A man on a mission
Here’s my story…
Growing up I always knew I was creative and wanted to do something special with my life. But when I graduated from high school, I was aimless and had no motivation. I got a diploma in music and played in a band for 2-3 years.
Playing in the band was fun, I met some great people and put on some killer shows.
But it felt like something was missing.
Our band was far from being profitable and I met many other talented bands with the same story. We were all struggling to pay the bills despite putting our best effort into show after show.
Instead of becoming another struggling artist, I wanted to understand how to make money and turn my creativity into profitability.
I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
This desire influenced me to apply to business school to get a degree in commerce which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
My Call to Adventure
Business school was great, I learned about the basics of business – analyzing opportunities, assessing risk, and bringing valuable products and services to market.
About 2 years into my undergrad, I found my first opportunity to merge my creativity with business.
Around that time, I ran into an old friend who was working in the city. He was telling me about his gig as an airbrusher and how much money he was making. I was intrigued and asked him to tell me more.
My friend elaborated:
“Yeah man, some of the smaller gigs pay a few hundred bucks but on some of the bigger ones, I’ve made up to a few thousand dollars in a weekend!”
A few thousand dollars in a weekend??
Is he really making this kind of money as a young 20-something? It sounded too good to be true. This could be my opportunity to start on my own entrepreneurial path.
My head spinning, I tried not to sound desperate and asked my friend, “Do you think you could get me in on this airbrushing thing?”
“Yeah maybe, I’ll introduce you to my business partner and maybe we can get you some work”
That weekend, I went to a local venue where my friend was airbrushing. He introduced me to his business partner, a well-known airbrusher in my city, and we got to chatting. I learned about how the business worked – the customers, the process, and how these guys were making bank by working a couple of weekends a month.
I was hooked.
I said to the airbrusher right then and there, “I know that I don’t know how to do this right now, but if you hire me, I’ll be the best airbrusher ever in a couple of years”
That was enough for him.
He hired me on the spot and I spent the next few years traveling around and airbrushing at various events. After I learned the ropes, I started my own airbrushing company, Metastate Paint.
It felt great to finally have my own business and be making an income. But after a while, I started to notice some problems with the business model.
Firstly, there was unreliable demand. We could make a few thousand dollars a weekend at big events, but those only happened a few times a year. Other than that, we mostly worked at small gigs and struggled to find work.
We were completely dependent on the event industry to generate leads. When the economy slowed down, so did the events, and so did our revenue streams.
Second, the business model was unscalable. I worked long hours as an airbrusher and I only got paid for every time I picked up the airbrush and painted something. The bottleneck in the system was my own creative output.
The third problem was rising supply costs and diminishing margins. We had to keep raising our prices up to the point that people stopped buying.
A few more years went by and profitability started to slip. After the last event of the year, I added up all my revenues and expenses – the total? negative $83.
Despite all the hard work and dedication, my company wasn’t even breaking even. My dream to be a successful entrepreneur felt like it was slipping between my fingers.
My Intro to Digital Marketing
Around that time, I started looking into online business models. I was reading books from successful online entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, MJ Demrco, and Russel Brunson. As I consumed their content, they got me thinking about business in a different way.
I learned how online businesses could solve some of the issues I was experiencing with the airbrushing business model.
- Online businesses could reach people worldwide and create sustainable demand
- Online businesses were scalable
- Online businesses could calculate margins to a pinpoint and ensure profitability
I knew that the airbrushing thing was unsustainable. I had to try something online or go back to being a starving artist.
After looking into various online business models, I settled on creating a niche website and doing SEO content marketing. I read everything I could get my hands on to learn the ropes of this new business.
When the world shut down for the pandemic in 2020, I found myself sitting in the basement with nothing to do and decided it was time – I bought the website domain metastatepaint.com and started my first niche site.
I worked really hard on the site for about a year with very few to almost no results. In those days, I stopped checking the site stats regularly because it depressed me to see zeros across the board.
The site barely got any traffic but I kept working and learning.
After a few more months of this, I decided to check in on the stats because what the hell? I couldn’t believe it, the site started to take off! Organic traffic was flowing in from around the world. 10 daily users, then 20, then 30 – the growth kept coming. The site just needed to get enough momentum to start getting SEO rankings.
I excitedly slapped some affiliate links up on the site and got my first sales!
This is when I realized that I was on to something – If I could generate sales from my own personal website, I could take control of my income generation and help others do the same.
Turning My Learnings Into Results
Around the same time, I was working as a marketing coordinator for a local company, I was so excited by my success at metastatepaint.com, I decided to implement the same strategies at my job. I wanted to see if the SEO tactics I had learned for niche sites would work for small to medium-sized enterprises.
I got to work on the company’s site and sure enough, a few months later I had ranked a high-ticket product page on the first page of Google for the target keyword. Orders for the product started flowing in.
We went from selling a couple of units a year to selling 20 or 30 a MONTH.
That product page was so successful that we generated 12X more traffic on this one page than our supplier’s ENTIRE WEBSITE. To top it off, several big players in our space found the website and ended up buying other products from us as well.
Our entire business saw a lift from this one SEO success.
Building on this newfound confidence, I started working as a digital marketing consultant where I helped other small to medium-sized businesses grow. I kept implementing and perfecting my SEO process as well as adding other digital marketing processes to my arsenal such as email marketing, digital advertising, and web design.
The results just kept getting better and better.
One of my clients grew her physiotherapy business to over a million dollars in sales per year primarily with organic search and pay-per-click advertising. This success allowed her to start another successful business in the health and wellness industry shortly after.
Another one of my clients grew his psychology business by 30% in one year by boosting sales to one service category. He achieved his goal of hiring on 5 new therapists to account for the increase in clients. This was possible after ranking #1 on Google for a target keyword across the ENTIRE COUNTRY.
What I Do Now
After I went on this entrepreneurial journey of first starting the body painting business, and then building my own online business, I found a way to generate multiple revenue streams online by doing something that impacts others positively.
If I never learned about business and digital marketing, I’d probably still be playing local shows and eating ramen for dinner – and all the people I impacted with this skill wouldn’t be where they are today.
Getting results for myself felt good, and getting results for other people felt great, but my end goal has always been to help other people get results for themselves.
That’s why I started mattnawrot.com. This is your hub to learn how to build successful online businesses, implement the most effective digital marketing tactics, and ultimately take control of your income and your life.
Thank you for reading my story. My sincere hope is that you get something valuable from this website that will transform your life in the same way that mine was transformed.
All the best,