While blogging can be extremely lucrative, most people think of it as boring career. Heck, I even think of it as a boring career most of the time.
But there have been a few times in my blogging career that some crazy opportunities came my way, including being flown to Miami, put up in a five-star hotel, and running up an $800 bar tab with the CEO of V2cigs.
But that’s a story for another day. In this post I will be sharing how being recognized as a blogger led me to acquiring billionaire Jeff Brandon as a client, and subsequently spending a week in his $30 Million Dollar 17 Bedroom Home in Boynton Beach.
First a little backstory. Before I head cracked the code to making money online, I worked as a “pitch man” for Twin Towers Trading.
Have you ever been in Sam’s Club and seen the guys demonstrating the pots and pans that do not need oil, or the knives that never need sharpening? Yeah, I was one of those guys with the mic attached to my face.
I would stand there and go through this pitch to sell pots and pans to Sam’s Club shoppers. Well the company I worked for is owned by billionaire Jeff Brandon, who is an absolutely amazing entrepreneur that has the crazy ability to handle 500 things at one time and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This was actually the last job I had before I became a full-time Internet entrepreneur.
It was a fine job, I was making about 50,000 a year, but it was a lot of travel. After I began blogging and earning income, once my income matched my weekly pay I left the company on good terms. Jeff even offered me a big bonus to stay, but I told him that my entrepreneurial spirit could not be persuaded, and he respected that.
Fast forward a couple years, Jeff actually to my surprise give me a call to see how I was doing. It’s not every day that the billionaire calls you just to say hi, so that was a little weird. However his call was not without purpose, as apparently he had been hearing of my success with blogging and wanted to bring me down for a meeting to see if I could help increase their online business.
So Jeff, paying all my expenses, brought me down to Boynton Beach, FL and put me up in his 17 bedroom gargantuan Beach Mansion for almost a full week.
My room was bigger than my whole house
This was my room, that had a personal bar. A bedroom with a bar. Isn’t that crazy?
This was one of the living rooms.
How he keeps this place clean is beyond me. That is alot of white!
Breakfast was important
Jeff is a very healthy individual, and was adamant about having a hearty and healthy breakfast before we began discussing business for the day. This was the view from the breakfast table.
I even got some slick wheels
Jeff also did not want me to go without a car, so he rented one for me to use while I was down there. I have to say I was digging the convertible. Did I mention I wound up in this position from friggin blogging?
The place was amazing
Here are some views from his front yard
The beach is literally a few steps away
And here is directly across the street, beachfront property
I had a fantastic time. Jeff was very accommodating and his hospitality was extraordinary. For someone who is so rich, he was extremely humble. However when it was time for business, he was all business.
So what did I do for Jeff?
Well first we looked at a company he owned that sold custom printing for corporate businesses like Subway. But they wanted to increase their small business client base as well. They needed to rank for keywords like “banners and signs” and “custom banners“.
Their website was very functional for customers to upload designs, order, etc. However what it was lacking was the very heart and soul of online marketing. A blog.
Now at first, Jeff and his staff did not understand why a blog was so important to increasing business. Most business owners don’t. So I had to really try to sell them on this idea before we could move forward.
First of all, whether you’re a large corporation or a personal blogger, a blog is a blog.
A Blog centers around content marketing. You create great content that people love to read and share, and then you nudge those readers into a sale. That sale could be your own product or service, or someone else’s product or service that pays you a referral commission.
Unfortunately I cannot share any of the content or content marketing I did for Jeff’s companies, as we agreed to keep this information confidential, but I can give you a general idea of how I approached it.
Here is how I explained it to Jeff
Let’s say you are in the pet industry.
You could be an online pet store, or you could be a pet blogger that sells an e-book on how to train your dog in 30 days. It really doesn’t matter.
So one content idea I may put into practice (theoretically), could be a post called “17 signs your dog does not view you as the Alpha“.
I could go with a list of 17 little-known signs that could mean your dog may have lost respect for you, and that’s why he is not obeying you.
Now, common sense should tell you that most people that click on the title of that article are probably having some problems training their dog, or at least know someone that is.
They probably want to see if their dog is exhibiting any of the signs, again because they are probably having obedience issues.
This reader is the perfect customer for an e-book that teaches you how to train your dog in 30 days. So do you see what we did there? We took a non-sales oriented idea, and created a fantastic post that our target customer would love to read.
So now we have our target customer on our website, reading a resource for free that is helping them with their problem. This builds trust. At this point we can gently try to convert them into a customer.
There are a few ways to do this
- Mention that the post was written by the author of the ebook, “How to Train Your Dog in 30 Days“, with a link to the sales page.
- Offer a free e-book download on “7 tips to train your dog“, then mention the main sell in the e-book.
- Ask the reader to subscribe via email, Facebook, or Twitter and attempt to sell them later after more trust is built.
My personal choice would be number two. But that is because I like to slowly sell the customer and help them solve their problem in stages, building trust before the sale.
Once I explained this conversion process to Jeff and his staff, they were a lot more keen on the idea. We put in a content marketing strategy with the same concept as the fictional Pet example, and it worked wonders.
This led to several other jobs I acquired because of my relationship with Jeff, including doing some video marketing for Sam’s Club and building an employee training portal for Subway.
So what can you learn from the story?
Building relationships is absolutely crucial to your business.
I had a pre-existing relationship with Jeff because I used to work for him. However you don’t need to work for people to build a relationship. Even building rapport through participating on their blog, chatting on Twitter or Skype, or even taking out a local influencer for lunch can land you opportunities you wouldn’t believe.
I’ve actually learned the most about entrepreneurship by simply offering to take successful entrepreneurs out to lunch, and chatting with them. This even led to business opportunities down the road.
Bottom line, if you do something great and you build relationships, great things will happen.
Build a great blog with great content and develop relationships with great people, and they will notice you. Great things will follow, I promise.