Interview with Joshua B. Lee
Growing Your Brand Through Authentic Human Connections with Joshua B. Lee
Joshua B. Lee, known as “The Dopamine Dealer of LinkedIn,” is the Founder and CEO of StandOut Authority, a company that helps business owners and influencers create a strong personal brand, grow their influence, and create unique opportunities.
At the age of 24, he seemingly had it all. Despite his achievements, deep down, he felt empty and depressed. His identity and self-worth were tied to his bank balance, and his relationships with others had become purely transactional.
It was clear to Joshua that he needed to start over and move in a new direction. He knew that he could always make more money. But he could never buy back time. That decision led to StandOut Authority, where he reinvented his career and found purpose by helping people create authentic and genuine relationships.
In today’s conversation, we discuss the importance of prioritizing meaningful connections with others, why LinkedIn is such a powerhouse social network if you know how to use it, and the power of seeing the positives even in failure and disappointment.
Featured on This Episode: Joshua B. Lee
✅ What he does: Joshua B. Lee is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, coach, marketing expert, husband, and father. In 2003, he built his career in online marketing with clients such as MySpace and Google, managing over $100 million in advertising spend, generating over 35 Trillion online impressions. He has built 16 companies, from online marketing to coaching to web design and more, but is most passionate about human connections. His current venture, StandOut Authority, helps entrepreneurs, business owners, thought-leaders, and job seekers grow their personal brands on LinkedIn through authentic and inspirational engagement.
💬 Words of wisdom: “Conversations build relationships. Relationships create opportunity.” – Joshua B. Lee
🔎 Where to find Joshua B. Lee: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook
Key Takeaways with Joshua B. Lee
- The most transformational relationships often start with a simple conversation.
- The lessons he learned from working with MySpace and creating one of the first monetized social media ads.
- What’s the purpose of having successful businesses if you lack meaning in life?
- Seek the council of people you love and trust. Self-isolation leads to misery.
- How being clear on his values and putting people first helped Joshua build StandOut Authority and turn his role models into his clients.
- Joshua’s masterclass for using LinkedIn to grow your online brand.
- The biggest mistake digital marketers make in selling.
- How Joshua is scaling his business by reinventing branding through crypto and why he owns a Bill Murray NFT.
Joshua B. Lee on Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile For Success
Joshua B. Lee Tweetables“We can always make more money. We can’t make more time.” - @thejoshuablee Click To Tweet “There's no B2B or B2C. There's only H2H, human to human. Every company is run by another human being. Most marketers just forget that.” - @thejoshuablee Click To Tweet
- StandOut Authority
- Joshua B. Lee on LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook
- Balance is BullSh*t: How to Successfully Integrate Work & Life by Joshua B. Lee
- Brad Weimert
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Front Row Dads
- Jesse Elder
- The Chive
- Mitch Johnson
- Gary Keller
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Read the Full Transcript with Joshua B. Lee
Justin Donald: All right. Josh, what’s up, man?
Josh Lee: Oh, Justin, man, just you and I. I’m excited for our call today. Both of us in Austin. You probably do this in person but, I mean, we’re both busy guys so we’re here to be able to kind of have some fun, right?
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, we probably should be doing it in person. And I am building a bigger studio that is going to be, you know, that can accommodate that with kind of an operator that can run point while you got two people there. So…
Josh Lee: That’s exciting. I’m looking forward.
Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s kind of the new path. So, I’m looking to team up with one of my friends, Brad Weimert, who we were talking about off-air here. And we’re going to have a studio and office. We’re going to do some kind of work together in this really cool part of town that I think has potential to be just an awesome little nook of kind of the East Side.
Josh Lee: Damn. I love it. I almost feel like we should switch the conversation. I want to start interviewing you about the new project.
Justin Donald: I love it. Well, this is just, you know, we’re in the early stages but there’s so much opportunity with like so, number one, Austin’s so vibrant where one of the things that we could do is we can build out an office space in an existing building that’s there. We could entitle the land. We could sell it to a developer down the road. I mean, there’s so much opportunity and it’s so close that someone’s going to want to build multiple stories on the spot. Yeah. So, kind of cool.
Josh Lee: Yeah, man. That’s awesome. It’s funny. Brad, myself, and one of our other friends, Henry Flint, had talked about doing something similar like eight years ago. So, I’m glad that someone’s actually finally, you and him, are finally taking it to fruition because it’s so needed.
Justin Donald: Yeah. We’ve talked about it for a while and glad we found what we think is the perfect spot. So, early stages so we’ll see. But, man, I’m just excited to hang. You and I, actually, I feel like I want to share the funny story of how you and I met because I’m like this total novice, total rookie. I don’t know anything about the online space. Literally, like I went to my very first Traffic & Conversion Conference out in San Diego, which is it’s the biggest online marketer online business owner conference out there. And Brian and I started the company, partnered up with some other people. So, I show up. I think there were 6,000 people here this year. And I think I’m like probably number 6,000, maybe 5,999 in terms of like knowledge and expertise in anything online. And so, I remember sitting there at the beginning and I’m listening to this speaker and they’re talking about some stuff and then another speaker. And I remember leaning over to a total stranger I hadn’t met. You know, my friends were there in a different session or not. I just heard people talking about this word “copy” and I’m like, “What the heck is copy?” Like, copy, paste? Like, are you copying something?
And so, I leaned over this total stranger and I was like, “Hey, psst, what does copy mean?” And this guy was so nice and he’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s like the words that you have on your website or it’s the words used in your email sequence.” And so, I was like, “Oh, this is making so much sense.” But that’s how much of a novice I was. Josh, I didn’t even know the most basic thing there. And after hearing that word enough times, I’m like, “All right, I got to figure this out.” So, kind of fun to be in that space. I like to be a total amateur, right? Like, I love going into rooms where everyone’s smarter than me. It forces me to learn, forces me to really kind of up level. But here’s the funny story of how you and I met. So, I don’t know you from anyone. I’m walking down one of their main corridors. Actually, I think this is the lobby of the hotel that the convention center is tied to. And I look at you and then I walk by and I was like, “Wait a minute, I think I know him. I think he works out at my gym.”
Josh Lee: That’s what you said to me.
Justin Donald: Right? This had to be the most random conversation. Some guy you don’t know that’s like, “Hey, do you work out at the same gym as me?” I mean, you probably thought I was crazy, and what a funny situation to be kind of put in, right?
Josh Lee: It was funny because I’m sitting at, seriously, like you said and I can’t remember. Did I have the man bun then or did I have the top more Mohawk now? I can’t remember.
Justin Donald: Yeah. I think it’s a little more man bun-ish. You may have been in the middle of the transition.
Josh Lee: Okay. Yeah. The top kind of longer hair kind of going through.
Justin Donald: Yeah. You had longer hair for sure.
Josh Lee: Yeah. It’s funny because so many people were like, “Oh, I recognize you from the hair and things like that,” and you’re like, “Oh.” I’m like, “Cool, bro. Nice to meet you.” I’m like, “Okay, stalker.” I’m like, “What’s going on?” You know, in the social media world, we get so many people like, “Oh, I think I know you,” kind of situation. And the funny thing is, Justin, so many times and my wife finally believes me now that she’s seen it so many times, I’ll be at different random events, things like that but like, “Oh my God, do I know you?” And I must just have like one of those faces. And so, that’s kind of where when you and I first met, I kind of took it like, “Right. Yeah. Just another guy thinks he knows me,” and then we got back to Austin, I’m like, “Oh, you really do work out here.”
Justin Donald: Yeah. It was just hysterical. And I’m never really shy about going up to people. I don’t care about embarrassing myself. And at that point in time, I didn’t know you were a big deal. I didn’t know that so many people in that space knew you, that people were always trying to get your attention. So, I totally get that, that some random stranger is like, “Hey, man, we work out in the same gym.” But then it was really funny. I saw you and I was like, “Hey, Josh, what’s up?” And you’re like, “Oh, you do work out here.”
Josh Lee: Then you recommended an amazing wine place to me in Italy. I mean, like my wife and I even went there for, you know, when we got married. I mean, it was like so many cool things that happened from one event. And I think, dude, I mean, the big lesson from that is, I mean, Justin, look where you are at today. I mean, compared to, I mean, you were a big deal in your own right there but for even in our industry, our world, how you been able to rise through, I think most when you take advantage of how often is to be able to walk up to a stranger, get rid of what we hold on to, what they’re going to say. And, dude, I mean, it’s worked out well and it’s built an amazing friendship between you and I since.
Justin Donald: Yeah. I just have loved our time. We got a chance to pump some iron together. We got a chance to play volleyball, you know, pending some injuries that you and I have each had in different realms. You know, it’s been really fun. And I just love the random stories of how you can meet people and how friendship can evolve. And this for me is, you know, and I guess probably for you, too, is one of the funniest or most interesting ways of it. But like you, I feel like I’m a doppelganger, right? So, people are always like, “Hey, you look familiar. You look like my friend, Joe or Bill or whoever. So, I think it’s really funny that one of these actually works out and it’s gone the distance because we share a lot of values, some shared commonalities in like family. You know, we’ve got kids. You’re part of Front Row Dads. You’re in Austin. We have many mutual friends. And it’s kind of fun seeing for me is this rookie who knew nothing about the online space. Now, I live in it, right? Like, now I actually, I mean, technically, I’m still not really on social media much. My team is.
But the reality and I’m sure I’m falling short, like you’re probably looking at my stuff you’re like, “Oh my goodness, if only Justin could figure this out or we got to let his team know this.” But the reality is like I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have like any copy. I didn’t have anything. And you just fast forward a few years and the difference that makes, that education that I got meeting people like you and not just what you have shared, what you have taught, but also who you’ve connected me with, who we have shared as mutual connections or who we’ve referred to one another, and how that’s really helped support each of our businesses. It’s fun to be in community and help each other grow the things that they’re passionate about.
Josh Lee: I remember saying, Justin, I mean, in that I think it goes all back to relationships. You and I pride ourselves on being able to have powerful relationships and be that person on the other side that actually holds that space. And I think so many people in the online world like you’re talking about, they don’t know those things. They jump from connecting with someone, then trying to pitch them, and then they’re trying to be able to grow their business that way. I mean, I think a lot of people and I hope everyone listening paid attention. One of the biggest core things that I always go through is it has to start off with a conversation, right? You and I had a conversation at T&C. Conversations build relationships. Relationships create opportunity. And I mean, that’s the way that you have to be able to go about it. And you and I hold those values to be so true and I think it’s allowed. I mean, I started my first company in 2003 with a company that most people forgot about these days, Myspace, right? They were my first client. My wife always goes, “Whenever you tell that story, it makes you sound old.” I’m like, “I am in my forties, so it’s okay. It kind of goes through.”
Justin Donald: But Myspace was cool because you could pick your own music. People could show up to your profile, you had your own song on there.
Josh Lee: They had everything. Well, then it also hurt a lot of people because we sort of going back through, I mean, you remember, I mean, like we can customize our pages and stuff like that. And you’re like, “Sh*t, I broke it all.” But like, throughout that whole timeframe, man, I mean, the reason I’ve been around for as long as I have is based on the relationships first. How do we actually build that value and then allow other opportunities to be great? I mean, that’s why you and I are having this conversation right now because of that.
Justin Donald: Yeah. So fun when, you know, and I want to dive into all your businesses and your experience there. It’s just so fun when I always say I like being able to do life together, to live life with people, and to be able to do business with friends and to have friendships form from business. But if we can keep that ecosystem tight and then constantly introduce people to other things, and then what ends up happening is the lifestyle starts to bleed in and you start hanging out socially. Like you guys went to my favorite winery or spots, I mean, restaurant, winery. I mean, it’s a true full-blown operation, which is the…
Josh Lee: We usually have an hour-long conversation just around the food that was there.
Justin Donald: No kidding.
Josh Lee: So, a lasagna that just blows your mind but everyone’s like, “Wait a minute, what are you guys talking about?”
Justin Donald: It’s just the most epic experience. I mean, that truly is today still my favorite wine experience I’ve ever had. They just did it right. So, it’s Torciano. If you haven’t been, it’s just a really cool place in Tuscany. Check it out. So, let’s talk about some of your early businesses. How did you get into the entrepreneurial world? And then what was, I guess, the process? You’ve had several different businesses that you’ve been involved with. So, how did you land where you are now?
Josh Lee: That’s a good question. I mean, a lot of trial and error, right? A lot of falling down. I mean, you have to go through it. It’s funny. I think I got lucky in the beginning because I had been here in Austin and I got my broker’s license and then the lender had asked me about like, “Hey,” this is back in 2000. “You know, can you move out to California and open an office out here?” And it’s funny, I went out there and I think I saw the writing on the wall before most people for what 2008 was going to be because it was kind of a whole like people running. I would say they were running over their own grandmother to close a loan, right? I mean, because they were putting people in neg ams, reverse mortgages. We’re buying their house for 300 and now they owed 900,000 or a million on their home and it’s like you’re going the wrong way. So, I jumped out of that industry and a buddy of mine that was like, “Hey,” this is 2002, 2003, beginning of that, and he’s like, “Hey, in this online world, you want to come in, you know, help us out?” And it was interesting because back then you couldn’t get into the digital space unless you knew someone, Justin.
So, for me, I kind of got in and I learned a real big lesson very quickly. The owner of that company tried to change from business owner to business operator, and there’s a huge difference in the two and most wouldn’t understand the difference. And for him, he was better as an owner. When he tried to get into the company after he already stepped away, where most of us want to move from business operator to business owner, he went the reverse. Shut down the entire company. And so, I remember getting the call and/or like I told my girlfriend at the time, I said, “This company’s going under. He’s wanting to be able to get on call tomorrow, the whole thing.” And it kind of pushed me into going, “All right, I’m going to take the relationship I had built and be able to take them forward.” And that’s kind of where Myspace came around. I just kind of happened to have the relationships with the people that were there and started monetizing traffic, seeing the opportunity of relationships, how do I actually help someone that has ads and the other person that has traffic and be that middleman?
And we were doing arbitrage back then. Buy low, sell high, right, really early. Things like the word mesothelioma, the keyword. It was paying like $500 a click back then. Well, with the Myspace traffic, I was getting that traffic at pennies on the dollar because I had helped them design one of the first social media ads to be able to monetize their traffic that a lot of social media is based on today. And so, from that whole process, I mean, we were printing money and I built multiple companies on, I mean, everything you could think of online, every acronym, CPC, CPA, CPL. We could go through the whole thing. I learned how to monetize it all. But, Justin, one of the biggest things that I started being able to do, building all those different companies and partnering with people that did what they did well and did what I did well to build more companies, I realized it was based on a false ideology of just trying to generate as much money as possible and then also not show the cracks. And when I was, you know, in myself and the mistakes that we had made from falling down and kind of stuff like that.
You did lead me to a point where I went through a big reset in my life and it was kind of going through where, honestly, outside looking in, I was running ten different companies, six, seven, eight figures, but I become 40 pounds overweight. My relationships were monetary and I had no vision about where I was going. I just knew where I was at. And I remember being in my home office. I had my son. I was trying to change for a lot of the things that I was in. Honestly, contemplating if I should be on this planet. You know, as a dad, you know as well as I do, I’d like to be able to get in that point where I’ve put business so much that I think the money is more important than my life. Being around was a huge shift for me, and that office became not only a sanctuary for me to escape my life but a coffin that I was going through. And I mean, a good friend of ours, Jesse Elder, kind of stepped in and gave me permission to take back my life. And that’s kind of where I find myself today from that transition, resetting, going through, walking away from everything, and going how do I actually blend true humanity and help people never feel as alone as I did, and then digital marketing to be able to actually humanize the way we are online, because I think we lost that human touch.
Justin Donald: Wow.
Josh Lee: Long story.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, it’s powerful and it’s defining, right? So, what a great perspective, what a tough thing to wrestle through but to emerge victorious and to find purpose and passion beyond just works. That’s the big thing is like at a certain point, if your focus, if your meaning is just tied up in what you do, it’s not going to serve you long term. It can serve you for a season and it very well may be a good time in your life where you need that season where you are dialed in. But big picture, long term, you know, it’s got to be something bigger. And you see this in a lot of professional athletes, business owners that sell, people that have their identity wrapped up in what they do, that it’s not who they are, it’s who they were or what their title was, what people know them for. And that’s a tough transition for people. You mentioned Jesse Elder and what a powerful human he is. I mean, anyone that has a chance, I just recommended him to a couple of people to coach with. But anyone who has a chance to coach with him, that guy is just a magician, a miracle worker. I actually don’t want to call it magician because that downplays what it is. I mean, he just has tactical strategies that are just powerful and they’re life-changing and life-giving.
Josh Lee: Oh, yeah. And I mean, like just not say, like I remember because Jesse was the new hotness and this was like ten years ago when I first before I like built a good friendship with him. And I remember I was at that point in my life where I was like, “Well, I’m going to go buy whatever mastermind. I’m going to go hire whatever coach,” because I could, because I had the money, right, to be able to do it. And I remember going to Jesse and saying, “Oh, yeah. Well, I heard you’re the new thing. I want to be part of your next program.” Here we go. And this is when he was first really started launching his bigger programs. It’s been forever. And he looks at me, he goes, “No.” I was like, “No? What do you mean no?” “Because I don’t think you’re ready for my program.” I’m like, “Dude, I’m ready to pay. I’ve got the cash. That’s all that matters. Like you should let me in. I’m going to be able to level up because I’m going to buy my way into leveling up and being able to go through.” And he was like, “I just don’t think you’re ready.”
After I left, I was sitting there going, “The hell.” I even called and left him a message and I was like, “Man, I don’t understand what’s going on.” And then it finally hit me of what I was doing and why, and he didn’t respond to my first message. My second message, I went in there and I was like, “Look, I get it now. I think I went in the wrong way. And I mean, this is one of the best lessons you’re already teaching me, being able to shift and go through how my mindset was.” He didn’t call me back again, didn’t text me back for like six, seven days. And I’m like I’m sitting here going, “What am I missing?” And the funny thing was, I thought it was a whole ploy that Jesse was doing but once you know Jesse, sometimes he just doesn’t look at text messages, and like he gets back to me like seven days later. He’s like, “Hey, man. Got your message.” He’s like, “You know, I think you’re right. I think you’re ready.” And I’m like, “Dude, man. You put me through the ringer.” He goes, “Oh, unintentionally. I just didn’t see your text message yet.”
Justin Donald: That’s so funny. Well, and the great thing about Jesse, I mean, for anyone that knows him or those that are looking to get to know him, he doesn’t really care about money, you know? So, he lives a lifestyle that is just much different than most of the rest of the people on the planet. And when he needs to figure those things out, he does but he lives opportunistically with what does life hold today? And it’s really cool. And he’s done very well and it’s probably because he’s not focused on money.
Josh Lee: Yeah. That was the biggest shift and allowed me to be able to see a different path, a different light. I mean without him and kind of going through, Justin, that reset, I mean I remember my lawyers, they go like, “This is going to take three years,” because my former thought I was hiding money everywhere, kind of going through it. And I said, “We can always make more money. We can’t make more time.” And so, at 36, I mean, I closed down all my companies, walked away, and to be able to save time not only for myself but with my kids. You know, I moved back in with my parents and with a little bit under $100,000, man, and I hadn’t worried about money for like ten years and started over. I mean, it was a big shift for me to be able to go through. And at first, I was like, “Yeah, freeing.” Being able to go through with having fun, all kind of stuff like that. But I honestly too didn’t realize until I came to a lot of my buddies and I was like, “Yeah, I think I’m having some issues.” And I was actually in a mini depression and I had said, “Let myself understand.” But truly, again, we talk about relationships to kind of pulling that all back.
Once I went back to my relations and said, “Hey, this is what I’m going on,” and the relationships I built are like, “Dude, we know. We got you,” life changed the next day and opportunity started opening up again. So, it’s really powerful on being able to understand, especially as an entrepreneur, don’t silo yourself, right? There are so many amazing people like just the people listening to this podcast are leveled up because they’re actually paying attention to other people out there. And you’re not alone in this world to be able to truly change not only what is around you, but their surroundings for everyone if you actually work with other people.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s awesome. And so, what was next? You moved on then from Myspace? You kind of got out of this funk, this depression. What was your next move?
Josh Lee: Dude, I mean, very similar like a little bit before you met me, and we kind of connected and stuff like that. But I mean, this was my time when I was, you know, as the pendulum swings, right? I was going to be a life coach. I was going to teach everyone all the things, all the mistakes that I had made. I mean, I wrote my book, Balance is Bullsh*t, how to live more of an integrated life, giving me this whole work-life balance. I mean, I had my mala beads on. I mean, I was full Zen brother and it was good but I realized, too, I wasn’t a life coach. I didn’t want that aspect. I wanted to be able to help people and I connect people. I was trying to totally forget all my digital past and go, “I’m going to go in a whole different direction.” And it wasn’t aligned. I didn’t find alignment so I took my new aspect of being able to understand who I was and how that humanness of what we needed was lost online and be able to pair it with that digital world that I had known so well.
And then that’s kind of where my company, StandOut Authority, was born, right, how to be able to shift perspective. Not how to sell someone online, but how do we educate, inspire, and draw them in? Have them choose to work with someone. And it really, really blessed me to be able to work with some of the people. I started working with some of the men and women. I used to read their books on how to be able to start my own companies 20 years ago. Now, they’re my clients and I was helping them really build advocates first online and allow that byproduct become clients. Very similar, like you said, with Jesse allowing what he does to be the main source and a lot of the byproduct to be money. So, that shift allows me where I am today and it just happened to be on a platform that most people don’t know how to use, which was LinkedIn.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And so, let’s talk about LinkedIn because I remember when it first came out and I was thinking, you know, part of me was like, “Man, this thing could take over the world,” and then part of me is like, “Is this really going to catch on? Because Facebook’s so big, do people really want like a professional network to connect with?” And so, I went back and forth and I remember creating a profile very early on and I was like, “You know what? I think this is going to go somewhere,” because I can see myself not wanting to connect socially all the time like I see this business opportunity. Now, I didn’t necessarily understand the magnitude of how big it would become and that this might become one of the largest recruiting tools in existence, which is neat, but I’d love to hear some of your thoughts because you are the foremost LinkedIn expert that I know and you’ve got a great name, a great reputation in the space. So, most people that are listening to this, maybe close to everyone listening to this is in need of some of the expertise that you have that they haven’t completely optimized or even really in some cases began the beginning stages of optimization for their LinkedIn profile. So, where do you start?
Josh Lee: You know, that’s the whole piece, man. And I appreciate the question, Justin, because LinkedIn’s that power platform that people go, “Oh, it’s a place to be able to find a job.” Yes and, right? And this is that biggest thing. Microsoft a couple of years ago purchased LinkedIn, one of their largest cash purchases ever. And I mean, it’s been one of their highest returns. I mean, they’re integrating it. I’m going to tell you right now, like anyone went, “Oh, why LinkedIn?” Dude, if you’re going to bet against Microsoft, they’ve been around forever, you’re betting on the wrong horse. I mean, they’ve been around for a couple of decades now and continue to be able to have a massive thing and have their fingers in so many different products and services. And that’s what they’re looking with LinkedIn as well too. Because a lot of these things, I mean, your LinkedIn profile, if you’re looking for a job, great place to be able to do it. If you have a high-end product or service, you want to be able to leverage, to be able to connect with, dude, the audience, LinkedIn’s audience, right?
You look at like, for me, a lot of the clients we work with have high-end products or services like anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 offers. And then the biggest thing is too like the average income. You look at Twitter. It’s about $58,000 a year. Facebook is around $64,000 a year. Any guesses on where LinkedIn’s average income is, Justin?
Justin Donald: Oh, gosh, I have no idea. I would probably guess grossly wrong.
Josh Lee: I’ll save you that. It’s about $120,000 a year. So, I mean, like, think about that, right? If you have a high-end product or service, you want someone to have a higher disposable income. So, if the average income’s around 120 that much more than the other platforms, there’s massive opportunity to be able to connect. Now, the big thing is most people think, “Oh, I can just go through when we get it.” I hate LinkedIn. I get all the spam messages because every single person’s going in there and they’re like, “I’m just going to go in and I’m going to spam a thousand people. I get the one sale.” Yeah, yeah, I got the one sale, right, but you just pissed off 999 people. There’s a better way to be able to do it and that’s the kind of whole piece, right? There’s a human way. How do we actually make those 999 people, that maybe aren’t ready for your service, advocates? Well, not only how you connect with them and build that relationship. It starts with your profile, right? How do you actually humanize that? So many people go in there like, “Oh, hey, there’s Joshua B. Lee, CEO of StandOut Authority, and like, that’s their career.”
I’m like, “Dude, I’m going to tell you right now, I didn’t wake up one day. I wasn’t born the CEO of StandOut Authority.” It didn’t say founder, right? There are so many things that are on there and they forget to be able to tell they’re not their job descriptions, but their career journey. Like, if you look at my profile, Justin, duty goes all the way back to when I was a server at Chili’s. You know how many people go on there and they’re like, “Dude, you worked at Chili’s? Me too.” Because what I said in the beginning, Justin, was, “How do we actually start a conversation that creates a relationship and opened up opportunity?” If you can’t actually go through and put as much on your profile as possible, talk about all your different jobs, being able to go through where you’ve been, different volunteering experiences, different organizations. All that is an opportunity for connection because as human beings, the biggest thing that I look at is I don’t care about the Facebook or Instagram algorithm, how the Twitter or even I don’t care about the LinkedIn algorithm. I care about the human algorithm. That’s the one I remember doesn’t change every couple of days, every couple of months, evolves over time.
So, for me, as human beings, just like you and I, we look for commonalities, you know, Front Row Dads, getting business, going to the same events, right? That brought you and I together. So, that’s what I want people to think about on LinkedIn is how can you actually put more things on it to be able to help someone go from knocking on your door, trying to be able to sell you something. So, me and Justin sitting on a couch because we have some kind of commonality that we built because of that connection. And we’re sitting on a couch and I have to be like, “Justin, dude, I got these new AirPods.” and you’ll actually go, “Dude, tell me more about them.” And so, that’s the thing about LinkedIn is you got to realize you have to be you on that platform, even though it’s B2B, dude, there’s no B2B or B2C. There’s only HH, human to human. Every company is run by another human being. Most marketers just forget that.
Justin Donald: Yeah, that’s good. So, basically, you’re telling me I need to list on my, you know, I guess in my experience that I used to work for Abercrombie and Fitch.
Josh Lee: Dude, hell yeah. Guess what? I’ve heard from my kids that Abercrombie and Fitch is actually coming back and it’s cool again.
Justin Donald: I’ve heard that. I’ve heard that. I’ve seen that. You know, it’s interesting. When you mentioned Chili’s, it brought up like even just for me, something like if I had seen that, I’ve got positive association with Chili’s because we used to go there a lot when we were younger. And so, when I was in high school, I met this girl that worked there and I was like, “Oh, she is amazing.” And I kept going back trying to work up the courage to ask her out and just really became friends with her, and eventually invited her to ask her to be my date to my senior prom. So, yeah, all through Chili’s.
Josh Lee: That’s the whole thing, right? Like, people forget to be able to put these little things on there. I mean, it’s crazy. And, I mean, like it’s not just about building those connections. Like, all of us want to be found on the biggest search engine out there, right? Dude, I mean, like, this is why I love LinkedIn because people go, “Well, you want to get indexed on Google.” Everyone’s trying to do SEO or trying to be able to do all these other things. Just like Pinterest is a search engine and YouTube is a search engine, LinkedIn’s at one of the best search engines out there. Google indexes the hell out of it. So, the Moz score like how actually SEO is ranked based on Google and things of that nature, it’s 100 out of 100. So, all of those things from the way that you have your profile, your content, all the articles are highly, highly indexed on Google. So, whatever’s in your profile, I guarantee you if you put an article on your own company page and then you actually go put that same article on LinkedIn, I guarantee you if I search for it, I’m going to find the LinkedIn link before I’ll find it on your own page, nine times out of ten.
Justin Donald: That’s powerful. That’s good to know, especially for people that are trying to create awareness for what they’re doing for their company, their investment, their brand, their charity, whatever it is, you know, achievements. That’s awesome. So, tell me more about like how does your company like solve these everyday problems? How does your company help people create a better profile, create more conversion? I want to learn more about the ins and outs of what you guys do.
Josh Lee: Dude, it’s been fun. I mean, the good thing about what we do is the people that we work with, yes, they have high-end products or services but at the same time, the first thing I ever ask anyone, are you adding value to this world? Are you just trying to monetize it? Because the people I want to work with, I want to help. You have to get seen to be able to draw people in. Those are the people, right? They’re trying to be able to truly change this world for the better. So, I’ve done enough in that advertising world, all the other stuff, and that really helped a lot of people. So, as we kind of go through, I mean, one of the biggest things that we start doing is if you’ve got something new, we kind of come in. It was kind of a blast last year and my amazing wife, Rachel B. Lee, she left corporate. She had been running branding for the Microsoft Partner Network. Then she was running branding for Gartner Digital Networks and she left last year and partnered with me at the company and now runs that side of the business for it.
So, really being able to go in and help someone, one, you got to tell their story, understand their messaging, how their tonality, because what we do, we come in and say for you, Justin, we come and we understand who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and then help communicate that in a human fashion. Right? We’re here to be able to help you build relationships, right? If someone comes to me and they go, “Hey, Josh, I need a thousand leads,” dude, I’m not your guy, right? There’s a thousand people behind me that are willing to take your money because that’s exactly what they’re going to do if you’re looking for lead generation on LinkedIn. But if you want to build a high-end relationship that create opportunity, that’s where we step in. We understand who you’re trying to target, how do we communicate with them? And then, funny enough, man, I just do the things that my mom taught me how to be able to treat other human beings. We just do it online. It’s kind of how I got the title of Dopamine Dealer of LinkedIn, right? Because I mean, that’s kind of what we’re doing because the average person, when you look on LinkedIn online for the last… Dude, did you ever see the movie, Social Dilemma?
Justin Donald: Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Josh Lee: So, we’ve been conditioned in the last 20 years basically to be in this human algorithm of like, comment, share, post, like, comment, share, post. And so, one of the biggest things is as we were trained to be able to do that, creating stop gaps in someone’s pattern and start as easy as appreciating someone, right? So, the things that we do as we go through appreciate people for taking actions, right? Being able to go in and nurture these relationships, getting compliments, asking about them, and providing value. I mean, these are just little things that I was taught throughout my own life to be able to do but you forget to be able to do it on LinkedIn or any of their platform. And so, when someone has that, you start these things. We’re doing this organically, helping them create content and engaging with their content. Engaging with people that engage with you is super powerful. And then we take over and build the relationship and hand off a powerful relationship with that person after building out their profile, understanding their messaging, understanding how to be able to build their content, and then who they want to attract rather than who they want to sell.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s good. I love it. And on a comical note, is it a requirement that you have B as your middle initial to be able to work there, be a founder, be a partner?
Josh Lee: It is funny, right? Because, I mean, like it happened by accident. They were like, “Wow. You’re branding with your wife. You’re Joshua B. Lee and she’s Rachel B. Lee.” I’m like, well, one, Josh Lee is lost online. It’s not, you know, going through. There’s a lot of Josh Lees out there so I did that and Rachel’s last name was Bronstein. So, when we got married, not ever think we were going to work together. She just moved that to her middle name and she became Rachel B. Lee and then we became, as most people knew us online, as the B Lees. And I’ve got it here and now we’ve got our community called The FamiLEE.
Justin Donald: That’s great. It’s awesome branding. And I’ve seen you wear your apparel. It’s awesome.
Josh Lee: Dude. I mean, it’s funny because I finally like leaned into it because before I had my first two kids, my son, Jaden, and my daughter, Skyler, it was people were like, “Oh, dude, you should name your kid because of the last name of Lee, it sounds like LY, like Positive Lee, Absolute Lee. You know, and I’m like, yeah, I’m so sick of everyone kind of going through. Like, after a while, you hear all your boys going, you know, giving you all these amazing names that they think are like funny as hell. And, you know, finally we leaned into it. We’re like, “All right, we’re going to our own the Lee,” and family was born and then kind of going through there because it goes to the same things that we want to represent for everyone.
Justin Donald: Oh, that’s so cool. And I can relate because my wife did the same thing. She moved her last name to her middle name. So, I think that’s really great for women that are switching last names to still be able to embrace theirs. So, let’s kind of dive into this newest component of your business because you’ve recently gotten into crypto and NFTs. And so, I’d love to hear your thought process around some of that branding because this is the wave of the future, especially from a branding standpoint, especially from like a capability standpoint, and access standpoint. So, talk us through that.
Josh Lee: Dude, I love that you say that because I hold you with high regard when you’re talking about investing and new things like that because, I mean, some people go in like, “Oh, crypto, you know, it’s kind of going through.” So, for you to even ascertain of where we’re at, where it’s going, I mean, you’re saying the same things that Rachel and I see, too. It makes me go, “Yay. Okay, I’m doing something right because Justin’s saying things that I want him to say, because it truly is, it’s a next level of branding, right? As you kind of be able to go through. And then that’s where we see like you have different people. You look at like Nike, right? Like, everyone goes through like, you know, I’m an avid Nike collector. Like, my wife recently told me I’m not allowed to buy. I’m only allowed one pair of Nikes a month because she went and counted my shoes, Justin. She goes, “In the last three months you bought 16 different pairs of Nikes.”
Justin Donald: Wow. How many pairs do you own in total?
Josh Lee: I think I’m only at like I’ve only done this in the recent year so probably like 35, 40 pairs of Nikes. But I got more hooked on winning them, because like in the world of Nike, if you don’t get the opportunity to win, they’ll buy them now. Like, 2 seconds later, they’re resold because the branding is so strong, a pair of Nikes that you would pay 154, now are on 400 or 500, hell, sometimes a couple of thousand dollars being able to go into it but Nike doesn’t reap those benefits. And I think that’s the beautiful thing of where it kind of goes with crypto as they’re kind of embracing these things. If you put in tokenization into it or you have an NFT associated with it, as the brand as it continues to be able to pass on, the creator gets access and gets to be able to take a percentage back based off of what they’ve created. I think that’s what we’re going to see a lot of these brands creating their own currency within their community. I mean, that’s what we did with StandOut Authority. We created the SOA coin. My wife, you know, funny fact, I was like, “SOA, yeah, we’re going to get jackets.”
She goes, “I know why you’re doing this.” Yes, that’s the company StandOut Authority but, of course, I thought Sons of Anarchy, love the show. I was like, “We’re going to create motorcycle jackets.” She goes, “No, you’re not. There’s a level where I have to stop you because your ADHD goes off and you’re like, ‘Ooh, I’m going to create all this other fun sh*t.” But, I mean, that’s the thing, man. I mean, what we’re doing on that, we created a community and we allowed people to be able to go in and be able to own this coin. And I wanted to shift what we were doing for so many years. For 20 years, dude, I’ve been in this industry. We’ve been trading money for information, right? And with masterminds, with everything, with this course, that course, whatever, yes, it’s great and, right? Because what I want to be able to shift around, I want to turn that information into assets. And that’s what I can see with cryptocurrency, especially in our world. We’re going in and going, “Hey, guess what? If you own a ticket right now is to be able to get access to every masterclass, everything that we’ve ever done and gone through, you have to hold 300 SOA coins.”
Now, our coin’s worth about a dollar a coin right now based on the levels of crypto. But people don’t get it either, Justin, like, “Wait a minute. So, do I buy the coins, and then I give you the coins back to be able to go in?” “No, it’s utility of owning the coin. You get access into our courses because they’re investors, because the more people that are actually on the coin, the value of that goes up.” I mean, that’s what I’m trying to be able to build is not just short-term, right, value and being able to sell. What’s now I’m looking at where we’re going over the future and I think that’s where crypto has the opportunity. So long as somebody probably like, “Oh, I’m going to create this digital art and I put it up.” I mean, look, Gary V crushed it with a whole bunch of doodles and now those things are worth a crazy amount of money but we’re not going to see the times of the Gary V’s being able to do that. We’re not going to be able to see the same kind of scenario. If you look at why am I losing board dates, right, which funny story, I was actually offered to be on a panel when that launched, when we were doing Clubhouse back in the day, I was like, “Dude, I’m not spending $200 on a stupid, you know, graphic of a gorilla,” you know, kind of going through hindsight…
Justin Donald: That’s rough.
Josh Lee: Hindsight being 20/20 kind of going through all these but this is where we’re going. They have to have utility attached to it, no matter if it’s crypto or if it’s actually NFTs. As I see the power of the creator coin and things of that nature, utility is going to be where everyone has to be. You can’t just put something out there and we’re going to see it change and truly change the way branding is seen for many of these bigger companies. And even for the guys like you and I, we can truly create community and opportunity and brand awareness to a currency that’s used within our group.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And you’ll see now, I mean, a lot of these big companies, some of the powerhouses out there have brought in some big teams to kind of create their own version there. So, for me, I saw it before they started doing it but me seeing them doing it is a great just kind of like a reassurance that this is the direction that things are headed. And by the way, we have a Lifestyle Investor NFT and we haven’t built out all the functionality on it. But for anyone that owns a brand, it really is a no-brainer to put something like this together because you can create something that gives a certain amount of access. You can have different coins, different levels. You can have founding members. You can have it for existing members, new members. You can have different levels for the tiers that people get access to but then you can build in. So, like with ours, any time it gets sold, there’s an extra 10% that goes back to The Lifestyle Investor brand and company itself. And so, a lot of the people in this space are able to do that and there’s a way to monetize every transaction that happens.
Josh Lee: Oh, yeah, dude. And I didn’t know that you had an NFT. So, now after this, you need to text me and make sure I can go pick one up if they’re readily available somewhere because, I mean, I definitely want to be able to own one, dude. Recently, I was very excited. Bill Murray launched an NFT with The Chive here in Austin and I missed the first round on it and it was going for 1.5 ETH the first ones and I mean, dude, like overnight because what he did was he did his first 200,000. He’s attaching one of Bill Murray’s stories to the NFT. So, you actually own one of his stories when you get the NFT. So, that’s a utility and there’s going to be other things that are involved with that, being able to meet him and stuff like that. But they went from 1.5 ETH to I think the top one right now is 400 ETH, I mean, like overnight. Crazy investment but, I mean, those are the things I mean, think about once he passes two but I did get second round. So, I just picked up my Bill Murray NFT and I mean but this is the whole thing, right, is that brand like I remember growing up with it watching Caddyshack and Ghostbusters and all these other things. And that’s what we’re seeing brands need to do. And I think we’re going to start seeing a lot of personalities start being able to leverage this too, just like you are.
Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s incredible the opportunity here. And right now, we’re like scratching the surface. So, our…
Josh Lee: You’re pretty handling well.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s right. We’re only for members right now but we are going to be expanding our NFT optionality. There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve considered and looked at but we definitely wanted some exclusivity in our beginning NFTs and access. And some of these beginning ones to the founding members are just highly valuable. I love seeing like people selling them on OpenSea, you know, and it’s like, “Whoa, you’re listing that one for a million bucks. That’s cool.” And someone else I got to introduce you to is my friend, Mitch Johnson. So, Mitch is the Head of Keller Capital. So, he basically manages and invests Gary Keller of Keller Williams, his money, and has just an incredible track record. But he has a shoe collection like no other. I mean, this guy has some of the coolest sneakers out there and is a true collector. So, I think you guys would have a lot of fun. He has socks like a sock collection, sells socks. He’s an investor in a bunch of things if you’re familiar with the collective.
Josh Lee: Oh, yeah. Right.
Justin Donald: So, he’s, you know, some of the people that are kind of in the space up above, back in the office back there. So, some of that apparel upfront in that location he’s a part owner.
Josh Lee: It’s those fun things, right? Like, we can go through and be able to do things like for me, like the shoe side, it’s kind of like me and my wife goes in, she’s like, “I don’t know why you buy them. Like, you don’t leave the house half the time and like no one’s seeing your Nikes.” I’m like, “I see them. I like them. When I leave the house, someone else might see.” Every single time they’re like, “Oh, dude, I love your kicks,” and like I look at her and I go, “See? See?”
Justin Donald: That’s great. Well, this has been awesome, Josh. I feel like we could talk for hours more but where can people learn more about you and more about your brand?
Josh Lee: Dude, I mean, like, of course, you can go to StandOutAuthority.com, but what I’d love everyone to do because, again, it builds a better relationship for you and I, and I get to know them as well too, please connect with me on LinkedIn. Find me, Joshua B. Lee and then tell me why you love Justin, why you listen to his podcast, what’s going on. Because if you give me that story and send me a personal message, don’t just send me that blank connection request because, I’ll be honest, I’m not doing like most people on LinkedIn playing Pokemon, trying to catch them all. Like, I’m trying to build those relationships. So, if you send me a message on why you listened to Justin’s podcast, why you love him, I can actually tell Justin like, “Dude, look at all these amazing messages that are kind of going through.” So, that’s the best way, dude.
Justin Donald: Well, that’s cool. I love that. And I mean, here and everything you talked about today, I’m like, man, you and I need to be working together because I know I’m falling short probably in every social media avenue because I don’t really care about it all that much. And I just want to live life inside of real life, not social media life. But in today’s day and age, there’s an argument to be made that really needs to be operated at a high level.
Josh Lee: You know, Justin, brother, I mean, I love you and I’m like that. I mean, like that’s the biggest thing like you continue to be able to change that value to me because I know you but, I mean, I look at my past. Like when I first started, I had the opportunity to step in front of the curtain a lot more and change the way and be able to talk about what I thought Google was doing at the time that I didn’t believe in. And I was like, “Now, I’m going to sit back.” And more that men like you and I are in front of the curtain sharing what we do, allowing even though it might not be where we feel called specifically on social media, the more that we’re able to actually go out there, educate, inspire and draw people in, the more that we’re going to be able to change this world for the better, not only for you and I, not only for our own kids but for their kids in the next generations.
Justin Donald: I love it. Well, thank you for joining us. And I like to end every episode by asking our listeners just a simple question. It’s this one. What’s one step that you can take today to move towards financial freedom and living a life you truly desire on your terms, not by default, but by design? We’ll catch you next week.