We sat down with Steve Brossman, a man who has mastered the art of the blueprint, enabling your business to deliver results on your intangibles.
TBS: Please tell the audience a bit about your career so far and how you came to be the go-to guy for digital marketing and sales?
Steve Brossman: I will first clarify that I’m not the Digital Marketing Guy anymore, I’m known as The Authority Catalyst: the go-to guy for working with people to uncover their authority positioning and to be able to communicate it out there into the world. So that they are the stand out person in their particular market. As far as digital marketing, not specifically my forte, but I work with people to create their authority positioning – and their Client Conversion Blueprint – which basically helps them to attract more high-value clients and makes it easy to sell more.
So how did I get to this point?
The long story (as short as possible), I have been operating my own company since 1983. During that time, I have excelled in niche marketing, able to look at ways to go into markets so that I could actually look at them and dominate them. In the health and fitness industry, I had a health club, and instead of just competing in the adult fitness market I also opened up a kids club within it. And within five years, I franchised that kids program in five different countries. At that time the weight loss industry was taking hold and kicking the fitness industry for a six. So I opened up a weight loss program within the health club, doubled the membership price and sold out. I then licensed that into health clubs across two countries.
The work that I have been doing within my own businesses – including inventing, manufacturing, and exporting an environmental product, selling four million units in 26 countries – all have been built around a common concept: What is it that I could do differently, and how could I stand out and get that out there to the marketplace.
Plus over the last 30 years, I have had 20 years in-and-out of television. I even hosted and producing my own show for Channel 9, and ended up as an executive producer for Warner Bros on a project as well. By the time videos came into the digital world, I was primed and ready, because I’d had 20 years of consulting, coaching, small business marketing, I had the video experience and a little bit of online marketing with my wife. In fact, we actually conducted the first-ever video marketing courses in Australia in 2009, and I was named ‘Video Marketing Influencer of the Year’ in 2012.
So now focusing on positioning and the blueprint section of what I do – I’ve spoken in 15 countries to nearly 40,000 people, I have actually produced two solo Amazon best-selling books and have two co-authored Amazon best-selling books. Videos, books, and speaking were the holy grail of positioning marketing. Hence over the last seven years, I have been working with businesses to create their authority positioning, and then use videos, books, and speaking – whichever is their medium of choice – to get it out there into the marketplace. But I found that people were having trouble still selling themselves. And when I wrote my first book, I realised that I actually had a system and a blueprint that made it so much easier for people to understand. Instead of having to explain myself over and over again, I produced this blueprint to show people exactly what it was that I did. So when I was showing how I worked, people could understand, and say, I need one of those, can you help me build one?
How did you land your first ever blueprint client?
Actually, just showing how I worked and how I used my blueprint. People basically said I want one too, so it was a matter of using my blueprint to show them how they needed it.
What is it about product clarity and blueprints that businesses don’t understand?
A lot of professionals are selling the invisible. They have to continually explain over and over again what it is that they do, and they are talking about intangibles. When you actually have a blueprint, people will see that they have a system that they could implement into their business and get results, rather than saying, we are great please buy us. Businesses, when they actually see the Blueprint Process in action, they get it. The reason they don’t understand it is, they haven’t seen it, and they continue to do what they have always done. When you do have a system and a blueprint that delivers results, you can actually attach some tangibles to them.
We live in a current state of inspiring business voices that use memes and funnels to create clients – what should businesses be looking for when they really need help in this space? How do they separate the wannabes from the real business leaders?
That is a tricky one, because a lot of people these days actually see something, they learn something. They potentially master it, and then they just go and regurgitate it. What people have to look at are the tracked results that they can get for themselves and their clients. A lot of the so-called gurus are out there saying, look what I have done! I have got half a million followers, and I have generated this much money for me! I have done all this, and I have done all that – and they have done some fantastic things.
However, you don’t ask that track coach, how fast have you ever run in your life? you are more interested in, what is the fastest you have been able to coach your students, your team, on a regular basis? – so, sometimes, it is less important what the coach has been able to do for themselves, but more important what their students or clients have achieved. One of the things that I certainly pride myself on is being able to demonstrate significant results that my clients have been able to achieve.
What is the biggest mistake you see companies make when trying to approach a new client?
One of the things that we do have, and we teach people, is that the sale does not start at marketing. There is all the education around who you are and why you are the leader and the authority in the marketplace. Actually, we pride ourselves as true believers of ‘cultivate versus qualify’ and we believe in cultivating. When you are putting good quality information out there – whether it is your videos, your books, or your speaking – you are actually getting people to stay and watch time after time. And as they are watching and they are getting educated, they are cultivating themselves that they are becoming ready to buy. Whereas most people market, then they qualify and say “You are the right person that I want to sell to”, and that is the biggest difference between people that are doing it the right way versus the wrong way.
I would say that 98% of the people out there are totally doing it the wrong way. And when they have discussions with people, they are explaining why they are good, why they should buy from them.
Here is my presentation, here is what we can do for you – buy now, and then overcome objections.
However, when you are actually cultivating them, and they may watch some of your videos, and read a part of your book or the information that you are putting out, it is all pointing them back towards you, so by the time you actually have the discussion with them, most often, you get out the blueprint, you say, This is how we can work with you.
You collaborate with them on a co-designed solution, and then the actual discussion is all around how you take the logical next steps, not, how can I sell to you?
And those are the biggest mistakes: when people are actually approaching and having discussions with the client is they are trying to select people to sell to, not, how can I cultivate you to be ready to buy from me?
What advice would you give entrepreneurs who are still at the growth stage where they are the main salesperson?
If they are the main salesperson, then they actually need to be viewed as the leader and the authority in the marketplace. It is all about positioning. Create their unique positioning, not the same as everybody else. Design themselves so that they actually have a ‘cultivation funnel’, so that the prospects are self-qualifying along the way. Doing that you are only talking to people who have cultivated themselves ready to buy, instead of saying, well, yes, I followed this through, and I’m ready to sell to you.
Create their blueprint, practice how to sell the blueprint, and that saves so much time allowing them to continue to work on growing the business.
How do you personally manage your day and time? What is your view on work-life balance?
I believe work-life balance is a load of rubbish. I do believe in work-life integration. I tell people that I am a 24/7 entrepreneur and a 24/7 dad. I’mt here for my son whenever I’m needed, and take lots of time out to be with him. However, we all know that I work different hours. I generally get up 5 o’clock most mornings. If I’m cycling, I get up and I get ready to go. I do a bit of reading for half an hour, then I’m out on the bike by a quarter to six, cycle for about an hour or so, back ready to spend the morning with Hunter before he goes to school, and then I’m into the day.
Try as much as possible to chunk down developmental time, admin time that I will call just ‘day to day stuff’, and then also ‘client time’. I have client calls, and I have them only Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays, so that I can have Mondays and Fridays, which is either developmental time or time-off for me, so that is generally how I manage my day. I do not say that I’m a very effective time-management person. However, I actually do get a fair bit done and run a number of businesses.
What advice would I give to a 21-year-old Steve Brossman?
That would assume that there is something that I would do differently as a 21-year-old. As a 21-year-old, I was a professional sprinter. I was enjoying it. Then had an accident at 22, crushed discs in my back. That took me out of running and into the health and fitness game, and I certainly wouldn’t change that at all, because that led to the opening up of the whole range of business world, so I would not say to a younger me, “Do not avoid the injuries”. However, even at that stage, I was a fairly ferocious reader, with a focus on mindset, self-development, and all of those sorts of things.
As a 21-year-old, there’s not that much that I would change.
Possibly look at investing a little earlier, and that’s about it!
To learn more about Steve Brossman’s approach, please follow this link to his website.