I interviewed Anthony Iannarino a couple of months ago for Episode 074 of The Business Generals Podcast (Click here to listen) where he shared some key lessons he learnt as he transitioned his expertise in sales into a widely read daily sales blog and eventually into an international speaking career.
I wanted to draw on those lessons here in this post and share my take on how you can leverage your expert experience and knowledge base into a powerful resource platform that can be your launch pad into your next career as a speaker, author, media personality or whatever next phase of your personal calling or vocation maybe.
Anthony shared how a number of years back he took over the running of their family owned recruitment business which was generating about $3 Million a year at the time with about 6 sales people and he has now built it up to $50 Million a year in revenue.
This growth Anthony says, got the attention of many people who wanted to know how he achieved so much with such a small team. The business model was based on a competitive displacement business approach which basically targeted taking large recruitment accounts of big companies away from Anthony’s bigger and better resourced competitors.
People wanted him to help them in that same way but Anthony wasn’t interested until at some point when he felt that he could something to help people succeed in building and growing their businesses.
This is when the idea of sharing his knowledge came about and Anthony decided he will do it using a daily sales blog. He determined to wake up an hour earlier than usual and to chunk down everything he knew into daily articles and publish it all for free access.
His goal at that point was to become a keynote speaker within a year and he believed that influence of a daily sales blog would help him achieve that goal. Anthony says, he worked very hard on building awareness on what he did, including reaching out to his network, leveraging social media and building an email database and within 10 months, he got his first speaking gig!
In those 10 months, Anthony attributes Seth Godin as being a solid source of inspiration, including one key principle of giving away your best knowledge at no cost knowing that it will position you as a thought leader and attract you to the right people who will hire you and consult with you at a fee.
Overtime, Anthony noted that got introduced to a small group of sales professionals who had a sales content sharing group and together they would share each other’s content and this helped further amplify their messages.
Tip 1: Because of the internet, as an entrepreneur, you have audiences worldwide and they are looking for you. Google will help them find you provided that you publish your best ideas, and people can tell how you create value and what you are all about through those ideas.
Tip 2: One of the things that entrepreneurs struggle with when it comes to sales and marketing is the consistency of doing the work every single day even when the numbers don’t look encouraging.
I asked Anthony what kept him going in those 10 months when he was publishing every day but was not yet making any sales from the work. Anthony says he knew that the idea for the blog would work because he would measure the statistics and the numbers were going in the right direction.
He shares that he had confidence, the faith and the willingness to play the long game with the blog while building a body of work. AT the beginning only 7 people would read his blog posts, but this grew and grew up to the current 2,500 readers that visit the blog per day.
Tip 3: Stay with what you are doing for a long enough time that it actually sticks and you will begin to get some traction. A lot of people give up right before that point where they get the traction because they start to worry that it’s not going to work.
Tip 4: You just have to continually do the work and it will pay off, but remember that it does take longer than you think.
Getting the first client from the sales blog came through an unusual source, Twitter. Anthony says his first client found him through a Twitter link that directed them to his blog. This was his first paid speaking engagement directly resulting from the blog. This then opened up a whole new world of opportunities so much so that Anthony says 75% of his current income now comes from speaking, consulting and coaching work.
When asked about pricing says:
“Your price is a reflection of the value you create, when you can create a tremendous amount of value for other people you are allowed to capture a tremendous amount of value for your services”.
Anthony’s advice to those starting out in business while also working in their full time jobs, is to do a lot of marketing including blogging if it’s applicable, actual cold calling and prospecting. He also recommends focusing on your most suited social media channels to use in order to market and promote your new business.
In addition Anthony does not shy away from recommending the old tried and tested approach of cold calling for new client calls, getting out and prospecting every day. He says you need to do whatever work is necessary to get you the clients you need.
“The ability to go out and get attention has never been easier and cheaper. If you’re serving business people, spend time on LinkedIn; and if you’re serving consumers, spend time building your audience on Facebook.”
I will close this final thought that you can take away and apply on your journey to getting started or to growth hacking your business even further:
“The most important thing is to find a way to get people back to your website which should have great content that is relevant to them and that answers all their questions. You should then capture their email addresses because that’s how you’re going to start getting in touch with them, and that’s how they are going to start reaching out to you.”
Best way to connect with Anthony is through his blog: thesalesblog.com
Go to businessgenerals.com/anthonyi to listen to the full interview (also available on iTunes & Stitcher for Androids as Episode 074) with Anthony where we also discuss how he has become a best-selling author, what a typical book launch looks like for him, his sales funnel and how that is structured for prime performance, his family owned recruitment business and how they win large business accounts with a relatively small team, plus much more. You will also the full show highlight reel including links to Anthony’s latest books and resources!
Get Your Hopes Up and Maximize Your Dreams 🙂