My dad is highly competitive,
and it rubbed off on me. He drilled into me,

You only play
the game for one
reason: to win.

The Game of Basketball

In high school, it was sports. I’d practice on the weekends, go to every camp, and consume every resource I could to be the best. I became captain of our basketball team, captain of the conference, and made the All-Tournament Team every time.

THE GAME OF CCGs

THE GAME OF CCGs

On my nerd side, I got into collectible card games. I memorized the long paragraphs that explained each card’s abilities for thousands of individual cards. I won two back-to-back Koteis, the equivalent of state championships in Legend of the Five Rings (the CCG that I played most heavily).

The Game of Poker

In my twenties, my roommate introduced me to poker.
I read a dozen poker books, consumed Phil Hellmuth’s (“The Poker Brat”) cheesy poker course, then reviewed and studied 30,000 poker hands in a month.

I entered a tournament with 14,000 players, came in fourth place, and won a nice six-figure payout.

I had gone to college to please my parents. They wanted me to have a secure profession, but I was certain my greatest security would be in owning my own business.

After college, my first job was supervising a room full of high school kids in detention.

It wasn’t the most stimulating line of work, but it did give me the freedom to do whatever I wanted on my computer while the kids were behaving. At first, I watched sports
to study the game, because I was also the JV
basketball coach.

Eventually, I felt that my time could be used in a more productive manner, so I Googled “how to make money online” (that is literally the query I used).

The Game of
Affiliate Marketing

I landed on a variety of digital marketing courses and SEO (ranking on search engines) instantly appealed to my competitive nature.

In short order, I had sites ranking #1 for “double chin,” “stained concrete,” “Acai fruit,” and a host of other terms. Equally importantly, I was making a healthy living through affiliate marketing.

The Game of Burning Money

(sorry, Mom)

I gave notice on my teaching job, cashed out my teachers’ retirement account (a whopping $4,000), and moved to Florida to live with a friend who also did digital marketing.

We threw an enormous party at our new place to celebrate retirement from teaching and the start of my new life.

The party was so successful it earned me an eviction warning, but I didn’t care. I was 26 and making five figures every month with my SEO skills.

Then things changed.

In 2012, the “Penguin algorithm update” nuked my income and made my 100+ affiliate sites useless.

The Game of
Legal Marketing

I pivoted quickly, landing a job as an SEO specialist with a digital agency that did marketing for attorneys.

There, I learned that ranking law firm websites is a very competitive endeavor.

I was hooked and opened my agency, Rankings.io, in 2013.

I bootstrapped it with a $15,000 loan from my sister (thanks, Alicia). That bought me a short runway to find my first clients.

I created one and sometimes two YouTube videos per day. I ran an online Google+ community for legal professionals and I worked LinkedIn obsessively.

I landed four clients the first month.

After securing my 10th client, I hired my first employee, Steven Willi. Together we propelled the business to an entirely new level.

In my first year, we grossed $79,000; in my fourth, we cracked the $1M mark.

Currently, we are targeting $10M and we’ve made the Inc. 5000 list for fastest-growing privately held companies four years in a row.

The Game of
Elite Personal Injury SEO

Two years ago, we narrowed our focus to SEO for personal injury law firms for a few reasons:

1

It’s highly competitive and
demands expertise.

2

I was willing to do what was necessary
be an expert in my field.

3

I knew that this audience would match my passion for winning: personal injury attorneys are remarkable professionals in a field that similarly requires expertise. Put plainly, it expects the best: the best lawyers, the best firms, the best results.

3

I knew that this audience would match my passion for winning: personal injury attorneys are remarkable professionals in a field that similarly requires expertise. Put plainly, it expects the best: the best lawyers, the best firms, the best results.

There are a lot of posers out there. Anyone can make
you promises; few can give you proof.

Paint by the Numbers

1997-2000

All-conference captain of our HS basketball team, all tournament team in basically every tournament I played in.

1997-2000
2006

Top L5R CCG Player – Won four Koteis  Graduated SIU with a History Education Degree in 2005

Got a job as a detention room teacher at a HS in Southern Illinois. Was also their JV basketball coach.  Started learning affiliate marketing taking Ed Dale’s 30 Day Challenge to Make your first $1 with affiliate marketing 

2007
2011

Quit teaching because side hustle affiliate marketing was making about triple my HS salary Moved to Tampa to pursue digital marketing further with a friend Ryan Carter

Won over $300,000 in April 2011, including $224k. Black Friday occurred on April 15th, 2011. My winnings were frozen for 3 years. After the indictment was unsealed on April 15, 2011, a date quickly dubbed Black Friday by the online poker community, PokerStars and Full Tilt stopped offering real money play to their United States customers.

2013

Launched AttorneyRankings.org (Now – Rankings.io)

Inc 5000

2018, 2019
2020
2018, 2019,
2020

Launched AttorneyRankings.org (Now – Rankings.io)

ABOUT

Chris Dreyer

Chris Dreyer is the founder and CEO of Rankings.io and the host of the Personal Injury Marketing Mastermind podcast. Since 2018, Rankings.io has been included on the Inc. 5000. each year including 2021. His agency received the UpCity Excellence Award, an honor reserved for the top 1 percent of the nation’s marketing agencies. Chris is a Forbes contributor, member of the Forbes Agency Council, and was included in The Silicon Review’s 30 Best CEOs of the Year 2021.