Having a Valley Mentality

Having A Valley Mentality

Millions of Americans climb the wrong ladder. You waste your time always thinking about the top.

Seldom reach the pinnacle of their hopes and dreams, especially when it comes to business. Most are rooted in unrealistic fantasies and don't have actionable objectives to reach their insane goals.

I have confidence I can speak for both myself and my business partner that we were both in that mind frame in 2015.

Let me take you back.....

March 23rd, 2015. The day I quit my job.

I worked at University of Michigan Hospital, as an inpatient unit clerk. I handled the responsibility of keeping the hospital unit running like a well oiled machine.

However, my website had already generated over $10,000 in 21 days. Which was 8-10 times more than I was making working at the hospital. 

So I took the plunge into entrepreneurship. I was making real money, working insane hours, and had freedom like I'd never had before. 

Although I was riding higher than ever before, I didn't realize my website had reached the mountain top.

About 6 months after I quit my job, the website started to drop in revenue. 

Due to tons of different factors, the website never saw it's former glory. Here's a screenshot of the website traffic from inception to date:

google analytics stats

It literally looks like a mountain.

Which brings me to my point in writing this blog post:

The majority of my skills were learned through the buildup. The valley before the success, and the climb.

The mountain top moments are just that. Moments.

Don't work your life away for moments. 

Enjoy the rise.

Enjoy the climb.

Enjoy the journey.

Keep up with my journey!

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram:

@richpriebejr & @zerotosale

Walking Out In Your Authority

Walking Out In Your Authority

Too many times I've fallen prey to feelings of inadequacy, especially when it comes to running my business. Sometimes these feelings rise up because my skills are being tested and "stretched". 

Other instances I may feel uncomfortable about the decisions I'm making, and tend to feel uneasy about the future implications of those decisions. 

What I've learned over the past 4 years could be summed up in 4 words: 

dont trust your feelings

We've all succumbed to this before. Our feelings can lead us astray in business as well as life; and tend to leave us wondering "what if".

So what do you do in those situations? You might be dealing with these issues right now. Here's one secret that will help you realize your worth:

Walk Out In Your Authority

Everyone of us have a place of authority in the workplace. There is a myriad of personal skill sets mixed with experience that make you the authority on your subject. 

Here's the trick. You need to figure out what that is. Some of you might already know what that is, and that is awesome. You're already one step ahead of the game.

Everyone can't be the best at social media marketing, sales or even pizza delivering. However, you can be the authority in your space, industry or market just based on your geographical location. 

For instance, I would consider myself a top SEO expert in Southeastern Michigan. There might be a few other people in and around the area in which I live that have similar skill sets as mine. 

What Makes You An Expert

It's the simple fact that no one can replicate the experience you've obtained in your industry during the time period you've done it in.

You have a trait or skill set you need to walk out in. There is an authority you have obtained or learned from your business experience you need to realize internally.

Once you do that, you will begin to see yourself as a more confident business owner, capable of doing great things. Because you are great!

Ok. So you realize you have authority in your space and you want to build on that authority. You might be asking, what are some practical ways I can do this?

For the rest of the article, I will be showing you practical ways you can start building out your personal brand, business and authority in your area of expertise.


4 Ways To Build On Your Authority

There are multiple ways to build on your authority in the industry or market you work in.

Here are four of my favorite ways to start walking out in the authority of your business expertise:

organize a meetup

Teaching others your skills are a perfect way to not only practice your craft, but make personal connections that can be advantageous to your business.

meetup

Meetup is all about building community around similar interests. Creating a meetup to talk about a topic you are an expert in is a great benefit to your local community

You can download the App or Visit them on their website. I personally suggest the mobile app, as I believe it's more useful and practical. 


launch a podcast

If you have an area of expertise (everyone does), you should consider starting a podcast based around your topical authority.

Launching A Podcast

Audio is one of the prevailing content pieces that is extremely valuable to all audiences. It screams convenience.

Podcasting is the new radio, and it isn't going anywhere. 


write a book

Still one of the best ways to build your authority in your industry is to write a book.

writing a book

The knowledge and experiences you've gained throughout your career are valuable!

It seems intimidating, but writing a book is a great way to share your expertise with the people in similar situations as you.


start blogging

Similar to writing a book, blogging is an effective strategy to building your authority.

Start Blogging

Blogging allows you to share your experiences more frequently, and with the internet; a wider audience.

If you own a business, you should think about starting a blog to save your good and bad experiences.


So there it is!

If you haven't noticed by now, some of the most effective ways to walk out in your authority as a business owner is to share your experiences.

But don't just share it with anyone. Look for people that would benefit from your trails and mistakes.

I hope you've been encouraged as you read this post today.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay updated for new blog posts.

Enjoy That Beer

Enjoy your Friday night beer.

Seriously, Cheers it up!​

While you're out "living" for Friday night, I'm producing content.

While your out "enjoying that beer", your co-worker is hustling getting ahead.

Whil​e you're out getting smashed, your roommate is studying.


Just a friendly reminder.

If you wanna get out of your current job and into a better one; you're gonna have to work for it.

Hustle. All of like the idea of Hustle, but few of us actually do it.

You're not getting any younger.

When we started our website ventures in 2013, we were both 23 years old and had full time jobs (40 hours/week).

But we didn't wanna work at our dead end jobs anymore.

We wanted to have freedom.​

So, for 18 months we worked 60+ hours to get our website on track; enough to pay our bills.​

In 2015, we were both able to quit our day jobs and work full time online.

But it didn't come over night. It took 2 of us (pretty savvy dudes), 18 months of working our side hustle to make it happen.​

It took time and sacrifice.

SACRIFICE. ​

​That's something the millennial generation could learn a little bit about. 

Even though we're the future, I think we need to ​learn to sacrifice the now for the future.

To all my Friday Night Hustlers, thank you. You're the true heroes!

To everyone else, Enjoy that Beer!​

Avoiding Entrepreneurial Burnout

Avoiding Burnout

I meant to take today off from the busyness of cold call outreach.

Sometimes I forget that besides the agency, I'm also running 4 other successful websites (including this one).

I just checked the Google Analytics yesterday to be sure.

We reached 4,000 visitors between all 4 sites last week. That's pretty good.

Es​pecially since 90% of those visitors came organically from Google.

​Today, I wanted to talk about Entrepreneurial burnout, and how you can avoid it.

Ever have an engine that wouldn't turn over for you no matter how much you tried? It feels something like that.

A book could be written on just my experiences with burnout.​

60-70 hour weeks for close to 18 months. ​Staying up for 48 hours to get ahead.

My business partner, I believe his record is something like 56 hours of wake time working.

It's not healthy, and in fact; can lead to some pretty detrimental consequences. ​

Burnout

This week is the first week I've written a blog post on back-to-back days for one of our websites since 2015.

Back then, we were pumping out 25 articles/week.

That includes:

  • Keyword Research
  • Product Research
  • ​Graphic Design
  • Post Editing & Formatting
  • Scheduling to Social Media

Our record was 500 articles written in just under 5 months.

Two people managing 5-6 others.​

We pretty much blanket covered every single keyword in our niche in 2015. It was amazing, we had never had so much traffic or money.

​However, burnout from managing a team of writers, editors and publishers hit us pretty hard.

A quote from Dave Ramsey says "Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else"

Now, Dave Ramsey specializes getting people out of debt; however the same principles apply for growing your business.

At the time, we were both working 40 hour jobs and doing the "website" thing on the side.

We "had" to work 16 hour days just to get ahead.

Eventually the success of our online business allowed us to both quit our day jobs.

The point of the story is you need a day off. That was today.

Are you experiencing the same things in your job or business?

​I'd love to hear more about your experiences! Be sure to follow me on Twitter to tell me your story.

Officially, a Millennial

Officially, a Millennial

Have you ever just dropped into a coffee shop to offer your Facebook Advertising services to their business?

Chances are you haven't, unless you're a millennial.

I've grown up with the Internet. Literally. 

I'm not sad those days are gone. I truly loathed dial-up, especially when I was trying to download 30GB of music onto my parent's ancient (windows 2000) PC.

I've had the opportunity to witness the greatest paradigm shift in our modern history.

More about that later. 

Let's get back to the story.

Today was a special day. I was able to catch myself in the moment, realizing how special of a time and place we live in right now. In 2017.​

Here, I was standing in a local coffee shop, offering my Agency's services to the general manager of the shop.

​He understood the value of locally targeted ads. He was super jazzed and completely on board with what we had to offer. I started getting excited...

Then Teddy said something very peculiar. He goes, "I get it guys, but the owner isn't a Millennial ya know? She doesn't understand it all."

He then went on to re-assure us he understood completely how valuable our services that we were offering really were. ​

But that doesn't get us anywhere when the owner is the one who has the keys to the cookie jar.

That was our 100th "cold call" visit to a local business in a week. 

Out of the 100 restaurants, salons and coffee shops we visited; we got a few promising leads.

The businesses that have shown interest all seem to have one thing in common.

They get it.

They understand that you can pay $1 for a click to your website and potentially have that visitor sign up to your email list to receive your stores' special deals. 

They understand that, if done correctly; you can make on average $1 per email address on your email list per month.

If you have 1,000 people signed up to your email list, that's an extra $1000/month. ​

However, most business owners are NOT Millennials, and you'd be hard pressed to teaching them how your Agency funnels paid ads into raving fans.

So, the trek continues. 

Our Agency will continue doing grass roots outreach to all of Southeastern Michigan until we reach our goals.

ONWARD MARCH!​

If you enjoyed reading my excerpts from today, be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay updated!

Building a Digital Marketing Agency

Agency Building

I've been here before.....

It's that moment right before I can take a deep sigh of relief, knowing I've reached the point of success. That moment right before the proverbial finish line.

 I've learned to become more reserved about my "work" and what I consider my "career".

It's definitely not for everyone, and friends and family have had their reservations (and for good reasons) at different times throughout this journey.

I also believe it would take a special kind of someone to do it all on their own.

I'm not that special someone. I have been forever graced with a brilliant, intelligent business partner that also happens to be a very dear friend.

When we started building out websites 3 1/2 years ago, our inital thoughts were to make enough money to pay rent.

Fast forward almost 4 years later and we're on the verge of a full blown Digital Marketing Agency.​

I know in my mind once we have enough clients to outsource we will have reached our "autopilot" and everything will be just hunky-dory. ​

We know how to project a number and reach our goals. That's what scary. This time around we're actually armed with a butt-load of knowledge; unlike before.

​We already have a few great friends willing to do graphic work, photography, web design; all as add-ons for our clients.

I am truly grateful for you guys and your willingness to help our clients. ​

We know how to do Facebook Advertising. We understand the ROI needed for our potential clients. Unfortunately, there's a trust gap between our potential clients and our services we offer. 

That's been the hardest part so far. Even though we can do Search Engine Marketing or Social Media Management on a whim; local businesses are still slightly "sketch" to believe we can truly offer it all.

I've had to learn to bridle my tongue about my past successes, even if they're relevant. Some business owners won't change their mind no matter what.

I'm learning to accept that. By time you read this post, we will have reached out to our 100th potential client within just one week.

We are obviously still in outreach phase, however everything on the backend is ready to go as soon as someone signs on the dotted line.

I have a few appointments tomorrow to "qualify" some of these businesses further. We need to make sure they're just as good a fit to us as us to them.

I am completely prepared for this agency to scale by 2018. We've scaled before, and now we've learned from mistakes past.​

I'm not really worried about the competition.

Frankly, there is none. We are already marketing like it's 2020.​

Snapchat Geo-Filters. QR Codes. Paid Shoutouts. Hashtag Outreach.

We are completely ready. Let's go.

Wanna keep up with what we're doing and where we're at building out our digital marketing agency?

Follow me on Twitter, I'll keep you updated.

State of Social Media Marketing in 2017

Virtually every local business out there needs to be involved online. If you're not on social media in 2017, you're losing potential customers, clients, and ultimately; business. 

Join us today as speak about the current state of social media marketing in 2017, and what we think about it's effects on local businesses wanting to bring in more customers to their establishments.

Recommended Tools for Online Marketing Success

Online Marketing Tools

​There is no substitute for hard work, focus & determination.

With that being said, we have created this tools page as a guide for anyone looking to start a website, or grow their existing audience.

We've spent over 3 years building audiences, driving traffic, and promoting products, check out our full story here.

Throughout our time in the online marketing adventures, we've come across multiple tools & software programs that have helped us achieve better results, faster. 

Below are some of the best tools we have discovered and still use today that help us achieve our online success.​

DISCLAIMER: Some of the products and software below are attributed with affiliate links. This means if you buy one of them for the first time we will receive a commission from the sale. Regardless, these are still the best tools we've found that have helped us out the most in our time spent building online properties. ​


Most Essential Tools We Use

Below is our personal list of must have tools you'll need to succeed when creating your own website.

These tools optimize your site, and most of all, give you back time:

godaddy logo

GoDaddy​ - Hosting Provider

​GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars on the planet.​

They also provide hosting support & a beginner friendly website builder. If you're intimidated by websites because you don't know any code; use GoDaddy.

Their customer service is from another planet and you can usually find great deals as first time customers.


clickfunnels logo

Clickfunnels - Sales Funnels Software

The Premier Sales & Page funnels software on the market today.

Creating Landing pages, selling products, collecting emails, and split testing your pages are just a few of the tasks you can use with Clickfunnels.


aweber logo

Aweber - Best Email Marketing Software

If you're building a long term business online, one of the first things you'll need is an email list.

An email list helps capture your subscribers for a conversation that happens long after they read your blog post.


Website services and software Tools

Hosting & Registars

  • GoDaddy
  • Namecheap
  • WPX Hosting
  • Bluehost
  • Hostgator
  • 1&1 Hosting
  • Beyond Hosting
  • Cloudflare
  • MaxCDN

SEO Research Tools

  • Ahrefs
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Majestic SEO
  • Keyword Planner
  • Long Tail Pro
  • SEMRush
  • Scrapebox
  • Expired Domains
  • Backlink Watch
  • Wayback Machine
  • WhoIs?

Sales & Marketing Tools

  • Hootsuite
  • Gleam
  • Clickfunnels
  • Aweber
  • Google Adsense
  • CPV Labs
  • Survey Gizmo
  • Google URL Shortener
  • TinyURL
  • Feedburner
  • SendGrid

Outsourcing Services

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • iWriter
  • Fancy Hands
  • SerpSpace
  • Lightning Rank

Data & Analytics Tools

  • Google Analytics
  • Webmaster Tools

Affiliate Networks

  • Shareasale
  • CJ
  • Clickbank
  • Amazon

Graphic Design Tools

  • Canva
  • Creative Cloud
  • Dollar Photo Club

Productivity

  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Evernote
  • G Calendar
  • Google Keep
  • IFTTT

Online Storage

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive

Plugins , Extensions & Add-on Tools

WP Plugins

  • Tablepress
  • Yoast SEO
  • WP Super Cache
  • Redirection
  • Adrotate
  • Adrotate Professional
  • Askimet
  • Jetpack
  • Clickfunnels plugin
  • Thrive Content Builder
  • OIO Ad Manager
  • Regenerate Thumbnails
  • Capability Manager Enhanced
  • Advanced Custom Fields
  • Better Search Replicate

Chrome Extensions

  • AW Pro Tools (Aweber Add-on)
  • Adblock
  • Evernote Webclipper
  • Mozbar
  • Color Pick Eyedropper
  • Scraper
  • 404 Checker
  • Redirect Path
  • MailTrack
  • Lastpass

Hosting & Registars

​Looking to start a blog or website? You'll need to register your domain and rent a server to host your website.

This is the foundation of your online business but don't stress, it won't break the bank.

Best Hosting & Registrar

godaddy logo

Go Daddy

Our favorite registrar platform has to be Godaddy. It's ease of use for beginners makes it our primary choice. Plus, they also have ​one of the best customer service experiences out there. Any time we've ever had a problem, Godaddy has been able to effortlessly walk us through the issues.


wpx hosting logo

WPX Hosting

Formerly, Traffic Planet Hosting; WPX Hosting is one of the better value for price hosting services.

They offer 100% free migration​ and can set your site up within 24 hours.


bluehost logo

Bluehost

Bluehost is the premier hosting choice for more experienced marketers.

Bluehost arguably has the fastest server speeds out there.

Some of the biggest websites are hosted by Bluehost.​


SEO Tools

SEO can be a tedious process and tools can greatly reduce the grunt work. Here are the tools we use to run our SEO.

  • SEMRush
  • Limited Time OFFER

SEM Rush

semrush logo

You can rank & track any set of keywords and find out where everything ranks with SEMRush.

You can do full on market research as well as track any keywords you'll need to.​


long tail pro logo

Long Tail Pro

You can rank & track any set of keywords and find out where everything ranks with SEMRush.

You can do full on market research as well as track any keywords you'll need to.​

long tail pro logo

Google Adwords

You can rank & track any set of keywords and find out where everything ranks with SEMRush.

You can do full on market research as well as track any keywords you'll need to.​


google adwords logo