Episode 131 Show Notes
4 successful entrepreneurs share their path to success
“When I wrote my last book, Known, it was about how creating an effective, powerful personal brand is really the only sustainable, competitive advantage we can have. I was addressing the question: Could anybody become known?” (Mark Schafer)
I thought about this book when I interviewed Phil Friedman.
Phil decided to stop being frustrated as a university professor teaching philosophy and made a career shift, studied yacht design, and basic structural and mechanical engineering. He then entered the marine industry as a yacht builder, boat and shipyard manager, small-business and start-up advisor, and yachting writer and editor.
But the most exciting part of this story is how Phil managed to make this shift.
I asked Phil which marketing or sales tool helped him most to establish his expertise and become a Yacht and Marine consultant; his answer was very clear:
Phil Friedman Marine Industry Consultant
Phil Friedman has a long and varied background in the marine industry, as a yacht build.er, boat and shipyard manager, small business and startup advisor, and yachting writer and editor.
As Managing Director of the Port Royal Group, he provides clients with the benefit of his intimate knowledge of yacht construction, major refit and repair, surveying, damage assessment, estimating, contract negotiation, and dispute resolution.
For several years, Phil was the president and CEO of Palmer Johnson Yachts, during which time the company under his supervision developed, built, and refitted nearly two dozen luxury mega yachts in the 30- to 60-meter range.
During his multi-year tenure as Senior Editor of Power & Motoryacht magazine, Phil tested and evaluated hundreds of yachts worldwide. He has published more than 1,200 articles on yacht design, construction, repair, and maintenance. And his recently published eBook, Ten Golden Rules for Successful New Build Projects, has received wide acclaim from industry professionals.
Phil’s recommended tool for marketing and sales
- Digital Publishing!! On social media, on business networking platforms, on your website and the websites of others, and email or other direct digital campaigns.
- I believe digital publishing gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts and samples of your prior work with a much bigger audience of potential clients than had ever been possible before.
- I can’t overemphasize how important it’s been in building my own business by writing and putting information out there.
- I’m not talking about content as a commodity; I’m talking about genuinely engaging with people across digital media and through digital publishing.
- By digital publishing, I’m talking about valuable content that provides information and advice and interest for people. I published probably over 1,200 feature articles in print and digital media. I have written a couple of books and content for websites; my own website as well as for others.
- I have an extensive library of articles on yachts, on yacht construction, design, and related subjects such as marine business management. And I have an extensive library on platforms such as LinkedIn, Bebee and more. What it’s done for me is it put me in front of people that what I’m writing about is valuable for them. So, when I publish something, they will read it, they will share it, and they will pass it on.
- I believe that my own experience fits closely with the ideal engagement (while talking about social media). I work at genuinely engaging with people around yachting related topics.
What entrepreneurs should do
- Entrepreneurs should stop thinking of content as something that fills up a page. Content should have value, independent value for the reader about the subject in the field that you are trying to market a product or services.
- It has to be written either by yourself or by an expert as an explanation of the field. Because it’s not just the content that you publish but what happened afterward when people ask questions and when you answer them.
- You engage with people who turn out to become prospective clients. You don’t know who may be a prospective client. For example, let’s say I write something about diesel engines for yachts, and then, if somebody asks a question, I could answer them.
- Too often I have talked to entrepreneurs or business owners who believe that they need content, so they hire somebody to write content for them, the person who wrote it for them can’t answer those questions because they don’t have enough background.
- You don’t get the kind of engagement that you are looking for, with your audience, if you are not being authentic and genuine with what you publish and if you don’t have the expertise to back it up.
Like Phil, Angela Maiers completely changed her professional direction when she realized how she could impact many people worldwide.
Angela Maiers has been listed as one of IBM’s Top 20 Global Influencers, named by Forbes as one of the Top 5 Education Leaders to Watch, in 2017 and 2018, and is among Huffington Post’s Top 100 Social Media Influencers!
Angela founded the global movement, Choose2Matter in 2014. The non-profit organization grew out of the impassioned response to a TEDTalk she gave on the power of two simple words, that went viral. YOU MATTER!
She is the author of nine books, including the highly-acclaimed Genius Matters and Classroom Habitudes.
Angela’s career and entrepreneurial development
- For as long as I can remember, I have loved learning. I was really good at it and very passionate about everything I could get my hands on. That had to do with how we learn, how the brain learns. I actually put myself through medical school and studied neuroscience.
- My entrepreneurial side; I worked to put myself through university and all my jobs had something to do with special communities and special needs students, from severe and profoundly autistic to emotionally disturbed to drug-addicted. I worked with them and their mothers to get them back on a pathway of purpose.
- It’s what made me feel alive, and it’s what taught me what true passion is. As I said before, it’s not what you’re good at. I was good at school, but it’s not what I love to do, which is learning. I love learning about the brain. I love every single part of neuroscience. But it wasn’t what I was meant to do.
- My entrepreneurial spirit led me to become an educator. I quit medical school, went back to college, and became a teacher.
- No one I knew supported me because, at the time I was going to school, it was – and still is – a really big deal to be in medical school. I was the first woman in my family to go to college, the first woman in my family to pursue the pathway of medicine.
- There’s prestige in that. Unfortunately, there’s not as much prestige in being a teacher. So, when I went back home and announced to everybody that I had found my passion, that I was going to quit medical school and be a teacher, I was met with a lot of resistance.
- I think that’s how you know that something is a true passion. No matter what, no matter how much resistance I got and no matter how challenging the act of educating is, the act of not being a teacher was akin to not breathing.
Angela’s TED talk
- I did this TED talk. With TED, you get 17 minutes to tell the world how you’re going to change the world. I had this beautiful talk about social media all ready to go.
- The night before the talk, I watched my six favorite TED talks. They were all from profound people. I started doubting myself. I started thinking, ‘Who am I? I can’t do this. I don’t have anything worthy to say.’ And then I thought, ‘You know what? That is the problem with the world.’ The reason we don’t contribute our fullest, fiercest genius to the world is that we don’t think we’re enough. We don’t think we matter.
- So, the name of my talk was “You Matter.” The simple thesis focused on whether people understood how much they mattered, how much they were needed, how much they were counted on.
Recommendation of a tool for customer focus, marketing, or sales
- I think we all suffer from the “shiny new tools” syndrome. If I look at my journey in social media, my journey as an entrepreneur, I have basically used the same five tools since the beginning. Each serves a purpose and I think that understanding the function of what you want to do has to lead. The purpose has to lead.
- The two that are essential as an entrepreneur are 1. Twitter. If I really want to know what people are saying, I need to be masterful at learning how to search. The conversations and hashtags are absolutely revolutionary because they allow you to get into the community, the real conversation. You can also do this through Twitter lists and other things.
- 2. Video. For a different objective, I think the best way to connect with your customers, for them to get to know you as an entrepreneur and as a brand, is through video. Nothing is more disruptive than video. I can do more in a half-hour or hour of video than I can in a thousand blog posts because people can see through you. You can’t fake authenticity, and that is what allows you to reach above. I think it is absolutely essential for every entrepreneur to have a video presence.
Jeff Bullas is one of the most famous success stories about taking advantage (back in 2008) of the new worlds of content and social networks.
Jeff Bullas is a digital entrepreneur, marketing blogger, keynote speaker, digital strategist, consultant and bestselling author.
He works with companies and executives to grow their online personal and businesses through social, digital and marketing automation.
His blog receives over 5 million visitors a year and is found at jeffbullas.com and has spent most of his business career involved with information technologies, telecommunications and the web.
- Featured on Forbes as a “Top 20 Influencer of Chief Marketing Officers” – 2018
- #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer – 2018
- Listed on Forbes as one of the “Top 20 Influencers of CMO’s” – 2017
- Ranked by Apollo Research in the “Top 20 Influencers of Digital Marketers in the USA” – 2016
Most passionate about
- My company started as a passion project. It started with reading David Meerman Scott’s, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” in 2008. He talked about the power of content to attract the audience instead of having to go and chase them with outbound or cold calls and other different tactics that have been around for decades.
- David Meerman Scott’s concept of sharing content sounded like a good idea because most businesses used cold calls. I came upon Tim Ferries, who I worked for and he liked the idea and the last piece of inspiration was reading a blog post of HubSpot saying that if you don’t have a clue of what to start a business on than start a blog... “What’s a blog...?” So I discovered that a blog was just a place to actually create and share ideas with the world and the topic was inspired by my observation about what was happening with social networks; everyone was obsess with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and the topic that I start to create content around was social media and the tech world.
- At that time, I was actually unemployed; a few weeks later, I got a job at a digital agency where we built e-commerce sites for companies, but I continued to write and create content and share it.
- In 2013, I started to focus on my blog, so the “Passion project” became a full time business and it’s been growing ever since; we have been having fun and it doesn’t feel like work. We’ve built a virtual team; we have editor, we have a marketing manager, we have copywriters, a tech guy, and a marketing automation person.
Who your Customers are?
- I wrote my blog about what I loved and observed and that was social media, my audience were people that was fascinated by social media and how they can use it to build a business and a personal brand and how to get content to move?
- I recently was nominated as one of the top 20 influencers for CMOs in the USA, so a lot of CMOs read my blog as well.
- Today we have guest writers that write for us; I write once a week, which is normally an opinion piece. I love writing, I discovered that I love writing, and I became better writer.
The last but certainly not least guest, to talk about the huge opportunity of the ability to share content with the ability to spread it all over the globe due to the power of social media is Michael Stelzner.
Michael Stelzner established the most famous social media blog ‘Social Media Examiner’ and the largest social media conference in the world; ‘Social Media Marketing World’ in San Diego, which I haven't miss for the last six years.
Mike has a major effect on the habit of sharing content freely, and he is maybe the first person in our business and marketing world, that understood the true power and the importance of social media.
Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers, and the man behind Social Media Marketing World–the industry’s largest conference. He’s also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and host of the weekly Social Media Marketing Talk Show.
- I started as a writer and then in 2009 I did what I call my great experiment when I was able to secure the website SocialMediaExaminer.com for 10 dollars. And I connected some of my friends that were writers and encourage them to write for this movement that I was starting that called Social Media Examiner and in 2009 there were not a lot of website that were giving out a lot of free information and this thing just took off and in months all of a sudden I had a crazy successful blog on my hand.
- And then the rest is history... right? From that blog we were able to launch online conference and then a physical conference and then a podcast and live show all these things that we are doing today, over eight years later.
The point when Michael’s stopped chasing after customers and started to attract them.
- You know what? I never chased customers! Let me rephrased; with this company I never had to chaise customers. And the reason why is because I’ve learned that when you all the time give and give and give you don’t have to do much for those people to want to become customers.
What is your one key success factor?
- I would have to say truly knowing who our audience is and giving them exactly what they want for free, over and over again.
And here, my dear listeners, with this discussion about the power which is a must today, to give a lot of value in order to get value through listeners, fans and customers I would like to end today’s show.
I believe each and every one of you could find on this show your first clue or encouragement to find your way to use the joint power of sharing content, by using social media and take the advantage that we can reach almost anyone on this globe today, to use your unique expertise to get wealth.
More resources for Entrepreneurs
- Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
- Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: The power of one Ted talk
- Former interview: Angela Maiers: What is your genius as an entrepreneur? And how will you share it?