TRANSCRIPT Ep. 252: 5 Strategies to Build Your Audience and Your Network with Mike Kim


Mike Kim:  I always say that relationships are rocket ships. Right. You can only go so far on your own. I mean, there’s a million proverbs that and pithy sayings that say something along those lines, right? You want to go far. You want to go fast, go alone. You want to go far, go together.

Miriam Schulman: One in-person event will outdo months of Instagram.

Mike Kim: If you’re a good person and you’re intentional about helping people out when they need it, they’ll help you out when you need it.

Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Shulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an Art World Insider podcast for artists by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.

Miriam Schulman: Well, hey, there Artpreneur. This is Miriam Schulman. Your curator of inspiration and you’re listening to episode number 252 of The Inspiration Place podcast. I’m so grateful that you’re here. Today, we’re talking all about the power of relationships. So to help me out, today’s guest is a brand strategist for business for thought leaders, coaches, artists and authors who want to create impact with their ideas and get their message heard. He’s the author of Wall Street Journal’s best-selling book You Are The Brand: The 8-Step Blueprint to Showcase Your Unique Expertise and Build a Highly Profitable, Personally Fulfilling Business. Please welcome to The Inspiration Place, Mike Kim.

Mike Kim: Oh, thank you for that intro. I feel all teed up. I hope I do not disappoint. So good to be here, Miriam. Thanks for having me.

Miriam Schulman: I’m so happy to have you here. So when I was on your podcast and you asked me if my book was translated from New Jersey to something else, and I didn’t appreciate how your book is written in New Jersey as well.

Mike Kim: It is. We’re Jersey people.

Miriam Schulman: Can we just say Kinderkamack Road?

Mike Kim: Yes. Kinderkamack Road, the longest road in Bergen County. Spans like eight different towns or something like that. Just wild. And this is where we’re from. You might as well own it.

Miriam Schulman: Did you also mourn Bischoff’s closing?

Mike Kim: Yes.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah

Mike Kim: Yes. A lot has changed.

Miriam Schulman: What was your favorite flavor there?

Mike Kim: I’m just like a chocolate. Like, it doesn’t matter. Like I’m plain, you know?

Miriam Schulman: So for those of you who are not from New Jersey, Bischoff’s is this ice cream parlor that was there for over 50 years. And the decor looked like it. I don’t think they changed it once the entire time.

Mike Kim: Yeah, that was pre-Instagram days. Now people have to kind of consider the decor because everyone’s got a phone, I guess, and can be like, ‘This place is nasty, don’t get your ice cream here.’ But that’s what it was. The simpler times. Simpler times for sure.

Miriam Schulman: So I do have your book. You Are The Brand. It was excellent. And the part that I thought, Oh, you know what? Before we get into the book, you know what else we have to talk about? So one of the things you talk about in the book is like, what do you really get pissed off about? And I am an Enneagram 8, which means I’m constantly pissed off. You’re an 8 too. Don’t you just walk around constantly pissed off? Like, how do you handle that? And it’s worse now that I’m going through menopause. Like, I’m really pissed all the time.

Mike Kim: This is why I have to meditate. Like, do a gratitude journal, take cold showers, like I start my day angry. Like my friends? I’m not like some super biohacker but I started taking these cold showers in the morning because–I don’t know. Because why not? Right? And now I can’t stop. But literally, I think my neighbors think I’m crazy and like, it gets the charge out of me. Like I come back to neutral and then I start meditating. I’m like, Zenned out. But by like 4:00, I’m just like, what the heck is up with the world? So, yes, to your point, yeah, I’m kind of always like, very intense. There’s like this quiet intensity raging on the inside. It’s like a duck looks calm on the outside, but under the water, they’re paddling like crazy.

Miriam Schulman: That’s how I describe podcasting. I’ve said that all the time. It’s like I feel like a duck where you’re trying to look calm and make it look effortless. But under the surface, I’m like, going, Like this.

Mike Kim: Yeah, there’s just all this stuff going on. And that’s what it’s like to be in Enneagram 8. For all of you who don’t know, we don’t do anything with a low level of intensity.

Miriam Schulman: No. So and for those of you who don’t know Enneagram, do you happen to have a podcast episode about Enneagram? Because I haven’t done one yet.

Mike Kim: I have not. I think people know I’m an 8, so the people who do follow, like the Enneagram kind of know what I’m talking about. But no, I’ve never done one fully on it. I like personality tests. I like these different kind of rubrics. I’m really into human design right now and unpacking that woowoo stuff, but I feel very, very seen. That’s what I’ll say. I’m like, okay, this thing is like reading me like a book, but yeah, maybe, maybe down the road.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah, I’ll try to link in the show notes for anybody who doesn’t know what that is. I heard a podcast about it and when they got to the I didn’t even take a quiz. When they got to the description of 8, they said an 8can have an argument in an empty house. I was like, Oh, that’s me. Like, I raise like I’m constantly yelling at the computer.

Mike Kim: I mean, my dog. That’s why my dog is here, poor thing. You know, I just sometimes talk to her. I’m like, Fuji. Can you believe this crap? Like, you know? And I’m just like, if these. If these walls could talk.

Miriam Schulman: All right. So let’s get into today’s content. You have a lot in the book, but the one part that I thought would be really valuable to focus on because I don’t think I talk enough about it on the podcast, and that is the power of relationships. And one of the reasons why I felt so important for me to talk about it right now is because all that I’ve invested in relationships has helped me so much. And I know from your story you can say exactly the same thing. Both of us have invested a lot in our peer relationships and our mentor relationships when in all the different ways they exist. So I think this will be a super valuable conversation for my audience, and you need to take it seriously. What we’re saying here, it’s very, very important. I don’t talk about it enough, but really, artists, they they’re introverts, They like to work in their studios. But if you look back throughout history, the most famous artists that we all can name all had a big investment in their relationships. So you look at Matisse and Picasso who were hobnobbing with Gertrude Stein. You look at the French impressionists who are all at cafes together. You look at Helen Frankenthaler and the other woman, the Ninth Street woman from the abstract expressionist movement. They were investing into their relationships, both up, down and sideways. So that is what we’re going to talk about today.

Mike Kim: I love it. I always say that relationships are rocket ships. Right. Like, you can only go so far on your own. I mean, there’s a million proverbs that and pithy sayings that say something along those lines, right? You want to go far. You want to go fast, go alone and want to go far, go together. Right? Stuff like that. For me, relationships, what’s helped me kind of navigate all that is to kind of look at it spatially. I talk about this a little bit, and it’s, of course, the last chapter in the book. So it’s the chapter that the least amount of people read, but it’s like, partner up. Collaborate across and mentor around. And that kind–I’m a visual person, so that kind of helps me find myself. If I’m looking for a partner up, it’s somebody that can really amplify me. Probably I’ve got more to gain than they do. So I’ve got to bring something unique to the table. I probably can’t bring more of what they have. For example, if they have an audience or publicity or connections, I might not be able to bring something of the equivalent to them. So I’ve got to get creative with what I can bring, right? The collaborative cross is awesome because you just kind of grow with people. Your friends grow. I mean, you mentioned a lot of our colleagues that we met because of Selena.

You know, and so, like, that’s really cool. And the fun thing is when when you’re friends with growing people, there’s only an upside. Everyone’s only getting bigger and more accomplished and and can be more supportive. For you, I always find it funny, Miraim, when people say like, Oh, the the online world or name any subculture that is so cliquish and everyone just all the popular people hanging out with each other, I’m like, no, they don’t. They just went to school together. Like they have that bond because they got their start together. And so there’s that level of relationship and history. They just happen to be the class and graduated before you, if you want to use that analogy. Right? So they’re not being super elitist. They just knew each other when they were all starting out. I think about my buddy Jared, and we started out around the same time 2013 and he’s the co founder of Podcast Movement, which is like the largest podcast conference in the country. To me, he’s Jared. Oh hey man, great, great scene. And then the collaborative collaborate across, you could do that. But then the mentor around is of course the people that we really coach and help and guide. They look to us. And so, those three levels have always helped me kind of sift through what I can bring uniquely to the table to each relationship.

Miriam Schulman: Okay, so I’m going to cue you up for each of the strategies in your book. So don’t worry. This is not a quiz about what you wrote in the book. I always hate when people do that to me. It was like, ‘What, do you really think? I memorized the whole thing’. But before we get there, I just want to say, like, just so our listeners understand, we wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for the way we invest in our relationships. So I hired a publicist. Well, I’ve hired a few, but one of them I hired I asked them to pitch you, and she says, Oh, no, we got back this thing back saying, No, we don’t take cold pitches, blah, blah, blah. So I was like, All right, well, I bet I can do better. So I just e-mail Mike. I said, Hey, Mike, remember me? We met at Selena’s thing. I forget what I said and you’re like, Sure, let’s meet. And then it was like, we’re chatting like, Yeah, let’s swap podcast. Now of course we can do that because we are collaborating across and so we’ll get more into that. But it just shows like you can hire all these people, but it’s so much easier and less expensive to do it yourself. That’s what really matters.

Mike Kim: I love that you mentioned that you know this because you just went through a book launch and I did one, two years ago, and I think I did something like 77 podcast episodes, interviews for the book. They were all friends.

Miriam Schulman: I believe it because I’ve hired publicist and right now, like I’m beating them and the number that I’ve booked personally versus how many they’ve booked. So it’s like I’m going to let them run their course and then I’m going to take over again because there’s.

Mike Kim: Yeah, yeah. And so that just it just goes to show like if you’re a good person and you’re, you’re intentional about helping people out when they need it, they’ll help you out when you need it.

Miriam Schulman: That’s right.

Mike Kim: And I also found, like the good people, know more good people who know more good people. And so for me, like Selena is one of those people. I can’t name a single person I’ve met through her that I did not jive with. So if that’s it, I’m a friend of her. Okay, cool. Yeah.

Miriam Schulman: Right.

Mike Kim: Easy. You know?

Miriam Schulman: Because you’re vetted.

Mike Kim: Mm-hmm.

Miriam Schulman: Okay so let’s talk about strategy #1, because this is really helpful to our listeners and this is become someone else’s best case study.

Mike Kim: Yeah. Okay. I love this one. So. The way my mind works is if I’m working with a coach or a mentor of some sort, I’m in some sort of developmental relationship with them, right? They’re trying to help me grow something in my life. Who are they going to pay the most attention to? The people who are paying them the most money. Right? The—hopefully the people who are paying to work with them. And by just virtue of you paying to work with them, you are in a smaller pool. So one of the folks that I learned from very early on is name’s Michael Hyatt. I have no idea how I found him. I think he just had good SEO. And I looked up blogging and I found him and I listened to his podcast, which I thought had a good jillion listeners. Right? And then I joined his email list, which I’m like, He must have like 300,000 email subscribers. And I followed him on Twitter, you know, 100,000 followers on Twitter. And then I joined his membership site and there were 50 people in it. And I was like, Duh. And I’m spending more time with him in that setting and it eventually grew. But what I realized, Miriam, was like nobody else was really doing a lot of the work. Yeah. So let me just do it and I’ll probably stand out. And that’s exactly what happened.

Miriam Schulman: And you want to share, like maybe one job that’s led from that relationship. I’m sure there’s many.

Mike Kim: Well, first of all, he started tweeting my articles out from his Twitter account. That was a big deal in 2012, 2013. Right. There’s a pre-Instagram days, pre-Instagram reels and all this video content. And so people were reading my blog, They were starting to follow me because he platformed–he essentially platformed me. And he did that because I was taking his course and I was very open about taking his course. I was like, I’m taking Mike Hyatt’s course and this is what it’s helping me do. And he tweeted me out. And so that was really, really affirming to me. Like I was very encouraged by that. But then after a year of doing this, I went to his conference, met him. He’s like, Hey, we’re doing a promotional webinar for the same program. Would you mind being a case study on the webinar? So I was on a webinar with him, a lot of his constituents. So Stu McLaren back then was working with Michael, building out his membership site. Now, Stu struck out on his own and is known as the guru for membership sites. Well, I knew him because of that initial webinar. So like we’ve connected and—again like they were way ahead of me where I was at that point in my career.

But now it’s like, Hey, congrats on your success, Mike. We’re so happy for you. And they see me sort of like a respected colleague. In peer, and the nature of that relationship has changed, whereas once it used to be a student. But I couldn’t buy that kind of exposure. Like when people saw me in a webinar with Michael, my own small following, they’re like, Oh my gosh, this guy’s got it made. He’s got like, Wow, that’s a huge deal. So I joined programs and I did the work and I became their best case study because I just figured if I had a program, that’s what I would want. I’d want to be able to point to one or two superstars and say like, you know what, I was part of their journey. That’s something that is priceless that you can give to a partner-up like Mike was for me. I couldn’t compete on numbers and exposure, but I could give him this gift of actually being somebody who really, really set a winning trajectory because of his programs. And that’s why I’m so vocal about what he’s done for me.

Miriam Schulman: So I can give a few examples of where I’ve been someone else’s good case study. But I think would be more instructive right now is to talk about when my students have been my best case study. So I’m always getting pitched by artists to come on to my podcast. But guess who gets to come on my podcast?

Mike Kim: Your students.

Miriam Schulman: My star students.

Mike Kim: 1000%

Miriam Schulman: The ones who show up and do the work and listen to me and have success. I mean, that’s why Priya Gore was on the podcast, that’s why Marianne Nielsen was on the podcast. That’s why Ciara Gilmore was on the podcast. Like I could name a dozen more, but we’ll link to them in the show notes. But yeah, you want to be on my podcast, join my program and be my next success story. It’s not that hard.

Mike Kim: It’s not that hard. And it’s not hard for you to guess because you get pitched all the time. And, you know, like. I know you’ll resonate with this. A lot of the guests I’ve had on my podcast are in my mastermind groups, and for many of them, I’m the first person that has ever interviewed them. And I coached them through it. So [inaudible] people don’t know that was their first-ever interview. But I’m working with them every two weeks in a mastermind, so obviously I know them, there’s a rapport, they’re comfortable and I want to see them win.

Miriam Schulman: That’s right. And then we’re just ducks, making it look effortless and paddling under the surface.

Mike Kim: Yeah. And we open up time for connections like this. That’s right. It’s like, Hey, I just had Laura Bitoiu, who is also a friend of Selina’s. I just interviewed her on my show. Right. And it’s just this whole world is good people know more good people who know more good people.

Miriam Schulman: Okay, so let’s get to strategy 2, Invest in More Exclusive Opportunities.

Mike Kim: Yes. So before I was talking about Mike Hyatt’s membership site, that was, I think, $30 a month. So he’s obviously selling through volume. You’re not getting one on one time with him. He’s not really getting to know you. You’re a face on a very, very large webinar call. Right. But you’re still in the forms. He’s checking the forms and so on and so forth. There came an opportunity to join a mastermind group, and I had heard about mastermind groups. I had never been in one and it was run by a guy named Ray Edwards, who was a friend of Michael’s. And I felt like there was more of a direct synergy with him because he was a copywriter. And I was a copywriter. So I was like, Well, that’s great. I’ll kind of join his mastermind group. So now, instead of being one of 1000 membership site students, I was one of 20 in a mastermind and we met every single week and we would meet twice a year in person. And I just kept doing the work and growing and lo and behold, when it was time for me to do my first launch, Ray was like, Yeah, I’ll promote it and send people to your webinar.

I mean, that was such an inflection point for me. But it’s all predicated on those more exclusive opportunities. Even if it’s a two-day smaller group gathering, smaller is better. If you can afford it, invest in going to a mastermind for one or two days. And I didn’t actually talk about this in the book. I’ve actually taken speaking engagements for events that are really small. You know, those funny events where, like everybody’s a speaker. You know, it’s like half the half the event is speakers and the other half are like the people who bought the ticket. And you’re like, What are we doing here? You know? But I went to a couple of those events and they weren’t huge crowds, but there were like 15 speakers and 25 attendees. So you had about 50 people. But all I did was hang out with the other speakers and those people became friends. So it’s that exclusivity and you know this from speaking at conferences, you just get to know the other speakers. That is an exclusive opportunity. It’s a way to connect and network. So yeah, you just try to find those more exclusive opportunities.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. So what Mike was just sharing was joining somebody’s high-end paid mastermind to have more access and a better relationship with the person running it. But what I found when I–which is absolutely true, but what I found and the reason why I joined a high-end mastermind for the first time was access to their network. So the first mastermind I joined was with Jason Van Orden, and I picked him because I knew he had a very rich network and that’s how I met Selena Soo and many, many other people who are, which eventually led to meeting Mike Kim. I think you almost joined that mastermind. Am I right about that?

Mike Kim: Yeah. Yeah. I just couldn’t make it work. I remember and I’ve met Jason a couple of times and he was through somebody else. He was like this famous podcaster. When I started out, I was like, Oh my God, Jason’s going to be there. And just introduced to him and, and yeah, it’s just kind of crazy how that works. Like, I was just this just happened last week. I was speaking at a friend’s event. It was his first event, very small event. I said, Yes, I will support you like I want to be there, I’ll promote it. And one of the other speakers, David Meltzer, decides to host a two-hour mastermind while we’re all at the event. So I get in that room. There’s eight of us. The six of the other eight people run their own conferences. And a guy comes up to me. ‘Mike, I love what you’re sharing in the Mastermind. I saw your session. Like, I want you to speak at our event in August in Phoenix.’ Boom. It’s like. Or I could spend seven days a week on LinkedIn pitching people to get on their stage. Right. And yeah, there’s some merit to that. But my God, this is just such an accelerant. Like we sometimes forget. It’s just people to people. It’s that simple.

Miriam Schulman: So David, I just interviewed him recently and I don’t remember if his episode is going before yours or after. But what we talk about is the power of in-person. There’s just there’s something about it that really accelerates the relationship. It accelerates your ability to sell to the artists who are thinking about going in person. Yes, please do it. One in-person event will outdo months of Instagram.

Mike Kim: Yeah, that’s a quote, ladies and gentlemen. That right there. You know, it reminds me of when I was writing my book. I was doing some research. I met this guy named Rick Barker. It turned out he was Taylor Swift’s, like, first manager. He’s big in the national scene and he was with her when she was just up and coming, like before she became who she was. And I’m going to mess up these numbers or whatever. But she said, Mr. Barker, I’d like to sell a million records. And he said, Well, then you’re going to have to meet a million people face to face. Are you willing to do that? And she was. And if you remember, she kind of got like I think she used MySpace back then. Right.

Miriam Schulman: Don’t laugh. Some people are going back to it.

Mike Kim: Yeah. And he was like, she would play a show and stay for hours outside and just meet every single person and talk to them. And I know she’s this icon now, but her inner circle of fans, she still does that. She sends out like secret invites. No phones are allowed and they go to her house. And she plays them a private concert. And it’s like 50 people. And like, I’ve never forgotten that. And here we have people who are trying to be like Internet celebrities and all they want to do is like, stay. Like Taylor Swift paid the price.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah.

Mike Kim: To do in person.

Miriam Schulman: There’s something you said in your book. I don’t even remember which chapter was, but it was so brilliant where you said you can’t run your business from like the box seat or something like that. You got to get down in the stadium.

Mike Kim: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get on the field. Get in the dirt with people. Walk with them. Mike Hyatt actually had this wonderful analogy. You know, I lucked out. I had a good mentor right off the bat, and he said, you can adopt three different postures with your audience. You can be a sage up on the cliff, you know, speaking to the masses. You can be a sherpa, which is a guide up and down the mountain or you can be a fellow struggler. I loved that because it allows us the freedom to speak and share and build relationships. Based on our level of expertise, like I am not a workout or body-hacking expert. I’m a guy trying to stay in shape and make sure that I’m not in pain in 20 years because I didn’t do the work now. I’m a fellow struggler, so when I share what I’m doing with a workout, I might say, Hey, everybody, eat your calories and track your macros like I’m some know it all. I don’t know anything. But they resonate with me because I’m a fellow struggler. I’ve learned a few things about business, and so I kind of approach that as a Sherpa, and I definitely know some things about personal branding. So that’s where I’ve been in the space now, and I can kind of share this content that’s always helped me too. And like just understanding that level of relationship and where I want to speak from.

Miriam Schulman: Strategy 3 Contribute your skills to cultivate partnerships.

Mike Kim: Hmm. Okay so I realized that like, a lot of the big name people I’ve been able to associate with. That happened because I was complimenting something rather than competing with them. So Donald Miller, really well-known author, reaches out years and years ago. Can you help me with a project? I say sure. I’m not that familiar with your stuff, but yeah, sure. And he was like, You were highly recommended by some friends of mine and oddly enough, Michael Hyatt and this guy Ray that I was in a mastermind with. They’re friends with him. So I came into that scenario as a contractor. I was there to contribute to this guy’s business. And it wasn’t his responsibility to platform me in any way because I’m a contractor. But he did.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah.

Mike Kim: Same thing happened with John Maxwell. Years later, his coaching company hired me to do some of the marketing, and I had my own personal brand. I had my own podcast. So I came in as a contributor and my personal brand prevented me from just being seen as the hired help.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah.

Mike Kim: I had a body of work and I was like, Hey, do you need two extra speakers for the conference? I can get these guys. And they didn’t have relationships with them. So I leveraged some of my relationships to get the exec VP of Disney to speak at his conference. Like they’re like, Oh, wow, Mike’s way more than just the marketing guy. This is very cool. But then he platformed me. I’ve probably made more money from being platformed by him than what they paid me, and they paid me a lot. But some of those people I saw you on John Stage because they put you on that panel five years ago and they’re in my mastermind today.

Miriam Schulman: That’s great. I love that.

Mike Kim: But if I came to John, I was like, Hey, can I speak at your conference? You know, probably not going to work because he doesn’t know who I am. So for artists and creatives, we have a skill that we can often use to contribute. To someone. You mentioned all these famous legendary artists before, their hobnobbing with the elite, with the wealthy, because they’re giving those folks something that they can’t get elsewhere. They’re getting a piece commissioned for them or whatever it is. And that’s what gets you in the door.


Miriam Schulman: Yeah. And one of the things that I really loved about the book Ninth Street Women, and I think the author is Mary Gabriel, so they talk about Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell and Grace Hartigan. I think I got them all, but I’m not sure is that they weren’t just friends with other artists. They were friends with choreographers, they were friends with poets, they were friends with journalists. So it was like kind of having these little like I would get these little nerdgasms when I would like, there would be a little celebrity cameo coming up in the book of somebody that they knew. But this is exactly what we’re talking about, is they had relationships across platforms and there were collaborations happening and people were able to help each other and then the rising tide lift all their ships. So yeah, there’s something very powerful about that. Okay. My favorite strategy is the next one, because I have a different version of this. So Mike Kim, tell us about the epic breakfast.

Mike Kim: All right.

Miriam Schulman: You didn’t remember what you didn’t know what the favorite strategy.

Mike Kim: Okay. So the epic breakfast, I did this a number of times in cities across the US when I would be out at a conference. And more often than not, it was not a conference that I was speaking at. It was just something I was attending. So my very first one, I was attending a two-day workshop in Nashville, but I happened to at that point get to know a lot of people in the area. Some of the mentors I’ve talked about on this call, Michael Hyatt, they live in Nashville. So I said, Why don’t I try to hold a breakfast and just invite everybody? I’ll pay for the breakfast and just invite them to something where they can kind of strategize. It was almost like a mini mastermind over breakfast. The sharing ideas, and that will definitely elevate me in a lot of way. I’ll be known as a connector, not just a speaker or a blogger or a podcaster. I’ll be known as a connector, and I’ll be known as somebody who, like you said, with other people like Jason, have rich relationships, have a good network. Well, how do you grow a network? You gather people together, you host parties. You become the hub and the reason why people meet.

I remember at that meetup there were like 15 people there. I was scared out of my mind. I was very nervous. I was like, Holy cow, I can’t believe all these high-end people came to this breakfast and how I got them there was high school. Just high school. All of life is high school with just more money and bigger toys. Hey, I’d love for you to come to this breakfast I’m hosting. It’s invite only. There’s two people I think you could meet there. Did I invite those two people yet? No, I just said I think there’s two people that are going to be there that you should really meet. Then I go to those other two people. But hey, I’m going to host a breakfast. It’s on me like, but there’s two people that I think you need to meet there, and I’m going to pay for everything. It’s all good. All you have to do is show up and they’re like, Okay, cool. I–actually do you know somebody who–do you know Mike? Do you think you can get Michael to come to our breakfast? And one of the guys got Michael to come to the breakfast. But you know what he told me? He said. Are you going to Mike Kim’s breakfast? I’ll go if you go. It’s all high school. It’s just life is just high school, right? And you got to just start the ball rolling. That picture we took a picture in front of–After breakfast, it got plastered all over social media. There was so much FOMO. People like, where was this breakfast? When was it? Who did this and why wasn’t I invited? And my DMs blew up. When’s the next one that you’re doing? I want to be there. Blah, blah, blah. Hilarious.

Miriam Schulman: That’s awesome. All right. So I do a version of this. I don’t do the social media thing. To me, it’s all about. I’m building relationships and I’m introducing people to each other, and I always feel like it makes me feel like Gertrude Stein, like the I’m the one who introduced, you know, Picasso to Hemingway. Like, that’s the role that I like to play. And I don’t I don’t need everyone. I mean, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. I probably am stupid for not doing it. So the version that I did for a whole year, every single month, I would pick a day. I didn’t ask people which day worked for them. It’s whatever day worked for me. I would pick a day for lunch. I would book a table in New York City and I would invite people. And the coolest people came every single month until COVID. So it really is amazing what it can do for you to be that person who connected other people. Because when you’re not in the room, you’re in the room.

Mike Kim: They all talk about you. Your name gets thrown around so much more than you ever realize.

Miriam Schulman: And now, when it came time to get endorsements for my book, it was so easy. Like we had to cut some of them out. And I know it was the same thing for you, Mike. It was just when you need somebody, it’s like, now you don’t have to suddenly scramble. It’s just easy.

Mike Kim: Yeah. And the cool thing–I love what you said about lunch. I picked breakfast because there’s a hard stop. You got to go to the conference first session.

Miriam Schulman: Now, I love that technique that it was like tied to a conference because I’ve done it. When it’s a conference, I usually do dinner. But I like your lunch because, like, I got to go to bed early.

Mike Kim: Yeah, Yeah. And like, dinner. I’ve done even some of these locally. When I was down in D.C. and there wasn’t an event tethered to it. Dinner can be a big commitment. Dinner is like, okay, who’s going to get watch the kids, you know, if they have kids, right? Like, how long do I have to stay out, you know? And dinner is also expensive. If you’re going to cover the meal, it’s dinner is way more expensive, right? You do breakfast whether it’s locally or tied to an event. That way you don’t get seen as somebody who’s trying to poach off of the event. You’re just holding a get-together. You meet at seven. And the way that I do the breakfast is like everyone gets a chance to talk. No one is having just free conversations. And I’ll ask a question. One of the best questions turned out to be was, Hey, what do you learned in the last three months that you wish you knew three years ago?

Miriam Schulman: That’s a great question.

Mike Kim: Everybody goes around 15 people share for 2 minutes. You’re half an hour, 40 minutes in. And that’s breakfast. Breakfast is almost finished. You got one more question. Breakfast is over. Then they can free talk and you walk back to the event. Yeah. So even for those like who don’t want to be tied to, like, some open-ended social event. Oh, God. Dinner. What is dinner? When does dinner end? We never know. But hey. All right, we got to wrap it up, folks. We got to get to the first session Let’s get going. Easy. Easy on ramp. Easy off ramp.

Miriam Schulman: It’s a beautiful thing. So and there are some great conversation starters in Mike’s book. So that’s your tease to get it. Okay. We have one last strategy. Strategy number five. Make the people you serve significant. So. Talk about that.

Mike Kim: Yeah. What’s the deal with all these coaches and quote-unquote, mentors out there who never platformed the people that they’ve helped?

Miriam Schulman: I don’t know them because I don’t do that. I’m always having them on my podcast.

Mike Kim: And I’ve worked with some of the world’s best-known quote-unquote thought leaders and blah, blah, blah. And the millions of sales in sales, millions of books sold. And I’m like, Who is the superstar? That came through this program. And how come no one knows who they are? Like Michael Hyatt put me on a webinar a year later. Amy Porterfield put me on a webinar because I took her Facebook ads course. Like if I don’t see that in experts who are out there, I wonder what the deal is, and I wonder why people would ever tether themselves to them. If you really have an abundance mindset, you realize that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle?

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. I mean, so you mentioned Amy Porterfield, so that would be my the strategy number one, I became a really good case study for her. She’s giving a webinar where she’s selling her own product and somebody asking her, Does this work for artists? And she’s saying, Yeah. Miriam Schulman was a really good student of mine on her own webinar, and then she did it again. And the reason I know she does this is because people come to me and they become my clients after they hear her basically platform me. She had this paid, not a webinar but a paid bootcamp where the VIP person was like, Well, what do we do if you’re an artist? She says, you should really ask Miriam Schulman. I was like, This is great. I’m going to mark this day on my calendar. Thank you so much.

Mike Kim: It’s awesome. I mean, like, like really from a broader perspective of in life, like. If you’re going to try to squeeze and hold on to everything, you’re just going to lose your grip on it. Yeah, right. I just like just operating in generosity. I want the world to know that the people who work with me attain success. What kind of better marketing could there be?

Miriam Schulman: That’s right. And then it comes back to her. Because now I’m like one of her top affiliates. And I’m always if people want to learn how to do an online art class, this is what I learned it from Amy. So and it’s like I’m saying on my own podcast right now. So people are going to come to her say, I heard about you on The Inspiration Place.

Mike Kim: Yeah, it’s a virtuous cycle and you’ve just got to like, I think people get so fixated on the numbers. We have all these vanity metrics now, and I love this analogy. Actually, my friend Lauren Davis shared this and she taught social media for a while, and she’s really helping speakers like build their brand. And she goes, If you were speaking at an event, who would you be most focused on? Hopefully the people who are actually at events and not who isn’t there. So she’s sort of like focus on the people who are at your party, not the ones who didn’t show up. And you don’t need to have a lot there to do big things like focus on the people who are there, serve them, make them significant, talk about them, lift them up, write, drop their names. And that’s very fulfilling for me to do. And it pushes me to grow to the best of my ability. So I can open doors for other people.

Miriam Schulman: Okay, So the last thing I just want to quote you on, this is not a strategy. This sounds almost like dating advice. Become someone people want to partner with. Doesn’t that sound like dating advice?

Mike Kim: Yeah, yeah.

Miriam Schulman: Mike might be blushing, by the way.

Mike Kim: Oh, God. Dating. I could say so much about that. I’m kind of ordinary. And if you think about what the word recommend means, the root word is commend, which is to praise. So to recommend someone is to praise someone again. Like, you just have to be a commendable person. Be easy to talk about. Be easygoing. Be easy to get along with. Be easy to pass on to other people. It’s that simple. I’ve met a lot of self-important people in my life and especially this industry. And I’m sure you have too. And it’s self-important, I mean, it’s just the worst. They’re the worst. Like self-important people are really just it’s like insecurity wearing a jacket that says, like, I’m important. It’s sad and I have found that if you check your own vibe, your own frequency, and you’re doing the work on yourself, you don’t just build a brand, you become the actual person you’re passing yourself off as. Things tend to fall into place and relationships become easy and relationships grow quickly. That’s–I feel like I’ve known you for years. And you–

Miriam Schulman:  We do have New Jersey in common.

Mike Kim: [inaudible] Jersey. And then we find that out. We’re like, oh my gosh, this is where were we all each other’s lives. Right. But it’s surprising how quickly your circles can change as a result of that if you’re just a recommendable person. And that’s it.

Miriam Schulman: I love that. I usually say, do you have any last words for our listeners? But that might be it. All right, So everybody, please go get You Are The Brand by Mike Kim. Excellent. We just did the last chapter. The first nine are also really good and we link to that in the show notes. Or I guess you can just skip the show notes, go to Amazon. Most people do that. Do you actually have any last words for my listeners?

Mike Kim: Yeah, I do. This might seem a little bit off, but it’s kind of how I live my life. Life is short, but it’s the longest thing we ever do. Have good food. Spend more time with your loved ones. Never pass up a great adventure. I know we’re building businesses and we want to. We don’t want to leave our mark on the world. And those things are like lofty and noble things. But in reality, like, all we have is this moment is now, right? So live in it. So that’s what I would say. That’s helped me a lot. Miriam kind of toned down some of the intensity that Enneagram eight, you know, and learn how to be a little bit more present and content and happier and fulfilled. And hopefully that resonates with some of you all out there.

Miriam Schulman: All right. Okay. Thanks, Mike, for being with me here today. And thank you, my friend. I will see you the same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.

Speaker 2: Thank you for listening to The Inspiration Place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at on Instagram @schulmanart and of course, on


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