You may know him through his online brand, ‘Millionaire Mentor’ (MM) on Instagram. Jason Stone is an American social media influencer, internet marketer, investor, and serial entrepreneur.
Known for his early year success in the automotive industry and performance with Treadstone Engineering, Inc., Stone now helps others follow in his footsteps. Having successfully launched multiple seven figure Instagram and internet platforms, Stone has become a well-known social media influencer across the country.
But, what does it take to become an online influencer or thought leader? I spoke with Stone on his thoughts and how anyone can create their own brand.
What’s Your Story?
I started off as a mechanical engineer and went to college (yes, I went to college). I used my degree to start an engineering firm, called Treadstone Performance. While many people don;t know me by that business, it’s still very much active, and a hobby-turned passion. I liked fast cars and tinkering with cars under the hood. That turned into a business.
Fast forward ten years into the business, I now have ‘Millionaire Mentor’, which most people know me by. But, what people don’t know is this now successful brand, was born out of my own personal tragedy. I actually had a personal account before the Millionaire_Mentor Instagram account.
My house was robbed one weekend and I deleted my social media accounts because of it. I would post watches on social media, because I had a few nice watches. It felt like an inside job, or someone that knew who I was. I became pissed with the idea of social media, and took a complete break from it. That was how Millionaire Mentor came about–through adversity and the trouble it caused in my personal life.
The Creation of ‘Millionaire Mentor’: Returning as a ‘Brand’, Rather Than a Person
I decided to get back onto social media, but not as myself. I came back to social media as a “brand” rather than a person. That’s how it started. I wanted to give back tot the people and help teach and motivate others, because I felt that’s what I was good at. I would always help those closest to me.
If you have a hobby that is the best way to start off a business, because you’re already an expert in it. But, if you just have an idea of something you think you can do, just to make some money, it may never be a business for you.
My engineering firm, was a hobby-turned passion, because I became an expert at turbo-charging. I used to go to junkyards in 20-degree weather, with a torch and a backpack full of tools, rigging turbos off cars, busting my knuckles, and putting them on my own cars.
As of today, Stone has gone beyond his passion for mechanical engineering, car enthusiasm, and real-estate, and now has over 3 million followers on his MM account, posting daily images with a background of famous celebrities, cars, and empires with an accompanying motivational or inspirational quote.
Conquering Pitfalls Along The Road
But, the entrepreneur isn’t shy about some of his pitfalls he’s made along the way. Stone told me that when he first started out, he learned the hard way, and recommends others learn from his mistakes.
“When I first started, my biggest mistake was not asking questions, or even the right questions,” said Stone.
“I thought I could do it all without asking for help, because I believed I knew it all. What you have to understand that in this space, you have to ask questions and you can’t be afraid to network. If that means finding a mentor, enrolling in a paid course, and self-educating, do what it takes to own your space.”
With MM, Stone uses social media full throttle, at 100% to grow any business. “Attention is the new currency, and where is all that attention at the moment? Instagram and Facebook,” the entrepreneur added.
Andrew Rossow: How does MM impact how you continue to expand and grow your brand?
Jason Stone: It makes a huge impact, because if someone offered to pay me 10 million dollars for it, I would probably decline that. Why? I’m able to leverage my brand and my image to help build and grow any business venture I want, for any niche, forever. That kind of power is invaluable.
AR: I think I already know the answer, but what is your favorite social media platform to use and why?
JS: The gram is where it’s at! Instagram recently hit over 1 billion users, and has an exponential growth trajectory. In other words, its milestone of growth is ever-increasing, soon to pass up Facebook.
How Do You Become An Influencer?
So, how can we learn from the MM himself? Stone gave me three major tips on how to become an online influencer.
#1 –Say Goodbye to Your Personal Life
It all starts with saying goodbye to your private life. I believe that every CEO should look to establish a personal brand of sorts. People buy from people, not businesses. So, if you can become the face of your brand, you eventually gain consumer trust and are able to exponentially grow your business.
#2 –Establishing Your Own Personal Brand
You can accomplish this by creating your own personal brand. When you start your brand, that is the first step in becoming an “online influencer” or thought leader in your space. For example, influencing others to invest in your products or services, or simply listening to your thoughts or expressions.
In being a “thought leader”, you are expressing your opinions and feelings towards controversial topics, or simply providing value as a successful individual within your realm.
AR: What tips do you have for building your own personal brand?
JS: First, implement my “LDT” model–learn, do, and teach. People will follow you for value, which is how you grow your audience. You need to figure out whether this is something you can be excited about every morning when you wake up. It takes years to grow the business and earn the respect of your followers and competitors.
If you’re starting a business just to make money, that’s not going to work. You have to do something you’re passionate about that you’re going to be excited about for years to come.
Second, put yourself out there–people are able to live vicariously through your content. You need to be consistent and take consistent action. If you’re not taking action on your content, you cannot successfully master your field and earn that respect.
Third, always go behind the scenes. This lets people know you are alive and that your brand is still in business.
Fourth, utilize video content over everything!
Lastly, use influencer marketing, such as word of mouth. This is the best form of advertising. Why? It’s FREE!
#3 –Deliver Value Over Everything
You MUST provide and deliver value to your audience. Why else would someone want to follow you or hit that “like” button? If they can learn something from you, be inspired by you, or become motivated as a result of the content you produce, that sets you apart from the rest of users on social media.
In our digital age, we have learned to distinguish news from “fake news”. When it comes to social media influencers and online thought leaders, there are some misconceptions to stay clear from.
According to Stone, the major myth that people believe that successful entrepreneurs and investors like him can do is the ability to save one’s business with a “one-liner” or a five minute conversation.
“I’m not a superhero here to save your business with a bunch of fancy words; at the end of the day, you either want it, or you don’t. You either work for success, or you don’t. You either get disciplined quick and motivate yourself, or you don’t. I can motivate you every day with my account and brand, but how bad do you want it and what are you willing to do to earn it? In my opinion, ideas are shit, execution is everything.”
But, with any technology, depending on it too much can also hurt you. Understanding that it is a tool, rather than a crutch, can make all the difference in the world.