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For many entrepreneurs, the goal isn't just to make your income from a career but rather multiple outlets. One solution is to work a day job and have a side gig as well. But how do you go about building up a side business and get the word out?
Recently, our CEO, Stacy Jones sat down with Dr. Jeff Anzalone to chat about his experience marketing his own passive real estate business. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how to create and market a passive income from the advice and experience of doctor and business owner, Dr. Jeff Anzalone.
Dr. Jeff Anzalone. Dr. Jeff is a periodontist and the founder of debtfreedoctor.com, an online blog and platform offering insights and advice to helping other doctors and high-income professionals create passive income from real estate.
Question: To start off, can you share with our listeners how you got to where you are today? What got you here where you started on a very different career path, then what you have going right now on the side or in addition?
Answer: By the time I was 40, I looked up and had accomplished a lot of these things but I realized that up until that point, probably for the last 20, 25 years, I had always had some sort of goals I was trying to get to. Like I wanted to graduate and get into a good college. And then from college dental school, dental school to a residency program. So it was always something, get out and practice, get out of debt. And then once I got to be 40 and hit all these goals, it was kind of like now what? And about at the same time for 20, 25 years, Dave Ramsey had always talked about really focused on getting out of debt. And he started seeing a shift too because now all these callers that he was helping get out of debt, they were calling back in and go, okay, Dave, we're debt free, now what?
And that's kind of where I was and he actually being the good marketing person that he is, he actually pivoted and now has teamed up with Chris Hogan and his daughter to teach people how to become millionaires. So I knew that I had to do something so I started looking, okay, the next five to seven years, what do I want to accomplish? And I realized that as a healthcare provider, I only had one source of income and that was just from the practice. And I think most people that have jobs or own businesses many of them have that one, that earned income or active income, which as you know, Stacy, is the highest taxed income. Another thing is if you've read any, or if you ever heard of Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad, he talks about the cashflow quadrant and really the people that are what he calls on the left side of the quadrant that are employees or solo business owners like myself, you're really just an employee, you have a job and that's it because what? If I'm not seeing and treating patients, no money's coming in.
So I really realized that a lot as I started getting older, I knew that I needed to make a change because I wanted to spend more time with my kids, some extended time with them before they move out. And then also I started looking at, well, what if something happened to me? I can't work. So again, there's a lot of things that happen. I never thought about this before, but what if we are hit by the pandemic and we can't practice? So, that was just another reason that I started looking at ways to increase passive income. And one of the things that I kept seeing more and more people, more and more successful people that had in their portfolio was real estate investing. And that's kind of what led me from where I was to sort of kind of now at this point.
Question: So you dove in feet first, real estate investing, now you had your side hustle, side gig that you were doing, you were still full-time practicing as well, what led you and what made you get to the point where you thought you could actually evolve this into a business of helping other people as well learn all the things that you've learned?
Answer: It goes back to something, a failure and when I first started out, I thought I wanted to be an active real estate investor, meaning owning physical property. And that's really what I always thought, you had to own a house, you had to own a fourplex or a storage unit or whatever. But the more people that are talked to that did that for a living, the more I realized I didn't want to be a landlord. And to me that was like taking on a second job having to take the calls from people that their toilet's overflowing at two in the morning. I didn't want to do that. I had to look at going back to the books and start with the why, why am I doing this? Well, like I just told you, one of the reasons was I wanted more time to spend with my kids. Well, as an active investor, that didn't help with that.
I started hearing about something called crowdfunding and passive investing, and I started learning a little bit about that and then I started actually investing a little bit in these types of deals to where you could pull your money in with somebody, with many people invest like maybe in an apartment building or a house, kind of like a GoFundMe sort of thing. And I did a couple of those and that worked out well, and honestly, looking back, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I mean, it was just go to a website, oh, that's a pretty picture of an apartment. Oh, those are pretty good returns, click, I'm going to invest there and that was it.
So I stepped it up. I did a deal in Tulsa, Oklahoma, apartment building. It was quite a large sum of money, $50,000. And they had promised to start giving out the distributions about three to four months after. Well, after about a year and no money coming in, we finally started getting these emails that website, which at that time was realtyshares.com had actually gone under. And another company took them over, well that other company, eventually they did what they could, but the deal fell through, it was in a seedy crime field, neighborhood, more people were moving out than moving in and the sponsors that put their money in that were rehabing the apartment they spent too much money too quickly. So basically every investor in that deal lost their money, their investment.
That was quite a hard pill to swallow, but that really opened my eyes and it was totally on me. I though, "Jeff, you didn't know what you were doing, you had no business doing that." And that really was the catalyst to put me on the path to really learning and I'm still learning every day, but helped me to learn what I'm doing. Now, to answer your question about why I eventually started a website and started sort of a side hustle was as a doctor, most of us or other high income earner, we have this target on our chest, like stupid or sucker or that sort of thing. So we're always getting pitched people to buy their product or invest with them. I really didn't want other people to make the same mistakes.
So that's really the simple reason why I started it. And all I had to do is basically just tell them what I just told you, stories of why I wanted to start doing this with the passive income and spending more time, the failures that I had, and now the starting to learn about it and the different successes that we're having with getting into these passive income deals. But along the way, educating them so they know what they're doing before they invest.
Question: Are you finding that most of your partnerships that you build and most of the people that you bring into your tribe are finding organically, just seeing articles you've written when they're Google searching and then they're able to dive in a little bit further to learn who you are and build that trust factor?
Answer: Being from Louisiana, when I first started this as a redneck, I literally didn't know anything about computers but how to turn it on, that's it, and how to surf the web. So the task of starting a blog on my own was very daunting, as you can imagine. But, again, there's so much information online that's free to teach you and I did that for a while. So for the first six months I started it and I was just writing this random stuff and I'm just thinking, "you know what, if you're actually going to take the time to do something, the natural competitive nature that I had, I was like, well, don't you want it to be where people could read it, rank on Google." So I luckily found a guy, I found a course that talk about how to make your blog successful.
And the key was finding the needles in the haystack as far as what people are searching for. So meaning for so like a key word, let's say it's "make money in real estate," people are actually typing that in, well, if you can find a specific key word, that's a high volume of people searching for, but a low results so there's not a whole lot of results out there or websites. That's kind of the key. The problem is most people don't want to take the hours and hours it takes to find those so they just start writing something randomly. So to give you an example, after I took his course and started doing this, well, at that time, I went to something called FinCon, which is a financial conference.
So everybody was talking about, "Hey, what are you doing to rank on Google?" I've been blogging for years, I'm trying to get to number one. And I said, "Well, I took a course a couple months ago and I already ranked number one on Google on one thing." And they were like, "What did you do?" And I was like, "It's not hard. You just got to put in the work." But once I started telling them about the work that it takes, it was like, no, we're not going to do that. It's got to be something easier. So it's not. It's not easy, like anything in life, you have to work at it. So that really helped me a lot. And going from, at that time posting, usually one article a week to everyone kept telling me, "At least two." So I made a commitment so that after that year of doing two a week, that's when I really started seeing my organic traffic going up.
But now I'm thinking about what's my target audience? Yeah, it's doctors and other high income earners, but you got to think about where those people go that are looking for this information. So, well, they're not just going to be going to any random website, they're going to be going to different investment websites that are geared towards them, they're going to different forums, they may be searching for different terms. So you have to start thinking about, okay, if I'm a doctor wanting to earn more money, what would I do? Where would I go? And I'm sure about the Robert Collier principle, you want to enter the conversation going on in your prospect's mind. That's kind of marketing 101. But I started using that principle. And once I started doing that with getting on these forums and then getting on these podcasts, that's when I really saw things start to boost for me.
Question: If you had to give advice to other people who have a side hustle, what are some of the suggestions you would give them to maybe ramp it up or just skip some of the things along the way that you learned from?
Answer: If you could find a few people that not necessarily are in your space, but let's say you want to do a podcast or a blog, find some people that you have a blog, or a podcast that you like and then pick their brains. And then they're the ones that are going to usually tell you, "Hey, I did this and I did these three things, but I really should have focused on this." So again, that would be the quickest way to shortcut it.
But once you do figure out your thought leadership platform, whether it's a blog or a podcast or whatever, at the same time that you're finding some mentors, again, all the information that you want is free online. And again, you may find somebody online after going through some material that you can reach out to as well, because most people like to... that I've contacted most people like to share their successes with other people and help people because they know what it was like back then. So I think that's where I would spend most of my time focusing. But I wouldn't start putting out information or anything like that until you get that down because you'd just be wasting your time.
Jeff has a LOT of great information from his experience in marketing your small business, check out the podcast below to learn more about how to drive your business with digital marketing!
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Topics: Business Advice, Podcast Interviews, HB Podcast