Book Yourself Solid With Matthew Kimberley

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TSP Matthew Kimberley | Book Yourself Solid


When we think of attracting clients into our business, we immediately think of marketing. But not for Matthew Kimberley, the owner of Book Yourself Solid, who believes that marketing does not get you clients. In this episode, he joins John Livesay to explain to us this contrarian idea as inspired by Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid, a handbook for self-promotion that can help you get more clients even if you hate marketing and selling. He discusses the effectiveness of emails and how best to format them, growing a personality-based brand, and becoming a person of value rather than a provider of value. What is more, Matthew then speaks about why your business should be a love story, one that is between you and your business, you and your clients, and you and marketing. 

Listen to the episode here:

Book Yourself Solid With Matthew Kimberley 

Our guest is Matthew Kimberley, the Owner of Book Yourself Solid. He works with coaches and all kinds of entrepreneurs to do just that. He said, “Marketing does not get you clients.” What an a-ha moment that was for me and many other people. Find out what he means by that. He said, “Your business should be a love story.” Enjoy the episode.

Our guest is a friend and he is quite fun to talk to. You’re going to enjoy this episode. Matthew Kimberley helps small businesses sell more and sell with sophistication. He spends a lot of time providing strategic counsel to business owners and coaches. He’s got over two decades of international sales and advisory experience and multiple millions of dollars, euros and pounds that he has generated for companies. Now he hides out in the Mediterranean. Welcome to the show, Matthew.

Thank you for having me, John. There is nowhere I would rather be on a wet Thursday afternoon than doing this with you.

Isn’t that the definition of success that you’re with the people you want to be with in the place you want to be and that there’s no anxiety of, “I wish I was doing something else besides this?”

I still struggle a bit. I’ve got young family. I’ve got two boys. One is seven and one is eleven. Like many people who are self-employed and to have young families, I do battle a bit with what gets my attention when, and I’ve got much better at this and I’ll tell you why I’ve got that strategy. I felt guilty when I was at work because I was neglecting my kids. I felt guilty when I was with my family because I was neglecting my business baby.

Marketing does not get your clients.  Click To Tweet

What changed was confidence that came with time. I proved to myself year after year that business will probably be okay and I didn’t have to stress and to take time off, to switch off from business and spend it with my family. It didn’t mean anything was being neglected. I still get that sometimes. If one of them falls over, gets a booboo, needs a kiss and I’m on a call with a client, but generally with confidence around next month’s revenue and next year’s revenue comes a bit more relaxation and freedom of time. Freedom of time was the ultimate metric of success if you can choose who you spend your time with, where you spend your time, then what else do you need?

I love to ask my guests their own little story of origin. You can go back to school days. Take us a bit on your own personal journey before you got to this place where you do have the freedom to help other coaches get themselves booked. I’m guessing at one point you might have been in that situation where you were struggling to get booked. Who knows?

It was the end of the summer, 1979, Paris. Reverend John Kimberley and his wife, Susan Kimberley, were probably putting their feet up in their hotel room after a long boozy lunch. If I go back too far, this is the conception story. My first self-employed job was selling entertainment in the streets. I was a juggler and a busker. I was a street entertainer. I learned that there was a direct correlation between asking for people to throw money in the hat and people throwing money in the hat. With the benefit of hindsight, I look back and say, “That was probably one of my first introductions to persuasion and sales and being in direct control of the amount of money that you earn.”

I’d go and stand in the street first and balls around and people would walk past, but when I caught their eyes, I smile at them and said, “If you enjoy the show, give me a pound.” They were far more likely to give me a pound so asking for the sale. Fast forward a few years, I’m working in timeshare by accident. This is age 23. It was my first introduction to hard direct selling. I got the job because it was the only job in a foreign country that would employ me without a work permit and because the turnover was massive. We were paid on a commission only basis. It was low risk for them to hire foreigners in the block, but it was a real baptism of fire.

We had daily sales motivation training for an hour, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM. We would be given unqualified prospects and told if you spend 6 to 7 hours with them and followed the system, there’s a 10% chance they’ll buy something, which is exhausting, but true. They will give you an unqualified prospect. They had no idea what they were in the room for, probably the promise of a dolphin show or a winning prize or free bottle of champagne. We’d sit down with them and over the course of seven hours sell them $10,000 worth of vacation ownership. That taught me about direct sales. It taught me about the importance of not leaving anything to chance to following the system of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. It was a horrible filthy industry. It was lots of fun, lots of drugs, lots of late nights.

I didn’t want to sell it to my parents. When they came to visit and they said, “Can we come and see what you do for a living?” I said, “No.” If I can’t do that, I probably shouldn’t be doing it. I shouldn’t be selling it to other people’s patterns or grandparents, so I left. I got a job in corporate sales and fast forward again a number of years, I own a recruitment company selling agency services. I’m a 50% owner in a recruitment company that sells agency services to large multinational corporations, agency being, “I need a Java programmer.” I’ve got a budget of 600 a day. I would go and find somebody for 400 a day and take the difference. Huge money, young age, I hated it. I was the other owner. I was getting into work later and later I had a fractious relationship with my business partner.

Although I loved parts of the job like selling and training my salespeople, I didn’t love anything else about it. I didn’t love the structure. I didn’t love the industry. I was bored by it. I could only talk computer technology for five minutes before falling asleep, and here I was talking day in, day out with people who were trying to batter me on price every time I met them. I left and I said, “If I enjoy sales and I enjoy training, maybe I should become a sales trainer.” That’s what happened. I didn’t want to do it my own because of my interest in selling, which had been born with timeshare. I had been on various mailing lists, rather like you are now, John, and everybody reading this. I had a bit of savings from selling my 50% share of the company and Michael Port who wrote a book called Book Yourself Solid, which I’d read and whose mailing list I was on an opportune moment sends a blast out to his list that said, “Would you like to become a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach?”

TSP Matthew Kimberley | Book Yourself Solid

Book Yourself Solid: Freedom of time is the ultimate metric of success if you can choose who you spend your time with and where you spend your time.


Fast forward 12 years, 13 years. I now run the Book Yourself Solid Organization. Michael has retired from operations and I am now the person who trains the trainer how to book their own business to solid, but also how to book their clients businesses solid. It’s an absolute joy there. We all have days which are better than others, but there’s isn’t a day I don’t say I’m not grateful for the trials and tribulations and the journey that I’d been on because now I get to do this. I get to hang out with rock star coaches four times a week. We have mastermind calls, open invitation to all of our licensed trainers and ambassadors. It’s a community that looks out for each other. We’ve got a fantastic piece of world-class intellectual property, which the market is hungry for and the works. Thank you for asking John. Do you want me to fill in the gaps? I should stop talking now. That that story could go on for days.

No. it’s good. I find it fascinating too. The lessons learned from, first of all, getting people’s attention on the street much like we all have to do in digital marketing and blog posts and advertisements to not being afraid to ask for the order, is that a big problem for a lot of people. They feel awkward and clunky doing it. Not having a system, a script, a plan in place. Before GPS there were these old maps that we have in California, it was called the Thomas Guide. You’d have to flip pages and then you get halfway where your speed, it’d be like, “Now turn to page 506.” The rest of that particular journey continues. You’d be like, “I can’t look at this and drive at the same time.” That need for a clear, concise roadmap can never be underestimated. A lot of people have been in that situation where, “Can I do what I love and make money?” It seems like they’re mutually exclusive. When you can show people they can do both, that’s where it becomes magnetic. I do have a question about what you’re doing, training the trainers. People are thinking, “Is this for me or not?” If someone’s a coach or a consultant, they probably need Book Yourself Solid. Whether they need to then train other people who is it that decides, “I don’t want to coach anymore. I want to train other coaches.” How does that work?

There’s this sweet groups of people who join our program. It looks a bit like a business coaching franchise. If you are from the outside because our business is the transference of intellectual property. If you want to be a coach, we will give you workbooks, materials and a system that you can give to your clients and guide them through it. That’s where the similarities stop. There’s no territorial exclusivity and no royalty payments made. We don’t take a percentage of your earnings. It’s a flat annual fee and an affordable one. We say that every Book Yourself Solid Coach who’s using the material should make their annual investment back with two clients. We want you to be signing up more than two clients a week, ideally.

That’s where the paradigm is with the franchise, but that’s a close parallel. You’re not tied to it. You can mix and match it with anything else you might be selling. You might be a car salesman who also does Book Yourself Solid on the side or you may offer personality assessments or you might be certified in fifteen other modalities. You might have picked up certifications from Tony Robbins or Mike Michalowicz. We’ve also got franchise owners who are also Book Yourself Solid Coaches because they can use them together. Three groups of people, the first group of people is the existing sales trainer or coach or business consultant who knows that they can flip the IP for profit quickly. John, if I were to say, become a Book Yourself Solid Coach, John, and in three weeks’ time after you’ve had time to study the material, you can hold a workshop for your own clients, charge them $1,500 a pop for a weekend workshop and keep 100% of the cash.

What are you going to teach in the workshop? Book Yourself Solid. Some people see it as a piece of inventory they’re buying retail, they’re selling wholesale. That’s for the experience coach. The experience coach is also interested in masterminding with other experienced coaches. That’s what we do four times a week, which is super valuable. That’s the third group of people. The third group of people are business owners, who are not that interested in reselling or teaching Book Yourself Solid ever, but they want to use Book Yourself Solid in their own business. What better way to learn it than from the source? They can hire a Book Yourself Solid Coach for $3,000 a month or they can join us for a whole year for a fraction of that. That is the 1st and the 3rd groups.

The second group are the pivoters. These are the people who say, “I’ve finished a career in engineering or consultancy or retail or human resources or I’ve got my Psychology degree. I want to try to make a success of being a coach or a consultant.” We say, “Do it with us.” We provide them with comprehensive training and coaching skills and business skills. In the first 6 to 12 months with them, we want them to get booked solid. Whether they’re teaching Book Yourself Solid or whether they’re teaching Reiki, it’s skewed primarily for consultants or coaches, people who deal in intellectual property rather than massage therapist or dentist or anything like that. We’ve got a lot of chiropractors in the group, by dint of the fact that there’s a happy marriage between Book Yourself Solid and the chiropractic community based on some of our influential alumni. They’re all coming at it from the angle, which is, “I want to get my chiropractic business booked solid,” and teach the chiropractors have to do the same. Those are the three groups of people. We support six figure coaches.

Be a person of value, not a provider of value.  Click To Tweet

What a big need. Let’s say you’re in that pivot group and you’re leaving this career as an engineer, for example, and you want to do something else in your life or you want a side business, you’re not dependent on whether you get fired or not. This roller coaster of income, when you don’t have the plan and you’re like, “I had a great month this month but because I was focused on delivering, I was ignoring the attracting and converting part.” That is a big fear and a big pain point for many people is I’m working for myself but my income is inconsistent. You’re solving that.

Consistent income, consistency of revenue being booked solid is not on booked solid in January, but I’m not booked solid in February is perpetually working the system to make sure that your marketing is attracting attention on a consistent basis. That marketing doesn’t mean you’re doing endless calls. I don’t believe in endless content marketing, categorically don’t. That’s an invention of the last several years. I don’t see why coaches have to also be publishers. That’s crazy. What happened to old-fashioned marketing. Book Yourself Solid has been around since before the social media. The first edition of the book came out in 2006, which is before social media was a thing. We have some evergreen client attraction strategies, which you can supercharge with social media use. If you look around your neighborhood, John, at the businesses that are booked solid, often the owners don’t even know how to turn on a computer. They are providing a valuable service to a community who needs it. There’s a market to product fit or market to service fit. They’re doing, over generations, the right thing in order to keep people walking through the door.

We sit firmly in that camp and say, “We’ve got tools that we can use that will help us gain access to the right people.” Marketing doesn’t get you clients. Marketing creates awareness about who you are. We’ve got one of our certified coaches is and I’m glad you said a sidekick. One of our coaches who has got a comfortable six figure income from providing coaching services is a full-time partner in a technology firm. For about 5 to 10 hours a month, he provides services to 5 or 6 clients who have his cell phone number. He will talk to them when he’s walking the dog on a Saturday or Friday afternoon, and they will pay him a retainer of $2,000 to $3,000 a month in order to have access to his insight. He has got $100,000 to $150,000 worth of business for fifteen hours a month.

I love what you said, marketing doesn’t get you clients.

That’s one of the fundamental premises of Book Yourself Solid.

When you say something like that, our brain goes, “Wait a minute. What? That’s the opposite of what I think or was taught.” That’s what cuts through the clutter. That’s why our brain goes, “That’s new information.” I would be totally remiss if I did not ask you and edify your incredible skills at writing emails, nobody does it better. You don’t have to take my word for it. I get highly entertained and watching a master at work when I read these things. I love words. If somebody wants to see an example of your email at work, they can go to and get the five things we need to do every morning to get more clients in 60 days. I’m guessing that email is entertaining and informative.

I’ve got a love affair with emails. I still think there’s no better way to build a long-term relationship with people, but most people in our situation who own a transactional email service like a AWeber or Mailchimp or Infusionsoft or ConvertKit, whatever they’re using onto using it. I know this because I’ve asked thousands of them when talking about and selling my Delightful Emails program, that’s always the first question. If anyone raises their hand to be a prospect, I ask them, “Do you have something?” “Yes.” “Are you satisfied, quite satisfied, unsatisfied with the way that you’re using it and the results that you’re getting?” Vast majority say, “I’m unhappy with the results I’m getting.” We tend to poop the bed when it comes to sending out an email to our prospect database, but we never poop the bed when we were sending an email to a girlfriend or a boyfriend or family members or our high school buddies, we say, “I have a special relationship with you. I know that you want to hear from me.”

The only reason that people have ended up on your mailing list, unless you a spammer, in which case there’s a special place for you in hell, is because they have raised their hand and said, “I want to hear from you. I want you to help me, please help me.” If we don’t email them regularly, then we’re being neglectful in our duty of care towards our prospects if we want to put a hippie slant on it. The other mistake that people make is they can’t get the tone right. When I was in recruitment, people wear a professional hat and people wear a personal hat. The beauty about growing a personality-based brand, that doesn’t mean a personal brand, it means a brand that has personality, is that you get to inject that personality into your emails. Recruiters would always write on LinkedIn. I used to beat them up for it. They would say, “We are currently seeking candidates with the following attributes.” I would say, “Who uses that language? William Shakespeare?”

Are you someone who’s looking for a job? We’re looking for some people who are, it’s how people talk. We got to remember how we talk. We talk to a human being on the other end of the line. We should have a relationship with them where we are the leader. They’re looking to us for leadership, but we can’t, everyone’s got to develop their own voice. I’m not saying one voice is appropriate for you. Everyone’s got to find their own voice. My Delightful Emails program does help a bit in how you find your voice. My preferred relationship to my list is like the head of the family. I want the best for them. I refuse to insult their intelligence. I’m going to nurture their growth. Sometimes I’m going to slap them if they’re being stupid and send them to the bedrooms, and often we’re going to have pillow fights and tickle parties.

TSP Matthew Kimberley | Book Yourself Solid

Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling

We want them to see fun dad and we want them to see concerned dad. We want them to see caring that empathetic dad. It might not be dad. It might be a different role. You have to think carefully about authenticity and vulnerability because people are coming to you for a specific reason. If you start treating them as your therapist, which many personal brands do, they write to their list and they evacuate their spiritual bowels onto the email and start to share every problem because somebody once told them that authenticity is the key to building relationships. Yes and no, but leadership is the key to sales. If you’re going to say to somebody, “I’m a complete mess, my life is a mess. Please join my life coaching program.” You’ve got a problem. If you’re in a hotel room and the hotel is burning down and somebody knocks on the door and says, “Follow me, I know the safest way out of here.” You’re going with them.

If somebody knocks on the door and says, “I’m feeling a bit lost too. Shall we run together and see if we can find a way out?” You’re like, “No. You stay where you are. I’m not coming with you. I’m safe where I am. Thanks you.” You list and looking for leadership. The key thing is value. The concept of providing valuable, actionable content has destroyed email marketing because everybody feels that every email has to be valuable and they’ve translated that into, “I must provide how to content in my email.” Even worse, what they do is they double create. They say, “I’ve written a how to piece on my blog. How to get over your boyfriend? How to get more clicks? How to get on the first page of Google? How to get more followers on Instagram? How to overcome your mental turmoil?”

They write an email that says, “I have written some valuable content for you, click here.” What you’re training people to do is ignore your email because there’s no value in the email. You might say, “Matthew, do I put how to content in the email?” How to content isn’t valuable. It might be valuable for a brief period of time when we ended an answer to how can I get more Instagram followers or how can I fix my washing machine? The minute our washing machine has been fixed, we’re throwing away the manual and we can’t find it next time we need it or we’re going to Google it. John, if your house was burning down or if your hotel room, what are you risking? What is valuable to you?

You’re rescuing your family members, your photos, your record collection and your phone, which is your connection to the outside world on your friends. What about if we could show up in a way that mirrors that? What about if we could become a person of value rather than a provider of value and a person of value makes us feel something. They make us laugh, cry, think and angry. They’re the people that we live with. They’re the people that are always welcome to our kitchen table, which solves the problem of how frequently should I email my list? The answer is, “Would I be welcome to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them? Am I making them smile? Am I making them laugh? Am I making them cry? Am I making them feel something?” Value is where we spend our time and money. Where do we spend our time? What’s your most valuable app on your phone, John? The one that for the rest of your entire life, you have to get rid of all of them, but you can keep one or maybe two. What are they?

I’m directionally challenged, it would be Google Maps so I can get to figure out how to get from point A to B.

That’s it. You’ve got Google Maps on your phone for the rest of your life. You are an anomaly, John. You’re the first person who’s ever said that.

My biggest fear is being late and lost because I was having to go on many cold calls. I am meeting clients for the appointments. I would sweat bullets being lost in Los Angeles in the freeway system and then I would be late and lost. That’s my biggest anxiety. It’s still solving a problem.

Let me tell you what 90% of people tell me, they tell me a way to connect with friends, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger because you can’t live without friends. For me, it’s Spotify. If you tell me that I can’t have music in my ears whenever I want it, when I’m walking the dog, whatever I’m doing, that for me is a fate worse than a life without music. Can you imagine that? Like people say, is it too soon to email the list? If you’re doing it right, it’s like saying, “Is it too soon to release another episode of Breaking Bad?” No, because people want to binge it because they value the emotions that our favorite TV show stirs up in them. They want it. They want more and more of it. That is what you can achieve with emails if you care.

Confidence is not enthusiasm. Click To Tweet

There are many nuggets here, be a person of value, not a provider of value because a provider of value, we don’t need that. We can Google it. The overall arching theme that I take away from listening to you when you and I have had this discussion before is the value of storytelling, which hooks into people’s emotions, whether laughing or crying. A lot of people are struggling with, “How do I tell a story in an email? How do I make my subject line interesting enough to make somebody open it?” All of that is part of a story. During a pandemic, a lot of healthcare companies in particular, salespeople are struggling to get in the door because they can’t see the doctor between surgeries and they can’t walk into their offices anymore and they’ve never had to learn how to request a virtual appointment, an email. If you’ve never had to do it, you don’t have that skill.

There are two different things. One is how can we tell a story in an email? What makes a good story? What makes a good subject line? You’re the expert when it comes to this. If you weren’t writing delightful emails using the person of value approach, you can say anything. It doesn’t matter. If you were dating somebody and you’re in the throes of a new romance, they can send you a message that says, “Babe, I had a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast. It was delicious.” That will be the most delightful email that you received that day. Am I wrong? It’s because of who it is from. I do have strategies and techniques for quickly generating stories for emails. The trick is if it comes from someone that you want to listen to, then the content of the story is less important than who’s telling that.

We build that through entertaining content about being a person. The other thing, when you’re talking about these horrible recruitment advertisements, unfortunately, that typically is what salespeople are saying. The corporate speak, I’ve heard, “We use critical thinking to anticipate problems. You should hire us to do this project for you.” I was like, “No, we need to tell a story and show it in the story.” Let’s talk about what is the biggest mistake people make trying to get themselves booked solid?

They believe that marketing gets them clients and that’s backwards. I had somebody talk to me who says, “If only I could get more Instagram followers,” that might be true, but it’s a supposition which comes up far too frequently without any grounding in fact. What would be true is I have a sales conversion process that attracts the right people that gives them incentive to stick around that I can build trust. They can repay their trust by making investments in me and my services that are proportionate to the amount of trust that I have earned. Sometimes that’s financial investment, an investment of time or an investment of data or an investment in spreading the word about you. I have comprehensive systems in place to close the sale when it’s appropriate.

I have literature and information products that speeds up the sales cycle process so that I don’t have to be pitching people one-to-one doing coffee endlessly time and time again. I can tell people I’ve got all of that in place. In short, I know how to close the business. What I also know is that 90% of my customer database has come from my Instagram marketing efforts. Therefore, my hypothesis is that if I could add 2,000 Instagram followers a month to my 2, 000 qualified, targeted, appropriate prospects to my Instagram, then that would result in 500 new additions to my newsletter each month, which would result in five new clients every month. That’s great, but that’s not what I hear. What I hear is, “If only I can crush Clubhouse, then I can make $1 million.”

The biggest mistake people make, and it’s where we always spend the longest is market to service match. I work with coaches and consultants. They tend to stay things like, “I help entrepreneurs find freedom.” “Bob, here’s Elon Musk. What are you going to do with him?” “Here’s an entrepreneur for you. It’s a lawyer. He’s the founding partner in a firm that has 40 partners and 300 employees in six offices around the world. Do you think he needs your solution for finding the perfect virtual assistant?” No. Firstly, we talk about what we do by honing in on a specific target market. “I help goddesses step into their light” is something I never want to hear. “I help women.” No, you don’t. Let’s be serious about this.

TSP Matthew Kimberley | Book Yourself Solid

Book Yourself Solid: Marketing doesn’t get you clients. Marketing creates awareness about who you are.


The living proof of whether or not you have a business is if somebody will buy your product or service twice. What we tried to do is we think we have resources that we don’t have access to. We think we own a trawling fleet, a fleet of fishing trawlers with an army of 300 fishermen who are going to go out with these nets that are 5 kilometers long and we’re going to catch all of the fish in the sea to become our prospects, but we don’t have those resources. We have ourselves, probably not much money when we’re getting started, and a fishing rod. What do we do? We go to one fishing spot. We dangle one line and we try and catch a nice big fat fish that will feed our family. We don’t say, “I’m going to try a different spot.”

You do your research. You find out where the fish are, and you show up repeatedly and you have something that is highly relevant to them. That’s the biggest mistake people make. They’re afraid, terrified to get specific about their target market. Remember, John, the target market is where you target your marketing. Unless you have squillion dollars to spend on reaching everybody in the world, you better be laser-focused. In fact, you may have zero budget. You may only have time and energy to show up. What do you choose to do? One day you show up in Florida and other day you show up in New York and other day you show up in Minnesota and other day you show up in Texas and other day you show up in San Diego. By the time you’ve done all the states in the world, everyone’s forgotten about you.

What about if you showed up at the school gates in your zip code every day after school, wearing your yoga gear and start to have the conversations with the mothers who are waiting to pick up their kids and the dads who are waiting to pick up their kids about the fact that you’re a yoga teacher? Do you think you might pick up 4 or 5 clients within the space of three weeks? You would because you’ve chosen your pawn.

What I hear you saying is we’re not Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has huge budgets and they’re trying to market to everybody.

For every success story, there are 90 horror stories. Click To Tweet

Even Coca-Cola wasn’t Coca-Cola when they started and Starbucks wasn’t Starbucks when it started. When Starbucks started, they didn’t have the budget. They had enough money to open a single retail outlet in Seattle where they sell dried coffee beans. They said, “We can’t sell to the world. We’re going to sell to people who live and work in this neighborhood.” If somebody came from outside of their target market and said, “I live in Portland but I’ve heard you make great coffee. Can I buy a bag?” You say, “Yes, of course you can,” but you don’t fly to Portland to tell people to come to your store in Seattle. With time, when their resources grew, they were able to offer additional services to their target market. “You know what we can do with these beans? We can ground them up and add hot water and give you a cup of coffee while you’re here.” “We can sell bananas, oatmeal and newspapers. This worked well here. We have the resources. We’re going to open a second store and begin to appeal to a different target market.” That is the mistake everybody makes. They think outside of the resources that they have available to them.

I hear that a lot too. I tell people, “Remember, Amazon sell books first.” People forget that and you’re trying to be what Amazon is now. It would never have worked, it will be too overwhelming.

John, if you want a, if you want a six-figure consulting business, do what our guy did that I told you about, find five clients who will give you $2,000 a month and then you’ve got $120,000, $140,000 worth of business coming in. Even if that takes you 25 hours a week at the beginning in marketing, you are on course for a winner. You might have been sold the idea that online courses are the way to go, maybe they are, but for every success story, there are 90 horror stories. That’s not true for small service businesses who go to a clearly defined group of people and say, “I have a thing that I could help you with.” They don’t see a 90% failure to complete the course rate. What they typically do is they might limp along for a bit, but they’ll get a client in the 1st month, 2nd month, 3rd month and then they’ll start to get traction. Think small.

Also, this Book Yourself Solid works for speakers because I know that’s what Michael Port’s background is. Many speakers wait passively for their speaking agent to say, “Someone saw your website or saw your video on my website.” This is an active way to do it. Speakers say, “I can speak on any topic to any audience.” That’s another same mistake over and over again. I, myself niched down saying I speak to healthcare tech companies.

What happened as a result of that?

When I reach out to other healthcare tech companies, they’re like, “You know our industry.” What’s also surprising is I get hired by mortgage companies and insurance companies going, “We’d love to hear what the healthcare tech people are doing. Maybe we can learn from that.” I thought it was going to push them away and it makes them more interested. That’s a fascinating outcome I thought.

TSP Matthew Kimberley | Book Yourself Solid

Book Yourself Solid: When you love what you do and love every minute of what you do, business is a pleasure rather than a chore.


I get that all the time. I know you mainly work with coaches, but we like what you do. Do you think you could bring something to our accountancy firm?

That is the biggest takeaway from what we’re talking about here, don’t be afraid to niche. You think it’s going to push away everybody and the irony is it makes you magnetic because who we say “no” to is as important as who we say “yes” to whether it’s in our marketing, our messaging, our emails. Someone was saying to me, “Can you come speak to this?” It was a fast-food chain. The audiences are all the people who work in the restaurant, who make the fries. I said, “That’s not what I do. I speak to audiences of salespeople.” Unless you’re trying to make those people upsell people when they’re buying their hamburger, probably not, but I know someone else. I pulled back, they’re like, “What about if you did a workshop on storytelling then for these people?” I’m like, “That I could do, but I’m not going to try to pretend I can do everything.”

I get that all the time, John, here in Malta specifically because people know that I don’t do any work in Malta generally, but every now and again, someone who owns the company who knows me or knows me says, “We’ve got a Christmas party. Can you come to a motivational talk for our whole company?” I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t do motivational talk, but if you’ve got to say it was your business development team, I’d be happy to come and do a 90-minute workshop with them.” They always say, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want.” I’m going to have reputational damage. If I go and do a motivational workshop for the factory guys, they’re going to laugh me out the room.

I know that. That’s not plain interesting. You said something about it’s rare to find someone who truly says it gets to what you love. You also said something which ties everything together from a Book Yourself Solid point of view. There were three pillars that hold Book Yourself Solid out. The first one we’ve discussed, which is that marketing doesn’t get you clients. The second pillar, which is a philosophical pillar, is that business should be a love story. Book Yourself Solid is a love story between you and your business, between you and your clients, between you and marketing, because when you love what you do and you love every minute of what you do, business is a pleasure rather than a chore. The third philosophical pillar that holds everything up is exactly what you said. There are some people who you’re meant to serve and others not so much.

My last topic I know you’re an expert on is how can people not undersell themselves? What’s your tip on that?

Confidence and enthusiasm are related bedfellows, but they’re not the same. People say, “I don’t have the confidence to do something.” What they mean is, “I don’t feel enthusiastic about it.” That’s a mistake. I’m confident, John, that in the United States and around the world in the next 24 hours, we’re going to see multiple COVID related deaths. I am confident of that. If I was offered the right odds, I would bet my house on that. I am not enthusiastic about it. However, the data shows me that that is likely to be true. Therefore, I can predict with some confidence that that’s going to be likely. The same thing comes to being confident when selling yourself. You mentioned two lessons that I learned in my youth.

The first lesson was if you ask for the sale, you get it. The second lesson was, if you stick to the system, then you’re likely to get predictable results. The third lesson was from my recruitment days, which I didn’t mention, is that these guys had activity targets. I’d never say you have to make three sales this month because you can’t control that, but I did say you have to pick up the telephone 60 times a day. That’s what’s missing from the confidence-lacking entrepreneur. They are predicting based upon no data that the path that they’re about to take or the journey that they’re on is not going to work out for them. Get the data then you can make those predictions with confidence.

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How did you get the data? By doing the activity. We’ve all got to say it was that sales muscle. We can have perfect theoretical form. We can attend endless sales seminars, but unless we’d having our at-bats, our muscle is going to be weak. As we’re doing the reps, our muscle is going to be weak. Somebody would come to me, typically a personal trainer back in the day and say, “I haven’t made any sales. Can you help me?” I’d say, “Yes. Why haven’t you made any sales?” “I don’t know.” “How many sales offers did you make this month?” “I didn’t get to make any.” “I see a correlation here. Go to the shopping mall on Saturday,” walk up to 100 strangers and say, “I’m a personal trainer. I’m running a special promotion. I wonder if you’d like to buy a personal training session for $40 instead of $80.” What happens is results walking up to 100 strangers and making an offer?

Ten percent at least, probably.

Yes. Complete Strangers can’t resist the deal. I say, “Great. We’ve got a basis to work on.” It’s because you’ve done the reps, you can be confident that an offer will be accepted by the market. Our job is to refine the offer and refine the market. Go and try more. It’s not for everybody, John. If you’re not prepared to put in the reps, you don’t deserve the rewards.

David gets your six pack and your big biceps, the same thing. I get it. Thank you for sharing this passion, this humor. If anybody wants to find out more about you, we’re going to send them to, as well as Get these five things you need to do every morning. I can’t wait to see what those five things are myself. Thank you, Matthew.

Thank you. I enjoyed that much. You’re such a strong interview. You let me have fun. Thank you. It was a huge pleasure.

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