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May 31, 2018

It is the rare episode of Just the Tips where our guest receives the trumpet fanfare typically reserved for my esteemed British co-host Dean Holland. But if anyone deserves it, it’s Brandon Carter, one of the funniest and most strategic marketers in the game. You may know Brandon as a fitness expert, but we’re talking to him today about his marketing success story. If you want to know how to get yourself out there, and how to really connect with your audience, you need to join the millions of other people who follow him. And you need to listen to this week’s episode of Just the Tips.

Born and raised on the South Side

Brandon told us his story of discovering fitness and turning his life around, and it’s not the typical one you hear. Brandon grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where gangs were prevalent and difficult to avoid. His parents, suspecting Brandon was heading down the wrong path, sent him to military school, where he quickly found a need to be stronger and be able to defend himself. His first summer home from school, he found a fitness coach and began training daily. And that really turned his life around, setting him on a path to be a personal trainer, something he did in college before turning professional. If you want to hear about the seed of someone’s success, you need to listen to this week’s episode of Just the Tips.

Happiness is a stupid goal

Brandon has had, as he put it, a lot of crazy shit happen in his life. When he realized that personal training was a tough business if you wanted to make a lot of money, he started dealing drugs. And then one day he got a call that his dad was missing and had left a suicide note behind. That one event changed everything for Brandon, and he began to work several jobs to make money for himself and his family. I had to ask him on this week’s Just the Tips, how did he have the mindset to pull himself out of that situation? How did he not assume the fetal position? And his answer was straightforward enough: It’s not about being happy, it’s about doing what you have to do.

Find your marketing avatar

Just to throw out some numbers, Brandon has more than 1.5 million followers on Facebook and more than 750,000 subscribers on YouTube. His smallest social channel is Instagram with just under 150,000. How does he do it? He has one overarching principle: Post awesome shit frequently. But beyond that, Brandon talks about how he created a marketing avatar: The type of person he wants to market to, and then crafts his message based on what they’re into, and what problems they need solving. This is a hilarious and insightful episode of Just the Tips, with lots of candid and surprising advice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:47] How Brandon got started
  • [8:38] How Brandon found his ambition
  • [15:54] What changed his life around
  • [20:30] The key to social media success
  • [22:26] Business owners are allocators of resources
  • [27:00] Find your marketing avatar

Resources & People Mentioned

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland: