Bacon Wrapped Business With Brad Costanzo
BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Inside The Marketing Mind Of Neil Patel


Neil Patel is one of the most prolific and expert content marketers in the business. His blog posts are legendary in their length, frequency, and depth, and he knows how to build and scale a business very quickly.

A master of digital marketing and an analytics junkie, his website,, is an analytics software that uses “heatmaps” to track what people are clicking on when they visit your website – even if they aren't clicking on actual links. This information helps business owners find the best ways to improve their websites and grow more revenue.

In addition to Crazy Egg, Neil is the co-author of the new bestselling book, Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum. With an overall focus on marketing, Neil ties his top strategies into a framework that applies to everybody. Whether you’re just starting out or are established and want to build your brand, his expertise can help you get to the next level of growth.

Episode Highlights:

  • The one goal that companies, big and small, need help to achieve. (Hint: it’s less complicated than you might think, and it earns him big consulting dollars that he reinvests in his business.)
  • The investment strategy that will earn you the biggest possible return. You don’t need a ton of capital to implement it, and it will pay off for the rest of your life – because it’s always growing.
  • The reason that improving his focus is his number one goal – and how he believes that doing so will help him in every area of his business.
  • Why Neil swears by guest posting, and thinks that in many ways, it’s the best way to build your brand online – better than having your own blog. (He also shares some specific strategies that can help you build relationships and get guest posting gigs, and manage your expectations in the first year you do it. You won’t want to miss it!)
  • How he uses video advertising to grow his company – including who he targets and how he targets them.
  • Why he thinks it’s preferable to buy an existing company and grow it rather than starting your own – and wishes he had done that from the start.
  • How people who are just starting out can use a process of trial and error to discover their passion. It’s normal to have difficulty pinning down what you want to do, but Neil breaks it down using meas an example. This method is one of the topics covered in his new book, Hustle, which is available on Amazon.
  • The simple, common-sense method he uses to build his brand on Instagram and Snapchat without paying the platforms’ high advertising prices. (It cuts the price he pays per Like down to practically nothing and allows him get a ton of exposure – and you can do it too.)
  • If you haven’t already checked out Crazy Egg, Neil’s killer product, click here to see what you’re missing.

To learn more about Neil and digital marketing and analytics junkie, visit

About The Guest: Neil Patel

BWB Neil | Digital MarketingNeil Patel is one of the most prolific and expert content marketers in the business.  His blog posts are legendary in their length, frequency and depth. And he knows how to build and scale a business very quickly.

Neil Patel is a master of digital marketing and an analytics junkie. His website,, is an analytics software that uses “heatmaps” to track what people are clicking on when they visit your website – even if they aren't clicking on actual links. This information helps business owners find the best ways to improve their websites and grow more revenue.

In addition to Crazy Egg, Neil is the co-author of the new bestselling book (available now on Amazon) Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum

Inside The Marketing Mind Of Neil Patel

Our guest is Neil Patel. Neil is one of the most prolific marketing experts in the world. He is responsible for businesses such as Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics and

You’ve probably heard of him. If you’ve googled anything on marketing or digital marketing, you’ve probably come across an article on Neil is one of the brightest, most successful marketers and business growth experts out there.

He's joining us on the show to talk about some of the strategies that are working in his business and some of his clients. He's going to talk about his book called Hustle. Was Crazy Egg your first big breakout success?

You’re right. That's my first big breakout success. We had a ton of PR and press. We even had people writing articles. We didn't pay them or tell them to write this, but people were writing articles like, “Google should acquire this company and stuff.” I would say that was my first big success.

For my readers, one of my favorite memories of you is one time when we were all hanging over at Kent Clothier’s house over here in La Jolla. You're in town.

I think it was for Traffic & Conversion Summit or something like that. It was a little chilly out and you came over to the party in a bathrobe.

It was freezing. I never bring a jacket so I just took the bathrobe from the hotel and I'm like, “This is my jacket.”

It was a pretty pimping thing to do, I’ve got to admit, especially because I think you had some Gucci shoes on or something like that. It was some really fancy shoes and all you saw was like alligator shoes or whatever and a white bathrobe.

They’re alligator. I was wearing Tom Ford shoes then at that time and a robe.

You've been blown up a lot. There's probably no one more prolific than you and your company with content creation and the long-form content creation.

Also, the “he just wrote a book on a blog post and he did it three times this week” content. You've made a real name for yourself in producing the type of content that makes people take notice.

We go above and beyond and what's crazy is the amount of time and energy it takes to create that kind of content. It's just a lot and most people don't realize it. On top of that, what most people don't even see, is we do that in English, we do the same in Spanish, we do the same in Portuguese and German.

You guys translate it?

We translate it manually. Each week, on, I’m publishing seven blog posts in English, seven in Portuguese, seven in German, seven in Spanish. We're cranking out multiple languages. We'll add more like Arabic, Italian and then French and few other languages over time.

You know Chrome will translate that for you, right?

It's not the same. You don't realize there's so much traffic to be had internationally and no one goes after it. We're almost at the point where we're getting more visitors from Brazil than we are from the United States.

Is Brazil hugely growing with digital marketing?

It’s huge. Think of it this way. I've been doing Brazil since November of 2015. I've been doing the US version since 2014 some time.

When you think about it that way, in general, the Brazil page on my About page, it's a lot newer, has 234 comments. My US About page has a whopping 232. I have more comments in Portuguese than I do in English on my About page.

I just went there, That's how I get to the Brazilian one.

At the top, that will mean that's their version of About.

You translate this into how many languages then?

The main site is translated in German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English. It’s five languages and we’re adding more.

You spend a lot of money too. That's what people don't understand. You’re not just throwing out content like, “I'm going to sit here and type.”

You spend a lot of money on everything from infographics to research and everything else that you can tell when you're reading this. It's overwhelming. It’s one of the reasons also to say, “Go ahead and try to compete with me on this, good luck.”

I go above and beyond. It's hard for people to compete because they think I'm crazy. This is my personal blog. I spent more than six figures just on credit card expenses on the personal blog plus there are employees, team members and other miscellaneous expenses.

BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing: You don’t need much money to start on your content and blog.


I’m spending six figures purely on a credit card. If you include the team members and stuff like that, the expenses are way more. That’s difficult to compete when you're burning that much cash.

You had your success in software and other stuff like that. You came to this with capital, I'm guessing, before you started spending a large amount of capital on the content and the blog, etc.

What advice do you have for people who are starting off and they don't have a big capital stash to invest in this, to get quality stuff, but then not being able to drop six figures every month on their blog?

Most people don't realize that you don't need much money to make it work out, even me. I had money from the software realm, but the blog was profitable probably for the third month. I was burning anywhere near six figures. I was even burning four figures a month.

I was just putting in my own time and pay for hosting. It would probably cost me $30 or $50 a month for stock photography. My expenses weren't that high. It produces more than whatever it costs. That’s the only reason I'm burning so much money because I'm trying to expand as quickly as possible.

Tell me what a week and life of you look like. What I mean by that is, I know you do client work, you've got your own stuff, you're probably involved in a bunch of other cool opportunities and things like that, how are you spending your life? What does your business and life look like?

My business life is boring. It's filled with emails, meetings and blogs. That's it. That's a day in my life. I travel a lot. I blog a lot. I don't do much more than that. It is just email. If I had to pick one, I spend most of my time in emails.

You work with clients of all sizes. I know you've worked with some big companies in the past. Do you still do that?

We don't do much consulting at all. That's also how I'm able to pay for a lot of the burn on the blog. We got big consulting contracts that are pretty easy. We'll take on and then I'll use that money and I'll just burn it.

I'll be like, “Go translate X content into international expansion.” I walked in a contract with a travel company where they're paying me $100,000. It’s a big publicly-traded travel company. All I have to do is to meet up with them twice or something like that and that $100,000 is not much work.

There's no real cost other than airfare. Technically, they also live close enough to me where I don't even have to get a hotel. You get airfare or whatever it may be, fly back and forth, or a one-night hotel. I'll take the money and I'll burn it on the blog. I don't do much consulting.

Does the income of the blog come from what would you say then?

The income is mainly coming from eBooks, digital products.

On the consulting stuff, whether it's the travel company or some of the larger ones you've done, I've always been curious about this. I've done some big deals, but what do you find some of the bigger companies typically need help with?

A lot of times, I found personally that it's stuff that I think is simple like, “You're seriously paying me for this?” Do you have those situations where I can't believe you're paying me $100,000 for doing something I could do in my sleep?

Not necessarily. You have to think about ROI. If a company is making hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars, would you pay someone $100,000 or $500,000 or $1 million to come in and teach you a few simple tweaks that you can make or tweaks you can make to grow your business by 5% or 10%?

Are you finding that they typically want help with their content marketing strategy, SEO, conversion rate optimization or direct response? What do you find some of the biggest pain points in the companies that you have worked with have been?

They just want me to help them make more sales, revenue. That's it. They’re going to tell me, “Help us with SEO or conversion.”

They don’t say how, they say, “We just need more money.”

They’re like, “Here’s our business. Here’s our stock price. We have slow growth. We have issues with Google. We have issues with that. Can you figure out how to help us grow by another 5% or 10%?”

They have growth issues. When you get to a size where you're making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, it's not easy to keep growing 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% year-over-year.

They’re coming to me like, “Neil, do you know any ways we can grow? We’ll pay you. Just come in and tell us what's wrong.”

That's a great position to be in. I imagine that the content marketing that you've done does most of the heavy lifting for building your credibility and getting on their radar.

It does. Most of these guys read the blog. That's how they find me. You read the blog. I have a book coming out which will help you even more. I speak on a ton of conferences.

I released a podcast which I think is doing okay. I don’t know what's good or bad. We're getting around 6,000 to 7,000 downloads a day. I was like, “Maybe we can get to half a million within the next 30 or 60 days per month or whatever.”

What's the name of the podcast?

If you have a talent or a skill, invest in it. Your best ROI is going to be yourself. Share on X

Marketing School.

I'll definitely check that out. For my readers, you can check it out. Do you do much investing in other companies, whether it's angel or anything like that? Do you get involved? I know you’ve got a lot of friends in Silicon Valley.

I'm investing on a ton of startups. I don't know how many, my guess is 30 to 40 over time. I don't invest too much in startups. I’ve been doing that for several years now. I found that the highest ROI is investing in myself. For anyone reading, if you have a talent or a skill, invest in it. Your best ROI is going to be yourself.

I've actually had to dig into that with some personal stuff on my own in the past. Many years ago, I went broke twice. I just lost everything I had through investments that I made in either other people, other things, things that I had no control over.

I thought, “I've got some money here. I'm going to put this in.” I'm talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. I ended up going all-in because I thought that might be my lottery ticket. Both of them failed spectacularly.

Every time I've invested in myself, whether it was my own business, my own education, or whatever ended up working out, I always need to tattoo that on my arm.

Think of it this way, you made it back and you're still kicking and you're alive and you're doing great. How did you make it all back? Yourself. It's the best investment someone can make. I look at education too, not just college education. I'm not saying you should go to college or you shouldn't.

I'm saying, life experiences, what you learn, the time and energy that you spend. It can even be reading and learning online videos, listening to this podcast. You can learn in many different ways.

The best investment is always going to be yourself. The more you improve yourself, the better off you're going to be in the long haul.

What are some of the areas that you're trying to improve yourself in? You've got a good mastery of a lot of areas of marketing, but where are you trying to improve?

My biggest problem is focus. I've been good, I’m cutting that back. I only focus on Crazy Egg and that's it. Other than that, I've just been focusing on building my brand and I'm trying to learn how to get better and better. I think I'm doing a good job because I look at it.

I do a ton of guest posting each week. I blog on my own blogs. I have been building up my social media profiles. I've released a podcast. There are a few more things that I do. I also speak at conferences. I eventually want to get into YouTube videos and have a YouTube channel.

I’m just focusing on how do I build the biggest brand in marketing so I could be the next David Ogilvy of digital marketing?

David Ogilvy was the man. The guest posting, I remember hearing one of your strategies on guest posting back at an event you were speaking at in Orlando. I remember taking a lot of notes. I've done some guest posting and I've always seen that as a valuable strategy.

You talked about reaching out to other people who are guest posting or who have relationships there and working your way in, in order to get on these publications. Can you explain a bit more about your strategy there, for people like myself and others who would like to do more of that?

Think of it this way. You guys all tune in to this podcast. Brad, you guest post in a few places. Instead of just hitting up Entrepreneur Magazine and sites like that and saying, “Entrepreneur Magazine, can we guest post?” Chances are they're going to ignore your email.

If you email Brad and you say, “Brad, it’s an amazing article that you wrote on marketing. I love it to death. Have you thought about covering X, Y, and Z topic that you didn't discuss in this article? I think it would benefit a lot of your readers and listeners like me.”

The chances are because I'm giving you solid feedback, you're going to be like, “Sure. Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.” Maybe you'll implement it or maybe you won't. It doesn't even matter but I'm giving you solid feedback and you're just going to appreciate it overall.

The same goes with any type of networking. When you network with someone and you give them feedback versus asking for something, they're more likely to want to work with you, help you out, or whatever it may be. After I send you that first email, you're going to typically respond back.

I may wait a few days or a week later and send you off another email. “Brad, I read another article of yours. I love it to death. I notice you covered A, B and C tool, but you actually missed out this tool and here's how you can use it to do what you're trying to do more efficiently.”

I'm trying to give you more feedback and it shows I’m an expert, I know my stuff. Eventually, after I build that rapport with you and I give you feedback, I may end up shooting you an email.

I’ll say, “Brad, I have a quick question for you. I want to follow in your footsteps. I love what you're doing. My goal one day is to be like you.

One of the things that you do is guest posting. Any advice that you can give me or better yet maybe you could even do an introduction between the editor of Entrepreneur Magazine? I love to write content for them just like you. Your number one fan, Neil.” It works well.

Flattery will get you everywhere. It's absolutely true.

The key is flattery after you get feedback. In that way, they're engaged.

There's an art to it. You don't go for it upfront like, “Brad, I saw you writing for Entrepreneur. Can I be on there?” I have not done this yet, but it made me think, we've all got a million ideas, we just haven't pursued.

BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing: When you network with someone and give them feedback versus asking for something, they're more likely to want to work with you.


I do have a platform, the podcast. I get good listenership and everything else. I have the ability to give value.

I notice that there are a lot of people like you, if I just found you, didn't know you and I said, “Neil, I love what you're doing. I love Crazy Egg. I saw your writing. I read your article on Entrepreneur. I'd love to have you on my show.”

Reaching out, because I can offer that as a value, interviewing these people who are also business owners but they're guest posting on some prominent places. That's me giving them a platform, giving them more exposure which is obviously what they're looking for and building a relationship like that.

Maybe even casually asking, “How's that going with Entrepreneur.” It's one of those things that I probably should do to leverage my platform to get even more exposure.

I've never thought about that, but I'm going to use it now.

You’ve got the podcast and everything else, it's reaching out. There are a lot of creative ways to get in there.

By the way, the number one reason that I do this podcast, I say this online all the time, it's selfish like I do it for the relationships I get to build with my guests and the opportunities that facilitate.

I want to have these conversations with people like you and the other guests. Anyway, I may as well record them and let other people eavesdrop, but it's been an amazing door opener.

I believe it. When we're doing our podcasts, we're not even doing guests, “That's too much work.” I'm just going on there chatting away.

To me, that's too much work. I always thought I could talk to a wall, but I sit down in front of a microphone and nothing to say. I go, “I’ve got nothing. I’ve got other stuff to do.” I think having a guest scheduled keeps me on point. “I’ve got to do the podcast.”

I love the guest posting strategy. If somebody's just starting off on or getting going on content marketing for themselves, if they're going to focus more effort on their own blog versus guest posting, what would you prioritize?

If you're not going to blog consistently, do guest posting. If you can blog consistently, eventually do your own blog and guest posting. You should always do guest posting because you're leveraging someone else's traffic and platform so it's easier to get started.

It doesn't provide amazing results. Everyone's like, “I'm on Entrepreneur Magazine. My career is made. I'm going to get a ton of traffic. My rankings are going to boost.” None of that really happens.

All that happens is, you get on these guest posting sites like Entrepreneur Magazine or Forbes. More people are seeing you but unless they see your name over and over again, you're not going to do well.

What you need to do is do it for a year and after, you're going to start seeing some name recognition from it and branding. You'll start seeing business compliment, but it takes a long time to kick in.

It's a credibility builder and it helps if you're working with clients, if you're working for other people. When they google you, things like that are going to come up and it's going to be great.

This is more of a technical question on that. When you're doing a guest post for somebody else, it's totally original, right? You're not taking that then later reposting that article on your page.

It’s totally original.

Switching topics a little bit on just marketing in general, is there anything that you see is providing the most amount of leverage besides content marketing, anything that's working tremendously well for you, whether your clients or businesses?

Video-based advertising. You find that it works extremely well.

Can you go into more detail?

We do pre-roll ads on YouTube and a ton of it. Most people don't ever see them, but we're spending millions of dollars a year on pre-roll ads.

Funny enough, for a software company, most people are willing to spend three months’ to six months’ worth of the user or even a year. They hope the user stays for three years and they make their money on year two and three.

We will spend money for one month to acquire a customer and they're staying for years. It's that profitable. We make our money back right away, right when they sign up.

You're mainly doing that for Crazy Egg, not for just Neil Patel personality, right?

That's correct. The reason it works so well is, most people don't want to create pre-roll ads. It's a lot of work. It's time and energy, but it's effective.

Most people these days feel it is hard to succeed. The middle class is depleting, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Share on X

Have you thought about doing much of it for promoting the Neil Patel brand?

We will get into it. It's just so expensive, that we don't want to do it until we start creating a YouTube channel, add a lot of videos and then we'll start doing that as well.

You want to be able to capitalize on it once you've got that going. YouTube pre-roll ads are expensive or they're relatively inexpensive? I thought I'd heard that they're pretty cheap to get views these days.

They're cheap, but if I do it for my personal branding, it's not like I'm monetizing. I can burn $1,000 a day and make $0 from it.

With podcasts, people ask, “Do you buy advertising for podcasts? How do you promote your podcast?” It's an organic thing. At least, it has been for me, because it's not a sales channel. I'm not pitching on these episodes.

I've purchased Facebook ads and I've done some stuff like that to get a little bit of traction for it, but it is hard when you're spending money and it's just branding.

There's no ROI. Indirectly, there is and long-term, there's a huge benefit. I'm with you, like even for the podcasts that I launched with a buddy. He does most of the work like coming up with the topics and stuff. We both chat. He makes it easy for me because of my time constraints.

What about on the pre-roll ads? Do you have a little formula for it. What's your pre-roll ad like?

Nothing. We didn’t put ads on that podcast.

On YouTube. I switched topics.

On YouTube, we mainly make our money through remarketing blog visitors or doing targeting on YouTube for anyone looking into marketing-related stuff. It went crazy because it's such a generic software that anyone into marketing or what the website should use or uses.

We took all our survey data and we got all the objections on why people don't use it or want to use it. We ended up creating a video that explains all the objections and answers on why they should use it.

We even talked about how it's like different than Google Analytics because some people were like, “Can't Google Analytics just do all of this?” We take it all and when people watch a video, it's like, “Here are the problems I'm hitting on because so many people have told us these are the problems.”

We break down the solutions and then we break down Crazy Egg and why it's great, why it's unique and why you should sign up compared to using any of the other solutions.

It's just objection handling and it works well. We fine-tune that whole process. It took us three or four tries to get the right script. It’s like a little animated explainer video.

How long is it typically?

It’s a bit more than a minute, between one and two minutes.

Occasionally, I'll see these two, three-minute pre-roll ads on there like, “What are you guys doing?”

It works though. It's too short. You can't answer enough of the objections. The cost for the advertising goes down. The conversion rate is so low. The numbers don't pan out. We'd rather have longer, more detailed videos. That way, when people watch it, they're more likely to convert.

Look at Tai Lopez. He's a great example of someone who's hunting cash from YouTube. He's figured out how to create YouTube videos. Those are more lifestyle-related. He targets the right audience and can get them to convert and buy right away.

It's been an amazing thing to watch. Tai gets a lot of flak. You either love Tai or you hate Tai, but you can’t deny that the guy has dialed it in. He knows what he’s doing.

His marketing methods are working well.

I’ve been thawing on the water on the YouTube video ads. The last time we spoke in person was briefly at the Internet Marketing Party downstairs in San Diego, the basement.

I was mentioning that my wife, Kenia, and I just launched our new coffee brand, Stiletto Coffee. We got that live in February. It's been doing okay, obviously trying to grab some traction, but I see YouTube as being a good place to get in front of our market with that.

I've been strategizing, doing some pre-roll ads and whatnot. I don't know if this would help you in what you're doing at all, maybe with the personal branding stuff. A lot of influencers do these morning routine videos, and they get hundreds of thousands if not millions of views almost overnight.

It's absolutely crazy and I noticed that it's become a big trend, mainly not business-related but anybody who's an influencer on there, they end up doing, “This is my morning routine.”

BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing: Longer and more detailed videos get more conversion than three-minute pre-roll ads.


We're probably going to be doing a mini-morning routine video and then advertising on all the people who are putting up morning routine videos. They're all influencers who are making their money off ads anyway.

It's smart. For me, it doesn't work because I'm trying to brand myself into B2B category. I have a lot of issues in which I can't go mainstream. I get a lot more people who know about me.

A lot of these influencers are doing well, not just from morning routines, but going mainstream with the topics that they're talking about. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk. He crushes it by talking about motivation. In my eyes, Gary Vaynerchuk will eventually become the new version of Tony Robbins.

It works well for him, but if you look at VaynerMedia, they do social media marketing. His motivational videos won't get him too many more customers, but it's getting him a mainstream audience which is selling more books and then he sells more books.

He gets bigger speaking engagements and the right audience and that's resulting in more business. Indirectly, it's helping, but this is a bit of a roundabout way. It works well for him and he's smart for doing it.

Years ago, I remember you wrote an article on buying or starting a business. You sold a business or two, didn't you, in your past? What was it you sold?

The last one we sold was Hello Bar.

I remember you wrote an article something about, if I was going to do it all over again, I might buy a company as opposed to build one. This is a topic near and dear to my heart as well. What are your thoughts on that?

If you were going to go into business for something else, whether it was another software, whether it was something else, would you tend to build it from scratch where you're at, or would you try to find something to purchase and then use your skills to improve?

I would buy and then use my skills to improve. It's easier for me.

It is hard. It's sexy to be the startup entrepreneur who gives birth to an idea, but we all know the statistics of how many startups make it.

It's easier just buying a company. Granted, not everyone can do it. I prefer that route. You buy and then you grow. That's what I'm good at, taking something and then making it grow. That's what I know how to do it. I don't know how to do more than that.

Have you done any of that where you've bought companies or bought in and then came in and did that?

I haven't done that. The last company I bought was Hello Bar and that was years ago. I'm about to buy another one. I will close on it.

Is it tech software related?

Yes. I prefer to do tech software because evaluations are really high on the exits, like four to eight X revenue.

Not even earnings?

Yeah, just revenue.

That's a whole other ballgame. Are there sizes of companies you would typically look at, or it doesn't depend? It depends on the product.

I look at the growth rate and how much potential it has. We think of the internal ROIs. We try to shoot for anything above $1 million to buyout, at least $250,000 a year in revenue minimum for paying for X. We usually don’t pay for X.

We probably pay two to three X but we usually won't buy anything smaller than $1 million because it's too small. We usually don't buy anything bigger than $5 million because it’s too big. It's harder to grow those. Our sweet spot is roughly like buying something for $2 million to $3 million or $4 million to $5 million.

Are you paying that or buying one that's doing that much in sales?

I am paying that. My ideal goal is to buy something that does at least $1 million a year in revenue, if not $2 million, and pay anywhere between $1 and $5 million for it.

I sold my last company several years ago. That's how I stumbled into consulting. It’s because I didn't want to just go out and start something brand new again because I realize how much it's pushing that rock up a hill.

I have been contemplating. I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've been searching out other companies to potentially purchase.

Actually, some of them are in the coffee business. As I've gotten into this industry and starting to understand it, I see some potential opportunities in acquiring some other coffee businesses. That's a topic for another story. Tell me about the book Hustle.

The big thing that people forget in order to start seeing something is taking action. Share on X

Think of it this way. Most people these days feel it’s hard to succeed. The middle class is depleting. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. They're like, “If you want to succeed, you have to be born rich or have gone to a good college like Harvard or Stanford, or be well connected.”

I don't know your background. We hung out a few times. I think you come from humble beginnings. I don't think anything was handed to you on a silver spoon.

I was basic little middle class. I didn't have everything I wanted, but I wasn't going hungry in the streets either.

People believe that you either be rich or you need to be well connected on a network. That's a bunch of crap. If the odds are stacked against you, you can still succeed. We teach you the concepts on how to hustle so in that way you can find the meaning in life, what you’re passionate about.

You can get momentum, keep pushing forward and growing. Of course once you get momentum, you'll also start generating money from it. It just comes down in teaching people how to win when the odds are stacked against you. That's the main purpose of the book.

A good example of this is, we teach you something as basic as finding your passion. A lot of people in life believe that, “I'm 30 years old or I'm 25 or I'm 40 years old. I surely be doing what I love,” and they're lost in it. “I don't really know what I love doing.”

People believe that when you're a little kid, you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a pharmacist or an engineer and that's what you’re going to be as an adult.

As we all know, the chances are, what you want to be as a kid like astronauts or firefighters, you usually aren't when you grow up. They're like, “I think that people who love what they're doing just naturally know what they love.” That's not the case.

We teach you a process of trial and error on how to find your true passion. A good example of this is you got into consulting, you’ve figured out what you like, you don't want to build businesses anymore, you like helping people and growing businesses. You learned this by going through processes.

The process could be work for someone else and you helped them grow. You'd be like, “This is fun but I don't want to do this for someone else,” then you try creating your own businesses. It’s a pain in the butt and then you don't want to create any more businesses.

I like the growing of the previous business. I like owning my own business but I don't want to create it from scratch. I don't want to grow someone else's then you may end up learning that, “I love acquiring businesses and growing them.”

You acquire one and you’re like, “This is boring. I'm more passionate about coffee.” You could be like, “Let's acquire a coffee business and let me own it and then grow it.” You could fall in love with it because you love coffee and you have a passion for marketing and growing companies.

It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what you're passionate about and once you figure that out, you're more likely to put in the time, energy and effort to create something big.

That is exactly the path that I've been on. I’ve tried a little bit of everything. I've become an accidental expert in a bunch of stuff. By process of elimination, I know when I'm trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

I know it now ahead of time. If I see a business opportunity comes up that requires a certain skillset or a mindset or whatever like, “That's definitely not me and I know because I've tried it.”

Who's the intended audience? I understand that probably a lot of people can get a lot out of it, but is it people who are struggling to find that passion for something?

Yes. The biggest audience is anyone who feels they're just stuck in life and they don't know what to do next. You're lost, you want to succeed, you don't know what your right path is in life or how to get there.

That's the book is for. If you're an entrepreneur and you're already crushing and killing it, you can read the book.

Like what you mentioned, how Gary was just all business and now he's widened his message up to where it's a much more appealing to the rest of the population as well.

Is this somewhat of the same strategy you're doing so you're not making it as tactically business-oriented, but more applicable to driven, ambitious people in general?

It’s two things. One is to do something a bit more generic because it helps open up more corporate speaking gigs, and that helps me get in the door.

The second thing is I want to try to aim to be a New York Times best-selling author. I don't know if I'll hit it, but something generic does help more with that.

If I write any more books after this, they'll be pure marketing related. I have an idea for the next book after this that I'm considering, I don’t know what the title would be.

I want to write something about coffee and how words affect everything in life, like in marketing, but break it down to the most simplistic things. For example, I live in Las Vegas and there's this bridge where there are a lot of homeless people. They have signs and they're asking for money.

Some of them aren't even homeless. They’re musicians and stuff like that. I want to go throughout the day and change up all their signs and show how coffee can affect their earnings.

There is an old viral video that went around, I think it was from the UK, about the blind homeless person. This was so genius.

BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing: It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what you're passionate about, but once you figure that out, you can make something big.


It's called The Power of Words. It's a marketing agency, by the way. It shows this homeless guy and he's blind. He's sitting outside with a little tin can and he's got a sign that says something like, “I'm blind. Can you please help?”

This woman walks over and she changes the sign that says, “It's a beautiful day outside. I wish I could see it.” She changed the sign and he was sitting there and all of a sudden, he just heard people making it rain into his tin cup. He's like, “What's going on?” She did this totally anonymously.

That's what I want to do it on because marketing can be in every aspect of life. How you introduce yourself makes a huge difference in where you go.

By the way, this got 25 million views and it came out in 2010. You also said something, and I've given a lot of thought to this, talking about as children, what we say we want to be when we grow up, then when we get older, what we say we want to do.

Speaking about words have power, have you noticed that when you're a kid, you usually say or they say, “I want to be a fireman. I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a baseball player?” When we get older, we say, “I don't know what I want to do with my life?”

There's a big change in the language in there. As a kid, you're talking about who you want to be and as an adult, you're talking about what you want to do. If you look at the hierarchy of states of mind, being is so much superior to doing.

As children, we're not thinking about what we're doing, we’re thinking about what we want to be. Instead of as an adult saying, “I want to do this, that and the other. I want to be the David Ogilvy of marketing for the digital age. I want to be this.”

If we change our language to that and realizing that it does have power, it can change how we view what we're passionate about, like what do you want to be. I want to be amazing at what I do.

I want to be this, that and the other as opposed to, what work do I just want to do. I've given that a lot of thought. You brought that back up. I haven't thought about that in a while.

That helps you position yourself too, like your mindset on what you need to do to get there.

The book, Hustle, gives that mindset. Is there anything else that's in it that's particular?

There are a lot of concepts in there. One of the things we talked about is manufacturing your own luck. A lot of people believe that to do well, you get lucky. You can also manufacture your own luck.

I'm going to give you an example of this. One of my co-authors, Patrick, has a son. They're in a little pond by his house looking for Koi fish. Patrick points and he's like, “Shane, let’s just go home. There's no fish in there.” He looks down, he looks in the pond and he’s like, “There’s no fish.”

Shane looks up to his dad and doesn't say anything. He jumps in the pond and starts shuffling his feet. Within seconds, a ton of fish popped out. That's the example of manufacturing your luck.

In essence, you’ve got to take action to start seeing something. That's a big thing that people forget. They believe, “If you just do at the right time and right place, things will happen.”

Just manifest it. I hate that word, manifest. It’s been so overused and abused, especially living in Southern California. “I'm going to manifest a parking space. I’m going to manifest lunch.”

Any other big trends you're seeing? You talked about video marketing. Any other big trends that you're excited about that you think the rest of the world hasn't quite jumped on the board yet? You're privy to a lot of cool information.

The ones I'm testing out right now, I'm doing a ton of Instagram marketing and doing a ton of Snapchat marketing. I don't do it through the networks because it's so expensive. I hit up influencers directly and we’re paying them. We have done that to bring a huge ROI.

That's exactly what we're starting to do with Stiletto Coffee. Tell me about your strategy there?

It works. What we do is we'll go into markets. We go into categories on Instagram. We go and look to see who's following what person.

For example, I have a popular Facebook page or even a profile page that I no longer use. I go look at my mutual friends and look for fan pages that they're also following, and I look at percentages.

I notice a lot of my followers also follow popular females like actresses, models, etc. on Instagram. My followers just aren't male. A lot of them are females too but they also follow a lot of those females as well.

We go to them and start advertising on their profiles and everyone's like, “Why would you advertise on this model’s profile? She has nothing to do with your business.”

It's reaching our audience and I believe in the rule of seven in which if someone keeps seeing something seven times, they're more likely to remember it and take action later on.

You're advertising through the systems on there. Are you talking about advertising through the Facebook ad platform that you're buying ads on Instagram there, or you're just going directly to them and asking them to share?

It's too expensive to go through Facebook. We find it being five times cheaper to go directly to the people.

A big mistake people make when they’re using influencers is to have them all post throughout the week. Share on X

I know it's like The Wild West out there with influencer sponsored advertising because some people think they're much more valuable than they are. There are no standards. I'm sure you run across that all the time. “I have 10,000 followers. I want $5,000 for a post.”

You look at, as when they post a picture, how many likes were they getting on average? We use a conservative estimate like 50% of whatever they post because it's promotional and probably get 50% of those likes.

We look at how much we're paying and divide it by the number of likes we think we're going to get and then we optimize for the cost per like. We're pushing hard in Brazil. We have all the famous actresses and celebrities who are on TV, like the TV host, promoting our marketing-related stuff.

There's no direct ROI, but indirectly it is. We're averaging out around R$0.03. Technically, that's in reais, less than $0.01 per like. It's even less than that.

Is that way you're optimizing for? You're going for likes, not other calls to action, right?

That's correct, but we're using our campaigns purely for branding. That's the biggest thing that companies and individuals make a mistake on.

When you're looking to go pay someone, you think of PayPal or Stripe. You don't google what's the best payment solution. Some people do, but many people just go to PayPal or Stripe. It's the brand that they've built up.

When you want to get a taxi, you think of Uber. Most people learned about Uber not by googling what is Uber or best affordable taxi solution. It’s branding. We spend a ton of money on branding because once you get in the consumers’ mind, in the long run you'll always be there.

There, you’re doing personal branding for Neil Patel, not Crazy Egg, correct?

That's correct. We’re doing personal branding.

I'm already starting down this path for Stiletto Coffee. Kenia and I, our ideal avatar are women with a positive vibe uplifting, whether they're driven and success-oriented or just really fashionable and maybe sometimes sassy and funny, etc. It's a big swath of women.

That’s a huge market.

That's almost overwhelming because it's so big, like where do you start. If you were advising me on this, if this was yours, what actions would you take? Would you say, “Would you share this photo?” Would you try to get them product to take pictures with it?

The hardest part for you is going to be finding who to get to share it. You can, let's say, pick a ton of models. The problem with the models is even though the women, a large portion of the followers are male.

You would go for, let's say, the housewives, the working women or the entrepreneur women who are actually doing something amazing. Someone who’s successful and who's a go-getter and busy and have them promote Stiletto Coffee. Those are the people I would pay.

I would even pay all the people who use the cooking stuff. They'll show Instagram videos making recipes and stuff, and pay them to promote the product because their audience is going to be largely female.

When you're doing that, are you sending them the photo that you want them to post or are you asking them to be creative and do it on their own?

They’d be creative, do it on their own, send the image over to us before they post it for approval and then post it.

I think you said you reverse-engineered a rule of thumb of how much you would pay somebody, like if you're just coming out. Let's say somebody's got 50,000 followers and they're relatively well engaged. Do you know approximately how much you'd spend on that?

$0.01 to $0.03 per like. That's the maximum I’m willing to pay. If their photo gets 10,000 likes and you pay a penny per like, then we would pay $100.

You're paying afterward. You're not giving them a flat fee upfront.

I usually am, but we're backing out the math.

Because you can see what their average likes are. There's a guy named Justin Mares. He and his partner wrote a book called Traction. They've got a great bone broth company that they started called Kettle & Fire.

They’ve grown up to multiple seven figures in a year, mainly off the back of content marketing and influencer marketing.

He said one of the things that he did, which I'm about to try out, is he goes, “We'd find some of the smaller ones, 20,000 to 30,000 followers.

BWB Neil | Digital Marketing

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Our first message to them was, ‘Listen. Love what you're doing. I'd love to get your PayPal or Venmo email and send you money for a post.’” He's first of all asking for their PayPal email and he'd send him $30.

If they have 30,000 followers, he’d send him $30, not negotiating, not talking about anything else. “It's the easiest money they're ever going to make and then I just send him a picture of my product and I have them post it.”

He goes, “What that does is it's a seamless transaction. It's easy for them and it's a nice picture. I'm not asking them to do anything else except repost it.”

Depending on how it works, he goes back to them and they're more willing to work with him, whether as an affiliate or something else. “We were just sending out $20 and $30 PayPal all over the place and it worked well.”

I didn't think about it that way. I should have tried that.

He sent me an email with his little script. I'll share it with you so my whole world can hear it. I don't think I've released this one on the podcast yet.

He said, “For outreach, I'd basically say what's your email? Can I PayPal you $20? I love your work. I would love to have you post an image of our product for three hours then feel free to take it down.

Test it and figure it out what dollar amount worked. For some people, it's like I paid for their dinner that day or their lunch and all they had to do was repost a picture.”

Especially on the 20,000 to 30,000 people range, how high are you going? What's the biggest Instagram account that you've sponsored?

We usually try to shoot for people that have at least a million followers and then it goes up all the way to like ten or fifteen million.

I know you can do this. Let's say, if somebody with a million followers takes a photo, do you ever take that and then run ads to their followers, assuming you can, if they're big enough?

It’s too expensive. Ads on Instagram are expensive. We do purely just paying people. We’ll negotiate with celebrities too. I was talking with someone who represents Kim Kardashian and they’re like, “At $150,000, we can get Kim Kardashian.” I was like, “Can I make the math work out?”

I know some people who have done that. They were promoting a product like this FitTea, a weight loss tea. I think they said they spent $200,000. They said it definitely did not ROI for them. It was so broad and so expensive.

I don't know if you know this, if she takes a picture with your product, you can't use that picture anywhere else. You can't put it on your own website, like yours, Kim, with my stuff. You can't do any of that.

We could end up backing it out and at that point, we were looking at the numbers and I was like, “We're going to pay $0.20 a like.” It's a penny a like, which don't work out.

That's a big avenue we're about to go down.

The big mistake people make when they’re using these influencers is to have them all post throughout the week. We found that it's best to pick one day a week and have them all post during that day.

As more people see it, they're like, “We're seeing Stiletto Coffee everywhere. We need to go and check it out.”

I like that. It's like, “Let's take the shotgun approach right away.” Because if they're on social media, they're going to see it. Are there particular days or times that you like for them to do that?

I always pick Monday through Thursday, but that's because we're in B2B. Brazil is every Monday. Tuesday is in the US. Wednesday is all the Spanish markets. We break it up per region as well.

This has been a lot of fun. I enjoyed this. I look forward to reading your book. Where can people go to find it?

Are you going to be selling it on your own site as well or doing any of that?

I'm supposed to, but I haven't. I already sold a load of free copies. I think we got twenty-something thousand and we haven’t even launched.

You did the pre-order strategy?

We're just selling it. I blast up the email list and I'm able to do corporate sells because I know so many people in the business world.

Is there any a nut you're trying to crack in your business or life, anything you're looking for, that maybe myself or my readers could help you find?

I’m good on my end, I don’t have anything specific but I appreciate you asking, anything I can do for you or your readers.

My readers, I'm sure they want a bunch of stuff, new toys and all that. For me, one of the best things you could do is, are there any influential women you know who may be good for me to speak with revolving around the coffee? It would be just amazing.

Whether it's high-powered influential women, you want to send them a bag of coffee on me, I'm happy to send it to them for free. I like to get our product out there.

Influential women that would be in the US that would want some coffee.

That'd be cool. Other than that, I appreciate your time and I look forward to reading your book. I know all of my readers do as well.

Speaking back to my readers, if you've enjoyed this, if you've enjoyed Neil, you can always check him out at, and You've got a lot of stuff.

If you aren't paying attention to his articles on and QuickSprout, you can get some of the best marketing education ever just by reading his free blog post. It blows me away that you give that stuff away for free, but it's awesome.

If you have enjoyed this, if you want more insight from me, if you've got any ideas for me, if there's something I didn't cover.

If you want to flatter me and tell me that you want to be me when you grow up in order to gain influence with me, send an email to That is my personal email. I will read it and reply to it if I can.

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About The Guest: Neil Patel

BWB Neil | Digital MarketingNeil Patel is one of the most prolific and expert content marketers in the business.  His blog posts are legendary in their length, frequency and depth. And he knows how to build and scale a business very quickly.

Neil Patel is a master of digital marketing and an analytics junkie. His website,, is an analytics software that uses “heatmaps” to track what people are clicking on when they visit your website – even if they aren't clicking on actual links. This information helps business owners find the best ways to improve their websites and grow more revenue.

In addition to Crazy Egg, Neil is the co-author of the new bestselling book (available now on Amazon) Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum

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