Social Media Expert shares his “Rags to Riches” Story
Meet Jason Baudendistel! Jason is the perfect example of how hard work can pay off for anyone!
From welfare to #1 becoming an Amazon #1 best selling author, he’s the blueprint for every entrepreneur.
He is the author of “The Idiots Guide to LinkedIn Marketing” and provides internet consulting services to small businesses.
What motivated you to start this business?
I felt that a lot of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and authors didn’t know how to digitally market themselves properly. My two training programs are designed to give these people the best chance of building their business or building their readership. In the right hands, I believe both products could be life changing. There are some good products out there but not enough. I felt there was room for another one.
What training or experience enables you create this kind of business?
I’ve worked in a senior marketing position at two different companies and I’m an Amazon #1 best selling author. You can’t do these things without having indepth knowledge of marketing.
Where did you get the capital to start your business?
It’s completely ‘boot strapped’. I took $200 out of savings to pay for the website and hosting, and I do all my marketing through free or low cost marketing resources. I built and continually add to a client list created almost entirely from social media referrals & word of mouth.
How do you get clients from social media?
Twitter works well for branding but I haven’t seen a lot of actual leads from it. I’ve gotten the most leads from Facebook and LinkedIn.
What is your typical day like?
I wake up; do some branding marketing on LinkedIn and from my website. I then start conversations on social media, looking for referrals. I’m always on the lookout for opportunities, always talking to potential clients. I’m always hustling. Since I don’t draw a steady paycheck, the only way I pay my bills is to bring in clients. That’s the tradeoff for being an entrepreneur. You have the freedom, but the money only comes if you work for it. The time I work varies, but it’s usually about 5 hours a day.
How long do you think it will take before you get where you want to be money-wise?
I expect to reach my goal of 5-6-thousand dollars a month within 3-6 months. I set goals of $200,000 in my second year and $1-million for my 3rd year.
What have been some of your failures and what have you learned from them?
My first company, a record label, didn’t work out. I learned that when you build a team, you’ve got to make sure that everyone’s completely committed to the project. By the end of the first year I was basically doing everything on my own and that’s impossible to maintain. I realized that if I’m going to do most of the work, I had to do something I was passionate about – and one of my biggest passions is technology. So I began to focus on building things that were completely web-based.
What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur?
I had to sacrifice a steady paycheck in return for future potential. It’s taken me 4 companies and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to have finally turned the corner.
How do you feel about the success of this business?
This is the closest I’ve come to putting the ‘recipe’ for success together. I’ve built a product I believe in, I’m putting together a team that I believe supports my goals. In only a year I’ve built 80 links to my website. This business has the potential that I want and need.
What motivates you?
It’s the combination of pursuing my passions, and the freedom. If you build stuff that creates value, and if you can make a comfortable amount of money – or more than that – while doing something you love, it’s the ultimate win-win. It never really feels like work. And the combination of helping to make a difference in people’s lives while paying bills – that’s important to me as well.
How had being an entrepreneur affected your personal life?
I have a fiancé – I’m getting married in September – and sometimes the sporadic pay cycle causes a problem. When I have a lump sum of 1-2 thousand dollars coming in it’s fine, but when it’s only $200 it’s rough.
What do you feel is the best way to achieve long-term success?
The best way is through consistency, having a game plan or strategy for how you’re going to get there, and being persistent, never giving up. If you can combine those three, maybe it’ll take 2 years, maybe it’ll take 5, but you’ll get there.
Do you think having a business plan is important?
Yes and the most important part of that plan is the marketing strategy.
What is the major difference between an entrepreneur and someone who holds a job?
It depends, because if you work for a smaller company you end up being somewhat entrepreneurial as you have to juggle several different jobs at once. So you have a taste of entrepreneurship but with a steady paycheck. The trade-off is that with entrepreneurship, there is no ceiling on what you can make. Once you get over the initial 6 months of sporadic payment the freedom and the rewards are worth it.
What is your greatest fear and how do you manage that fear?
I sometimes have issues with rejection and self-doubt. To battle these I constantly build myself up by seeking out positive and inspiring influences. One of my favourite quotes is by Henry Ford: “If you think you can do a thing, or you can’t do a thing – you’re right.” If you convince yourself you’ll get there – even if it takes 5 years, you’ll get there.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who wanted to become an entrepreneur?
- Set aside money for living expenses, preferably for about 6 months.
- Sit down and write up a marketing strategy, for whatever you want to build or offer. Write down a game plan for why it has value and potential.
- Do your market research. Check to see if there’s room in the marketplace for whatever it is you’re selling.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy taking my dogs for walks, music, going to plays, movies, and art. Technology is my favorite thing though, so if you ask anyone who knows me, it’s hard to get me away from my computer.
What types of books have you written?
My first book was entitled, “Idiots Guide to Linked-In Marketing’ and it was #1 for a while in the Sales Category and #2 in the Marketing category on Amazon.com.
Who’s been your greatest inspiration?
Abraham Lincoln is first because we have similar backgrounds. We both grew up extremely poor, we both basically built up something from nothing and we persevered through it. In a close second place are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, both for following their passions. In Gates case, I admire him for being innovative enough to make a powerful tool like a computer affordable to everyone.
What business do you admire the most?
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire-Hathaway Inc. because of the collection of companies they have, that they all adhere to a set high standard. And even though I don’t like the price point for their products, I love the innovation of Apple. I love that they can inspire people to do more, with the most simplistic of themes.
How do you generate new ideas?
I do a lot of brainstorming. I sit down, brainstorm, write down ideas and do my research. I lay down a marketing strategy, at least a very short, basic one for each new idea that pops into my head. If it seems to have potential, I move forward from there.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Within 6 months to a year if I don’t start to see some momentum or some kind of consistent growth, then I revisit whether or not the concept is marketable, or if there’s a need for it.
What makes you happy?
Doing what I love, structuring my life around making a living while helping people – for me those are pretty much the keys to happiness.
If you could talk to any person from history, who would it be?
It would be Abraham Lincoln. He’s living proof that if you want to succeed badly enough, nothing can stop you. I would ask him what drove him, why he picked some of the career paths he did. I would pick his brain and just soak in the knowledge.
If you could characterize your life as an entrepreneur in one word, what would it be?
Persistence. “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.” Calvin Coolidge.
Connect with Jason Baudendistel
- Website – http://www.jasonbaudendistel.com
- Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessCoach1
- Book (Amazon.com) - http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-LinkedIn-Marketing-ebook/dp/B006FODZOS
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