Living a Healthy Lifestyle While Running a Multi-Million Dollar Company | Leveling Up (Ep 2.3)

– Today we're going into Outdoorsy which is a ride-sharing marketplace for RVs, so let's go in an learn their story (industrial music) Now the other thing I wanna talk about is your ad agency background and how it parlays into all of this

So what was your ad agency background? What were you doing before this? – My career started off really in direct and digital marketing Like, I'm gonna totally age myself here, but I started my career back in the day of DM Packs Like hardcore, who are you targeting? 'Cause you've gotta mail this package to somebody's house What is the offer and the reason for opening and for purchase? And then how do you develop creative that really sings a consumer insight and catches the person or the customer's emotions in just the right way that they'll actually act on the campaign? So I spent most of my career, I started at the bottom, just like a lot of people, worked at the bottom and learned everything that I needed to through working for some pretty big advertising agencies, so I worked in WPP for over a decade, and I worked for OgilvyOne, and Wunderman, and JWT And I worked – Big, big, big ad agencies – Yeah, they were big agencies and it was such a great environment and place because if you imagine, you've got these huge buildings with absolutely every single piece of the puzzle to make great advertising and creative work You've got your art directors and copywriters, you've got planners and strategists, you've got brand strategists, you've got an analytics department, you've got the whole digital dev and tech shop right there, so those are the kinds of environments where you can build out multimillion-dollar campaigns and take them to market You've got media buying, I mean, everything is there

So I was really fortunate that that was my whole career before starting Outdoorsy And if I think about it now, again, hindsight's 20/20, but when I look back I'm like, couldn't have asked for anything better because I really was well trained in direct and digital marketing, getting to consumer, and really finding what are the consumer insights that lead to the multiple campaign strategies that all have different copy, different creative, different insights that drive the action that you need, so that was a pretty great environment for me before starting Outdoorsy – Got it, so for the beginning entrepreneurs, what is an example of great copy? What do you define as great creatives, actually? What do you define as that? – Well great creative starts with nailing your consumer insights So when I think about Outdoorsy, for example, I can't just talk to 13 million Americans that own an RV and expect that I'm gonna be able to find what the pain point is that really means something to them where they're gonna go, yeah, that's me, that's just like me So great creative starts with identifying what that killer insight is and then building your copy and your messaging and your visuals that support it, and the offer that you provide, all aligned back to that individual consumer insight, so for us right now in Outdoorsy, for owners, we're really developing and seeing that there's three completely different mindsets for an owner

There's the guy or the girl today that really doesn't wanna work a nine-to-five job They don't want a boss, they don't wanna work nine to five, they don't wanna go to an office, and we can develop creative that's like, be your own boss You have an RV, or there's people you know with RVs, you don't even have to have these things in your own driveway but you can manage them Put them on Outdoorsy, just do the key exchange, and start making a full income this summer Then we've got different mindsets and types, family types where they bought this RV, it's really important to them in their life because it's where their family goes on their holiday adventures, and they don't want to give it up, but they're realizing it's really expensive

And they've gotta cover all of those costs, so how we message and we market to them is much more about making back that money, realizing the full potential of your investment, plus also getting to use the vehicle whenever you want, and you're in full control You can pick your renters and do what you want And then there's a third type that's just straight-up investment minded where we just basically give them the math and hammer home the points, like, you bought it for this, it costs you this to maintain, it's a depreciating asset All you have to do is just list it here, rent it out a few times Your return is 8% to 10% and the story is more math oriented

So all of those are different routes for developing creative that really connects with somebody personally – Got it, so it's not as easy as just throwing up a Facebook ad or a Google ad You have to actually do the foundational work, right? – 100%, and imagine in today's world it's even more difficult because we have ad fatigue, so we've gotta get like, 35 to 45 different ad creatives, and if you think about that times the eight to 10 different types of customers that you're trying to reach, you're already looking at maintaining a couple hundred ads that have to have completely different headlines, subheads, call to actions, landing pages, offers, and visuals That's a lot to manage, so it really does help you hone in on, what assets do you have? How can you develop them cost effectively, and how can you get them in market and trial if those are the customers that actually pay off the greatest amount of not just top-line revenue but profitability as well? – I like talking about routines all the time I do it here, I do it on podcasts, so what are your routines, habits, what makes you successful? What makes Jen the machine that she is? – Hard work all the time, seven days a week, but what I do try to do is focus really on my lists and my priorities, and I'm getting better and better

So at the beginning when we first started the company it was really hard to not get distracted by shiny objects But this year I think I've done a really great job in maintaining my routine more seriously So I always make sure before I go to bed that I've set up my day for the next day, so I know what I'm locked into for meetings and for tasks I try and get up really early – What time? – I try to get up at around 6:30

That's a really important hour for me 'cause I can meditate and just calmly relax and focus myself on what I wanna achieve that day Plus also, it gives me a couple of hours' headstart ahead of everybody else that I work with and certainly a lot of our partners, and I can knock off so many of the emails and tasks and admin and follow-up that needs to get done, and it's gone out of the day What that also allows me to do, aside from getting a good amount of work out, is it allows me to turn off my email at certain parts of the day, because otherwise those notifications that just constantly come up in all the channels that we sit across are impossible So I turn off Slack, I shut down Gmail quite literally, and I focus on what I need to do, whether it's building out our content strategy for the quarter or focusing on detailing programs for some of our partners, or user acquisition, campaign strategies, but it really allows me to open up a clean sheet of paper and focus on defining what's the program? What are the objectives? How is that campaign gonna work? And working with a team member or working by myself And then at the end of day, I mean, I do always work a little bit later than everybody else because what that allows me to do is at the end of the day do the same routine that I have in the morning, and that's shut down things properly, get myself organized, refocus on what the priorities are, remind myself that shiny objects cannot get in the path every day that I've got to hit a couple of the big goals

And hitting big goals takes time – Yeah, key takeaway number five: every single successful person that I know, not just entrepreneurs, has good habits And I can just tell who's successful and who isn't just by looking at their habits This is why I ask the question all the time So Jen has a great template that you can follow

Everybody I know, too, 99% of entrepreneurs wake up early And that's what you need to do to get ahead because I call that my "everybody shut up" time And you can get to work and do stuff that moves the needle Jen, one final question for you So how do you go about learning? How do you go about getting better? Not just around marketing but just as a human being or entrepreneur? – Also a really big question for the world today because there's just so much information to digest, and also, even as brands, we're expected to pump so much content into the world, so it's a really difficult one to solve

For me personally, what I find works is going in and out of waves of period of time, so I'll go during a period of maybe four to six weeks where I'm just reading and consuming absolutely everything I can and I'm just taking a look at, what are new campaigns? What are new strategies? What are business publications saying? What are publications focused on marketplaces saying? Consulting friends of mine and then just trying to absorb as much as I can But then I'll also come out of that period of time where I try to not take in a lot of information and focus a little bit more on, what did everything I learn, sort of sift through, and how do I apply that to my business and looking at all of the different layers of business, right? 'Cause we are consuming so much information that I wanna think about, okay, what's my best strategy and thinking related to the business level to the organizational structural level, to the channels that we're focusing in on, to the individual campaign creative, to the numbers that we have to hit, and I try and let what I learned in the last four to six weeks infiltrate the planning and improving programs in that regard and then I go back into consuming and taking in a lot of information But I definitely make sure to stop and take a breath and not constantly be in a state of just reading and consuming information because a lot of it is duplicative, sometimes it's wrong People are under the gun to just get out a lot of information You've gotta be as critical in your thinking as you are curious in learning

– Love that And then so you talked about a couple of things that you go to, maybe three resources that you turn to time and time again to get better What were those? – Yeah, again, it does also depend on what problem I'm trying to tackle – Let's do marketing – So marketing, okay, so in marketing specifically, so I read Neil Patel constantly

I think he does a great job of breaking down the entire digital marketing spectrum, focusing particularly in SEO, and so I read his daily email and a lot of the content that he writes I also read as much as I can from Guy Kawasaki He recently invested in Canva and I really love how they're building tools that are based around visuals and ways that non-professional designers can use these tools every day, so I read a lot of stuff from Guy Kawasaki I also listen to a podcast from Near Me So Near Me is content that's focused specifically on marketplaces

Obviously, we started a marketplace So I try and read from industry leaders in the three areas of marketing that are most pertinent to me – Got it, okay Well, Jen, this has been fantastic What's the best way for people to find you online? – Yeah, I love collaborating with people, and I love it when people reach out, so best way to find me online is straight up send me an email to jen@outdoorsy

com And I'm a little old school, you can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram – Awesome, so Outdoorsy, make sure you check it out If you wanna make some more money on the side, get an RV I certainly wanna buy one now

People in my office have been talking about it Check it out, go to outdoorsycom and we'll see you in the next episode So to recap today's interview and the shoot overall with Outdoorsy, there's a lot of different things we learned, right? And if you look at the other episodes that we've done so far with companies such as SnackNation where Andy Mackensen burned $150,000 or went into $150K in debt You look at Jen burning all the ships to start this business

And there's a lot of uncertainty when it comes to starting a business, so that's one of the key things that I learned from doing a lot of these interviews Over and over there's always that one inflection point where it's just like, are we gonna do this or are we not gonna do this? And I won't even say it's an inflection point, it's that one point in time where you make that decision and you just roll with it With a marketplace business like this, when you think about, oh, there's Airbnb for this, Uber for that, that, that At the end of the day it's all figuring out how you can monetize the excess capacity out there, right? So when you think about Bitcoin, for example, you don't really think about how you can use that for excess capacity, right? But with a coin like Ethereum, for example, where you're able to create apps on that Blockchain specifically, then you're able to monetize things such as excess capacity around WiFi So let's say you're not at home, you're not using WiFi, you can have other people paying you cents or dollars, right, for the minutes that they decide to use your WiFi

So there's a lot of different ways to do this, but think about, when you're starting a business for the things that you're passionate about, where is there excess capacity? You think about all the parking lots out there or cars not being used at the moment There's excess capacity everywhere, and there's business opportunity everywhere I don't think business is a zero-sum game I just think there's abundance everywhere and there's just a chance as long as you want to put in the work for it, you wanna build something great, you just keep putting your mind to it and then, eventually, good things are gonna happen So you know, you look at Jen's background

She's actually one of the first two I've talked to that comes from a big ad agency background, and you can see that actually helps a lot When I look at her business, she has all the branding down, she thinks about copy, she thinks about how people are emotionally, and at the end of the day, when it comes to marketing and sales, you're just trying to tap into people's emotions and get them to take some kind of action Also, at the same time, you're thinking about their needs, too, so it's not always just, let's write a Facebook ad really quickly and let's see if people buy, but also thinking about from a human perspective, how you can get people to tap into their emotions and get them to take an action Now, when it comes to learning marketing, this actually applies to Jen's ad agency background, is getting the book "Breakthrough Advertising" So the book "Breakthrough Advertising," it's really hard to get

It's not in print anymore, but you can actually find it on Amazon I bought it for a hundred bucks or something like that, but if you search hard enough on the Internet, you'll be able to find it It's gonna help you write compelling copy It's gonna help you think about marketing even the old days, right? At the end of the day, not a lot has changed around marketing You're still tapping into human psychology

So check out "Breakthrough Advertising" It's one of my favorite books It's something that I go to time and time again, and something that is a must-read for anybody on my team that has to do with copywriting So those are just a couple of key takeaways, and you can see that there's a lot of history to it, right? When they move into a building where Airbnb was or where Heroku was, you can feel the history that's in a building like this, and you can feel the startup culture just having people in the office I've talked about in the past the difference between remote and having people in office

There's benefits to both, but I just like being able to see people begin to collaborate I feel things are able to happen a lot faster Jen talked about the concept of speed, and I think it's really important to move quickly and being able to accept the fact that many mistakes are gonna happen when you move quickly, and it's gonna be really uncomfortable for people And that also ties into hiring the right culture fits when it comes to growing your business So those are just a few key takeaways from this episode

Hope you enjoyed it Let me know what you think, and if you have any tips, leave them in the questions or comments And we will see you in the next video (lighthearted pop music)

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