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NOTABLE! 1,000,000 Followers On Social Media: How I Am Doing It & How You Can Too

rpeck90

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Having followed the OP's stuff for several years, I figured it might be worth posting some thoughts here - both for posterity and anyone searching for information about Damian Prosalendis SPXMAC.

Firstly, I found that it's not just Instagram followers/comments he's bought before...

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I trolled him anonymously on Twitter about this and got the same response to you guys - "liar / you're wrong". Even if I am wrong, or the Fiverr guy is lying, it seems highly suspect that IBTimes.com.au would run a story on the OP despite him not being in Australia. Why didn't other outlets pick it up?

To be honest, I don't care.

As I've aged, I began ignoring what people are doing, and have taken a keen interest in how they're doing them. I'm intrigued about the OP's hustle and respect what he's done (his Fiverr stuff is legit). However, you have to appreciate that as you get up the socio-economic totem pole - people become attuned to bullshit.

There's nothing wrong with buying editorials / posts / shoutouts (it used to be called PR) - but to pretend that it's not what you're doing is lying; treating people like idiots. As mentioned, for those who've been around the block a few times, spotting this is relatively simple. The antidote is results. Post results and all the "criticism" / "haters" go away. If you don't have results, you're wasting people's time.

To this end, the OP can rest relatively easily because he does have results. I know his Fiverr account and what he says about it is legitimate. However, trading off those results is not going to bring in 1,000,000+ followers.

This is the crux of his issue, and what I may have a solution for.

--

The reason I felt it appropriate to write this is because of a set of constructive criticism that I came up with several days ago. It's easy to bring people down - much harder to bring them up.

I think a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon and ignored that it's meant to be a progress thread. I believe the OP would have been better to be more open - but perhaps that would have been better suited to the Insiders' forum (which I'm not a member of).

If you take away the character assassination he brought on himself - and observe the underlying goal he's trying to facilitate (which is basically to extend his personal influence to the level of 1,000,000 followers), there are a number of things the OP hasn't really considered.

I wish to discuss them here...

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To do this, I want to introduce a YouTuber / "social media" personality who's channel is growing at the rate of 3,000+ subs per day. He's from the UK and basically does "parkour" / "urban climbing" where he goes around buildings to climb them, or sneaks into swimming pools to do "overnight challenges".

The guy's name is Ally Law and is receiving a decent amount of press in the UK for his "stunts".

He's climbed buildings around the world and is continuing to "ply his trade" within the UK.

Having watched some of his videos, the draw isn't the building / climbing / stunts themselves... but the fact that the police or security turn up. The thrill of him escaping - or having to deal with the consequences - is pretty much what makes his videos worth watching...

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As mentioned before, I don't really care about what he's doing. I'm glad he's out of the house (used to be a game addict) and is enjoying life. He's not hurting anybody and if I were the police / court, I'd actually try and strike a deal whereby he is hired as a "bridge painter" or something as means to facilitate reparation for any issues he causes.

Either way, he's making bank and attracting a substantive audience online.

This audience is the most important thing, and what the OP is trying to attain for himself.

Pertinently, there are a number of points the OP seems to have overlooked...
  1. There are *PATTERNS* for personal branding - a niche (and its comparable content) being the most important, followed by consistency and authenticity (more in a second)

  2. "Social" is a *SINGLE* entity -- YouTube / Instagram / Twitter are not "audiences" in of themselves, but platforms through which an audience can communicate with you. In other words, you're typically dealing with the SAME people on different platforms

  3. *SELLING* to a social audience is notoriously difficult (although not impossible). This is in line with something called the "Free Line" by Eban Pagan, whereby the more you give away "for free" - the more people are willing to pay in the backend. If you flip this on its head (the easier it is to reach an audience, the less they will be willing to pay higher fees), it would go some way to explain how the "social" landscape operates. Lower barriers to entry = Lower quality prospects

  4. People don't like *YOU*. You're simply a vassal for their own fantasies / desires. Their attention is mostly ephemeral, and - ultimately - they're trading their time/attention for your message. If you're worth their time, they'll stick around. Again - the more you "give away" for free, the more likely they're to stick around. Momento Mori - people have their own lives to lead and don't want to waste their time with idiots

  5. You're selling *CRAZINESS*. As much as I disagree with this, the only reason people follow "you" is because of the "lengths" you're willing to go to make life interesting. This works in both a business and personal capacity. Elon Musk alluded to it when he said the public responds to "superlatives and precedents"; Richard Branson "got it" when he did crazy stuff to promote the Virgin brand in the 80's "Sir Freddie Laker showed me the influence getting splashed on the front pages rather than buried in the middle pages could have" - the ONLY thing that matters with "social" branding is how *crazy* your stunts / activities are. Obviously, they need purpose - but the bigger & more ambitious your activities, the more people will be interested in you as an individual (explained in a second)
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It's no secret that if you want to get a large following (of idiots), there are basically TWO things you need → girls and money. Colloquially known as "flexing", it's a tried-and-tested formula for views / subscribers...

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Show people a lifestyle they don't - and likely will never - have, and they'll go crazy trying to get it.

It's one of the cornerstones of capitalism, and essentially what powers everything from fashion to high end sports cars. It's why "sex sells" and why people do strange / crazy things (gambling debt) in order to try and achieve it. They want the "good life". And if you want to identify a scammer, just add the words "and all this can be yours..." to see how that side of things works.

However, if you've progressed past the anal stage, you'll know that all of the above is not really what a "real" life is about anyway. Sure, nice cars and pretty women are truly great (in small doses) - but as a means to an end, they're hideous. If you have 20 "good" years on earth (with decent income, loving partner, family), all of life's finery will not buy you any more time / class / style etc.

This seems to be the issue the OP has. Whilst he's done well with his Fiverr - and seems to be doing well with e-commerce - his self declaration of being a "millionaire" and "soon to be worth $100,000,000" are indicative of someone looking for the "easy money" (in the sense of a following); unwilling to put in the grind to actually build up real subscribers. This superficial bullshit (and lying about it) is pretty much why he got called out.

Whether that is important is irrelevant. What is important is the underlying audience the OP will be building from his activities. In enterprise buzzwords, they're known as KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) - how well particular activities / strategies / tactics are working to provide results (money).

In its current form, I'd stipulate the OP's audience is likely made up of broke students and wannabe digital nomads. Undoubtedly, there'll be some successes in there but the point is that the majority will *not* have any real underlying substantive business. They'll be trading on "hacks" / "tricks" - always looking for the next trend to cannibalize.

So what's the fix?

It's actually quite simple - and something he already has (hence why I decided to write this post)...

Authenticity

The ONE thing that Ally Law has over EVERYBODY ELSE is he is 100% authentic.

He's not trying to get you to buy his clothes. He doesn't have any hidden agenda to try and conquer the world. He's simply going about his life - doing his "madnesses" and getting into trouble for them. The filming of these is the icing on the cake. He's giving away his stuff *for free* and then receiving recompense through the likes of ads and merch sales. This is the standard model on YouTube etc - companies that go there to sell are typically treated very harshly indeed (although that's not to say they're unsuccessful in their pursuit).

You get to live through his videos what you don't want to risk yourself. It's gutter-level entertainment at the best of times... but is a GREAT example of how to naturally grow an audience of 1m+ people.

He holds nothing back. And that's why people love what he's posting.

Now, we can take this and perhaps apply it to the OP - to give him a more synergistic social strategy.

If we do it right, not only should he able to reach his goal (with MUCH more momentum than he has now), but it should also do the ONE thing that he should be concerned with - multiplying the bottom-line... and having people thank him for the privilege...

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Regardless of what the OP says, the above is not "natural". Unless he got featured by several massive accounts, growth is too disjointed for it to be organic. Look at Law's stats above - the curve is much smoother.

The way around this is to leverage what he's already done and use that to grow the underlying "assets" that he may be lacking (social). This is basically the core of what the OP really needs to grow. In other words, he's trying to be "Richard Branson" without a "Virgin" to promote - he has no reason to be sharing content (apart from his own self-aggrandizement). This lack of congruence is why he comes across as "seedy" or "scammy".

Ironically, he already has his "Virgin" - SPXMAC. This is the business he started on Fiverr and appears to be providing him with the liquid cash flow to continue his activities. I don't know anything about the business or his other work - but I do know that SPXMAC is legit and actually provides a great service to its clients.

To move himself forward socially, my recommendation would be to take SPXMAC and document "CRAZY" growth progress by utilizing his e-commerce empire. This will mean exposing his ENTIRE business to the scrutiny of the Internet... but if he's 100% genuine, consistent and actually legitimate (none of the auto-fellatio bullshit) - it would actually work to grow a larger & more acclaimed audience.
 

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rpeck90

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To do this, there are several things to look at:
  1. Hero's Journey
    The big one is the "Hero's Journey" (similar to the "FTE" in Fastlane terminology).

    Whilst not the underlying "reason" for rampant social growth - it's the CORE of what opens the door to the opportunity. In other words, WHY are you even posting under your own name anyway (as opposed to a business etc)?

    MJ Demarco made his money and penned a book to enlighten others about the process. Richard Branson wanted to "beat British Airways". Elon Musk wanted to get us to Mars & have a sustainable future. The OP? Wants to be a professional dancer...

    The potency of the Hero's "story" determines whether people will open their ears to you. Hitler is one of the best historic examples. Before WW1 he was a total loser, a drop-out, vagrant and generally had no direction. That's not to say his life was nefarious; he didn't smoke or drink.

    If Hitler got up and started talking to people before WW1, no one would have listened. It was only after his experiences in the Trenches that people started to take him seriously as an individual. His experiences + the underlying reason that he identified garnered him an audience.

    The Hero's journey is typically started - or at least personified by - an FTE. In Hitler's case, he went "hysterically blind" upon hearing of the 1918 armistice.

  2. Reason
    The next element is the reason why you're posting stuff.

    Again, no one really cares about you. So why post under your own name? You obviously want the acclaim - or more likely a larger audience to recommend products to later on. I'm not partial to the merits of this; I applaud growth and risk-taking generally. I think people get annoyed when they're taken for fools. If you have something to sell, just be clear about it.

    The reason you felt compelled to get up and actually explain your "message". Taking the Hitler example, his message was that Jews and other non-desirables snatched Germany of its victory - to fix this, a policy of "National Socialism" would need to cleanse the populace of any non-Germans in order to ensure the "natural order" was maintained.

    The "reason" why you're posting content is the reason why people will listen to you. Thus, it ENTIRELY determines the makeup of your audience. MJ Demarco's audience seems to be extremely polarized between those who're on the path to wealth and many "wantrepreneurs". The reason for this is that he preaches "action" and will not tolerate "action faking". Hence, the community he has attracted is typically devoid of it.

    The OP currently posts extremely superficial / ephemeral content. Consequently, in his quest to become a "social media star" - he's attracting people who either share his yearning for independent living ("digital nomad" / "travelling"), as well as people who are eager to engage in tricks etc.

    To get a good image of how this works, contrast it to a young Bill Gates... working 16+ hours a day in a darkened office in Seattle. Do you think he'd attract young traveller-types, or hardened business veterans looking to further their company's growth with the latest technology?

    What would have his social profile have been like during this time?

  3. Content (Message)
    After the "reason" for posting, the actual content needs to be considered.

    They may say "content is king" (which is true) but how you deliver it is equally important in my opinion. This post might be massive - but it had to be to ensure that my points were displayed correctly. This is one of the biggest issues for most companies / people in the social sphere.

    The way around this is to ensure that *every* piece of content you put out has an underlying message. The potency of the message determines the potency of response it may receive (via its hook).

    For example, I'm a massive fan of Federica Nargi. Young Nargi was conscripted to do a presentation for "Angry Birds" when it first came out in Italy...

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lP-mMXP-R8


    Whilst I get why this was done, I couldn't think of a worse marketing angle. It's like having Victoria's Secret Angels promoting a car repair place... the message is completely incongruent.

    If you're hell-bent on getting a model to show the goods, what you need to do is use their beauty as an accentuation for the product itself. Rather like how it works in the "car" world.

    With the above - having a model showing how to play some game - is pretty weak. They should have had Nargi with one of the developers presenting. This way, you actually get to appreciate the engineering behind the technology - rather than just a pretty face.

    Regardless, the point is that you need to use each "post" on social media to promote an underlying message. This may be something simple - such as - in the case of Ally Law - having a decent "title" for the video (*ALMOST GOT CAUGHT BY COPS*).

    Having posts with a singular focus on IMPORTANT messages is by far and away more valuable than having tons of low-tier photos outside the LA Gucci store.

  4. Hook
    Penultimately, the "reason" for the "subscriber" to keep listening / engaging with the content provider is the "HOOK". What's in it for them to become a part of the community?

    For the likes of YouTube, the "hook" is typically to respond to the creator by way of a "like" or "comment". You hear it all the time - "comment below if you agree". This is essentially the much-touted engagement and what starts people on the path to becoming full members of a community.

    The point is that if you consider "social" a marketing strategy - getting "buy in" from the audience is the first step toward them becoming actual members. They basically cross from being in the bleachers to being an active participant. In a purely business sense, this means they're worth "more" than the masses who'll lurk.

    The hallmark of great content is if it actively encourages users to engage with it. However, to further this engagement (IE to make it count towards a wider set of results) - the poster typically ties it to some sort of wider reward... such as "click the link in the description" or some other stepping-stone to get them further involved with the community.

  5. Repeat
    Finally... consistency.

    The backbone of a strong social following is being consistent.

    Most YouTubers will release their videos at particular times EVERY day (even Jake Paul's tagline is "it's every day bro"). This consistency essentially "trains" the audience to become more attuned to receiving their content on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

    Obviously, if you're more than just a "prankster", and actually have to put effort into the creation of the content, daily uploads might not be feasible. However, if you make sure that what you're posting is at least consistent (IE on a regular basis), it will train the audience to receive it as appropriate.

    This is basically where the "subscription" comes from. Most people who "want to grow a YouTube channel" seem to forget that "subscribing" is a major commitment for most people, and that by doing so, they need to be promised they're actually going to receive more content that they can take action with.

    Ironic as it is - whilst most people only really focus on subscribers, it's the last step in quite a long journey. People who are quick to subscribe are generally quick to unsubscribe, and are not very deep. People who are slow to subscribe are typically MUCH more valuable "prospects" - either having a lot going on in their lives (read: wealthy) or will be deeply interested in a topic.
--

With ALL of this in mind, we have the workings of a strategy the OP could apply.

In fact, I think one of the big issues for the OP is actually lack of strategic focus and more focus on tactics / tricks. If he held a wider image in his head, it might actually remove the majority of issues he's facing with his current growth.

This is the solution I had....
  • RESULTS
    The BIGGEST problem the OP has is lack of demonstrable results.

    I don't doubt what he says. But without verifiable proof, they're just words.

    Calling yourself a "millionaire" is cute - but where's the bacon? How much money do you actually control? What's your business worth? You don't need to be explicit about this - but you really do need to verify any claims you make.

    People can smell success. MJ Demarco is "successful" - I wouldn't say majorly so, although he's certainly in the 1% worldwide. I sense this even without seeing his bank balance or investment portfolio. Likewise of Mikael Syding, a Swedish guy I met who's apparently worth over $10m+.

    When those guys post content, you feel it's legit because you've gained insight into their lives / assets they control. They've never said explicitly (to me at least) how much money they actually have - they just prefer to do interesting things that only "wealthy" people would be able to.

    This is the prime indicator of whether someone's worth looking at in the business world. If you want to get a bunch of tweens to like / comment, then go out and do pranks or become a "vlogger". If you're looking at building a legitimate community of "digital conquerors", you have to bend the knee a little.

    This is the crucible of what I feel the OP is lacking, and interestingly, what he can use to grow his audience organically. SPXMAC - for all intents and purposes - is still an "outsource" driven business. I would actually put this at the center of his efforts to build a "personal" brand - the underlying "hero's story" is the documentation of growing SPXMAC into a "real" business.

  • ACTIVITY
    The way it would work is simple.

    SPXMAC has a good name, position and offering. It's healthy - but suffers from one of the biggest issues in the "business" world today... reliance on one source of traffic. Outside of Fiverr, I could not see any way the business had engaged the market.

    With this in mind, the "business" is PRIME for growth / expansion - particularly as an agency / consultancy. In the same vein as "web agencies" (most of which make MASSIVE profits), having an Amazon / Copywriting / Sales agency is definitely feasible. They probably exist already... but providing a legitimate "sales" agency for smaller firms (who may want anything from ad copy improvement to better landing pages) don't. A good example would be Viral-Launch.com.

    If SPXMAC opened an office with REAL employees in the likes of London, Paris or New York - the OP would actually have legitimate content to share with his audience. Content that isn't mindnumbingly droll.

    Now, before you say "oh no! opening an office in a capital city sounds expensive", it's true. It will be a risky endeavor... but not one without reward. If you're prepared to drop $18k on a Dubai suite, or rent a Ferrari / Beverly Hills mansion for a month, I'm sure you'll be able to spend $35k setting up an office.

    The most important thing to consider is that it's not the "office" that would be the deal... it would be the SHIFT in the way the business operates (and the underlying reason why it exists).

    As mentioned, the OP suggests that he has a growing portfolio of e-commerce businesses. I've never seen them so I don't know how well they're running. I do know, though, that these could provide the "meat" in a new SPXMAC sandwich...

  • AUTHENTICITY
    The OP stated that he wants to grow his personal brand.

    The personal nature of the brand is not really inclined towards having a "business" backend. However, it is inclined towards sharing his story with the world.

    If you really wanted to grow your portfolio to over $100m+, what you'd be looking to do is synergize current assets together to provide fuel for the present fire. Again, the OP has already got results, so it's not a question of starting - but growing.

    The way to do this is leverage each asset against each other. SPXMAC - for example - should share the e-commerce results, and the e-commerce empire could be "sponsored" by SPXMAC and have little events for its audience or whatever.

    Basically, it has to be 100% real. You have to be on a journey and you have to make it appear that you're bringing the audience on the journey too... sharing the ups & downs.

    As demonstrated with Ally Law, it's not what you do but how you do it that counts. By building a business that actually has a "purpose" beyond making the OP money, it will give a precedent to the type of content it's able to put out.
--

Here's what I'd do:
  • Make SPXMAC a "real" business by getting an office in London, Paris or NYC

  • In the office, get a number of full time employees (4 or 5) (this will make it easier to get into NYC)

  • Use these employees to pitch for local business in the community around the office (they're basically a cross between "sales representatives" and actual workers in the business). If you have 16+ outsourced employees already, pass any new workloads onto them if necessary

  • The TRICK will be to tie in the OP's "e-commerce" stuff directly into the SPXMAC offering

  • This will include having a "tally" of monthly earnings ($150k this month etc) on giant screens in the office - use Geckoboard or Klipfolio to do this

  • By doing this, you instantly give yourself a primary offering - "we practice what we preach" - to which you're able to share anecdotes from your experiences with the ecommerce / consultancy stuff (this is where you will get a MASSIVE ton of content for the business - which you can share through your own social presence too)

  • In terms of your own "social" brand - it gives you the "hero's journey" through which you're able to create results-driven content that actually has an underlying message each time

  • This means that each time you decide to put out new content (you'll need two strategies - one for SPXMAC and one for your own personal brand), you'll be able to share the two between each other. This sharing will drive up engagement across both

  • If you did a WEEKLY YouTube "Vlog" (maybe daily if things get intense) showcasing the progress made, profits created and ultimately the current state of play with SPX & the e-commerce stuff, you'll start to attract a real audience of fans who'll be partial to giving you money just because they actually appreciate what you've done

  • On top of the "vlog", you're then able to continually publish content updates derived from the various activities / gains / losses made during the attempted growth of SPXMAC and your underlying personal brand

  • I can go into more depth if appropriate
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I know this was an exhaustive post for something actually quite mundane, but to be honest, I had the inspiration to write it for the past few days.

Hope this helps.
 

Manchild_Unbound

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To do this, there are several things to look at:
This is the crucible of what I feel the OP is lacking, and interestingly, what he can use to grow his audience organically. SPXMAC - for all intents and purposes - is still an "outsource" driven business. I would actually put this at the center of his efforts to build a "personal" brand - the underlying "hero's story" is the documentation of growing SPXMAC into a "real" business.
  • SPXMAC has a good name, position and offering. It's healthy - but suffers from one of the biggest issues in the "business" world today... reliance on one source of traffic. Outside of Fiverr, I could not see any way the business had engaged the market.

    If SPXMAC opened an office with REAL employees in the likes of London, Paris or New York - the OP would actually have legitimate content to share with his audience. Content that isn't mindnumbingly droll.

    Now, before you say "oh no! opening an office in a capital city sounds expensive", it's true. It will be a risky endeavor... but not one without reward. If you're prepared to drop $18k on a Dubai suite, or rent a Ferrari / Beverly Hills mansion for a month, I'm sure you'll be able to spend $35k setting up an office.
  • Make SPXMAC a "real" business by getting an office in London, Paris or NYC

  • In the office, get a number of full time employees (4 or 5) (this will make it easier to get into NYC)

  • Use these employees to pitch for local business in the community around the office (they're basically a cross between "sales representatives" and actual workers in the business). If you have 16+ outsourced employees already, pass any new workloads onto them if necessary

  • The TRICK will be to tie in the OP's "e-commerce" stuff directly into the SPXMAC offerin
SPXMAC actually has expanded outside of Fiverr as it is also a consulting business and its own independent website. And there are several employees--apparently 15 with a general manager and everything.

Otherwise GREAT points.

But I share here some thing else but likewise relevant. I'm subscribed to Marketing Idiots newsletter and I got this email today, which seems to riff on the OP without mentioning his name:

Featured in the Huffington Post… And Forbes… And Inc.com!!!

Actually, we weren’t. But for just a few hundred dollars, we could be.

You ever go to a website… maybe it’s a startup, or maybe it’s an online business “guru”... and they display an impressive list of publications that have written about them?

Take it with a grain of salt.

Here’s why:

Not all articles on the Huffington Post domain are created equal.

Basically, Huffington Post — along with publications like Forbes, Inc, and the International Business Times — have divided their businesses into two parts. One of them consists of articles written by staff writers who get paid a salary to cover… well, whatever they’re being paid to cover. Could be politics, could be current events, could be pop culture, could be business. You get the gist, I’m sure.

Say what you will about professional journalists, but at least their agendas are pretty easy to figure out. And outside of politics, current events and pop culture, whatever their personal ideological leanings are usually doesn’t affect their writing too much.

But then there’s the other part of these publications’ businesses…

And it’s far murkier.

Basically, these consist of blog posts written by unpaid “contributors” — who are supposed to be “experts” in their respective “fields” — but a lot of the time, what they’re writing about has very little to do with contributing their expertise to these oh-so esteemed publications, and far more to do with the money they’re getting paid by whoever they’re writing about.

It used to be that you could find people who promised to get your article onto Forbes or HuffPo on websites like Fiverr. You’d pay them maybe 20 bucks, and lo and behold — some dude named “Mudassar Hassan” or something would magically get your article published.

Nowadays, it seems like Fiverr have cleaned up their act a bit. But it’s still really easy to get your shit published on any of these websites. Just join a couple of Facebook groups for “online marketers”, and it won’t be long until you see people offering these very same services. Some of them are of pretty shoddy quality, others seem more legit but are also more expensive.

Seriously, you actually think Gordon Tredgold, who’s apparently a public speaker from the UK, gives a shit about the importance of outsourcing your company’s video marketing?

Do you also think it’s just a coincidence that his article happens to conveniently double as a sales pitch for the company also mentioned (and linked to) extensively?

https://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/5-reasons-why-outsourcing-your-video-marketing-make-sense.html

Then there’s this guy: “Brian Rashid” (is that even a real name?).

Brian describes himself as “one of the world’s top branding and messaging exper—”... okay, hold the F*ck on now. Time out.

I read about branding on an almost daily basis. I am subscribed to podcasts about branding, I read Adweek, The Dieline, etc. Yet… Somehow… I’ve never heard of this guy. What’s more is, according to Forbes, most of Brian’s articles get like 500 to 5000 page-views each.

Considering he’s apparently one of the world’s top branding experts, he’s done a really poor job of branding himself.

Anyway, back to the story.

You think Brian Rashid, branding and messaging extraordinaire, gives a shit about the “five essential reasons you should be using a responsive website design now”?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/06/13/5-essential-reasons-and-benefits-why-you-should-be-using-a-responsive-website-design-now/#3b8dc4817c91

(First of all another side note: this article was written in July 2017. If your website wasn’t already responsive by then, you’re the internet equivalent of the companies still renting out VHS tapes when everyone was using DVD players. Juuuuust a liiiiittle late.)

Do you also think it’s a coincidence that the article includes a link to the services page of some random, no-name web design shop in………. Toronto? (I looked at their portfolio — they do awful work.)

Now, I’m not sure you about you guys. But I don’t think “EdkentMedia” has an awfully large budget set aside for these types of blog posts.

Honestly, I doubt they paid more than a couple hundred bucks. Probably less than that.

So the next time you see a company or some “guru” brag about that interview they got in Huffington Post, or that article that cited them as an expert in Forbes… Maybe, uhhhhh, don’t believe them?

Actually, there’s a pretty simple way of determining whether or not the real publication wrote about them, or if it’s more likely just a blog post that they paid a couple hundred bucks for.

Find the article, and check the URL. If it looks something like this:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/06/13/blah-blah-blah/

https://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/blah-blah-blah/

… It’s definitely a guest post.

Some of these websites also put disclaimers on their guest posts, stating things to the effect of: “The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com” or other similar sentiments.

Note: I literally just checked and apparently the Huffington Post has now closed their “Contributor” platform. I guess there won’t be any more spammy posts on their website (unless you count their normal content as spam) going forward, but the old ones are still online.

It’s very easy to check if the HuffPost article you’re reading is a guest post or not. It’ll say so in the right-hand sidebar:

“This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.”

Let those words sink in for a moment.

Until pretty recently — Huffington Post, one of the biggest news sites in the world — let random people post freely to their website, with zero editorial oversight.

How anyone trusts what they see or read on the Internet is beyond me.

Scrutinise everything, don’t blindly trust social proof that can be easily bought (articles, reviews, etc), and most importantly: stay safe.

Until next time,

Jon

PS. Here is an excellent article from The Outline about this phenomenon (and how it’s not just limited to these unpaid glorified bloggers, either): https://theoutline.com/post/2563/how-brands-secretly-buy-their-way-into-forbes-fast-company-and-huffpost-stories?zd=1&zi=dg75sc73
 

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Now this thread is starting to deliver value!
 

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Great posts from @rpeck90 and @Manchild_Unbound


If OP ever comes back I would be genuinely interested in knowing if the paid media mentions were worth it and what sort of ROI he got in return?

I am not opposed to someone paying a journalist to get a decent article written up. Not much different from paid shoutouts on social media.
 

Envious

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Great posts from @rpeck90 and @Manchild_Unbound


If OP ever comes back I would be genuinely interested in knowing if the paid media mentions were worth it and what sort of ROI he got in return?

I am not opposed to someone paying a journalist to get a decent article written up. Not much different from paid shoutouts on social media.
I’d like to know this too, but I don’t think the OP has the cajones to come back after the devastating blows he has been dealt in this thread.:rofl:
 

Fox

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I’d like to know this too, but I don’t think the OP has the cajones to come back after the devastating blows he has been dealt in this thread.:rofl:
Well his very first line of this thread is using his media mention for borrowed authority so I dont think so either. But we be cool to know all the same.
 

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I want to say a big thank you to Damien Prosalendis @DamienP . Without you making this thread, most of us, including me, would never even have the chance to soak in all these info that folks like Fox and @rpeck90 are dispensing.

There's such an ocean load of hidden abstract goldmine in rpeck's post that I had to read it 3 times over a span of 12 hours on-and-off, to comprehend it and I'm still only at 20% in terms of absorbing it all in.

@rpeck90, would be great if you have more insight to share on the "Show people a lifestyle they don't - and likely will never - have, and they'll go crazy trying to get it" part lol.
How does one apply this to ecommerce businesses selling physical products?

Who knows how many more legends are silently lurking in the depths around here?
 

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The funniest thing about this entire forum is that when people come along with posts like these, they literally get killed with kindness.

Like the OP will get berated for a little bit but after a while the thread begins to provide legitimate value for newbies and experts alike in the particular niche.

But the OP's ego ends up defeating not only themselves but the potential knowledge that could actually help them grow! The exact same trend happens in every one of these "guru" threads it's honestly amazing.
 

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To do this, there are several things to look at:
  1. Hero's Journey
    The big one is the "Hero's Journey" (similar to the "FTE" in Fastlane terminology).

    Whilst not the underlying "reason" for rampant social growth - it's the CORE of what opens the door to the opportunity. In other words, WHY are you even posting under your own name anyway (as opposed to a business etc)?

    MJ Demarco made his money and penned a book to enlighten others about the process. Richard Branson wanted to "beat British Airways". Elon Musk wanted to get us to Mars & have a sustainable future. The OP? Wants to be a professional dancer...

    The potency of the Hero's "story" determines whether people will open their ears to you. Hitler is one of the best historic examples. Before WW1 he was a total loser, a drop-out, vagrant and generally had no direction. That's not to say his life was nefarious; he didn't smoke or drink.

    If Hitler got up and started talking to people before WW1, no one would have listened. It was only after his experiences in the Trenches that people started to take him seriously as an individual. His experiences + the underlying reason that he identified garnered him an audience.

    The Hero's journey is typically started - or at least personified by - an FTE. In Hitler's case, he went "hysterically blind" upon hearing of the 1918 armistice.

  2. Reason
    The next element is the reason why you're posting stuff.

    Again, no one really cares about you. So why post under your own name? You obviously want the acclaim - or more likely a larger audience to recommend products to later on. I'm not partial to the merits of this; I applaud growth and risk-taking generally. I think people get annoyed when they're taken for fools. If you have something to sell, just be clear about it.

    The reason you felt compelled to get up and actually explain your "message". Taking the Hitler example, his message was that Jews and other non-desirables snatched Germany of its victory - to fix this, a policy of "National Socialism" would need to cleanse the populace of any non-Germans in order to ensure the "natural order" was maintained.

    The "reason" why you're posting content is the reason why people will listen to you. Thus, it ENTIRELY determines the makeup of your audience. MJ Demarco's audience seems to be extremely polarized between those who're on the path to wealth and many "wantrepreneurs". The reason for this is that he preaches "action" and will not tolerate "action faking". Hence, the community he has attracted is typically devoid of it.

    The OP currently posts extremely superficial / ephemeral content. Consequently, in his quest to become a "social media star" - he's attracting people who either share his yearning for independent living ("digital nomad" / "travelling"), as well as people who are eager to engage in tricks etc.

    To get a good image of how this works, contrast it to a young Bill Gates... working 16+ hours a day in a darkened office in Seattle. Do you think he'd attract young traveller-types, or hardened business veterans looking to further their company's growth with the latest technology?

    What would have his social profile have been like during this time?

  3. Content (Message)
    After the "reason" for posting, the actual content needs to be considered.

    They may say "content is king" (which is true) but how you deliver it is equally important in my opinion. This post might be massive - but it had to be to ensure that my points were displayed correctly. This is one of the biggest issues for most companies / people in the social sphere.

    The way around this is to ensure that *every* piece of content you put out has an underlying message. The potency of the message determines the potency of response it may receive (via its hook).

    For example, I'm a massive fan of Federica Nargi. Young Nargi was conscripted to do a presentation for "Angry Birds" when it first came out in Italy...

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lP-mMXP-R8


    Whilst I get why this was done, I couldn't think of a worse marketing angle. It's like having Victoria's Secret Angels promoting a car repair place... the message is completely incongruent.

    If you're hell-bent on getting a model to show the goods, what you need to do is use their beauty as an accentuation for the product itself. Rather like how it works in the "car" world.

    With the above - having a model showing how to play some game - is pretty weak. They should have had Nargi with one of the developers presenting. This way, you actually get to appreciate the engineering behind the technology - rather than just a pretty face.

    Regardless, the point is that you need to use each "post" on social media to promote an underlying message. This may be something simple - such as - in the case of Ally Law - having a decent "title" for the video (*ALMOST GOT CAUGHT BY COPS*).

    Having posts with a singular focus on IMPORTANT messages is by far and away more valuable than having tons of low-tier photos outside the LA Gucci store.

  4. Hook
    Penultimately, the "reason" for the "subscriber" to keep listening / engaging with the content provider is the "HOOK". What's in it for them to become a part of the community?

    For the likes of YouTube, the "hook" is typically to respond to the creator by way of a "like" or "comment". You hear it all the time - "comment below if you agree". This is essentially the much-touted engagement and what starts people on the path to becoming full members of a community.

    The point is that if you consider "social" a marketing strategy - getting "buy in" from the audience is the first step toward them becoming actual members. They basically cross from being in the bleachers to being an active participant. In a purely business sense, this means they're worth "more" than the masses who'll lurk.

    The hallmark of great content is if it actively encourages users to engage with it. However, to further this engagement (IE to make it count towards a wider set of results) - the poster typically ties it to some sort of wider reward... such as "click the link in the description" or some other stepping-stone to get them further involved with the community.

  5. Repeat
    Finally... consistency.

    The backbone of a strong social following is being consistent.

    Most YouTubers will release their videos at particular times EVERY day (even Jake Paul's tagline is "it's every day bro"). This consistency essentially "trains" the audience to become more attuned to receiving their content on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

    Obviously, if you're more than just a "prankster", and actually have to put effort into the creation of the content, daily uploads might not be feasible. However, if you make sure that what you're posting is at least consistent (IE on a regular basis), it will train the audience to receive it as appropriate.

    This is basically where the "subscription" comes from. Most people who "want to grow a YouTube channel" seem to forget that "subscribing" is a major commitment for most people, and that by doing so, they need to be promised they're actually going to receive more content that they can take action with.

    Ironic as it is - whilst most people only really focus on subscribers, it's the last step in quite a long journey. People who are quick to subscribe are generally quick to unsubscribe, and are not very deep. People who are slow to subscribe are typically MUCH more valuable "prospects" - either having a lot going on in their lives (read: wealthy) or will be deeply interested in a topic.
--

With ALL of this in mind, we have the workings of a strategy the OP could apply.

In fact, I think one of the big issues for the OP is actually lack of strategic focus and more focus on tactics / tricks. If he held a wider image in his head, it might actually remove the majority of issues he's facing with his current growth.

This is the solution I had....
  • RESULTS
    The BIGGEST problem the OP has is lack of demonstrable results.

    I don't doubt what he says. But without verifiable proof, they're just words.

    Calling yourself a "millionaire" is cute - but where's the bacon? How much money do you actually control? What's your business worth? You don't need to be explicit about this - but you really do need to verify any claims you make.

    People can smell success. MJ Demarco is "successful" - I wouldn't say majorly so, although he's certainly in the 1% worldwide. I sense this even without seeing his bank balance or investment portfolio. Likewise of Mikael Syding, a Swedish guy I met who's apparently worth over $10m+.

    When those guys post content, you feel it's legit because you've gained insight into their lives / assets they control. They've never said explicitly (to me at least) how much money they actually have - they just prefer to do interesting things that only "wealthy" people would be able to.

    This is the prime indicator of whether someone's worth looking at in the business world. If you want to get a bunch of tweens to like / comment, then go out and do pranks or become a "vlogger". If you're looking at building a legitimate community of "digital conquerors", you have to bend the knee a little.

    This is the crucible of what I feel the OP is lacking, and interestingly, what he can use to grow his audience organically. SPXMAC - for all intents and purposes - is still an "outsource" driven business. I would actually put this at the center of his efforts to build a "personal" brand - the underlying "hero's story" is the documentation of growing SPXMAC into a "real" business.

  • ACTIVITY
    The way it would work is simple.

    SPXMAC has a good name, position and offering. It's healthy - but suffers from one of the biggest issues in the "business" world today... reliance on one source of traffic. Outside of Fiverr, I could not see any way the business had engaged the market.

    With this in mind, the "business" is PRIME for growth / expansion - particularly as an agency / consultancy. In the same vein as "web agencies" (most of which make MASSIVE profits), having an Amazon / Copywriting / Sales agency is definitely feasible. They probably exist already... but providing a legitimate "sales" agency for smaller firms (who may want anything from ad copy improvement to better landing pages) don't. A good example would be Viral-Launch.com.

    If SPXMAC opened an office with REAL employees in the likes of London, Paris or New York - the OP would actually have legitimate content to share with his audience. Content that isn't mindnumbingly droll.

    Now, before you say "oh no! opening an office in a capital city sounds expensive", it's true. It will be a risky endeavor... but not one without reward. If you're prepared to drop $18k on a Dubai suite, or rent a Ferrari / Beverly Hills mansion for a month, I'm sure you'll be able to spend $35k setting up an office.

    The most important thing to consider is that it's not the "office" that would be the deal... it would be the SHIFT in the way the business operates (and the underlying reason why it exists).

    As mentioned, the OP suggests that he has a growing portfolio of e-commerce businesses. I've never seen them so I don't know how well they're running. I do know, though, that these could provide the "meat" in a new SPXMAC sandwich...

  • AUTHENTICITY
    The OP stated that he wants to grow his personal brand.

    The personal nature of the brand is not really inclined towards having a "business" backend. However, it is inclined towards sharing his story with the world.

    If you really wanted to grow your portfolio to over $100m+, what you'd be looking to do is synergize current assets together to provide fuel for the present fire. Again, the OP has already got results, so it's not a question of starting - but growing.

    The way to do this is leverage each asset against each other. SPXMAC - for example - should share the e-commerce results, and the e-commerce empire could be "sponsored" by SPXMAC and have little events for its audience or whatever.

    Basically, it has to be 100% real. You have to be on a journey and you have to make it appear that you're bringing the audience on the journey too... sharing the ups & downs.

    As demonstrated with Ally Law, it's not what you do but how you do it that counts. By building a business that actually has a "purpose" beyond making the OP money, it will give a precedent to the type of content it's able to put out.
--

Here's what I'd do:
  • Make SPXMAC a "real" business by getting an office in London, Paris or NYC

  • In the office, get a number of full time employees (4 or 5) (this will make it easier to get into NYC)

  • Use these employees to pitch for local business in the community around the office (they're basically a cross between "sales representatives" and actual workers in the business). If you have 16+ outsourced employees already, pass any new workloads onto them if necessary

  • The TRICK will be to tie in the OP's "e-commerce" stuff directly into the SPXMAC offering

  • This will include having a "tally" of monthly earnings ($150k this month etc) on giant screens in the office - use Geckoboard or Klipfolio to do this

  • By doing this, you instantly give yourself a primary offering - "we practice what we preach" - to which you're able to share anecdotes from your experiences with the ecommerce / consultancy stuff (this is where you will get a MASSIVE ton of content for the business - which you can share through your own social presence too)

  • In terms of your own "social" brand - it gives you the "hero's journey" through which you're able to create results-driven content that actually has an underlying message each time

  • This means that each time you decide to put out new content (you'll need two strategies - one for SPXMAC and one for your own personal brand), you'll be able to share the two between each other. This sharing will drive up engagement across both

  • If you did a WEEKLY YouTube "Vlog" (maybe daily if things get intense) showcasing the progress made, profits created and ultimately the current state of play with SPX & the e-commerce stuff, you'll start to attract a real audience of fans who'll be partial to giving you money just because they actually appreciate what you've done

  • On top of the "vlog", you're then able to continually publish content updates derived from the various activities / gains / losses made during the attempted growth of SPXMAC and your underlying personal brand

  • I can go into more depth if appropriate
--
I know this was an exhaustive post for something actually quite mundane, but to be honest, I had the inspiration to write it for the past few days.

Hope this helps.
Bejesus. Epic post (and the previous one). Rep+
 

rpeck90

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There's such an ocean load of hidden abstract goldmine in rpeck's post that I had to read it 3 times over a span of 12 hours on-and-off, to comprehend it and I'm still only at 20% in terms of absorbing it all in.
Thanks for the kind words.

--

To give context, I knew a guy who was always quick to tell people what he was going to do, and how
"successful" he was. Curiously, he bought his 20,000+ Twitter followers (notice anything?)...

Untitledf.png

Still respect him - balls of steel; similar age to me (1991) & is obviously going places.

Stopped talking ~2012 because I had my own stuff to do...

Untitledg.png

Anyway, I kept checking his Twitter and one day last month, found that he'd been featured in the New York Times. None of this Brian Rashid crap - this was legit. Legit enough to make it to print:



"Holy Crap" I thought - I knew he'd been travelling to China and Russia a lot but would have never guessed he'd have done anything worthy of being covered by NYT.

So I read the article.

Oh boy...

Untitled.png

The author ripped him to pieces.

Half the stuff he posted online - and thought others would never check - was debunked as the equivalent of renting a Ferrari for a photoshoot. I personally don't have issue with it (because I've been in the game enough to spot a lot of it)... but in the sense of it potentially misleading people, others rightly started to point out the inconsistencies (and potential mistruths).

It was bad - to the degree that one of the soccer clubs he'd tried to sell in the UK had to issue a statement disassociating themselves from him:

Untitledg.png

In terms of where it leaves him, he'll probably benefit in the long term.

The point is - if you're trying to cultivate a "personal" brand, what's wrong with being genuine?

Remember, a "personal" brand means you - not a "business" or your position within a business.

The answer is that "you" typically have "nothing" to talk about.

Unless you're a hot girl, people don't care that you got up in the morning, went to some gym and then relaxed on the beach. They don't care that you got a six pack or live some crazy lifestyle. They care about why you're posting under your own name (IE what you can deliver that others cannot) - the answer to that being achievement (the only thing males should post about in a social context).

The quality of your achievements typically determine the quality of your audience. This is why the OP has enjoyed *some* success - his achievements on Fiverr are legitimate; whether he's a "millionaire", I don't know.

Again, I don't care - his Twitter is growing legitimately (partly because he's now part of the "manosphere" crowd) but the fact remains that his goal (remember - his Twitter may be legit but it's still at 12k. He needs it up to at least 250k to achieve his target) is still present and I felt it appropriate to share constructive criticism with the intention of cultivating new avenues of growth.

The reality is that "social" is a business. You're trading content (or - rather - emotion) for attention. This attention then translates into influence. Influence can be turned into money later on (either in the form of products, merchandise or meetups).

The vital thing to remember is that people make the choice to subscribe to / follow an account.

This is the core misunderstanding about the "Internet" in general - it's not the 80's anymore (where information was channeled through the likes of magazines, TV stations etc) - people have a choice and are hungry for genuine "content" they can consume on a daily basis.

This is the crux of what I was trying to say - the quality of content (achievements) you share determines the breadth & depth of audience you attract. If you're looking for major growth (1m+), this is the type of stuff you have to consider. You simply can't buy & hold the attention of that many people (hence why when you "fake it", subscribers flake).

It's the same in business; why do some companies always seem to grow whilst most don't?

The answer - as mentioned - is authenticity. However, being "authentic" for its own sake isn't going to attract an audience. OP knows this already; hence the clickbait titles...



The "real" answer is to authentically "do" interesting things (IE achieve something new). In regard OP's content above, he'd be better with the likes of...
  • Scaled SPXMAC to 2 offices
  • NYC with SPXMAC team
  • How to write copy that sells - SPXMAC's FIRST seminar
  • Dealing with Arabs - 5 things learned from Dubai
  • First $150k month with ecommerce
  • Interviewed by Grant Cardone - $5,000,000 in 2 years
  • Pre-Release evening for SGM's Digital Commonplace in Stockholm
  • Model shoot - what does $50k actually buy?
Notice the difference? You're not mentioning anything about yourself (because no one cares) - you're talking about things you've done. No bullshit and no stupid tricks. If you want more people to view it, make the content more interesting...
  • Suit choices for SPXMAC's first awards ceremony *SHE FAINTED*
  • SPXMAC scales to 50 permanent staff
  • Cashing a $100,000,000 cheque
  • Top 15 products we sell on Amazon
  • First $250,000 month
  • SPXMAC opens Milan office (ft Federica Nargi)
Now...

The one thing I forgot to mention was what type of content that constitutes an attractive "personal" brand.

I could bullshit here (I don't have a Twitter/FB/Instagram account for reasons I'll reveal), but I've found the best "trick" you can use in marketing is to get directly to the point and then explain it...

(I'll answer your question in a new post)
 

Xeon

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Thanks for the kind words.

--

To give context, I knew a guy who was always quick to tell people what he was going to do, and how
"successful" he was. Curiously, he bought his 20,000+ Twitter followers (notice anything?)...

View attachment 19186

Still respect him - balls of steel; similar age to me (1991) & is obviously going places.

Stopped talking ~2012 because I had my own stuff to do...

View attachment 19184

Anyway, I kept checking his Twitter and one day last month, found that he'd been featured in the New York Times. None of this Brian Rashid crap - this was legit. Legit enough to make it to print:



"Holy Crap" I thought - I knew he'd been travelling to China and Russia a lot but would have never guessed he'd have done anything worthy of being covered by NYT.

So I read the article.

Oh boy...

View attachment 19173

The author ripped him to pieces.

Half the stuff he posted online - and thought others would never check - was debunked as the equivalent of renting a Ferrari for a photoshoot. I personally don't have issue with it (because I've been in the game enough to spot a lot of it)... but in the sense of it potentially misleading people, others rightly started to point out the inconsistencies (and potential mistruths).

It was bad - to the degree that one of the soccer clubs he'd tried to sell in the UK had to issue a statement disassociating themselves from him:

View attachment 19185

In terms of where it leaves him, he'll probably benefit in the long term.

The point is - if you're trying to cultivate a "personal" brand, what's wrong with being genuine?

Remember, a "personal" brand means you - not a "business" or your position within a business.

The answer is that "you" typically have "nothing" to talk about.

Unless you're a hot girl, people don't care that you got up in the morning, went to some gym and then relaxed on the beach. They don't care that you got a six pack or live some crazy lifestyle. They care about why you're posting under your own name (IE what you can deliver that others cannot) - the answer to that being achievement (the only thing males should post about in a social context).

The quality of your achievements typically determine the quality of your audience. This is why the OP has enjoyed *some* success - his achievements on Fiverr are legitimate; whether he's a "millionaire", I don't know.

Again, I don't care - his Twitter is growing legitimately (partly because he's now part of the "manosphere" crowd) but the fact remains that his goal (remember - his Twitter may be legit but it's still at 12k. He needs it up to at least 250k to achieve his target) is still present and I felt it appropriate to share constructive criticism with the intention of cultivating new avenues of growth.

The reality is that "social" is a business. You're trading content (or - rather - emotion) for attention. This attention then translates into influence. Influence can be turned into money later on (either in the form of products, merchandise or meetups).

The vital thing to remember is that people make the choice to subscribe to / follow an account.

This is the core misunderstanding about the "Internet" in general - it's not the 80's anymore (where information was channeled through the likes of magazines, TV stations etc) - people have a choice and are hungry for genuine "content" they can consume on a daily basis.

This is the crux of what I was trying to say - the quality of content (achievements) you share determines the breadth & depth of audience you attract. If you're looking for major growth (1m+), this is the type of stuff you have to consider. You simply can't buy & hold the attention of that many people (hence why when you "fake it", subscribers flake).

It's the same in business; why do some companies always seem to grow whilst most don't?

The answer - as mentioned - is authenticity. However, being "authentic" for its own sake isn't going to attract an audience. OP knows this already; hence the clickbait titles...



The "real" answer is to authentically "do" interesting things (IE achieve something new). In regard OP's content above, he'd be better with the likes of...
  • Scaled SPXMAC to 2 offices
  • NYC with SPXMAC team
  • How to write copy that sells - SPXMAC's FIRST seminar
  • Dealing with Arabs - 5 things learned from Dubai
  • First $150k month with ecommerce
  • Interviewed by Grant Cardone - $5,000,000 in 2 years
  • Pre-Release evening for SGM's Digital Commonplace in Stockholm
  • Model shoot - what does $50k actually buy?
Notice the difference? You're not mentioning anything about yourself (because no one cares) - you're talking about things you've done. No bullshit and no stupid tricks. If you want more people to view it, make the content more interesting...
  • Suit choices for SPXMAC's first awards ceremony *SHE FAINTED*
  • SPXMAC scales to 50 permanent staff
  • Cashing a $100,000,000 cheque
  • Top 15 products we sell on Amazon
  • First $250,000 month
  • SPXMAC opens Milan office (ft Federica Nargi)
Now...

The one thing I forgot to mention was what type of content that constitutes an attractive "personal" brand.

I could bullshit here (I don't have a Twitter/FB/Instagram account for reasons I'll reveal), but I've found the best "trick" you can use in marketing is to get directly to the point and then explain it...

(I'll answer your question in a new post)
Jesus Christ! Yes please! Now that's a cliffhanger!!!
 

rpeck90

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Nov 26, 2016
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874
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@rpeck90, would be great if you have more insight to share on the "Show people a lifestyle they don't - and likely will never - have, and they'll go crazy trying to get it" part lol.
How does one apply this to ecommerce businesses selling physical products?
I'm not the person to ask about ecommerce. If the OP comes back, this would be the perfect primer for him to perhaps share some insights, but since you asked my opinion...
--
The way I see it, there are two "layers" to consumption.

There are five if you consider Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I'll leave this for the minute; when it comes to buying things - I've found people typically only work on two levels...
  1. Convenience. People buy things because they need them - food, toilet paper, rent etc. These are commonly known as price inelastic (price matters) markets, meaning that the market demands a product and will be willing to pay a particular price - if you're able to provide product at said price in the most convenient way, you'll make a sale. Profits are typically low in this business, but the scale is huge (Amazon / Walmart / Microsoft). The major differentiator is convenience - how easily / cheaply can I obtain that which I need to live?

  2. Curiosity. People buy things because they want them - cars, phones, clothes (high end), property (high end), experiences, etc. These are price elastic (price doesn't matter) markets, because the demand for said products is not dependent on them being at a particular price. Obviously, most people would prefer them to be "cheaper" - but the real buyers in this space don't care about the price, and will actually prefer a "higher" price. The best example of this I've seen is this $25,000 Panama hat Frank Kern highlighted in Robb Report. The main differentiator is "status" - what's the quality of "life" that it's going to give me (life being subjective to the buyer -- can mean sex or can be high-end health etc)?
The important thing to realize is that if you're a creator/producer, the quality of your results typically determines the quality of buyer you attract (IE whether they use your service out of convenience or curiosity).

Since most people are selling time (even in a "business" sense), they'll end up only being able to deliver different variants of it; real money is in leveraging time by creating & distributing products. Obviously, the type of product you distribute determines who comes to you. This is the crux of where "brands" come from (people's association with the quality of work you produce).

The point is that if you're working on anything, elevating its quality (and consequent value proposition) gives you the ability to determine who will be interested in what you're doing. This will be too much for most; since you asked - if you create work that's astounding (world-class -- something only you can do), and appreciate how to position it... you'll *could* break you into the hallowed ground of "unlimited demand" that only a few brands have ever done...


To do this, you need to appreciate that people buy things for one of the above two reasons.

The higher up the "hierarchy" you go, the less "essential" the elements are to survival... but the process of building & offering them remains constant. In other words, if you're building shit-tier products, you'll end up with shit-tier money. On the contrary, if you build "top" tier products, you could end up with top tier buyers... BUT you have to appreciate *why* they'll be interested - how to approach them etc (the point of this post).

To explain, let me introduce someone I met in London in 2014 - Markus Kramer.



Markus Kramer is a former "Global Marketing Director" for Aston Martin, and oversaw Harley Davidson before that. It took me TWO YEARS to get him to sit down, which is why I look so pleased in the above image. I managed to eventually catch him when he left AM and started providing consultancy services through Brand Affairs - a leading branding consultancy in Switzerland...

Kramer isn't a huge name or anything, but is a major influence to me. He's an influence because his forte is luxury (REAL luxury - not "premium"). Luxury is the difference between a $10,000 handbag (premium) and a $125,0000 handbag (luxury). Obviously, you're not going to sell many of the latter... but, interestingly, anchoring would typically mean the former becomes more palatable if they were presented together -

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiL3upgq3pw

Apart from him being a former Global Marketing Director, Kramer's draw is that he argues "luxury" (and - by virtue - "premium") are essentially the pursuit of status. Since EVERYBODY wants more "status" (either for pussy or power) - he argues that general businesses could imbue some of the ideals learned from "luxury" to help empower their brands to become more potent. We can steal this.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit (Freud / Nietzsche), status can either be in the interest of pleasure (mating opportunities) or power (control over your peers). I'm with Freud in thinking that everyone does it for sex, but there may be others who appreciate the "will to power".

What's important is "luxury" is REALLY intriguing both from the perspective of marketing, and general human nature. It's the reason why Apple make 50% PROFIT on each device, whilst the rest of the tech market struggles in a bloodbath. It's the reason why people will happily drop $1,500+ on a bottle of Moet, but then quibble over the taxi fare home ($30k millionaires).

The difference is what Kramer calls the "intangibles" - everything that you "get" from buying a product that isn't actually the product or its ancillary services. These "intangibles" turn a straw hat into an essential fashion accessory, a watch into "jewelry for men" and suits into a surefire way to "get the girl".

The trick is experiences & events - what you're really buying (with luxury) is access to that higher echelon of society, who typically has control of the assets / money. "It's who you know" would be a good luxury suiting tagline; their "real" offering being inclusion in their extended network of high-powered individuals...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6VeKVwMMM

When you finally see it, you'll see it all the time...



People aren't buying "stuff".

They're buying life.

The higher calibre that "life" is, the more they're willing to pay.

The more refined that "life" is, the more they're willing to pay.

Remember, this is not just tits & a$$. It's the whole experience. It's the Opera in Salzburg, the Orient Express and Rio Maris Gras. It's the feeling of her lips gently caressing your ear and neck whilst you both bask in the Italian midsummer sun... your fingertips gently working their way down her spine.

Higher quality people are attracted to higher quality things.

If you're offering (never "sell") higher quality services - as long as you maintain bleeding edge standards of quality - a higher calibre of individual will typically show up. This is what differentiates most brands - a disregard for the hoards of "convenience seekers" and an obstinate commitment to "their" ideal. This stoic determination is what cultivates attraction.

This is what they end up doing...
  • Higher prices (don't have to be stupid high - just higher than the rest)
  • Exclusivity (scarcity - DENY access to people who don't fit the brand // waiting lists, invite-only etc)
  • STRONG focus on intangibles (events, community, meetups, stores (maybe))
  • Highly SPECIFIC products/offerings (typically experts in one very obscure ideal)
They do all these things because what they create is special. They don't worry about what others think; they work hard on producing results that only they have the capacity to, and - ultimately - the brand facilitates a journey that ALL of its community can join.

OP knows this. His "mystery German floorsweeper - turned fashion millionaire" is Philipp Plein. Plein is interesting because he (or at least his brand) epitomizes the sentiment perfectly...



I've been looking at hiring a model recently. I have a particular model I want to hire, so I emailed her agency to ask how much her rates were/are. Here's the response I got...

Untitled-1.jpg

Remember, this is a mid tier model you've probably never heard of. If you look at Armani's "Fabric Face" campaign, you'll see her. $15,000 per day (8 hrs). This is without extended image rights (which you have to pay extra for), and the photographer retains ownership of the images.

Plein is a class act; I love what he stands for and the brashness of what he's created. Take into consideration the price I was quoted above, and the price someone like Adriana Lima would command, or Irina Shayk (he also got Taylor Hill who's massive) - and you'll begin to see the vital importance that a "brand" can play on the success of a company.

But you know what makes Plein special?.... and ultimately why he's now worth $200m+?... BALLS.

He wasn't afraid to actually CREATE a product that people were curious about. His clothes don't do anything outside making you look cool... but he persisted with it regardless. Obviously, you'll argue that he had a particular talent etc, which is probably the case... but without actually envisioning that he could do it, he never would.

This is the difference between an "Armani" or "SPXMAC" and everyone else. The key is envisioning an end result that you can commit yourself to wholeheartedly and then pursue it with vigor. This pursuit is what would make a great STORY that you can offer through social media ("personal brand").

--

It takes BALLS to do stuff like Plein. It takes BALLS to do what the OP did. I love the OP, I think he's great but needs to mature a little. He has the hallmarks of a Philipp Plein.

The big question is... could you capture what makes Plein attractive? What if you could take that and make it work for your brand / company. This is where things get interesting.

I believe EVERY brand has the potential to be a Plein. However, almost none will.

The underpin is fear. Most people are so scared of doing anything even remotely adventurous that they will simply conform to what everybody expects. They're living in the "convenience" level of the hierarchy, rather than embracing "curiosity". What could you do that will have a MASSIVE impact on the world?... not for your own self-aggrandizement, but to help 1,000's or even 1,000,000+ real people.

As discussed, "social" isn't a number on a screen; they're actual people looking for actual influencers to follow. You can buy your way to that number all you want, but in the end, that's all they'll be. If you want to grow a legitimate following - which the OP certainly can - put some skin in the game and be authentic.

This is not only apparent in a personal capacity, but professionally too. If you can overcome this fear, you'll attract an audience. No bullshit. No clickbait. No painted-on beards. Just living life at 150mph.

Intrinsic Value

The core of it is something called "intrinsic value".

Without going too much off topic, it's essentially how much you actually deliver to the client. You still have to get paid, provide a service and do all the things that a grown-up "business" would do... but the way in which you do it determines what you'll get paid for.

Like I mentioned in the previous post - it's easy to say "Millionaire Canine Smuggling Secrets"... but is that really what you did? Is that really what the client is going to get? No; he went to London to buy a dog. There's literally nothing of substance in the video.

Whenever you do anything - either "offline" or "online" - consider the actual value of what you're doing. What results will it cultivate for the buyer? If you deliver legitimate results, you won't need hacks or tricks to game the system. People will seek you out. The higher quality the results, the higher quality people will be interested in working with you - and will subscribe to your feeds (if they have appropriate content).

OP has the opportunity to create a super high quality story which he can share socially. No need for hyperbole. Who knows... if he plays his cards right - he could have his own fashion show with Lima and Shayk!
 

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I'm not the person to ask about ecommerce. If the OP comes back, this would be the perfect primer for him to perhaps share some insights, but since you asked my opinion...
--
The way I see it, there are two "layers" to consumption.

There are five if you consider Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I'll leave this for the minute; when it comes to buying things - I've found people typically only work on two levels...
  1. Convenience. People buy things because they need them - food, toilet paper, rent etc. These are commonly known as price inelastic (price matters) markets, meaning that the market demands a product and will be willing to pay a particular price - if you're able to provide product at said price in the most convenient way, you'll make a sale. Profits are typically low in this business, but the scale is huge (Amazon / Walmart / Microsoft). The major differentiator is convenience - how easily / cheaply can I obtain that which I need to live?

  2. Curiosity. People buy things because they want them - cars, phones, clothes (high end), property (high end), experiences, etc. These are price elastic (price doesn't matter) markets, because the demand for said products is not dependent on them being at a particular price. Obviously, most people would prefer them to be "cheaper" - but the real buyers in this space don't care about the price, and will actually prefer a "higher" price. The best example of this I've seen is this $25,000 Panama hat Frank Kern highlighted in Robb Report. The main differentiator is "status" - what's the quality of "life" that it's going to give me (life being subjective to the buyer -- can mean sex or can be high-end health etc)?
The important thing to realize is that if you're a creator/producer, the quality of your results typically determines the quality of buyer you attract (IE whether they use your service out of convenience or curiosity).

Since most people are selling time (even in a "business" sense), they'll end up only being able to deliver different variants of it; real money is in leveraging time by creating & distributing products. Obviously, the type of product you distribute determines who comes to you. This is the crux of where "brands" come from (people's association with the quality of work you produce).

The point is that if you're working on anything, elevating its quality (and consequent value proposition) gives you the ability to determine who will be interested in what you're doing. This will be too much for most; since you asked - if you create work that's astounding (world-class -- something only you can do), and appreciate how to position it... you'll *could* break you into the hallowed ground of "unlimited demand" that only a few brands have ever done...


To do this, you need to appreciate that people buy things for one of the above two reasons.

The higher up the "hierarchy" you go, the less "essential" the elements are to survival... but the process of building & offering them remains constant. In other words, if you're building sh*t-tier products, you'll end up with sh*t-tier money. On the contrary, if you build "top" tier products, you could end up with top tier buyers... BUT you have to appreciate *why* they'll be interested - how to approach them etc (the point of this post).

To explain, let me introduce someone I met in London in 2014 - Markus Kramer.



Markus Kramer is a former "Global Marketing Director" for Aston Martin, and oversaw Harley Davidson before that. It took me TWO YEARS to get him to sit down, which is why I look so pleased in the above image. I managed to eventually catch him when he left AM and started providing consultancy services through Brand Affairs - a leading branding consultancy in Switzerland...

Kramer isn't a huge name or anything, but is a major influence to me. He's an influence because his forte is luxury (REAL luxury - not "premium"). Luxury is the difference between a $10,000 handbag (premium) and a $125,0000 handbag (luxury). Obviously, you're not going to sell many of the latter... but, interestingly, anchoring would typically mean the former becomes more palatable if they were presented together -

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiL3upgq3pw

Apart from him being a former Global Marketing Director, Kramer's draw is that he argues "luxury" (and - by virtue - "premium") are essentially the pursuit of status. Since EVERYBODY wants more "status" (either for pussy or power) - he argues that general businesses could imbue some of the ideals learned from "luxury" to help empower their brands to become more potent. We can steal this.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit (Freud / Nietzsche), status can either be in the interest of pleasure (mating opportunities) or power (control over your peers). I'm with Freud in thinking that everyone does it for sex, but there may be others who appreciate the "will to power".

What's important is "luxury" is REALLY intriguing both from the perspective of marketing, and general human nature. It's the reason why Apple make 50% PROFIT on each device, whilst the rest of the tech market struggles in a bloodbath. It's the reason why people will happily drop $1,500+ on a bottle of Moet, but then quibble over the taxi fare home ($30k millionaires).

The difference is what Kramer calls the "intangibles" - everything that you "get" from buying a product that isn't actually the product or its ancillary services. These "intangibles" turn a straw hat into an essential fashion accessory, a watch into "jewelry for men" and suits into a surefire way to "get the girl".

The trick is experiences & events - what you're really buying (with luxury) is access to that higher echelon of society, who typically has control of the assets / money. "It's who you know" would be a good luxury suiting tagline; their "real" offering being inclusion in their extended network of high-powered individuals...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6VeKVwMMM

When you finally see it, you'll see it all the time...



People aren't buying "stuff".

They're buying life.

The higher calibre that "life" is, the more they're willing to pay.

The more refined that "life" is, the more they're willing to pay.

Remember, this is not just tits & a$$. It's the whole experience. It's the Opera in Salzburg, the Orient Express and Rio Maris Gras. It's the feeling of her lips gently caressing your ear and neck whilst you both bask in the Italian midsummer sun... your fingertips gently working their way down her spine.

Higher quality people are attracted to higher quality things.

If you're offering (never "sell") higher quality services - as long as you maintain bleeding edge standards of quality - a higher calibre of individual will typically show up. This is what differentiates most brands - a disregard for the hoards of "convenience seekers" and an obstinate commitment to "their" ideal. This stoic determination is what cultivates attraction.

This is what they end up doing...
  • Higher prices (don't have to be stupid high - just higher than the rest)
  • Exclusivity (scarcity - DENY access to people who don't fit the brand // waiting lists, invite-only etc)
  • STRONG focus on intangibles (events, community, meetups, stores (maybe))
  • Highly SPECIFIC products/offerings (typically experts in one very obscure ideal)
They do all these things because what they create is special. They don't worry about what others think; they work hard on producing results that only they have the capacity to, and - ultimately - the brand facilitates a journey that ALL of its community can join.

OP knows this. His "mystery German floorsweeper - turned fashion millionaire" is Philipp Plein. Plein is interesting because he (or at least his brand) epitomizes the sentiment perfectly...



I've been looking at hiring a model recently. I have a particular model I want to hire, so I emailed her agency to ask how much her rates were/are. Here's the response I got...

View attachment 19202

Remember, this is a mid tier model you've probably never heard of. If you look at Armani's "Fabric Face" campaign, you'll see her. $15,000 per day (8 hrs). This is without extended image rights (which you have to pay extra for), and the photographer retains ownership of the images.

Plein is a class act; I love what he stands for and the brashness of what he's created. Take into consideration the price I was quoted above, and the price someone like Adriana Lima would command, or Irina Shayk (he also got Taylor Hill who's massive) - and you'll begin to see the vital importance that a "brand" can play on the success of a company.

But you know what makes Plein special?.... and ultimately why he's now worth $200m+?... BALLS.

He wasn't afraid to actually CREATE a product that people were curious about. His clothes don't do anything outside making you look cool... but he persisted with it regardless. Obviously, you'll argue that he had a particular talent etc, which is probably the case... but without actually envisioning that he could do it, he never would.

This is the difference between an "Armani" or "SPXMAC" and everyone else. The key is envisioning an end result that you can commit yourself to wholeheartedly and then pursue it with vigor. This pursuit is what would make a great STORY that you can offer through social media ("personal brand").

--

It takes BALLS to do stuff like Plein. It takes BALLS to do what the OP did. I love the OP, I think he's great but needs to mature a little. He has the hallmarks of a Philipp Plein.

The big question is... could you capture what makes Plein attractive? What if you could take that and make it work for your brand / company. This is where things get interesting.

I believe EVERY brand has the potential to be a Plein. However, almost none will.

The underpin is fear. Most people are so scared of doing anything even remotely adventurous that they will simply conform to what everybody expects. They're living in the "convenience" level of the hierarchy, rather than embracing "curiosity". What could you do that will have a MASSIVE impact on the world?... not for your own self-aggrandizement, but to help 1,000's or even 1,000,000+ real people.

As discussed, "social" isn't a number on a screen; they're actual people looking for actual influencers to follow. You can buy your way to that number all you want, but in the end, that's all they'll be. If you want to grow a legitimate following - which the OP certainly can - put some skin in the game and be authentic.

This is not only apparent in a personal capacity, but professionally too. If you can overcome this fear, you'll attract an audience. No bullshit. No clickbait. No painted-on beards. Just living life at 150mph.

Intrinsic Value

The core of it is something called "intrinsic value".

Without going too much off topic, it's essentially how much you actually deliver to the client. You still have to get paid, provide a service and do all the things that a grown-up "business" would do... but the way in which you do it determines what you'll get paid for.

Like I mentioned in the previous post - it's easy to say "Millionaire Canine Smuggling Secrets"... but is that really what you did? Is that really what the client is going to get? No; he went to London to buy a dog. There's literally nothing of substance in the video.

Whenever you do anything - either "offline" or "online" - consider the actual value of what you're doing. What results will it cultivate for the buyer? If you deliver legitimate results, you won't need hacks or tricks to game the system. People will seek you out. The higher quality the results, the higher quality people will be interested in working with you - and will subscribe to your feeds (if they have appropriate content).

OP has the opportunity to create a super high quality story which he can share socially. No need for hyperbole. Who knows... if he plays his cards right - he could have his own fashion show with Lima and Shayk!
Jesus farking Christ! Thank you so much for all these! Rep transferred $500 to you! To think you're only 28 yrs old! :eek:

I cannot ask for any more. Asking anything more than all these advice you've given here would be like asking for a blueprint PDF ebook system with exact steps, with manufacturers' contact numbers and product ideas lol
 
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Great posts from @rpeck90 and @Manchild_Unbound

If OP ever comes back I would be genuinely interested in knowing if the paid media mentions were worth it and what sort of ROI he got in return?

I am not opposed to someone paying a journalist to get a decent article written up. Not much different from paid shoutouts on social media.
I am still here, although I do not intend to post any more advice on this thread, given the way it's been treated.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and I don't mind harsh criticism. In fact, I've learned a lot from what all of you contributed to this thread and it's helped make me better. So thank you.

But I am not gonna put any more of my valuable time into this, after seeing your reactions. I will still document my journey, but on my YouTube Channel, Blog, or Facebook Group.

To answer your question Fox, I've not paid the contributors in those platforms for any of those mentions.

You can certainly NOT get a full featured article written about you on Forbes, INC or International Business Times, by compensating some dude on Fiverr, as it has been insinuated.

That screenshot someone posted, of an apparently untrustworthy Fiverr seller claiming that I paid him to write an article for me on International Business Times, is obviously false evidence.

I can't believe how all of you smart entrepreneurs in here got tricked to believe that this could be true.

Don't you see the obvious incentive for him to lie when inquired about it?

He wants to get more business and he's incentivized to lie by saying he did it, so that a prospect hires him for a similar job.

I never compensated any media publication in exchange for them featuring me. I never hired someone on Fiverr to get me those featured, and I challenge anyone who doesn't believe this to prove the opposite.
 

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I am still here, although I do not intend to post any more advice on this thread, given the way it's been treated.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and I don't mind harsh criticism. In fact, I've learned a lot from what all of you contributed to this thread and it's helped make me better. So thank you.

But I am not gonna put any more of my valuable time into this, after seeing your reactions. I will still document my journey, but on my YouTube Channel, Blog, or Facebook Group.

To answer your question Fox, I've not paid the contributors in those platforms for any of those mentions.

You can certainly NOT get a full featured article written about you on Forbes, INC or International Business Times, by compensating some dude on Fiverr, as it has been insinuated.

That screenshot someone posted, of an apparently untrustworthy Fiverr seller claiming that I paid him to write an article for me on International Business Times, is obviously false evidence.

I can't believe how all of you smart entrepreneurs in here got tricked to believe that this could be true.

Don't you see the obvious incentive for him to lie when inquired about it?

He wants to get more business and he's incentivized to lie by saying he did it, so that a prospect hires him for a similar job.

I never compensated any media publication in exchange for them featuring me. I never hired someone on Fiverr to get me those featured, and I challenge anyone who doesn't believe this to prove the opposite.
I don't care too much either. Just calling out fake followers on IG when I see it.

No problem with people using bots but when its a progress thread on creating a real following it comes off super spammy. I don't see why you don't clean it up a little to at least look realistic.

For example:

Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 10.11.00.png
 
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I don't care too much either. Just calling out fake followers on IG when I see it.

No problem with people using bots but when its a progress thread on creating a real following it comes off super spammy. I don't see why you don't clean it up a little to at least look realistic.

For example:

View attachment 20201
These spammy comments are the result of other people using bots that target my profile, not the opposite.

I could delete the comment every time someone posts it, but honestly I ain't got time to deal with this nonsense. Hoping Instagram will find a way to block those spammers automatically one day.

Those idiots all say the same thing about joining their bullshit squad, which is kinda hilarious and shows how people blindly follow advice without an ounce of critical sense.

Put those 4-5 spammy comments aside, all the other 50+ comments in the last 2 posts are totally legit, coming from my followers.

In previous posts though, I've used engagement groups, but stopped doing that after you pointed out that it looks spammy, which was apparently true. Ain't worth it. It didn't give any substantial exposure boost to the posts either.
 
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I don't care too much either. Just calling out fake followers on IG when I see it.

View attachment 20201
Also, my followers are not fake. They are mostly obtained from shoutouts in bigger profiles.

There is about 1k to 2k (my rough estimate) that came from cross promoting my Instagram on my Twitter and another 1k-2k from my Facebook Group, e-mail list etc.

A big part of the followers though, about 20,000, came from shoutouts in big Latin American pages of 1 to 4 million followers.

A year ago I hired an "Instagram Expert" named Josue Pena, and I had the horrible experience of working with him and his partner Tim Karsliyev of Daily Dose.

I paid them $10,000 to test their services and have them grow my Instagram organically.

They promised 20,000 extra followers in the entrepreneurship niche (most expensive one).

Instead they delivered only 13,000 low quality followers from those Latin American meme and funny video pages they owned.

They literally scammed their own followers into following me under the false promise of giving away an iPhone X to a lucky winner.

There was no proof of them ever giving away those iPhones. I don't think they ever gave one away, even though they made that post announcement about 5-10 times.

You can imagine that an audience that's incentivized to follow you under the false and never fulfilled promise of winning an iPhone, will never really engage with you.

They scammed me, they scammed their audience, they underdelivered, and they left me with thousands of low quality, unengaged followers from Latin America.
 

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Also, my followers are not fake. They are mostly obtained from shoutouts in bigger profiles.

There is about 1k to 2k (my rough estimate) that came from cross promoting my Instagram on my Twitter and another 1k-2k from my Facebook Group, e-mail list etc.

A big part of the followers though, about 20,000, came from shoutouts in big Latin American pages of 1 to 4 million followers.

A year ago I hired an "Instagram Expert" named Josue Pena, and I had the horrible experience of working with him and his partner Tim Karsliyev of Daily Dose.

I paid them $10,000 to test their services and have them grow my Instagram organically.

They promised 20,000 extra followers in the entrepreneurship niche (most expensive one).

Instead they delivered only 13,000 low quality followers from those Latin American meme and funny video pages they owned.

They literally scammed their own followers into following me under the false promise of giving away an iPhone X to a lucky winner.

There was no proof of them ever giving away those iPhones. I don't think they ever gave one away, even though they made that post announcement about 5-10 times.

You can imagine that an audience that's incentivized to follow you under the false and never fulfilled promise of winning an iPhone, will never really engage with you.

They scammed me, they scammed their audience, they underdelivered, and they left me with thousands of low quality, unengaged followers from Latin America.
Dude, you sound delusional - i stumbled on your blog years ago from Vic's it seems like your ego and perceived status has taken complete control over what you write.. no hate either Im just gonna give you an honest thought.
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 1.55.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 1.55.15 PM.png

You're out of your mind when you write this stuff about yourself - anyone who's worth their salt and actually an entreprenuer that ACTUALLY makes money and see's this just cringes. To say that you've accomplished more than Bezos, Zuck, and Page is moronic in context because who cares about age? It doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things - not even gonna get into the rest of it.

Don't come to this forum espousing one thing and how you can teach it, NOT teach it, and bid farewell when people push back on what you're saying. It completely dissolves your credibility.
 
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Damian Pros

Damian Pros

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Dude, you sound delusional - i stumbled on your blog years ago from Vic's it seems like your ego and perceived status has taken complete control over what you write.. no hate either Im just gonna give you an honest thought.

You're out of your mind when you write this stuff about yourself - anyone who's worth their salt and actually an entreprenuer that ACTUALLY makes money and see's this just cringes. To say that you've accomplished more than Bezos, Zuck, and Page is moronic in context because who cares about age? It doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things - not even gonna get into the rest of it.
How much does the thought of "what the hell was I doing with my life at his age" hurt?
 

Bulgano

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How much does the thought of "what the hell was I doing with my life at his age" hurt?
How much does the statement of others saying you have a god complex hurt?
Here's a thought for you. Instead of arguing with all these people here, why don't you prove them wrong? That way, 2 things get accomplished. They get some good information, and you can feed your ego. It's a win-win scenario and sure as shit is a lot better than everyone just arguing in this thread.
 

Maxboost

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Dude, you sound delusional - i stumbled on your blog years ago from Vic's it seems like your ego and perceived status has taken complete control over what you write.. no hate either Im just gonna give you an honest thought.
View attachment 20203 View attachment 20204

You're out of your mind when you write this stuff about yourself - anyone who's worth their salt and actually an entreprenuer that ACTUALLY makes money and see's this just cringes. To say that you've accomplished more than Bezos, Zuck, and Page is moronic in context because who cares about age? It doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things - not even gonna get into the rest of it.

Don't come to this forum espousing one thing and how you can teach it, NOT teach it, and bid farewell when people push back on what you're saying. It completely dissolves your credibility.
I sure hope you didn't pay for this copywriter...It's sooo bad...
 

rpeck90

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How much does the thought of "what the hell was I doing with my life at his age" hurt?
Why would you even write that?

all of you smart entrepreneurs in here got tricked to believe that this could be true
Since it was my post this was referring to - the same "smart entrepreneurs" have also been trying to determine whether you are who you say you are.

If I were to address you in as demeaning nature as you have others, I'd presume you'd never heard of due diligence before, and say you're a fool / mentally retarded for not thinking people would try and fact-check what you've been doing. Maybe throw in a few insults about your family, appearance etc.

I think you're a great guy and wish you the best of success, but come on.

You can certainly NOT get a full featured article written about you on Forbes, INC or International Business Times, by compensating some dude on Fiverr, as it has been insinuated.

That screenshot someone posted, of an apparently untrustworthy Fiverr seller claiming that I paid him to write an article for me on International Business Times, is obviously false evidence.

I can't believe how all of you smart entrepreneurs in here got tricked to believe that this could be true.

Don't you see the obvious incentive for him to lie when inquired about it?

He wants to get more business and he's incentivized to lie by saying he did it, so that a prospect hires him for a similar job.

I never compensated any media publication in exchange for them featuring me. I never hired someone on Fiverr to get me those featured, and I challenge anyone who doesn't believe this to prove the opposite.
I'll do more research into this.

To address your point directly, I don't believe what you say and - whilst what I found was mostly circumstantial - does not dispel the underlying reality that the majority of what's been written "about" you is highly suspect. As mentioned, I don't really care whether it's paid or not - but to tell people is isn't, if it was, would be fraudulent.

In the interest of fairness, I did find another post which seemed genuine: 7 E-Commerce Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Online - interesting how this was written around the actual business and not the fact he's the "youngest self made millionaire in Greek history"...

And yes, you don't need to tell me about how he's "incentivized to lie". I know how the game works.

--

To add to this, I have an anecdote which may benefit someone who may be influenced by the OP:
Boss of celeb-backed Caribbean scheme who 'cheated investors of £390M' in court

When my dad retired, I referred a "financial adviser" I met at a networking event.

She told me she had some stuff about pensions.

I didn't sit in on their meetings, but she basically sold him on this idea of a SIPP - where you're able to take control of all your pension money (in the UK the choice is between SIPP or annuity, whereby an annuity is where you sign over all your money to an insurance company in return for yearly stipend. Once you die, the money is gone, whilst a SIPP can be inherited).

Annuity = script; SIPP = unscripted.

Whilst SIPP's are great on paper, they have a problem - the onus is upon the retiree to invest the money themselves (rather than letting a fund manager do it). Although some companies work well with SIPP's (Hargreaves Lansdown very good), a number of suspect schemes popped up, promising sky-high returns.

Harlequin was the one my Dad got suckered into (although there were many others).

The whole SIPP thing isn't new and I'm not trying to prove anything with it; what I am trying to say is that after dealing with Harlequin directly (on behalf of my dad), they started acting very similar to the OP.

They regularly pursued their "investors" with top defamation/libel lawyers Nabarro & Carter Ruck, continually evaded questions on the veracity of the business, always had "excuses" as to why various developments were not being completed.

When the money started to run out, the boss was hauled in front of the investor base in a series of meetings. The level of contempt he showed was despicable and it was painfully obvious he had very little prior experience in the business world (he used to sell double-glazed windows).

The point is that if you're trying to achieve some result (such as you are here), why act combative to those who are either trying to help, or at least pointing out things you did wrong. You made some money, great... but that means relatively little when you're trying to achieve the 1,000,000 follower goal.

Also, my followers are not fake. They are mostly obtained from shoutouts in bigger profiles.

There is about 1k to 2k (my rough estimate) that came from cross promoting my Instagram on my Twitter and another 1k-2k from my Facebook Group, e-mail list etc.

A big part of the followers though, about 20,000, came from shoutouts in big Latin American pages of 1 to 4 million followers.

A year ago I hired an "Instagram Expert" named Josue Pena, and I had the horrible experience of working with him and his partner Tim Karsliyev of Daily Dose.

I paid them $10,000 to test their services and have them grow my Instagram organically.

They promised 20,000 extra followers in the entrepreneurship niche (most expensive one).

Instead they delivered only 13,000 low quality followers from those Latin American meme and funny video pages they owned.

They literally scammed their own followers into following me under the false promise of giving away an iPhone X to a lucky winner.

There was no proof of them ever giving away those iPhones. I don't think they ever gave one away, even though they made that post announcement about 5-10 times.

You can imagine that an audience that's incentivized to follow you under the false and never fulfilled promise of winning an iPhone, will never really engage with you.

They scammed me, they scammed their audience, they underdelivered, and they left me with thousands of low quality, unengaged followers from Latin America.
Why didn't you write this originally? This is the type of thing people want to see.

In terms of whether followers are "fake", I personally see a "follower" as someone who appreciates what you've published. You could consider me a follower if I was subscribed to your Instagram.

The "fake" notion is that the followers on your profile are there either to win a prize, or because they were referred under false pretenses (seat filler). I've done stuff like that before (some web agency created competitions to get 500+ fans on a FB page and the resulting engagement was terrible).

In your world, a "fake" follower is a bot. If you were doing this stuff as a business (KPI's/ROI etc), you'd need to consider a "fake" follower to only be interested in themselves (not your content).

By your own admission (and I appreciate it is not your "fault"), at least 20k of your following are not there for "you". If you stood up and said "yeah I did this and got half a shitty following", you'd have garnered more respect. But rather than be transparent, you tried to pin it on others by playing the tough guy.

Here's an example of why it's important:

Untitled.png

Ally Law (from my original post) is getting sued by the UK government for a number of offenses he committed making his videos. He created a video asking for money to cover legal fees yesterday. As you can see, at least 1,700 have stumped up - some with $xxx donations.

How many of your following would do that if you needed money? I would. So there's one.

If you want a personal brand, I'd strongly recommend you consider reading between the lines in this thread.

If I'm a follower of yours, I'm basically a "customer" and expect to be compensated for the time/support I'm showing. You've presently done this by giving people a glimpse into what you consider the "millionaire lifestyle". What people are saying is that 1) what you're putting out is extremely superficial 2) there's very little proof as to the veracity of your claims 3) your berating of anyone who dare question your status is indicative of someone with something to hide (IE fake or inexperienced).

Your latter assertions of being a "millionaire" etc etc only exacerbate this. There's nothing wrong with being wealthy (it should be celebrated), but the undertone of the majority of your personal stuff is so condescending, it's the equivalent of saying "your life sucks, go suck a dick unless you want to be like me".

There used to be a product called "Rich Jerk" which is this personified...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_MjWoCx2G0

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YdMPJS1l0A

The opportunity you have is to showcase what you've built.
 

Rhino

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You can certainly NOT get a full featured article written about you on Forbes, INC or International Business Times, by compensating some dude on Fiverr, as it has been insinuated.
Erm... sorry to break it to you, but actually you can....

The publications you listed were involved in a bit of a mini scandal recently whereby people were found to have been paying for mentions of themselves or their businesses in articles.

Almost anyone (without qualifications or even being verified in some cases) can become a freelance contributor to those types of online media. If you don’t believe me Buzzfeed documented it recently:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jonchristian/jayson-demers-audienceboom-forbes-entrepreneur-pay-for-play

Now, you may or may not of done this, but to suggest that it cannot be done is at best disingenuous, and at worst a deceptive and blatant smokescreen.
 

ShadowX

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I have probably made the best decision joining FLF yesterday. So much knowledge people are dropping it is unreal. To many users to name, but everyone is just dropping knowledge.

I have been trying to crack the code of these $995 or $997 courses, I have always figured they are mostly BS. I wont drop names here, but I almost got sucked into an importing course with that price. But I was smart enough to think a little. If those people are making millions, why are they selling courses on YouTube and such?! Sell the course to 200 people and you made 200K. And with that 200K you can show off your car rental, pay photographer, etc as mentioned above.

Thank you each and every one of you! Looking forward to provide my knowledge on FLF in the future!
I have spent quite a bit $ on COURSES, Mentor programmes and so on. Some of them were bad purchases yes, but majority I found benefit from and glad I purchased it.

First of all, we all agree SELLING GOOD product (digital product, course etc) there is nothing wrong with that. If MJ demarco sold a course on how to write a book, we would all jump to buy it considering it's good of course. He has experience and so on.

A Good mentorship/course =
1. Information is not found elsewhere, can be found only on this course.
2. Course provides extra benefits like 1on1 time with the course trainer.
3. Person behind it is trustworthy, flashy supercars are HIS, not rented.
4. Students with solid track record.

2 extremes I see in the target audience of courses.
1 extreme. "I Will never buy any course, every single entrepreneur is out to make $$$ money from me boo hoo, I can learn for free on youtube and do everything my self, im glad I stayed away from these parasites"
Yes, go and tour the jungle with no food and water while your at it :p. Courses give you the structure you need on someone who's been there and done that. Amazon course would have step by step instructions on specifics like finding supplier etc. These good courses are by guys who have been 7/8 figure levels themselves, showing you the mistakes they made, what to do, what not to do and how do to it. You have your own support network, community for questions. If this is a geniuine entrepreneur, they could be on bahama islands with feet up on laptop earning more in an HOUR then they do teaching YOU. They are doing a favour by creating this course. This cost of the course used in variety of ways, video editing, hiring more instructors etc. Yes of course the course OWNER will PROFIT from this 100% juicy profit margin. NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. What I like most about these courses is the community aspect, other likeminded people and entrepreneurs.
Enjoy Alex Becker openly describing how his course profits will help his other businesses:


2nd extreme. "Ahh I know nothing about business, this course is everything for me. I'm taking overdraft to buy this. If I fail it's all the courses fault, my life saving is dependent on it. Every single course HAS to make me money."
Relax. Take a deep breath. Breath. No one can do everything for you, start taking responsibility for your life. If you keep buying courses and take NO ACTION how is anything going to work out? If you are dabbling everything, buying courses left right and centre, while roof is leaking and spending another $1000? Common SENSE! Yes course creators can be VERY CONVINCING in sales copy. But that doesn't mean you become brainless and start going on a rampage! Common sense!

In all conclusion balance is key. I make most out of free resources youtube, facebook yes. But I have came across things in courses that would of never got the idea for elsewhere. Both free VS paid have their advantages disadvantages. Sometimes the paid ones can give extra edge. Or anything paid can give you the extra edge. Like MJ Demarco INSIDERS (not a paid promotion haha).


Sometimes by people, I see the Scarcity mindset applied to courses and we see them as the next red devil :O

I have observed "Course haters", for example I was a student in this Amazon course group. The ones who made it by following steps on course were happy growing their business, full of positivity. The Haters in the course were unsuccessful, pessimistic, gave up on business.

 

ShadowX

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His channel is all about exposing fake Navy Seals.
I can totally imagine Fox/SinisterLex doing the same thing.

Wear a black hoodie with sunglasses, create videos in a dark room, and get a title called "The Guru Buster, SinisterLex" or name the channel/website "GuruNemesis Fox".
That would be cool idea as long as you don't turn into a Loser.

What do I mean by that?

Well you see in the online marketing scene it's messy we know. But CRAZY thing is there is a whole NICHE of haters profiting of hating on other people. So they review other people, hate on them and profit from it by adding their course or their affiliate link. That is the lowest form of the low you can ever go in my opinion.

Like this guy :

So as long as you don't be someone described above, and spread the TRUTH without no malicious intentions then it's all good. It's always good to speak with the course owners beforehand and clarify any misconceptions. To be honest much better to set out clear guidelines on what to look for in a course and educate people about that, rather then becoming like "Drama alert" of digital course scene and start exposing like some netflix show.

Yes with this niche you can be popular and have pessimistic cynic fans like this guy: DramaAlert

Look at above Drama alert. Let's take FouseyTube, he has worked tirelessly day and night. At the end of the day you are shitting on him, his reputation, focusing on others and just giving words about people that are not true. It's the lowest form of entertainment you can do online. Lowest of the low.
 

ShadowX

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@Damian Pros could have explained his end goal and documented his process where we can give constructive feedback to help him get to his end goal, instead of waiting for his "1 secret hack" that he won't reveal.This thread would have been WIN-WIN for everyone but it seems like he was only interested in getting our money.
[/QUOTE]

We can't guess his intentions and just say he's for so and so.

I don't know the OP @Damian Pros , but I like the OP's value, I would happily buy from him in hoping to learn he seems like pretty cool guy too. Genuine criticism is GOOD on this guy or anyone, and the guy can respond accordingly in his own time. But what is not cool is the MOCKING, memes etc. Am sure if you all met in real life it would be different. So just chill and have a coffee together :)

Putting my self in Damiens shoes. If I was Damien right now, I would of made that original post to bounce ideas, answer questions etc. Not for sole intention to sell a course, but give value and expect love back. And also more followers on social media :D, more awareness and being on forum is a perk on itself (learning).

Some of us on this thread are just acting strange. Just be respectful, keep discussion going and don't nitpick everything unless needed.

Oh yeah OP I skim read that premium product post by @rpeck90 , what I got from that was try and make your product the best product possible. Am sure you have used this thread as a improvement point and feedback in your products to make it even more better :) am sure you already are, so keep up good work.
 
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