last updated 30 April 2023

Get More Mortgage Leads by Finding a Niche

A lot of mortgage brokers struggle when it comes to knowing how to stand out from their competitors in a crowded marketplace. 

Everyone’s selling pretty much the same products from the same lenders. So why should someone choose you rather than one of the tens of thousands of other mortgage advisers in the UK?

The answer is to niche your business and become a specialist.

The above video is a recording of an interview I did with business coach Rob Da Costa as part of a Facebook Live event in my Facebook group in August 2020 where we talked about niching. 

Rob shared his story about how niching transformed his business and we discussed how and why the same strategies can be used by mortgage brokers who want to grow their businesses and generate more leads with less effort.

Rob also shared his top tips on how to create an extra 30 minutes a day to work on growing your mortgage business to make it more profitable.

A full transcript of the video appears below.

Full Transcript

David Miles:  Hello, good afternoon, and welcome to all of you who are watching this live today. It's really great to have so many of you on with us. And if you're watching this later on the replay, then hello to you as well. For those who don't know me, I'm David Miles, and I'm on a mission to help mortgage brokers and financial advisors to generate their own leads through their own online channels. So as they can stop giving money to lead generation companies. 

David Miles:  Today, I'm doing my first Facebook live interview. Joining me on the virtual sofa today is my special guest, Rob Da Costa. And I'm going to be chatting to him about a number of things, including how you can create an extra half an hour a day to work on growing your business and making it more profitable. So without further ado, let me introduce today's guest. Here he is. Rob de Costa is a business coach and he works with owners of agencies and PR advertising marketing agencies to help them get better results from their businesses. Unlike some coaches, Rob's actually been there and done it. He launched his own successful PR marketing business back I think in 1991. And he built it up and then sold it in the early 2000s. Before moving into the world of coaching. So well, it's great to have you with us here today. It's gonna be what, what made you decide to start a successful business and become a coach instead?

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, thanks for having me, David. That is a big question that could probably take up half an hour. Okay. In a nutshell, I grew that business without how much control over it is sort of took a life of its own, which I think a lot of business owners find, they sort of grow organically. And then lots of external forces happen like client opportunities, and people come along and go, and you end up creating this monster that you're working for. In fact, you end up working for a much harder taskmaster, than you probably did when you worked in your nine to five job. And I think I woke up I was 39. And I always say I still have my midlife epiphany. But I woke up one day, and I thought, I'm not very happy. I was earning a lot of money and doing having lots of nice things. But at some point in life, you realize that's not enough. And so I decided to put the agency up for sale. And at the time, I didn't really realise that succession planning could mean anything more than just selling. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I got very focused on selling like, had this notional idea that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, I had no idea what I was going to do next took about a year and a half, it's kind of like waiting for a bus to come along. And then two buses came at the same time, which is good for us. So we had two businesses, two other agencies fighting to buyers, sold that to a big American company did a two-year prison sentence with them, which is my two years earn-out, which was not a very pleasant experience, which is what a lot of business owners sake is suddenly you go from, you know, running your own thing, being in control to being part of something elsewhere you don't have control, and left there after two years, and then decided I didn't know what the hell I was gonna do so. So in a nutshell, I got fed up with it. 

Rob Da Costa:  And, you know, when I started the agency back in the early 90s, I never had a plan of what it would look like 11 years later. And you know, it took a life on direction, which, you know, I wish it hadn't I suppose I don't regret anything. But you know, you learn a lot and you can certainly share a lot of what I've learned with my clients now who are going on that same journey as me. 

Rob Da Costa:  So yeah, I sold it didn't know what was gonna do was really tough time in my life, because I realized my self-esteem and my ego was largely based on my work, which seems really shallow, but I think it's true for a lot of us. And then I, fortunately, found the word of coaching and started coaching, did a couple of years of training started coaching. 

Rob Da Costa:  In a very generalist space, I found it very difficult to be successful, because, in theory, I could work with a big corporate one day and a small startup The next day, but I didn't really have the background to work with the big corporates. And if I told a small startup that I also work with big corporates may be thinking, Well, you can't help me. So you know, you won't be able to relate to me. So I found it very difficult. And that's what I learned my real lessons about niching, which I know we're going to talk about a bit later. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I niched my business to focus on what I knew well, and what I was really passionate about, which was the marketing agency sector. And in fact, I've got even more sort of honed in my niche over time, because now my sort of sweet spot agency is some agency that either has a couple of staff or aspires to get to that point and up to about 30 staff. Is that a sweet spot for me? So yeah, so that's so you know, I spent quite a lot of my time now talking to my clients about succession planning. And, you know, making sure that they don't make some of the mistakes I made and realizing that succession doesn't necessarily mean that in your business, it can mean getting other people to run your business for you it can mean having, you know, interest in other things as well as your business and taking a more non-executive chairman type role.

David Miles:  Yeah, so kinda it is somebody that really it's about helping the business owners of today to not make the same mistakes you did, and to learn from the good bits of your experience, as well.

Rob Da Costa:  I mean, you know, there's nothing like having been there and done it. I know that you're in the same boat that you. You've worked in the sector that you serve now. And I think that puts us at such a big advantage, because people are, knowing that you're not just talking about loads of theory that you might have learned. You know, in a training sort of moment, but you're actually saying that I know exactly how you feel because that's where I stood. I stood in your shoes once upon a time. And certainly, I went a lot of my business because people know that I have been there and done that. And also, over the last 14 years of coaching have worked with hundreds of agency owners who and I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of you know, how to run a business. And you know, all that I talk about with my agency clients is completely applicable in your world as well, and with your clients. I mean, the steps of running a business are pretty much the same. It doesn't matter what service or product you offer, it's pretty much the same. And the mistakes, make it pretty much the same mistakes as well.

David Miles:  Yeah, no, definitely. So obviously, but mainly, what we want to talk about today is this idea of getting an extra 30 minutes a day, back into your life. And finally, I know at the start of lockdown, lots of people were saying I gain this extra hour and a half a day from not commuting to the office staff. I think that's now disappeared. For a lot of people, it's that they've come it's not their back at the office, it's just that time just got absorbed for other stuff. 

David Miles: So I guess the first question really is why would someone want to go back an extra 30 minutes a day? And what sort of things should they be doing with that time? You know, if they do manage to get it back?

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah. So this conversation kind of is born out of the fact that I have an online group coaching program. And I knew that one of the objections that people would have about joining the program is the fact that they're already stacked. So they don't have the time to actually invest in, you know, half an hour of training every day. So I thought, you know, what, the very first thing I'm going to do in this program teaches people how to win back 30 minutes. 

Rob Da Costa:  So quite frankly, we all need to work smarter, not harder. I think one of the problems about the lockdown, and it's made us work longer hours, but not necessarily work smarter, but just work longer hours. And you know, human beings are really good at filling up time give someone two hours to do a task that will take half an hour and they'll spend two hours doing an IM is absolutely guilty as anyone of you knows, of doing that. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I wanted to work out how can we win back half now and what we're going to do with that time, and, the basic premise would be guys when you win back half an hour, it's time you should be working on your business and not in your business. So all those things that we wish we were doing, like working on our marketing, working on our positioning, writing some copy, doing some networking, looking at how you know, reach new customers, all of those things that we know we should do, but we never have time to do because we're at the behest of all our clients all the time. What if we can win back half an hour a day and just make sure that we really focus on using that time to work on your business, then, you know, it's going to be really good.

David Miles:  Yeah, and I guess it's a particular challenge. I think for a lot of the people that are watching this because in the mortgage space obviously there's always quite a high sense of urgency with the clients that you're dealing with because they need to get a loan in place to avoid missing out on my dream home or offers are coming and going all over the place. So yeah, cuz it's very easy to obviously get sucked into just being reactive to client calls and never have time to just focus on your business rather than running around in it.

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, and I think we have to make some choices about when we let other people's urgent become urgent as well. And I think sometimes that's unavoidable. Like, if someone's competing on a property then or they've got to get their mortgage in place by five o'clock then obviously, you've got to be jumping to make that happen. But I think too often we let other people's urgent become our urgent and we let other people's disorganization become urgent because they've left something to the last minute. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I think part of that is like training our clients to behave in a certain way and having some good boundaries about what we choose to let become urgent and what we don't you know, otherwise, you know, we'll always be either client isn't an agency actually, but there are architects and they are, you know, the food chain that they operate in is so complicated. There are builders, and there are surveyors and there is conveyancing and there's this and that and the other and if they're not careful, they can be at like the bottom of that food chain and then everyone shouting them because everyone's disorganized. It's like 'No, no, no, we have to create like timelines say,' this is how long it's going to take. If you leave it to here, that's going to shift the deadline to there. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I think we that's, I guess the other thing for me is that and I'm not saying this is what everybody should do. But my time, my half an hour is very early in the morning. So you typically 7:15 to 7:45 am, or even 8:00 am for me is what I call 'thinking time.' I'll tell you about that in a moment. Because as part of this winning back time. But the good thing about that, of course, is that I'm not very likely to get client phone calls and all that kind of stuff at that time in the morning. And for me, it's when I work best that so. 

Rob Da Costa:  So if I just sort of jump into some thoughts around how do you win back this half an hour, then? 

David Miles:  Yes. Let's talk about how we actually do it. 

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, so I've got I use this acronym of TICK, T-I-C-K. So T stands for turn off notifications. So this is like a really easy challenge that I challenge all of your audience to do and you deal with as well is turn off your notifications. We are losing the battle of keeping our attention focused on what we're doing because all these technologies, all these phones and stuff, are all buying for our attention. And they're winning. And we get addicted to it. 

Rob Da Costa:  So if you don't want to have those distractions, you have to be disciplined. And I can see some people listening to this will be going 'Oh, yeah, but Rob, you don't understand.' But trust me, I've heard it all before. I've heard it all before people telling me why they can't do this. But you need to turn on like on your phone, turn off all of the notifications that are not important on your computer. If you're really brave, use a tool like Freedom, which actually locks you out of all of these tools for a period of time to get you to focus because there's psychology that says if you're doing something that is kind of using a lot of your brain, and you get distracted, because an email pops up in the corner, you guys just have a quick look at that, then you're going to lose about 23 minutes of distraction by while you put your attention to this email. And then you try to get your attention back into the complicated thing that you're doing. 

Rob Da Costa:  So one of the key things The T is to turn off your notifications. And you know, like for email, turn off your dialogue box and Outlook, everyone needs to go into Outlook now into preferences and turn off their dialogue box, that's a little box that things up in the corner. Because quite frankly, if someone's got something urgent, they're not going to send you an email, they're going to call you and that's what you need to train your audience to. So that's what the T stands for, get rid of notifications so that you can get really focused on what you're doing. 

Rob Da Costa:  And then the second part of that is communicating with your audience. So the I is informing your people that you interact with when you're available when you're not available. So this is all about getting very structured. And it's about you not answering the phone when you're in that time where you're trying to focus. So that's the idea of tech. 

Rob Da Costa:  Then the C is you know, you need to look at your schedule. So the C is checking your schedule, so that, for example, you're going to go, I'm going to check my emails four times a day, which is what I do. So first thing in the morning, just before lunch, mid-afternoon, and end of the day, it's the four times in my day that I check my emails, and when I check them, I will see if there's something really important, I will deal with it there. And then but most likely, I'm going to schedule things that need dealing with a future time slot. So I'm just not letting all these things interrupt me all the time. 

Rob Da Costa:  And then the K is the really important one, which is to keep practising. Because we need to keep practising this week takes 21 days to change behaviour. So we need to keep practising this. Now when you've done those things, and you win back sometimes. 

Rob Da Costa:  What I do first thing in the morning is that I have what I call my thinking time, and everybody should have thinking time every day. And thinking time should be when you are at your best. So you're best at the end of the day or after lunch or whatever, then that's when you should do it. For me, it's first thing in the morning. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I get up, make my coffee, check my emails and they go to thinking time and thinking time is what I'm going to do something really brain taxing. So that might be doing some business development that might be writing a plan, they might be writing some content, I'm going to do those, those that in that thinking time, which is pretty much the time I'm winning back because I'm getting more efficient with everything else. That's why I'm doing my working on the business stuff because that's what's gonna move me forward a lot of the time, we can just kind of be busy falls doing stuff. 

Rob Da Costa:  But you know what, I've got a post-it note that just basically says, 'Is this moving you forward?' And so I try to use that as a framework or a benchmark to say it's the thing that I'm up to. I'm on the wall go to various artists behind me I won't leave my computer to what probably will fall apart but it's behind me. I’m literally saying what, you know, is this going to move you forward? Because if it's not sometimes I can be like distractions and all the rest of it. And I can, like let myself have some of those. But it's not going to move me forward. I'm like, why am I doing it? Because there are so many things we can do. So it's all kind of benchmarking everything I do against this is it moving me forward. 

Rob Da Costa:  And then the other thing that I do every day that I think is a really, really good idea. It's not my idea, but it works really well. It's I have a morning and an evening ritual. Basically, the word ritual is a bit strange. But what it really means is I do exactly the same things every morning and exactly the same thing every day. And I think given that we’re a lot of us are working from home at the moment, this is really important because it creates a start of your day, and it for stops the end of your day,

David Miles:  I had a ritual before, that's been, you know, a ritual of getting up at seven o'clock to have breakfast, leaving time to get the 7:45 am train or whatever. And that whole ritual has been taken away from us, isn't it?

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah. So now what happens is, and I do this, sometimes you kind of teeter out at the end of the day, rather than say, right, I'm finished, I'm leaving the office, I'm going home, shutting the computer, closing the door, whatever you can, if you're fortunate to have a separate office. 

Rob Da Costa:  So my morning ritual looks like this, #1 make a cup of coffee. That's the most important thing to start my day. It's like my kind of, I can't get go without it. #2 check my emails. #3 schedule my day based on some of the emails that might have come in, I'm going to schedule my day. 

Rob Da Costa:  Now when I schedule my day, I really over overestimate how long things are going to do. So my absolute goal with my day is to never have anything on my to-do list at the end of the day. And that's not because I'm really efficient or really smart. It's because I don't overestimate what I can achieve, which is what many of us do. 

Rob Da Costa:  So many of us have to do this for the day, which gets longer and shorter. And then the end of the day is you've ticked off 10 things you've added on 15. Now you've got to start the next day by copying those 15. And that is doesn't make you feel good. Whereas if you could have a list that you've ticked everything off, by the end of the day, you're going to feel good about your day, so So that's my third point in my day, and I have goals for the week and goals for the month. So when I'm scheduling my day, I look at my goals for the week, I look at my emails, I look at my client meetings and all the rest of it. And that will help me figure out my day. And then at the end of the day is a similar thing, really, I checked my emails again, I kind of map out roughly what I'm going to do tomorrow. And then I close my computer. Now I try to have a clean computer and a clean desk policy, my desk as well. Because kind of clean desk clear mind. And I like to start my day with everything being completely clear. So down or shut down all apps and everything on the commercial internet. 

David Miles:  Okay, so opposite of me.

Rob Da Costa:  Well, the thing is, you've got loads of threads hanging, then you don't have a clear mind in the evening. And then you pick up the threads the next day. Whereas if you can really force up your day, and start afresh with a blank sheet of paper almost. So I think collab collectively, all of these things help you win back that half-mile. 

Rob Da Costa:  And the last part, which we've already touched upon is just separating the important from the urgent because people seem to think that they need to focus on the urgent, but the urgent doesn't move you forward, the urgent it's just firefighting, the important moves you forward, the important tasks that you do are the tasks that will move your business forward and your clients forward. The urgent is stuff that you've saw someone's left to the last minute. So it's become urgent. So your goal which will never achieve because you know stuff happens is to never have urgent tasks on your list. You know, we can get really efficient and apply or some of the thinking that I've talked about, then, you know, you will get to a point ultimately, where you don't have too much urgent stuff. 

Rob Da Costa:  So kind of collectively, you can apply all of those things and get really strict with your boundaries with the apps and software that you're using. And also boundaries with your clients or who your team, then you can do this. No one said it's easy. And I'd like to say I know sometimes when I talk about this stuff, I know people are sitting there thinking yeah, but Rob, you don't understand what my business is like. It's, you know, it's what I can't do this, I can't possibly turn my emails off. Well, yeah, you can.

David Miles:  Yeah, I think the email was really interesting were two things, in particular, that strike me from what you've been talking about. There is one big thing about kind of educating your clients as to what is urgent, and what sort of times goes you weren't. I mean, the classic example, I think, is, you know, talk to an accountant from the middle of January onwards, and they're running around all over the place trying to finish loads of people's tax returns. And it's because, in many cases, they didn't train their client to put send them information earlier. And so now, the clients’ lack of organization and urgency has now suddenly become their sense of urgency. 

David Miles:  I guess, translating that to the world of financial services, you know, perhaps gas prices spends a lot of them, the calls and emails that a lot of mortgage brokers get on people, and exactly how the mortgage brokers are going to work and, you know, don't know what which bit is normal for there to be a wink when nothing happens, or you know what point it's normal for the lender to ask for this information or that information. And I think maybe, you know, setting out the process and setting the client expectations at the start could make quite a difference because that

Rob Da Costa:  I think standing in your client’s shoes, so you know what it feels like to be the customer and educating them appropriately. And that's part of that training really.

David Miles:  Yeah, and the email one as well. I've always remember been chatting to someone a few years ago, a friend who looked older and he worked in offices before the advent of email. He was in the legal profession, he said back then, it was great because the post would come in in the morning, that define what your day's work was. And if somebody hadn't come in the post, and you'd finished everything by lunchtime, off down the pub. You knew that there was going to be no more work coming in until eight or nine o'clock the next morning. And of course, now we have this thing where requests and demands and pieces of work are coming in constantly throughout the day.

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, it's a bit like a list. I've sent this a lot this week. So I'll say to you, as well, that you know, I've got a dog, I know you have as well, David. And if I always let my dog jump on the bed. And then one day, I've just changed the bed to lovely white linen, he comes in with his muddy paws and jumps on the bed, I can't get angry with him, because I've trained him to jump on the bed. So I don't want him to jump on the bed, I've got to slowly over time retrain him so that he realises he cannot jump on the bed. And I don't want to call our clients dogs, but it's exactly the same thing. 

Rob Da Costa:  You know, we have to change, train our audience, you know, it's if you take the accounting example if I were running an accounting firm, and I said, 'Look, if you don't give me your tax return information by this day, you're gonna miss the date.' And I know that this state is going to give me enough time to not be going crazy as we reach the deadline, then anyone who doesn't get me that their information by that date will that will become their issue, but a lot of very reticent to do that. And we feel like we can't do that because we will kind of upset the client. Well, no, actually,

David Miles:  My accountant, when you introduced a two-tier pricing your tax returns where if you provide the information by a certain date, it cost this much. And if you provide the ultimate date, the price went up by 50%. And I got my stuff in on time that year.

Rob Da Costa:  What I wanted to send a parcel and I wanted to convey to you by tomorrow morning, I would pay for expedited postage. And if I don't, if I don't need to get it to you by Friday, I can send it to normal postage. That's how it works. And so exactly the same should be in the business world if people leave things last minute should cost them more money. Like we don't want to be at the beck and call everybody else's, you know, this organization, and that accounts for 80% of the time, I totally get that 20% of the time, where things will go wrong, things will happen, and we have to help. So I'm not being sort of too super kind of rigid about this. But what we're talking about here is 80% of the time, not the 20% exception.

David Miles: Yeah, that's good. Well, I have some good tips that hopefully people can take and implement. The other thing we touched on early on. So we'd come back to was this idea of niching within the business. Now I know, you know, something that you and I are both big, big advocates of but what made you first realise that that was the way with your business? And how has that changed things? Is it would you advise people watching today who are obviously in a different industry? Would you advise them to be nice as well?

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, I think for me, it was born out of necessity, because I was failing, trying to be a generalist. And it was the thing is when you're a generalist, it becomes very difficult to identify who your ideal target customer is. Therefore it becomes very difficult to create sales, marketing messages and tactics to reach that audience. If you're not really sure who that audience is, if it's anybody in everybody, it's very, very difficult. And whereas if you are if you have a clear niche, then it becomes much easier to identify your ideal target customer and the things that they've got going on that I can help with. 

Rob Da Costa:  So I would advise everybody, I don't really know many generalist businesses that are really successful when you look at the bigger businesses like Coca Cola or someone. They're not generalists. They're completely niche to you just don't necessarily see the niches you'll see certain ads that they run that will be completely targeted at you know, 18 to 25-year-old females or whatever. So, but anyway, we're not those people and we don't have the budget that they have to reach their audiences. So I would advise everybody to the niche. 

Rob Da Costa:  I think people run these fears about if they become niched won't they miss out on those opportunities, but I think you will win more opportunities. I think when you are niched, it helps you stand out from the crowd. I think in a competitive market like we are all in, you need to find ways to look different. So, absolutely you should be niched. And you should remember that when you are niched, it doesn't commit you to that niche forevermore, you can move, move out, move in change over time. And you can also take on work that's outside of it. 

Rob Da Costa:  I said earlier, I have an architect, that's a client of mine. And they're not an agency, not really in the strictest sense. And the reason why I started working with them was just that I really liked the people. And because I thought I could help them. And so we make those decisions on a case by case basis to step outside of our niche. But I would never market myself as a specialist with two architects. 

David Miles:  Yeah, I think people need to remember, if something falls into your lap, doesn't mean you have to turn that client away unless you want to. But it just, it's by having a niche, it allows you to actually focus your proactive marketing.

Rob Da Costa:  Exactly. And what I would say to anybody that's thinking about this is that if you agree with yours, and my views on niching, then you should commit to it. You should choose your niche, you should do some research to work out where your niches This is where you're passionate, where you've had the best results and where you know, there's a market, that sort of intersection. Then you should just go for I, which means showing up as a specialist. Like in your website, your communications, the way you talk about yourself, or the way you introduce your business shoppers, that specialist because you know, you will navigate your way to your ideal target customer. Let's just face it, you know, if they're talking to a specialist mortgage broker, and a generalist mortgage broker, they are almost always going to pick the specialist because that specialist will be seen as the expert. 

Rob Da Costa:  You know, the old adage, if I needed knee surgery, would I go to my GP for the surgery? Who's a generalist? Or would I go to a knee surgeon specialist? And guess what if when I go to that knee surgeon specialist, I'm going to pay more money than I would to the generalist. So there's a whole load of reasons why we should show up. And I appreciate again, some people might be thinking, 'I don't know how to find my niche.' So for me, it was quite easy. But I think obviously, that's where you step in with your clients. And it isn't always obvious how to find your niche. But I would really encourage people to find a niche and commit to it for a period of time. And make sure all your outbound comms are in that niche, make sure your messaging is really specific. So that you find attractive that audience that wants that specialist.

David Miles:  Yeah, absolutely. I think one of one of the things I see happening quite a lot with the clients I've worked with, or people who aren't clients that I'm talking to about this stuff is once they come on board with the idea of niching, it sends to the next challenge is to get them to be tight enough with the niche. 

David Miles:  So I was talking to somebody earlier this week. So I'm present, right? I've sorted my niche. And I forget where we live. Now, let's say it was Cambridge is in my niche is people in Cambridge, who want to remortgage and you know, I've actually that still way too broad, you know, and so, start thinking about this person in Cambridge, who wants to be more? Why do they want it? You know, what circuit? There are obviously all sorts of reasons someone can want to remote. Is it because they want to achieve something like, you know, home improvement? Or is it because they've got debt that they want to pay off? Or are they getting divorced? As you know, a number of different reasons for and I said, by drilling into that you can actually get far more specific because I think, you know, something that we mortgage for people in Cambridge is still way too wide. And whether you'd have a thought on that or not.

Rob Da Costa:  I do and think that the advice would be to go narrow and broaden out, don't go abroad and try. You know, don't be a generalist in a niche. I guess that's what you're saying. Really? 

David Miles:  Yeah. Something like Google Ads or something like that, where it's much easier to start it on a range of keywords, it's really tight. And if it turns out to be too small, broaden it out, rather than trying to rein it back in if you've cast a net too wide.

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, exactly. So my advice is to go niche, know that the niche you're picking is big enough, which you know, most niches are. Then, you know, as you develop specialist skills on there, you might find those skills are transferable into another niche. That's how to then broaden out. So that would definitely be my advice. I like to say, I don't know anybody that is a generalist that is more successful than a niche specialist. So there are 100 reasons why you should and not many reasons why you shouldn't. Its fear and mind stop people at the end of the day.

David Miles:  Yeah. We're going to be coming to the end shortly. Before we do. I'm going to I've got one more thing I want to ask you about Rob, just to remind you, if you've got any questions on who it's been, we've talked about so far or anything that's not about that which you think about it. talk with them pop it in the comments. And we'll, we'll save them to there in a moment. But obviously through chat show host style is I believe you've got a book out.

Rob Da Costa:  I feel like I'm on the radio too. Yeah, I've got, I just finished. Oh, can you see this, I've just actually got my hard copies of writing a book called 'The Self-Running Agency.' This is, this is borne out a lot of research. It's talking to business owners who say like, what is it they ultimately want to achieve, and what they want to achieve is a business that can function predominantly without them. Hence, the title of the book. And this is all about it's kind of this book is harmful to biography, like, my journey, and the lessons I learned, and half kind of step by step guide of the things that I think you should do. And it focuses on three areas, which is having a clear plan, getting a pipeline of new sales, and getting your staff to step up. So those are the three components/parts that I feel are crucial. If you ever want to build your business to the extent where you can step away, or have more flexibility, you know, we start a business because we want control, we want flexibility, and we want freedom. But we usually give up flexibility and freedom in return for control. So this book is about how do you control but get back in flexibility and freedom as well. If you can grab a copy of it off, my website is free to download at the moment, it will be 599 on Amazon, it is 599 on Amazon, but it's free off my website at the moment.

David Miles:  Okay, so I've actually put a link to the download page for that in the notes for the video in the comments. And obviously, it's because your niche is agency owners. It's targeted primarily at that sector. But I'm guessing a lot, most of us have been there is transferable to people in financial services as well as that.

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, I could have called it the self-running business or the self-running financial service. But you know, it's just my target audiences are agencies. But as I said earlier, what I talk about is about running a business rather than running anything specific. So those lessons really do apply to everybody.

David Miles:  Well, any sort of parting bits of advice if there is one tip you could give to, to the audience watching who, you know, clearly, actually quite busy at the moment most violent because of the way that the property market, the mortgage market has picked up since you know, since lockdown stuff. What would be your one top takeaway from today?

Rob Da Costa:  Yeah, I would say, find a way of putting the pause button on every day or at least every week, taking stock of where you're at. And making sure that when you're running around at 100 miles an hour, you're running around doing the right things rather than being a busy fall. So it kind of comes back to winning back this half an hour, find a way of just making a stop every day, making sure that what you're doing is moving your business forward, and not just kind of running around at the behest of everybody else. Because if you do that you're gonna get burnt out as I did, and then you won't want to do it anymore. So I guess my parting better advice to everybody, including me knew so.

David Miles:  Yeah. Brilliant. So well. Thank you ever so much for coming on, Rob. Always a pleasure chatting with you. If any questions you got when you're watching this on the replay, put them in the comments, and we'll see you for another Facebook live in a couple of weeks time details will be published in the group soon. All right. Thanks again. Well, Bye, everyone!


  • "...the very first thing I'm going to do in this online coaching program teaches people how to win back 30 minutes... that we all need to work smarter, not harder." - Rob Da Costa
  • "Now when I schedule my day, I really over overestimate how long things are going to do. So my absolute goal with my day is to never have anything on my to-do list at the end of the day. And that's not because I'm really efficient or really smart. It's because I don't overestimate what I can achieve, which is what many of us do." - Rob Da Costa

  • "I think the email was really interesting were two things, in particular, that strikes me from what you've been talking about. There is one big thing about kind of educating your clients as to what is urgent, and what sort of times goes you weren't." - David Miles

  • "I think standing in your client’s shoes, so you know what it feels like to be the customer and educating them appropriately. And that's part of that training really." - Rob Da Costa

  • "I think people run these fears about if they become niched won't they miss out on those opportunities, but I think you will win more opportunities. I think when you are niched, it helps you stand out from the crowd. I think in a competitive market like we are all in, you need to find ways to look different. So, absolutely you should be niched. And you should remember that when you are niched, it doesn't commit you to that niche forevermore, you can move, move out, move in change over time. And you can also take on work that's outside of it." - Rob Da Costa

  • "I think people need to remember, if something falls into your lap, doesn't mean you have to turn that client away unless you want to. But it just, it's by having a niche, it allows you to actually focus your proactive marketing." - David Miles

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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