Embracing the Marketing Grind with Matt Miller

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On this episode of Rhodes to Success I interview Matt Miller, who is an Air Force veteran that bought one gumball machine and turned it into a franchise business. School Spirit Vending provides hassle-free, year-round fundraising for schools, and during this episode Jessica and Matt discuss business for families, the vending business model, adding value, and long-term commitment in podcasting.


Main Questions Asked:

  • How has being an Air Force veteran helped you in business?
  • Do you think that everyone should have to go through the military at some point?
  • Talk about multi-generations in business.
  • Walk us through the School Spirit Vending business model.
  • How has using podcasting helped to grow your business?
  • What would it take for someone to get started in School Spirit Vending?


Key Lessons Learned:

Business for Families

  • Matt spends time fostering an environment where families can build their business together and kids can learn by helping parents.
  • This is not only a way to make money but also a responsibility to teach and help foster growth and inspiration in the kids.


School Spirit Vending Business Model                       

  • The business is based on hassle-free, year-round fundraising for schools by placing sticker machines in the school.
  • Spirit stickers are custom designed with school colors and mascots.
  • The goal is to reinvent school fundraising and let professional companies do all the work rather than kids going door-to-door.
  • This is a passive fundraiser for the school.
  • This business takes a couple of days per month to get started as a vendor, but over time it will be a passive income.
  • Each vending machine is a building block of income.


Marlin & Percy

  • Comic book series developed to start inspiring kids through the sticker machines.
  • This increases the value of the service that is offered.


Adding Value

  • Look at what you are already providing your clients and ask yourself how you can make it better.
  • This doesn’t mean adding more products and services, but rather making what people are getting more valuable.
  • If you create a win/win scenario, your ‘churn rate’ and the need to create more business constantly will be smaller.
  • Provide more value than people expect and continue to innovate, surprise, and amaze clients.



  • Having someone pitch you as a ‘celebrity’ and having ‘your people’ contact ‘their people’ is big.
  • The main investment in podcasting is in time.
  • Matt has found that the people reaching out to him with interest in franchising are pre-qualified, as they have already heard his story.
  • By the time someone contacts Matt, they have already listened to multiple interviews he has done and are 75% of the way there.
  • Matt has found the upper-middle class to be in the podcasting space as listeners.
  • A lot of people don’t know about podcasting yet, which means, if you get in now, you will be ahead of the game.
  • Podcasting is a vehicle to create evergreen content.
  • The ROI of a podcast episode isn’t necessarily realized as soon as it goes live.


Podcast for Backlinks

  • Backlinks from show notes are directing people to Matt’s site, the SEO is rising, and people have been contacting Matt through online searches.
  • The more backlinks you have the better. Google likes it and boosts your site in searches.


Long-Term Commitment

  • Podcasting is a long-term marketing strategy, and people will discover your podcast over months and years.
  • Matt’s goal for the next several years is to be a guest expert on a show at least once a week.
  • There are always new audiences, shows, and people looking for new content and solid interviews.
  • In the process, there is plenty of opportunity, but you have to commit and, overtime, it will pay huge dividends.
  • Most people will do their interview or podcast a few times and think that it’s a failure and give up before there was enough time to gain traction.


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The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/thedangerosmakemusic 


Links to Resources Mentioned

Live Your Dreams

School Spirit Vending

Marlin & Percy


Click to Tweet  

How did this air force veteran turn a gumball machine into a franchise business? Find out w/ @ssvend @JessRhodesBiz www.Rtspodcast.com

How is the School Spirit Vending business model family friendly? Find out w/ @ssvend @JessRhodesBiz www.Rtspodcast.com

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