Starbucks Coffee has 8,000 branches all over the world, making it an interesting case study for marketing. Having nine people run their social media generates $22M of company revenue for 300,000 plus employees and they are using the same Instagram and Facebook app that you use to attain this huge amount of marketing. It doesn’t matter if you are a solopreneur or a startup investor, you are going to start the same way they did, by yourself. The difference is you are more agile and mobile when you build your network and use the same marketing tools they did. Combine that with focusing on what you’re good at, whether its brewing coffee or closing fix and flips, the key is to keep consistency on that focus until you reach the top.
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Using The Marketing Tools of Starbucks Coffee
Our topic is a little bit different than most. It’s all about coffee and what coffee can do for you. I’m not here to talk about Bulletproof coffee. I’m talking about what you can learn from Starbucks and how you can apply that to your note and real estate investing game. I’m on Facebook, I’m on social media, and stuff like that. I don’t spend my entire day on that. Trust me, we’d never get anything done. I always crack it about some of the comments from people about educators or gurus or people starting things. I have to laugh a little bit about people that have popped up as educators out there, “I’ve closed twelve deals. I’m not going to teach you everything you need to know about notes, or I’ve bought $1 million house. I’m a teacher of everything you need to know about buying million-dollar mansions.” It doesn’t work that way.
I was on a webinar. I was a guest host of my good buddy, Aaron Young’s Inner Circle Mastermind. He asked me to come on and speak about money, marketing, and raising capital. I’m a big believer that when you’re raising capital or making money, your marketing is tied into all of those, whether you’re raising capital for deals or you’re trying to find buyers for your products. It’s all deals with marketing. Although I’m not a fan of coffee, you can learn a lot about Starbucks. Learning a lot about Starbucks will teach you a lot about marketing. You’re like, “What are you getting at? Are you going to talk about how Pumpkin Spice Latte can help me in my notes business?” No, I’m not going to talk about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have never had one.
Starbucks is an interesting case study when you look at how big they actually are. They’ve got 28,000 branches across the world, if you think about this. 9,000 different locations plus locations here in the domestic US. They have over 300,000 employees with over 157,000 growing here domestically. $22 billion plus Fiscal Year 2017. That’s a big, big company. For those of you that are sitting out there like, “How the hell am I going to beat that? I’m a solopreneur. I’m a guy that’s buying notes or a gal that’s buying my first note. How the hell am I going to learn anything from Starbucks?” The thing I keep in mind is with that big huge amount of sales that they’ve generated every year, and those amount of branches and the amount of employees that they have and the freaking amounts of coffee that they have, they have one thing very much in common with you. They use the same exact tools that we use in marketing. They have a team. You would probably never guess this, how many people do you think they have working in their social media department? I’ll tell you it’s not one person. The number may surprise you.
One thing that I found the most valuable from doing a little research here before I gave my presentation to Aaron’s group was that they have 33.1 million rewards customers that follow them on a regular basis. That’s freaking crazy. That’s an army of just raving fans that drink a lot of burnt coffee, because that’s what I think of Starbucks. It’s overpriced burnt coffee. Half the time I go in there, I get a cup, I’m like, “It’s too hot. It’s burnt at the dot.” I usually get their iced tea most of the time when I’m going there. I’m not a big fan of the Starbucks coffee. Especially when you get used to paying $85 a gallon at events when you host different hotel events because that’s what most hotels charge,$85 a gallon of freaking Starbucks coffee. You may not know that, it’s what it costs.
You have this behemoth, this industry leader using the same tools that you and I have at our fingertips. Starbucks runs with us to have about eight or nine people inside their social media department. That was shocking to me that eight to nine people run their social media for a huge $22 billion revenue company; 300,000 plus employees. They’re using the same things as you, Instagram and Facebook and then some videos and stuff like that. They’ve got money to throw at it so their stuff looks really, really nice. The thing to keep in mind is if you’re out there doing things yourself, you’re a solopreneur or you’re an investor that’s getting started or you’re doing this by yourself, brand new, you have the same tools available to you, and you’re more agile, mobile, and can be a little bit more hostile than a big behemoth like Starbucks.
Let’s think about Starbucks. What do they have in their hand? They started up in Seattle at Pike Place as their first office and they’ve grown dramatically over the franchises. If you’ve never been to Seattle, go by there. It’s worth going by and seeing the first Starbucks. It’s totally worth it. I had a cup of coffee there when I was speaking at a Quest IRA bootcamp. They started with one spot. They started just like any of you are starting. They have grown dramatically over the last 30, 40 years because they keep pumping out. They keep doing the same things on a regular basis. They add some things here, they take away some things there, but pretty much it’s coffee. It’s burnt coffee as I like to say, but they have their branding now and they have that green lady on a cup of coffee. They’ve built it. They dived into the one central focus of what people need. They found one thing and they got good at brewing coffee. They focus on that. They didn’t try to create hamburgers. They didn’t try to go out and do a variety of different things. They focused on one thing on want and need of people. If you know what a need is and you can fulfill that need, you can do amazing things. If you’re a real estate investor, there are people that have needs.
Let’s talk about what those needs are. First of the needs is it’s one of the three major concerns. They’ve got to have housing. If you provide housing to people, especially in a market that is short of inventory, you’re going to have success. If it’s short of inventory, it’s often harder to find the inventory to go out of the distressed stuff or the foreclosed stuff that we see happen. I’ll give you an example. Austin, Texas is one of those markets where we don’t see a bunch of distress stuff. It’s at a premium. I’m not buying in Austin. I’m buying other areas of this planning inventory that people are still buying like the Midwest, Ohio, Detroit, Columbus, Indiana, Indianapolis, those areas. I’m going out and finding deals and then I’m delivering curious for needs. This is something that’s common across all real estate investors out there, especially if you’re going to use other people’s money. Two needs that you solve. One, cut the time factor. A lot of people that have money that want to invest do not have the time because they’re working in a job. They don’t have the time. They don’t have the knowledge. They can’t take the time to learn it because they’re too busy working 40, 50 hours for the man. That’s the first thing. You saw that time factor.
The second, they’re money and happen to give them above average return. Maybe helping them take that money and help them get a higher return so they can buy more of the time back. Those two critical points are important to keep in mind. Those are two needs that you’re solving being a real estate or note investor, especially the note investor side. If you’re finding deals that’s solving a need for, especially all the self-directed IRA investors, all the people that have money sitting in their IRAs that aren’t doing anything with it. That’s a huge need to solve. Helping them invest, help them get their money to work, help them doing something to get out of that rat race. That’s the beautiful thing. If you’re using the things that are there, the tools that are there and we’re not talking an hour a day, we’re not talking two hours a day, we’re talking you take ten to twenty minutes each day to set your marketing up. I’m excited our good friend, Kristie Whites, with Serving Social is going to be on Note CAMP and that’s one of her discussions, is the eighteen-minute marketing plan. We’re overjoyed about to have Kristie on because she was one of the top speakers last time. Everybody loved her lines of discussion at Note CAMP 4.0. We’re excited about that too because that’s going to help out dramatically for you that you need to sell your own cup of note Joe.
We all can make a better cup of coffee than Starbucks, most of us. It’s like the same thing with McDonald’s. You can make a better burger than McDonald’s. It’s just that McDonald’s has the marketing down and then the system’s down. That’s two of the major carriers. Have the marketing and the systems in place, will out work everybody else out there trying to make it perfect. If I go to Truluck’s Restaurant downtown, really nice fancy restaurant, they probably get insulted if I asked for a cheeseburger. They put a hamburger together for me if I needed to, but it would be a nice steak burger. The Mac will probably cost me $40 and it would be great, but they’re not going to sell a million of those or a billion of those. McDonald’s, if you’ve watched the story of the founder, talks about how they got it all done and working on. That’s what you need in real estate. That’s what you need in your note business, is to be focused on getting things and knocking those things down and that you’re closing deals and trying to stay as focused on task as possible. If you’re out trying to do two or three or four different things, you’re not going to have success unless the two are extremely aligned with each other. The only way to really get where you need to be is be focused.
I get we all have passions, we all have hobbies, we have things that recharge our batteries. At some point, you’ve got to put down the needy needle or you’ve got to put down the pie or the cooking stuff and focus on getting deals done, focus on getting deals closed. Laura Blunk got some offers that she’s really supercharging her business. We’ve got some offers in from Phil and Melanie Jacobs, Steve Lindstrom and a couple of people that went through our Fast Track. Really excited about them getting some counters back on some things they submitted here and they’re focused. They’re still working full-time jobs. They’re working diligently at another job, but they’re still making time to put their offers in. They’re taking time to get the emails out. I love seeing Steve Lindstrom. He sends an email every week. He’s taking the easy-peasy marketing systems that are available to everybody in marketing his database. Laura is starting to do the same thing as well. It’s phenomenal seeing people taking things and working.
The thing I’m hopefully trying to get at, your real estate, your note business is a simple thing. It’s rinse and repeat, doing a lot of the same things over and over again, just like making a cup of coffee. Marketing is the same thing. You post a lot of the same things, “Here’s my most recent project. Here’s the deal we just closed on. Here’s a mod.” Those are simple things. This is not difficult business. Most people make it much more complicated than it actually is in real life. It’s simple. You’re making offers. You’re getting tapes in. You’re making offers, share, “Here’s a map of the states of the twenty assets I just made offers on. Here’s pictures of the ten that got countered back that got accepted. Here’s the five that we finalized after our final due diligence that we’re funding on. Here’s the story behind the story.” You can take the simple things that you’re doing on a daily basis and put it into the marketing system that is available: Facebook, LinkedIn, the email blast, the YouTube videos, the Facebook Live, Facebook groups, Meetup.com, BiggerPockets posts, and literally start racking up things, start growing your audience, start growing your clients, start growing your coffee crack addicts that they start feeding into you and they start following you.
A couple of years ago, I had been divorced. I moved into a new house I rehabbed. It was four bedrooms, three baths, ideally set up. It was two-story golf course house. I absolutely love this house. It was just me there and Princess, and the backyard. I lived there for about a year. One of the things I started doing every day is I started sharing, “I’m going to challenge myself to make 100,000 in 100 days.” I started sharing exactly what I was focused on each day whether it was notes, because this was back in before I was full-time notes. I was doing fix and flips and wholesaling and raising capital and doing some stuff. I was sharing my journey on a daily basis on the things that I was doing. I was using this before Facebook Live was around. I was using a flip cam. I still have it. This is a Dell flip camera. I love the little thumb drive plugged right into your laptop computer. I had all the video editing software on there you needed. You can literally edit, and it still works too. It’s just the software updates haven’t worked in a while. I use this religiously.
Once, I burnt two of these. It’s one of the best things they ever created to help make video easy for you. These flip cameras helped me share my journey. I would take that video each day, upload it to my blog, which is on HubPages.com, and I shared what I was doing every day, “I’m meeting with this investor.” I took a selfie with me out with Tina or Ray or whoever it was on my realtor. “We’re looking at this property.” I shared my journey. That led to people within a period of about 30 days of 1,500 people reading my blog on a daily basis and it blew up. I started getting people contacting me. I started getting people call me all the time, “I got $25,000, I wanted to joint venture with you.” I’m like, “Awesome, let me find something.”If you start sharing what you have going on, you start marketing what you’re doing, you can grow your tribe, you can grow your audience, that you don’t have to work so hard. If had a 90-day stretch, we try to put something constructive every day online about your note or something you’re working on, a deal, a tape, a scenario, a case study, a deal you’re working on, a deal somebody else is working on. I guarantee your whole business model will blow up in a good way. It totally would change the way that you see in note business the way people see you.
I’m making a little twist here. I went out and was able to listen to and meet Deepak Chopra, who’s an amazing speaker. I got to hear him speak for an hour and a half on The Healing Self, his book. He’s one of the best known speakers, one of the most influential people who have been talking about wellness and health. A lot of us are sick and not only ourselves are sick inside because of what we put in, but our businesses are sick. That’s one of the big things that popped in my mind when I was sitting there listening to this guy talk. He was talking about how our bodies recycle every 48 to 90 days, recycle exactly who we are; the muscles, the bone mass, the cells reproduce themselves. We change over. We can change who we want to be in our physical being for the most part by taking in better foods, by sleeping better, by drinking less alcohol, less Cokes. We can change what we do with that and change how we appear, not in a dramatic physical appearance but we can be healthier. We can literally be more active. We can do a lot of things that put us in the right direction where we need to go. We can steer our own rudder to health as they say, the book, The Healing Self as they talked about it. I was thinking, I was sitting there and listening to him talk. He had a session where he basically asked, “We’re going to do a whole meditation.” You’ve got a thousand plus people at Bass Concert Hall sitting there. There were more than a thousand people.
I’m listening to the guy speak and he’s talking about hearing stuff and that’s one of the things that popped in my mind. Not only can we change the way we feel and change the way we do things, we can do the same thing in a real estate note business. It won’t take you 30 or 60 days if you focus on changing, on increasing stuff. I guarantee you’re going to get stuck. You’re going to get in a rut. You’re going to get stuck with some things. I get it, it happens. The idea is Deepak was great enough to share. One of the things that happen is that we share molecules, which is about everybody is inhaling and exhaling molecules and that we’re absorbing others around us. We’re a little bit of everybody involved. All the organs, the molecules they breathe, and exhale were a bit of everyone else. Yes, I am a bit of you out there. You are a bit of me. It’s creepy when you think about that. We absorb information from people all the time. I’m taking information from Deepak. I’m taking information from the hedge funds I talked to, the bankers, you my students, our listeners, vice versa. Sometimes you’ve got to hear things once or twice and it’s got to hit that tuning fork in your gut to realize that are you really doing the right things or are you off-tune? Many of us are off-tune in a variety of different reasons. I know I’ve been off-tune in different things in the past. I’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years to get things rock and rolling.
We’re all a little bit off until we get focused on exactly what we need to focus on, whether it’s meditating on our business. That’s one thing I want you to focus on. If you’re sitting there struggling, you’re not having the type of success that you want to have, take a second and just breathe for a second. Take a moment to think about what you were really focused on. Where are you spending your time? Are you really doing the most productive thing in any given moment? You can’t run and burn candles at both ends for a longer period of time. Trust me, I know this. I burnt both ends of the candle many times for a long time. I’m looking very much forward to not bring candles for about a week and a half very soon. You can have short bursts of dramatic action and heal your business. Heal your real estate, heal yourself by being focused on one thing.
Starbucks didn’t get where they wanted to be by selling everything else. They’ve, as the business has grown, been trying to keep market share and keep the profitability up. They’ve added things, teas and they do the Pumpkin Spice Lattes or they had the whole ‘Create your own cook thing’ in there for a little while, which I knew wasn’t going to last. They added little sandwiches, which are over-preserved. They still sell coffee. That’s their big focus.
My focus has always been buying and selling notes. The second focus of that is the education side. What you have to be careful of is that people aren’t out there just reading new piles of shit. They’re not feeding you cancer. They’re not feeding you poison. There’s a discussion on BiggerPockets talking about, “If you can’t do, you teach.” I would agree to that to a certain point. We still do notes on a regular basis. We still buy lots of assets each year. We started teaching ten years ago because it helped us raise capital also helped us move stuff off. Then we were charging $125 a class. We still probably don’t charge what we should for our Virtual Note Buying at $699or Note Buying Blueprint $997 or even Note CAMP at $249.We give a lot more than we get back in. Our focus has always been on notes. That’s our focus, not on fix and flips, not on REOs, not on the flavor of the month.
We focus on one thing. We always want to change and tweak our schedule. I’ve seen a lot of people pop up recently that are now educators. I saw Chris Johnson out of Houston, our good buddy down there, talking about, “I’m going to teach at a workshop.” Chris is a good guy and I couldn’t agree more with them. We’ve seen some people that have closed 20, 30 deals. They can’t close deals now, so they had to take a job with somebody else, but they still have an education program that’s supposed to be more up to date. If it’s more up to date, why aren’t you closing more deals? Why aren’t you making things happen?
Please be careful of who you learn from. Ask, “How many deals have you closed in the last six months? How many deals you’ve closed this quarter? Are you making more of your money on deals than on education?”There are a lot of good people closing stuff on education that had been around for a while. We’ve got some great speakers at Note CAMP 5.0. They’re educators because they’ve expertly done things, but they’re also expertly buying assets. That’s one of the biggest things that we try to harp on is the people that we bring on are doers not just talkers. There are a lot of people that are just talkers that aren’t doing things on a regular basis. That’s a couple of things that I want you to be focused on. If you can think about this, what’s your cup of coffee? What’s your thing that you can crunch out, even knock out on a day in, day out basis? If you use the smart tools, use the 21st century tools, Scotty will help beam you up to success. Be focused. Use the tools that are available to you. This is a simple business. If you start talking about coffee, start talking about notes and start sharing what you’re doing, give yourself 60, 90 days of direct access and you’d get rock and rolling.
The first six months can be very intimidating. You can learn a lot of stuff and it can be overwhelming. It’s almost like paralysis by not analysis but paralysis by education, “So and so said this, so and so said this.”The biggest thing you always want to do is each deal, especially the note business, is unique and you’ve got to get the whole. We see a lot of people that are posting things, “I got this one deal.”What’s the true information? Where are the numbers? What’s it worth? Who’s the lender? Give us the full information so we can give you a valuable answer to get things done. If you only give us half the information, I can’t give you an accurate answer. I’m talking about other people that I see posted on there.
You don’t have to be a $22 billion-dollar company. You would start off one deal, one at a time, one post at a time. You have the same tools that a huge company like Starbucks has. They only have eight people doing their whole thing. You’ve got one-eighth of the manpower if you’re doing it yourself. If you’ve got an assistant doing it 20, 30 minutes a day, you have so much power. If you do it for 90 days and you do 30 minutes a day, that’s 45 hours. That’s two days. You spent 30 minutes in your marketing for 90 days, that’s 45 hours. That’s less than two full days over the next 90 days to make something happen. I’m a big believer you can change your business. You can be your own healing self to your note business and go out and make some things happen.
Go out and make it happen. Get started. Don’t sit around waiting to do. If you’re at Starbucks or you’re in Starbucks the next couples of days, think about this, “What have you done today to help really invigorate your business and get you jump-started?” Until then, go out and make something happen. I absolutely love that you are listening in and join us. We are so freaking blessed to call you part of our note family. I want to say thank you for being a part and sharing, commenting, giving us reviews and the emails that come in from you that are listening and sharing your stories. We are here to help in the way we can but you’ve got to go out and take action yourself. I can’t do it for you. Have a great day. We’ll see you at the top.