Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

70) #ExponentialInsights: Building a Personal Brand Means Investing In Yourself feat. Greg Martin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’ve heard the saying: There are riches in the niches.

Well, it’s true — especially when building a personal brand.

Just ask Greg Martin, Chief Consultant at The Entrepreneur’s Banker and Commercial Banker at Truist, whose killer LinkedIn content has made him The Entrepreneur’s Banker.

He joins me on the latest episode to discuss:

- The importance of delivering value and building a personal brand

- Why it’s never about you — it’s about the hero (your customers)

- How to get started with your personal brand

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.
 

...if you wanted to be professional, if you wanted to sound good, if you wanted to do something that has maximum value because people aren't distracted by you stumbling over your own words, then you're gonna have to invest in yourself. You're gonna have to take time and you're gonna have to sacrifice. You're listening to Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley Ah, podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the digital growth Journeys Siri's where James Robert uncovers and explores some of the industry's biggest digital marketing and sales stories of success. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I Am James Robert Ley and Welcome to the 70 episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the digital growth journey, Siri's and I'm excited to welcome Greg Martin to the show. Greg is the entrepreneurs banker. He is a certified profit first banker and a strategic banking adviser as a commercial banker for truest Welcome to the show. Greg, Jim Driver, thank you so much for having me and thank you. First off, thank you for what you do on this podcast. Really helping people like me and executives and people in the financial services world to get into the 21st century. So thanks for kicking us that way. Well, I appreciate the kind words and to flip it around you and others like you other leaders. You're the reason why I continue to do what I do because I really believe that all transformation begins with two things. One by telling the truth, telling the truth to ourselves, where we've been, where we are and where we can continue to grow. And the number two transformation begin just with training and education gaining new insights and clarity into what the future could be. And and so that's what I want to talk about specifically around just your own personal transformation, your own personal growth, Thinking about the future. I really can't help but think of the role of personal branding as a banker in this post Covad digital world is gonna be more important now than ever before and even saw this morning. Uh, a nar tickle that J. Paultre had shared J was ah, guest on the show on Episode 51 talking about humanizing digital experiences. And the article he shared was titled Investing in Your Personal Brand, in a quote that J J had noted was, Don't wait until business is slow or it's time to find the next job. Before you think about working on your personal brand, the time to mend the hole in the roof is when the sun is shining, not when the storm comes. So...

...thinking about personal brand and just your own journey of growth can can we just first start off with Why? Why take the time to build a personal brand In this digital post covert world? We're all navigating through together. Well, first off, I would like to know when j. Things that banking is slow. I pulled it all night, or I'm sure there's a lot of other bankers that first off, let me say last year, especially during the P P p one rollout, entrepreneurs had the most difficulty we without doubt, they were struggling and we needed to step up and we did. But daggone I have not pulled an all nighter since I was in school, but during tpp it was, it was all night. So it's never gonna be slow. I don't think it is. And I think it's an important point because this is really about intentionality. It's about creating space and time. But the only way we're going to create space and time is if we have awareness and clarity in tow, why this is important to begin with in the first place. So thinking and reflecting on your own journey, why take that time? Why create that space and time when there So much that we could be doing to really focus on building a personal brand? Well, I I think I'll answer that with a little bit of a story. I'm a bit of a marvel nerd. I've got a 12 year old, and so we nerd out on all the Marvel movies and and I think it was one of the Iron Man movies. But it was. It was a vision that Tony Star had of the future and the future of all of the Avengers that we're all laid out and they were all defeated. So I had my vision, and my vision happened in 2000 and 18 in Austin, Texas, at at a conference that was hosted by Precision Lender is the Bank on Purpose Conference. And that's another great banking podcast and their CEO, Carl Radon and Jim Burrows, who were both friends with and and know very well. They both said something, and Jim took the stage and he said, Here's what I think the future is going to be like I'm going to sit in my hot tub and I'm gonna be Hey, Siri, you know that $2 million building? I've been looking at him because serious connected to your iPhone. She knows the maps that you're going. She's connected to your email. So she she's the email back and forth to your realtor. She sits on top of your bank so she sees money coming in and she sees money going out. That's rent that utilities. That is salary. That's an owner's draw. That's a loan payment. She's connected to all your bank so she can see your assets and your liabilities and so serious smart enough that instantaneously have ah, balance sheet and income statement and Siri's and you're going to say Okay, James, Robert, congratulations. The Entrepreneurs Bank just has the best rate in the most...

...flexible terms. Did you want to go ahead and set closing for April 13th? Remember, you can't do it on the 12th because Susan's anniversary you have a lunch that day s o. You want to go and get the appraisal started. And when that day comes, that's that's faster. That's a heck of a lot better user experience than me. You've got something that I'm not going back and forth asking multiple questions. They have the quantitative power to be able to say yes, almost instantaneously. And when that day comes, then if the only value that a commercial banker is to clients is a conduit to cash or a lunch or a golf outing. If that's the Onley value that happens, then I'm dead. I'm worthless. I deserve to not be in that. Entrepreneurs 55 I talked about being in the Fab Five, those five people that entrepreneurs surround themselves to push them to success. And if all I am is someone that can can give and take a commodity e an account or alone, then that is that I don't have any value. So the realize So what? I realized that was where I think this world is going. That was my Tony Stark moment about that same time I started listening to Gerry Boehner. Job. Let's talk about Gary because And I think when you look at your personal brand and everyone right now, go look at Greg's linked in profile. This is important because you brand yourself as the entrepreneurs banker. How did Gary Vaynerchuk love him? Hate him. I mean, he is such a polarizing figure, and I think there's some lessons to be learned, even just with Gerry's personal brand. But how did Gary inspire you to get started down this journey? Kind of like this transformative Tony Stark moment when listening to Jim Morris. Uh, well, I think that as I was listening to him and I struggled with it for probably well, first off, it varies an acquired taste. So it took me a good month and a half toe be like, Well, this guy's just full of it and full of himself, that actually hear what he's saying and toe listen and to see the truth in it. And then I was like, Okay, well, that's that's great. That's great for an entrepreneur that owns a lawn care service and they could do whatever the heck they want. They could say whatever the heck they want. I work in a very regulated industry and I'm not anywhere near the top of my food chain. So there's a whole lot of layers of complexity that that, if I allowed it to, could allow me to be defeated and say, Don't worry about it, just move on. But the fact that matter is like, Why not, You know, in the one quote that I knew that this was important and I knew that building a personal brand was going to be away. That first and...

...foremost I was able to connect with the entrepreneurs that get the most out of me, and I think that's a problem. A lot of bankers have bankers want to be all things to everybody, and that's just not the case. So I wanted to connect with the entrepreneurs and get the most out of me that I enjoy that do not beat me up over every single rate and fee and every little thing. I mean, I want to be respective of that. But the end of the day banks provide value and service, and they should be compensated for that. But I don't need a client beat me up over SF because they caused themselves. That's key because now what you're talking about is repeated pattern and theme that I'm hearing from others. It comes down to being very focused and being very clear about who you as a banker can create value for it. To your point. It's not about being all things to all people. And even a shout out to Jeffrey Kendall, who's the CEO at Nimbus. You know, one of the things that he has written prolifically about and really speaking about is, and and to use his words right here, it's niche is the new local for banks, and credit means it's niches, how you connect to the communities you serve and to create growth opportunities. So, thinking about this, um, and I wanna take, you know, just get your perspective here because you've been living this. What is one commonly held belief in this banking industry about personal branding in this digital world that people might have, but you passionately disagree with where my others be be wrong? I think that I'm going to speak from a banker's perspective from a commercial relationship manager. I mean those those men and women who around the front lines, step by step with the entrepreneurs that we serve. I think that one of the challenges that they have is that there is fear. Go go back to what I said earlier. I mean, I could have been afraid that and I work for a very large, complex banking organization. I mean, I work for one of the Big six, and there is a lot of regulation, and there's a lot of reputation risk that is associated with it. And bankers might be afraid that I go out, I say something, or if someone takes my advice the wrong way that it could be, you know, I I could destroy their business. Well, I would ask, What advice are you giving them? Because the advice that I give is pay down debt, hoard cash, be flexible. Don't overextend yourself. If you go bankrupt doing those things, then we have got much bigger problems. And so So you...

...have to You have to be wise about it. You have to actually go and engage your HR department. You have. You have to understand. Okay. What? What are the social media guidelines that I have? And then you need to be very clear on that. You know, I cannot use. And and And I'll tell you a success story here in a minute. But none of my content. Zero I will. I have never put out. And I never will put out Hey, if you want alone or if you need a checking account, come see me. I will never, ever do that. And I will never do that first and foremost because that is not the point of me creating content. The point of me creating content is to empower and to serve the entrepreneur. And if if I earn that right to be able to serve them What we can talk about that on on off measure. But I will never sell them. And the second that you slip that in there, it just means it's so needy. And it's about you. And it's never about you. You say Jim dropper, They are the hero. You as an entrepreneur, a za commercial, RM need to empower them 1000% of the time. Right there. That's it. You talk about empowerment. Now I'm gonna go to two other sides of that, because I look at this is almost a trifecta. Education leads to empowerment, empowerment than leads to elevation, regardless of if they ever come back and do quote unquote business with you, you're leaving the world a little bit better place than you found it. And it's the mantra that I teach help First cell second and that has to be believed internally and really throughout the organization. But I think if there's one thing that I'm hearing, it's so important you're not going to talk about alone or checking account with your content because that's where some of the regulations and you know you could get clamped down on pretty quickly. So it's not about you. You said something before this idea of where people get stuck. It's fear. But you ask yourself a very important question. Why not? Why not go down this path? Why not go down this journey? And I think if there's one thing that you could maybe share with others, is what have been the opportunities as a banker, that you have been able to either create capture or just further capitalize on by building your personal brand in this post Cove, a digital world, and you had a jump start on this. So I think I...

...think this is where ah, lot can a lot of others making learn from you and really just be inspired. So what have what have been some of the opportunities here? Well, first and foremost, the biggest thing that needs to be broken is your own paradigm. When I started this journey, it was okay. I'm going to put this content out. I think I know that it's valuable. I know entrepreneurs needed. I have zero expectation of getting any business from zero. And it was It was May. Excuse me. It was July 31st of 2018 when I posted my first article on Linked in and for the next two years to have created over 100 articles and videos. It's a heck of a lot of work, but my parent And if you have asked me on August 1st in 2018. Okay, Greg, someone from Colleen, Texas, which is about an hour and a half away from where Bryan College Station is where I sit. If they came to you and wanted to do. Ah, alone. Could you do it? I think no. Okay, Greg. What? What about someone that's over in Tennessee? Could you do the loan for them? And I'd say no. And what about what? About someone that you don't even know that's in your town that you met because you hosted them out of podcast that you host? If they came to you, said you'd want alone, I'd say, Well, maybe, you know, that's not the thing again. The purpose of the podcast is not about getting loans and getting business for me. It's about elevating the But James Robert. I have I have done alone for an entrepreneur. That's in Killeen, Texas. I'm looking at doing alone for someone's in Kentucky. I'm looking at doing a large loan for an entrepreneur that was on the podcast. And that breaks paradigm. That breaks the paradigm of old school community bankers. Where I'm gonna be a Bryan college station, I might be down in Houston, which about 90 miles away, I might be if, but there's got to be a tie back to Bryan College Station. But why? Why in this cove in world, I haven't gone and seen my clients that air three miles from me. And so if I can sit there and have a good communication with an entrepreneur in Tennessee or Kentucky, how is that any different now? Now there are some. I will say that there are some caveats, you know, if you it depends on what you're doing. If you're investing into some type of commercial real estate or or something, that is that area specific. No. Five years ago, when I moved back to Bryan College Station, there were student at Texas A and M University's here and their student housing complex coming out of the ground. Everybody was, was financing and doing that well, we're in a market market right now that you might say...

...that were a little bit over saturated, and you would not have known that without having boots on the ground. So I've realized that there is risk not being on the ground, but if you have, you could get reports. If you have. I'm lucky enough that there's a bank. There's a there's a BB and T that literally is 10 minutes from this client e mean it's gonna make them mad that I'm doing alone, but it's like, Well, whose fault is that you were You would have been it away from them. Why they came after me because you're breaking that paradigm. Technology has transformed our world, and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have thio because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book, Banking on Digital Growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show It's basic human relationship of I need to Know You Before I like you like you before I can trust you. But that's idea of know, like and trust is being built in a different type of a fashion now, and I think further when I'm hearing you talk through this community community has been redefined. I literally was just having this conversation. Episode Number 69 with Dan Sullivan's From Strategic Coach and Technology. You know, we were talking about Borders, and you know how borders are are starting to pop up even the idea of quarantine. You know, if you travel from one country to another, you have a 14 day quarantine. Well, that's a border. But what digital is doing Digitalis tearing down borders of when there's some paradigm shifts that are going there. I can't help but think and go back to episode number two with with the gym Maroussi. You know he's talking about this idea of You've got to disrupt your own thinking. You have to transform your own thinking, and the only way we can do this by by not focusing on the limitations because because this is this is really about you know first principles of principles. First thinking, you know, what are the opportunities instead of worrying about the limitations? So these air really great examples of how you in College Station Bryan College Station have been...

...able to make an impact on a much larger playing field for a much larger community. But I want to come down to this idea of back to niche and focus and how this has been helpful because you mentioned entrepreneurs, right? But even if I think about entrepreneurs, you can even start segmenting and subdividing that you have attorneys, you have healthcare professionals. You have, you know, franchises. And I know one bank that that I'm advising right now. They're really looking at building a ah model around franchise growth. Can you dive a little bit deeper just into your focus of entrepreneurs and what you are educating them and and empowering them through the content you're producing and sharing? Yeah, definitely. And I believe, 100% that there's riches in the niches, it's there and and And when you talk to your bankers, when you talk to your clients and they tell you this is my perfect customer, this is the person that gets value out of me and I can charge more because they understand my value. Then you sit there and you applaud them. You say fantastic. Great job. You're increasing your margin, your gross profit margins going through the roof. Your probability. Uribe Edad. So your debt services coverage is going down. All these bank nerd terms, we come in and we applaud them. But we don't apply the same principle. Tow us, you know? So the book that I've read that that made this crystal clear for me it was another. I'm a huge Mike McCalla wits fan and obviously as a certified profit first professional. But Pumpkin plan is an amazing book that they go drills into it, he says. Here's the difference. You have a doctor that goes through all the medical school, and they are general practitioner, and then you've got a heart surgeon who goes through a little bit more metal specialization. The general practitioner has 3000 patients. That is the constant churn that you see for 15 seconds, because the name of the game is for them to see as many people as possible. They're not going deep. If your general practitioner moved to the other side of town. You probably would not be willing to g o an extra five minutes to go see them. No, no, no. I go find somebody else. I mean, maybe if you had a long standing relationship, perhaps, would probably not. If you have a hard problem, you will fly 2000 miles up to the Cleveland Clinic t to speak to the number one heart person because that that doctor, all they do is hearts. They know the problems that they're gonna have. They're going to be able to anticipate issues with the surgery. They're going to be able to give you so much more advice. And you know what? That cardiac surgeon is working three days a week. The other doctors working seven. The cardiac surgeon buys the...

...other doctors house to knock it down so that he could have more space because he has value. And he's clearly defined that value and people chase after him. That is what the power of knitting, finding riches in the negative. Wow, there's so much truth to that and, you know, stuff that I have experienced just myself personally over the years, and I think the Mawr that we do this, the more that we learn about ourselves coming back to this idea of all transformation starts by telling the truth first and foremost to ourselves, the more that we uncover what those truths are because it's so easy to think, Oh, if I'm gonna focus, well, I'm giving up all of this quote unquote other opportunity that's available out there. So how can can one who might be thinking about this but maybe struggling a little bit because they conceptually get it, but they're still having some type of a block sing. I just can't go there yet. How can we move them across to the other side to fully commit toe a niche, whatever that niche might be to focus on, you know, creating the most value for maybe a smaller group of people. But it's not about the transaction anymore. It's really about transforming people's lives or business is how do we help them overcome that mental roadblock there? Okay, so I'm gonna let say three things. I'm trying to make some quick first off. I want you to be honest with me. If your banker and what do you feel at eight o'clock on January 2nd. You feel great. Last year was awesome. I started zero. I gotta build it all again this year. I gotta hit all my goals again this year. Wouldn't it be awesome if entrepreneurs were flying 3000 miles to come to you to say I want you to do my loan to chase after you too. The thing about finding a niche is that you find a niche that gives you joy and life. If you are a fitness fanatic and you you are into spartan names or tough mutters or something like that, then go be the Spartan banker. Maybe you love to bank B, a baking baking banker. You know where you deliver cupcakes, their bread, you know, But these air and and then you're going to attract people. You're going to attract the things that give you life that give you a sense of well being beyond a transaction and then three. What? One of the most difficult things that bankers the objectives that we come up with is moving the deposit account because they're so sticky. And honestly, if I If I was able to make a fintech right now, I would make a fintech that makes it easy for the...

...transition and the reallocation of all the automatic deposits over, you know, auto draft. That would be a fantastic fintech. We could probably sell it for millions, but anyway, that's really hard. And and so bankers have to overcome that. And as a concierge banker like the attitude that I have and you know we help with that we help. Throughout the forms, we make calls, we do all that stuff. But that's still a struggle. James Robert, Since I became a profit first banker, I basically said, You know, I can't charge you for my profit first consulting. But what I do requires that you need to bank with me because I still get paid by my truest and truest expects me to bring value to you, but bring value to the organization as well. And so it's not fair for me to take my time away from my current clients. So I won't charge you to be a prophet first consultant. But you have to move your bank a customer. Okay? Cool. Literally. That is how that conversation goes. Zero struggle because they see the value and you've taken that that time and may have made personally, you've made a lot a tremendous amount of deposits into their own trust fund that sits between their ears. And so whenever it comes to making that commitment to then create even mawr value through your profit first consulting it really is a no no brainer coming back to your idea of the Fintech. I have the perfect name for that because it really is. You know, that's that is gold and I would sell it. Not for millions. I'd sell it for billions, if not even trillions, because that's that's the value creation. If we can get not only the lending relationship but those those deposit assets, I'd call it control C Control V, making A making a simplest copying and pasting those assets from one account to the other or cutting them from one account to the other. So you know you need to cut that part. So no need to hear that at all. That e put it out there. I mean, if it becomes reality, then they know that they got it. They got it right here. But let me ask you, let me ask you when When it comes to this journey that you've taken what are just some of the roadblocks, I think for others to be aware of, you're a little bit further ahead, things to watch out for that. They just don't get tripped up, stumble and fall. If there's one thing that I can think of, it's really commitment because you've talked about, you know, over 100 pieces of content videos, articles, podcast and it's taken time. But when you look at the roadblocks, what are what are things that people need to be aware of, that they could learn just from what you've taken on your own journey here? Yeah, I think that that I can kinda answer this from a philosophical, you know, identifying who your market niches and all that. But I want to get real practical. So if you're going to do this, just do it. It's not that difficult. Linked in was the first place that I put it literally. You just...

...type your words and you post it. If you're not good at typing, then hold up a phone and shoot a video help peanut trip. If you guys are not connected to her on lengthen she she is phenomenal. She she will teach you how to use your cell phone to shoot all the videos and her book lays out everything so mad Props up to Paul Pena for teaching me how to do that. You're gonna happen, Vet. Just a little bit. It s so it's written content of work and you're afraid of being on video and hit just hit record and doing doing audio of one minute segment or two minutes. Hey, you know, here's some quick tips about how you could be more financially strong today. Whatever that ISS, you know, it's not difficult now. This is where Gary V lies to you because he says, Just do it, just just record and just put it out there and that's good. And that's great. But if you wanted to be professional, if you wanted to sound good, if you wanted to do something that has maximum value because people aren't distracted by you stumbling over your own words, then you're gonna have to invest in yourself. You're gonna have to take time and you're gonna have to sacrifice. I mean, I built this entire brand. It's not fair for me to write an article for the entrepreneurs banker on truest time. It's not fair. So I do that all at night. And that means that my son goes to bed and I sit there and I'm typing Win until 10 o'clock. That means that on the weekends I'm I'm matching my videos so that over the next two weeks I could sit there and edit them and then have a class ready to launch. It takes time. It takes effort. But don't. Who cares if you're consistently putting information out? And if you don't have to be the number one on Google, you have to be out there and just do it. Have the strength to do it. Don't be discouraged if you're not producing the level of content and the quality that James Robert is. I mean, he's got a lot of time. This is podcast number 70 70. So I mean and you probably learned so much more now, compared to like when I look back at that first article, it was it was basically you know why you need todo have an entrepreneur banker. I look at that is like, man, that was really, really bad But I think out there, Yeah, and I think, you know, with that being in mind where 70 episodes in, we've learned a tremendous amount. I'm happy to transfer as Justus much knowledge. You know, the other Aziz you have today. But I'd like to do some this up. You know, anyone can really make the commitment to do this. It's a commitment in yourself. It's really my hope, my hope for this industry that financial brands create some space and time. Maybe it's just a hour of day for their bankers to start...

...making this part of their own workflow. And it all boils down to one thing. It's just cash, and I'm not. I'm not talking, you know, currency, money, coins I'm talking about cash is K S H. It's knowledge. It's attitude, it systems and its most importantly, it's habits. It's the continuous commitment to create content to help educate, empower and elevate others. So, Greg, I appreciate all of the knowledge that you have transferred today to inspire and empower and elevate others that are listening. If someone wants to continue this conversation with you, what is the best way for them just to connect and say hello personally, Yeah, probably 22 different ways I've one length in. That's the social media platform that I'm most active on. So I am the entrepreneurs banker in college and Bryan College Station, Texas. Or if you go to the entrepreneurs banker dot com, there's a connect with me that you can. You can reach out to me that it will get to my inbox and we'll continue the conversation. I really I'm with you, I hope and pray that mawr arms do this. There's a couple bankers out there that are doing this. Paul, Long up in Washington State, did an amazing job. Nelly Bartholomew, whose with I think it's Grand Savings Bank. She's got the girl Bankers podcast. So there are some bankers out there that are doing this much better than I. But if there's anything I could do to help you guys along this journey, please let me know because it's been tough for two years and I could probably short circuits, um, frustrations that I have. Yeah, shout out to Paul. Shout out to Natalie, Shout out to you, Greg, thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth as always, it until next time be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley. Like what you hear? Tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on Apple podcasts, Google Podcast or Spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical and proven insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James Roberts bestselling book Banking on Digital Growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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