Jason Portnoy, Tracy Brinkmann

Tracy Brinkmann  00:00

What is the number one secret for making money online and off? Stay tuned and find out. Okay, here’s the question are serious. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us. When we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question. And this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann. What is up what is Oh, my dark horse, friends or family. Welcome back to your weekly dose of marketing your business learning. I’m your Darkhorse host Tracy Brinkmann and you Well, that’s infinitely more important to you my friend or driven entrepreneur or one in the making. Either way, you’re here because you’re ready to start, restart kickstart, just start leveling up with some great marketing, personal or business tips and results in order to build that beautiful business of yours into the Empire. It absolutely deserves to be man. Who do we have another big episode for you today? Today, Jason Portnoy shares why you should march to the beat of your own drum hawks versus long term stability. And the number one secret of making money online and off. Plus, I’m gonna let you in on next week’s interview episode guest who has helped hundreds of business owners take their brands online. Now, before we get this kicked off, I hope you’re getting value from these interview episodes. These amazing guests I’m lucky enough to be able to bring on as well as the solo episodes right. And if you are and you want to keep getting all these great interviews and the daily success tips, please make sure you go on down there, smash that subscribe button while we’re there. Let’s go ahead and leave us a five star rating and drop some kind words in the reviews, these subscribes rating and reviews, tell the podcast platforms how awesome you think we are lifts up, lifts up lifts us up a little bit in the rankings so that we can reach more driven entrepreneurs just like yourself. So again, if you’re getting value, take a moment show the love and help spread the word. And as you know, as per usual, the Dark Horse corrals are chock full of personal business and marketing. g o LD spilling from every corner of the Dark Horse entrepreneur HQ. So let’s get to the starting gates and go Alright my dark horse friends and family Today’s guest is Jason Portnoy. Now, Jason is an obsessed full stack marketer. today. Through his agency j port media Jason and his team use the latest marketing strategies and have helped multiple businesses scale to seven plus figures. He now has this private market domination coaching group and helps business businesses and leaders be found be seen and Be Heard everywhere. Jason has been mentored by coats for interviewed people like daymond, john Gary Vaynerchuk, Ryan deiss, Frank Kern, Randi Zuckerberg, and so many more. He’s also the host of the perfectly mentored podcast and has been featured in Forbes Inc, magazine, entrepreneur, BuzzFeed Yahoo Finance and NBC, ABC, CBS Fox, I think the whole alphabet comes under his under his realm. And he’s also worked with business owners all over the world. Now even while he’s out the getting all this done, still found time to come hang out with us for a bit. Jason, welcome to the Dark Horse entrepreneur,

Jason Portnoy  03:37

thank you so much for having me. You know, I read BIOS all the time on the podcast, and, and I see the faces of the people I read the bio of and they’re cringing, and now I completely understand. Yeah, I completely get it all that sounds sounds really lovely. Really, really nice. I’m sure it makes my mom really, really happy to hear that. So thank you for reading that.

Tracy Brinkmann  03:58

Absolutely, we’ll be sure to make sure mom has a copy of this for her for her for her storage. And like I was saying earlier I just I want to first of all, just kind of give you the opportunity to tell your story to the good the bad the ugly the road traveled to bring you to where you are to reach the success levels you have you know and then it kind of share your why you love doing what you do so much,

Jason Portnoy  04:20

ya know for sure. You know, it’s it’s funny saying, you know, the good, the bad and the ugly and the road I think my journey is only beginning so so I think I have a lot of good, the bad and the ugly still left to do. But But yeah, we could talk about a lot of a lot of the stuff before that. So I was supposed to go to law school, I declined law school twice made my mother cry. You know, she immigrant family believes that school was the way out and I was just an awful student. Not because I wasn’t smart, but because I was bored and just didn’t. You know, I looked at law school. I said okay, if I could get in. I have to really love this. I’m going to go to school for another like X amount of years. And I don’t like it. So I decided I was gonna go get a job in business development for a recruitment company, right away realize that I have problems with authority and can’t work for other people. I remember that very, very clearly. And, you know, maybe it was, I was a punk kid who think everything should have been handed to me but or, or just didn’t understand the workplace, but something kicked inside me. And I decided I was gonna start a clothing company, which obviously made my parents even more happy that I was now going to not go to law school. But now I was going to quit my job that I had for less than a year and I was going to go start a clothing company, right? Selling t shirts, they were very, they’re very, like, I’m sure they thought very highly of my decisions at the time. But, but I’ve always been a person that march to beat in my own drum. And I’m, I’m tenacious when I really want to be. So when I started a clothing company, I was reading a book by daymond, john, and I think it was right before Shark Tank started or just just start, he just started filming. And in the book, he said he liked helping young entrepreneurs. So I said, cool, I’m gonna reach out to him. So I went on Twitter, because Instagram didn’t exist yet. I went on Twitter, and I started tweeting at him saying, Hey, you know, you like helping young entrepreneurs come help me. And the first few times, nothing happened. And the second time, or like, one of the third time maybe tweeted at me his his website. So once his website, there was nothing there, kept going, kept going, found different ways to follow up. Eventually, I got a meeting with him. Got the meeting with daymond. JOHN, I guess he took a liking to me, because he ended up mentoring me once a quarter for that first year, and then turned into a beautiful friendship that we still have today. And someone that I really trust and I admire started the clothing company was was in over 250 stores across North America. But the biggest mistake I made was I was young and wasn’t self aware enough. And I think a lot of business owners make this mistake now. Where they don’t know what their true strength is. And minds are the visionary side. I’m a bad implementer. And I used to think that was, I used to think that was a bad thing, I just think was a bad thing to be bad at something when you own the business. And now I realize okay, there are two types of people when it comes to business owners. But so I tried to do everything got really burnt out. But I loved the marketing side, I was able to grow that brand because I understood marketing. I was I had my stuff worn by tons of athletes and celebrities before it was called influencer marketing. I just thought it would be really cool to get to speak to those celebrities and athletes and get them to wear my stuff. And you know, my wife was like, Look, you’re you have to make a decision. You You love marketing, and but you hate the clothing business figure something out Facebook ads was just getting started, I decided to run a Facebook ad to see if I can help people. Which now sounds very obvious, because everyone’s running Facebook ads to try to help people, right, I ran ads because the biggest pushback I would get from businesses was how do we know Facebook ads work. So I’m kind of going back to around 2012 13 ish, maybe even a bit later, where people didn’t even know Facebook ads work. Now everyone just doesn’t know that whether they doubt whether you could get them results, but they know it works. for them. It was not even a matter of results. It was like Why should we do this Facebook thing, the first client I ever took on, they were doing 20 $500 a month in sales, mom and pop and mom and pop in the basement of their of their house selling t shirts. I knew that market well because I was selling t shirts. And I scaled them from 20 $500 a month to $300,000 a month, all profitably in under 11 months. And that kind of became a lighthouse. So I mean, kind of lucky. My first client was a giant success allowed me to piggyback because I think if it would have been an awful failure. I don’t know if we’d be sitting here right now. Yeah, right. I think I would have just been like, Alright, I don’t know this stuff. I’m out. But yeah, and definitely a lot of hiccups along the way, a lot of mistakes. I spent a lot of my own money on figuring out what not to do. But yeah, and then since then we’ve helped you know, multiple clients reach seven figures and multiple them even go above seven figures to eight figures. And, and that’s where we are right now. So I have an agency, I have a podcast called perfectly mentored. And I have a program on launching that kind of helps people create their own platform and scale their business

Tracy Brinkmann  09:16

is that the market domination program,

Jason Portnoy  09:18

yeah that’s the market domination method that we’re that we’re in beta, and we’re taking on only a few clients in the in the first beta round of it.

Tracy Brinkmann  09:24

Nice, nice. I always love the new programs. I want to drill around a little bit for the the that was

Jason Portnoy  09:30

a long winded answer. I’m sorry.

Tracy Brinkmann  09:32

No, no, that was great. No, it was perfect. Actually, there’s a lot of places we can go and drill around in because I remember I was playing in the Facebook ads arena, probably about that same time the you know, the 2012 1314 timeframe, you know, when you could easily turn some Facebook profits around as long as you had some, you know, reasonable intelligence and a reasonably decent product. I was working with a client and we were getting a little like, I want to It was like in the 20 for no return on adspend the row ass and dude like, how are you doing this? Yeah, well, you should this is you’re not, you know, they were actually they were actually going, are you sure this is right? You know? Yeah, you give me $1 I can give you 24 back. I just it’s just how it works. Is there like, oh, let’s see Oh, so it was like it then it was all about well, how much money can we spend? You know, they were like how, how fast can we step on the gas and then they went pretty heavy there for a while and they were lucky enough. And we combine that with a Amazon strategy shortly behind that. And when I was introduced to them, they were doing, it was a little bit bigger. It was a you know, also an apparel company. It was a niche market for whitetail hunters. And I think they were doing 250,000 on Amazon. So no, no, no, not not a drop in the bucket. But certainly big enough to you know, to sneeze at. And then in five years, they’re doing 50 million on and on the same channel on Amazon. Between the Amazon ads and the Facebook ads. They’re like, how fast? How much harder? Can we push? You know? And then, you know, and then as you probably are well aware, and I’m This is me leading into a big question. Things have changed a bit over those years, right? I mean, there’s the the early wonder days, it was a wild, wild west, and you could do things like go to 2500 to 300,000 rather easy. Is it that much different nowadays? I’m out of that world as deep. So you being in it as close to me, is it still as easy to do it? Or are there new tactics and strategies you have to employ?

Jason Portnoy  11:44

So that’s a great question. I it’s definitely not as easy. I mean, it was the Wild West back then you could you could pretty much do anything you want. organic reach was a lot higher. You know, it was it was a lot easier to do things. You had interest that didn’t exist. Cambridge Analytica kind of started slowing that down. And so did you know everyone gravitating to the platform? Right, people started realizing how powerful was in advertising costs went up. And if advertising costs go up, no matter how good you are, yeah, your return on adspend is never going to be that, that 24x anymore, right? Because right, you have to you have to compete. So So yeah. Going back to your point about Can anyone you know, just Just do it. And, you know, do you have to have skills and hacks or tactics. I’m not a big hacks and tactics guy, right? I believe in longevity. And I believe in stability, or as much as you can on these platforms. I don’t like chasing the latest hacker tactic. So I really consider myself a full stack marketer in the sense that I understand pass the platform. Now, the platforms are going to get easier in the sense that machine learning is coming into effect. So what that means is Facebook has so much data now that you know, you could put in zero targeting and with relatively some small data, you Facebook will find you your ideal prospects, your ideal clients or ideal customers. But now more than ever, if everyone if becomes that easy, people have to have real marketing skills, people have to learn how to write, copy how to how to create, you know, some stopping we call thumb stopping images and creative to get people to stop scrolling. You have to have a good offer. So because the platform and your attention is becoming so you know, there’s the big fight for it. And so many people coming on the platform and trying to take up that space, inundated with ads, your ad has to be good. And I think now you’re gonna see a lot of media buyers who are having really good luck because you were really good, not luck. But they were really talented and sensitive. They knew the latest strategy they knew let us hack and they were doing all that they’re going to start having a tough time when that becomes less important as just having learning how to craft the valid offer of learning how to write good copy. Learning to create good creative.

Tracy Brinkmann  14:00

Yeah, that’s  Yeah, I actually believe in that one wholeheartedly. I really like the fact you’re like, not a fan of the latest hack or tactic because, you know, those things are, you know, they work but they I think to your point, it’s probably they work now, right? Tomorrow, they probably won’t work anymore, or certainly the the powers that be or the machine learning will say oh, well, you’re you’re gaming the system. Here’s how we stopped that kind of situation where if you’re in it for the long haul your data will will build up to the point where Facebook or whichever platform you’re working on will say Alright, this is what they want, because they have shown me that over the past three 6 12 months, whatever their timeframe is,

Jason Portnoy  14:43

yeah 100% and I think ends that start investing in building their brand out and think more long term and understand the customer value journey and how someone engages with the brand and could and could market on every point that way. Those are the ones that are gonna win the ones that are like, Hey, I’m just gonna go all in on Facebook ads alone with that creative because I’m going to do the latest manual bidding strategy, or I’m going to do this method. Yeah, that works. But I don’t really want to have to spend all my time chasing the next strategy. I rather rather just keep growing.

Tracy Brinkmann  15:19

Now, you mentioned you’re just second ago, the customer values journey. I know I’m a big fan of the customer journey from from prospect to you know, you get them in the top of the funnel, and you start taking them through and warming them up, and then turning them into a client or customer, whichever you want to call them. And then take them through the customer journey. And then hopefully, to flip them into a referral. As you you know, go what I call deeper into the wallet, so to speak, get more wallet share, I’m a big fan of give me 20 customers that I can go deep with I don’t need 2000 at $27. That makes sense.

Jason Portnoy  16:00

Yeah, I agree with that.

Tracy Brinkmann  16:03

So when you say customer value journey, what does that what does that mean to you and how you see things.

Jason Portnoy  16:09

So I think it’s understanding, it’s understanding how people engage, right? So and the different touch points before someone becomes a raving fan of yours. First, they have to know you exist. You know, I don’t even want to take all credit Ryan deiss, and his team at digital marketer, and I think Ryan deiss is gonna pass this on to someone else for coming up with this. But really, the value journey kinda looks at first you have to know you exist, they have to be aware you exist, then they have to engage with your brand, then they have to subscribe they have, you have to get them to take some sort of action, and then you have to convert them on something. And I’ll go through this again in one second, but let me just walk you through it. Sure. After you convert them, you have to deliver so you have to excite them. And then you have your Ascension ladder of walking them up your latest offers, and then you have they become an advocate, and then they become a promoter for your brand. So awareness is you know, Facebook ads a blog post, it’s, it’s and then engagement is they have to take some sort of action that the watch your video, they have to have a conversation with you subscribe is is you know, they give you their email address or and or that’s even like converting, converting is a small micro commitment, whether they sign up your lead magnet or something like that at throughout this whole stage, you have to present them a good experience, right? I think most people think, you know, especially in eecom, if you’re selling products that the value ends at the transaction, I think the value only really begins at the transaction, because everyone can get a sale once. Yeah, I mean, you give anyone and they push hard enough to get someone to give them something once can you get them to do it again and again. That’s That’s the difference. And I think so many people miss that point. They just focus so hard on acquiring that customer. And then they and then the rest of their process is awful. And their customer experience the customer service, their unboxing, the whole after effects of it is just horrible. And then they were like, hey, how come no one’s buying again. Right? Right. So you have to excite them. If you don’t excite them, you got to go back and you got to re engage with them and re engage them and start the process again. And if you but if you could excite them, that’s when you can start walking them up the ascension, whether it’s a repeat buyer, cross sell and upsell your next program or, or another offer if you’re an agency another offer. And then if you do a really good job, then exciting them and giving them a good they’ll become an advocate for you. And an advocate someone like by asks you for a testimonial, you’ll give it to me, if I ask for a review, you’ll give it to me, but the ones that get to the next level, the brands that understand how this journey gets out, they get into promoting stage. And that’s where people are passively promoting your products. Like think Apple, Apple doesn’t have to do much marketing people are gonna start talking about the iPhone four that people are gonna start talking about this. That’s that’s, that’s when you build a real brand and lifestyle.

Tracy Brinkmann  18:54

Yeah, no, I that’s that’s hundred percent right there. I really like the the part of the delivery right now. I mean, even a broken watch is, is right twice a day, you know, you’re not delivering them well, you’re going to have to you see to get to rebuild everything. And, God, if I go back to my Coca Cola days, we were doing customer work. We’re talking 20 plus years ago now. And we were doing customer acquisition pricing, and it was like, dude, it would cost us $60 to get a customer and I’m talking about merchandising, but it was only costing is 20 to $30. To keep the customer I’m like well Do we have the numbers to tell you the story right there. If you can keep someone happy through their exchange with you, then you’re going to spend far less money keeping them happy to know would be to go out there and to your point, either reengage them or find the next customer to bring him in and buy that one time.

Jason Portnoy  19:55

Yeah, but I think the two most important steps are one is this all under the assumption that you have a good product or service, yes, the great the best marketing in the world, I mean, can’t can’t solve that it will only it will only speed up the rate at which you fail. If I think I’m a pretty talented marketer, I think our team is pretty talented. If you come to us with a bad product or bad service, we’ll just speed up the rate at which you’re going to fail. But if you have a good product or service, great marketing, like is, is gasoline on the fire. You know, I think people look at marketing sometimes as as a magic wand, oh, you’ll build my business, I’ll build my business on Facebook ads, or I’ll just wave a wand and say, some magic words in my business will grow. And I think people have that that misconception and then the most important part of the value journey is is the awareness. Right? I think I’m a big believer that brands fail for one big reason. And that’s obscurity. So people don’t know you exist. They can’t do business with you. And if they forget you exist, they can’t continue to do business with you. So marketing and advertising is the lifeblood of a business.

Tracy Brinkmann  20:59

So okay, let’s let’s dig in there for a little bit. You know, here we have Mr. Mr. entrepreneur, Mr. Ma & Pa small business owner. And they’re like, yeah, I’ve got a, I’ve got a great widget. It’s awesome. I know everyone can use this or everyone in my niche market. What do I do I mean, it, obviously you go to J, Portnoy or j port media, and they’ll hook you up. But until they get to that point, what what is it that they could do step one right out of the gate to start building that awareness with their with their audience, their tribe?

Jason Portnoy  21:34

So I mean, there are platforms that are free there. I mean, Facebook ads, you don’t have to go in and spend $10 million, you could play around with it yourself and start growing, right. Like I think I think people just think that they have to spend $10 billion. Obviously, the more you spend, the better, you know, a better results are, the better the better data you’ll have, which allow you to get better results. But I think people look at advertising as a cost. But there are so many free ways find influencers, find local influencers. Go to now you can’t really do trade shows, but online has made this. Yes. You know, the chance of you growing your brand for free with zero money in marketing is very hard these days. Yeah. Right, especially as everyone moved online and the world kind of shut down from COVID. And there’s no trade shows, and you can’t go travel back and forth and show people. But you know, people are always I heard this point, one time someone asked this great question. I was I was in a room. And people were talking about how do you market on a limited budget? I heard someone say perfectly and they said, you know, let me ask you as a result of not advertising and marketing, because of your limited budget. How much money do you think you left on the table last year? Right? And they answered a lot. And then at some point, it’s like, Okay, well, you need to invest in your business.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:49

Mm hmm.

Jason Portnoy  22:49

I bet you if I bet you if I went and audited these people who believe in their product so much, and they have the best widget that everyone wants, but if only they had the money to market, and I looked at they just bought the latest iPhone, they have the newest iPad, they have the newest, this they spending, you know, $300 on sneakers, they’re going here that going there, and you start auditing where they’re spending their money, you start realizing that they look at advertising as a cost and not an investment. Yeah, and that’s the wrong way to look at it. But I’ve yet to really find a business that, you know, they’re like, I really don’t have any money to market or do anything, then then you know, what, unfortunately, go back work another job, you know, save your money and start going because the answer is always what’s alternative? Okay, so if you don’t put a send in the marketing, what is your alternative? How do you plan on growing this business?

Tracy Brinkmann  23:41

Okay, there it is. And I think I think on the on the flip side, so many times people are saying, well, you got to invest in yourself to be smarter, you know, your education. And education isn’t always about school, you know, I mean, like, you could have went to law school and you chose not to it’s, it’s about the education of of your business, right? How do I grow my business? and marketing is obviously a piece of that. And if you won’t invest there, but you’ll invest in, like you said, the the iPhones and the sneakers and the clothes and the cars, right? Maybe we need two

Jason Portnoy  24:12

cars, the watches.

Tracy Brinkmann  24:14

Yeah, right. Hey,

Jason Portnoy  24:15

if I knew how hard

Tracy Brinkmann  24:17

You’re  now listen to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast,

Jason Portnoy  24:20

entrepreneurship was before, you know, I ever started and so on. And so and I could actually see how hard the journey would be. I’m not convinced that I would, I would have done it, to be honest with you. You know, I don’t think I be prepared to pay the necessary price. And I think so many people think entrepreneurship is a cool thing. I want to start my business and they’re not prepared to pay that price. They they’re not they don’t have the stomach to start that journey. You know, I’ve spent my own money like and wasted a lot of my own money to figure out what not to do, which is just as good as finding out what to do. And I see it as investment because I’m the best investment. I can ever make in myself and people say it all the time, if only I had a little have only had this right that’s what you hear all the entrepreneurs, I’ve only had time to manage my Facebook ads, I’ve only add money to run advertising. If only I had this. It’s, it’s it’s an excuse. It’s you know, I don’t mean to be harsh, but I’ve but it’s only because I’ve had that same mindset, I’m always looking for that Savior, I’m always looking for that one thing I’m always looking for, I was always looking for that help. And when didn’t come, you know, you kind of have to, you know, realize this the reality you’re in, pick yourself up and go do it and figure out how to do it. So if I didn’t have money to run ads, and I didn’t have money to launch my business, well, that’s okay. Go, go get a job, work your job, if you’re so passionate about it, work at night on your on your project, save some of that salary, and go do it and start your project on the side. There’s no fault in that I have so much respect for people who work three jobs in order to support a family in order to in order to start their dream and do all that. That’s respect because they they don’t care what people think they’re gonna do whatever it takes, where I lose respect, and where I lose patience, is when I deal with prospects or people who come to me with a billion excuses of why they can’t do anything. And then we start having those conversations. Like you said, watches cars, everything like that. And then I’m just like, you don’t want a business. You You just want to wave a magic wand have a profitable business. You’re not really yet. They’re not real entrepreneurs.

Tracy Brinkmann  26:27

there Yeah, no, they’re they’re chasing they’re chasing the dream and the dream really, there’s work to it. I I can say, obviously, I haven’t reached your level yet, but I can definitely say the journey I’ve taken it knocks you know, stumbles Bumbles trips, falls, you got to get up, dust yourself off and take that next step forward. You know, you got to grind away. I know, when I first started on my Facebook, ad days, and I started with like, five bucks a week, not even a day, it was five bucks a week. Alright, I’m gonna try this five book ad. Here’s some data, right? And then rinse and repeat. Okay, now do five bucks every couple of days, you know, and it just started to you. You learn more you educate yourself in, you know, it works. But you got to work it right.

Jason Portnoy  27:10

Yeah. And you build something up, right? People are afraid to lose it. You You have so much that you’ve accomplished that if you lost everything right now, you don’t start again from zero, you start again, from the foundation you built, I can lose everything I have right now. I’ve worked single client could walk away. And I’m yeah, I would do its thing. And I probably go, you know, be miserable for a little bit. But I come back with like, once it hit me that I have the foundation, I could just do it again. Right. You know that, that, that that’s the point that that’s what you that’s what people don’t don’t get. And that’s where people think, you know, people think this is a entrepreneurships easy. It’s Shark Tank. Right? Like they go on and that and that’s what shark tank is. And that but yeah, yeah, it’s it’s, it’s tough. I have a lot of these talks with business owners and whatnot. And, and that’s what they think this whole game is or they think it’s luck, or they think you got there when you’re lucky. I’m not gonna lie, I think luck is important part of it. But every single mentor I’ve ever had that I said, I was lucky, almost wanted to hit me. Because, you know, they break it down to like, it’s not lucky, you’re smart enough to put yourself in a situation you’re you were you were smart enough to open your eyes and see there was an opportunity, that’s not lucky, you could put someone who’s, you know, not, you know, smart or not opportunistic into a situation, the same situation, and they wouldn’t have had that same luck. So that you can’t call it luck.

Tracy Brinkmann  28:35

And I think it’s a great point right there. Because so many folks are out there, they’re grinding away, you know, they’re, they’re working hard towards their dream, he said they, they have those two and those three jobs, you know, they’re to maintain the family and still work on their dream. And all of a sudden, that opportunity that that cool opportunity presents itself and they’re like they recognize it. I think that’s the key. They recognize it. And because they’ve been grinding away, and they maybe have something squirreled away over here to you to put into their business, they said, here’s this opportunity, and bam, you know, they invest in that, or, you know, they use that to do that where others who are just like, Oh, I should like to have that car in that house. And that watch, you know, could be presented with the same opportunity. And a probably wouldn’t recognize it or be would be like, well, I can’t afford that.

Jason Portnoy  29:28

It’s a mindset thing. Yeah. And I used to get so mad whenever I had a coach or invested in a course. And notice how I become very conscious of saying invested or spent money on a course because I think it’s an investment in time I invested in myself or a course or or a business coach or mentor. And they’ve told me always talk mindset. I used to get so upset. I used to just be like, okay, just tell me the tactics on how to get rich already, you know, like, like, the just, let’s get to my questions. And I just get so mad. And then when you go through it, you know you This just as much as I do when you start going through it, this is the whole game, mindsets, the whole game, you start looking at things and you start and you start seeing things as investments, when you start figuring out ways that I this is an opportunity I’m going to, I’m going to capitalize it and seize it. That’s mindset. Yeah. What what you just described in what you were talking about, is nothing more than just someone having a really, really good mindset.

Tracy Brinkmann  30:24

Yeah. And that’s, that’s the, that’s the I think that’s the magic ingredient for so many folks is they’re, they’re not going to be held down, right, they may fall down, but they’re not going to be held down. And that’s how they get to their dreams. That’s how become that that quote unquote, overnight success, right, which we know took 20 years. You know,

Jason Portnoy  30:43

I had someone who I jumped on a call with someone the other day, and they’re like, and this is a person I I truly respect and looked up to, and I never really spoken to them before. Like we knew of each other. And we agreed to jump on a call and connect. And she was like, Hey, I just want to let you know, I am super excited to be on this call right now. Because I’m such a big fan of yours. And I’ve been and I’m like, seriously, me like I I’m a big fan of yours, right? She’s like, No, I’ve been I’ve been seeing what you’ve been doing. And in my head. I’m like, you’re only seeing it now. Like I’ve been doing this for, like, pardon me got insulted for a second. I’m like, She’s like, I heard that you had a podcast, I listened to a couple of like, and I love it. I’m like, really? I’ve been doing this for for a few years now. I’ve been I’ve been putting out content for years, and people are only starting to take notice. Yeah, yeah. I’m upset because I don’t think people are taking enough notice. And and and that’s when I remind myself I’m like, Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are like, like playing around in this in this space for a few years. And you think that that you deserve it? And that’s when I get I get humbled very quickly. And and recognize that like, like, I got my dues to pay just like everyone else. And I have no issues with it. Yeah, do I want things faster A times? course we live, we live in it in a instant gratification world where we want things right now. And I’m no different than anyone listening to this or any human on the planet. I suffer from that tremendously. But that’s not how the game works, unfortunately.

Tracy Brinkmann  32:16

And their incomes mindset, again, is you know how you flip that around and turn it into a driving factor rather than Oh, my God, I don’t have it yet.

Jason Portnoy  32:25


Tracy Brinkmann  32:26

Okay. So I want to I want to pivot totally off base, and I’m really enjoying this conversation. I could I could sit here and talk mindset with you all night long. But I want to flip back around. So you have I’m going to use the phrase a digital marketing agency. Is that what you would call it?

Jason Portnoy  32:41

Yeah, I mean, it’s Yes. It for for simple purposes. Yes.

Tracy Brinkmann  32:47


Jason Portnoy  32:48

Yeah, we’re an agency. We’re not we’re a modern digital ad agency for I mean, yeah. I hate those words. I hate agency. I hate those words. But yeah, but yes, but that is you’re just talking about me. Me personally right now. But yeah, you are correct. And written here in how you’re describing it

Tracy Brinkmann  33:05

right now. And and I think we’re, I think we’re our mindsets are going in the same place. Because I hear that, that phrase bantered around so much by so many people who, when I look around at their presence is and I’ll be nice about it, right? Their presence and how they present themselves there. To me, this is just my humble opinion. They’re not maybe they do some ad work for for their clients, and maybe they do some social media work for their clients. But I don’t think that as a marketing agency, help help define in your, in your space, what you feel of your full service ad or marketing digital agency provides that make you what it is you do.

Jason Portnoy  33:53

Sure. I think, to just answer one of your points, I think one of the heart the reasons is, I think having an agency or you know, again, that we’re having anything in the online digital marketing space has become the cool thing now and become the easy thing to do. You know, it’s like anyone could just start up and say, Hey, I’m an online agency, right? There’s zero credentials needed, as opposed to like, not everyone can sign up and say, I’m a doctor or I’m a lawyer, right? You have to actually have some sort of degree some sort of experience. The now you know, I was in a meeting was, uh, two years ago and I said, Yeah, you know, I got introduced he has digital marketing just because oh, my son has Instagram. On my on my Alright, but I’m glad you think that’s exact same thing as your son owning a platform, like playing owning your son having a platform on his phone, that’s great. But like, there’s just there’s no barrier of entry. Anyone could get in and the amount of and it’s something I’ve been very vocal about it in this industry, because I love this industry. And because I’ve been so burned when I had my own clothing company. I’m so empathetic and so protective over this too. To the people who sit across to me that that give me any sort of money, whether it’s $1,000, or 25,000, or whatever it is, I treat the money the same, they give me money. And I’m so empathetic to the fact they take it seriously, you know, you lose sleep over it if you if you’re not getting the results that at any given at any given moment. That’s how I treat our clients. But again, there’s no barrier. And so the amount of people I’ve seen saying, Hey, I just signed this client for $15,000 a month. Any any ideas on where I should start? Oh, my God. And I’m like, man, yeah. And I used to chime in and be like, yeah, start by refunding them their money. Right, like, like that, like I and the Mount, I see it because you have these gurus teaching how easy marketing is and how and how easy it is to sell a course or how easy it is to do all that without ever actually spending your own, you know, money on it and expecting to, you know, sharpen, cut your teeth on on someone else’s dime. I just sorry that I’m not even answering your question. But that just really, really bothers me.

Tracy Brinkmann  36:06

No, no, you’re actually I think we’re totally aligned in this topic, which is why I was I wanted to bring it up, because you you have one that is you know, cut its teeth and sharpened.

Jason Portnoy  36:17

Yeah. And and looked at this isn’t meant for me to sit there and say my agency is the best we are. I believe we are I believe we put together the best team, I think, and I’ll tell you exactly why we stand out because that was your question. But But I believe there are a lot of other good agencies out there. I’m friends with a lot of agency owners, right, I’m friends with, with my competitors. And I don’t see them as competitors, because we learn off each other in this. And we all have abundance mindset. And that’s why we’ve all been able to grow. There’s enough clients for us all. And if you’re not a fit for me, maybe you’re a fit for them. Absolutely. You know, that’s kind of how we look at things, and we help each other it’s a very, very weird, where thing like, you know, go back to the 1950s, they will tell you crush your competition, yes. You know, like, don’t talk to them steal all their clients break it all that, you know, I think the friendships I have with people are have been instrumental in my success. And I continue to learn from them. And I hope they I hope I provide value to them as well. But what makes us different, is, like I said, I think I’ve been on the other side of the table, I know what it’s like. And I’ve I, I believe I put together the best team like the Dream Team possible. I’ve literally scoured the earth for these type of people, and put together an amazing, amazing team of talented people. Were numbers driven. So every single thing I’m a big believer in, you can’t fix what you don’t measure. And you’d be shocked how many business owners don’t know their numbers. But that’s unacceptable for me. We need to know our numbers in order to help any business, you know, improve or scale or grow or make more money or get more clients, whatever it is, everything has to be measurable. And the numbers always tell a story. So we’re very, very numbers driven. And I guess were results focused. I know that’s a weird thing to say. But that’s the only thing that matters, right? You know, we’ll give all the data in the world but and if we’re not getting results, or if we don’t believe we could get your results, we will not work with you. I think I think one of the biggest one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my entire life is saying no more than you say yes. And it’s a hard thing to do I get it when you’re starting off and you’re like, hey, it’s Monday, I shouldn’t say no to them. But I think you know, people don’t like me on my sales calls. Like, my team doesn’t like me doing sales calls because I’ll kill more deals. And then it will because I over tell them. Here’s what you could expect, right? Like you’re not and and I’m different than other agencies are promising the moon. And if I audit an account, and this just happened last week, where I’ve looked at an account, and they’re like, we’re not happy with another eight with our other agency, I looked at I said, Look, anyone who audits account is going to find something wrong, because there’s so many different ways to do this. But I’m telling you, they’re doing a good job. And I don’t know, if we could add much value on top of what they’re doing. can we improve it a little bit? Maybe? Is it worth you to go through the headache of switching and hiring someone else? And are the is that incremental difference going to make you happy? Or just make you more upset at us and take it out on us that you left someone and I had to restart to get that. So because of that I you know, if you want to come to us No problem, but but I’m just gonna be honest to tell you I think that other agencies done a good job.

Tracy Brinkmann  39:26

Yeah. And I see and therein in that example alone comes I think another that not always but another valuable piece. And that’s integrity, right? If I want to chase the sale, but man, if I can’t do you the service, you know, as the customer as the client, then I’m better off and you’re better off if I can say hey, maybe you should go with this person or maybe you should stay where you’re at in in your example. And I think so often people are chasing that almighty dollar and would rather take it from them then just keep there integrity intact.

Jason Portnoy  40:00

Yeah, and it sounds so like selfless right? But this is a selfish component to it. Like, I’m gonna be super honest with you a we’re on a podcast talking, hopefully helping entrepreneurs. So I think transparency and honesty is important. There’s a selfish factor to it too, right? I want, I don’t want headaches, I don’t want my team to have headaches, right? You want a client that’s angry or fighting with them or bad emails, or, or a client that’s going to leave after two months. And I like winning records, right? So I don’t want to take on a client that I don’t think we could help. And then that looks bad for us. And they go out and I’m so protective over the reputation and the name that I don’t want to piss people off. And, and they leave and they say, don’t work with these guys. These guys are awful. Yeah. So you know, we become a lot better at at, I guess, qualifying prospects in a good way to see if they’re fit, because at the end of the day, we we want that winning record, we want to keep telling people like these other clients are getting results for Well, how many clients? Don’t you get results where we don’t work with those guys, right? So yeah, that so there’s, there’s obviously, you know, I’m joking, but there is that selfless component to it as well. And protecting the business and the reputation. But at the same time, I think it’s a win win because it protects the business that’s coming to us. And if they if they don’t vibe with us, if they don’t like my transparency, or nausea, and this happens on a lot of sales calls, where they’re like, well, this other agency told me I could get this and I’m like, Well, I’m telling you what we could do. If you want to go with them. No problem, but I’m but I don’t think they could do it. And I think you’re gonna call me in three months and tell them that they couldn’t do it. And then you’re not gonna have any budget for an agency. So I hope you come with us. But I’m not going to lie to get your business,

Tracy Brinkmann  41:42

right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, I want to be mindful of your time I’ve been really enjoying this conversation.

Jason Portnoy  41:49

I’m having fun.

Tracy Brinkmann  41:50

This is this is awesome, right? But I want to two parts here, I want I want to make sure to give you time to, you know, tell everyone where they can hook up with you. But before we do that, let’s give them Jason’s number one tip for entrepreneurs, and it could be a marketing tip seems how that’s the area you’re playing, or or anything else you think is gold.

Jason Portnoy  42:12

Wow. My number one tip for entrepreneurs. That’s a big one. I mean, I think I think it comes down to you know, sales is the ultimate key, right? You either made money or you didn’t write a business. I think a lot of entrepreneurs forget that. I think a lot of entrepreneurs don’t ask for sale enough. They don’t ask enough. And I think the most important thing that that that that I’ve come across with is I just don’t think people the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is they try to do everything themselves. Hmm. Right? When 99% of businesses fail, they just think on their own they’re going to go do it. Every single thing I’ve ever gotten in my life is because I’ve asked for it right? Nothing was just land randomly landed in my lap. I asked for the sale I asked for this. And when I when I know when sales calls are bad. When I when I do some sales calls. I know when a skill calls bad when I’m like I just got off the call. I’d even ask them if they wanted to sign to that. They could say no, I think people are so afraid of rejection. I think people are so afraid of the know what’s the worst that could happen. But when you start like I put a picture of when when I first had my son now I have a beautiful daughter as well. But I put a picture of my son on on on the desk because when I used to get scared of asking for sale rejection or be like I you know, am I am I being too pushy? like this for him? Yeah, this is for him. This is this for this for his life? Am I not going to ask someone for their money to help my kid feed might to feed my family, I’m going to ask them for their money. And I’m going to ask you to work for me. Now you have to be able to deliver on what you’re going to do. I’m not just gonna ask them for their money and then and then lie to them. But I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask. Yeah, and I think that’s the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is trying to do things themselves and not asking enough. And when it comes to marketing, when people just don’t focus on how important marketing is that that people don’t know they exist. And so many businesses owners don’t exist online, and they don’t have any social media presence of our website. You know, and that’s weird. In today’s society, people just be like, Oh, I’m not on Facebook. You know, I’m one of those rare unicorn. That’s weird today in 2020. Yeah, that’s not that’s not a good thing. You’re not you’re not that you’re not a rebel. You’re now we’re to another business. So I think people realize that if you need customers, you know, in a time like this and business goes bad or you lose business. The number one thing you need is customers. Well, I would say the number one thing you need are sales, then how do you get sales? You get it from customers, how do you get customers advertising and marketing.

Tracy Brinkmann  44:46

And there you go, at least he does reverse engineered the whole thing in 30 seconds. It’s that simple. Now it really is you can break it down to that simpler segment and that’s what I think they’re there in leads us to another thought. About I think so many people, overcomplicate everything, right? Whether it be, oh, I need to, I’m going to create a digital course. It means I need to learn all this tech, no, no, you need to focus on the course first, right? And what it is you’re trying to teach those that want to learn. And maybe you need to engage those that you would be teaching and make sure you’re answering the questions, they would ask you really simple stuff. And then you put it online, and then you market it,

Jason Portnoy  45:29

if you have a gift, if you have some sort of an I believe everyone has something to teach. And I think the problem is people are like, well, no one’s gonna get this. Don’t mark, if you’re starting off in marketing, and you know, a little bit of a marketing, I’m not your client, but there’s someone who knows less than you. That’s your ideal client. Right? So you have to, you have to know who you’re going after. But I think if you have a gift in this world, if you have some sort of message, I think it’s I think you’re, you’re selfish, and I’m gonna be that harsh. You’re selfish for not sharing that with the world.

Tracy Brinkmann  46:00

I I so agree with that. 150% All right, I’m not even gonna dig in deeper on that one because that one has to be left right there.


My advice is you want to you want to make more money. It’s simple. Ask more people to get ask ask people to give you money that it

Tracy Brinkmann  46:17

make more offers.

Jason Portnoy  46:19

Yeah, I’m gonna make it that simple. The secret to making more money in this world is to ask more people for money. The more people you ask, the more offers you make, the more money you make. It’s that it’s that easy.

Tracy Brinkmann  46:28

It’s that easy. 123. All right, Jason. Well, if anyone wants to learn more about Jason or j port media or anything, where should we send them to?


So I’m super accessible? My my, I’m on Instagram a lot. It’s at Jason Portnoy. So j a S, o, n, p o, r t, n O Y, I have a website, Jportnoy.com. That’s my personal website. I do a lot of coaching consulting on there and put out a lot of content. And then my agency website is J Port media.com. j p o r t media.com.

Tracy Brinkmann  46:58

All right, well, be sure to get all those links.

Jason Portnoy  47:00

If you can’t find me. If you can’t find me, then I’m doing a bad job. Right?

Tracy Brinkmann  47:04

If you can’t,

Jason Portnoy  47:05

I’m accessible on all these platforms.

Tracy Brinkmann  47:07

I was gonna say if you can’t just type Jake, Jason. Jason Portnoy into Google?

Jason Portnoy  47:13

Yeah, The problem is there’s a venture capitalist with that name, too. Oh, no, I think like, did something with PayPal. So we’re competing on Google right now for each other? Yeah, I think he has a little bit of a step up on me. But I like the challenge.

Tracy Brinkmann  47:26

Well, we’ll be sure to get the links in the show notes. So people can just click right to you in case they want to find out more about you and your either your coaching or that new program you got coming in beta, they might want to watch for that. I’m going to loop back with you in a few months in and hear more about that and see how that’s going for you.


I’ll be a guest on the show anytime. Tracy, thank you so much for having me.

Tracy Brinkmann  47:47

I definitely appreciate your time. Thanks so much, Jason. All right. There you go. My Dark Horse friends and families and kill Jason port night just delivering value bomb, after marketing value bomb. What thoughts? Did you walk away with me for me, and I walked away with a view. And here’s thought number one, marched to the beat of your own drum. You see, Jason talked about turning down law school not once, but twice, and then quitting a job he had in the recruitment recruitment industry. And you remember, we had de Winter in the industry. So she’s just blowing it up. They’re not his thing, right? He instead went and flipped over and started an apparel company, all because he marched to the beat of his own drum. Now, I think we as entrepreneurs do that anyway, right? More so than the average folks out there, we see a hole or a need in the market that we are passionate about. And we just jump right in there and fill that hole with our passion and our expertise. Now, if we don’t have all the knowledge and all the expertise to fill that hole, right, this very minute, then we do adjacent did we start reaching out to those that do so that we can learn from them? And Jason reached out to daymond john, and that had happened immediately. No, you heard him tell the story, right? And if you think about it, does any things you truly want to desire happen immediately. It Right, I can’t see you shaking your head. Now. Most times it doesn’t. But when you truly want to, I mean, you truly doubt in your heart burning desire, wants something, and you’re driven by that burning desire to succeed in getting it, then you keep at it, just like Jason did, which landed him with that meeting with daymond john, and landed him that mentorship and long term friendship that has since spawned from that. Thought number two, if you’re not happy with where you are, change it. I mean, after all, you’re not a tree. Now, mind you, Jason didn’t use these exact words. But his wife remember did challenge him when she said, Look, you love marketing, but you hate the clothing business, figure something out. So that’s exactly What he did, he began playing in the Facebook’s ads arena before it was a popular arena to be in and was able to build a very successful business out of this uprooting. So are you happy with your where you are in your business right now? No, I think you’re shaking their head again. No, okay, that’s fine. Get up, move it, shift it, change it. After all, you’re not a damn tree. Thought number three hacks versus long term stability. Now, Jason brought up a great point here about using some of the current hacks or those fad tactics to gain an upper hand on the various platforms out there. But instead of trying to gain the system, I’m in the same camp with Jason here, get in there, and use the system to your long term benefit. Stop chasing those 4790 $797 haptics hacks and tactics that are always going to be sold. You see, to me, those are really an expensive way for you to avoid learning what it is you need to learn in order to gain the long term benefits benefits that those platforms really have to offer. Now, you may ask, what do you call a $47? hack? expensive? Well, because if you think about number one, it’s keeping you from really learning not only about the platform, what works, what doesn’t work. But more importantly, number two, it’s keeping you from learning even more about your core audience, and more. So your tribe, right, those those raving fans, you can develop out of your core audience. And if you truly are here in the spirit of service to your tribe, then you don’t Well, I guess, let me flip this, don’t you owe it to them, to learn about them, so that you can deliver the best value, the best content, and the best solution to their real concerns, not just those posed by those hacks. Think about it. Thought number four, the customer value journey. Now Jason shared his thoughts on the customer value journey, and the touch points that need to occur to get someone to go from stranger to raving fan. And so many of these touch points that Jason shared align with the seven stages of the customer journey that I shared with you back on episode 21. If you haven’t listened to the episode, please go back to Episode 21. And hear about my thoughts on the customer journey. But the end of the day, you have to take the person on a journey, you know from the thumb stop, then you would have to engage them, then you have to get them to subscribe to your lead magnet, and so on and so on. But one of the key points is that throughout your entire customer journey, you have to provide them with a good experience the scratch that help, I would even say you need to deliver them an awesome experience, even at the entry point where you’re not earning a dime from them. You see, that person that stops at your lead magnet is still just as important as the person that buys every single one of your products. Why? Well, because maybe they stopped yesterday or last week or even last month, because it just wasn’t the right time for them. Right? This you’re going to catch people at different points in their journey. Now, they may still come back to you later when they are ready to continue on their customer journey with you. But in the meantime, they can still be a source of additional leads for new prospects to start at the beginning of their customer journey with you. So you want to give them a truly awesome experience through your entire customer journey. And I’d be willing to bet not only will they come back when they are ready, that they’ll bring others right to the water’s edge to drink. While they’re still waiting. And if they do continue with you. They’ll continue to be someone that will buy your products over and over and over again, which at the end of the day is where the real magic is at serving your customer and your tribe to the point where they want to buy more and more from you. And thought number five, if you fail, you’re not starting over from zero. Jason brought up an amazing point that during your entrepreneurial journey when you fail, and you notice that I said when not if when you fail, you’re not starting over again from zero. You will have learned a number of things up to an including that point. Which is why you always hear me say it’s not failure. It’s feedback. And I believe if you have that passion inside you driving you then you will be failing if you do not bring that that superpower of yours to the The world if you do not take your superpower, and share it with the world, yeah, that my friend, that is a fail. Or as Jason said, You’re selfish, sorry, those are just the facts. I’m putting them out there. If however, you’re busting bonds and you’re grinding away and you’re making connections, you’re bringing value to those connections with and then all of a sudden, bam, you stumble, you Bumble, you trip, you fall. You faceplant and my friend, you know, you’re kind of headed in the right direction. Now, stand the hell up, brush yourself off, review, just, we’ll review what just happened. Learn from it, make the necessary course corrections, you know, that you got from that new input, and keep freaking going forward. Like I said, you owe it to yourself and to your tribe, to share your superpower with those of us that needed and that’s including me. Alright, my dark horse, friends, family, what tips or thoughts that Jason leave that resonated with you, whatever they were, take some time today and put them into action. Get out there, run your race and get your results. I really want to hear about them seriously, email me at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling calm and share the tips and ideas that you came away with how you put them into action, and what results you gain from them. Heck, I might even make you a guest on an upcoming show. Now, next week, our interview guest is going to be Alex Vander har. And we will be chatting a bit about creating marketing strategies designed to scale and how Alex and his team are bridging neuroscience and psychology right into your marketing, you’re not going to want to miss this episode. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I know you want to keep getting all these valuable tips and these amazing stories from the guests I’m able to bring on this podcast. So please go on down there, hit that subscribe button wire there. Drop us a five star rating leave us some kind words in the review. Heck, go ahead and leave us some constructive criticism in the in the review. I’ll take that as well. But oh, and of course, don’t keep all this entrepreneurial, g o LD all to yourself. Share the podcast with other entrepreneurs and business owners. You know, we’ll get value from it. And with that, I’m gonna leave you as I always do, think successfully and take action. Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Check us out at www dot Dark Horse schooling.com All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.

EP 147 Jason Portnoy Marketing Your Business So People Know You Exist
What Is The Number One Secret To Making Money Online And Off?

  • March to the beat of YOUR drum – Jason talks about turning down law school, TWICE! Quitting a job he had in the recruitment industry to start an apparel company. All because he marched to the beat of his own drum.  
  • If you’re not happy where you are – change it – your not a tree – Now mind you Jason did use those exact words.  But, his wife did challenge him when she said “look you love marketing but you hate the clothing business.  Figure something out!”  
  • Hacks vs. Stability – Jason brings up a GREAT point about using some current hacks or fad tactics to gain the upper hand on the various platforms out there.  But instead of trying to game the system I am in the same camp as Jason here.  Get in there and use the system to your LONG TERM benefit.
  • Customer Value Journey – Jason shared his thoughts on the customer value journey and the touch points that need to occur to get someone from stranger to raving fan.  
  • If you fail, you’re not starting over from zero – Jason brought up a great point that during your entrepreneurial journey when you fail and you noticed that I was when not if, when you fail, you are not starting over again from zero. 

Jason Portnoy links

Jason’s Website

JPortMedia Website




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