Neil Patel on how to start from scratch and the secret to marketing cannabis

Neil Patel and Eric Siu are live on the main stage at the Marketing School Live event answering the question, "If you woke up broke, how would you restart your business?" Tune in for Neil's...

Full Transcript of The Video

Eric Siu: For Neil, if you woke up broke and with a clean slate, how would you restart your business?

Neil Patel: I wouldn't restart my business. Don't get me wrong. The money is good. The life's not bad. I think I could have done well in finance, investment banking or private equity or anything like that, but here's the thing about entrepreneurship. It's a lot of tough hours. I don't mind it because I really do love it, but the reason I say I wouldn't do it again is I have had kids or something like that, I would want them to have a life where they enjoyed it, traveled the world, go do whatever, go save some lives. Life isn't all about making money. When I grew up, my parents told me, "Money makes you happy," even though they're the ones who said, "Save money. You don't need a lot to be happy." They're the ones who said, "The world revolves around money. Go and make it, of course, in an ethical way, but just keep at it."
I wouldn't start over. If you told me, "Hey, you have to answer that question, start over," I would do something around content marketing. It's the cheapest way to compete with these multi-billion dollar companies. Go create content on anything you're passionate about and you can crush it.
For example, one of my friends, Mike, runs a site called DrAxe. DrAxe is a chiropractor, talks about nutrition and health, gets over 20 million visits to his website. He's not the richest person in the world. As you guys all know, chiropractors don't make a lot of money, and they all have debt. When he started out, wasn't doing that well, but kept at it with content marketing. Now he has a business that does over 100 million dollars a year. That's not venture funded, all because of content marketing.
Most of the companies that I know that have skyrocketed in growth, in large cases, not those odd ones like the Ubers or the Dollar Shave Club, a lot of them did it through content marketing. There's a repeatable formula with it.

Eric Siu: Great. Next question. I like this one. When it comes to businesses in the cannabis industry, they are very restricted in terms of paid advertising. For example, Google and Facebook, etc., so they rely heavily on SEO. Are the methods/strategies to maximizing SEO efforts any different in that industry compared to everything else?
I'll answer that because we have a client in the cannabis space. Their office is pretty cool. They have money-counting machines and weed everywhere and security guards. They actually rely heavily on SEO, but I'll tell you what else. Neil and I talk about this a lot on the podcast. They're based in San Francisco. Their ads are plastered everywhere. We're talking billboards. We're talking on buses, things like that. Neil and I talk about the power of brand all the time when it comes to SEO, brand queries being really exceptional when it comes to driving things, and I'll let Neil elaborate on that.

Neil Patel: The big thing that people forget about online marketing, Google's trying to separate the crap from the good stuff. There's a quote from Eric Schmidt, the ex-CEO of Google, who said something like, and I'm going to butcher the quote, "Brands are a great way to separate the junk from the cesspool or the good players from the cesspool," or whatever. I don't know what he ended up saying, but the point he was trying to make is Google looks at how popular a brand is because if a brand is really popular and people keep typing in a brand name, ex., being your domain name, that means you should rank higher because you've built up "credibility".

Eric Siu: Neil, what do you and I do all the time? We look at what, what tool?

Neil Patel: Google Trends. Google Trends shows you the popularity of your brand. Go to Type in your brand name. Hopefully, your chart just keeps going up and to the right.

Eric Siu: Great.
We're doing Marketing School live here in the CROss Campus building in downtown LA, and it's a chance for us to get to meet our fans. We're six billion downloads after, what, a little over a year?

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