562: How to Become a B2B Influencer w/ Josh Steimle

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Josh Steimle, Founder & CEO at MWI & Founder of Influencer Inc.

A relationship with the right referralpartner could be a game changer for anyb to be company. So what? If youcould reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice,start a podcast invite potential referral partners to be guess on yourshow and grow your referral network faster than ever learn more atsweetfish media. DOTCOM, you're listening to the Beta, be growth,show a podcast dedicated to helping bee to be executive, achiev explosivegrowth, whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools andresources. You've come to the right place, I'm James Carburry and I'mJonathan Green. Let's get into the show, welcome back to the Beatby Gros show wewere here today with Josh Steinley. He is the founder and CEO, an m Wi andhe's also the founder of influence or ink Josha. Doing I fantastic Jamesthanks for happeningng. Here, I'm really excited to chat with you Josh. Ihave, I think, our paths crossed because I had a post on Linccton. Ithink last week asking my network who they knew that had a great personalbrand and I think our tame came up quite a few times. People tagging youin the comment saying that that you were just crushing it from a personalbranding perspective and when I dug a little bit deeper, I realize veryquickly why that's the case and so we're going to be talking today abouthow to become a Beauto, be influencer. I think you have obviously nailed it,and but I I want you to get a little bit of context to a listener. So theyunderstand what what I have recently come to know about. You tells a littlebit about the work you're doing it n M, Wi and also at influence rake sure.Well. My short story is that I started mw: W Y in N, nine htnered, an ninetynine and Mwys a digital marketing agency, and today we've got offices inthe: U S: Hong Kong, China, Singapore and the UK, and then about four yearsago. I had the opportunity to start wriding for Forbes magazine and Istarted writing about entrepreneurship and digital marketing and that reallyblew up my business mw. I just helped it grow like crazy and so, as I startedriding for forbs and then that expanded intowriting front ture and time andFortune and Mashable antectrunch and twenty other publications and than thatled to speaking engagements and illed to a book deal as I started, investingin that kind of content marketing and that personal brand side of things.Then people started to come to me and say: Hey. How did you do this and howis your business growing and what led to all this, and how do I do this formyself, and so I launched this other company called Influenceer Inc to helppeople with their personal brands and to help train them andto, help coachthem and guide them through this process, and so now I've got these twocompanies m WI markets and brands companies and influenced rink marketsand brands, people, Ilo, and so so josh. That obviously makes perfect sense,given the topic that we're going to be covering today and why I think you'regoing to bring an immense amount of value to this as we're talking off line,I think the place that makes the most sense frust. That kind have kicked thisconversation off as it relates to becoming a B to Bhe influencer, whichth pretty much everybody listening to this has aspirations to become of be tobe influencor when a first talk about. Why do you think it's so important toseek out influence to really be focused on your personal brand in today'senvironment? The first reason: The selfish. The business reason is thatpeople like to do business with people that they like know and trust, or Ishould say no like and trust, and if you look at businesses, they're,faceless corporations they're, not people, people like to do business withpeople, and so, if you go to do business with somebody, would yourather do business with a faceless corporation or a corporation? That'srepresented by a smiling face, and so you think about a company like virginwith Richard Brans and Richard Branson seems to be this Super Fun, Nice Guyand he's everywhere smiling and that's...

...the brand of virgin, and it rests a loton Richard Branson's, personal brand and all things being equal, you'd,probably rather fly on a Virgin Airlines plane. Then on Adelta flightWHO's, the COU of Delta. I have no clue. I have no idea, I'm sure he's a greatguy, but I've no clue who that is in virgin. Definitely I think if youpolled people- and you said- which one would you rather fly, if it was thesame price same time same everything which one would rather go and I thinkmost people would say h virgin. It just looks like more fun. It looks like it'd,be a better experience and a lot of that has to do with Richard Branson'spersonal brand h. So now, in my personal case, I started working on mypersonal brand that helped my business grow because I was out there. Peoplesaw me, and especially with my articles and forbs and such they would readthese articles. I was writing and they would say, hey this guy's talking aboutdigital marketing he's in Forbes. He must know what he's talking about andthen they would figure out what I did for digital marketing than I'm readingan agency and by the time they came to us and contacted us. They were alreadyninety five percent sold on using US because they had gotten to know me yeahand they would email us and they'd say hey. I feel like I already know Josh,and I know him through his writing and I really want to work with you guys,because we'd developed this relationship online and so for me Imean this has meant millions of dollars. For my agency, I have one article. Iwrote that we can track back to two million dollars in revenue from Yagency so wel. This is the power of a personal brand that, whether you're asmall business or a big business, it can really drive business for you andthat's Reson number. One reason number two: Is it's an opportunity to serve tohelp people and the reason I started influencedrink is, I believe mostpeople in the world are good and if I can help them become more influentialthan they're going to make the world a better place, and so the mission withinfluencrink is to help people, whether it's executives or onrpreneurs orworking professionals, to become more influential, build their personal brandand then use that as service use, that to make the world better place, whetherit's through the business world or through other things that they're doingI love it. I love it and a question for you. I wanted to dig a little bitdeeper Josh, because I know that there there can be an some pushback topersonal brand, actually driving. You know real business results. I think weall would you know your example of Richard Brandson, I think, is fantastic.I think about Howard Shultz and the starbucks brand you k. Now I readHoward's book. You know, th he's he's prolific an sociamedia and then I thinkabout you know the Duncan Doghnut C E O. I don't. I don't know who that is te,there's no human attach to it, and I've got to believe that there's reallegitimate business impact, but you mentioned something that I thought wasinteresting. You said that you could actually tie a real revenue back to aspecific forbs article. Is there a certain way that you're doing yourattribution or you just asking, did that just come about throughconversations that you're having with new customers and them saying Oh yeah,I read this article is: Is that how you guys kind ofe tied it back to thatspecific article right, it's the latter. So when people come into the businesswe say, how did you find us and they say? Oh, I read this article and sowe've tracked that Anit's probably a lot more revenue that we have actuallygotten from that article, but we can track at least two million to it. Imean it might actually be three million, but I know guaranteed it's at least twomillion well th 's, that's incredible! So so this actually does map to dollars.So now that we've covered the Wy behind it, you gave two really solid answers.There Josh, I wantto t talk about you know you need to be doing it, but whatdo you actually do to get started? What are some first steps that the folkslistening to this can take to go down the path of of becoming an invluutornand driving results to the bottom line right, so a lot of people when they askhey? How do I get started doing this? They start thinking about Social Mediand their profiles and putting their name out there and then filmingthemselves and putting videos out or...

...something like that or they'l. look atlike a Gary, Vaner, chuck and say well he's got a strong personal brand I'lljust film a bunch of videos of myself talking and cursing a bunch orsomething, and that's my personal rand. It's like, I mean you're kind ofhitting little parts of what it takes to build a personal brand there, butthe thing that people miss out on a lot is actually deciding what their personalbrand is going to be before they go out and do these things yeah it's importantto have o a website yeah it's important to be on social media and be out there,but who are you and who's your audience and what's your message that you'regoing to be communicating to them? If you don't know these things going inthen you're going to be shooting all over the place, you're going to beunfocused and you're not going to get any atraction, and then you won' won'thave any success. And then you say this personal branded stuff doesn't workwhen in reality you just went about it the wrong way, so the first step isfiguring out. Who Am I? What is the personal brand that I want to have, andso you need to go through kind of a positioning exercise to say you know what makes me special. What amI what's unique about me and my background in my experience and it'shelpful to think about like a Ben Diagram, you see these ten driagramswhere you have a bunch of circles and they overlap and where there's overlap,there's some sort of special thing there to get a simple example. I know alot about marketing and I also happend to know a lot about skateboarding,because I grew up as a skater and was involved in the industry. So if youoverlap those two circles, then there's this intersection of skateboarding andmarketing. Now a lot of people in the world know a lot about marketing so asjust a marketer, I'm nothing special, because there're thousands, tens ofthousand hundreds of thousands of marketers in the world and as a scapeborder, I'm nothing special. There are millions of skateboarders in the world,but how many skate orders have corporate high end marketing experience?Very few I mean they're, probably twenty or something. So you look atthat, and you say: okay, it's that intersection. That makes me special, atleast in this one area. Now I haven't chosen to build my personal brandaround skateboarding and marketing, but that's an example of how I can take twoareas of my life: Intersect them and find something that is unique about me, and so I encouragepeople to make a list and say what are all the expert zones that you have inyour life, things that you're really good at and then start overlappingthose and say what two things can I put together that really make me unique andthat becomes my genius zone wher. I say if, if I do this, I can own this space.I can own this netch and nobody else can touch it because nobody else hasthis intersection that I have got it and just what. So? What are yourthoughts on? If, if you want people to get granular on what you you refer toit in an email that I that I read on your through your email list earliertoday, you talk about it as you as your swim lane. Do you have any anysuggestions on how to know if, if you've gotten Nichenough or if you're Gran Yol er enough on the swim lane that you're choosingto build your brand around sure? And so the swimlane is something that camefrom forbess, because they talk about this a lot with the contributors atForbes. They require that you have a swim lane. You have a certain focusthat you write about each and every day, and you don't go out of that swimling,and so it might be pr, it might be digital marketing. It might beaccounting whatever it is, but they want you to create a tag line aroundthat swim lay too and be able to have this short sentence. That says I writeabout digital marketing for CMOS. I cover aunch prernership in China or,and so they really want you to focus and they work with you on focusing onthis tag line and developing that, if you can't say what you do in onesentence and have it be really clear, then you haven't gotten focused enough.If you acquire a paragraph or a whole...

...half of a page to describe what you do,then you're not focsed enough you're trying to cover too many things, so youshould be able to fit it into one sentence. The other thing is: Does itstick once you've got it if you crate that tag line and it really resonateswith who you are and what you do, and you can tell your friends about thisand they're like yeah. That's you that taggling describes you. That's how Ithink about you, you, you are the digital marketing in China guy you arethe marketing and skateboarding guy. Like that's, how I already see you,then you know you're onto something if you're trying to create a personalbrand and it has nothing to do with really what you are and you're justcreating it, because you aspire to something else and you're trying tocreate something and move in that direction. That's really tough, there'sa saying that it's easiest to lead a horse in the direction it's alreadygoing, so you want to create a personal brand around. What already makes youspecial that people already know you for and then just strengthen thatpersonal brand that you've already been working on, rather than try to go,create something that's totally different than who you ardy Ar Tou. Soso y, you mentioning the skateboard piece Josh for me. I named my businessafter my favorite candy Swedish fish, and so I think lot of you W. I writeabout it, a lot, my emails D and how obsessed I am a Swedish fish and Ithink noi you K, ow. I see Noakegen doing this. I think that maybe actuallywhat inspired me to get just more human in my writing and talk about the thingsthat I just really enjoy that have nothing to do with business and assilly as it is, people really seem to latch onto that th. The replies that Iget on the bcause of the nurture emails that go out from our marketingautomation system a lot of times it's Oh my Goy Sai that that line about youknow your carbar Pajama Pants was hilarious or ohmy. My wife lovedSwedish fish talk to us a little bit about how you have integrated, because I have seenyou talk about o the skateboarding piece y. u you haven't necessarilybuilt your entire brand around it, but talk to us about the importance of ofletting the those more personal elements of your personality shinethrough in the content that you're putting into the world yeah and by theway I love Swedish fish too. That's my favorite can yeah man we're really citMI on a deep level on or great mind so yeah those little personality quirksare really useful because it does help. You stay top of mind with people itjust it introduces this unique little thingthat makes you stand out, and so I have skateboards on the back of my officewall when I'm doing video interviews these skateboards that are hanging onthe wall, because I like the artwork on them, they show up and people rememberthat and they comment on it, and so, even though I'm not in theskateboarding industry, like that's, not what I focus on for my professionallife, I've still made that part of my brand, because people say oh yeah, Joshhe's that Marketing Guy and he wrote that c Mo Book and Yeah he's intoskateboarding and stuff. It's just one more little thing that makes me stickout and helps people to remember me, because it's unique and so having thoselittle personality. Things makes you human. It makes you more authentic,which is a popular buzz word, these days that everybody's chasing after andit just makes you a person, it makes you somebody that people say well. Ifeel, like I know, F this guy, because I know something special about him. Ilove it. Josh you're you're, obviously dealing with particularly at influenceor ink you ere working with a lot of executives. Where are you seeing thebiggest where you seeng them struggle the most and and what is your advicewhenever they they hit those snags and they're struggling with their personalbrand. Two areas that I see a lot of struggling in one is people trying tobe somebody other than who they really are and when they do that they cratecontent, that's not authentic and because it's not authetic, it doesn'tconnect with their audience. And when...

...there's no connection with the audience,there's no attraction, you don't get any results, and so they're oftentrying to imitate somebody else. They're trying to imitate RichardBrants, Ond they're, trying to imitate Bill Gates, they're, trying to imitateGary Vayner Chucker, whoever it is- and I say fo yourself and be authenticabout yourself and make yourself vulnerable and tell secrets about tyourself talk about failures and that's how you make a connection with tyouraudience. There's power in that. The other thing is that they don't producecontent enough, because they're so thethey want to be perfect. Yeah andwhen you want to be perfect, you end up spending a lot of time on your content,and this damages you in two ays one. You just don't get that much contentout there too. It also hurts your authenticity, the more you Polish, thecontent, the less it's you M, and so I encourage my coaching clients and thepeople I'm working with to go out and just create content. Even if it's quickand dirty go on Linkedin right now and tell your story in thirteen hundredcharacters, 'cause, that's the limit they have on the post, but go out thereand tell your story about how you got where you are and what you love about,what you're doing and don't Polish it up, don't make it sound like anadvertisement, don't even put a call Tho action in there. Just do it andwrite that story and you'll be amazed at how that connects with people andhow many likes and how many comments you get on that verses. If you go outthere and you do a Linton Post and you put a LINC ILN, there ind a graphic andyou try to really Polish it up and make it this advertisement type of thing:People hate advertisements, they don't listen to advertisements, but they lovestories. So just go out. Tell your story and experiment with that and justget doing it. I've been writing these linkeded posts every day, just tellinglittle stories about failures about things. I've done and sometimes I'llput a little called action in there. But oftentimes. I don't I just say Hey:this is my story. This is what I'm going through. What are you goingthrough and there's? No I'm not leading them to my email, ist,I'm not leading them to my Sociameta profile, I'm just trying to figure outwhat connects with people and as I do that I've had amazing success. I thinkI'm up to like I've gotten like five hundred thousand views on my lintolnposts in the past two weeks or something and so f you can jump in anddo that, even though it's quick and dirty do that, and then you take thoseposts and you refine them and you turn them into blockposts. You turn theminto videos and nurtery. Now an Thatcora answers y right right, so youcan take that and then you can lead it to the more polished stuff, but justget out there and start get the stuff. That's quick and dirty out there justget it out there. So for the for the past four months, Josh I've been goingall in on Lincoln as well posting every day, seeing seeing similar results. Ithink I'm around th, the probably the three or four hundred thousand markfrom a view count perspective, and I think that people, you know I've beentalking to a lot of marketers lately about the results that I've been seeingon Lincoln 'cause. I want them to start. You know jumping on the train beforelingtoln starts charging for for this kind of stuff, because it just seems itseems crazy. I mean I had a post earlier this week that sat like twohundred and seventy five thousand views right now, N and it's organic, I'm I'mnot. I didn't pay anything to get that kind of reach and the inbound messagesthat are coming in from it. I mean it's it's unreal, but it's because I've I'vebeen doing exactly what you just said to do. I've I've been vulnerable. I'vesured my story, but when, when I told my wife a couple of weeks ago or not acouple of weeks ago, I guess it was a few months ago when I started doingthis, I was just saying: Like Hey: I've been hearing a lot of people talkabout the more vulnerable you get on on Linkin it. It actually really helpswith getting more engagement and getting arerivals on your content. Whatdo you think about that? And she was really hesitant at first. She was like wh, you, W she's sh alittle bit more guarded and she doesn't k want the world to know her. You knowthe the intricacies of her life she's,...

...not trying to build a personal brand.So I guess to to someone like my my wife. Maybe the person out there thatthat wants to have a personal brand, but the thought of like beingvulnerable online, feels like L Ke. This is going to be here forever. Whatif people see that- and they think Oh this guy doesn't have his stufftogether- is that a common pushback that you get or or do people typicallyunderstand you o fundamentally, okay, being vulnerably is is the better pathn if they do push back? What what's your response to that yeah so ther,there are kind o two things here. There's this vulnerability side wherepeople do struggle with that, because I feel like. If I reveal failures, if I'mvulnerable, then people won't respect me. People will think that I'm afailure- they're not going to want to listen to me because all they want tohear are success stories and they want to see people like Richard Brantonsmiling and talking about the billions that he's made and that's not at allwhat people want to hear. They don't want to hear success stories. They wantto hear about overcoming challenges they want to hear about when you werejust like them and struggling and how you overcame those challenges. I wasjust meeting with somebody two days ago and he was talking about this and Isaing yeah go out there and tell some stories about how you're, failing atthis and back when your company only had three people instead of the threehundred people today, 's like Oll Yeah. But then I don't know if my customerswill really trust me. If I start talking about that like they, they hadan experience in his business. They make it's a prototyping company, socompanies come to them to get parts made when they're designing a newproduct, and then they test out these parts before they go intomamassmanufacturing and he was telling me a story about working with a famousmotorcycle company and they made a part and they made a mistake and it almostresulted in somebody getting hurt, and then they learned this lesson and Isaid well, what did you do and t HEU said? Well, we bought this machinery sothat we can test it ourselves because it was really a partner who failed, andnow we went through this and now we know how to do it. The right way- and Isaid that's a great story- You should'v Hell that story they said well. If Itell that story, though, then people are going to see that we didn't do itright this one time, a d I'm like they don't care about that. They care thatyou do it right round yeah, and if you tell that story, it shows that oneyou're willing to tell the ugly truth but too it shows how you solve theproblem. They know that you've got that problem solved as soon as you tell thatstory. In fact, what happens is that it's GOINGTO put doubt in their mindsabout all of your competitors, because they're going to be asking well do dohis competitors do this or are they still doing it the old way? But I knowthat this guy does it the right way because he had this bad experience islike this is great marketing for you, but he was really afraid to do that atfirst because he didn't want to Sy anything negative about his company. Sothat's at vulnerability side. This other side is sometimes people are justuncomfortable with the personal brand because they don't like talking aboutthemselves. They don't want to be sopromotional. They don't want to bethat guy who's, like always talking about himself, and youkind of get your image. This image in your head of those guys who are liketaking photos of themselves in front of Lamborginis and with wads of money andstuff, and it's like that's not what we're talking about when we're talkingabout personal branding, we're talking about going out there and just tellingstories giving tips and it's not about you. This is what I have to tell people.Is it's not about you, it's about your audience and it's about sharing withyour audience. You're not going out there and saying. Look how great I amyou're saying: here's when I failed and here's what I learned and hears how youmight be able to learn from my experience or here's how we started ourbusiness hereare. Some of the struggles we faced here, challenges we wentthrough or I see our clients struggling with X, Y Z and here's how you canovercome this in your business here is what people pay me. Five thousanddollars to know- and I'm just goinnt- give it to you for free here's, myadvice: This is the kind of stuff that you're putting out there and yeah. Itwill make you look like an expert but you'll never have to say, look at me.I'm an expert you're, just giving...

...advice and the expert part happens.Naturally, no, I love it were we're superaligned in our thinking jast. Thishas been fantastic. I love this conversation. If there's somebodylistening to this, that wants to stay connected with you, they wantto learnmore about your course or or just get connectedand and consume the type of content that you and I have been talking aboutbecause you are practicing what you're preaching right now a've been seeing itfor the last few weeks on Lingdin. What's the best way for them to h to goabout staying in touch with you h visit me on my personal website is JoshSteimley Com. Timeley's S, t ei M S, nd Mary Le Loveit, Awesome Josh will thankyou so much again for your time. This has been incredibly valuable for thefolks listening and I really appreciate it thank Yor so much James for havingmeon. If you'RE ABE TO BE MARKETER, we wantto feature you on sites like Huffington, post, social media, Examar and chiefmarket. Every week we send own a question related to be to be marketing.We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content. We write forreally popular websites to head over to sweetfish media, dotcom, baklastquestions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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