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Image of Erin Markosky. Image of Karla Nelson. Title: Attraction Marketing Secrets

How do you go from hating your job and hitting the snooze button all morning long to filming your own advertisements in Vietnam? Listen to Erin’s fun story and learn her secrets!

Erin Markosky (mainly known as “A-a-ron” from the Key & Peele Substitute Teacher episode) is a 26-year-old online affiliate marketer and business owner. She specializes in paid advertising and attraction marketing on social media, and runs her own affiliate marketing business, as well as teaches other millennials how to start and run their own online affiliate marketing businesses. She traveled to all 50 states in less than 3 years and is working towards visiting all 7 continents before age 30. She is also passionate about living a plant-based and eco-friendly lifestyle, as well as teaching others how to do the same.

LinkedIn: Aaron Markosky

Website: www.aadventureswitha-a-ron.com

Instagram: aadventureswithaaron

Listen to the podcast here:

Read Along as Karla and Erin (A A Ron) discuss Attraction Marketing

Karla Nelson:  And welcome to The People Catalysts’ Podcast, Erin Markosky.

Erin Markosky:  Thank you.

Karla Nelson:  So the backstory of that is that Erin’s last name is Markosky and I said it correctly. And then she said, “Yeah, everybody says Markowsky.” And as soon as you said it, I was going back and mispronouncing your name. But thank you for being on the show, Erin.

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.

Karla Nelson:  Yes. And so Erin and I had an opportunity to connect in regards to her background, which is affiliate marketing. We’ll get into that in a little bit, but first, Erin, can you just share with our listeners and viewers your entrepreneurial story, because we all have one.

Erin Markosky:  Definitely, yeah. I have been an entrepreneur for about four years now. I actually got into the space almost by accident. I was telling Karla before we got on here that I used to say, “I would never be in sales. I’d never be a business owner,” just sounded like too much stress. I was happy being an employee, which now, that kind of makes me gag. That is definitely for some people and it’s just not for me.

Karla Nelson:  I’m unemployable as well, sister.

Erin Markosky:  But yeah. At the time that I started my business I was only working one job, but I think six months prior I was employed literally at 13 places. That’s not over-exaggerating, I had employment with 13 different places, all actively at the same time. I was a workaholic. I liked working a lot. I liked making a lot of money so that I could go travel and go do what I wanted to do. And it was a lot of fun, and yeah, I woke up one morning and I was 22, actually, whenever all this happened.

Karla Nelson:  Like last year.

Erin Markosky:  Four years ago now. But I was 22 and I had snoozed my alarm. It was one of those mornings where you just don’t want to get out of bed. And I kept snoozing my alarm over and over and over again. And I like stared at the ceiling and I was like, “Oh my God, I don’t want to get in the car. I don’t want to drive to my job, like this sucks.” And I heard my thoughts. I, for the first time, was like observing them. And I was like, “I’m 22 years old. I’m thinking this and feeling this way. How long has it been? Let me assess my life. Let me look back. How long have I been thinking this and waking up in the morning and just snoozing my alarm 13 times, not being excited to jump out of bed?”

If I’m not waking up and jumping out of bed, being like, “Thank God I’m alive and I get to be Erin Markosky again for a day, thank you, Lord.” If I’m waking up and I’m dragging myself out of bed and I’m just driving to work like, “Oh my God, I don’t want to go. I’m 22.” I just saw the trajectory of my life. “If I don’t make giant changes, this is going to be how I wake up in the morning when I’m 30, when I’m 40, 50, 60. If I don’t make significant changes, then nothing significant changes in my life. I need to do something.”

I literally, I think I put my two weeks in that day because I was like, “I don’t have any other…,” I didn’t have a plan or anything. I just like quit. And after a week went by, I was like, “Okay, I need to go back to work and bridge this, but I need to find something. And I actually saw an ad on Facebook, this is 2017. I saw an ad on Facebook to make money online. And when I saw it, I was like, “This is what I’m doing. I’m going to work online. I’m going to make six figures. I’m going to travel.” And yeah, I was really excited about it, told like friends, family, co-workers.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. How’d that go?

Erin Markosky:  “You are so getting scammed, what, make money online, yeah right.” I actually quit my job two months later because I had made my first sale. And as soon as I made my first sale, it was like, “If I can make one sale, I can make a thousand sales, like I’m out of here.” So I quit my job, and yeah, my first full year I actually made six figures, which was nuts because I had never even made like a fifth of six figures in my life because I was always just working random jobs. It was nuts, it was crazy. So that’s the inception of my business, I guess.

Karla Nelson:  That’s awesome. Well, I just love the fact that you took action because I think awareness is one thing and then to go, “You know what? I have to make a significant change if anything in my life is going to change significantly.” I mean, it’s so basic, but I think at the same time, the fear of the unknown, because I think we all have this entrepreneurial thing inside of us. There’s a reason why people that have been in corporate America for 30 years want to get out, even though they’re making a lot of money, and do their own thing. I think we all have this desire to put our dent in the universe. Well, that is super cool.

Share with us a little bit, you said you made your first sale, and I guess that was in affiliate marketing, and just your background in that. Obviously, you saw this ad on Facebook, but how did that look for those two months, and what did you do? And then, you made your first sale and…

Erin Markosky:  Yeah. The ad that I had seen, it was for a training platform. Anybody that understands the terminology, which I feel like most people would, they sold like a lower ticket item on the front end and then a higher ticket item on the backend where you’d make a significant amount more commission on the backend. So I bought into the front end offer, represented the backend offer. And I was like, “Yes.” I actually didn’t even care, when I saw the front end offer, I was like, “I don’t give a crap.” I don’t know if I can say that. “I don’t care what the backend offering is, but I knew, it was like I’m here, the front end offer is here. The backend offer’s my bridge to get here. I will do whatever it takes because I want to be here.”

So yeah, I bought into the backend offer and I actually, even though I quit my job two months after I started, I actually didn’t do anything for the first three weeks. I had planned a three week road trip and I drove by myself from Key West to Vegas. And then I was up in… I was going to festivals, hanging out with friends, traveling. And as soon as I got back, I was like, “Okay, it’s time, I’m doing this.” And the front end offer, it came with training. So there was like a training platform that taught social media marketing and Facebook and Instagram advertising. I literally had no training other than that, and like Google and YouTube. I’m a college dropout. I don’t have background in like sales, marketing, anything.

Karla Nelson:  The stuff they teach you in college doesn’t work by the way.

Erin Markosky:  I know, right? I talked to so many people who had marketing degrees and they’d be asking me questions and because I had actually physically done it and gotten data and learned, I had the answers. And they went for four years and didn’t know these answers.

Karla Nelson:  And probably have a big fat bill to show for it, right?

Erin Markosky:  Yeah. Yeah, it’s nuts. It’s crazy. But that’s all I really did. I started posting consistently. I made a brand new Facebook business page and a brand new Instagram page, which like, I wouldn’t actually recommend that. I think converting your current followers is probably less work over time. But I started up two brand new pages, started running ads. And after literally 30 days of running ads, I made my first sale. And for a lot of people that would take them like sometimes three months, sometimes more than that. So it was pretty rare in this space, and things just literally blew up after that. It got super consistent and yeah, yeah. It was just crazy. But that’s basically what I did.

Karla Nelson:  Entrepreneurial rollercoaster: quit, have to learn, get the first sale, excited. It’s just like this, different, either you’re super, super happy and everything’s going well, or things are tanking. You always have to be teetering between the two, because not everything goes right in business, that’s for sure.

Share with us a little bit about the product that you chose, the company you chose, why you chose them and then we’ll get a little bit, I’ve got a couple of questions in regards to the ads and how you focused on the lifestyle marketing.

Erin Markosky:  Definitely, yeah. So the product that I work with, I mainly sold on the front end, just make money online opportunity. It was selling a training platform that, essentially, it teaches you all the pieces that you need to know for social media marketing, Facebook advertising, paid and organic.

Karla Nelson:  You essentially went through the process, learned it yourself and then turned around and affiliate marketed the product that you used to teach yourself?

Erin Markosky:  Yes, yeah.

Karla Nelson:  That’s awesome. That’s a great strategy.

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, and it was really easy.

Karla Nelson:  And you know the product pretty well.

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, I was about to say, that’s why it was so easy to sell, was because I was the success.

Karla Nelson:  You’re the product of the product.

Erin Markosky:  Exactly, yeah. So it was really easy to sell because I could tell people exactly how it worked for me. And I knew the ins and outs of all of it, so it was really easy. And then on the backend we would sell Kangen Water Machines. She asked me to repeat that slowly when I first said it, so I’ll say it again. But Kangen Water Machines, they’re basically just water ionizers that hook up to the sink. And I would sell, from my perspective, there’s two different, I guess, really key components of the product. It’s like the health… What word am I looking for? Like the health side of it, the health benefit, and then the compensation plan benefit.

And I was mainly selling a work-from-home, make money online. So I was focusing a lot on the compensation plan side of things, but the help aspect, man, it literally changed my life, changed my health, which is beautiful, but I always focused on more of the compensation plan side of things because that’s what a lot of people are looking for, is an opportunity to work for themselves. And that’s what it granted me.

Karla Nelson:  Well, it’s nice to balance the two too. If you can focus on improving somebody’s life and get well compensated for it, I mean, that’s like the magic sauce in any successful business.

So share with us a little bit, you’ve mentioned lifestyle marketing, and I think you teetered into that looking at, okay, on the health side. When you ran those ads, how did you position that so that you could have that attraction marketing versus some people, they think marketing, and it’s probably why you said, “Oh, I’m never going to be in sales and marketing,” because they’re like used car salespeople, where they’re pressing something on you versus attracting your audience to you. So can you share a little bit about that attraction and lifestyle marketing strategy you had?

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, definitely. I mainly, on social media, I would focus a lot on just sharing value. I wasn’t pushing my product or opportunity all the time because I was learning a lot. I mean, like I had just learned about law of attraction, spirituality, business mindset. I was reading a bunch of personal development books. You know what I mean? Like there was so much new information that was coming to me, personal development-wise, that I couldn’t share enough. I would literally, I think I did Go Lives every day for like three months on my Facebook, like three months straight every single day. And yeah, it was a lot of fun. So I was sharing a lot of value and I think, I mean, if you’re in business, you know the know, like, and trust factor. So people knew me. I was being really vulnerable and really open like, “Hey, this is what I’m struggling with.”

I didn’t wait until I was really successful to be like, “Look at me, I made a bunch of money.” It was always like, “I started my business. This is what I’m going through. This is just the emotional stuff. This is the stuff I’m learning.” And people, the messages I was getting, it was just nuts. It was crazy to hear the low points that people would be in their lives. And like seeing something that I had shared or implementing something that they had heard from me, like-

Karla Nelson:  You’re giving them hope, right? Hope sells the best. Right? I mean, it doesn’t matter if you’re working with a team. I love that and I love the positioning of attraction marketing and being vulnerable. I think so many people are ashamed of their vulnerabilities or their weaknesses. And it’s like, “Oh wait a second. Erin’s human just like me.”

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, exactly. And then they look into what you do. And then they’re interested and they want to work online as well. You know what I mean? That’s like the funnel, and it wasn’t even intentional, it wasn’t like, “Let me be vulnerable just to get sales.” I just was vulnerable to be vulnerable.

Karla Nelson:  You have to be transparent. If it’s not authentic, you know. I mean, you can feel that right away, especially, you can tell in a post. And I love the, “Oh yeah, I had to wait to share until I made all this money.” I’m like, nobody really cares at the end of the day. It’s great to have proof, right? Everybody wants social proof. It’s one of the things that you have with Influence, and if no one’s read the book Influence, it’s one of the best sales and marketing books ever. And what’s the number one, is giving something first. And I know that social proof is somewhere on the list of, I believe seven, are in the book. It’s by Robert Cialdini.

And so I think that really is, what type of, you shared a little bit about your business piece, but then the personal aspect piece, did you have some type of recipe? Like some people go, “Okay, share one thing about the business, share a personal growth piece, and something funny or some type of a framework that you used.” Or did you just wing it?

Erin Markosky:  I have a framework now. At that time, I just winged it, like whatever came up. And a lot of the ads whenever I would wing the ads, because I just do 15 second ads. I had one that really crushed it that was like seven minutes long. And if you look statistically, people don’t watch seven minute ads. And the watch, it was nuts. But I was in Vietnam in this bungalow. And I just started filming an ad, just talking about it. I literally broke down crying, because I was just like, “I’m in Vietnam.” I was making probably like multiple five figures a month, at that time, whenever I was filming. It was nuts. It was caught on camera, like a true, surreal like, “Oh my God, this is my life,” moment.

And it crushed it. I mean, it was nuts and people would try, like people who were also in the community would start to film ads, and they’d cry in them. But it was like, “Oh, Erin cried in her ad. Let me cry because that actually works really well.” But mine wasn’t planned, it was just completely authentic. And I think that’s what works. I had another ad that crushed it. It was just funny, it was hilarious. It was 15 seconds long and it was just really funny, and it crushed it as well because it made people laugh. But it was also just what naturally came up as I was filming. And like-

Karla Nelson:  It’s like how we connect with people, I mean, this is normal, right? I mean we’re alive, but at the same time, how many businesses where you never actually meet the owner or who you’re buying from, and the medium is, you’re watching a video and you’re getting a sense for who that person is. Because people buy from people, right? They don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people.

So share with us, I know you were winging it back in the past. Share with us the framework you now use, because I think a framework, it’s not like it’s hard and fast. I think it’s just easier for people to have a thought process like, “Okay, let me think about what that would be.” So what do you do now in your framework?

Erin Markosky:  Now, I honestly just got really clear on the three or four, I think I have five chunks actually, that I really loved talking about them that my audience also responded really well to. The way I got there was just by testing. I just talked about, when I did those three months of Go Lives, I talked about everything. I talked about all the trips that I had taken traveling to 50 states, law of attraction, stuff I was reading in my books and I saw what had the most comments, the most interaction. And that’s what I focused on primarily, but I made sure I was never talking about stuff that I didn’t like. So it was always stuff that I really enjoyed. So now I have like five different categories of things that I just love talking about and love sharing and teaching.

And I have a team that breaks down videos now into written posts and stuff. So they do the written posts, but I just film videos now about those topics and the things that I really love that I know can give value, that I also have pretty much, I make sure to share them while I’m in the middle. If I wait until I’ve already gone through something, and then like, “Hey, I’m on the other side. This is what I learned.” People like hearing that, but it also, I think it hits a lot more and it’s a lot more authentic if like-

Karla Nelson:  It’s just like a movie, you want to be a part of the journey. What if they did the whole movie, and then it was like, “Oh, this is what happened,” versus like being in the seat, experiencing it with somebody at the same time. And the fact that they may be experiencing the same thing and then are gleaning from your realizations that you’re making along the way as well.

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, definitely. So I think my strategy now is like talking about stuff while I’m in the middle and the less I want to talk about it, not because I don’t like it, but because it’s like, “Oh my God, I don’t want people to know this about me, this is really vulnerable. I really don’t want to say this.” That’s how I know I need to do it. And as soon as I post those videos, dude, it goes nuts. Everybody else is experiencing the same thing at the same time. I’m like, “Why was I ever scared to like…,” everybody feels it, not everybody, but like there’s so many people.

Karla Nelson:  The people that you want to connect with, and that’s your who. And you leaned into the next question I was going to have, is how do you figure out who your who is? I think you identified it’s like, “Okay, they’re going along the same journey.” Although now when you have to find that who in this big sea, and if you weren’t using… so ads you target. So if you’re talking about an ad, could you share a little bit about the targeting? And if you’re not talking about ad share, how can you just organically reach out to somebody, or target somebody that you think would be one of your peeps?

Erin Markosky:  Yeah. Yeah, I love that. It’s funny, because even through all the targeting, I always get the same kinds of people, but I had a blast targeting. I did Facebook ads full-time all the time, never took a break for about two years. And I haven’t done them for about a year now, but I would target everything. I had like my baseline. So anybody who’s into targeting demographics would understand. You can make different boxes where Facebook or Instagram or whoever has to actually, they have to match one of the things in that box, essentially demographics. So I had one for mindset where if they matched one of them, I’d be happy. I had one for, gosh, entrepreneurship in business. I had another one for like personality, and then I’d have a box that was just one interest.

That’s how I would split tests, is I’d have the same control group. And then I’d have one variable that I changed. In my age range, I played around with that a lot at first. But I pretty much stick around like 21 to 35 is where I found my sweet spot is, at least the people that really connect with me through the ads and stuff like that. So that’s what I started targeting as well. But all the variables I tested, man, I tested people who like smiling, I tested people who like, just random stuff, music festival, stuff that you wouldn’t think to target for people to work with. But I knew that the people I’d work with the best, especially because I’m teaching lifestyle marketing and I’m also a product of the product, I wanted to work with people who were similar to me because I knew that something that worked for me would also probably work for them if they were similar. So I just targeted everything I was interested in, to be honest. But I had those baselines where it was like, “Okay, I want them to like-”

Karla Nelson:  I like that. That’s a great strategy of finding people that are like you, and you like the product and you want people to follow in your footsteps. It makes a lot of sense instead of just being so hyper-focused, I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had so many people, “Oh, identify your ideal client,” and they go through six pages of fricking, these scenarios, and you’re just like, “Hey, well, I want to target somebody like me.” I mean, still split tests, that makes a lot of sense. So you have this specific data, but people like people that are like them.

Erin Markosky:  Yeah, exactly. And a lot of the people, if you lined up everybody next to one another, they don’t look the same at all. And I don’t know if their interests are the same either, but like foundationally, as people, we are so similar, it’s nuts. All of us do, it’s really crazy, but all of us have experienced something traumatic in the teenage years. I lost my father whenever I was 15. And I think that’s what started me on just this completely new path in life and everything.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, you realize you only got so long, right?

Erin Markosky:  Exactly, yeah. And especially whenever you’re a teenager, at any age, whenever that happens to you, it’s a reality check. It’s crazy. But like all of the people that I attracted experienced something whenever they were teenagers. And I was like, “This is not a coincidence.” I didn’t even openly talk about it that much, but that’s just who ended up coming to work with me. So I think we all have very similar mindsets and understandings, similar morals, similar ethics. We’re just all like very similar people in that aspect with just different interests on the outside, which is really cool to like meet people like that, especially such a big group of them.

Karla Nelson:  That’s awesome. So before we wrap up here, I’d like you to share just a couple, maybe, three or four, I think you’ve already shared so much, but like if it were you and you were talking to yourself when you woke up that morning and you’re hitting the snooze button? What would you say to other individuals that are waking up and hitting that snooze button, and then also feeling like, “Well, what the heck do I do?” I mean, there are so many individuals out there that I’ve spoken with and also not getting… so many times the ads, it’s a bunch of fluff, right? Especially in the affiliate sales marketing, that whole space, you can get a lot of wannabes and a lot of really not up to par products. What would you say to them and what actions they should take?

Erin Markosky:  God, I would definitely like grab them by the shoulders and shake them. I’m thinking of me four years ago. If you’re waking up like that and you’re having the realization, having a realization like that is so powerful, but it’s like 10% of it. You know what I mean? You have to actually do something about it. Because trajectory, I actually read this in, James Clear has a book called Atomic Habits. Read this in the beginning, he said, “You should be far more concerned with your trajectory than your current results.” So if you’re upset with where you currently are at, that’s one thing, you have awareness. But it’s just a reflection of the actions that you’ve taken in the past that have led up to this current moment.

If you continue though, which now it’s a choice. If you have the awareness and you continue to do the thing, that’s making you feel this way and unfulfilled, if you’re not having success in an online business, but you keep doing the things that have you not be successful and you don’t make drastic changes, that’s your trajectory. You can mathematically figure out where you’re going to be in a certain amount of time if you don’t change anything. Because if you don’t change anything, then nothing eventually changes.

Karla Nelson:  What was the name of that book? Atomic what?

Erin Markosky:  Atomic Habits.

Karla Nelson:  I am so reading that.

Erin Markosky:  It’s so good. So good.

Karla Nelson:  I love it. And I think too, Erin, some people just get used to it. It’s like, “Oh, I’m hitting the snooze button. I’m supposed to hate my job.” So don’t take it, get off your booty and on your feet and reach out, and there’s tons of help. You could reach out to Erin. So how can our listeners get a hold of you, our viewers get a hold of you?

Erin Markosky:  Yeah. LinkedIn’s probably the best. Name is Erin Markosky. Do you want me to spell it?

Karla Nelson:  Yes, ma’am.

Erin Markosky:  Okay. It’s A-A-R-O-N M-A-R-K-O-S-K-Y. Real name is spelled with an E, but because of the Key & Peele episode, Substitute Teacher for anybody who hasn’t seen it, AAron is what everybody calls me. So it’s AAron on LinkedIn.

Karla Nelson:  Awesome. Wonderful. And we’ll make sure that your LinkedIn profile is also connected in the post.

So thank you so much for your time today, Erin. It is amazing. I love your story and the best wishes to you in your entrepreneurial future story.

Erin Markosky:  Thank you.


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