There you are. An aspiring entrepreneur looking for a way out of the so-called rat race. You research ways to make money online and all the information you can find is people selling you courses or providing information of little value which doesn’t work. I have walked your path… and I’m still on this journey.
The fastest way to succeed is to emulate the people and business models which already produce the results you are looking for. Similar to the way franchises work. In this post I share some of the most powerful advertising tricks internet marketers use in order to find success. I want to note that no two audiences are the same. As such, it takes considerable testing to figure out what works for your specific customer or web visitor. I would encourage you to try some of these strategies and see how it works for yourself!
I have made enough mistakes along the way and being involved in enough projects. So now I can confidently give you as close as I can the information which will one day, probably 2-3 years from now, help you reach your goals. If you are trying to set up an online shop or business on the internet here are the best social media advertising tricks you should know to start a strong 2020.
I made this post because a lot of my friends over at Quora keep requesting answers how they can grow a business using organic advertising methods which require little to no money. Here are the most powerful organic advertising methods to grow your business with very little investment capital, social media advertising being the most powerful one.
NOTE: Don’t get me wrong. Some courses made by the best entrepreneurs across certain industries are massively valuable. But still a lot of the information out there is stuff that doesn’t work. This is why I have a habit of testing everything I learn. Some super successful entrepreneurs out there put out super valuable resources for those who are willing to execute on it. Only 1% actually executes anything. However, you should also note in order to be able to execute you may have to spend considerable effort building certain skills to do with web design, paid advertising, search engine optimization, graphic design… video editing (among others). Or you may have to find freelancers capable of performing each of those skills in order to finish your project. Upwork and fiverr are two places where you can find such talent for relatively cheap. If you look hard enough you may even find a community of professional freelancers from the Philippines who can produce excellent work for cheap.
#1 Social Media Advertising
Have you ever been on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube and got the message that somebody you follow is going live? The smart marketer knows that algorithms of social media platforms have been updated such that going live produces the most engagement and reach at a given point in time. It was while watching a Tai Lopez live stream where I first realized this powerful trick of his. He had his staff setting up various smartphones ready to start recording. Each smartphone sent the angle of the live feed it was recording to any of the major social media platforms where going live is allowed. Basically, it was as if Tai Lopez was in the news and an army of smartphone reporters was covering the event.
Tai may not be the most liked marketer because he leased the Lamborghini for the viral video “Here in my Garage”. Then went on to make more than 48 millions with his 68 steps course. Still, the man is just as brilliant as this parody of the video. If you are new to this space learn to research everything very carefully because a lot of marketing is just an illusion.
Let’s get serious again.
Can you see how going live on multiple social media platforms is such a powerful free marketing strategy? Going live on most of these platforms doesn’t cost a dime and it produces the most engagement and opportunity for your new business! I know going live could be scary for some of us introverts who would rather read a book. But practice is the mother of skill… and if we practice enough times we could create massively powerful brands virtually for free just by using this strategy alone. The biggest benefit of going live is that the video can be recycled and reposted again at different times of the day to ensure reaching the most users. Videos packed with humor, entertainment and educational content do far better in engaging audiences.
NOTE: I know having multiple smartphones to record on multiple channels is not feasible for many people. While there is the opportunity to find some of the older generation iPhones which have good cameras on places like craigslist or offerup… for relatively cheap… this can still be an expensive undertaking for people just starting out. Managing multiple smartphones at once can also be tedious and prone to error. The live feed could cut off in the middle of your recording session, especially if you are a solopreneur with little support. There are some paid solutions out there. Software which would allow you to connect multiple social media accounts and go live on all of them at once. Not free… but some of them can offer free trials or allow to connect a limited number of accounts on the free tier. Look at the bright side. You get to practice your skills in front of the camera. As success rolls, you can afford to pay the fee and maybe even pay an assistant to join your team.
Some of the best social media platforms to go live include:
YouTube Live: The service which powers video across the internet on the platform or through YouTube Embed. YouTube makes money from hosting the content of creative people such as popular YouTubers. Hosting video requires a lot of servers and hard drives. So resources invested in hard drives and other forms of storage to save all that content are recuperated by charging merchants, publishers and marketers who run adds. The ads are shown to visitors looking for informative, humorous, entertaining or viral content. So if you can add these elements to your live videos you will find the algorithm will push you much higher on the feed. Then more people can find your content and become subscribers and consumers of your products and services. Users come to YouTube to consume long form video content. This means you can talk at length about your brand and your offers. The sweet spot for video is 18 minutes long.
***Many new changes over at YouTube. They are transferring any legal responsibility to the content creators. To protect themselves from the FTC.
Facebook Live: No form of media or advertising is more effective on Facebook than going live. The power of using Facebook is that you can use your free video live recorded sessions to target very specific people with Facebook ads. If so you wished, you could show your videos and adds only to CEO’s and other high caliber, ranking members of companies who could benefit adopting your product at big scale on the business they run. You could also target all employees within a company or all people within a certain area or zip code. Or target people who follow a brand that is a competitor of yours and who offers similar products and services. There are over a billion users on Facebook and Facebook Ads allow you to be very granular and specific about who you target with paid ads. Combining an organic Facebook strategy with very strategic paid advertising will produce the best results.
Instagram Live: Since Instagram is property of Facebook, and the platforms have common goals, going live on Instagram is also a great return on time and investment. When someone you follow goes live on Instagram a push notification is shown on your smartphone device and also the live video becomes the very first posts shown at the top of your feed so you can click to watch it if you are interested. This dynamic produces massive engagement and curious people on the platform join the live video to see what is going on when you launch your own. Today Instagram produces more impressions, shares and engagement than Facebook.
LinkedIn Video: Since this is the platform high caliber people go to network and create business opportunity this becomes one of the best channels to find customers. This is especially true for marketing agencies who are in the process of prospecting to find more clients. It works for virtually any business. I would recommend you to use this channel once you have build your skills in front of the camera to a professional level. Many important people could potentially look at your feed on LinkedIn and first impressions are super important with high caliber clients.
TikTok Video: This is a new social media platform catching steam. I see many people posting their TikTok snippets on Instagram.
***Snapchat: Snapchat allows to chat live with friends but as far as I know they have not yet added full-blown live video support for the users yet. They do have means to stream popular events like the Olympic Games to the users onto the feed.
There are also other streaming services like Twitch.tv you can take advantage of when you go live. Essentially when you become active in all these platforms at once you are creating a spiderweb or a fishing net. Whereby you catch the attention of the users who are browsing on the platforms. Something I can tell you from my own experience is that is worth it to spend time learning about each platform one at a time. Figuring out where your target audience hangs out within them. Once you know those details you can start to build a following so live video is even more successful… as it will directly impact those who follow you and have shown interest in your business… BUT even if you never take the time to build a following you can still see great results from using this strategy simply because it works THE BEST and more users will find you. As you produce more live videos more people will become aware of who you are and your brand. Building a powerful brands takes years in the making.
NOTE: Shoutout to Wizards of Amazon. An amazing community of Amazon Entrepreneurs who help each other succeed with FREE advice. If you are in Miami find the meetup. Mingle with the top entrepreneurs making 100k+ per month. Many of them are walking libraries who know great wealth of information which they share! For example, I learned I could do LIVE VIDEO ON AMAZON in one of the meetups. They also know about amazon affiliate marketing and more.
#2 Use Your Skills To Power Other Businesses
At first, I wanted to make this post purely focused on social media strategy to generate organic traffic with no capital. But I will make it a post on being more resourceful so you can reach the goals for your business. One key way I have been able to become more effective at generating resources to grow my projects is by helping businesses at higher states of maturity. For example, there is a community of businesses at GenM looking for fresh digital marketing talent. These businesses give out 3-month internships to students interested in attaining experience in various disciplines of digital marketing like: email automation, lead generation, Search Engine Marketing/SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization/Website Optimization, building funnels and landing pages, performing advanced tracking with google analytics (UTM parameters), branding and much more.
NOTE: Since I wrote this GenM has been rebranded as Acadium. If you are interested in joining as a student and help online businesses grow here is the right link. If you are a badass digital marketer or business owner and need student apprentices to help with marketing this link is for businesses.
I know not everyone is willing to work for free but there is an 80/20 rule to everything we do. I have found that by volunteering periods of my time to businesses like these, in exchange, not only do I get very valuable experience and the opportunity to test my skills and my ability to produce results consistently. I also inherit training from these businesses worth thousands of dollars which when I apply to my projects give me a NOTICEABLE AND IMMEDIATE return on investment for the time I spent as a volunteer.
Information and experience is not the only gain. I find myself with the ability to access powerful licensed marketing tools which otherwise I could not afford. Or I get to ask questions to senior caliber developers with great knowledge about platforms and services I want to learn to work with. Something I have learned is that when you show the ability to produce results many of these businesses will find a way to compensate you or extend an offer (for me) to work for them. Sometimes you need to be humble and start at the bottom of the pack working for free. So you can reap the rewards later. Aim to produce massive value and you will receive.
When you practice your skills. You gain self confidence. Self confidence opens the doors to work with the best. Or to build your own empire.
Just like this, I have also been contributing to groups of entrepreneurs which meetup and I help them improve their listings and their websites. Practice is the mother of skill. I’m building myself to have sufficient experience so one day I can sit in the board of directors of a powerful and reputable marketing agency or big corporate entity. Rather than having to do all the technical work I can focus on using all the knowledge I amassed to build marketing strategies to take the company to the next level.
Suppose I fail to reach my goal. I will have sufficient knowledge and skill to be able to create businesses all by myself and this will greatly impact my ability to generate more income and break free from the rat race. If you want to succeed you should think of a similar approach because even if you lose all your money. Which happens all the time. It will be your knowledge and skills that will give you the opportunity to start fresh and grow again very rapidly.
NOTE: Don’t get me wrong. Doing everything takes a lot of effort. For example, my graphic design skills are basic. I don’t know much about video editing which is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because video is the most important form of media on the web RIGHT NOW. I can code just enough to integrate most services and work on a website like this one. But I couldn’t build this same project, all by myself from scratch without using templates. The biggest winners in the digital marketing realm are small groups of entrepreneurs, super-affiliates and highly technical people who merge their knowledge and skill to produce businesses which are very hard to compete with. However, if you work your skill up to a certain limit these groups of super successful teams will see you as an asset for their businesses and at that point your opportunity to join them skyrockets. You don’t get to reap the rewards unless you put in the hard work and build your skills. The best thing of joining a team of ‘A players’ is that you will grow your skillset across all sorts of areas in digital advertising and ecommerce. At super speedy rate because you are downloading into your mind the procedures and strategies of some of the best players in the industry.
I hope I have made you see that offering a lot of value is the way to create all sorts of opportunities for yourself. It took me 6 years of learning computer and marketing skills to get to the point I could launch a website like this all by myself by leveraging WordPress and Astra Templates. Now I get emails offering job opportunities or the chance to affiliate with some of the most powerful brands and services across a multitude of industries. That’s the power of being focused on your goal and working on it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Eventually, you will be able to CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITY, so you get to do what you love and you only get to work with high caliber people who contribute to your goals. Then you can leave the leech with greedy habits and scarcity mindset behind. The snowball effect takes years to amount to an avalanche but eventually, you will become unstoppable. Just build yourself and your skills!
#3 Build Backlinks
Like I said, in my experience building backlinks is not as powerful strategy in generating free organic advertising as it is using social media. But still building backlinks THE RIGHT WAY is one of the most powerful free advertising strategies. I’m not going to claim I’m an SEO expert. I have read enough about the topic and worked on a sufficient amount of projects where I used my skill to produce positive and noticeable results. Take this with a grain of salt as I’m still leveling my SEO skills by asking tons of questions to certain people in the industry who have a much deeper understanding of technical SEO.
What I have learned and being able to test is that not all backlinks are beneficial as it used to be. Google has become smarter and they know businesses of all sizes trade backlinks in exchange for favors or monetary value. This is not how the system was intended to work. Instead, they wanted each backlink to cast a vote. The higher the authority of the website providing the backlink the more value or link juice that link would provide to the website being pointed to. But this vote had to be earned without favors or monetary exchange.
Is crazy to think many years back people could spam thousands of backlinks to a page and get it to rank. SEO has become a lot more complicated than it used to be and now it takes a lot more effort to rank. Luckily, the fundamentals are still the same.
Since many people have gamed the system, the result is today you want backlinks from sources that are in some way related to your industry. For example, since my main topic has to do with digital marketing if I receive a backlink from any authoritative site on subjects to do with Digital Marketing, ecommerce or SEO, then this is a great link. However, if is some random blog that focuses on the skill of culinary arts links to my website from a post on how to do scrambled tortilla with bacon… that looks rather suspicious for Google. Instead of adding value, it may be detrimental to my efforts. This is the reason Google Search Console allows us to disavow links so we can insulate ourselves from spam and backlinks which are negatively impacting our websites with spam, low quality traffic and thus lowering our ranks.
Also, I have read from multiple sources the minimum Domain Authority/Page Authority you want from a good backlink is 30. If your rank is well above 30 new backlinks with less rank than your website will produce very little benefit. You are better off working a strategy to build backlinks from websites with higher authority factors than yours. Even if you can only manage to build one or two backlinks a month from this high caliber authoritative websites. A really helpful tool to find good backlinks is the MozBar plugin for Chrome browser because it shows Page Authority, Domain Authority and backlink count a page contains. It even gives a spam score. Shoutout to Ryan Stewart who has been awesome teacher (FREE) over at his Blueprint slack channel.
I want to note just like people found a way to game the search engines by trading backlinks. There are also ways to game the #1 method I listed here: SOCIAL MEDIA. Some entrepreneurs have formed groups. Sometimes of thousands of people. Who trade likes, shares and comments. The idea of this type of interaction is to trick the algorithms of social media platforms to push the posts of the people engaged in the group much higher in the feed. As posts elevate their status to virality, thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of people may get to see it resulting in some of the cheapest, (AND MOST PROFITABLE) advertising strategies. This kind of tricks are prevalent in just about every social media platform. If you can learn to leverage the algorithms to your advantage your business will grow massively but be aware social media companies are becoming much smarter and they are taking action to stop those taking massive advantage of this.
NOTE: Since comments are the hardest to provoke from people. Comments produce some of the biggest ranking signals in social media. If you want to support what I’m doing leave me a thoughtful comment at the end of the post.
In the end the best is to be as organic and real as you can be. There is nothing more powerful than building an audience which really goes the extra mile to support you for the content you have built and the value you provide. All companies are getting smarter. They know people could buy followers on Instagram and Subscribers on YouTube for cheap. They want to work with influencers who can show results for their work. Those who have above average metrics in reach and engagement but who can also show profits for the advertiser. Performance marketing is taking over. Even Mcdonald’s switched their marketing agency to one who is willing to provide performance marketing model. This method of marketing is all about finding strategies to get a return on investment for every dollar spent on advertising.
NOTE: Previously some advertisers would ask their agency to use a certain budget everyday. Something like “Spend $30,000 everyday. No more. No less.” They would not care to measure the return on investment on add spent. This has changed very drastically. Very soon every marketer out there who can’t show results for their work will be out of their job. If you are interested in digital marketing as a career research thoroughly performance marketing. Test the strategies you learn about and build processes to automate those strategies. Then you can continue to learn and test more ways to manifest profitable and scalable outcome. The idea is to build systems to do the heavylifting. That’s exactly the stage I’m in – building and optimizing systems.
#4 Build Your Email List
I should really make this one #0 because the email list is the LIFEBLOOD of online businesses. While you are focusing on using all the strategies mentioned above you should have in place a way to grow your list. Some of the best and most successful marketers out there operate on what we could call “email list arbitrage”. Basically they purchase a list of emails from various sources and have means to test the quality of the leads each source provided. When they find a good provider they keep buying those leads in bulk and keep measuring their engagement and buying behavior to ensure quality doesn’t degrade. This is why knowing how to track email and WordPress web pages effectively is so important.
In this way, the smart marketer generates an email list or multiple email lists that span various niches, to which he or she will continue to advertise with new products, services and offers. Sometimes he may even sell access to his list to other marketers at a fixed amount of cents per lead or continue to email users on the list until a certain agreed amount of clicks is received by the customer buying the clicks. So maybe he sells a package of 100 clicks for $50 or 50 cents per click for example.
A place where you could find this service without being scammed is Udimi. Udimi very carefully reviews the marketers who join the marketplace. There are certain engagement metrics and benchmarks that need to be achieved in order for email list builders to be allowed to provide any service to potential customers like you and I. They also have artificial intelligence in place to flag any suspicious activity and they would give you your money back if you bought soloads from a deceitful provider using their network. A soload refers to a text add which may (or may not) contain image or video which is sent to a number members within an email list. Most times soloads only use text because the delivery rate is better and the add doesn’t end in spam or the promotions tab which is prevalent on gmail. Copywriting is a very powerful skill to generate the best results from this means of advertising.
NOTE: There are other communities out there but this is one of the best. When I first bought email leads I made horrible decisions. I dealt with marketers outside of Udimi who either scammed or overpriced each lead. If you want even better return on investment you can try buying email leads from online newspapers/magazines but keep in mind you will need to buy in bulk a lot of the times and there is no guarantee the email list will perform to your expectations. This is why Udimi is a good start as many users rate their experience with the marketer they bought from and the leads provided to them.
Make your goal to capture the leads in your own list. This is people you can build a relationship with and keep recommending products and services to in order to generate more income for your business. Emailing your list is super economic. There is autoresponder software like Aweber or Getresponse which allows you to email thousands of users at a time for very cheap without having to buy leads for 50 cents each or more. You can start building your email list for free with MailChimp which can store up to 2000 emails in the free tier.
I have seen on multiple forums people asking if they can build their own autoresponders. The answer is, building an autoresponder is not difficult. A lot of the code is out there in StackOverflow and BlackHatWorld. However, for an autorresponder to work you need to build relationships with ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) and email services/clients. So all your email will end up in spam folder of your customer. Don’t forget black hat strategies don’t last long, especially with Google Natural Language and BERT updates. Work for the long term with white hat growth strategies.,
NOTE: Linked to an old threat filled with black hat methods just to give you awareness of what can be done. Those strategies no longer work and have been replaced by new ones. I do this because the more aware you become how everything works the better the chances you will succeed. Black Hats, in essence can steal your content and will use it to their benefit until you can outrank them. Strategy is key to win.
#5 Join Affiliate Programs And Consider Adsense
One way to become more resourceful and take advantage of organic marketing channels is to join Affiliate Programs. Amazon’s affiliate program (which I joined) for example, may have a little payout in the 4-10% range but still is one of the easiest ways to start monetizing your site. The idea is that you can link to products and services on Amazon with an affiliate link and when someone reading your post clicks the link and buys ANY PRODUCT for up to 24 hours, then you will receive a small commission that does not affect the price they paid. Since Amazon is such an established brand with prime 1 and 2-day shipping services on top of stellar customer support. Many people happily buy products from them and it is the little resistance in their buying behavior because they trust the brand, which can help generate some income to grow your business.
Out there you can find thousands of affiliate networks and CPA networks you can use to monetize your website or blog. Sometimes researching networks and MANUALLY adding product links to the website is too tedious. Some automated plugins can do the affiliate linking for you. Two of the most popular solutions to do this I know of is skimlinks and viglinks. This is software that analyzes the text you wrote and finds the opportunity to add links to products and services. For example if you are talking about best seller DSLR camera, it could link to Amazon’s top category of cameras.
If you want to get into website building, a professional or semi professional camera is a very important asset. This way you can take high-quality pictures to post on your website, or your clients websites to grow the brands and digital assets. A good camera becomes very useful if you try to become a product or business reviewer which I talk about later on in the post. The catch is using these automated affiliate linking solutions means you are giving away a percentage of each commission awarded to you when someone buys anything using your link. Some services take 25% of the earnings, while others would take 50%.
At the same time, one of the advantages to using products like skimlinks is that the software will find linking opportunities you don’t even know about. You will also get access to certain offers, products and services which the manufacturer or affiliate network who owns the offer would not allow you to promote as an affiliate. In other words, companies like skimlinks negotiate deals with publishers and some products in their affiliate catalog are exclusively available through them and nowhere else. This means you have more opportunity to promote products which other people can’t. All in all, the ability to write more content which ranks and generates more visits will give you more beneficial impact on your ability to monetize the website… THAN hunting down for affiliate links to add to your website. You should find an automated solution that works for you. The solutions I mentioned up to this point link to the text on your website.
NOTE: If you do use software to do automated affiliate linking for you. Check with the network so it doesn’t do excessive linking on every keyword of your post. If your posts contain too many links to products this will negatively impact the user experience and could result in lower SEO rankings. Also, you should invest a bit of time testing the links for yourself and making sure the products being linked to are in fact a good fit for your post, your brand and your services. Also, note that you can replace some of the links with products you gain the capability to promote as you build more opportunities with more affiliate networks that offer higher payouts. You can also remove links to products you don’t want to promote. Note that the best networks which provide the highest payout carefully screen those who want to join and there may be a phone interview or communication via skype before you are confirmed to join and use their software or network. The advertisers want to work with quality creators who produce valuable and positive content. The biggest advantage is you can save a lot of time if your goal is to monetize your website.
LIGHT BULB: I wonder if there is any WordPress plugin out there that would automatically link predetermined keywords to a valid affiliate link I preset on the settings as some sort of rule. Do you know such a thing? Let me know in the comments!
By using products like Google Adsense you can also add images representative of publisher advertisements who are using the Google network onto your website. In that case, Google finds the ads from the publishers using the network that best fit the context of what you write about. The adds are relevant to the keywords and services you lists in the contents of your posts. Essentially Google tries to match the best adds that fit your content. For example, if you mention the word “hosting service” maybe an add for Hostgator, Siteground or Bluehost will come up in the text near. If you try Adsense also have a look at Ezoic, which uses artificial intelligence to serve the best adds for your website.
NOTE: For affordable and reliable hosting I recommend Siteground which is my hosting company of choice. Their customer support always goes the extra mile to help me resolve problems I have, even if it would require a Senior Developer from their team to look at the issue. If you are not sure what hosting provider to join read this forum threat. When you join with my affiliate link Siteground gives you the best pricing they have to offer and I get a month of hosting for free.
From my experience, I would recommend you to add a few places on your content where adds can display but don’t put adds everywhere as this will result in negative user experience. This is better done on blogs. Don’t do it on your corporate website unless you are linking to business partners. In the case you can find enough places to put your adds and not all add impressions on your website are being used you can use adds waterfall approach to maximize your earning opportunity. The power of using such approach is you can prioritize so the most valuable ads from networks outside of Adsense show first, and gradually fill up your impression space on your website with the lower tier adds which produce the least monetary resource to grow your business. If you use the Ezoic network it will help you optimize your adds.
NOTE: When it comes to Adsense some publishers pay for each qualified click. So a user has to take an action on your website and click on the add for you to get paid. Other times the publisher pays using CPM (Cost Per Mille), which means adds from within their add set needs to be seen 1000 times before you get paid. Payment fluctuates based on the publisher. From my own experience to make even one cent is hard! Last time I tried this I made a little over $10 and it took over six months. Once you have traffic in the range of 30,000-500,000 visitors per month you can partner with other add networks that have much higher payout than AdSense and generate more money for your business. One of the downsides to adding adds to your site is that it will load more slowly. However, if you manage to generate enough traffic you can upgrade your hosting capability while having both: a more responsive website and also generating some profits from organic advertising on google to fuel your business initiative. One way to “hack” Adsense is to include keywords of popular services and companies… so their adds get shown.
#6 Credit Card Deals
If you listen to the Audiobook total money makeover the advice you will get is NOT TO USE CREDIT CARDS. This is an excellent resource for anyone aspiring to become a millionaire. However, one place I would disagree with the author is in taking advantage of credit card offers and sign up bonuses. Up to this point I have received thousands of dollars worth of sign up bonuses and credit card rewards because I committed to building a good credit and taking advantage of all credit cards deals which provided benefit to me. I did not pay for the hosting of this website or any of the resources I needed to build it thus far. Instead, the money came from credit card deals I signed up for of the form – Open an account and spend $1000 within 3 months of activation and earn $x. Where x can be $100, $150, $200 or maybe even up to $600. I’m frugal as hell so I just spend my $1000 on groceries my family needs anyway. Is a way to make the money last.
As long as I pay the credit card on time and ensure there is no annual fee in the contract (or for paying transactions) I know I’m good. The advantage of doing this is that credit builds up and accumulates. Some banks will give you very low interest rates on loans and payment plans. I have had the luxury to even be able to survive PURELY ON CREDIT for periods of months while I was building my skills and knowledge in digital marketing and I did not have to pay interest because the credit cards I was using had 0% interest charges for a whole 12-18 months. Some such cards from Citibank even allowed me not to pay a dime for a period of 18 months and there would be no penalty or late fee during the 18 month period whatsoever… this allowed me some safety net to work on my projects and help my family even with no income.
Of course, doing what I did is risky and you should not take on too much debt. The maximum amount of debt I take at any point is $5000 once I hit that threshold, I take whatever job I can to pay the bills and clear my debt before any interests start to build up. Some of the disadvantages to using credit is that there has been many breaches like it happened with the credit bureau Equifax. Virtually all our sensitive information is online and being actively traded in forums in the dark web originating from hacker populated countries like China or Russia. I know this because I have been to various events where professional FBI and NSA agents shared this information to educate the audience participating. What you can do to protect yourself is freeze your credit which would allow you to continue using your credit cards but no new credit card account can be opened in your name using your SSN unless is your credit is unfrozen.
One of the biggest advantages to using credit cards to fuel your business is the reward structures provide an extra competitive advantage. A two percent margin in the form of cashback can go a long way if your company spends hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in resources to keep the company afloat. This is cashback money you can use to pay yourself generously without taking more resources out of your company. One other big advantage is that you can also become a partner of the banks who gave you the credit card and receive affiliate commissions for telling other people about it. Some banks pay $50 per qualified lead who is approved to use their credit card, others pay $75, others pay $150 and even more.
The reason why banks are able to do this is that they can benefit from having your customer information and tracking your behavior as a buyer. This type of information is highly valuable to advertisers who are willing to pay top dollar to have it. The way I see it. Our information is out in the open anyway. We are being tracked and recorded in every way, shape or form. I may as well benefit and use the resources to build a business that could potentially give me time freedom and financial independence. There have been satellites launched into Earth’s orbit which can take high definition images anywhere around the world to within 1 Centimeter accuracy.
NOTE: Later on I will provide I list of credit cards I have joined to take advantage of the reward programs. If you do join using any of my links we will both receive higher compensation than if you joined through the regular offer. Banks do this to provide an incentive for the affiliates to promote their financial products. However… the downside is most banks have a CAP on how many leads you can bring in a yearly period or how much money you can generate during a year from affiliate programs. So this is not something you could do for a living. Maybe later I dig deeper into this and I get some banks to give me no cap on the number of leads I can bring then it may be worth experimenting with paid advertising for this way of building resources.
To be absolutely transparent. I don’t like banks or government all that much. But there is a powerful saying “If you can’t beat them join them.” and they are in control. So is in my best interest to produce as much value as I can for these organizations just as it also is of extreme importance to produce massive value for the people reading this blog. This is the same dilemma all digital marketing strategist have, since they have to please the advertising networks, the publishers/clients and YOU, the user.
#7 Review Groups
Out there you can find all sorts of services and programs which focus on building positive reviews for businesses. I already said this is the number one way to maximize your results if the goal is more free traffic from Search Engines like Google. One way you can produce massive value for businesses out there is by contributing positive reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, Better Business Bureau and other review sites. Some people start building their name as top contributors or reviewers across the different platforms to find there are businesses out there who would be willing to pay them to write unbiased reviews for them and provide feedback about their services. If you become good enough at this you could generate a living from doing this alone but you need to build influencer status to greatly impact your income potential and increase your opportunity.
NOTE: If you are able to produce a positive image on social media for a business opportunity widens to receive free stuff, earn commissions, travel for free, stay in the best hotels for free and meet other celebrities and influencers who would want to collaborate with you. It takes time and effort but from my own experience, it can be done. This is coming from a caveman with a little social network who doesn’t go out all that much… and I get tons of opportunity all the time. Imagine what it would be like for you if you have great social skills and a wide network to work with and benefit from!
One place where I got over $30,000 worth of free stuff is Amazon due to my ability to help sellers in the platform sell a lot more of their inventory. For the most part, I stopped helping because Amazon changed their policy about incentivized reviews and wether sellers can provide customers with free or discounted products in exchange for unbiased reviews on Amazon. Do note that there is still many Facebook groups, forums and websites out there where Amazon sellers provide their products for free or at 70%+ discount. Maybe I will give you more details in another post so stay tuned if you want free stuff.
#8 Sell Old Stuff So You Can Power The Business
If you are like me. Your house is full of crap that you don’t need. Why not sell it and reinvest this money to fuel your business. You can use Craigslist, yard sale, 5 miles app, Offerup or a wide range of forums, apps, and resources to sell the stuff you no longer need. Some entrepreneurs out there have a side hustle of participating in yard sales or flipping products found in some of the apps listed above and then selling them back at a profit on places like eBay, craigslist or even the same app they bought it from! Many people generate sufficient income to live comfortably from this but it takes quite a bit of effort and TIME COMMITMENT to do it when you don’t know how to do it. The great thing is you can use the monetary resources to build a business and the opportunity to network with many people. Word of mouth is some of the most powerful means to advertise any business.
#9 Go To Hackathons
Since I graduated from Florida International University as a Computer Engineer I made a habit of going to hackathons. Contrary to what many people believe. A hackathon doesn’t refer to the evil act of forcing into a digital or analog system in order to spy or steal information from somebody for ill purposes like a monetary gain. Instead the idea is to collaborate with many different individuals in order to build a solution to a problem. The solution could use hardware, software or both.
For example, during the last hackathon, I participated which was Shellhacks. There was a team that came up with an idea to use python libraries to make it very easily and flexible to cast votes during elections. Some brilliant solutions which greatly help the world come out from events like hackathons. There is also many great companies that participate and look to hire great talent. During hackathons, I have been able to work directly with Google, Amazon, Facebook, APPLE and Microsoft engineers who taught me a wealth of experience about what they did. Hackathons usually last 24-36 hours, but during these intensive events, you can learn so much about technology trends and accumulate tools that you can use on your arsenal to build your business.
Many companies provide free hosting and tools worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars to the hackathon community so they can build solutions to problems and challenges these big corporate entities are facing. There is also the added benefit of free food! I went to a Telemundo Hackathon once where they literally had butlers serving food you could only find on an upscale hotel that would cost at least $300 a day. There is massive wealth out there. Massive opportunity. Massive resources. You just need to know how to tap into it.
NOTE: I have won quite a few hackathons. In fact I was among the winning teams at Shellhacks! Not because of my technical ability but because I know a little bit of everything. Usually, during hackathons I combine my knowledge with that of the other people in the group and this results in our ability to produce ideas and projects that win often.
If you start going to hackathons the tools in your quiver to grow your business will expand greatly. You will also be given access to resources from all of the big software and tech companies which otherwise you would not have access to. Also, you will be able to learn and build connections with some of the best talent working at the big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and GOOGLE. All of this translates in your ability to apply for better jobs and feel more confident in your ability to perform because you will be able to measure your knowledge and skill compared to some of the other talent in the organization. What is more, you will build the social skills required to fit the culture in any of these companies which is essential in order to be considered as a potential employee.
To summarize in this post I have given you some of the best social media tricks and powerful strategies you can use to generate tons of resources to build your business with little or no capital. Most of the strategies I shared are purely organic. On most of the projects I work. This is how I benefit the company. By taking advantage of strategies that cost little or no capital whatsoever. For the last project I was involved in I actually managed to cut the add spent from $40k-$45,000 down to 10k-$15,000 per month. 1/3rd the add budget, while generating bigger profit margins and growth for the brand. I did this by applying concepts I learned from some awesome marketers who guided and mentored me. As I see it. Paid advertising is about using ideas and strategies which result in some form of unfair advantage. Is all about doing lots of research and testing.
Keep in mind going live in social media platforms is a big competitive advantage right now because it produces the most engagement. If you are tying to grow a brand organically, find someone who is good on camera, the social media algorithms will do the advertising for you. Remember you can also skill up and become more well rounded and confident by helping other businesses. The cumulative experience will help you become a better entrepreneur and a more valuable asset if you become a consultant.
Backlinks are still at the core of increasing rank in Google and all the other search engines. I and many other SEO’s have found you don’t need as many backlinks today in order to produce great results. What you need whoever, is the right backlinks for your specific project. Learn from the strategies Eric Ward left as part of his legacy. It comes down to this. Good backlinks is about building good relationships with other people.
Always work hard on your email list. Your list is one of the most valuable assets you will ever own. Just think of how many content creators will lost all their content due to the FTC lawsuit. Many of them will see their income cut in half, if not lost completely. This is the problem with social media sources. Platforms come and go and the ways to generate revenue change all the time. This is why winners are all those people who take advantage of opportunity WHILE IT’S THERE.
If you are curious to know, the main reason we see social platforms come and go is because this is how wealth is transferred. Usually when a new social media application is launched (think of Tik Tok or Snapchat), the focus of such platform is to acquire as big a user base as possible. The developers of these apps are smart. They know big digital marketers and celebrities with millions of followers can help produce a big user base faster.
So new apps that launch give incentive for popular creators to jump in and produce content which is syndicated and spread like wildfire to everyone who is using the app. Initially they don’t charge creators regular advertising fees established social media platforms would impose. It’s all about creating as much reach and virality as possible and make the message reach far and wide. In this state of growth it becomes exponentially easier to build a brand without having to spend that much resources on advertising. The resources go onto creating engaging content which becomes promoted within the new apps.
In this way there comes a tipping point where the app downloads become exponential and the user base grows massively. At this time the developers may start charging advertising fees and looking for more ways to monetize the app. Then new apps are born which try to replicate the same process and become the next hit, or the next Facebook or Instagram. This is one of the ways massive wealth is transferred. The concept applies to pretty much all businesses and this is why competition is so fierce these days. So the next time you see a new social media platform emerge think of this. Maybe you can make a name for yourself!
Affiliate Programs and Advertising platforms like Google Adsense are a great first step to start monetizing your digital assets. Even though Amazon affiliates or Adsense may not pay much in the beginning, once the website receives thousands of views per day then the income starts to add up. The way I see it even if you can make only $1 a day from these sources, that’s still $1 you can reinvest in marketing to grow the business. At the beginning is all about being strategic. In a similar way a popular strategy at the start is not to put adds on the website whatsoever. The idea: to have better user experience and so the website loads much faster on places where internet connectivity is slow.
As the website ranks and starts to gain traction, then monetizing with adds may become feasible thing to do. It may be even better to reach out to businesses and propose placing a banner add to advertise their site for a fixed monthly rate. When it comes to generating more resources for your business you should learn how to take advantage of credit card deals. As I have showed in this post, some people out there have figured out the credit card game so well they can enjoy all the luxury of a expensive lifestyle and is all paid by banking reward programs. From personal experience, I can tell you the banks have become smarter. Trading points between bank reward programs is not as good as it used to be.
In the past I have talked about reviewer groups. These can be a time sink. However, if you need certain products to run your business and you are on a very tight budget. If you are in the United States and you are willing to trade some of your time. This is one of the best ways to get all sort of products. The end goal of making all this sacrifice should be to produce a lifestyle which gives you the time freedom to do what you want, when you want it. I never cared much about money until I understood I can buy units of time freedom with it. This is why I have worked so hard on building valuable skills. So I can be free to do what I want. Of course you can also get products with the intent to sell them and produce income to grow the business.
The last tip I had in this post was to go to hackathons. The great thing about hackathons is that you will immerse yourself into this world of very smart and highly productive people. You will learn about software technology, hardware and acquire tools and information from leading experts working at big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Some of the best resources I learned about came from chats I had while on one of these events. Even if you never become a senior developer or a super tech nerd, knowing this information will allow you to see more into the future. This will help you create businesses which take maximum advantage of opportunity when it’s there.
PS: The last resource I have for you! Go to BuyThisBook and use “elevator” code at checkout to get this book packed with tools (for free). The authors are great and have built many different brands and worked with many different businesses. I suggest you follow Dan Fleyshman and Branden Hampton on Instagram. Sometimes they drop knowledge bombs which can result in exponential growth for your online business.