Interview with Freelance Marketer Danny Iny
Want to boost your profile? Add additional income streams to your freelancing business? Release your own self published book? It’s time to have a chat with author and freelance marketer Danny Iny.
He quit school at the age of fifteen to start his first freelance web design business. The only problem with it was that it didn’t work. He then tried several other businesses, continually pushing himself. A lot of hard work and devotion paid off.
Soon he saw himself guest lecturing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, making a good income from his blog Firepole Marketing, doing more than 80 guest posts on all the A class websites and co-authoring the book Engagement from Scratch! with well known people like Guy Kawasaki and Brian Clark.
Recently I had the opportunity to pick Danny’s brain. Read on to learn more about self publishing, tips for promoting your freelance business, and boosting your name recognition.
Q: You left school at 15 to start your first business. What business was that? And was that successful?
My very first business was doing freelance web design. I got into it because I knew HTML, and I figured that it would be easy. Of course, knowing HTML has nothing to do with knowing how to build a website that achieves the marketing goals of the client, but I didn’t know that at the time.
It wasn’t successful – I quickly transitioned into freelance game development, which was more successful, and that led to a lot of other businesses.
Q: What do you think is the best way for freelancers (writers, bloggers, designers, anyone) to conduct and promote their business?
That’s a pretty broad question, but I’ll do my best to answer it. At a high level, business plans are really simple, with only four key parts:
(1) Johnny has a problem,
(2) Here is our solution,
(3) Here’s how we’ll get it to Johnny, and
(4) Here’s all the money we’ll make.
At a high level, conducting and promoting business requires clarity about all of these sections; who is the customer, why is your solution best for them, how are you reaching new customers on a regular basis, and how do the numbers fit into a profitable business model.
Q: You have said in a blog post on Firepole Marketing that when your blog was new – “We’d get 30 visitors a day – on a really good day.” How many visitors do you get now? What do you think is the main reason your traffic increased? Guest posts?
These days we get about 300-600 visitors per day, and that range is going up pretty fast. I could point to a lot of tactics and strategies, particularly all the guest posts that I’ve written, or the launch of my book Engagement from Scratch!, but at the end of the day, I think it really has more to do with the mind-set of just taking on big projects and getting work done.
Q: The ideas that you apply to your business are your own or are they from those 38 critical books for bloggers?
I’d like to think that they’re a bit of both. I’ve learned a lot from many resources, books, and people who I’ve had the privilege of connecting with, just as every successful entrepreneur has.
That isn’t enough, though – you’ve got to take all the things that you learn, and turn them into mental models that make sense, give you insight into your life and business, and help you make good decisions that lead to the results that you’re trying to create.
Q: What advice do you have for someone working on a book to self-publish?
My advice would be to focus on quality, and to think about marketing. For the book to have any chance of success, it has to be awesome, so they should do everything that they possibly can to make it great. Once they’ve finished writing it, the real work begins with marketing the book; it won’t sell itself!
Q: Your guest posts are everywhere and everyone’s posts are in your book. How?
Mostly a lot of hard work, and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. I’ve written more about this in detail in my post about How I Became the Freddy Krueger of Blogging (and in my book).
Q: You have said in your book; “…my first post on ProBlogger …led to more notoriety, and more traffic back to Firepole Marketing.” Why do you say “notoriety”?
Because I was using the word “notoriety” in its much less common usage, which means “generally known or widely acknowledged” (and not “well-known for some bad or unfavorable quality, deed, etc”). Oops.
Q: A critic said that the information provided in your book gets redundant by the end. Also, that most of the things mentioned there are usually already known by people. Your comments?
The book is a collection of the perspectives of the smartest people that I could find, and many of them share their ideas publicly and freely (which is why they’re so engaging in the first place).
There is a lot of overlap when it comes to tactical advice, because there are some best practices that are universal. The book features 30 people, so of course there’s going to be some overlap in their advice.
I think that most people reading the book will already know part of what’s in it, but it will be a different part for each person. I also think that each reader will resonate with different contributors to the book. Really, the question isn’t “will you find 20% of the book redundant” (yes, most people will, and it’ll be a different 20% for each person), but rather “will the other 80% be incredibly valuable to you” (and the answer to that is yes, too).
Q: Will you consider approaching a publisher in the future? Why or why not?
It’s hard to say for sure, but I think that the answer is probably not. I’ve looked at it in a lot of different ways, and I can’t find a way to slice the numbers in which it would make financial or marketing sense.
Q: Despite doing dozens of guest posts and working on your own blog – you’ve replied to all my emails and tweets. And usually you reply pretty soon. How do you manage your time?
It’s funny, I’ve been asked that a lot lately, to the point that we’re thinking of spending some time on the blog talking about productive marketing. In the meantime, I’ll point you to this post that I wrote about Parkinson’s Law and what I call the Bugs Bunny Effect.