What. Why. Where. How?

My name is Jandre de Beer, and I'm the founder of Version Eight. Below is a little bit more about me and the Version Eight journey.
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I'm Jandre de Beer, and This is My Story

I wish I had an amazing backstory to share with you, something fresh and exciting.

One that would make me sound like a real anomaly, but unfortunately, I don't.

I'm just an average Joe, a South African with a passion for marketing, business and helping people.

I also have to mention that I love to exercise, and I'm pretty sure that I'm addicted to energy drinks.

My life can be summed up in three words; work, family and sarcasm.

To my surprise, I learned that not everyone is a fan of the latter...

From Professional Sportsman to Personal Trainer

When people asked me what I wanted to do for a living when I was growing up, the standard reply was: "I want to play professional rugby."

At the age of 16, I was told that I would never be able to participate in the sport professionally.

This was mostly because I was too small to play the only position I knew how to play; hooker.

From a young age I never really liked being told what to do, I also hated it when people limited me by their own perceptions.

Through hard work, sweat, tears and prayers, I managed to get a professional contract at the age of 18 and received a prestigious offer to go and play professionally in Italy.

After three years in Italy, I decided to try my luck in South Africa.

I landed a contract at the SWD Eagles down in George in the Western Cape, once again I packed my bags and moved to the unknown.

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Damn, I miss this ❤️

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I've always seen time as a commodity that one should respect and not waste, I made the most of the time available to me between rugby training sessions and learnt to balance work and "play", and so at 21 started the journey of running my own business.

Luckily for me, it came quite naturally, but looking back now I wish that I had paid more attention to the wise words of my father, an established entrepreneur with loads of experience and various successful business ventures.

Oh, how I wish I could turn back time...

From Personal Trainer to Business Owner

I quickly understood that customer service is the name of the game, and through excellent service, and additional offerings I managed to scale my personal training business swiftly and successfully.

However, as a trainer, I knew that I was selling my hours which wasn't ideal, primarily because I've always been obsessed in building something, and selling my hours as a trainer wasn't going to get me there.

I've always seen time as a commodity that one should respect and not waste, I made the most of the time available to me between rugby training sessions and learnt to balance work and "play", and so at 21 started the journey of running my own business.

At the age of 22, I sustained a rugby injury that got me to rethink my career, and that was when I decided to start my first online business.

My First Online Business; Fitness 101

Fitness 101 was an online health and fitness website which I launched at the age of 22 and in no time I taught myself not only how to manage a website, but also how to market a business online.

Not the easiest of tasks but commitment and perseverance saw me meet my end goal. Thanks to the launch of Facebook Pages, I utilised Facebook advertising to grow my audience.

Currently, they are the largest independent sports nutrition retailer in SA.

After 12 months my audience was big enough to monetize my business. After 10 profitable months, I sold 50% of my company to Chrome Supplements & Accessories (Chrome SA), who at the time was on the path to dominating the market share of sports nutrition.

What was supposed to be a new client, turned out to be a business partner.

From Business Owner to Employee (Marketing Manager)

After two years I quickly learned that my market was too niche and probably not broad enough to scale.

Due to the lack of experience, I also made a lot of mistakes in running Fitness 101.

However, today I look back and see every obstacle I encountered as a precious and valuable lesson to grow from.

After two years our profit margins were low and our clientele was declining due to the economy.

This in turn made me decide to sell the rest of my Fitness 101 shares to Chrome SA, and in the process, the M.D (and my former partner) asked me to head up his marketing division.

Luckily, I had a great boss who was both a leader and mentor, who taught me more in two and a half years than I would have ever learnt in four years at University.

For some reason I can't explain exactly why , fitting into the role as an employee was a massive challenge.

From Employee to Version Eight

After two and half years at Chrome SA my department grew from just being me on my "ownsome" to 10 full-time employees.

Becoming a team leader taught me a truckload, and I soon realized that no skill is as valuable as emotional intelligence (EQ).

Taking the plunge (blindfolded of course), I decided to resign from the company and dedicate all my time to my passions; digital marketing.

Version Eight; The Here and Now

As a personal trainer, I instantly learned the value of marketing.

I fell in love with it instantaneously!

I get bored quickly, so the constant fluxes in technological advances causing continual disruptions in online marketing kept me stimulated, passionate and intrigued.

Having grown an internet business from 0 to an audience of over 300,000 people in 18 months, I feel confident that not only do I have a passion for marketing but have also perfected the necessary skills to help other brands to grow their own audience and differentiate themselves in the market.

Thanks to the internet and current technology, marketing has become more cost-effective. My vision is to support and advise companies to scale their business cost effectively while building an agency/company that can offer a low cost, customer first, marketing and consulting service.

At Version Eight we want to utilise our online marketing experience to grow businesses, big or small, in terms of market share and profitability whilst still remaining cost-effective and goal-directed.