Josh Tapp 0:00
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. So today we have Josh Steinway on the mic. And we're so excited to have Josh here because Josh owns influencer, Inc. and multimillion dollar branding company. He's also been a contributor and multiple high level magazines like Inc, times Forbes fortune. He's been everywhere. On top of that. He's a TEDx speaker, and the author of the seven systems of influence. But Josh is here today to share with us how to get your business featured in top publications. On top of that, Josh is here to share with us exactly how he gets his business in these publications. So Time Magazine, places like that. On top of that, he's also going to share with us how to use LinkedIn in order to explode your brand. So we're so excited to have Josh here today. So let's hop right in. All right, Joshua, tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
Josh Steimle 0:54
Well, one of the things a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm a skateboarder and I can still do a kickflip even and 44 years old. I love that.
Josh Tapp 1:03
Did you start doing skateboarding on your own? Or is this something to get closer
Josh Steimle 1:06
with your kids? I started skating when I was a kid. Actually, when I was three years old, my brother put me on a skateboarding gave me a push, and I fell straight onto my face and ran and crying with blood on my scraped up nose, and I've been addicted to it ever since.
Josh Tapp 1:20
Oh, man. That's easy. You sound like my brother. I have a brother who's very into that. And he's, he's got quite a few battle wounds from riding skateboards and bikes and everything. That's awesome. I love that. Well, let's hop right in. So how did you get started in the personal branding industry? I know it's a long story, but I'd like to just kind of give our listeners some background on that.
Josh Steimle 1:41
So in 2013, I was running my marketing agency MW I and I started in 1999. So it was about 13 years old, and it had had a lot of ups and downs over the years. And the big problem was, ironically, I was a marketing firm where I had a marketing firm and we struggled with marketing ourselves. And we did great marketing. for other people. It was just that whole thing about the cobblers children have no shoes, we just never had time to do our own marketing. And so we were always struggling to get new clients. And we'd have these ups and downs. And it just, we never had a consistent flow coming in. And then in 2013, everything changed. I brought on a partner, Cory Blake, who was great because he took over a lot of the operations and sales side of things. And then at the same time, I got the opportunity to write for Forbes magazine. And when I started writing for Forbes, I felt like I had found my calling. I already loved writing, but I didn't know how much I enjoyed writing and I never identified as a writer before. But once I started writing for Forbes, I just loved it. And so I started creating all this content. And then I started trying to get into other publications and I eventually wrote over 300 articles for Forbes but also Inc and entrepreneur and fortune and time and all these public And that led to a book deal and it led to a TEDx talk. And it led to other speaking engagements. Because of my book, I ended up hanging out with Richard Branson on his Island like all these crazy things happened, because of writing and then speaking and putting content out there. And at the time, I didn't know what personal branding was, I had never heard this term. But then people started coming to me and saying, Hey, I saw how you've been working on your personal brand and how it's helping you get all this attention. It's helping your business grow, because it was really helping MW my agency to grow, we're getting tons of leads, I can track over $5 million in revenue to the articles I wrote for Forbes alone. So this huge boost for my business. And when people start saying, hey, I've seen what you're doing on your personal brand and how it's helping you. I was like, what's a personal brand? What are you talking about? I'm just writing stuff because I enjoy writing stuff. And yeah, it's generating results, but it wasn't on purpose. It wasn't an intentional plan. It just kind of happened. But when people start asking me all these questions, I realized, I guess I'm onto something because people are noticing. And so then I started doing research and saying, What is this whole personal branding thing? And how do people influence each other? And what really goes into the science of this? And that led to starting a second business where I did coaching and courses. And I'm doing writing that's all about personal influence and how we influence each other and what the science is behind that, because that's what we all want to figure out, right? I mean, when we say it's an art, then everybody's like, well, I guess some people are just good at it. And some people aren't. Well, that's not very encouraging. And I don't think it is an art I think it is a science and I want to figure out what the science is behind influence and help people understand that because my underlying philosophy is that most people in the world are good. And if I can help people become more influential, they'll use that influence to do good things and make the world a better place. That's what motivates me. And so that's my journey from start to finish in a nutshell.
Josh Tapp 5:09
Wow, I love that. You opened a lot of cans of worms there. I have a lot of questions for you.
Unknown Speaker 5:15
Well, sure, everything's fair game. Hey, I love it.
Josh Tapp 5:19
So the first question you so you got yourself into Forbes Time Inc. You know, you've been on fortune and about 15 others I swear you're everywhere, right? Um, what? I guess most of our listeners are probably wondering, how did you you get that first deal with with Forbes.
Josh Steimle 5:36
So the first deal again, it was luck. It fell into my lap. I knew somebody Her name is Cheryl snap snap Conner. She's a PR expert. She has a PR agency based in Utah. And I knew her and I had gone to her for help because my business was struggling at the time. We were trying to get business and I went to her and I'm like, What can we do with PR? Can you help me out here and she said, you really should be writing yourself in writing about what you do and sharing your experiences as an entrepreneur, because that's what people would be interested in are those stories. And so she got me into Fast Company. And then she made an introduction to her editor at Forbes. And that's how I got into Forbes and got started really pumping out content there, which led to everything else. So in my case, it was just luck. But I know that's not very helpful for other people to just say, well know the right people and get lucky. And so with Forbes, that was luck, all the others, I did have a plan. I said, I'm going to get into TechCrunch. I'm going to get into venture B, I'm going to get into these other publications. And so then I started getting more organized about it. And so I would say, okay, which publication do I want to get into? Who are the editors at that publication? Who are some other writers that I can reach out to and get some advice from them about how they got on there and then I would learn how that publication worked, how they were structured, how they were set up, whether they would bring on contributors to write ongoing columns or whether you had to pitch them just one at a time. It's like Fast Company, for example, if you want to get your articles in there, then you pitch each article separately. And every time you want to get published there, you have to send in your article and pitch all over again, whereas Forbes, they sign you up as a contributor. And then you're expected to pump out five to seven articles every single month. And you don't get each article approved, you just are publishing tons of articles. So I would learn about these different structures. And then I would go formulate my pitch, and I'd send in my pitch and say, Hey, I'd love to write for your publication. Here's what I've done in the past. Here's my focus. This is what I write about. And I'd send that in. There's a little bit more detail to that. But that was the basic structure of pitching these publications. And the great thing was, the more I got into the easier it got in, got to get into others down the road because I could say, hey, I've written for 10 publications, and they would just check a box. Meanwhile, this guy knows how to write. So yeah, let's try him out. And so it got easier and easier as things went along.
Josh Tapp 8:06
Because you have that credibility behind you.
Josh Steimle 8:08
Right? I mean, when I started out, it was, Hey, I'm writing for Forbes as a contributor, can I also write for you, but that's all I had behind me was I wrote this one article for Fast Company. And I've written a few articles for Forbes, I'd love to write for you. And some publications, were still easy to get into. But there are others where I had to go back multiple times and try one way, and then that would work. So I'd go back and do another way and that would have worked, then I try again. And that wouldn't work. So some publications took multiple attempts to get into.
Josh Tapp 8:37
Okay, and you you essentially, could you take an article, let's say, for TechCrunch, and then tweak it a little bit and bring it to Forbes? Or did you have to write individual articles every time you went to a different publication?
Josh Steimle 8:49
I could have done that. But honestly, it takes almost as much work to tweak an article and reuse it as it does to just write an article from scratch. And so I didn't do That personally because I felt like it. It just, it didn't really save me any time or effort. Once I did that, because I had an article that kind of went not viral on Forbes, but it was an article that was generating a lot of leads for my business. And so I thought I should take this article and rewrite this and then put it up on entrepreneur. And then I could double the leads that my business is getting. And I did that. And the funny thing is, it totally didn't work. I mean, it was generating millions of dollars of business for me from Forbes and I put it up on entrepreneur and I don't know if we ever got a single lead from that article, even though it was effectively the same content. But the difference was the audience on entrepreneur is just a completely different audience than the audience on Forbes. And apparently the audience on entrepreneur despite the fact that I love entrepreneurs, and I love Entrepreneur Magazine. It wasn't the audience for my marketing agency, right
Josh Tapp 9:59
which is is a big lesson in and of itself.
Josh Steimle 10:02
Right? It's because everybody thinks, well, if I get into this publication, then all sorts of great things will happen. Well, maybe maybe not. It needs to be the publication where your audience is hanging out. And if your audience isn't hanging out at that publication, it doesn't matter how great that publication is.
Josh Tapp 10:18
Right? Well, and then you said for your, when you went to the pitch the articles, did you have kind of a set template that you use for yourself to be able to pitch to these people? Or was it just kind of general salesmanship?
Josh Steimle 10:31
A little bit. I mean, I would mention credibility points, like I've written for these other publications. So that would get their attention. And they'd say, Hey, this is a guy who actually knows how to write because the editors at these magazines get so many pitches from people wanting to write from them. And the most of these pitches are really, really bad because I know this because I get pitches, and I'm not an editor so people shouldn't be emailing and pitching me at all right? I still get these pitches from people. I read these and I think, you know, if you can't write English at a second grade level, there's no way you're getting into one of these publications and they get these emails, and there's no capitalization and the grammar is all wrong and the punctuation is wrong, and words are misspelled, I'm thinking, there's no way that you are ever getting into any publication, especially not through me, since I don't do this. You're not even pitching the right person. And so I knew what editors were looking for at a baseline that, hey, this email has to be written fairly well, so that it sounds like this person knows how to write and I need to put those credibility points in there saying I've written for these other places. And I also knew that one of the important things was I needed to show them what I was going to write about and that it was focused. Because if you go and pitch yourself to a publication, you say, Hey, I'm an entrepreneur and I started this business and I've just got a lot of great experiences and a lot of great insights. I want to Share, they don't need that they're getting that pitch thousands of times every single month. That's not anything special. It doesn't matter if you raise 30 million, it doesn't matter if your business is doing 50 million, it doesn't matter if you started it when you were 12 years old, they don't care. They're getting that pitch 1000 times a month. But if you go in and you say, I write about, I'm just just pull something off the top of my head, I wrote about blockchain for the real estate industry in Singapore. If you're focused like that, then they say, Oh, we don't have anybody who writes about that. Well, let's take a closer look at this guy, because that might be interesting to our audience. So it's, there's a big part to this process of pitching, which is figuring out what your niches and saying, I am going to write about this and only about this. And that's hard for a lot of people because people don't want to limit themselves to one thing and yet, that's exactly what gets you into these publications. Because if you don't limit yourself, then you're not special. If you do limit yourself and you find Focus on something really niche, then it's kind of like these editors are collectors of rare and exotic animals. And they have a collection and they've got 300 animals in it and you have to show them that you are an animal that they don't already have. And that is missing from their collection. And if you say, Oh, I'm good at everything I can write about anything. You're not a special exotic animal. But if you say I only do this, then you might be able to fill a gap.
Unknown Speaker 13:27
I love that.
Josh Tapp 13:31
Say it's that that niche writing I really appreciate that. I'm taking a lot of notes here. So what are your thoughts on like Haro, for example, you know, help a reporter out. Have you ever heard of that?
Josh Steimle 13:42
Yeah, I've used that service a bunch. I love it. I think it's great. It's a great way to get free PR and I've used it from both sides. I've gotten PR from it, or I've had people Cover me or cover my company because of it. And I've also used it from the other side as a journalist. And it's it's a phenomenal thing. obvious. For those who don't know, Haro, you get three emails a day from writers at magazines who need sources. And you can be that source. And if you are that source, then you get your name or your company's name into a big magazine, perhaps or on TV or a radio or a podcast or something. So it's a great way to get free exposure and signing up for Harless, totally free. So it's really a wonderful service. And one of the things I noticed from being on the writer side of Haro, and say, so I go on Haro, and I say, gee, I'm writing this article, I need a source. I need an expert on this topic. So I'll go on Haro and say, Hey, I'm writing this article about this topic. I need an expert. And then I get 200 emails, literally 200 300 emails from people within 24 hours, pitching me on why I should use them as a source. If you do some basic math here, you know, I'm not going to look at all those emails. There's just no way that I can look at all those emails. It's too many right? And so what Do I look at the first one, and then the second one and the third one. And if I find what I need in the first or second or third email, I'm done. I'm not looking at the other 197 emails because I already found what I need. And so one of the things I've noticed is being fast on Haro, and responding quickly is super key, because whoever's first in line is first in line and gets looked at first. And that might be as far as the journalist goes, looking at the sources that way. Another thing I noticed is people would send me emails, pitching themselves for Haro, and they send me these long emails and I'm thinking, I just look at the length of the email, I haven't even read the email. I'm just looking at the length of it. And I say, I don't have time to read this. And I will go to the next email. And if the next email has one or two sentences, and I can just read it real quickly, then I'll read it. And if they hook my attention, then I respond and say, hey, yeah, sounds interesting. And then I'll ask them a few questions and that might be it but Yeah, on Haro, if you ask if you respond with a big email, chances are, it's just not going to get read at all. But if it's really short, and just to the point, none of this, oh, thank you so much for looking at my email stuff like, I don't need that fluff. I need you to get to the point and show me that you're the person I want to talk to. I don't care about any of the politeness or niceties or any of that stuff. Just give me what I want. And then I will connect with you and something great could happen.
Josh Tapp 16:26
Yeah, I love that. Yeah, that's a lot of good. Good advice there for getting on tomorrow. Because honestly, I most people, I don't think even realize it's a resource you can use. A lot of major companies started on horo. It's it's pretty incredible platform. It is it's great. Well, if we shift over now, so you've you've been talking about, you know, getting yourself featured in Forbes, all these other places, but I have to kind of introduce to our audience how I how I met you. I mean, I've been following Joshua stuff on LinkedIn for quite some time. He's been publishing and you've published well over 300 articles. LinkedIn,
Josh Steimle 17:02
on LinkedIn, I don't know. I mean, I've published over 300 articles in major publications, I've probably got 50 or 60 articles up on LinkedIn. But most of mostly what I focus on on LinkedIn is just the posts, just those stray hosts that show up in your feed.
Josh Tapp 17:16
And I mean, you're very active on there and everything and you're you've maxed out your connections, you have a huge following on there. So if you were to let's just say you were to lose everything, right? You have no connections, you're starting from zero. How would you get yourself to grow quickly? on LinkedIn?
Josh Steimle 17:33
It's, I did it the wrong way. The first time, though, the way that I grew the first time was, and I started on LinkedIn in the early days. So I don't know what that was 1012 years ago or something. I was on LinkedIn. And I think I was kind of like everybody else. If somebody sent me a connection request, and it looked like a real human being not a spammer or some crazy person, I would accept it. And so I just accepted all the connections. that were coming in pretty much. And then I got up to 30,000, where I got maxed out. And I realized, I'm connected to a lot of people that, number one, I'm not really sure that they're real people. And number two, a lot of these people, we have nothing in common interest. I mean, this guy is doing lawn maintenance in Bangladesh or something like, I don't think I can help him and I don't think he can help me and he might be a great guy. And I think I'm a great guy, but there's just there's no relationship to be had here. Whereas I do have an audience where I work with CMOS, or I work with executives, and I help them with their personal brands. I really should be building an audience there. And so I started having to call my audience and disconnect from people and then reconnect with other people. And this is the same thing I would do if I were starting from scratch is, first of all, I would figure out who do I really want to be connected to Who can I help who Can Help me Where can we work to find mutual benefit? And then the focus becomes how do I connect to those people as quickly as possible and build that tribe or build that audience. And I wouldn't start out by connecting with those people. Because if I'm starting from scratch, and I've got zero connections, and I reach out to a CMO at a big company, they're gonna look at my profile and say, Who is this guy? I've never heard of him. He's not connected to anybody. Yeah, his profile might sound good, but I just don't know if this guy's legit or not. And we don't have any mutual connections, because he's not connected to anybody. So if I try to go that route, it's not going to work. And so I would first connect to everybody I already know. And if I look at my Gmail inbox, or my Gmail contacts list, I've got like 5000 emails from 20 years of doing business in Gmail. And LinkedIn makes it easy. So you can just upload all those contacts into LinkedIn. It will show you which of those emails match up with LinkedIn. profile. And then you can send an invitation to all of those people at once. And of course, you know, these people you've already interacted with them. And so they're going to accept that connection request. So if you've got 5000 emails in your database or in Gmail or wherever, you can put those up on LinkedIn, and you can instantly connect to maybe two or 3000 people that will accept that connection request. And all of a sudden, you go from zero to two or 3000. Well, now you have a ton of second connections that you can go after. And you can start looking at people that you're similar to that you have similar interests with. And I would start building that even before going after my target audience. I would go out and say, Okay, I'm in this business of personal branding and influence. So who are the other people in the space? And I would reach out to those people and say, Hey, I see that you're in the space. I'd love to learn from you. Can we connect, and I build up a lot of those connections of people who are like me, my peers, and it would be after that, that I would start going to my target audience. In connecting with them and saying, Hey, I work in this field, this is what I do, I see that you are in this space. And I'd love to connect with you. Maybe the message would be a little bit different than that. But that's the order in which I would be building out my network.
Josh Tapp 21:14
What I love that because I mean, you're basically using the LinkedIn algorithm instead of trying to fight it, right. I mean, you're, you're putting in all of your customers, and it creates, I mean, all your recommendations are going to be people who look like the audience that you that you currently have, you know, that network you already have. So that's awesome.
Josh Steimle 21:31
Yep. And this is what we do. My company, we do this for clients, too. We manage their LinkedIn profiles, and this is exactly what we do for them. And it works great. We took a guy who had he started from scratch, he set up a brand new LinkedIn account three months ago, he's just passing 2000 connections today. But we spent the first amount of time just connecting him to people he already knew for the first two months. We didn't even connect into his target audience because we wanted him to already have 1000 plus connections before we even started reaching out to his target audience. And that's what I'd recommend for anybody out there who has under 500 Connections is connect everybody you know, first, then go after your peers then go after your target audience because then by the time you go after your target audience, you have more credibility, you look like you're more active on LinkedIn, and you just look like, what you look like a safer person to connect to.
Josh Tapp 22:27
Right. I love that. That's so awesome. Well, thank you for your time here. By the way, I'm, I'm going to run you out of time here. So let's, let's, uh, let's have you give one last parting piece of guidance for our audience before we sign off here.
Josh Steimle 22:41
Well, it's love. It's all about love. And that might sound weird, but so you and I were talking before about this framework I developed called the seven systems of influence and the last system system number seven is love. And the reason it's love is because love is passion. It's excitement for what you're It's empathy. It's understanding your audience and where they're coming from. And it's goodwill, it's wanting to serve. It's wanting to help people. And what I found is that when you're branding yourself, when you're going, everything is branding, the way that you work everything you do your example what you do what you don't do, that's all part of your personal brand. And if love is not part of that personal brand, it shows through and people see that and they don't trust you. You can't build long term positive influence without loving there. Anything else with any influence without love is just purely transactional. It's what have you done for me lately? What can you do for me right now, but if there's loving there, that's what builds loyalty. That's what builds a real following. And you can make a lot of mistakes in other areas of your personal brand. But if the love is there, people will forgive it all. Because they'll say hey, his hearts in the right place. He's trying to do the right thing. They will overlook a lot of mistakes. As long as they know that that love component is part of it.
Josh Tapp 24:04
I love that. Well, since you've you've touched on that piece, would you kind of go into a little bit about your seven systems of influence? Because you've written a book on this correct?
Josh Steimle 24:13
I'm in the process of writing the book. I feel like I've already written it 10 times, but it needs a few more rewrites before it gets out to the public. But the seven systems of influence is just, these are seven systems based on my research on personal branding and influence and leadership. And the seven systems are, number one, its vision or your dream. What's your purpose? What's your mission? What do you want to do? What do you want to accomplish? And it might be I want to start a business or I want to write a book, or I want my kids to listen to me or, as a teacher, I want my students to pay attention. It can be anything, anything big or small. It can be your dream, and you might have 10 dreams a day that you're working on. So you've got a dream. Next, it's your genius zone. What is it that makes you special and uniquely qualified to make that dream reality? To start that business, to be the parent to your children, hopefully that is an obvious one. The fact that you are their parent makes you that Reggie. So the second part is genius own. The third part is your audience who is your ideal audience? Because this kind of goes back to that whole niche topic with Forbes. When I started writing for Forbes, I thought my audience was kind of everybody, everybody who reads Forbes, everybody who's in business, that's my audience. And then I came to understand No, my audience is people who are trying to hire a marketing agency right now, in the United States. That's my audience. And when I started focusing on that audience, well, it changed everything that came after. And there was a lot of power in that if I could, if I had kept on thinking, My audiences, everybody because I'm scared to let go of any part of my audience. I never would have found my niche and I never would have gotten the results that I got. So finding that ideal audience where you say, if I could find 1000 People like this one client, I could just be happy for the next 20 years. Finding that really focused audience is key. system. Number four is content. So once you know what your dream is your genius Own your audience, then what kind of content is going to motivate them to take the action that you want them to take? So you got to figure out that content system and keep coming back to that and working out the right content to produce system number five is your action plan. So what exactly are you going to do? You're going to write a book and every day, you're going to get up and write two pages in that book? Are you going to post on LinkedIn three times a week? What's your plan to create that content? And then number six is collaboration. Who can you work with? Who is also targeting the same audience that you're going after? And how can you work together so that it's a win win situation? or How can you team up with other people? How can you bring in partners who complement your weak, your strengths and take care of your weak areas. And then number seven, of course is love that we just talked about.
Josh Tapp 27:00
I love that. When How are you taking this and applying this to companies? I mean, are you going in yourself and doing this for people or what's kind of your business model with it?
Josh Steimle 27:10
So the, I want to get this out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. And so I'm working on the book I'm doing speaking about this. I'm on podcasts like this talking about I run mastermind groups, we do consulting, so I'm trying to get it out through every which way that I can. And so, of course, I'm applying these systems and saying, Okay, so what are the right channels? Where is my audience hanging out? And it is a little bit. It's tough to take my own advice sometimes because I look at this and I say, Well, everybody can use this. I mean, podcasters and academics and entrepreneurs and executives and everybody can use these systems of influence. And that's true, but which one should I be focusing on first, where's my beachhead that I can focus on that will lead to the next One in the next one and then have it become bigger. So that this becomes something, you know more of a general phenomenon. And I haven't answered that question. And I'm still trying to figure that out myself. But the system certainly help.
Josh Tapp 28:13
Absolutely. I love that. Well, Josh, thank you for coming on and sharing your your wisdom with us and your experience with us. So before we sign off, though, what are what's some What? How can people connect with you?
Josh Steimle 28:27
My personal website is Josh timely, calm and everything else I do is linked from there. So that's the best place.
Josh Tapp 28:33
Perfect. So that's Josh timely.com. I'll put a link to that in the description of the video here. And Josh, thank you for coming on.
Josh Steimle 28:40
Thank you so much, Josh, for having me on.
Josh Tapp 28:43
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