Mind Blowing Marketing Experiments Unconventional Tactics Tried by a Marketing Guru

Mind Blowing Marketing Experiments  Unconventional Tactics Tried by a Marketing Guru

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Quick Sprout:
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– Well, like, I did crazy experiments, Where I spent like 100 and something, Or 200 and something thousand on clothes, And wanted to see what that
did in business meetings. (peaceful music) – You've been doing this for a long time. So, Neil Patel, which is
kind of like a personal blog, Where you're talking
about, like, you know, Acts and experiments, and strategies, That you've, you know, figured out. How many, can you say how
many millions that brought in In client bookings, for the agency? Like, how big did just the
referrals from Neil Patel get you Before other stuff kicked
in, like word of mouth, And being recognized in the industry, And other things like that? – I think the Neil Patel brand got us To around like 30, 40 million in revenue, And then word of mouth started kicking in, And then other things started kicking in, And employees started
bringing in their own deals Because they've worked
in the space for so long, And then we saw more and more growth, Got awards, that brought us deals. Being a minority-owned
business, that helps, Believe it or not. If you're Indian and you
live in the United States, You're considered a minority, and– – I was about to say, are we a minority? – Yeah, I feel like you guys are– – I feel like I never get Minority credits.
– I feel like you're The majority of CEOs out there. So, I mean. (chuckles)

– Well, it's funny because
we go through RFPs, And some of them ask if you're, What is it, like, MBE certification? It's something like that,
I forgot what it's called. Or Minority Business Enterprise. And I was like, "Well, I'm not a minority. There's like one-plus billion
of me in this world," right? And they're like, "Oh, you're a minority." I'm like, "What are you talking about? "There's like a billion-plus
Indians in this world. "How are we a minority?" And they're like, "Oh, in
America, you're a minority." And in some of these
RFPs, they're looking, It says in there, "We're
looking for LGBTQ," I don't know what the,
– Yeah. – all four of the letters are. – Sam, you have the tattoo
on your arm, what is it? – Yeah, the Q's there. (all chuckle) – That, and then, woman-owned businesses, Veteran-owned businesses, and
the other one was minority. And I was just like, "Wait,
there's actually a quota "that these big Fortune
500 companies have to hit?" And they're like, "Yeah." And I was like, "well, I'm a minority." They're like, "well, you
need the certification." And I was like, "I got
to have a certification "to tell you that I'm a minority?" And at first, I didn't
realize I was a minority. They were telling me,
"oh, you're a minority. "We reached out to you. "We're hoping that you'd be a good fit." And I'm like, "I'm a minority?" And they're like, "Yeah,

"you're a minority in the United States. "You would help us meet our quota. "Do you have the certification?" I'm like, "What are you talking about?" And then we went through the process, And got the certification. – You got to get your papers, bro. You got to get your papers right. – I would've been offended,
and then as soon as I realized, "Wait, this is to my advantage? Oh, hold on. I also got solar panels on
my house, does that help?" You know, like, "I'm a dog owner."
– Yeah, "I wear glasses." – What else, yeah, exactly. "I have a vision impairment,
called farsightedness, And, you know, so, what else
works in my favor here?" You know, like, was the certification Just turn the webcam on,
and it looked at you, And it was like, "Yep,"
(chuckles) and that was it? – That's not enough. And what's funny is, our
COO, or VP Operations, One of the titles, I forgot
what Tracy's title is, She asked me for this, like,
six months before we did it. She's like, "hey, I need
your birth certificate." I'm like, "why do you need
my birth certificate?" She's like, "oh, we need
it for the certification." I'm like, "whatever." And the moment someone
ended up telling me how Magic Johnson generates
a lot of his revenue Because he's a minority,
and gets a lot of contracts, Partners with other
businesses, white-labels it, And uses his name, Becomes a, quote, unquote,
owner of that business,

And then outsources it. – Wait, wait, wait, tell me about that. Give me an example. What's an example of the
Magic Johnson formula? – Sure, so, I don't know if this is true. This was just what someone
in the minority space Ended up telling me. So, that's the caveat. I don't know if this is true or real. And they were saying, let's say, If someone has a food company, And they have the contracts
with a lot of the hospitals That are run by the
government, like the VA. They're looking for
minorities to provide it. But there's already a
lot of big corporations That provide the food. So Magic Johnson may go create a business, That's in that space,
partner with the big supplier Who already provides the
food to these hospitals, He'll go get the contracts, And then work with them
to actually fulfill it. – Yeah, wait, Shaan,
you never heard of this? My in-laws
– No. – own a moving company,
and they're minorities. They're black, they're Haitian immigrants. And they win deals, partially
because of that reason. Because, like, Morgan Stanley,
or something like that, If they want to move, they want to, They have some type of
policy in their company That says, "we want to get RFPs for, Or we want to get bids from
these types of companies." – I had no idea how,
obviously, I knew this exists, I just didn't realize
how significant it was. I definitely didn't know
the Magic Johnson formula,

Which is, frankly, genius
on his part, if that's Actually what he does.
– If it's true, right? We don't know that part,
– Yeah. If it's true.
– but if it is true. But think of it this
way, right, it's a quota. So, if I go and I get a
RFP, let's say, from Boeing, Which, funny enough, we lost the RFP Because we're over bytes
for what they wanted, And let's say
– Racist. – my price is very similar
to the competition. I have awards showing that we
were the agency of the year. So they're like, "All right, "these guys are good at what they do. "We have the case studies." And if we're similar pricing, They're like, "oh, this is minority! "Helps us hit our quota,
let's give the business here." – Right, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. You have some merit to go with it. – For the first $30 million
of business, you got that, And you must've gotten
that by year two or so, If you're growing this fast. What was the main-
– Year three. – Year three, sorry.
– Year three, year three. – What was the main service? Like, when I think of, like,
because I went to your website, And I actually submitted
a lead to figure it out. There was the maximum, you
ask what your website is, And what your budget is, And it's like zero to
10,000, 10,000 to 20,000, And then just 50,000 plus. So were you serving, like,
mostly small businesses? And what, like, what were you, Were you doing as simple stuff

As like making their Yelp page good? Like, what were you doing? – Yeah, so, it's not that small. We do have some SMBs like that, But we actually first
started off in mid-market. Our clients would pay us like
a minimum of 10 grand a month. – And what would you
do for 10,000 a month? – So, nothing was cookie cutter. It was all custom. So, like, maybe they needed SEO, Maybe they needed help on paid management, Maybe they needed some
CRO, or email marketing, Or a little bit of everything, right? But the plans would start at
120 a year, right, 10 a month, And scale up from there, to 20 a month, 30 a month, whatever it may be. – What was most in-vogue as
the service when you started, Like, the trend everybody wanted, And then what's the in-vogue thing today? – When we first started,
it was mainly SEO. – And what does that mean though, What does that mean? You use HA refs or something, And your employees look which
terms they should rank for, And then you write an article for them? – So, it was optimizing their OnPage code, Helping build links, creating content, Promoting the content, And making sure that traffic
converted into leads or sales, Assuming if they weren't services, And it was a positive
ROI for the customer. – That sounds like a ton of
work, for $10,000 a month. – It would start at 10. It depended on the keywords,
how hard they were to ring for,

And it would go up from there. (chiming) – And what about now? – Sam, I love when you
describe people's businesses Because you're just like,
"So what does that mean? "You just Google their name,
and then it doesn't show up, "and then you go write an
article with their name?" And it's like, "What's the hustle? "Dude, you just read the New York Times, "and then you just cut out half the words, "and then you hit send in an email? "Like, is that what the hustle is?" – [Sam] Yeah. (both chuckling) – Nailed it. – I mean, it can be. Like, you know, there's always more nuance And complication in reality. But, like, you can explain
things in a fairly simple way, Where it's like, "What's HubSpot?" "Oh, they just make software, "so when people sign up for your website, "you can email them, and call them." You know what I mean? Like, you could, I'm just trying to dumb
it down a little bit. – You mean my HubSpot? But when you look at the business, When they first started massive churn, How to add tons of features,
how to figure out onboarding, How to figure out trading. There was a lot of stuff
that went to make HubSpot A multibillion dollar company, right? But a lot of people look at it as email,

But they do more than email. They do more than a CRM. They've added actually
if anyone in this space Has a ton of traction, They have a history of adding
a lot of those features For free, which is a smart model. And then global market share, Get them into the ecosystem and
hopefully they stick around. – And so, what's the popula– – You should do the ad reads for us. Yeah, that was amazing. (laughs) By the way Sam, I think you
should make Suburban dictionary, Which is just you explaining
businesses without like Any of the complicated stuff. Like yeah, what is it? Well, if you get customers– – I'm going to call it like the three– The Three Syllable dictionary. Like I explain complicated things, But no word is above three syllables. That's what we're going to call it. – Yeah, exactly. – By the way, I was just going to say
Ben brought up one point On that minority thing. Ben, you want to say that? That sounds pretty interesting. You Slacked us something but. – Neil kind of mentioned this too, But like this is really, really
popular in government work Because the government
is like very hardcore About hitting their quotas
for racial minorities. And so around here, Like I actually know a couple guys,

And basically what they do is The people I know are
all African American. They get the contract, they
put their name on the contract, They then outsource the
entire thing to like Deloitte or KPMG or whatever And they take like, you know, 15% of the revenue or whatever. – They create a consulting firm, That's like the Minority Inc, And then Minority Inc
goes against the contracts That farms it out to
like Deloitte or whoever. – That's great. Neil was Quick Sprout, Ben there you go. Was Quick Sprout, I mean so
that was your main business, Quick Sprout and Crazy Egg Were your main business for a while. – Quick Sprout was just a blog And then my co-founder, Hiten, Ended up taking it over
and now it's his blog. – So, but what was your main
source of revenue and income? Because like I said, I've
listened to you forever. Like you've been crushing it, It seems like for financially,
for like 10 plus years. – I don't know if I'm crushing it, But the main source of
income was Crazy Egg For most of my life, And then it ended up
becoming the ad agency. (chiming jingle) – And Sam, you said something
at the very beginning That if I was listening to this, I'd be like, wait, hold on, I want to hear that story. You said something like just for kicks, He would like spin up a business

That like did a 100K a month in revenue. What's an example of that? Tell that story, because
that sounds awesome. – Yeah, so everyone thinks like It's really hard to make money online And then you got these shysters Who are like buy this
for a thousand dollars And you become rich, Which never really happens. Maybe every once in a while, But for most people, it doesn't. So I was like, I can create
a business on anything And people are like, Go create a nutrition business. My audience picked, I gave them like A lot of different options. They picked a nutrition business And I was like, all right, Let's create a blog, get a ranking, Get some traffic and then funnel
people in through quizzes, Through emails and let's
bubble them into supplements, Rank higher on Amazon, get
traction and see what happens. And it did well. – And that took you like months, years? – No, it wasn't months, It was much more than that. – Like a year, right? – A little bit less than a year. I think it was like nine or 10 months. So it wasn't like one or two months sadly. But it little bit less than a year. So it was pretty good. – It was an awesome
blog post series, Shaan You got to Google it.

Google like Quick Sprout or Neil Patel, Then like a hundred
thousand dollars a month And it was like a monthly update. It was pretty amazing. – I don't think, they
may have deleted it now. I don't know if it's still online but, And then so I took the
money I made from Crazy Egg And I would park it into other things. So it's like stock market, For a long time, the stock market's Had a really crazy run, right? Then you also have
things like investments, A lot of venture funds, Angel investments and then
sometimes you just get lucky, Sometimes you don't
notice the numbers game. – We had talked about
doing a content series Like this to grow the podcast. I was like, you know, I think one of the best
ways to grow the podcast Could be if we do a challenge
like what you had described. And one of the ideas was like, What if Sam created his
own Sam's Sticky-Yicky, His own condiment brand And we basically show how
we build a D to C brand. Like, from the idea to
like branding to marketing, And we just do it all
transparently to like, Get people hooked on, okay, Let me see how you guys
actually build this thing. Now, it's a lot of work, Which is why I think
ultimately we didn't do it, But how well did that work for you? Was that like just kind of
like a good content thing Or was it like no that was like, Drove a lot of growth for
the brand and the blog?

I'm curious how well that worked for you. – It didn't drive as much
growth for the brand, But it did help out. Every little bit, like
I did crazy experiments, So I spent like a hundred and something Or 200 and something thousand on clothes And wanted to see what that
did in business meetings, Spent money flying first class everywhere, Wanted to see what that would do. But yeah, I tried a lot
of different experiments And it was just for shits and giggles And it was also a reason to justify Some of my expenses. (laughs) And I was like, I want to fly first class, Because I remember my first
time flying first class, Someone else paid for it. I'm like, wow, this is,
I've been missing out. This is a lot better than being crammed up And flying all the way to
Europe from Los Angeles, You know, in economy. And then I was like, man,
let's do some experiments And let's see if I can justify
this expense, but yeah. – [Shaan] (laughs)That's amazing. – And you just, did you say early on Did you invest in Hiten Shah's
other company, Shaan, Nira? – [Shaan] Yeah. – Yeah, so we're both, Neil,
we're both investors in Nira, Which Hiten is your cousin, right? – No, brother-in-law.
– Brother-in-law. Brother-in-law, yeah, sorry. And Hiten's amazing. He's a great blogger as well. And Sean and I both invested
in his company called Nira, Which is either going to be a dud,

Or it's going to be like
the biggest company ever. It's like a company, like, They're going to close like
multimillion dollar contracts. I would guess, it's
like a big ol' business, Potentially a big ol' business. But did you say that
you gave him Crazy Egg? – So with Crazy Egg, what
ended up happening is, What I wanted to do is We were doing business forever together And then eventually, I just said, Hey, you can have the
monthly distributions And I'm going to go
create another business. – Why would you give that, why, why? – He didn't ask for it,
nor did he care for it, Nor did he want it. You know, he's never been about money, Neither him or I have, and we're not rich. I can't actually speak
for him, I'm not rich. I've just done well enough
and I don't spend as much. So it's like don't really need the money. Does that make sense? Like if you just don't spend money, You don't really need much cash out. – Dude, you just said you
dropped $200,000 on clothes. What do you mean you don't need money? – Well, that was an experiment, right? But that's not my daily life. Like I'm wearing a white
T-shirt with stains That my kid spits up on. (Shaan laughs) That are probably like 10, 20 bucks. I don't know what the white T-shirts cost, But they're not really white anymore. So I try not to do video recordings

In front of white walls anymore, Because you can just tell
the discoloration from it. Nonetheless– – So, so did Sam say you live in Brazil? Is that what you? – No, no, I have a division in Brazil. Like we do marketing in Brazil
for Brazilian companies. – And you live in Texas,
where do you live? – Vegas. – Vegas, okay, amazing. And so have you, Is it easy for you to
keep your burn rate down? Because like, I was telling Sam this, I spend like, I don't
know, $25,000 a month now, Just like, and I'm not, I
don't even feel like I'm– – balling out'
– Dude, I think, Shaan, I think you might spend
more than that now. I bet if you add it up,
because I know how you spend, I bet you it's more than 25. – It might be, it might be a little more, But it's not more than 30, I would say. I don't think it's more than 30. So I, but like– – [Neil] Do you have kids? – Yeah, I got two little kids, But they're like babies, right? Like, you know, like they
don't, they don't eat food, You know, so, so you know,
there's diapers, sure. But like, it's not them, it's me. (laughs) – Good burn rate, I would take 30. – You said it's a steep
burn rate or it's a.. – Good burn rate, I would take it. I'll trade with you. – Okay, gotcha, so when you
say you don't spend much,

What do you say is your monthly burn rate? Because I think for most
people listening, right, Most people don't talk about How much they make or how much they spend. All right, how much you make, Sometimes that's sensitive. How much do you spend? – It's kind of bad if I
tell you how much I burn– – Well, but, Neil, You actually wrote this
in a blog post you said, I spend, this was, I don't know if you're, I have no idea if you're single Or if you have a family and you can– – I have a family of two kids. – My burn rate is high right now. – But you used to say in
your blog post that you go, $15,000 a month is all I need, I'm happy. That was like 10 years ago I think. But you used to say 15,000. – Single and no kids is easy. Right now, if I had a
guess on my burn rate, 120 to 180 a month. – What?
– That's insane. – So what is, how does that break down? So what's the bulk of it? Whether it's the, house
probably is the biggest one. – No, I have no mortgage. – Okay, so you're spending 120 to 180K Without spending anything on your home. (chime jingle) – Property tax. Property tax for both
my homes and HOA dues Is probably close to 200 a year. – Okay, great.

– [Sam] What else? – We've got 12,000 of the way there. – Yeah, yeah. So there's, there's, okay. – Life insurance is 25 grand a month. – [Sam] What? – My whole life policy, yeah,
that's 25 to 300 a year. – No, no, wait, what? – Wait, I can, what, what
the hell is a $25,000 a month Life insurance policy? What, can you explain that? – It's just a benefit. Like, if I die, my wife
and kids get money. Like a life insurance policy? – Yeah, well I get that,
but is that normal? I've never heard, like either
I'm dumb or you're dumb. Who's dumb here? Am I dumb, because I've never heard of Anybody spending that much on
their life insurance policy? – It's like an investment account. It builds over time. So it's not like it goes away, right? Most life insurance policies
are for call it 10 years And then you buy another one. Mine just keep going and
you can borrow against it. Just think of it as like
a investment vehicle. So that's 25 a month. – Ah, okay, I see, I see, I see. Now I understand. – Staff, cleaners, nannies, driver. We have a full-time driver. I think that ends up
being around 57 a month. – 5,700 or 57,000? – [Neil] Thousand.

– You know, a driver, Uber? (Shaan and Sam laugh) – Uber is more affordable. I optimize for convenience. In Vegas, I go through this company, They charge a hefty premium. I go through this company And I have decals on my car. So if I do a meeting in front of a casino, The car can just stay
in front of the casino And doesn't have to move. If I'm going to the airport, You can straight up pull up into the plane Or whatever you want to do And you don't have to go through terminals Or anything like that, so
that makes like easier. – So part of your strategy is, I'm picking this up is that, You live the best lifestyle you want And it's all expensable the way you do it. – I don't know if it's all expensable. – Is that what you meant with the decal? Like it's a company, It's like marketing, It's like a marketing vehicle for you? – So there, there's a limo company. If I have their decal on
my windows and pay them, I can end up parking
wherever I want, in theory. Not literally wherever I want, But in most cases I can
park wherever I want And the car can just sit
there and wait for me. – All right, so what else? Anything else? Do you fly private? – He's like, I buy a
daily Disneyland fast pass

Just in case I decide
to go that day. (laughs) – (laughs) Yeah, yeah. – I fly private for the
convenience of time. – What's been the number one, like, Kind of like where you feel
like most people don't, Most people think this is too
expensive and not worth it, But for me, I get way more value. I'll give you an example
in my life, right? So I thought I had burned
right 'til we started talking, So this is great, I'm feeling
so much better about myself. But the one thing I did
was I hired a private chef, So I was like, all right, That I think, I always thought That's the lifestyle
of the rich and famous, And I thought, wow, that's cool, Because you eat healthy
and it tastes great. You don't have to fuss
with time and you know, Cooking and dishes and
groceries and all that stuff. And so to me it's like a no brainer. I'm like, dude, anybody
with any kind of money, You should be like, That should be one of the first, Like fancy car, later, private chef, now. Because I'm like, to me
the value, the reward, Way outweighed the cost And I think most people don't
typically make that trade. Sounds like you've experimented with Many ways of spending money. What has been a good reward for cost trade That you're like, this one is great That most people don't do? – I don't know. I'm in a bubble because
I have a lot of friends Who are like me sadly,

In which we spend a lot and
we don't know what's reality. I know that sounds bad to
say, but it's true, right? Cook is not bad, housekeeper isn't bad, So you don't have to do
your own dishes and stuff. Although, funny enough, I
enjoy doing that and ironing, Because it's kind of
like meditative for me. It's relaxing, I dunno why
watching TV and ironing. Nannies help, so you get the freedom And you can watch your
kids when you want to, But you can also do meetings
and stuff like that. Probably the best expense I
ever spend on is private planes. Not because I like it, I don't mind flying commercial, Not really any difference for me. But it helps me optimize for time So that way I can see my kids more. Because I have to sometimes
do a lot of meetings for work And just going and then
coming back the same day, Just really in and out really quickly. Like sometimes I'll be home quick enough, Like go from Vegas to
Utah for a conference, Speak, come back and
I'll be home quick enough To pick up my kid from school, And like, to me that's
really well valuable. That's worth the money. – So are you saving any money then? I mean, are you just taking
a fat draw from the agency In order to pay for this Or are you able to expense
a lot of it to the agency? How's that work? – I don't expense any of it to my company. I just personally pay for it. – So, the agency's just that
profitable of a business? It's doing that well.

– Or investments or savings. I've done well enough
in life where I'm okay.