Dustin Lee is a videographer and content creator working for GaryVee and Team GaryVee. He has worked on various social projects and created the Instagram account @costanzagrams. He has also been the subject of admiration from countless GaryVee fans including me! He was kind enough to take some time out and do this interview!
1. Who is Dustin Lee in real life?
I’m a 35-year-old BMX enthusiast, Muay Thai enthusiast, car enthusiast, and huge Seinfeld fan.
2. How did you land your job at VaynerMedia?
I applied like a regular Joe Schmo, got rejected, then luckily got a callback 6 months after I applied asking if I was still interested. My only leverage was that I built a fairly large Instagram account show casing that I understood Instagram (@costanzagrams)
3. What has your experience been like working for Gary Vaynerchuk?
Everyday is something new, we’re always adapting, speed speed speed, and learning new things that I didn’t go to school for.
4. What are your views on the current outlook of trading cards?
It’s very interesting and fluctuates all the time. Its really like an unregulated stock market
5. You’ve been biking for a while, what is something that biking taught you?
I learned a lot of the tricks I do are very mentally challenging and really “in my head”. And also learned to work smarter, not winging it.
6. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?
Work hard, but do your best to be patient. I understand it’s easier said than done. But it’s the only practical advice that can actually lead somewhere. Have faith and keep going.
Meet Alex Gregoriades From Cyprus, Who’s Using Emails To Scale Businesses
Simply put, Alex Gregoriades is an email list manager, copywriter and email deliverability expert. Having generated over $200,000 for his clients, he has taken businesses that were making peanuts to 5X the revenue. Using cost-effective and future proof strategies, Alex has solved countless problems across diversified niches. He was kind enough to sit down with us and talk to us about his experience.
1. Who is Alex Gregoriades In Real Life?
Alex Gregoriades- I’m a 27-year-old email list manager, copywriter and deliverability expert. I’ve lived most of my life in Cyprus but I was born and raised in the UK until I was 10. After finishing my bachelor’s degree in Business Computing I got my first full-time job at the airport coordinating different stations such as the dispatcher, fuel loading, bag loading/unloading etc. And it was very stressful. Until one day I found myself in the hospital because of chest pain and panic attacks. So I had to quit.
Then I finally found a corporate job in my area of study as a web developer. Long story short I got fired because my boss demanded me to do things outside my knowledge and skillset.
After that I was unemployed. At night, I would find myself in bed staring at the roof asking questions like, “Do I really want to be an employee for the rest of my life? I did what everybody else told me to do. I got a degree and then a job. Why did everything go wrong? What am I going to do now? What kind of future do I want?”
That’s when I was thinking that maybe I was meant to be an entrepreneur. See, in my early years at University, I started and failed 7 businesses. I tried MLM, developing websites, car flipping, and much more. So from my failures, I learned two major things: a)I wasn’t focused enough because I was doing many things at once. And b) I had to improve my marketing & sales skills.
That being said, I’m still in the process of discovering myself. And this is because different circumstances in my life didn’t let me find my true purpose. But turns out when life gets harder it pushes you to the limit. And that’s how you grow.
My passion is to impact other people. It gives me so much satisfaction when my skills can transform other peoples’ lives. I believe that we didn’t come to this planet by accident. We all have a meaningful purpose. But it’s up to us to discover that. Other than that, I’m just a regular guy who demands more from this life. I guess this is because of the rough childhood I had. And my overwhelming experience at my corporate jobs.
I also love sports cars and motorcycles. Recently I bought a Yamaha XSR700 and I just want to ride it every day. It gives you adrenaline, relaxation, fear, and pleasure at the same time. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m also a big F1 fan. My dream is to travel the world and attend F1 races. That’s pretty much who Alex is in real life.
2. How did you start as an email list manager, copywriter and deliverability expert?
Alex Gregoriades – It all started in a weird way. After a year and a half of trying to keep my wholesale men’s care product in business, I realized that I had to at up my game in terms of marketing and sales. In the meantime, my parents and everybody in my circle were constantly telling me to get a job because I lost a lot of money trying to build my own business. According to them following my own path wasn’t normal and definitely not secure.
Anyway, after shutting down this business in the middle of 2019, I started studying marketing, copywriting, and sales. I bought a few courses and a ton of books. I was literally studying from early in the morning until 12 am at night. But believe me, the best feeling is when you realize that what you’ve been learning has the potential of making you a decent living. And I experienced that when after a couple of months of learning everything, I was writing content for a software developing company for $0.1 per word. It wasn’t much. But nothing paid me at least a few bucks just after studying that field for a few months. I mean until this point, I was brainwashed that I needed to spend thousands of dollars on a degree and wait for 4 years until I can start earning some money. So this was mindblowing for me.
My next job as a copywriter came in March 2020, where I was writing Facebook ads for a marketing agency in Florida. While I was working there, one proud accomplishment was that many practitioners had to close their businesses during this difficult period of time because they couldn’t get any customers. But thanks to our Facebook ads, we were getting $1 leads for local businesses. And they were fully booked for months. So I’m glad I was able to contribute and help these practitioners out.
Then I was working with another marketing agency. I was writing all sorts of copy for various industries. Landing pages, emails, Facebook ads etc. So that helped me gain even more experience.
After a few months, I decided to embark on my own journey and become a freelancer. At first, I was struggling a lot. I couldn’t find enough clients. And I was just another copywriter like so many others. So I knew something had to change. I knew I had to reinvent myself but also get help from someone who could guide me in the right direction.
That’s when I discovered my mentor Troy Ericson. He introduced me to this world of email list management and deliverability. I was mindblown! Being a techie guy all my life, I instantly fell in love with this concept. Up to this point, I thought that copywriting is the big deal for a business to make money with email marketing. But I was wrong. Turns out if your email in terms of copy is amazing, but it lands in the promo box or spam folder it’ll fail tremendously. Don’t get me wrong copywriting is equally important. I just believe for email marketing there are 3 elements in the money-making equation. And these are copywriting, email list management and email deliverability.
That was the most pivotal time of my career all thanks to Troy. He basically taught me the magic of email marketing and how powerful it is. Plus, he provided me with a lot of business and life advice that has grown tremendously as a person. As a result, I became an email expert and 7x’d my income.
3. You have generated more than $200,000 for your clients. What would you say is the most common mistake one makes when sending out emails?
Alex Gregoriades- I would say not knowing how to handle email deliverability. In my experience, there are a lot of businesses that face this problem. And the biggest pain point right now is emails landing in the promo tab. One thing I’ve noticed that a lot of emails I receive from other companies land in the promo tab. And when I read them I realize that some of them are really great. So they’re definitely leaving money on the table.
History has taught us that algorithms have such a major impact on businesses. That’s why it’s such a complex topic and many companies are still struggling to figure this out. Just keep in mind to make your emails look less promotional. Don’t include more than two images and make sure that they don’t consume much space in your emails. Lastly, be careful of what you write. All the algorithms are watching what you’re saying in your emails. So make sure you don’t include any promotional or spammy words. There are some great resources on Google about this topic.
Quick note, a general rule of thumb is if your open rates are under 15%, you may have deliverability issues. So my advice would be to run a spam test to a site like mailgenius.com to give you all the information as to why your emails aren’t landing in the primary inbox.
4. Being a copywriter, how important do you think copy is to any piece of content?
Alex Gregoriades- I cannot stress how important copy is. Basically, it’s a combination of psychology, sales, and writing. When these are all combined together, a business can make a ton of money.
First of all, it influences people to take some form of action. Either keep reading a piece of content, click a link in an email or ad, buy a product/service, or get them on the phone.
When we go deeper, copywriting makes your audience feel understood. It lets them know that you empathize with what they’re going through. Also, it entertains them because you can share amazing stories that your subscribers can find relatable. And that’s where the magic happens.
Bear in mind that the market is more sophisticated and smarter than it was in the past. So what worked in terms of copy before might not work anymore. In the past copy could be salesy and perform really well. Nowadays this isn’t the case. Especially for email marketing, people like to read valuable, informative and entertaining content. Not to feel like they’re sold to every time.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in your field?
Alex Gregoriades – It’s easy to overwhelm yourself with so many things you have to learn. Just take a deep breath. You don’t have to figure everything out. It’s a process. It takes time. But if you want to take a shortcut then definitely go find a mentor who’s been there and done that. And if I was starting all over again, I would pick a mentor who is currently crushing it in this field. I personally had some bad experiences with mentors and the reason they weren’t able to help me out was that their methods were a bit outdated.
Also, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Don’t expect yourself to know everything from the beginning. And definitely don’t stay in the learning cycle for too long. It’ll burn you out. What worked for me was knocking on many doors even if my skills weren’t at the ideal point. But when I was given a shot, I worked extremely hard. That’s how I was able to learn much faster and make a living at the same time.
Plus, the most important thing in terms of finding clients is to know how to network and make relationships. This has paid off for me big time. You see when I was starting out, I just thought that the only thing I have to do is learn how to write. Then when I become really good people will want to hire me. But that’s not always the case. Personally, I needed to make the mindset shift that I’m not just a copywriter, email list manager or whatever. I’m a business owner. I need to start treating this as a business. So you definitely have to know how to network with others. How to sell your services. How to have a different approach from everybody else. And how to manage your clients.
Don’t get discouraged when I say this. This is just me trying to give you the shortcut to success. As I previously said it takes time. But if you don’t knock on doors and make mistakes, you’ll not learn that fast. No wonder why all these billionaires and multi-millionaires say that their success is all thanks to their major failures. So don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone and try something new. I remember when I was doing so many things that were scary such as posting in Facebook groups, connecting with people, having zoom meetings etc. I always had stomach pain. And until now when I’m trying something new I get the same pain. Your body and your mind like security. They like comfort. But don’t let them keep you from achieving your dreams. You got this. And I believe in you.
6. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary to succeed in your field?
Alex Gregoriades – It can give you a head start but it’s not necessary. Remember it’s not how you start but how you finish. That being said, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a clue about email marketing, you can still learn everything on your own and succeed. You just have to be hungry and put in the effort. Oh, and make sure to learn from the right people.
You can succeed in my field and in any field as an entrepreneur because you just need to have the skillset to solve a problem. I don’t think I was ever asked if I have a degree. Business owners just want to be sure they’ll be able to get an ROI when investing through you.
Personally, my degree helped me to comprehend the general concepts of business. But I believe universities – especially in my country – need to host multiple events where they invite successful entrepreneurs so they can teach how to business in the 21st century. Just because professors have a business degree, doesn’t mean they can teach you what’s working in our era. Most of them never owned a business. So if you want to get the right qualifications, go to someone who’s doing really well in the field you like and learn as much as you can from them.
7. Is there something you would like to say to our readers?
Alex Gregoriades- Absolutely! In brief, if you’re a business owner with an email list take some time to critic your email marketing. Make a list of all the things you believe can be improved. Don’t limit yourself. Set huge goals. As Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” I’m sure there are hidden money opportunities in your list. You just have to find them.
And don’t be afraid to make some changes. I know it’s difficult but that’s the only way you can grow. And please, don’t postpone it. As humans, it’s in our nature to procrastinate. As I said in the beginning, you are on this planet because of a meaningful reason. You deserve to be successful and wealthy. You are worthy. The big downside is that our time in this life is limited. We only have one chance to prove ourselves in this world. So don’t delay it any longer. If you still have any questions or just want to have a chat reach out to me at email@example.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. I love meeting new people and impacting their lives. I don’t have a hidden agenda like trying to sell you anything. I just want to impact your life in a positive way.
8. Is there something you would like to say to nwsppr?
Alex Gregoriades – Thanks a lot! Mehul, what you’re doing is truly amazing. You are very professional and your questions are on point. Keep it up!
Aron Cohen On How He Started LakersAllDayEveryday And Turned It Into A Career
Aron Cohen is the man behind the famous “Lakers All Day Everyday” Instagram account that has amassed over 200k followers and is followed by NBA players like Anthony Davis, Quin Cook, etc. Aron and I talked about how he originally became a Lakers fan (being a huge Lakers fan myself) and what made him start LADE. Here is the conversation we had!
Q1. Who is Aron Cohen in real life?
Aron- I’m a 21-year-old from Los Angeles just doing what I love and calling it work. When I was 13, I created @LakersAllDayEveryday on Instagram. 7 years later, it has gone from a hobby to a full-on career. Instagram has become my workplace and it’s led to me some great work opportunities with companies like Adidas, Bleacher Report, ESPN, and some others.
Q2. How did you grow to become a Lakers fan?
Aron- Kobe Bryant. He is the reason I’m a Laker fan and the reason why I started LakersAllDayEveryday. He gave me so much joy every single time he played and he made me fall in love with the sport of basketball. But more importantly, he taught me how to approach LIFE. His Mamba Mentality is the reason why I’ve been able to do what I’ve done at a young age. He taught me to keep my head down and just work my tail off.
I always used to say, if Kobe got traded or signed with another team, I would instantly become a fan of that team. My love for Kobe was always stronger than my love for the Lakers and it still is.
Q3. Why did you decide to start “Lakers All Day Everyday“?
Aron- I started LADE when I was 13 years old and created it because I wanted to share my passion with other Laker fans from around the world. I was so obsessed with the Lakers and thought it would be a good idea to create a place for Laker fans to unite and share their opinions. Fast forward to today and we have grown to over 230K followers! It’s an amazing community that I’m glad to be a part of.
Q4. What were your key takeaways from working at ESPN, BleacherrReport, Adidas?
Aron- One of the most important things I’ve learned is that networking never stops. You should always look to expand your network. Often times, once people land a job or internship, they think that they don’t need to network anymore and that is a huge mistake.
Once I got to each of these jobs, I knew that I was surrounded by the best of the best. I made sure to meet individually with each of my co-workers to hear about how they got to where they were and if they had any advice for me.
Being able to have these experiences taught me that if you really want something, you can work hard and eventually get it. Nothing was ever given to me. It’s easier said than done but it’s very true.
Q5. You have created countless pieces of content for social media, what would you say to someone who wants to start creating content in 2020?
Aron- My biggest piece of advice is to focus on bettering your content. Nowadays everyone just gets caught up with their follower count and they forget the most important key to growing: their actual content. If you don’t have good content, why would people follow your page? You need to put yourself in their shoes and give people a reason to follow you. Study accounts that are doing similar things to what you are trying to do and see what works for them. As you grow, you see what does well and what doesn’t with your specific audience. If you stay consistent and continue to make better content you will see the followers roll in. Guaranteed.
Q6. Is there something you would like to say to our readers?
Aron- If you’re passionate about starting something, I encourage you to go for it! Stay dedicated, work on it every day, and be patient. Again, it’s all easier said than done but it’s a proven formula for success.
Q7. Is there something you would like to say to Nwsppr?
Aron- Thank you for taking the time to read the article! You can find me on Instagram @AronCohen
Ivy Sanchez Talks About Starting SANZNYC
Ivy Sanchez took the time out to talk about how she started her own clothing line – SANZNYC and shares her experience in the reselling, digital media space!
1. Who is Ivy Sanchez in real life?
I’m the owner of SANZ. NYC a clothing line and of IVY MEDIA a digital marketing agency that helps both new and established businesses get started on social media. I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at the age of 7. I’m currently 25 years old used to live in New York and now living in New Jersey. I’m a digital creator and entrepreneur who absolutely loves to try new things. The closest people to me would describe me as shy but also outgoing, funny, sweet. I love to meet new friends and knowing their interests, you can find so much knowledge in a simple conversation with someone. One of the main things about me is that I’m always working 24/7! I literally never stop. No matter where I am, my laptop goes with me. My ideal vacation is a nice view, a relaxing environment, no interruptions on my work – and of course, SHOPPING. I’m also very organized. You won’t find me without a to-do list, that’s my best friend right there. I’m an Aquarius and very proud of it, I fit the zodiac sign’s description of loving to innovate and being a quick thinker. Super artistic, I’ll probably beat you at a game of music trivia. A hidden talent of mine is that I can tell what song is playing from 5 seconds of hearing it, more often than not haha. I’m also a really chill person and would rather have a more laid back approach to most things while being completely passionate and hardworking towards what matters.
2. Why did you decide to start sanznyc?
I wanted to start a clothing line since I was 17 years old when I had found a brand named Friend n Foe. They’re a clothing brand originally from London and I completely fell in love with their simplistic designs. I’m in love with minimalistic design and that’s what I try to show in my clothing and my personal style. I like to make designs that look pleasing to the eye. At that age, I was learning a lot about photoshop and design and I thought, man I could definitely do this. I ran up the numbers on potential profits and that convinced me. I started off originally with a brand named AIRPLANE//MODE NYC that became very popular within the eSports community. I wanted something a little more simple and a brand that had the potential to be larger – a company that would change as I changed and one night I came up with the name SANZ. NYC which is a play on my last name and I ran with it.
3. What problems did you face when you were creating your clothing line?
One of the usual problems that I’ve always faced when creating a clothing line is deciding the launching process. I had such a hard time the first time around, deciding when, how, the amount of drops I would do, etc., with SANZ. I decided to release the stress of the process and just go all out without overthinking. It ended up being a complete success. Again, I’m very organized so I designed a few pieces, around 3 logo designs overall, and threw them out as my first collection. Another problem was the marketing, with my first brand I did not understand how I was going to get the word out. I watched a bunch of Gary Vaynerchuk videos and my mind opened up to many possibilities that worked quite well for me.
4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their clothing line?
Start it off as a side hustle, DON’T STRESS IT. It’s supposed to be fun! You can start with as much as $500 only, go below that price even. Write out all costs and gains, and the difference of that as your profit. I would say make a few designs, I recommend the website canva.com. Show them to your friends on Instagram, run a poll, see what they like better! The most important advice would be to make sure they understand that marketing is a big part of it, write out all the ways in which you can market the brand, it will look different for a lot of people. One of the things that worked for me was building up my Instagram following first, connecting with my audience, and building myself up as a brand before I threw out any projects. Now any project that I do, I know that I’ve got a pretty good handful of people backing me up and supporting me. You get to make new friends, connections that can help you in the future. Bring value to your audience and the best way to do that is to always connect, seek their opinions, and give them what they need.
5. You have had experience in the reselling business & the digital media space, what would you say are a few qualities one needs to have to succeed in that niche?
I think a lot of what has to do with business and working with customers has to be, knowing your reason ‘why’ you’re doing it. I hate it when people say that but your ‘why’ has to be what motivates you and it can always change over time. You have to be motivated. When it comes to dealing with customers, remember that you’re there to bring them value – it will make you feel confident in your business when you realize that you’re helping others and you’re important to them.
6. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?
Ivy Sanchez- There are obstacles that might happen in any work you do and setbacks, and sometimes it can be enough to stop you in your tracks. Try to be patient when that happens, take a step back and continue on a little more. “Don’t do nothing unless your heart’s in it.” I never do anything unless I’m excited to try it out and see what comes of it. But also, don’t be afraid to change your mind. There’s strength in knowing when to quit and knowing when something doesn’t feel right to you. My best strategy for finding out what I love was writing out all projects that I’ve always wanted to try and trying each one out fully for 6 months. I also love the idea of 80% of the results coming from 20% of the work. I only keep the projects that I’m happy with and that gives me the most results in terms of profit. You want to work SMART and HARD at what gives you a great return on investment. Keep it pushing and always find time to enjoy life and be thankful. It works wonders for your success.
7. Is there something you’d like to say to Nwsppr?
Ivy Sanchez- Thank you so much for having me. I am insanely flattered with your consideration. The website and the concept is perfect and absolutely filled with so many talented people and tons of great advice to learn from. This is gonna be amazing! Wishing you all the best and let’s keep in contact.
FOLLOW IVY SANCHEZ ON INSTAGRAM!