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Tai Lopez Social Media Marketing Agency Course Review (Pros, Cons & Alternative)

October 19, 2020

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Now I am going to let you in on the details of Tai Lopez's Social Media Marketing Agency 2.0 (updated November 2019)

In this review, I both summarize his course as well as share the pros and cons of starting a Facebook agency in 2020. 

You'll learn how Tai has made his course to take the beginner to the expert level in 120 days or less. 

The best part? 

Tai gives you lifetime access to his course, so you can go back again and again to make sure you have a solid grasp on each step of the process.


Quick Stats on SMMA 2.0 (including the current price)

Length:
33.5 hours of training  
Content:
Made to enable a FB newbie to become a mature social pro in 4 months
Rating:
4.0/5 - down to earth teaching style 
Price:
$497 USD (or 3 payments of $197)

Who is Tai Lopez?

Tai Lopez is one of the most well-known figures on social media, having over 6.2 million followers on Facebook. 

Where'd he grow up?

He's a So-Cal guy born and bred.

Here's a little of Tai's background:

Tai grew up in Long Beach, California and now lives in the hills of Hollywood. 

Entrepreneurial from the start, Tai opened up his first business, a cherry tomato stand, when he was only 6 years old. Soon, he realized the market for ice-cold lemonade was much more profitable than the tomato market, so he set up his own refreshing beverage stand. 

Instead of joining a gang as a teen, he became a bookworm, imbibing Aristotle's Ethics and Durant's History of Civilization.

Striving to understand the nature of the Good Life, he began traveling to the 154 different countries he'd read about. 

After about a year, he ran out of money and went back to live with his mother in a trailer park. #eminem

Not having any more funding to fuel his education, Tai began flipping through the Yellow Pages (remember those?) until his eyes lighted upon the finance section.

Selecting the financial advisor with the largest ad, he borrowed an oversized suit and found a ride down to the advisor's office. 

The way that Tai convinced the advisor to work with him was by offering him the following proposition:

"You teach me what you know, and I'll work for you for free."

That was the start of Tai's financial education. 

Since then, Tai has owned several businesses, including a nightclub and several sketchy dating websites. #reddit

In 2007, Tai began working on the internet and has since put together many different courses teaching both mindset and business skills.

He even ran a daily podcast called "The Tai Lopez Show."

One of the habits that Tai is known for is his voracious reading practice, reportedly digesting one book per day. 

The man reads so many books, he's got 8 cases of literature in his garage next to his lambo. 

Today, Tai serves in an advisory capacity to many multi-million dollar businesses and, in his free time, enjoys playing basketball, collecting unique sneakers and grappling, mma style. 

What You Should Expect of SMMA 2.0

Comprehensive. 

Tai and his team of specialists lay out a holistic process showing how to set up a social media marketing agency from A to Z. 

Here's a few topics that he covers throughout the 33 hours of training.

Tai's Social Media Marketing Course Includes

  • Business Foundation: Mindset and Legal Entity
  • Social Media Training: Becoming a Master Advertiser
  • Acquiring High Ticket Clients: Find Business owners who will Pay You 2k to 20k per month
  • Automating Your Processes and 10Xing Your Agency

Break Down of Tai's Social Media Marketing Academy 2.0


Phase 1 - Laying a Solid Foundation of Your Business 

In this initial phase of the course, Tai covers the basic topics that are the cornerstone to performing as a successful agency. Tai also brings in experts who specialize in different aspects of Social Media Marketing, such as setting up your business legally to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, putting together a professional agency website and creating a Facebook offer. 

  • Naming and Forming Your Legal Business (to establish the corporate veil)
  • Picking a Popular Domain Name and Making an Attractive Website
  • Deciding Which Businesses to Serve (Don't try to be a jack of all trades)
  • Acquiring Your First Client When You Have No Experience
  • Reprogramming Your Brain to Overcome Your Fears

Naming and Forming Your Business

1.
Don't overthink your business name. 

Here are the dual considerations of naming your new legal entity: 


First of all, make the name broad enough to encompass any services that you will be offering. 


For example, if you are planning to do Facebook and Twitter marketing right off the bat,


but you think that maybe a year down the road you'll add website building and optimization to your list of services, then don't name your business "Lightning Social Marketing Agency."


Rather, consider naming your business "Lightning Consulting," or something like that. 


That's a bit more general, 


but still indicates that you are in the marketing sector. 


Important Note
Be sure to check if your business name is available in your region by checking the appropriate business filing agency's website. 

Secondly, create a name that is professional.


Don't name it after your high school nickname or your favorite cartoon character. You want people to see that name and see the professional agency that will take good care of them.

2.
Selecting a Business Entity to Form

Tai recommends using Legalzoom to establish your legal entity


It's pretty straightforward, but Tai offers some tips:

Choose an LLC because they are flexible when it comes to doing your taxes. 


When you go onto Legalzoom, you can put your business name idea into the searchbar and see if that name is the available. 


After you've found a business name that is available and filled out their questionnaire, if you're in the states, you'll have to choose which state to license your business in.

Since your business is on the internet, you can basically select whichever state is the best for your circumstances (some like Wyoming because the low taxation level, while others pick Delaware because of their low fees).*

*This not to be considered legal advice. Please consult with a lawyer to find out what is best to do in your particular case.

How to Reprogram Your Mind

Tai spends 20 minutes discussing how you can develop a mindset that will give you the capacity to achieve success in social. 

He has 2 main tips:


1.
Keep Success in Front of You

Find examples of people who are doing what you want to do and people who have accomplished what you want to do.


When you repeatedly look at these experienced professionals, you are reminding your subconscious mind that what you are aiming to do has been done by many others. 


To find these professionals, Tai recommends looking in the facebook community that comes as a part of his course as well as subscribing to affordable publications like Entrepreneur Magazine. 

2.
 Learn the Power of Verbally Entering Positive Information in Your Mind

Tai recommends affirming yourself outloud 3+ times a day for the duration of the 4 month program in the following fashion:


  • "I love that I have created a 6-figure Digital Marketing Agency
  • "I love that I've built a business that I can work on my own time."
  • "I love that I've built a business that I can work on my own time."

Phase 1 Conclusion: 

Tai's first phase is comprehensive. 

He covers the many basic topics that must be addressed when beginning your digital marketing business

Additionally, he proactively provides tips that will keep your business from hitting the same obstacles that Tai's did when he initially started, like becoming a licensed business immediately rather than putting off jumping through that official hoop until your business is established, which is doable, but arguably a more risky move. 

Once you have completed the foundational tasks laid out in Phase 1, you are ready to move into Phase 2, where you'll practice to become a master social media marketer. 


Phase 2 - Mastering Social Media Marketing

In this second phase, you'll learn the core social media marketing platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin, Google, and Youtube) as well as how to exponentially increase your conversion rates through the incorporation of several kinds of funnels and advanced copywriting tips. 

  • Setting Up Your First Lead Generation Funnel with Guest Contributor Nicholas Kirchner
  • Fine-tuning Your Copy Writing to Increase Your Conversions by 40%
  • Optimizing Your Website to Instantly Multiply the Number of Engagements
  • Creating Videos that go Viral on Facebook and Instagram
  • Learning the Profit Cycle Formula with Guest Contributor Anthony Morrison


Everything You Need to Build a 6 Figure Funnel

One of the main subjects in Phase 2 is sales funnels. 

Tai has guest professionals teaching both the basics setting up your sales funnels (basic structure, what programs to use, etc.) and advanced techniques to garner the most conversions out of your funnel (generally involves attaching an autoresponder and composing an email follow-up sequence). 

The infographic below shows the 3 Step-to-the-Sale structure of a mid-range funnel:

How to Build a 3 Step Funnel

1st Step: Prospect Clicks on Ad or Website 

The interested party, while scrolling through their feed, clicks on either your Facebook ad or, as they search your topic via Google, your optimized site pops up. 

2nd Step: Prospect Opts In

The interested party decides to put in their contact information in order to receive a free guide that explains how they could solve their problem for themselves (or by using your services) in more detail.


The purpose of this guide is to establish you as the expert in the space, showing off your knowledge of the topic by providing a helpful resource to the prospect. 

3rd Step: Email Sequence

The interested party receives three or four emails (each with its own purpose and theme) and then decides to invest in your services or buy your product via the sales page. 

Why would you want a sales funnel?

What a funnel does is it enables you to get a lot more conversions out of a small amount of ad spend, which is digital marketing language for:

It saves you money or the business you are working for money, while enabling either you or them to get a higher percentage of conversions which leads to a higher percentage of sales. 

Bottom line about Funnels: 

Having a well optimized funnel attached to your site or PPC ads will get your clients more bang for their buck.

If you'd like to learn more about funnels for free without jumping the gun on Tai's SMMA course, feel free to check out my review of Marketing Funnel Academy


Phase 3 - Acquiring Clients

In this third phase, it's time to find some clients that will pay you to use the skills you learned in Phase 2. 

You'll learn where to look, what to say and how to close them on working with you and your Agency.

Tai's team of experts cover many topics including the following:

Pros

  • Places Nearby to go to Find Clients Fast with Guest Contributor Joe Soto
  • Websites that You can Use to Meet Local Businesses
  • What to say to Local Businesses to Convince them to Hire Your Agency
  • Attracting High-Ticket Clients to Your Agency (Get Paid 10K+ per Month)
  • Closing New Deals with Guest Contributor Grant Cardone

Using Websites to Find where to Meetup with Businesses - Guest Contributor: Joe Soto

1. Meetup.com

Use this site to find local professionals as well as BNI Chapters near you (BNI allows visitors to come to two meetings of a chapter)

2. Facebook Networking Groups 

Search Query: Your Location + "Networking Groups"

If you are looking for more local networking tips, you might consider checking out my review of Joe Soto's Local Consulting Academy

3 Keys to Attracting Your Clients to Your Agency - Guest Contributor: Austin Distel

1. Select a Niche of Professionals that You get Fired UP Being Around

One of Austin's suggestions is to build a customer avatar, a profile of your ideal client through the lense of your niche (i.e. your perfect chiropractic client).

2. The GGG Strategy

The goal of the Give-Give-Give strategy is to provide your prospect with so much value with the intent to enable them to do their own marketing themselves, while also showing your expertise in that field. 

Solve their biggest pain point with the value you bring. 

One of the book's that Austin recommends reading is:

Dale Carnegie - "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

3 Quick Networking Tips from Austin: 

1. Remember their Name

2. Mirror their Posture/Body Language

3. Create Friendship and Rapport during the meeting, don't sell when you are there, rather schedule an appointment.

The Closer Mentality: Seeing Them Sign the Contract in Your Mind - Guest Contributor - Grant Cardone

1. Believe that You can Close

Have confidence in your skills and ability to fulfil the work that you want to do for them and your ability to show them the value you'd bring to a business relationship. 

2. See the Evidence that They can be Closed

What items do they have on them that they probably bought for more than that item is worth? 

Grant uses his watch and hair care product as examples. 

Remind yourself that this person has been sold other services, so they can be sold your service as well. 

3. Commit to becoming a Professional Closer

You don't become a closing expert by watching a single video or reading a book, but rather by training and roleplaying frequently. 

Phase 3 Conclusion:

When you've acquired the max number of clients you can handle on your own, it's time to look into outsourcing and constructing a team. 


Phase 4 - Automating, Servicing, & Building Your Team

The 4th phase of Social Media Marketing 2.0 by Tai Lopez is, in a word, is all about scaling

Once a business hits 10k a month or so, solopreneurs typically hit a plateau, hitting their max work threshold. 

In order to break that barrier, you must build out your team, whether that's virtual assistants, employees, 1099 contractors or your family. 

Topics that Tai's team covers in Phase 4 are:

  • Scaling Your Business's Revenue by Adding to Your Team
  • Going from Zero to A Million In Revenue for Your Agency
  • Using Upwork to Find Cheap Top Talent and Free Up Your Time
  • Increasing the Lifetime Value (LTV) of Your Clients to Increase Your Revenue
  • Collaborating with Social Media Influencers to Create More Leads for Your Business

3 Parts to Scaling Your Agency - Guest Contributor - Nicholas Kirschner


1. Systems

Nicholas discusses how to build systems with remote contractors, commonly referred to as "virtual assistants."

Sharing two online platforms that enable businesses to find VA's, Nicholas recommends using remote employees if you can't yet afford local employees. 

2 Resources that Nicholas recommends:

1. Hubstaff - a multi-source platform ranging from helping you monitor your current VA's with time tracking tools to finding contractors to do the work you are looking to have done. 

2. Upwork - a middle-man platform that helps digital nomads in search of gigs and businesses looking to get certain tasks done find each other. 

2. Employees

The two main sides of a digital marketing business, Nicholas says, are the front-end and the back-end, a.k.a. sales and fulfillment. 

Depending on which side of the business you are most competent in, NK suggests hiring either a commission-based salesperson or a Media Manager to monitor and direct your fulfillment team. 

3. Duplicatable Sales Processes

This part is all about establishing a flow of inbound leads that have been nurtured to the point where either you or your sales person only needs to get on the phone and close them, getting a contract signed so that your fulfilment team can take over. 

Outsource Your Clients' work in 10 Steps - Guest Contributor - Chris Record from Tecademics

In this lesson, Chris goes through the entire process of building your dream team using Upwork.com.

It is the process that he used to build his business from 100k per year to a Million dollars a year to 10 million dollars per year. 

Welcome to Upwork

First, Chris gives a brief introduction to the Upwork Platform, doing a brief walkthrough the process of how to set up a job.

Then, he shows how to use the filters on Upwork's search engine to sort out the highest quality contractors from all the others.  

10 Steps to Outsourcing

Now, Chris begins his 10 step process

Step 1: List out all the tasks needed to build an ecommerce store on Shopify.

Step 2: Go to Upwork and create a new job for each task. 

Step 3: Invite the 100 most experienced, yet least expensive contractors to look at the job.

Step 4: Select the best 10 of that 100 to interview via Skype.

Step 5: Determine the best 2 or 3 contractors to give the job (one at a time, so that if the first one falls through, you've got a backup)

Step 6: Get estimates from all 3 of the number of hours it would take to do their task

Step 7: Multiply the highest hourly rate by the number of hours needed to complete the job and you've got your cost per job. 

Step 8: Add up all the final cost per task and get your total cost for your client's job. 

Step 9: Chris recommends tripling the cost of your outsourced job and use that number as a quote for your client. 

Step 10: If you close your client on the job, then go through and create new jobs and invite the first contractor for each task to the new job. 

Use a Fixed Price, not an Hourly Rate.
One of the keys that Chris stresses is when building a new job use a set price and then inviting that contractor to the job.

He uses this method so no contractor can take advantage of him saying that the job took way longer than anticipated. 
Here's an infographic to Review the 10 Steps that Chris lays out:
Phase 4 Conclusion:

As you scale your agency, it's important to begin to give back to your community. Tai lays out some principles for getting the most out of your new wealth below.


Extra Training: SMMA Lifestyle Bonuses

Tai includes hours of extra value in this section.

His first talk is on how to live after you've hit your first financial milestone, which Tai indicates is around 10k per month. 

Tai's 5 Lifestyle Principles:


Principle 1: Don't live to impress others.

Make material things the subserviate goal.

If you like nice things for intrinsic reasons, have those nice things. 

For example, Tai owns several extremely nice cars, but he explains that he didn't buy them because he wants to flaunt his wealth, but because he enjoys the quality, the craftsmanship and the speed. 

Principle 2: Incorporate travel into your life even if you are a homebody. 
2 Types of happiness:
(Tai's future principles show how to achieve both. Don't be satisfied with only the first, seek to have both. Because if "you can have your cake and eat it too," wouldn't you want to?)

Momentary Happiness: enjoying the current moment. 

Memory Happiness: Looking back and enjoying the recollection

How can you create happy memories? 

One way Tai suggests is travel.

Travel opens you up to new ideas, suggesting that if you like to travel, get out of town once a month, if you are more of a homebody, try to get out of the country every quarter. 

Principle 3: Use your new money first to get a nicer place to live. 

Your blood stress levels will be higher if you simply try to grin and bear it. 

If you would be healthier by leveling up your home, Tai is saying that you won't regret it. 

Tai recommends the following book at this point in the video:

The Happiness Hypothesis is made up of 11 chapters each with a different quote by a certain historical figure, some of whom are Confucius, Epictetus, Seneca, and Nietzsche.

Reading the thinkers of history was Tai's pastime when he was a teenager. 

Rather than diving into the difficult original texts, you can discover the main streams of thoughts these brilliant philosophers had about living the good life (which is what Aristotle meant when he wrote about being "happy"). 

In short, this book serves as an excellent summary of foundational questions that many academics have spent their lives investigating. 

I found this book to very accessible as someone who didn't do much formal study of philosophy in college. 

Gave me a lot to think about. 

Highly recommend. 

Principle 4: Spend some money fly your long time friends in to spend some time with you at a vacation destination. 

Tai shares about when he started making some money, he took his family to Puerto Rico for a week, and recounts the fond memories that were made on that vacation.

Principle 5: Find a charity that you love and become involved both with your money and your time. 

In doing this, you are creating a new community for yourself. 

If you've got no idea of where to start, here's what Tai shares in his lifestyle bonus video:

His big 3 three charities that he rotates supporting are:

Big Brothers, Big Sisters - this organization is very near and dear to Tai because when he was growing up, he had a big brother that helped him start his life well. 

Innocence Project - this non-profit is dedicated to righting the wrongs of the judicial system, specifically finding wrongly convicted people and working to get them out of prison legally. 

Heifer.org - this organization works with communities in 3rd world countries, helping them create sustainable economies through helping individuals and families start small businesses. 


Should You Invest in Tai's 2.0 to be Successful in 2020?

Tai has put a lot of time into constructing a high-quality, comprehensive educational program for those wanting to learn both the practical skill set and the undergirding mindset necessary to operate a successful social media agency.

And for 500 bucks, the amount of knowledge that he and his team of experts share is huge and some of what was shared was helpful to me as an experienced marketer.

Your Answers to These 2 Questions Determine Whether or Not You would Benefit from Tai Lopez's SMMA:

1. How do you learn? (What's your level of self-awareness?)

While you do get a lot of hours of education for the pretty minimal price, what Tai’s SMMA lacks is a clear sense of organization.

Tai has no step-by-step process, but more of a scattershot way of covering all the bases. 

Tai's course is comprehensive, because it covers all the topics necessary to start your own agency, but it lacks a clear sequence of specifically what you need to do as you build your digital marketing business. 

Is that okay with how you learn?

To pull from the famous Gary Vee here,

when you invest in a course,

self-awareness is very important.

Are you someone who likes to piece a business model together or one who appreciates a more structured approach?

Don’t know?

It’s okay and probably good to admit that at this point.

Your next question as an aspiring entrepreneur should be:

“How do I solve the problem that I don’t know myself very well?”

Entrepreneurs are solution-oriented problem-solvers.

When I encountered this issue myself, I worked through several personality tests, (think the Myers-Briggs, the DISC assessment, etc.).

While those common personality exams added to my gross knowledge of myself, I found the Myers-Briggs to be too general with its descriptions (i.e. I’ve taken the test multiple times and came out both an extrovert and an introvert) and the DISC unhelpful due to how shallow its assessment abilities are (it will tell you if you lean in 1 of 4 directions: Action-Taker (Dominance), Collaborative-Extrovert (Influential), or Patient-Accommodation (Steady), or Analytical-Introvert (Conscientious).

So, if I’ve had such bad luck with personality tests, why am I still recommending them?

Because I found a test that uses hard data (not introspection or “self-opinion”) that depicts my friends and myself quite accurately.

Enter the Enneagram

The Enneagram is Simple: To do this quick personality test, all you need to know about yourself is your birth date: month, day and year.

It will tell you the rest.  

For more details on how it works, learn how the Enneagram has helped me.

Since you are looking into Tai’s course, perhaps you’d be interested in the personality test that he sees as the most accurate: HEXACO.

HEXACO summarized in a sentence is a very in-depth, introspective assessment, gauging your personality using 26 unique identifiers, each with its own numerical range of 1 to 6. (yes, this is a very nerdy test)

Here's a short video (6 minutes) where Tai explains what HEXACO stands for and how he uses it in business. 

As you learn more about yourself, it's also important to learn about the different ways you can make an income online. 

I will compare Facebook advertising to a couple other models to help you make the best choice for your situation and ambitions. 

2. Quick Evaluation of Facebook Advertising

In his book, the Millionaire Fastlane, MJ DeMarco lays out 5 characteristics of businesses that provide the most long-term passive income in the form of the acronym C.E.N.T.S.

  • Control: If you're doing business on a platform owned by someone else, you don't have much control. If you doubt this, read this open letter from the CEO of Ad Zombies, a large agency that runs Facebook Ads to the tune of millions of dollars, to Zuckerberg. The CEO is at his wit's end because his company's ad account has been shut down and that's how they generate revenue. If they don't get it back up and running, they will go out of business. BTW: this article was written November 12, 2019. 
  • Entry: The question behind DeMarco's term here is: How Easy is Your Business to Get Into? Anyone can open an ad account on Facebook and start running ads. Anyone can put together a Facebook page and start posting. The Barrier of Entry is super low. 
  • Need: Are the results of your services vital to the operations of other businesses? The topic often present in the business world as we near 2020 is recession-proofing your business. A business that will survive an economic recession is one whose services are vital for the operation of other businesses. For instance, over the past 4 years, I've put together a lot of websites that generate leads for service businesses. These sites are the only advertising costs that most of the business owners have because of the high number of leads (in the form of phone calls) that each of these sites provides for them. The income that the sites provide to me is recession proof because the leads are NEEDED by my clients. 
  • Time: Can your business be automated or systematized so that it runs without you? If you choose to set up your business on Facebook, you will need to be daily monitoring the ad statistics: the clicks, conversions, etc. as well as responding to the comments on your posts if you want to maintain the reputation of having an active presence. In contrast, one of the first sites I made in 2014, I haven't touched since then and the owner religiously pays me $750 a month (scroll down and see the evidence for yourself). 750/month x 5yrs x 12months = 45k passive income. 
  • Scale: The scale of your business answers the question: Is your process duplicatable? Facebook ad sets and pages can be made pretty easily, so they meet the 5th's criteria well. Lead gen sites are nearly copy-and-paste as well. I can set up a new site in a few hours and often have it ranking on Google in a few weeks (gotta get through what's known as "Google's Sandbox"). 

Here's a gif of one of the sites I made in 2014 that is still paying me today:

Check out this infographic that sums up the CENTS eval done in detail above: 

As you enter 2020, do you want to have little control of over your business or have total control?

For me, I like owning the platform that I do business on, because then it will never be shut down without my consent, unlike Ad Zombies' ad account.

A little about me: 

Similar to most folks, I went to college and then get a 9-5 job pushing auto parts at a store in Michigan that paid me a low hourly wage. 

The only way I could earn more was to put in more hours at the office. 

Then, maybe like you, I stumbled up on a website late at night while checking out what other ways I could make money, ideally using the internet, because then I could operate my business from anywhere, and quit my 9-5. 

I bumped into this program that taught me local lead generation and now live life with my friends and on my own schedule, like Tai, in Southern California. 

Doubt me? 

Check out my instagram profile or learn more about the local lead generation program


IMO This is Better Business Model Than Social Media Marketing

Running ads on social media is too expensive and inconsistent, ranking in Google is way better long-term. 

My Key to Success is Ranking Income Generating Assets in Google! Not Social Media!
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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2020, is to build your own 6-figure lead gen biz. You can learn more here.

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