This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to Chris Ducker's interview with Antonio Centeno.
Voice prompt: This is Youprenuer FM, the official podcast of the Youpreneur mastermind community, a place where no entrepreneur gets left behind in their pursuit of building a business they can be proud of.
And now, here’s your host serial entrepreneur and bestselling author, Chris Ducker.
Chris: Well, hello there and welcome to Episode #233 of Youpreneur FM. I am your host, Chris Ducker as always and it’s a sheer honor and a pleasure to have you with me.
I got a great show lined up for you this week. My good friend, Antonio Centeno is back on the show after quite an absence. You’ll see what I’m talking about when I say that where me and Antonio get chatting in a minute. Before I do that however, I just want to bring your attention to something if you haven’t already got access to my free e-course entitled The Youpreneur Launch Pad, I’d love for you to go and check it out. You can get it over at Youpreneur.com/launch pad. Three videos, some downloadables and all that sort of fun stuff. Really immersing yourself in to what it truly means to build a business based around you and the people that you want to serve and really becoming competitive profits. It’s about really honestly future proofing your business. So, becoming the expert, lots of monetization ideas, how to build trust and influence to finding your audience and a lot more.
So, I’d love for you to check it out. If you haven’t really done so, you can get it one time over at Youpreneur.com/launchpad. And then, send me a little tweet, let me know what you think @ChrisDucker.
Okay. So, onto to my chat with Antonio. Wow! This guy has just blown up over the last few years particularly on YouTube, 1.4 plus million subscribers over on the very popular video channel and really just his business is I mean I would have thought probably 5x maybe 10x even since the last time he was on the show.
He’s a very, very smart guy, really nice guy, classy guy, knows what his people want and knows more importantly how to serve it up to them in a way that not only can they relate with, but they just love it, they eat it all up. So, I know you’re going to enjoy this little catch up with Antonio from Real Men Real Style here it is enjoy, enjoy.
Antonio, welcome back to the show.
Antonio: Hey, Chris great to be here.
Chris: Well, it’s took – it took you long enough to get back. [Laughs]
Antonio: I – I’ve been waiting for the invite you know.
Chris: I know.
Antonio: I’ve been coaching, I – I go and I join your programs, I send you nice messages on Facebook.
Antonio: But finally, you invite me back.
Chris: I know. I know. I’ve been remised in my duties everybody tuning it to get this gentleman back on the show. The last time we heard from Antonio was in Episode 43 and we are in Episode 233, so it’s been awhile, it’s been awhile.
But, you’ve been busy young man, you’ve been very busy.
Antonio: I have creating content that you find useful.
Antonio: And you just – yeah, you were just telling me that you just went out there you had a problem and I helped solve it.
Chris: Yeah, you did. So, I will give everybody – this is the reason why Antonio is coming back on the show right now and not, you know, another hundred episodes. [Laughs] I was so – I’m getting ready for conference, I don’t – I don’t it’s very, very hot in the UK, I don’t want to wear my jacket, I don’t want to bring my big suitcase and so, you know, I’ve to travel from London up to Edinburgh and so, I turned around and said I’m going to bring a carryon, I’m only out there for a few nights, it’s perfect, this will be great, but what am I going to do with my jacket?
So, I remember it’s actually Pat, I have the same problem a little while ago with Pat Flynn who’s been on the show a couple of times now and I said to – I said to Pat, you know, where did you – where did you find out how to fold your jacket, I remember you mentioning something. He’s, oh, just go to YouTube, there’s a whole bunch of videos on it. Like, okay, so I go to YouTube. So, I literally go to YouTube and I typed in how to fold jacket to, you know, put in a carryon or whatever it was, words to that effect and, boom! My man Antonio in Real Men Real Style popped up with this video that lasted maybe no more than I don’t know a minute-and-a-half and got me set right there and then.
I go to – I got to Edinburgh, I took a six-hour train journey from London to Edinburgh because I love traveling around the UK via train. Forget the airplanes just take the train, it’s the best way to go. And so, six hours, I took that jacket was perfectly folded in my carryon, got to the venue, took it out, put it on, looked like it just come from the drycleaners, so there you go.
And I tweeted you and I said, I just watched your video, it’s awesome. And then, I tweeted you again I think and I said we got to get you back on the show and here you are.
Antonio: Yeah. And you know what’s funny is probably one of my VAs that I hired through your service actually responded to your tweet. That’s how…
Chris: I know I should absolutely hope it’s like that. I should hope it’s like that. Absolutely.
I mean Twitter actually, you know, it’s funny Twitter really is honestly the only social media platform where except for obviously the automated tweets that go out on my profile for, you know, promoting archived content from the blog on the podcast and my YouTube channel except for that stuff, pretty much everything you see on Twitter is from me. It’s the only social media platform where I really get involved in a very reactive proactive manner whereas Facebook and everything else is much more automated and it’s a lot more managed by my team. So there you go.
Antonio: Well, I think all of us have a certain platform that we like to engage like for me I like to go in on the YouTube comments occasionally.
Chris: Sure. Yeah.
Antonio: So, if you see something that it’s a kind of – I throw – I like to throw back on YouTube. My – my VAs, you know, they’re not going – they are very – they have rules and send, you know, they’re always going to treat people with respect, they’re always going to be nice and friendly and helpful. Me, if you say or insult or you try to have fun at my expense, I’m going to throw right back at you.
Chris: Oh, yeah.
Antonio: So, I get in there, you know, just like saying things that people are like, did I just really get, you know, wow, did he come back and that just burned me? And so, that’s where I have some fun. But, yeah, it has been something that, you know, I think we have been able to experience growth and been able to help solve problems like we did for you.
Antonio: Because I was able to take a step back and not spend all of my time, you know, on social media or answering e-mails. Instead, I focused in on what I can do really well which is creating video and that has been my main, you know, focused for the last couple of years since we’ve talked and our channel has grown substantially since.
I think when we talked we probably had I don’t know a hundred thousand maybe a hundred thousand subscribers and now, we’re well past 1.4 million which equates to well over a hundred million views which equates in the business to be able to charge sponsorships for a single video for – I can charge $10,000 to $15,000 for. And we put out four a week, so you know and these are great brands great companies sending me free products, I mean I’m in an office and I’ve got like ten leather bags that are each like over $1,000 that these companies just keep sending to me like please review this stuff and I mean it’s not a bad place to be.
Chris: No, it’s not about to be in any way – it isn’t a bad place to be in any way whatsoever. But, I mean YouTube – YouTube is so much more than just, you know, the fashion side of things, you do – you do business stuff, you do grooming, I mean everything and anything about being a great guy I think. I mean, you know, you’ve become so much more although you started out as more of the men style side of things, it’s really kind of ballooned and blossomed into something a lot bigger and a lot more broader.
Was that something that you intentionally went out to achieve or was is sort of just something where you thought, oh, if somebody wants me to do something on, you know, how to shave, I’ll do that or if somebody wants me to do something on how to, you know, look great in a t-shirt, you know, how to look more muscular or whatever the case maybe. Is this like did this happen overtime or was it quite intentional from your end?
Antonio: I would say it was somewhat intentional in the sense that I – I definitely try to pay attention to understanding that my audience wanted something particular from me. When I started off, we focused in on custom men’s clothing and that was pretty specific. We put out just articles and information. My first videos were focused in on that and then, we started getting to just more general style, so this is more casual style talking about, you know, that side. Then, we, you know, of course got into grooming. It all kind of naturally fit.
Then, I started bringing in body language, we started talking about business communication because etiquette, mannerisms, your body language, all of these has to do with how you present and what evolved from that is I started to realize that what I got excited about wasn’t the clothing, I’m not a dandy I’m not a guy that just loves to wear suits for the sake of wearing suits and there are many people out there that that’s – that’s that.
For me, it’s about the man, it’s about the individual and realizing that, you know, you’ve got all these guys out there that have spent a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand dollars on their education especially in the United States where it’s expensive. They have – they have a message, they’re really trying — they’ve got twenty years in experience.
And if you look at this like a stool, they’re missing a leg on that stool and that leg is it they don’t look the part and they’ve been told by society that honestly that doesn’t matter, what matters is what your – what’s in your heart. Well, people don’t see what’s in your heart, what they see is the person they are presented with sometimes for matter of seconds and you don’t even get a chance to open your mouth.
So my – my big arching goal has been able to enable men to use style as a weapon to get what they want out of life. I leverage my background in the military, I was in the United States Marine Corps and I realized, you know, we had no problem dressing up in the Marine Corps. Most of the time our clothing was functional, but even our dress uniforms, you know, there was something instant respect and authority that was signal through there.
And I really, you know, there’s – so we started going into like one of the person on my team, all he does is research and we brought in the research. I have hundreds of articles that are unique to our – I mean we went and found this data, we bring it in so that guys can understand there’s history, there’s a science behind it, and that makes them much more comfortable than starting and practicing to actually use this so that they can — they can sell more so that they can actually build better relationships so that they can build up their nonprofit, whatever it may be I like to think I’m the guy that’s enabling them to shine like that diamond.
Chris: And you know what, one of the things that you’ve done over the last few years – three, four years I think was you’ve held your own event your own live events, so it’s great to do what you’ve been doing online and obviously YouTube channel 1.4 million, wow, I mean you know most of us could only dream of having a following like that on YouTube.
But, I mean it’s obviously being through a lot of hard work a lot of consistency, but what I love about the live event kind of element there is it really does set you very clearly out in front of the pack as the leader in your industry. I mean it’s one of the reasons why we’re doing the Youpreneur Summit in London later this year. It’s all about being the game changer being the leader being seen as the big dog.
And you have clearly year on year now done so well with this live event. I’d love to know a little bit about why you kick that off in the first place and how you’ve grown it if you’ve grown it year on year. Can you give us a little bit of a background on that? I think a lot of people are really interested in it.
Antonio: Sure. Sure. About five years ago, I realized that there was a competitor of mine in – on YouTube, he’s name is Aaron Marino. He’s actually got a bigger channel than me and we had a little bit of animosity towards each other. And I reached out to him, I said, you know like I don’t know I mean I actually started talking with him, I found I get along better with him than almost anyone else because we commiserate we could hangout.
And I realized, you know, what if we were to combine forces, you know, and do some collaborations together, so we met up at VidCon and VidCon blew me away not in the sense of, you know, what the information that was presented, but the way that the audience and the fans just went crazy for these people who they were following on YouTube. And we just got – we’re like, you know, what if we did it – let’s do a quick little meet up here.
So, we both e-mailed our list and said, hey, we’re going to be at this bar in Anaheim, come meet – meet up with us. And we had people on a week’s notice I mean were flying from Canada just to meet us up at a bar and we’re in California. I was just like there’s – that’s pretty powerful when you’ve got people flying into the country just to hang out with you at a bar for two hours.
And we realized, well, we had about seventy people show up to this event and a lot of the people that showed up and the people I really continued to stay in contact with now are business partners with our other creators because not only like the super fans are great, but I realized we had all these creators come in who are lonely who simply wanted to be around people that they can – they can connect with. We also had brands come in that say, hey – I mean we didn’t pay for anything at that bar because we had a couple of brands, you know, of course they wanted to get mentioned, but they’re like, hey, we give you guys a couple of grand, just mentioned that this is brought to you by this company.
Antonio: And I was like, sure, that’s not a problem. So, I realized I could have a party and it could be paid for by others and I could build deeper relationships with the people that I like to hang out with. So, that guy Aaron Marino is now my business partner and we had it in Atlanta which is his hometown, he likes to keep it close, he doesn’t like to travel too much.
And, the first year we had about hundred and fifty people. Second year we had two hundred and fifty people. Just last year we had three hundred and fifty and now, in February of 2018 we’re shooting for four hundred and fifty. And we’re probably going to cap it at about that. I feel that once conferences get beyond the certain size, it becomes a little bit unmanageable. I’ve been in enough conferences which aren’t that great.
And this isn’t really a conference, it’s a party that it’s paid for. I get to bring in all of my friends, get them up on stage, they get to, you know, present to an audience and I find that one-third of our audience are content creators actually, one-third are going to be brands and sponsors, and then one-third are – are super fans.
Antonio: And that – that’s kind of where it’s evolved, but exactly like you said there’s one thing to be an online leader, there’s another thing to be an in-person leader and to be able to spend time with people that had been following your content for five years have been actually, you know, can share with you these stories that, you know, I never would have guessed. And really it’s – it’s just, yeah, I really love having my own live event.
Chris: I mean for me, I mean I’ve been running live events, you know, within our world the online business world since the very late 2010, I did my first ever kind of mastermind meet up, right? And it’s kind of just progressed from there. Obviously we did Tropical Think Tank here in the Philippines four years in a row, very high-end event, you know, multi, multi, you know, thousands of dollars per ticket.
And, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I – there was just something calling me to do something back home in England, there was something calling me to do something bigger kind of more impact, but still create an environment that is intimate enough to be able to get people to get to know each other properly in that respect.
And I agree with you a hundred percent man, I think a conference becomes more than just an event once it hits like the five hundred mark. It becomes out of control, it becomes something that you – you – you physically have issues with every year. And I don’t want — like you say you want it – you want to do it to have fun, right?
Chris: So, it is what it is. Yeah. So, I mean do you sort of see – so I’m curious to know I mean like with all these growth that you’ve had in the last few years, where do you sort of see the next step for you as a personal brand the next step for Real Men Real Style, I mean – I mean dude I mean like 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube, I’m kind of blown away with that. [Laughs] I got to be honest. I really have to be honest. It’s huge compared to where you were just a few short years ago and your testament to the fact that with consistency and hard work, great things is going to happen.
But, what’s next, I mean like do you – what’s the big picture here, you know, the five-year plan, the ten-year plan?
Antonio: I think where I found myself the last year is taking a step back and not letting just because we’ve had the success go to, you know, to form up an ego or any – I’m really trying to get back to can I step up my quality level and being honest with myself. If I want to be the next – I mean if I want to replace Esquire or GQ, you know, I get a little dizzy and I look through their on – I mean they’ve got more…
Chris: So, is this a goal? Is this a goal to replace Esquire or GQ do you think?
Antonio: I really feel that a lot of those ones have kind of lost their way. They used to be about actually being useful and helping men be better men. So, I would say that that is probably one of our big audacious goals is I look at those, I mean they try to sell everybody on a – on a $5,000 suit that’s a designer suit not even custom-made.
Antonio: And I’m not saying that that’s wrong or anything, but you know you can’t forget that most people like they don’t pay attention to the people that are trying to use this as a tool, I think there’s a time and place and definitely, you know, there’s a market. You’ve been to London, you’ve been on, you know, Savile Row. There are amazing artisans and craftsmen that deserve everything they get for what they build out.
But, I just feel that for most people fashion if you were to say that they look at it as something that doesn’t even matter or apply, but this is the same artisan that if you were to build a fence or if you were to, you know, go in and work on his garden, he would care about the style and the layout and the overall look in the esthetics of it, but they don’t translate that because they – it’s kind of removed itself.
So, I look at myself as coming in and making that style unfashionable, making it – making it functional making it applicable to – to a broader audience. And, you know, I have nothing against Esquire, GQ, these other ones out there, but I do feel that they’ve in a sense lost their way from where they were let’s say in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
But, yeah, I would say taking that step back and examining everything I’m doing and saying can I take it to the next level. I actually found that we had a huge growth in our YouTube channel a period of six months, we gained well over half a million subscribers, almost I think it was well over six hundred thousand subscribers in six months because I took a step back and I said, you know, what am I doing that I just, you know, yeah, we had good growth rate thousands subscribers a day, but how can I get to two thousand or four thousand or five thousand.
And so, we started putting out videos that – that were actually hitting on all cylinders and went – went viral and then, all of a sudden one day I got thirty three thousand subscribers, you know, and it’s like because I took that step back and I – I was harsh, you know, hard enough with myself to say, you know, I need to step up my game. I – I always love that my intro is talking quite a bit, I like to – I guess I like the sound of my voice and I’ll talk all day if you let me.
Antonio: But, I realized I was having this huge drop off at the beginning of my videos and my audience are probably be telling me for years, Antonio, get to the freaking point.
Antonio: Antonio, stop talking so much. And I’m like, ah, they don’t know because I’m trying to give them the goods I’m trying to deliver great – and finally, I had a consultant come in and he examined my analytics. His name is Tim Schmoyer and Tim looked and he’s like, you know Antonio on the first minute look at this drop off. You know if you got – this one video you did you’ve got to the point really fast, look you kept like 30% more of your audience.
And I realized it wasn’t about me, it was about how can I wake up and help and effect more people kind of like what you are talking with your conferences and I think – so that’s kind of where I’m focused right now, how can I get out of my own way and how can I help more people and deliver a better product whether that’d be written articles. So, we’re looking to increase the quality of what we’re putting out there because we’ve just reached traffic numbers and that enable us to – to make the money to reinvest into a better quality product.
Chris: Sure. Sure. Now, the one thing I will say is I look at what you’ve done on your website, RealMenRealStyle.com and, you know, except for obviously the addition of, you know, additional products and the little advertising here and there and things like that, to me it doesn’t seem like that website has changed all that much over the last few years. Is that something that’s been quite deliberate or has it been something you’ve been wanting to do and just not getting around to it because everything else is kind of grown and developed not that it’s a bad looking site or anything, it just seems to me like it – it hasn’t necessarily been a focused which is strange because obviously it’s an important part of your entire ecosystem so to speak. Or is it because you’ve just been focused on – on the YouTube side of things?
Antonio: Yeah. I’d say we’ve been more focused on YouTube, but I know it, I mean the website is – is David, it’s ugly and I think what it comes down to I look at the return on investment of what I need to get from things, I focused first on traffic and I figured and my philosophy has always been deliver great amazing content and people will forgive if it doesn’t look great.
If you look at my first two hundred videos, it’s me with a black screen just talking directly to the camera for sometimes twelve to fifteen minutes. But, people stuck around and they enjoyed my content because it was like, well, wait a minute, this guy is delivering the goods, he’s not, you know, he’s not talking about how he’s going to deliver the goods for fifteen minutes and never does, he actually just gets right into and, you know, go – really delivers great value.
Antonio: So now, it’s like we’ve – we’ve been delivering value. And now, I realized one of the things I think holding us back is that the esthetic is something that we needed to take to the next level.
Chris: And obviously now you’re at the point where because you personally is the CEO of this thing as the big boss of this thing, you’re no longer being trapped inside working on every single tiny little thing. You’ve obviously you’re making great money, so that you can go, you know, you’re on a business right now where you can pull yourself away from other things for a month or two and dive into this and work with great designers and great developers and pay them to do something incredible that will take you through the next five years quite easily.
Antonio: Yes, I would agree there, but it is still something that, you know, and that’s, again, getting into the mindset is sometimes you feel like you’re running a, you know, when you’ve got, you know, a million-dollar company you sometimes still feel like you’re that same guy that was running a one hundred thousand or a ten thousand-dollar company.
Antonio: And so, you find that, okay, why am I not spending the extra money to make this happen. Now, with that comes, you know, greater risks sometimes you can just because you pay someone quite a bit of money doesn’t mean they’re going to deliver the goods.
Chris: That’s true.
Antonio: But I never would have thought that, you know, I would have the budget yet just to be able to, you know, hire – hire a company to be able to come in and redesign the site. But, yeah, you know, those are the I guess the good problems to have.
Chris: Oh, they’re always very good problems to have. Absolutely. So – so, break it down a little bit then, as this is grown over time, you know, we talk – we talk about three main parts of building what we call the, you know, the Youprenuer ecosystem, right? So, you know it’s a combination of, you know, your content, it’s maybe a book, it’s speaking, it’s a podcast, it’s products, it’s live events, it’s coaching, it’s all these sort of type of things within the ecosystem.
Break down exactly and I don’t need to know dollar amounts, but break down exactly how you’ve been able to not only build and then market, but now monetize the work that you’ve done over the last three, four years? I’d love to see where your psyche is in regards to getting it to that million dollar business level.
Antonio: Sure. Sure. Initially we focused in on product and being able to sell our own products.
Antonio: There wasn’t really anything out there I was impressed with, so I’ve created multiple products; A Man’s Guide to Style, we had 30-Day Style Challenge, we had the Personal Image Blueprint. Previously I had a course called The Style System. And these would sell anywhere from $47 or actually going as low as $27 to $997. I’m actually about to go through a revamp because those have been, you know, pretty – pretty steady, you know, but they were, you know, they never got past $20 especially now that we’ve got a new much larger revenue stream which has been advertising.
But, they kind of stalled out the last couple of years partly because I didn’t give them focus and I didn’t promote them as much, but they were very nice passive income streams. You know it was something that, you know, let’s just we’ll take straight a million-dollar business, they are about 25% to 30% of revenue.
But, what happened a few years back – three years is I had a revelation I never did any type of advertising and then, a friend of mine who’s now a business partner, Aaron Marino, he’s like, you know, you should charge, you know, for the advertising, I do it all the time and it just makes things a lot easier. I resisted until I had one company that it took me like a year to get the review done. And I just had other things going on, it wasn’t paying me any money, they sent me some nice shoes, but I went back to them after that because as soon as I put out that review and it created all the sales, they – they punished me by sending my another pair.
Antonio: Hey, man like here you go, let’s do another one.
Chris: They punished me. I love it. [Laughs]
Antonio: Yeah. And I’m just like I don’t want it I mean I’m like, sorry guys like I sent them an invoice via PayPal like this is going to be $3,000 like I did not expect them to pay it. Within an hour, it was paid and all of a sudden the light bulb flips on. It’s like, well, wait a minute like I guess I could do this quite a bit more often because it just made sense. And start – stop doing that for free which is funny because, you know, I’m selling courses and I find for me that it always has to be that – that slap in the face, I’m very hard-headed.
And so, we started basically selling advertising, you know, working with – I like working with individual larger sponsorships. I just found that that was better. And now, we’ve moved to where, you know, sponsorships were now $10,000 to $15,000. I was able to do that because what I realized is I’m getting every single day all these people contact me wanting me to promote them and their company.
So, we start we created the media company, me and Aaron, we actually call it now Menfluential Media. We partnered with…
Chris: I love it.
Antonio: Two gentlemen named Terry and Brian Adelman, two brothers that Aaron had known for years. And me and Aaron just feed them all of our leads and what they do is they get on the phone and it’s amazing because they can turn a company that’s looking to only spend $2,000 spending $20,000 or you know they get on the phone and build a relationship with Dollar Shave Club or with larger companies that had been acquired and have literally I mean big, big marketing budgets.
And we – we’re already booked out for Christmas which is – which was actually done like five months ago. So, it’s like cool to see all of a sudden your content has sponsorship and especially when it ties directly to what you’re talking about.
Now, there are balances of where, you know, does your audience trust that and so I work very hard to maintain that level. But that sponsorship group grew from almost nothing that, you know, we’re almost half a million dollars. And so, you have all these good sponsorships coming in and now it’s allowed me to take a step back, I mean we also have affiliate incomes, so that’s always been something.
Chris: I was about to say I mean surely you must do a certain amount of affiliate income every month, right?
Antonio: Yes. And I do feel that affiliates though have changed over the last five to seven years, I think they become a lot less trustworthy and profitable particularly because of affiliate scammers which are basically going to be coupon sites that, you know, benefit…
Antonio: They can basically you’ll put out and you’ll have a deal and then they will do a surge because let’s say you got an affiliate link, but there’s no discount, the company doesn’t do discounts, but some of these affiliate sites will or these affiliate scammers will make fake discounts that don’t even exist just to get the traffic there and then, because that was the last click, they get – they get the sale, you get nothing. And I’ve seen one guy, he was getting from one affiliate probably like close to $100,000 a month and he went down to $5,000 a month. And so, you can see that’s a pretty big drop.
Chris: Right. Oh, yeah.
Antonio: And basically, the affiliates like, well, you know, they didn’t know what to do. And an affiliate another thing with that is once you become pretty big with it, I do find that it’s – that it’s not advantageous for the – the company after awhile they’re like, well, why, you know, we’re giving away too much and they try to negotiate that lower and there’s all these things that go with it.
And so, I feel for some it works and like Ramit Sethi is a great affiliate force. I love his programs, I love his courses, I’ve been through them myself and I don’t sell business education, but what I find are many men want this who come to my site and so, I can just refer them directly to Ramit and it’s a, you know, a nice sizeable commission.
Antonio: So, things like that actually.
Chris: Not only that, but Ramit, I mean, you know I often say this and like this guy knows his business. You know he knows his job, you know what I mean? And there’s something about Ramit as well and I also, you know, I’m not – I’m not overly interested in wanting to come out with a ton of different programs. That being said, I do have plans probably in the next twelve to eighteen months to come out with maybe two or three small clauses that can serve people at certain areas of their growth that I can put into my order responder you know people have been asking for it. And I don’t have them right now, but I want to keep things bite sizeable, but what Ramit does is he puts together the big chunky really in-depth courses that I have no intention or desire to do, but they’re so good and they get people results and he’s such a good sales guy his funnel is so strong that from an affiliate perspective it’s a great deal to be involved with him. You’re absolutely right.
But, I think, again, I think what works probably well for you just like it works well for me is that because we don’t competing products, that’s the reason why it probably converts the way that it does, wouldn’t you say?
Antonio: Yeah. Yeah. I can with – I mean I can just put it over there, there’s no competition. I put my name behind it and of course you package it and like, hey, if you buy his course which, you know, we sells like at $2,000, $12,000 courses, I’ll give you my course for free, so you can even encourage people to, you know, to send you their receipt that way you get paid the commission. But that one has worked out because at the end of the day, you know I find that sometimes you’re just, you know, my job as the founder and CEO of the company is to spend more than half of my time not, you know, just taking a step back and looking at where can we – where do we not do it that we could be doing and making and monetizing.
And that, it’s a hard question because it forces you to like look at like where you could have been making a big mistake. One thing that you may if you look at our site now we have ads on our site. I didn’t put ads on my site for the longest time, Amazon – and we make a nice, you know, actually probably yearly we make over six figures from Amazon. And that – that was always a nice little affiliate, but I resisted Amazon ads, finally put the Amazon ads on there, they were ugly. I always just I can’t stand this stuff.
Antonio: And it wasn’t making us that much more, but what that did is it brought what other ad networks in, you know, would they be interested because our website now gets like, you know, fifty to seventy thousand a day just on that little website Real Men Real Style, our YouTube channel gets about three hundred – two hundred to three hundred thousand a day, but that’s a different monetization with the YouTube.
But, what I realized is we were big enough that I could actually go strike a deal with an ad network and I mean so I just did that like a couple of months ago and over the next year that should add almost two hundred thousand to my bottom line.
Antonio: And I’m kicking myself because like I – they were like, man, we wish we had found you a year ago and I’m like, yeah, I would have wished too because I wasn’t…
Antonio: I wasn’t doing my CEO job I lost almost $200,000.
Antonio: And that’s when you realized it’s like, yeah, I’ve got to take – pull myself out of the company and – and do what my job is which to look at – is to look at the big picture.
Chris: Yeah, it is. And I mean you have certainly done that. I mean as far as I’m concerned we will always beat ourselves up, that’s just, you know, that’s what we do when we realized we left money on the table like that. But, I mean I can say that it’s a stark difference from a business perspective where you were when we lost, you know, we lost tangible on the – on the show when we talk properly about this stuff to where you are now, dude, it’s a completely different ballgame now.
But, I will say one thing that has been a striking constant since the day I met you probably I’m going to say five years ago maybe six years ago now, it’s been awhile. But, I will say since the day I first met you at that event, I think we’re in LA or Vegas I think.
Antonio: We are in Vegas at New Media Expo and you’re wearing a leather jacket.
Chris: I was wearing a leather jacket and you came up to me and said, “You got the rebel thing going on there.” And you’ve never let me forget. [Laughs] Never let me forget.
And — but the constant has always been you. The constant has always you being your highly respectful educated charming self. And I think that’s that a – that’s a contagious element of the Real Men Real Style brands. It helps you differentiate yourself in a pretty crowded noisy niche. And I just wanted to give you sort of a virtual high five on that because you haven’t change, you’re still the same guy that I met all those years ago wearing my leather jacket and I wanted to give you that virtual high five. I think you deserve it.
Antonio: Well, thank you. I appreciate it. And I think, you know, to lose yourself as you start to grow and I mean there’s definitely moments, but you want to constantly, you know, put yourself in check and realize I mean I get excited about our YouTube growth until I compared myself to a high school girl talking about makeup. And I’m like, wow, I’ve got 1.4 million, she’s got 7 million and she started six months ago. I’m like oh my gosh.
Antonio: Yeah. It’s – but it’s still, you know, it’s great when she find a platform you find what’s – she’s I think a good friend of ours in common John Dumas. I ran a program with him for awhile called High Speed Low Drag where we help military veterans to transition out. We were both in Iraq in about the same back in 2003 and we’ve always felt like, you know, a pool to work with veterans and give back to them.
But, he said something he was like, you know, find what is light for you and run with it because people are always asking whenever they were talking with both of us like, oh, should I do a podcast or a video and it really depends. You know find what – what’s easy for you and then run with it because I do – the hardest thing is, you know, scaling – for me with scaling myself is to maintain that – that true feeling of people are engaging with Antonio that they – they’re getting who I am feeling that through the content.
So, my path for that has always been I – the lightest thing for me is video, so I will record a video, but within that and within that process. And I think [Jay Baer] has talked about this creating like ten pieces of content from a single video. So, before I film a video, I actually do my podcast which podcast for me is high a value as for a lot of people. But I use that as my prep to get to my video.
Chris: Oh, okay. I love it. Okay.
Antonio: And then, from that video I then pass it on. And we have show notes created, we have transcript created, we have an article created, so three more pieces of content. I can then take that video depending on what type it is and we can actually create not just one video from it, but it’s like how to tie a necktie. We’ve got eighteen videos on how to tie a necktie. But what’s cool about that is that I can cut them into like the top then neckties that every guy needs to know, the five necktie knots that signal power.
Now, I’m using the same video footage, but I’m recombining it into different new pieces of content that somebody would want to watch. Like it’s funny, when you said that you were – how you were, you know, about folding pocket squares, I’m like, yeah, we’ve already got three to four pocket square videos out there and we’re going to put out about nine of them and then we’ll be able to recombine those into more content.
And so, from that video we also then, you know, we’ll go through we create actually Instagram videos which we condense that video down to under a minute. Then, we will take screenshots and we create infographics from the videos and from the written content which of course, you know, it’s like – so you find that kind of going with – with paths be everywhere. Like I try to be – I’d be really good in one place and I stay there, but then I let my team allow me to be everywhere by taking like I’m always myself in that video and then all these other content is kind of a shadow of me. A pretty accurate shadow, but I didn’t create it, I didn’t, you know, in some cases I don’t even see – I don’t even look at it.
Antonio: Which is kind of bad, but I never watch my own videos. I just find it weird looking at myself, but I trust my team enough that they can handle it.
Chris: Sure. Well, and that, you know, that’s testament to a leader, somebody who knows what they’re doing, the processes are in place, go ahead and hit the, you know, the – the mouse and send the roll file up in the Dropbox and then not bother thinking about it again. And that, you know, that’s – it’s not – it’s not something that you can get through overnight, it’s not something that comes to you, you know, in a dream and you wake up and everything is perfect. You do need to work at it, you do need to possibly go through a few stumbling blocks to get there, buy you are clearly there.
I saw, you know, a lot of the other guests on the show and I saw actually a lot of our listeners now as well because I hear from them every week I hear what they’re up to, I can see what they’re up to many of them and clearly you guys, again, and you crop together. So, you know, that’s – that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day is is getting that inspiration, see what’s working what’s not working and then go on ahead and taking it up to next level. Take an action really.
Chris: At the end of the day more than anything else. And dude you have taken a lot of action the last few years.
Antonio: One thing I’ll stress, you know, for you and your community is always be investing in yourself and you have to – it gets more and more expensive not just with money, but it also for time because your time becomes more valuable and I’ve got four young kids and that always kind of sets the bar for me is like am I – what I’m – and what I’m doing in this business is worth the time I’m not spending with my kids.
And I do try to set up everything, so that I’m just being very careful and [magic] it’s so easy as you know this – end up spending a lot of time and engaging with, you know, too much on social media and you realize that’s not going to…
Chris: Of course.
Antonio: Not going to monetize.
Chris: No, of course. Of course, you’re absolutely right. Dude we could go in so many different directions with this. I’m mindful of your time and the time of the listeners as well, but it’s been great to have you back on the show. Let’s try not to wait, you know, a hundred and ninety episodes. [Laughs]
Antonio: Well, we won’t because I’m going to see you – I’m going to see you in November.
Chris: Yes. You are. You are going to be coming to the summit, I know you are. I’m – you bring the whole family to London and…
Antonio: I am. I am. We’re going there for three weeks. And, you know, that’s – that’s part of my wife’s, we were able to take six months earlier like throughout the winter and travel – we spent three months in Ukraine, a month in Thailand, spent – saw twenty two US states and I’ve got – we homeschooled my kids now. So me and my wife stay busy with that and that’s my main focus.
So, when you guys are looking for, you know, what’s going to get you up early what’s going to drive you, think about like what you want to get out of life. And by the way, you know, our time in Ukraine it’s not like we’re doing this because we want to be like sipping, you know, drinks on the beach although we did do that a little bit in Thailand. But, it’s really it’s about spending time with family. My wife’s parents were just aging and they needed help.
Antonio: And I think being able to live life on your own terms is – is something that is going to force you to continue to – to get up and to make – take the action that you need to to get where you want to be.
Chris: I love it. Now, this is actually the same way I look at the way I build up my business as you well know. And it’s something that I’ll never shift focus on, it will always be what it is.
Dude, thanks for coming on the show again. Sincerely it was good to catch up with you. It’s so good to see what’s been working for you and where you are, you know, in terms of monetization and focus and things like that. I think massive amounts of takeaways here, but the overall factor being just take the action, get up in the morning and do the work and do it consistently and you know eventually you’ll stop hitting the ground running every day, plain and simple.
Antonio: Chris, thank you for having me, I appreciate it.
Chris: It was awesome. Thanks for coming back.
For you guys who want to know a little bit more about Antonio particularly the gentlemen in the audience, if you want to know how to fold a jacket or a pocket square or how to – and I’m looking at the – the homepage right now, how to not dress like a boy when you’re a grown up man and a few other bits and pieces. You can head over to RealMenRealStyle.com and obviously search for that over on YouTube as well.
We’ll put links to all of that over on the show notes, ChrisDucker.com/episode233. I’ll be back at you again next week with the solo show. Oh, it’s a good one, you’re going to like it. Until then, take good care and go be stylish. See you soon.
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This post is an interview transcript. Click here to listen to Chris Ducker's interview with Antonio Centeno.