Monday, July 30, 2012

Writers and Writing: Danny Iny

Writer’s Block airs every Tuesday, at 9 a.m. MST on KFUN/KLVF, streaming live at

Take the Mystery Out of Marketing

One of the best online connections I’ve made in recent months is with the marketing whiz Danny Iny. I was lucky enough to get him to be on Writer’s Block on July 24 and his comments were both inspiring and specific. Marketing doesn’t have to be scary. It can in fact be fun and functional, more about results than processes and totally targeted. Danny doesn’t talk about the technicalities; he points out the techniques.

I’ve taken some of his free online classes and did a paid class about blogging. I’ve acquired new information and had old information demystified and made doable.

He graciously sent me written responses to some of my questions and I hope the information is as helpful to you as it has been to me. I’m not selling Danny, I’m sharing the cool truth that if you’re serious about growing your business, Danny can give you an advantage in the marketplace, no matter where that marketplace might be, online or on Main Street.

Q&A With Danny Iny

WB: Danny, let’s begin by you sharing with our audience a little bit about the genesis of Firepole Marketing.
DI: My initial copywriting business evolved into marketing consultancy, which was really more valuable to my clients, who were largely small business owners and entrepreneurs. Many were doing very well, able to afford my services, but many who couldn’t afford to hire me also needed help. I could help a few people on an individual basis, but I felt like more was necessary, so Firepole Marketing began as a comprehensive training program for entrepreneurs, and the blog was built as a way to reach them.

WB: You have a particular philosophy about writing the support materials you’ve created, like Engagement from Scratch! Tell us how you approach writing the books you’ve written.
DI: I never identify myself as an online or an internet marketer. I’m a marketer, and whether it’s online or off, and marketing is about reaching people. Given that a lot of what I do is online, and given that the cost of delivering stuff to people, that gives me a lot more freedom. Also, really, no one makes money selling books, in traditional publishing, authors receive a very small percentage of revenues, and it’s the same online unless you’re selling hundreds of thousands or millions of copies. So it’s really not a great way to make money, so it’s important to have different goals. So Engagement from Scratch! is available on Amazon and Kindle for a price, but you can go to and download the whole thing for free. I could be cannibalizing sales, but it doesn’t really matter. Some people who download go on to buy the book, but all give me the opportunity to engage with them. The book has been downloaded almost 12,000 times, and those are all people I now have a chance to engage with. People who buy from Amazon, I don’t get to do that. When I have the chance to interact with people, I can find out what they need, what they want and deliver content accordingly. Having access to people is much, much more lucrative in the long run than book sales.

WB: You are a prolific blogger providing free instruction on how to be better at self-promotion. Talk a little bit about how you stay inspired to write regularly on variations of the same subject.
DI: I only really write variations of the same topic when I’m launching a new project, and I have the fire and drive to write about the same thing again and again, but there’s a trap. It’s a trap of art, where you don’t feel you have to hold thing up to an external standard of measurement, which is great – but once you’re writing for an audience, how good it is matters to that audience. All of the different blogs I write for, I can’t write the same thing for each, I have to make sure my ideas are relevant to those different audiences. Writing is really an act of service. The rest of the time, I just write about things I’m passionate about. Once you get over a certain volume of writing, it gets easier, you get inspired and into it and find that there are almost infinite things and aspects to write about on your theme.

WB: You have good suggestions about how to make writing, particularly for blogs, easier. But looking at the materials, in terms of being an entrepreneur, this is also a good way to just organize your thinking. Could you talk about that?
DI: Sure, I teach a quote unquote formula for writing posts, it’s really simple, and can be done quickly. At its core is a really simple copywriting formula. As a blog post you have your hook – pain or pleasure, the problem, what is stopping them from ending the pain or getting the pleasure the reason for the problem, the solution and how to implement it. From a copywriting perspective, you’re building a connection, describing the problem, an “a-ha!” moment, explaining how you can help, then a call to action. At a high level, marketing is the majority of your business strategy. It’s all about determining how to share what you have to offer. Marketing is often made much more complicated than it needs to be, what you really have is a lot of people talking about it without knowing what they’re doing. I think the reason I’ve been successful is that I play to my strength, which is teaching, I’m good at figuring out how people are looking at things, and how I can speak to them so they’ll understand, which is what a good marketer really does.

WB: You offer a lot of free material, not overloaded with sales pitches for your own products, which are coaching, training and marketing. Give us your philosophy about what makes business work.
DI: At its core, good marketing, which is 90 percent of your business strategy, there are three stages to it – alignment, figuring out who is the exact person you want to reach and making sure you have something they’ll love. Then comes attraction – they need to notice you. Following that is engagement, a recurring cycle of commitment and reward – you can’t go from zero to sixty – it takes time to build up to a relationship that’s ready for a purchase. So I don’t pitch my products on my blog because it’s not a good place to pitch products, people come for information, not to buy. I want people to get to know me and trust me first, apply some of my teachings to their business, and then trust me with their name and email address, for which I reward them with even more great stuff. My selling is about an earnest exploration of fit, and if that fit is there, then it’s probably I your best interest to buy, and if it’s not a good fit – then you shouldn’t buy! I have those conversations through email and on webinars, because that’s where they’re committed and ready for it.

People tend to have a misconception that they either have to try to build relationships or make the most money – that’s a false dichotomy. With very few exceptions, what’s right to do is best for business. I could apply as much pressure as possible, and get people to buy quickly, and I’d make a little more money right away, but more would be turned off, and that’s not good business.

WB: You recently released the 42-page, Naked Marketing Manifesto, and are working on turning it into a full-fledged book. Give our listeners a little background about the manifesto, why you wrote it and how its naked truths can help even a novice entrepreneur become a more effective marketer.
DI: I wrote the Naked Marketing manifesto because a lot of people came to me, they were just getting started, and asking for book recommendations. I have a lot of books, but there was none I could point to as a go-to, getting started book. Within the subsets of marketing, there are plenty of canonical books, but there really isn’t one for Marketing, overall, and that drives me nuts because marketing is simple – not easy, but simple – you shouldn’t have to read dozens of books to understand it. So the manifesto goes over, clearly, what marketing is, and gives you a method to determine if it’s being done right or wrong. The response has been so strong that I decided it should be turned into a whole book. It really comes down to finding out who the single best person is for your business (who you want to see naked), and then make sure that you’re the type of person that they want to see naked too.

Danny had a lot more to say, but the thing I took away from our conversation and from his classes was to do it. Don't forever talk about and plan what you're going to do, DO it. The danger in over thinking something is that you never do it at all. With Danny's recommendations you can take the mystery out of marketing and put it to work for you.


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  1. I loved this interview. I am definitely going to check out his material. Seemed down to earth and practical and understood the needs of his clients.

  2. Thanks. I agree. His suggestions have been helpful to me.