CEO Flynn Blackie: Applying knowledge, building teams, and influencing others
This week, I had a conversation with Flynn Blackie, a 19-year-old who has founded his own lead-generating agency. We had a wide-ranging conversation discussing topics from how to become skilled at design and marketing to how one can increase the value you provide to clients. Flynn is CEO and founder of MOD Digital, a highly valued lead-generating agency with clients all over the world, and has been nominated for the 'Young Entrepreneur of the year' in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards twice in a row. It goes without saying that Flynn had a lot of value to share with us, so in this weeks newsletter, I want to reflect on some of the key takeaways I had from our conversation.
What is lead generation?
In the world of sales, a lead refers to contact with a potential customer, also known as a “prospect”. The definition of “lead” may vary according to the organisation. For some, a “lead” is a contact already determined to be a prospective customer, whereas other companies consider a “lead” to be any sales contact. Importantly, a lead will potentially become a future client so it’s the goal of sales teams to convert a maximum amount of leads to maintain a good conversion rate. I’ve used lead generation before to generate clients for my personal brand training and if you’re thinking to generate leads for a business or project I’ll recommend using Scoreapp. To summarise what MOD digital does, they run ads, email sequences, website funnels and automate the lead generation process to generate new paying customers for companies.
Knowledge is power
I'm sure all of you have heard the phrase, “knowledge is power”. While it may be considered cliche, it certainly holds true and Flynn is an embodiment of its truth. What I found particularly interesting about the 19-year-old CEO is the fact that he didn’t acquire knowledge through the traditional means of higher education. Instead, Flynn used books, online courses, interviews and podcasts to gain the skills necessary for him to succeed. This is not to dismiss the value of higher education (I’m a university student after all), but it goes to show that in this day and age, with the internet at our disposal, there are multiple ways in which you can enrich yourself and become more valuable. Flynn touched on an important point with regards to the pursuit of knowledge that I think is worth highlighting.
As a CEO of a company, Flynn focuses on applying knowledge that is relevant to his line of work, such as how to build teams, manage and influence others. While his business is built on generating leads for clients, what propelled it to the next level was not solely reading books on marketing funnels. The key was acquiring relevant knowledge that he was able to use in his current context to reach the next stage of his business.
That is why it’s important to be specific when asking questions & doing research so that the information you are taking in is applicable to you at your current stage. There is no point in me asking a billionaire how to invest a million because their response would not be as relevant to me at my current stage. I'll rather ask, how do you invest your first thousand pounds. Their response will most likely differ from the former question. Do you get the gist?
In short, you should seek to acquire knowledge that will make you more valuable in the field and context you’re in and apply it appropriately in order to succeed.
How to build a design portfolio and rake in clients
An example of how Flynn applied knowledge was in designing a portfolio to rake in clients. Flynn mentioned how he would reach out to potential clients by various methods: email, direct message on social media, calling, and so on. This is a very important point, so read on.
In the podcast, Flynn also mentioned how he emailed a writer, whose writing he was a fan of, to publish a piece on him and his work. This unconventional tactic was successful in boosting his PR & Marketing to attract more clients. What we can learn from this is that it’s useful to think outside the box. If you're interested in learning exactly how he did it, click the button below.
Great minds think alike
Those of you who listened to the Kare episode or read the newsletter would have picked up on the way we stressed the importance of discipline and time management. We linked some resources to help you with this which you can find here. There seems to be a theme developing here: in order to succeed in any field, you need to be disciplined with your time management. Alongside the resources linked above, Flynn mentioned he uses ClickUp to help him stay on top of his tasks. I personally use google calendar but the key is not the platform, what’s more important is setting deadlines for your tasks and holding yourself accountable to meet them.
Gaming & entrepreneurship
Whether we like to admit it, there are some passions that are held in higher regard than others. Someone with a passion for debating, for example, is probably regarded with more respect than an avid gamer. I want to challenge this paradigm by suggesting that instead of looking down on certain hobbies, we should double down on becoming an expert in these fields because this can bring about benefits and opportunities. As I even mentioned in the podcast, I read an article for uni that showed the benefits of gaming such as higher concentration levels in higher education. Flynn also wrote an article arguing a similar point while at school. In today’s world you can turn any hobby no matter how mundane it may seem into a source of income, vloggers who enjoy books make money from building a community of like-minded book lovers, you can do it too. In my case, I turned my interest in branding to coaching people on personal branding, not only making money but also impacting people’s lives. Now I’m podcasting because I love to share value and I hope this new community will grow.
Featuring Flynn Blackie
Top five valuable books you’ve read that helped with marketing and lead generation?
Flynn: Influence, The E Myth, Start With Why, One Million Followers, Hookpoint
Three valuable videos you’ve watched?
Flynn: Jim Rohn - Best Life Ever | Sam Ovens - Monk Like Discipline: What It Really Takes To Win | Ben Francis - Billionaire Mindset: The Gymshark Story
The names of key courses you’ve taken?
Flynn: Don't really have any specific, perhaps Sam Ovens Consulting Accelerator
Examples of traditional businesses?
Flynn: It can be any business - by traditional, I mean still relying on traditional marketing. I personally looked for businesses >5 years old, getting customers through either repeat business or from their long-lasting reputation/referrals.
Linkedin: @Flynn Blackie | Instagram: @Flxnn
- Especially to see the Steven Barlett conversation released
- If you're running a crypto project and need marketing expertise
- If you want to follow his journey and get further advice (remember don’t be shy to outreach)
Listen to the full episode on a platform of your choice: https://linktr.ee/valuablepodcast