In an information-saturated world, how do you make your own marketing “offer” rise to the top? Justin Blaney, author of “Famously Helpful,” suggests that the most successful — and evolved — way to market your products and services is to be generous. Ironically, by NOT prioritizing your own financial success, you’re likely to be more financially successful.
Voiceover: It’s a Northwest Lifestyle weekend on KOMO News. Now, a show for anyone who is or has a boss, this is The Boss Show with Jim Hessler and Steve Motenko.
Jim Hessler: Thanks for listening. I’m Jim Hessler. I’m the founder of Path Forward leadership development and the author, along with my co-host, of the book Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face.
Steve Motenko: And you’re The Business Guy.
Jim Hessler: I’m The Business Guy, yeah. I almost forgot to say that.
Steve Motenko: You did forget to say that, and I’m The Psychology Guy. I’m Steve Motenko. I’m the co-host and also work with my friend on his leadership development business, helping to create the conditions for leaders to grow. I do that, as well, in my executive coaching business here in the Seattle area.
Jim Hessler: What an interesting time it is to be talking about leadership, isn’t it, yes?
Steve Motenko: Yes, it is. We have been scrupulously avoiding anything election related over the last year and a half.
Jim Hessler: Yes, we have.
Steve Motenko: Because we do focus on the workplace. We may end up getting into it in the next few shows.
Jim Hessler: We’ll see. We’re not going to force it.
Steve Motenko: Despite ourselves.
Jim Hessler: It might show up organically, but we’re not going to force it. Today, actually, our topic, don’t tune out when I say this, but it’s marketing, okay? Marketing, but much more than just marketing. The whole concept of how do you put your best foot forward, how do you create relationships, how do you network. Steve, one of the things I’ve noticed over the years, the long years of our careers, is how much more responsible people have to be about advancing their own careers than they used to be. It’s almost like everybody comes out as a free agent who has to be shopping themselves out there all the time.
Steve Motenko: And are put back into free agency every however many years and sometimes months. It used to be, of course, back when our fathers were in the workforce, our mothers not so much, that maybe you’d have one career. You’d be in one company for the length of your 40-year career.
Jim Hessler: That’s a good point, so that feeds into the need for us to be marketing ourselves. This is a process that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with. I know I’m not entirely comfortable with it. Marketing’s always been a tough nut for you and I to crack, hasn’t it?
Steve Motenko: Yes, absolutely. In fact, marketing, I’ve often felt that’s my Achilles heel.
Jim Hessler: Yeah. I think what makes it hard, for us in particular, is we don’t love social media. I go on Facebook maybe once every couple months to see if there’s any new pictures of my grandchildren. I’ve never done Twitter. I’ve never just been active. I’ve never been an active blogger. The few times we’ve tried these kinds of things, it hasn’t seemed to work all that well.
Steve Motenko: For our marketing purposes, yeah.
Jim Hessler: For our purposes. I’m not in love with the idea, let’s just put it that way. What we want to try to do is figure out if there’s a different way to think about this, a way to think about marketing either yourself or your business or even developing a business network generally as something that can be fun, and interesting, and do good in the world instead of this drudgery of constantly having to sell yourself out there in the marketplace. That gets old for a lot of people.
Steve Motenko: Yeah. If you conceive of marketing as, at least in part, networking, even networking has negative connotations, right?
Jim Hessler: For a lot of people it does, yeah.
Steve Motenko: If you conceive of marketing yourself as the process of putting yourself out into the world in ways that you can make a contribution, which is really, I think, a very accurate way to conceive of it, and you conceive of networking in the same way. I can’t maximize my potential, I can’t make my ultimate contribution, unless I’m connected with a lot of people and unless I’m connected with a lot of people in a way that they understand my, quote-unquote, “offer.” Which, again, is not the old, salesy version of offer but the notion of what I can do in the world to make the world a better place.
Jim Hessler: The whole thing, for me … We’re going to have a guest on in a minute here, Justin Blaney, to talk to us about this, because I like the way Justin talks about it. It’s always felt to me like this very awkward process of self-promotion. There’s also a lot of kind of emotional intelligence that’s required for showing up at social events and being that person that reaches out with an email that says, “Hi, I’m Jim. Can we talk?” All that sort of stuff, I think, just feels really awkward.
Justin Blaney is going to be on after the break, and he has, I think, a really nice way of looking at the challenge of marketing with concept called helpeting, which I just love.
Steve Motenko: It’s the least objectionable form of marketing that I can imagine.
Jim Hessler: Yeah, so I think you’ll enjoy hearing what Justin has to say, and maybe he can help us a little bit along the way, as well. So, come back after the break. You’re listening to The Boss Show.
Voiceover: It’s a Northwest Lifestyle weekend on KOMO News. The Boss Show continues.
Jim Hessler: Hi, I’m Jim Hessler. I’m The Business Guy.
Steve Motenko: I’m Steve Motenko. I’m The Psychology Guy. Welcome back to the show. This is the show for anyone who is or has a boss. If you’ve got an idea for a topic, maybe you’re a boss, maybe you have one, maybe you’re really interested in some dilemma or challenge you’re facing in the workplace, send us an email at TalkToUs@TheBossShow.com. Or you can leave a comment on our listener comment line, and that number, are you ready, (206) 973-7377.
Jim Hessler: Nice job, Steve. You should just be one of those talking heads that just does voiceovers all day long and doesn’t have any other purpose in life other than just sound good.
Steve Motenko: Since I don’t have anything significant to contribute …
Jim Hessler: Exactly.
Steve Motenko: … via insights on the show.
Jim Hessler: That’s what I’m thinking.
Steve Motenko: Got it.
Jim Hessler: At least you sound good.
Steve Motenko: Appreciate your support.
Jim Hessler: You’re voice candy.
Steve Motenko: I’d rather be eye candy, but I’ll take what I can get.
Jim Hessler: No, sorry. Long gone on that one. Our guest today is Justin Blaney. Justin’s the managing partner of click.works. That’s click dot works. He’s a speaker, entrepreneur, and best-selling author of six books whose helped thousands of individuals and organizations increase influence and generate demand for their orders. Excuse me, their ideas, products, and services. Welcome to The Boss Show, Justin.
Justin Blaney: Hey, Thanks for having me on. I’m excited to be with you.
Jim Hessler: Sure. Your most recent book is called Famously Helpful, and we strongly recommend it. How do people get it?
Justin Blaney: Famously Helpful? Well, it’s free at famouslyhelpful.com or on my own website, justinblaney.com, or you can pick up a paperback on Amazon.
Jim Hessler: Cool. The fact that you’re giving a free book is a perfect lead-in to this concept that you call helpeting. So, why don’t we start with is that a term that you coined, is it?
Justin Blaney: Yes, it is, yeah.
Jim Hessler: Okay, nice. Your original invention. Why don’t we start out with a definition of helpeting?
Justin Blaney: Well, helpeting is the idea that instead of marketing and pitching yourself, you find a way to help somebody, and you can do it in such a way that’s intentional and can actually result in a benefit to you. I mean, marketing is all about, essentially, becoming famous. It’s about getting exposure for your ideas or yourself. You want a certain number of people or a certain target market. Maybe it’s a boss that you want to get a job with. You want them to know who you are. That’s what marketing is. You want exposure for it.
Instead of pitch yourself and selling yourself … I mean, nobody wants to do that, and nobody wants that done to them. It’s finding a way to become famous for your helpfulness so that people know who you are and they come find you when they need you.
Jim Hessler: I guess one of the things that occurs to me, and correct me if you disagree or think I’m wrong, most marketing doesn’t work very well.
Justin Blaney: Marketing fails for most people.
Jim Hessler: Yeah. So, why is that?
Justin Blaney: I think it’s a super cluttered world. I mean, the entire world, our mind space is like a Times Square, and there’s 1,000 messages coming at us all the time, so how do you cut through that clutter? People aren’t picking up their phones anymore. Any particular-
Jim Hessler: We noticed. We noticed.
Justin Blaney: People aren’t just responding to advertisements in the same ways. The times have changed. As the times change, you have to find new ways to get your message through. What better way can you get your message through than by being helpful? I mean, you can get a hold of people. It’s just so much easier.
Steve Motenko: The gray area, for me, is how do you go into helpfulness without expecting, or do you expect, that you’re going to get income in return eventually?
Justin Blaney: That’s a great question, yeah. You have to have a very fine balance. I mean, studies have shown, and I studied this in my doctoral dissertation, that you can go too far where you’re just spending all your time helping people, and networking, and spending time on relationships, but you’re not actually ever getting anything or enough in return. You have to go into it with an altruistic point of view, because people will sense if you’re just trying to get in touch with them to get into their pocketbook.
You also have to be intentional. You can choose who you’re going to help and invest your time in, and pick the people that are more likely to help you get where you want to go in life. I mean, that’s just one way to do it.
Steve Motenko: Again, it occurs to me, there’s a fine line between … Your motivation is the central issue here, so are you motivated to help someone so that you’ll get something back from it, or are you motivated to help someone just to help someone and then you live in trust that you’re going to get something back from it, or some combination?
Jim Hessler: Let me answer that from my perspective, then after the break, we can ask Justin to weigh into that. The answer to your question is yes, both, right? I mean, that would be my impression, that we are both … In the grand process of being human beings, we are both helping people and expecting something back in return. It’s the way of all humanity. We’ll talk to Justin about that when we get back. You’re listening to The Boss Show.
Voiceover: Now back to Jim Hessler and Steve Motenko. This is The Boss Show on KOMO News.
Jim Hessler: I’m Jim Hessler. I’m The Business Guy.
Steve Motenko: I’m Steve Motenko, I’m The Psychology Guy, and we have in studio with us Justin Blaney, author of Famously Helpful and a marketing expert who has coined the term “helpeting”. We’re talking about motivation for marketing by helping people. Justin, how do you deal with this tricky question about is your core motivation to help people out of altruism, or is your core motivation to help people so that something eventually comes back to you, or is it a mixed bag?
Justin Blaney: Yeah, Jim answered the question, I think, pretty well before the break. That is that you do sort of do both at the same time. I don’t know if there’s really a better way to answer or to understand it. You really do have to care about the other person, and you have to genuinely want to help them, but if you don’t have your own interests in mind, then you’re never … I mean, you can get into the spiritual will the universe pay you back. It depends on your world view. I believe that you’re going to be more successful from this approach if you actually apply some intentionality to it. If somebody is not capable or in a position to help you in some way in return, that’s okay. There might be other people that can help that person who they could help in return.
Steve Motenko: There’s an indirectness involved. I think the core thing for me is trust. Again, it’s not trust that if you do the right thing, the universe will see you do the right thing and provide you income. It’s more trust, simply, that it’s the right thing to do, and that by doing the right thing, you will attract enough people to you who will accept your offer and be willing to pay you for it.
Jim Hessler: We’re kind of into the philosophy of this a little bit, which is good, but I think we need to backtrack a minute and talk about what is helpeting? Let’s give us some examples of how you become a helpeter rather than just a marketer.
Justin Blaney: Yeah, sure.
Jim Hessler: What are some of the ways you do that?
Justin Blaney: I think, practically, for most people, it’s more about getting a job than it is about selling a product through your business, but it can be for anything. Anything that you want to get exposure for. Maybe it’s writing books, or it could be becoming a coach. I mean, in a lot of cases, it’s getting a job. I could tell you stories that I’ve seen in other people’s lives about how you go out to the Internet, and you apply for jobs, and you can apply for hundreds of jobs and get no results. That kind of broadcasting just doesn’t work. I mean, maybe it’ll work eventually, but if instead, you could say I really love this particular company or I really want to go into this line of work, so you find people who could help influence that decision.
You get on LinkedIn, or you start asking around, or you take people out to coffee. You’re going to have a lot of coffees in helpeting. You’re always meeting with people, and you’re asking them, “Hey, how can I help you?” You’re picking the people that you believe might be able to help you get where you want to go. Then, you’re trying to find some way to help them that cuts through the clutter.
Now, it could be anything. It could be, literally, helping them find a great deal on flowers for their wife for their anniversary, but it’s better if you’re proving and you’re showing your expertise through your helpfulness. If you have a book that has some content that’s helpful, give it away. I’m not the only person that does that. The book is about what I’ve seen other people doing that’s successful. I just looked at all these people, and I said, “All these really successful people are very helpful. Why not try to codify that and figure out what it is that they did to get where they are?” Often, helpfulness is at the root of it.
Jim Hessler: One thing I’m hearing is there’s kind of a circular path here, maybe, rather than a direct path. Helpeting is not necessarily a tit for tat. There is a karmic thing out there, where you’re kind of putting yourself out in the universe a little bit.
Steve Motenko: Yeah, that’s the indirectness I was talking … You set aside your self-interest immediately and trust that it’ll come back. You’re listening to The Boss Show.
Voiceover: KOMO News. The Boss Show is back on a Northwest Lifestyle weekend. Here’s Jim Hessler and Steve Motenko.
Jim Hessler: This is the show for anyone who is or has a boss. I’m Jim Hessler, and I’m The Business Guy.
Steve Motenko: I’m Steve Motenko, I’m The Psychology Guy, and we’re talking with Justin Blaney, author of Famously Helpful and coiner of the term “helpeting”. Justin, before the break, you mentioned that a lot of people that you studied who are very successful are also very oriented toward helping people. Can you give us some examples or what you’ve seen?
Justin Blaney: Yeah, it’s really just a common thread that I’ve seen through a lot of the most successful people that I’ve had close access to. I looked, and they just tend to have a more generous spirit. Now, I think that there’s two different kind of approaches to life, and this is what it comes down to is do you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset?
If you have a scarcity mindset, you believe that the pie is limited and if I take a bigger piece, that’s going to come from somebody else. Somebody else gets a smaller piece. In an abundance mindset, we believe that the pie can get bigger and bigger and bigger. We can all get a bigger piece. If I share something with you, it doesn’t mean I have less. I might actually have more as a result. There are always going to be people who have the scarcity mindset, but, in general, I have found that the people who are successful that I’ve had close access to tend to have an abundance mindset. They tend to be more free with their things, with their ideas, with their connections.
If I were to ask one of these people, “Hey, could you introduce me to somebody?” Maybe it’s an important person that’s kind of asking a lot. They would be a lot more willing to make that introduction than somebody with a scarcity mindset, because they believe that by making that intro, they’re helping me, and maybe they’re helping this other person, and they’re helping themselves because they get to be at the intersection of it. I mean, it’s just that it goes back to the principle of if I give, if I invest, I don’t have less. I have more. I think that’s the common thread.
Jim Hessler: I think if you’re out there looking to get pushed aside or screwed out by a competitor, for example, I think that can shut you off to a lot of helpeting, that there’s a fear involved there. I think you have to get past that fear. I love your focus on the abundance mindset. I think that that works in a lot of different ways in life, not just in marketing.
Steve Motenko: The scarcity mindset and the fear orientation are really kind of of the same, flip sides of the same coin.
Jim Hessler: Justin, a lot of our listeners out there are small business people, solo entrepreneurs. You mentioned earlier there’s just a lot of … You know, it’s like Times Square. There’s a lot going on. I know, personally, people that are really active bloggers, that you see them everywhere posting on LinkedIn, they’re showing up on everything, and they’re not successful. Do you have a general sense of why someone could invest in that much activity in not succeed?
Justin Blaney: Well, it’s true. There’s so many people doing it. There’s so many radio shows, there’s blogs, there’s so many books getting published, and every year, there’s more. The key is commitment to a long term. I personally have committed to the course that I’m on, I’m taking a lifetime view, not a hey, if I don’t make it in the next year, I’m going to cut and go do something else. I mean, that’s something I’ve learned from the people I’ve studied is they’re not in it for the short term. If you are, you’re going to quit because blogging or any of these things, they’re so infrequently successful in the short term that most people quit, and the people that stick with it are the ones that are successful.
Steve Motenko: When you say in it for the short term, that brings up the question what is “it”? If it’s income, then you have to get it in the short term, so you’re looking at something, obviously, that’s not … Your core motivation is not strictly income if you’re in it for the long term.
Justin Blaney: Well, you can get the income in the long term, but it takes a long-term investment. I mean, there’s things that are easier to make money from than blogging, but there are bloggers who make money, because they’ve been investing in it for a long period of time. They’ve built an audience. If you try to start a blog to make an income immediately, it’s a tough path. It’s going to be easier to do that through business or some other venture. Most people already know what they’re good at making money at, so do that and invest in this other thing, this building this helpeting and influence over time.
Jim Hessler: Maybe when we come back from the next break we can talk, just kind of a short list of three things, for example, that people should really be focused on, because there’s so many options. There’s so many different ways to market yourself out there. More with Justin Blaney when we come back. You’re listening to The Boss Show.
Voiceover: It’s a Northwest Lifestyle weekend on KOMO News. The Boss Show continues.
Steve Motenko: Welcome back to The Boss Show. I’m Steve Motenko. I’m The Psychology Guy.
Jim Hessler: I’m Jim Hessler. I’m The Business Guy. We’re talking to Justin Blaney, B-L-A-N-E-Y, justinblaney.com. Click.works is his organization. Cut through the smoke for us here a little bit, Justin. If you were going to have someone really just focus on a couple of key principles or ideas about helpeting, this term that you coined that describes this very kind of helpful, hopeful I would call it, type of marketing, what are your suggestions?
Justin Blaney: Perhaps we can use an example of a consultant. There’s a lot of people that do consulting, and that can often be a path to a job, too, whether it’s IT or leadership, I mean, that’s what you guys do so well. Take a look at a consultant. Really, the first principle or the first phase is to become known for helping people. The idea of being famous is really no different than when we were worried about who was most popular in middle school. We do it as adults, too. It’s the same thing. Now, people have this idea that fame is Brad Pitt or somebody in a movie or Marshawn Lynch, but fame is really just being known by people. In the business world or in the practical world every day, if you’re known by the right people, that’s all you need.
Steve Motenko: It doesn’t need to be millions of people is what I hear you saying.
Justin Blaney: It doesn’t. It could be 20 people if it’s the right people. I mean, if you could, say, pick 20 people that could really know you, you could be as successful as you wanted to be for the rest of your life on just 20 people. It’s really about the right people. You want to become known for something, whatever it is that you’re great at. IT consulting, it doesn’t matter. Become known for that thing.
The second part is increasing trust with consistency over time. Most people, like we talked about in a previous segment, give up. They’re not consistent. The higher you’re shooting, the more you need this principle, because the people at the top are used to people, more than ever, more than anybody else, trying to get a hold of them for stuff.
Jim Hessler: You bet.
Justin Blaney: They’re jaded. They know that people want their money or their influence or just to be with them.
Steve Motenko: What if you’re a person working in a small to medium-sized business, maybe you’re a manager, maybe not, but you want to have influence. You’ve got coworkers and projects. You’ve got your own team, your boss that you’re working with. How do these principles apply? What do you do differently to enhance your quality of influence in the workplace?
Justin Blaney: That’s a great question, and it applies there just like it does anywhere, I think. If you’re a manager, think about how more effective you can be with your team if you help your team get where they want to go.
Jim Hessler: I’m really glad this came up, helpeting within your organization. Not just necessarily outside your organization trying to find a job, but helpeting inside. It’s critical.
Justin Blaney: Well, the way you help influence and build something and build a team is by helping people get where they want to go in life. Everybody’s got a different something that they want. They want to be important. They want to be a part of something. They want to make a difference in this world. If it’s just a job and it’s like hey, show up, and you’re a jerk to work for, that’s one thing. If you say, “Hey, where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? How can I help you get where you want to go?” Then, how much more effective is your team going to be?
Jim Hessler: For sure. Then, you had one more principle or concept for us?
Justin Blaney: Yeah, you have to make it easy for customers to buy you, or if you’re selling yourself, you have to make it easy for people to know that they can hire you and what for. Don’t let them figure it out on their own, because people won’t connect the dots. I mean, I think my own mom doesn’t know what I do sometimes. You have to make it easy for them to know how to work with your, or how to hire you, or if you’re looking for work, that you’re looking. Don’t let them figure it out on their own.
Jim Hessler: Real quickly, how do people get a hold of you? Remind us one more time.
Justin Blaney: Justinblaney.com. Every book I’ve written is free there, and it always will be.
Jim Hessler: Thanks for being on The Boss Show. This idea of marketing doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be helpeting. You’re actually doing some good in the world. You’re sending out positive energy, positive vibes. You’re maybe making some great friends in the process. Whether they buy from you or not, at least you’ve done that. You’re listening to The Boss Show.
Voiceover: Now back to Jim Hessler and Steve Motenko. This is The Boss Show on KOMO News.
Steve Motenko: Thanks for staying with us. I’m Steve Motenko. I’m The Psychology Guy.
Jim Hessler: I’m Jim Hessler. I’m The Business Guy. We’ve been talking to Justin Blaney, a marketing expert, today. If you want to have a successful career or certainly grow a business or be part of a growing business, there’s a certain amount of selling involved. A lot of us don’t like that word, and a lot of us don’t like that concept.
Steve Motenko: We did a show very recently on selling, and why it’s important, and how to re-envision it.
Jim Hessler: But it can be done with integrity. It can be done in a spirit of helpfulness. It can be done in a spirit of building relationship and doing good in the world. Approach it from that perspective and see if it makes it a little easier for you.
Steve Motenko: The Boss Show is produced by Boss Media Productions. Our sound engineer is Kevin Dodrill.
Jim Hessler: If you missed any of this show, you can get it in its entirety online at TheBossShow.com. That’s also where you can go to subscribe to the podcast or to contact us for any reason at all.
Steve Motenko: You can bring us into your workplace, if you’d like to, to coach your executives, your leaders, or to do leadership development workshops. That’s our specialty.
Jim Hessler: Thank you for listening.
Steve Motenko: And don’t forget rule number six.
Jim Hessler: Rule number six.