This week, I’m excited to introduce another person who has exceptional taste in eyewear! Mike Reid outlines how to position yourself as a go-to person in your industry, or a Key Person of Influence in an increasingly uncertain world.

About Mike Reid:

In addition to co-authoring Key Person of Influence, Mike co-founded Dent Global. Dent is a business accelerator company known for helping founders of service firms to establish themselves as industry experts. By the age of 26, Mike was running highly successful large-scale promotional campaigns – contributing to Dent‘s placement at 63rd on BRW’s ‘Fast Starters’ List, 2014.

Operating in 4 cities, Dent has a team of 40+ and acquired businesses in web development, video production, and publishing. This formed a full-service strategy and implementation group for established entrepreneurs. Mike is now helping lead the next wave of Dent’s expansion into Canada.

Mike is originally from Australia, but now lives in Toronto because he fell for a Canadian – and Canada’s frosty peaks.

Points of Interest…

  • The Story Behind Key Person of Influence 2:02
  • How Dent Can Raise Your Industry Influence 3:44
  • Key Person of Influence Concept 5:42
  • 4 Steps to Becoming a Key Person of Influence 9:13
  • 5th and Final Step to becoming a Key Person of Influence 23:55

The Story Behind Key Person of Influence

After we ascertain why an Australian would swap the beach for snowy mountains (it turns out he’d rather be swaddled in a cosy cabin than hurling himself into the surf), we dive into how Mike helped to grow Dent globally.

To date, Mike has offices in four cities worldwide, helping countless companies to scale. How does one establish such a global enterprise? Meeting like-minded people in pubs!

“I was up going to a bunch of entrepreneurship events, and I went to this one where I met a guy called Glen Carlson at the top of a pub in South Melbourne. He was giving a talk on becoming a key person of influence in your industry. This was 2010/11 and the idea of building a personal brand in your industry was a new concept.”

Long story short; the pair instantly bonded, formed a partnership, and made Dent what it is today.

**Mike delves more into this meeting of minds from the 3:07 mark**

How Dent Can Raise Your Industry Influence

As for what Dent does exactly? Mike breaks it down…

“We’re a business accelerator company. We work with exceptional founders of traditional service businesses – agencies, legal firms, accounting firms, and professional services. You can have industry experience and find it hard to cut through the noise.”

When your industry is noise-filled, it’s hard to know the optimum way to sell yourself. Over the course of 12 months, Dent guides clients through a process to reposition their industry value. This transformation entails:

  • Turning your product/service into credible thought leadership
  • Productizing your IP
  • Building out a sophisticated product ecosystem
  • Raising your profile to form partnerships, joint ventures, etc
  • Ultimately lead you to leverage and scale at an accelerated pace

“We work with a cohort of founders over 12 months through an accelerator environment. This gives them access to tools, resources, mentorship, guidance, best practice, coaching, and structure to help them execute that strategy.”

Dent has a prolific portfolio of acquisitions, bolstering their accelerator services. Everything they do revolves around being an institution for six-to-early-seven revenue founders, helping them navigate their entrepreneurial journey.

Key Person of Influence Concept

There is a central concept at the heart of Dent – being a key person of influence. What is that, exactly?

About 10% of every industry comprises of people that understand the relationship between the most valuable growth factor to scale, plus driving brand attention. This 10% tends to attract the lion’s share of the opportunity given how they’ve positioned themselves.

“If you can package your brand and your value proposition – plus the way you communicate your value proposition – in a way that does differentiate from everybody else in the market; that makes you stand out. You’re positioned and seen as credible thought leaders within your industry… We call those people, the top 10% of the industry, the Key People/Brands of Influence.”

Unfortunately, if 10% are disproportionately earning more income and attracting more business, that doesn’t leave much for the remaining 90% functioning in the industry.

Therefore, you must nail how your value proposition is packaged, whereby it cuts through the noise made by your competition.

4 Steps to Becoming a Key Person of Influence

What does it look like to become a person of influence? What are the key processes you need to go through to go down that path? According to Mike, the steps go a little something like this…

  1. Have a really Powerful Answer to the question ‘What is it that you do?’
    Establishing a succinct and “powerful answer” to that question can be tricky. Don’t worry – Mike has 2 key frameworks to help you craft a suitable answer. It involves the Social Pitch (the ‘name’, ‘same’ and ‘fame’ formula) and the more structured Scheduled Pitch, **Mike expands on both from the 9:50 mark**
  2. Use Publishing as a means to establish/compound your authority in your field
    This is why publishing is important; it helps you build authority at scale, while attracting inbound opportunities. Whether it’s video, audio, or written content – you need to publish key content in order to build the optimum industry authority.
  3. Productize your service
    Products alone do not make money. Product-service ecosystems do, however – hence Dent acquiring businesses across different verticals, integrating with its core training and advisory business. **Myself and Mike merrily take a trip down the “Full-Service Agency Vs Specialized Industry, plus Niching” lane at the 15-minute mark**
  4. Raise your Profile
    We’ve talked about answering the question: what do you do? We have also discussed giving people a reason to engage and value your expertise. We’ve talked about creating a suite of products that align to that, and that solves a specific problem. All that’s left is the acronym SALT. Mike defines the latter as Social media, Accolades, Live talks, and Third-party media. Are you worth your SALT in your industry? Could you pass the Google test?

5th and Final Step to Becoming a Key Person of Influence

Surprise! Any plan worth its salt comes in 5 steps, doesn’t it? And Mike has left the best for last – Partnerships.

To recap; you have a really powerful answer to the question, What do we do?’ Your message is concise across the board, consistent throughout your entire business, and engaging. Mike even has an engagement formula for your published content…

“We have what we call a 7/11 ecosystem of content. It’s seven hours minimum, plus 11 interactions, across four locations of content in the market. We’ve got an elegant way to commercialize that attention through our products/services. More importantly, we’ve raised a flag – so, when people Google us, good things show up.”

You’ve been through the process, what’s next? Well, you implement Step 5: define how you leverage the prior 4 steps through partnerships.

Mike uses what he dubs ILR with clients; the Illusions of Limited Resources. A lack of resources can be a constant issue for small businesses. Therefore, why not see if you could partner with someone to share resources?

“We refer to this with our clients as The Partnership Triangle; for you to form powerful partnerships.”

According to Mike, there are three different areas of business in which to leverage a Partnership Triangle…

  1. Brand – perhaps you’re an agency in its infancy and haven’t built your brand reputation yet. In which case, ask yourself ‘who does have that brand reputation’. It could be in associated industries or adjacent verticals. Being associated with those credible brands/people would be enough to elevate your brand.
  2. Product/Service – ask yourself ‘how do I make the product/service more remarkable by partnering with other organizations/people.’
  3. Distribution – ascertain who already has the eyes/ears of your target audience. OK, you could always pay for ads – or you could find who already has your audience’s attention, and try collaborating with them.

Put together a mutually beneficial partnership proposal that will help distribute your content, and your value proposition, through their channels.

**We expand on the theme of nested frameworks ad infinitum from the 26:51 mark**

Key Takeaway… Frameworks are Important

Whenever you get the opportunity to run a campaign, with it comes the opportunity to validate new niches. Your niche is not an irreversible life decision.

Mike developed Dent Accelerators to help businesses build quickly, so you can focus on the parts of the business you love. To get a taster of what one can expect from the process, Mike suggests giving their eight-step Capstone Pitch framework a whirl.

“Essentially, it’s the framework we introduce to our clients. We actually give that tool as a gift, which you can download via If you go there, you’ll be able to download a copy.”

And with that, Mike has just one more nugget of key advice; “Don’t overanalyze, just be directionally correct.”

Need more Mike in your life? Check out…

Did you learn anything new from this episode? Let us know in the comments below! Our next installment of #APP, on May 19th, will see us chat with Charles Woods. Our previous blog with Andrey Baskov is here…

Agency Profitability Tool Kit

If you’re looking for more resources to help you improve your agency’s profitability, check out the Agency Profitability Tool Kit. It’s full of the same templates and checklists we’ve used with consulting clients to help them improve profitability by over 100% – in under 60 days.