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How a 21-Year-Old Student from the USA Built an Online Empire and Became a Top 100 Podcast Host all Whilst Studying at University – Andre Haykal Jr
By Julie Lam
Welcome back to another episode of the “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
On today’s episode we are chatting to a special guest all the way from New York, USA, Andre Haykal Jr. Andre is a young, rising talent within the entrepreneurial space. By the age of 21 he is already a best-selling author, the host of Real Talk University (a Top 100 podcast), and co-founder of Incubate Media.
As a busy college student and entrepreneur, Andre strives to balance his daily responsibilities by efficiently utilising each hour of his day. It starts with being an early riser, where he will use his first hours of the morning writing. He is working on his second book after the success of his best-selling breakout novel What They Won’t Teach You released last year. After the writing session, he focuses on completing other work-related tasks that he refers to as ‘small wins’. After attending his classes, he will then work on his homework until strictly 5PM each day. The evenings are dedicated to maintaining his physical and mental health, where he often spends time with the family or play his favourite sport, basketball.
Incubate Media, Andre’s newest venture, is a digital media agency which began development 10 months ago. The agency’s flagship offering are its free online courses, which helps to educate and attract potential clients. The focus as a digital media agency is to then improve lead generation for its clients, which are primarily entrepreneurs or small business owners.
Besides his own family, most of whom are entrepreneurs themselves, Andre is a great admirer of Gary Vaynarchuck. Gary is the inspiration that motivated Andre to begin his own podcast series. Ironically, Andre was able to film an interview in Gary’s iconic office, a surreal but momentous moment for him.
Developing your Marketing Campaign
When asked about advice to small and remote business owners on how to develop a digital marketing campaign, Andre recommends studying your competition, and learn the steps they have taken to develop their success. Andre personally found using social media platforms to build an audience and generate free leads to be incredibly useful. To do so, one must consistently produce content to build a brand. Online platforms, such as Facebook can also be used as a powerful tool to test the response of your intended target audience to your product or service.
Life Lessons & Advice
Andre discusses a standout mistake he committed earlier in his career was rushing into raising capital for his app idea. He advises all potential entrepreneurs to research the target market. It is absolutely essential to first identify if they need or want the product in question, and then secondly whether they are willing to pay for it. Andre learnt early on that ignoring this process can cost you a lot of time and money.
Andre relays a message to the audience that he often received at a young age from his grandfather “you are who your friends are”. Throughout his years he has learnt that there is real truth in these words, and he recommends to others to select your peers carefully. The people you are surrounded by represent and define your standards. Connect with like-minded, innovative individuals in order to motivate you to do the same.
Andre recommends you steer clear of the common but disruptive advice to not take action without a plan. Although Andre understands the importance of research, he often witnesses people so overwhelmed with developing the perfect plan that they never take their idea to the phase. Andre’s counter is this is to instead “take imperfect action”. It is better to focus on turning your idea into a reality and learn along the way, than to be burdened with information overload and never take the first step.
Andre encourages those in the audience with an idea to take that ‘imperfect action’. When you do, get in touch with Andre to let him know how he can help turn the idea into reality.
You can contact Andre with the following links: