Build A Digital Assets Empire (Similar To A Real Estate Empire)

Over the past 2 years I’ve been researching business, investing & marketing, like any good marketing business owning nerd.

On this journey there’s a lot of content and principles that continue to come up around real estate investing. The general concept of which is to invest in property and then simply earn through the rental income, and you still have an asset at the end of the year, and it generates positive cash flow along the way.

Problem is, that’s a waste of fucking time if you’re a digital marketing bod who’s worth their salt, especially if you have a little bit of capital to invest to get started.

The reason for that is just down to how slow real estate really is.

This is assuming you are not all-in on this though as there are some people who can nail this without a lot of capital if you work full time and treat it like a business.

But for most it’s used as an “additional asset class” to generate 5-10% a year “securely”.

Problem is, if you do your due diligence and you aren’t a donkey, then the majority of online businesses are pretty secure too. If not more so (AKA 2008).

Without getting into to much detail yet, let’s assume you purchase a rental property asset for £/$300,000. Earning £1,000 a month through rental income.

During my extensive research (which involved Googling it for about 3 minutes), average property ROI is between 6-12%. To keep the numbers simple we’ll take 10% for this example.

But this 10% a year isn’t just profit….. Problems will always start to arise;

  • 100% occupancy?
  • Up-keep of house?
  • New equipment/decor etc?

All in all assuming 100% of that £1k a month is going to be profit is very naive.

But I’m not a real estate guy so I’ll shut the fuck up now and get onto my point.

Digital assets (done right) are 10X more valuable, profitable and just as secure. But using the concepts from “building a real estate empire”, we can structure our business(es) and digital assets in the same way. Taking advantage of economies of scale, team synergy, semi-passive income etc.

The Key – Growing The Business

One of the keys before we go into the strategy itself is understanding that growing the business is always the most important part.

If you’re purchasing a digital asset but you don’t think you can scale/grow/increase profitability then what the fuck are you doing there in the first place?

Even if your strategy is “hire the best SEO agency in the world…. Shout out” – At least that’s a strategy, but doing nothing and expecting it to grow or even stay as profitable for that matter….. You crazy.

This is where the difference to the housing market really comes in.

With houses you can’t say “I’m going to work 80 hours a week and increase this house’s value 200% in a year.” – Maybe you get 10-20% putting in some improvements, but those are going to cost you money anyway (and a lot of time if you are constructing yourself).

My point here is this is generally why people doinvest in real estate.

Because the baseline is relatively even.

If your house is the same size, structure and build as your neighbours (and hence on the same street) – It’s going to be worth about the same amount.

Key here though, if you are an investor, give yourself at least the opportunity to grow the business, even if that involves just hiring a bunch of agencies to help.

The key is obviously you need to understand how to operate and grow the business you are purchasing. But, the majority of people reading this will already understand that as this is more of a digital marketing blog.

A lot of the time, simply *not fucking up* will give you an incredible ROI for your money. If you only do the basics and try to keep the business where it is, then you’ll get between 30-50% ROI on your money every year…. AND you still have the asset which you can resell.

Again this strategy isn’t for a.) The faint-hearted, b.) Pussies, and c.) People who have no skills in the digital field.

If you’ve known me for any amount of time you’ll know the one thing that I talk about fucking up most people is fear leading to lack of action.

But you don’t need as much as you think. Below I’m going to outline 3 strategies on how you can build a 7 figure digital asset portfolio in a few different ways. This is 7 figures per year profitable cash flow and not “7 figure net worth” as that’s a very different, easier thing to achieve.

If you truly believe in your skills & knowledge you should also never be scared to leverage debt to achieve this.

Let me know what you think via Twitter/FB about the below.

Strategy 1 – Ecommerce Product Businesses

This is the recommended approach if you have a background in sourcing and broader digital marketing and branding rather than a very specific skillset (such as SEO or link building.)

This model simply involves acquiring an Ecommerce business from a broker (Empire flippers or FE International are good places to start.)

Pricing for Ecommerce businesses start from around 22X monthly net profit multiples. If you have the cash flow or finance access I’d almost always recommend going for something larger that’s more reliant on organic traffic than paid or social. Organic traffic is a lot stickier and you won’t experience the same drop off in profit if you have an issue with your paid advertising.

A business generating around $15,000 per month in positive income can be acquired for around $500,000.

Now, let’s go back to our house example…..

Let’s say you buy a house for $500,000 (now these calculations are going to vary massively depending on where you live in the world), but let’s assume the following figures – As these were pulled from the tool at; https://www.openrent.co.uk/rent-calculator-property-value-by-postcode

This is for the UK so fuck knows if this is cheap or expensive, but for reference, asking a friend who rents their place which they purchased for around £450k now rents for £1750. So rounding this up to £2k a month seems accurate.

So option 1.) Purchase a house for £/$500,000 & Earn £/$2,000 a month.

Option 2.) Purchase a business for £/$500,000 & Earn £/$15,000 a month.

Hmmm….

And some of these even contain some potentially insanely valuable deals. Looking at digital assets doing around $15k/month net profit (first figure) vs their recommended selling price point (second figure). Shows you just how shitty value your “secure” option really is.

These are all Ecommerce model based aside from the Amazon associated noted.

Increasing the business by 100% across 2 year & acquiring 3 other brands (implementing the same) get’s you to that 7 figure goal. Obviously you can also acquire 1-2 larger brands and scale those, but the principle remains the same.

Don’t take 5-10% a year when you can generate 30-50% a year by simply being smart and proactive in the process!

Strategy 2 – SAAS & Informational Products

This strategy works incredibly well when you have a reliable developer onboard. Usually a partnership of a developer and a marketing nerd with a 10X attitude works perfectly. One of the strongest relationships in business if some of the top companies in the world are ones to go off…..

Unfortunately not having a CTO or developer onboard we haven’t been able to launch this strategy to add to our digital assets portfolio yet, but the key is acquiring small SAAS products that have the potential to grow. Small SAAS companies tend to go for a higher monthly net profit multiplier than eCommerce stores or FBA businesses, usually starting at 30X+ but this is usually due to the value of the software itself or having a very strong reliable MRR.

If you have or are a developer and have specialised online marketing experience, this is 100% the way to go. Picking up a SAAS product that hasn’t been shown any love and adding creative inbound marketing techniques is a recipe for success.

The key to this model is targeting a sub-niche with a very useful solution. Don’t try be the next “social media software” as your going to likely lose. Instead be a tiny sub-niche software and focus on expanding that massively. Companies that have done this incredibly well recently (and are definitely not small anymore as a result are Oberlo & Feedbackwhiz.

Strategy 3 – Dominate a Channel & Leverage (YouTube, Amazon FBA, Instagram etc)

This is the strategy we’re currently leveraging internally, through the Amazon & Youtube divisions of the agency. So I’ll explain the model in general to achieve the £100k/month net profit goal.

Instead of building one digital asset (Amazon FBA business) to the £100k/month we’re going to build 3-5 brands out to a smaller level, acquiring brands in the 3-10k/month profit mark initially and scaling each one using our marketing techniques that have already been achieving great results for clients (Which asks as aproof of concept).

The first brand was purchased for $70,000 in January 2019, originally purchased with an average profit per month of $2,700. This brand has already been increased to $4,500 profit per month (in a month) and will continue to rise over the coming months and years. Becoming one of the core 3-5 brands.

The profit will then be re-invested into acquiring the next deal on a slightly larger scale ($150k price point / $5k profit per month). And the marketing & exponential growth stage will start over again as these processes are repeatable.

If you have a repeatable process and experience in a specialised field of online marketing, the digital asset empire creation really is the optimal way to build a substantial empire that you can grow far beyond 7 or 8 figures. Simply follow the model of property investing and replace these with the digital asset class of your choice, whether that be SAAS businesses, ecommerce stores, affiliate sites, FBA businesses, instagram accounts, Youtubers, literally anything you are specialised in and scale.

Financing & Investments

If anyone is interested in discussing financing and investment into our of these digital assets, please feel free to contact me, we’re always looking for additional capital to speed the process whether that’s on an equity basis or a debt financing. Give me a message at tom (at) ghostmarketing.co.uk if you’re interested.

We’re also running a live case study of an asset we acquired in January 2019 and how that’s going here; https://amazonseoconsultant.com/fba-case-study-part-3/

Cheers and get to building the digital assets empire and start thinking bigger.

Tom.

Chiang Mai SEO Conference & Update & Moving Forward

Wanted to do a very quick post on Chiang Mai SEO Conference – One of the coolest conferences I’ve been to, probably the most relevant too.

In short if you aren’t aware, CM SEO Conference is an event run by Diggity Marketing – That’s for advanced level digital marketers and entrepreneurs. Most of these people are doing 6 figures a month and 90% are either in the agency, saas, eCommerce or affiliate SEO space, AKA everyone’s trying to solve the same issues of scaling, training, hiring, processes, and making tons of money through search.

Being in all of these 4 SEO spaces it’s a super relevant event.

Would highly recommend this conference to anyone in the SEO space, it’s a ton more actionable than most other “SEO Conferences” – And even being in SEO for 7 years still learnt a bunch of nuggets that can take back to the team and train up on.

It was awesome to meet everyone, you know who you are so not going to name names here, all welcome down to Cardiff anytime.

Update On Where We Are

Haven’t had a massive amount of time to post on SEO Oasis recently, sucks as would like to build out some tracking style content to explain what’s going on, some tips and case studies we’re running and just generally what’s happening with the agency, but in short time is spend in and on the agency at the moment.

Two things that’s exciting is our SAAS product that’s slowly growing and has 5 recurring subs now. I’ll probably start talking about this in more detail in 2019 and potentially build out a tracking thread each month if it’s something people would find interesting about growing a SAAS business from dirt to $10k/month (and potentially flipping) all within 2 years would be nice.

Another side is our Amazon division, which has now grown to be around 40% of our agency turnover within 18 months.

Will try to be posting more in 2019 with specific updates on projects and any tricks, tips and case studies I think others will find useful.

Cheers,

Tom.

SEO Is NOT A Commodity – Why You Shouldn’t Hire an “Affordable” SEO Consultant

I talk about pricing and return on investment a lot on this blog, but it’s a very important concept. In this post we’re going to talk about SEO as a commodity, as I see a lot of companies selling it in this way and a lot of buyers looking to buy the cheapest price. This is a very dangerous concept. If you don’t yet know the ROI of SEO, check out that post as this won’t make a lot of sense without that knowledge first.

SEO is not a commodity.

Continue reading

Liking & Guilt by Association Principle In Relation To SEO Clients

Cialdini’s Influence Principle:
Liking & Guilt by Association In Relation To SEO Clients.
Why I Turn Down 50% Of Clients Nowadays.

There’s an incredible marketing book called Influence by Robert Cialdini, by many it’s considered THE single best marketing book of all time. For me it’s definitely in the top 5.

Influence-robert-cialdiniRe-reading this week I spotted something that unconsciously I think I may have picked up in the past 6 months. The basic principle is guilt by association OR conditioned association.

I’ll give a quick explanation for anyone not familiar with this principle.

The basic principle is as follows and dates back even as far as when your parents would say: “Don’t play with the bad kids in the neighbourhood” – Why would they say this, even if you weren’t going to do anything wrong?

Guilt by association. Is the reasoning.

So WTF has this got to do with marketing and more specifically an SEO agency?

Well, about 6-9 months ago I stopped taking on what I term “bad” clients. To some this might seem like an arrogant statement and it’s tough to do at the start when the money is on the table, but most successful agencies in any industry will tell you the same thing – Bad clients are worse than no clients.

Continue reading

Why Being 1st In Google Is A Psychological Factor

The Psychological Benefit of Ranking 1st In Google

Being 1st in Google for your keywords is great.

You get a bunch of traffic, tons of leads and usually a lot of revenue as a result.

Another great advantage is organic traffic converts at an incredibly high rate if you’ve done your keyword research in the correct way and are ranking content or products that are actually relevant to the search query.

All good.

But there’s one topic that’s not talked about a lot in Google and that’s the psychological TRUST factor associated with ranking #1 in Google.

Continue reading