Lee-Tyson Lucas is a 20-year-old Babson College student who has launched Growth Cave, a company that offers paid advertising-focused online training and helps businesses find new customers through Facebook promotions. He has a sizable clientele that he has gathered via UpWork and word-of-mouth. Lucas has been working in the Internet Marketing space since he was 15 and has been involved in a number of online “side hustles” such as StreetSumo and AdWords/Facebook. He has a sizable clientele that he has gathered via UpWork and word-of-mouth.
Lucas, a 20-year-old student, launched Growth Cave, a company that offers paid advertising-focused online training and helps businesses find new customers through Facebook promotions. Lucas has a sizable clientele that he has gathered via UpWork and word-of-mouth.
What is your background and what are you concentrating on right now?
Bonjour, Failor! I appreciate being here. Lee-Tyson Lucas is my name. I am a twenty-year-old Babson College student.
I am presently the creator and CEO of Growth Cave, where I help businesses expand online by providing individualized counseling and a substantial online training facility that mostly focuses on paid advertising. We help digital businesses and marketers get fresh leads and customers via clever Facebook advertising.
What is your background, and how did you come up with this idea?
I’ve been working in the “Internet Marketing space” ever since I was 15 years old and first discovered the forum BlackHatWorld. I’ve always been a geeky kid, so the idea of making money online by building websites immediately captured my heart.
It was obviously not that simple. My first internet dollar came three months after I started. But after that, I was enthralled. Since then, I’ve engaged in a number of online “side hustles,” if you will. For a while, I ran a site called StreetSumo that helped individuals find affordable alternatives to trendy trends in the streetwear and shoe industries. Over $85,000 was made for the Amazon Affiliate program thanks to this blog.
Last summer, I finished my marketing apprenticeship with a successful technology business. They were paying a management charge of 8% and about $250,000 per month for bought traffic (AdWords/Facebook). My mind was blown when I realized that we were giving the corporation the equivalent of a $240,000 yearly wage ($20,000 per month times 12 months). I thus started looking into the business structures of digital agencies.
I tried to start a lead generating firm during the Spring semester of 2018, but I was unsuccessful, mostly because I lacked sales experience. My shaky voice conveyed how terrified I was to speak with them on the phone. After only two months, this business folded without ever gaining a single client.
How did you build Growth Cave?
This is why I was certain that I wanted to work in paid advertising. I chose to try Upwork (despite what many people say about it) because I had nowhere else to turn. I thought that the tools offered by Facebook and Google, my internship experience, and YouTube videos would be enough to get things going.
Consequently, Upwork is how I found my first few clients. I presented myself as a pay-per-click (PPC) consultant in my advertisements. My anxiousness was much reduced by using a “gig” hiring platform like Upwork since it was lot easier than contacting individuals directly and trying to sell them anything right away. And although I started out as a “generalist” in paid traffic, I quickly concentrated my offerings to concentrate on Facebook Ads because more than 75% of the enquiries I got had to do with Facebook Ads rather than Google AdWords or other paid traffic sources.
While I was an intern, it was challenging to find time to work on Growth Cave. I spent a fair deal of my working hours on the phone with potential clients since I was just starting (my business), trying to figure out whether we were a good fit. As a result, I set them up for my lunch break, just after work, and even before work for a few that were in different time zones. It was difficult.
I bought the Growth Cave domain as soon as the idea came to me, but I never used it. My Upwork profile was the sole internet profile linked to my work for the first three months or so. Even then, I did not emphasize it as much as I do today.
My profits for the first month were just around $400, but during the second month, they were over $3,000. People started inviting me to their opportunities instead of needing me to apply after I started getting some traction and nice feedback on my profile. Instead of working for whoever would hire me, I was starting to have more control over my employers.
What marketing techniques did you use to grow your company?
Upwork is similar to Instagram and LinkedIn as a platform. You are given a substantial bio part in which to identify yourself, list your qualifications, etc., as well as a “Portfolio” section in which to highlight pertinent work. The outcomes of my client’s campaigns would be added to the ‘Portfolio’ section when I started working for them. As a result, both the quantity of people that contacted me and my capacity to finish the deal dramatically increased.
I no longer needed to boast about myself because my successes were self-explanatory. There were certain clients I would immediately get in touch with and never bring up myself. They would explain me about their company before asking for my rate. To put it mildly, it was a wonderful experience.
I also started getting a trickle of recommendations. Some of my clients found me through word-of-mouth referrals from company owners to their coworkers and relatives who also owned businesses. I’ve never found success with cold calling or cold emailing, but I’m quite happy with my present system and the one I’m building through partnerships. Basically, the method is finding organizations or people whose target markets I think would be a good fit (mainly the marketing sector) and producing content for them. A live workshop or webinar, a guest post on their blog, an appearance on their podcast, etc. might all be examples of this. This system was only recently put into place by me in late December, and so far everything is going as planned.
What are your long-term goals?
My company strategy is centered on inbound leads—getting people to see me as a “expert” and approach me rather than the other way around. My goal is to keep doing this by developing Growth Cave, a central website independent of Upwork. Every week, I want to post a new piece, either on my own blog or someone else’s as a guest post. I’ve been writing guest pieces and case studies nonstop.
My email subscriber count is my main growth indicator. My access to potential clients and consumers will increase as my email list becomes bigger. After a month of involvement, I am now at approximately 250; my goal is to achieve 1,000 by March 1st.
What were your biggest challenges, and how did you get over them?
Unquestionably, the hardest part was the beginning. I came dangerously near to quitting and calling this an unsuccessful side project within the first month. As I indicated before, the hardest part for me was selling. Being a generally introverted person, it was first draining for me to speak with individuals over the phone five or more times each day (and endure rejection while doing so). However, I am really happy that I persisted. Now that I’ve had the practice and almost no anxiety about using the phone, I feel much more outgoing and expressive (not just on the phone, but in general).
Certainly, there were tragic moments in one’s personal life. It is challenging to get up early, work on your business, go for your day job, and then come home and work on your business some more. particularly when things don’t go as expected. Even while I can now see that a lot of my effort paid off, that wasn’t always the case. I occasionally wondered why I was committing all of my free time to this when I was still a student. I should be having fun right now! Relaxing! I think everybody who has started a side business may relate. But you go on for the same reason you started: because you like it. I can say with almost complete certainty that I would never give up being a business owner or entrepreneur for anything else.
What are your biggest flaws, exactly? What were your biggest mistakes?
Like many others with an entrepreneurial mindset, I am not good at delegation. I like figuring everything out for myself. To avoid paying someone else to build and design websites, I taught myself how to do it. Unfortunately, there are several instances in which this mindset is constrictive. I feel that as a business owner, I should be concentrating on areas of my organization that will have a greater impact rather than devoting hours to tweaking the CSS on my website. I still have to conquer the difficulty of figuring out how to employ and delegate properly in order to grow my business. I’ve declined projects that, in retrospect, could have been lucrative employment only because I didn’t have the time to finish them. However, I could have easily gained them as clients if I had hired people to handle specific areas of my business (mainly campaign management).
It is quite simple to sell a pipe dream instead of a workable approach when it comes to the marketing “guru” market as a whole. I’m sure that at some point, everyone has seen a Facebook or YouTube video from Tai Lopez or another such person who professes to have the key to being your own boss and obtaining financial freedom. There is a very fine line to walk while developing an online marketing course, and I never want to stray into the “dark side” that I have seen.
What actions would you do differently if you had the chance?
sooner stop relying on Upwork and recommendations. Both are good, but neither can be relied upon. If/when I make this my full-time profession, I’d love to have an added layer of protection rather than ‘hoping’ for new invites or leads.
When I initially started, I was frightened about giving clients mediocre work. Managing Facebook Ad campaigns was something I had “some” experience with, but I was frightened of squandering other people’s money. But in the end, this was an unwarranted worry. I have really profited from my expertise in digital marketing, and I have fortunately never wasted an advertiser’s money. Given my experience, I would tell myself to be more confident because at first, I lacked this confidence.
I’ve also come to understand that many customers don’t always demand the best outcomes. They seek to be understood and have their thoughts valued. I wish I had recognized earlier that sales are half the battle while working as a freelancer.
What educational tools would you suggest for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
I love the following books:
The book “Four-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss offers several insightful paradigm changes on managing your business rather than letting it manage you. Don’t let the exaggeration in the title put you off (as it did me for a very long time). I think this book has something to teach practically everyone.
In his novel The Third Door, Alex Banyanian: An highly interesting and inspiring narrative of a teen’s journey to find out how Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and other famous people got their start in the business. Highly advisable for both pleasure reading and future business owners.
By James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: Excellent text on the science of behavior formation and modification. I’ve read a lot of books on routines and developing habits, and I can say with certainty that this is the best.
Seth Godin’s book The Dip When to stick with ideas and when to move on to new ones is the subject of this succinct yet instructive essay. Excellent for those like myself who are brilliant at starting businesses but not so good at keeping them running:)
In terms of websites, I value the Reddit community for entrepreneurs and the internet marketing forum BlackHatWorld, where I got my start.
One of my favorite dormant sites, Gaps still has a ton of internet business ideas.
The total number of unique “subsets” of online entrepreneurial groups is one million. Choose the one that most closely fits your goals and personality.
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