For nearly two decades Brian has been in the online space and today he continues to create some incredible platforms. Listen in on this wonderful chat we had in front of a live studio audience at Social Media Marketing World 15. This is part 2 of a series of 6 spotlight series.
During this episode we talk about his early days of blogging, copywriting and entrepreneurship. We also chat about how to deal with haters and the network that is possible with his latest creation Rainmaker FM on episode 266 of The Solopreneur Hour.
Going From Copyblogger to Rainmaker.fm
Brian Clark’s first job was as a lawyer, and he hated it. He spent 4 years working for a law firm before he quit to blog. He had a hard time explaining to his mom that he wasn’t going to be a lawyer, he was going to be a writer on the Internet. Today his parents are happy with his choice, even if they still don’t understand what he does!
Brian was far from an overnight success. His first company published ezines, they published via email because that’s what you did in 1998 before the Internet heyday. He built an audience and thought he’d make money from affiliate sales on Amazon. He made $4 his first year.
With his savings dwindling, he knew it was time to make a change. He read Permission Marketing and a light bulb went off: he had to build an audience, and then sell them products they already wanted and needed. Brian had half of the equation already: he had an audience. Now he just needed to sell them something they wanted; with that thought in mind his second company was born.
On This Show You’ll Also Discover:
- Why you should have haters.
- What is the most valuable skill you can have as an entrepreneur?
- How he influenced Derek Halpern.
- Why money can’t be “the thing” that drives you
- Brian explains why audio is taking off now, rather than in the past.
- And much, much more!
Brian knew about law so he decided to start a newsletter on legal-related issues. He thought he’d pick up a client or two to help make ends meet too. First he got one client, then another, then a third and soon he was turning clients away. Eventually he settled on the best clients who paid him the most on a monthly retainer for the least amount of work.
With that business it became clear to Brian that he was an entrepreneur who knew how to write, and was good at it.
His third and fourth businesses were real estate brokerages built out of web sites, before anything like Zillow existed. At the time real estate brokers knew nothing about online marketing and online lead generation. But Brian knew plenty and he created two businesses using this model. From 2001 to 2005 he made a boatload of cash, but he was miserable.
So he sold his interest to his partners. The companies crashed and burned, he never got his payout. He highly recommends getting cash upfront, even if it’s a lesser amount!
With those businesses under his belt he wanted to focus on what he was good at: online marketing and online content. Copyblogger was formed. The two concepts behind it were copywriting principles applied to blogging and selling to the audience (not relying on advertising for income).
The first few months of Copyblogger were lonely ones for Brian, but when he created a free PDF on how to make content go viral he touched a nerve. He reached out to the biggest bloggers around at the time and asked them to share it. Some of them loved it and linked to it, others hated it and still linked to it. That’s when he knew sometimes even if people don’t like what you have to say or what you’re doing it’s still okay.
Brian built on that early success and is now a familiar name in the online space. And he’s leveraged that knowledge to create a highly successful network platform with Rainmaker FM. On this episode Brian explains why he created Rainmaker, how he’s sharing what it can do for podcasters (and others) and how John Lee Dumas got involved.
He also explains how he learned to give first, why money isn’t a good motivator for your endeavors and why copywriting is THE most useful skill any business owner can have, even if they don’t write. It’s all on this show so have a listen! Thanks for being here and we’ll see you next time on The Solopreneur Hour.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: What can you do to beef up your copywriting skills? Do it and let us know about it here after you do!
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Selected Links From This Episode:
Copyblogger web site
Rainmaker FM – The Rainmaker Platform
Brian Clark on the Twitter
Anthony Jeselnik on YouTube
Guy Kawasaki on The Solopreneur Hour
Chris Brogan on The Solopreneur Hour
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