Entrepreneurship is something I have always been captivated by. Even as a young boy I was industrious, and constantly searching for ways to make money. Of course I tried the classic lemonade stand, but my neighborhood was sparsely populated so it was not so successful. Then I began mowing the lawns of some of my neighbors each month. This provided a much more stable income stream. Even in junior high, I was buying candy in bulk and selling it by the piece at school. But selling candy in the halls of junior high school was a long time ago, and since then I have been involved with many other projects. These include trying to develop my own ideas, as well as working for start-ups in many different industries. On the Professional page you’ll find a list of the start-ups I have been a part of.
I have many ideas I’d love to pursue someday but recently I have only been focusing on internet and e-commerce ventures. I have always been interested in new technology, and started working with computers at an early age. As a kid I taught myself how to program in BASIC on a TRS-80, and have been involved with creating web sites since I began learning HTML as an undergrad at UCF. The past couple of years have been a busy one for me in regards to entrepreneurship. During my MBA studies I was heavily involved in Accelerate, a student initiative at HHL that is focused on entrepreneurship, and now I am working and writing my PhD in the Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer chair.
I’ve also started working on a few of my own projects in the internet marketing space. I’ve been involved in IM in some fashion for many years now, but in 2012 I really started to focus on implementing some ideas I had for a variety of websites. One of the catalysts for this was joining Bring The Fresh, an online IM community which is developed and operated by Mike Long and Kelly Felix. These guys have a tremendous amount of sustainable success making money online through micro-niche websites. It is highly recommended and respected by many Internet Marketers, and so far I think it is a great product. The basic strategy I am following with these sites is to target certain keywords that are being searched for, then build and market a site focused on ranking high in the search engines (namely Google) when someone searches for these keywords. After the site has gained traction and is generating enough traffic, you can then monetize the site with advertising or through promoting affiliate products.
I always try to learn about new tools, techniques, and strategies, and I do this by scouring the forums well as following prominent internet marketers like Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income), Glenn Allsop (ViperChill), Billy Murphy (Forever Jobless), and the guys at Empire Flippers to name a few. But as of the beginning of 2014, I have shifted my focus from building and trying to rank sites and moved it to performance marketing, whereby I am promoting affiliate offers via media buying.
The constant struggle to keep up with Google’s neverending changes to their search algorithms was just too much. Paid advertising campaigns are also not easy, but at least you have instant data available that allows you to optimize your campaigns, and you know what works and what doesn’t. With SEO it’s basically educated guessing. So, my performance marketing activities involve promoting various offers from Clickbank, Peerfly and other affiliate networks via paid advertising on platforms such as Bing, BuySellAds, 7Search, Clicksor, etc. I use Tracking202 to monitor and optimize my campaigns.
As a member of Accelerate@HHL, I was entrenched in entrepreneurship throughout my time at HHL. We organized numerous activities that allowed us to further solidify HHL’s excellent reputation for entrepreneurship, such as workshops, visits to startups, as well as the first conference (Social Entrepreneurship) at HHL in over a decade. Some of the workshop topics included how to pitch to investors, how to evaluate a business idea, and an SEO/SEM presentation from the guys at AKM3. With over 100 participants and some phenomenal guest speakers, the Accelerate Conference was a huge success. Check out the Agenda for an idea of how the conference was organized.