Add Creative - Episode 3 - Show Notes

Learning about how Tye DeGrange view growth was a pleasure on this episode of Add Creative.

Here are our top 3 takeaways 🤌:

  1. TikTok is democratizing virality, which is an incredible fuel to growing your business. The main point here is, when focusing on what works on the platform + what matters to your customers/prospects -> you will make great creative that resonates and cut through. Focus here for TOF and see the benefits cascade down.

  1. Paid marketing is like a speed boat, you can change things quickly, while affiliate marketing is ocean liner, you aren't turning that thing around so quickly, which is why you need to have detailed strategy to experiment correctly on the channel.

  1. You should have a foundation of paid marketing (Google/Facebook/TikTok) running before you layer on affiliate because it will accelerate and expand your ability to grow, but by itself it won't move fast enough or be as meaningful.


Tye DeGrange: there's


a recent comment. I saw that I loved it was like, action is better than mentorship or something along the lines of taking action learning from that, using the realtime knowledge to improve yourself. You make a mistake.

It's more of a learning than a failure. Using actually learning from that and actually importing that don't make that same mistake twice. I'm making mistakes as we speak you know how it is and you have to. Use those as powerful learnings feedback and other one, like it's a gift.

Welcome to add creative. The new show from pencil about the unexpected ideas that have changed the game for DTC founders and operators with a focus on actionable takeaways. I'm Chase Mohseni from the pencil team. Thanks for joining us. My guest today is Tye DeGrange. Founder and CEO of the growth marketing to see round barn labs.

Tye go way back. So this one might feel like you're a fly on the wall in one of our conversations. You're going to learn a lot about channel [00:01:00] preference on this one.

Tye dives into what channels are working well for his clients. How to run a successful affiliate program. And when it's right to actually run one, why he believes growth still seems to be misunderstood. And how looking into his past, give some fuel to continue his entrepreneurial journey.

I've learned so much from Tye and I'm excited for you to get the chance to do so as well. I hope you enjoy it.

Chase Mohseni: It's great to have our next guest on is Tye DeGrange. He's the founder and CEO of round barn labs, which is the growth studio fully remote growth studio. He's based out of Austin. But he's actually in LA with me, which he didn't tell me. So yeah, folks Thai yeah. Yeah, we could have grabbed beers, but I would love to before we jump in is to hear about what round barn does it, if there are any any clients that you've had, that we would.

Tye DeGrange: Yeah, thanks, chase. Tye DeGrange, CEO of RBL. As we like to refer to ourselves have been at RBL now for about eight years, been in the performance [00:02:00] marketing space for gosh, about 17 years now. Last five to seven years have been really focused on the new notion of growth and how that's taken over.

And it's a real passion of mine and my teams. We are a remote organization. We really help companies with customer acquisition. I've had the pleasure to work with a number of unicorns. Next door hired ironclad, Metta, or Facebook. Many others as well as some that are on their way to becoming unicorns.

We've skewed more consumer market marketplace subscription. And e-com, we had the fortunate experience to be in house a lot in my career at places like. Various startups running acquisition and growth, and also is able to do a stint at Amazon. Our team is really talented or close tight-knit group.

We've got about 10 or 15 practitioners now, fully remote in various areas. And yeah, it's been a lot of fun. It's it's always fun to tackle these challenging growth problems that clients come with. And I think we've done that in a way that is very. [00:03:00] Thinking through the needs and pain points of in-house, we've done things like embedding talent into teams, which is not very common for an agency to do.

We think of ourselves at times more like a hybrid that can customize things for folks. So if you need somebody embedded, if you need more of that agency model, we want to provide that. It's tough to scale that, but we've really wanted to be an honest broker for people. And so we'll, over-index on things like that.

We, last thing I'll say just from my what do we work on at a specific level? A lot of paid social as you'd imagine a lot of paid search. We have a very sophisticated AB testing and conversion rate optimization practice. So we do a lot of experimenting in all of our channels, regardless of whether it's on your side or on any page, but other than the channels themselves.

And then the last piece I did have a fair amount of experience in the affiliate industry. And so that. That partner marketing affiliate influencer marketing thing that's exploded in the last 10 years is, has gotten to be a nice diversification away from a lot of the paid expensive channels to do [00:04:00] opoly of Google and Facebook.

And we've really enjoyed diving in and helping some enterprise clients and some strong clients do that.

Chase Mohseni: How does one get the idea to start a business like this? Was it predicated on being in these places and seeing things that the agency partners you had weren't doing?

Or did you say, I want to go and help a bunch of different brands cause I've been in house so many times. I want to have something different and fresh, What was that process of getting the idea to start RBL?

Tye DeGrange: Great question. It is a combination of factors. After I had the fortunate experience and time to be at eBay at a very.

Time and its history around 2010, it was capturing really amazing talent in Silicon valley. Being part of that internet marketing team, people went on to do some really interesting things. So I was really grateful to be a part of a cohort, I think was really talented in the performance marketing space.

I think that opened up my purview of the, what would soon become growth? Now people like Alec Schultz, Chris Orton will Wong like just [00:05:00] the talent level. There was amazing. And so people that have gone on to do some really cool things, number of people, have That got me really interested in areas outside of the programmatic affiliate world that I came from a programmatic before affiliate next.

And then it was like what about search? What about organic social? What about, or excuse me, organic search. What about the Facebook? Which was brand new at the time? That's how old I am. We. It was just, it was a motivator for me and opened up the world. So I wanted to get into, I was able to go to a VC backed startup.

There were series B backed a part of the whole Groupon phase, and I was able to run acquisition for them through almost any channel necessary. So that once I started doing that, people started asking me how do I acquire customers? How do I think about market marketing channel analysis? How do I think about attribution?

How do we think about affiliates? What are the right levers to pull within search and social? And so when people started asking me those questions, the wheels started turning that well, it doesn't always have to be the typical nine to five. [00:06:00] People were even suggesting it to me out of before I even did it.

Like you should consider this. Oh, okay. Fast forward a few years after a number of startup reps, which were very high learnings as they usually are. The current company I was at was not really funding the satellite company out in San Francisco at the level we saw it coming. We saw them wanting to pull back and shutter that group.

So it, the other piece was out of just pure necessity. I had a little bit of time to prepare. Which I was fortunate for as an employee. Um, Started to gather some clients on the consulting side. So it was a little bit out of just selfish necessity and then less selfish serving the needs of clients.

Chase Mohseni: It's a really fascinating when you talk to people who started their businesses, how much it comes from, like a. A intersection of necessity and desire where it's, I've been wanting to do this thing, but I'm almost overthinking everything because I just, I know how hard it's going to be.[00:07:00]

Something kind of kicks you right in the ass and you're like, oh, I have to do it now. Yeah. All the, like the cascading effects of something like that. I find that to be almost almost the best way. Because sometimes when you're leading from the front, you don't actually realize what is in behind you or in front of you versus like I was back and now I can see the landscape a little bit better and pushed into it.

What that actually

Tye DeGrange: does. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think, it's funny to think about those factors for any person to decisioning. Is it a level of mentors around you or friends or family or folks that you admire? What drives you to do a certain thing? It's not always just I.

I always want to do that, or I, someone offered it to me or it's amazing how the environment can dictate some of that too. Being in San Francisco, I don't think hurt. It was a very exciting time and it still is. But it was a very different time in 2014 when I, when it, when I launched it.

Chase Mohseni: What are the top [00:08:00] misconceptions about what you do?

Tye DeGrange: That's a really good question.

The one that jumps in my brain, which is oddly specific is that affiliate is just coupon sites. There's a misconception with affiliate, like it's garbage, it's fraud. It's coupon. It's lead gen it's there's so much. There may be more, there's like almost as much misconception with affiliate as there is about growth, which is another topic we'll get into affiliate is been rebranded many times.

For many reasons, there is, there has been fraud just like there has in the digital landscape. A lot of that has been cleaned up of people have been straight up prosecuted while I was at eBay. They actually went after people naturally that were affiliates that actors. And that was a good thing for the industry.

What is become is an ability to you do partnerships light or partnerships at scale in a very powerful [00:09:00] way. You can. Build an influencer network of a thousand influencers. You can connect app to app like Ticketmaster, Uber. BarkBox many of these great brands have found ways to use affiliate as a tracking mechanism between apps and use it as a way to test into really powerful partnerships that are very direct response driven.

You also have an ability to do full funnel. Approach to marketing, like things like out of home, out of podcasts cook, coupon tracking, vanity URL, tracking there's some partners that were willing to do hold out tests on if they're a few collaborate with them appropriately. Yes.

You have coupon and deal. Yes. You have loyalty and cashback, but It's really evolved in a good way. That's one misconception, I would say just coming from a world that I've worked in for awhile now.

Chase Mohseni: So would you say then that just like you have a tech stack and a channel stack that almost within each channel, there is like a stack of how [00:10:00] you distribute the value through the channel.

So like you just ripped off like 10 to 15 different things you can do with affiliate. Do you feel like CRO and paid have the same ability to distribute or it's? Affiliate almost has such a wide landscape that it's almost more intricate than the other two.

Tye DeGrange: I think what's cool about it is like, as much as it has, it's limited, I don't even want to say limitations.

Like it has its misconceptions. I should say probably more than anything. It can operate like it can actually have every channel within the affiliate channel. If you will, you can have a search affiliate. You can have, you can be on every possible. Touch point in the ecosystem, digital and offline, and still have it live within the affiliate space because essentially by definition, affiliate is just paying for, if you really get down to the definition, you're really just saying I'm going to pay for a purchase or a lead, and that's all I'm going to pay for it now.

Yes, in most programs you're going to have other [00:11:00] costs and all these other things. So it gets a little murkier, but at its definition, you could have. Review sites folks bidding on your search terms to push out competitors and basically have all the channels exist within that ecosystem. To your point, the other channel, the other kind of levers of paid and CRO I think are almost, I think I just go back to what I shared earlier is that those things can exist within affiliate.

We've even had conversation. The level of landing page testing you can do within it is really powerful. Partners are going to benefit from that immensely because they're basically saying, Hey, I'm going to have skin in the game and promote this for you on your behalf without upfront payment.

Now that's changing and there's a lot more upfront payment happening. But many will. And if you get their conversion rate to double, guess what? They just had a much better experience and some of them will even help collaborate with you on that because they have skin in the game.

Chase Mohseni: I think companies in the [00:12:00] DTC space are getting wiser to affiliate, everyone essentially paid.

Facebook ads, right? Tik TOK. Everyone's starting to do now, but Facebook and Instagram ads are this is the foundation of every house. And then you build things on top of it. do you have any examples of brands that you've seen? Go cut the opposite direction where it's like affiliate is the foundation of the house.

And then they layer on those things and like CRO essentially is beautiful for Cooper that makes it all come together. I love that.

Tye DeGrange: I think it's possible. I've more likely seen the invert. Like I have more, I've more frequently seen what you've described, which is the core of, of Facebook ads and Instagram ads form a foundation for demand generation and, search does a great job of that demand capture with some.

Generation within the Google ecosystem is you're well familiar. I like to see that those are at least been tested or working before. It makes a lot of sense to typically invest a ton in influencer [00:13:00] affiliate why is that specifically?

Yeah, I think it's because. It's a, it's more like a battleship that takes a lot of turnaround. And if you're gonna build it and get it going and get it moving in the ocean, you don't want to suddenly realize that you don't have the economics or the factors to we winning in that game to try to turn it around.

It's not going to turn around quickly and it's hard to stop it relative to Google and Facebook. It takes longer. There's more human element. It's less automated. It's more relationship-driven. And for those reasons that makes it slower, the positives are that you can get some of the better ROI and lower CAC out there.

It can do either one of your more efficient, you're going to have some plasticity constraints. It's not going to be like a TV where you can get massive scale quickly. But boy, it can become 20% of the revenue of your business. If it's managed [00:14:00] properly and aligns with your business model, you're an, e-com got multi SKU's.

You look at Amazon eBay program. Those are the holy grail of affiliate programs in terms of their size and scope with some downsides to them, but a lot of positives. So if you're over the lines of those things, it can be very powerful. That makes sense,

Chase Mohseni: for sure. For sure. I'm. Yeah, I'm curious what I'm like.

We big Reforge heads, if that's even a term of

Tye DeGrange: that's a little one, I needed three forgers before, but I think re Reforge heads might be

Chase Mohseni: better. That's my my me bringing into the cheese heads into it. So yeah, Chad's, let's see if Brian likes that. What. They talked a lot about like minimum scope of a channel.

And so for anyone who doesn't know minimum scope means like how easy is it to start something? So it's just what are the barriers to entry and Facebook and Instagram? Like I did a test last year, so I started a. And I ran ads and sold sweatshirts, [00:15:00] and I sold you in literally five hours from starting the brand.

And I did not make anything. I did one of those print shops. I made it a landing page. I made an Instagram and I just posted 15 things on the Instagram and bought some followers just see how fast I could get to revenue. Amazing profitable. It was not like first purchase profitable because there've been a lot of investment and you're trying to just get customers, et cetera, that the ads weren't great.

But like low minimum scope. I got revenue in five hours, right? Like that. Doesn't get, do that with affiliate. And so I think that the way that you were talking about it, Liner versus speed boat. You can't carry that much on a speed boat all the time. Starting out a liner can go really far with a lot, carrying a lot on it, but you can turn the speedboat off.

You can turn it around. Sure. There's going, it's a middle of the ocean. You're not turning that fucker around. It has to get to the next port before you do anything. And so it's. Do you look at it like affiliate you're working in month long increments are two weeks [00:16:00] long blocks. Whereas like Facebook ads, you're working in hours.

Tye DeGrange: Google,

google. You're going to have to like, let certain things ride as, Facebook less. But you know that world so well, I would say that the affiliate side you're correct.

I would also add a caveat and the devil's advocate view that. In particular with Shopify and some of the bills they're doing and the networks are building Shopify integrations. As you are at pencil. I would say that could be changing. It is changing. They, the technical barriers are the technical implementations are getting better, faster.

The plugins are coming Dovetails and example of an acquisition that was made by Shopify impact other networks CJ have, I think, tried to make things more leaner and meaner to integrate with that blown up great ecosystem. That is Shopify. I think that's an opportunity to get to market [00:17:00] faster and learn faster.

It's probably not as fast as the example that you provided the five-hour minimum scope, which is amazing, but there is some element of that changing and becoming more agile, which is I think, exciting and beneficial to the market. I think it could make open up affiliate to make it even more. I don't want to say self-serve because it's so relationship driven, but I think it's gonna, it's gonna get elements of that ad and it already has.

Chase Mohseni: I think there's a huge wave coming to speed things up, there's, I think there's a wave coming to slow some of the way that we do things on some of these other pay channels down a little bit, to be more rigorous about how we're experimenting, like filming the volume, but doing it a little bit differently.

Focusing on brand a little bit more, getting, focused on some of the offline or. Not like the communities for instance, that deliver value to customers, et cetera, to bring down the to increase the [00:18:00] long-term LTVs and also bring up kind of the vitality coefficient for for those customers.

I think that you see in B2B that, you and I talk about all the time when we're texting, but that customers or DTC companies aren't doing yet I've referenced this a couple of times, the guys that Obvi have this community of 50,000 on Facebook. Yeah. Just me thinking about that.

The long-term LTV implications of having an active 50,000 person community and kind of coefficient, how it brings the kind of blended cohort level of CAC down month. Over month is incredible. Almost like we're flipping it on its head, paid acquisition needs to have more relationships.

And Billy, it needs to have more agility Oh, like paid acquisition,

Tye DeGrange: amazing macro observation and very astute growth principles. It gets a brilliant idea. And I think it's right. And it mirrors the [00:19:00] removal of silos that is so central to growth and good growth teams that are actually getting compounding gains.

It's it's central to our thesis of our RBL flywheel. Like we like to call it that I think is inspired by. The Jeff Bezos and good to great book the flywheel that they created, the Reforge loops. It's all influenced by those things that are really powerful and, getting info there's no surprise that user generated content is becoming some of the best performing creatives and paid social.

We talked about this four years ago and now it's. It's bearing fruit. There's no surprise that companies that are making regular experiments in improved changes in conversion rate to their landing pages and websites are seeing the returns and gains they need from performance marketing.

And it's shocking how much it they're either not doing it or not doing it right. Or they're not doing it enough. And you're spot on with some of those human elements. Like we, we actually talk a lot to straight up customers of our clients, like straight [00:20:00] up almost every single scope of, because no client's doing it enough.

They have their own perspective on it. I remember talking to one of the best product people Evers Reforge guy he was running. Product that Facebook, they never, I don't think I'd ever saw light of day, but it was big initiative. They were talking to users every day. It tells you what the leading growth teams do.

And that brings that human element to performance. Just as and you talk about on the regular, creative is becoming like the lever for social over target. Not to say you're not gonna work to tweak and optimize that as best you can, but creative is much more of a growth lever. Now that ATT in iOS 14 is hit us.

Chase Mohseni: It's a really interesting through a few of these chats that I've had for the podcast, the through-line is. Talk to your customers. And so people always ask me, chase, what's what do you value? And I think it's like it's synthesizing qualitative [00:21:00] and quantitative research and information.

And I always try to remind people like all these qualitative data points that we're looking at are. And they're all having a human experience and we need to understand that at a really core level. And so looking at this, and this is a hundred thousand people in mass, but if you drill down, you're going to see pockets of little thousand to 2000 people that they're all experiencing this in a different way.

We need to react to that. Now you obviously want to build an 80% experience that hits the 80 and like 20% of people are going to be left out because you can't build unique things. Unless you have the scale and team and infrastructure to do it. But if we can build like a macro world, That hits 80% and then build two or three that, answer for the 20% there's money on the other side of that and revenue and goodness for the brands.

I think you have a really wide array of customers that you speak to. What's generally the big idea [00:22:00] or the ideas that change the game for them that allow them to unlock. The that, that strategy. So you talked about the fly wheel. How many of them actually get it at a core level about what you're trying to do?

Oh, man.

Tye DeGrange: I saw a really good question. I wanna say half maybe more. I don't want to be overly Overly pessimistic on that view. It's an interesting question. Yeah I think once the funny thing about that is I think until a lot of the practitioners get hit in the face essentially, and see the pain point of not acting on the benefits of qualitative and quantitative or acting on the benefits of.

Leveraging influencer UCG and paid, and then converting kind of Bennet, making insight improvements to develop that little flywheel that we've touted or we like to implement. I don't wanna sound overly pessimistic, but I think until people really get hit with wow, my [00:23:00] competitors doing this and beating me me, or we.

We see the data that shows that these, this test, we ran actually shows that this improved performance by a massive percent and we weren't running it or considering it before. I think a lot of people need a real stark reminder sometimes of that. Cause it's hard to wrap your head around unless you've been through it a little bit.

Even the reforged stuff sometimes like. A lot of repetitions to really like, get to a level where you're talking the same language with someone on your own company and team, not to mention a client, if you will. So I don't know if you find that too, but that's in my observation.

Chase Mohseni: I think it comes down to what's theoretical.

And then what have they viscerally been punched in? It's the whole, like everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth. And it's every business, we all sit here and I joke around with you that you hear me pontificate about stuff and I'm like, oh, we should do this.

We should do that. It's dude, we're running a business here. We have to make money and survive and [00:24:00] deliver value to our customers. Like we can't do all of these things. We need to figure out which one is going to deliver the most value to our customers.

And also us be able to actually, action on, in a relatively systematic way. And I think that's really, that's the kind of the challenge because when do you make theory into reality? Like how do you take that and move it, moving to that without. Overburdening yourself with too many experiments.

I think this is the really difficult thing. I see a lot of teams where they want to do stuff, but they're almost afraid it's literally comes back to what you said, why you started RBL, you almost need to get kicked in the ass by the world 10 times because you will have analysis paralysis.

I don't want to do this because it's going to mess with this and I have all this set up and had all these effects. So yeah, it's real. Yeah. It definitely

Tye DeGrange: mother of invention. Yeah, that's a great point.

Chase Mohseni: So I have a question for you right now. What channels do you and the team believe in most currently given the kind of landscape, how it's changed in the last year?[00:25:00]

Tye DeGrange: Yeah, I think, you know what I'm going to say. It's what everyone's been saying. Let's see, actually, a couple ones Wow. That is, this is a very, this is a very good question. It may sound easier than one would think it's not easy, then it's not. I'm going to go. So look, I think the hot correct answer everyone's like on the tip of everyone's tongue is TikTok.

It's we can talk about all the reasons why, you're basically democratizing virality. You're the algorithm is just completely in insane from a speed and volume perspective. You're we're getting some shockingly better performance than we thought we had. We would. And it's working for clients where we wouldn't necessarily think it's working, would work for beating out Facebook in some examples.

On the flip side, [00:26:00] you described Facebook and Instagram as the foundation. And I think it in many ways still is of demand generation. If you're doing it right. If that's a big, if and it's also, can you stomach that cost and do you have the budget to put forth to make it work and the creative resources to make it work?

Yeah. People say, oh yeah, we need creative. We know creative is what's important. But what does that freaking mean? They don't necessarily devote, are you spending $20,000 a month on really good creative? No. You're. What are you going to get for $2,000? Yeah, of course, that we have to be lean and mean and creative and original and scrappy.

But if you're not going to battle with the ammo, you're going to get your ass kicked and you're going up against a lot on that channel where. If you come at TikTok with a very specific video strategy and some in some good UGC. You're gonna, you're gonna, you're gonna see some good [00:27:00] learnings.

I do want to throw out more. It's I do think viable partner marketing, I kicked it off with that is something that's really exciting. And it's working Of course we believe in it. But also needs to be managed really well. You can't just set it, forget it. You gotta really stay on top of it.

You've got to monitor fraud, you've got to get content sites and reviews and not just, coupon and deal. Shockingly, a lot of people think it's a set and forget a channel and it's not. Last thing I think is like the OTT world I think is going to change things and explode. I've I'm seeing reports of, there you go.

Bingo. We agree. Seeing reports of. CPAs lower than Facebook at amazing volume in elasticity there's not that many people bidding on it. Like they are linear. It's a really exciting one that I think is coming and coming quickly. And I think people need to catch it quickly.

Chase Mohseni: I would say the really fascinating thing about that is, and so I had a really interesting chat with someone and they were talking about How gen X people are not really served by a lot of these DTC brands.

It's all [00:28:00] millennials and gen Z. And take talk as a millennial gen Z channel OTT is a, everyone should. And so you might have start segmenting and like the CPMs, maybe for a gen X are going to be cheaper than they are for, gen Z, because it's more saturated because most of those people are on OTT platforms like naturally.

And I, I think that's going to be. Not more than Tik TOK is Tik. TOK is incredible. Like you said, I love that. Never heard anyone says that democratizing by reality, quote quoted trademark it that's fucking sweet. Is all of these channels matter really significantly? I think the big thing that I have come to that I say regularly, And if you don't agree, then you know, you're wrong, but it's creative is the new and actually creative is the moat, w we always talk about moats when I saw you

Tye DeGrange: Twitter.

I was going to say, no, I disagree, but

Chase Mohseni: you should've just done it. I need some more, I need some more engagement [00:29:00] with the tweets. It, it legitimately is though, if you really think about it, like what leverage do you have to, okay. Like the tick-tock algorithm. But actually, if you think about it, people aren't engaging if it's not engaging.

So it's

Tye DeGrange: like the Superbowl on everything's the Superbowl kind of, you're fighting for the T everyone in their mom's watching that. That's all, I that's, all this stuff is right. You're trying to get in front of someone, if you happen to get in front of some that's half the battle, but then it's okay, did it land?

And that's the competition that we do every February on the super bowl. Is it not up to the creative to determine the winner? Is it not the 32nd commercial that gets the most applause in response to some extent to.

Chase Mohseni: Coinbase fucking crashed because they had the most brilliant marketing ever.

And it's funny, people are like, oh, it was so

Tye DeGrange: cheap and like brilliant ad, but maybe not brilliant trafficking

Chase Mohseni: pipeline set up to handle that kind of volume. Let me, champagne problems but pretty pretty brilliant on that. On that end. I'm curious, what [00:30:00] you think is over-hyped so I think there's this is something I think about a lot. It's like you get all of these things. You're like, oh, this product is overhyped. This is overhyped. What do you think is over-hyped right now? That's

Tye DeGrange: a great question.

It's going to take me a minute.

Chase Mohseni: Oh, the anticipation that

Tye DeGrange: ever hold up, we need a drum roll. What's over-hyped I think some elements of the influencer thing is over-hyped in that. It's S it's like media and stock buying is similar not to say I'm a day trader or anything, but you can get a great implementation and a bad price and you're in trouble. And so I think what's happened is some of the influencers have gathered up a lot of cloud to use a throwback Kleiner Perkins startup from the past.

Oh, that

Chase Mohseni: clap quad is back.

Tye DeGrange: Anyway we worked at the same office years ago is a [00:31:00] good good operator he's on Twitter and talks about his learnings and such. But the point I was trying to get to was I think as much as influencers, hot and exciting, and what people are clamoring for, you can get your butt kicked. If you're not really thinking about.

Is that backing into the appropriate testing. If you're dropping too much upfront, without some testing and learning, and you're not getting it at the appropriate price point micro influencers are all the rage and that's good, it's the balance of the lift of doing all the work to get all the small guys and.

Getting the result out and avoiding the massive expensive ones. So you're chasing that middle tier, maybe with a sprinkling of larger I've seen, Hey, some influencers I've seen get three to one ROAS on really good econ in the past few years, sometimes more. Sometimes you're trying to get to net neutral on the first investment and then expand to optimize from there.

But you got to price it right on any media. And I, and maybe that's a little elementary, but it's a channel and it's hot and it's [00:32:00] sometimes it gets over price when it's hot, like of any mature pseudo, mature channel on the site, the ecosystem of channels, which we always look at.

Chase Mohseni: A hundred percent.

It's the life cycle of a channel, right? It's cheap. Everyone. The early adopters make a shitload of money. Everyone rushes to get over there. It gets more expensive. It becomes part of your life. It gets entrenched. And then you're like, oh God, it's expensive. What do I do? I can't live without it

Tye DeGrange: Is on the flip side is Google and Facebook's algorithm.

Trusted transparent pricing to to influence your marketing debatable. I don't know. Maybe it isn't question for the audience.

Chase Mohseni: Yeah, for sure. How do you feel about whitelisting? It's become more prevalent over the last couple of years.

Tye DeGrange: It's working. I think it's part of our, RBL, flywheel, the theory that we came up with, which we're not alone, it wasn't like a regional thought necessarily like a lot of things, but it was something we came up with.

Before it was really normal and popular to do. Now. It's if you're not, if that's not a slice of your paid social strategy and you're doing it wrong. I think [00:33:00] it's a really good way to get social proof of validation. To test who wouldn't want to hear from a, third-party see how great your product is rather than you shouting it from a rooftop saying how great my product is.

It's just psychology human nature. For sure. For sure. I think it's stuff. Where are you seeing that too?

Chase Mohseni: Yeah, absolutely. I think anything you can do, even if you're leveraging your reviews and making them into just static ads or doing even video ads with a bunch of different scenes that is just different reviews and different configurations, we've seen that kind of blow the top off just based on yeah.

So social proof, right? Dr. At the end of the day is meant to get people to take action. And people now take action because of other people's thoughts. So what do all of us do? Even, there's the Amazon review farms that everyone has, et cetera, you go and check Amazon. Does this have over a thousand reviews so I can trust it.

And I always go to the one [00:34:00] star reviews to see okay, on the bad side, how bad can this be? Because I see, there's never any two or three star reviews, either four and five or there's one. So like how bad is the bad. And people are consistently doing that. It's really important to understand the assets that you have in your hand.

And so if you're a company and you have either Amazon or you have your DDC store, I can leverage those reviews, build a, build a post.

To record their experience, getting your product and, or using the product, you can give them something back. Think about how much more expensive it is to get someone that is completely cold versus warm to do content for you. But it sounds. Remedial because it's oh, everyone should do that.

But you would be shockingly surprised with a few people actually have this as part of their kind of their flows.

Tye DeGrange: Totally. And I think you talked to the real experts in the affiliate industry and the influencer industry is like, that is really thoughtful, like gifting and reviews and conversations and relationships with those people, [00:35:00] whether they're the biggest influence on the world or.

Maybe a micro-influencer has really valid, valuable and central to that strategy. So where do you put it in bucket in call it affiliate or influencer strategy? What you just described is like just good business and intelligent and getting your product into the right hands of the right people the right time.

Chase Mohseni: That's great. So we're going to do two things. We're going to go rapid fire now. So I'm really excited for this one. Where do you get your best ideas? Oof

Tye DeGrange: walking, exercising Peloton berries walking the dog. And then that, that unlocks, like all the reading I read probably more now. I think Warren Buffett is a hero to many what is he like creating five hours of documents a day?

I like to read a lot. Maybe that's good and bad. The culture code right now is one of my favorites. We have a reading list here at RBL that we [00:36:00] publish internally. We should, we need to publish it externally.

A lot of it's inspired by people. We follow on Twitter people. I work with in groups like you. So it's w what did

Chase Mohseni: Send us the the RBL current reading list.

Tye DeGrange: We take pride in our culture and I think that, any organization that grows is. It's not easy to cultivate it, maintain it, keep it going, deal with change that we all do in life and in business.

And that's an important one for us. And it's, I think it's working right now, which is really cool. I'll share those

Chase Mohseni: for sure. What keeps you going? Being a founder, CEO is challenging. Every day. I talked to, I talk to them all day, every day. What keeps you going in lean times? How would you frame that for, someone who's starting out?

Tye DeGrange: I think of, people that came before me, we think about what my dad did to battle and fight what my grandfather did to battle. To just persevere and work hard and not make excuses. And my dad would joke eight hours [00:37:00] before lunch, eight hours after the work ethic was instilled early.

And I think in modern days, you think about working more intelligently. Probably lazy by their standards. I think you look at other cultures and how hard the immigrant work ethic is to get into this great country and to be able to do what we are have, and do what we're able to do is insane.

So when we're getting kicked in the teeth and the market goes down 30% and we lose a big client you might shed a tear on a day, but you have to balance it my goodness, how grateful are we? And that gratitude is really great. It's helped me a lot. I, it took me a while to think cultivate appropriate level of gratitude.

And I think that generates some levels of sanity and happiness for people. And it helps me a lot. And I think, thinking back to what your heroes and mentors would say to you, even though there may be not here, you it pushes you.

Chase Mohseni: Yeah. You and I have spoken about this at nauseum in [00:38:00] terms of the immigrant mentality and how humble, just fucking lucky we are to be here and have had this access.

We take it for granted. A lot of us take it for granted. So I'm going to do probably the most. Like lightweight pivot ever from that kind of beautiful answer that you gave, what is your least favorite or most hated DTC buzzword that you keep hearing and hear it on. You see it on Twitter and people talk about it.

And then you now you're hearing. Prospects and clients asking, right? This is asinine. This is completely fucking ass.

Tye DeGrange: That's a good one. I think that's just the Twitter posts that you get a poll going and you see the top 10 lists and see what comes back. I hate to say it, but part of me wants to say growth. It's like the love, hate relationship. It's gotta be the most misunderstood term out there. More, more lighthearted.

That's almost the conversation with another time and we can dive into it. [00:39:00] But. Ah, man. What is the most

Chase Mohseni: you think? I do think women's creative, the deep, oh man. Just put me throw me off the roof performance, creative man. I, on that one cuts me deep that hits different.

Yeah, that's a good one. That's a good one, bro. And performance creative are really misunderstood.

Tye DeGrange: oh God, I believe in web three, but it's not,

Chase Mohseni: it's definitely not ready for prime time. It's you should definitely do your land grabs and all of those things, everyone did jumping and it was still 10, 15, 20 years before the west actually. So

Tye DeGrange: 50 grand for an avatar, I'm say you might be a little, maybe I'm missing it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Chase Mohseni: What skill has served you best in life? Ooh.

Tye DeGrange: I think persistence comes to [00:40:00] mind. It's come, it comes at a cost to some extent, I think, but I think more so it's a value. I think that com coming with that is similar thing is a. Desire to connect, continue to learn. And you touched on it when you're joking about the buzzwords. If people are entrenched in their belief so much there is a balance because I think you have to be seen as an, in, in today's stuff.

You're you gotta be confident and you gotta be seen as an expert and you gotta do your homework and yada, yada, yada. But I. I don't know, maybe to a fault. I think being able to step back from yourself and we look at your entrenched belief and with those other two persistence and kind of the growth mindset learning, I think it's like having a level of objectivity and ETQ to say is this really making the most sense?

Am I going down the right path? [00:41:00] Not questioning your every move, but being able to have some level of objectivity around. What you're pushing on and what your position is, and it helps you, I think in seeing other people's perspective, other people's view, letting the data be a guide and not having the highest person in the room, dictate the decision, I think is a really valuable team and business approach.

That is a very valid. Along with those others that have of like pushing forward through, through challenges. .

Chase Mohseni: What's the best piece of advice you've ever received.

Tye DeGrange: Yeah, that's a deep best piece of advice. These are good questions.

Chase Mohseni: My rapid fire is not rapid. I saw, me, man. Long-winded yeah.

Tye DeGrange: Best piece of advice is a. It's all about your partner, man. Gotta pick the right one. We, you do that. If you don't do that you're screwed. Lucky to have great wife and a partner in life. [00:42:00]

Chase Mohseni: He code everyone.

Should everyone should take it down, right? Partners, the cheat code to life. Yeah, it is. It is. I mean it isn't business interpersonal find the right partners and it's going to be an amazing. Yeah.

Tye DeGrange: Yeah. It's some of these things sound obvious or overshared, but like you said on recently, it's like, there's a reason why they're there set in stone sometimes and talked about a

Chase Mohseni: lot.

Yeah. Cliche is only a cliche because it's been said so many times that like people start to to land past it. It if you've become a cliche, you are doing something right. That is literally sending me up and it's yeah, because you're relevant. So be happy. It's like the guys who do growth, that like we're saying growth is over. Thank God. At least it's something that people are thinking about it. And we will do another one where we actually show, what growth actually is because we need a refresher course.

What do you, what would you tell someone who's listening and just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey or wanting to be an [00:43:00] operator, at a company that's going to be, is younger.

And doesn't know where to start because it's, I think having so much access and so many different opportunities is incredible, but it's almost that analysis paralysis. You go into the grocery store aisle and there's 77 cereals. What the hell am I supposed to eat? I just want to know is Cheerios and frosted flakes and some other healthy option.

So like how would you frame that for people?

Tye DeGrange: And there's so much advice. There's a recent comment. I saw that I loved it was like, action is better than mentorship or something along the lines of taking action learning from that, using the realtime knowledge to improve yourself. You make a mistake.

It's more of a learning than a failure. Using actually learning from that and actually importing that don't make that same mistake twice. I'm making mistakes as we speak you know how it is and you have to. Use those as powerful learnings feedback and other one, like it's a gift.

It's a real gift. People give you candid, [00:44:00] real talk feedback. Sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt, but it's something that you can seek out to your benefit to improve yourself. In this environment, hoarding capital means smart about your bets is a big one. You're going to have to outsource and hire at some point, but.

I would say as best you can be smart about that. You there's a lot w doubling down on really areas that you're really strong in and then getting it right, getting that feedback loop, that product market fit that. That recurring engagement and retention that we always talk about.

And Reforge it's, those are important things to know that you got something and then you can start to place more bets, invest, we'll drill down into that. So that's a big one for me. If I have someone starting out, there's a lot, there's a lot there. And I think there's a level of persistence.

It needs to happen in order to do something entrepreneurial. We've gone through many phases of it. Gosh, it's been an eight year run for us. Rome wasn't built in a day and don't expect to, [00:45:00] you're going to have it dialed in after a few days or few weeks or even a year or so. It's sometimes it takes longer.

Some people take years to get there.

Chase Mohseni: Yeah. But I made sales in five hours. So what are you talking about? I did build one a day. It was unprofitable, but. Yeah.

Tye DeGrange: If you're running into a barrier on getting your row as up, you need to call chase and

Chase Mohseni: then go. I definitely don't. He's a, he's an abject Roaz failure.

Yeah. Ty, this was incredible. I think people are lucky to get to listen and learn from your insight. How should they, if they want to get in contact with you, where should they hit you up?

Tye DeGrange: Yeah, appreciate it. I would say. Email me My, my site our company it's a great way.

Twitter is a fun way to engage tdegrange on Twitter.

Chase Mohseni: If you guys want to learn anything, Ty is Ty speaks truth to power and growth hit him up. He's got you.

Thanks again. Thanks again, Tye. And

Tye DeGrange: appreciate you. Thank you very

Chase Mohseni: much.

[00:46:00] Thanks for listening to this episode of ad creative from pencil. We hope you enjoyed our chat and learn to finger to that can help you grow your business and think more creatively. If you have someone you think we should interview. He hit me up on Twitter.

Also a small favor. If you could please share and review this, we want to make sure as many people see this podcast and are able to learn from my guests as possible. Until next time. Add some creativity into your life. . Thanks


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