064: Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing | How to Build a Business, One Guest Post At a Time

rsz_smart_business_revolution_podcast_artwork_redDanny Iny rocketed from out of nowhere in 2011.

At the time, he was a marketing consultant serving primarily local businesses in the Montreal area, near his home.

He had recently suffered a major business collapse and was left with $250,000 in personal debt.

He was looking for a way to pay off that debt and build his new marketing consulting business when he discovered guest blogging.

Danny soon figured out he was pretty good at this guest blogging thing, so he latched on to it like a pitbull on a meatbone. During 2011, Danny published over 80 guest posts on various different blogs, earning him the nickname “the Freddy Krueger of blogging”.

It helped him build what is today (as of late 2014) a business that brings in about $1.5 million in revenue.

guest postI have had the pleasure of getting to know Danny better as I joined a mastermind group he belongs to a few months back. Since then, I’ve seen how Danny really does live his life authentically and by seeking to help others first, spending time to assist other members of the group however he can.

Danny has great advice from his personal story, but also great advice for anyone who is interested in building a business that thrives based off a thriving online audience.

Enjoy!

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Transcript of Interview:

John Corcoran:            All right, welcome everyone. I’m talking today with Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing who I have gotten to know better over the last couple of months. Danny is someone who I’ve followed for quite a while before actually getting to know him and now he and I are members of a mastermind group that we’ll talk about a little bit. Danny, I want to take you back to the beginning. I want to take you back to – not the very beginning, but 2009. It was a time when the global economy was crashing around all of us and a lot of businesses were casualties of that. You, at the time, were following a bit of a passion, actually a life-long passion which is a children’s literacy non-profit that you had founded. It was one of those casualties of the global economy. Take me back to that period. What was happening, what it was like, what you experienced and tell us about what time was like for you?

 

Danny Iny:                 Sure. First of all thank you for having me on the show. This story really – it’s actually before 2009. It was September 2008 when the markets crashed and I remember that vividly because the timing could not have been worse. I had started this company – and it wasn’t a non-profit, it was for profit. I, in my cases, don’t believe in the non-profit model. There are some cases where I think it legitimately makes sense, but often in my opinion, a non-profit model is the default go-to when someone wants to make a difference and is too intellectually lazy to think of a way to do is sustainably. I think for profit is how change is usually made in the world. There are exceptions; I’m not knocking all non-profits obviously.

 

I was starting this company, building software that teaches kids how to read – the intention being to sell it to schools, to sell it to teachers, etc., to sell it to parents. I was a young inexperienced CEO wading into what turns out is one of the most complicated industries on the face of the earth. It’s really complicated. You’ve got your customers who are not the same as your end-users because you’re selling to parents or teachers who are not the same as the kids. Parents are looking to experts in the field, because they don’t know what is an effective product. Teachers have to get sign-off from their department chairs, from the principal, from the school board, from the district. There’s different legislation on the states and on the federal level. It’s really, really complicated.

 

Corcoran:                    Were you selling both to Canada and in the U.S.?

 

Danny Iny:                 We were trying to sell anywhere that would take us. We tried in Canada, we tried in the U.S. I learned a lot of what I know about marketing today by trying and failing with that stuff. I was only like 23 years old at the time. There are a lot of things that like looking back, I could have done better. So we’d kicked off this company in 2007, we had some good successes out of the gate. We raised some money. The experts loved what we were doing. The kids thought it was great. And it looked pretty good, but we hit a roadblock pretty quickly. It was that even though the experts loved it, the kids loved it, the parents and the teachers, the people who ultimately would pull the trigger and buy it, they didn’t get it.

 

Parents kind of had this Catch-22 where they said oh, I don’t what is effective education for my kids and legitimately they’re not PhD’s or anything. Education is not their thing, but if I see my kid getting excited about it, I’ll get it for them. Chicken and egg problem, right? The kid’s not going to get excited until you’ve put it in front of the kid. Teachers had a different Catch-22. They said this is revolutionary and I have to change the way I teach. I don’t have time. But if it’s not revolutionary, I’m not interested. I’m like what am I supposed to do with that? I took a step back and were like okay, how am I going to get this out there.

 

We came upon what was a really good idea, I think, to take these fun games the kids actually did like and put them into this virtual world where kids have an avatar. They can walk around, connect with their friends and kind of like a second life meets Facebook meets whatever – Club Penguin or something. They’d play these games that are in there and get virtual currency for playing successfully. Again, the game of course adapts to match their learning level and where they are in terms of their educational needs. The idea being to by-pass the parents and teachers and let kids be the delivery mechanism, recommending it to other kids which would be a lot more effective and also is more consistent with my vision which was to make reading fun.

 

Ultimately, if you’re getting it from the parent or from the teacher, it’s not fun, it’s homework. We had this great idea and we re-tooled the business plan. We won a bunch of competitions like most innovative company in education and stuff like that. It was all re-worked, we were ready to hit the pavement and raise the money we needed to make those changes. That was September 2008 when the markets crashed. It all completely fell apart. Now the circumstances and the timing had a lot to do with it. Undoubtedly, I could have made better decisions earlier on. I made the best decisions I could with what I knew and what I was capable of at that time. The reality is that I was a very young and inexperienced CEO in a very complicated industry. That’s basically the story. That’s what happened. It all imploded from there. There was no money to be had.

 

Corcoran:                    What a painful experience. It almost sounds like an idea before its time because I’ve got young kids now and it sounds like a lot of apps that are out there on the marketplace. I don’t know if it was too complicated to confine it within an app but it sounds like ideas that exist as apps today.

 

Danny Iny:                 It certainly would be much easier to do. I don’t know if it would live exclusively within an app. I mean I’m sure our vision would have evolved to fit the changing tech landscape, but it certainly — certainly that would probably be easier to pull off today.

 

Corcoran:                    So you adapted. You grew. You moved on. You licked your wounds. What did you do next after that crashed and you had to move on?

 

Danny Iny:                 Well, I started – between all of this crashing happening; I got stuck with about a quarter of a million dollars in personal debt. So the first thing I needed to do was just create an income. That was part of what was driving me at the time. The other thing that was driving me is that I had just been through this giant crater of a company I tried to start, it’s a lot like being in a serious relationship with the investment you have with your business, and when it implodes, it’s like going through a really bad breakup. You’re not ready for a big new commitment right away. So I was looking for, okay, what can I do to pay my bills, to make some money that is not an enormous commitment. I don’t need to build a team and raise money and all of that. I was doing local consulting work, going to networking meetings, shaking hands, and taking on projects and helping people with their marketing and to grow their business.

 

My focus, my sweet spot was small business owners and entrepreneurs in the zero to ten-employee range, so really, really small. I specify that because my wife, who now works with me, but she used to work in one of these Big Five consulting firms and she would also work with “small business”, but the first small business meant half a billion dollars.

 

Corcoran:                    That would have been a good client for you back then.

 

Danny Iny:                 Those were my clients and there were plenty of them that were doing well and could afford my services. I built a pretty lucrative practice, but I found there were also a lot of them who needed a ton of help, could not afford any of it, they were really struggling. I found that I was giving away a lot of my time for free to help them out. That’s fine. I was fine doing that. I mean a lot of people helped me out when I was getting started so you pay it forward, but it wasn’t scalable. I couldn’t help that many people. There were certainly more people who needed help than I had hours in the day.

 

From there I came to this idea of why don’t I build an educational resource to support them. One thing led to another led to another. That eventually turned into Firepole Marketing. Ironically, the biggest business I’ve ever built and run, but it really started, as I want something small that’s not a big commitment.

 

Corcoran:                    Which is what you have now, a big commitment.

 

Danny Iny:                 Yeah, which I couldn’t be happier with.

 

Corcoran:                    Yeah, but it was slow to start, right? I’ve heard you interviewed on many other podcasts and I think you had a little trouble gaining traction until you discovered a strategy that worked out well for you – which you’ve become known for.

 

Danny Iny:                 I’ll explain the strategy, but I want to preface that just to frame the conversation. Yes, it felt slow at first, but by most objective measures, our trajectory has been very steep and very fast. I’m not saying that to brag, because there’s a luck factor and we work very hard and all that, but because I think to a certain extent, people coming into the online world have very screwy expectations about what is going to happen at what pace. We built – just as a frame of reference, we built Firepole Marketing basically from nothing which if you start the clock in late 2010, or January 2011, we were basically at zero. Now, as we record this, it’s less than four years later, we’re doing about a million five a year and growing. We’ve got 10, 12 people on the team. We are serving a community of many tens of thousands of people.

 

By most measures, that’s pretty fast and yeah, it took a year, year and a half for me to get any significant feeling of financial traction. But if you’re looking to – if you’re comparing that timeline with a fantasy of starting a business online and you set up some random Web site and your hard drive starts spitting out dollar bills, then it’s slow. Compared to what it usually takes to start and build a business, it’s a reasonable time frame. I just want to point that out – I mean it definitely took time and it was exhausting and frustrating when I experienced it, but a big problem with people in the online business world is that they come into it with very unreal expectations.

 

All that being said because that’s just a big tangent, but yeah, I got started basically saying I’ve got this idea of what people need to know about marketing which is already a problem because it wasn’t what people wanted, it’s what I thought they needed. I built this massive program, spent thousands and thousands of hours, which I don’t recommend to anyone to do. I’m going to be the opposite of what I teach my students to do.

 

Corcoran:                    Which program was this?

 

Danny Iny:                 It was called – initially it was just the Firepole Marketing Audio Coaching Program. We re-branded it to Marketing that Works before we pulled it off the market. People did really want it. It’s a great course, it’s still great for what it is which is a general we will teach you how to understand and do marketing, but it’s not what people wanted.

 

Corcoran:                    You see this happen a lot and I even made this mistake as well where people try and cram everything they know into this massive course. That’s one of the first things they do rather than focusing it.

 

Danny Iny:                 So I built this course and I was like how am I going to get the word out? I tried a few different things and really didn’t get much traction. Nobody was visiting my Web sites. I understood the strategy of marketing but I didn’t really understand the tactical dynamics of marketing online at the time. That took some time to learn. What I stumbled onto and really did kind of stumble onto it, it wasn’t – it’s one of those things where hindsight can look very premeditated. In practice, there’s a lot of serendipity that – if you’re just paying attention you go with momentum as it emerges. I stumbled onto this strategy of guest posting.

 

It started with – I had taken John Morrow, who’s a friend and mentor of mine – I had taken his guest logging course. I was actually one of his charter students when he launched it way back in the day. This was before he was John Morrow, his Royal Awesomeness. He was just John Morrow, Associate Editor of Copyblogger at the time. I took his course and it’s a great course, lots of great information. I know it’s been expanded and updated and it’s even better now, but I went through the course, took notes. I did what most people do when they take a course. I took notes and then I filed it away and I did nothing because I was busy doing lots of other things.

 

Corcoran:                    Busy with client work probably?

 

Danny Iny:                 Yeah, I was busy with client work. I was busy with – yeah exactly. I was just busy with all the different things that you’re busy with as you’re running and growing a business. My income at the time was coming from offline work so that took most of my attention. A few months later, I was on assignment with a client. I was down in Myrtle Beach, helping them put together a curriculum of educational resources to use with their staff. They wanted to develop a learning, growing, culture within their organization, books that people could read to develop their skills. I put that curriculum together. We put together a list of 30-something really good lesser-known business books and literally, I was on my last time of being engaged. I was sitting in – it was a restaurant chain – I was sitting in the restaurant and I get an email from John.

 

It’s on automating. That was the last lesson that I was getting – or the more recently one and basically the gist of the lesson – it was short, I had time, I watched it. The gist of the lesson was that among other things, if you want to get a first appearance on a major blog, a list post is often a good way to do it because a list post is usually going to perform pretty well. It’s the kind of post people like to tweet and bookmark and so forth. It’s a very high value post for that reason and a good list post takes a lot of work. It’s a lot of time and energy and research to put it together. It literally – I was right there. I hit replay and said hey John, listen, I’ve just written this list of 30-something really great business books. Do you think Copyblogger would be interested? He said, you know, I can’t make any promises but write it up and send it over and we’ll see what we can do.

 

I worked really hard on it, sent him a draft, he gave me some feedback. Went back, reworked it through a whole bunch more, sent it back. He sent it to Sonia Simone. She liked it, they ran it and that turned into my first ever guest post. It ran on Copyblogger on January 10, 2011.

 

Corcoran:                    For those that don’t know Copyblogger, Copyblogger is a huge blog which earns millions income from various related products now.

 

Danny Iny:                 Yeah, Copyblogger is an enormous site and this post did phenomenally well. I think it got something like 400 comments on it and thousands of tweets and shares and all that stuff. If was a huge, huge mega successful post. I noticed on my analytics a ton of people coming back to my sites. I got, on the day the post went live, about ten times the amount of traffic that I was usually getting. Spikes come, they’re exciting, and then they go. But what was really interesting to me is that my baseline of traffic two weeks after, was about double what it was two weeks before. It was a remaining after effect of hey; these people have noticed me now. That was cool. I thought that this would make a pretty good story. This wasn’t like a strategy, this was literally – this is a good story. I reached out to ProBlogger and I said would you like the story of how I got onto Copyblogger and all this cool stuff happened?

 

They said yeah, sure, write it up. I wrote it up, sent it in and I noticed the same effect. A huge crash of traffic on the day they went live, but then the baseline increased. Then I connected the dots. I was, hmm, this is working.

 

Corcoran:                    By the way, ProBlogger is another huge site. Those who don’t know this – this is a very unusual strategy to start with two huge websites and blogs.

 

Danny Iny:                 Well, it’s something that I strongly recommend. I’ve don’t a lot of teaching in this space as well, as we’ll discuss in a moment. It’s a lot easier – I mean – okay so I should clarify what I’m about to say. I was going to say it’s a lot easier to get onto these major blogs than people think and that is true until they reach a certain scale. Once they’re over a certain scale and they start running – even though they’re blogs, they start running more like magazines then blogs, you’re not really reaching out to the blogger, the two or three bloggers – you’re reaching out to the editorial department. Once you reach that scale, it’s no longer that easy to get on. It’s still doable, but it’s harder. There are a lot of blogs that are very large blogs where it’s basically one or two people running the blog. It’s fairly easy to get on those blogs if you write a really good pitch and give them good value because they have a publishing directive. They have to publish content on a regular basis.

 

Corcoran:                    They’ve got to feed the beast.

 

Danny Iny:                 There you go. If you can give them reason to believe that you’ve got something the audience will like, they’re not going to want to miss out on it. It’s not that hard. But it wasn’t until I basically got lucky twice and saw it as getting good results. I was like, okay, this might be worth doing. I made a list of all the major blogs I’d want to write for. I reached out to all of them and said I’d like to write for you. I was a little more detailed than that in the approach, but basically, I want to write for you. Here’s an idea for a post.

 

The reason I reached out to all of them at once, maybe 15 or 20 blogs, however many it was, is that I thought it would be a numbers game. I kind of was coming at it from the same perception that a lot of people have, that it’s really hard to get onto a major blog. I expected most of them to ignore me and say no. But to my great surprise, most of them said yeah, sure over a draft. I was like really ecstatic for about three minutes and then I was freaking out because oh crap, I’ve got to write a dozen blog posts in a week. But when Brian Clark says yeah, send me a draft; you don’t say okay I’ll get it to you in a few weeks. It’s like you should really turn it around within 72 hours.

 

I buckled down, I wrote, I wrote, I got it all done and then these posts started to go live. I noticed something interesting. When people see you in a whole bunch of different places at the same time, it’s a lot more effective than they see you the same number of times spread over a longer time window. All of a sudden, you’re everywhere in their attention and you really break into their consciousness. That was powerful, so I did it by accident the first time, but then I kept doing it again and again and again, guest posting in waves. People started to notice and one guy in particular started leaving comments on all these blogs that I was writing for saying, Wow Danny, it’s like you’re Freddy Krueger. Wherever I turn, you’re there.

 

The name stuck. I became the Freddy Krueger of blogging. Ironically, I’ve never seen a Freddy Krueger movie in my life, but the name stuck. That’s the story.

 

Corcoran:                    Then you developed a course, a Write like Freddy course, which was about how to use this strategy, right?

 

Danny Iny:                 Yes, well what I found was – and this is a key shift in approach. With my first course that I spent thousands of hours building, it’s what I thought people needed. Write Like Freddy – I actually at the time felt it was kind of off-course. It was off-track from the course strategy I was going after. It wasn’t really – I didn’t want to be the guest posting guy or the blog writing guy. I was about good solid marketing that was me. People were asking me, can you teach me how to do this? Can you teach me how to do this? I was resisting for a long time until finally I was like, you know what, I’m getting three to five requests per week, every week, for months. I’d better just – I’ll build something.

 

There’s clearly a revenue opportunity here. There’s a problem to be solved and I’ll keep it separate from my brand. Until I launched Write like Freddy privately to my community in January of 2012, until sometime in 2013, there was not even a link to find it from my Website. Ridiculous in hindsight. I launched it to my community. I was like, if you guys really want this, I’ll build it. You guys can put a little money down; show me that you really want it. You’ll be the charter members and I’ll build it with you. You’ll give me feedback and I’ll make it better based on what you want.

 

I don’t remember what the number was; we made probably $4,000 or $5,000 with that kind of pre-launch. A couple of months later, came back and okay, it’s done. People are really happy with it. If anyone wants in, then a whole bunch more people came in and then I started getting on the road. Figuratively getting on the road – doing webinars to other people’s audiences teaching about these ideas of how to write effectively, quickly and create really great content that is substantive and meaty in a short amount of time and get it on major blogs. Write like Freddy became my first blockbuster product. We sold almost 1,000 spots on the program that first year in 2012.

 

Corcoran:                    Wow. Wow, so it did really well. So it was all about listening to what your audience wanted from you.

 

Danny Iny:                 Yes, we’ve continued to follow that pattern. The Audience Business Master class which, to date as we record this, has been the most successful product I’ve ever built. We’ve sold well over $1 million of this product. Again, it’s basically people told me – this is what they wanted. I listened to them and built it. The product that we’re developing, the one I’m looking forward to launching in January hopefully is all about this process of listening to what people want, building the product that they’re interested in and we’ve just finished the early pilots. We don’t even have the final product yet and we’ve already grossed over $70,000 with this product that doesn’t exist yet.

 

Corcoran:                    From people signing up early?

 

Danny Iny:                 Well, from doing early iterative pilots. I did a short boot camp just saying I’m going to run through the high-level ideas. We had 250 people raise their hands and say they want to be a part of it. I’m doing a live event again, teaching these ideas and the whole concept that I’m teaching — so it’s kind of medic because I’m doing it in parallel as I teach it — is that rather than going off to your bat cave and spending six months building this massive complicated thing and hoping people want it, you work in collaboration with your audience. You listen to what they want, you okay, here it is. I’m going to build it with you. If you’re interested, put some money down and you’ll get a huge discount. We’re going to build it to spec with you basically.

 

They come in, you make some money, you have their feedback to make it better, and then you do it again, another iterative pilot. That means that the development is paid for. That means you’ve got input to make it that much better of a product. I literally expect to gross, with this offer, before we ever go live with the final product, probably between $100,000 and $200,000.

 

Corcoran:                    Wow, that’s amazing. You know, one of the things that I think that people struggle with is how you made this transition. You said you were very busy with your local client work. That was doing well and yet you made this leap of faith to now the point where you’re doing something that’s far more scalable. You mentioned the issue of scalability earlier. You’re creating products and you’re serving a lot larger community. How did you make that transition from doing the client work, which paid you in the short term to where you are now?

 

Danny Iny:                 I guess I was fortunate in that I stumbled into a very smart strategy, not realizing it until after I’d executed a good chunk of it. This is what I teach my students now, which is that you want to build a strong core of an audience and strong relationships in your industry before you start selling anything. Because once you start selling stuff to your audience, gross is going to slow down somewhat. You’re in a position where you’re asking for stuff form your audience and it’s totally okay to do that. There’s nothing wrong with selling whatsoever, but in the early stages where’re you’re still building credibility and reputation; it’s much easier to just create value and build that following. Now what I had done, is I did all this guest posting.

 

I’d grown my audience by – it wasn’t huge – we had maybe 800 or 900 people on the mailing list. But in parallel with this, one of the big initiatives that we took on as basically an audience building campaign was writing my book, Engagement from Scratch! I leveraged the relationships that I had built with all these bloggers who I’d written for and I invited them to contribute a chapter. I got 30 people to contribute a chapter to this book. Among them, some really big, well-known names like Guy Kawasaki, Mitch Joel, and Brian Clark at Copyblogger. So I put this book together and that book was published at the end of 2011, November 29, 2011. Literally, the day before I had 800 and something subscribers, the day after I had 2,000.

 

Within a couple of months we’d grown to like three or four thousand. The audience had grown because of that. The idea here is not to launch a book; the idea here is that I spent a lot of time building relationships that allowed me to launch this book in a way that was effective. Because of that, once I started selling stuff in 2012, with the launch of Write like Freddy and so forth, there was enough scale to bring in enough revenue for me to be able to significantly back away from the other stuff that I was doing.

 

It’s not like a strong fulltime income; it was at least a comfortable part-time income so I could dedicate a good chunk of time. Whereas if you’re trying to sell stuff from day one, if you’re not willing to put in that time to just build the audience and build the relationships first, then it’s a very, very, very long steep uphill battle where you’re putting in a lot of time trying to build the audience without getting a lot back. There’s a very direct trade-off between making a little bit of money now, and a lot more money later.

 

Corcoran:                    Yeah, I’ve noticed that with my gross as well. When I focus on building the audience, it’s a lot easier and then once you – you have to take a step back in your attention and your focus and focus on selling a product that – I mean you’re going to get people who leave, who won’t subscribe every time you promote something. Even if it’s done in an innocuous way or done in a freeway like I do, like you do, like offering free webinars, you’re going to have a little bit of attrition because people are going to leave at that point.

 

I want to ask about – you mentioned developing the relationships. How did you go about that? What a lot of people struggle with is that they say well, I don’t know how to build a relationship with someone who’s very successful, a popular blogger or something like that because I don’t know what I can offer them. Well, you offered them guest posts, that’s one thing. What else did you do in order to build relationships? Did you go to conferences where you developed relationships? Did you join groups where you were able to interact with them in a more intimate setting? How did you develop the relationships? Particularly with these very successful people like Brian Clark?

 

Danny Iny:                 That’s a great question. There’s really – there’s what was my strategy then and what is it now?

 

Corcoran:                    Which I’m sure are very different now because you’ve got a name for yourself.

 

Danny Iny:                 Well, I’ve got a name for myself. I’ve also got resources. I’ve got a team that is kind of running my business while I’m away at conferences. I’m not saying everyone necessarily has to follow my same pattern. It’s informed by a lot of things including that I live in Montreal and everything is relatively far. It’s not like I live in Chicago and everything is a short flight away that is reasonably priced. Everything is further and more expensive, but beyond that, I’m not a person who likes to travel. So it was not my go-to strategy, until I felt like I was plateauing and I needed to try something different. I didn’t travel to any kind of conference at all until probably sometime in 2013.

 

Corcoran:                    Okay, so you didn’t actually go out to – this is really interesting because – explain why you didn’t go to conferences early on.

 

Danny Iny:                 I’m telling you, I don’t like to travel.

 

Corcoran:                    Okay.

 

Danny Iny:                 I don’t enjoy traveling. I’m better at it now, but I really used to be the guy that – if I’m traveling everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I’ll get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport. My flight will be delayed, but I’m still going to miss it. They’re going to lose my luggage. I’m going to be sitting next to the crying baby. I won’t get a cab on my way to – like everything that could go wrong, would go wrong. That’s no longer the case. I think I just travel enough these days that I’ve broken past – there’s a limit to how much bag luck someone can have. I didn’t particularly like to travel. I wasn’t inclined towards it. I felt like a conference is a very expensive investment when you add in the tickets, the flight, the hotel – and I’ve changed my mind since then. I got to a lot of conferences – not a lot, but I go to a fair number of conferences. I have no problem spending significant amounts of money to travel and meet people. I see a lot of value in it.

 

You don’t have to do that to get started. I really just did it by writing for all these sites, building relationships that way and it’s a really good way to get your foot in the door if you work hard, you have a good work ethic, you show people you’re professional. There are groups you can connect with online. The group that you and I are a part of – the Doug Gordon Mastermind Group. It’s a strictly online group. Lately people have kind of been meeting in person in different places, but it’s a strictly online group. I joined it way in the early days. This is the first group that I joined and in fact, a handful of the relationships that I’ve built there were really instrumental in that initial push for me to get the word out about Write like Freddy in 2012.

 

Corcoran:                    Yeah, I’ve seen that happen with other members of the group as well where they’ve promoted things and they’ve been able to lean on one another.

 

Danny Iny:                 Absolutely, it’s been a very good experience for me. Joining Mastermind groups has probably been – I don’t think I can rank it the Number One thing or anything, but it’s definitely one of the top five contributors to the growth of my business.

 

Corcoran:                    I know you have to go in a couple of minutes and I could talk about this conference thing for a while because I find that a lot of times people are running off to conferences and yet, they don’t really see the payback from it. They don’t know if there’s any payback from it. It sounds like the revelation for you is that you did see results, you did see that it helped your business, correct.

 

Danny Iny:                 Well, it depends a lot on what you do with it. Just like any other strategy, being a part of a mastermind group, going to conferences – all this stuff – it’s about what you put into it and what you pull out of it. If you learn strategies at a conference and you don’t apply them, obviously that’s pointless. Building relationships with conferences too – I mean I’ll also point out, I mean I’m not a raging extrovert. I’m really not. I’m an introvert. Coming down from my hotel room to a conference below, I’m wandering down the stairs and I hear the noise and the den of the people talking and part of my brain is like oh crap, I should go back to my room and bail.

 

I don’t usually, but I’m really not a person who’s inclined to be out there networking. That’s just not me. What I’ve accepted a long time ago is that I am never going to be the person who sees all the opportunities to network and connect at these events, but as long as I make an effort to seize some opportunities, that’s good enough. If I’ve seized some opportunities, then I’ve done well. What that means is try to have a few real meaningful relationships. Try to actually connect with someone. Try to look for people who you can help and support. Try to find relationships that you can take off line.

 

Way back in the day when I was building my offline business, my strategy – I’d go to all these networking events – my strategy was always to meet people at these events, ask them about what they do. And if it sounded interesting or it sounded like I could connect them or it sounded like I could help them in some way, I would say do you have a card. I would love to meet with you over coffee and hear more about what you do and see if there’s a way I can help you or if there’s a person I can introduce you to. If I couldn’t find anything interesting about them, then I wouldn’t. Unless they explicitly asked me, I would never talk about what I do. I would never give anyone a business card of mine unless they explicitly asked me for it.

There were all places where I could prospect to look for people that would be interesting to connect with and build those relationships elsewhere, so it all comes down to yeah, I’m going to the events. But are you going to take those relationships offline, are you going to then continue to cultivate them. Yeah, you could definitely be one of these conference junkies that’s going from conference to conference to conference, maxing out their credit cards, not really applying much of what they’re doing, not really cultivating those relationships. It’s all about what can you contribute to the people that you meet there.

 

An old adage that I really like is back in the days when people had physical business cards and Rolodexes and all of that is that it’s not about how many people have your card or how many people’s business cards you have, it’s about how many of those people have a really good reason to take your call.

 

Corcoran:                    That’s a good adage. Well, thank you Danny. I know you have to go and tell us where people can check you out.

 

Danny Iny:                 Yeah, sure. Well thank you for having me on the show. I hope this has been valuable to the people who are listening to this. If you want to learn more about me and my work, just go to FirepoleMarketing.com. We’ve got literally hundreds of free articles on the site, my book which is a bestseller, 200 plus five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s available for free on my site. There’s a ton of stuff there. If you have any questions for me, you can just email me directly, Danny at FirepoleMarketing.com. That goes to my private inbox. I answer all of my own emails unless I really think someone on my team can just help you better. In that case, they’ll answer your email. Either way, you’ll get an answer within 24 hours, our usual commitment. If I can help you in any way, I’m very happy to.

 

Corcoran:                    I’m consistently blown away by our accessibility, Danny and how you can manage to do that as someone who is a little bit drowning in email right now. I’m really impressed that you can do that. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on here, I appreciate it.

 

Danny Iny:                 Any time. Always a pleasure.

*** END ***

Transcription Services by GMR Transcription.

 

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