Thrive in a World Full of Extroverts with Matthew Pollard
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. Should introverts push themselves to become extroverts or can they stay in their comfort zones and still build successful businesses?
Today we speak with Matthew Pollard, the Rapid Growth Guy and self-professed introverted entrepreneur. In this episode, Matthew talks about growing 5 multi-million dollar businesses from the ground up before turning thirty.
Matthew is originally from the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, but is now mainly based in the U.S. The move came about when he was doing some world travel and met the love of his life in Texas. He was still drawn to the travelling entrepreneur lifestyle, so he launched his first online business. Preferring to stay behind the computer, Matthew was convinced that selling to people by phone or in person was a waste of time.
Had Matthew known back then what he knows now about sales, he says he would have grown faster and made much more money. Despite that, 7 months after launching online, he was listed by Evan Carmichael as one of the most retweeted business coaches on Twitter, he won blogging awards and was earning the income he always wanted. He credits finding his passion early on to his success in his first business.
Most recently, Matthew has written a best-selling book, Introvert’s Edge, where he gives introverts a powerful, practical and unique approach to selling without the need to be aggressive or overly “sales-y”.
The Importance Of Finding Your Niche
After Matthew won the Young Achiever Award in Melbourne, he remembers going home to his luxury apartment, looking out the window and feeling utterly miserable. He spent his entire life convincing people that he was worthy through his business endeavours but he somehow felt empty. Growing up as an introvert in high school, it was all too easy for Matthew to feel isolated and incompetent in his abilities.
Our family and friends can tend to influence what our goals are and it’s easy to barrel ahead with these goals, only to later realise that it wasn’t really what you wanted. This is why Matthew says it’s important to know your passion, which can then translate into your niche.
Niching Down The Right Way
In order to find your niche, you must first find your passion. Matthew suggests this exercise:
- Write down three business goals and three career goals. (Don’t be afraid to be selfish about your personal goals.)
- Now summarise each of those goals in about 250 words including why it’s important to you.
By doing this, some people will find out they’ve been pursuing a goal they never meant to pursue or they’ve been pursuing one that’s unimportant to them. Others might remain confused in their summaries, writing additional goals and escape clauses without clear and concise results.
Matthew says the key to this exercise is to listen to yourself without the distraction of technology, even if you have to take a week-long camping trip. Eventually, you will start writing your summaries from a place of passion and that’s where you will find a worthwhile business niche. If any fears, barriers or conflicts come up while writing, try discussing them with a friend.
In truth, following your passion isn’t easy but as the great Jim Carrey said:
You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
How do we fight imposter syndrome in the sales world? The answer, Matthew says, is niching. If you go for a broad audience and market yourself within a niche like say “Sales for Introverts,” you may not be taken seriously. You may also be compared to other more successful coaches already in that popular niche. Matthew was able to find a very specific niche by combining his talents in:
- Inbound/outbound marketing
- Sales and branding
This formed his niche, “The Rapid Growth Guy”. Matthew describes his term, “Rapid Growth” as a unified message, it intrigues people and is a clear selling point. After establishing a niche, Matthew launched his program The Better Business Coach, where he teaches business coaches how to get their first clients and what to do during their first five sessions. After the rapid success of this program, Matthew started expanding his niche into different areas such as “Rapid Growth for Service Providers,” “Rapid Growth for International Service Providers,” and of course, “Rapid Growth for Introverts”.
Working out your unique value and owning your skillset is imperative for rapid growth, building your unique business from the ground up, and feeling authentic about what you’re offering.
What’s the best way to brand practically? When you look at what you offer, you can often miss your unique skills that actually enhance yours and others’ business. In crowded marketplaces, the people who win are those who undercut the competition not those with the best skills to offer.
For example, a client of Matthew expanded into China and offered services helping others to function in the Chinese business world. Her coaching topics were – long-term contracts, the difference between eCommerce in the west to the east, and the importance of respect.
Matthew urged his client to zone in on her most unique skills and sell her services as a “China Success Coach,” and to sell it to a very specific client – immigration attorneys. By finding her niche and being in partnership with various law offices, she was able to make $27,000 per sale.
The client could have hustled around selling her services, but she might have ended up feeling inauthentic and as an introvert, drained from overselling. Specifying your niche and focussing your brand gets you heard in a crowded marketplace.
From Zero to Hero
Matthew is a busy guy, but a key to his success is prioritising and focussing on exactly what he needs to focus on, which is mainly marketing.
The key things that helped Matthew make it from his humble beginnings:
- He started all of his five businesses with only $5,000 as a seeding fund. Every dollar he’s spent has come from the money he makes out of his businesses.
- When he first started, Matthew wrote three great blog posts which acted as a “front page” to his brand.
- He would speak at events and would offer his product to anyone who gave him their business card. This is how he gained a lot of his preliminary clients.
- Matthew hired a full-time Executive Assistant who also had copywriting experience. This allowed him to post more content and gain more exposure online.
- Matthew hired a writer’s assistant to help write his book, “Introvert’s Edge,” as well as a video editing team to help with his video content. Leaving time and energy for Matthew to focus on his priorities.
- He categorised his expenditures, for example, everything he earned from speaking went towards capital expenditures (ie. book, online academy). Anything paid through coaching he used to build his academy and for living expenses.
Tune in for this and much more on this week’s WP Elevation Podcast!