"Marketing isn't about closing a sale - it's about opening a relationship". Mike Kim is a podcaster, educator, marketer, coach and a consultant and is also one of the smartest and funniest guys I know. In this episode Mike shares what makes his business work and you’ll quickly find out why he’s my go to podcaster.
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Mike's website : https://mikekim.com/
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Hi there, and welcome back to gravity, digital marketing entrepreneurs podcast. I'm Bob Gentle. And every week I'm joined by creators, consultants and practitioners who share what makes their business work. Whether you're on your own business or you're just thinking of stepping out on your own, for the very first time, you're in the right place. If you're new to the podcast, and welcome along, just take a second right now to subscribe to the show and your podcast player. That way you don't miss new weekly episodes, and you can dig into some older ones when you finish this one.
This week, I'm delighted to bring you Mike Kim, make as a podcaster, educator, marketer, coach and consultant. And he's also one of the smartest and funniest guys I know. And this episode, Mike shares what makes his business work and you'll quickly find out why he's my go to podcaster. So welcome along to meet Mike
So this week, I'm really excited to welcome Mike Kim to the podcast. Maybe you maybe just want to start by introducing yourself who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do. Yeah, absolutely. It's a pleasure to be here with you, Bob. And for all of you who are tuning in, I'm based in the US. And
any given week, I'm in a different place. Home Base is Washington DC, where my family is, and I spent a lot of time on the road. that's intentional. I don't mind it. I love the digital nomad life, and I'm in marketing. I'm a marketing consultant. I primarily work with what I call thought leaders, which are people who make their living based on what they think so speakers, authors, consultants, coaches, the occasional author or to you know, that the big author or whatnot, but basically, I have two sides to the business. One is the client side where I'm offering customized services.
Is to some of the bigger brands in their space. And I'll write their campaign. Sometimes they'll hire me for several months to work with their own marketing team and guide them. Sometimes they'll hire me to write an entire product launch. I have a copywriting background. That's one of my strengths in marketing. And the second arm of my business is really where I teach aspiring coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, how to market themselves as a business. And if we could give an another broad term to it, it would be personal branding, it's a personal brand space. And all of this stems from my experience working in corporate as the CMO of a multimillion dollar company in the New York area, understanding how businesses run their marketing, sometimes for the good sometimes for the pad, and just translating a lot of that into the solo entrepreneur space or the space where you're selling something that's sort of intangible Bob is
It's you know, they're they're selling ideas. They're selling the idea of transformation. They're selling dreams. They're selling frameworks. They're selling intellectual property. And so, in essence, if there's anything physical to what my clients are selling it is that it is a physical information product. It's a book or maybe you know, now that we're in the online world, an online course, or a live seminar, where the attendee is getting some sort of information to help them actualize the transformation. So that's what I do. I'm a marketing consultant in the thought leadership space. I think marketing in that particular space, it must throw up some very special challenges. There are some clients you have and I'm going to drop a name for you because I know you want to yourself. You work with john Maxwell group to help them with their marketing. And I imagine john Maxwell knows his stuff. He's quite a confident guy by now.
But you've got the other end of the spectrum. So people that are maybe as you may
The solar printer is the people you work with in a coaching level. And I'm interested to hear how much of the work you do with them is around mindset rather than marketing. Yeah, it's actually it goes both ways. And, you know, when you talk about a guy like john, john is, he's in his 70s. Now is early 70s. So when he started, you know, he's one of our generations biggest thought leaders, right? He's got best selling books all over Barnes and Noble, you go into the business leadership section. I mean, he's, he's going to eat up like half the shelf. And yet, when john started, it was a very different world, Bob when he started his career than what it is now. So he knows his content, but he's not sitting around figuring it out. Like how to run a digital marketing campaign or how to write email nurture sequences, right. So the vehicle by which he's marketing is completely different now than what he did when he first got started. And so that's why guys like me are called in to kind of help their companies kind of kind of market and
Build relationships with prospects through the medium of digital marketing. And so
mindset wise, yeah, I mean a guy like him or anyone else who knows their content, they're going to feel really confident in their expertise. But then when it comes to marketing, that expertise, you get hit with all these technological challenges you get hit with, oh my gosh, are people even listening to me? Or how do I use Instagram? What the heck am I doing on here? And so you run into all these challenges again, because I like to say that you know, the journey of an entrepreneur, you you have to be okay with consistently being an amateur, because there's always something new to learn. There's always something new to master. And if your mindsets not in that place, if your mindset is not in a place where you're willing to try something new, you're willing to be an amateur all over again, you're willing to be a beginner all over again. Then that's where you get stuck. You get stuck in the mud, and even if you can outsource those things,
You still have to learn, you know, a new medium.
If you've spent 2030 years being really polished in the way that you deliver your content, and all of a sudden Nowadays, people want the raw content, you know, on Instagram stories, for example, they don't want it really polished, they want you they want it to, they want to know that it's on your phone, and that you're shooting it. That's really like a big mindset shift for a lot of these folks who have been in the game for a long time. So a lot of it does indeed, wrap around mindset. That's absolutely true. I think one of the things you do really nicely is that letting people pick up behind the curtain, particularly on Instagram, is highly entertaining. But and I think a lot of people would worry that that may be compromises their professionalism, but actually that's not the case at all.
It's really, really interesting to see when that's done well. Yeah, no, it doesn't. It does well, so here's what I tell people and this might be like, one of the the
First takeaways that maybe those of you are listening in, can can run with. There are three main reasons why people tuned into content online. And these three things are like legs on a tripod, they're all important, doesn't make one better than the other. But for most businesses, they're going to focus on one out of three. But here, here's what we have to understand about the the end user given individual in this world today is going to tune into content online for one of three reasons. And again, no particular order, but one of them education, right, they want to learn something. Number two, inspiration. And number three entertainment. So if you really think about that,
someone is tuning into content, you are tuning into content, you're tuning into this podcast right now primarily because of the educational content. If we weren't actually teaching you things, you probably wouldn't be listening.
There are other brands that are out there that are primarily inspirational
All, like motivational speakers, you know, Hallmark cards, if you will, right? Yeah, like anything along those lines. And then third, their brands that they're clearly primarily entertainment. And here's what I'm saying, especially in this thought leadership space, since that's what we're, we're focused on, at least right now for the moment. I am, I am an educational brand. I teach people how to write marketing copy, I teach them how to market themselves, I teach them how to run product launches, and build their campaigns. And the thing is that if I only posted educational content on my social media platforms, or my blog or my podcast, I would become very one dimensional. Now, most people will say, well, that's brand clarity, you're you're staying on one thing, but that's like you alluded to Bob, that's not the world that we live in anymore. Right? So whereas 80% of the content that I create on a weekly basis might be educational. It's really important for me to spend the morning
percent sharing inspirational content and entertainment. Right and, and by entertaining I just mean, being silly being myself being goofy, right? So, the thing is that I could never spend 80% of my time creating inspirational content. That's not me. I don't wake up in the morning drinking, like a kombucha and like, you know, running around in a unicorn t shirt and like, you know, with pixie dust everywhere, that's just not me. And neither can I wake up every morning and create entertainment content because I'm not an entertainer. Can I be entertaining by just sharing my dry ne us sense of humor absolutely cannot be inspirational by
telling people, you know, my blood pressure is real bad. And so I've hired a personal trainer and I'm really gonna, I'm really going to take take this thing on and these are things that I'm learning while I'm working out that are going to play well into my business. Absolutely. And what that does is that it makes me a well rounded person.
It makes me a well rounded brand. And that is what social media has done. Across the board. It has social media has decentralized everything. So the idea that you can just be one person, right and being business for yourself and hope, hope to create a relationship with people and be one dimensional doesn't work. It doesn't work that way. You've got to be willing to step into the other to flip side of that. I follow a couple of meme accounts on Instagram. They're hilarious. I don't know how these guys come up with this content. And I was reading a meme the other day and then this guy posed this the same meme account, posted something and he said, you know, in the caption, he said, you know, yesterday I posted something. And I got a lot of flack for what I posted. But it wasn't offensive at all. It was just people overreacting and being super sensitive. And you know, I when I was a kid, I was bullied and
I didn't stand up for myself, you know, for a couple years until one day I did. And that taught me something about life that you're always going to have haters. You know what, I'm not going to apologize because I didn't do anything wrong. They took it out of context, and I'm going to stand my ground. And you know, if people try to bully you or pressure you, you should stand your ground to now Bob, this was a, this is an Instagram meme account. And I was like, inspired. I was like, Man, this guy's this guy's got it. Right. And I was like, and I felt a connection, a deeper connection with him than just reading the entertainment content. Because what he had done was he dipped his toe into the inspirational lane, right in that in that one post. And it sort of endeared me to him a little bit more, because it showed me a different side of him. And I think if I were to encapsulate if I were to, like, distill what my approach to marketing is, you know, in all this that I've shared so far, it's it's simply this that marketing is
isn't about closing a sale, it's about opening a relationship.
And if you're going to create content, the entire point of creating content isn't to close a sale it is at the end of the day, I get that. But at the front end of it, you're just trying to open a relationship. And if we take that principle and apply to real life, like, Bob, if all I ever did was when we when we went out for coffee or tea or you know, some scotch or whatever you all drink, gin, I'm a gin guy right over in the UK. Right? If all I ever did during our time hanging out was educate you. You'd be like, dude, I don't I don't want to I don't want to hang out with you anymore. You're not interesting. You're just always trying to tell me what to do. Conversely, if I was always just trying to motivate you and inspire you, right, like Bob, you can do whatever you want. You can you know, pixie dust and unicorns you would be like, dude, that's not for me today. Can you just be normal? And conversely, like the third if all he did was just try to be
Funny all the time, you wouldn't feel like, like, you could ever have a serious or deeper conversation with me. Right or learn anything from me or learning anything from our friendship or, or whatnot. And so I always find it surprising that people play by these rules online that they never play by in real life. Does that make sense? Yeah, that makes perfect. Yeah, I think you've really encapsulated. The main challenge I think most people have online.
I was I was going to ask you next, what do you think the main barriers are? to building a good strong personal brand online and you've you've really just answered it. It's being balanced across these three legs of the tripod as you as you described it. Yeah. You know, one practical thing I do. And this this may help some of you I love Instagram I that's my favorite social media app right now. I'm on it a lot. And you know, some so people will ask me like, well, what's your Instagram strategy and I kind of have one and I kind of don't
You know, I know Instagrams somewhat of an uphill battle for somebody like me, because Instagram is very visual. And I'm not a very visual brand, you know, I'm not a cute girl, you know, posting workout videos, right? Because if I did that, I'd probably get a lot more likes than I do, right. And that's just the nature of the app. But one thing I do is that
if you consider Instagram, for example, just those of you tuning in, just think about it and you click on someone's profile, you go to the profile, you read their bio, and all you see is like the first three photos on their on their on their page. It's kind of cut off, right? So if you do one, scroll with your thumb, you know, and you scroll from your thumb at the bottom of your phone and scroll up once. Basically, you pull up nine photos.
And so what my philosophy is, is that out of those nine photos, one of them is going to be an inspirational piece.
Right? So it might be a quote card, it might be a screenshot of some quote that
I shared on Twitter that I know a lot of people responded to. So I'm going to make sure one of those nine posts, every nine posts is an inspirational piece of content. I'm going to make sure that one of those nine posts is entertaining. It's me just having fun. It's my real life. It's me with my family, it's me with my friends, it's me traveling, taking a nice picture somewhere. And one of them is going to be of me working. And most often that's going to be as a speaker because I have a lot of speaking photos now. And what this what this really boils down to is the strategy of show and tell. Now, I didn't know if they had shown tell in grade school where you were, we know what it is. Okay, you know what it is right? And so when I was when I was growing up, and they probably don't do this anymore, because they're probably definitely scared of what kids will bring in to the classroom. Like second grade first grade here in the States when I was growing up, you know, third grader would not you would bring in something from your house and every Friday, we would have show and tell
You bring in your newest newest toy or something cool from your house or some, some family, you know, like memorabilia or whatnot. And you would show everybody your new toy. And you would tell them what it is. And you show them how you play with it. And it was like one of the most fun days, you know, school, right? So until today. And so that's the that's the strategy
that I incorporate into building my personal brand. If I'm telling people I'm a speaker, well, I'd better show them. And if I want to make sure that I'm showing them, I better make it really easy for the brand new person who has only heard of me for the first time here on Bob's podcast today. Right? If they go to my Instagram, they should be able to see my life in a snapshot of nine photos. And if I'm intentional about that, then I branded myself and I've done a good job of educating inspiring and entertaining people so that they get a pretty good, well rounded picture of me. So show and tell
That's really what it is. I've just checked. And yeah, you you absolutely have that nailed on Instagram. Yes.
What that brings up for me, the education, inspiration and entertainment is most people are going to really struggle with one or the other, or potentially a couple of those. You got your natural entertainers who maybe don't like to come across as particularly thoughtful.
There are some people that are very analytically good, but they're maybe not naturally very inspiring.
Everybody can be, but I think what comes up there is that you need to dig deep and find courage until things feel normal. It's this this whole thing of
testing your comfort zone until things become comfortable in the work that you do with entrepreneurs in the coaching side of your business. Is that something that you come up against quite often? Oh, absolutely. Because I coach you know, people I run programs
So, you know, sometimes they have hundreds of people in them. And,
and I tell them, you know, this very, very simple, you know, truth. It's one of my tenants, action cures fear.
There's no way that you're going to rationalize the fear away. You'll never overcome it until you actually do it. Right. And, you know, I heard this framework from a coach of mine years ago. And, you know, it's it's the four stages of every entrepreneur. It's a four stages of anyone who's seeking to grow. And the first step is commitment. They're committed to grow. They're committed to becoming the best version of themselves that's out there. And yet, the second thing that they face, the second step is actually courage. And if you think about courage, what's the definition of courage? It's, it's, it's doing something despite being scared. Right? And you do it because you're committed to doing something but you're going to feel scared so many people want
Confidence before they do something, confidence comes last. So you have commitment, then you have courage. And then once you do it with courage, you start to gain competence, you start to gain a little bit of skill at what you're doing. And once you have a little bit of competence, what ends up happening is you gain confidence. And that's really the fourth thing. So where people get stuck is they expect confidence to come first. Before they commit before they get competent, and before they encouraged, right, but it's totally backwards. Yeah, most most people do practice completely the other way around. It's completely other way around. So I tell folks, action cures fear. And this alludes back to what I was shared just a few minutes ago, where,
you know, you've just got to, you've got to be able to to take action, take initiative, move forward, and commit to that and be willing to be an amateur, to be willing to be a beginner all over again.
Right now I'm, you know, I've been really active on Instagram for about the last year and a half, two years. And if you scroll through my feed, you can see when that transition happened, and it was very uncomfortable in the beginning, but I was committed to using this platform. And I had to have the courage to start taking photos of myself, Bob, or asking people on the street to take a foot because I travel alone a lot. And I'd be ended some in some cool country or something, I'd be like, Hi, can you take a picture of me, I'm here alone, you know, and that felt really embarrassing as a dude, you know, like, I'm just like, Okay, I got no one to take a picture. I don't want to take a selfie. And you know, I just had that courage and start posting things. And as I posted more things, I became more competent and skilled at Instagram. And now I'm much more confident Well, here's the funny thing now. Now here we are, you know, in this season of like, right now the thing that I'm starting to learn how to do is shoot video and edit video and do it the right way and do it you know, and learn some basic filmmaking techniques and I feel like an amateur
all over again. And my point is that you will never is if you want to be a person of growth, you'll never escape that four step cycle, it goes round and round and round.
If you just don't ever want to experience that again, then you just do what you've always done and never grow. And I mean, that's a worse alternative in my, my opinion. So, action cures fear. That's what helps you move forward. And that's what I tell my students, that's what I tell my clients. It doesn't have to be perfect. You just have to take action. And then you're going to realize it's not that bad. And you just got to keep taking action and you build up that confidence. Yeah, I think that accepting and giving yourself permission to look silly. It opens the door to so much success. Yeah, I'm really glad you went through that. That's really, really helpful.
Yeah, it's, it's, um, you know, where a lot of people ask me, you know, and this may be something that you know, some of you are
Listening in are asking like, Well, where do I start, though? Like, like, what do I post pictures of like, why am I doing it? Right, Bob, you and I talked a little bit about that.
Even before we jumped on the interview here, like, you know, why do I do what I do? Why do we do what we do? Why do people go online and share their lives on social media? And so
I often ask people when they're starting out, I mean, I mean, they don't know anything about what they want to share. They don't know their message. They don't know what their story is. They don't know why they want it. They just know they want to, they want to share their lives, share their expertise, maybe build a business or a brand or a side hustle around themselves, but they don't know what next steps to take. And so I asked them, you know, these three questions and I call them the PB three, the personal brand, three, right. I don't have any other fancy name for that right now. That's all I got. But these are these are the questions that I asked them. what pisses you off?
What number two, what breaks your heart? And number three, what's the big problem you're trying to solve?
And I use that language on purpose because I'm trying to get to the emotion underneath. Right? So when I ask someone what pisses you off, what I'm really looking for is, what is the injustice that they see in the world? Now, I don't know about you, I don't use the word injustice every day. Not even use it once a week, right? I usually say like, that really ticks me off, or that really pisses me off, right? And so what I'm really trying to frame out for people is like, what is the perspective you have on life? That that where you see an injustice where you just see something that is a terrible, you know, it's a grave evil, right?
And then what breaks your heart is the compassion that you have, you know, because if you're, if you're just somebody who sees injustice in the world, you are really boring. You're just allowed complainer. That's what you are. Right? But if you have a sense of justice, and you want to rally against the
injustice, any pair that with passion and compassion, you become a very, very well rounded person, right? And then the big problem you're trying to solve, I tell feed people. I tell folks, that's your business. That's your business. And this struck me because when I, when I came up with these questions, and I answered them myself, here were my answers, you know, and I'm a marketer. But when I had to ask myself, what really pisses you off, Mike?
I'll tell you a story. You know, what really pissed me off of it was the driving force behind everything I do today. I remember years ago, Bob, I had not seen my mom and my sister at the same time in like, a few years, right. Our schedules just didn't match up. And we were spending the holidays together. They came over to my house in the US, you know, we celebrate Thanksgiving and they came to my house. And I stayed up until like, one or two in the morning speaking with my mom and we had this great conversation, right. I learned things
about my life, my past my childhood, my father, that I never would have learned had we not been able to stay together and stay up all night and talk, he would really ticked me off, I had to go to the work the next day.
I had to go to work the next day. And I had to leave my sister, my mom at my house, and they were gonna have all sorts of fun without me. And that really pissed me off that. And I started to think about that. And I was like, why does someone get to control? What time I have to go into work? What days I need to work or what days I can't, when I can see my family and when I can't, I just don't like this. And in that, just, you know, just peel layer after layer off the onion there. And I started I started asking deeper questions. I'm like, you know what, really ticks me off that there are institutions out there. There are companies there are nonprofits. There are churches, there are organizations of any kind, that for the sake of the organization will grind people to dust that will abort their dreams that will
Like control their lives, right? Tell them how much money they can make. Tell them what time they can spend with their family or not when they can go on vacation as if they're prisoners. And that really ticks me off. And then when I asked myself what broke my heart in context, in relation to that, what really broke my heart is when I was driving down the street in the morning in New Jersey, just outside Manhattan where I lived at the time, and I drive down to go get some coffee in the morning at the coffee shop and be 730 in the morning, I would see these people stand at the bus stop in the freezing, rain, drenched, looking miserable, probably taking an hour ride into New York City to a job that they hate.
And I bet you some of these people were varsity athletes in high school. I bet you some of them graduated with four point O's from college. I bet you a ton of them have master's degrees and are well educated and have incredible wisdom and insight. And it really broke my heart that the world would not benefit
From that simply because they were in a day job prison. Now I'm not really you can stay jobs, I get that there's a place for that and get that there are people who love that. I'm talking about the people who don't and want to do something different. And so that broke my heart. And so the big problem I'm trying to solve is to help those kind of people build a personal brand business so they can live life on their own terms. Now if you really think about that, I didn't say anything here along the lines of you know about when I wake up, you know, what really pisses me off really terrible advertising.
And I don't wake up and I say, Oh, my gosh, this horribly written ad breaks my heart. Now there are some people who are like that, and you know what, you know where they work. They work in the major ad agencies across the world. They work at Ogilvy and Mather. They work at you know, all these other and that's for them. But for me, that's not me. I'm I'm good at marketing. I think I'm pretty good at it. But the why behind why I coach people the why behind why
Particularly work with thought leadership brands that is because they help people in the same mission that I feel I have inside of my heart. So, you know, john Maxwell, we mentioned, if he's reaching thousands and thousands of people with this message, yeah, you can become a speaker, you can become a professional speaker.
Well, then I'm going to help a guy like that. But if you know, some dentist office calls me and asked me to market them, and they're going to pay me like a six figure sum, I'm gonna be like, well, that's not really aligned with my mission. So that's why I work with thought leadership brands. It really ties into the answers to those three questions, what pisses me off? What breaks my heart? What's the big problem I'm trying to solve? And that's how I choose my clients now. And that's how I choose the work that I do. I think that what you described their personal branding, three answers so many questions about what it really delivers is a really simple framework for developing a personal mission. describe it as a mission and a lot of the time
businesses, they have a reason for being have a target audience mission is often missing.
So I really, really like that.
Yeah, you know, as the as the organization gets bigger and bigger and bigger, you know, it's tough to reframe that mission for, for Let's just be totally honest. For most businesses, the mission is to make more money, right? And they kind of put slap on this like social consciousness veneer, in the hopes of like, you know, endearing themselves to a brand. But at the end of the day, business business is nothing more than solving a problem for a profit. That's really it. But if you are not clear on the problem you're you want to solve then you've got nothing. Right. And so that's why I share those three questions because it really helps people get to, you know, the problem that they want to solve and I know some folks here you know, maybe maybe listening in and and you want to scale your
Come you want to figure out how to trade stop trading time for dollars, right? And, you know in that light, like if you're going to level up to that any any new level in life in your career and your life is going to require you to learn at least one more critical skill, one new critical skill. And when I look back Bob it like kind of this journey and like Yeah, I was always driven by that, that mission and it stemmed from a personal experience and not being able to stay home with my sister, my mom on the on Thanksgiving. But when I look back on my life,
you know, I took a very sequential approach. You know, I believe that success is sequential. It's not simultaneous, it doesn't just drop into your lap. And so in 2013, when I started my blog,
I didn't rush into doing five other things at once. I said 23rd it was like, I'm not Chinese, but I use like the Chinese zodiac. as as as my business plan. You know, they have the year of the pig or the year of the cow or whatever it is.
Yeah, right. And I was like 2013 shall be the year of the blog, hell or high water. I will publish a blog post every Monday. I don't care if anyone reads it or not. I will publish a blog post on Monday, every day, every week of 2013. I did that. And then 2014 became the year the podcast, and I added the podcast to my repertoire. Well, guess what, that was a totally new skill that I had to learn. It was completely foreign to me even though I had been a professional speaker. I was not used to sitting in front of a microphone at my house recording in front of the wall, as opposed to a live audience. And it was really difficult for me to learn how to bring the energy on a podcast that I would normally bring to a live presentation but 2014 hell or high water a podcast will come out every week, but I didn't stop blogging I built upon it. And then 2015 was the year of the mastermind and group coaching. And that's really, when I transitioned my income. I stopped going from one to one and I started going from one
Too many. But I was able to fill that mastermind group and other group coaching groups because I'd done the hard work of building an audience through a blog and a podcast the previous two years. And so on and on it went, you know, just to give a quick recap, 2016 was the year of the product launch, I launched a digital product, a high ticket product, about $2,000 a piece, launched that
2017 was the year of the live event, right, started my own conferences and, and and started doing it. 2018 was the year of speaking, I did so much speaking last year, and it's already bled into this year. And 2019 will be the year of the book. I'm writing the book, I'm finishing that up. It'll be published at the end of the year. And 2020 will be the year of promoting the book. And so all of these things like they, they stack on one another because again, success is sequential. It's not simultaneous. And the temptation is for all of us to look at somebody who's who's put in six years of work and say I need to do all these things.
Overnight, and it just doesn't work that way. You're looking at a finished product or you're not a finished product, but someone who has has put in six years of building one thing on top of the other. And it's easy to say I need to do all these things that Mike is doing. But that's not the way it worked. It was just one on top of the other. And that's how I built it.
You elegantly anticipated my my questions that I was going to ask you what your ecosystem looks like now. And you've, you've sort of laid that out for me so neatly.
One question I want to ask you, is that a question I often ask guests. Over the years, you've built an audience, you've built a network.
And I'm curious to know, in terms of the opportunity that comes to you now, often it will be a business will be sort of almost entirely referral based or it'll all be inbound opportunities through their content marketing. What does that ratio look like for you now?
Most of the reality is like the
For the last two and a half years or so, all the client work has been referrals. I've actually not sought, actively sought client work the customized work.
Yet when I do take a contract, it's it's usually pretty big. It's a lucrative contract. Right. And so I'm fortunate that I can serve maybe one or two clients in a given year, and really do well. And I like doing that because it keeps me sharp.
Oftentimes, it creates more opportunities down the road. And, and this may sound a little funny, but it's just knowing myself sometimes I need to be working with a team. And I missed that because I'm a solo entrepreneur. I have a few staff that helped me out but it's all part time basis. I don't have enough work for them to stay occupied for 40 hours a week. And so when I take a consulting contract that you know, for example, one of the recent contracts I took was to actually move to Florida for six months and I moved there and worked on site with their with
13 and that was a lot of fun. That's not what I want to do with the rest of my life. But for a season in my life, that was a really good
decision. Right? I've been traveling so much, I really needed to feel grounded for a little while. And then the other side of the business, I was saying that there's two arms to the business. Were I have the content marketing and the coaching and the courses and the products. That is really inbound marketing. And so I like to do both. The interesting thing is that
one, they can remain separate from one another, but one of the reasons why I've been able to land such good contracts with a lot of industry leaders is because of my content. And they will get, you know my name through a referral. And what they'll do is they'll stalk me, right? They're gonna go to my website, and I've had clients say this to me, they said, you know, somebody referred me, you know, to you and I looked at your way
website and I realized, wow, you have a lot of stuff out there. Like, you've got a rather large body of work. And I read through like a bunch of your posts before I hired you to write for me. But once I read through your stuff, I knew you are the person. And so in that, in that scenario, it really helps me
land in overcome a lot of the objections that you might have with a client when they don't really know you. So I'm a big believer in building up your body of work. I know what it can do for for you, if you are, you know, in the services industry. So yeah, those are the two arms of the business. I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of content marketing for the journey that a referral takes. It's, it's, as you said, it's people check you out. And if there's, if there's just a void, that referral may not continue his journey to you. Well, it goes back to you know, marketing is all about opening a relationship, right, which is what I said before, and I mean, go go ahead and
Anyone on this call anyone listening to us go ahead and try to start a relationship with somebody without talking to him.
Gonna go very far right? Without communicating anything. without, you know, go you go on a date, and you literally say nothing, you know the entire time like, I don't think he or she's going to go out with you again. Right? And yet that's the way that we approach marketing. We don't create conversations we don't create content that allows people to have conversations with us even while we're sleeping. You know, chances are
I'm the most of you are going to be listening to this podcast. Well after we record it, you know, at some point, right? I don't know where you are. But while you're listening to this podcast, you've just built a relationship or started to develop one with Bob and myself, while we're probably doing something else, right in this moment while you're listening. And if we didn't, you would never know about me, you know, and so, like we think
About the whole know like trust, try by repeat refer. That's the that's the progression that people go through when they encounter brand. But the know like and trust is your job as a business owner, if you don't create the content that allows people to even get to know who you are, and if they don't know who you are, then they don't even have a chance to like you. And if they don't like you, they're not gonna have a chance to trust you. But chances are, if you're listening to this interview, still, you know, 30 minutes in, you now know who I am. You may be like me enough to pay attention for about half an hour. Maybe you trust me a little bit more. And you're saying like, geez, I'm going to try this guy, Michael, I'm gonna maybe tune in to his podcast, let's see what he has to say. And
then then the rest is up to you. Maybe you buy something one day, maybe you were, you know, refer me to somebody, maybe repeat purchase something. But that's up to you. But my job is to make it easy for you to get to know like and trust me. And to do that I have to create the conversation, because I can't go to your house and have coffee with you right now.
We are talking to each other and getting to know each other through a podcast. So it's all about relationship. That's what it always boils down to.
Like when the book comes out, it's going to be amazing. I can tell
your interview, I've been making notes. And I really hope anybody listening to the show has been taking notes. Because you've almost
a little rated a manual for building your personal brand online. It's been so good. If people want to connect with you online, how would you like them to do that? Well, the easiest Well, first of all, thank you for those kind words. Really, I just want to serve I just want to help and wherever it is that you are in the journey when you're tuning in. here's here's just what I would say, you know, you can go as slow as you want. You can go as fast as you want. Just don't give up. Don't give up on the race like just keep growing. keep developing yourself. If I can help. The best place to probably go is my podcast. It's called the brand new podcast. It's ranked number one in Apple podcasts on personal branding. So if you just type in personal brand
or personal branding, you're going to see the show there. It's the first show that will pop up. You know, hopefully still when you do it, but I just checked today, it was still number one. And if you use social media at all, like I mentioned, Instagram is my favorite channel. If you DM me, I will dm you back. It's actually more reliable to get in touch with me through Instagram than it is through text messages. My friends get upset at me. But it's just because I'm always on Instagram. So Instagram handle. My my handle is at Mike Kim TV. And so that's the best way to stay in touch my podcast and Instagram. Mike, you've been a fantastic guest I would really love to have you on again sometime. Maybe when the book comes out, I can help you promote it. Oh, that'd be an honor. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. And thank you all for tuning in today.
I really hope you enjoyed meeting Mike as much as I loved chatting to Mike. He is a standout role model for others in the digital marketing space.
I'd really encourage everyone listening to this show to check out his podcast as well. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already to join our Facebook group, you can find a link from the website at Bob Gentle com, or just search gravity, digital marketing and Facebook, and you'll find us really quickly. If you enjoyed the show, then please take a second to review it on iTunes. It would mean more than you can imagine to me and it's the very best way to help me reach new listeners. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks again to Mike for giving us this time this week. And to you for listening. See you next time.