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Neil, you’ve been expanding your online marketing brand globally into Brazil. What don’t you just tell us a little bit about how that’s going?
It’s been going well. Brazil’s done well.
Funny enough, because there’s no competition in the currency exchange and we have this global brand expansion model where we don’t bring the money back into the US, and we just dump it all back into growth and the people who are local, we found that our revenue growth is just skyrocketing.
There’s just people looking for solutions, but no one’s offering them anything because people don’t want to expand into places like Brazil when there are recessions.
But it’s going well. Within 12 months of creating the business, we hit over $100,000 a month in profit, within 12 months.
When I went to Brazil, no one knew who I was, but there was no competition. Everyone was like, oh, this is amazing!
This American or this gringo’s coming, and look what he’s teaching us. This sounds cool.
I would give a lecture at a conference. I gave a lecture at a conference called RD Summit in Florianopolis, Brazil.
The microphone and the audio, everything was messed up. Speaking to 5,000 people, and most of them don’t speak English. 96 plus percent of Brazil doesn’t speak English.
So they have headsets in. People can’t understand me because my mic’s going out, and we people are like, we love your speech.
Thank you for coming. We want to do business even though most of the audience couldn’t hear what I was saying because the microphone was out. A lot of times, the translators, because they don’t know marketing, they’re not getting the full message because there are some semantics and some issues.
They don’t understand what link building is or how to explain it. You can’t just do a literal translation, right? You have to adjust it to the audience.
But we’re still growing. There’s just no competition with our global brand expansion right now. I think my ad agency in Brazil within a few years can hit $10 million a year, which isn’t too shabby just for being in Brazil. There’s so much potential there.
What’s your process for finding operators? As you keep expanding internationally, you’re delegating a lot of the work and responsibility.
I overpay, but I make people work for it before I overpay. I’ll hit people up, and I’ll go on LinkedIn and try to find people, or I’ll just put out ads everywhere.
I’ll expect people to work for free or dirt cheap for the first 30 to 60 days or even 90 days. Once they prove it or prove to me that they can do well, I’ll pay them way more than they can get anywhere else, and then it’s their job to expand, grow and figure things out.
But I’m looking for people who can just figure things out on their own and are scrappy and creative. I’m not looking for that Harvard graduate.
I’m not looking for that person who got perfect on their SATs. I’m looking for that person who didn’t grow up with money. They always had to fight the good fight and figure out creative ways to succeed or put food on the table.
I’m looking for that person who doesn’t give up and is willing to do whatever, as long as they’re following the laws and not doing anything unethical, to just go out there and figure out how to make things happen.
I’m looking for people who believe in the longterm vision and believe in people.
I learned this from Richard Branson. He and I were speaking at a conference together, and he told me one piece of advice that resonated with me: you can’t build a company without the people.
It’s not the idea. It’s not the concept. It’s the people and the team that makes a company.
Find the right people. Pay whatever it is to get them because, without them, you won’t have a big enough operation, and that’s what people forget.
And for all of you that are watching or listening, don’t forget, when you start making money, it’s not about just pocketing it, buying the biggest home or doing well.
Don’t forget about the people who got you where you are today or who helped you get there. Take care of them because when you’re struggling, because things always don’t go up, there’s recessions, market crashes, companies go in and out.
A competitor who’s crazy like me may be offering your product or service for free tomorrow, which can screw up your revenue.
But the people that you invested in that had your back will be there during your down times.
So invest in them, and don’t be greedy and feel that you deserve all the profit. Everyone on the team should be rewarded because they helped you get to where you are today.