In this episode of the Coach Yu Show, Marcelo Bermann shares his story of how serial scammer Aaron Gobidas backed out of a contract after he’d received the payment.
Marcello has been painting for 51 years. He started out in Boston in 1971, and has been serving the San Diego community since 1992. You can find him at bestsandiegohousepainting.com
Like so many expert tradesmen, Marcelo needed help with his website and SEO. He used a business bartering side, BizX, and stumbled upon Aaron Gobidas and GoBeRewarded. Unfortunately, he was left with an empty wallet and no website.
Aaron Gobidas is a great salesman.
“He reminds me of some of these people that are on speed and they can read your mind and they tell you everything that you want to hear. The one thing is he insisted that I drive up to Oceanside, which I did not understand.”
“But in any event, I drove up to Oceanside. It’s a long drive. There’s a lot of traffic. He wanted to show off his place. I’m familiar with the area I used to live in Oceanside.”
“And he did a presentation meeting where there are a couple of women there. One of them was constantly on her smartphone. The other one was somewhat present. They really didn’t know much about the subject. He also had another guy there. I guess he wanted to impress me with the staff, you know, that was on their hand and the plans where he had the thing.”
“And one of his selling points was that his dad had been, I think, a curtain installer, like on windows and, and that, you know, he knew how being a specialized business with a particular gift that he would know how to present me to the world so that I would get the right kind of clientele and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
“He was very convincing and everything. He did like an hour long presentation with maybe even videos and a whiteboard and so on. Basically, he wanted $2,500 to redo my website and he was going to do a super-duper thing. He was going to have some staff that was going to do some video. So he was going to do a shoot as well as, and they were going to come out on site and, you know, and, uh, shoot while I was working.”
“So it was going to be a very comprehensive, well mounted, professional website.”
Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t.
There was some confusion over hosting and eventually GoBeRewarded backed out of their contract with Marcelo, keeping the money. Truth is, Marcelo fell for a nicely packaged scam.
Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than you’d expect.
There are a ton of agencies out there who will promise you the moon, but in reality they lack expertise.
So when you see a scammer like Aaron Gobidas try to take your money and try to make all these promises and tell you all these stories. But then you start asking questions and then things kind of start changing, that’s when you know that you have an issue.
So to Marcelo’s point never pay the whole thing up front. Always check out the reviews. You should go Google, Aaron and see what shows up on the first page for his name. And if he’s good at SEO, then those horrible things about him are not going to show up on his name, right?
My expertise is in SEO. My advice for everyone out there is that SEO is completely measurable.
It can be hard to find someone you trust. But if you start getting a bad feeling about someone or an agency, if they can’t answer your questions clearly, or they seem to be using a lot of jargon, take it as a red flag. Trust your gut.
Today we’re talking about the hidden power of a weak connection and why it’s so key to powerful networking.
A weak link is a second degree connection. It’s a friend of a friend. And you might think that a strong link, a direct link, a first party link is going to be powerful, but let’s examine how this really works.
The average person has 200 friends. It might Facebook friends, LinkedIn friends, friends that you hang out with, etc. And if they want to get a job, then they might tell these 200 friends, “Hey, I’m looking for a job” “Or do you know somebody who can fix my car?” or, “Do you know someone who can give me advice on a particular kind of thing?”
Those are strong links, but it’s a smaller pool and your close, close friends, maybe it’s 10 people that’s even smaller. Those people are less likely to know of the particular person that you need to meet, of the particular company, of the particular opportunity.
A weak link is a friend of a friend. So each of those 200 people may know 200 people. So that gives you a wider pool of 40,000 people. Those 40,000 people will come from a more diverse set of social economic circumstances, because people tend to hang around with other people in their same kind of circumstances.
So that friend of a friend might be able to make that real estate connection that you need or introduce you to somebody that you didn’t even know was in your network. And the funny thing is that when you look at things like John Guerra’s.Six Degrees of Separation, saying that everybody on the planet is connected. Any two random people is no more than six degrees connected from someone else, it shows you how far away you really are from other people.
Facebook published a study eight years ago, showing the number of degrees of separation between you and the average person on Facebook. And I think Mark Zuckerberg was a 2.9. I was like a 2.8, meaning I was only 2.8 connections away from anybody on the social network. I think Sheryl Sandberg was like a 3.1. (She’s the COO.)
We live in a world where you’re never more than two or three connections away from someone you really want to meet.
That’s not to say that you should try to get as many followers or friends or LinkedIn connections as possible. But what it does mean is that when you nurture your friends and they know what you are looking for. When you have a clear headline in your LinkedIn bio, when you have a clear purpose in your blog or your personal brand website saying I help X achieve Y through Z, when everyone knows what you’re looking for and what you’re trying to do, it’s a lot easier for them to be able to make connections on your behalf, to be able to make introductions.
My friend, Caleb Guilliams wrote the book, The And Asset. And I know that he’s one of the world’s best financial advisors. And because he’s done that and he’s put a stake in the ground, he has a YouTube channel, when I know somebody who’s selling their company, or they need some really smart tax strategies, or they want to be able to invest and save at the same time. I know to put them in touch with Caleb Guilliams.
Think about how you can leverage the power of weak connections. You do that by making sure that your personal brand is visible on all channels, and that your friends know about what you’re doing in a non douchey spammy kind of way. You’ll be surprised at the number of connections that you make.
It’s those weak connections, which are referrals. They are people that you meet at a conference, or at a dinner party. They provide more value, more business opportunities is going to be the source of your employees.
When you think about it, everything that is a referral is a weak connection. It could be a Yelp customer that leaves a review for you. It could be somebody that’s a existing customer of yours and they say something nice about you on Twitter.
And if you think about an even weaker connection, a third degree connection, a friend of a friend of a friend, that’s when you do something so awesome, maybe you speak at a conference, you publish a book, you do something that makes TV or media news. Then the ripple effect of the stone being dropped in the pond. Those ripples go outward and more people know about who you are.
So this is not saying you should try to go viral, but it does say that the connections we need to make, to meet someone, it could be anybody, it could President Obama or Elon Musk, you’re never more than actually two or three connections away.
And that’s the hidden power of having a strong personal brand. That’s the hidden power that professional networkers know, they people who are really good, that seem to know everybody, that seemed to be able to figure things out.
It’s the power that weak connection. I hope you’ll take advantage of that.
And then let me know in the comments, what do you think about this weak connection and how has that influenced how you think about networking?
Because you never know if you’re just one connection away.
I’ve hired hundreds of freelancers, VAs, and team members over the years.
And here are the 3 big mistakes that candidates continue to make.
Hey Dennis Yu here. And the reason you’re watching this video is that we want to improve your chances of getting a job with us. We’re hiring like crazy because we’re so fortunate to have so many clients and partners, but I want to tell you about some of the mistakes people make when they apply. So the first mistake is that they just straight up reach out to me or other folks in the team with zero preparation.
So if you just send a canned message. That says, dear, sir. And then it just has stuff that shows you clearly didn’t put any time to research what our company does. You’re not following us on social media. You haven’t clearly seen the kinds of projects that we have. Then you’re going to look like the thousands of other people that are just blasting their resume out.
So number one, make sure you put in a little bit of time, personalize your message to say something specific about what you’ve learned to show that you stand out and that will put you in. Of 95% of the other candidates. Number two is grammatical errors and other kinds of mistakes. So we’re looking at your ability to communicate.
If you have errors in there and capitalization and punctuation, that’s going to hurt your chances, even if English is not your first language. That’s totally okay. We have a lot of folks in the Philippines and Pakistan and Brazil and other places, but you have to show that you can communicate very clearly.
Doesn’t mean you have to be a writer or you have to be able to write books or things like that, but just avoid things that are sloppy or have grammatical mistakes. Number three is the follow-up. So when you want to know how you’re doing, then you want to make sure you’re paying close attention to the instructions.
So the instructions for any particular job are going to be something like send a note to Juan or make a one minute video and post it on LinkedIn. Or send something with a subject line that has like squirrel in it. These are all ways where we are testing your ability to follow directions. So that’s what knocks out most candidates because they can’t pay attention to detail.
And so when we’re working in a team where it’s not just you, but it’s a team of us that are working together in different groups, it’s absolutely critical that you can work closely with these other team members. If you come to me every single day, And that shows that you can’t work in a team, right? It doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you, but if you can imagine, like the guy Jim, who started Costco, if everyone went to the CEO of Costco across all the different stores of Costco, like they would just never get anything done.
Cause it would just be chaos. You’ve got to learn to follow directions and know who to contact for who, so it could be other team members. They could be someone who’s in a particular group. There’s always some instructions. And you want to demonstrate that you can. Figure out who is the right person to contact or be able to solve problems for yourself or go through the training.
Certainly reach out when it’s a question that does deserve to where there’s a clarification that you need. But remember that if you’re applying the team is evaluating your ability to follow directions. And then by the questions you ask that tells us your comprehension and how well you understand.
So if you can follow those three. Yes, there’s a good likelihood that you’re going to be way ahead of everyone else. Who’s applying for a particular position, or maybe you want to be a project manager. Maybe you already have 20 years of experience running an agency and you want to work with us. That’s great too.
I can tell you if it’s working for me, first thing I’m going to do is see whether you’ve engaged with our content and whether you have the expertise, as opposed to wanting to get me on the phone right away, where I have to explain what our company does. Because I’m going to look you up before we meet in the same way, you should look me up and figure out how to make the best use of your time and the best use of my time.
So I hope that helps you. Good luck. There’s so much opportunity. I would love to find some way to be able to create a million jobs, which is our mission. And so glad to have friends like John Jonas of online jobs, not pH our friends at five. Josh Nelson, who’s got a bunch of seven figure agencies in his group.
So we’re helping agencies scale. If you’re an agency owner and you’re listening to this, watching this just for fun, by the way. Great. We would love to see you be able to hire more people. And the people that come through our program, it’s not just for us, it’s for all of us. So we want to create jobs together based on clear, fair instructions that anyone who can qualify, anyone who can get these things done, doesn’t matter where in the planet doesn’t matter if there’s something.
It doesn’t matter if they’re broke, if you can get the job done, then we want to hire you. So I hope that is encouraging for you. And I hope that you can step ahead and be ahead of most of the people that make mistakes when they’re applying for a job, whether it’s with us or somebody else. So looking forward to seeing your progress, and if for some chance you don’t hear from us or you were declined because maybe you’re not ready.
We can always try again. We believe that people can always improve. Best thing is don’t make those mistakes in the first place. You want to accelerate your learning and invoice, avoid the pain that comes from making the kinds of mistakes that we’ve seen over the last 20 plus years in hiring. So go check it out and I can’t wait to see your progress along the way.