Edited version 🙂
(I decided to turn my last article into english, so everyone from all around the world can understand it, especially Pat Flynn and Maren Kate, who I have luckily met during my 3 month long visit in US)
Short introduction: Hello everybody this is Jakub, I run this website, it was born a year ago and it’s focused on promotion on the internet – SEO, e-mail marketing, content marketing, copywriting… Everything that can help you promote your business on the internet. English isn’t my primary language so I apologize for any grammar mistakes made in here…
If you read my website Propagace Na Internetu, you know that I’ve spent the last three months (from Feb1st till Apr20th) in US, California. It was a work-vacation. Primary reasons were to:
- Spend some time with my brother, who’s already living in CA for ten years and who with his wife just had a baby born the day after we flew in.
- Buy some unique stuff for our pawnshop and bazaar in the center of the city I live in – Ostrava.
- Meet my idols from the Internet marketing world.
- Take as much as I can from my trip in to use in my personal and professional life.
And what was my trip like? I have been on a number of (for me) very important places and succeeded in meeting very interesting people (yes – Pat included :)). And this is what this article is about…
Family and business journey
First month we were all enjoying the family time, newborn baby was absolutely fantastic and it’s almost unbelievable, how much he has grown up in just three months.
The first month we spent by traveling to all the pawnshops, antique and other shops with used stuff we could found nearby (100 x 100 km).
About a week after our arrival one of our family friends (known as Machrhoumr – www.machrhoumr.cz), which is involved in Internet marketing as well and has his own pawnshop) had arrived, and trips were even more funny :).
During our visit of Las Vegas, we visited the pawnshop made famous by a history channel series Pawn Shop Stars. Besides that… we celebrated newborn baby and Vegas is a great place to do just that.
That was the family-business portion of my visit in a nutshell… Now to the good stuff you’ve all been waiting for…
Trying to contact Pat Flynn
Right after we arrived to US I wrote an e-mail to Pat and I was really disappointed that he didn’t reply to me. Two weeks went by and since I didn’t hear from him I wrote him again but…. Still no answer…
Then I accidentally clicked on my „spam“ folder and found two e-mails from Pat.
The first one said that we could meet and where do I live, but it also that he is awaiting a tooth-surgery after which he needs to stay at home and heal. And the second e-mail in which he wrote that he is right after the surgery so we can’t meet at the moment (and won’t be able to do so for a couple of weeks).
So I missed the chance to meet Pat Flynn and the time, of my departure from US, was coming…
At the last moment I decided to stay in US and my family left without me. With ESTA I can stay in US for up to three months, therefore I decided to use up all of that time.
I wrote an e-mail to Pat again and we scheduled the meeting for April 18th at 1pm in one of the Starbucks in San Diego (just two days before my time expires). I was really worried that Pat will cancel the appointment at last minute and I won’t have any other chance to reschedule and meet with him.
But before our meeting, some interesting things happened…
Silicon Valley visit
Me, my brother, his wife and my newborn nephew went on a trip through Silicon Valley and visited headquarters of the three most interesting companies (for us anyways :)).
First we visited 1 Infinite Loop – Apple headquarters (check out the picture above) It was really awesome… We also visited Google and Facebook headquarters on our way through Silicon Valley and that was great experience as well. But then we left the tech valley behind us.
Appointment with Maren Kate
When we were in San Francisco the most amazing thing happened because out of nowhere I got a meeting with Maren Kate (I used to read her blog for years!) – it was kind of unexpected appointment. I wrote Maren an e-mail that I am in San Francisco (just for one day) and that if it would be possible, I would really like to meet her in person. And guess what? She made time out of her day and scheduled a meeting with me.
We met in La Boulange cafe and after a bit of talking she took me to her office and showed me Zirtual headquarters. It’s really awesome to meet someone, whose blog you read for years, in person.
Maren is really kind person and she is in real even more beautiful than she is in her videos :).
Appointment with Pat Flynn
A week before our scheduled appointment I sent Pat an e-mail with confirmation of the time and date of our meeting. I was really anxious and waiting for an e-mail with some kind of „Sorry, I can’t make it“ or something like that in reply. But Pat replied the same day, that the meeting is still in his calendar and that he is looking forward to our meeting, I was so excited.
So… On Apr18th I drove to San Diego…
We were sitting and chatting for almost 2 hours and all the time we spent talking about his and my online businesses and endeavors . It was so exciting and really (really) motivating. Speaking with Pat gave me so much energy to continue…
I used to listen to voices that told me that I’ve spent so much time with my website, so much time writing articles and helping people and have terribly poor salary similar to china factory workers and (not-so-often) some kind of appreciation in a form of email or note. THIS is soooo demotivating…
On the other hand – chatting with Pat gave me a lot of new energy, I was back again in the wright mindset and realized again – why I started doing what I doing. I am doing it for my future. Exactly as Pat says:
„Work hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later…“
And I have a little surprise from Pat for you:
What do you think? It’s awesome 🙂 isn’t it?
Could Chinese restaurants predict the future?
If you have ever been in real china restaurant (or have seen any on TV) then you know that you get a fortune cookie with every meal.
While my brother always got some fortune cookie with nothing interesting in it, look at picture of my set of fortunes (and it was him who chose which one will go to whom :)).
I was happy every time I got any of them. I believe that everybody builds his own future, but it’s nice 🙂
A little inspiration from US
Eat it & Tweet it…
We saw this sign in fast-food restaurant. Whenever you get something to eat and you send a tweet about it, you get some discount.
Great way to promote your business at a relatively low price. Whoever eats there, can send tweets to all of their friends and followers.
I liked it so much, because it’s technically very easy to make and the effects could be really significant…
SMS VIP number
Similarly to the one above, you get discount, if you send a message to a given number. By sending this message, you agree to receive commercial messages. After that you receive information about new products, discounts and other offers.
This can benefit your business in many ways. You can, for example, send some text and get included in a category based on your demand. Then you’ll receive well-targeted offers with exactly what you are interested in.
Messages are so cheap nowadays, so it’s available to everybody and the effects can be significant as well. When somebody gives you his or her cellphone number, he or she is probably interested in what you can offer him or her. And there is nothing more personal than your cellphone…
QR codes are used almost everywhere. They are almost on every commercial sign. And they are in most cases just url links. This url link leads you to a web page, which is very well targeted and mostly offers some kind of daily deals or something like that. If your customers are using smartphones, this is great way to give them your url link. Far better than www.propagacenainternetu.cz/gift-for-customer. See that? This link would nobody take down and write into his or her cellphone.
Companies are trying to use every moment when their customers have to wait for something – aka wait marketing. Wherever your customers must wait (food preparation, queue for tickets…) you should try to communicate some messages, make a connection with him and so on. Just catch their attention and do something FOR them.
Mobile marketing is something that isn’t working that well in Czech yet. Mobile marketing includes everything that makes contact and communication with your customer through mobile devices like cellphone and others. It may be application, which informs about daily deals, or favorite restaurant, that sends you daily deals when you reach their surroundings.
It all works really differently in US. When you have smartphone, it’s all you need. You just type (or ask Siri :)) and your cellphone will take care of the rest.
I am wondering when all of this starts working here in Czech…
Tell us on Twitter with #
Twitter and Facebook in US are not „just“ social media where you chat with your friends, family and colleagues. Facebook and Twitter are everywhere. In TV commercials, evening shows, TV series, discussions and so on. You can often hear „give us your opinion on Twitter and don’t forget to use hashtag #something“. Or „send us your answer on ??? with #???“.
Companies, government and all the society understands, that social media provides (I think) the easiest way to communicate…
Even on news I often saw screenshots of Tweets or Facebook statuses. US understands social media as real communication channel, not just form of entertainment. And I really liked it 🙂
The three-month Us visit was awesome, I got to see the actual real life over there and it was very illuminating. But… It had it’s dark sides as well…
I gained a lot of weight! By 10 kilos (22 pounds!) at its peak. I am working on this right now and slowly getting back to my usual weight.
I lived in one of the most beautiful and expensive places in the world. I met and saw many successful people, saw expensive houses and luxury cars. In this situations you realize, that you have such a long and hard journey in front of yourself. But you also realize … That many people made it before you and that it is entirely possible…
The US visit cost me a lot of money, but it was absolutely, 100% worth it. I learned so many things and had so much time to realize, what I really want to make this site like and what are my, both personal and professional, goals…
Now it’s time to work hard 😉
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