day. How? Budgeting, of course!

The process for budgeting your time is the same for budgeting your money. You want to see how you’re spending your time now, set “time spending” goals, and then create a plan to reach your goals.

Let’s look at how time is spent in virtually every business…whether a one-man operation or Walmart.
Every business has 3 main activities: Marketing, Operations, and Administration.

Obviously, Walmart has entire divisions of people spending 100% of their time on some aspect of one of these 3 areas. Yet the CEO must oversee all 3 areas and ensure none is neglected. At the store level, the store manager has a few people in marketing, many in operations, and some in admin to do payroll, keep the lights on, and pay the rent.

How does this activity breakdown look like for financial advisors?

  • Marketing attracts and gains new clients
  • Operations takes care of clients, and
  • Admin includes back office work such as office management and compliance.

Based on conversations with many financial advisors, the general consensus is that “marketing is what I need to do, planning is what I like to do, and admin is what I hate to do but must do to keep out of trouble.”

So when time is tight which area gets neglected? Yes, marketing.

Now take a look at your calendar and see how you spend your time in marketing, operations and admin. Does your calendar only show time spent with prospects and clients?

In this case, you need to start tracking time spent on marketing and admin. You might be shocked at what you see. Or don’t see.

Just don’t be discouraged. Your business might be doing okay and you’re spending only a couple hours per week on marketing. Imagine if you started spending 30-40% of your time on marketing?

You’ll find it helpful to separate marketing into its two main functions: sales and marketing. What’s the difference?

Think of marketing as “leading the horse to water” and sales as “making him drink.”

Marketing is all about attracting new prospects as well as getting your existing clients to buy more and more often. You do this with your website, printed and e-mail newsletters, public seminars, advertising and all other ways of getting the word out. This also includes making it easy for your clients to refer their friends and relatives.

Sales is persuading that prospect in your office or conference room to place their trust (and money) with you.

Sales & marketing efforts work together to grow your practice. For example, any advisor without any marketing materials, advertising, or website has a much tougher job convincing the prospect in his office to become a client. Why? Because targeted marketing efforts attract more qualified prospects while screening out others. And marketing materials help tell your story well before your prospect walks in the door.

So your action item is to track your time in Sales/marketing, operations, and admin. In my next article, I’ll take a closer look at admin.