articles_The Inside Story of How Tony Delivers Manufactured Virality With No Marketing Budget

The Inside Story of How Tony Delivers Manufactured Virality With No Marketing Budget

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The Inside Story of How Tony Delivers Manufactured Virality With No Marketing Budget

How Tony Delivers went from ideation to filled capacity in a week after launching using only free viral marketing.

4 weeks ago, Tony Delivers was an idea with no waitlist, no marketing budget, and no existing following to launch to.

3 weeks ago, Tony Delivers had launched and was entirely at capacity.

Currently, Tony Delivers is getting backlinks from some of the most authoritative websites on the Internet.

So, in this article, you will read:

  1. Tony Delivers’ crazy guerrilla marketing story.
  2. How the news cycle works.
  3. What no-budget viral marketing does for SEO.

Tony Delivers’ crazy guerrilla marketing story.

  • For years, Tony did Uber Eats deliveries as a side gig in cities like LA and SF. When he had the idea for Tony Delivers, one month ago, he was in Seattle.
  • He made six iterations of the flyer below. The one you’re seeing is #5. Shaan Puri gave a great breakdown of this flyer in his newsletter, Small Boy:
    • There’s more marketing skill in this fugly flyer than you’ll find on all of LinkedIn.
    • Starts with the emotional problem: (“Angry with absurd Uber Eats’ fees?”).
    • Clear, no-brainer solution: (“I’ll deliver for $5”).
    • Catchy Name: (“Tony Delivers”).
    • Clear value comparison: (DoorDash / Uber Eats’ prices vs. Tony Delivers).
    • Clear CTA: Scan this code with your phone.
The viral Tony Delivers flyer.
  • Now that Tony Delivers is going viral, everybody is reporting on how brilliant the flyer is and how “no-brainer” the idea is. But nobody is reporting on how Tony distributed the flyer. You could have the best business in the world, but without smart distribution, it will take a while for people to hear about it.
  • Tony prints out 300 copies of the flyer. He spends 4 days hanging them around the area of the Amazon offices in Seattle – the spheres. Tony said, “I believed not only my customers would be there, but people who would share the flyer would also be there.”
  • On days 4-5, three things happen.
    • Somebody who sees the flyer shares it on the Seattle subreddit. It is quickly voted to the top of the subreddit.
    • A journalist from The Stranger, a local publication, comes across the flyer in real life. The journalist shares it on the publication’s website and Instagram. The Instagram post gets a lot of views.
    • Some guy with only 4,300 followers on TwitterX sees the Instagram post and shares the flyer too. The TwitterX post of it gets 6.4 million views.
  • Reddit wasn’t enough to get Tony Delivers to capacity because many people thought the offer was too good to be true. They didn’t believe it was real.
  • 2 days after the TwitterX and Instagram posts, demand for Tony Delivers is well over capacity. “I need a faster bike now,” Tony told me.

How the news cycle works.

  • 2 people see the flyer in real life. They share it online. This leads to another person making a viral TwitterX post.
  • It doesn’t stop there. People who see the above posts make posts themselves. They share and report on Tony Delivers because it is an interesting story.
  • Tony Delivers gets on local news, national news, niche news, and more.
  • Here’s how I found out about Tony Delivers.
    • Chris Bakke, a well-known entrepreneur, sees one of the posts or articles about it. He shares it on Twitter saying, “Just invested $300M at $1.1B post into Tony Delivers.” This gets 1 million views.
    • Shaan Puri shares Chris Bakke’s post in his newsletter.
    • I make a video about Tony Delivers. My video is up to 250,000 views across TikTok and Instagram.
@build_in_public There's more marketing skill in this ugly flyer than you'll find in most places. Tony's gonna deliver. Credit to Chris Bakke for the discover and 5 Tweet Tuesday for the breakdown. #buildinpublic #MarketingSuccess #MarketingTips #copywriting ♬ Sigma - FLEXXONE Beats
    • Tony DM’s me. He says:
Tony Delivers direct messages me on Instagram, asking for a call.
    • We have a great call. I did not expect Tony’s story to be so good.
  • The news cycle doesn’t stop. In the next few days, there will be stories in Business Insider, Weekend Magazine, and Morning Brew.

What no-budget viral marketing does for SEO.

  • The next part, I explained to Tony on our call.
  • Tony is now getting SEO backlinks from some of the most authoritative publications. His website, Tonydelivers.co, is becoming valuable.
  • A lot of people go viral, get many backlinks, don’t realize the value of this, get tired of the business, ditch it, and then stop paying for the URL. They don’t realize the URL has value because of the many authoritative websites linking to it.
    • Backlinks, in SEO, are when one website links to another. The more authoritative the linking website, the more this tells Google the website being linked to is, itself, authoritative. This authority (called Domain Authority) is what gives websites the power to rank high on Google. This is why backlinks are so valuable.
  • Tony can use the SEO authority his website has to launch new offerings in the food and beverage space. He can target purchase-intent keywords to quickly show up to people who know what they want to buy but don’t know the brand that will sell it to them.
  • Alternatively, he can sell the website to a company in his niche that wants to do SEO. This company will 301 redirect the Tony Delivers domain to their domain, transferring its SEO authority to their own website. All they will need is a relevant landing page for this transfer.
  • Tony can also 301 redirect Tony Delivers to a new business of his own in the space. There are many opportunities.

For more, here’s my podcast on Tony’s story:

So what’s the lesson here?

You don’t need a budget to:

  • Get backlinks worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Go viral.
  • Fill capacity.

All you need is:

  • A good offer or story.
  • Smart distribution of that offer or story.
  • And maybe a funny fugly flyer.

Tony Delivered.

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