Your life’s success strongly depends on your perseverance to outgrow your misfortunes and turn them into your fuel to becoming a better person. In this episode, Dr. Diane Hamilton, chats with Danny McGhee, a freestyle soccer entrepreneur and a US Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. Learn from Danny as he shares to you how he is marketing and differentiating freestylers from footballers in the US and UK.
The medical industry is also a huge marketing industry. Here as well is the secret weapon of seven-plus- figure founders in the health, fitness, and wellness industry, and the CEO of BlitzMetrics, Dennis Yu. He shares to us how he has helped amazing innovations like the Kaqun Water become known and desirable in the world of medicine. Listen to Dennis as he shares how he makes many businesses in the medical field thrive.
We have Danny McGhee and Dennis Yu here. Danny is a freestyle soccer entrepreneur in the United States. He’s a US Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. Dennis is the secret weapon of seven-plus figure founders in the health, fitness and wellness industry. He’s the CEO of BlitzMetrics.
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Road To Becoming A Freestyle Soccer Entrepreneur With Danny McGhee
I am here with Danny McGhee, an entrepreneur whose career orientation has always been in the football/soccer industry. He created the first-ever dedicated freestyle and street soccer commercial talent agency back in 2009. He’s been responsible for starting the careers of some of the world’s most popular football, social influencers and continues to work with them to this day. He had a background in street football, professional football, freestyle football and futsal. A company with strong creativity, visionary skills and electric knowledge of the beautiful game. He has worked with amazing brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, you name them. In the UK media, he’s been fortunate enough to be recognized as the industry leader in freestyle and street soccer. It’s nice to have you here. Danny.
It’s an absolute pleasure, Diane. Thank you. It’s a privilege.
I’m glad to talk to you again. I was fascinated by your story. We got to meet in New York at the Prince’s Trust, a meeting that JP Morgan put on with Prince’s Trust. That was quite an event. I got to hear some amazing stories. I had a couple of guests on the show who shared their stories. Yours was one that stood out in my mind. Before we get into your story, I want a little bit of background on you that led to you finding the Prince’s Trust. Where were you up until that point?
Thank you for the commend. I appreciate it. I’ll try and explain as well as possible where I came from, where I’m at now, and my inspired intervention with the Prince’s Trust. I’m the US Ambassador for Prince’s Trust. To be able to have that mantle, to have that title, you have to have gone through the Prince’s Trust Program. The Prince’s Trust is a charity that helps young people in the UK to start in entrepreneurship. They should start their own business or get them into employment. They serve a lot of young people but not necessarily got the same opportunities. Young people that have come from tough backgrounds, underprivileged areas, and it’s a fantastic organization. I’m honored now to be a part of the Prince’s Trust in the US. I asked to be their US ambassador.
My journey that led up to that knowing that I’ve been involved with them was starting as a young child that came from a broken home. I lived in a council of state. I’m quite posh to a US person, the word “state,” it’s the UK equivalent of the projects. Growing up in that environment as a young child, a single-parent family, all you want to do is play out with your friends. I was fortunate to fall in love with soccer and I wanted to play soccer throughout my childhood, playing the streets with my older brother and my friends. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, my older brother got diagnosed with drug-induced schizophrenia when I was fourteen, he was eighteen. My oldest sister was a teenage pregnancy and her partner was in prison at that time, which wasn’t a good situation.
We came from a volatile experiencing scarcity and poverty situation. My mom with all the stress she’s around, I was the youngest at that time, started to develop chronic stress-related illnesses. She got into lots of financial debt and we lost a house when we got moved to another area. As a young person, it was tough. A lot of question marks of thinking what’s going on around me, not quite being able to work it out. When I was sixteen years old, I got released from a professional soccer club or professional football club. I’d been there for a few years. I left school at the age of sixteen with no qualifications and my dream of being a professional footballer had been taken away.
What happens when a young person grows within the cancer side project environment, you’ve got those coinciding circumstances happening around you? You get left to your own devices, you’ve got no qualifications and your dreams are gone. You end up falling into situations and making friends with other people that have also got problems and hanging around in gangs and get involved in drugs and things like that. I spent the first few years when I left school like a lost soul. I never played soccer. I was getting into all sorts of unsavory situations. It was football that saved me because it gave me a focus. When I was up by 22, 23 years old, someone asked me to play in a local football match. From that day, I hadn’t played football for a few years and I was able to get spotted. I went nonprofessional soccer/football playing ladder. I turned professional when I was 25, 26 years old. My dream was back on course.
It’s such an unlikely story to turn professional at that age, especially with the things I went through as a young person. I had a couple of bad injuries, two knee operations. I was in a fork in the road and I had to decide what I was going to do with my future. I decided to move to the US to coach soccer. That time when I was coaching soccer, there was an emerging sport called freestyle football and street soccer. It was an internet sensation. It was all these young kids from all around the world doing all these intricate skills with a ball. The best way I could describe it to a US audience is almost like the Harlem Globetrotters of soccer. I’m doing all those fancy show-off skills. I left the US in 2008 and I decided to start a business called Global Freestyle. At that time, it was the economic crisis. It wasn’t a good time to start a business, especially in doing soccer skills. I spent five hours a day honing my skills.
When I got back to the UK training every single day, five hours a day, a few months later, it was a turning point. It was an inflection point in my career. I was asked to perform at Old Trafford, which is Manchester United Stadium in front of 80,000 people. It was a random time. It was a real moment. It was at that time where I wanted to try and turn this into an actual tangible business. You’ve got little resources and your family hasn’t got the financial wealth to tap into. You have to try and find other ways to get funding. The Prince’s Trust was something that I was aware of those people under the age of 30 could get a small amount of money. It was £4,000, which was a low-interest loan to start your own business. I remember I went to see this woman called Barbara Wilcox in Wolverhampton in the UK. It was the first time someone outside of my family believed in me.
The Prince’s Trust gave me the money to start my business. With that money, the £4,000, I bought a van. It’s a humble beginning. I bought a van off of fishmongers and it even smells great. A couple of years later, it still smells of kippers. It was hard to get a girlfriend at that time. I ended up doing is turning Global Freestyle into an agency because it was an emerging school similar to the growth of certain subcultures like break dancing, skateboarding, things like that. I was writing the question away when it was all starting. I started representing myself as a freestyle footballer. I started representing other young freestyle footballers.
Fast forward to now, I’ve been fortunate to have started the careers of some of the most popular soccer social media influencers in the world. To put in context, the accumulative social reach of the talent that we represent is plus 50 million. We’ve had over 100 million views organically on our social channels over the years. We’ve worked with all the big brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Disney. We have the world’s best soccer players on a regular basis. That was the journey. At that moment, we’re developing some software, which I would describe as the Peloton of soccer. It all started to be the £4,000 loan, the Prince’s Trust support and a van that smelled of fish. That’s where we are.Creativity exists when you have limited resources. Click To Tweet
The van that smells of fish, I don’t know if I heard that when we were in New York, but I remember meeting you. You hear this that you came from this impoverished, project background. Looking at you, you don’t seem like you came from anything other than a silver spoon in your mouth. How did you take this van and turn it into all of that? You can give somebody $4,000 or you can give them a fish. How did you do that?
They say you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but you give him a fishing rod and then you can feed him for a lifetime. I turned into that. I’ve got limited resources. I honestly believe that is where creativity is most prevalent. That’s where creativity exists is when you’ve got limited resources. You have to think of agile ways to get you out of a situation. I started acquiring skills like built my website, I started doing some graphic design stuff on my own, so you have to become a Swiss Army knife. I started doing search engine optimization and watching YouTube videos on how to develop your website and develop your SEO and stuff like that.
As soon as I became the number one website for freestyle football on the internet, I started doing YouTube videos, filming my skills, presenting to the audience via the internet. I started working with all the younger emerging talents as well and getting those on the channel. It was almost cross-fertilization. It was like a snowball effect. Once I got the SEO and that was starting to gain traction, people started contacting you all the time. I went to Dubai. I went to Venice Summit to LA in the first several months. In the summer of 2010, which is a year after I started the business, in the summer we had 30 or 40 freestylers across the world. They’re performing, working for brands, in commercials, with the players. The answer to the question is thinking as creatively as possible and becoming a Swiss Army knife of many different things.
When you say freestyler, how do your skills differ from somebody who plays soccer on a team?
Fortunately, I was able to get paid to play in a team in the UK and on a professional level, which was always a dream. I get that question asked all the time. A freestyler is completely detached from soccer itself. A freestyler is someone with the skills unopposed. A footballer is someone who can do skills when being opposed by a defender. It’s showing off with the poor, expressing yourself. Spinning the ball on your head, doing backflips, lying on your back, doing skills with the soles of your feet and a little bit like a circus act in a sense. I was one the judges of the first-ever Freestyle Football Championships several years ago. That sport is quite turned world championships. Red Bull does a World Freestyle Championships because Red Bull is involved in a lot of extreme sports. The actual athletes that were involved in it, they’ve got certain freestylers that have got over 15 million views on Instagram. It’s used that soccer and football bigger market as leverage to grow. We’ve had football games. I don’t think it would necessarily exist in a sense, but football is the most popular sport in the world, so it was able to grow quite quickly.
I’m thinking of the difference, since you brought up the Harlem Globetrotters, of what kind of skills and how challenging that was versus what Michael Jordan did of different types for basketball. The Harlem Globetrotters were a niche thing that was popular but it’s not as super popular as this is for soccer. Why do you think this is such a big thing compared to something like the Harlem Globetrotters?
Basketball is the most participating sport in the US. Ninety percent of the other countries in the world, basketball isn’t as popular. When I was at school, I played for the basketball team, but we played one game in five years because there was only one other school that played it. Nobody was bouncing the ball. Everyone was running around. Nobody knew the rules. It was a lot of foul play. When you look at the numbers, the statistics are 4% of the world’s population plays soccer. It’s not the most popular sport in the world. It’s the most popular sport in the world by far. It’s a much bigger market than basketball. Hence, having a niche within that market is quite big.
It is interesting that the US doesn’t get into it as much as other countries. Do you find it harder to get them as much into the freestyle thing here too?
We’ve got two brands. We’ve got Global Freestyle, which is on the entertainment side of things like the Harlem Globetrotters element. We’ve got another brand called Global Street Soccer, which is more relevant to the game of soccer. All the greatest soccer players in the world came from playing in the streets. We’ve got two products coming out called the GSS Games, which is an event where we use social media influencers to compete in the event each year. It’s about finding out who’s the best individual soccer player in the world. It’s a new event format. We’ve got a product coming out called the GSS Live, some software that we’re developing, which could be the Peloton of soccer.
They’re coaching kids in their driveway wherever they can access Wi-Fi. They get a virtual coach. They’re able to follow live stream sessions from some of the best young soccer players and social media influences in the world. That’s the plan. It’s one of the most participating sports here because it’s a coed sport. Girls and boys play soccer here. A lot of females don’t play soccer in Europe. It’s considered a male sport. The market is strong for soccer in the US. For me, developing a coaching product as well as educational products, the pain level of the market and then the knowledge gap is a lot worse here, which is good for us as a product. We can address and solve that problem.
It’s interesting to think of what you’re doing in your software, the Peloton of soccer type of thing because you don’t need the bike, you have the screen. You get access to a lot more people to be able to use it. Is there any other equipment they’re going to need?
One of the big problems is because the US is big and a lot of parents travel a long way for the best coaching for their child. A lot of these programs are technical skill programs where they will travel for 2.5 hours to do an hour with a coach who will teach them individual skills. The skills they’re learning to the place they drive into, you can learn those skills at home. We’re solving the problem.
That’s a platform that we’ll see a lot more of how we had the Uber of this and now we’re going to have the Peloton of that.
It’s good that we’ve got an analogy to explain it. It’s always good when we’re speaking with people.
That’s launching in 2020.
By the summer, we’ll be officially launching. We’ve been testing our product types and stuff like that. It’s going well with the feedback that we’ve got. We’ll be at that stage once we are ready to scale. We’ll be looking for investors. If there’s any reading, feel free to get in touch.
Definitely, because I do have a lot of VCs and people who read, it’s an inspirational story of what you’ve been able to create and with your £4,000. You’ll never know what will lead to the next big thing. You have some success prior to getting that £4,000. A lot of people need a little bit of oomph after certain parts of what they’re trying to do. I’m curious, getting back to what you were able to accomplish with the Prince’s Trust. Now that you work as an ambassador for them, is it both the UK and the US or just the US?
When I was residing in the UK, I was an ambassador for them. I used to attend a lot of speaking engagements and go to social inclusion projects and talk with young people. Try to inspire them to take on the right track. I’ve been in the States now for the last few years. I live in a place called Ocean Grove in New Jersey. It’s quite fortunate as the universe can at times align. I happened to reach out to them several months ago and said, “Is there anything I can do to help the Prince’s Trust even though I’m in the US?” They reached out and said, “We were talking about you. The Prince’s Trust is now expanding to the US.” That’s where we met in one of their first-ever fundraising events, the JP Morgan one, a few months ago. They were their first pre-launch events. In April, there’s an official US Prince’s Trust launch. I’m not sure where it is. I’m going to be talking and I know Lionel Richie’s going to be performing as well.
Jerry Hall was at the other. I know that she’s done a lot with it, so has Rupert Murdoch. You’ve got a lot of people associated with this.
The first-ever speaking engagement I did in the US for the Prince’s Trust. It was at Dolce & Gabbana’s private residence, which was cool. It was daunting because I’m sure they’ve got many houses, but it was one of their living rooms. Maybe one was standing around close. It was quite strange but the next day I spoke at the Watches of Switzerland, which is a fantastic event as well. The day after that, in succession, I spoke at the JP Morgan event where we met. It’s the beginning of the Prince’s Trust here in the US. It’s such a fantastic organization. They’ve reached a milestone where they nearly helped one million young people in the UK either start in business or get them into work since the 1980s. To be at the start of their US rollout and be able to help and assist that and to potentially have an impact on many young people in the US, it’s quite humbling.
You were one of the few people who shared some of their stories of what they’ve gone through and what they were able to accomplish. I had James Sommerville on the show that was also there. He went on to be in with Coca Cola and had his own amazing success story. It’s impressive to see what you were able to accomplish. I hope to see you at a future event. I know that Louise from JP Morgan was nice enough to introduce us. I’m impressed with everything you’re doing. I’ve had other companies and CEOs that have tried to help young people who were in underprivileged areas to get on their feet to start companies. I’m glad to see the Prince’s Trust is doing something here in the United States as well because the more the merrier to help people and that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that story. If you want people to reach you, how can they do that?
They can reach me by either website GlobalFreestyle.com or GlobalStreetSoccer.com. My email’s Danny@GlobalFreestyle.com. You can follow Global Street Soccer or Global Freestyle on all the social media platforms. If anyone’s interested in having an exploration conversation, I’d love to chat. I appreciate your time, Diane. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
It’s been fun. Thanks. I hope everybody checks it out.Anything that you overdo is going to cause problems. Click To Tweet
Amplifying Exposure Of Small Medical Businesses With Dennis Yu
I am here with Dennis Yu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that partners with schools to train young adults. His mission is to provide education at no cost to students. He has worked with a lot of ad campaigns with some of the hugest companies. I was looking at some of these, the Golden State Warriors, Nike, Rosetta Stone. You’re internationally recognized. The companies you work with are impressive. It’s nice to have you here, Dennis. Welcome.
Thank you, Diane.
I was looking forward to this because you and I have a mutual friend with Susan Sly and all the people at RadiusAI. We’re both speaking in that four-day event.
Susan’s amazing. We were in Vegas. We made a road trip together, took baths over at Kaqun and brought back 1,500 tons of water in her SUV.
There’s got to be more to that story. Did you bring back water?
We brought back Kaqun oxygen water and we’ve been taking baths there in Vegas. I will fly into Las Vegas or LA, take a bath or two, and fly out.
What’s it do for you?
For me, thank goodness, I don’t have stage four cancer or anything crazy like that, but it’s my secret weapon for travel, jet lag, mental clarity, energy, and never being tired. In the last couple of months, I’ve been in eight countries. You can think about how many times zones that are like being in Israel, Greece, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong doing the speaking and entrepreneur thing which is cool. When people pay you $20,000 to talk for 50 minutes, you’re not going to say no to that. I’m some random guy. Why would anyone want to pay me that much money? There’s nothing I could say that’s that valuable. If you want to pay me, I’ll come over.
You’re hardly a random guy.
To overcome jet lag or before I’m going to speak or if I need to have focus before a deal, I will drink. This sounds kooky. I’m a science guy. I don’t take people’s random claims. I will drink this Kaqun Water.
What is Kaqun Water? I know Susan’s interested in health issues and she shares her health issues in her talks and everything.
She and her husband and Jeff and all the other folks are big users of the Kaqun Water.
What is Kaqun Water?
Do you know the movie Cocoon?
The aliens have the eggs and it’s the fountain of youth and the swimming pool, there’d be an old people break-in. This is that thing but real. When you drink this water or bathe in the water, there is so much oxygen that it reverses your aging by 10 or 15 years. The way you measure aging is you look at your oxygen levels in your tissue. If you’re a newborn, your levels might be 102 or 103 millimeters HG, like blood pressure, it’s measured in millimeters HG. As you age, your cells start to decline. When those oxygen levels decline, you see things like cancer, tumors, tiredness, organ failure, and cell death through necrosis not apoptosis. It’s simple. The Nobel Prize was won in medicine by three hypoxia researchers. In other words, scientists who study oxygen. They found that there’s a clear linkage between whether the cells have enough oxygen and then the mitochondria able to do its work, meaning the power plants inside the cell that regulate the immune system.
What modern science has discovered now in the last few years, but the rest of us have known for a long time is that the body can heal itself. No human being was ever sick for lack of pharmaceutical drugs. I believe in Western medicine for trauma care, the ambulance, the heart attack, and the severe conditions. What about the full spectrum of health? What about the rest of us as entrepreneurs that want to feel better, that want to be at our best and have the energy, our mood and achieve things? Not I want to go to the hospital if I’m about to die because I was in a car accident, food poisoning, I take out my appendix, that which is called trauma care. What about the other end of the spectrum?
I was a pharmaceutical rep forever. I agree with you. I don’t think most of the pharmaceuticals that people take are necessary. You can take many things that make you feel better. They say prophylactically and preventative is another term for that way. What’s in this Kaqun Water?
We had not planned on talking about this. I love this. This is interesting because I don’t know about Kaqun Water. It’s just oxygenated water. Why is it in Vegas?
There’s a facility in Vegas. It’s run by Aniko Brown, who’s the doctor of Dr. Robert Lyons, the inventor of this. He was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. That’s pretty much of it. Of all the cancers to have, you’d rather have skin cancer. She got married to Brian her husband. It’s the real shocker because no one ever expects that it’s going to be their turn. It’s always someone else. The tumor was 10.5 centimeters and it was inoperable. They said, “There’s nothing we can do. You have five months to live. Put your stuff in order and say goodbye.” You can imagine how that mentally would have affected her and her newly married husband. She went through rounds and rounds of chemotherapy treatment. We’re not saying you don’t do chemotherapy but treatment, as ridiculous as this sounds, taking baths in this oxygen water. Long story short, about nine months later, over the course of time that tumor shrunk and she was able to go to UCLA Medical Center and have it removed and they found that the remaining tissue was benign.
Who is this person, did you say her name?All the greatest soccer players in the world came from playing in the streets. Click To Tweet
Aniko Brown. This is Dr. Robert Lyons’ doctor. Dr. Robert Lyons is the one who created the Kaqun technology several years ago. He was the physiologist who worked with oncologists, treated cancer patients for his whole career, but said there must be a better way than pills and surgery, chemo, radiation, there’s got to be a better way. That’s why they opened the center in Vegas because that’s where Aniko was. They have centers are all over the world. There’s only two in the United States, in downtown LA and in Vegas. They treat something like 7,000 patients a year. Most of them are stage four cancer, where they’ve tried everything. There are a lot of people with type two diabetes, people who have a stroke. I was in Malaysia with the queen. Have you ever met royalty like a king or queen of another country or the president of another country?
I met the president of Costa Rica.
That’s cool. I’d never met royalty before. The whole thing with the security plus the cultural traditions over there is different because it’s a Muslim country. I was there and the reason why is I was with Dr. Lyons. In 2019, the queen had a stroke. It completely debilitated her. She couldn’t speak, she couldn’t move, so she was stuck in bed. The tabloids said she’s a goner because she was already 71 years old and all that. After doing the Kaqun treatments, the first month, nothing happened. In the second month, the third month, nothing happened. In the fourth month, she sat up from the bed and said, “I’m thirsty.” Her doctors are saying, “What’s going on here?” This is after they tried everything. They have billions of dollars and you can imagine that the hospital they have on the grounds of the Royal Palace, they have the most modern machinery, the most whatever, everything. They couldn’t solve it for her.
Because she was able to make nearly a full recovery, she was able to walk around with a walker. She was able to speak, but not well because we all have friends who’ve had strokes. The other kings and queens of other countries said, “What happened to her? How is she able to make this recovery? We thought she was a goner.” They came in and they wanted to know more. I got to meet other royalty from other countries. We had this celebration of her health, of her coming back and I got to hang out with her physician. Let me show you something, how ridiculous it is in a monarchy versus a democracy life what we live in. In a monarchy, it’s not based on political voting or what the population wants. They can do whatever they want. They had a hospital there that had all the best stuff, a modern hospital. It serves just two patients.
Can you imagine that, the king and the queen? I was walking around. There was yellow stuff everywhere and one of the guys told me, “Anything that you see that’s yellow, solid gold.” Someone told me they had $23 billion of stuff there. It makes folks like Donald Trump or the Silicon Valley billionaires look cheap. It was incredible. Going around and being able to see that and see other people go through and get healed of their condition because their body is able to heal itself. The idea of hypoxia as something all of us have but are not even aware but is as the key to anti-aging and it’s not a magic cure. It’s not snake oil. You can study the science behind it. You can take a Medicap device and measure oxygen in tap water, in the Kaqun Water, in your Pellegrino, in your coffee or tea, you can measure.
Is that the same water that they’re giving people for the hangover cures that you see them sitting in the hotels, like a combination and all that in Vegas or is that some other kind of water?
It could be. There are different kinds of waters. There are vitamin C treatments, STEM cells. There’s a lot of stuff that people don’t newly understand about the body.
Are they one of your customers because you do BlitzMetrics?
I do BlitzMetrics, but it’s the other way around. I’m their customer. I put every dollar I earned back in my businesses into paying for people to go to these treatments. There are some of our friends and parents that can’t afford this and they’re dealing with some serious health conditions and we go ahead and pay for it.
How often do you have people do this? Do you drink this or bathe in it?
You do both. You drink a 1.5-liter bottle every day. You treat it like medicine, 300 milliliters five times a day, first thing in the morning until about 6:00 PM. You don’t want to go past that because they’ll keep you up.
Does it give you a rush?
It does. Everyone has a slightly different reaction. If you’re hypoxic, meaning if you have some disease, if you have a lot of drugs in your system, a lot of prescription meds or maybe you have illegal drugs or you have a hangover, then you might have some detox effects. My friend Brian Garvan, he has had two brain surgeries. He has some crazy brain tumor-like condition. He has a shunt in his head. He takes these various drugs and after one or two bouts, he couldn’t do it anymore because it was too much. If you’re that sick and your immune system is weak, you’re going to have flu-like symptoms. Susan, did she tell you she had a rash on her leg or she had this Lyme disease, tick bite, a big red mark on her leg. Those are toxins coming out of the body. Have you ever been through detox or cleanse?
It’s flu-like symptoms, but it’s okay. Some of my friends, like my buddy Phil Mershon, who runs Social Media Marketing World, a big convention that we have in our industry. He took it and he called me up and said, “I don’t know if I can continue because of the reactions my body’s having with the water.” I said, “I’m not a doctor but what you’re drinking is just plain water. There are no chemicals or anything added, but it has a lot of oxygen in it. That’s your body reacting to that.” He also has been sick. You got to be careful. It’s like medicine. You don’t want to pop like 50 pills. You don’t want to drink like three bottles.”
If you drink too much water because you wash up too much of the salt within your body, I wonder if some people overdo it maybe.
Anything that you overdo is going to cause problems.
You wouldn’t even think you could take too much water. This is interesting. I didn’t even know that we would go down that road, but it was fascinating. You deal with a lot of different issues. I didn’t know you had this health focus. I want to make sure I touch on some of the stuff that you’re working on in the business setting because I know you back on the show for a while. I want to know a little bit more. I’ve watched some of your interviews. I had seen the movie The Great Hack when I saw you talking about some of the data they keep, Facebook and all of that, that they were talking about in that. Are you the go-to for that type of thing? You’re on all these shows. If I listen to the shows you’re on, what is your main focus that you’d like to talk about? You’re on CNN and CBS Evening News. You co-authored Facebook. It’s a textbook that’s taught in 700 colleges and universities. Tell me what you like to talk about. What’s your main focus?
I liked to talk about things small businesses. Ninety-five percent of our revenue has come from big companies. Some of them spend $1 million a day with us, which is great on ads and take those things and drive them to small businesses that in particular are local and service-oriented. Those are dentists, plumbers, chiropractors, attorneys and be able to use search and social together to drive them leads. This is something we see as a major opportunity because it creates what’s called a two-sided network. Do you ever use Uber for example? That’s a two-sided network. Uber’s a company well to dwell, demand and supply. Demand is you and I want to go to the airport, so press the button on the app and look at who’s going to come and so-and-so is three minutes away. The supply side is the drivers that are certified and trained and vetted or whatever. There’s a particular model that determines how much they’re going to get paid and everything’s tracked along the way. If it wasn’t for Uber, can you imagine twenty years ago standing on the side of the road and putting your arm up and getting in some random person’s car and say, “Take me to the airport?” Would you be cool with that?
We’re tracking it with Uber, so we know who it is. We know where we’re going and it’s not a random guy.
What about if we did that for marketing? Imagine what that would be like if you wanted something done. You want to drive more leads. You wanted to get your website done the right way and then the fear of being overcharged, of not being done right, the fear of it not working, the fear of them not being competent. What if we had all the people who were doing the work in an Uber-like way, certified? Imagine if those people who are certified are mainly young adults that we have here like Kieran O’Brien. We’re all speaking together in April. He and I had been teaching thousands of young adults how they can start their digital agency by getting certified first in our program as Certified Social Media Marketing Agency owners, which is at SMMAUniversity.com. They can serve their local businesses. We are certified to provide digital marketing services, in the same way you can be certified to be a plumber, to fly a plane, to be a CPA or a doctor.Local businesses are horribly under-optimized. Click To Tweet
They know how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, and they know how to use certain things. What other things do they get certified to know?
It doesn’t matter what the new work is like. We teach all those. We certify them to drive business results. Do you want to rank on Google for whatever it is that you do? Let’s say that you’re a nursing home in Gilbert. Someone types in a nursing home in Gilbert into Google. Is that map listing optimized? There are twelve things that we look for in the maps listing. Are they done properly? Is the website done properly? Does it have Google Analytics? Does it have a phone number that’s visible at the top? Does it have good reviews? Have they taken care of the bad reviews? That’s what could hurt you. Local businesses are horribly under-optimized. We want to help those millions of businesses mainly in the United States. We want to create jobs for hundreds of thousands of young adults. That’s the two-sided network we’re building.
How long does it take you to certify people?
It depends on how fast they can go through. It’s self-paced, but most people about six weeks. Imagine, it’s like an associate’s degree. It’s not a weekend course. It’s not a 90-minute webinar where you watch it and now you’re ready to go. You don’t watch a couple of YouTube videos and now you can operate like a surgeon. There’s a little more to it than that. It’s not four years of studying.
Your certifications are a good long program though. You were talking about how you have people spend $1 million a day, but I saw something you said, “Do you have at least $1 a day to spend on marketing?” Every extreme you deal with.
It’s a Robin Hood approach because the Rosetta Stones, Nike and people like that pay us well enough that we use our earnings to subsidize the training programs. There is a zero cost to the schools and to the young adults. We’d lose money. We’ve lost millions on that program. It’s why we do what we do. We’re not doing it because we want to buy more luxury cars or something.
When you say schools, what schools do you deal with?
Post-secondary education, so universities. We’ve tried stuff at the high school level and it doesn’t quite work.
You’re here in Arizona. Is your market everywhere? You’ve traveled all these countries.
We call it the three Cs. When we’re in another city or country, it’s paid for by the conference or the client because they pay for the travel, there’s a speaking fee, that kind of thing. We can serve the college. If we know that we’re going to be in Chicago on April 15th, then the local universities will say, “We’re in town. If you guys want Dennis and whoever to speak, set up the auditorium. Here’s our checklist. Order the Little Caesar’s pizza for $5 a pizza. Here’s our program.” We will train these young adults on how to do Facebook ads, how to set up their agency, how to get a job, how to tune their LinkedIn profile, how to interview, how much they should charge, how to do this and that. All the templates, everything necessary to run their business and it’s a big hit.
I know when I was the MBA Program Chair at Forbes, I created a brand publishing course. I worked at Forbes and how challenged the CMOs were at handling all the marketing and advertising, everything that everybody has to do in these large corporations. How do they know where to start? Do they go to somebody like you to hire you to do these things? I’m curious. If people are reading, what advice could you give them?
There’s something called Occam’s Razor. Have you heard of Occam’s Razor?
That’s the easiest choice is the logical one or it’s the devil side. Am I close?
The most obvious answer is usually the correct answer. If you look at what’s going on in the world of digital agencies and companies that provide marketing services or marketing software, we can agree that most of them don’t know what they’re doing. They’re struggling to retain clients because they’re not providing measurable services. The churn is super high. Whether it’s a reach local or you name it. I don’t want to call out some of the software companies out there, but you know who they are. It could be like a ClickFunnels, a ridiculously high churn rate because people think, “If I buy this piece of software or if I use this secret magic technique that I’m going to be super successful. I’m going to go to the gym, workout hard using these special exercises for two hours and I’m going to have six-pack abs, Diane.”
We know that marketing is not about magic, the secrets, and the tools. It’s about the most common sense things that people seem to forget about. The thing that grows any business, especially small businesses, is a happy customer. A happy customer does the work for you because they tell their friends, because they’re happy to tell you about it and the customer does the work for you. You don’t do your marketing, your customer does. How do you equip your customers? You want to have the best product or service. My friend Dr. Mark Page, who’s in Ahwatukee, he’s arguably one of the best eye doctors on the planet.
If you look at his results, how many patients he’s had, the technologies that he’s invented, the other doctors that he teaches, the people that fly in from all over the world to Dr. Mark Page, but he could be way bigger. He’s a fantastic eye doctor, but his marketing is terrible. What do we do? Do we come in and say, “We’re world-class marketing experts. We’re going to do all this marketing technology stuff. We’re going to build a website using the latest technology.” Do you think that’s what counts? No. What we do is we use digital marketing as an amplifier of what’s already there. It’s a multiplier. That’s what Bill Gates calls technology. You can multiply a big number, which is what we like. You can multiply a negative number or multiply a zero, which we don’t like.
If a business already has some happy customers, then we take that and we distribute what those people have said across Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, what have you so the friends of those people or people in similar situations also see what these other people are saying. That drives more sales. Word of mouth is spreading effect. All of our systems and processes that we teach are around amplifying the good feedback that’s already there. If you don’t have good feedback, if you just started your business, it’s going to be tough because people are then relying upon what you as the business owner are saying about your products and services. Who do people trust more? What the salesperson is saying or what their friend is saying?
It’s not the salesperson. I hear you. Being a salesperson, I know what that’s like. You can have the greatest product in the world, but you have word of mouth. I teach a lot of marketing courses and we talk about having that sales background and all that. It is fascinating to see how social media has changed word of mouth and how they reach is unbelievable now. That’s what you’re doing for the companies that you worked with. It’s interesting to look at some of the stuff that people do on their own when they’re trying to get known. I have a lot of people who ask me how I got my website, what I did with this and how I did that. They’re trying to reinvent the wheel but when they go to somebody like you, they cut out all that stuff.
We go straight to what they need because they think what they need is a website. They think what they need is someone posting on social media. Have you ever gone to the doctor and then before having any X-rays, before talking to anybody, they say, “Dan, we’re going to go ahead and do the surgery, this surgery, and that surgery. We’re going to take these pills?” We call that prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. The real process that we know that works in the hospitals, which is what gives us faith is first, there’s the collecting of vitals, which is what we call metrics. The blood, the X-ray, you have to get some data to see what’s going on. Look at their business. Step two diagnoses, looking at the X-ray, it looks like based on this and this, you’ve got a clot here. It looks like you don’t have a heart attack. It looks like you have an ulcer. It looks like whatever it is.
People come in saying, “I need heart surgery.” We say, “No, you have heartburn. You don’t need surgery.” They do need a heart operation. They say, “I need to take some Tums and you should charge me $1 or $2. We need to do this other surgery.” They come in with a broken bone. You can see through the X-rays and they say, “I need a massage.” “No, you need surgery.” “I’m not going to pay $15,000 for that. My friend went to the massage therapist and only paid $200 and she’s feeling great.” “Yes, but you have a different condition.” “I can get it cheaper elsewhere.” “Go ahead but we want to make sure that based on the correct diagnosis, we then have the correct treatment.” In marketing, it should be the same way. If we look at your stats on what’s working in your business, analyze them. Based on that, here’s what we think you should do. If you want to go somewhere else, great but either way, this is what you need to do. It’s not a matter of arguing, here’s the stats. You can look at it.
There are stats to show that you guys have been successful at this. I was looking at some of the awards and things that you’ve achieved. Your background alone, Dennis, is impressive.
You’re too kind, Diane. Can I tell you something that cuts through all that? There’s no question that we have been able to deliver some results. We wouldn’t have gotten these clients and the word of mouth that we talk about. We spent over $1 billion on Facebook and Google ads. People say, “Dennis is smart. He’s done it a long time, all this and that.” It’s this simple and some people get mad. Marketing consultants get mad when I say this, it’s because we do what Google and Facebook want you to do. We use the systems as they were designed. If I have a stethoscope and you choose whatever set of medical devices that you like, and I use the stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, vitamin C, and scalpel the correct way. People say, “They’re doing magic.” No, we’re not. We’re following a process that is plain, that is common. That’s not a secret. That’s been published for years.The most obvious answer is usually the correct answer. Click To Tweet
Google published its web guidelines on what they’re having in there. They update their search engine every couple of months. They have minor and major updates. This is a major update. They said some people, their websites are going to move down in the rankings. It’s not because they’re evil or penalized. The analogy they used was imagined you have the 2019 list of top 100 movies, your favorite movies. You make a list at the end of 2020 of your favorite movies. Some movies are going to move down the list and there are some new movies that you put up there. The movies that moved down, it’s not that they suck, it’s that there are certain things they can do to try to move up in the rankings. Google released what those factors are that they look for in websites. They’re all obvious ones that we’ve set for the last many years. Many years ago, I built the analytics at Yahoo, I was an early employee there and it’s the same criteria. It’s the same criteria on Facebook. It’s still the same criteria at LinkedIn.
Don’t you think the things that are going to rank you well on Google, which is produce content that’s authoritative, that’s worth sharing, that doesn’t have exaggerated headlines, that isn’t duplicate content, that loads quickly, that has citations, that are believable, that are being shared by other people. This is what Google has said plainly. Facebook has said these things plainly. They’ve told us this. I do have some special access. I can pull some strings if necessary because I know some people, but I rarely need to pull those strings. I’m using the same information that everyone else has access to. Warren Buffet has access to the same information. All I do is I say Google and Facebook and LinkedIn and whoever said. GoDaddy said, “Here’s what you need to do to have success in our ecosystem. Here are the rules you need to play by.” I say, “That’s what we do.” It works. We do this at scale and we hire young adults and Virtual Assistants in the Philippines to apply those rules and it works.
People say, “It’s not fair. It’s because Dennis is at Facebook headquarters every couple of weeks. He knows what the secret algorithm changes are. When he makes ads, he has an advantage.” Not really. The same algorithm that governs our ads are the same ones that govern your ads. We just happen to abide by the rules. These people succeed not because we’re somehow better. We’re okay. It’s because they’re flat out not doing the fundamental items because they’re going for all these tricks. There’s this new update. There’s this new trick. There’s this new piece of software. Not really. You need the fundamentals. We can X-ray those easily. We can score them and there’s the site, SeniorScoreCard.com, for old people’s homes or senior living or anyone that works with seniors that scores their local websites.
Is your website loading fast? Do you have your social media connected to it? Do you have your Google Analytics pixel in place? Do you have your images optimized? Have you set up a Twitter and YouTube channel? Do you have reviews? Are you answering negative reviews? How many videos have you made? How many patients have you interviewed and told their story? Are you covering what your staff members are doing and telling their story? Is it easy to contact you? Do you respond quickly? All of these things are easy to determine whether they’re there or not. It’s not a matter of argument for any of those items.
People try to make things too complicated. It seems like it’s hocus pocus if you don’t understand it, but that’s why you hire people that you can’t understand. Know it all, everything that’s out there. Sometimes hire an expert in the area that you’re not strong. What you’re working on is what frustrates many people. It’s nice to have somebody who knows that area. Dennis, you in terms of our knowledge because that’s what you do. It’s great that you offer many ways to make it sound easy. It is and people get frustrated. It’s great that you did that. A lot of people who are reading want to know more about what you’re working on and find out more about your presentations and everything else. How do they reach you?
They can go to TeamBlitzNation.com. They can look me up on LinkedIn. They can look me up on Twitter. They can Google me. The one thing I say not to do is to friend me on Facebook because Facebook has a limit of 5,000 friends. I hit that limit a few years ago. I get inundated with thousands of friend requests and I can’t accept them because I’m at the limit. You can connect with me on LinkedIn. There’s a limit of 30,000. I’m at 23,000, so I still have space. You can always email me.
That’s awesome. Do you have an email you want to share?
I always reply. It may take me a little while but I always reply and it’s Dennis@BlitzMetrics.com.
Dennis, it was nice of you to share all this and I found out about Kaqun Water. I didn’t expect to learn about it. My curiosity got me with that one and I’m going to have to look into that.
It’ll change your life. No joke.
I’m going to Vegas in a couple of weeks. I’ll have to look into that. It was nice of you to join me on the show. I can’t wait to speak with you in April. We’re going to be in a four-day event in Phoenix on April 16th through the 19th. I have them on the 17th I’m not sure what day you’re speaking. I’m on that Friday. Hopefully, it will be on the same day and I’ll get to see you in person.
I’ll see you there. That’d be great.
I want to thank both Danny and Dennis for being my guests. We get many great guests. If you’ve missed any past episodes, please go to DrDianeHamilton.com. You can listen to the show there and you can read it on the blog. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Danny McGhee
- Prince’s Trust
- Global Street Soccer
- LinkedIn – Dennis Yu
- Twitter – Dennis Yu
About Danny McGhee
Danny McGhee is an entrepreneur whose career orientation has always been in the football/soccer industry. He created the first-ever dedicated freestyle and street soccer commercial talent agency back in 2009. He has been responsible for starting the careers of some of the world’s most popular football social influencers and continue to be working with them to this day.
With a background in street football, professional football, freestyle football, and futsal, accompanied with his strong creativity, visionary skills, and eclectic knowledge of the beautiful game, his career has led him to lend his consultancy skills to notable brands such as Nike, Adidas, and New Balance just to name a few. In the UK media, he has been fortunate enough to be recognized as the industry leader in freestyle and street soccer.
About Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’ mission is to provide education at no cost to students. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise in digital marketing to drive leads and sales by managing ad campaigns for enterprise clients like The Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.
He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken over 730 times in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, PubCon, Conversion Conference, Social Media Marketing World, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CNN, CBS Evening News and co-authored “Facebook Nation” – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities.
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