Interview: Diggy Dirk, The Marketer Who Went From Hard Times To Working With Another World Famous Marketer & Traveling The World

Hey Guys! This is one of the quickest interviews I have been able to prepare, thanks to my guest here. You know, given that he’s “one of the big guys”, I surely thought I’d never receive a response from him. After all, the marketer I’m interviewing today, Diggy, just launched Marketing Inc 2.0 in July with his partner, Glen, and well, I didn’t expect this guy to take this kind of time and do this interview.

Thank goodness for the connections I’ve made over the years 🙂

So, a bit of a background: Years ago when I ran my little experimental bloggy blog, Dirk aka Diggy, ran a personal development blog, UpgradeReality (you’ll see us touch on this lightly). I have seen this guy go from struggling to working alongside his buddy and cashing in massive paychecks. [Just to be clear: It’s not about how “massive” his paychecks are; it’s knowing that he does well and is successful at what he does. And obviously, what we can learn from a marketer who is ballin’ worldwide]:

diggy stonehenge

[Note: This image was taken from Diggy’s Facebook page].

Let’s see what we can learn from Diggy, so, let’s dig him apart [pun intended & yes, I’m sort of a nerd] and learn a few things today!

1.  Diggy Diggy Diggy Can’t you see….  Oh wait, that’s Biggy 😉  Anyways, Hi Diggy (aka Dirk)!  How are you doing today?  If you may… please introduce yourself, how old you are now, how old you were when you started experimenting with MMO/IM/marketing, and give us a summary of your journey in this industry.

Hi Moon, doing very well thank you.  Hmm, well, I go by the name Diggy online and I’ve been “online” since about 2008.  I’m in my late twenties and while some may consider me successful (I’m far from where I want to be so I don’t really feel like I’ve “made it” yet), things have only been going in the right direction for me the last 3 years.  There were a good few years where I put in a ton of time and effort and yielded little results (making $1000-$2000 a month).

2.  Time to dig in *rubbing hands together*  (pun intended, haaah!)  Please don’t take offense, it’s simply been a while.  I believe around the time Glen was running PluginID, you were working on Upgrade Reality.  Tell us about UR.  Tell us about the journey with that site: why UR, your struggles, and your successes (in visitor #s and monetary with UR, lessons learned, etc)?

Upgradereality was my first project.  It was a personal development blog where I just shared my thoughts and experiences about life and tried to help people not make mistakes I made already.  I worked on the site for about 2 years and during that time I put out about 200 articles, and got the traffic up to 5000 daily visits with a subscriber base of 10,000 readers.

The idea behind it was also that it was a place for me to document my own personal growth.  I’m a big fan of improving life in all areas, whether it be business, relationships, health or anything else for that matter.

I was very inexperienced with marketing and online marketing, so with a ton of effort (really, incredible hours and effort put in), I never got the blog making more than 4 figures monthly.  Towards the end I got very demotivated, and decided to list it for sale.

3.  How did you end up selling UR (do I have this right, that you sold it)? Did you start the site with the intent of selling it or did someone approach you? What kind of money are we talking about here?

I sold it through a popular auction place: Flippa.com. Here you can list your site for sale and people can bid on it in an auction style.  The site ended up selling for a lowish 5 figure sum. Since I was only 23 years old at that time, it was a lot of money to me.  However, if you calculate the hours that went in, I barely made minimum wage over the entire 2 years.

4.  Let’s talk about your humble beginnings (we all have those).  I love it when marketers delve into any “failures”?  Tell me, man, of any one of your projects that you had good intentions with, but had to let go?  How did you know to let go?

Ah, so many failures, I wouldn’t even know where to start.  I had a stage where I was an affiliate for tattoo designs.  I would build dozens of sites and average thousands of daily visitors, but I couldn’t get any conversions and it drove me crazy.  Eventually I gave up and sold all my sites for about $1000.  My advice: don’t be an affiliate for tattoo designs.

5.  Diggy, describe to us what a day in your shoes is like?

I like to travel, but at the same time I work pretty much 7 days a week.  I don’t recall the last day where I didn’t access the internet.  I honestly think I’ve been online every single day for the last 6 years or so.

I’m not always as productive as I’d like to be, but I like to structure my day so I do the most important things first.  That way, even if I only work for an hour or two, I still make progress towards my goals.  So, a little tip here is avoid Facebook and emails for the first few hours of your working day.

6. The big question: how much are you making from Marketing Inc 2.0? How about any other ventures in the IM/SEO/marketing space?

I don’t like to speak about numbers too much since I think it’s the wrong thing to focus on.  Focus on giving value and the money will come (seriously).

While we probably did more in revenue than an average professional many years into their career makes as a yearly salary, we actually missed our goal by about 50%.  There were many things that contributed to this lack in reaching our goals (like not having enough affiliates, being unlucky that there were two other enormous launches happening at the same time, having the wrong sales video up, etc.).  However, we did end up learning a ton of things to apply to our next launch and I’m confident we will do 7 figures the next time around.

7.  Was Marketing Inc your idea or Glen’s? Did either one of you have severe doubts if it would be a successful “product”?

I think Glen originally came up with the concept and we specked it out together after that.  I don’t think we would have made it if we had any doubts.  With anything you do, if the concept is good and it can add value to people’s lives, then take action and do the best you can in giving that value.  The money is the byproduct.

8.  What’s the best tip you can give to someone who is struggling getting their marketing business/agency going? How can one get things rolling?

Take an objective look at your business and give advice on what is wrong.  So, imagine your business is a business run by your friend and you want to give critical advice on what to improve.  Look at expenses, look at where most of your time is going, identify bottlenecks, etc.  Then, using that advice, apply the improvements to your own business.

I’d highly recommend watching a series called The Profit.  It’s about a multi-millionaire who invests into failing businesses and improves the process, product and people so that he turns them into profitable businesses while retaining a percentage.  It teaches you a lot about the mindset of running a profitable business.

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9.  I LOVE asking marketers this question, as it reveals how each marketer thinks.  So, let’s say you had to start from scratch, right now!  You have access to a hosting account, a $100 in your account, and you have to generate $1500 for rent within 3 weeks.  What do you do?  Tell us about your initial strategy and how you would build on that.

The easiest way to make money is probably to get paying clients for local SEO.  So, what I’d do is put $50 into a Skype account so I can make phone calls, and then just call up dozens of businesses every day pitching them about marketing and SEO.  I’d probably visit in person also since that is more personal and has a higher chance of closing the business.

Again, it’s a good idea to always give value.  So don’t just tell them “hey, I’ll do your SEO for $1000 a month).  Go over their marketing strategy, create a custom video with suggestions how to improve their marketing, and so on.  Then, it will be much easier to sell them.

Any business will happily pay to get more customers.  So, if you can help a business make more money, you will be able to make money.  This is what our course Marketing Inc 2.0 is all about.

10.  Dude, Diggy, what’s your favourite food/meal?  You’re an international kind of guy, I’ve noticed 😛

Yeah I like to travel.  The last few years I’ve lived in Europe, Canada, Asia, South Africa.  That’s the benefit of being able to work online, since you can do it from anywhere in the world.

I like all kinds of food really.  Chicken is good though.  And sushi.  I try to eat healthy when I can, since it’s not only good for living a longer life, it’s also good for improving your energy and motivation.

11. Who or what was the “catalyst” that made you go from a struggling marketer to the kind of success you are experiencing today?

I don’t think there was any catalyst really.  It’s just a long hustle and continuing to put in time and effort until you start getting success.  It’s really taken me years to get to where I am today, but I’d definitely advise getting a mentor to cut that learning curve.  I could have been doing much better much faster if I had someone to tell me what to do and what not to do.  The only problem is finding a mentor that really knows how to help you.

12.  Is there something you do to help you relax and focus on certain days when that may be a struggle to do?

I like to watch motivational videos.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Grant Cardone and Tony Robbins are a few of my favorites to listen to.

13.  May we please a look (picture) at your office desk/setup? And perhaps how you shoot your videos?

I usually just work off my laptop when I travel and when I’m home I like to have a decent chair with a second screen. For the rest that’s it.

diggy workstation

Videos I’ll usually just shoot on my iPhone, and sometimes use an external mic.  So basically, no fancy equipment.  If I’d go fulltime into video blogging, then I’d invest in some decent video and audio equipment.

13. The videos you shot for Marketing Inc: You looked extremely comfortable and confident in front of the camera. I’m trying to shoot videos and I am definitely not comfortable, ha! How did you accomplish this?

Thanks! I actually used to be really shy and awkward so it’s nice to get compliments about looking comfortable on video. I guess it’s really just about practice. I’ve literally made 100+ videos in my life, and the more you do, the better you get. I suggest doing a daily video challenge where each day you make a new video and post it on your Facebook page.

Video is really much easier to be comfortable on because you are just recording on a device and can edit or do over many times. Being on a stage in front of hundreds of people is quite a bit more nerve-recking. (I have one of those coming up in December).

14. Also, what equipment was used to shoot those videos? I really enjoyed them.

Again, I’m happy to hear that! I just used a basic HD digital camera to record, and then an external portable mic for the audio. The camera is a Sony and it’s about 5 years old and cost me $300 back then. For the audio, I used a Sony IC recorder ICD-UX533F, which cost me about $120.

Then, I just use the Camtasia software to sync the video with the audio and produce the video that you see as the end result. It’s still not very professional but good enough to get started with.

15. Who are some of the top IMers you check out on the daily?

I don’t really check out other marketers on a daily basis. I am subscribed to various email lists and I follow many of them on FB, so I guess I do get a glimpse of what people are up to.

I’m a big fan of Charles Ngo, Mitch Sanders, Alex Becker, Devin Zander, Grant Cardone, Com Mirza, Donald Wilson, Andrew Fox and a couple more guys that all run in those circles. I’d suggest following them on FB since they just have an incredible work-ethic and are good for staying motivated.

16. Any books you recommend for online entrepreneurs that you feel are ESSENTIAL reads for us?

I don’t read nearly as much as I should. I like Cashvertising by Drew Whitman if you’re into advertising and marketing, and I recommend books by Jim Rohn for mindset and motivation stuff.

17.  Lastly, Diggy, if you may share any words of wisdom you have for us, for my readers here.  I would appreciate it!

Yeah, basically, there is an insane amount of money to be made and you can make it.  I’ve seen countless of my friends and acquaintances go from nothing to six figures per month within a year.

Get a mentor, follow a proven blueprint and stick to that one system or method for as long as it takes until you make it.  If you’re doing client SEO, do only that. If you’re doing Facebook ads, do only that.  If you’re doing eCommerce, do only that.

Another very important thing to work on is your mindset and beliefs.  You need to believe that you can make six or seven figures a year.  You need to believe that internet marketing is not a scam.  You need to believe that you have the skills and are smart enough to make money online.

Focus on giving value and you’ll do just fine.  You don’t need a fancy degree to be able to make money online.  Most people I know who are successful never even went to university or dropped out of highschool.

Okay, Back To The Ninja…

There were tons of things here that Diggy revealed to us and I will keep it all short and simple:

  • Avoid FB and emails first thing in the morning; be productive first!
  • Focus and master one thing at a time
  • Work hard; no substitutes
  • Always focus on giving value first!

Thanks for your time, Diggy! I know I’ve watched you grow in the marketing/SEO space for YEARS and find it inspirational (to say the least) seeing how successful you are today. If you want to check out what Diggy is all about, do so on his FB page here: Diggy Dirk on Facebook 🙂

So, Diggy has the same 24 hours in a day that you and I do. What are you waiting on?
PS: Got questions? Let’s see if we can get Diggy to give us a few answers 😉

Umm, a "share" equals a one knot untied on Sspeedy :P