Meet Dustin Matthews, the introvert who built one of the fastest growing companies in the world from ground up – a presentation coaching and crafting business called Speaking Empire. The business recently made the 35th spot on Inc’s list of 500 fastest growing privately held companies, and isn’t anywhere near slowing down. Read on and learn how to overcome your social insecurities and kick off your business with a bang.
“I was a behind the scenes kind of guy”
Dustin Matthews can definitely be called one of today’s entrepreneurship rockstars in the Marketing space. However, the businessman himself feels humbled by such an introduction, and quickly lets us know that he wasn’t born into success – he had to earn it the hard way.
And, as for the majority of entrepreneurs, ‘earning it’ didn’t just mean working hard for Dustin. It also meant overcoming some of the deepest insecurities he had: “I was an introvert. Yes, I loved the spotlight at times, but I like to retreat to my cave.”
In fact, Dustin admits that when he was just starting off, he was “afraid to be in front of others – speak and give messages.” As the entrepreneur put it himself, he was the “behind the scenes kind of guy.”
At the End of The Day, Marketing Is Still About Trust
When asked about the specific strategies that helped put Speaking Empire on the map and, after three years, land it on top of the Inc. 500 list as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the world, Dustin says that the business success in the Marketing industry lies in the basics that don’t really change.
According to the entrepreneur, it’s easy to get carried away with all of the new stuff that’s happening on the Marketing scene: “What’s seductive about what we have nowadays is that sometimes it takes you off the path. And so, you’re like ‘I gotta learn this new Snapchat thing’ or ‘I gotta learn this new Facebook ad strategy’. People get sucked into that.”
However, as Dustin shares, that’s not the attitude that delivers results: “They forget [that] it comes down to the old-fashioned ways – building relationships, creating a message and getting it in front of the right person. Sometimes, that’s getting on a phone and closing a sale; sometimes, it’s going to an event and saying to someone ‘hey, let’s put together a joint venture.’”
The Fear of “nobody’s going to take me seriously”
Author, speaker, entrepreneur. How does Dustin Matthews find the time to do it all? As it turns out, he doesn’t see those activities as opposing one another; in fact, each one of them was necessary at one point or another to help the entrepreneur continue on his journey.
See, one of the insecurities that Dustin Matthews had to overcome when starting out was associated with his ‘baby face’, as he calls it: “When I first got started, the biggest thing that I mentally told myself that nobody’s going to take me seriously. I must have looked 16.”
As Dustin himself admits, that wasn’t exactly the case – not all clients judged him by his looks. Nevertheless, to make himself more confident, the entrepreneur decided to create something that would prove his qualifications – a book: “[The Irresistible Offer] became my business card, and I found that the book brings in clients – it’s like a business card. And so, I will continuously write books every year.”
“Everything in life is a presentation”
Getting rich unavoidably involves growing your audience and customer base, whether you’re a one-off sales person or a sales executive in a huge corporation. However, not many people know how to make that Irresistible Offer.
In Dustin’s case, making sales is all about doing your homework. The entrepreneur emphasizes the importance of connecting with the people you’re looking to make a sale to in advance: “I want for [all the people listening to the podcast] to write down this word: choreography. Yes, the message – the thing you say to the prospect sitting across from you – matters. But there are other things at play.”
Going with Dustin’s metaphor, it’s not all about the message of the show, it’s also about the way you dance.
Namely, Dustin Matthews mentions the power of connecting through social media: “I was afraid to sell early in my career, so I always did marketing stuff to make selling a lot easier for me so that I could essentially just ask for the sale.”
“What can you do ahead of time?” – the entrepreneur continues. “You know you’re going to sit down with your prospect. Can you go on their Facebook and “like” something? Can you go research them on Linkedin and find out they’re a Packers fan and drop that into your conversation? Or send them something in the mail ahead of time?”
Definitely some food for thought.
If you’d like to hear more of Dustin’s business secrets, tune in to the podcast at the top of this page!