Today’s interview is with a very interesting businessman who has some equally interesting business insights to share with us. He goes far beyond the front page of Google by helping his clients to become trusted advisors in their field of expertise.
He has been credited with increasing profits and changing lives by using his proven *Find *Trust & *Choose™ system to position his clients in National Publications, Syndicated News Outlets and as Best Selling Amazon Authors.
So with that said, we’d like to introduce Digital Media Strategist, Stewart Andrew Alexander. Stewart, the founder of Publishing Media Professionals (PMP), is also a Best Selling Author of the book, ‘Credibility Breakthroughs,’ Radio and Podcast Host and has been seen and quoted on dozens of major media websites, including affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Let’s listen to what he had to say…
PBI: What’s your official business name and when did you get started?
STEWART: I have two businesses and have been involved in online marketing since 2003, but the one I’m going to talk about today is called Publishing Media Professionals (PMP). I can still remember the day I registered the website and got started… 30th May 2010.
PBI: Why did you decide to go down the road of self-employment?
STEWART: Ever since leaving the Air Force, where I did nothing but take orders from other people for six years, I had a burning desire to take the plunge and ‘do my own thing.’ I initially started off selling water and air filters door to door in Germany. That was tough but gave me my first taste of independence while teaching me valuable skills I’ve been able to transfer over into my personal and business life. Ever since then, it was just a matter of time before I founded my own company.
PBI: How did you actually get started? Did you start full-time, part-time or build up to it while working a full-time job to tide you over?
STEWART: At the time, I was already quite involved in online marketing, but more in the software development space than online media publishing. I was working as a full-time volunteer in a social enterprise company in my home town. It didn’t pay much but kept me going, paid the bills and provided a lot of job satisfaction.
PBI: How have things developed since business day one? Have you diversified, or have your services remained the same?
STEWART: When I first launched Publishing Media Professionals, our main focus was writing high-quality articles based on our client’s local keywords and submitting the articles on a monthly basis to 3rd party article directories. These articles were like long term ads and are still showing up online today.
Over the years the market changed and I began building strong relationships with affiliated news sites such as ABC, NBC, CBS FOX and dozens more. This has enabled me to focus more on writing and syndicating our clients’ articles across national news outlets throughout the United States.
I also provide online media strategy services that provide my clients holistic insights into how they can sell more to more clients, more often. So yes, we have diversified, especially in the areas of online media strategy.
PBI: What area of your business would you like to see improvement within the next 6 months and why?
STEWART: Well, the team and I definitely have to step up our game in the area of getting more referrals from our existing clients. With spinning so many plates at the same time, I simply have not had the time to focus on that area of the business. It’s such an important area and key to our bottom line profits and growth, so we definitely have to improve in that area, or continue to miss out on helping more people.
PBI: How are you improving in that area?
STEWART: I’ve put together an internal marketing referral program that the team and I are studying as we speak. if all goes to plan, we will see returns of at least 50% profit by this time next year.
PBI: Thank you for that. What’s your best tip for someone considering starting a business in your industry?
STEWART: Well, first of all, you have to believe in yourself. There will be days when you as a business owner, will be totally misunderstood by prospective clients. Sometimes you’ll feel as if you’re speaking a different language to everyone else, which leads to frustration and self-doubt. This might rock your boat, but as Captain of your ship, you can’t allow it to capsize.
Secondly, it takes time, effort and money. You have to put in the time to build strategic relationships that will help you in moving your business forward. Relationships form the very foundation of your business. Without them, you’re screwed from day one. No man or woman is an island in the business world (well not the successful ones), so invest your time, energy and money into networking and creating key contacts in and outside of your industry.
Lastly, you have to learn marketing, without it, you’re dead in the water. Too many start-ups operate under the illusion that the “what they do” is sufficient to run a successful business. That’s why most close within the first three years. You have to either study marketing and do it yourself or work with a trustworthy advisor that does it for you. But ignore it at your own peril!
There are simple things you can do that don’t cost money but can make a big difference. For example, always and I mean every time you come into contact with a prospective client, ask them how they found out about your company. Keep track of the responses. That way, you’ll have a clear overview of what kind of marketing is working or not. If two months after your 20,000 flier drop, nobody says they came to you as a result of, then don’t do flier-drops, or look at changing the message. You get the drift.
Keep a track of the next ten companies you come into contact with and see how many of them ask you where, or how you found out about them? You’ll probably find the numbers are quite low, but if you implement this one simple shift in your business, you’ll save thousands and a lot of arguments back home with your partner.
PBI: What’s the most popular misconception that prospective clients have about your industry and what’s the correct answer?
STEWART: People think they need to work for years and years before they can be recognized as experts in their respective industries. That’s what we’ve been sold from school days, and in jobs we’ve worked in, but the reality is, it’s simply not true.
Every small business owner who can improve the quality of their clients’ lives, can gain and has every right to ‘claim their expert status’ – and in a very short space of time. Not years, not months even, but in days. So much has the market changed, that these days, it is possible to become a recognized authority and trusted advisor in the eyes of your prospects checking you out online… very possible indeed.
PBI: On the topic of selling, who is your ideal client?
STEWART: My ideal client is someone who is already successful and wants to take their business to the next level by becoming the perceived authority in their industry. They recognize the power of being published in the media and getting 3rd party endorsements from credible online websites. They are ready to stand out from the crowd and know the combination of social media, syndicated news outlets, books, and the internet is a powerful recipe for brand exposure, and expert positioning.
PBI: If you had a chance to say one thing to a brand new client, before they met you in person, what would it be?
STEWART: Throw aside all what you believe to be true about becoming a recognized expert in your field of expertise. You don’t need to wait decades for it to happen, and you certainly don’t need permission from anyone to claim it. Services exist that provide the same online media strategies used by Hollywood film stars, Reality TV programs, and Sports personalities. They are now available to those who “get it” at very affordable prices.
PBI: Well that was interesting, thank you, Stewart, for a very informative interview.
Anyone who would like to find out more about Stewart should visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stewartandrewalexander