I want to give you a warm welcome to my personal blog. I‘m Rey and I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist who helps build and grow brand equity. I have had the luxury to work with businesses of all sizes in the ecommerce space.
Over the years, I have tried a bunch of different strategies and business models to produce extra income over the Internet. Although I found some success with affiliate/influencer marketing and CPA networks, I ended up realizing is best to build assets which produce income for longer periods of time. This is why today I like to invest my time building brands or helping grow already existing brands. While brands take years to mature, as the numbers of followers and loyal customers grow, in proportion so does the overall worth and income potential of the company. Brands are great time investment for those who are persistent and build all the necessary skills, network and partnerships to make them thrive.
Hey by the way! If you have an opportunity in digital marketing or SEO. Located in beautiful Miami, or that I could telecommute to. I’m interested in part time or full time positions! Please tell me about your opportunity. Email is best.
Some of them I helped launch. While others I contributed by generating the strategy that took them to the next level in terms sales and popularity.
I have also been super lucky to work with some of the top digital marketing companies and learn from world class digital marketers, SEO’s and Paid Advertising Specialists.
In this website I will be discussing strategies and ideas about digital marketing business and ecommerce which I have learned over the years. My goal is to add as much value as I can to anyone reading the blog.
I will also share ways to generate resources to grow your businesses and LITERARILY how to get a lot of free stuff. Follow this blog to get all the details because for today I want to discuss the importance of building brand identity which is one of the most important digital marketing concepts.
First, I would like to tell you about the current state of ecommerce – commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet. Amazon has become the biggest marketplace for ordering products online.
You can use free web analytic services like similarweb to see it’s estimated Amazon receives over 2 billion visits per month, Ebay which is second in the category currently receives close to 800 million visits.
For reference other ecommerce giants like Taobao (the Chinese Amazon), Alibaba and Aliexpress receive only a fraction of the traffic. YouTube which is property of Google currently receives the most visits at 1.7 billion visits per month according to ahrefs blog.
There are three important lessons you should have taken from what I wrote above:
- Not all tools reflect the same data. Ahrefs estimates 534 million visits per month for Amazon, not 2 billion.
- The websites receiving the most traffic don’t necessarily produce the most profits. For instance, Alibaba focuses on much bigger orders which results in bigger net profits for each transaction.
- Information from different sources can be contradictory. Your goal should be to find positive ways to use the information so you can reach the goals for your business.
Now let’s discuss in more detail the reasons why you should be building businesses infused with lots of brand love.
1- When You Have A Brand You Have More Control
Many years back when I first started learning about online businesses and selling online I became really interested in affiliate marketing. At the time I would go as far as building campaigns and digital assets such as websites and blogs I would use to promote products I did not own.
As a result, if the owner of the product or affiliate network that gave me access to promote the product decided I did not deserve payment I was simply out of luck and there was not too much I could do about it.
Many times I also went through the trouble of building pages and resources to promote these products only to find out the product would be pulled out of the market for whatever reason. As a result the time invested creating resources to promote such products would be lost.
Eventually I learned I could use link trackers like Clickmagick or plug ins like pretty links to redirect URL’s so that I could easily change the link I had been pointing to, to a new one with a different offer. Still from an SEO perspective this is like trying to win a battle against Google, who has for hire some of the brightest talent there is.
Redirecting links to new offers on a continual basis will result in Google penalty and lower rankings. Also I have learned the hard way that using URL shortening services like (bitly or tinyurl) for the purpose of redirecting old links to new offers comes at the cost of losing SEO ranking. The main reason for this is because these services are heavily used for spam purposes.
In fact anybody who shortens their affiliate links with any of these services to make the links look less like spam. Is in fact worsening the situation as many ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) use technology in their email servers which automatically flags the short links as spam. So whoever is supposed to receive the email will likely never see it.
Taking from the article I linked above, here are some of the URL shortening services which have been blacklisted and will compromise your emails:
There are more. I think of two years back when I was first learning about digital marketing. I sent so many letters with affiliate links which I shortened with bit.ly or tinyurl.com. It is no wonder most of the emails bounced and I hardly produced so little results for my efforts. I was being misled by people posting erroneous information! Maybe they had been taught wrong as well.
In a similar way. The same Gurus out there may tell you to send out image based emails with very little text. Often times this results in your email landing on the promotional tab of the receiver. Or worse yet. It’s marked as spam as the big majority of email which is made up of images is promotional offers and content of spammy and undesirable nature.
Later on I will talk more about the best practices when broadcasting promotional email. For now take the advice in this blog and trust the fact that text based emails work the best. You can also check out xverify or similar tool to diagnose whether the domain and URL’s you are using in your link (and the text) you wrote will be marked as spam by the Internet Service Providers when you send it out.
Anyway, based on my own personal experience with affiliate marketing now I tell business owners my focus is on building long term digital assets in the form of brands. Even if your business model is around dropshipping products from multiple manufacturers, and the brand doesn’t have to create any products of their own, I still will tell you to focus on building brand awareness as if you owned all those products.
When you have a brand that people search for, you have a real business. You can always sell new (or discontinue) products as needed and venture into other markets and industries.
Pivoting across different businesses is a central part of being successful as very rarely does new business ideas work without being tweaked. The goal is to promote products which produce positive brand power by generating excellence in customer experience.
NOTE: Those who want to learn much more about affiliate marketing can start by visiting Offervault which is a place where you can find thousands of offers from many different affiliate networks. There are also many forums out there both free and paid which are dedicated to affiliate marketing. Perhaps later I discuss some of them. Affiliate marketing could be very rewarding but only if you promote products and services of brands which will be in business 5 or 10 years from now. You want to get behind products and brands you truly believe in. The kind who excel at satisfying their customers. Searching “Affiliate Marketing for Beginners” on YouTube can also go a long way.
The biggest downside to affiliate marketing as I have experienced it is that some unscrupulous companies have the worst business practices. Sometimes they choose not to pay the affiliate or scrub their sales (reporting less sales than what it was). Other times they only use their affiliates to produce campaigns and test traffic sources which produce results. They can spy on your campaigns relatively easily. Once they know what works, they don’t need you anymore.
If you do try affiliate marketing proceed at your own risk. I recommend you to research very carefully the companies you will be promoting and to pick the most reputable of the bunch. Few things burn more than to spend $10,000 or more on paid advertising to produce $20,000+ in sales commissions and then the advertiser you are working with doesn’t want to pay out.
Check the video below to see what Neil Patel has to say about the importance of branding.
2- Brand Assets Have Bigger Multipliers When You Sell
Business owners I help have different reasons why they go to business. Some of them seek financial independence, this is also my main objective. Others truly love doing their work. Others live by their brand identity and feel a sense of happiness by contributing to the world through their brand. This is how many nonprofits are born.
In all cases at some point or another the owners decide is time to retire. One of the biggest benefits to building brands is that when it comes time to sell the business the multiplier is much bigger. If you can show that at least 30% of your business is produced by repeated customers then the selling value of your brand becomes greater.
If those customers buy in bulk from you that’s even more valuable. Many of the entrepreneurs and business owners I help have clear in their mind an exit strategy. Some aim to sell their business for a million, while others strive to sell it for 100 million.
Selling your brand for a big lump sum of money of at least 10 million USD is retirement money so you don’t have to work another day!
NOTE: If you expect to sell your brand for millions of dollars be realistic of the time frame it will take to make this happen. Based on all the research I have done and the contributions I have made to other brands and businesses in general it takes three years to be recognized by entities like Google and gain authority. You need to think long term if you want to reap the rewards. A year or six months won’t be enough to hit exponential growth which is a signal of hard work and dedication to building your business. You truly have to love what you do because it may take years before you start generating substantial income to make a living from a blog, website or ecommerce store.
3- More Leverage To Negotiate Better Prices For Services
Brands, big or small have more leverage when it comes to negotiating prices. Amazon for example, is able to offer some of the best shipping services because they have been able to negotiate the best shipping rates. The fact is Amazon is starting to build their own shipping services which will compete with the likes of UPS, FEDEX and XPO.
Leverage to negotiate is not only for shipping services. A brand managing a larger volume of transactions will get lower fees from merchant providers and payment processors such as PayPal.
All of this results in the ability to provide customers with better prices and better services at cheaper rates which makes it harder for competitors to put you out of business or affect profit margins. Instead they find it harder to compete against you.
NOTE: The best brands have loyal community of followers who promote them through word of mouth, posting on social media and by producing referral opportunities – introducing the brand experience to their family and friends. Brands like this are insulated from being put out of business because this community supports them. However we live in the era of information and we have seen
big brands which once thrived, like Toy’s R Us, Blockbusters and Sports Authority… die out. There are many reasons and many factors that take place when this happens. This is why is so important to innovate and produce new products and services and adapt to customer needs in order to thrive. Focus on providing the best service to your customer and you will thrive.
This video gives you data on whether you should bid for branded keywords or not.
4- Bidding For Branded Keywords Cost Much Lower
Part of building an influential business is to produce a compelling brand story. The process starts with picking a name which easily identifies the business.
As you probably know bidding for keywords on the biggest advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook has only become more expensive with every passing year.
This trend won’t change due to the fact that Brick and Mortar type businesses are closing physical stores and starting to sell all their inventory though ecommerce partners and owned corporate websites.
Some people out there may claim that “dropshipping is death”… but the reality is there is so much opportunity to create dropship relationships with manufacturers right now.
I think what they really mean to say is that right now there is a lot more competition which is also true and among the reasons why bidding for ads keeps becoming more expensive.
There is also a lot of powerful technology such as shopify which makes the barrier to entry much lower. Business owners without much technical skill can get their ecommerce store set up within hours.
With the use of some clever plug ins the store that just launched yesterday can create the appearance it has been in business for years. Later I may talk more about this or you can check the video above.
The good news is this: when you build a brand, with an original name and you offer exceptional products and services which results in happy customers and followers in social media… then you can bid on your brand name for much cheaper than any of your competitors.
At the early stages of building your business you will have to think you are making an investment and create the necessary conditions so that visitors coming to your website or physical store feel so pleased with the products and services they must keep coming back.
It is this same people who will leave positive reviews across social media, Google, Yelp and Better Business Bureau which will result in ranking signals which immensely grow the business.
As the brand grows and starts producing more sales and profits then is all about maintaining positioning by focusing on your customers. Customers are the lifeblood of the business because they generate the sales to keep the business going.
Something I have learned the hard way is that is better to allocate your resources producing the best customer experience you can (this is my secret) –and the customers will do the advertising for you… than to spend all that money on advertising to bring new customers but not make them happy with their experience. Remember good customer experience results in lower add cost.
Gary V, talks about how to build brands.
5- You Can Apply The Same Concepts To Build More Brands
In my personal opinion the biggest advantage in learning how to build thriving brands with raving fans is that you could use websites like flippa and find brands and businesses in all stages of development.
Many of the big entrepreneurs in my industry who I have learned from, focus on purchasing brands at certain stages of development and then they use some of the concepts and ideas I have shared in this posts to grow the business much bigger and sell it for a healthy profit.
Basically they are in the business of buying brands at an early stage, growing them, and selling them back for a big chunk of profit. Brand development is one of the best high income skills any entrepreneur can have. This is not a skill that can be easily automated by robots or artificial intelligence.
Sometimes I think of some of the businesses that died out: Toy’s R Us, Blockbusters and Sports Authority and I can tell you that having the opportunity to grow brands in different industries is a powerful way to diversify and stay in business.
However, I always tell business owners and clients I work with to only focus their energy on businesses and industries which they actually understand.
I could provide you with all my knowledge from web marketing agencies and growing brands but knowing the fundamentals of your industry is absolutely critical in order to become the industry leader. My goal is always years ahead of today in helping those who I work with become number 1 in their industry.
Neil Patel discusses some Growth Hacks to get more referrals for your business.
6- Loyal Customers Provide Referral Opportunities
A brand which produces value to their customers with their product line and services will receive the added benefit of acquiring referral opportunities from those customers. As a result more sales are made without having to spend valuable resources on advertising.
Then you can use these resources you would otherwise spend on advertising to produce new products your audience will love or to create bigger and better offers which will as a result create a bigger user base and generate more customers who will provide more referral opportunities.
This is how brands can become millions and even billions of dollars in worth. This is one of the core strategies I used while working for my last employer which resulted in massive growth for the company.
7- Is Easier To Build Positive Reviews And Rank Higher
From the perspective of Search Engine Optimization way back in the day the most important signal had to do with backlinks. In other words, rankings on Google worked like a voting system. Powerful websites with higher authority had more voting power than new websites with little recognition or authority.
NOTE: You could learn more about the early days of Google and where link building strategies are going from Eric Ward who many consider the most experienced white hat link building expert to every live. Some call him LinkMoses.
So the idea was to get big and powerful websites from government institutions, education and big commercial businesses to link to your website. That would result in higher rankings and more traffic. This created a system in which businesses would try to cheat by buying back links. A practice which to this day still remains but is nowhere near as powerful as it used to be.
Instead, these days Google is looking to promote websites which provide people browsing the web with the best content they are looking for. Part of building a big and powerful brand which becomes the industry leader is to heavily research your industry.
Use encyclopedias, newspapers, books, search engines, see what your competitors has to say and aggregate all this information to produce expert caliber content which your target audience would find valuable.
In the case of written text as it is the case for this blog, Google is looking for long form content with at least 2000 words. Better than text is video which has become the media which is most consumed online and the reason why YouTube receives the most traffic in all the web.
You could even do what some bloggers and podcast owners do and create engaging videos to which you would want to attach a transcript of the video. In this way you target keywords being searched for and you can also leverage the power of video as a medium to increase metrics such as time on page which will result in bigger rankings.
By providing more enjoyable user experience it will become easier to build positive brand image and positive reviews which is one of the biggest ranking signals to push your website as the top listing in Google and Bing. This will result in more traffic which if monetized correctly can give your business the upper hand so it becomes the industry leader.
NOTE: Google is in the business of selling advertisements. Facebook is also in the same business. In order to sell advertising slots is absolutely essential for these companies to have a big user base browsing their websites.
As a result, they compete in order to create the best user experience for the visitors browsing online. If you want a lot of free organic traffic create content these advertisers would want to share with their audience.
Amazon is also expanding their business to selling advertising. Microsoft Bing has been trying to compete with Google by paying web visitors who use their browser with Bing Rewards Program.
8- Is Easier To Create Business Opportunity By Using Other Brands
Entrepreneurs out there understand that uniting forces to achieve a common goal is a better way to multiply results. As a result many businesses which compete in different industries form relationships to create referral opportunities for their partners.
By building a strong, powerful, reputable brand with raving fans and followers you will be able to partner with some of the biggest brands which do not directly compete with you and be able to generate income from providing leads to them as well as receiving leads for yourself.
NOTE: Learn about the power of the mastermind. One of the most powerful books of the hundreds I have read covered this subject. The title is: The Law of Success (Original 1925 Edition) by Napoleon Hill. I linked to the same copy I bought. Since I began reading physical books at the end of the day I find I wake up more relaxed. I also feel more creative. Is much better than reading the digital version, because it puts the mind in a calm state where eventually you fall sleep and wake up refreshed. Sorry for the trees. But that’s my personal experience. I recommend you to buy this book as it will help you grow immensely as a person. No brand can grow bigger than the leadership and talent within that business.
DISCLAIMER: I’m part of the amazon affiliate program. If you happen to buy products using my links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Sometimes I can get you coupons and extra discounts with my links.
9- The Best Brands Attract The Best Talent
In order to build powerful brand value it is essential to have a mission statement and a purpose. Being a millennial myself I know I like to contribute to projects which have real meaning and produce noticeable beneficial impact across society and the customer base.
Great brands do not focus on making profits. Instead the big powerful brands focus on creating as much value as they can. This provides an environment which fosters exciting opportunity for some of the best talent produced in my generation.
Brands and businesses alike can only grow as big as the talent they acquire. It is this talent which will keep the business afloat by producing more value with less resources and creating new products and services.
10- Brands Focus On Their Customers Over Their Competition
The last employer I worked for used to have a Vice President. Very smart and capable individual with over 23 years of experience in Internet Marketing Strategies, SEO, Ecommerce and Software Development.
He went on to build multiple businesses after leaving the company and his very own digital marketing firm which offers multiple online marketing services. At the time I had only 1 month of employment and had barely learned anything about how the business ran. After he quit with no notice (personal problems with the CEO), I managed to recover access to all important services and tools he had been using.
In the next six months I managed to recover a revenue gap YOY of 35% and helped the brand position itself much closer to number 1 in their industry before my employment ended. Not much surprise. I also had personal problems with the CEO and CO of the company, like so many other employees that left.
Anyway, what I want to note is that during a little over a year of employment I did not focus my energy whatsoever reading reports and analyzing the competition. Instead I focused on all the avenues I could use to improve customer experience through the website and on the physical store.
This resulted in some of the biggest growth the company had seen. The lesson. Focus on your customer and your customer will take care of you and help your business grow. Brand positioning depends on the willingness of your customer to promote your business to their friends and across review websites/social media.
So there it is! Ten reasons why you should focus your time and your energy in building a reputable brand as your commercial business. I want to note personal brands are also very powerful.
To recapitulate. When you build a brand you have more control to negotiate better deals and partner with other reputable brands which increases profit opportunity. When it comes the time to sell, brands are valued more than businesses which only focus on dropshipping other products.
You can also bid on your brand keyword and benefit from all the impressions within Google and any other search engines you may use The advantage of the added impressions is that more people become aware of your business. Since businesses and brands take years to grow, this strategy will cut down the time substantially.
You could also choose to buy brands at different stages of development and grow them. This works especially well if you have automation processes that can make the brand in question more efficient and profitable. The more your learn about digital marketing, ecommerce and automation tools. The easier it will become for you to have the “Midas Touch” and 10x the revenue of the brands and projects you buy. This is a long game.
Loyal customers of your brand will help you build positive reviews on social media which will help rank higher and drive free traffic which is highly valuable. With a great brand you can focus on building customer satisfaction and attract to your team the best talent.
Remember, since the world is so connected and social media is such a powerful way to spread messages to millions of potential users, you as an individual can be a business by developing a powerful lifestyle brand which exploits your personality. I’m still building this website so I will have more to share with you at a later time.
PS: In future posts I will talk about other fundamentals of digital marketing including some powerful internet marketing SEO. I will also share some of the most powerful tricks I learned from an email marketing agency and other online advertising companies I’m connected with. I only share the stuff that produce results for me after rigorous testing.