Ulyses Osuna is the founder of Influencer Press, a PR firm that gets influencers on major publications like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur and more.
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Quick Sprout – Ulyses’ small business resource
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Ulyses’ Top Business Book
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3 Value Bombs
1) No journalist owes you a story; when they write about you, it’s a favor.
2) Own up to your mistakes.
3) Your daily routine is what determines your future success.
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[00:53] – Ulyses helps entrepreneurs share their story on massive publications
[01:12] – Personally, he refers to himself as a hermit
[01:47] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: Most entrepreneurs believe that journalists owe them a story. If a writer writes about you, consider it a favor
[02:46] – Be human and understand that the writer does work for you when they interview you
[03:59] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Ulyses went to college for a year but never took a class on journalism or PR. When he started, he really didn’t know the “rules” of PR. Last October, Ulyses was being investigated by major publications and he didn’t know why. Later he realized he did everything that he shouldn’t – barter with contributors, pay contributors, and give contributors gifts
[06:58] – “You have to own up to your mistakes”
[07:52] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: The PR space was incredibly unsaturated at the time Ulyses entered. So he took advantage of it and niched down to influencers in order to get a piece of their pie
[10:20] – Take a shot, you don’t know where that shot can get you to
[11:26] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “Recently, I’ve been investing a lot in mentors”
[12:49] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Biggest thing was my parents”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Hard work does not equal success”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Constant affirmations”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Quick Sprout
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – “this book really taught me that most things in life are irrelevant”
[16:58] – “Success is found from a daily routine”
[17:11] – Connect with Ulyses on his website
Ulyses: I am so ready, John, let’s do this.
John: Ulyses is the founder of Influencer Press, a PR firm that gets influencers on major publications like Forbes, Ink, Entrepreneur, and others. Ulyses, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Ulyses: Yeah, so pretty much, you hit it right on the nail. I help entrepreneurs share their story on massive publications. There’s so many entrepreneurs and influencers doing such big things, but yet, they just don’t know how to get the word out, so my job is to extract their story, or their project, or whatever it is they’re working on, and share that out with the world, whether it’s on national TV, publications, or podcasts, so – and as far as like my personal story, dude, I’m a hermit. It’s sad, but it’s true. Like I love just being at home, working, reading. I hardly ever go out, and if I do go out, it’s like I go watch a movie or something, so – but most of the time, like 24/7, I’m in my room stuck in like this – it’s not a cubicle, but yeah. Just my room, pretty much, just working.
John: Your area of expertise is PR and PR influence, etcetera. What’s something that we don’t know about that, and Influencer Press, in general, that, frankly, we should?
Ulyses: A lot of entrepreneurs, they’re doing a lot of stuff. They’re doing a lot of great stuff, too, but the thing that they get caught up with is like a lot of them think that journalists owe them a story. Like they come with the perception like because I’m so great, like I deserve to be written about, right? And that’s probably one of the worst ways to actually go about it because journalists don’t owe you anything, right? They don’t owe you a thing. If anything, or if a writer’s writing about you, it’s actually a favor for you, right? So, if you’re coming in with a perception of like, yes, I deserve a story and you’re coming in with that type of attitude, you’re gonna find really quick that you’re not gonna get massive publicity, right?
So, you’re gonna find out that nobody’s gonna want to interview you, and then, in turn, like you just won’t be able to get your story out.
John: What do you really want to give Fire Nation as maybe a challenge, a call to action to maybe take a step forward in this direction?
Ulyses: First things first, be a human being. Understand that the writer on the other end has to do work for you, when they’re interviewing you, right? So, if you look at it from that perspective, you have to remember they have to take the time out of their day to interview you, they have to write the piece, they have to look for data, they have to do all the research, right? So, my biggest like advice on that end is be a human being and focus – and realize that the easier you make it on the writer to interview you, or whoever it is that’s interviewing you, the more likely – the higher the chance you’ll get to actually get that feature, or whatever it is that you’re being interviewed for, to actually go live.
Because the hard part is not getting the John to say yes, the hard part is actually getting them to publish the piece because a lot of people can say yes, but when it actually comes down to it, you know in a week or two, life happens and they can get – it can be stressful, they can have something else come up, and they just won’t publish the piece, so follow up, be a human being, and understand that they have a process that they go through every time they interview somebody.
John: Ulyses, let’s talk about your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. I mean you’ve had a lot of ups and some downs, and that’s what I want to talk about now is the worst of the worst. Take us there.
Ulyses: Yes, so this one was really, really bad. It was back when I was starting. I think last October, so last year. So, a little back story, I went to college for one year, but I never took a class on journalism or PR, or anything like that. I kind of just – I kind of got started in a really weird way, and when I did, I did not know the rules of PR, so there are rules when it comes to getting publicity, right? So, back in October, I was being investigated by these major publications, so I was being investigated by staff of Forbes, by staff of like Ink, by staff of Entrepreneur, and it was a really scary time for me, and I didn’t know why.
I didn’t know why until later, so essentially, what they did is like they were contacting my clients and, pretty much, doing like an investigation, and then, a reporter for CNBC contacted me and she was like telling me that she was running this story, and pretty much, when she was running this story, she told me later that this is on the record and that she wanted to give me a chance to pretty much like come forward and confess on like what I’ve been doing, and essentially, what I’ve been doing is – here are the rules, essentially. One, you cannot barter with contributors. Two, you cannot pay contributors or writers at these publications, and three, you can’t even give them gifts.
Right? So, I was doing all three, so I like – because I was a writer for a couple of these publications, too, for like Entrepreneur, Success, and Huff Po, and all that stuff, so I was like, yeah. You know if you help my client get up on your column, like I can totally help you out, right? I can write about you here, or something like that, and then, others [inaudible] [00:04:52] payment, and then, others I would offer payment, and stuff like that, so like that – the reason why that’s so bad is because it’s like media manipulation in a way, right? It now turns into like you have biases. There’s a reason why they’re actually publishing the story, not because they want to, but because you’re – they’re getting something in return.
And writers are not supposed to get anything in return, so now, I had to like restructure my entire business and I was scared that they were gonna write like bad press about me, and I was just like – and keep in mind, I was like 19 at the time, so – and this is my first time doing publicity ever, so it was just like a really scary time for me because I didn’t want that, right? Like, I was in it for the long term. I didn’t want to – I wasn’t in it just to like make a quick buck, then, leave. Like I made a decision that like when – if I’m gonna do PR, like I want to become one of the best at it ever, so that was like a really scary moment in my life.
John: That is a scary moment. I mean Fire Nation, the reality is, when you’re pushing the envelope, when you’re being aggressive, when you’re testing new things, when you’re trying stuff, you’re gonna step on someone’s toes. You’re gonna make mistakes. You’re gonna cross the line a few times, and you know you might not even know it, and oftentimes, you won’t until you know it’s thrown in your face that you have crossed the line, and just recognize it’s part of the maturation process of being an entrepreneur, so what do you, Ulyses, want to make sure our listeners get from that story?
Ulyses: You have to own up to your mistakes, right? So, right when that happened, they cut me – they gave me a slack. Like they pretty much cut me some slack because one, probably, my age, and two, I was just naïve to the entire thing, but if it was anybody else, right? They would’ve gotten like – they would’ve gotten slaughtered by these publications, so I got really lucky that they gave me that chance, but not everybody might have that leisure, so really be careful and own up to your mistakes because that just shows like that you acknowledge you did wrong, right? And then, try to take the steps to make it better, and that’s exactly what – you know I did that afterwards, too.
I apologized to all the contributors. I lost a lot of friends. I lost a lot of relationships and I had to like build the business back up.
John: What is one of the greatest ideas that you’ve had to date as an entrepreneur? Like what’s that ah-ha moment that you had? Walk us through that story, and then, tell us how you turned it into success.
Ulyses: That’s a great question, so the ah-ha moment for me was when I was starting in publicity, so the space is so incredibly unsaturated, right? At the time, like right now, I’m in the space and I know about four to five people that do PR that are in – that are building a personal brand out of it, right? So, the ah-ha moment for me was every time you get into a certain niche or like a certain industry, if you’re one of the first people to do it, you get a large piece of the pie, right? So, right now, I’m one of the youngest to do PR and to do this type of stuff. Like, obviously, there’s a ton of agencies out there, but essentially, the ah-ha moment for me was like I need to go in and I need to go in fast, before it becomes saturated, right?
So, the game plan for me was like I need to work with every single – like the reason my business is called Influencer Press is because I want to mainly focus on working with every single influencer possible because just like off – the rub-off effect, as well. Like if I’m associated with like Kevin Herrington or somebody big like that, like almost automatically you get that rub-off effect of their audience, right? So, I knew that because this space is unsaturated, if I can get the majority of the market, like you know be seen with all these influencers, that I can get – become really, really big, and essentially, like the Neil Patel of my industry, and I made that decision a long time ago.
Like Neil Patel of one my first like – you know first people that I ever found out about online marketing and I made the decision like whenever – if I ever go into like some part of online marketing, I want to be the Neil Patel of my industry, so this is the way to go for it for me.
John: So, Fire Nation, if you’re going to shoot for the moon and you miss, guess what? You still land amongst the stars, so who do you want to be? Like who’s that person that you would like to be like? Like who do you admire? Who’s currently where you would love to end up in a couple months, a couple years? Look up to that person and try to fall in their footsteps. Like make things happen. We’re all standing upon the shoulders of giants.
Of course, be you this whole time. Be unique. Be your individual, but you know we all learn from everybody around us, especially those who have come before us and have succeeded. What’s your biggest take away from that ah-ha moment, Ulyses?
Ulyses: The biggest take away, for me, was one, I didn’t know that going into publicity I was gonna love it so much, but it just – it aligns with so much of what I do, so I think the thing that I want the listeners to take away is like, actually, I’m not entirely sure because I didn’t – like for example, I didn’t know I was gonna go into publicity, but when I did, I just fell in love with it. Like I get to work with – like right now, I’m on your podcast. Dude, I look up to you. Like I get to work with so many influencers that – and people that I looked up to when I was first starting out, right? In online marketing space.
Like I’m a geek when it comes to like online marketing and this stuff, so just being on this podcast and working with these major influencers like – they’re kind of like, in a way, I’m like a fan of like the business and stuff like that, so yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know, John.
John: Well, what a great way to be, though. What a great way to work with people that you admire, that you look up to, that you get excited about working with. I mean how [inaudible] [00:10:09] is that, Fire Nation, for most people in this world that go to work, sit in a cubicle next to somebody they don’t even know or care about, or even like. I mean it’s just sad, and when you get to choose to work with people that you look up to, that you admire, that you enjoy working with, that you get fired up by, that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. Speaking of which, what are you most fired up about today, Ulyses?
Ulyses: Yeah, great question, so recently, I’ve been investing a lot in mentors, so like Sterling Griffin, which he’s on your – he’s already been on your show. Scott Alford, and stuff like that, so – and the thing that I’m most fired up about is like in the past six months, I’ve seen so much growth just by learning and implementing what my mentors have taught me that I just – I’m seeing my vision unfold, right? And to me, that’s so crazy because, at first, you know you just kind of this vision of like what you would like to happen, but once you kind of see it unfold, it’s so cool.
Like I started out with a team of two, and now, I have a team of nine. Like I hired the CEO of a million dollar company, right? That’s worked with like Russell Brunson and Alex Sharfin, and all that type of stuff, so it’s so exciting to see growth when you’re learning from a mentor, somebody who’s done it before, somebody who can guide you in the right steps, and to me, like that’s the biggest thing that I’m excited about. Like in August, for example, we hit 113 in revenue.
Ulyses: Right? So, like in this year, this year, if everything goes right, which obviously, not everything’s gonna go right, like we should have a million dollar business by the end of 2018, right? So, that’s exciting for me. Like it’s so epic, so that’s what I’m most fired up about.
John: Fire Nation, you should be fired up about the lightning round because Ulyses is gonna continue dropping value bombs as soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors. Ulyses, are you ready to rock the lightning round?
Ulyses: I am.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Ulyses: The biggest thing was my parents, right? I come from a small town. Nobody really – like the reason why people have a hard time like making it or thinking about bigger stuff is because nobody gives you that vision, right? So, for me, I had that vision, but my parents were kind of holding me back. Like, they wanted me to do other stuff. I would get lectured almost daily, so that was really tough, right? Because I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t an adult. I couldn’t just do whatever I wanted to do.
John: Congrats for having the courage to say that, and Fire Nation, I want to kind of go in a little bit of a direction here where your parents love you. Your friends, your family, they love you, but they don’t always know what’s best for you, and to let them push their old outdated thinking upon you, because it’s 2018, let’s wake up and smell the roses. This is our world. Let’s take it over.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ulyses: Best advice is hard work does not equal success. I used to think, for the longest time, like I was a diehard solopreneur. Like I was gonna be the team. Like I can do everything by myself, and I’ve noticed that like if I did that, the most I would ever make is like $20,000 a month. Right now, I have a team, and like I do less work, and I make more money, and I impact more people, so like hard work does not equal success, right? So, that was like a major shift for me because my entire life I thought if I just work hard, I’ll get it, but that’s not true.
John: Fire Nation, work smart. What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Ulyses: Affirmations. Constant affirmations. I have a list of quotes. I even have a poster of quotes in my room that I always tell myself daily because it helps me. Because motivation is very hard to find sometimes, so that – the quotes help me – help bring me back to reality. Like for example, one quote that I have that I really love that listeners might resonate with, if they’re being an entrepreneur, is like my mom is going to die. Like I don’t want to deprive her of what she loves the most, and for me, like what she loves the most is her family, right? So, I need – I don’t want to deprive her of having a son, right? So, for me, that’s a reminder like, okay, like I need to give time to people that I love and stuff like that.
So, for me, it’s always a constant affirmations and just reminding myself of what matters every day.
John: Recommend one internet resource.
Ulyses: Quick sprout. Just QuickSprout from Neil Patel. Like when I was first starting out, I would read that blog daily, so – and the reason I recommend that is because he talks about so much in online marketing and I really recommend learning a lot because, as a rookie, you know you probably don’t know diddly squat, so like I really recommend just pouring yourself with information before you get started because you can learn through trial and error, but I’m not that type of guy. I like to know what I’m doing before I get started.
John: Recommend one book and share why.
Ulyses: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, so this book really helped me because for the longest time, like I was always anxious. I had anxiety, and this book really taught me like most things in life are irrelevant. Right? So we just make it bigger than what it really seems, and for that, that can really take a toll on like your emotional state and just stuff like that, so reading that book really helped me like be grounded in who I am and realizing like what I can actually do and what I can’t do, and when I can’t fix something, right? Just to let it go.
You don’t want that to take a toll on yourself because that – it really hurts your body and your mental state.
John: Fire Nation, don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff, and if you want to get a book like that by Napoleon Hill, by Earl Nightingale, these great audio books, they’re all available on Audible, and if you’re not currently a member, you can get any book for free. You have one book for free when you first signup if you go through the link EOFirebook.com. Ulyses, let’s end on fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, sharing the best way we can connect with you, and then, we’ll say goodbye.
Ulyses: Sounds good, so one piece of parting guidance is that success is found in a daily routine. Like what are you doing daily that, five years from now, your future self will look back and be like thank God like I did this five years ago every single day because, now, my life is different. Right? So, if you want to connect with me, you can go to my website, UlysesOsuna.com. There, you can see my work, my clients. You can connect with me on social, ask me questions, anything you’d like, so thank you so much, John. I really appreciate you having me on and this was epic.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with UO and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Ulyses, that’s U-L-Y-S-E-S, in the search bar. His show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Best show notes in the biz, timestamps, links galore, and Ulyses, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
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