5 Marketing Tactics That Helped Facebook Hit 2 Billion Users

Just thirteen years after it began as a side project in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room, Facebook recently announced a major milestone: 2 billion monthly active users.


While it might seem inevitable that the social network that everyone and their grandmom is on would hit these kinds of numbers, there was a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to get to 2 billion.

Here’s five reasons Facebook pulled it off:

They’re Mad Scientists

According to Andy Johns, Facebook’s former Product Manager of Growth, the company makes heavy use of testing and experimentation. Anyone who uses the site knows they’re always testing out new features, but they also test things like page layout and design, button design and placement, website copy – all with the goal of making it easy for users to sign up, post and share.

By constantly running A/B tests and other conversion optimization tactics, they find out what users respond to and get rid of what doesn’t work, making the process of signing up for and using Facebook as seamless as possible.

They’re Accessible

Being a ubiquitous social network means being available to users anywhere, all the time. How does Facebook do it?

First, they knew that in order to get users around the world using Facebook, it needed to be available in different languages.

But instead of hiring teams of employees to translate the site, Facebook had their engineers build a translation app that allowed users to translate the app themselves.

With the explosion of smartphones and tablets, Facebook’s growth teams knew more and more users were visiting the site on mobile devices, so they designed their websites to be the perfect mobile experience. Did it work? As of May 2017, Facebook reported that mobile ads accounted for 85% of their billions of dollars of ad revenue.

Also, by acquiring mobile-first apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook gained access to hundreds of millions of smartphone users.

They’re Master Pirates (AARRR!)

Facebook has mastered the art of being a pirate, better known in tech startup circles as AARRR Metrics.

AARRR Metrics was a term popularized by angel investor and former PayPal employee Dave McClure, and no it doesn’t involve wearing an eye patch and walking around with a parrot on your shoulder (unfortunately). AARRR stands for the five metrics any startup should be measuring and constantly improving:

Acquisition – Getting new users to visit your website and sign up.

Activation – Getting new users to start using your product or service.

Retention – Keeping those users engaged and coming back.

Referral – Your users telling other people about your product.

Revenue – Monetizing your users.

Facebook has their AARRR’s down pat. The social network’s ubiquity constantly exposes them to users who don’t have Facebook yet, and their landing page and sign up process is simple (Acquisition).

Once you sign up, you’re encouraged to add/find friends and make posts, which fills your newsfeed up with content and gives you a reason to use the site (Activation), and users who sign up, but don’t start using the site are emailed and encouraged to browse and post.

Oh, and all those emails Facebook sends? They’re also useful for keeping users updated on what their friends are doing on Facebook, plus likes, comments on their posts and other social validation goodies to keep users coming back to the site (Retention).

How’d you find out about Facebook? Was it a TV commercial? A billboard on the highway? Did you get a pamphlet in the mail? If you’re like most people, you found out about Facebook through word of mouth (Referral). Because is designed to make it easy for people to share things and keep in touch with friends and family, it’s not surprising that people who aren’t already on Facebook still get exposed to Facebook posts, at which point they may decide they want to sign up, starting the acquisition part of the cycle all over again.

And, of course, Facebook isn’t giving us all a place to share our internet memes with grandma out of the kindness of their little hearts. They want to make money (Revenue). With all the data being provided through our goofy party photos and long thinkpieces about cats, Facebook has built an ad platform that brings in billions of dollars a year.

Proving, once and for all, that it pays to be a pirate. AARRR!

They Built A Culture That Values Growth

One reason why Facebook’s growth team was able to try all the crazy growth experiments they did was that the company leadership and other teams took growth into account.

As Andy Johns says in this excellent Quora post:

“Growth wasn’t mitigated to a sub-function of a higher function within the company like a Paid Search team might be a sub-function of the Marketing team within an e-commerce company. Growth was a horizontal layer across product like engineering/ops is a horizontal framework behind product. Not only would someone ask “What’s the performance impact on site speed or stability if we build and ship ‘X’?” it became common for people to ask “What’s the impact on growth if we build and ship ‘X’?”. The decision to make growth a canonical part of the product, engineering and operational discussion was a really important decision that the executives made. “

In other words, Facebook made growth a company-wide endeavor, and it paid off big time.

They’re Product Geeks

Testing out growth ideas was and is key to Facebook’s growth, but how do they know what ideas to experiment with in the first place? According to former Facebook VP Growth Chamath Palihapitiya:

“knowing true product value allows you to design the experiments necessary so that you can really isolate cause and effect.  as an example, at facebook, one thing we were able to determine early on was a key link between the number of friends you had in a given time and likelihood to churn. knowing this allowed us to do a lot to get new users to their “a-ha” moment quickly.  obviously, however, this required us to know what the “a-ha” moment was with a fair amount of certainty in the first place.”

The main takeaway is that Facebook grew so fast because they’re constantly testing new growth experiments and learning from those experiments. Even if you don’t have Facebook’s billion-dollar budget or huge teams of engineers and designers, you can still test things like your website copy, offers, new marketing channels, and optimizing your website for mobile devices. Have you had success running growth experiments in your business? I’d love to hear them in the comments!



Facebook Ads For Lead Generation: 8 Experts Share Their Best Tips

If you asked me what the Number 1 most awesome marketing superpower is, I’d say:

The ability to stop bullets with your mind.

(Pictured: Marketing, probably.)

But, if you asked me the next most awesome marketing superpower is, I’d say:

The ability to generate targeted leads on demand.

If you want to keep your business growing, you need to keep your pipeline filled with leads – people who’ve “raised their hand” and shown their interest in what you’re offering.

Online, this usually means email subscribers or people who visited your website and requested more information about your offer.

Facebook is currently one of the hottest opportunities around for getting new leads and subscribers online.

Aside from the fact that there are more people using Facebook than there are people living in the United States, their platform gives you a mind-boggling ability to target users by interests and demographics.

Facebook ads are also still relatively cheap compared to other platforms.

Still, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to end up wasting money trying to generate leads with Facebook ads.

So I reached out to experts I know who are absolutely killing it with Facebook ads, and I asked them the following question:

“What’s your best tip for generating more leads or email subscribers with Facebook ads?”

Here’s what they said:

Amy Porterfield, Author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies

“Say you already have an email list of at least 1,000 people. You can upload that email list to Facebook, Facebook will match your email list with their database and voila! You’ve got a targeting opportunity with your best, fastest-converting leads.”

Amy Porterfield is the author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies and has been named by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. She is a sought-after speaker and hosts the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.

Mari Smith, Author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day

Mari Smith recommends optimizing your posts to maximize the number of people who see them.

“Highly shareable content is the holy grail of social media marketing, and doing your best to optimize for shares is my number-one content creation tip. As people scroll the Facebook news feed, your content has to make people pause and read. The promise of your content must be thumb-stopping. What you deliver has to inspire people to respond with, “OMG, I must share this now!”

The Facebook news feed algorithms reward active advertisers and engaging content. The more reactions, comments, and shares your posts get, the better their reach. This goes for both organic and paid (your advertising dollars will go further).”

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing. She is a Forbes’ perennial Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

Peg Samuel, Social Diva Media

Peg Samuel shared the primary benefits of Facebook ads: The ability to target the perfect demographic for your offer and you don’t need a big budget to do it.

“Facebook Ads is highly targeted for you to purposely gain attention of your desired demographic with guaranteed visibility. You don’t have to have deep pockets to have an impact with your ad campaign. When executed correctly the ROI can be very real.”

Peg Samuel is a speaker, successful entrepreneur, Professor at NYU and founder of the boutique agency Social Diva Media. Author of Amazon #1 Facebook Marketing Like I’m 5.

John Haydon, JohnHaydon.com

If you want to generate more leads from your posts, John Haydon explains how to give them a BOOST.

“Here are five tips for Boosting Posts with the BOOST method:

    • B – Boost Your Best
    • O – Observe Engaged Fans
    • O – Optimize Content
    • S – Synch Channels
    • T – Test and Measure

B – Boost Your Best

Decide which posts you’ll Boost, based on high engagement rate AND how relevant it is to your current marketing goals.

O – Observe Your Engaged Fans

You want to get your posts in front of people who:

  • Want to see it.
  • Won’t hide it.
  • Will comment, like and share it.

O – Optimize Your Content

There may be cases when your best performing updates aren’t directly related to your promotion. If so, simply edit the post description (or status update) and include a call-to-action and link to your campaign landing page. Make sure your edits feel natural and aren’t forced.

S – Synch With Other Marketing Channels

The best type of plan is a well-orchestrated plan.

    • SEND AN EMAIL: Send emails to a targeted group of subscribers.
    • BLOG ABOUT IT:  This kills two birds with one stone – creating more reach for the update while sourcing high-quality content for your blog.

T – Test and Measure

Developing a habit of testing various approaches to Boosting posts to find out what works best for your community.”

John Haydon is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits achieve their best marketing and fundraising results.

John is a trainer, coach, consultant, speaker, and author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

Brian Carter, The Brian Carter Group

Brian Carter emphasizes the importance of testing multiple ads and ad types, using lead magnets and having a solid email followup in place to convert your new leads into customers.

“Over the last few years. we’ve created Facebook ad lead gen programs for 20 clients in multiple industries. In our experience, there are multiple factors in Facebook ad lead gen success.

You need to choose an ad type: lead ads or conversion ads. One is not better than the other. If you want the lowest lead cost AND the high quality leads that convert into a customers, you should test both ad types- results will differ for every campaign. Often some of our ad targets perform better with lead ads and others do better with the conversion-ad-to-landing-page approach.

Lead ads require a piece of technology like Connectio or LeadBridge to get your leads into your email provider (Aweber, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp and the like).

If you use conversion ads we strongly recommend you split-test your landing pages with at least 3 variations (using a platform like LeadPages, Unbounce, Clickfunnels or other). Why? Because in our experience this generates 5x as many leads on average, without increasing your ad budget.

Whichever ad type you choose, you must test multiple ad targets (ideally 5-10) in separate ad sets. Why do you need multiple target audiences? Because on average, our best targets get 17x as many leads as the worst ones.

You need a lead magnet (ebook, checklist, cheatsheet, quiz, webinar, etc.) if you want people to cough up their contact info. Some lead magnet types get shared more than others. Some are better at low cost lead gen than lead quality. Some don’t yield a lot of confirmed emails. Some generate leads but not sales. Quizzes can be fun for your audience, are the most shared lead magnet type, especially on Facebook (http://briancartergroup.com/internet-marketing-strategy/quizzes-get-more-socialmedia-shares-than-other-kinds-of-lead-content-on-facebook/?hvid=2LEXh) and get you low-cost leads ($0.30 each is our best so far), but they can get you lower quality leads that don’t convert to customers. The lead magnet must start to do the job of the salesperson if you want a low cost-per-sale. Gigantic ultimate guide ebooks take months to create and if they don’t generate interest, that’s a lot of time wasted. Webinars also take a lot of time to create and hone- they are powerful, but a big time commitment. In our experience, the best-of-all-worlds lead magnet type is the 5 Mistakes/Myths/Lies Ebook, because it can be created relatively quickly and it starts to do the sales job for you ahead of time. I have a guide to how to create this ebook type here: http://briancartergroup.com/8-tips-for-lead-magnets-that-sell

Finally, you need an automatic email follow-up series that continues to push why they should contact you or buy. Create a series of 5 messages to do this, and create a similar retargeting ad campaign for those who don’t open the emails. This will maximize your sales value from the leads you’ve harvested.

I created a gigantic post about this topic called 5 Lead Gen Mistakes: http://briancartergroup.com/lead-gen/the-5-biggest-lead-generation-mistakes/ and did a Facebook live training on it: http://briancartergroup.com/advertising/replay-5-biggest-lead-gen-mistakes-facebook-live-show/

Brian Carter
Internationally Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Consultant

The Carter Group: http://briancartergroup.com
The Science of Digital Marketing: http://scienceofdigitalmarketing.com
Books and Free E-Books: http://bit.ly/brianreading2

Brian Carter is a 15-year digital marketing veteran and popular keynote speaker 
(with clients like NBC and Microsoft, but also small businesses and franchises) 
who delivers entertainment, motivation and practical takeaways. His Brian Carter 
Group offers results-focused implementation, ideation and innovation to 
boost profits for growth-minded businesses

 Jake Rush, ToneDen
Jake Rush of ToneDen says you should start with getting your audience data game on point by testing different audiences to find out which audience produces the most high quality leads for the least cost. 

“You need to get your ad in front of the right audience. In Facebook ads, not all audiences are created equal. Test different data sources to examine which one will generate the most leads for your business.

There is an abundance of information about people that care about your product or brand all over the internet. From website visitors to Facebook Page engagement, utilize all of this data to find the target audience that performs best with you ad campaign.

Testing only one audience or guessing which audience is best for your campaign will have you leaving leads on the table. By split testing target audiences and re-allocating your ad spend toward the best one, you can generate more leads for less money.”

Jake is an experienced Advertising Operations Engineer at ToneDen.io, a social marketing platform for marketers everywhere. He is certified as a Facebook Blueprint Planning Professional and is skilled in social advertising, product marketing, and customer success for B2B SaaS.

Ian Cleary, RazorSocial
Ian Cleary of RazorSocial recommends a two-step approach to lead generation using videos, retargeting and landing page optimization.

“Create a valuable video with content that is related to your email optin.  Build an audience of people that watched at least 50% of the video and retarget with an ad that drives people to your optin page.  Use a highly optimized landing page and split test it.  By doing the two step approach you’ll get advertising to a more relevant audience so you’ll get a better click through rate and lower price ads.  By optimizing you landing page you’ll get a better conversion.

Although you have a two step process with payment required for the video ad and your normal ad you’ll end up with lower cost overall.”

Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial, a content marketing and social media consulting firm. He is also a sought-after keynote speaker and his blog was awarded best social media blog by Social Media Examiner for three years in a row. He writes on social media and content marketing topics for Entrepreneur and Forbes.

Andrew Hubbard, Andrewhubbard.co
Like Ian above, Andrew Hubbard is big on using video content to boost conversions on Facebook – specifically, using Facebook Live and retargeting to get people to opt-in to your email list.

“One of the most effective strategies I’m seeing right now is using video to deliver free, highly relevant content to your audience before asking for an email address. More specifically, delivering content via regular Facebook Live broadcasts. Facebook is favoring Facebook Live heavily when it comes to free organic reach at the moment, and they can be easily turned into ads as well.

Your goal is to ‘warm up’ cold audiences with your live videos, and then retarget those video viewers with ads designed to get them to join your email list. By using this strategy you’re building trust with your audience by giving them free content before you ask for anything from them.

Here’s how you can implement this in your own business today:
  • Start doing regular Facebook Live broadcasts from your business page delivering content that is relevant to your target audience
  • Turn those broadcasts in to ads with the ‘Video Views’ objective
  • Re-target people who have viewed at least 25% of your video with conversion objective ads where you promote a lead magnet (also test 10s views, 50% views, and 75% views)
Just remember, the key here is to do regular Facebook Live videos and to test lots of different ones. You’ll find some videos will be much more popular with your audience than others, and those are the ones you really want to promote.”

 Andrew is a Facebook ad strategist who works with leading online entrepreneurs to scale up their lead generation and sales using Facebook advertising. You can learn more about Andrew at AndrewHubbard.co

So there you go, 8 tips for why and how to use Facebook ads for lead generation. Are you using Facebook to bring in new leads already? Do you have a favorite strategy or tactic? Let me know in the comments!

Here’s 3 Proven Methods To Piggyback Your Way To Massive Growth

hammock photo

Photo by Predi

I’ve got a little secret for you.

The most successful people I know are usually kinda lazy.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, they know how to hustle and get shit done.


They’re always looking for an easier way to get the same or better results with less effort.

Basically, the really successful people I know are great at using leverage.

Sometimes this leverage means automation.

Sometimes it means outsourcing.

But usually it means taking advantage of someone else’s hard work so they can benefit from it.

As marketers and growth people, one of the best ways we can use leverage is by tapping into existing audiences who match our ideal customer profile.

Whatever you’re offering, there’s already somebody out there who’s spent time, effort and money building up an audience of customers or readers or followers, and making the right connection with the right influencer can take you from a “who?” to a household name faster than you can say “Kardashian”.

The 3 articles below each show you a different tactic you can use to tap into a bigger platform in order to reach new users and customers, much faster than you could if you went it alone.

How To Get Featured On Large Publications (Without Guest Posting)

Ever wanted to grab your piece of that sweet, sweet HuffPo traffic but didn’t know where to start? Who to reach out to? What to say? Well, jump up and do a little dance because here Sarah Peterson from SumoMe breaks down the exact process she uses to get her blog posts republished on major sites like Elite Daily that get millions of views.

Sarah even includes templates of the actual pitch emails she sends out to editors at these sites.

How To Growth Hack Using Partnerships: An Online Marketing Strategy

Marketing superdude Jay Abraham has said that using partnerships (he calls them host/beneficiary relationships) is the one marketing tactic he’d keep if he had to give up all his other marketing tactics. And with good reason, since the right partnership can bring in new users and customers for years and years. Think of the companies that partner with Google or Samsung to get their apps defaulted on Android devices.

This guide from Chris Hexton at Vero gives examples of how companies are using partnerships to get massive distribution by solving problems for their partners. As he says:

Think about products complimentary to your own. How can you help the creators of those products solve a problem that they have?

How To Pitch Journalists – The Definitive Guide

Dmitry from Criminally Prolific knows his shit when it comes to getting startups covered in the press. He used publicity to grow his previous site to 40M pageviews until Google swooped in and acquired it.

Here’s Dmitry’s exact process for pitching the press, from coming up with content ideas, to the importance of “clickworthiness” in framing your story, to how to go about identifying and contacting journalists without coming across as some spammy rando.
You now have 3 proven ways to leverage existing platforms and audiences to get massive distribution really quickly. Now actually do the thing, and maybe you’ll make it onto the next episode of Lifestyles of the Successful and Lazy

Six-Figure Fortunes Hiding In The Trash

trashcan photo

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” – some smart dead guy, probably.

You’ve probably heard the term “dumpster diving” before.

It’s where people, well, dive into dumpsters looking for food or other goodies that people have thrown away.

Dumpster diving is usually associated with people who are desperate or poor enough that the prospect of digging around in trash for a meal or someone’s discarded junk seems worth it.

But did you know that there are people out there that make up to $2,500 a night dumpster diving?

Now I’m not advising you to solve your money problems by going out dumpster diving.

To paraphrase Marge Simpson, that sounds like it could be a good way to end up with parasites.

What I do want you to realize is the lesson the story of the professional dumpster divers teach us.

Sometimes we don’t realize we’re sitting on assets that are worth more than we appreciate.

For example, your customer/subscriber list.

We’ve all heard people say, “the money’s in the list”, but think of the different ways you could turn that list into a bigger source of profits:

  • You could increase your #of sales by promoting products to your list more often.
  • You could increase your average purchase size by selling higher priced, bundled products or upselling additional products right after they purchase from you.
  • You could increase the frequency of purchase by setting up a monthly subscription or membership.
  • You could use your list to get more customers by setting up a partnership with another company that serves your market. You promote their product to your list and they promote you to theirs.

And it’s not just your list. There’s intellectual property, your specialized skills and knowledge, your existing products, your business processes, your existing ads and sales materials. All can be monetized and could mean a major influx of cash into your business, just by taking advantage of assets you already have.

Just like the professional dumpster divers, you’d be profiting from something sitting right there in plain site.

Only unlike the dumpster divers, you’ll (probably) never have to fight off a family of rats living inside an old Dell monitor (probably!).

There are lots more easy wins out there for any business looking to make more sales with less time and effort.

And someone who’s mastered these shortcuts is Jay Abraham, who’s strategies have pulled in billions of dollars in increased profits for thousands of companies from small businesses to brands like Microsoft.

You can get a bunch of Jay’s free stuff here.

In fact, there’s probably nobody alive better than Jay at helping you find the hidden assets in your business (almost every business has them) and turn it into more customers and cash quickly.

He calls these strategies ‘Stealth Marketing” because they let you run circles around your competitors without them even being able to figure out how you’re doing it. Start getting your Stealth Marketing on here.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Remember, if you’re going to dumpster dive, use protection. Because what happens in the dumpster, doesn’t always stay in the dumpster.

Till next time,


A Freaky Psychic Marketing Superpower (That You Can Steal)

psychic photo

Photo by Gamma Man

Let me ask you a very important question:

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?

X-Ray vision?

Super strength?

The ability to fly?

The Incredible Hulk’s severe, untreated anger management issues?

When I was a kid growing up, my friends and cousins and I were all really into comic books (I believe the technical term is “we were a bunch of huge freaking nerds”), and we loved to play around and pretend to be our favorite superheroes and have “superhero battles”.

One of my cousins would be Wolverine from the X-Men (one time, he even made a pair of fake Adamantium claws from aluminum foil!).

(imagine this, only much crappier)

Another one would pretend to be his favorite hero, Spider-Man.

I guess maybe we were ahead of our time, because who knew that a couple of decades later, superhero movies would be bringing in bajillions of dollars (that’s bajillion, with a “B”) at the box office every year? Not to mention Netflix series, regular TV shows, and every kind of merchandise you can think of (I’m lookin’ at you, Batman(TM) brand daily fiber supplements).

I think one of the reasons these movies are so popular is because, like me and my cousins when we were growing up, people love the idea of having superpowers.

What’s cooler than being able to do something that nobody else in the world can do?

When you think about it, as marketers, we have superpowers, too.

We can do things that few other people know how to do (So yay, us!).

One of the most profitable superpowers any marketer can develop is mind control.

I’m talkin’ bout PERSUASION, baby.

I’m talkin’ bout the ability to get inside of your customer’s heads and trigger an insatiable desire to get their grubby little mitts on whatever you’re offering RIGHT NOW.

What’s cool about marketing superpowers is that you don’t need to be born a mutant or get bitten by a radioactive gerbil to get them.

Marketing superpowers can be LEARNED.

And if you want to boost the heck out of your mind control powers, then you need to master the art of writing copy.


Fortunes have been made on the strength of a good sales letter or email copy (for example, a sales letter selling Wall Street Journal subscriptions was mailed for 28 years straight and brought in over TWO BILLION dollars in sales).

If you want to learn the secret to how copywriter Martin Conroy was able to get crazy results like that with his classic Wall Street Journal ad, plus:

  • How to find your market’s “hot buttons” without guessing.
  • A secret step in the copywriting process that basically forces your ads to write themselves.
  • The trick copywriter Mal Decker used to write the sales letter that finally knocked Conroy’s billion dollar ad off the throne, and became the new control ad, and King of Copylandia!

Then you should check out the Copywriting Crash Course, by direct response copywriter John Anghelache. It’s chock fulla proven tactics to turn words into money, and works with sales letters, landing pages, email copy and more.


John knows his stuff, and like Galactus from the Fantastic Four comics, he can imbue mere mortals with amazing marketing powers.

Now, before I go, allow me to get all Uncle Ben on you for a second. Remember: With great power comes great responsibility, and use your marketing powers for (profitable) good.

Talk to you soon.

How Jeff Bezos Made Billions By Ignoring Smart People

jeff bezos photo

Photo by etech

So I was just reading about some little company named “Amazon” that just blew away their projected sales for this quarter, and Wall Street is all hot & bothered about it (As Wall Street does).

More importantly, this surge in share prices just put Amazon founder Jeff Bezos within a mere $5 billion dollars away from being the world’s richest man (So, you know, if you have an extra $5 bill laying around, hit the brotha up).

What’s interesting is that Jeff Bezos and Amazon are only having this level of success now because he ignored a lot of very smart people in the past.

Specifically, he ignored the investors, hedge fund managers and Wall Street dudes who wanted him to focus on short term profits above all else (As Wall Street also does).

In his now-famous 1997 letter to shareholders Bezos outlined his plans for world domination:

We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership position. The stronger our market leadership, the more powerful our economic model. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly greater returns on invested capital.

Which is a very shareholder lettery-y way of saying “We’re in this for long term domination, not short term profits”.

This kind of long-term strategic vision is why Amazon is still around, while so many other internet companies from that era (Lycos, Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape) are gone or struggling.

If you’re looking for ways to build a successful business, you could do a lot worse than model the thinking of the (almost) richest guy in the world.

Anyway, just some food for thought. I’m off to go personally contribute to raising Amazon’s stock price by feeding my raging Kindle book addiction.

Peace out!

Kids Say The Darndest Marketing Advice


So I just finished reading a story in the news today about Bria, a 9-year-old girl from Michigan who wrote a letter to Elon Musk with a marketing idea for his company Tesla Motors, and he actually decided run with the idea!

It’s a pretty amazing story and you should check it out:


But aside from the cool factor of a schoolkid getting a busy bazillonaire entrepreneur to take her up on her marketing idea, there’s some pretty cool lessons here for marketers of all ages. Here’s three:

You can reach almost anybody on Twitter

Elon Musk is a pretty avid Twitter user, and so are lots of other VIPs who’d be difficult to reach otherwise.

A lot of them will respond to Tweets if they’re interesting or relevant enough. Bria (her Dad, actually), used this to his advantage and Tweeted Bria’s letter at Elon Musk to get his attention.

Is there some bigwig out there you’ve been wanting to reach out to? Find out if they’re on Twitter, and try Tweeting something interesting and relevant to them to get a conversation started. You’ll be surprised to see how many people will be happy to engage with you on there, even people who are normally hard to get a hold of.

Don’t overTweet or spam them, though. There’s no faster way to ruin a potential professional relationship that doesn’t involve making a “Yo mama so fat…” joke.

The Power of Crowdsourced Advertising

The actual idea Bria pitched to Elon was holding a contest where Tesla fans would create their own ads for Tesla Motors and send them in. Tesla’s people would choose their favorite ad and use it. The winning creator would get some of that sweet, sweet Tesla merch in return. So everybody wins.

This is sometimes called “crowdsourced advertising”, and companies like Tongal are based on the same basic idea. As Bria points out in her letter, the benefit of crowdsourced advertising is as follows:

The cool part is that you still won’t be taking the time and money to advertise for yourself. Plus, this is something your fans and customers will definitely love.

What entrepreneur wouldn’t want to save time and money while also getting their biggest fans and customers more invested in their business? The only way that prospect could get any sweeter is if there was free pizza involved, and I’m sure Bria would’ve figured out a way to work that in too, if given the time.

Make It Newsworthy (aka Have An Angle)

Honestly business ideas are a dime a dozen. People give away business ideas all the time. People, especially people as well-known as Elon Musk, get pitched all. The. Time. None of that is newsworthy.

But a schoolkid delivering a business idea to one of the most famous business people in the world, via Twitter, and him saying “Yes!”? Now that’s a story. It’s newsworthy because it’s something that’s different and unusual enough that journalists feel like they have to write about it.

This story got coverage in the BBC and elsewhere because it was wrapped in an interesting angle.

You may not be a 9-year-old girl reaching out to a billionaire entrepreneur with a business idea, but you can tell your unique story that nobody else can tell, or add a unique take on an existing story, and then reach out to journalists who’d think their readers would like it. You angle is the key to your coverage. Use it.

Well that’s my 2 cents for today.

Bria says she wants to go into politics, but if she ever changes her mind, I think she’s got a bright future ahead of her in marketing. And I’ll bet now Elon Musk thinks she does, too.

Steal This “Stupid-Proof” Tactic From McDonald’s To Fatten Up Your Wallet

mcdonalds photo

Photo by Yuya Tamai

So I went and did it.

I went and ate McDonald’s yesterday.

And, as always, afterwards I hated myself for it.

It’s funny how I’ll get a craving for some Mickey D’s knowing that afterwards I’ll feel bloated and gross.

And yet, every so often, I’ll take that artery-clogging plunge.

Maybe it’s the convenience (eleventy-bajillion locations and counting).

Maybe it’s that their food’s relatively cheap.

Maybe it’s the addictive chemicals in the grease (although, funnily enough, their fries are nowhere near as good as they used to be, now that they’ve “cleaned them up” by cutting out the trans-fats).

Whatever the case, one thing that isn’t queasy-inducing about McDonald’s is their ability to use systems to bring in a LOT of money.


24 hours a day.

(Notice I said “systems”. The systems McDonald’s has in place are why McDonald’s franchises have been so successful. Having proven systems in place takes a lot of the guesswork and risk out of the picture. It’s as close to “stupid-proofing” your business as you’re likely to find.)

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the business that Ray Kroc franchised into the billion-dollar belly fattening  beast we all know today.

But there’s one easy tactic you can swipe from them and start using today: upselling.

Just by asking customers if they want fries or a drink with their meal, McDonald’s boosts their average purchase size and probably put generations of potato farmer’s kids through college.

This seems like such an obvious thing, but so many people don’t do it, even though it could put more money in their pocket almost immediately.

An example:

You sell 10,000 widgets a year, at an average price of $100 per widget, so your average revenue from widgets is $1M per year.

If you boost that average purchase price to $150 per widget by adding an upsell to each purchase, your average yearly revenue from widgets jumps to $1.5M per year.

Just by adding an upsell, you’ve boosted your average yearly revenue by half a million dollars.

Pretty sweet, huh?

Lots of people think that the only way to grow their businesses is by doing something dramatic or revolutionary.

But really, it’s little tactics like adding an upsell that can have a huge impact on your profits.

But you have to know how to implement them the right way, or you can end up shooting yourself in the foot (for example, you’ll make way more upsells if you have a proven system to find out exactly what products your customers are itching to buy, instead of just slapping any old offer up there).

One of the best guys in the biz when it comes to growing the hell out of people’s profits, is Rich Schefren .

Rich coaches business owners and helps them get more customers, sell more, and make a lot more money than they currently are. In fact, he’s increased revenue for 25 of his coaching clients by 142 million dollars in 2 years.

You can learn more about Rich here

And you’re in luck, because it turns out he’s hosting a free webcast coming up, where he’ll share strategies he’s used:

  • To turn a failing clothing store into a million dollar business.
  • To build the largest chain of hypnosis centers in America.
  • To grow his own company, Strategic Profits, into a 7 million dollar business in 18 months.

You can register for the webcast here

Well that’s it for me today. But remember, don’t sleep on the power of little hacks. They can be a lot more powerful than you think. Just ask Ray Kroc (well, you can’t, because he’s not alive, but you know what I mean).

Till next time, don’t eat too many hot apple pies.



Spider-Man’s secret to supercharging your blogging

spider man photo

Photo by JD Hancock

Unless you’ve been trapped under a rock for the past 10 years or so, you’ve probably noticed that superhero movies are all the rage right now.

Batman, Superman, Iron-Man, The Avengers, the list goes on.

People can’t seem to get enough of them, and every summer, they rack up billions of dollars in sales around the world.

I know I’m hooked on them.

In fact, just the other day I was watching the movie Captain America: Civil War that came out earlier this year, and Spider-Man makes a cameo in the movie.

Now, Spider-Man’s always been one of my favorite superheroes (Yes, I know, I’m a huge nerd), but as I watched the movie, I realized that Spidey wasn’t just serving up costumed justice – he was serving up a pretty important lesson for us content marketers.

See, one of Spider-Man’s coolest abilities is that he can shoot webs from special “web shooters” on his wrists. In the movies and comics, he uses them to swing from buildings and to wrap up the criminals of New York City.

But what does this have to do with content marketing?

I’m glad you asked 🙂

The whole reason Spider-Man’s webbing works because it’s SUPER sticky.

He shoots it at the bad guys, and they get stuck and can’t get away.

And as content marketers, we should be looking to make our content super sticky, just like Spider-Man’s webbing.

That means every blog post and article you write should have:

  • A strong headline that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • A compelling intro that draws them in.
  • Body copy that delivers a ton of value (this could be education, entertainment, whatever).
  • And a conclusion/call to action that gets them to take your desired action.

Granted, short of hiring Spider-Man to spray webs all over your blog posts, making sticky content isn’t easy.

It’s an art and a science, and it takes time to master it.

The good news is, you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. The Ultimate Guide To Writing Viral Blog Posts shows you how to create sticky, shareable content as easily as Spidey does a quadruple backflip off the Empire State Building.

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Viral Blog Posts

It covers all the goodies, like:

  • How to write and structure blog posts that get read every time from top to bottom.
  • How to consistently crank out posts that will transform you into the superhero authority in your industry (and you won’t even have to get bitten by a radioactive spider to do it).
  • How to take your blog posts and multiply them so that you can turn one great blog post into dozens.
  • A technique that lets you compete with top news sites and be seen as an authority on the topic.

Blogging is one of the fastest ways to generate leads and sell more your stuff, while also building credibility for your business and creating an asset that you can even sell for big money if you choose to. It’s basically a marketing superpower.

But only if your posts get read and shared.

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Viral Blog Posts shows you how it’s done.

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Viral Blog Posts

Anyway, I’ve gotta queue up Netflix and find out if Spidey finally defeats Doctor Octopus for good. ‘Till next time, always remember:

“With great content, comes great profitability.”

Do you have any ideas with creating sticky content? Share them in the comments!

15 Awesome Growth Hackers And Marketing Pros You Should Follow On Twitter

startup photo

Photo by szwerink

On Tuesday, October 28, 2003, a Harvard sophomore named Mark Zuckerberg wrote a program called “Facemash” where people could rate each other based on attractiveness.

Within its first 4 hours online, Facemash had attracted 450 visitors. It was only for Harvard students.

Today, Facemash is called Facebook, and the President uses it and your grandmother uses it. And as of the second quarter of 2016, it had 1.71 billion monthly active users.

So how did Facebook go from a “Hot or Not” wannabe to one of the most popular products in the world?

They growth hacked the fuck out of it, that’s how.

And they’re not alone.

Instagram, Airbnb, Uber, Whatsapp, Dropbox, Buzzfeed – companies that seem to come out of nowhere and become bajillion-dollar businesses that make VCs get all tingly and scream “Shut up and take my money!!” all use growth hacking strategies to blow up and get really big, really fast.

And the good news is, you can growth hack the fuck out of things too. And the 15 people on the list below can help you. Check them out on Twitter or on their blogs.

Sean Ellis

Entrepreneur, author and angel investor Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010. He also founded growthhackers.com, an online community where startup founders, marketers, product managers, designers and other folks can share ideas about growth topics like finding product/market fit, user acquisition, getting press and publicity and more.

Sean on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeanEllis

Epic Blog Post: Find A Growth Hacker For Your Startup

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen publishes a newsletter and has written over 650 essays on tech, growth, product design and a ton of related topics. He’s been featured in publications including the New York Times, Wired, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune. He currently works at Uber.

Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrewchen

Epic Blog Post: Growth Hacker Is The New VP Marketing

Andy Johns

Andy doesn’t like being referred to as a growth hacker, but he definitely has serious growth chops. As a former Product Manager of Growth at Facebook, Twitter, Quora and current Director of Growth and Revenue at Wealthfront, he’s been in the trenches building some of the highest growth companies in the world.

Andy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ibringtraffic

Epic Quora post answer: What are some decisions taken by the “growth team at Facebook that helped Facebook reach 500 million users?

Brian Balfour

Brian Balfour is the founder of Reforge and the former VP Growth at inbound marketing SaaS company Hubspot. He’s co-founded several companies and also writes essays about growth and user acquisition on his blog, Coelevate.

Brian on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bbalfour

Epic Blog Post: How To Become A Customer Acquisition Expert

Emily Ritter

Emily Ritter is the Director of Marketing at data analytics startup Mode Analytics (Which, by the way, offers awesome tutorials like this one on how to use SQL to become a data analysis wizard and win the universe). She previously worked for Square and Tesla Motors, and specializes in using data to get marketing insights.

Emily on Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilyarden

Epic Blog Post: What Rom-Coms Can Teach Us About User Engagement Strategies

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the founder of Quicksprout and a New York Times best selling author. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by the White House and has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Techcrunch and The Next Web. He’s known for his expertise with content marketing and blogging, often publishing in-depth guides on a variety of topics like SEO, blogging, social media marketing and growth hacking.

Neil on Twitter: https://twitter.com/neilpatel

Epic Blog Post: Top 35 Blogging Ideas That Are Guaranteed To Be Popular

Grace Garey

Grace Garey is the co-founder of nonprofit startup Watsi, the first nonprofit to get accepted into startup accelerator Y Combinator. Originally interested in helping people in developing countries get access to basic necessities like medicine and health care, she joined micro-finance startup Kiva, and realized that technology could help solve some of the problems she was passionate about. She co-founded Watsi, where she’s helped grow and scale the company and help thousands of people along the way.

Grace on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gracegarey

Grace In The Huffington Post: Watsi Cofounder Grace Garey: The Journey from Y Combinator to 500 Patients Funded

Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan has helped grow companies like Facebook, Mint and Appsumo, and runs the excellent blog OkDork, where he gives away tons of free tutorials, case studies and cheat sheets on attracting users and subscribers. He lives in Austin, TX and loves Tacos.

Noah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/noahkagan

Epic Blog Post: How to Grow a Blog to 100,000 Visitors in Less than a Year

Shruti Lele

Shruti Lele is Growth Marketing Manager at Fipboard. She previously worked at mobile video advertising platform Personagraph and knows a ton about advertising and analytics for mobile apps and app marketing in general.

Shruti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shrutilele

Sylvia Ng

Sylvia Ng is VP Growth and Analytics at photography community website 500px. She’s also worked at Google, OANDA and Ebay. She blogs about growth marketing and specializes in analytics topics.

Sylvia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sylvng

Epic Blog Post: Growth Engineer Job Description Cheatsheet

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Nichole Elizabeth is the founder of Authentic Curation, and specializes in customer success for SaaS companies. She’s helped grow online communities including Inbound.org, Product Hunt and Growthhackers.com and is a master at SEO and social media marketing, among other topics. Plus, she’s super active on Twitter, so feel free to say hi!

Nichole on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikkielizdemere

Epic Blog Post: How to Use Data to Unlock Your Next Promotion

Ryan Holiday

Ryan is a former Director of Marketing for American Apparel. His Book, Trust Me, I’m Lying was a shocking behind-the-scenes look into how today’s media/blogosphere operates and became a debut bestseller. He’s appeared in numerous publications including Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times and Ad Age. He also writes for the New York Observer. He also wrote Growth Hacker Marketing, one of the first books on growth hacking.

Ryan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyanHoliday

Epic Presentation: Trading Up The Chain: How To Make National News In 3 Easy Steps

Hana Abaza

Hana Abaza is VP Marketing at content marketing startup Uberflip. She also hosts the #Fliptheswitch marketing podcast, and has been featured on the Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marketing Profs and other publications. She writes (and Tweets!) about content marketing, sales, conversion, customer retention and other good stuff.

Hana on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HanaAbaza

Epic Blog Post: Content Is For Closers: How to Leverage Content for Sales Enablement

Alyssa Galella

Alyssa Galella is Director at Moxie Communications Group. She describes herself as a “Tech startup PR lady”, and Moxie has worked with startups like Dollar Shave Club, Casper, Vroom, Dog Vacay, Tradesy and more, helping them craft their stories and get media coverage, traction and users.

Alyssa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/woodlandalyssa

So there you have it, 15 growth experts who can serve you as your extended internet “Growth Hacking Mastermind” group. Follow them, learn from them and maybe even @ hello them on Twitter if you find their stuff helpful.

Who are some of your favorite growth experts, and why? Let me know in the comments!