Entertainment pays, no matter what your niche. And in this day and age, no matter how big or successful you believe you are in your online business unless you’re willing to entertain first, you’ll go the way of the dinosaur (before the Jurassic Park storyline brought them back to life anyway). At least, that’s Billy Gene Shaw’s motto.
From the looks of things, Billy Gene’s onto something. He’s the man that missed out on a college degree by not completing one course to go to Cabo with an ex. He moved on to fail at a mobile oil changing business next. After that came learning the most marketable of all skills at his next job with an agency-marketing of course.
While getting paid to learn how to help businesses grow, Billy Gene saw the real money was in growing an online business, so he jumped in and learned how to market his first online course in quitting smoking and drinking. What he learned there coupled with his day job helped him to build the online mecca he's known for by many entrepreneurs today…THE GENE-IUS of YouTube video ads.
Tune in as the conversation gets deep, not wide about the three step process to to kill it with online video ad campaigns, running traffic to the right place on YouTube, and three things to include in every video you shoot to build your brand and sell more stuff. Once you’re all set and get Billy Gene’s tips into action, be sure to parallel park Dennis Yu’s Facebook video strategy alongside it to get more bang for your branding buck. And, if you really want to be seen everywhere by your prospect, check into our qualified traffic episode to nail it down the rest of the way.
That’s what people don’t understand. It doesn’t take a lot of money, and here’s the thing. If you’re making more money than you spend, you’re actually getting paid to build your brand.”– Billy Gene Shaw
Some Topics We Discussed Include:
- Is there an unwritten rule you need to live in San Diego to be a successful online marketer?
- How being loud, profane, young and black spurred Billy Gene’s method for client getting success
- These three steps are all you need to get people buying from you instantly
- Brand awareness ads + direct response ads = recipe for online success
- This unconventional ROI made billboard ads worth the risk, and it’s something you can leverage right now too
- Living proof that when you’re hurting for dough and you do what you know you can succeed
- When getting out of character works, and why you should consider it
- How to build your brand for free on YouTube exploiting this lesser known fact
- Always meet the customer where they’re at and you’ll see more cold conversions
- Use Billy Gene’s three “E’s” for the highest converting video ad campaigns around
- While you’re at it, follow these three guidelines when you shoot your videos to create the most valueable content for your audience
- Why zags and trends should be on your marketing radar
- Billy’s motto, “If no one’s listening to you, it doesn’t matter what the f@#$ you say!”
- The difference between a peer mentor and a pay mentor and why you need both
Contact Billy Gene Shaw:
- Get the scoop and cool freebies on his website
- Follow along on Facebook
- See how it’s done on YouTube
- Catch some candid videos on Instagram
References and Links Mentioned:
- Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
- Billy Gene's website
- Hustle and Flowchart Masterclass #84 with Matt & Joe
- Hustle and Flowchart Masterclass #85 with Dennis Yu
- Are you about ready to dive in and let paid traffic work for you yet? Check out the how to here if you’re finally ready to slay it online.
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Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Hustle & Flow Chart Podcast! If the information shared in these weekly conversations and interviews have helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you!
Joe: Hey Billy, how you doing man?
Billy: Yo, Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo, what's up?
Joe: Great man. Um, I don't know if you, uh, let's see. It was back in, I think it was a Speakeasy mastermind. That's when you and I talking obviously I think you were there for like the speed dating or something or other, but we were hitting it off. We were talking about, uh, you know, we're both, we're all from San Diego, but east county specifically, which was kind. We're in Mount Helix right now. We're at my house, I'm in Mount Helix. I went to Valhalla High School.
Matt: Yeah. You know, like, Valhalla was literally, it's still around the corner from my parents' house was super close and I grew up like Rancho San Diego, like Hillsdale. I did like a play there. We, you know, the whole, the whole gambit. Played baseball there and the league like my whole life, like man, like this isn't my stomping grounds for real.
Joe: That's cool man. That's. Yeah, I live right around the street from Valhalla. So probably see your parents. That's Rad. I love it. And uh, obviously Padre fan were to see those videos, you know, you in the suite.
Matt: Yeah. You know what's funny is like, you know, obviously watch the Padres our entire lives. I've never really been a fan. But the games are fun to go to.
Matt: Dude. Yes, it's hard to just sit around and watch on TV, but they're super entertaining to just hang out and have some beers at. Billy: That's the model, the model. Matt: I mean they're not that fun to watch because they're usually not that good but well, you know, we have to. Joe: San Diego fans got to justify why we're watching our sports teams. So, you know, I love him. So one is that we have left so uh, yeah man. But yeah, we're at Speakeasy in that mastermind is a really cool time and yeah man, it's cool to connect with you there. But I mean I think everybody else out there who knows your name just sees you fricking everywhere. So, and obviously, it's very deliberate, but
Billy: this month we've been spending almost $30K a day on ads. Dude…
Matt: We'll definitely dig into that. But let's, um, let's start where we start with everybody and kind of get your backstory. Anybody who doesn't know who you are, how you got to where you are. Let's, uh, let's go there a little bit and find out a little bit about you.
Billy: Yeah. Like, I, I would hate to use all our podcasts, start with my story because it gets boring as shit. So I'll give like the really like high level. Perfect. One raised in San Diego, University of San Diego didn't finish my last class. Went to Cabo instead with my ex-girlfriend. Never graduated. Started a mobile oil change company. We come to you that went out of business, got a job at 24-hour fitness, checking in people car got towed. It needed a lot of money. Had to upgrade my job to a job at a call center, selling online degrees. The ironic part was I did not get my degree, but I did find out that I found the CEO of the company made $25,000,000 in a fucking year. So I said, okay, well I need to get into this internet stuff. That's where the passion was kind of sparked.
Billy: Um, I ended up licensing a program to help people quit smoking and quit drinking and I sold it in an online classroom format. It was called rethink and relive and through trying to sell those courses is how I learned about like Facebook and all stuff. And then I separated from that company. We kind of parted ways and moved back in with my parents' house. They finally forgive me and then I started my agency and I started my Facebook ad agency, not because I wanted to start a damn agency but because I knew how to use Facebook and I needed money. So I started hitting up companies to see if I can run ads for them and see if they pay me. And sure enough, some said yes. That ended up turning into like a thousand clients. And um, then that ended up turning to people saying, well, how are you getting these results? How are you getting the results that turned into like teaching coaching consultant? And that turned into, well shit, I didn't graduate college, didn't really prepare me at all and now we're kind of at like full on war with college and we just enrolled our 5,000 member and to our membership site and the whole things about teaching entrepreneurial skills, they will not learn in school the end.
Joe: And that was an amazing summary. Take Note. Know that about yourself. Now I know the, um, because I've seen you tell that story about the university or college or you're working for and I know a bunch of people that actually worked in that same office building
Billy: If you're from San Diego. Everybody has at least one or two people that worked at Ashford.
Joe: Yup. Yup. And, and everybody says, yeah, there was some good money made. Obviously, the higher-ups making a lot of it, but it was like fuck, it's a horrible, you know, it's just like, Yup. But I'm sure you took a lot of stuff from there. Maybe sales, you know, sales team,
Billy: incredible. I like it. I would not change the experience right. Granted, my position is on it at this point, but I will not change the fact I went through that. It taught me so much. Um, so I'm, I'm happy that I.
Joe: Yeah, and I liked that you said the agency, um, because we had an agency for years and we always kind of saw it in the same exact reason you said, but it's amazing because if you have an agency, you're almost getting paid to learn. You're just constantly experimenting. Exactly. It's people's money. Exactly.
Billy: I tell people that all the time. I said we'll never, no matter how large our courses, we will never ever stopped doing agency work because that's where we learned the most and will always be practitioners of what we do.
Joe: and that's the only way to learn. I mean, it's, it's this, the best way to learn. You have to start applying that stuff. So no solid story. Uh, so agency, so that. So where are you at right now? So you have the agency side, you have the membership. What does that mean?
Billy: The motto with the agency though, so like when I was really doing it at scale, it was all about working with franchises, right? So we did local lead gen for like almost every health and wellness fitness franchise that you can name of that you see outside. That was like our bread and butter. That was our sweet spot. Now the model has shifted to equity deals and partnerships because what I realized is through doing all of that, I'm sitting here getting paid out monthly, which at the time it was great. It was more money than I've ever made. But then I realized, wait a second, we just brought this gym, 600 members that are paying 170 bucks a month forever and I'm getting paid how much I'm like, this is fucking stupid. And so the skills that just kind of like, you know, I started to be aware like holy cow, like there's not a lot of people in the world who can really do this like that. And as a result, I was like, well, if anybody comes now it's 30 K in front and I'm taking at least 25 percent of your business or not having a conversation.
Joe: There you go, man. I mean, we'd been burned, you know, with uh, our, our agency, you know, you do the best work possible. There's everything is increasing in say a new marketing manager comes in on their team to bring in my own marketing crew. You online marketing crew, you're out. Or like you said, yeah, you're making them a shit ton of money. Oh, I'm still capped at whatever retainer.
Do What You Already Know For Dough
Billy: Exactly, man. So that's when it all changed for me. I just said, no, I'm just not going to do it like this. But the beautiful part is once you have the skillset, you can monetize it any way you want to tell people. I'm like, dude, just learn how to get customers using online as in you'll be able to make as much money as you want. Simple. Yeah. I mean, we had a very similar, uh, experience with agency work where we were doing agency work and then some of the products that we were promoting as an agency, we found out how to affiliate programs, so they were actually paying us on retainer. We were five grand a month to work with us. We are a content marketing agency and we're growing, growing, growing their business, and we realized they have an affiliate program where they going to pay 50 percent commissions if we make sales on their products. So what we did instead was we left the agency business, turned around, promoted the exact same products we are promoting before as an agent. How much more money did you make? Oh, it went from $5K a month on one specific product in general went from $5K a month to $30K a month.
Billy: That's the wisdom that comes with being in business though, right? You understood that there was a better way to do it and to make more money for doing the same exact thing you were doing. And that's. I tell people like if you're navigating this business role without a coach, you may think you're doing good, but in actuality, you may be missing the entire enchilada.
Joe: Yeah, 100 percent. And it's that lateral thinking. It's just getting out of that box a bit, but you got to get your feet wet somehow. So I love that. The agency is like the best battle, you know? It's like that's your best school right there. There you go. Get in there and do it. So. So your outward appearance, man, you're on every platform I can even think of. I don't know. Twitter. Are you on Twitter?
Billy: That's the one we actually don't fuck with Twitter that much money because…
Matt: We actually had a call with Vince Reed. Vince Reed was really, really talking about the power of Twitter and how to…
Billy: I need to. I need to get on. And he tells me, he's like, hey Bill, you've been on Twitter yet though? I'm like, no, I haven't, but I'll do it. I swear I love it. Well, but it seems like you've kind of got a system down there once somebody enters your ecosystem one they discover you once, they can't get rid of you. You're, you're, you're everywhere. I go to Youtube, I see you. I go to Facebook, I see you. I flipped through my Instagram stories. I see you everywhere now. You know, it was, it was like I am learning about the advantages of brand when before, when I looked, I came into this agency thing, it was very simple.
Billy: If I didn't make the client money, they wouldn't pay me. So like I, I never had the luxury of not being able to not be good because I wouldn't make any money in to do that. Direct responses were the customers ended up seeing that return and that's what they were willing to pay a high price for it. So my whole foundation training and learning was about direct response acquisition. So I got good at the hardship first and then what I've realized over the last, like four years of probably advertising pretty heavily to build our brand. All of a sudden it's finally paying off monetary. Like we'll get people that just go to our website and buy stuff now that sounds kind of small and insignificant, but that Shit never happened before, you know, and so I'm starting to see it and then like, you know, the speaking gigs are common and then like the cool podcasts and all these things and all the opportunities that I always went like damn, I should probably do those things now they're happening. But it took millions and millions and millions of dollars to build the brand. It took so many, you know what I mean? So like I'm really understanding the value of building something kind of longterm and going all in on brand.
Matt: Yeah. No, I love that because I mean if you're just a direct response marketer, all your focus is just let's drive some traffic to this landing page and try to sell them. Well, you know, 97, 98 percent of the people that land on the side of it, like I don't know this fucking guy. And they're going, they're going to click away. Now when you have someone like you know, your, your credibility of your brand or like a Tai Lopez brand where you just see them everywhere, they land on the page and they go, Oh, I've seen this guy around, this guy's doing good shit because I've been seeing them everywhere. So what he's doing must be working and it just, you know, it's like an invisible conversion booster almost.
Billy: Oh yeah, it is. It's extreme. Like we're, we're doing another 2-3000 bucks a day on our website because when we run ads we're getting like people that just come there and they buy and here's the messed up part is I was ignoring that dude for like, I don't know, years. And then finally one of my team members, he goes, Bro, like at my previous job was like, we made so much money from a website, can you just allow me to just put up like a whatever basic wordpress site and like one that you're do it and the next thing you know, two to three k every day. I'm like, wow, how much money was I sitting on from being so resistant to change, Lazy, whatever the hell you want to call it, and I've just missed out on all that money for being fucking stupid.
Joe: Yeah, you live and learn, man. But we've taken the branding approach. I mean, we've had a, what Roland Frasier on the podcast recently, Dennis Yu, all talking about, you know, all their different Facebook strategies, the daily videos, whatever you want to do. But if you pump a little bit of traffic behind there, have zero laser, laser, laser targeting, maybe go a little wider. Um, it's amazing how many, how often we'll go to meetups. Masterminds are like, dude, I see your shit everywhere, everywhere. I'm like, it doesn't take a lot of money.
Billy: Well, it's always fun. That's what people don't understand. It doesn't take a lot of money. And here's the thing, if you're making more money than you spend, you actually get paid to build your brand.
The True ROI
Matt: For sure. Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of people just get scared away by the fact that if I run an ad and all it's doing is growing my brand, making me seem more, I don't see a direct ROI on that. And I think that's where people kind of get hung up. I mean, what, what sort of advice would you give to people who get hung up on, on, you know, I'm spending money on, on pumping this video everywhere, but I can't see an ROI on my Facebook ads platform so it doesn't make sense to keep running it.
Billy: Well then ask them the simple question like how long do you plan on being in business? You know, if this is like something you just got into to like make a quick buck. Well maybe you don't give a fuck and you're probably going to go out of business anyway. Um, but if you want to last, that's what it takes. But then I also, I'll kind of dive into that and I'll flip it. So what I've learned is that you can make money the first time someone sees you. And this is an unpopular topic that is not spoken about a lot right now because everyone's living in the layers of, well you show them once and then you have to retarget them and then you do this and they didn't do this and then you can ask them for sale. But how many times have we all been at a fair?
Billy: A motherfucker pulls out some nice, does this crazy demonstration with tomatoes as a slap chop or whatever the hell it is. And they're like, oh my God, I think I want to be a chef. And you buy a pair of a thousand dollars nights and you're like, what the fuck just happened? I came to the fair to play games and I just walked out with knives and that's what I want to remind everybody online is it's just become more challenging to make cells. You can still do it, but the difference is entertainment is required now. So people will see our ads and shit online. Like, oh my gosh, like why does he do all this work? It just seems like so much work. It's like, no dude, that's the magic sauce. That's why we can run an ad from the very first time, get people to buy and be Roi positive in two hours and outspend everybody because of it. So guys, if you know how to sell and you can entertain people, you can ask for the fucking sell right away. Now, most people won't buy it, but enough people will buy to make your ads profitable quick. I love it. Or they'll share it or they'll tell everybody. That's another.
Matt: Think about the videos that you do, the, you know, the obviously you've got multiple styles of videos, you've got the sort of bigger budget videos and then you got the ones where, you know, you got your iPhone or I guess for you, not an iPhone but you got your phone inside of your office and walking around and showing behind the scenes stuff. But the big budget videos that I see all the time, you always look the loam and there's shared 400 times. They're sharing adds 400 times, you know, like what kind of ads get shared around. Like that
Billy: dude, it's crazy. And like, I, that's something that we always sleep on, like when we're sitting there planning our promotions and stuff, we always forget like, Holy Shit, people will share the hell out of this and most of our best performing ads are the simple ones that you're talking about, which is like one camera in the office, me like teaching or something like that. Um, but the ones that are always remembered, other production ones where we go out, those are the ones that makes it, oh, you're that guy. Or like even to the office today. I said, oh, some guy beating his chest from like our wolf of paid advertising that we did. That's where like, you're resonating with your audience, you know?
Three “E's” Model
Joe: Yeah. So we, we, uh, we watched the most recent episode with Ezra Firestone.
Billy: Oh yeah. He's a badass shout, shout, shout. Shout out to everybody. You guys have had shout out to all of them.
Joe: Hell yeah, they're listening. Damn it. But you had a three-part thing. You said it kind of quick and I think he dug in a little bit, but it was the whole entertain, educate, execute. And in that order, let's dive into that because it seems like that's just the backbone of everything you do.
Matt: So just to clarify, before you dive in, are we correct in thinking that you actually put entertainment above the actual education when it comes to these like branding ads?
Billy: Yes. And it's. It sounds weird. It's like that. Most people say, well, that's fluff. That's bullshit. No, listen, it's if you, if no one's listening to you, it doesn't matter what the fuck you say. Let me repeat that. If they can't hear you, then you can say the smarter you can, you can literally spit out the cure to cancer. Who Cares? I want to hear you. So the first step is entertainment. Aka get attention in getting the attention to weird things because people have to realize that getting attention is about meeting the customers where they're at, not where you're at. So for example, at this point in my life I realized that money does not make you happy, right?
Billy: Success is different than fulfillment. But if I go out with an advertisement that says, hey, you want to be successful, but you should focus on fulfillment and doing good for others, it's like, all right, you're corny out enough. But if I create an advertisement and it's me driving around in a Ferrari with my daughter, people are going to be like, uh, this guy's kind of a Douche, but I'm interested because I've always wanted a Ferrari my entire life. How the fuck did he get it? Even the people that don't like you were like, ah, this is full of Shit, but let me watch this to see how he did it. And then the good people are like, oh, there he is again. That's cool. I'm inspired. Right. So you, like, a lot of people are uncomfortable with this notion of kind of doing douchey things to get intention now?
Billy: No, if they're douchey to me, they're required to help people. Like I don't show people like my cars or my office or you know, all the cool shit, the trips and all that stuff because I give a fuck. I'm there, I have it. I don't need to show it. I do it because they care, regardless if they admit it or not and they respond. My best organic post of all time was a picture of my fucking Ferrari that includes the birth of my child. Wow. People swear they don't care about all of the materialistic shit, but let me be very clear that is fucking wrong. So once I had their attention, then I get their name, email, and phone number. Now I'm going to say, by the way, the fact that you clicked on an ad because I had a Ferrari. Well, you're a douche bag and that's okay because I'm going to show you and educate you on how not to be that way and what you should really be caring about, but I've got to earn the attention first and then you educate and once you educate, it's all about taking action. That's the execution.
Joe: Mm. Love it. Yeah, and that's the thing like everybody or a lot of people, including us, we've been guilty of it a lot, is you have straight to the education phase and it's like, yeah, you might be putting some great as value out there. Maybe the best traffic secret, whatever it could be, and like you said, if you don't have that attention and that prior entertainment phase and then what's that going to do? And I think it's helping you with putting your daughter in the backseat there in her car seat and a Ferrari.
Billy: See, that's the, that's the counteract goes. Yeah. You know, you're like, oh, you're such a douche. And you're like, wow, that is kind of cute. Daddy's daughter. Exactly man. Huge. But at least he's a family man. I love it.
Joe: What's the thought pattern be trying these higher production video you put out there. So you know, like, I'm sure there's a lot of thinking behind it. You said with the uh, think you watched a movie for, I think it was The Last Showman.
Billy: The Greatest Showman. Yeah, it's about two things. Zags and trends. And what I mean by that is the reason why we go all out on our video, because since I can remember, and I think you guys, in particular, be able to relate to this, but like I felt like the whole entire digital marketing slash internet marketing space has like, it's very incestual in it, like it copies each other, right? So everybody in the industry was just doing videos with like texts and reading along that was like the whole beginning of the video sales letter. And then after that it became like these, these whiteboard drawings that you could hire out and like, and everyone just follows us and I just go like a, does anybody see this? But this is boring as fuck. Like, am I the only one not seeing this? And so I started doing these crazy video productions and they're great effective.
Billy: I've bought many times from those by the way. So everyone listening do not think that those don't work. But for me, I was like, man, if everyone in the freaking marketplace is all doing these types of videos, if I want people to remember me, I can't do that. So I literally do these productions because I want to be seen in a different light than that. The reason why we don't talk about like our online courses and we talk about the fact that we're competing with college is because when people associated with us, I don't want them to be like, well, who's digital marketing course to buy? I want them to go, well shit. Do I send my kid to, you know, this. Is this program, this MBA program, or do I just put them in the gene pool? That's the conversation I want to have with our brands.
Billy: Um, so it's about zagging and then trends. A lot of the times you see us do a video, I'll do it based on what people want to see. So yes, when I did an advertisement that was a parody of the greatest showman, it's because it was an entrepreneurial movie that won a bunch of awards. I saw it in theaters and I knew it was going to win a bunch of awards. So I knew what would have a, a great weapon half when I did the wolf of paid advertising, advertise we did, which is a parody of the Wolf of Wall Street is because it's one of the greatest business movies of all time and we don't have a ton of movies out there representing us and I knew my audience would relate to that. So I follow the trends and you guys can use Google trends and they'll tell you things that people are chatting about and that allows to, I guess the virality of it for it to get shared, commented and engaged on.
Joe: Yeah, that makes sense. And I like what you said the, the zag at first is you're almost bringing in this higher level a thinking behind everything you're doing. So you have a mission to go to college. You have that mission for, you know, I don't know, it's like screwed up ads, you know, like you got some fucked up ads, I'm here to fix it, but I'm sure there's a higher mission everything you're doing there.
Billy: Exactly. And then. And also to just building the team and culture and Shit. Like giving everyone that purpose and just reminding them like, hey guys, like even though we're in this office behind computers, don't forget every single day we're changing lives, read our inboxes, look at our comments, you know, talk with the students, like listen to every single day. It's almost like an, you know, you get desensitized a little bit because you're in the habit of doing something but like never take that for granted, you know? And so just consistent reminding ourselves of like, you know, the why.
Tips For The Camera Shy
Matt: Yeah, yeah. This question might seem kind of random and out there. You don't strike me as someone who is, you know, got any sort of self-confidence issues, but, you know, what would you say to somebody who wants to kind of put themselves out there more, make more videos, do the high production value, but maybe they're just like uncomfortable on camera. Do you ever. Do you ever. Do you have any advice towards those types of people?
Billy: Yeah, man, that's, that's a fantastic question. Well, first things first is I believe, and this is just my belief, but I believe we're in a time right now where, and this is actually been since the beginning of time as people buy from people they trust, right? But just like there was a time when websites first came out and then there was a whole bunch of entrepreneurs in the world was like, you know, you don't really need a website who uses a website and then websites became standard and everybody who didn't have a website got left behind and they went out of business and then this thing called Facebook came up and they're like, I'm not getting on that social media stuff. That's weird. That done and businesses blew up. Brands blew up. And then finally everybody came into the market. Comes market comes. I think we're in that right now with video more than ever because if all of us are deciding to go to a restaurant, to an event to whatever, and you go to a website and they have a really good video that tells the story of why you should go.
Billy: I mean it's gonna win almost every fucking time for sure. You know, and so I think it's just a matter of time before people just go out into business. So one thing I would tell people is like, look, either get the fuck over it or go out of business. I genuinely believed that. But then also too in regards to like getting the confidence to do it is I believe confidence can only really be earned from results. And it starts usually when you meet someone and there's not a ton of confidence is because they just haven't been celebrated enough for their wins and their life. And not to go too much into psychology, but the same person who is lacking with confidence. The first questions I would ask them, I say, what were you like in high school? And I bet you you will see a direct correlation with whether they were part of a sports team.
Billy: You know, whether they were a part of ASB or whether they did like the prom king and King's quarter Queen's Court, whatever it may be. If you look at their activities and then once you understand their activities, you ask them another layer and you say, cool, well what was your role on the team? Okay, well where are you on the football team, but did you never play? Did you only get one play? What would that do to your confidence where you spend the majority of your puberty going through behind somebody else? Never getting a chance to shoot and people only commended you for supporting somebody else. All that shit carries. So I think I got lucky and I'm really bad at most things, but I was always decent at some things that allowed me to receive some compliment, some accolades that built my confidence, but confidence is transferable into different parts.
Billy: So I kind of built my confidence there, but when I got into videos, I did that because of a lack of confidence. Let me explain. When I was out there selling to business owners and agencies, I actually got really, really intimidated because I was freaking 23, didn't graduate college from Uc San Diego. I dropped out. Um, I'm fucking, I curse like a sailor. I'm loud. I'm black and I'm selling to these 45-year-old white people with degrees, with successful businesses and I need to tell them to let to trust me with their business, which is how they provide for their family. And so I got so psyched out and so scared about it. I was like, well, if I come to these people, I need this. I need to have more proof than anybody else because nothing sells like proof regardless of what color you are.
Billy: So I was like, okay, I'm going to just feel myself and show the results of what I'm doing for other clients so that they have to hire me because I'll be undeniable. So I did these videos showing showcasing basically the results I had for previous clients and as a result of making those videos, I got confident because people started to pay me. And then at this point in my career when people see me, it's like, dude, I mean I've had way more els than I've had wins, but I've had so many wins. It's hard to shake my confidence now because now we've just done it too many times. But that was built, it didn't start that way and it sounds like part of that is going deep too. It's not going wide and being a jack of all trades really fucking good with ads is what it sounds like.
Billy: It wasn't my thing, man. It's still. It's still the thing that when I sit in a room with these really, really successful, bad as entrepreneurs who have way more cash than me, have accomplished way more than me. I still sit there with my chest high because guess what? Every single company that they have needs more customers and I can do that better than them right now. So I have my thing and that's why I'm obsessed with learning and I'm a student that I pay so much for coaching so that I always have this edge wherever I go to where it's. I know something that you doubt. That's even why I went to Youtube and everybody was on Facebook because I felt like, oh shit, people are starting to come into my space. Then I went Youtube. It's like, okay cool. I have a jump again and wants this. When more people start coming to Youtube, I'll go to something else and always be talking about that next thing.
Joe: So you got, you got two things that you just said I want to bring up. First one being where do you go to learn? So who do you follow? What kind of resources do you tap to always be on the leading edge?
Always Be Learning
Billy: Good question. So peer mentors and then also like paid mentors, I'll call them Mike. And the trick for me is not looking at mentorship of Oh I just need a business coach. You have specific problems that you're facing at specific times and you need to find a coach that's going to solve that problem at that time. So for example, Cameron Herold, coo of one 800 got junk was there when the company went from 2 million to $100 million. Great. That sounds like somebody who's steps ahead of us because we're going to come up on 10 mill this year. I want to go to 100. That's a good. That's a person to hire. He's been to the process. I did not. So I'll pay him. You know, six or seven grand a month to talk for 90 minutes every, every other week, you know what I mean, because the mistakes get so great, but he can help me in that, um, for personal development and like spiritual shit. I got this Guy Jim Bunch who's a bad ass entrepreneur. He has been through a lot of shit that saved me a lot of mistakes there for direct response like Frank Kern. I hired him for awhile, you know, because it was like I need someone who really knows the shit. I learned a lot of stuff from him. So getting a mentor for these specific problem was probably is still today key to our thing. Youtube, when I needed Youtube, I fucking paid someone 10 grand and I flew him out here the next day to teach me Youtube.
Joe: Damn, that's A. Alright. So we're gonna touch on Youtube in one sec, but it's funny that you brought up Frank. Um, I just saw one of his most recent ads. He's going around, he's talking about branding now with a direct response and you know, he's always been a direct response guys. So it sounds like you're kind of wearing off on him a little bit.
Billy: So he's, he's, he's, you see Frank, he's coming up on his social game and he's doing it. It's like, that's what I'm saying. It's like the industry is changing so much. Like even the ogs who have the list in the positioning and everything. They have to play ball too. That's why this video, this social stuff like no one's immune. Everyone's got to get going.
Joe: Hell yeah, I love it. So Youtube ads, this is. This is something that I know that we selfishly just want to learn, like homopho. Always be honest about that. Where's a good place to start here? Because I'm sure there's a lot we can go down.
Billy: I would say is because I think a lot of people here too, or at least familiar with Facebook. I listening today, I will tell you this about Youtube. It's the same shit. That's the first place to start is almost every feature that you can do on Facebook. Almost not all you can also do on Youtube and then you realize that Cheryl who is over with team Facebook was with team Google before and indeed most of the shit and the Facebook does was because of Google. They're actually the ogs. So like it's funny because everyone's like, oh you do have they trying to get into Facebook scan? Like no dude, they started bagging.
Billy: So a lot of things are the same. For example, you know you can use look alike audiences, but instead of look alike audiences, they call them similar to audiences. So that's the type of shit. When I say it's like the same, it's the same. The other thing is it's the dashboard is just separate like you have to get used to kind of like just the language of it, but honestly if you have, you both jumped in there and just spend a week in there, you're like literally feel comfortable and you feel like you're riding a bike. Now, strip strategy wise, there's three major ways that I like to do targeting on Youtube. And number one is your typical like interest based, right? So we advertise the entrepreneurs all day and um, you know, so we just literally advertise to the people who already have big followings on Youtube, you know, we do the Grant Cardone's, we advertise a shitload on Gary's stuff.
Billy: We advertise, you know, Tai Lopez stuff. So, you know, when I go and I do like interviews or anything with them, a lot of their audience will know us because we've been inception that shit for awhile. Um, and so that's the biggest thing. So, interest, I would really like, uh, the influencers, whoever already has your following go, go get it from them for targeting. Do you just target anybody who watches any video on their channel or do you target specific videos on their channel? Can put in your keyword, Greg, Gary Vaynerchuk and it will go from there. Um, also too, we do target certain channels. So for example, there's a lot of on Youtube, there's a lot of channels that I'm just, uh, have entrepreneurial content, right? Like motivational shit, whatever. People are looking to be inspired. Those are fantastic groups to target. So I have to give you guys an idea of how hard we are going to Youtube.
Billy: I have two people whose full time job is just to manage our Youtube ads, not for our clients, for Billy Gene Is Marketing Inc fulltime all at the time. Salary, high salary paid employees. That's it. And so keyword wise, we got like thousands and thousands and thousands from just testing. Seeing what works in St Louis doesn't. Um, also too, like any, any, anyone that has like software channels, like whatever your customer is searching for is what you need to be bidding on, you know, whatever the how to get more customers. Okay. You should be bidding on that and showing your videos. Um, so some of the search terms we'll bid on also. Um, and then also to their partner websites. There's a lot of websites that allow video advertising like your Forbes and all that and don't sleep on those. Like people. People don't understand the backend stuff. So you can pay right now like one to ten cents per view to have your video is shown on Forbes. So do we get in there? Is that, is that actually Youtube like,
Joe: Hey now, so how do we get in there? Is that, is that actually from Youtube or
Billy: It's from you to0 right. So you're creating your ad and it's basically just the placement, you know, essentially to summarize it without going on techie and shit. But yeah, that's, that's it. So you just, you literally just, that's, that's the fun thing about all this is like once you're in there you realize like, man, that's how these guys are doing this. It's kind of one of those, that's all it is. Obviously there's a strategy to it and all that, but you know what I mean,
Joe: For sure. And without that strategy, I mean, no, we went deep on this with Vince Reed and you know, yeah, you could be all tactical all day long, but without that strategy that ties all that stuff together, that's the magic sauce.
Billy: Oh, that'd be exactly. And so, um, and then one thing I won't go into just because it's like a lot is like bidding strategy. That's like the advanced, like you know, there, there are really cool ways to bid. One thing everyone should be aware of is on Youtube. They don't charge you unless someone watches 30 seconds of your video. A lot of people are not aware of that, so you can go and advertise and when people aren't clicking your stuff. Talk about branding since that's been a big discussion today and I'm getting branded for free all day long on a lot of the stuff you know. So it's, it's huge. And also too, the biggest thing about Youtube I want everyone to recognize is when someone sees your stuff on Facebook, it's also surrounded by two post on top and underneath that post a lot of the time and then there's the right column and then there's a messenger box at the bottom right.
Billy: They're very distracted when they're on Youtube. People are literally searching for something and waiting to watch something and you get those five seconds of uninterrupted messaging. So from a brand perspective, what Youtube has done for me personally, now that we've been on Youtube for like almost two years, like going pretty hard in the 18 months. I'm telling you guys, every single time I walk outside I'm recognized and most of the time it's from Youtube, not Facebook. I believe 100 percent. Yeah, so it's just powerful. So you guys want anyone listening, you want to build a brand, go all in on Youtube because it's like, especially like a real estate agent, right? Like dude, if you're a realist, the different stops spending money on to have your face on a bench so you can feel good, but all that money on Youtube, in the zip code, in Facebook and Instagram, you will be the most famous person in that zip code. You won't even be able to walk outside and get coffee without anyone saying that real estate guy, aren't you?
Joe:: Yeah, I love that. Now, what type of. What type of content do you put it in? Those videos to grab attention within that first five to 30 seconds.
Billy: All problem solving. So I do a simple exercise where I take out a blank piece of paper and I draw a giant capitalized t, the letter t on a piece of paper and on the left hand side I write problem and the right side I write solution and I'll write the top like 10 or 20 problems that might idel customer's faces. And I literally will put down the solution and then boom, I'm done. That's my video content. So as far as like, well, what do I say? What do I talk about with solve a different problem that day. Make them three to five minutes, boom, you're fucking golden. But here's the catch at the end of all those, always ask for the sale. So you start off the video at that first five seconds of asking that question, I'm, hey, hey, hey. Like a, do you need more customers?
Billy: Right? Like do you need more customers? And you're tired of overpaying for like trade shows, which take a bunch of time. And everybody's tire kickers dot well, why aren't you using heads like this? So I posed the question, something like that. Right? And then also too, I always include props and music and environment and all of them. So you know, maybe it's an oversized calculator, maybe it's a giant box, maybe it's anything abnormal that people wouldn't typically see is, is the whole the whole gambit. Next is music, audio, jungle.net. You can search for music by emotion. You can use it legally for eight bucks, buying the song. Third is environment. Choose somewhere that people don't typically see. So when you pose a question to solve the greatest problem that they're facing, include all three of those elements regardless if you're a camera person or not, you can all do this.
Billy: And then you spend the core of the video demonstrating how to solve that problem. Results in advance. Frank Kern talks about it all the time. Yeah, and then you end it with click this button and I will give you more like, hey, that was helpful. Cool. But you're really gonna love this. Click here and being obnoxious with the call to action because on Youtube there's a timer and once it goes away they cannot click back on Facebook. It kind of sits there. Youtube, you got to get them to click. So you got to go all in on the clit, maybe even do it. And then for 30 seconds just talk about people clicking the button. That's what we do all the time. And uh, then once they click out, capture their information, you get that name, email and phone number, text messages is a big part of our game right now. Uh, but, uh, that's the case man. And then just fucking sell them something, help them so much where they just can't imagine not buying from you.
Joe: Oh, talk about that text really quick because that's, I think a lot of people are just scared of, oh, I don't want a phone number because you know, they're not going to. Conversion rate's going to go down the road. We got like 200,000 of them so people will give it.
Billy: And in the entrepreneurial space and um, dude who's just, it's simple, we use the same message to who and where should we send this and text it to you give them a reason. You give them a fucking reason and. Oh, okay. Well that makes sense and that it's appreciated. Yeah. Actually I'd prefer them texted to me.
Joe: Yeah. Well it's, it's for a lot of people they're just like, Bam, I don't want to go check an email. I just want it right there on my phone. Exactly what, uh, what tool are you using for that one?
Billy: We use, I think we're using Twillio on some of it and uh, we use, we use easy texting, sometimes too expensive and kind of a whatever, but it allows you to blast people if you just want to blow the numbers, easy to easy. The letters texting, that's easy. But a toilet is another one. I think we use one more too. I got asked. Ask the team.
Joe: Yeah. How about Messenger bots? All that fun stuff. Are you guys big on live chat and all that stuff? Once I get there,
Billy: We tested some things. We've done some things with it. We're not crazy about it. Um, it can work. It's good. I got some friends absolutely killing it with it. Um, but uh, just haven't, haven't really played with it a ton, you know, I have a hard time where it's like we want them to subscribe, but we also want their name, email and phone number, you know what I mean? It's almost like you have to choose up to some extent and then even when you have them both on the same page using some external text, it costs, it raises your customer leading and it distracts them from going to the next steps of the funnel. So there's challenges with it. Um, I, I'm a, I'm a fan of right now building up our database hard man. We're getting like, you know, frigging anywhere from a thousand to 4,000 leads a day and just depending on the spin in this, like you know, those people like right now and we'd like you to sell an event or anything.
Billy: It just feels like a weight off my shoulders knowing that we can just send a couple emails, a couple of texts on my live calls on Tuesdays and boom and stuff. Keeping your lane right there. Now I noticed, I don't know if you're still doing this or not, but a few months back you were running, you know, actual physical billboards, you know, we're in San Diego, so we were seeing them. I'm assuming that was kind of a marketing experiment. Um, how, how did that go for, you know, what was the, what was the thinking behind it and how did that pan out for you? The thinking behind it was positioning association and what you just said, that experiment. I said, well, you know, we're paying for traffic on Facebook. Um, what if we just pay someone else and just bring it to the same exact funnel? Funnels are great.
Billy: So that's what we did. We had an automated webinar funnel for one of the first billboards and the entire thing was just like, you know, need more customers, click go here and people just register for the Webinar and the thing works. I mean they buy it, worked with the challenges. The billboard industry hasn't caught up to the pricing shifty yet, so it's hard to make it monetarily work. Like we lost a little bit of money on it, but I think one month we might've even broke even maybe a little under on that billboard, but that was an automated webinar funnel. High ticket sell at the end. Uh, you know, it was, it was interesting. I, for me, the bigger thing with the billboards was positioning. The only people you see on a billboard are fucking like course light. Oh yeah. You know the absolute biggest companies in the world.
Billy: So if the biggest companies in the world are doing it and then there's billy gene is marketing. Well shit these guys must be big. Do you know? So the positioning. But then also too, the reason I was willing to make the investment because for most people the billboard is a one time, three-week promotion me. I'm like bitch, please, I'm turning that shit into a Youtube ad, a billboard that lasts forever and forever. Give me the position. So now if you look at our videos, you'll see on our billboards, like subtly in the background all of the time.
The Billboard That Keeps On Giving
Matt: I love that. I mean another sort of like. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I remember when you got your first billboard, I think you posted a picture of it on Facebook and then a shit ton of people started sharing the post about you putting up the billboards. And then an entire debate ensued in the helmets about whether or not it was a good idea and just that was like a viral post it
Billy: It was, it was honestly like, because of that, all of our billboards have been ROI positive. But if I'm just going billboard to like mechanism, you know, they're whatever. But like when I go like billboard to share people to tell them I got a billboard, it's like, Whoa, this was great. I could see that work. And you're still running them or is that kind of experiment over for now? One more time. Alright. Are you still running those billboards?
Billy: We're not right now. We, I think the Max we did, we did like four at a time one time. That may have been when you guys saw them. That's 36 grand. I was going to say three and a half weeks. Um, so for us right now, no, I would definitely do a billboard again for something, but I would leverage it the same way we just talked about, you know, like don't go into the billboard with like, oh I need my business to build off this. Just, you know, it's a, it's a piece of the equation.
Joe: Makes Sense. Makes Sense. So I want to go back really quick and uh, to, to your team, your office, all of that stuff. I think you're, you're downtown, right? San Diego, yeah. So what was that shift? So building a team, you know, a lot of people. Yeah, they'll hire a va to start or maybe a project manager's support person. How did that look like for you? Because now you have, how many people do you have there?
Billy: Twenty, 25 of us or something like that and I think will be a 30 by the end of the year.
Joe: Yeah, for a lot of people that's a big hurdle to get over is to start hiring and hire that many people to.
Billy: Yeah, there's two things that happened with that. One, I was solo and I was making money and I walked into my boss's office and like they were like shooting basketball, drinking beer and there was a couple of people there and I was like, I was lucky, like jealous and I just, I, you know, I totally get jealous. You say some stupid hater shit. All of us do, including myself, and I hit him up. I was like, man, this is cool and all. But like, dude, what's your overhead expenses like this is this, what the hell, like, you know, trying to almost make him feel bad for doing it. He goes, let me ask you a question. Would you rather build a dream by yourself or would you rather build it with your friends? I said, well, fuck you very much again, and from that moment on I made the decision, but the reason why most entrepreneurs and just most entrepreneurs listening to this podcast right now, we'll go and hire the employees is because a lack of predictability with sales.
Billy: Because once you get employees, that's a, that's an expense that's always there, but cells aren't always there. And the reason why I do is because most people don't have a predictable way to get customers Aka Funnel, Aka advertising that works. And so remember, like when I like got going, that's how I came up as indirect response. And so for me, I had this funnel that like made me 10 grand in a day. We went from broke and my mom's house the next 10 grand because so many people scheduled appointment, I sold him on the phone once. I had that know for a while and I realized I can press a button and get clients just like that. My fears of getting an office and doing all of those things have diminished. They didn't go away. They were just smaller. I still had that. Like, oh my God, what am I doing?
Fear Less Expand More
Billy: And it's like anything else, right? You do something long enough and then go like, right now I'm like, shit, I'd better have 500 k the bank to make sure everything goes. At one point I literally would have had a heart attack and die. Now I'm like, is this player ever do it? It's just practice, right? Just do it and you get used to it. Who was your first hire? An account manager to help me fulfill on the clients that I was selling. A lot of times people get stuck because they go sell, sell, sell, and then the saless they try and fulfill and when they fulfilled themselves they stopped selling and they keep running back and forth. Some people do that their entire career. Thirty, 40 years. Uh, so I hired someone to fulfill and I had to train them on how to do the Facebook ads that I could focus on selling. And then once I had enough people to fulfill, then it was like, okay, I need someone to sell it so I can't do it. And then operations comes in and everything else
Joe: that's. I think that's super smart and people should probably resonate with that because we've been in agencies, partnered with them. That's how we kinda got our agency off the ground was leveraged other successful agencies locally just for other aspects just bolt on. But some of the ones that went down that we were partners with or even other ones we've seen, they're really fucking good salespeople, but the delivery just might be a little shaky. And it's like, dude, your reputation, you have to give that value. You gotta keep selling like you said as well. Um, yeah, I don't. It's just, uh, it's, it's interesting. I'm happy you said that the fulfillment, because that's something that Kinda gets a lacking when you're out there just hustling, you know?
Billy: Right. Yeah, man, it's a real thing.
Joe: So what's a, because I know you want to scale up to 100 middle, you are scaling 100 Mil. What's the next step for you?
Billy: I it as a reference to other and actually caught myself turning 30 a few months ago and fucking and kind of looking at life and going through some transitions, I was like, you know what, like my, my life isn't to build a business, my businesses to fill my life and, and making this, making this transition. Um, I think for me it's, I've made the amount of money I make are now for the rest of my life. I'd be cool. Well actually I wanted to exit but I'd be cool if I did, if I want to get to a company to a place where it's so healthy, we're, all of my team is making great money. They're super proud. So like the financial stresses out of it and then I just want to use that money to grow our impact and just like help people and do cool shit.
Billy: Like do crazy ass marketing experiments and just fucking have fun. We stayed at $25 million a year and got there and we've stayed now, I don't want to say right now but at least say like 25 million a year and like did it and we were super fucking happy and everyone was owning what they wanted to see when we got to do all these fun marketing experiments, you know, connect with the largest entrepreneurs, musicians and athletes in the world and teach the world about business. Dude, I'm happy. That's a happy life. I can show it to my trainings on Tuesdays and spend the week with my team and family. Like, that's cool. You know, I think too many times we just fucking forget to set a destination. And as an entrepreneur you guys know how it is. We just fucking go and we forget like what? Hold on a second. What the fuck am I doing this in the first place? All the time. All the time.
Everyone's Favorite Part
Joe: Yeah. It's funny you say that man, because we say are our best. Our favorite part of the business is literally, this right here is the podcast. It's connected with new guys. It's at a totally deeper level than you normally ever would. Um, even if you're, you know, cause we do work out of our office for the most of our home offices. We collaborate and meet up all the time. We have an office here as well, but this is the funnest time is networking, masterminds, podcasts, and then educating too.
Billy: Training. It's fun, right? It's fucking fun. Love it has been fucking dope. Breath of fresh air, man. What do you have a. I was going to ask a wrap up question unless you had something else. No format. Cool. Yeah, so these are just kind of the last few questions that we always ask everybody. Do you have any books that you find yourself going back to recommending to scaling up? Verne Harnish, anyone building a business with employees and you're and you're really looking to grow. To me, it's the Bible. It makes you realize that your business is not unique at all. It's just another fucking business and you're at a different state that a million people who have gone through and you just need to learn how to operate at the next level. It's a step by step scaling up by Verne Harnish.
Joe: Nailed it. Is that perfect for. Would you recommend that to every business owner? Like even if they're. I don't know what
Billy: is there like a revenue when you're starting up and you know you're just trying to like figure out business. This is not the book for you. This is for the people who were like, you're already doing some revenue, at least a half a million, maybe a million a year, and you're like trying to put together a team and organization a movement. It's the Bible.
Joe: Yeah, that's exactly. Yeah. That's what I've always heard about it. So just wanted to make sure to put that out there. They're listeners. What's the best place to get ahold of him and I know you're everywhere, so give them the best players they can retire and get retargeted.
Billy: The best place you can get retargeted as billy gene is marketing. God, come there. There's some free trainings on there too for you guys. The best place to have fun with us. You will end up getting sold on something. It's just our Instagram. I've been going live on there personally a lot. Like a lot of people will see our stuff but you see our ads, right? So they're like, you know, scripted. But I've been personally just jumping on there, you know, talk a lot of shit, having a lot of fun to add some value. So follow us on Instagram. Just billy gene is marketing g, LG is marketing.
Joe: Man. Are you still at this Padre games all the time?
Billy: Um, we, the way we did our suite is like last year we did 10 games and like we realized like during the season we're like, uh, like three or four of them we didn't even really want to go to, but we pay for it. I was like, yes. So this year we did five games as the suite and it was perfect. It's like, you know, you go once a month, you bring the team, you bring some team members, some, some students and some clients. And it's been great.
Joe: I love it man. It's everything you're doing is just fun. So people just loosen up a little bit, shake it off, entertained, be fun, and then actually live it too. Don't just show it out there in the, in the world. And Andorra. Cool. Billy. Thank you man. I appreciate your time so much.
Billy: I appreciate you guys and everybody continue listening to this podcast. These people are bringing some serious value. Don't be stupid. Listen and then implement some shit.
Matt: I love it. Can't wait to get that transcribed and posted everywhere.