How I Left Construction To Start A $12K/Month Local Lead Generation Business

Published: November 6th, 2022
James Kuck
Founder, My Media Pal
My Media Pal
from Babylon, NY, USA
started November 2012
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hello, my name is James Kuck Co-Founder of My Media Pal, an online learning hub for online entrepreneurs and anyone interested in investing in digital real estate.

Our business has morphed and is broken into three divisions. We have our agency side of the business which is focused on our rank and rent business. We also have our blog which is focused on educational content. The last section of our business is our training products.

With our rank and rent business, we help local service contractors grow their businesses by leveraging our local lead generation assets. We just signed up a tree service business in Colorado for a $2,000 per month flat-fee deal for them to take all of our inbound service leads.

This sector of our business brings in on average $12,000-$15,000 per month. We used to do about $25,000-$35,000 per month in net profit but we took a big hit when Google made some new updates with Google Ad campaigns.

As you can imagine this was a gut punch. I believe this was a great lesson on why staying diversified is important.

We recently launched our education blog and we are on the journey to bring this blog to 100k per month over the next 12-18 months by monetizing this digital asset with ad revenue, affiliate marketing, and info products.

Here are a few checks from rank and rent partners along with a few screenshots of affiliate commissions made from our local lead generation calls.





One of the biggest bottlenecks in my previous construction businesses was generating inbound local leads for my services.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Before starting My Media Pal I had a small struggling construction company. I started this business right out of high school with a good friend.

I was always intrigued by business and entrepreneurship from a very young age. I always knew I was going to build something.

One of the biggest bottlenecks in my construction businesses was generating inbound local leads for my services.

At the time in the early 2000s, the internet was not quite what it is now but I stumbled across SEO. This is when I had an aha moment to pivot and figure out how to leverage local SEO to generate targeted inbound estimates and jobs.

Because this digital model was so attractive and highly profitable compared to running a physical construction business I decided to completely surrender the idea of building a construction business.

Instead, I decided I would provide the solution to one of the biggest issues in the local service industry. I had personally struggled with this issue and I finally found a solution to get more estimates and inbound leads.

My partner Arvin and I have been friends since the 6th grade. At the time of this newfound interest, Arvin was already doing graphic design and Myspace layouts.

We put our heads together to create My Media Pal. At first, it was a digital marketing agency to help local companies by offering web design, SEO and paid ads.

I dove in head first to figure out as much as I can about local SEO. I was buying course after course and staying up all night digesting the information and putting it to work.

Since this business was B2B and ran from a laptop we did not need a huge investment. We were able to bootstrap this company by getting a website up and starting to outreach, network, and sign up clients.

We then used some profits from the few clients we had to test out other avenues to help generate more business including radio, targeted lead lists, and cold calls.

We soon realized that owning the assets was much more secure with client retention and revenue. When an agency is implementing SEO on a client’s website the client is in full control.

The client can stop paying whenever they would like and cancel their marketing subscription with your agency. All of the work and rankings that you have put in overtime will remain with the client and you are left with nothing.

This is really where rank and rent were born. We started to develop simple optimized websites around a specific niche and location and rank them in Google.

We invested upfront to get local service leads coming in and once we had at least one or two qualified leads we would turn around to find a perfect partner that could service these leads and work out a deal.

The great thing about this concept is that you own the asset that is generating the booked appointments for the local business.

There are three ways you can monetize this piece of digital real estate.

  1. You can rent it out each month for a FLAT-FEE
  2. You can work out a percentage for each job closed
  3. You can charge per qualified lead

I personally have all three of these models working but we now only focus on flat-fee deals.

It's a great win-win relationship. I can generate guaranteed estimates each month to help grow your local business and in return, you pay a reasonable monthly rental fee to keep these leads coming in exclusively to you.

Within a year I was able to replace my income and no longer had to do construction. We really did not have a defined plan on how we were getting clients but we would talk to everyone and try to sell them anything related to internet marketing.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Creating the service was the easy part. We knew that we wanted to heavily focus on selling SEO so we absorbed as much information as we could about this topic.

We designed a simple WordPress website for with content around SEO along with graphics.


We learned a very quick lesson after signing up our first client through a referral. We needed to create a checklist system to help organize all SEO deliverables.

Because there are so many steps with local SEO we broke down this system into two sections. On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

Here is an example of part of one of our simple task system checklist

We also developed what we called a foundation form. The foundation form was a form that we filled out with the client as soon as they purchased our service. We did this so that we had all the information or at least most of it that we needed to get started.

We would require access to their hosting, domain, website, business address, search analytics, Google Business Profile, and a bunch of other important logins.

There were too many times we would experience a delay in getting the client’s information that we needed to get started. This foundation form helped the bottleneck of getting stuck by implementing this during onboarding calls.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The first thing that I did was tell everyone what I was doing. I still clearly remember working construction just to pay bills and be able to reinvest back into My Media Pal.

At this exact time, Hurricane Sandy had just hit New York. I was extremely busy helping other contractors clean up the aftermath. Renovations from all the flood damage had me working long hours.

I would get up at 5:30 am and get home around 7:30 pm and get right on the computer to work on the business. I was telling all contractors at the time what I could do for their businesses with local internet marketing.

At this time most of them were so busy they did not need my services. However, I still remember our very first SEO client.

A contractor that I was helping fix a building down on the South Shore of Long Island had told one of the tenants that they should give me a call if they were interested in a website and SEO for their small local business.

Sure enough, I received a call the very next day. His business was a party event company specializing in casino-themed parties.

I closed him on a deal of $1,000 down and then $300 per month in a retainer fee for SEO.

That money was used to help My Media Pal pay for hosting, a mailing address, business cards, and additional online training courses.

We were bootstrapping this business and the goal was to bring in enough money to replace my construction income and then focus on increasing revenue so that Arvin could replace his graphic design job and we could go all in on My Medi Pal.

Within a year I was able to replace my income and no longer had to do construction. We really did not have a defined plan on how we were getting clients but we would talk to everyone and try to sell them anything related to internet marketing.

In hindsight, this was definitely not the way to go about building the business. We had a lot of shiny object syndrome so we would jump from one way of prospecting for new clients to the next.

The truth is if we just put in enough reps in one area of prospecting and created systems around that method while fine-tuning it, we could have grown this agency way faster and much better.

When we finally pivoted and focused just on lead generation it was such a relief for both Arvin and me.

Yes, the agency was making us money but the truth is it was getting stressful. We were working with clients in different niches, and different deliverables and that needed a lot of hand-holding.

We actually had one month where a few clients canceled their services with us all at once and we lost almost 10k per month in revenue.

This was the first real gut punch on the original agency side. At this time we were in that transition phase of going all in on local lead generation.

Our rank and rent local lead generation business ignited a new fire in our bellies.

We knew we were onto something despite some of the bumps in the road.

We were leveraging two of the main skills that we have developed but we are using them now for a much better business model.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

The best method for us to attract and retain customers with rank and rent is definitely cold calling.

After years of experience trying everything under the sun, it is very clear that cold calling is the most effective way to bring a new client on board.

Local business owners want one thing when they are paying for marketing. They simply just want more business.

The rank and rent business model put us in full control of the asset that is already generating exactly what the business owner wants.

This makes it much easier to retain clients since we take the risk out of the equation.

If they do decide for any reason that they no longer want the leads we simply just go find another client in that local area and direct all the leads to them.

These simple websites are assets in our digital real estate portfolio.

Here is one of our case study sites that is ranking #1 in Google for “Lubbock roofing contractor”

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Our business over the years has definitely been on a rollercoaster ride. In 2018 we had one of the best years with monthly net profits of $38,000 per month.

We did make many pivots in our agency from offering digital services to going strictly with a rank and rent model only.

We are excited now to build our educational blog and continue to share our training and resources. We are on the road to 100k per month with our blog and training.

With rank and rent, we just launched another 10 websites that we look to get rented out at an average of $1,200 per month minimum.

Just to put it in perspective the average cost to build and rank these sites is around $1,000 all in.

You can see at a minimum of $1,200 per month this business model is highly profitable. Not all sites will be winners but with the right, due diligence and sales process we are confident to hit some new revenue goals.

Too many times entrepreneurs give up too soon or make a pivot way too fast into the next thing. Business takes commitment and persistence.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I have learned that investing in yourself is incredibly important. Not just investing in learning skills but investing time to work on your mindset.

Patience is something not taught but earned. Setting goals far out is something that I see not utilized enough that has helped me tremendously.

This gives such detailed clarity. Ask yourself where you want to be in 10 years from now. What exactly does that look like? Write these goals down.

Start working backward on what needs to be achieved to get there. What needs to be done on a monthly, weekly, and daily schedule to truly hit the goals you desire?

So many entrepreneurs want to taste success tomorrow and I understand I have been there before. I chased every shiny object and thought the next thing would be a “faster way”.

Growing a real business takes time. It is important to get around other like-minded individuals and definitely invest in training, software, and tools that were made for growth in your business niche.

Focus on your daily habits. This has been the biggest game-changer for me by far.

It is important to not only have complete clarity on future goals and understand a plan of action but to understand what daily actions will push the needle.

Make a list of everything you do from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Write everything down and do not skip anything. Be honest and truthful with yourself.

Here is an example of the type of list.

  • Workout: 5am-5:30am
  • Shower: 5:35am-5:45am
  • Make Coffee: 5:46am
  • Reading A Book: 6am-7am
  • Bathroom Break: 7am-7:15am
  • Meeting With The Team: 7:30am-9:15am
  • Follow Up On Emails: 7am-7:15am
  • Build A Prospect List: 7:30am-10:00am
  • Prospecting: 10am-1pm
  • Clean Off Desktop 1pm-2:15pm
  • And so on………….

This is just an example but I guarantee if you make this list for a full week and we dissect it together we can find things that simply do not push the needle toward your goals.

We also will discover where your time is not the most useful and how some of those tasks could be delegated.

For example in the list above where it says Build A Prospect list. This is actually something that we do.

I can tell you from experience that this is not the best use of time. This time could be used on actual prospecting and generating sales which is critical for business growth.

Building A Prospect list should be outsourced or delegated to a trained employee. This frees up two and a half hours of time every day that could be spent much better elsewhere.

If you are really determined you need to cut out the habits that are not actual action steps that contribute toward the growth of you and your business.

I see many hours wasted on social media scrolling, Netflix, games, and other habits and hobbies.

This is why being very honest on your list is important.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use a few great tools for My Media Pal. We leverage WordPress for all of our website builds.

WordPress has made it very easy for my team to build super optimized and templated sites fast and efficiently. WordPress is also very good for making our onpage SEO setup easy.

Two of my favorite research tools that we use every day inside My Media Pal are AHRefs and SemRush.

These are two very powerful online marketing tools that allow you to do a variety of research data including keyword research, analyze content and look at competitors' backlinks and top-performing website pages.

We use Thinkific to host and organize all of our training content. Thinkific does a great job at simplifying a place for your course video modules to easily be accessed in step-by-step order.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I enjoy learning from mentors and coaches that have achieved what I consider great success and discipline. Here are a few great books and audibles. The Best Of Jim Rohn on Audible, Atomic Habits by James Clear, and 100M Offers by Alex Hormozi.

Jim Rohn cuts right to the chase when it comes to personal development, working on yourself, and building your business.

Atomic Habits is an incredible eye-opener on the topic of time management and daily habits. Getting clear on working on things that are really contributing toward your goals.

James Clear has a great concept going over being in motion vs taking action.

Alex Hormozi has an amazing breakdown of how to grow and scale a company from real experience.

The way he can articulate the systems, processes, and real-life examples in a simple way make it easy for listeners to build mental muscle in this area.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

I highly suggest that entrepreneurs starting out find someone who is already successful at what they are looking to accomplish and follow their lead. Success leaves footprints. Also, be ready to put the reps in.

Too many times entrepreneurs give up too soon or make a pivot way too fast into the next thing. Business takes commitment and persistence.

The only thing that cuts down the amount of time on the path to success is hiring talent better than you and learning the best strategies and things to avoid within your niche from a real mentor, coach, and training.

You have to put the reps in and build SOPs, Systems that create a real company. You want to be working on your business, not in your business.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are always interested in great writers. We provide content templates to our writers to make the process easy. Incredible writers that are great with research, following directions, and making deadlines are what we need.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!