David Woodward of ClickFunnels

Josh Steimle

Founder at Influencer Inc

Josh Steimle is the founder of Influencer Inc. He went from near bankruptcy to a multi million dollar service business in 12 months by becoming a contributor to Forbes and other business publications and leveraging the attention (ethically) to generate leads.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Josh’s success

Be your own influencer marketing campaign

Result if you follow the steps in Josh’s session

Build your personal brand and generate more revenue.

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


At first, I didn’t leverage it at all. I got into Forbes. And I was really worried because I had no experience doing this. I started writing for Forbes. And I thought, well, I’ve written on my own blog, but I’ve never written for a real publication like this before.

And I was so afraid that I was going to do something wrong and get kicked off before I even got a chance. So I was very careful to not do anything that was self harm, emotional or that was pushing my business in any way.

And so instead of writing about marketing, which is what I do, I run a marketing agency, I was writing about entrepreneurs and startups and I stayed away from anything to do with marketing, because I thought if I write about anything to do with marketing, people will think I’m just promoting my own business.

So I wrote for Forbes for about six months about startups and entrepreneurship, and I had a lot of fun doing that. But it didn’t do anything for my business or for me personally. It was just fun. But then I noticed that there were a bunch of other people writing about marketing, who owned marketing agencies on and their writing for Forbes. And I thought, well, if they can do it, why can’t I do it?

And so I looked at the way that they were writing. And I saw that they weren’t promoting their companies, they were giving away secrets. They’re giving away tips about how to do things. And so I thought, well, I can do that.

I’ve been running a marketing agency for at this point, 14 years or so, I know a bit about this stuff. So I just started giving away my secrets and giving away tips and saying, okay, here’s how you do this with search engine optimization. Here’s how you do this when you’re designing your website.

And I started giving those tips away, essentially giving free advice. And what happened there is, that’s what opened the floodgates and started generating all the leads. Because, for example, I wrote an article called how four ways or four questions to ask when hiring an SEO firm, something like that.

So when people went out searching on Google, and they typed in how to hire an SEO firm, my article would come up first, because it’s in Forbes, and Forbes ranks really well in Google. They would read my article, and they’d read my tips on how to hire an SEO firm.

And then they’d say, well, hey, I mean, this guy’s telling us how to hire an SEO firm. He probably runs an SEO firm. That’s how he knows this stuff. Let’s just go hire this guy.

And that’s how I started generating leads and I’d also write articles about just tips on how to do SEO for your website, how to build your website, all sorts of usability tips and user experience stuff. And so as I gave away those tips, people would find the articles, I would get the credibility, and then that would turn into leads for my business.

Now also, I was getting speaking engagements. So people would come to me and say, hey, we saw that you wrote this article about this topic, would you be interested in coming to our event and speaking on that topic at our event?

So I was able to leverage it that way as well. And then I also leveraged it to get a book deal.

And what I did here was, for my business as a marketing agency, we talk with a lot of chief marketing officers, that’s who sometimes hires us to do work for their businesses. So I thought, well, I want to go write a book that targets chief marketing officers, so that we can have more credibility as a company with this target audience.

And so I went to a company, a publisher that had a series of books. And I went and I pitched this idea for interviewing 30 CMOS and putting their stories together in this book.

And part of my pitch to this publisher was, hey, I’m a writer for Forbes and these other business publications I’ve gotten into, I know how to write, I know how to write about business, I know how to write for a business audience. And here’s my book idea. And they said, hey, this sounds great. And they gave me a cash advance. And they gave me this book deal to go write this book.

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