There is no better marketer in the world of professional sports, than UFC champion Conor McGregor. He is hands-down the most brilliant marketer that has risen to unbelievable heights in terms of fame and fortune in a very short period of time.

Four years ago, he was fighting in small events that would draw a crowd of 500 people. A young lad from Crumlin, Dublin that was on the Dole (Irish welfare payments).. Now, he has thousands of fellow Irishmen flying around the world just to attend press events that were set up to build hype for his upcoming boxing match (Yes, boxing!) against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather on August 26th. The official description of the event, per the Mayweather Promotions website:


“Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is a 12-round super welterweight matchup that pits the legendary boxer Mayweather against the all-time MMA great McGregor in an unprecedented event that takes place Saturday, August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event telecast is produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV.”


When is the last time a professional fight had a world tour press conference? Never. The tour made four stops, starting in Los Angeles, then hitting Toronto, bouncing over to New York and then ending in London. You can watch the full events on Showtime’s YouTube channel:



The UFC is popular worldwide, but when you compare its payout for huge fights, it’s nothing like what the large professional boxing matches have awarded throughout the years. They are known to pay far less, but that is now changing, thanks in part to Conor McGregor and his ability to draw up more media attention and buzz than any other fighter in UFC history.

While his professional record is impressive, it’s his marketing and ability to self-promote that is responsible for the anticipated $100+ million payday he is going to receive for his upcoming fight with boxer Floyd Mayweather.

There is no other fighter, outside of McGregor that could command that type of pay-per-view payday, as well as cross-over and do it in the boxing ring. You see, McGregor is a mixed martial artist, and has never boxed professionally in his life, let alone get in the ring against a fighter that many consider to be the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of the boxing world, having never lost a professional fight in his life. This is also being billed as Mayweather’s last fight, with his retirement announcement to follow the event.

So, McGregor essentially locked in the biggest fight in history, against the best boxer to ever step in the ring, when he isn’t even a professional boxer.. think about that for a second. How did did he do it? Marketing and branding. That’s how!

Let’s touch on the four main marketing tips that not only led to this fight, but can also help your own personal branding. You too could be the McGregor of your niche.


1. Brand & Market Yourself as the TOP Authority in Your Niche

McGregor has done a tremendous job branding himself as the top-tier professional mixed martial artist, and it’s been so good that people are fully onboard with the thought of him actually beating Mayweather.

If any other UFC fighter said he wanted to box Mayweather people would look at him like he had two heads. Branding is everything, from professional fighters to SEO professionals.

Get featured on the top media outlets in your industry.

Know how McGregor has been able to build his fan base and become a household name across the world? He has been covered by every major media outlet, from sports websites like ESPN and MMA specific websites, and every major outlet, like USA Today, Forbes, etc. This exposure has put him in front of hardcore MMA fans as well as people who have never heard of him, but then become fans because they like his character and they like his story. Simply getting press isn’t going to result in success. The person needs to be interesting and have a likeable story, which McGregor has covered.

So, if you are looking to build a personal brand that you can then leverage for new opportunities and exposure for your business, then you need to realize that press is important, but the right kind of press is what creates opportunities. There are a lot of PR firms that will secure press for their clients, but it’s the wrong kind. Simply saying that you were featured on a website won’t magically make you a star. You need the right kind of story, that will attract people to you. Identify the outlets that will get you seen by the right people and then work several angles to secure interviews and mentions and guest posts.

Don’t be shy about letting your audience know how good you are.

Does McGregor think he is the best? Of course he does, and he isn’t afraid to tell the world that he is the best there is, and that he anticipates beating Mayweather in their upcoming fight. He is a trash talker that truly believes in his abilities as a fighter, even stepping into the ring as a boxer, a fight discipline he has never participated in on the professional level. Many experts are saying that Mayweather is going to beat him fast because he will be out of his element, but that hasn’t derailed his confidence one bit. When asked if he is going to win, he says yes, and he is not scared of boasting about his skills to anyone.

This approach should be taken by anyone that wants to be the best at whatever they do, from an auto mechanic to an SEO expert. One of the reasons I have been able to build a seven-figure SEO agency in a short period of time is because I came out of the gate not afraid of telling people that I was the best in this industry. I wasn’t shy and I leveraged that confidence to secure interviews on top websites and a large following. My email newsletter grows daily and it now has more than 15,000 subscribers. You can join it filling in your info on the widget box at the top left of this pahe!

Constantly remind your audience that you are the best.

Conor isn’t shy about telling people he is the best, but what he does even better is reminding them that he is the best. If you look at his social media you will see that he is always talking about him being the best and how he is going to crush Mayweather. There is no “off” time for him. He is focused 100% of the time, 24 hours a day, on the job at hand. He oozes confidence at all times. Scroll through his Instagram feed and you will get the sense of a man on a mission to conquer anything he desires.

So, no matter how you engage with your audience, whether it’s through social media, an email newsletter or a blog, make sure that you are always reminding them that you are the expert and the right person for them to be following. You don’t have to be overly obnoxious either. Remember, McGregor is a showman, and his audience feeds off it. If you tried the exact same approach it would more than likely push your audience away and it would decrease over time. Little things like including links to media coverage in your email signature or highlighting awards and achievements on your blog’s author profile, will ultimately have the same effect.

To be the best you have to beat the best.

How did Conor McGregor become the best mixed martial artist? He never backed down from a fight and he always sought out the best matches. While other fighters like to fight weaker opponents to get the win, McGregor always went after the best fighters, because he knew if he beat them that there would be no doubt as to who the best is. You have to be willing to outperform the best in order to take their throne.

There are far too many people who will claim to be the best at something, but they have no track record of out-performing those that have once been billed as the top dogs. The SEO industry is a perfect example. Everyone with a blog claims to be the best SEO person in whatever city they live in, yet their own website doesn’t even rank for local terms. The easiest way to be named the best is by letting your work and actions cause others to say you are the best. You can’t just say, “I’m the best” without any proven record of past performance. Many people claim that my company’s outreach link building service is the best, and they say that because of the results it delivered. Not because I said it was the best.


2. Push Out Content Around the Clock on Every Single Available Platform

If you look at McGregor’s social media, you will see that he is always posting. He talks shit about opponents, posts lavish pictures of his cars and luxury items and also posts humbling personal images. There isn’t anything that is off limits when it comes to his social media. His Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account have a combined following of 26 million. He pushes out a lot of content and his followers can’t get enough of it. His following only became this massive recently.

It was a combination of his branding and the constant content push that resulted in rapid growth. He now has one of the largest social media followings in the world.

Be active on several social media platforms.

With a social media following of about 26 million people, McGregor has a large captive audience. Take a look at some of his tweets and Instagram posts. The comments and likes they receive is absurd. He has so much engagement, and he knows that he can quickly grow his audience on any social platform available. If he was just posting on Facebook he would be missing a large audience. Since he is active on multiple social networks it creates more opportunities. He can negotiate larger endorsement deals because his sponsors receive such worldwide exposure. There is a reason Monster Energy has been with him from day one, and I am willing to bet they receive the most exposure from him, over any other athlete they sponsor.

The more you put your content and personal brand out there, the larger the chance of potential customers finding you and saying, “Hey, I should connect with this person as they have exactly what I am looking for.” Followers aren’t going to just follow you for the sake of it. You need to attract them and get on their radar, and you do this by being active on as many social networks that make sense for your brand. You aren’t going to be posting on Pinterest if you are a consultant, but if you sell craft products, then it’s a network you would want to be active on.

Blog often.

A blog tells a story, and while McGregor doesn’t have a traditional blog per se, he does essentially document his life and day to day activities on social media, far more than the average person. In fact, his social media is such a rarity in terms of following, engagement and effectiveness. What he does is all but impossible to duplicate. You can see that there are several posts every day and you can look at his social media and it tells a story. Documenting and telling your story is so popular now. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk. His blog posts on Medium have helped him grow his personal brand.

Your social following probably isn’t large enough to document everything on it, so turn to a blog. Everyone has to start, and there is a good chance that your audience will be very small in the beginning. You have to blog religiously, even if your posts are only getting a few shares on social media. Most people get frustrated too quick and then miss out on an opportunity. If you can publish a new blog post every day, do it. If you can only do one per week, then stick to it. Over time, your readership and following will grow, and a great blog will automatically translate to more social media followers.

Consider video like Facebook live and Instagram live.

Video content is hot right now. Want proof? There are thousands of Vloggers on YouTube that are making millions of dollars a year because they are attracting such large subscriber bases, and monetizing their views with ad revenue. Look at the four press conferences that were done all over the world in four days. They are on Showtime’s YouTube channel (linked at the top of this article) and they have a high number of views already. Consumers love to consume video content. It is very convenient, especially on mobile devices and they would rather watch then read.

Not everyone can start a Vlog on YouTube and attract millions of subscribers, but everyone has access to their very own live video channel, and it’s in the palm of your hands. Facebook and Instagram both have live video options, and you can even broadcast live on Periscope, which is Twitter’s live video streaming app. The best part is that you don’t have to seek out a new audience. You already have followers on Instagram and friends on Facebook. When you start to broadcast live it notifies them and invites them to watch. So, the larger your following, the bigger your live audience will be. Leverage this as an additional way to push out more content.

Remember that you have to provide value.

There is a major difference between pushing out a lot of worthless content just for the sake of doing it, and publishing content that adds value and is something your audience will appreciate. If you look at McGregor’s social media you will see that every post is very calculated. He isn’t just throwing up a bunch of garbage just to get likes and comments. It’s not overly commercial like some stars, whom you know aren’t even running their own social media. Conor doesn’t do a lot of sponsored content and each post he cranks out is something that his fan base is excited about engaging with. He does it the right way, and publishes value packed content.

So, if you are going to start posting high volume, make sure each post is something that offers value. If I’m posting, it might be a link to a previous blog post or some breaking news in the SEO industry. You don’t want to be repetitive, such as only posting links to blog posts, because that will bore your audience. You don’t want to be predictable. Mix it up and always ask yourself if the post offers value. If it does, then hit the publish button.



3. Have Confidence in Everything You Do & Never Back Down from a Challenge

Conor McGregor is not lacking any confidence. In fact, there has never been a more confident MMA fighter, and he has never backed down from a fight or challenge. He was the one that was pushing hard for the chance to fight Mayweather.

Not only does he want to prove that he is the most talented fighter, but he knows his branding has positioned him to be able to make this event happen. If there is one thing he loves, it’s the fame and money. He’s worked hard for it, and he knows it’s the time to capitalize. This payout is the result of the work he has put in.

Always be confident when speaking.

Even if you are not a Conor McGregor fan and have no interest in MMA or boxing, watch the four videos linked above from the four press tour stops. If anything, you will see how to be 100% confident when speaking. McGregor never slips up. He delivers nothing but confident answers to all of the questions that are thrown his way, and when he is talking trash to Mayweather he surely is confident.

When you make it a habit of always portraying confidence when you speak, you command attention and respect and people will listen to what you have to say. If you appear to be shy or timid, you will be viewed as someone that isn’t overly confident in what you are selling. You don’t have to be over the top like McGregor, but little things like speaking clearly and looking at the person you are talking to directly in the eye will help draw people to you. So, if you have a speaking appearance or even if you are just doing a Facebook live video, be confident and that will help you create a loyal following that is now interested in what you have to say.

Challenge people and accept any challenge thrown in your face.

Conor McGregor is where he is now because he challenged the best and never backed down from a challenge. He knew what he had to do and obviously had no fear. This fight, which many say is the most hyped professional sporting event of all time, would never happened if McGregor didn’t challenge Floyd Mayweather and constantly say he wanted to fight him. This was the next step in his mind. It’s what he needed to do to continue to wear the crown, and hold the title of best fighter.

This same applies to any business. In my business, the search engine optimization industry is full of people that don’t know what they are doing and they are offering advice that is plain wrong, or being dishonest about how they acquire links. I gained a lot of my early notoriety because I called out these fake SEO experts and challenged their bullshit. I told it like it was and didn’t hold back. It ended up being what people wanted to hear and my following was born. No matter what your business does, there will be opportunities to challenge people.

Use your brand as leverage for new opportunities.

McGregor makes piles of money from endorsement deals and appearances. Brands pay him millions of dollars to endorse their products and clubs pay his high six-figures just to show up and hang out. To get a social media post from him, it’s going to cost six-figures as well. None of these financial opportunities would have ever been on the table unless he built his personal brand. He spent the time, hustling for several years, to put himself in this position. People might think he is an overnight success, but he put in the work, around the clock. Every bit of fame and money is well deserved.

You can build a strong personal brand in any niche and then leverage it to get yourself new opportunities. I built my personal brand to the point that SEO blogs were contacting me to guest post for them. I have done some interviews with major websites, but I like to keep my content on my own blog now, as my audience has grown very fast and they come here to read my content. I’ve built business relationships with some of the biggest companies in the world and have secured links for companies that you would never think buy links. I’ve leveraged my brand to create a 7-figure agency in a very short space of time.

Understand that there is a limited window of time for every opportunity.

McGregor has said on numerous occasions that he knows the career of a professional fighter is very small. The window closes quickly, and an injury can end it prematurely. This is why he tries to fight often and land lucrative deals. He likes to post flashy pictures of cars on social media, but he is wise with his money and is saving it for a rainy day, as well as getting his feet wet in other business ventures. The income he makes fighting can be used as investment and seed money to start other ventures, outside of the fighting world. He is setting himself up to be a successful entrepreneur long after he last steps in the ring or octagon.

My SEO agency is doing very well now, but I don’t know what the future holds, with virtual reality and voice search increasing in popularity. While I have adapted to the SEO industry changes over the past six years, I have also started to look into other business opportunities outside of online marketing and SEO, and recently just became a partner in an offline venture which I’ve use my online marketing skill set on. I would never have had the opportunity if it weren’t for my agency being so successful, so you need to look at every opportunity as a stepping stone to other opportunities.



4. Talk a Big Game and Back It All Up with Your Actions

Who talks a bigger game than Conor McGregor? Nobody. He is a legend. It’s his shit talking that made him a fan favorite, but it’s his ability to back those words up that kept that fan base and grew it exponentially in a short period of time.

He does exactly what he says. You can’t go out there any say you are the best, and then not prove it. If you are going to talk a big game then you better be backing it up. If not, your personal brand will die fast.

Voice your experience and be a source of information seekers to turn to.

McGregor isn’t afraid to tell his story. He talks about his humble beginnings and struggles, as he was scraping by to chase his dreams of being a champion. It wasn’t long ago that he was broke and lining up at the Dole queue in Crumlin. Now he has companies begging him to take their money and promote their products. He isn’t shy and says it like it is. He has some strong opinions about professional fighting and if he thinks something needs to change he will be the first to say it.

Personally, I have been very vocal about my journey as an SEO agency owner. I write posts just like this one, to provide something useful for those seeking information about search engine optimization and internet marketing. I don’t ask for anything in return. Those that find it helpful join my newsletter and then some eventually hire my agency. In the end, it’s the experience and information put out there that attracts the clients, content marketing is a powerful thing!

Proof is hard to beat.

Is there any doubt that Conor McGregor is the best MMA fighter to come along in recent years? He isn’t shouting “I’m the best!” He is winning fights, kicking ass, and challenging the best in the world. It’s hard to deny that he is pure greatness when he is backing it all up with results. Solid concrete proof is impossible to beat.

The same applies in business. If you are a law firm, then client success case studies are your proof. If you own a restaurant, awards for the best food can’t be beat. For SEO, reports that show traffic increases and improved revenue numbers are the proof that can’t be beat.

Be prepared for people to always challenge and doubt you (embrace the haters).

Haters. McGregor has a flock of Floyd Mayweather fans that hate him. They talk nonstop shit on social media, but does he let it bother him? Of course not! He embraces the haters and uses them as motivation. He, like many people that are in the public eye, can never please everyone. There will always be some people that do not like what you are doing, agree with your points of view, or are just miserable humans. You have two choices. You can either let them ruin your day or you can ignore them and use their hate as motivation. McGregor wants to perform well just to piss them off even more. He feeds off it, like many do.

I’ve even experienced it running my agency. If competitors don’t like what I say, they use fake accounts to comment on my content, we’ve even had competitors write fake RORs on us.. it’s all part of the game. I could let it upset me or I could sink to their level and retaliate, but that would let them win. Instead, I just use it as motivation to continue to grow my agency and land the biggest clients from all over the world. The worst thing you could do is think you will never have haters, because anyone that experiences some level of success will have haters come out from under the rocks.



Final Thoughts

While the upcoming fight between Conor McGregor is filled with buzz and hype, it’s a lesson that every business owner can learn from. Marketing your personal brand can be leveraged for so many lucrative opportunities.

McGregor went from fighting in front of 500 spectators just 4 years ago, to now fighting in the biggest event in history that is sure to break all pay-per-view records. While you might not aspire to jump into the ring and go rounds with Floyd Mayweather, you more than likely would like to improve your business and income. Use McGregor as a source of inspiration, as he is real world proof that branding and marketing is everything.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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