Josh Steimle’s career didn’t start out so smooth when he first went into business for himself, but the hard work and sacrifices paid off for him and his family.
From his time writing for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and Time, to being a TEDx Speaker, Steimle has gained quite the following.
I found Josh on Twitter after researching on how to gain more of a following while writing blogs and I reached out him. He was kind enough to give me pointers and to invite me to his influencers group on facebook where I’m still active on and get to see other contributors and influencers that Josh has worked with,
Recently, Josh agreed to let me send him questions for my Interview Series on my website and here it is below:
Steve Rudden: Is it particularly satisfying for you to see others that you have helped along the way become influencers? Do you try to keep in touch with most of the people that you’ve helped become influencers?
Josh Steimle: That is the greatest satisfaction! I stay in touch with a lot of people I’ve worked with, especially those I’ve coached because I develop a close relationship with them, but apparently there are a lot of people I’ve helped that I don’t even know about, because they’ll come tell me how I gave them some advice years ago and it led to them becoming a contributor to a publication or getting a book deal and I never would have known except they told me. That’s always fun.
SR: In your experience being an influencer, have you ever helped someone who is a sports blogger become an influencer? If not, what advice would you give them if they are trying to become one in the sports world?
JS: I’ve worked with individuals and clients in various sports, most recently in triathlon and trail running due to a personal interest in those activities. One bit of advice I have for someone who wants to become an influencer within a certain sport–and this can apply to anything, not just sports–is that you don’t have to be the top expert in your field in order to be an influencer. There are at least three ways you can become an influencer even without knowing much at all about a sport. The first is to become the “beginner’s expert.” You speak to other beginners in the sport from the perspective of someone who is just a step ahead and going through the process of learning. You speak to the experts, and then you simplify it for novices. This serves a useful function because often the experts don’t know how to talk to beginners. An expert at triathlon will refer to the handlebar area of a bike as the “cockpit” and the bike seat as a “saddle” without thinking about it and this can totally throw off a beginner who has no idea what the expert is referring to. If you’re a beginner you can translate expert speech into beginner speech.
Second, you can document a sport or some aspect of a sport. If you want to become a recognized expert on baseball go out and be your own journalist. Interview players, coaches, and fans. Give people a peak behind the scenes. Make it real and tangible. You don’t need to be an expert at baseball to do this, you just take your phone and start documenting everything and putting your content up on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Live, Medium, etc. Dive in, and then experiment until you find your niche. Eventually, you will become an expert, but you don’t need to be an expert to get started.
Third, find an overlap with something else. There are a lot of experts who know a lot about running, so it’s hard to be an expert on running because of the competition you face. It’s also hard to be an expert on executive leadership for the same reason–there are a lot of experts on executive leadership. But how many experts are executive leadership are also experts on running? There are some, but not nearly as many. If you are an expert on both, then you could start a blog about “Running for busy executives” and you could own that niche relatively easily. To give another example, I’m an expert on digital marketing, but there are a lot of those. I’m also a skateboarder and know that industry well. How many other people can say they’re experts on both the skateboard industry and digital marketing? Not many. Start mapping out all the different areas you’re an expert in, on any level, and see where you can combine two or more areas to come up with something unique, and that can give you a unique angle to get involved with something in the sports world.
SR: How often do you write for Forbes? If you don’t anymore, why did you stop?
JS: I stopped writing for Forbes in early 2016. There was a misunderstanding with an editor, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it pushed me to find other channels for my content and engage in more PR, which has been beneficial for me and my business interests. I still write quite a bit for Entrepreneur and Mashable, but I’m mostly focused on running my digital marketing agency MWI and Influencer Inc, which is a platform through which I help others to become influencers.
SR: What publications do you think potential influencers should write for in order to market themselves or brand themselves?
JS: Look at where your audience is, and what you like to do, and go there. If you’re into video more than writing, and there is a significant portion of your audience on YouTube or Instagram, then do video on those platforms and forget about publications–just go straight to the consumer.
If you’re into writing, then find the publications your audience reads. I turn busy executives into influencers, so I focus on writing for business publications, but that wouldn’t make sense for someone who wants to become an influencer in sports, fashion, parenting, or some other discipline.
SR: Is it true that it isn’t easy as it used to be when trying to be a contributor to a major publication?
JS: It comes in waves, and it’s specific to certain publications, editors, etc. I know of a major publication that had a lot of issues around contributors selling articles (taking money to feature businesses), so they just fired most of their contributors and right now it’s hard to get on there. But that’s just one publication. I don’t think there is any overall trend. If you’re a great storyteller, there will always be opportunities for you.
SR: What advice would you give to future influencers and is it a good idea to have your own website?
JS: I’m sure there are successful influencers who don’t have a website, but for most aspiring influencers I would say it’s a must-have. You don’t own your profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or anywhere else. But you own your website. And you own your email list. And if there’s any one bit of advice I would give, it would be to start growing your email list right now. I only started a year ago, so I only have a few thousand subscribers. If I had started growing that list in 2001 when I started blogging, I’d probably have a few hundred thousand subscribers today. By the way, I recommend ConvertKit for email signup and list management. That’s not an affiliate link, I just really like the software.
That’s some great insight from of the best, Josh Steimle. I’m very happy that I found him on Twitter.
He’s always willing to lend a hand to others and doesn’t expect anything in return. If you want to read more about Josh, don’t hesitate to check out his website at www.joshsteimle.com, or read his old posts on Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/#77bbb2749494, as well as Entrepreneur at https://www.entrepreneur.com/author/joshua-steimle. Josh can also be found on Twitter @JoshSteimle and on Facebook as well.