John is a #1 Bestselling LinkedIn Author, Speaker and Trainer. Since 2012 he’s helped hundreds of Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Coaches, Consultants, Sales and Business Development Executives utilize LinkedIn to generate more sales leads, clients and revenue. He personally rewrote my entire LinkedIn profile, and he’s also rewritten LinkedIn profiles for A-Listers like Chris Brogan and many others!
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3 Key Points:
- Give first. Before you ask anything from anyone, show what you can give them.
- Your personality and style is your greatest asset. Even if other people are doing what you are, they aren’t doing it like you are.
- Ask yourself: “Why not?” Stop being afraid and take a shot at what you really want to do.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [02:20] – John generates revenue from an online training program, consulting and coaching
- [03:08] – Gifting expertise helps you to become a person of value
- [05:19] – “You have to earn the right to ask”
- [05:45] – “Don’t come to people with your hand out: give first”
- [07:35] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Getting non-stop phone calls while on vacation with his wife and kids
- [08:39] – Create freedom for yourself
- [10:41] – “We live in the single best time in human history to do whatever you want for a living”
- [11:42] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Being asked “Why aren’t you selling what you know?”
- [13:01] – How do you move into a space where someone already seems to have a solution?
- [14:28] – Your personality and style is your most valuable business asset
- [16:41] – You’re an expert if you know more than the other people in the room
- [17:20] – Biggest weakness? – “Building systems and setting up automations”
- [18:20] – Biggest strength? – “I always say: ‘Why not?’”
- [19:25] – What has John most fired up today? “The era we live in”
- [19:52] – Get John’s book for free
- [20:15] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “The riches are in the niches”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Reading”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Speechpad
- If you could recommend just one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – How To Win Friends And Influence People
- Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experiences and knowledge you currently have – your food and shelter taken cared of – but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next 7 days? – “I would immediately find a webinar platform and membership platform and start selling my knowledge”
- [24:29] – Connect with John through his website or on Linkedin
- [24:51] – Parting guidance: “Go for it. Get in the game and take your shot”
John Nemo: I’m ready to spontaneously combust, John. Let’s go!
JLD: John is a No. 1 bestselling LinkedIn author, speaker, and trainer. Since 2012, he’s helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business owners, coaches, and consultants utilize LinkedIn to generate more sales leads, clients, and revenue. He personally rewrote my entire LinkedIn profile, that’s me, JLD, Fire Nation, and he’s also rewritten LinkedIn profiles for A-listers like Chris Brogan and many others. John, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
John Nemo: Yeah, absolutely. So again, my name is John Nemo. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m married, got three wild young boys, and what I do is I’m a full-time now professional LinkedIn author, speaker, trainer. Basically, I run a business called LinkedIn Riches and I help professionals leverage LinkedIn to generate more clients, more revenue, more sales. So, I’m really focused on if you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur, sales exec, using LinkedIn as a platform to generate more business for yourself. That’s really the sole focus of what I do right now.
JLD: Now, what I kinda want to move to a little bit because this is something that you’ve been able to do and some other guests of mine have really been able to kind of extrapolate out what a viable business means, you know, that’s generating revenue, bringing in the dollars. So, we are gonna go back into your history to your journey as an entrepreneur, but I want to start with how you’re making money today. So, break it down for us.
John Nemo: Yeah, absolutely. So, kind of the core of my business right now is I do a lot of online sales with a training program I have called LinkedIn Riches. It’s an online training program similar to some of the ones that you have that are phenomenal, Podcaster Paradise, etc. It’s very similar in that vein, it’s just for LinkedIn. So, that’s the bulk of my sales and revenue every month. I do some one-on-one coaching with some clients. I do some consulting work also. I’ve written seven different books, so I get some kinda nice residual income from the book sales every month. And then the last thing, I do some targeting kind of JV promotions, affiliate marketing here and there for certain products or people that have other programs that I really like. But those are kind of the main income resources for me right now.
JLD: Let me talk about a little side note real quick, Fire Nation, because this is one of the reasons why John’s on the show today and this is one of the reasons why I think John is gonna continue to be very successful as an entrepreneur. So, I have many social media profiles. I have all the social media profiles and yes, I do have a team, and yes, I do have virtual assistants that manage those, etc., but we can only do so much. So, when John reached out to me and he said, “Hey JLD, love what you have going on online. Your LinkedIn profile could use a little upgrade. Let me do that for you for free. This is what I do. This is other LinkedIn profiles I’ve worked on. This is something I want to gift to you.” And I said, “Wow! No. 1., thank you for all the kind words. No. 2., yes, I’m very aware that my LinkedIn profile needs some loving because it’s just not one of my main focuses. So, have at it, brother. Here’s the password, everything.”
I don’t even think that we had talked and I’d already given you like all of my social media passwords, and you logged in, and you went to town. Next thing I knew, I logged in, and it was just like somebody had given me a brand new car in my parking lot because now my LinkedIn profile was something that I was proud of and I actually started talking about it for the first time in a long time. You did it for free. You did it as a gift, and you did it without being asked, and you did it to be a person of value. If you had come to me and even said, “Hey, John, I can do this for you for 695 bucks.” Guess what? It would have been worth $695 for me, but I get pitched every day on a million things and it just would have been another pitch that would have gone in the trash and that would have ended it there.
But Fire Nation, John said, “You know what? My time is valuable. My skills are valuable. My expertise is valuable. I’m gonna become a person of value for Chris Brogan, for John Lee Dumas, and when the opportunity arises, then maybe there will be value coming back my way, maybe there won’t, but I’m willing to put in the time, effort, and energy to make this happen.” Fire Nation, you come to me all the time and you say, “How do I get the ball rolling? How do I get initial momentum?” John Nemo is a great example of that.
So, John, I know this is your interview, pardon my rant, but I just think you’re such a great example of what it takes to get the initial momentum going in this world. So, congrats, brother.
John Nemo: Thank you. And you know, here’s the thing I want Fire Nation to remember: you have to earn the right to ask. Okay, I am not – John, you’ve built your platform. I have to earn the right to ask for your time and attention. I can’t just come and pitch you. So, what I did, strategically, and Fire Nation can hear this too, is when I wanted to grow my business, obviously I didn’t target all 400 million members on LinkedIn. I selectively chose people like John and Chris Brogan and other A-listers, and I said, “Hey, I’m willing to take all the risk. I need to earn your trust, your time, your attention. I’m willing to strut my stuff, walk the talk, and show you I can provide some value for you, no strings attached.”
Now, hopefully it brings me some exposure, referrals, whatever later on, but that’s the key, is not just coming with your hand out to somebody. I see that still every day now, even in my world. People come to me and say, “Hey, can you review my profile for me quick and give me a bunch of pointers and rewrite it?” It’s like, are you John Lee Dumas? No. Well, then forget it! Forget it! No, but that’s the key, John, and you’ve hit on it and you obviously model this every day.
JLD: Yeah, I do.
John Nemo: You give first and then you earn the right to ask. The last thing is what you ask of someone has to be in direct proportion to the value you’ve brought them, right? I mean, it can’t just be, “Hey, I really like your show. Can you put me on?” I mean, there has to be some more value behind that.
JLD: On every single level. And a little more insight that I shared with you, John, during the pre-interview chat, it’s really crazy and kind of does just really cement and drive this point home is that you know now for almost four years I’ve been doing a daily podcast and I didn’t have people knocking down my door day 100, even day 1000, but you know, here we are almost at the four year point and I just got off a 30 minute interview for EOFire, which is already live, my friends. You can go back and it was April 15th the episode went live, where I interviewed Tony Robbins for 30 minutes. I just had a conversation, one-on-one, with Tony Robbins, which is still kind of mind-blowing to me right now.
His team came to me because the saw my body of work of value that I’ve done for four years. So, it first starts with value. So, John, I love all this and the direction that you’re going, but now I do want to shift to a little more dour of times, and that’s what you would consider your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. I mean, writing Christ Brogan’s LinkedIn profile and being able to share that and have him be like, “Wow, John, thanks,” that’s a great moment and you’ve had a lot of those, but what is your worst moment? Tell us that story.
John Nemo: Yeah, so I’ll dip back in – and by the way, Tony Robbins, I told you this pre-chat, he’s welcome to open for me any time.
JLD: I loved when you said that.
John Nemo: He’s welcome. Tony can open for me any time. I don’t mind following Tony. He’s a good warm-up. So, seriously dude. Congrats to you. That just cements what you’re doing and that the model works. But to dip back into my stories, so really quickly, worked full-time as a reporter, journalist, PR up until 2012 and wanted to start my own business, become and entrepreneur, left the corporate world, started my own marketing company in 2012 taking on clients, and at first had a lot of success, build it all using LinkedIn, and that’s part of why I’m so fanatical about the platform, was it was able to generate so much business right away with LinkedIn.
But the worst moment, to answer your question was, I’ll never forget this, it was probably 2013 or so, being on a vacation in the summer with my three young sons and my wife, getting phone calls non-stop at this cabin from clients and employees and it was just drama and all kinds of politics and I just – that was my worst moment. What it was was I didn’t want to be doing this. I didn’t want to be running a large-scale marketing agency with clients and ten employees.
So, that was really an awakening where it’s like, “This sucks! This is not what I want. I don’t want to trade dollars for hours and manage personalities and manage staff and run HR. I gotta get out of this.” So, that was the worst moment, but led to a lot of great things afterward.
JLD: That’s what I love about these worst moment stories is that was the backslap that you needed, John, to wake up and say, “I’m on vacation and I’m walking 55 yards away from this beautiful cabin so I can pick up one bar of signal while my sons are back playing in the lake or just romping around. I want to be with them. This is my vacation and I’m having to deal with this crap. Give me a break!”
Fire Nation, that’s why my favorite word for 2016 is ‘Freedom’ and that’s why the Freedom Journal was a big part of what I wanted to do here in 2016 because I think when it comes down to it, like John, yes, you do want to spend more time with your family, but what you really want at the core is the freedom to choose to spend time with your family when it makes sense for everybody involved because your sons love you, but if they had 24/7 of daddy, that love might start to kinda get a little grating a little bit.
I mean, you want that freedom, Fire Nation, to choose when to work on projects you love, when to spend time with those you love, when to do things you love, etc. So ‘freedom’ is that core word, and John, you realized that you didn’t have freedom. That was your worst entrepreneurial moment, but it was also your best entrepreneurial moment because you started taking action, intentional steps towards rectifying that. So, what’s the one lesson, in just one sentence, you want to make sure Fire Nation gets from your story?
John Nemo: I would say we live in the single best time in human history to do whatever you want for a living and monetize that. I didn’t have to do that. I didn’t have to and so that leads kind of into the ‘aha!’ moment where it was like, wait a minute, I don’t have to trade dollars for hours. I see what guys like John Lee Dumas are doing and other people. I’m gonna create and monetize my knowledge as an online training people all over the world can consume whenever they want while I’m at the lake and grow a business around that. That’s really where things took off for me and where the happiness increased a hundred fold.
JLD: So, let’s dig in to this ‘aha!’ moment because a lot of people have that revelation, that realization that man, I’m not doing right now what I want to be doing, but I don’t know what it looks like to be doing what I want to be doing. How do I make that step into ‘I’m not doing what I want to be doing’ to ‘I’m doing and living and being what I want to do and be.’ What does that step look like? What was the step that you took that you think would be a great lesson and a great visual and a great just understanding that Fire Nation could acquire from your story?
John Nemo: Yeah, well it started with me almost getting run over by a car.
JLD: To start.
John Nemo: Yeah, yeah. So, here’s what happen. This was a couple of years ago, downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, coming out of an Irish pub, had lunch with a good buddy of mine. He’s known me my whole life. Just complaining and I thought I was gonna have freedom, I had left the day job, and now I have a bunch of mini-bosses with clients and employees.
JLD: Had there been some Guinnesses, yes or no?
John Nemo: Yes, yes.
JLD: I mean, you said Irish pub. It’s the only thing that I think of.
John Nemo: This was a working lunch, John.
JLD: Got it.
John Nemo: So, we’re walking out and also during that lunch I had talked about LinkedIn and all of the success I had had building my business using it for sales and clients and how I was now replicating this for new clients, helping them get business on LinkedIn. And we’re starting to cross the street, you know, the light has changed, and my buddy turns and goes, “Then why aren’t you selling that? Why aren’t you selling it,” and I stopped and I was like [sharp inhale] like the lightbulb hit and then the light changed and cars starting coming and honking so I had to keep running.
JLD: Wait, let me rephrase this for you. The lightbulb went off and the light turned green.
John Nemo: Yes! Yes, and so then I had this moment where I was like, “Oh my god, why don’t I sell my knowledge? Why don’t I monetize what I have in my brain and what works instead of trying to do a hundred individual LinkedIn campaigns for clients? Why don’t I just teach them how?” And of course, as you know, the platforms have emerged now with the ability to do webinars, to do online trainings, to do video tutorials, and once I stepped into that world, John, it was lights out. I have never looked back.
JLD: Now, there’s a few things I kind of wanted to dive into here for you, Fire Nation, because we get scared a lot because we look at something and we say, “Wow, I know what my unique value distinguisher is. I know something that I can bring to the world that a lot of people don’t know.” You know, maybe a lot of people know it, but many more people don’t know this than know this, and I know what the value is that I can bring within that, and I know what that distinguisher is, my personality, my take, whatever that might be. But then we do look out and we say, “Hey, man. The Podcast Answer Man already exists. Who am I to launch Podcaster’s Paradise when the Podcast Answer Man has tutorials and has a course, an eight week course, Podcasting A to Z?”
What would have happened if I had had that attitude, Fire Nation? We wouldn’t have 2,800 members. We wouldn’t have generated 3.5 million dollars and growing every single day through Podcaster’s Paradise. I would have just gone on to something else that very likely would have been not nearly as successful because podcasting was and is my thing. So, John, did you look around at the landscape? There were other LinkedIn experts. Why didn’t they stop you?
John Nemo: You know, that’s a great point, John, and this is what I discovered when I jumped in and overcame that fear, and what’s I’m sure you discovered is you have the most important, most valuable business asset right now, sitting with you as you’re listening to this. It’s you! It’s your personality. It’s your teaching style. It’s your knowledge, your story, your experience. So, when I put together my LinkedIn training program, LinkedIn Riches, I knew that I have a unique way of teaching and training, I have a certain personality, a certain style, that other trainers aren’t gonna bring. And that’s great!
That’s just like saying, “Do you like Coke, or Pepsi, or Sprite?” It doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your own product to the market. You’re gonna attract a certain type of audience that’s gonna love how you do things and it’s gonna love how you entertain and how you teach and inform. My style with LinkedIn training is I look at LinkedIn and everybody outside looks at it and goes, “God, that’s a boring platform. It’s dull. It’s dry.” Right? You’re laughing because it’s true!
So, I come in and I’m playing Star Wars quotes with Yoda, I’m telling jokes, I’m firing people up because I know what can be possible on LinkedIn, but I’ve got to get you over that hump of ‘oh, it’s boring and dry, and it’s just for job seekers.’ So, I bring that personality times a hundred into my webinars and my trainings and people love that. Now, there are some people, maybe introverts, people who are like, “Whoa, calm down! Too much caffeine,” but that’s my style.
JLD: They can go find their guru. They can go find their teacher.
John Nemo: Right! And there’s plenty of tactics and there’s plenty of tools and there’s plenty of trainings, and that’s the beauty of our marketplace. It’s like fighting for water in a lake, to use a Minnesota analogy. You’re telling me there’s not 400 – there’s 400 million members on LinkedIn as we’re recording this. You’re telling me they don’t all need help with their profile? They don’t all need help generating leads, business job opportunities? Of course they do. So, what’s holding you back? In my case, it’s just like why not? Of course.
As soon as I got some quick wins and started seeing sales, it was like, whoa, the momentum, the ball starts rolling and you get excited and you get results and you get testimonials and just builds and builds and builds.
JLD: Fire Nation, I didn’t learn much in my one semester of law school, but I did learn that a judge considers a subject matter expert somebody who knows more than other people in the room. Guess what? If you take the time, even a weekend to learn a topic that you’re passionate about, if you already have learned a topic that you’re passionate about, you are a subject matter expect to the other 99 percent of people who haven’t taken that time.
So, stop looking up and comparing yourself up. Turn around and say, “These people have so much to learn. I’m gonna give that to them.” You are their subject matter expert and share it in that very powerful way. Now John, what is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
John Nemo: Oh, pepperoni pizza, for sure. Don’t ever try to snarf my pizza. You will regret it. I’m a pizza fanatic.
JLD: You’ve got three boys. That must happen pretty often, come on.
John Nemo: It does. There are fist fights at the table over the last piece of pizza. I’m not gonna lie. No, my biggest weakness, and I really have worked hard on it this whole year, is building systems, building automated systems: email auto-responder lists, delivery methods, billing systems, customer service systems, survey systems. All kinds of systems that will save me time. They’re a pain, initially, to set up. You know this too, train in a VA or train – but once I build some systems, I’ve saved so much time as an entrepreneur, so much stress, and that’s really been my big weakness that I’ve really tried to work on, is building in automated systems to scale the business up. So, as I grow it, as I get more sales, I don’t have to have all that extra work on the back end.
JLD: What’s your biggest strength?
John Nemo: I would say my biggest strength is definitely just my personality and just why not? I love – one of my favorite quotes, Russell Wilson, he’s a Super Bowl winning quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, grew up really scrawny, nobody really wanted him, college just thought he was too small, the NFL thought he was too small to play. His dad used to say to him, “Why not? Why not you? You want it bad enough, why not? Take your shot!”
I think that’s my strength is just saying, “What do I have to lose by emailing John Lee Dumas Seriously, what do I have to lose by emailing him and putting in a value offer? The worst thing is I never hear from him or he says, ‘Nah, dude, I’m busy. No thanks.’ Best thing that happens is I end up on this show, sharing my story with Fire Nation and growing my platform.” So, of course, go, get after it!
JLD: Best cast scenario, he’s on EOFire and Fire Nation. Look at what that email brought. 1.25 million listens this show had last month. This is a huge opportunity that all started from a simple email of value, of giving. Now, John, you have a lot of things that you’re fired up about, but what’s the one thing that has you most excited today?
John Nemo: I think it’s just the era we live in. I mean, it’s honestly – there is not a better time to be alive to do whatever you want. So, in the spirit of that too, in the spirit of giving to your audience, I want to give a free gift here to Fire Nation.
JLD: Oh, yeah!
John Nemo: Yeah!
JLD: We love free gifts.
John Nemo: Yeah, and the idea again of I want to bring you value. I want to earn the right to ask for people’s attention around LinkedIn training because there are a million trainers. So, this is what I’m gonna do: for everybody listening, go to LinkedIn Riches, R-I-C-H-E-S, LinkedInRiches.com/fire. I’m gonna give you my book for free. It’s my bestselling book, it’s an Amazon bestseller, it’s all my best stuff. I’m gonna give it to you free. And you know what? Enjoy. Maybe that’ll help you take another look at LinkedIn and go, “Wow, I didn’t realize it could be doing this on the platform,” generating business for yourself.
JLD: Fire Nation, the value bombs have only just begun. LinkedInRiches.com/fire. Don’t go anywhere because the lightning round is about to take place. We’re gonna take a quick minute to thank our sponsors.
John, are you prepared for the lightning round?
John Nemo: I’m ready.
JLD: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
John Nemo: Fear. Fear that it had to be the 9-5 corporate work world, thinking that’s all I could ever do.
JLD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
John Nemo: Easy, the riches are in the niches.
JLD: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
John Nemo: I would say reading. Son of two English teachers, fanatical reader. Reading, reading, reading. Reading all kinds of books.
JLD: Share an internet resource, like an Evernote, with Fire Nation.
John Nemo: Oh, I love this one. Speechpad.com. Speechpad.com, a buck a minute, they’ll transcribe any audio or video file you have, give you back a clean Microsoft Word document. It’s a brilliant way to multipurpose your video and audio content as written content as well.
JLD: If you could recommend just one book for our listeners to joy LinkedInRiches.com/fire, which is free, Fire Nation, what would it be and why?
John Nemo: Well, other than the Freedom Journal, I would say How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Written in 1936, still so true today. Again, you want to generate business, you want to give value, you want to do well, read that book.
JLD: Fire Nation, I know that you love audio so I teamed up with Audible and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audio book for free over at EOFireBook.com. And John, this is the last question of the lightning round but it is a doozy, brother. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, you’re food and shelter taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next 7 days?
John Nemo: Oh, that’s easy. I would immediately go and find a webinar platform and a membership site platform that I could afford for less than 500 bucks and I would start monetizing and selling my knowledge. There is no better way to grow your business and stop trading dollars for hours than, like John said, to be a subject matter expert and to sell that knowledge, sell that training online through the form of a course, an online training.
JLD: Let’s end today on fire, John, with a parting piece of guidance for Fire Nation, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
John Nemo: Yeah, LinkedInRiches.com is the main website, so yeah, visit me there. You can also find me on LinkedIn. It’s John Nemo, just like Finding Nemo. John, you didn’t make the joke! We had 20 minutes. You could have done, “Hey, I found Nemo!” Congratulations.
JLD: You know, I just feel like I’ve elevated above that. Is that weird?
John Nemo: Yes! Yes!
JLD: And a parting piece of guidance?
John Nemo: Go for it. Life is too short to sit on the sidelines. Get in the game, take your shot, and you know what? I don’t want you to go to the grave with any regrets. Take your shot!
JLD: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with JN and JLD today, so keep up the heat. And head over to EOFire.com and just type John in the search bar. His [inaudible] [00:22:47] page will pop up with everything that we talked about today. Of course his website, LinkedInRiches.com/fire is holding a special free gift for you, his book, No.1 Amazon bestseller. Get on over there and thank you, John, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
John Nemo: Thanks so much.
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