I was always very shy and quiet as a kid and was kind of an outcast who never really fit in with the “cool kids”. I was raised by a single mother who worked extremely hard to raise my 3 siblings and myself. I don’t know how she did it as she couldn’t have made more than $20-$25k per year. We never had much money and I grew up living in trailer parks and low income communities until I moved in with my dad at age 15.
My dad was out of the picture for the most part before this, although I did see him once in a while; usually in between periods of being sober for a few months. My dad was a heavy alcoholic and drug user. I lived with him for a few months but then one day, I came home from school and he told me he was leaving to basically live with one of his friends who was a drug user. I moved back home and never saw him again after that. He died from a drug overdose in a homeless shelter a couple months later.
After high school I got a job as a construction laborer. I was basically the lowest paid guy on the job site and always had a shovel in my hand. After seeing all the old guys who had worked in the construction field their entire life and were miserable with their life, I decided I needed to go back to school and get a better job. I didn’t want that to be my future. At this point in my life I still hadn’t really adopted that entrepreneurial mindset and still thought that going back to school to get a $35k per year for an “office job” was the right thing to do.
After a few years as a construction worker, I started attending classes at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine. At this point I really didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I felt the pressure to pick something as soon as possible to get out of construction.
I chose to study Architectural Design because it was a somewhat creative field and involved computers and those were two things that interested me. Looking back, I really had no interest in Architecture but it was a learning experience where I learned how to use a computer and introduced me to “Corporate America” so I don’t regret the decision at all.
At first I thought I was living the good life going from working outside in the extreme cold Maine winters to a comfy warm office building with my own cubicle. But after 2-3 years of living this new life, I started to go crazy. I grew sick of the day-to-day mundane “office lifestyle” where I was doing the same old work every day and taking orders from Architects & Engineers whom I had absolutely nothing in common with.
I felt like I was being held back and robbed of my freedom and creativity. I also wanted to make more money so that I could live a comfortable life. I made just enough money to live a very modest lifestyle and not much more than that.
I was always interested in fast cars like Lamborghinis and wanted to be able to own these things one day but I could barely afford my 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup truck payment. I knew something had to change so I started looking for a way out of corporate America.
But, like most people who discover internet marketing, I never really made any significant money with it. I guess that was because I never really took it seriously and didn’t really have the balls to quit my job and do it full time.
During the summer of 2009 my life changed drastically over the course of about a week. I was still working as an architectural designer and dabbling with internet marketing in my spare time when my long time girlfriend of 9 years and I decided to buy our first home together.
3 months later I woke up one morning and she was gone. She left me for some other guy and I had to quickly figure out a way to pay all of our newly acquired bills and mortgage by myself. I couldn’t afford it on my current salary so knew I had to do something fast.
That same week I went back to work and my boss gave me the news that he had to cut my hours and pay by 20%. The architecture industry was really affected by the economic conditions at that time so we had no work. That point was the final straw for me. I had to get off my ass and generate some extra income fast, or I would literally lose my home. So I quit my job and started designing websites for local businesses in my area.
I remember the day quite well actually. I was sitting at my desk at the architecture firm I worked at during my lunch break and just started to Google ways to “make money online”. Somehow I came across a training program called “Product Launch Formula” by a marketer named Jeff Walker. He was actually in the middle of launching this course when I discovered him.
I never actually bought the course as it was $2,000 and I didn’t have that kind of money back then to just spend on training. But I learned A LOT about product launches and the power of a responsive email list just by consuming his free training material and watching how Jeff constructed his launch. From there it kinda just snowballed and I got on a warpath to learn all I could about internet marketing. Over time I got good at ranking websites, building websites and also discovered I was pretty good at writing sales copy.
I learned a lot about SEO and ranking websites from Youtube videos and doing research in different marketing forums like WarriorForum.com and BlackHatWorld.com (a black hat SEO forum). I would learn different loopholes to “trick” the search engines and put those tactics to the test with my own niche websites.
To my surprise it was pretty easy for me to achieve rankings this way I learned about building websites with WordPress the same way, mostly from watching tutorials on Youtube.
If I could do this over again now, I would have just paid for a course on the topic because it took me a few years to learn what could easily be learned in a few days if I had the info in one simple course or ebook.
I first discovered the idea of “selling online marketing services to local business” in the same forums I learned about ranking websites. I kept coming across posts by other forum members who were always talking about how “easy” it was to make money selling these services to local businesses.
People would talk about getting $10,000 checks from clients just for building them a simple 5 page WordPress website and ranking it in a few days. The fact that I could use my website building and ranking skills to make that kind of “easy money” was what initially appealed to me.
Starting that web design business and making it profitable turned out to be one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I struggled so much in the beginning. Mainly because I didn’t know how to market my skills and had trouble getting clients.
I knew how to build websites and rank them, but I had no clue about running a business or even marketing it. I thought I knew but I had no idea so I had to learn as I went. That’s what made it so tough.
There were times when my bank account was almost empty, and I couldn’t sleep at night because I’d be up all night worrying how I was going to pay my bills. I had to sleep with a “night guard” because I’d be grinding my teeth when I would fall asleep.
I stopped having a social life almost altogether. I remember reading a Facebook post from a friend saying he saw a new movie that just came out, and how great it was. And my first thoughts were….”I couldn’t imagine having the time to go to the movies right now”. I just seriously blocked out the world and put all my energy into making my business work. I was always figuring out new ways to get clients and different ways to increase the lifetime value of each client by building a sales funnel etc.
Things really started to come together for me when I figured that I needed spend more time working “on my business” rather than “in my business”. Instead of trying to find leads, convert them to clients, build their website, rank it and maintain it all by myself, I started to outsource as much as I could and so I could put all of my focus into the marketing side of things.
Once I found a client I would then outsource the design and programming of the site to designers and programmers using a site called “vWorker.com” (now merged w/ Freelancer.com). This allowed me to take on more clients because I could leverage the skills of others to get the job done faster.
I also started to position myself as the “WordPress Expert” in Southern Maine. This helped me position myself as a “specialist” in the eyes of my clients because they saw me as “the WordPress guy”.
Next I discovered that I could make more money from my existing clients by selling them other services such as video marketing, social media services, website maintenance packages etc. This was where I started to learn about sales funnels. Which would ultimately end up helping me have my first 6 figure year in 2010.
After running the Web Design Business for a year, I decided to go from serving clients one on one, to teaching others how to start their web design business and get clients. This is when I launched my first digital product.
After about a year of running the web design business and making it profitable, I discovered a lucrative opportunity to teach other aspiring marketers how to sell websites and online marketing services to local business. I started creating my own information products (ebooks & video courses), software and website templates to help other aspiring marketers start their own local web design company and get clients.
Once I launched my first video course to this market, I made a little over $10,000 within my first 30 days. I managed to generate a little over $5,000 in product sales, then I flipped that website on Flippa.com to some guy in Australia for $5,000 and broke even.
After the experience of launching my own digital product, I knew this was the business I was destined to be in. Not only were my training courses selling like crazy and I was making about on average $5 – $10k per month almost immediately, but I was also helping a lot more people and making a bigger impact on my customers through my training programs.
People were going through my trainings and were actually able to quit their jobs and start their own businesses. Some of these people turned out to be major success stories in a very short amount of time.
I bought some ads on a marketing forum where my target market was hanging out. (Warrior Forum sales thread). The first ad I bought was to start my pre-launch and build buzz around the launch, and of course build a list of interested potential buyers (leads) for my upcoming course.
I wrote a short “teaser report” just giving a taste of what I cover in detail in the upcoming full version of my course. I gave this “teaser report” away for free in exchange for their first name and email address.
From there I built a relationship with the new subscriber, taught them some cool things, and told them if they wanted to learn more to watch out for my upcoming course. This is how I got the first subscribers on my list. A week later I bought some more ads and along with my brand new list of leads launched the paid version of my course.
I was always using video marketing to grow all the websites I had built and I was pretty good at making sales videos. On top of that, my marketing friends and customers were always asking me how I made my videos. So I decided to start VideoRevolver to teach marketers on all aspects of video marketing and provide them with tools to make video marketing easier for them.
I have courses on everything from marketing video creation (the technical side of things), writing scripts for your videos (the selling side of things), selling video marketing as a service to other businesses to full out marketing funnel templates (the business & sales generation side of things).
The Instant Video Templates are explainer video templates that my team and I have built to help marketers and small businesses create animated explainer videos for their business without needing expensive software or hiring an expensive video firm to do it for them.
Explainer videos usually cost a lot of money to have created if you hire a firm to do one for you (can be upwards of $5,000-$10,000 for one video). So we just wanted to give the “little guy” an easy more affordable solution to make their own videos without the high costs.
I’m a prolific product creator. I’m ALWAYS creating new products and a big chunk of my business comes from repeat buyers. This gives me a massive advantage over my competition because I never run out of things to sell.
Personally I think in order to really become a leader in a niche, you NEED to be prolific with your product creation. You need to have multiple products that “scratch slightly different itches” for your customers.
If you do your job right, your customers will want to buy from you over and over again. So if you don’t give them that chance you are missing the boat and also letting your customers down. I know that when someone buys a product from me, they’ll love it and continue to buy my other products. I have systems in place to ensure this happens.
So, to sum it up. I continue to develop so many products because it gives me a massive advantage over my competition. I always have something to sell. It also allows me to cross sell different products and increase the value of each customer that buys from me initially. And because I have such a variety of products, I can attract slight variations of my perfect customer.
Once you buy an iPhone and fall in love, they know there’s an X% chance you’ll be back to buy an iPad within a certain amount of time. An iMac etc. They have other things in their “backend sales funnel” like Apple care, but just by looking at their wide selection of products, you can see why they have the loyal customer base they do.
Imagine where Apple would be if they only created the iPod? What a different company they would be today, and how different would our world be without the iPhone and all that came with it.
At this point I’ve built up a loyal following of customers who are always looking out for my next product. This is a good place to be in because whenever I have a new product to release, my customers are only an email away.
When I create a new product, I usually start hinting about it’s coming release a couple weeks or even months in advance through a series of emails. As we get closer to the launch date, say a week or two, I’ll finally reveal the product to my customers and let them know a launch date. I usually do this via a video on my website. From there it’s old fashioned “product launch 101″. Building anticipation, using social proof and scarcity to ensure the launch takes off with a bang on launch day assuming the product is a good seller.
In reality since we all serve the same niche, we should be competitors. But in reality, we all work together to help each other out. JV relationships like this is something I’ve made a point to really focus on in the past year, and it’s helped my business tremendously.
On top of my own customer list and JV relationships I also use Facebook Pay Per Click Advertising to build buzz around the launch and attract more JVs.
I see a lot of small businesses making videos just for the sake of making videos and they don’t put much thought behind the purpose of the video they spend so much time creating.
Every video you publish for your business should have ONE purpose. There should be ONE call to action in the video. To get an email opt in, to sell a product, generate phone calls, to encourage some type of action from the viewer.
I see a lot of new marketers and businesses making videos that really have no clear purpose. They’ll publish daily videos, or make a “sales video” that have to clear call to action and you leave the video wondering “what did I just watch?”. For example, after someone watches your video, they should know EXACTLY what step you want them to take next.
Being consistent and staying focused on ONE thing, without a doubt. In my early days, I would have a success, pull in a bunch of money then get lazy for a couple months. I would literally screw around, play videos games and just be an idiot until I realized I had to get back to work to continue making money.
Now I never stop. There’s always another product. Always another promotion. Always another goal I’m working towards. I’ve learned that maintaining momentum really is the key to growing revenue.
In the past I would try out all these different ideas, jumping from the next big idea to the next without really putting much thought into it before taking action. Someone would approach me with a business proposal and I’d be like “yea, lets do it!” All that would do is cause me to spread myself too thin and take my focus away from the ONE project I should be working on.
It’s the same with business. Put all your focus into your ONE project and learn that not every opportunity is worth going after. Even if it seems like a profitable one at first.
For new entrepreneurs, this is a HUGE KILLER. Once you learn that saying NO is good, and you stay focused and work towards your goals consistently with a purpose, you will be unstoppable.
Become a master marketer. Great marketing can sell a horrible product. But a great product won’t sell one copy with horrible marketing. Once you learn marketing and what it takes to make a sale happen, you can literally make it in any business. I’ve had many opportunities to get a behind the scenes look at several web start ups and one of the main reasons why they fail is because they just don’t have a clue about marketing.
Too many people get caught up in learning the tech side of things. Just because you want to sell software doesn’t mean you should spend the next year of your life learning PHP. Instead, hire a PHP developer to create your vision and you learn how turn that product into sales. Because in the end, the only thing that matters in business is sales. Sales cure every business related problem.
Most people don’t realize but my Youtube channel is around 8 years old. People are just starting to notice my videos because of the Lamborghini videos.
Since I bought the Gallardo I’ve been making videos about how I bought it, what I do for work, how I paid for it, how I insured it and even some business & entrepreneurship videos have now made it’s way into my channel.
People need to understand that this stuff is possible with hard work. If I can encourage one person to work hard and achieve their dreams – instead of playing GTA 5 every day wondering why they are still broke – then it’s all worth it.
Up until Sept 2014, I was the guy who would watch videos from people like Rob Dahm, Dedication Blog, or Allen Wong about how they bought their supercars.
I would always wish it was me on the other side of the video taking delivery of that Lamborghini and now it is. These videos kept me motivated so it’s time to give back and pass on the torch I guess you could say.
I’ve been obsessed with Lamborghinis for as long as I can remember. And when the Gallardo first came out I was obsessed with from day 1. I made it a goal back in 2006-2007 to one day be able to own a Gallardo and I think that played a big part of why I wanted to one day have my own business.
I knew that I would never afford a car like that while working for someone else so it motivated me. After 2013 I knew that my dream of owning one was getting closer, but I never looked into it. During the summer of 2014 I was browsing the web and came across an 04 with only 15k miles for under $100k. Before I knew it I was on the phone with the dealer (Lamborghini Dallas) and began the buying process.
In the end the timing worked out perfectly though and I don’t regret the “spur of the moment” decision to buy the car at all. If I hadn’t of taken the jump then, I probably never would have!
I know it sounds crazy but owning this car has changed my life in so many positive ways. It’s helped me make new friends and attract more attention to my business because people always want to know what you do for work. It’s literally one of the best investments I’ve ever made and has already paid for itself.
With the success I’ve had in the digital product space over the past several years, I’ve naturally been getting a lot of questions about how I do things. So I’ll be starting a mentorship program later this year where I’ll be guiding entrepreneurs through the process of launching their first digital product online within 90 days and growing it into a consistent monthly income.