As you probably already know, I used to blog about social media and blogging. I’ve changed direction and just write now, but I still keep up with social media and marketing stuff. If you haven’t heard of Danny Iny, he’s a marketing dude over at Firepole Marketing and he’s working on a cool project. He was awesome enough to take the time to do an interview and tell us all about it. It’s a great read and a really helpful project! And if you think, like I did, that marketing isn’t relevant to poets or short story and novel writers, think again. So read on and make sure you share with everyone you know!
For those who aren’t familiar with Firepole Marketing, tell us what you do.
Well, as consultants and coaches, my partner Peter and I both service entrepreneurs and small businesses in the 0-10 employee range, and we realized that while there are plenty of them who are doing well and represent a great stream of clients for us, there are also a lot of businesses in that demographic that just can’t afford to work with someone at our level. They really need help, though, and we felt we could provide that help in the form of a marketing training program, which is what we designed; it runs six months, with a lesson every week, and we’re in frequent contact with our students via email to make sure they’re making progress, and building their businesses.
Who is the primary or typical target for FPM?
Our target for Firepole Marketing is entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 0-10 employee range; that could be a small business, or it could be a freelancer or independent professional. Either way, the entrepreneur/owner is in charge of marketing (they don’t have someone specifically dedicated for that), and it’s not their area of expertise. We teach them how to do marketing that really works, without having to make it their fulll-time activity.
Your upcoming project involves what you call “semi-local businesses,” which are businesses that operate both on- and offline. How are these different from the businesses you usually work with?
They aren’t different – that’s why we’re so interested in this phenomenon, because it is so relevant to our target audience. More and more businesses are seeking to diversify their income with a combination of online/offline sources; often this takes the form of a freelancer or small business trying to add some online revenue to their business, but it could also be a primarily online business expanding into local offerings, so that they can make a little more money.
When I first heard about the survey, I didn’t think it applied to me, as I’ve recently started doing creative writing. How can I and others like me, who don’t offer products or services, benefit from your services?
Well, I think you need to expand your definition of products/services. If you’re doing creative writing, I’m assuming that you want other people to read it at some point. Ideally, you want to be able to make some money with your writing, so that you can spend more time doing it. If that’s the case, then you’re an independent professional, and your writing is your “product”. It’s particularly relevant to you, because a lot of people in your position are interested in making money online (for example) so that they can have more time to focus on their writing.
Author’s note: Danny makes an excellent point. If you have a blog or website of any kind, you want it to be seen and read. Marketing isn’t just for the “typical” business person.
What will you be doing with the information you receive from the survey?
Everyone’s answers will be anonymous, but together we’ll be able to analyze the results, and see what really happens when people try to become Semi-Local. This is important, because making decisions based on a few anecdotes or case studies can be misleading. We’re going to compile the data, and make it available to the community (no charge, or anything like that).
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that helped get you where you are today? What’s the best advice you have to give others?
There wasn’t any one specific piece of advice, but there were a lot of helping hands along the way. The best advice that I could give to others is to recognize that building anything that is real takes time, but it’s worth the effort, and remember that there are lots of people out there who have already faced the challenges ahead, and most of them are more than willing to lend a hand, if you ask nicely.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just to say thank you for having me, and good luck with your writing. I hope you and your audience will all take the time to
fill out the Semi-Local Business Survey – the more data we collect, the more useful the results will be for everyone.
Is there a specific link people can visit for more information besides the FPM homepage? And is there a link for the survey?
Yes, the answer to both of those questions is
Don’t be stingy; share this interview on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else you have an audience. And a big thank you to Mr. Danny Iny for taking the time to share this great info with us all!