Joseph Ziyaee gave a single ride and made more than $20,000 during his first month as an Uber driver. His ingenious plan is to send referrals to potential drivers to sign up.
The bonuses he receives when other drivers sign up have earned him $90,000 within the past six months. According to Business Insider, Ziyaee has given less than a handful of rides as reported on his pay stubs.
Based in Los Angeles, Ziyaee had the idea for referring friends to Uber after getting a hairline fracture on his foot that impeded his driving. He told Business Insider:
“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Ziyaee was inspired by the story of Uber rider Blake Jared who allegedly earned $50,000 in ride credit via his referral code. However, Ziyaee had an even better idea of using a driver referral code to make some extra money.
Uber rewards bonuses to new drivers who sign up and complete a number of rides. By signing up as a new driver with a current driver’s referral code, both parties receive a bonus that can be worth several hundred dollars.
Ziyaee’s injured foot turned out to be a godsend, but he had his account suspended after posting his referral code on Reddit. Since Uber forbids sharing such codes on forums and coupon sites, Ziyaee decided to communicate with potential drivers more directly.
Using his network of friends, mutual friends, social media and word of mouth, Ziyaee has contributed to adding 200 new drivers to Uber. Ziyaee calls his car his “office on wheels” and he is now dubbed the “King of Uber.”
The “King of Uber” puts in a lot of work and strategy to recruiting new drivers for the mobile ride hailing company. Ziyaee explained that he targets the areas that need drivers the most because Uber offers higher bonuses for new sign ups. After picking the location, Ziyaee contacts people online or in person by making a trip to the city. He’s made visits to San Francisco a number of times and San Diego as well.
Ziyaee goes the extra mile by walking potential recruits through the application process and assisting them with background checks and vehicle issues. He claims to have “met” each individual he has signed on either over phone, Facetime, or in person.
He told Business Insider:
“That’s the most important part. You need to be willing to do follow-ups. You need to be able to help [potential drivers] if they hit obstacles.”
Ziyaee has voluntarily become a representative and recruiter for Uber and has even decorated his apartment, which he calls “Uber-ville,”to make himself more convincing when Facetiming interested drivers. He is also big on Snapchat and provides his contact information on his snaps.
However, Ziyaee isn’t the only entrepreneur making big bucks through Uber’s referral codes. A simple google search reveals that the King of Uber has stiff competition since Uber lowers bonuses based on the number of sign ups in an area. Time will tell whether he holds on to his title as King.