Navigating the Digital Agency Landscape: Insights from Nick Stagge on ‘Scroll Sessions’

Introduction

In the latest episode of ‘Scroll Sessions’, we had the privilege of hosting Nick Stagge, a veteran in the digital agency world with an impressive career spanning companies like GoPro, Skullcandy, and Vid Army. Stagge’s journey, from his initial forays into the industry to founding his own firm, The Grounded Company, offers invaluable insights for anyone navigating the complex terrain of digital marketing and creative agencies.

Nick Stagge’s Career Path: A ‘Train Wreck’ of Rich Experiences

Describing his career path as a “train wreck,” Stagge humorously alludes to his diverse experiences. His journey reflects a willingness to take risks and embrace change, a crucial attribute in the dynamic field of digital marketing. Working with big brands like GoPro and Skullcandy, Stagge highlights the importance of seizing opportunities, even when they lead to unexpected paths.

The Birth of The Grounded Company

Post his stint with Vid Army, Stagge decided to venture solo, founding The Grounded Company. The inception of his firm wasn’t a meticulously planned endeavor. In fact, it stemmed from a somewhat improvised LinkedIn post offering fractional CMO consulting. This move quickly snowballed into signing significant deals, one of them being with Breville, a billion-dollar home appliance company.

Challenges and Opportunities: The Essence of Entrepreneurship

Stagge’s story is a testament to the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship. From tackling unexpected retail projects to designing ads on Canva and eventually building a professional team, his journey underscores the importance of adaptability. His candid admission of being “insanely colorblind” adds a personal touch to his professional narrative, highlighting that perceived limitations need not be barriers to success.

A Shift in Business Strategy: Embracing Creative Agency

An interesting turn in Stagge’s career came with Harmon Brothers’ proposal to start a consulting branch. Initially geared towards strategy roles, Stagge found himself diving into the creative agency space. This shift was a pivotal moment, leading to the establishment of a full-fledged creative agency under his leadership.

The Philosophy Behind The Grounded Company

Stagge’s approach to managing The Grounded Company is anchored in realism and opportunism. He emphasizes the importance of being honest about one’s capabilities and recognizing the right moments to say yes to opportunities. His story reflects a blend of strategic thinking, creative risk-taking, and a keen sense of market needs.

Key Takeaways for Aspiring Digital Marketers and Agency Owners

  • Embrace Diverse Experiences: A varied career path can be an asset in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
  • Opportunism is Key: Be ready to pivot and seize opportunities, even if they deviate from your initial plans.
  • Adaptability and Learning: The ability to adapt and learn on the go is crucial in the face of unexpected challenges.
  • Honesty and Self-Awareness: Recognize your strengths and limitations, and build a team to complement your skills.
  • Strategic Risk-Taking: Being opportunistic often involves calculated risks – don’t shy away from them.

Conclusion

Nick Stagge’s journey through the world of digital agencies is a powerful narrative about embracing change, seizing opportunities, and the importance of adaptability in the face of challenges. His insights provide valuable lessons for anyone looking to thrive in the dynamic and competitive world of digital marketing and creative agencies.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nbstagge/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegroundedcompany/


Podcast Transcript

0:00

[Music] okay everyone welcome to scroll sessions  uh today we have an awesome guest Nick staggy  

0:12

Nick has been involved with companies like GoPro  Skullcandy and local companies like vid Army and  

0:19

now he started his own firm called the grounded  company and did I miss anything in there I mean   I’ve I’ve had a lot of different jobs my career  path is a train wreck but I think you got the  

0:28

majority of them but you’ve done some awesome  work for some massive Brands I’ve done work   for awesome big Brands yes I will say that I’ve  worked for them I’m not sure it’s been great but  

0:40

but I’ve been lucky enough to work for some pretty  cool companies yeah well Nick and I went to lunch  

0:45

like probably six months ago and yeah ever we I  feel like we connected right off the bat maybe  

0:51

just because we’re both uh in the agency space  and we have a lot to talk about and complain about   with each other but um very happy to have you here  honored thank you anytime like just really respect  

1:06

and appreciate what you’re doing at the grounded  company too so thanks likewise as a person scroll  

1:12

gave me some cojones to try to start my own thing  so yeah yeah clearly so how did you how did you  

1:22

start grounded company what gave you the idea and  maybe give people some background on what it is   so grounded company what it is today is nothing  that I had envisioned when it started um when  

1:36

I was 13 I was drawing a kiwi and the grounded  company I always I liked that idea of birds that  

1:42

can’t fly I thought that was interesting is that  a kiwi yeah okay not the fruit not the bird okay  

1:48

among other birds that don’t fly but that’s the  that was always the one that I was drawn to but  

1:55

um after vid Army um famously kind of like  imploded on itself I was like you know I don’t  

2:03

want to work for anyone else anymore and I’m not  even sure I want to have anyone work for me like  

2:08

I don’t think that’s the right thing yeah so  I went on to LinkedIn and as marketers do I  

2:15

fibbed a little bit and I was like hey I own um a  fractional CMO consulting firm I’ve got room for  

2:24

one more client anybody interested I would have  taken any client I could have gotten in fact for  

2:30

sure but as you do yeah you know you do so within  24 hours I’d signed two gigantic deals not as a  

2:39

fractional CMO I signed Breville they’re like a  billion dollar home appliance company and they  

2:45

were having me they’re a coffee maker aren’t they  yeah among other things yeah coffee makers Smart   Oven yeah they had me helping them kind of rebuild  their Channel marketing program from scratch cool  

2:57

and then Dixon flannel called and they’re like  we have this showroom in Phoenix we know you  

3:04

haven’t done retail in like three lifetimes but  can you help us we think it could be massive  

3:10

and I said yes and so I was working on those and  with the goal of either buying myself a little  

3:17

bit of time to get a real job yeah or to get more  clients that were truly fractional CMO type type  

3:24

clients yeah and then the third phone call I got  was Harmon Brothers on there like yo we want to  

3:30

chat we want to chat we have you know million  dollar retainers like we work with behemoths  

3:36

and we have all these little teeny brands that  want to work with us and they can’t afford it   yep so we’re starting this Consulting Branch  where we hire fractional CMOS to help to help  

3:46

raise a smaller Brands and then they’ll Pitch  Out smaller agencies to help them grow and I’m  

3:51

I’m on fire like yeah for sure they’re gonna feed  me fractional CMO jobs where I am only strategy no  

3:59

execution yeah it’s like a dream job it’s my  dream job at least for real it’s like I’m in  

4:04

and Theron one one of the Seven Brothers goes oh  you uh we don’t need any fractional CMOS we’re  

4:12

looking for a creative agency and word on the  street is you own a creative agency and I was like   oh well how many clients could you send us and he  gives me the number and like and how much a month  

4:24

are these clients and it gives me the number and  I’m like yes I own a creative agency let’s do this  

4:31

and uh true story I am like insanely colorblind  okay and I’m not a designer what color is this  

4:40

uh I mean what color is it too I think it’s  blue but but my color blindness is I can see  

4:47

something that’s red and something green that  are separate from one another when you put them   next to each other they blend into one color  and I can’t tell you which is probably like  

4:56

the worst kind to have I would think it’s right  yeah it’s rough geez man um have you ever tried  

5:02

the colorblind glasses my wife wants to get them  for me but I’m like I can see the colors separate  

5:08

just not together yeah don’t spend the money maybe  blow your whole world and just uh just be one of  

5:14

those emotional videos that goes viral yeah yeah  I’m just bald you should do that and then that’s   your headline how beautiful my kids were yeah of  grounded company I know I did my kids were blue

5:24

but I mean we’ve all heard the the argument like  how do you know that we see the same blue that we  

5:34

all call Blue yeah whatever that’s our discussion  on that yeah we’ve talked about that before I’ve  

5:40

had a lot of people get mad at me for just saying  that we have no evidence that we all see the same   color it’s all based on your environment but  we don’t I agree and when you think about it  

5:50

it blows you it blows my mind yeah it seems  crazy yeah it’s it’s yeah so one of life’s  

5:56

greatest mysteries on that note you’re extremely  colorblind and you have a creative agency now so  

6:01

I will say like I’m not a designer either so  yeah which is interesting and they’re not like  

6:07

small paying clients they wanted Harmon Brothers  stuff yeah so I’m like I don’t know what to do I  

6:12

guess I’m gonna download canva I started designing  ads in canva and I’m delivering to the client and  

6:18

they’re like hey man I’m so glad we got a creative  agency we’ve been designing crapping canva like  

6:24

love your work and I’m going like oh this is not  going to end well all right so I went out and I  

6:30

just started building a team yeah right and like  we don’t do anything in canva anymore we yeah we   have real designers I’m not designing anything um  but yeah it’s just at that moment it happened I  

6:43

um decided I was going to be opportunistic and  take a chance and two years later here we are   yeah I haven’t you haven’t had to go get hired  anywhere else right no thankfully yeah no kidding  

6:53

and I think also I’m a terrible employee like no  one wants to hire me every true uh business owner  

6:59

entrepreneur is a terrible employee I feel like to  some degree okay everybody’s got a little bit in  

7:04

that of that in them and I think a lot of them are  marketers I guess when you get to the level that   I think we’re at are very similar in that regard  it’s like you kind of want to get into everything  

7:15

you do really you think we know everything and we  all think we know everything and I think you’re  

7:20

always trying to build and tear things apart yeah  I’ve sadly and truthfully been let go of quite a  

7:30

few jobs um and I think when I look back I’m like  oh I should have been let go because for the last  

7:37

year they didn’t have me building anything new  I was just executing and frankly execution kind  

7:43

of bores me yeah like yeah I I need someone on  the team that can be a great executor but if I’m  

7:49

not building something new and trying to solve  a new problem like I’d rather just lay in bed  

7:56

and binge watch Clarkson’s Farm or something yeah  Clarkson’s Farm there’s an awesome dude I don’t  

8:02

know if you’ve seen that show Isn’t that with the  cars and stuff yeah you know Jeremy Clarkson from  

8:08

Top Gear he’s like the Top Gear guy uh is this  wait Top Gear is where they drive expensive cars  

8:13

yeah yeah okay yeah I think he’s a bit of a prick  yeah he like punches somebody oh he’s got he’s  

8:22

got quite the uh rap sheet yeah so I think Top  Gear kind of shut down and he was like I want to  

8:28

make a farm so it’s two full seasons now on Amazon  Prime it’s really cool learning how to farm like  

8:35

like 500 acres in in England and it’s awesome it  is such a good show dude I love that kind of stuff  

8:44

especially yeah well you probably like it because  you’re opportunistic right and he just like found  

8:49

this new opportunity and went for something he  didn’t understand so he gets to learn something   new every day and that resonates with you because  that’s the person you are yeah 100 I do think  

8:59

um I don’t know if you guys know Craig Jarman or  Matt wonderly Craig Jarman owns pajamas literally  

9:07

a pajama that your kids can pee in without diapers  very interesting right for myself I’m getting old  

9:13

enough that I need them for me well we just  finished potty training a couple months ago   so those would have come in handy I didn’t know  about those yeah that’s awesome those are that’s  

9:20

a wild time potty tree yeah it is yeah yeah but I  so when I first started grounded I was sharing a  

9:26

office with them that was like a third of the size  of this room and and Craig and Matt were both like  

9:33

dude you just need to keep your eyes  open for opportunities and then have   the guts to say yes to when it  when it presents itself like  

9:41

I think Craig did a really good  job coaching and teaching me that

9:47

building something is really hard but if  you can sell something and then build it   it’s way easier yeah and so that’s  just kind of like I’ve got all these  

9:56

sister agency ideas things that are  happening and you’d be surprised how  

10:02

how easy it is to sell something that doesn’t  even exist yeah oh yeah and I mean that’s how   that’s how we got started that was basically what  we did for the first couple months we literally  

10:12

didn’t know how to fulfill and we just were like  let’s just ask people what they want let’s start  

10:17

talking to customers let’s start talk talking  to who we felt was going to be our ideal target  

10:23

audience and let’s figure out what they want and  let’s just go build it after we sell it dude I  

10:28

am such a Believer and that’s classic I think one  entrepreneur classic marketer too and you probably  

10:34

lost the vast majority of your first clients yep  as an agency all of them right like there’s always  

10:40

going to be churn I think the churn happens faster  but at least you got in and you were selling and  

10:46

you were learning we’re working on spinning up a  sister company right now called The Underground   and one of the guys who’s coming in to help  he’s like okay so month one is really about  

10:57

like our own branding our website it’s about like  what’s the process what are all the packages and  

11:04

I was like no it’s not month one is can we close  five deals and he’s like what are we selling I’m  

11:10

like whatever people want but can we close five  deals and if we can close them then we figure out   what our packages are then we figure out how to  start delivering against it and he was like seems  

11:20

dangerous and I’m like my dude if if we’re here  30 or 60 days after starting a business yeah and  

11:27

we haven’t sold anything no none of us are even  going to care about the business yep like exactly  

11:33

Revenue keeps you interested start with that and  I think it’s risky and it’s scary but I think it’s  

11:40

way riskier to waste time building something that  you have no idea if someone’s going to buy or not  

11:46

yeah which is which is kind of crazy because you  see like a lot of these guys in Silicon Valley   that like don’t even have a legitimate product and  they get 120 million dollars worth of investment  

11:58

or whatever right and they don’t even have an  audience they don’t even have users yet and that’s  

12:03

like that kind of boggles my mind a little bit  yeah why am I crazy I think people are starting to

12:10

people want bootstrap cash flow businesses  and investors are turning to that say 100  

12:19

okay wait you have five years history you’ve  been profitable you bootstrap you don’t have   debt investors are now starting to say that’s  interesting compared to okay you have a cool  

12:27

idea you’ve never sold anything in your  life let me give you five million bucks   totally yeah totally I think I think that’s  shifting and it needs to because it’s yeah  

12:35

it’s just Bonkers working for companies like  we don’t care about profitability we don’t we   don’t care about it which is we just need growth  that’s like profitability is growth same thing  

12:46

yeah well then yeah then you run down the line  and you’re laying off 10 of your staff because   you know profitability yeah one thing that I  think is interesting that you said especially  

12:56

for the agency world is we kind of got started  the same way where we knew that we were sales  

13:01

people right and I think a lot of agency owners  confuse themselves with being sales people and  

13:07

marketers when really when you’re starting an  agent see a lot of people are sales people and   not marketers they know enough to be dangerous  and what we have done all of us is that we’re  

13:18

going to go and sell and then we’re not going to  go and deliver some garbage product to people we  

13:23

might hire a freelancer to deliver on it we might  white label that service we might use canvas yeah   right like we’re gonna do all we can to provide a  solution for the customer and learn along the way  

13:36

and I think that’s really insightful because  a lot of people that start businesses think I   have to have some intrinsic skill that uh is  valuable in order to start a business and at  

13:47

the end of the day you don’t you just have to be a  really good salesperson and know someone that can   fulfill and provide us and provide a solution  at the end of the day you really just need to  

13:57

know how to provide the solution that’s it you  can connect the dots and that’s how that’s how  

14:02

it is in the agency world and I think a lot  of people I guess maybe don’t realize that   or don’t take advantage of it more yeah I  think you’re right I I totally agree it’s  

14:15

um it reminds me of this story when I was at  vid Army we were selling video for 500 bucks  

14:22

and no one knew no one thought we could be  profitable yeah no one thought no one thought  

14:27

you guys yeah no one thought you guys could do  that dude the everyone was like oh your 500 offers  

14:32

like Costco chicken you’re you’re getting your ass  handed to you on on margin but you’re making it up  

14:38

on the upsell yeah I was like actually our Costco  chickens a cash cow for us because of our process  

14:43

like we we taught someone who’d never done video  how to set up this we had someone professionally  

14:50

set up our studio yep taught him how to set the  camera and it was the same setup every time we’d  

14:55

hit record for an hour I paid that guy 15 bucks an  hour yeah so 500 video 15 bucks in payroll then I  

15:02

would send it to the Philippines and I’d have my  editor work on it for no more than four hours at   five dollars an hour yeah I made 35 in on a 500  product like I was making money yeah oh yeah hand  

15:13

over fist and I had an agents another video agency  call me and he was like hey I know we don’t know  

15:19

each other but I want to take you to lunch yeah  the industry is really small in Salt Lake like  

15:25

let’s get together let’s meet up and it was kind  of like low-key threatening the whole lunch he’s  

15:32

just like you know we’re all talking about you  guys and like yeah oh you’re making waves I mean  

15:37

and it’s not gonna go well for you and and right  right lunch yeah it was dude and it was which is  

15:44

crazy but he kept trying to position it like I’m  coming to you like as a friend I’m like I don’t   know you and you’re over here but one I’ll tell  you like the crate I’ve been plugged into the  

15:55

crater space here at least locally for a long time  because my background’s as a photographer yeah I  

16:01

did quite a bit of video but I also worked a ton  with creators and Salt Lake is really unique in  

16:07

the entire nation for like this very small group  of people that are all creators it’s very it’s  

16:15

even it’s very different to even like LA or New  York well we have a beautiful landscape here and I   think that will get really interested in becoming  100 photographers of videographers so that they  

16:24

can go and be a partner yeah well I know when vid  Army started because that was before even scroll  

16:30

really was a thing like that Army was definitely  on on the radar of the creative Community yes we  

16:35

looked to you guys as like uh how do we do the  same thing how do we offer digital marketing  

16:41

services for 500 bucks a month and make it  actually good though yeah it the leads just flood  

16:49

in at that price point so this guy he’s finally  his like big his big Final Act of lunch is like  

16:59

look man I I can tell this I know that you and  most of the people of that Army have not spent  

17:06

a lot of time in video and like yeah we didn’t  but it was a 500 video yeah we weren’t trying to  

17:12

make Super Bowl commercials yeah for sure and he  was like and and I’m just telling you as someone  

17:17

who’s made my entire life doing nothing but video  it’s the only thing I’ve ever done is video video  

17:24

you guys are gonna you guys are gonna burn  some bridges and it’s gonna end very poorly   for you and I I’m coming to you just letting  you know and after like a half an hour of me  

17:35

holding my breath I was like no I I hear  exactly what you’re saying the only thing  

17:41

you’ve ever done is video the only thing  yep the only thing I’ve ever done and I  

17:48

apologize because I this was like one of my more  arrogant moments but I’m like the only thing I’ve  

17:54

ever done is walk into a business and figure out  how to scale and grow it yeah and um that should  

17:59

scare the hell out of you because I don’t know  video I know how to scale and grow a business and  

18:05

I’m going to do that and no one’s going to want  to work with you anymore hey thanks for lunch man   have a good one yeah I just got it worked out and  we now become friends that’s good he’d message me  

18:14

like a month later and he was like hey man I  realized that was kind of like I was kind of a   dick yeah I was like ah so was I so we good yeah  we’re fine but yeah I think people like yeah it  

18:25

is but I also think it goes back to what you’re  saying like delivery is important but really can  

18:31

you identify an opportunity can you sell it and  can you figure out can you figure out the brand  

18:37

yeah and and you guys you covered all of that but  I think that maybe the next interesting piece is  

18:43

it did kind of fall apart oh that Army did but  that’s a whole different that’s a whole other   story yeah yeah but and I and I think maybe why  why do you feel like that crashed and burned um  

18:55

there was real um descent between the owners there  was just a disconnect in terms of the the vision  

19:04

of each of them and the reality of the business  and clarify what your role was there so I was I  

19:10

was initially brought in as an advisor because I  was I was a client and I’m like guys I love this  

19:16

model yeah for sure but your delivery against it  sucks like good job selling good job showing that  

19:22

there’s there’s no point here yeah your delivery  sucks let me help you on cleaning this up yeah  

19:29

um like when I first started they were managing  every client through info vidarmy.com they didn’t  

19:36

have a CRM they weren’t using they weren’t even  using Trello dude that’s how we started they had   to share it’s true but they they had they had  probably 10x the clients yeah they did at the  

19:45

time which is nutty they didn’t have as many  as any of us maybe thought wanted to think or   believe okay and I learned a lesson like  due diligence is not just looking at p l  

19:54

it’s actually like open your bank and let me see  your bank account yeah because what was on the p l  

20:01

when I was doing my due diligence as to be the CEO  and then what I uncovered was real yeah was very  

20:08

different and just scary dude unscary day one  I’m working with all of the team yeah day two  

20:15

I’m talking with all of our clients and day three  I’m like all right I’m gonna get into the numbers   and I open it up and I’m like where are the  other accounts like this can’t be it where  

20:25

where are we and they’re like this is it I’m like  so I had to pull the owners together and I’m like   unless something major happens that Army folds  in 60 days like you will be bankrupt you have  

20:36

no money you’re yeah no Revenue like things  are trouble so why was that the case if it   was costing 35 dollars to fulfill because at the  time they weren’t they didn’t have that process  

20:47

and they they were just like 500 video and  they did it kind of for anyone for anything  

20:53

they when when we were making 500 video work  it was very specific like it’s only in our  

20:59

studio it’s only for an hour it’s only this  many deliverables if you want more than that   it’s a thousand bucks it’s two thousand dollars  right and we yeah and we had those different  

21:08

packages and I remember that yeah because  they were saying like oh we’ll come to you   an hour drive and we’ll bring two people  and two cameras yep not to mention they  

21:17

bought a Tesla probably right they did buy  a Tesla great business decision it was solid

21:23

writing a check for a thousand dollar car payment  a month I was like what what are we doing yeah  

21:33

um but they also were so far behind on delivery  that no one there was no repeat business so they  

21:44

were shoveling with coal yeah so it was I remember  hearing it wasn’t the cost of the product it was  

21:49

the the delay and delivery that caused this like  refund situation oh dude yes and you start to see  

21:57

things like hey someone paid us 2 000 bucks  for four months of video we haven’t delivered  

22:03

any video still and it’s like eight months  so and the money’s already been spent yeah  

22:10

what like this isn’t working and um at  the time one of the owners was like Hey I  

22:18

I’ve built this business it’s huge I don’t  want to be a I don’t want to be involved in   the day-to-day anymore I just want to take  a paycheck home yeah I’m like some business  

22:26

owners eventually get to that point eventually  right yeah and that’s what I told him I’m like   I don’t think you understand the conversation  we just came from we’re 60 days from bankrupt  

22:36

yeah I can’t pay I’m not sure we can pay  anyone let alone someone who’s not working  

22:42

a hundred percent you can take a draw and he’s  like cool well this is what my draw should be  

22:47

I’m like we draw is only on profit you guys are  bleeding cash so like good luck yeah right and  

22:53

he didn’t like it yeah so he went and he’s we  we basically bought him out from 33 to 19. he  

23:00

went and started a competing agency yeah and um  that was fine like good for him no beef with that  

23:08

like that’s his right he’s every right to do that  he did it the right way um but he still had some  

23:17

some cash in the cap table right like  he still was was a part owner and so  

23:22

we had gone out and talked about selling something  that you don’t know how to deliver on yeah no   kidding we got lucky and landed a deal with by  the way we six x Revenue in the first 60 days I  

23:35

was there so all of a sudden our your cat problems  still but we didn’t have Revenue problems yeah you  

23:41

got the you got the money in yeah it was coming  and then we landed a deal with it with Amazon  

23:46

and we delivered against it and it worked pretty  well and they came back to us and they’re like  

23:52

all right we want to we want to ramp up with  that Army 150k a month yeah creating a product  

23:59

video yep over the top uh videos uh based  on clients that we’re already spending like  

24:06

30 grand a month in ad spend with Amazon  or something like it was pretty specific   but the number of clients it was drastic right I  mean you’re like yeah we’re talking two million  

24:18

bucks here with one client on an agency that six  months ago was folding yeah but Amazon’s like  

24:26

yeah so cool you uh the way this works is you  invoice after the video is delivered and we’re  

24:33

on net 90. they have a question yeah those  corporate these corporate clients man it’s  

24:43

these Enterprise level people it’s crazy we don’t  have the we don’t have cash flow to do that no so  

24:50

we start going out trying to get like Po financing  maybe a loan yeah but vid Army had done but prior  

24:57

to me getting there had like kind of crushed their  credit through loans and it was still a nightmare  

25:04

but we end up finding two different groups that  are like we’ll give you the cash like we’re in but  

25:10

you got to clear your cap table the only person  on the cap table can be Levi and now us right  

25:18

so we go back to the two other owners and we’re  we’re talking to them and their price tag is  

25:23

pretty dang high like yeah higher than higher  than it should have been it was an emotional  

25:28

high like 10x multiplier yeah which is insane  and it’s a service they knew and and also I  

25:37

think they just they just frankly were like  wanting to dig it in a little bit yeah yeah so  

25:43

we couldn’t do it we couldn’t make  that work we couldn’t make that work   so we are talking with one of our one of the  potential uh lenders and they’re like look  

25:52

Levi you’d have to agree to this it’d suck  but fold folded Army fold it you guys will  

25:58

eat all the you’ll be on the hook for all the  debt all the everything but we’ll do a joint  

26:04

venture with you guys and Nick now you can be  on the cap table Levi you’re there if you want   we’ll just cook we’ll just move all the clients  over because you’ve folded the business it’s fine  

26:14

so we went back to the two owners and we’re  like look this is what we’re going to do if   you can’t come to better terms like we don’t  have a choice yeah interesting they found a  

26:24

loophole in the system that they could pool their  Equity together and give it away so they gave 52  

26:32

of the total equity to uh a third party and he  walked in and basically said everyone can pounce  

26:40

and get out yeah and overnight we went from we’re  going to do 150k a month with Amazon alone to like  

26:48

it’s over it’s over it’s over it’s done yeah yeah  and that’s when you guys all had started to walk  

26:53

away yep and it was mass exit like business  there were probably 20 employees and within  

27:01

45 days to everyone except one had walked wow  Business Partnership relationships are key it’s  

27:10

like it is make or break if you are not doing  business with somebody that you can’t like have  

27:16

a serious conversation with and like actually  get through stuff together with man it’s over  

27:21

it’s over before it began you know we’re very  lucky that we had partnered in a good way that  

27:28

we have a great partnership after four years  I’m like there’s no one I’d rather work with   a hundred percentage and I couldn’t have done it  alone I think that’s a conversation we can have  

27:36

is you have done it alone well I have I have a  team but but on that note I would go back for  

27:42

a quick second yeah I think advice that I give to  people after going through this vid Army thing is  

27:49

when you’re starting a business you’re like of  course I love this person of course I want to go   into business with this person like I’d never do  this person wrong this person would never do me  

27:58

wrong like we’re good right yeah write your  operating agreement as if your enemies yeah  

28:04

because because when you then if something for  some bad reason happens you’re like we’ve already  

28:11

defined the grounds in which we’re going to argue  yeah we’ve already defined like exactly what your  

28:16

buyout is exactly how we operate here what you can  and can’t do we’re just going to stick to that and  

28:22

like you take that emotion out because there’s no  denying like I’m not a fan of one of the owners of  

28:28

that Army I’m not yeah he’s not a bad dude he’s  not my favorite guy that’s right and he still  

28:34

operates and I I wish him nothing but success yeah  genuinely yeah I know ill feelings towards him  

28:41

it’s definitely a cautionary tale though  but but it is it’s a cautionary tale I’m   like you know one if you’re stepping into a  startup don’t be afraid to be like open up  

28:50

your your bank like show me what you got don’t  just go in and if you’re starting with someone  

28:56

like go in and ask all the hard questions and  document it and get it put together and then  

29:03

you Nev I think it avoids the whole like I deserve  this and you did that and this it’s like all that  

29:09

crap doesn’t matter anymore it’s just it’s here  and you’re defining your rules so early on that   I think business will operate a lot more seriously  right yeah 100 yeah so yeah well that I think that  

29:23

story is uh is unique because just like in any  business everyone is going to have their own  

29:30

sides to how things happen right and everyone at  the end of the day at that Army was a good person  

29:37

you wanted what was best for themselves and their  families and had different opinions on how how to   get there and that’s the point that you referenced  is it’s like it doesn’t matter how good of a  

29:46

person you are or how good of a person I am at the  end of the day we need to have our best interest  

29:51

at mind not the other persons and that’s why  putting a prenup together before exactly is super  

30:00

important and everybody I think I think there’s  this level of ignorance where you’re like well for  

30:07

50 50 Partners on the cap table then we’re good  and it’s like okay your Equity split is important  

30:13

but the most important thing if you’re going to  go into business with a partner is the operating   agreement like that’s the one and Jason Coleman  from um Avalanche really helped teach me that  

30:27

he was like dude it is all about this operating  agreement you when he and his three Partners  

30:33

or two partners winning together who’s like  we’ve we’ve spent significant money and time  

30:39

going through our OA and he was like and about  every three years we all resurfaced and we   Revisited yeah and he was like and sometimes  that revisit takes six months yeah but you you  

30:50

go through it and you discuss it and you figure  it out and then you’re like cool we’ll come back   in three more three more years or whatever it is  that’s interesting but I think it’s a really smart  

30:58

move and we I also think that having more than  two business partners complicates things because  

31:04

two business partners I if I have a problem I  have to face Dan if Dan has a problem he has to  

31:10

face me you’re not like coming to a middleman  yeah where you’re coming to a middleman or or   gaining up on each other basically the third party  is you can either have a middleman at all times to  

31:19

talk about another person or two people can always  gain up on another yeah and it makes it dangerous  

31:26

so I I like the concept of having two people or  always making sure that there’s uh one person or  

31:33

two people with a solid operating agreement that  have a combined Equity of 51 plus so that they  

31:39

you know who’s making the decisions right yeah  yeah and then I know that between us even if we  

31:45

did bring out a third partner and give them Equity  we could create an operating agreement between   us and we can have every hard conversation Under  the Sun we can invite lawyers we can do whatever  

31:54

we need to to make sure that we have a clean  operating agreement where we if we involve a  

32:00

third party like we know we have control I think  that’s so smart it’s really important partner and  

32:07

we bought him out and we bought him out yeah and  he’s a great guy he actually came up with the name  

32:12

scroll which is a cool name yeah great name yeah  he had a couple other good names yeah too yeah we  

32:17

did dude I sometimes I feel like I hear a name and  I’m like oh I just want to start a business just   because I like them and it fits like we like it  it’s exactly what we do it’s not like anybody that  

32:27

sees or hears that isn’t gonna know like almost  right out of the gate what we do yeah um you know  

32:33

it’s something to do with websites something to do  with SEL something to do with you know web design

32:39

Amazon was the Amazon rainforest and now  they’re the one of the largest companies

32:52

that’s right um so yeah tell us about why you  don’t have a website um okay so there’s like a  

33:02

real answer that’s kind of scary but there’s three  variations of this answer okay let’s hear all  

33:08

three if a prospect and I are chatting and they’re  like yo why we can’t find you our website yeah  

33:17

they love my answer and I’m like yeah look we’re  a creative agency and you’re paying for every  

33:24

my our clients are paying for our creative  services I could use your money to build my  

33:30

site or I could build stuff for you it’s your call  and they’re like oh dude that’s pretty cool I’m  

33:35

like yeah so let me show you all the stuff I’ve  built for everyone else yeah and then I show them   that’s a nice pitch yeah right it’s I just hit  that kid yeah you’re good I that’s long term we  

33:46

need to have a website in fact in the next like  two months we’re gonna launch a website we got   you baby but um let’s talk about the underground  website but uh the other thing is we have been  

33:59

we genuinely have been so busy yeah trying  to keep up with with clients and we’ve never  

34:08

run an ad I know that’s like no that’s that’s  not okay there’s nothing to say well no there’s  

34:15

nothing in half years without we did we didn’t  run ads for the first two years there’s nothing   wrong with that at all in fact I would say do  everything you can to never touch paid marketing  

34:25

and then and then introduce it when you’ve  defined everything because it’s like pouring   gas on the fire you know so no no paid ads I’ve  never slid into anybody’s DMS we’ve never done a  

34:38

cold call we’ve never done any outbound selling  at all that’s amazing we haven’t needed to now  

34:44

at some point that dries up and you do need to  and I know that but our business Harmon Brothers  

34:50

instantly loaded us up and we’re like wow and they  kept feeding us and then we’ve been really great  

34:57

at having Partnerships with other agencies  we’ve been really great at client referrals  

35:02

and things just coming to us through organic  social media yeah so that’s kind of the second  

35:09

answer the third answer which is like me being  very real and vulnerable as a creative agency  

35:18

if my sight is not unbelievably perfect totally  it does more harm than good yep yes right have  

35:27

you been to creative agency websites and you’re  like this is behold like this yeah yeah 100 you’re  

35:33

judged and so and look I can always tell a client  they’re like well I don’t really like that I’m   like well that’s their branding let me show you  another one and let me show you the range of work  

35:42

we can do and you know and you can kind of get  through that yeah but it’s also hard not everyone  

35:48

has the same taste and then thought and so what  one person could think is great design another  

35:56

person could be like this is terrible yeah for  sure and I’ve had a little bit of fear that like  

36:01

well how am I going to have a site that hits  everybody I feel like we could design beautiful   sites in fact we do all the time yep but for  ourself It’s been a it’s it’s been a little  

36:12

scary and there’s also been a level of like  arrogance like I haven’t needed one yeah I  

36:17

get that I think that’s I think it’s a good take I  think at the end of the day eventually you’ll need  

36:22

one 100 I know I need one but we’re learning  bigger and bigger deals too it’s more about a  

36:30

I’m learning it’s even as a creative agency it’s  more about like a credibility check than a than a  

36:36

design style yes but they’re like look if we’re  gonna if we’re gonna pop you a 100K retainer  

36:43

like I need to know are you guys a real business  are you guys legit like are you legit I’ve even   had people that are like I wasn’t so sure and  then you invited us to the office like you have an  

36:52

office you have a team like this is real it’s not  just like a LinkedIn profile you know for sure but  

36:58

I think the website will help us kind of maybe  solidify that yeah and I’m certain we’ve lost   deals because we haven’t lost deals that we’ve  probably never even known were potential deals  

37:08

yeah I think if they get in our funnel our close  rate is yeah wild but it’s because they’re coming  

37:14

from Partnerships like your your close rate is  through the roof on those sort of things totally  

37:21

Dan and I used to have this like major ego because  if we went and if it’s yeah if it’s him and I in  

37:27

person yeah if we went in person every time 90  chance we close how did you say no to you guys  

37:33

but now that’s totally different because the only  people we’re meeting with in person are direct  

37:40

referrals right of course direct referral they  already have a connection to us of course they’re   going to close we thought that was all us but  maybe it was just the system now when we when you  

37:49

run paid like I’ve been humbled so much because I  see yeah we get 10 leads a day and we’re our close  

37:55

rates five percent at the end of the month and I’m  like wait why doesn’t why don’t 95 of people want  

38:01

to do business with us and it’s right time right  place right like a referral is only going to reach   out to you because they’re ready they’re ready  yeah so right then but yeah well we used to crush  

38:12

it in person it was kind of funny because we had  like a fir I mean it was a referral but it wasn’t  

38:18

in-person meeting a couple weeks ago or two weeks  ago and man it was it was fun we got the rush back  

38:24

from like the old days of like going in person and  talking to a local company oh yeah totally again  

38:31

it’s a rush we’re really sales people at the end  of the day yeah right an entrepreneur has to be  

38:36

yeah if you’re gonna go work for a startup or a  smaller company and the CEO is not able to sell  

38:45

like freaking run away from that company run away  yeah that’s a problem literally even people like  

38:53

Facebook for example right the weirdest founder  on the face of the planet was Mark Zuckerberg  

38:58

yet he could get investor money like his weirdness  was his sales approach I actually had a manager  

39:06

uh I did door-to-door sales when I was 18.  and my manager acted shy and acted like he  

39:13

would stumble over his words because it gave  and he told me that people had sympathy for  

39:19

and it helped him close more deals hey you know  what what whatever he’s the guy pretending to be  

39:25

homeless at the end of the day he goes and gets in  his Ferrari and drives exactly he wasn’t dishonest  

39:30

he was naturally a shy guy he’s just spin himself  yeah and he just embraced pieces of himself and  

39:37

to me I thought I thought all salespeople were  confident go-getters but instead he was like a  

39:44

little monotone shy stumbled over his words and  that’s like the Zuckerberg approach right he   showed up in flip-flops and that was during the  time when people were wearing suits right yes  

39:52

100 yeah you would never show up to a VC well  that’s a presentation but it is 100 that and  

40:00

all the lawyers he brought with him and he had  some guts to do that at the time you know yeah   at 19 I got a job running the Zoomies in  Layton I’d never really had any returns  

40:10

in the mall yeah I opened it oh really  in the Layton Hills Mall I used to buy   skateboards that’s awesome you you  Mall Rats down there but I remember  

40:23

thinking like oh you have to be an extrovert to  sell you have to be aggressive in people’s face  

40:31

and I think a lot of people when they first meet  me they’re like that dude’s an extrovert and I’m  

40:37

not at all actually like you’d like to find  yourself after days like today I need to go  

40:43

and like decompress decompress and unwind  and and refill my tank this doesn’t  

40:49

not you guys but like being in these situations  doesn’t necessarily fill my tank per se yeah and  

40:55

I used to think I’ve got a fake being an extrovert  in order to be successful and move up in business  

41:02

I just really thought that and and learning more  and more I don’t have to be I just be myself be  

41:07

who I am and in some ways I actually think the  the harder you try to sell the the least the  

41:16

less efficient you become at it right yeah I use  car salesman apparently yeah I was sitting in this   room earlier talking to a guy called me an inbound  lead a massive potential we’re talking like six  

41:27

figure type deal and he’s like so are you guys  interested and I’m like look I think that what  

41:32

you’re doing is pretty great there’s some agencies  in Utah that I’d recommend that you look at he’s   like no well wait wait like I want to work with  you guys are are you interested and I’m like  

41:42

we’re very interested but I think it’s important  that you understand your options and I’m happy   to point you in the direction of brands that are  agencies that if you choose not to work with us  

41:50

you’d be really damn proud to work with and I’ll  go head to head against them certainly but like

41:56

it’s not like I’m doing Mind Tricks on  the guy or anything I genuinely think  

42:08

if I don’t win the business I want him to have a  good experience somewhere else so like I’ve shared   this agency or go to that one you know yeah and I  think the more you just add value and are helpful  

42:18

it’ll be better and you don’t need to be anything  you’re not if you’re an extrovert be an extrovert  

42:24

if you’re an introvert be an introvert if you  want to wear flip-flops wear flip-flops like it   doesn’t matter just be you well and I think that  he the humility of that and understanding who you  

42:34

are will help you go further in business too a  hundred percent like because you’ve defined your  

42:40

creative agency right if somebody came to you and  said will you run ads you’d be like no but we’ll   make creative for ads or hey I have a referral  for you or I don’t know do you guys run ads we  

42:49

don’t run ads yes I mean you guys have I sent a  deal to you I apologize it was not it was not a  

42:57

good deal you got to deal with us for like three  minutes and then we both walked away and yeah I  

43:03

think it was for the best because not every brand  is the right fit yeah but yeah I’m all about like  

43:09

go go work with scroll go work with um marketing  mavens if you need email like Britney and Amy are  

43:16

the best go work with Greg at Super Fuzz if you  need web dev like I I actually think there’s a  

43:23

ton of value in recognizing what your agency  does or doesn’t do and then not trying to uh  

43:32

just like like butt heads right there’s enough  business for everybody and I think when you are  

43:38

open with your clients about it they appreciate  it definitely like it yeah the honesty and the  

43:43

transparency is everything yeah do you have a how  do you define what type of creative agency you are  

43:50

like for example I have you heard of amply they’re  uh they’re a web design agency they Kate beagle I  

43:57

think so yeah he does amazing webflow websites  just beautiful and he works for they they and  

44:04

they they specialize with like working with SAS  companies yeah SAS companies specifically and I  

44:10

sometimes a company comes across our table  and I’m like you should go work with ambly   like he would just crush it and we would be so  subpar for what you’re looking for like because  

44:21

we don’t specialize in webflow high-end unique  websites we specialize in templated home service  

44:28

websites right so like how have you defined how  have you defined what type of creative agency you  

44:35

are and yeah creative agency are you maybe you’re  still doing that I think maybe a little bit but  

44:42

you know the the agency in Salt Lake  that I’ve had a brand crush on for  

44:47

a decade super top secret I don’t know if you  guys know these guys oh they’re called super   top secret yeah their website is we are top  secret.com or we are supertubsecret.com they  

44:59

are If people could see our screen  they they are such a good agency  

45:04

um they’ve done what a cool name I know right  and it’s all like Illuminati type that’s right  

45:11

we are top secret yeah so their website initially  seems pretty basic but if you go to case studies  

45:19

I mean riot games Rossi pellegrisso those are  ghosts those are just like couples so that people  

45:26

can go look at it dude their work they they did  all the branding for J dogs oh and RNR barbecue  

45:33

very cool Brandy like j-box has awesome branding  these guys are great so when I have a uh company  

45:39

come to me and they’re like we need hardcore  branding I’m like these guys we can do it and  

45:45

we do it at this price point if you’re willing  to spend more like let me introduce you to Jared  

45:51

because it doesn’t get better than this yeah  and I’ve talked to Jared and it’s funny because  

45:57

um Jared would I think Jared would Define  super top secret I certainly would Define  

46:02

super top secret as being a branding  agency yeah and when I talk to Jared  

46:08

I’m like well how do you measure success with a  customer you know and he was like oh it’s easy  

46:13

they’re giving us high fives instead of middle  fingers at the end like they’re proud of the  

46:19

brand they want to put what we did a sticker  on their car they want a billboard they want   everyone to know like this is our brand  yeah they go to market hard yeah yeah  

46:29

dude like frankly I’m not interested in that I  mean I love it and I have deep admiration for it  

46:35

but I’m not interested in it another one would be  like creatively or even Harman Brothers Hero video

46:41

chamber media they’re doing um a hero video  for 250 Grand of uh a video right yeah  

46:54

we all know that video if it’s crushing maybe  has a six-month Runway yep doesn’t it has a  

47:00

shelf life eventually it goes away and it cannot  stand alone yep right so you still have to have  

47:06

other creative yep so we we share clients with  creatively in order like use creatively for  

47:12

either and by the way for the price you pay  for one hero video with creatively we will  

47:18

give you content for the whole year we’ll  give you supporting content the whole year   so the way I Define grounded is we are a  performance driven creative agency like  

47:29

my background is not creative but my background  is being a CMO so you understand it I understand  

47:35

it and I can sit down and be like we just had  a client the other day and the ad buyers like  

47:41

I don’t think these ads are working and I’m like  okay well that’s a pretty vague statement like   what is he working and he was like well I don’t  know they’re just not they’re just not working  

47:49

I’m like are you getting efficient clicks  or or not or like what’s the conversion rate  

47:56

like yeah let’s break down let’s look at the  numbers and let’s actually Define what isn’t   working and we pull it up and we’re like well  holy cow like you’re you’re cost per click is  

48:10

people would kill to have that sort of cost per  click like you’re paying nothing to get people to   your site right now yeah and all at the time all  we were doing was ad creative I’m like where are  

48:20

you sending them he was like home page oh like oh  dude your ads are working fine you’re you’re site  

48:28

experience is terrible let’s look at your PDP can  we push them right to a PDP PDP wasn’t great so  

48:33

we’re like well let’s rebuild your PDP but also  in some of these ads we’re talking about multiple   products let’s build a custom landing page and see  what happens yep dude we launched that conversion  

48:43

goes through the roof and now of course and  they’re like okay row ozon ads are great we’re   like yeah because it’s hyper focused you know what  we should do now how many people are dropping off  

48:50

well now let’s run some card abandoned emails  we’ll do the design work yeah here’s how you  

48:55

should run them through claviolet you go do it  yeah and let’s see what happens there and so  

49:03

everything we do we we want to be closely  connected to the numbers and one even brands  

49:11

that are spending significant money every month  they can’t afford to have bad creative they can’t   afford to run paid ads and have it not work and we  know how that goes like we spend we don’t spend a  

49:22

lot we spend maybe 250 a day right now on ads  and we notice conversion rates drop and all of  

49:30

a sudden our sales just start to plummet and it’s  always due to creative especially because an app  

49:36

platforms now um or they do so much of the work  for you native lead forms and everything yeah like  

49:43

ad platforms are so good at targeting it used  to be that ad buyers had to be Wizards and now  

49:48

there’s so much built into these ad platforms that  you need to put in your targeting demographics you  

49:54

need to do your retargeting you need to build  look like audiences but these ad platforms are  

50:00

going to try and serve the best customers because  they want you to keep spending money and what  

50:06

it’s turning into is a creative game those with  the best creative and those the most consistent   creative every day because even if you get the ad  in front of the right person if you don’t get them  

50:15

to stop the scroll yeah if you don’t hook them it  doesn’t matter there’s no way like it’s all about   the first three seconds maybe even faster grounded  we operate on the cocoa melon yeah you guys seen  

50:27

that yeah cartoon oh yeah every two seconds it’s a  new point of view yeah it’s a new audio it’s a new  

50:32

well there’s like a there’s like an actual there’s  like it’s like the cocoa melon phenomenon yeah   like the in in the ad in the ad world it’s like  literally what they call it yeah it’s crack yeah  

50:44

and I’ve never done crack but it’s simple I’m sure  I’m sure it’s like that yeah it’s like caffeine

50:49

I think uh and to help people understand that  maybe new to the marketing world or new to  

50:57

the agency World um what we’re talking about with  like a PDP would be a product description page so  

51:03

helping people understand that instead of running  an ad to home page that might be generic run an   ad to the specific product yeah or a specific  hyper-driven you know landing page naboso is a new  

51:14

client of ours they’re all about foot Health right  and so we’re creating ads against a whole bunch of  

51:19

different variables one might be um just recovery  after a workout one might be plantar fasciitis so  

51:28

if we’re serving an ad that’s all about plantar  fasciitis well then the landing page should be the  

51:33

whole experience needs to be about that everything  and it’s not just the landing page right but then   if they bail on that page well the page  abandonment emails should be about plantar  

51:44

fasciitis and if they go to your your car and  then they abandon your car abandonment and your  

51:49

direct mailers that go afterwards all need to be  about that same thing and and I think people that  

51:56

are nervous of doing that yeah but when  you when you get hyper targeted like that  

52:02

goes crazy yeah it does it really does across  the board and it’s really the only way to do it  

52:07

I don’t know why people do it any other way really  at the end of the day I just think there’s a lot  

52:13

of Education that needs to happen especially with  smaller companies like most of us definitely since   our are out of that phase but we still get some  and our underground clients which we’ve already  

52:24

started signing they’re very much this way  like we had a client come to us and she’s like  

52:31

okay first thing that we need to do is update  my website and I’m like and why why is that and  

52:39

she’s like look at it I’m like uh no I it gets  you it’s gross yeah but why do you think that  

52:44

that’s important she’s like well because that’s  my website I’m like how many people a month are   visiting your website yeah and her name’s Allison  and she was like well I don’t know and I’m like  

52:53

okay well that’s a problem let me show you how  to look let’s fix that we get in and we look   and I was like you had 300 people hit your website  last last month last month 300 people big leagues  

53:05

why would you spend any money on updating trying  to update your site for 300 people you know what  

53:10

you should do invest in organic social media  let’s get some ads going let’s drive some people   to the website she was like but if I’m driving  to the website it doesn’t look good nothing’s  

53:19

gonna happen I’m like you’d be surprised how many  crappy websites convert perform crappy to what you  

53:26

think is crappy and that you got to switch your  POV it has to be the customer because you know   what if your customer is like 65 it they don’t  care what it looks like they just care if they  

53:37

can navigate it and do exactly what they wanted  to do immediately yeah you know and so you have  

53:42

to think about the customer first personality is  more important than design on a site well that’s  

53:47

like on click funnels very clear like yeah unless  you’re a creative no totally click funnels made  

53:53

that super clear like when when Russell Brunson  started click funnels he was like let’s go back  

53:58

to the old school like way of thinking emotional  copy in my opinion looks like just garbage like  

54:06

these just are very poorly designed funnels at  least you know funnels but they convert very  

54:13

well and it’s because of the copy it’s because  of the the yeah he’s 100 hundreds of millions  

54:19

of dollars through their funnels you know I mean  even look at like Nike’s website it doesn’t have  

54:25

any there’s not a lot of crazy stuff going  on it’s like here’s our product you click on   it great model great product image yeah buy it or  don’t walk away well it’s all I totally understand  

54:35

the brand now so like they can’t get away with  that Theo is seven now but when he was probably  

54:42

is this your son yeah he’s my youngest I’ve got  four um my wife couldn’t keep her hands off me

54:48

[Laughter] listen to the podcast or whatever  and she’ll be like you’re making it out like  

55:00

I’m some sort of like floozy and I’m like  but you’re my floozy yeah exactly I love that  

55:07

um but when he was like maybe around  four years old the only thing this kid  

55:12

wanted to eat was Pop Tarts and  he figured out that he could go   like Alexa buy me Pop-Tarts and they just show  up on the door we had like hundreds of Pop-Tarts  

55:23

show up one day and we’re like what is this hell  yeah it happened like boxes and boxes of Pop-Tarts  

55:30

still going through them and and we’re like what’s  happening yeah keep doing that on Amazon who did  

55:36

it and my four year old’s like oh Dad I do  it like this you know and but it’s Amazon’s  

55:42

made it so easy that a four-year-old can have pop  tarts delivered to their house oh and your website   has to function that’s what it’s about yeah and  you know for a fact Amazon did that on purpose

55:52

let’s make this as easy as possible well no  literally like let’s make this as easy as  

56:01

possible for kids to be able to do that also have  you guys heard of oops no I hate it I know you did  

56:09

door-to-door sales but like I just I just ordered  ourselves for six weeks came home okay good for   you well I’ve never done it so oops they give you  a big huge blue bag it’s like the cost of Amazon  

56:20

for the year like 120 bucks or whatever okay you  can put anything you want in that stuff to go to  

56:28

Savers or whatever yeah you put cardboard boxes  out on your front porch and people like doordash  

56:34

will come pick it up and take it to the DI for you  oh they look interesting oh I have heard of this  

56:40

I’m 50 bucks is this local here wait it’s 120  bucks a year a year okay my wife told me about  

56:48

this and if you buy something anywhere you go to  Vans at game they’ll do your returns and you don’t  

56:55

like it you can do the return they’ll drive  it to Gateway return the product for you done  

57:00

interesting how big how big do they take stuff  the bag is huge like interesting and do you tape  

57:07

them no I just leave it on my porch oh so there’s  no like Uber driver tip you just schedule it and  

57:13

then you put the blue bag with all the crap on  the porch and and then make sure you take that   and they leave you a new blue bag yeah it’s very  similar to treat like it’s probably it’s dream  

57:21

model and we’ve used three before so that’s cool  I’m gonna have to look into that so I think the   concept there is Simplicity is like and providing  Solutions is what’s gonna drive customers right so  

57:32

I think your website just has to be simple enough  and functional enough to work simple enough like  

57:39

the way Amazon has created kiss principle uh  yeah yeah keep it simple yeah the grounded’s  

57:45

website that we’re working on is like two pages  like I don’t I don’t want it to be huge yeah  

57:51

um underground that we’re building I’m having this  debate with the team a little bit like I think I’m  

58:00

pushing probably too far but I don’t even want uh  a form fill on the on the website for underground  

58:06

I just wanna we’re building it in Shopify nope  oh we’re building it in Shopify we’re like these  

58:12

are the packages you just buy directly off the  website like you don’t have to talk to us yeah   and they’re like well it wouldn’t hurt to put  the contact us for them I’m like yeah it gives  

58:20

people an opportunity to call us instead of just  buy yeah like how do we make this as simple as   possible it might notify it might not work but  like yeah you gotta take risks and make unique  

58:31

approaches I’d love to see a B2B company to take  more of a e-commerce type well we’ve thought about  

58:38

it for a long time when you sell scroll as easy  as stance sells a pair of socks yeah and you do  

58:43

that yep gangbusters dude yeah and and we’ve we’ve  thrown around a lot of ideas for that we’ve also  

58:49

thrown around white label Marketplace ideas for  other agencies to buy services and onboard so   we’re give us about a month and you’ll probably  a month or two and you’ll see it happen yeah so  

59:01

um although I’m mad that I’m behind you  guys but a lot of different services to go first yep you got to be the smartest guy  to go second you got to be really stupid not  

59:13

to be third so as long as I’m second I’m here  yeah yeah I love that so to kind of wrap this  

59:22

up I have a couple things that I’d love to ask  you one it sounds like you Nick at grounded are  

59:28

very involved with your customers as the owner  like you you talk about the strategy you have  

59:34

with this Footwear brand um how do you scale  like how do you get to the point where you  

59:40

scale it when you’re so involved yeah it’s a  good question I think in phases you know the  

59:47

the first phase was I was involved in every  every single thing now I’m really involved in  

59:55

the strategy and then my team’s like okay  we’ve got the strategy we have a session   and then they go build all the execution  and like a lot of times I don’t even see  

1:00:04

the the whips before we send them to clients I  don’t see the final assets before we send them   to clients we’ve got that part figured out  the next step for me is is coaching my team  

1:00:16

um and bringing someone in who has that  brand strategy experience to scale that  

1:00:22

but and that’s hard that that’s like the  most I think the hardest piece to replace  

1:00:28

it’s and it’s going to be the hardest  piece to scale always yep right but  

1:00:34

um part of I guess another thing that  we’re looking at is how do we distinguish  

1:00:39

customers between grounded and underground and  underground and grounded is very bespoke it’s  

1:00:45

custom like but you got to spend some cash  to get in on it but yeah the return is there   and then underground is is very much like this  is the exact process this is how we work the team  

1:00:56

follows the flow the customer follows the flow and  you you become a team hates it when I say this but  

1:01:04

like underground needs to basically be a creative  Factory yep and grounded is a creative agency yeah  

1:01:11

and and everything from separating that way and  you make and Shane I learned this from our talk at  

1:01:18

lunch like operations and and the process  is just yeah everything this year we’ve  

1:01:25

completely shifted our process dude I did  what’s been your biggest we could probably  

1:01:32

4X what we were what we’ve done with the exact  same team with this process now yeah what did  

1:01:37

you what was the biggest change in your process  um from the operations guy yeah one I think that  

1:01:44

you guys have talked about is setting very clear  expectations with clients oh my gosh yes from the   get-go it changes the game from the proposal  to the sow to the onboarding it’s all got to  

1:01:54

be like this is it right but we we work in two  week Sprints so I came from Tech where we would  

1:02:01

do scrum of scrums and Sprints and those sort  of things so like if today was our first Sprint  

1:02:07

we start the meeting by looking at the ads that  we delivered and the creative that we delivered   two weeks ago what’s happened next week yep how  did it perform what are the numbers what’s good  

1:02:16

what’s bad great based on all of that what  should we deliver in the next two weeks and  

1:02:21

we align on on what that looks like and then a  week from today we would deliver your first like  

1:02:28

work in progress yeah your deliverance you have  two days to give feedback knock out the feedback  

1:02:34

the second week we deliver finals and we start  the process over I love that but we will have  

1:02:40

conversations with clients where we’re like okay  you’re asking for 10 things this Sprint based  

1:02:46

on the workload we could do like scope it out we  could do four or we could do more but it’s gonna  

1:02:51

cost you more for those two weeks like I love do  you want to limit the extra or do you just want to   de-prioritize until next spring you’re mastering  your like uh your scope yeah yeah and and we need  

1:03:01

which is hard when you do so many different  things and because people are like well scope   creep is very if you’re going to do 10 static  ads why can’t you do 10 video ads and you’re like  

1:03:09

it’s all because one video ad takes as long as 10  static at maybe longer than 10 static you know so  

1:03:15

you have to kind of like coach the the client and  teach them that but I’ll tell you what in a short  

1:03:21

amount of time as soon as they get it figured out  our clients are just coming back yeah they’re just   like well this is amazing this is the best thing  these clear expectations and clear deliverables  

1:03:31

I mean as long as you hit that and you actually do  it you and you’re solid and our again our pitch is  

1:03:37

like look if you want to run this big go to market  campaign for a launch happening in four months   we should talk about that let’s do that separate  but we are a performance driven agency and every  

1:03:47

two weeks we want to be able to Pivot so because  something may or may not work if we’re always  

1:03:53

planning six months ahead and then something  happens works how the hell are we supposed to  

1:03:58

like pivot then accelerate on that or if it’s not  working how are we going to go change six months   worth of work totally it has to be kind of like a  just-in-time shipping and delivery almost yeah and  

1:04:10

we do the same we do very similar uh Sprint method  but it’s every week so especially with our we do  

1:04:17

weekly meetings with our partner program clients  and it’s the same method yeah and here’s what   we’re going to be here’s what we’re gonna do for  you this week it’s in an agenda we’re going to go  

1:04:25

over it on a call and we’re going to agree to it  on the call so that we all know what’s coming next   week and guess what the Call’s recorded too well  done the conversation we had at lunch six months  

1:04:35

ago and then working with Taylor on your team for  a short amount of time with well you’re the worst  

1:04:41

client ever yeah I was like oh I I’m like I hear  what Shane is saying I’m seeing the process and  

1:04:49

frankly like we’re kind of taking our own version  of what you guys have taught us through that yeah   so it’s been awesome thank you yeah you bet and  let us know man I I think the biggest thing I  

1:05:00

think for agencies is scope creep it is such a big  thing so and so I think for for us that’s kind of  

1:05:07

our next little piece of trying to figure out like  hey if you want us to do more thing especially  

1:05:13

on the design side but on ads on anything it’s  literally for any one of our stuff if you want  

1:05:18

more than what we’re doing in the time frame that  we’re doing it you can pay us more sure right and  

1:05:24

we just we have a conversation to have sometimes  yeah we’ve never gotten to that point yet but it   is and I think in some areas like there’s the  grounded company and I have Chop Shop which  

1:05:35

is video and people are like why do you have a  video agency when you have your design agency and   it’s like it’s really a DBA underground and I’m  still billing underground like whatever but it I  

1:05:47

think it’s important for two reasons and maybe I’m  just drinking my own Kool-Aid here but one is the   operating expenses for are so different between  the two very much so so if I have a client who won  

1:05:59

Sprint or one month is on design and then they’re  like hey next month we don’t want design we  

1:06:04

want video and I’m like okay well it’s a totally  different operating expense for me and it doesn’t  

1:06:11

margin doesn’t transfer everything and the other  part that’s different is the process yeah right  

1:06:18

like I can’t put someone in a two-week Sprint  for video so Chop Shop has a different process   than grounded wow what a great way to set that  up I think I like that that’s getting some wheels  

1:06:28

turning in mind it’s pretty cool because when  people go oh you guys do video and we’ll be like  

1:06:33

right now you’re on design with grounded if you  want chop shop that or if you want video Chop Shop  

1:06:38

is our agency this is how the scope of work looks  this is the process this is and then there’s no  

1:06:43

like hey man just like flow me a video this month  you know yeah like we have separate processes  

1:06:49

thank you and clients think that they’re two  totally different companies I love that approach  

1:06:54

it’s been it’s been interesting for sure I think  the problem with Chop Shop to begin with was the  

1:07:04

actually I had another one called Brenda which  was a software and the challenge with Brenda  

1:07:10

was the team’s core capabilities and skill sets  it grounded were not the same course skill sets  

1:07:16

that needed to make Brenda work and so it didn’t  work so like I swung pretty big I lost some cash  

1:07:22

on that last year like six figures sort of cash  on that deal but I learned from it like oh well  

1:07:29

if I just have redundancy and skill set in these  separate agencies grounded Chop Shop Underground  

1:07:37

they should be able to work together it should  work yeah for sure it should be a bit easier   so and separating them that way really  has been nice for customers there’s just  

1:07:45

clear I mean even the only way I’ve sold  underground so far is prospects came to grounded  

1:07:51

wanted to work with us we’re like oh that retainer  is too high I can’t do it yeah and I’m like we   have a sister agency called The Underground yeah  here’s how this is the direct intro okay sign me  

1:08:00

up yeah I’m like for sure and you know what I  know they’re like Wallaroo does the same thing   as an agency they have like their higher end  agency and then they have clients that can’t  

1:08:09

afford it and they send them to a different agency  because it is a different process it’s a different   system it’s a totally different product approach  I think that’s something we’re able to take notes  

1:08:18

on yeah it’s like uh last question for you to wrap  this up is what what advice do you have to people  

1:08:26

starting agencies because you’ve now created what  you’re over two years in this you’re profitable   you’re growing you’re releasing new services  like what advice do you have for other people  

1:08:36

that are either starting agencies or trying  to grow them or any business for that matter  

1:08:42

um cash flow is everything like yeah everything  it is it is the most important thing so learn  

1:08:53

how to sell learn how to manage your money  learn how to grow your money and I I think  

1:09:01

January is a rough month and we were totally  fine and we we rebounded because we were always  

1:09:08

selling because we’ve got good cash flow  you know because we’re letting our our cash

1:09:14

and do more so it wasn’t something  that is naturally a skill set or like  

1:09:23

I’m super experienced in but that’s where  that’s why I became a student and I’m still  

1:09:29

trying to learn more and you I don’t think  you can ever learn enough figure that out but  

1:09:36

sell it save as much as you freaking can and  then spend in ways that are going to multiply  

1:09:43

your money and if you do those three things  like it doesn’t matter what you’re building   I think it’ll work yeah wow really cool yeah  I just think that uh something a lot of young  

1:09:54

entrepreneurs or early startup Founders forget is  that you have to be wise with your cash you have  

1:10:00

to be conservative with your cash and make sure  that you’re using it to grow instead of putting  

1:10:07

it in your own pocket yeah honestly at least the  first little bit yeah at least the first little  

1:10:12

bit you got to get to the point where you can pay  yourself because eventually man you’ll burn out  

1:10:18

if you can’t do that very quickly so you got to  get to a point where you can but the uh maybe a   side piece of advice is if you’re thinking about  being an entrepreneur and you’re not quite sure  

1:10:27

yet find a company in a role that allows you to be  an entrepreneur oh yeah and find a mentor I was an  

1:10:34

entrepreneur for years and it teaches you so much  like a weird comparison but if you’re gonna try to  

1:10:42

build a new department or a new program inside a  company you have to go to the CFO and get them to  

1:10:49

give you budget yeah that’s a lot like going out  and getting an investor you have to sell like if  

1:10:54

you think about it right or you’re a team of one  building something internally well you’re probably  

1:11:01

going to need to lean on people outside of your  organiz your department to offer up their time and  

1:11:08

skill sets in the building to help you and so it’s  like a recruiting and a partnership Biz Dev type  

1:11:13

thing like if you really are building something  inside a business all of those skills do transfer  

1:11:20

as long as you can recognize like what I’m doing  here applies to entrepreneurship in this way yeah  

1:11:25

but it’s it’s wild how how valuable it is to be  an entrepreneur yeah totally do it yeah you get  

1:11:34

paid to learn you get paid to learn a lot of times  you’re getting paid and you can do your thing on   the side yeah while it’s happening right totally  totally dude oh my gosh thanks for the time today  

1:11:45

man this is I hope I didn’t just ramble no it’s  been awesome like I think this is so valuable I  

1:11:51

I feel like I could learn so much from you you’re  building over there so yeah two of you guys have  

1:11:58

built no smoke one of the coolest agencies that  I’ve interacted with appreciate it no thanks I’m  

1:12:04

a big fan thanks man we appreciate your dining  and content and we’re working this is why we’re   working on it so it’s fun I think you guys are  doing pretty dang good I like the ads what’s  

1:12:13

his name over there in the corner uh Cody Cody uh  the ad where he just drops all the foul language  

1:12:20

yeah that was my favorite one his wife would freak  out if she knew about that we didn’t really swear  

1:12:28

he said freaking and you guys bleeped over his  mouth he said potty yeah something like that  

1:12:37

yeah yeah we’re working on it dude I know that ad  we’re not running anymore right because it just   it just dried out because every ad has a shelf  life yeah freaking ad anyways but dude thank  

1:12:47

you so much thanks for having me you want to plug  plug yourself this is the your 30 seconds to plug   yeah so handles do you have like Instagram  LinkedIn you’re big on LinkedIn I I try to  

1:13:00

interact on LinkedIn yeah Nick staggy Nick staggy  on LinkedIn yeah and then do you do Instagram  

1:13:05

grounded company anywhere uh uh yeah I think it’s  grounded Co yeah um if you go to my LinkedIn you  

1:13:13

can eventually like navigate your way through soon  we’ll have the groundedco.com but cool until then  

1:13:19

okay let’s just go to LinkedIn email Nick yeah or  reach out on maybe he’ll he’ll give you or hit up  

1:13:26

Scroll and then we’ll introduce you to Nick until  he has a website that’s what you guys should do   yeah we want the referral bonus oh my goodness  I love it yeah okay thanks again thanks so much

1:13:36

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