Josh Turner is a Wall Street Journal Best-selling author and the Founder of Linked Selling, where they specialize in fully outsourced LinkedIn lead generation campaigns. Josh’s company also operates LinkedUniversity.com, an online training program for LinkedIn marketing. For a limited time, you can get his new book ‘Booked’ for free at EOFire.com/Booked.
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Josh Turner: John, I am highly caffeinated, highly motivated, and I’m ready to ignite.
John: Yes. Josh is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and the founding of Linked Selling where they specialize in fully outsourced LinkedIn lead generation campaigns. Josh’s company also operates linkeduniversity.com. an online training program for LinkedIn marketing. For a limited time, you can get his new book, Booked, for free Fire Nation at eofire.com/booked. Josh, take a minute and fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse in your personal life.
Josh Turner: We’ve been doing this since 2011. It’s when we started Linked Selling. It’s helped hundreds of clients and thousands of students that have been through our training programs to generate more leads and appointments and to grow their business. It’s been a wild ride along the way, man. We’ve just been growing at a fantastic pace tripling our revenue every year for the last three years. We’ll do it again next year. We have an awesome team based here in St. Louis.
I’m just super passionate about the work we do and the people we serve making a difference in the lives of business owners that we help. So personally, like I said I live in St. Louis. My girlfriend and I have four years together, Jess. Our dog Oscar is a big part of our life. All my family and friend here love running, working out, playing hockey, watching Blues games, and sometimes the Rams – but it hasn’t been very pretty to watch in recent years. Yeah, man, just enjoying life. I like working hard and having fun.
John: And there’s a little rumor that New York City is going to be a new place you call home.
Josh Turner: Yeah, yeah. Actually, my girlfriend and I are moving to New York City soon. Super excited about that. It’s just an adventure of a lifetime kind of thing. We’re just kind of packing up and do it. It’s a great thing that my company is in a place where I have a few really key people that are just exceptional leaders and exceptional managers. It affords me some of the freedoms as a business owner to be able to go do something like move to New York for a year.
John: Location independence was a huge driving force for me when I started EOFire. It’s just awesome to see that you’ve attained that as well, Josh. I know many Fire Nation listeners right now either have that location independence or are driving towards it because it is so cool to be able to say I just want to kind of experience this for a little while or that just to have the freedom to do so if I want to. Fire Nation, that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about on this interview today because most entrepreneurial journeys are roller coasters of a lot of different forms.
We don’t want that to be what you experience. But before we get into that right now, Josh, you are now able to pick up and move to New York City for a year. To do things like that with a girlfriend and a dog, how are you currently generating revenue with your business?
Josh Turner: We essentially have two sides to our business. The largest revenue generator is our agency. Companies hire us to run lead generation campaigns for them. We’re most well-known for what we do within LinkedIn specifically, but we also behind the scenes are helping clients with some Facebook and email strategies as well. But it’s not about driving traffic; it’s about helping our clients set appointments. So the kinds of businesses that work for us are people that are just good old fashioned main street businesses that are looking to get in front of more prospects and needing to get on the phone and needing to get face to face with more people so that they can sign more clients.
We help them do that. So that’s the biggest part of our business. We have clients all over the world in all sorts of industries. We also have training programs where we teach other people how to implement these processes for themselves. We have coaches that support them and all that kind of stuff. So that’s how we make our money.
John: One thing I always talk about on EOFire is just how entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions, of everything. It’s the ups and downs. That’s why it’s so important to build that team around you. It sounds like you have just this great team which allows you to do a lot of cool stuff. But one thing that I love is that you have in your book that’s coming out that I want to talk about later is the cash flow roller coaster. That’s brutal because you just don’t really know when the money is coming in, where it’s coming from, or how much it is. That’s scary. It’s stressful and causes anxiety. So can you kind of expound upon why most businesses are on this cash flow roller coaster?
Josh Turner: I want to go back to the beginning with it because I have been through so many situations working with businesses and businesses of my own that have been on the roller coaster and have totally crashed. You know, the car went off the rails and didn’t get back on. My dad’s company. I worked with him when I was a teenager up until I was 22. He was forced to shut his doors. A few different ventures that I attempted in my 20s that just really went nowhere except for sucking all the cash out of my bank account. Great learning experiences for me that got me to where I’m at today but at the time failures. Then one of the biggest, a company that I worked for from the time I was, I don’t know, 25 to 29.
Something like that, whatever. I was a CFO there. I was actually there for six years. So it was more like 24 to 30 or something like that. Anyways. That company grew from $5,000,000.00 to $23,000,000.00 in revenue over the time that I was there. Then, completely fell on its face during the economic down turn of 2009. The common thing that all of these business failures had in common was that these businesses didn’t have a consistent flow of new prospects coming into the sales phone, new leads, new appointments getting booked, new sales opportunities, and new clients coming on board. So when times were good and things were just kind of magically falling out of the sky, it all felt great.
But then when things got a little leaner and those processes didn’t exist, the businesses really fell apart. They were on such a shaky foundation, if you will. So what I’ve seen since then and looking back on that working with thousands of small business owners and medium size and large size business owners too. Thousands of business owners over the last four or five years since I started Linked Selling, what I’ve seen consistently is that people don’t have a process, a repeatable system, for getting in front of more people to keep the flow of opportunities coming in so that you’re not on that roller coaster. The roller coaster, if I even have to explain it for people which I probably don’t, looks like clients one month.
You’re feeling good. You’ve got some cash in the bank. You’re busy. You’re servicing those clients. Then the next month, you’re not so busy. You’re done working with those people. You don’t have anything on your plate because you didn’t have processes in place to keep new opportunities coming in the pipeline. So you’re constantly in feast and famine mode where your cash is up and down. You’re never quite sure if you’re going to be able to meet payroll next week, be able to pay your bills next week, or whatever your cash needs are. That has a super, super toll on your psyche as a business owner.
I know I’ve been there when I first started my business in early 2010. I was still in that situation trying to figure it all out and having those sleepless nights where you’re wondering how am I going to make it through the rest of this month. What’s going happen if this business fails? My friends and family are going to know that I’m a failure. All that kind of stuff. It’s terrible. It’s helping people that are in that situation that is really what drives me and gets me most excited about the work that we’re doing.
John: I love that you use the phrase feast or famine. I actually wrote it down as you were talking. I was going to bring that up. It’s just something, Fire Nation, that so many people live day in and day out. It’s just they think when times are going good it’s always going to be like that. Just feasting at the table and plenty of food. Then, there’s just that one dip in the market, that one economic shift and it’s just like where did everything go? It literally went from a feast to a famine. One thing that you talk about a lot, Josh, I kind of want to have you dive into for a minute is just establishing yourself as a brand leader, as an expert and authority figure in your market.
That’s where I am always talking about niching and really getting down to that area where you can become that authority figure because getting leads and clients becomes easier. So can you kind of expound upon that from your experience?
Josh Turner: Yeah, absolutely, man. So when I was first starting like I said in 2010, I was doing all this stuff that people say you should be doing. Now, you probably wouldn’t give the same advice to people, but I was following the advice of people that didn’t really know what they were talking about. So I was going and having lots of coffees and lunches and going to networking events and Chamber of Commerce meetings and stuff like that. That might work well for insurance agents and people like that, but it wasn’t working for me as a business consultant. I was finding that it was just a waste of time most of the time. It wasn’t resulting in opportunities.
Almost never. Maybe I got one client out of all of that kind of stuff. So I really quickly started trying to figure out something else. I was trying to figure out how to use all these online tools to really systematically start getting myself in front of more people. So I tried a lot of things. One example, there was a period of time where I was really working hard on a system for generating leads using Twitter. It did okay, but it still wasn’t getting the kind of traction that I needed. It was like it was missing something. Where the light bulb went off for me was when I started using LinkedIn. First off, I started using LinkedIn back 2006.
But when I started using LinkedIn for the new business that I had started in 2010, I started doing the things that a lot of people do really targeting prospects, building my connections, and such. I built a LinkedIn group called Small Biz Forum. Really quickly, that thing started taking off. People started perceiving me as a leader in the small business community locally. I started getting calls from people that wanted to meet. They were telling me that they learned about me through this LinkedIn group that I had started and was growing. I realized then that the missing piece from all the other stuff that I was trying to do was positioning. I didn’t have proper positioning. I was just another fish in the sea.
When I was going to the Chamber of Commerce meetings and going and having coffees, I’m just another one of hundreds of business consultants out there. Right. It was the authority and the expert status that this group gave me by being perceived as a leader in the market that I was trying to serve. What I discovered with this was that this is a really systematic process to achieve some really remarkable leadership expert authority positioning in a really short amount of time. That was a big turning point for me. I kind of like to tell people that I’ve really loved building mousetraps ever since because it’s … you know, I love coming up with marketing systems that get tangible results.
It’s one of the things that I love about the process that I teach in the book is it’s built on all this stuff that I did for myself. Since we’ve translated it and replicated for hundreds of clients and thousands of students that have been through our programs, it’s really fascinating to me to come up with systems that are really plug and play in nature that can take a cold prospect, somebody that never heard of you before, and work them through a process to the point where they feel like they know you well enough and trust you well enough to take a call. To take a consultation. To sign up for a strategy session. Whatever it is. So I think that stuff is pretty cool.
John: One thing that I love to say, Fire Nation, that I really want you to think about when you’re planning your day, your week, when you’re looking at your calendar. When you say yes to a coffee or anything along those lines, that could be fine. Just remember that you are saying no to literally everything else. That coffee you are saying yes to but you are saying no to everything else. So you really need to sit down like Josh sat down and say is this working for me. His answer was no. If it’s no for you, then say what will work for me. These type of lead generation mouse traps, these systems, that Josh is talking about right here, I mean, this is critical for you to absorb as an entrepreneur.
We’re going to take a quick break and talk to our sponsors and thank them really quick. When we get back, Fire Nation, we have a lot on our plate with Josh. He’s going to be going into systems. He’s going to be talking about what exactly is this approach. Who does this system work for? And so much more. So see you in a minute. Josh, we’re back. We have a lot that I want to run through during the last kind of 10 to 15 minutes of this interview because you’ve been going through how important lead generation is, why it’s important, why the mousetraps and systems work.
Let’s talk specifically about, number one, your book Booked. Also, kind of what the approach is within this like why you wrote this. Of course, let Fire Nation know like why they should be so excited about this.
Josh Turner: Yeah, absolutely, man. So I want to touch on something you said about the coffee. So coffees and lunches and stuff are great if you’re actually meeting with potential clients and prospects. But one of the things that I’ve found is that most of the time that’s not the case. You’re meeting with people that you hope there is some good networking opportunities between you. Maybe you can refer business to each other; it never ends up happening. So the systems that we develop help you get in front of people that are actual prospects and clients and not just people that might know somebody that knows somebody. Right. That’s a big thing –
Josh Turner: For me, it’s a big reason why a lot of people are realizing that doing all the coffees and lunches just isn’t making as much sense. Also, it’s really for anybody that needs to generate more appointments and get more clients. So if you’re the kind of business that survives on positioning yourself in front of more prospects, working those prospects through a process that gets you face to face with them or on the phone with them, and once you’re on the phone with them, converting them into clients; this is for you. That could be anything from a professional services firm, attorneys and such, consultants and coaches. We have clients that are manufacturing companies. We have clients that are construction companies, IT companies, financial advisors, and almost you name it.
The system itself and why people should get excited about what’s in the book is that it’s really a process that positions you in such an above board and classy way that people want to actually be connected with you. You’re not just another person out there that’s constantly talking about yourself and pitching yourself. There’s enough people out there that are doing that. I’ll tell you right now that if you start doing that, people are just going to tune you out. Now, there’s so many people out there that are just like constantly pushing their message out there. It just doesn’t work. On the other hand, if you can build a community that serves your prospects and gives them resources and value that they care about, then they will stay tuned in for the long haul.
They’ll willing and gladly join the group that you build, the community that you’re running. Gladly be interested to see the content that you’re putting out. The updates you’re sharing on LinkedIn and Facebook they’re going to be interested in because it’s resources that they care about. It’s not promotional stuff about your business. Now, that might be a little contrary to what people think because they’re thinking that if I’m not sharing stuff about my business, how’s it going to benefit me. Well, you’ve got to have the long play in mind because it’s about developing relationships with your prospects. All right. If you’re just constantly sharing stuff about yourself, people will eventually tune it out.
But when you’re sharing stuff that they’re into, they’ll stay tuned in. Then what happens is you build a lot of good will. They start to know, like, and trust you because you’re putting out all this great stuff that they actually care about. Like wow, this guy is really a great resource putting out all sorts of good stuff. They like hearing from you. Then, you can leverage that relationship that you can really quickly and systematically build to get them to take a call with you to set an appointment. Right. At that point, it’s a numbers game. So let me ask you this for anybody listening to this. If you can get in front of an extra let’s say 20 targeted prospects a month, what would that be worth to you?
Twenty qualified targeted people that fit the profile of what your ideal client looks like. What percentage of them do you think would be interested in hiring you, working with you, and become clients? That’s what our system does. It’s by positioning you as a real leader in whatever market that you’re serving and positioning you as one of the good guys not somebody that just out there, as Chris Brogan once said, trying to hump people’s legs.
John: Brogan. So, Josh, let’s dive into specifics. You typically used LinkedIn and Facebook combined with email to really refine and define this approach. Can you kind of give us a specific example of what it would look like for an entrepreneur per se to use this system?
Josh Turner: Absolutely, man. I’ll just cut really down to the quick. So I gave you the philosophy just a second ago of why it works and the bigger picture. There’s a whole lot of research and psychological and sociological studies that back all this stuff up as well which I talk about in the book. At the end of the day, tactically what it looks like is that you’re going to create a group on either Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever other platform your prospects can be found on. This really is platform agnostic. Just figure out where can your prospects be reached. Build a group that caters to their interests on that platform.
Then, there’s ways to then nurture them along and convert them with messaging processes that we’ve developed and teach our students and implement for our clients to convert people from just kind of passive connections or group members on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever it might be into actual real world sales conversations. In a nutshell, that’s how it works.
John: Consistent messaging works, Fire Nation. That’s one thing that so many people just don’t seem to realize is that if you can come up with one system where you are reaching out and adding value and actually touching your prospects on a day to day or week to week basis, that long tail is going to be very effective. Josh, this kind of leads us into your book which is Booked. That’s B-O-O-K-E-D, Fire Nation. So kind of break us into that. You’ve gone all out in this. It’s just full of content. So kind of break into a little bit about Booked, why you wrote that, and exactly why Fire Nation should get excited.
Josh Turner: Absolutely, man. We made our clients a lot of money over the years. Because of that, we’ve done really well as a business. I’ve done really well myself as the owner of the business. I used to keep our processes pretty close to the vest. I didn’t want other people knowing them. It was kind of one of those things. This is proprietary, only our clients are going to get access to this stuff. You know, things have changed. Money isn’t the driver for me anymore now that we’ve really made more than we really need. I’m much more driven now by getting these systems into the hands of as many business owners as I can so that what happened to my dad’s business, what happened to the construction company I worked for doesn’t have to happen to anybody else.
I know what it’s like to be on your own. To be waking up in the morning sitting in front of your computer and wondering what should I be doing today. Where’s my next piece of business going to come from? I would like to help people eliminate that problem. So I’ve really gone all out just packing everything into the book. Like you said, it’s chock full of content and really just laying out the entire system so that even people who are on a complete shoestring budget can have access to this. I would say also that people that do have budgets in larger companies will get just as much value out of it too. This isn’t just a thing for small businesses.
Specifically in the book, I’m going to go through some of the stuff that we’ve talked about today. I dive a little bit deeper into my story because I think that it’s important that you see the genesis of where this system came from. Then, we just really go deep into the system. I outline the entire process. There’s essentially five pillars that we work people through from building the foundation and the different things you need to have in place so that all this can be successful. You can’t just shortcut to I’m going to jump to this section on messaging and start sending people messages. You have to have the right foundation in place.
Then, to the leadership platform which is basically how to build your group and do it in a way that really positions you as a leader. Then, how to leverage that to build a really big database which is super, super cool because that’s another big problem a lot of businesses have. They’re just not in front of enough people. We show you how to leverage this new authority that you’ve created to build a really big list in a very short amount of time that doesn’t cost money. It just requires a little bit of sweat equity as they say. So if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, how many other funny words like elbow grease and sweat equity are there for if you’re willing to do the work?
Josh Turner: You’ve got that. I show you all the messaging processes. Then in the book, we also go through how to layer email on top of the entire system to get even better results because at the end of the day I’m a big proponent of touching your prospects in as many places as you can that they can be reached. So I would never say to anybody all you need to do is use LinkedIn and that’s the magic bullet for you. That’s because some of your prospects can be reached there, but what about the people that are going to be better reached on the radio or on TV or via email or via Facebook or whatever?
So as your business grows, you want to build out a marketing mix that touches people in more places than just one. But with this system, we show you how to touch them in three different places that we absolutely know that they’re on including Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. In a nutshell, once again, that’s what the book is about.
John: Fire Nation, there’s only so much we can show, share, and teach you on an audio only podcast interview. That’s why I’m really excited because those of you that are listening to this episode the day that it goes live which is February 15, 2016, you have a lot of great opportunities over the next couple of days because Josh is holding multiple webinars on the 16th and 17th. Again, this is Monday, February 15th. If you’re listening to this anytime between the 15th and the 17th, you’re going to want to check out these webinars that Josh has going on.
Josh, I’m a huge proponent of webinars because it just gives us that ability to teach visually and take questions from people that are there are on the webinars, to get gifts, and to just really take them through this process in a cool, visual, and interactive manner. So can you talk a little bit about these webinars that you have coming up on the 16th and 17th and really just what you have planned for this whole book launch in general?
Josh Turner: Yeah, absolutely, man. So the book came out February 8th. Really I just explained everything about the book. I’d love for anybody to get that the book that wants to dive deeper into this. Or you could also go sign up for one of the webinars. So we’re going to be doing two days at multiple times each day master class workshops working through all of the different components that are in the book and really showing you more details and messaging scripts. Just really the guts of the whole process and really just pulling back the hood showing you underneath the covers exactly what you need to do to be putting this system in place.
John: Love it. So, Fire Nation, that’s eofire.com/booked. Head over to that link. Check out everything that Josh has there waiting for you. Josh, just to kind of wrap this up, man, kind of break it down exactly what call to action Fire Nation should take as they’re listening to this episode right now and just what you’re looking forward to coming up in February 2016 and beyond.
Josh Turner: For anybody listening to this whether you sign up for one of the workshops or not, I would say just look critically at your business and think what are you doing to get in front of enough prospects to get the appointments that you need to get the clients that you need. You need to look at your sales process that way. What are your goals? How much revenue do you need to be generating? How much income do you need to be bringing in? How many clients is it going to take to get you there? Based on that, how many client prospects do you need to get in front of to get to those clients?
Our system is one way to help you do it. Whether it’s our system or something else, I think it’s just something that you’ve got to figure out and solve. So if anybody takes an action from this, I would love if you just sit down and think about that question and really understand your numbers around that. Aside from that, if you want to dive deeper into our system, sign up for one of the workshops coming up. As far as what I’m excited about, just getting this book out there, man, and making a difference in the world and trying to help some business owners grow their companies.
John: Love it. Well, listen, Fire Nation, you know this. You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with JT and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com and just type Josh in the search bar because his show list page will pop up with everything that we talked about today. Of course, there will be direct links to what we talked about. Specifically, your number one strong call to action, Fire Nation. Visit eofire.com/booked.
You can see everything that Josh has going on there. Get on these webinars that are coming up this week. You want to be taking in this content. It’s free, Fire Nation. They’re waiting for you for a limited time, a limited time. So eofire.com/booked. Josh, I want to thank you –
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