The Most Effective Marketing Strategy Ever (And it’s Free)

How One Man Got Celebrities He Never Met to Endorse His Product Without Paying a Dime

Eugene K. Choi
Jan 7, 2018 · 5 min read
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Have you ever tried to start something? Whether it was a blog, a course, a book, or any kind of business, you know there’s something inside of you that needs to get out.

Then maybe after a ton work and effort, you finally release your product and let as many people know about, but no one is paying attention.

Discouraged, you decide to give up on whatever you started, but a part of you still longs to do something.

If only you can figure out a way to get noticed and get the attention you deserve without having to pay a ton of money for marketing.

What are successful people doing well that you’re not?

Let me answer this question by telling you a story about Blake.

Blake was 29 years old and on his fourth entrepreneurial startup and he finally decided to go on a long deserved vacation. He went to Argentina to relax and immerse himself in the culture. He danced their dances, he ate their food, and he played their sports. He also got comfortable wearing their national shoe, the alpargata.

Towards the end of the trip, Blake met a women volunteering at a shoe drive. All the shoes the women was giving out were donated and there were never enough to go around.

Blake learned even in a developed country like Argentina, many kids there lacked shoes. Another big issue was these donated shoes didn’t fit the kids they were being given to.

Blake then started traveling to different villages to see for himself the poorer surrounding cities. He knew poverty existed, but seeing these kids in the villages walking around barefoot made it real for him. He saw the sores, blisters and infections these kids were suffering from the reason simply being because they didn’t have any shoes.

Blake wanted to help these kids so he came up with a and idea to build a shoe business where for every pair of shoes sold, he donated one pair for someone in need.

After a lot of hard work, he was able to get a batch of shoes made and he brought it home to California and first shared with his friends what he was doing. He explained his story and his friends loved what he was doing and they all bought a pair from him that night.

Blake was eventually able to share his story with retailers and who also purchased his product. He also gained more exposure because the press caught wind of his story and his product ended up as a headliner on the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Soon enough, celebrities like Jessica Alba, Snoop Dog, and Charlize Theron were seen wearing these shoes.

This business which started off as a simple idea turned into a reality and became the company we now know as TOMS.

Blake Mycoskie didn’t spend a dime marketing his product. His story spread like wildfire through people who believed in what he was doing.

The reason for the success of his business wasn’t because of how nice or fashionable his product was, it was because of the story behind WHY he was doing what he was doing. He knew exactly why he was doing his business; to help others in need by providing shoes to those who don’t have them.

If You Want Your Business to Succeed at Another Level, You Must Have a Very Strong Reason Why You Are Doing It.

People may love their shoes, but what people loved the most is why they are selling their shoes. The quality of their shoes are good like any other major shoe line, but it’s the cause behind their shoes inspiring people to gladly buy their products.

The purpose of the business was for something much bigger than selling shoes and this is what made it become so popular.

If the purpose of TOM’s was to just make shoes, it wouldn’t have been as interesting. Blake was selling these shoes in order to be able to do something that really mattered to him and it ended up mattering to a lot of other people too.

The company exists to help provide shoes to others in need and they make it very clear in their marketing it’s why they are making and selling their products.

In Order to Figure Out Your Why, You Have to Dig Deep

When you have an honest conversation with yourself and dig real deep, you’ll be able to discover what really matters to you.

Your why absolutely has to bring an emotional response out of you.

You’ll know when you’ve found your why when you get chills thinking about it. You have a sense of clarity and a very clear sense of direction to where you want to steer your life.

You know You’ve found your why when it matters to you the most more than anyone else. It can be confusing sometimes because we want someone else’s life because they inspired us so much.

So before you even start developing your product, figure out why you’re doing it and make sure you dig deep to figure it out.

If you enjoyed this post, then you might also enjoy my free guide, Four Steps to Instantly Jumpstart Your Best Life Ever to learn about a simple exercise to find your Why along with other important strategies to grow your business.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 281,454+ people.

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Eugene K. Choi

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I use brain science help stuck professionals find their unique life purpose in two days or less Free guide @

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +479K people. Follow to join our community.