Today’s guest started with a career in engineering when she realized that curiosity is what keeps her passionate. Then pivoting into marketing, she’s been able to help others build successful businesses by growing their audiences by being personable and genuine.

Please welcome Charlie Whyman.

Episode highlights:

  • 0:20 – Charlie Whyman’s Background
  • 2:44 – Business Journey
  • 4:09 – Job
  • 5:37 – Type and Method of Marketing
  • 11:02 – Marketing Categories

Learn more about this guest:

Contacts:

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.


Charlie Wyman everybody. Thanks for joining, learning from others. Hi, great to be here. Yeah. So I’m excited to talk to you because you have a lot of experience in LinkedIn and that’s my platform of choice as far as social media platforms. So let’s start with the usual two questions. Question. Number one is what are you good at?

And what are we going to learn from you today? I am really good at jumping into the deep end and trying out things that I’ve never done before. And, uh, yeah, LinkedIn is just one of them. I’ve used it for many, many years and just learnt it by using it really. Okay. So I think there’s a lot of ways we can go on jumping in.

So I’m going to ask a followup on that here in a second after question number two, which is what are you not good at? Oh, where do I start? Plenty things. I think the thing that I’m, I’m not very good at is I’m not very good at following rules and systems and processes. I, uh, yeah, I originally studied engineering, not marketing and ended up in a marketing role with a marketing career.

And I think that’s just because I like to do things my way and I like to try things. I’m a little bit against the grain I’ve ever rebel. Really. So if somebody gives me, um, a strict step by step instructions as to how to do something, I I’m not going to do that. So, so do you think you discovered more about, more of, about yourself during that engineer education that moved you towards marketing, where you realized, Hey, like I’m, I don’t, I can’t follow these strict step-by-step kind of worlds.

So I love engineering and technology. Absolutely love it. It interests me a lot and I follow it and I am always getting stuck into doing it. But I knew that because I’m not very good at following rules and following instructions in that sense that I was never going to become an engineer and actually learned that what I was really good at was understanding how people behave, what motivates them and what drives.

That behavior, uh, from a business and a marketing point of view. And I think because I grew up around business that I think that’s what the peated. My path, but then also I’m a very curious person. So I’m always interested as to how, how to do something. That’s not necessarily the way that it’s normally done.

I’m also very interested in other industries I’m not used to. And I think my career has pretty much been accidental rather than by design because I’ve. Gone to jobs and roles just by following my interests, really. And being curious about what’s what’s possible. Oh, at what point during that accidental journey, has there been a moment where you said, okay, so far this has been accidental, but after a certain accident you went, wait a second.

I like this let’s make the rest of this journey intentional. Um, no, not really. I think I set up my business nearly three years ago, but that was completely, um, I guess, I guess I was still accidental. I don’t think it was very intentional because I hadn’t no plan and I had no savings and I had no idea really, but I knew that I didn’t want to stay being employed.

And I knew that the only way that I could help more people and be able to learn about different businesses, different industries whilst also helping people was to set up my own business. So I started doing marketing services for clients before I then realized that what I really loved doing was teaching and coaching and sort of helping people really unleashed that, that sort of inner talent and inner brilliance.

And I think. I think maybe at the moment, what I am doing is very intentional, but in a very broad scale sense because I just, I do follow my interests and I do follow my curiosity, but that benefits the clients that I work with. So it’s just working. You’re passionate interests. Well, let’s circle back to question number one then, because I think that’s a good transition.

You said you’re really good at jumping into new things and you’ve already. Touched on that a little bit. So let’s be more clear with the listeners. What specifically do you help your customers with? Great question. So I help my customers understand how to market that business and sell to the customers that they most want to work with.

Um, in a way that feels natural to them. And it’s, you know, it promotes confidence rather than resistance because. A lot of companies, especially solo business owners. So entrepreneurs, I don’t like the term entrepreneur. I think it’s their misuse a lot. Um, but yeah, yeah, let’s use it for the basis of this interview.

Um, the term entrepreneur is generally quite a lonely role, you know, you’re on your own. You’re trying to juggle many different things and a lot of entrepreneurs. Um, natural marketers. They’re not trained marketers, but in order to grow a business, you do need to market your business. So what I help people do is understand what will work for them, that they will enjoy doing that.

They’ll be competent in doing that. We’ll get them the results that they desire without necessarily thinking I’ve got to follow. Yeah. Well, everybody else is telling me to do that. They don’t necessarily want to do or they find it very overwhelming. So I like to try and simplify things. W what’s what’s an example of the type of methods you focus on marketing?

Is it social? We T we briefly mentioned LinkedIn. So do, do you work on social proof on social platforms or do you do paid ads? Like what’s the general type of advertising approach in terms of how I advertise my business or in terms of how it helped my clients, how you help your clients. So I help my clients through training and coaching.

So I empower them to be able to, to make smart decisions for themselves. Because if you, especially, if you’re at the start of your journey, you don’t have the cash to be able to outsource a lot of your marketing. And also you hold all of that knowledge, those skills, that experience, and all of those things really are your biggest assets.

And the other thing that you have at your fingertips is your network. And every single person, no matter what stage of life they are at have their own network. So I helped them understand how to tap into that network and leverage it so that they can get in front of more of their ideal customers, faster without spending lots of money on marketing.

Okay. So they can focus on growing the business, getting those foundations that’s right. Getting that social proof, getting those referrals because then once they’ve got all of that, it’s much easier to scale and grow. And I think what I found as well as, especially a lot of people online today that teaching strategies and trying to get people to scale before they have those foundations in place or scale before they can, or they’re ready.

Yeah. What’s so where do you start with, let’s say somebody comes to you and says, all right, Charlie, I want to grow. What’s the first thing that you do to start understanding where to help them. So the first thing to do is to understand what’s the destination. So what do they want to achieve in the long term?

Um, what type of clients do they want to work with? What makes them happy? What type of clients, um, are willing to pay them the money that they want, making sure that they have a strong offer. That people want. So really having to look at the messaging and how they describe what it is that they’re doing. I also have a look at why they started to do what it is that they’re doing.

And so what assets that they have. At their fingertips already. So their knowledge and experience, that is an asset. So how can you turn that knowledge and experience into marketing collateral, and also where do you start? Because a lot of people, again, they go, right, okay. I need to create a content plan or a social media plan.

And they just kind of like just funneling out loads and loads of content, but. As we all know, busy business owners don’t have time to be constantly writing content. So I have a look at what are those goals? Yeah. Who do you want to reach and what types of content can you produce that will give you the biggest return on investment?

Because you want to be able to repurpose those types of content and really leverage as much as possible out of them in order to maximize that time that you’ve invested in creating it in the first place. Yeah. Give our listeners an example of types of collateral that you would have your clients build.

So, um, a like white paper piece of research, um, and I say ebook in the loosest sense of the word. Um, but like even something like an ebook, a webinar, so a presentation where you’re teaching your market, something about what it is that you’re doing and something a bit like, I call it a bit meaty. So something with a lot of substance that.

Does take a while to create, but once you’ve created that you can then get lots and lots of other things from it. Um, a great example of that is that a client I worked with, um, they were in the laser scanning space selling to surveying industries, uh, mining industries, and they produced a mobile mapping buyer’s guide.

Because they were always asked about how to understand what is the best mobile mapping system for you. So it’s very, very technical. Their market was a very small market. Um, and there were lots of people involved in that buying chain. So a lot of the clients that I worked with, a very B to B, rather than B to C, so.

That’s what I was going to ask is most of your, your clients service providers, or just do some of them have retail products? Uh, both. There wouldn’t be retail products. They they’d be high value, uh, sort of systems that they would sell with us with a service. So it wouldn’t just be something you could buy off there.

Off the shelf. Yeah. So I work with both service providers and also systems providers too. Okay. So, you know, I did a webinar last week for, um, because of the whole Cromer buyer’s thing and helping some small businesses. And it sounds like a lot of what you’re talking about is similar to what I presented there.

So, um, you know, what I covered on that webinar was kind of like you said, You, you want to give your audience something that’s meaty and has substance. So do you agree that for the listeners, they should take their knowledge and give away a lot of it for free. Um, and, and the reason why I ask is because like a lot of times I talk to people I say, okay, you know, here’s what you do.

You build up social proof, you give away free advice. And then they say, well, what if somebody takes the free advice? And runs well, in my opinion, there’s only a couple, a couple of types of people that are going to read your content. Either. If they take your content and run, then you know, good for them.

Hopefully they get somewhere with it or two, they, they use your information. They may not become a client, but they become impressed. And then they, you know, you build your audience. They may give you a referral. Um, attract other leads down the road or three, they become a customer. So in my mind, you can’t lose by just giving away.

Free knowledge. So is that kind of the same approach that you are talking about within your social proof? Oh, a hundred percent, because I think I see in three routes. So what I find is that your market is generally split into three categories. The first, as you said, that they will take the information that you’re giving away for free, and they’ll go and implement it themselves.

And they’re. Very unlikely to ever become a paying client because they’re very hands on. They like to implement things themselves. They like to learn and do things, but again, they may be impressed with what it is that you’re doing. So they may tell other people about what they’ve learned from you. So that adds to that social proof.

And also you get referrals through and reputation. The second category are people that want to try it out for themselves first, before realizing that they need some help actually making, making it really good or getting some serious results from it. So they will take what you’ve given. They will try it out themselves first, but you’ve already built up that trust and that credibility with them.

So you are their first choice when they want to actually pay for that. That extra level of help. And then the third category are people that have absolutely no intention whatsoever of doing it for themselves, but they want to know that you are capable of doing so they want that free advice to understand, and that you really do know what it is that you’re doing.

And then that gives them enough information to say, right. Okay. Come and implement that for me. Yeah, exactly. So what across all the, it sounds like you’ve worked with a lot of different types of business owners. Is there, um, is there a reoccurring theme to, uh, like I’m looking for like a tip for our listeners?

Is there a problem that you see over and over and over that you might be able to help a lot of listeners with because you see it so frequently. Yeah. So a big problem that I find is that people, um, especially new business owners, that being constantly sold the concept that you need to build an audience.

And it’s all about building that massive mailing list and getting in front of a huge amount of people at first, before you can then sell your stuff to them. Best piece of advice I can give is when you, when you first get started, especially start small, don’t think about large numbers. Think about small numbers and think about developing deep relationships with people.

So you can really impress them so that they can, they can act as your advocates, your referral partners. Yeah. Your introduces. They can help give you that social proof that will then step you up to be able to then go bigger. Once you’ve got those foundations in place. A lot of business owners, myself included when I first started doing this is that you run the risk of training, a large audience to expect everything for free, because it’s impossible to have those meaningful relationships with a large audience on a one to one basis.

And when you’re first getting going, those one to one relationships are really going to be the real. Sort of step up for you to start really growing your business and scaling, but you need to get started from, from somewhere and that’s the best place to do it in my experience. Yeah. It’s I can relate that to my world of SEO because a lot of clients will say, well, I want to, I want to show up, um, online for whatever word has the biggest search volume, but just like you saying, the biggest audience, isn’t the best because you can’t connect on a personal level, just like you can’t.

Um, Starting to geek out on SEO should probably cut this out. So, but you know, you, it’s better to convert an audience, a smaller audience at a higher percentage, just like with marketing. It’s, it’s better to convert more targeted than to just show up in front of a massive audience and nobody buys. So, yeah, I agree that it’s relevancy is more important.

And that’s why I love LinkedIn. And I think LinkedIn posts is that huge opportunity for people, whether you’re getting started, you’re already established or whatever, because you can form those deep, meaningful relationships and you can make sales, you can gain that brand awareness. And it’s a platform that has so many different features and ways that you can grow a business, that it really is a no brainer for people using it.

Um, and. It’s really difficult to scale on LinkedIn. Like LinkedIn ads are really expensive, so unless you’re selling very high value products and services, and you’re willing to pay a lot for those leads, then really, you know, using LinkedIn from art on organic. Point of view is, is the best option. Yeah. Do you use LinkedIn?

Um, so I use LinkedIn more than other platforms as well. And one common thing that I get when people say w when I encourage them to use LinkedIn, as they say, well, every time you use LinkedIn, I just get a bunch of spam messages in my inbox, which is true, but I tell them that’s not where you live. Like you live in your content.

Is that where you focus on is having people push out content? Uh, no, this, so I do encourage people we’ll send direct messages, but I don’t encourage people to spam you. It said there is absolutely no point in, uh, sending us a direct sales pitch to people that you’ve never had a conversation with first, um, because you’re invisible to them at that time.

You’ve got this sort of stage where you’re invisible to the people that you want to sell to. You want to make yourself visible and you can do that through posting content and through hanging out in that content space. And then you can also do that by sending that initial message, but it needs to be something that’s easy to respond to.

Um, it, it doesn’t need to be a sales pitch because. Once you start to become visible in their eyes. You also need to demonstrate your credibility because until you are credible in their eyes, and they’re never going to have that phone call with you or book a demo or take it to that next stage, they need to know that.

And in your LinkedIn profile, that is where you can demonstrate credibility. That’s. What I was going to ask is, is, so when you make the initial connection without spamming a sales pitch, how do you then establish your credibility without. Promoting something that you do, do you just, is that where you drop in, you know, the, the substance and say, Hey, here’s this free thing, or how do you transition from the non pitchy intro to being able to monetize the relationship?

So, well, that’s kind of getting into the sales side of things. So there were two different approaches. Um, and I always say to people make a list of your target market and sort of start to form relationships with them. So the first approach is to engage with them publicly with their contents, um, on LinkedIn.

So if they’ve published a post comment on that ad context, um, You could send them a message to say, I really enjoyed that last piece of content that you put up, or you could send them a message. Hi, I’ve seen a lot of your content. I’m really impressed. I’d like to connect, or you could say, you know, I work with a lot of people in your space, I guess this particular question all the time.

So here’s a resource to answer that if that’s something that you’re going through rather than just, yeah. Hi, I am, um, you know, I’m a project manager working in this space and I help other project managers. Save time and reduce efficiency. If you’re sending that message to somebody that’s not necessarily interested in saving time, reducing efficiency, it can come across as a bit direct.

It’s a bit salesy, but if you went to them and say, um, Oh, hire, I, um, you know, I speak to a lot of project managers who comes to me with this one particular question all the time. Uh, so, you know, I’ve got this resource to help with that. If this is of any interest to you, something like that, it’s just a little bit more friendly and a little bit less pushy.

Yeah. Because with LinkedIn, because you’ve got your name and you’ve got your profile headline. If your headline prompts, curiosity, and it makes people think that’s interesting. I want to know more about that. They then can go to your profile and have a look. They can then see the fact that you are an authority in your industry and that you’ve got the social proof and everything else to back it up and show that you are credible as well.

So your profile really needs to be that cornerstone of your activity. Use your headline to create that curiosity and get people to your headline, to your profile. Um, the direct messaging, you kind of want to treat it like you were meeting somebody for the first time at a meeting. Rather than going street, you know, you would never go to a meeting.

 

Somebody you’ve never met before and just sort of said, hi, I work with project managers, um, to deliver efficient savings. You would never say that. Yeah. You’d ask them how they are first or that’s them something about the meeting that they’re at or the industry that they’re in or something like that. So I was recommended to the fat first, but then understand what challenges or what problems that they’re facing first.

And you can do that by just asking them how they are. Yeah. Is there an example of prompting that curiosity, like what’s, what’s a, is there like a formula or a template that you kind of follow to create that intro on a profile to generate that curiosity? Um, so, so there is an argument to say, if you, you know, use that digital marketing intro, which is, I help.

I’m such and such person with such and such a problem via such and such a method. You know, it’s a well known marketing, uh, intro to what it is that you do, so that can work quite well. I advocate the use of the keyword strategy for your profile. So if you look at my profile, it says tech enthusiast, curious, thinking advocates, B2B marketing consultant.

I think I say that, you know, I’m a podcast host and something else. Yeah. So yeah, I’m hitting lots of different basis. I’m not just relying on one particular thing. I’m curious thinking advocate is something that I came up with. That’s quite unique to me. And I got a lot of messages from people that are like, well, what is a curious thinking advocate?

What does that mean? Yeah, I’m pointing to myself on the carrier. Yeah. Now it caught my attention. I was like, okay, what is that? It’s just, you know, you want to promote curiosity. You want to help people be more curious because I believe that the more curious you are, the more opportunities that you will, um, Open up for yourself.

And it’s the same in sales and marketing. You, you want to be more curious about how you can help your market. You want to be curious about what problems that they’re having, what challenges, what frustrations you want to be curious as to what goals they’re working towards. And the more curious you are about them, the more likely they are to then turn around and to say, so tell me about you.

What is, what, what do you do. Yeah, no, I liked that. I like your curiosity, because I think that drives passion behind helping, you know, your customers on a more specific basis instead of just taking a cookie cutter approach to each client. So now it makes a lot of sense. I resonate with a lot of, a lot of what you’re saying.

I really don’t think there is a cookie cutter approach to marketing. Uh, I think. If you want to be successful in your business, you need to find a way that works for you and a way that feels natural and in line with your values as well. Because if you’re trying to market your business, Based on what somebody told you you should be doing.

If it doesn’t feel right to you, or if it’s not in line with your values, you’re never going to do a good job of doing it. And it’s never really going to work for you either. Yeah. I think that’s really important for entrepreneurs to be comfortable with experimenting, to identify what they like. And don’t like, because I think it’s painful to watch, um, You know, some entrepreneurs where, where they’re doing some sort of advertising professionally, you can tell they’ve been guided to go down a certain path, but it’s just the, you can tell that it’s not genuine.

And, and it does in many ways it does more harm than good because not all you, you can tell that it’s fake. And so then your customers are going to say, okay, well, if, if they’re willing to put on this mask for this presentation, then I’ve already lost. Trust him. I haven’t even done business with them. Yeah.

And it, like you said, it can be really, really damaging. And especially on LinkedIn, there are a lot of people that damage their reputation without necessarily realizing it. Um, you know, like we’re, we’re recording this podcast at a time where, you know, A lot of people are in lockdown down. A lot of businesses are not able to solution.

 

Um, I’ve received so many doctors sales messages from people in the last couple of weeks who have unintentionally told me that my website is terrible. My content is terrible and that it’s complete overhaul and refresh. And I’m like, hang on a minute. There was, you know, I get great feedback on my content.

On my website. It generates leads. It works for me. You know, why are you sending me, you know, a direct email. You’ve probably never even looked at my website. This is just templated message. Um, and then the other thing, a lot of people are offering their services for free or heavily discounted. And I’m like, literally, you know, you are coming across as desperate.

So many people. You know, people will remember how you behave. Now, once this is all over, if you are struggling, you don’t want to be broadcasting that to everybody else. You want to be honest and upfront, but you don’t want to be telling everybody that you’re struggling and that you’re in a really bad place.

You want to be using that time and the opportunity to find out how you can help the people that you really want to be able to help. Yeah, I think there’s an opportunity to still help people and still, you know, grow your business. But like you said, coming across desperate, make sure customers feel like they’re just, you’re just going to take their money and run because you need to pay your bills.

Exactly. Exactly. I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of conversations this week in particular, from people that are just sick and tired of seeing content being copied on LinkedIn. They’re seeing people that are. Like the dark side of their personality seems to be coming out because I think especially when people catastrophize and especially when people are in a very negative place, they don’t necessarily understand how other people perceive their communications.

So it’s, it’s kind of damaging because I know of a lot of people that are being, uh, disconnected from a lot of people that are being unfollowed. And, uh, you know, it’s, it’s the opportunity for people who are genuine, who do you want to help? And he can help that, that will really shine. I agree. Yeah. I think this is a great opportunity to, to build a legacy by helping other people.

Well, Charlie, as we get wrapping up, I appreciate your time. I want to give you a moment to tell our listeners how they can find out more about you. Well, so the best way to find out, um, me or contact me is through LinkedIn. Cause that’s where I spend the majority of my time. Um, so just search for Charlie Wyman.

That’s Charlie with an I E Wyman, w H Y M a N. Um, I also have my own podcast. Called the curiosity TKI again, that’s on YouTube as well as all major podcasting platforms. Um, and then also I have a lot of content on my own website, which is Charliewyman.com. So yeah, lots of different ways to contact me, but the best place really is LinkedIn.

Oh yeah. It looks like we’ve got your website here. I’ll put that in the show notes with your LinkedIn and your Twitter and your Instagram. So Charlie Wyman. Thanks for jumping on learning from others. I appreciate you. Thank you.

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Charlie Whyman: Growing Your Business by Being Genuine

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