How Nilson Silva Took $3k and Made It Into a $15 Million/Year Business

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Nilson Silva and Dennis Yu at DigiMarcon Miami

Nilson Silva is the founder and owner of Master Touch Outdoor Living, a pool installation and service company in Parkland, FL. This week he spoke with me on stage at DigiMarcon in Miami.

Nilson came to the United States from Brazil when he was 13 with only $3,000 and without speaking any English. He worked at restaurants, cleaned pools, and did whatever odd jobs necessary to make ends meet.

Today he has a $15 million a year pool business with 1,200 homes on the schedule.

He owns an excavation company, pool building company, design company, CRM software for pool builders, and the rest of the ecosystem.

At pool building conferences, he’s a celebrity — attendees flock to him for the chance to ask questions and take photos.

In this article we want to showcase his story, what drove him into being the epitome of the American Dream, and how it all ties back into doing good work for the client who hired him.

Success Always Leaves Clues:

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Nilson Silva Recording a Pool Cleaning Tutorial in 2009

Nilson moved to Florida when he was young and without speaking a bit of English. Instead of using this as an excuse, he taught himself the language and did whatever he needed to.

Whether it’s cleaning pools or working odd jobs – Nilson knew from the beginning that he wasn’t cut out for being an employee.

While he was dabbling in all types of businesses, pool building stood out to him as a business model that would work great in South Florida.

He started off as a contractor, which was made difficult by his legal status at the time.

One day, he was pulled over and even arrested for it.

But the same week he got right back into it – doing work for anyone that would hire him and putting an emphasis on getting the job done right.

There’s a common saying that “success leaves clues”. Meaning how someone deals with scenarios in the past is a good indicator they’re headed on an upward trajectory.

In Nilson’s case – this was finding a way to get it done, no matter the circumstance. On stage in Miami he mentioned guerilla style tactics of door knocking, picking up trash for neighbors, and doing whatever he could to get noticed.

Nilson Silva grew his company to $15M/year by doing good work and not skipping steps.

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Nilson Silva Speaking On How He Grew His Business at DigiMarcon

There’s a temptation for new business owners and digital marketing agencies to skip steps. That if they use some new outreach method, or cold call 10 hours a day, they’ll get results.

What I love about Nilson is that he’s gotten as far as he has by genuinely doing good work and caring. These are the real ingredients that make business growth possible, especially with digital marketing.

Digital marketing is an amplifier of what’s already working.

Because Nilson has hundreds of reviews and serviced thousands of pools, his team has mountains of videos, images, and social proof that they do what they claim they do, in South Florida.

Whether it’s site building or ads – businesses should be using E-E-A-T to document their authority and expertise for Google, of which Nilson has done fairly well.

The point is that everything here is connected. Nilson wouldn’t have grown Master Touch if he didn’t do good work, and he could never grow his online presence if he didn’t do good work either.

This means doing the tedious work of checking in with past clients, buying American flags for his neighborhood for the 4th of July as gifts, and helping out other local service businesses in his town of Parkland, FL.

In many ways, Nilson stands as the standard for how owners of local service businesses should operate.

Today, you can find him driving to pool sites up and down Broward county, managing his team, and recording content to inspire more small business owners on his new podcast launching soon.

He’s also the co-founder of other companies the likes of:

What’s next for Nilson and Master Touch Outdoor Living?

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Nilson Silva Standing Outside his Offices in Parkland, FL

Nilson has plans of expanding Master Touch to Florida’s West Coast, servicing cities like Tampa and Naples. He also has plans for growing his digital presence online by building his personal brand website and other assets to serve as inspiration for other local service businesses.

He’s also helping other local service businesses grow, staying true to his mission of helping others. Nilson is one of the most generous people I know and a firm believer in the Golden Rule, that you should treat others how you want to be treated.

Nilson is a reminder that it’s not about fancy marketing softwares or sales tactics – it’s about actually caring for those around you.

If you’re in Broward County and want a pool installed, make sure to visit Master Touch Pools.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.