565: How to Bake Thought Leadership Into Your Sales Process w/ Corey Blake

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Corey Blake, CEO at MWI.

Before we get into today's interview,I want to tell you about another podcast that I think you're really going tolove. It's called the marketing book podcast and it was named by Linkedin asone of ten podcasts that will make you a better marketer. It's hosted bymy friend Douglas Burdette, who we've had on the podcast in the past,and Douglas does weekly interviews with authors of best selling marketing and sales books.According to an adobe survey of marketers, seventy six percent of them said thatmarketing has changed more in the last two years than in the previous fifty.So when you subscribe to this podcast, the marketing book podcast, you're goingto be able to keep up with the quickly changing landscape of modern marketing andsales. One thing that is unique about this that I think is really interesting, is that Douglas reads every single book before every interview and you can tellthat in the engagement that he is able to have with each of the authorsthat he interviews. You can just tell he knows this content because he's readthe entire book, hasn't just read the cliff notes, and so he hasdone over a hundred interviews but I want you to head over. You're alreadyin the PODCAST APP. Head over in search for the marketing book podcast.Gets subscribed, download a few episodes. You can check out their website atmarketing book podcastcom. You can follow them on twitter at marketing book, butare really, really, really want you to subscribe to this podcast. Thisis one that I get a ton of value from and I think you willas well. You're listening to the B toob growth show, a podcast dedicatedto helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniquesand strategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. I'mJonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcomeback to the BB growth show. We...

...are here today with Corey Blake.He is the CEO at Mwi. Cory, how you doing today? I'm doingfantastic. A are you doing? It's great to be here, Corey. We're just talking offline. I'm excited to chat about what we're going tobe talking about because it's really an extension of an interview that aired a coupledays ago with someone that is your business partner. Josh Stimeley talked about howto become a BTB influencer. Talked a lot about thought leadership and the thingsthat he's done to establish of his personal brand. But what's interesting about you, cory, is you are kind of the sales component of that equation.And so where Josh was out and of writing thought leadership pieces and Forbes andother publications, you developed the back end system to really leverage that thought leadershipand turn it into new business, and so I'm pumped to chat with youabout that. Explain to us a little bit about Mwi and what you andyour team do over there. Yeah, thank you so much for the intro. Josh is the man and I'm excited to follow them up. So,so, Mwi where a digital marketing agency. We have offices in the US,Hong Kong China and we just got boots on the ground in the UKto start working on our on our Europe operation. We specialize in all thingsdigit marketing, starting with Web Design and development and then moving on to searchengine optimization, paid search content marketing, conversion rate optimization, and so we'remainly be to B company. We do work with some, you know,executives with the if it whether it's reputation management or helping, you know,build their influence through getting them published in places and things where we have connections, but for the most part, where be to be Digital Marketing Agency thatspecializes in, you know, translating the goals and objectives of our clients intodigital marketing strategies that are going to yield results and give them the ry thatthey're looking for online. I love it. I love it. And so,cory, now that our listeners have a little bit of context, Iwould love for you to share the story of where Josh was at with Mwiwhen you came on board and and kind of the the strategy that you implementedto really explode the work that he was...

...doing with the publications that he waswriting for. Yeah, fantastic. So. So MWI has a pretty long historyand I always break mt Wi up into M wi one point and Mwito point out, so Nwi, and maybe that selfish of me, becauseat two point I was when I came into the picture, but Josh,Josh has been grinding at him to be by since one thousand nine hundred andninety nine. Actually started him to be I when he was a college studentas a design and development agency back in the day when the Internet was veryyoung and it evolved and it changed in time and as as things like searchengine optimization became relevant, and not only relevant but a huge necessity for businesses, Mwi in like two thousand and three, two thousand and four, Josh sawthe opportunity there with Mwi and started offer digital marketing services and specifically Seoat that time, and then some paid search and stuff and it kind ofcontinue to evolve and went you know, had its ups and downs, butalong this whole time, even the highs and lows, is Mwi. Onepoint I was kind of a small business. Josh was grinding constantly on creating greatcontent, specifically through his blog, Josh stanleycom, which is still there, and then just kind of networking and building a really great network of otherlightminded people, digital entrepreneurs and working with great businesses and he and again itnever really took off right. It just kind of it remained a small businessand Josh did fine with it. In two thousand and Thirteen Josh and Iconnected and we started talking actually sell strategy for another kind of a side hustlethat Josh was working on and I came into the pictures kind of a consultant, and we and we we realize we worked well together very quickly and atthat point Mwi, the Digital Marketing Agency, was was back at square one.I believe there was one client at the time and Josh had just hada big life change and he moved to Hong Kong, where he currently livesin Asia. Loves in mainland China now, but it moved out there and forsome personal reasons. Anyways, it was it was kind of back atsquare one and I, as the entrepreneur that I was, I saw anopportunity and I started to talk to Josh about Mwy, and Josh is justawesome, and he said, you know...

...what, I see something in youand I see I see that you see the opportunity and you want to turnthis into what I've always wanted to turn it into, which is a bigglobal digital marketing agency. Let's go for it, you know, let's trythat out. And so from that point, and again we'll get into some moredetails here, but we found a way to capitalize on all of thecontent marketing that Josh had been doing through his personal blog and then other opportunitiesthat presented themselves as Josh positioned himself more as a thought leader by writing fortop tier publications online. Once we are able to generate this this machine thatcreated content with our name on it and talk to your publications and then builda cells process on my end that converted those those leads that were coming ininto amazing client relationships. And obviously from there as the CEO and when itwas just job, it was just me and Josh at that time. We'vegrown, you know, to now we have a team of thirty plus andwe're all over the place and we've, I've transitioned out of that into moreof the building the business and being the CEO and creating a culture, butthat was the formula that got it started in the first place. I loveit. I love it. So I want to dig a bit deeper there. I'm I resonate with a big part of that story because with us beingearly in our agency, me trying to develop in my thought leadership writing forthatving impost this podcast, a lot of the the daily content I'm putting onLinkedin, starting to feel, you know, a little bit of traction. Obviouslynot not anything close to what Josh was seeing. After are you fivehundred podcast in? Yeah, we're like five old. I think this wouldbe like episode five hundred and sixty five or something. So, man,I always wanted to be five sixty five. So so this idea is intriguing tome because as I continue to build my own thought leadership, I dowant to be able to capitalize on it and actually turn it into new business. So could you dig a little bit deeper and and explain how? Whatdid that strategy look like? When you came alongside Josh, you took allof the content he had written previously. Think he had just started writing forForbes whenever you came on board, if...

I remember you right, how didyou take past content and then the content he was writing for Forbes and actuallyturn that into a strategy to get new business, both from an outbound perspectiveand an inbound cool. Yeah, great questions. So the first thing thatwe did. I have a lot I have a lot of business development experienceand sales experience. Again, I understand that one of the first things thatyou have to do in the sales process when, again, the first thingfor me in the cells process is make sure you have something that's valuable,right, like make sure that your passion is aligned with with the actual workthat you're doing, which it was for us as entrepreneurs and as people thatare passionate about digital marketing. So we had that, that component of itdown. Once we had that, then we were able to speak boldly andand about the product or or in this case, our service, and buildthe cells process process. That was bold, you know, and so we weren'tshy about the fact very early on when we got things like Forbes,were even just one article, right, we have no clients and one articlewith Our Name on it. I was not shy about that. In theCelles process, I whether I was doing outbound or inbound, that one ofthe first things that I did to it was to validate MWI's brand by tyingit to the name of this publication as quickly as possible. So what,right? What would that? What would that look like? Yeah, soI'll sell you. So I I'm going to assume in any sales process thatthe person that I'm talking to does not want to be talking to me.Sometimes they do, you know, genuinely, sometimes they're very intrigued and interested,but I assume. I'm not a pessimist, by the way, anoptimist, but in this process I assume that the odds are stacked against meand I assume that this person does not want to talk to me and theyhave alarms going off trying to get rid of me. Okay, I justassume that in the sales process, and so my job is, as ina in the sales process, is to validate my existence as quickly as possible. So if I'm doing outbound to somebody that you know is a business thatI would like to do business with, within the first ten seconds I'm goingto say something like hey, how you doing? My Name's Corey. I. You know I'm doing I'm doing. I'm building relationships for M Wy.You may have seen something from us in Forbes or entrepreneur and we're reaching outto company, Yada, Yada, Yada.

Right, I just want I wantto validate my brand, in my existence as as soon as possible bytying myself to somebody that people trust, God, and that's really really important. Don't and I and I would say don't be shy about that. Right. So, you know, my name is James and you may have seenan article of mine and having to post, or let me share something with youthat I just published and having to post, you know, as quicklyas possible. That's going to validate your brand because you're tying it to somethingthat people already trust. You totally piggyback on that. So, from animbound perspective, someone signs up, they get on your emails, they download, you're opped in whatever that case. Maybe and early in the nurture sequenceyou're referencing articles that Josh is riding in those publications. Yep. So firstthing is a quick turn around. So if we get an inbound lead,you know, our our team, and I'm a big believer in this,is we have five minutes to be on the phone with with whoever it is. If it's a if we received a phone number, if it's just anemail list or something, it's within five minutes we have somebody that's reached outto them and let them know that we hear them and that we care.As once we've done that, and in whatever communication that is via, whetherit's via email or a message or or a phone call exactly, we're goingto say hey, I wanted to know where you heard from us. Wasit? Was it a Forbes Article? Was it? Was it an incarticle? You know, what was it that brought to you to today? Sometimeswe know what that is based off of, if it's an inbound lead or not. Other times we don't, and we just ask again just to refreshtheir memory and put that top of mine right as we get going, sothat we're validated. The other thing that you mentioned we were talking off linecore, that at that was interesting is you guys. Were you leveraging thosepublications and Josh a stunt leadership to position yourself in such a way where youdidn't need to take all the you know, you didn't need to take all thebusiness. You got to be select if because you had a good amountof inbound coming in. Talk to us about how you kind of framed thatand how our listeners can can kind of heed that same advice. Yeah,so again, I'm a big abundance mentality guy. Right. I genuinely believe, as as an entrepreneur and as a as a CEO of and as amarketing agency, I genuinely believe that there's...

...enough good out there in the worldand there's enough to go around that I can get mine and the the competitor. Next, we can get their's and we can if we're if we're reallypassionate about what we're doing. We believe in the product or service that wehave and our intentions are good. I genuinely believe that that, you know, things are going to work out. And so, in that same breath, I have to say in our client relationships I'm very picky with who wework with, with the type of clients that we will bring on, andit's a mentality and I you know, we would just call it selling withexclusivity or building relationships with exclusivity. And Mind we're not desperate and we neverwant to come across as desperate. And so, because we've been able tobuild a presence and again, we have these validation tools, you know,that have part that we can tie ourselves to, we let people know veryearly on in the in the in the process of the conversation with them,were again, whether email or message or on the phone, you know thatwere pretty we tell them very directly. We're very particular with who we workwith and we're looking for a partners that fit x, Y and Z,and we're excited to explore this, just as you are to see if it'sthe right fit. And in doing that I think people really feel comfortable andI say okay, look, this person's looking for a win win partnership,just like I am. They're not trying to sell me any snake oil,you know they're not. They're not using sales tactics on me. It's agenuine relationship builder, just they look, I want this to be good foryou and I want it to be good for me. Now, that doesn'twork and it is just a lame sales gimmick if you don't mean it right, if you're just using it as some sort of tool to be like,oh, I'm going to tell them I don't care, but really I do. You have to really believe, like look, if this isn't the rightfit for your business and it's not the right or it's not the right fitfor myself, or are both, then let's not do it, because there'senough good to go around and we're going to mind. What are the whatare some obviously this is going to change from business to business, but whatare some of the standards that that you guys hold yourselves to at MWI tosay hey, this is probably isn't going to be a great partnership. There'sobviously budget restraints. Right. Just kind of get them on right off,the right off the bat if they don't have a budget that we feel comfortableworking with, and then we're not going to try to squeeze it out becauseit just, you know, usually,...

...and you've heard, you've heard this, but usually the smallest paying clients are the ones that require the most time. Right. And but there's there's definitely a market for those that are workingwith the small pin clients. It's just that's, you know, depends onwhat your size is. So figure out what that is and stick to it. We're also very particular with the industries that we work with. You know, we don't want to work with industries that promote anything negative in our mindor that don't hold the same values as us. And that's just a personalitything or a personal decision, and so we've identified what those industries are forus and we just we still clear of those. I mean those are reallyspecific that can I appreciate you sharing those with us. So to the personout there listening, you know, this is great, but I don't havea Josh Stemeley or I don't have somebody on our team that is that's writingfor these publications. What's the next step for them, or are there waysto have build the system that you've built, you know, without having someone onyour team that's writing for a massive publication? Yeah, so essentially it'sjust good quality content marketing. Again, I'm the first to say I'm superstoked to have a josh time. Yeah, because it's worked out. We've builta great partnership and a great working relationship and we figured that out.But at the end of the day, it really is just content marketing.So what you have to do is, you know, do the research tounderstand who your audience is, who your target is, who are you tryingto get in front of? Then you have to do the research to understand, once you know what type of who who it is, you know whoyour buyer personas are, basically who it is that you're trying to target.You've got to do the research understand what type of content is going to bevaluable for them. Is it video? Is it social media content on Instagram, snapchat? Is it blogs? You know, are they readers? It'sidentify what type of content people are going to consume. That's going to,you know, move them to make to contact you and reach out to you. And then you've got to, once you understand who those people are,you have to build that audience and identify where you're going to target that audienceand and how you're going to get that content to them. But once youdo that, again, you can do that through social media, you cando that through blogging, you do it...

...through guest blogging, you do throughdigital pr you know you have to have somebody that writes at these publications toget into these publications. There's other ways to do that, and so youknow whether it's just networking or services that offer that. But again, yougot you gotta know who you're trying to target, you gotta know what valueyou providing that person and then you just have to formulate that into a strategythat is going to target that audience based off of quality content and gender andneeds. Will Common. helloly that, cory. This has been fantastic.If if somebody wants to stay connected with you, maybe they'll want to digdeeper on this or they want to learn more about Mwi. What's the bestway for them to go about doing both of those things. Yes, youcan check our website. Actually just we just had a new website launch today. So, mwicom, you can reach out to me on Linkedin. It'sCorey Blake's Ruy BLAKAE. Again, Mwi is the company, so you can. You can find me through that, and then also on instagram. J, just a letter J. Cory B is is my instagram. Ham Onneed following me there. Awesome, Cora. has been incredible. Yeah, thankyou. It is great to be with you. If you've been getting valuedfrom this podcast, you can help us reach more people by reviewing the showon itunes. Here's how you can leave a review in less than a minute. Open your podcast APP and tap the search icon in the bottom right corner. Type in fee to be growth, then select our show. Once you'rethere, tap the reviews tab and tell us what you think of the show. These reviews help us out of time. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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