The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

Ep 163: The Solo-preneur Leap of Faith w/ Matt Heinz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 163/: The Solo-preneur Leap of Faith w/ Matt Heinz 

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon martin and you're listening to Is this a good time? The show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. We hear their incredible stories. We really shows Tuesdays and thursday, so hit subscribe. So you don't miss hearing from our experts. Our guest today is Matt Heinz. He's the president of Heinz Marketing and man, if you don't know about Madame linkedin, then you are missing out. We talk a lot about his moment of being a solo preneurs and that leap of faith that he took this month sponsors Sandoz. So Sandoz, so the leading sending platform is the most effective way for revenue generating teams to stand out with new ways to engage. It struck strategic points throughout the customer journey by connecting with digital and physical strategies. Companies can engage, acquire and retain customers easier than ever before. All right, let's do this episode 80. Is this a good time? All right, everyone's super excited to have our guest today, Matt Hines, he is the president of Heinz Marketing, obviously his own marketing firm, Matt you've probably seen on linkedin. He's a thought leader for everything related to marketing, Digital marketing B two B marketing. Uh matt educate us today, man, this is gonna be fun. No pressure, right? Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, all the pressure, come on, you're you're in the frying pan. This is uh we we go we go right into it. Look, I'll meet no Phil I want to get into the questions. Tell me about, you know, your current role, what are you doing? You you've been consulting essentially for, you know, over 10 years and how you got here? Yeah, good question. So um matt Hines, founder President Heinz Marketing started this about 13 years ago with no intention other than just be a consultant helping companies dr B two B marketing and you know, it's just me, a bus bus pass and a laptop. And that's not an analogy, that's a real that was the first few days and months of that they were in the business. We've grown since then helping companies throughout north America build more predictable pipeline, really helping them be helping marketing teams become better revenue generators for the business and...

...to create more sustainable, predictable profitable pipeline for the organization's definitely not what I intended to do when I started my career. I'm a journalism and political science major from the University of Washington. My first job out of school, I was a reporter for a local newspaper covering state government, do all through high school and college and then got into it and kind of had this moment where like, I don't know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my career. So I went to a pR firm start at the very bottom, went to Microsoft a little while, rand marketing and a couple startups and eventually started this. So um definitely been an interesting journey along the way, but I've enjoyed it. What's this, what was the spark give me the spark I mean because you know I like the idea that you did the Microsoft thing you got to detect, then you got into startups and said, hey, you know I think a lot of people, maybe even in the past couple years pandemic related, whatever saying oh what I do for start ups, I can do for lots of startups and scale myself a little bit, you know, I think I I think of you know some of the folks that have been on like Justin and so forth, people that are becoming solo preneurs right in a way, this is 22,000 and eight I think when you started, what was the spark for that? Well it was November 2008 wouldn't market it just marketed just tanked. Um you know my wife is pregnant with our first child, so no time like the present, right? I mean I think, look there are three things in my life, at least three things in my life that if I would have waited until I was ready, I never would have done get married, have kids, start a business, truth be told, I'm not ready for any of those right now. Um but you know sometimes you just got to take a leap of faith and I think for me, you know I was a consultant literally didn't need anything more than a laptop and a bus pass. I had two clients that basically said, if you will quit your job and actually do this thing, you keep talking about, we would hire you right away. They followed through on that, it was just me, right? So it was, it was easy to get going and I had no intention of growing a business, so even though now, much bigger payroll, like got all the things, it didn't start that way, and we've been able to...

...grow organically to get into that. That said, you bring up an interesting point that there's a, there's a book by Michael Gerber called the E myth, and usually when you're in front of something that stands for electronic, right? In this case it did not. The e myth is the entrepreneur myth, and his point is that just because you're good at something doesn't mean you can run a business about it, right? Just because you're a great baker, just because you make great cakes, doesn't mean you would be successful running a bakery. You know, the act of running a business is different than the act of being good at what you do, right, and you have to do that plus other things to be successful, even in a small business, and I've met many people that are really good at various things where they could be consultants and they're great at that work, but either hate or are bad at the back office, you know, you've got me as a, as a consultant, like you're always prospecting, you're always building pipeline for the future, You have to get your bills paid, which means following up on stuff that's not for everybody. But part of the business. Let me ask you, give us a sense of the scale of things from when you started till now. I mean I bet you, everyone has seen some post of yours on linkedin. You have a lot of great thoughts and, and, and thought leadership that you put out there and so, you know, I, I imagine that your, your company is growing like crazy. But can you give a sense of that scale? Yeah, I mean we're probably smaller than people think like we're 16 people right now as we record this in October 2021. You know, we've got clients sort of all over North America. Our team is mostly here in western Washington. We just do most of our work remotely. But when I started again, just me again laptop and bus pass, no money completely bootstrapped. I didn't have other than my network. I didn't have, you know, uh, sort of places to go, generate leads. But I'm like, hey, I was trained as a reporter. I can write, I can't do a lot of things well, but I can write. So I started a blog. I started a newsletter and started trying to generate insights on social channels, not doing anything other than well. If I can leave a paper trail of the things I think about. If people that need help with something, see that I've got some interesting...

...things to say about those things and if they agree with me or disagree. But like the way I think maybe that gives me credibility to eventually get a, you know, a solo gig, you know, doing some consulting with them. That's how that all started. Then you just by doing that every day for 13 years, you develop an interesting body of work. And so I think, you know, we were now like we literally next month we'll celebrate 13 years in business. We just earlier this year hard, our very first visit every person we've never had someone in a biz dev capacity in the business. I think in part because we've been able to generate an interesting inbound and referral engine from a lot of the content we've gone and created and there's no secret sauce to this, right? I mean there's no like there was no grand vision of this grand master plan to build a content machine from the early days. It was, it was out of necessity. Yes. Finding prospects and, and, and sort of feed myself and my family and then it's just been a lot of consistency. I mean I literally have, it used to be laminated when I traveled more like I call it my daily do list and it's everything from network connections to follow ups to content creation and curation, it's doing the basics on a consistent daily basis. It builds into something interesting. Yeah, it's incredible. I always, I aspired to get there myself. Not that I probably have enough interesting things to say, but that's what everyone who does this says, just keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. And I'm always fearful that it would take hours and hours because I don't, I'm not a trained writer. Is that the way you feel? Is it something that takes more than a half hour day? Well it can, if you want it to, it depends on what you're doing, right? I mean if you, if you want to write a book, it's gonna take a while. It's not only going to take an awful lot of your time, but it's going to take, you gotta be really premeditated about what you're gonna do. And so that takes time. Let's say you're not a writer, but you know, you still have opinions on things like start a podcast, do some linkedin lives. Like put some videos up on instagram. I mean like literally like just one person, one person is good at from a format or a...

...form standpoint might not be what you do. Like, I mean, and one on one hand, I love that, I've got sort of a lot more video options now that we're sort of more remote so that I can actually create connections with people, but ran and you're looking at me, I got a face for radio. So doing written stuff where people didn't have to look at me was my jam. So I think, you know, I'm still, I I can have an idea on something and put together some copy pretty quickly. Like that's part of it is just the training part of it's just having done it for forever. And you know, Mark Twain once said if I'd had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. So there's something to be said for the fact that you give something more time, you create a more efficient, more effective piece of communication. There's also something to be said for like get yourself in the habit. I mean, I don't, every one of us is going through the day, subconsciously creating opinions about or reacting to the things we see around us and all. The only difference between, you know, folks that aren't creating a lot of content and folks that are, is that they have trained themselves to see the world around them as content sources. I mean literally take a post it note right now and write on it. What's my response to this? How do I feel about this? Right. Anything you experience, especially in your sphere of influence in the work you want to do. What's your reaction to what just happened? What's your reaction or opinion on what you just saw like that will create a never ending source of content options for you. That's, that's a great piece of advice. Love it. Well, let's, let's, let's keep going. You've certainly demonstrated and talked to us a little bit about the hard work that it took to get to where you are, any instances of kind of luck and chance that have allowed you to grow, you know, and any anyone you want to bring out now. Yeah, I would say, you know, for me it's, you know, I grew up in a family from the midwest, um, that taught me to just kind of put your heart head on every day, stay humble, do the work support and prioritize others, you know, I try to honor, you know, my, my parents and my dad passed a couple years ago, we tried to sort of continue to honor him and sort of how he taught me to sort of work and to just be humble and get the...

...job done and shine a light on others. So I think some of that is for sure. The way I've learned, I would say that I've had some great mentors along the way. People I've learned from people I continue to learn from that have been either doing it a lot longer than I have or just have a really great approach, not just to the work, but to life. I've been, I would say I've been really lucky to for last 78 years been a part of a group called e. O. Short for entrepreneur organization. Okay, it's a bunch of founders and entrepreneurs of mostly sort of small to medium sized businesses that you know that all realize that we're all making this up as we go and then, you know, running a business and also sort of being an entrepreneur is work life challenges, ups and downs all the time. So to be able to share to to share experiences and to share advice with each other and to get motivation and um advice from that group has been enormous and then quite frankly, as we have grown to put a focus on people and to put a focus on purpose, you know, we are very big. I mean again we're a very small company, this is our footprint in the world is very small, but that doesn't mean that for those people in the company, for their, for their families, for their communities, we can't create something interesting, we can't create something that's beyond just the work. Like I firmly believe like we can do things that change, not just how marketing is perceived and how marketing operates and organizations, but change the impact that has on careers and lives and starting with our own right. And so, you know, that's that's been a really, it's been a humbling and exciting part of growing a business and have being in a position to be able to impact some of those elements of the job. Yeah, I love that man, that's awesome. Well look, you probably have 1000 of these but and I know you put up, you know, you put a ton out there, but give us a tactic that you feel like has been working lately that you want to pass on to the world. So uh what comes to mind is sort of the continued sort of, you know, playing with the Lincoln algorithm and I'm getting, you know, everyone wants...

...to post a survey because Lincoln loves their surveys and so everyone's gonna serve because that drives traffic, you got to pump the brakes a little bit on frequency that. But what I have noticed though, and Lincoln is probably gonna go change now is that if you post something and simply put an image into your linkedin post, Lincoln also apparently likes images and I am terrible at remembering this when I do my linkedin posts. So you won't see a lot with images. But those, I have put it, there's something about the image of Lincoln says, oh we're going to this must be a good one, we're going to go expose this to a lot more people. So if you're using linkedin as I thought leadership channel, I mean, go get a shutter stock account, get some cheap, put images and just throw them up there and I bet you see an acceleration of impact growth. Hacking man, I like the Seymour button, the all those little tips. I love it one more. I will give you though, just on professional development. Um for those of you that sort of like to read books, but don't always feel like you have time to read books. A little company called blink kissed. You can got a subscription to it. Remember of Cliff notes, like when you were in high school, you didn't want to read Macbeth, so you got the Cliff Notes, whatever. Yeah, so I read um so you know, so, and then you get older and then you've got the executive book summaries, right? Like someone read lee Iacocca's, you know, sort of memoir and here's the gist of it. Think of blink, it's like the executive book summaries, but in podcast form, Oh listen to short summaries of the highlights of business sales, marketing, leadership books and you can throw that on 1.5 speed too. Right? So even though I'm too old for that, I got like the problem with that is if it's a 1.5 speed I have, I have to be paying attention to it. And usually if I'm listening to these, I'm driving, I'm working out, I'm kind of distract, I'm doing yard work, I'm distracted so I, I need to take my time or else it's just gonna be one, anyone you're out. All right, I like that. I, there's sometimes I gotta slow down. Sometimes I have to speed up the podcast. Sometimes I gotta slim down depending on who's who's the orator, So cool man, well look, any, any positions you're hiring for, you know, 16 people are you...

...growing? We are absolutely growing hiring this, you know, 2020 was an interesting year. This year has definitely been a growth here for us. We have, you know, we at this point we have sort of a 10 year vision of where we think we're going to go. We've got a three year blueprint of what we think, what we more specifically want to hit. And we've got, you know, moderate but real growth funds next year. So you're always looking for smart consultants, always looking for people who are passionate about B two B marketing at Varian various functions, but also passionate about changing how that is run and perceived in organizations, right? We don't need to be the arts and crafts department, We don't need to be subservient to sales, we need an equal place at the revenue and leadership table. And I think marketing and chief market officers can really sort of drive, understanding, understanding addressable market and drive go to market performance moving forward. So if anyone's passionate about that, you know, at all levels the organization, we're looking for good people love it, love it awesome. And uh any shout outs of people that you appreciate kind of the content they put up or you know, oh man, you know, there, there are so many people that I look at and I think as a marketer I would say that you know I tend to gravitate towards sales content more these days. So I said like you know find the places where you know as I think of us as full funnel marketers and we need to better understand and speak the language of sales. So shoutout to Trish Bertuzzi at the bridge group is producing great content, Laurie Richardson who not only sort of just great selling inside sales content but just as a huge advocate for women in sales at all levels Jill Konrath, one of the O. G. S. Of sales strategy. I used to get to see her more often than I do now and just really missing her and then I think about just people just people that not only are authors and speakers but also just read and publish on a regular basis. Um Mike Weinberg, Anthony ian Dory, no Mark Hunter, Jeb Blount keenan you know there's some just really great sales voices out there and God bless the world we live in right now. I mean like you can buy their books but you can also listen and watch and read them all for free. You know there are this feeds...

...and stuff. So yeah just constantly trying to learn more about you know if you're in marketing you're not spending active amount of time sitting with your sales team or getting into the head of house sales operates it is a hard hard job and you're not going to have a lot of credibility and aligning with them unless you truly understand how they work. Yeah, that's great. Like that's a that's a murderer's row of people to be listening to you. But I mean if you're listening and you just start listening and reading from some of the folks that was just mentioned there from Trish all the way down, man. You're gonna learn a lot in a short period of time. I'll tell you that, but put it into practice. All right, well look, that's for everybody else. This is for me where we eat and give me a restaurant. We that that's, you know, a favorite of yours that maybe people don't know about. Right? So there are so I have a top three list of the best meals I've had in my life. Okay, so one of them is Gramercy Tavern in midtown Manhattan. I went there with my I was in an agency back in the day and we took a client there and it was one of those five hour dinners. I can't imagine ever having a better dinner. It was just amazing. So there's that's one too, is, I don't remember the name of it, but it's a it's a burger basket place in Hamilton Montana. We were there for work related thing. It's about an hour south of Missoula. We were doing something up in sort of like this vacation rental place. We were starving when we came back off the hill. We found this place in town. It was like $5 burger basket with like it was just, it was the best hamburger I think I've ever had, wow for the name of it. But Hamilton Montana find the burger basket place and the third, the third continues to rotate. Like those two are like up here, right? And then so down here, number three, the current, the current on the list is the house of prime rib in san Francisco Brandon. They serve one thing and one thing, it's prime rib, right? And they have five, there's five things on the menu because there's, there's like a big piece of prime rib, obscene piece of prime rib. Prime rib that should take you a month to eat. Like they actually have in the corner of the menu. They have a fish special. I think that's...

...just for show. I don't think they've ever bought a fish in the entire existence of the restaurant and then all the exits, right? All the fixings. So you go there, you have to fast for four days and just know that you're gonna have to really watch your cholesterol level for the next six months. But phenomenon, I love it. I love, we're going to find this place, we're gonna find this burger spot. But I love that. I love that. I used to work for Danny meyer. So I love the Gramercy is your number one. Uh Gramercy is an incredible place, mat, it's so great to have you on appreciate you. And uh you're looking forward to continuing, you know, to keep up on your stuff. I just I love I love reading what you put out. I appreciate that. Thanks for the opportunity. All right. All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, write review apple podcast, Spotify Senate to friends. I know many of you listen and don't do that. Just go do that. Take five minutes. Come on. Now, reminder this episode was brought to you by santos. So they deliver modern direct mail, personalized gifts and other physical impressions that make your outreach more personal. I had a lot of fun today. I hope you did too. Now get out there. Pressure numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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