I recently had the opportunity to exclusively interview Marketing Influencer and TED Talks Speaker Leonard Kim about ten random facts about himself, what's a lesson he's learned from writting Ditch The Act . Plus what the coolest thing he is currently working on. Check out my interview with Leonard below:
Loryn: What did you learn from writing the book Ditch The Act?
Leonard: I learned that writing a book with a traditional publisher may seem like a piece of cake, but it takes a lot longer to fulfill in reality. You have to get an agent interested in either your personal brand or your book idea (it's easier to get them interested in your personal brand), come up with an enticing book proposal with a heavy marketing strategy built into it, then get the book bought. For Ryan and myself, this took us over two years to accomplish this portion. The next six months after the book was bought, we spent two months studying exactly what each chapter would be about, two months sectioning off each chapter to make sure we covered every single topic possible within the realms of it, then two months to write the book. Without the proper preparation and the outline of what exactly would go into the book, it would've been a mess. There is so much preparation work that goes into making a book one that really moves and entices people. In my book, what I did was separate the book into three sections. The first section gets you to see who Ryan and I are to learn from our flaws and our struggles, the next section shows examples from others and backs it with research, then the last section shows you how to build your brand by yourself through worksheets.
Loryn: What's a marketing strategy, marketers should be aware of?
Leonard: There is really no specific marketing strategy that marketers should be aware of. There are tactics that will move the needle, however. Most marketers know exactly how many people will see a piece of content, how many people will click over from that and how many people will convert. Many marketers are afraid to put their own face, or the face of someone in their company behind these messages though, which is a shame. My friend Joe Martin at CloudApp (formerly known as Adobe Joe) used to work at Adobe and he tested the same ads with both Adobe's account and his personal account. When he ran the ads from his personal accounts, he got 10x more clicks. I've seen similar results with a ton of my clients and friends. If that's not a game changer, then I don't know what is.
Loryn: What was the difficult thing about trying to create a startup?
Leonard: There really aren't any easy parts to build a startup. If it was easy, everyone would do it. It took years to get the company to a place where it became quite profitable. But it was worth the journey.
Loryn: What's an advice you've received , and actually put into practice?
Leonard: No one is absolutely useless, you can always serve as a bad example. I realized that most of my life, I made many mistakes that others should avoid. So I used my experience as that bad example so others wouldn't make the same mistakes I did. It turned out to be the foundation that led to my content being read over 14 million times too.
Loryn: Where has been your favorite place to travel, and why?
Leonard: The place I've most frequently traveled to is New York, where I normally stay at The Parker New York. It's a beautiful city with a lot of culture. You can find anything anywhere and there's something for everyone. It's just like Los Angeles, where I live, but in a more condensed area. I really want to go to Hawaii soon and see what it's like over there.
Loryn: What advice would you give those who are interested in working with brands?
Leonard: If you want to work with a brand, the best thing you can do is to take some time to work inside a marketing department of a brand first. That way, you can get a better understanding of how they deal with contractors and vendors on their end first. Once you get the inside scoop, you will have a better understanding of the timelines and the details necessary that brands are looking for when engaging with a new vendor, along with payout timelines. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect down this road, as many of these deals take a lot of time to close and are on net 30 contracts.
Loryn: What has been your favorite conference to attend, and why?
Leonard: I had an amazing trip on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul recently where I went to go speak at INFLOW Summits. The airline is absolutely amazing, the city is beautiful and there is so much culture there. I stayed at the Four Seasons at the Bosphorus and it was absolutely amazing. I can't wait to go back this year.
Loryn: What's a risk that has left an impact on you?
Leonard: Not sure, don't understand the question.
Loryn: What's something you are currently working on?
Leonard: I'm currently working on teaching people about personal branding so they can go out there and become the best in their field. I do this through my courses at influencetree.com.
Loryn: What is something many people may not know about you?
Leonard: What made me successful was sharing all of my flaws and weaknesses, not my strengths.
Be sure to stay updated with Leonard Kim by checking out his website: https://leonardkim.com/ .Plus you can contact with him on all social platforms under the name Leonard Kim.