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Why I always ignore the “NEXT BIG TREND” in digital marketing

“Keep things brutally simple. Stop looking for the cheat code.” On this episode of 12 Hats Radio, Dave Monk pumps me for the “next big trend” in digital marketing. Since I run a 7-figure digital marketing agency, I used to be self-conscious of the fact that my answer is “I don’t know and I don’t care” … but now I own it. I don’t care about the next big thing, and in this podcast I explain exactly why.

Dave also asks me to tell a lighthearted story, but apparently I don’t have one. What can I say? I’m a serious, serious guy I guess. But I do tell a story about how a major marketing influencer surprised his fellow conference attendees by choosing to attend the “beginner” breakout sessions ... because a master is always honing the fundamentals.

We also discuss:

  • How TikTok influencers got so big, and why emulating them is a losing strategy.
  • How everyone is hung up on the cost of digital marketing when it really doesn’t matter.
  • Why writing a good Facebook ad is easier than people think it is.
  • Why you should never be afraid to fail.

About the Show: Dave Monk is the host of 12 Hats Radio.


Full Transcript

Dave Monk: Good morning. It’s Friday, the 26th of February 2021, and you’re listening to 12 Hats Radio. A marketing podcast with a difference. And today’s guest is Dylan Ogline from Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. And he has built up his own agency at a young age without any formal education, and he’s a bit of a digital guru. He’s got courses and everything like that. So normally these characters that say they’ve built up a six-figure ad agency I usually stay clear, but I find with Dylan there’s a bit more to him. He did reach out to me a personalized message so I can’t really turn him down, I think. And sometimes you learn from those whose, like me, spent years at uni and others you learn from those at the cold face who don’t have a uni or a college education, but just gone out and have a go. And sine we’re all about entrepreneurs, I champion those who just gone out and have a go. So Dylan is coming up after the break.

With Dylan Ogline from Orlando, Florida, and he’s an entrepreneur and a digital marketing expert. And, Dylan, thanks very much for coming on the show, mate. And as all my guests, can you just give us a quick rundown on what you’re all about?

Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. So what I’m all about. Right now I have a digital marketing agency called Ogline Digital. And then I’ve also been putting the vast majority of my focus over the past year or so in my education company, which teaches entrepreneurs how to start their own digital agency. That’s pretty much all I’ve got going on now and being stuck at home during COVID. So I’m the States so it’s a little bit different than I’m sure how it is in Australia, but…

Dave Monk: Yeah.

Dylan Ogline: That’s about all that’s going on right now.

Dave Monk: Yeah. We’re watching with horror what’s going on in the States.

Dylan Ogline: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s good, it’s gotten out of hand. I mean typically whenever I’m not working I like to travel around the world. But I haven’t been outside of the country for over a year, so.

Dave Monk: And how did your journey start? How did this all come about?

Dylan Ogline: Sure. So I started my first business when I was 14. I got an early start to it and it was selling cellphones on eBay. And this was back whenever the best cellphones were European-made and the United States was still like behind the game. This was before iPhones and stuff. And long story short, somehow some way, I got like a wholesaler agreement, and I was able to buy these European cellphones at like manufacturing cost, or wholesale cost I should say. Ship them to the United States, pay the tariffs or whatever it was, and then flip them on eBay and make $100 a phone or whatever. That was my very first business. And so that lasted for a few months, and then I got shut down, my credit card processor shut me down because they found out I was under the age of 18. So couldn’t do that any longer.

So then I spent the next 12 years just bouncing around from one-- shiny object syndrome is definitely what I had-- bouncing around from one idea to the next, not really getting any success with anything. It wasn’t that I failed at all these things is that they never got off the ground. That was my particular problem. And during that whole time I also did a lot of-- not a lot of-- but like on the side to pay bills I would do web design, graphics design, logo design. You needed a PDF design, you need a PowerPoint, I was your guy, doing everything for everybody.

So I kind of was doing digital agency work. I didn’t actually own a digital agency. I was just like an independent contractor during that entire time. And 12 years of just terribleness, and lots of debt, and not going on vacations, and it was really bad. In 2016, just scrapped everything, and just focused on the digital agency, and then just focused on one single service, which was the digital ad management. And my goal for years was just to hit six figures, and within three or four months of doing that I hit six figures, and then about a year later the agency hit seven figures. Yeah, 2018, so. That’s 15 years condensed down into two minutes, so.

Dave Monk: And what advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your journey?

Dylan Ogline: What advice… First thing is to fail fast. Don’t spent 12 years bouncing around. You want to fail fast. So I think for me I have the perspective of all of those projects never got off the ground. That was the big thing. So you want to get something out into the marketplace to prove product market fit. In the tech space they have the MVP or the MVS, minimal viable product, minimal viable service. Well, if you have a web design agency, or digital marketing agency, or a training program, or a podcast, it could be anything like that. You want to get something out into the marketplace as quickly as possible and don’t be afraid to fail. You get feedback from the marketplace and typically the best thing to do is to get somebody to actually give you money, get a paying customer before you ever build your product or service. That proves product market fit.

Dave Monk: Yup. And where do you see the next big trend in digital marketing over the next 12 months?

Dylan Ogline: Next 12 months. To be honest, because you used the term in the intro there of “digital marketing expert” because of what you said. So I get questions like this a lot. And for me, I don’t pay attention to the newest trends or whatever like Snapchat was the big thing like a year ago and now it’s TikTok ads and stuff like that. Because it’s just not tried and true. The people who are having success right now with that just so happen to hit a homerun their first at bat. Whereas like Facebook ads, Google ads, things that have been around for ten years, people have been taking at bats for years and they have learned what works and what doesn’t work.

So then people like me can come in and follow those people and follow their advice and kind of skip that trial and error process. And it’s you can just be okay at Facebook ads, you can be okay at the Google ads, and still make a lot of money. Using TikTok as an example because that’s all I hear about these days, most of the time it’s just people went viral and that’s how they had success with that, or it’s just they hit a homerun their first at bat. So long answer there, but no, I don’t pay attention to industry trends or anything like that.

Dave Monk: And what are some of the great resources out there that helped you on your journey?

Dylan Ogline: Great resources. I would consider mentors. I’ve had a massive impact on my life from mentors. Outside of that, specific resources, because my mentors are going to be individual, I read a lot, so I would say… And I encourage everybody, every business owner, you always have to be hungry for knowledge and constantly reading. So for me, two book recommendations would be the Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, highly recommend that book to everybody, even if you’re not in business and The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

Dave Monk: That comes up a lot, like The 4-Hour Work Week.

Dylan Ogline: Really?

Dave Monk: Yeah.

Dylan Ogline: I think the book it was released in 2007, so it’s like 13 years old, and it’s still unquestionably changed my life, and to this day I still follow Tim. Right now I think he has a podcast, so I pay attention to that.

Dave Monk: Yeah, I think he’s one of the big ones. He’s up there with Gary V.

Dylan Ogline: Yeah, absolutely. And what I like about like that particular book and a lot of his stuff is it’s not just about business or particularly marketing. So there’s been all kinds of stuff that I’ve applied to my life from there like traveling and business stuff, but it’s more about lifestyle design.

Dave Monk: Good stuff. I lost my train of thought here. It’s early morning.

Dylan Ogline: Pause for a dramatic sip of tea.

Dave Monk: Yeah.

Dylan Ogline: I hope that makes the final cut.

Dave Monk: In the intro. Dramatic pause of tea.

Dylan Ogline: Yes, a dramatic pause for a sip of tea.

Dave Monk: So what is the one myth about digital marketing that you’d like to dispel right now?

Dylan Ogline: That was a pause right there. The one myth. Particularly if listeners out there don’t have experience with digital marketing, I would say if you own your own business, but like you’re like, “Oh, I don’t know what to do with my marketing and my business.” My answer would be the cost doesn’t matter. So often I hear people give me feedback like, “Oh, you need to focus on Facebook or Google ads.” And they’ll be like, “What? Google ads? It’s like five dollars a click or whatever.” I’m like, “So?” Why does that matter? If you have a $1,000 product that you sell that has a $500 profit margin, and it cost you $100, let’s say 20 clicks to get one sell, you still made money so it doesn’t matter.

What matters when it comes to any market is at the end of the day it’s all about the ROI. I spent $100 and I got $200 in profit back. I got $500 in sales, I made $200 in profit, whatever it is. And I think that mindset comes for people who digital marketing allows you to track specifically down to the penny, down to each specific click. You go back 20 years ago and people were just doing billboard ads or newspaper ads. It was taking money and throwing it out the window and just hoping that you got some sales back. But with digital marketing you have to view it. It’s the same thing, it’s marketing, but it’s completely different because you track everything. So the myth is that costs matter. It’s all about ROI.

Dave Monk: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, how many times I’ve had clients in my agency. It costs them an arm and a leg, but really they got to see it as more of an investment than an expense. Because you put that money in but you’ll get that money back and then some if you really do it well.

Dylan Ogline: Yes.

Dave Monk: That’s a really good valid point there. I don’t want to say it’s all about expense, no, it’s not.

Dylan Ogline: I mean outside of marketing, when it comes to like business services, I’m huge into price your stuff based on value.

Dave Monk: Yeah, exactly.

Dylan Ogline: Don’t even look at competitors or anything like that. What is the value to your customer? In my particular case with my agency and whatnot, it’s very clear. There is a very clear ROI. How much did I spend, how much in sales did I get? But the other services as well it can be a website, it can be podcast management services. I’m just trying to think of things here. It could go in all those different directions. Oh yeah. And it all comes down to the value to the particular customer. And you don’t want to hide behind low prices and be the cheap end solution. You want to be the premium service, the premium solution, and provide a premium product. People will be happier, you’ll be happier. It’s the better way to go. 100% of the time.

Dave Monk: My grandfather had a bike in his shed and take things that are good, good things are not cheap.

Dylan Ogline: That’s good advice. I like that.

Dave Monk: Very good advice. Yeah. And on a more personal note, Dylan, what’s driving your curiosity right now?

Dylan Ogline: Driving my curiosity. I would answer that in a different way and I would say what’s driving my passion right now would be my education company. Curiosity. I’m always reading, I’m always searching, searching for more knowledge, I guess. But, no, for me right now what I’m passionate about is the education company. Like I mentioned, coaches, mentors, they’ve had a huge impact on my life. And with my business, this is kind of a curiosity thing, I guess. With my business I ruthlessly apply the 80/20 method to everything. With my team, with clients, everything 80/20 method. I want to put in the 20% of effort that gets me 80% of results. And since I’m kind of new to the education game, I’m trying to figure out how to ruthlessly apply that to education. What is the absolute minimum that I can teach people so it becomes digestible. It’s I don’t want to overwhelm people with too much information. I want to give them the very minimum amount of information to get them the 80% of results. So that would be my curiosity right now working on that.

Dave Monk: And I’ll let you wrap things up. Can you share a lighthearted story for my listeners?

Dylan Ogline: Lighthearted story. I don’t have a lighthearted story. No. I got nothing there, man. I got to be honest. Give me a different question.

Dave Monk: Is there anything I didn’t ask but should?

Dylan Ogline: Anything you didn’t ask but should. I’ll flip this around on you: tell me more about your listeners. Yeah, I’ll flip this around on you. What do you think your listeners are wondering right now?

Dave Monk: I think if you’re listening to my show I think you’ve got a very curious mind. You’re a marketer or an entrepreneur, and you want to know what the next big thing is, next step, what the future holds, and how you use the power of digital marketing for good purposes. Not just sell stuff, but change people’s behavior, change people’s mindsets, and outlooks on life. I think that’s where I think this is my unique point of difference is out of other podcasts. Because I don’t want to be like an ordinary marketing podcast that goes for all the jargon and all that stuff and put people to sleep but let’s make it interesting. [inaudible 17:30] stories and stuff like that.

Dylan Ogline: Make it interesting. Man. Okay, so my particular advice would be if most of your listeners are marketers or doing some kind of marketing, don’t focus on the new stuff. We talked about that. Focus on the stuff that’s been out there in the marketplace for a while. Keep things brutally simple, stop looking for the cheat code. Another question I get all the time is like, “How do I write really good Facebook ads?” And it’s like it’s pretty simple to write good Facebook ads. Just write something, put it out there in the marketplace, constantly be testing.

I’m going to give you a story because the story is not about me. But this is a lesson that I learned in the form of a story, and I’ll try to keep this short, because I know you try to keep this show short. And I’m going to really butcher this story, but again, this is where I get this listen from. There is a story of do you know who wrote the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing? Is it Jack Trout? Is that his name? I’m terrible with remembering people’s names.

Okay, we’re going to call him Jack. We’re going to just call this guy Jack. So this story goes that Jack is this massive guy in marketing. And if you know who wrote the 22 or 21 Immutable Laws of Marketing, I forget, it’s a magical marketing book. You have to read it. So anyway, the author of that book is what I think this story’s about. So this guy Jack-- again, we’re going to call him Jack because I can’t remember his name-- is at this big like marketing conference, right? And the way it worked is like they had the intro speakers, and then they would split the group up. And one group went to the kind of basics training and then the other group went to kind of the more advanced new age stuff training, right?

So they give their intro pieces and whatnot, and somebody’s like, “Oh, wow, there’s Jack.” And they finish up and they’re like, “Okay, go to which ever group that you want to go to.” And there’s Jack going to the basics education. And somebody looks at him-- and here’s where the lesson comes in now-- somebody looks at him and they’re just like, “Jack, no man, you’re going into the wrong group. You want to go over to the advance stuff.” And he’s like, “No, no, I know exactly where I’m going. This is where I want to go. I don’t focus on that stuff, the advanced stuff, I focus on getting better and better and better at the basics, the fundamentals.”

And I apply that so much with everything in my business is I want to focus on the fundamentals. There’s this quote like “the amateur trains until they get it right. The master trains until they can’t get it wrong.” So I think there’s a lot to be said about that. There’s my lighthearted story to end the show.

Dave Monk: No, that’s good advice, and also I do adhere to the rule that consistency sells. If you master, stick to one thing, be your niche but then post it regularly, regularly, regularly. Especially with things like podcasts until you get it right, until people know when to expect it, and I think that’s really good. Even with Facebook, keep having one formula, and stick to it.

Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. 100%. Some people they think you need to have talent to write Facebook ads. Talent is your God-given abilities or whatever you want to call it. Skill, the only way you develop skill is just by beating on your craft, just keep beating and beating at your craft and just keep practicing, and getting better, and better, and better. So you want to get better at writing Facebook ads? Write more Facebook ads. Just keep going and going and going beating at your craft. And the more niched down the more specific you get the better. If you’re only doing Facebook ads for restaurants, whatever, and you just keep writing Facebook ads for restaurants, you will get better and better and better by just beating and beating on your craft.

Dave Monk: Absolutely. That was a good thing to wrap things up with, Dylan. Thanks very much for coming onto the show. And, finally, where else can we find you?

Dylan Ogline: My website: dylanogline.com. And, oh yeah, and I actually just today I launched a e-book. What is it called? I should know. The Six Steps to a Six-Figure Agency. If you go to dylanogline.com/six, S-I-X- spelled out. You can download that e-book for free.

Dave Monk: Amazing. I’ll put it later in the show notes.

Dylan Ogline: Awesome. Thank you very much.

Dave Monk: Thanks, mate. Yeah. We got there in the end.

Dylan Ogline: Thank you.

Dave Monk: No worries. This has been a Podcast West production. Join us on Monday for a new guest with more stories, laughs, and insights into various entrepreneurs from around the world. If you loved this podcast, please give us a five-star review on your favorite podcast platform. And that way people will know about the show and we can grow this 12 Hats movement together. Also, please, you want to spot me more, please sign up for my friend newsletter, link’s in the show notes. Until next week, it’s the cat in 12 Hats signing out.