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Uhmm where do I begin… Put simply, Josh Steimle is a straight BAUS.
As a writer, speaker and businessman, Josh is a relentless entrepreneur that has written over 200 articles for Time, Forbes, Inc, Mashable, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur, among others.
He is also the author of of Chief Marketing Officers at Work, which contains interviews and insights from the CMOs of GE, the Harvard Business School, Spotify, Target, and PayPal. His book was named one of the 5 Best Business Books of 2016 by Success Magazine.
In 1999, Josh created MWI, a digital marketing firm with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and the U.S.
Without further descriptions, let’s hear more about Josh’s story.
Great to have you here today Josh. Tell us more about the experiences that you had growing up and how those affected the entrepreneur that you are today
I grew up in a safe environment with parents and siblings who were creative. My father worked for NASA and was an inventor/hacker tasked with creating things to go in satellites, and my mother was a school teacher but the super crafty kind. I was surrounded by art, music, and invention, and the idea that if I wanted to do something I could just go ahead and do it, and that there wasn’t much danger in failing.
Who were your biggest influences?
After my family, it was the skateboarding industry. I grew up as a skater and was just as fascinated by how the industry worked as I was with doing tricks on my board. The skateboarding industry is primarily run by skaters, so it’s different than most other industries of that scale. It’s very artistic and creative, and definitely a meritocracy with a bit of rebel attitude thrown in. Very libertarian, very entrepreneurial.
What do you have on your plate right now?
Too much. My day job is running my digital marketing agency MWI. We’re also launching the China Marketing Summit right now, which will be the largest marketing conference in China. And I’ve got this Influencer Inc brand I’m launching with books, courses, events, etc. which helps executives and other busy people create a personal brand. I don’t even have a website up for that yet, but there’s a private Facebook group and Instagram and the website will launch soon. But MWI is #1.
What was the spark of your project?
In 1999 I was working for a dot-com and I looked at the guys running the company and thought, “I could do that.” Once that thought entered my head my days at that company were numbered.
How is your product/service different and unique?
Our “unfair” advantage is twofold; 1) we have offices in the US and Asia, and 2) we don’t charge a minimum $1M/month retainer like the huge ad agencies. In the US we’re a digital marketing agency that does great work, but there are probably 1,000 other great agencies out there. In Hong Kong we have perhaps 2-3 real competitors. In Shenzhen, China we have zero direct competitors. A client came to us a few months ago here in China and said “We’re looking for a digital marketing agency with offices in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and the US.” I just smiled and said “I think we’re the only one. When do we sign?” We got the contract a day or two later.
Who are your (potential) customers? How do you find them?
Anyone who can invest USD $5,000 per month for 12 months on digital marketing is a potential client. Anything less and it becomes difficult for us to provide the necessary level of service.
We work with all types of customers including self storage companies, orthodontists, law firms, hospitals, B2B, B2C, gyms, charities, you name it.
What would you tell other entrepreneurs reading this?
Do what makes you happy. If it’s not making you happy, why bother? Of course some people don’t know what really makes them happy, and so they often trade long term happiness for short term pleasure. But even worse is that some people don’t even know that happiness is the goal so they’re chasing money, fame, cars, etc. and they don’t even know why.
Which tools do you use on daily basis?
Gmail, Google docs, WordPress, and Photoshop. There’s a lot I can do with those tools.
Teach us something about internet marketing, social media, fundraising or another topic.
I once wrote an article that has generated over $2M in revenue for my agency. It’s called 4 Tips for Hiring the Right SEO Firm. It works because it’s on Forbes, and that’s hard to duplicate for your own business, but regardless everyone should have a blog post that explains how to buy their product or service. I don’t mean the logistical steps, I mean how to make a decision between competing products. That blog post delivers the information buyers need, right when they need it most, and if you’re delivering that value at the right time then of course you’re the one who will benefit the most, especially if you do it in an authentic way that isn’t just saying “Here’s how to hire my firm.”
If you don’t have a blog post that says “Here’s how to hire me…” or “Here’s how to buy the type of product I sell and not get ripped off…” then go write it, right now. Then make a video. Then go on a bunch of podcasts and talk about it. Let me know how it works out for you.
Here are some hidden yet uber simple SEO tricks that are worth thousands of dollars
Let’s talk about the future. Where do you see yourself and your company in a couple years?
In 2017 we’re focusing on two things; 1) implementing Profit First accounting (seriously, go buy the book right now), and 2) creating the framework to open multiple offices quickly and successfully. I’d like to see MWI have 10 offices open by the end of 2018.
What is the end goal?
A solid gold rocket car! Ha! Of course it’s happiness. Happiness for me is a lot of things, including helping great companies grow, but even more than that it’s seeing the people on my team grow as individuals. I see MWI as a sort of university or self-help company. People come here to grow as individuals, and they help our clients grow as companies in the process. Everybody wins. We’ve figured a few things out on a small scale. Now we’re getting ready to figure out more things on a larger scale. If you’re doing something great with your business I think you have an obligation to spread it far and wide. For us that means more clients and more team members. But I guess there really is no end goal, because I’m already happy, it’s just a matter of delivering that to more and more people so they’re happy, our team is happy, I’m happy, everybody’s happy.