Social Media Growth Hacking Strategies with Zach Benson – EP 126

Interview with Zach Benson

Rick Sapio

Social Media Growth Hacking Strategies with Zach Benson

Standing out in the world of social media and influencer marketing can be exhausting. Big brand names are constantly vying for followers’ attention, making it difficult to cut through the noise and make a name for yourself online.

Enter today’s guest, Zach Benson. Zach is the Founder of Assistagram, a network of 220+ million Instagram followers that’s helped influencers and Fortune 500 companies accrue millions of new followers on Instagram.

Thanks to Zach’s expertise, influencers like Les Brown, Robert Kiyosaki, as well as companies like ClickFunnels, have been able to connect with their target audience and truly make an impact.

Zach has shared stages with powerhouse speakers like Tony Robbins, Sylvester Stallone, Grant Cardone, Daymond John, and GaryVee, to name just a few.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

How Zach built a 220+ million network on Instagram despite his outsider upbringing battling racism, a speech impediment, and ADHD.

Strategies and tactics for creating viral content and making huge brands excited to work with you.

The importance of building a genuine social media community instead of buying your way to social media fame with “empty followers.”

Featured on This Episode: Zach Benson

✅ What he does: Zach Benson is the Founder of Assistagram, a company that empowers influencers and Fortune 500 companies to connect with real followers in their target audience. Dubbed “the influencer’s secret weapon” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Zach has helped influencers such as Robert Kiyosaki, Russell Brunson, and more cut through the noise to accrue millions of new followers on Instagram. Throughout his career, Zach has shared stages with powerhouse speakers such as Tony Robbins, Sylvester Stallone, Grant Cardone, Daymond John, and Gary Vee, sharing his expertise on Instagram growth. He is also the founder of a 6-Figure Dancer Academy, where he teaches other dancers the step-by-step system he used to create a profitable 6-figure dancing business while traveling the world.

💬 Words of wisdom: With great content comes more growth, and with an army of people singing, shouting your praises comes more money.” – Zach Benson

🔎 Where to find Zach Benson: Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook

Key Takeaways with Zach Benson

  • How Zach used his “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant experience to earn $1000 per hour as a dance teacher.
  • How he overcame his upbringing struggling with a speech impediment and ADHD, and being bullied because of his ethnicity.
  • Seizing life’s opportunities by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
  • How a back injury led Zach to build Assistagram that grew to 220+ million followers.
  • The inexpensive hack Zach used to build long-term lucrative relationships with big brands in the hospitality field, such as ViceRoy and Ritz Carlton.
  • Using your social media reach to give back to the community.

Zach Benson on The Secret to How Big Brands Go Viral

Zach Benson Tweetables

“I think to me that's what life is all about. It's exploring the world and doing epic things with the people that you love and you care about the most.” – Zach Benson Click To Tweet “We're afraid of messing up, looking bad. We're afraid of getting out of our comfort zone and just dancing. It's hard for us, a lot of people, to put ourselves out there, but I think that's what really helped me grow my business was I… Click To Tweet


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Read the Full Transcript with Zach Benson

Justin Donald: All right. What’s up, Zach? Good to have you.

Zach Benson: Hey, thanks for having me, Justin. Excited to be here.

Justin Donald: Yeah. This is going to be fun because we’re going to get to talk about, gosh, all the cool travel experiences you’ve had, the travel hacks. In fact, the way you and I met was actually on an epic trip to Fiji. And what an amazing experience. We got a chance to – I didn’t know you. I didn’t know who you were before that. And one of my friends is like, “Oh, yeah, this guy’s amazing.” And so, that’s when I really first got to know you and I was blown away by how many places in the world you’ve traveled to at such a young age.

Zach Benson: Yeah, man. Travel is my life. You know, I think it’s beautiful to just simply explore the world and create precious memories with your loved ones and people that you care about most. So, I’ve been to over 80 countries now. I just got back from Abu Dhabi just like a few hours ago. So, we were doing Ultra Music Festival and doing the marketing for the event. There’s 20,000 people. So, yeah, I love traveling and going on adventures. So, hopefully, we all get to meet up soon.

Justin Donald: Oh, I love it. Well, we are supposed to record this yesterday and you’re like, “Hey, man, had to rearrange some flights.” And I told you this is a tight window for me because I’m taking close to three weeks off. And it was funny because you’re like, well, maybe we can record it here in business class. And I was like, “That’s awesome. No one’s ever done that before.” Probably wouldn’t turn out but I just love that you’re totally down to like make stuff happen.

Zach Benson: Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Well, I’m really excited beyond, you know, it’s a pleasure. It’s an honor. You’re a legend. So, excited, man.

Justin Donald: Well, let’s get into some stuff. Well, first off, let’s talk about Fiji because what an amazing place. So, I had never been. It was high on my list. We were connected via our mutual friend, Brad Weimert, and he put together kind of this really epic trip with just a small, curated group of people. And I got to tell you, I was blown away. I was blown away about the activities that we did. I was blown away by just how amazing and happy and joyful the Fijian people are. I’m curious your thoughts on it being as traveled as you are.

Zach Benson: Yeah. Fiji’s like one of my favorite places in the world and Brad and the crew, they put together an awesome event, really top-level, top-quality people, entrepreneurs, and we had a lot of fun experiences. I think there’s like a floating bar there and we went island hopping and we drink, what’s that called? I forget the local drink.

Justin Donald: Kava.

Zach Benson: Kava, which is a nonalcoholic drink, but just all-natural and brings out all the good vibes and energy and I think we had a dance party. I love the Fijian people, man. I can’t wait to go back. Actually, since then I’ve been back once and I spoke at another mastermind there. So, I love the water, I love the people. You know, it’s a great place.

Justin Donald: That’s awesome. You’ve been back since. I’m jealous. Yeah. That bar is out in the middle of the ocean. It’s called Cloud 9, and it literally just floats in the middle of this gorgeous ocean. And we had all kinds of fun water toys. We had that, I forget what you call it. It’s like a Batwing thing that you’re like underwater and it like whips you around. I mean, it is so cool. And one of the things, one of my favorites were there like speedboats where these boats could literally glide at incredibly fast speeds. I mean, we’re talking like 9,000 miles an hour. I’m literally like inches like an inch to two inches, even an inch and a half of water. I think they had said that even on one inch of water, these boats can just cruise. And their lakes are just windy or their rivers, rather, just windy all over the place. It was such a cool experience.

Zach Benson: Yeah. It was a lot of fun for sure. And I love how it’s so close to Australia and New Zealand. So, after my most recent trip to Fiji, I went over there. So, yeah, it’s one of the best places in the world. So, for any of you that haven’t gone, I highly recommend going.

Justin Donald: Oh, that’s so cool. You’ve got me beat. It’s not often that I find someone that’s been to more countries than me and I have a handful of friends that have been to, I mean, a ton. I’ve got a few that are in the hundreds and I’ve got a couple that have been to all countries in the world which I’d like to get to all 193 recognized countries. And technically, they’re more than that, right? There are countries that you and I would recognize as a country that maybe the UN doesn’t. But I want to explore the world. So, I think I’m sitting at 76 or 77. You’re at 80. One of our trips here is to go abroad, but it’s to a country that I’ve already been to. So, I’m not going to get to check anything off the list but this summer we are going to Iceland, and I’ve not yet been to Iceland, so we’ll get to check that off the list and then I think we’re also going to be going to Portugal and Spain and a few other places. So, it should be a lot of fun.

Zach Benson: That’s amazing. Yeah. And you just brought up a really good point. You know, I have friends too that have been to like all 200 nations and things. But I think to me, like my style of travel is to go back to some of the same countries I’ve been to, to create like deeper, more genuine relationships with the people and my friends there. And every time I go back, I do learn something about myself or the people or it’s a really cool experience. And I just got back from Antarctica, actually. So, that was my big, big trip. So, I hit the seventh continent thing. It was a funny trip, actually. It was pretty fun. We went with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, so all of his crew and Mac McAnally and all these famous country singers. I was partying on a yacht with 60 and 70-year-olds. They have a lot of fun, but it was 150 adults. And, yeah, man, Iceland’s going to be amazing as well. So, I’m excited to see pictures from your trip.

Justin Donald: I love it, you partying with some Parrot Heads. I’ll tell you what, I have had some fun at some Jimmy Buffett concerts. I can tell you there’s no one in the world that does a concert like him and his following. Like, just the tailgate before the concert is like an event like people live for that. I mean, it is an experience. I don’t know what that looked like being on a yacht. It was probably a little bit different, but probably just the same craziness. But I used to love going to the Buffet shows because you’d hang out all day in the parking lot wherever it is, until the show and everyone’s grilling food and everyone’s sharing it. And it’s just such a community vibe. I mean, it’s just amazingly wonderful people.

Zach Benson: Yeah, totally. So, good crew, good people. So, definitely a lot of fun. You have to go to another concert one of these days.

Justin Donald: I love it. So, where did you get this desire to travel? So, I know your backstory. Not everyone knows your backstory and I’d love for people to learn it. So, you were born in South Korea and were adopted by a family here in the U.S. and if memory serves me correctly, you moved to Des Moines, Iowa, at a very young age, right?

Zach Benson: Right. Good memory. Yes. So, I was basically a baby like five months old when I was adopted and pretty much grew up in Iowa, lived in Iowa, went to high school, college there, lived there most of my life. And then I started traveling. So, during my sophomore year, sophomore semester, I decided to study abroad in Spain. So, Spanish was one of my majors. So, I did a semester in Spain, and I think that’s when I actually got the travel bug. And the reason why I wanted to go over to Spain was, one, because, yeah, I mean, it’s my major and, two, some of the world’s best dance crews at that time were in Spain, b-boys, break dance. So, I do that type of style of dance and I went over there and I met the local people and I trained four hours a day and I just really immersed myself in the culture and got really good at breakdancing and got really good at Spanish and then started traveling all over Europe. And since then, dance was actually the thing that took me around the world. So, I basically set up these dance workshops and taught kids how to improve their performance as dancers and did that for several years. So, that’s really kind of the back story.

Justin Donald: And that was your first business, right? You kind of created a dance company.

Zach Benson: Yes.

Justin Donald: And you yourself, I think, were like you were in dance competitions, right? Weren’t you featured in some of the big ones?

Zach Benson: Yes. So, actually, I was a participant on this very famous TV show called So You Think You Can Dance. And now I think they’re in their 28th season. I did like Season 8, 9, 10. I made it to the top 100 in the audition rounds out of thousands and thousands of people. And so, that kind of gave me like a little bit of like just some street cred. So, essentially what I did was I – so I didn’t win this show, so I wasn’t good enough to even make it the top 20. But the top 100 was pretty good. So, what the producer said was like, “Zach, you’re awesome. Like, you’re great at break dancing. You should take this all around the world and just teach it to mom-and-pop studios in Iowa, Nebraska, the Midwest, and all over the world. They probably really enjoy taking your classes.” And so, what I did is I created a system and I started just outreaching to people, hundreds of studios a month. And I sent them cold emails and I was like, “Hey, I was recently on So You Think You Can Dance? Here are some videos and clips of me dancing. I’d love to create a So You Think You Can Dance experience for your students because a lot of them never have the opportunity and the chance to actually participate and audition in the show.” And so, I created this masterclass and I taught three age groups, ages 5 to 8, 9 to 12, 13 and up. And towards the end of it, I was making around $1,000 an hour just teaching dance classes and, yeah, it was cool, man. It’s really cool.

Justin Donald: That’s incredible. What an opportunity to make some money and do the thing that you love and then travel the world because of it. So, what a perfect business to kind of spread your wings, if you will. And I know that that’s kind of a big deal for you. You got out of your comfort zone in doing that because as a kid, well, I’ve got to imagine, first and foremost, as you know, a kid born in South Korea, there are probably not a lot of other South Koreans in Des Moines, Iowa, in the smack dab middle of the U.S. I think the coasts experience a lot more diversity from that standpoint. And so, I’ve got to imagine there probably weren’t a whole lot of other people that maybe looked like you and I’d love to hear just kind of your experience there.

Zach Benson: Yeah. So, I was adopted. My sister’s adopted also. She’s from India. I’m from South Korea. And so, we grew up smack dab in the middle of Iowa, right? Just like the real little, small suburbs, right? So, very small school. And I was basically the only Asian kid at my high school. So, growing up for me I had all white friends and I wasn’t really exposed to the Korean culture. I never went to the big city at that time. I didn’t have my first Korean food until I actually moved to Korea and I found my birth mother in 2010. So, I didn’t grow up with it. And so, basically I think always inside I had an adventurous spirit and I always wanted to travel the world. I always wanted to teach dance in all these different countries. I wanted to find my birth mother and reconnect with her and learn about my roots and my culture. And so, I always had this adventurous spirit. But at that time, you’re right. Like, growing up for me was hard because, one, I looked different and, two, I had this speech impediment, right? Like, it’s really hard for Asians and Koreans to say the letter R. And so, I was teased a lot growing up, so I didn’t have a lot of friends. I literally just never said the letter R until I was like in my twenties.

I know it sounds silly, but those little things kind of held me back and my speech therapist was like, you know, I was like six at the time. She was like, “Zack, if you quit my classes, you’ll never be able to say the letter R. No one will be able to understand you and you probably won’t amount to much.” And I was a little kid and I heard all of this and it kind of crushed my spirit, crushed my dreams until I eventually found my voice through dance. And that changed my life. So, it wasn’t easy but I’m very grateful for my parents, my family, for bringing me up and raising me in Iowa. They’re awesome. They’re some of the best people I know, and I’ve traveled the world. And I think it’s helped me become the person I am today.

Justin Donald: Yeah. It is devastating for me to think about because I’ve got a ten-year-old daughter like any kid being teased for anything, let alone something that they just can’t help, like something that’s just I know kids can be ruthless, but that is heartbreaking to think something as ridiculous as a speech impediment can garner that. And I’ve got to imagine that is a confidence killer. And so, I think it’s so amazing that you found dance because that had to be such a big boost, and to make it to the top 100, and like all these things that are building it along the way. And by the way, today, you would never know that you had a speech impediment but I actually love the adversity that you went through kind of mastering that and overcoming and achieving. That’s powerful.

Zach Benson: Yeah. And I think what it is, is like when a lot of the times when we try too hard, we mess things up. And so, when I just simply just relax a little bit and just spoke naturally and indiscriminately and I wasn’t trying so hard to like do what my speech therapist said, it just went away. And I think that’s a lot of things in life, right? It’s like we’re afraid of messing up, looking bad. We’re afraid of getting out of our comfort zone and just dancing. It’s hard for us, a lot of people, to put yourself out there but I think that’s what really helped me grow my business was I wasn’t waiting for people to knock on my doors and say, “Zach, like I’d love for you to come and teach a dance workshop or I’d love to use you like your social media services now.” It was me doing a lot of outreach and creating a very interesting email to pique their interest and to get them excited and to get them on a phone call. And that’s really what helped me.

Justin Donald: And then you took that and you gave a TEDx speech, right? So, you went from speech impediment, not a lot of confidence in speaking, avoiding certain words for a decade-plus of your life, a couple of decades of your life. And you go to give a TEDx speech. I mean, that’s incredible. So, I love that. I love that you were able to overcome and I’ve got to imagine how to give you a lot of confidence in kind of building these different entrepreneurial enterprises that you’ve built. And I’d love to just kind of figure out how you got to the place that you became this like social media influencer trainer, but not just for people, which I mean, you’ve coached a lot of people, but for like big name brands like the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, the Viceroy, like big organizations that you’re working with, coaching, teaching. Tell us about that and how you got there and what that business has become today.

Zach Benson: Yeah. So, I mean, just the backstory of the same kid who got me into dancing, got me into Instagram. And so, when I hurt my back in India 2016 and I was rushed to the hospital and the doctor came in and was like, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to dance anymore,” I was like, “Dang. Okay. So, what do I do now?” I didn’t have a Plan B at that time because I thought I was invincible. I thought I was Superman. And so, when I heard that news, everything came crashing down and I was crushed and I was depressed and I didn’t know what to do. So, the same guy who I went to high school with was like, “Zach, listen, you got to get on an Instagram, like social media. Like, it’s amazing. You know, we’re growing accounts, thousands of followers a day.” This is like 2015, 2016. And I just went in and I bought like a 400,000-follower account in the comedy niche meme space. So, we started growing comedians, like they don’t even know it, but we were growing like famous people like Dave Chappelle and like all these guys, right? And so, then we rinsed and repeated the process and then I started buying more assets, more accounts in different spaces like the travel niche and luxury and fashion and beauty and motivation, and collectively now we have a network of over 200 million followers.

And so, we’re working with these really big brands, like all those names that you mentioned, a lot of luxury hotels, a lot of hospitality groups, a lot of individuals as well, just like that are pretty famous thought leaders and helping them grow bigger on social media. So, that’s really what we do is we help individuals and brands grow bigger online and help them get seen, known, and heard everywhere like online through our social media networks. So, we create them content. We help that content go viral with their network. We get an army of influencers and affiliates to promote their products and services, which makes them money. And so, really with great content comes more growth and with really like an army of people singing, shouting your praises comes more money. So, that’s what we’re doing.

Justin Donald: I love it. And by the way, you’ve been able to like kind of even hack it further. So, like you’ve helped people grow their influence, grow their network, grow their following, but you’ve also, for your own personal life in working with these larger travel groups and boutique, let’s call them some are bigger hospitality group, some are boutique hospitality groups. I mean, you’ve been pampered like you found some hacks to travel for very inexpensive prices, but at like top-notch places, right, resorts all across the world.

Zach Benson: Yeah. Let’s talk about that. It’s a pretty cool hack. And some of these overwater villas like four-bedroom overwater villas with a super slide in the Maldives. Like, I slide down the slide like pull out my phone, take a selfie like, “Oh, this is how you wake up in the morning. Slide down the super slide into the water.” I mean, this hotel has a retractable roof. So, with the press of a button, the whole roof opens up. You can see the sky at night. A telescope pops down. You can see the stars. This place is like around $40,000 to $50,000 USD a night in the peak season. So, they became my client in 2018. But before I had all these followers in this big network, I had to figure out a way to get my foot in the door. And so, essentially, what I did back then, the early days, 2015, 2016 was I made a list of accounts. So, I’d reach out to these big accounts and I’d be like, “Hey, I love your content. I love your page. How much do you charge for a shoutout like a promotion on your page?” And a lot of these accounts with millions of followers were ran by kids, teenagers, 15, 16, 17 years old. And so, they were quoting me very good prices, like $50 for a promo, $100 for a shout-out on my page.

And basically, what I did is I tap rooted into their network and I leveraged their pages and their following. So, then I approached these different hotels and I’m like, “Hey, I’m Zach. I’m a social media influencer with a network of 5 million followers. These are our accounts. So, I had my account and then I had all these other accounts that became my friends and into my network.” And essentially what I did was I just posted my content that I created at these really nice resorts on their pages for the fraction of a price. And that’s what kind of got my foot in the door. And then, boom, like they started bringing me back. They like the results, started hiring my company, and using our services. And that’s what really helped us take off. It was just giving for free, like creating a win-win, helping them in these pages get what they want to be paid for, and then helping these hotels get more reach, get more exposure.

Justin Donald: That’s amazing. So, Assistagram is what that business became, right? And it kind of evolved into a one-stop shop for everything, anything Instagram related, and even beyond that. I know you do other things. I know you help people get verified, which is a really important thing because I have so many darn people that keep trying to impersonate me on social media. It’s driving me crazy, trying to sell crypto to my network and pretending like they’re me. So, to anyone watching or listening, if you ever get some sort of offer from me for crypto or something that sounds a little fishy, it’s not me. All right. Someone has created a lookalike account. The name’s probably not spelled right or something. I’ve seen this on like all the social media platforms, but part of what you do is you help protect people like me from this happening, right? So, we’re working together right now to be able to solve for that so I can have a verified account so people know, “Hey, this unverified Justin Donald except Justin has two Is isn’t really me.”

Zach Benson: Right. I mean, we can do all things like growth hacking related. So, I mean, on all platforms we have connections to YouTube, to Facebook, Meta, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn as well. Right? So, it’s not just Instagram anymore but like, yeah, I mean, first thing is your name is your most important asset, right? So, like having your own name, like Justin Donald or like mine’s like @luxuryhotels or @besthotels, all these different pages, that really is important. And then the second thing is verification, right? Because that’s like street cred like your credibility, your reputation on social media. So, when you do have that blue dot, that blue check next to your name, it holds a lot of weight and locks in a lot of benefits as well. As far as like when you post on the platform as well, you get more reach and exposure, but it definitely helps having that so that you can protect yourself and also protect your people from all these crazy internet scams nowadays.

Justin Donald: Yeah. There’s no doubt, and I know that you have worked with a lot of big names in this space and you’ve helped them get verified. And you know, I remember when I talked to you at first, I’m like, “I don’t really feel like I have a need for this, Zach, because social media is not really my market. You know, that’s not where my typical customer is going to come from.” But what I’m seeing is it doesn’t actually matter if that’s your target market or not. If there are people impersonating you, it can create like a bad reputation, even though it’s not you, even though you’re not doing anything and you got to work hard just to kind of protect that. Right?

Zach Benson: Right. Exactly. And it’s also very important to just simply be on social media nowadays because, I mean, yeah, I love podcasts. I love listening to live presentations and attending masterminds in person. Those are some of my favorite things. But then it’s a great way to just simply stay connected with the people and give them content to consume and to actually just simply show them your lifestyle because that’s what they’re interested in. It’s like seeing the behind-the-scenes, seeing how you really live and arrange their lives, and what you do is fun for people. So, yeah, I’m totally with you. Times have changed but, yeah, I mean, it’s a good thing. It can be a good thing too.

Justin Donald: Yeah, certainly. I mean, with all things, for the most part, there are pros and cons, right? I try to get out of the space of something as absolutely good or absolutely bad. I actually think that with virtually all things or most things, it’s not that something is good or bad. It’s kind of even like decisions that you make. It’s not that making decision A is better than decision B. It’s that decision A has this list of pros and cons and decision B has this different list of pros and cons. And we’ve got to solve for like what maybe is better in that moment in that season of life for you right then. And you may not get to decision C unless you embark on decision A or B, right? Like, you open up more opportunities once you do that. So, that’s kind of what I’ve noticed in my life and not just from a social media standpoint. I’m just meaning holistically on decisions to improve life, decisions to improve health, to improve wealth, to improve knowledge, whatever it is.

Zach Benson: I like that. I love that.

Justin Donald: So, you talk a lot about how to grow your reach and how to harness social media. And you recently launched a book, a brand new book. And I’m so excited about this because I remember talking about this like way long ago when this was in like the idea stage, right? There were no words written down. I mean, you and I both, we hung out and I remember even telling you I’ve been thinking about writing a book and maybe I’ll write it. And I never thought that Lifestyle Investor would become what it has become. Sometimes I got to pinch myself because I’m very surprised, flattered, blown away with the success of the book. And it was really because I made the decision to put myself out there. And it’s tough because it’s easy to kind of like hide in the shadows and you put yourself out there. You’re going to get some rejection. You’re going to get some critics. You’re going to get some people that want to tell you why they’re better than you. And so, you just have to know that in doing this and being vulnerable and opening up and putting yourself out there, you’re going to have people that are very appreciative and are going to sing your praises. You’re going to have people that are going to be very tough critics of you. And so, I love that you’ve been able to do this. And your book is cleverly titled Reach. So, talk to me about the book and the process and what it’s about.

Zach Benson: Yeah. Well, thanks for that. You know, it’s been a long process, long thing in the works. I think three years we’ve been working on it just trying to get it right. So, Reach is, yeah, launching like next week so end of March, right? So, we’re going to be out soon. And it’s really how to connect with anyone, learning how to become a super-connector, building your network, which also multiplies your net worth, helping grow your reach and audience and your influence, and building a lifestyle business, really. And I kind of break down like all the strategies and hacks that I’ve used to grow millions of followers to help people that had zero followers and now they have over 50 million followers on all their platforms. So, we share stories like that as well as just some travel hacks to become like a destination influencer and do more of what you love, whatever that is and you and me both, Justin, is travel. For other people, it could be something different. But I talk about all those different things in the book and some tactical strategies on how to grow your social media, how to grow your network, grow your reach. And, yeah, just live the life that you want to live and do the things that you want to do when you want with whoever you want. I think to me that’s what life is all about. It’s exploring the world and doing epic things with the people that you love and you care about the most.

Justin Donald: I couldn’t agree more, Zach, on this and what a powerful message. My goal is that I can help share this same idea, the same message, the same stance on life with my network, my audience, my community, just whoever will listen because it is such a powerful way to live life. When you can live on purpose and you can live with intentionality, meaning you’re not going through life on autopilot. You’re not just responding to what’s happening. Like, you’re taking the time to be intentional and thoughtful and say proactively, “What would a great life look like?” Like, in a year from now, what would it look like? In five years from now, what would it look like? What are some steps that I can do today to get there and to even have an idea of like, to me, what’s an ideal life? Like to you, what’s an ideal life? Putting that time in is priceless to just dream and to just explore what could be. I mean, that to me is one of the best exercises I’ve ever done and then I’ve also got to say like one of the most therapeutic things I’ve ever done is actually write the book. You know, like you and I are speaking on a similar topic. I feel compelled to share this idea, this way of living with other people.

And it was very therapeutic to actually put it on paper and to write it out and to think through it. And I felt like before I could like put this finished product out, I had to really go through all the things that I had done before to get to where I was, but just to make sure I’m still living that same, I guess, ideology today as I was to get me to where I am to write it. Does that make sense?

Zach Benson: Yeah, absolutely. Like, I 100% agree and I’m excited. I’m really excited and to see all that you’ve done and achieved with your book and your network and building up your masterminds and just influencing and changing so many lives, it’s been inspiring to watch and see. So, man, I have respect for you and everything that you’re doing.

Justin Donald: Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I can tell you straight up, I had no clue if people were actually going to buy my book. I knew my family would. I knew I had some friends that would. And then beyond that, I was like, “I don’t know. I hope some other people do.” So, to hit the number one Wall Street Journal bestseller like that was like I could have never dreamed of that USA Today bestseller, Amazon bestseller, all that. And I hope and wish that for you because it just is a very fulfilling feeling and experience to know that other people value the information, the content that you hold dear, that they also hold it dear. And I’m very proud to say today The Lifestyle Investor is the top 1% of all books sold, period. And I could have never in a million years guessed it but I’m even more proud to say that all the profits of that book go to charity. Specifically, 100% of the proceeds have gone to fight human trafficking in over 30 different countries around the world. And so, because there was like people resonated with this message that it really was a good fit for them, we’ve now been able to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of people that don’t even have their human freedom that they should be granted just as a natural byproduct of being human.

Zach Benson: I love that. I love that, man, how you’re giving back and raise so much money and helping so many people. You know, at the end of the day, that’s really what it’s about, right? Like, the book is a tool to just help us reach more people, do more good, and spread our message, and hopefully, something sticks and something that we say and like helps someone. But I love how you’re giving back, too. And that’s what I want to do with mine as well, right? So, we’re going to be supporting refugees. So, we’re going to be donating 100% proceeds to World Relief, a resettlement agency that helps refugees relocate and transition to America. I personally volunteered with the organization for one year in 2009, lived on $2 a day for food, lived among refugees just like they did. And it really changed my life and taught me a lot of key things in life. And so, I want to do that with my new book, Reach. So, yeah, I love what you’re doing so keep it up.

Justin Donald: That’s powerful. I love that you also see a bigger picture of like the meaning and the impact that you have. So, your book, the content, can change people’s lives, but the reach, no pun intended, the reach of your book, Reach, right, the reach is tremendous because it’s not just about the lives that you can impact from the content, but you actually can create change from the capital that comes from it. And this is like real change. These are real people’s lives. And to anyone who’s listening to this podcast and to anyone who’s watching this on your computer, none of us will ever truly understand or very few of us will truly ever understand what it’s like for some of the people around the globe that have some of the harshest circumstances, I mean, just unimaginable things. So, I honor you in that and I’m so excited for what you’re building. Where can my audience learn more about you? Like, where can we find you online?

Zach Benson: Yeah, definitely. Well, I’d love to stay connected with all of you. And if you’re interested in learning more about my book, you can just simply go to is my social media growth monetization agency. And, yeah, you can find me, Zach Benson, anywhere. Just simply type my name. I’m @luxuryhotels on Instagram, Zach Benson on Facebook but, yeah, I’d love to hear your stories. We’d love to connect and help support you in any way. Justin’s a great friend. He’s awesome doing amazing things. So, any friend of Justin’s is a friend of mine, and we’d love to connect.

Justin Donald: Well, thank you. And this has been such a fun episode. I’m so glad that we were able to make this work.

Zach Benson: Yes. By the way, one thing and also for your people, right, because you’re Justin Donald, man, and got a lot of love for you like if you really want to learn more about social media growth hacking, I just want to give this gift away. It’s usually only for new clients and people that we onboard but I’m happy to give you this very detailed like really awesome PDF, Growth Hacking Guide of 2023: Tips and Strategies to Grow Your Social Media for free.

Justin Donald: Love it. You’re the best. Thanks so much. I appreciate it. Always love our time. Can’t wait until we hang again in person. I mean, we did get a chance to meet at F1 in Monaco last year. We didn’t even talk about that. I mean epic, epic experiences. We both got a chance to literally like be in in the presence of the King, LeBron James, right, which is pretty cool. We hung out at the Paris Hotel, which is just incredible. Man, the casino there that they filmed Casino Royale at is just such a killer place, and that race, unbelievable. I mean it really does bring in the who’s who. That was an epic trip, right?

Zach Benson: Yeah. I think I’m going to start going to all of them like, I mean, every year. They have them in I think in a couple of weeks they have one in Melbourne, Australia, Abu Dhabi, all over the world. So, I can’t wait to go back to Monaco. That was an epic trip for sure. Like you said, LeBron James, Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, Venus Williams were like my neighbors next to me. And you just do really meet the really top quality people, famous people. You see them everywhere. It’s fun.

Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s so fun just to kind of be in the same space as them. I don’t ever want to be a fanboy, so I just always act like people are normal. Like it’s, hey, just say hi. Don’t try and do the autograph thing or the picture thing. But every now and again I get pictures of some fun people. But as a general rule, I just want to let them be and just say hey and just say, “Hey, thanks for what you do.” Our time is always treasured and I just appreciate connecting and learning the wisdom that you have to offer. And I love ending every episode that I do with asking the listeners and those watching one simple question, and that’s this: “What is one step that you can take today to move towards financial freedom however you see that, whatever way you need to, whatever step it is to get you closer to really living a life that you truly desire, a life that’s on your terms, that’s not by default, but it’s by design? What’s that step? Take it today. And I can’t wait to catch you next week.

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