In 1999 at the age of 15, I started my first business a web design company. The first book I read was on microsoft frontpage and designing web sites. The second book: Guerilla Marketing. I knew nothing about marketing, heck I was only 15 years old. There were two things I needed: marketing that worked and marketing that was inexpensive. I used the Guerilla Marketing weapons (100 at the time) to grow my company quite successfully.
In 2007 disaster struck. The great recession had put my marketing agency into a tailspin. Companies were looking to cut corners everywhere they could and marketing (though it should be the last to cut) was getting slashed.
I remember sitting at my computer staring at the screen wondering what to do. And then it came. Before I share with you, what came in, I want to share one philosophy I have used since high school: everything happens for a reason, the hard part is figuring out what that reason may be. In fact, it is quote in my high school year book.
An email came in from Jay Conrad Levinson and Guerilla Marketing International. It was one of those emails that seemed like every single word was crafted just for me. Every word seemed to jump off the screen and I caught myself saying “yes I have those problems, yes I need the answer, yes, yes, yes.
The offer was to come down and spend three days (an intensive) at the house of Jay Conrad Levinson and Jeannie Levinson and learn all the latest and greatest Guerilla Marketing strategies to grow your business.
Something told me I had to find a way to get the money and make my way down to Debary, Florida, and so I went. I maxed out my credit card and made it happen.
Those three days were transformational. Not only did I realize I had a lot of gold to mine in my existing database, I realized I was approaching marketing all wrong. I was over complicating things, using too few tactics and not leading with value. I was coming from a place of desperation versus a position of power that I could legitimately help in a big way.
Those three days not only helped get my agency on track, but also lead me into a totally different direction I was not anticipating. Over the next few months my relationship with Guerilla Marketing expanded exponentially. I ended up becoming a Guerilla Marketing Master trainer and went on to become the Chief Marketing Officer for the company. In leading the Guerrilla brand with Jay, he encouraged me to start the Guerilla Coaching and Training program to help train Guerilla Marketers world-wide. Sadly Jay Conrad Levinson passed away in October of 2013. It is my hope to continue the training and coaching program to help spread the Guerilla message wide and far and help businesses get their marketing on track leveraging Guerilla Marketing.
A few other highlights thus far:
Most importantly, I am married with three kids (a fourth on the way) and live in a suburb outside of Niagara Falls / Buffalo, NY.
One of the most widely distributed marketing pieces is a simple business card. Business cards date back to the 15th century in China. Take a look at your business card and ask these questions: #1 Can someone tell what you offer within a second or two? #2 Does your card stand out from the crowd? #3 Are you using the back of the card? #4 Do you have a specific call to action that is traceable back to the card?
If you answered no to any of the four questions, you have some work to do. Some Guerrilla Marketing business card tips: pick an odd shaped card or style. Plastic cards, even metal cards really stand out from the crowd. Re-design your card with the end prospect in mind. What value can you provide by transferring your business card to them?