Robbie Oyama is the CEO of Big Mountain Consulting. He tells The Industry Leaders what advice he'd give to himself if he could travel back to Day 1 of his business.
What's Your Story?
I run a personal branding and LinkedIn consulting firm called Big Mountain Consulting LLC, specializing in helping entrepreneurs and salespeople land more customers by using LinkedIn.
Last year, I started my journey in writing on LinkedIn as a way to figure out my next career move. I started writing about the only topic I could think of based on my career: sales.
I was horrible at writing at first, but I kept at it, and I was amazed at how quickly the results came.
People that I had never met before reached out and said how they appreciated my content, and some asked for sales advice. After a few months, I landed in the Top 2% of LinkedIn influencers in my industry according to LinkedIn’s SSI score.
Things didn’t get interesting though until I talked with a coworker of mine who was building a career coaching business on the side. She had been liking my content, and I asked her for advice on starting a business based on my brand.
She was the one that firmly said that I should start a business to help entrepreneurs with LinkedIn. That was all the confirmation that I needed, and the rest is history.
You can travel back in time to Day 1 of your business or career - what advice would you give to younger-you, knowing what you know now?
My business is still fairly new, but if I could travel back in time to pre-Day 1, I would say, “Start building a brand sooner!”
Many of us shy away from promoting ourselves or putting our thoughts out there on social media. But, and this is especially for entrepreneurs and salespeople, if you don’t have a brand presence, you’re no different than every other business/product/salesperson pitching a similar service.
Think about all of the traditional ways that entrepreneurs and salespeople attract customers:
- Cold calling
- Door knocking
All of these methods have a limitation. There are only so many cold calls you can make in a day, or there are only so many ad dollars you can spend.
With a personal brand, you make one post, and that post gets circulated to multiple people 24/7. The easiest way to get attention from customers these days is to have a strong opinion, and put that message out there every day. Social media platforms like LinkedIn allow us to do this at a scale.
So to my younger self, I say: Don’t worry that you don’t know what your message is going to be. Just start.
What one book or podcast changed your life?
I would say whether you want to be an entrepreneur or follow a more traditional career path, you need to learn how to sell. With that said, I'd recommend reading what you can from some of the greats in the selling space.
The first sales book that I read was The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer. It's not necessarily my favourite book, but this book put me on a path of wanting to learn as much as I could about sales.
I've never missed my quota in my sales career, so continuous learning is crucial for you to have a successful career.