September 29, 2020
By: Richard Lau
For Brock, entrepreneurship has always been in his blood, and it was the path both his grandfather and dad took, so taking a shot at it himself wasn't a stretch. He worked in the music industry for some time and then had enough. After reading 'The 4-Hour Work Week' and dabbling in the field of affiliate sites, the concept of The Modest Man came to him. Brock left his day job in 2016, and in his words, his "day job" was nothing but "fundraising activity to fund my entrepreneurial endeavours - never something permanent."
For Brock, the journey to creating the modest man cake from him trying to learn and teach himself how to dress; this was how he realized though there were blogs that dealt with styling; nothing was directed towards shorter guys and the struggle of fit that comes with height. The Modest Man started with him writing about what he wanted to know and couldn't find in most of the blogs out there. For example, finding clothes that fit his 5'5 frame was a task, and eventually, Brock resorted to tailoring. In doing so, he had no idea about costing or how to get things appropriately tailored, so it was a trial and error process. He found his audience, other guys who like him wanted to learn with making content about things like tailoring. Brock found his posts on tailoring were continually being shared, and according to him, the fantastic thing with creating content is it can generate revenue for years.
Brock had spent his years before working 'The Modest Man' learning the ropes of how to monetize sites through Amazon Associates and Google Adsense. When he started, he knew how thorough and high-quality content would always get traffic. His content creation goal has never been a question of what to do but always how to something already popular the best and, of course, with his spin. If that meant writing about 25 watches for smaller wrists instead of 5 or what were the best jeans for shorter men, that's what it took and what he did. Brock's tips, as far as engagement goes, include pictures and videos, make an audio file available for those that don't want to read and remember to keep it entertaining even if it's longer.
Brock regards his launch, not all that exciting because it was just pressing the publish button on WordPress for his "Most important tip for short men" articles. He then continued to post once a week, but at the time, they were shorter articles that didn't include photos or videos. In the first year of The Modest Man, he made $1,200 from Amazon Associates and Google AdSense, he didn't advertise on Facebook, and Instagram wasn't in the picture back then. Hence, growth was slow, but to him, starting it out as a side hustle and just being new to men's fashion, it was still an audience.
Brock finds that the requirements can change depending on the platform, but ultimately the goal is to provide helpful content. With a website, that means going more into the details with a good SEO, for YouTube with attention spans being short, what you put out has to be not just helpful but entertaining. His best performing video is one he did on how to keep a shirt tucked in, and the reason for its success is simple it's a widespread problem and is something a lot of people want to learn about. As far as some growth tactics, Brock finds giveaways useful as long as you keep in mind that it's something people will have paid for; value matters. Another thing worth looking into is keeping in mind how to raise your RPM's. A great way is partnering with other brands. Sponsored content is a great way to make money; in his opinion, that is if you already have an audience.
Brock's main goal with The Modest Man is to create more content and improve on it. If that means hiring new writers, editors, and models, it's something he's looking forward to doing. At the rate it's going, he makes between $10,000 to $15,000 from it, 60% coming from advertising, and sees no reason why he shouldn't strive towards $500,000 a year within the next 2 or 3 years.
There are three main takeaways that Brock has learned over the year:
For Brock, he has many favourites, but what he finds himself using most and gravitating towards would be WordPress, StudioPress, WPEngine, Wave Accounting, Google Analytics, and Upwork mention a few though there are also more. Concerning Books, the one that he finds changed his life was 'The 4-Hour Work Week' it made him aware of location-independent work as well as passive income and all about mini-retirements, the other one that he recommends giving a read is 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' which made him learn about himself and the importance as well as how to ask questions.
Brock doesn't find value in saying "do this" or "do that" he thinks everyone is different; some understand how to take business opportunities, which is essential but what he thinks is valuable is whatever you pursue; it has to be more than just about the money. He encourages asking yourself the question of what do you enjoy and love doing; for him, "business is a creative outlet," so if you do something you want and you are good at, the money will find its way there. Brock thinks his best piece of advice to anyone who's a beginner or wanting to start is to start and do it now.