Before watching this video, you could ask yourself, how to make money without taking your money? It’ll take you places you’ve never been and it will force you to do things that you’ve never even imagined.
It Doesn’t Take Money To Make Money – Brandon Leibel (Full Transcript)
Raise your hand if you’ve heard the saying that it takes money to make money. Yep, so I thought I’m here today to prove that. In 2018, this saying is complete a lot of, I believe that not having money to sort a business could potentially be the greatest thing for your business. It’ll take you places you’ve never been and it will force you to do things that you’ve never even imagined.
A lot of people think that us being on Shark Tank raising money getting a deal. Robert Herjavec is why we became successful and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that in the three years leading up to shark tank, that is what actually made us successful. It’s the things in those three years that money cannot buy the drive the determination and passion.
When I was a student at SDSU, I thought the complete opposite, I thought you needed money, you needed a rich dad, rich mom, rich grandparent to lend you money in order to start a business. I didn’t think that there was any possible way to do without it. I was about to graduate with $30,000 of student debt.
How the hell can I possibly start a business? So I took the traditional route, got a safe job at a big insurance company in San Diego in a cubicle. It sucked after 11 months. the millennial and I decided that this is not going to last and this is not acceptable.
So I took the traditional route, got a safe job at a big insurance company in San Diego in a cubicle. It sucked after 11 months. the millennial and I decided that this is not going to last and this is not acceptable.
So came together with my two best friends and co-founders Stephen and Bruno and we decided that we need to get out of here and bring the world something that they really really need better beach towels. This was our billion-dollar idea. So we quit the next day, we’re out, we call our parents tell them what we did and they’re so happy they’re like good for you guys, you guys are the best go for it.
I’m just kidding. They thought we were complete morons and they were very confused on how we’re gonna pay for this. They knew we were broke, but we didn’t care we went out to celebrate, we were so
high on life, we were so excited for this next chapter. But the next day, reality struck when we woke up and we realized that our parents are probably right.
We don’t have any money, how are we gonna pay for this, but that’s where the magic started. Instead of focusing on this, the fact that we didn’t have money, we took it as an opportunity to channel our inner creativity and resourcefulness but resourcefulness doesn’t pay rent.
I wish it could. So we decided to move into a two-bedroom apartment, Bruno’s gonna sleep in the loft on the floor we’re gonna cook beans and rice every day, cash out our 401ks that had nothing in it, we’re gonna sell us, we’re gonna sell everything in our apartment, we’re gonna take out five credit cards each.
We’re gonna mean Steven is going to become a bird drivers to pay the bills. Bruno is gonna cash out his Apple stock to pay for our first batch of towels boom. We have a company we know that social media is where we had to be in order to build a millennial-driven brand. There was no other way and none of us knew anything about social media.
I don’t think Snapchat was even around at this point so we didn’t have money to pay someone to teach us, no one, no marketing agency, no expert. We had to do it ourselves so we decided to walk the beaches of San Diego for three months every single day approached every single person on the sand have them take out their cell phone and add us on Instagram on the spot.
We did this for six hours a day for three months and we got our first thousand followers with this approach. We realized that money can buy followers, it could buy likes, they can even buy comments on your pictures but it can’t buy the first impression and this strategy is what built the bedrock and foundation of our brand.
So now we have a few followers we have some momentum we have the product but we don’t have a website and none of us knows anything about building a website. I don’t think I even had a computer at this time so Bruno became our in-house website developer he was the cheapest person we could find.
He cost the eurodollars, so he locked himself in the loft for three weeks and literally taught himself how to build a website through YouTube videos calling his friends and family that were experts utilizing the Internet utilizing resources reading blogs doing whatever it took and he finally one day comes downstairs hadn’t shaved in a few weeks and he presents this website to me and Stephen and it was complete.
I think even he would admit that the pictures were blurry the product descriptions had typos the layout was horrible, but me and Stephen were ecstatic, because we had a website, so we have a website what do we do now, we have a thousand followers and we and we know that we have to grow our followers because eventually these people are gonna turn into money they’re eventually gonna turn into sales but we knew that walking the beach every single day was just not sustainable.
It’s not possible, it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna happen fast enough, I’ve got to figure something else out, so we became social media experts ourselves back to YouTube. We go, we watch every video on social media marketing strategies have how to reach out to people when to post, what to post, how to post, what’s a hashtag, we did it all, we literally watched every single video we would stay up for nights, direct messaging thousands and thousands of people on Instagram, telling them about our company.
Shameless promotion, we didn’t care because in that month we went from 1,000 to 10,000 followers on Instagram and we did it for $0, so now we have 10,000 followers, feeling better, we’ve probably made three sales on our website, probably from our moms and we’re still broke but we know that there’s something here, there’s something with getting people’s attention, getting eyeballs getting followers, getting impressions, getting them to read about us, to learn about us, understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.
So the idea of a PR agency comes up but we can’t afford one, they’re freaking expensive. So we decided to reinvent what a PR agency means in a digital world. YouTube. What else do we need we learned how to become our own PR agency through the tools that are out there that are accessible to everybody. We learned who to contact, what subject lines to use when to email them, when they’re back on vacation, who their boss is, who their bosses bosses, how to reach out to them and before you know it we’re featured in over a hundred blogs a bunch of magazines newspapers, podcasts, influencers we even get picked up by The Huffington Post at some point and I don’t think we even had more than $100 of sales.
I guarantee without a PR agency wouldn’t have gotten us one-third of that press, they couldn’t match the level of urgency and passion and just desperation that we had at that point we were sick of eating rice and beans. So where do we go now, we’re featured in and press we’re still driving uber trying to pay the bills, we’re still hacking Instagram reaching out to people and one day I’m sitting in my office which is our kitchen and I get it alert from uber that someone needs a ride and.
I’m like yeah I need to make some money except the ride someone around the corner, I go pick them up, it’s a young couple guy and a girl gets in my car, guy gets in the back, we start small talking as usual, I try to sell him a towel, they don’t want it, but they’re like alright, this guy’s doing something he’s got a company and then I find out that she is a reporter for Channel six and I’m like hell yeah jackpot.
She’s not leaving this car until she gives me her phone number, so I take a few wrong turns missed the exit finally get to their destination I’ve built enough rapport at this time where she just hands me her business card. She says email me.
I email her the next night following week, she’s in our apartment with a full camera crew, the following night was on channel 6 and that night we make eight, eight sales online and then we went out for tacos in my opinion money cannot buy these experiences, they cannot buy the resources that are out there that are free for all of us when you don’t have money you’re forced to take matters into your own hands and make every single opportunity yours.
That uber experience is an example of how you can seize any single moment and make it an opportunity. I normally wouldn’t have spoken to her, I would have just been driving along just playing music, trying to get there get back stressed out but because we were desperate, we had to do it ourselves, it forces you to do things that you’d never ordinarily do, so let’s fast forward to today.
We have five hundred and forty thousand followers on Instagram, we got a deal on shark tank with Robert Herjavec. We have done millions of dollars in sales in revenue, not profit and we’ve donated fifty thousand dollars to various nonprofits which we’re really happy about and we don’t know what the future holds because Brad’s come and go every day.
But what we do know is that the ideas and the strategies and the hustle and the blood sweat and tears that got us to where we are now will never stop and that’s something that money cannot buy. So, the next time that someone tells you it takes money to make money, tell them, that your lack of money is going to finance your resourcefulness and make you successful.
- Follow Brandon Leibel on Instagram.
- He has 14,100 followers on Instagram
- He Followed 542 people on Instagram
- Connect with him on Linkedin.
- He is one of the Sand Cloud‘s founder.