Matt Astifan is a 9-year entrepreneur, social media expert and founder of WebFriendly.com. He consults for huge companies like Tim Hortons and teaches business professionals how to navigate their social media marketing. Matt runs the hugely popular Internet Masterminds Meetup group, which has over 7000 members. In addition to being a great source for internet marketers in Vancouver, it’s also the largest internet marketing meetup group in North America.
He’s been a guest lecturer at more colleges, technical institutes and universities than I knew existed in Greater Vancouver. He’s given 100+ keynotes, and he builds online courses that have been enrolled in by tens of thousands of students all over the world.
On How He Got Started
Matt was one of the earliest pioneers of many social media networks. Today, the expertise he developed is the basis for his brand. “People mostly know me as a social media trainer” he says, though his business these days is far more comprehensive than that. It emphasizes one-on-one counselling with entrepreneurs to help them engage their plans.
His services have changed several times, but that’s never been an obstacle. As he puts it, “The thing is, once you have the skills of internet marketing, you can go into any business and know what to do: You got to grow an audience, engage that audience and convert that audience.”
On the principle that changed his life
In a TED video (don’t ask him which one), Matt heard a maxim that would go on to change his life in a crucial moment: “People get ahead on the time that other’s waste”. Those same words came to him on a cold rainy day when he was thinking about skipping his first meeting with the local genius group that would someday explode into his successful meetup group. He forced himself to take that first step, and it was the basis for everything that came after.
On His Lessons From the Lifestyle Biz, and Why He’s Building Something Different
Matt spent his first few years working the “lifestyle” angle. It meant fun travel and a lot of flexibility, but his obligations were always in the back of his mind. Now he has a different goal: “I want to create an engine and a machine that can work without me”, he says. His focus is on being able to walk away. “It’s about building a team of people and letting go”.
On How a Moment of Initiative Became His Hit Meetup Group
“One day, the guys organizing it just didn’t show up,” He says of the genius group that he met so many great people at. When the group looked like it might fall apart, Matt stepped up and suggested a shift in platform. It turned out to be a move that kept the valuable group together through the next few stages until they became the record-setting meetup.
On the New Direction of His Courses
As his business has grown, Matt has changed a lot about how he views his product. Instead of just videos, all of his content becomes combined with personal one-on-one coaching to help entrepreneurs make big changes. “Information is free” he points out, “If you’re trying to sell information, you’re competing against Google Facebook (and any other places people can learn)”. Now, he prefers to sell something closer to the application of knowledge.
Check Him Out!
I had a great talk with Matt! Don’t miss the rest of the episode, because he has many helpful tips for internet marketers who want to develop a real brand and focus. Make sure you check out his free course at webfriendly.com/bootcamp!