How to create your own personal content marketing plan.
Murder investigation. check.
Underage girls. check.
Illegal drug manufacturing. check.
Faking identities. check.
Illegal country border crossing. check.
Seeking political asylum. check.
Faking a heart attack. check.
Exclusive media deal with a tabloid magazine. check.
Welcome to the world of John McAfee where everything is fair game in creating your content marketing plan and building your personal brand.
As he says in an interview with SBS on their Dateline program
“The reason I’m doing these videos is I’ve got to keep the public interested in me, right? I can do it by doing a number of things – being a bad guy. being a good guy, being a fool or all three at once, whatever it takes. I like it”
John McAfee is a computer programmer and founder of the first commercial computer anti-virus company McAfee, Inc. John resigned from the business in 1994 and sold his stake two years later for an estimated $100M. It is currently a subsidiary of Intel Corporation.
Since then he has founded and worked on a series of different business ventures. In recent times, the size of his personal fortune had declined to an estimated $4M due to the effects of the Global Financial Crisis and the the recession on his investments.
One of these business ventures was QuorumEX, formed in 2010 and based in Belize. The company was working towards producing commercial all natural antibiotics from jungle plants. John also lived on a property on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. He was described as living a playboy lifestyle on the island with a constant stream of young girlfriends, high levels of aggressive personal security and taking illegal drugs.
In November 2012, an American citizen, Greg Faull was murdered on a property neighbouring John McAfee on the island of Ambergris Caye.
For a number of potential reasons: proximity, lifestyle, profile and previous run ins with Greg and the authorities, Belize police named John McAfee as a person of interest in the case. Fearing the worst, McAfee fled Belize when he was sought for questioning and went into hiding.
From there, he actively courted and sought media exposure to tell his side of the story. After reaching Guatemala, he set up his own website http://whoismcafee.com and gave an interview with VICE magazine which unfortunately revealed his location. He was then arrested for entering the country illegally and threatened with deportation back to Belize. The subsequent media coverage intensified. Even whilst in detention in Guatemala, he actively posted updates on his blog and even staged a live Q&A webcast with the media there. To buy time for his lawyers to stop the deportation back to Belize, he applied for political asylum and also was hospitalised, after reportedly suffering from a heart attack.
In Dec 2012, after a series of appeals that prevented his deportation to Belize, he was released from detention in Guatemala and sent back to the United States. He is currently living in Portland, Oregon.
As @ Nov 11, 2013
Twitter – 16, 483 followers
Facebook – 4,904 fans
You Tube Channel – 14, 388 followers. His video (link posted at the bottom of this post) on how to uninstall McAfee on your computer has had over 4.3M views on You Tube.
He has sold the rights to a Montreal production company to produce a documentary on his life story. In addition there is a biography in the works. Plus, he is available for speaking engagements through Impact Future Media.
His name has also mentioned as a possible candidate to take over the leadership of Microsoft.
1. Utilised the media to drive awareness and amplify his story and case to a wider audience. In addition feeding them controversial statements to stimulate mock outrage and further coverage; i.e. Eating children in Ecuador, his girlfriends saying they tried to kill him and that they had to have sex with him for 24 hours straight.
2. After fleeing Belize immediately setting up his own website & blog, inviting curiosity in the url name – http://whoismcafee.com/ , posting frequent video and written updates for sharing. This also encouraged those to follow his story in real time as it actually unfolded. For example, the live media Q&A webchat live from his Guatemalan detention centre.
The whoismcafee website is generating sufficient traffic now to host paid banner and display advertising (which of course include antivirus software advertising from competitors of McAfee Inc).
3. Posting all his video content on a dedicated You Tube channel.
4. Encouraging engagement and interactivity with his followers by giving them the opportunity to produce your own Re-Edit video of his footage. Editor: I am still waiting for the footage John…
5. Using his website to act as a utility platform to promote social justice and expose corruption in Belize giving voice to those who aren’t able to do so themselves.
6. Despite his ordeal and serious criminal allegations, he maintained his sense of humour and I don’t give a shit attitude. This comes through in all of his posts along with not taking himself too seriously.
What next? How to capitalise on this community of followers?
John has formed a new company called Future Tense Central and developed a new device called ‘D-Central’. Speaking at the C2SV conference in in Silicon Valley in October, the device creates a localised, super-secure network that is claimed to be resistant to government surveillance and costs less than $100.
In summary, he has a ready made audience now of potential advocates to beta test and buy D-Central when it is launched.
In closing, I sincerely hope that those involved in the murder of Greg Faull be found and brought to justice.
Is John McAfee or any of the people associated with him responsible for his murder? Whilst John is actively promoting social justice in Belize on his website, he doesn’t appear to be as concerned with promoting justice for Greg Faull and his family.
Update: Nov 2013
In Dec 2012, John McAfee did offer a BZE $25,000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Greg Faull’s murder. The author apologises for this oversight from the original article.
Was this campaign planned from the start or did it just evolve and pick up steam as it went along? I
I will let you be the judge.
John is still a person of interest in the case but no formal charges have been made against him by the Belize police. His name doesn’t appear on the latest Wanted Person’s gallery on the Belize Police website.
Update: Nov 2013
The daughter of Greg Paull has launched a civil suit against John McAfee alleging that he committed the murder himself or ordered the killing. As John himself states in the article, it does raise the question of timing. Why did the family, wait until 12 months until after the event to launch such an action?
Even McAfee Inc have taken advantage of the publicity and interest in the John McAfee story. A Google search on ‘who is mcafee’ yields the following results.
I guess that’s not unreasonable when John has posted this helpful video on You Tube on how to uninstall McAfee software on your computer.
by Konrad Markham
Tips for Improving Digital Marketing