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21 May

Ep. 106 – Billy Gene – Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Maven, Founder

“That’s the biggest thing. If you can lead with results, then that’s it. Think about this, guys. When you ask someone to buy something from you in the coaching world or the training world and they say no, it’s only because they think you’re a liar. Think about that. It’s very simple. If you tell someone, “Hey, it’s $1,000 for my coaching,” and they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re going to make $10,000 in return, then they would do it.”

Billy Gene – Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Maven, Founder; The education system is broken; Understanding digital marketing & advertising; Being authentic.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Billy Gene and his journey as an entrepreneur; Not graduating from college; The problem with the educational system; Practicing what you preach.

Billy’s finer points:

“Man, I would love to hit you guys with some romantic, hero story, but the honest to God’s truth is I was living at my mom’s house and I was broke. I just wanted more, so I’ll give you a very short backstory.”

Yes, I did go to the University of San Diego. What a lot of people don't realize is I didn't graduate, but I attended all four years.

“I actually went to graduation. I got my little certificate and I took the pictures and had my cap and gown and had the party and the whole deal. The catch was this. I had to finish my last class during summer to actually get my degree. I’m a class away from actually having my degree.”

“What happened is during that time, the girl I was dating at the time, her family invited me to go to Cabo. This happened to be at the same time during summer school. Obviously, I made the smart decision to not go to class anymore and to go to Cabo. That’s why I didn’t graduate.”

“The thing that pissed me off is when I brought that up to my teacher, and I let her know before the class started, I said, ‘Hey, can I make this trip?’ She looked at me and said, ‘Well, sir, if you go on this trip, you’re not going to pass my class.'”

“I said, ‘I don’t understand. I’m telling you before class even starts. What can I do to get ahead to ensure that doesn’t happen?’ She just kept saying, ‘Well, it’s probably not going to happen.’ The way she just talked to me, it was so condescending and it was just kind of like her class was so important. It was literally called Decision Science. It was fucking crazy.”

It was like work problems with this complicated Algebra, like shit you would just never use. I got frustrated, man. I was like this is stupid. I'm not going to have this fucking old lady try and dictate my future because she holds this power of this fucking piece of paper above my head.

“I think the focus is just so twisted today where it’s all about the paper and not about what you actually learn. That’s why people are losing. That’s why people are unemployed.”

“In the beginning, it’s talking about education. Listen, for doctors, attorneys, there’s a system. There’s a process. It makes sense because they’re coming out with tangible skills. For someone who’s doing marketing in 2017, the idea of a Marketing Degree, or if you’re an entrepreneur, which your audience does, a lot of them identify as entrepreneurs, college is absolutely the wrong decision.”

I say that with a little bit of hesitance in my stomach because it makes me uncomfortable, right? Because as a black man and my parents both growing up on welfare, all they know as success is a college degree. When I say that, I feel like I'm going against everything my parents worked for, everything my grandmother sacrificed for, and all of this.

“It does make me uncomfortable to say it. I think it makes everyone uncomfortable to say because we’ve all bought into the system. What makes me more uncomfortable is not being honest with what the fuck is happening today.”

“I mean, just think logically about this. People are paying at the University of San Diego $3,200 to take a Shakespeare class. Yeah, for $3,200. When you’re in school, because it’s just debt and you pay it back later, you don’t really care. Right? It doesn’t seem like real money. Today, if I told you guys, ‘Hey, I’m going to teach you about old school literature and Dante’s Inferno, just give me $3,200 bucks,’ who the fuck would buy that?”

“Yeah, so that’s what kind of fucking fires me up today is the fact that the answer, the short answer, is I don’t fucking know. There is no way, right? You can’t go to school as they’re too outdated. They don’t get the information fast enough. What they’re teaching is like dinosaurs.”

“With how fast tech changes, especially marketing, it’s crazy. The idea of semesters. It’s impossible. The system is fundamentally broken. It can never do it. What you just said is another hot button of mine, which is fucking coaches, gurus, life coaches.”

There's all these people who are claiming to be experts on it and they've only done it one time. The way that I look at it is this, is you're track record, meaning what you have accomplished, is the only way. I think there's going to be this big shift in the next decade and it's this: is when people want to learn how to open a restaurant, they will pay somebody who has successful restaurants to learn from them. It sounds like a simple concept, but why the fuck aren't we doing that now?

“People aren’t saying, ‘I want to go to business school and then I’m going to open up a restaurant.’ It’s so backwards. Right now, how do you spot a phony is what I think you’re kind of asking. That’s do your homework. What have they actually done? Which clients have you worked for?”

“Right now, I do a ton of teaching, right? We probably teach more people than, I would say, 99% in the space. At the same time, I’ve been running an agency for the last four years and worked with some of the largest franchises in the world. I say that. I have an office. I have 22 employees.”

“But all these fucking people who are just like sitting on an island, fucking smoking weed, talking about making a million dollars, look at my ad, shut the fuck up! It’s insane. It’s insane. It’s crazy, man. Whoa, you guys got me hyped this morning.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Billy Gene; The power and efficiency of paid media; Giving away value; Making marketing easier than it has to be.

Billy’s finer points:

When I'm teaching, I know probably, I would honestly say better than anybody in the world, how to get customers for any business in any niche using paid Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube ads. That's my shit.

“Literally, you give me one of those tools, a laptop computer, I don’t care what niche you’re in, I will bring you more customers than you’ve ever had in your life with a positive ROI.”

“Guess what guys? Outside of that, I’m the biggest dummy you’ve ever met. When I tell you that is all I do, whether it’s the agency side that’s what I’m doing or it’s helping people in our community and reviewing their advertising campaigns, I genuinely do not believe, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that you can be good at more than one thing.”

“You can be good at a handful of things, but the one thing you really bring home … I don’t know, man. I don’t know if it’s possible to be honest.”

That's something that I'm super passionate about is motivation's great, but fuck motivation is one of my favorite quotes. I hate it. It's just useless. Let's do something, so if you guys are listening right now this would be the time to take out your pen and paper.

“The very first thing I want to overstress to your community is the importance of simplification. At the end of the day, marketing has not changed. It will not change and the process is this simple. You run an ad, which can be a billboard, it could be on your podcast as a sponsor, it could be on Facebook, it could be on YouTube, whatever.”

“You pay money to get someone’s attention. You pay money to get a message in front of people. That’s it. That’s what advertising is. You’re paying to get a message in front of people. The end. After that, you need to collect their data, meaning getting their name, email, and phone number. Yes, you need all three because open rates on text messaging right now are 99%.”

“People, if you’re just coming and you’re obsessed with email right now, that’s great, but it is fucking dying. It will be there, but it’s not nearly as effective as text messaging. Something that makes us a lot of money right now is follow-up text messaging campaigns.”

“If I were drawing in front of you guys right now, I would have three boxes. The first one would say ad, get someone’s attention. The second one would say capture their information and the third would be sell them shit. That is it.”

That is the only thing you're doing when it comes to advertising. Now, where it gets confusing or it can be overwhelming is when you're trying to advertise on multiple platforms simultaneously. The way that you find success on YouTube is different than Facebook, Instagram, your sponsorship, whatever it may be.

“You really have to create content for that platform. If you guys have seen our ads around, what I do on YouTube is different than what I do on Facebook because people receive information differently.”

“Probably the biggest mistake that I see business owners make is just not getting specific enough. It’s because when you had radio print and television, you couldn’t get that specific. You’d just put it on a channel and you hope the people that watch that channel are going to be in your demo, do they live in this area, etc.”

“With Facebook, you can literally advertise to somebody based on where they work at. If someone says they work at Billy Gene’s Marketing Inc, you can run an ad specifically to them. A lot of people try and shortcut it and they try and advertise multiple products or services simultaneously. It doesn’t work. You really have to get specific and you can only sell one product or service at a time in the ad. Period. There’s so much I want to give so I’m trying to simplify the hell out of it.”

“After that, once you know who you’re truly going after, it becomes very easy to figure out what you need to offer them in exchange for their contact information.”

Then, once you know who that person is, their data, it becomes easy to sell to them because you know exactly everything about them and who they are and what they're biggest challenges are and how to solve them.

“Here’s a challenge right now is a lot of people believe that free traffic is better than paid traffic. Let me tell you why that’s very, very wrong. Free traffic you cannot scale.”

“When you really want to grow and scale your company, what do you do?” There’s nothing because you’re just depending on fucking other people praying that they send you business. You do not have a predictable and consistent way to grow your business, therefore, I know your company is going to stay complacent and exactly where it’s at. Right?”

“Oh dude, the membership’s awesome. Everything that college won’t teach you, you learn in there. How to use Facebook advertising, how to go Facebook Live. I’m teaching this month about how to create content. Everything at school would be like, ‘No, we’re not going to teach you all that stuff,’ but you actually need to survive. That’s what I teach.”

Also, too, before I ask for the sale, this is important, people are registering for a train. In that train, I probably teach more about marketing than they fucking learn ever. You know what I mean? I'm already giving a whole bunch. It's definitely value packed and I'm solving a lot of problems before asking for a dime so yes.

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Being authentic; taking accountability for yourself; Being obsessed with results; Understanding advertising; Transparency.

Billy’s finer points:

The reason why you guys will see our content and our videos so over the top and why in every single video you see, I show our office, I really promote our team, and I show them because we have something that everybody else doesn't. A real business. Right?

“I talk about our clients. I go live all of the time. I’ll put people on the spot. People here from our students and our community. We go over the top. We probably got like 400 video uploaded on YouTube where it’s like if you say anything negative about us, I don’t even have to respond because the amount of content that we have, the people who stop by our office, it’s just hard. It’s just really hard to say we’re not the truth because there’s an overwhelming amount of data. That’s how I am.”

I definitely operate, at times, from skeptics. I think everyone's full of shit. I think well, if I was full of shit, what would I want to see? That's what I show.

“Again, just over the top, being obsesses with fucking results and that’s it. I’m more obsessed with results than anybody. Period.”

“It’s this, number one, all of the highest earning careers that most people think of are attorneys or doctors, whatever.”

“What do they all have in common? They train before they make a dime for a decade. Doctors are in school for fucking ever. They acquire hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. They are required to do a residency. They are required to do supervised surgeries for the x amount of years.”

“The best thing that you could do ever, and one of my greatest strengths, is I take accountability for everything. Even shit that’s not my fault because once you do that, and you take ownership of it, you can change it.”

“When I was living at my mom’s house, I had a limited belief that I was young, I was black, and that none of these, in my head, these white dudes with money would ever give me the time of day. I didn’t graduate. I had all these limiting beliefs. Instead of being a little bitch and just doing nothing, curling up into a ball, I said fine. When I come to the table, I want to have my shit so dotted, my i’s dotted, my t’s crossed, that no matter who I am, they have to take me seriously. They have to.”

“What I would do is I would create videos of my previous wins. That is really how I got ahead. When I start meeting with these franchises, I would sit there and present to them and say, “Here’s what I did for this company. Here’s what I did for that company.” I would show them in such great detail that they couldn’t deny me because I was leading with fucking proof.”

“When they’re telling you no, they’re saying, “I don’t really trust that that’s going to happen.” They either don’t trust you or they don’t trust in themselves.”

“If you can overcome those two obstacles, then you can fucking sell anything. A big way to do that is with proof and then proof of someone who looks like them.”

“If someone gives you money, what problems can you solve for them?”

“Usually that’s the moment where it goes light bulb. They say, ‘Oh, I’ll just help you have a better life.’ I say, ‘Try fucking again. Be specific about the exact problem.'”

“For example, if somebody’s going to come to my office and give me 10 grand for the day to come pick my brain or whatever the fuck it is, then I need to have clearly in my mind exactly what there problems are and I need to know that I can solve those problems for them. If I can’t, I would not accept their money. Right?”

“Every time you guys. Even when we run ads with customers, they go how much budget should we pick for the month? I go I don’t know yet. We don’t know if anyone’s responding. You don’t just create an ad, pick $10,000 and just spend it. You spend 40 and if it worked, you spend fucking more. If not, you change it quickly. A lot of companies are dying right now because of speed of implementation.”

The reason why I have three people in house who do nothing but create and edit videos for us is because I understand with great speed comes great results. If I have the ability to strike it on an ad, which by the way, we do very often, but I can get out three ads in three days and on the fourth day pick a fucking winner that's going to make us a dumb amount of money, cool. That's good. That's an investment. Again, the structure of a business as you guys know it today, audiences, you guys viewing, is going to completely change.

Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

Time to get gut honest about setting goals. The point is, instead of making a list of goals, your list needs to be what you’re willing to sacrifice to reach those goals. - Billy Gene


Billy Gene – Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Maven, Founder

  • Billy Gene Shaw III was born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA, attended the University of San Diego (never graduated) and is now the CEO of a 7-figure Ads agency and marketing school.
  • With over 5.3 million video views on FB last year, BillyGene serves as the president of one of the world’s leading digital advertising schools,Billy Gene Is Marketing, Inc.
  • So far this year, he already has 3 million views on YouTube and has taught thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners how to turn “Clicks Into Customers” using paid Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube ads.
  • Billy Gene’s renowned C.A.M.P. (Customer Acquisition Masters Program) and monthly membership program, “Billy Gene’s Gene Pool”, teach marketers all over the world how to use social media to get ROI for local businesses. Billy Gene Shaw III is marketing.



Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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