Founder Stories: Brett Lindenberg’s Food Truck Empire
In today’s Founder Story we feature Brett Lindenberg, the Owner of FoodTruckEmpire.com and Mobile-Cuisine.com!
Read on for lessons he’s learned from launching and marketing his business.
1) Please introduce your business and share your role.
Hello! I’m the owner of FoodTruckEmpire.com and Mobile-Cuisine.com. The goal of both websites is to help food entrepreneurs start and grow profitable businesses.
Like so many other online publishers I’ve met, growth of these websites have been slow and steady. But I’m so thankful that I continued to push forward with these websites even though the first few years running the websites things progressed at a snail’s pace.
2) What’s your backstory? How did you come up with your the idea for FoodTruckEmpire and Mobile-Cuisine?
I got the idea to start a blog about food trucks way back in 2013. At the time there was a show called “The Great Food Truck Race” that was one of the highest rated television shows. This was a reality show that followed along different food trucks who competed to make the best food and generate the most sales.
This TV show got a lot of people interested in starting a food truck, including myself. But when I went to Google to search “how to start a food truck” I couldn’t find much helpful information about starting this type of business available. This got me thinking that I could start a blog and podcast teaching people how to start this type of business.
I registered a domain name, got a website designed for $200 on Fiverr and got started writing and publishing content about the subject. In the early days, I simply emailed different food trucks and asked them questions about how they started their business and posted the information online. This simple process is what started it all.
3) How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
The launch of FoodTruckEmpire.com came with little fanfare. The first two months operating the blog I had less than 100 total visitors come to the website. The only people reading the blog in the early days was myself and the food truck owners I interviewed.
But I stayed consistent writing new blogs posts and recording more podcasts in the coming weeks and months. The growth was very slow, but I would see a small increase in total traffic every month. This gave me the small amount of encouragement I needed to keep moving forward.
I will also say that I always wanted to create a really popular blog. I was determined. Even though I was hardly seeing any results, I thought it would be worse to give up on my dream. As a result, I continued plowing ahead. Publishing more content and writing more blog post topics.
4) Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best for FoodTruckEmpire and Mobile-Cuisine?
By far the best traffic driver for me has been through organic Google search. There’s no other marketing channel that even comes close over the years. As I’ve met other bloggers over the years, I’ve discovered that many other publishers focus on the same source.
The nice thing about Google search traffic is that the more good content you publish, the more traffic you can get. Also, there are blog post topics that I published 3 years ago that continue to get visitors through search every single day. This is a traffic source that starts slow, but can really compound and grow over the months and years.
Of course, I have tested all sorts of other traffic generation strategies over the years from Twitter to Facebook to Pinterest. Each of them sends a little bit of traffic and I think there’s the opportunity for me to grow Pinterest traffic in the future if I really commit to it.
5) What have been the most influential brands for FoodTruckEmpire and Mobile-Cuisine? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
I’m inspired by simple marketing strategies that you can execute with sweat equity. One of the podcasters I’ve really looked up to is John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire. This is a podcaster with more than 3,000 episodes, 100+ million downloads, and 1.4 million monthly visitors.
John Lee Dumas got started super simple. He simply started recording a podcast with different entrepreneurs every single day. The most recent income report on his website says they generated $182 899 in revenue in a single month.
But the media empire started by doing nothing else more than recording a whole lot of podcast episodes and then sticking with the same process for years. This is something that literally anyone could have done. I’m amazed and inspired by examples like this.
6) What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
- SEMRush.com – For keyword research and topic ideas.
- AdThrive.com – This is the company that manages the advertising on both blogs.
- AnswerthePublic.com – This is another good place to find topic ideas for a blog.
- WordPress.com – Both of my websites are powered by WordPress.
- OnlineJobs.ph – This is a fantastic place to find employees located in the Philippines. I have hired full-time writers and video editors on this website to support content creation.
7) Who or what inspires and motivates you?
One of the books that helped motivate me in the early days was a book titled “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis. Dennis is a British entrepreneur who is well known in the magazine industry for launching Maxim magazine and The Week among many other titles over his lifetime.
I resonated with Dennis because he had wanted to be a musician in his youth and was also broke. This was very similar to my situation at the time. I had been in a failed band and was also in tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt.
This book gave me hope that I could reinvent myself as an entrepreneur in spite of my past failures and humble beginnings. I continue to reread chapters of this book every once and a while when I need a motivation boost.
8) What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with other entrepreneurs?
If you are a blogger or content creator in general, you’ll probably be getting started all by yourself. In the early days, I did all the writing, social media promotion, and tech updates for the blog.
But as you start making money, I suggest hiring out some of the work. Blogging or publishing YouTube videos is time consuming work. If you can pay to have people help you with content writing, you can start publishing a lot more content and grow much faster than you would be able to do on your own.
I started out by hiring out tech work on Fiverr. I would have designers make my blog design and fix anything technical that needed to be solved. If you are looking for technical related support, you can often get tasks that might take an entire weekend for you to figure out can be solved for $20 – $60 by an experienced freelancer.
The most rapid growth I had on my blogs are when I started hiring freelance writers to help support growth.
9) What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur?
The main thing that helped me level up as an entrepreneur was learning the power of hiring. It can be easy for bloggers to keep chugging along and doing most of the work on their own for years. It’s understandable why this happens since it can be tempting to keep all the profits of blogging for yourself.
But the downside is, you won’t be able to grow as fast as other bloggers who are hiring out writers or editors. More often than not, an employee will pay for themselves when considering the amount of additional content you can publish.
Try to find time consuming tasks that you can hire out in your business wherever possible. Especially if the work can be completed online (writing, video editing, tech work), you can probably find a few contractors on websites like Fiverr.com to get a lot of work done.
11) Let us know where we can go to learn more!
https://www.youtube.com/c/SixFigureSideIncome – This is a new YouTube channel I started on the subject of side hustles and business building. I hired out all the video editing using an editor I found on OnlineJobs.ph.