00:00:24- Chris: Welcome Freedom FastTrack, here’s another episode of Freedom FastTrack Podcast. Today I’ve got a really special guest, Brian Evans. He’s the founder of Influencive and also the Inc. 500 Serial Entrepreneur. Brian, dude I’m so happy to have you here. I’ve been looking at Infuencive. What’s been coming out, some of the content and it’s quite impressive. Thanks for being here man.
00:00:46- Brian: Thanks man! Yeah, it’s awesome to be here. Thanks for having me.
00:00:49- Chris: I think a lot of our listeners know will know about Influencive and be excited to hear from the founder. I think the best way to start is to talk a little about that. What are you most excited about with Influencive? And how did you get started?
00:01:09-Brian: Influencive, really I started it because I was looking for a place to voice my voice [Laughing]. I wanted to write online. I want to be in some of the big publications so I just literally created it as a personal blog to start with when I created it about ten months ago today. I was just literally looking for a place to feature my stuff. Before I knew it, a bunch of my friends came to me and said “Hey, can we write for two.” And I was like “Okay.” I was just kind of “keep it for a personal blog”. Before I knew it, I had ten people that want to write for it. Then there were twenty, there are 50, there was a hundred.
00:01:47- Brian: In the meantime, I started to work. Like my content went from poor to good so I started getting asked from other publications to write for them as well. I was kind of accomplished my first goal of getting into the other platforms. But then the side effect was I started, built this site that’s getting a lot of attraction. A lot of people want to read it and write for it. So it really started to take off and I have to give a lot of initial credit to a lot of the writers. That’s where all of the contents are coming from.
00:02:16- Chris: That’s an amazing story because I think a lot of people think they need to do the writing and be the person that does it all and here’s someone like you saying “It was actually always other people”.
00:02:28- Brian: Yeah, absolutely! I think when you’re building something especially when you have a reason behind what you’re doing; it’s to affect people and help people and things like that. It’s not about you, it’s not about me, so it’s about the people that are reading and that are benefitting from it. Whoever I can get the best content from, I’ll forward that.
00:02:46- Chris: I love that man. Some of these are really important. We’re going to hear more about your entrepreneur journey. There’s a big difference between entrepreneurs who understand leverage of delegation and those that really don’t and it seems to be a divide.
00:03:02- Brian: Totally.
00:03:03- Chris: It is really exciting to talk to you more about that. We’re going to go down apart of marketing, obviously you know a lot about marketing and PR. Delegation and getting other people to do things for you Brian is a going to be fun to explore as well.
00:03:21- Brian: Oh yeah! Absolutely, definitely!
00:03:23- Chris: Let’s start off with you man. I know Serial Entrepreneur obviously doesn’t mean that you’re here to sell your products. Take us with the journey man. I’d love to understand a little more about you.
00:03:39- Brian: Yeah, before Influencive I have a company, still have it. It’s called BDE Ventures. It was my company that made the Inc. 500 list. We were named 25th fastest growing advertising and marketing agency in America. We drew everything from the PR side to actually the performance side of driving traffic in users installs for their apps and different things like that. We also deal a lot with direct response marketing companies online. I had a lot of experience for many years. I was entrepreneur since I was 16, 32 today. So I’ve been an entrepreneur for basically my whole entire life. I’ve been doing advertising and marketing essentially the whole time online and grew up in sort of an early days of google when it was first starting and learning how to sort of leverage traffic and things like that. So yeah, it’s been a very interesting journey, exciting journey. I wish I could say this is my first, you know with Influencive people say “Wow, it’s been so successful in ten months!” but really it’s been a sixteen year over a night success.
00:04:47- Chris: [Laughing]
00:04:49- Brian: What they don’t hear about is all the failures I walk with. I had success too of course but there’s been a lot of stuff that you know it’s like “Oh, we’ll talk about that one day” [laughing]
00:05:04- Chris: [Laughing]
00:05:07- Brian: It shows perseverance and you have to keep going. Failures are lessons in disguise.
00:05:14- Chris: Right. The thing that most people tend to think is that, people just kind of turn up and there it is “Wow! Ten months! Look at this amazing blog and all these different things”. I want to dive in a little bit about what was it like 10, 15 years ago doing marketing online but it’s now, what’s really changed?
00:05:38- Brian: 10, 15 years ago is early days. It was a pain years. People out there, we’re just kind of figuring it all out. It was like “Okay, google is brand new, facebook ads and it’s full form yet; it was figuring out, it was kind of “Wild West Days.” There was no structure. It was “Wild West” thing; algorithm’s differently exists anywhere to the extent they use today. It was completely, it’s a different world. It was a volume day’s world rather than the quality based world especially on the contents space. We had a lot of a quantity of content; you could just get lots of traffic online. Whereas today; quantity is only so much beneficial. It’s a lot about the quality.
00:06:34- Brian: My first business, I was selling physical products on Ebay and I sort of tapped out Ebay and I said “Okay, well everyone that’s on Ebay’s buying my stuff. It’s in this niche, “how do I get more traffic to it?” So I started creating sites with, early days ago basically to get traffic to Ebay; that was like my sale’s page basically, I was leveraging google starting out. I was leveraging that kind of traffic to get them back to my Ebay store. I was actually confused because I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. I just want anyone to buy my business so I was like “Oh you want to buy it?” “Okay”. I didn’t seek out to become an entrepreneur. That was very much accidental for me. I was like “Okay sure! I’ll sell it” so then to me this is my moment of time that allowed me to sort of experimenting with a lot of different things.
00:07:30- Chris: I think that experimenting is such a key component Brian and I want to pause and I know you said about it but I want to hear about it because I see a lot of entrepreneurs getting out there and starting. We talk a lot about freedom and one thing that sort of scared of is failing. I like to say this thing that business is just a series of micro tests. [Laughing]
00:07:57- Brian: [Laughing] Absolutely.
00:07:58- Chris: Tell us about some of the experiments and what you’ve figured out?
00:08:05- Brian: From there basically what I did was “Okay, I figured on how to sort of get some traffic online” so I started building these big sites, it was lots of content. I was putting ads and I was using google ads back in the day. It’s very successful times early on due to figuring out sort of the early google algorithms. So I would test out and put ads on there but then what I realize was “Okay, somebody’s making money from these ads.” There was like no competitors back then especially just google ads and one or two others. I said “Okay. How else can I make money?” I started experimenting with different products. So I said “Okay. I’m going to go directly with the source.” Who’s advertising different ads? And I would go to them and I would join affiliate programs and things like that, get permission, or get percentage of a sale or whatever and it started to work as well. I would work with these different companies. It was more successful I would say when sort of tech products coming out, Netflix I first started. I would drive traffic into tem and they would pay out $20.00 per user that I get to sign up for example.
00:09:10- Brian: I started to figure out “Okay, there was more to this.” I started tinkering and experimenting with all these different ways to monetize and to make money from the traffic. It was like this fun journey of “Okay, what kind of traffic do I have?” Also, you learn things too because what people don’t realize is that; just because someone’s on site looking on a video game content or something like that, something random like that, they can still be part of a bigger demographic. It’s interested in something else; they don’t have to be something about video game, whatever. What this experimenting taught me and made me learn was that “Wow, there’s so much psychology behind everything we do”. We’re program, so much colours, images, words; everything is program inside of us so deeply. It’s like you go to a movie theatre, even if you don’t like, even if you’re super health conscious and you don’t like popcorn or soda but you hear it on the screen before the movie even for a second; almost everybody’s like “Man, I want some popcorn and some soda.”
00:11:40- Chris: For the starter entrepreneurs that they’re trying to find their idea; would you suggest they just follow things that they’re curious in and take on an experiment?
00:11:49- Brian: I think you have to because this is what happened for me. When I was a kid, I struggle big time at school. If you go to my sort of back story, I struggle in school big time. I didn’t learn traditionally. So I was forced to literally find a different ways to learn to do things. The traditional path didn’t work for me, I ended up, I tried quote and quote three times in school, dropped out three times out of college [laughing].
00:12:34- What I was learned was, the things that I was especially interested in: I like a lot of basketball shoot. I would sit outside and shoot basketball like shoot three points thousands of times. My mom would be calling me in for dinner and I’d say “No, I have to make ten more shots” and I would not come in until I make ten more shots.
00:12:55- Chris: I just need to let you know how incredibly similar our story is at this exact point.
00:13:02- Brian: Wow!
00:13:03- Chris: I end up playing basketball for my country. I do thousands every morning.
00:13:10- Brian: I had no idea! That’s amazing.
00:13:16- Chris: I actually paid someone else to go through all my lectures.
00:13:22- Brian: I thought, I got to try that too [Laughing]
00:13:28- Chris: I love that. Here’s what I love about that shooting stuff man. There’s metrics there’s numbers and there’s a system to follow and for me, it was one of the most meditating and enjoyable but also sometimes very frustrating.
00:14:26- Chris: Here’s my question. How did some of your upbringing especially sport, do you think it’s correlated to your success in business?
00:14:34- Brian: I think there’s definitely a correlation. Going a little bit deeper, what happened to me is; I was a kid. I was eight years old and this is also sport related I guess. I was riding a bike. I was playing; Okay, I thought this is the great to start. I was playing football on my bike, while riding a wheelie, no handed. I was trying to throw the ball back and forth because I was riding without my hand. [Laughing] eight years old so yeah, anyway, I missed the catch. The ball goes into the spokes of the bike.