Grayson’s approach to business is truly unique. He has built a successful business by giving away his services for free. Yep. Free. He will be speaking on a variety of topics including selling products and services online, building a great website, and how to gain customers by not charging any money. Can’t wait to see you all in June! Eva
I’m a child of two entrepreneurs who have worked for themselves for as long as I can remember. I guess you can say it’s in the genes. My name is Grayson Bell and I’m an entrepreneur and full-time business owner. My desire to run a business has been there since I was a child, selling grass mowing services in my neighborhood.
Fast forward quite a few years to college, when I decided I would build an e-commerce company from my apartment. That’s when the bug really hit me and I wanted to be a business owner. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about all of the ins and outs of running a successful business.
You see, I created an online electronics store by coding a website from scratch. It took months to get that site up and running. I ran that site for four years, but I didn’t see much of a return on my investment. In the final two years, I was selling over $1 million on electronics on my site and through Amazon. It was great, but it took a toll on me. The hours were horrendous and I rarely saw my friends or family. On top of that, I had a full-time job which I needed just to support the business. Right before the holiday shopping season, I decided to shut it down.
Turns out that was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I realized after I shut down the site that my skills were better used in a service based business. I needed to focus on what I was really good at and that was blogging. You might think that sounds like a terrible business model, but I had been blogging on the WordPress platform since 2004. Ten years later, I had a good skill set that I could market to other bloggers and business owners who wanted to use WordPress as their platform.
iMark Interactive was born in 2014 as a WordPress support and maintenance company.
Providing services is where I shine and have the most fun. I love helping people and making sure I can solve their problems. Unlike many of the WordPress companies out there, I decided to run a slightly different business model. I basically did a lot of work for free.
Have you ever worked for free?
You’ll see many telling you to never give away information for free. You devalue your service and to an extent, they are right. What I found since 2014 is if you provide a tremendous value to those who need it most and don’t worry about the money, then good things can happen.
I spend my time and energy helping people through forums, Facebook groups, and through email. Not everything I did was for free, but I never turned down someone because they couldn’t pay my rate. That’s not who I am.
For the first year of my business, I still had a full-time job. I was making use of the “side hustle” and it was successful. Unfortunately, it couldn’t replace my income. Over the next two years, I’ve quit my job, grown a six-figure business, and still help people for free.
What I want to show all business owners, but especially teens, is you can do great things and help people when you stop worrying about the money. Don’t discount providing your time for free. It can take you a long way. Doing so in my business has been the single greatest driver of revenue.
If you have technical questions or need help with a website, just ask me at the conference. I’ll be happy to chat!