#1 SECRET — Write Ads That the Wrong People DON’T Click On
The One Broken Cog
November 12, 2020
“People who find their purpose end up going very far.” Are millennials lazy? As the de-facto representative of my generation, I offer The One Broken Cog Podcast a twist on the popular complaint - millennials are purpose-driven. If we don’t have a strong “why” for what we are doing, we won’t show up to work. We see that our parents sacrificed for us … but they are miserable, and we won’t settle for that.
I describe how hockey pushed me towards business - I loved playing hockey, but the kids who had started playing at the age of four skated circles around me. I accepted I would probably never be Wayne Gretzky … but it occurred to me that if I started in business at the age of 14, I would be ten years ahead of my competition!
We also talk about:
- My obsession with LaCroix sparkling water.
- How I ended up a million dollars in debt before my agency took off.
- The “hack” I use to keep low-quality prospects from clicking on my Google ads.
- The book, movie, and album I would choose to bring with me if I was going to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of my life.
About the Show: Brian Olson is the host of One Broken Cog.
Brian Olson: “One Broken Cog,” back with another episode of epic proportions. You know, multiple people have been reaching out to us wanting to hear a Millennial’s perspective on marketing and advertising. Well, we are giving you what you asked for because my guest today is a Millennial marketing maven with over 16 years of digital marketing experience. And who I’m referring to is none other than Dylan Ogline.
And to give you some background on Dylan, he’s a high school dropout from a small country town in Pennsylvania. He started his first business when he was 14 selling cellphones, and in 2016 he scrapped over ten business projects, and started focusing on one single thing: digital marketing. Now tired from struggling getting no progress and working from his freezing basement, not to mention nearly a million dollars in debt, it was definitely an uphill climb.
Now, it turns out, focus was the key. Four short years later he has built Ogline Digital into a seven-figure agency generating over a million dollars in sales three years running. Now, Dylan is now a leading expert in direct response advertising and business growth. He has now turned his focus to helping other people start and grow their own hyper profitable digital agency. Now Dylan undoubtedly believes that anybody can start and build their own digital agency that will allow them to have more freedom and live a life with purpose and meaning and he wants to give everyone possible the tools to do just that.
Now when not working, he enjoys traveling around the world at least three months of the year, playing hockey, reading, and spending time with the love of his life LaCroix. Dylan, it’s great to have you on the show. Welcome to “The One Broken Cog” Podcast.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man, thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I’m ready.
Brian Olson: I love it, man. Now, listen, when I read that you had a love of LaCroix, is that the water, or is that somebody’s name?
Dylan Ogline: You know, you’re the second person to ask me that. No, it’s LaCroix, the sparkling water. It’s like, I don’t know, it’s just like become part of my-- God forbid I’m going to say this-- my brand, as you could say. Like I always have a LaCroix in my hand. Actually, right now, I don’t. But I always have LaCroix and my girlfriend got me like a sticker for my Mac, and I got like the LaCroix t-shirt, and I got the LaCroix socks, and I’m just like a LaCroix fanboy. So, yeah, it’s like part of the brand, I guess.
Brian Olson: Now, was it an acquired taste, or did you just love it right out of the gate when you tasted it?
Dylan Ogline: It was an obsession from day one. I knew. You mentioned the love of my life. It was love at first sight. The first time I tasted LaCroix, I knew, I knew I had found my purpose.
Brian Olson: Wow. So you’ll be toasting LaCroix at your wedding, I guess.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Absolutely.
Brian Olson: Now, if there was a Dylan Ogline LaCroix sponsored flavor, what would it be?
Dylan Ogline: I’m going to say their flavors are really weird. I’d probably go with like the pamplemousse is my favorite. I wish they would come out with like custom ones. I’d like to see a blueberry one, something like that, but pamplemousse. I hope I’m pronouncing that right, but that’s my go-to right there.
Brian Olson: Could be the Dylan Ogline marketing melon. I don’t know. Just throwing that out there. Or mango. Marketing mango? I don’t know.
Dylan Ogline: Marketing mango, I love it, yes. Now I need to just get in contact with the LaCroix and get a sponsorship going.
Brian Olson: It’s all about the pitch, my friend. Now, I got to tell you, you got yourself Dylan into a million dollars in debt. You’re hustling from day one, you’re out there slanging cellphones, and you got into business, you got into a million dollars. How did you get yourself into a million dollars in debt and how did you get out of it?
Dylan Ogline: So that included a lot of I had two real estate investments at the time. At the peak it was like $975 or $992, which is two completely different numbers obviously, but like those are the two numbers stuck in my head so just shy of a million. Looking back, hindsight’s 20/20. The big problem why I wasn’t having success and I was overworked, overstressed was I was going in way too many different directions. I had shiny object syndrome.
I had two real investments, one of them was a commercial property with a Laundromat, and I was trying to turn part of that property into self-storage units. And then I had a rental property. I think at the peak I had three separate investments going on, which none of them made any money. And then I also was doing a flip on a property. It was just doing too many things at once, desperate to try to get something to work, and just chasing the shiniest objects. And I like how you described I was slinging cellphones when I was 14. It makes it sound like I was selling them like out of my backpack. Like, “Hey, guys, check out these phones I got. These are hot phones.”
Brian Olson: How were you selling them?
Dylan Ogline: eBay.
Brian Olson: Okay. There you go.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, it was like European cellphones. So this was back pre-iPhone. So Europe, at the time-- this is like 2003 or whatever-- Europe had was far ahead of the United States in terms of the pre-smartphones, like the very first smartphones. And long story short, I ended up somehow getting like a wholesaling not contract, but like getting access to the wholesale market. And I could buy the phones in Europe at European prices, at wholesale price, ship them to the United States, pay the tariffs or whatever it is that you had to pay back then, and then flip them on eBay, and make like $50 to sometimes $200 a phone.
That was it. It was very simple. It wasn’t like some big professional thing. But, hey, at the time I was 14, 15 years old, I was raking in like $1,500 to sometimes I think my highest was almost $3,000 a month. I mean, I was rolling in the cash. Which when you’re that old like that’s all the money in the world. But, no, I did not sell any of them out of my backpack.
Brian Olson: Well, no, I say when I worked for ADP many years ago, there was a payroll division of ADP, and they always said, “Oh man, if you slang payroll.” That was a term they used so it’s like the hustle, the grind, right? You’re just grinding it out.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. No. No. It’s just funny because the way you described it, oh, I’m sitting here thinking like I’m hustling like the back streets, like, “Hey, kids, I’ve got these hot cellphones. What do you say?” Like I’m pulling them out of my backpack. If you go in the city and you got like the guy that’s trying to cell Oakleys out of his backpack, like that was me starting out.
Brian Olson: Yeah, like Eminem in “8 Mile,” right?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Yeah. That’s what I was doing.
Brian Olson: Awesome. So where did you get this entrepreneurial spirit from? I mean, is it something that drove you to maybe get out of the town that you were in to be financially secure? You didn’t want to work for somebody? Where did you get the spirit?
Dylan Ogline: So I come from a “entrepreneurial family” you could say. My brother, he owns his own business, my dad, he used to own a car dealership, so he was always self-employed. For me, it was kind of like almost serendipity. Like at that time in my life I was starting to think about college at 14. And my goal was I was a hockey player, I wasn’t particularly good at all, but my parents paying for college, that was just kind of out of the cards. So my goal was to play hockey and somehow some way get a scholarship to go to school. And I was starting to think, like hey, maybe go to school and eventually some day get an MBA and go down the business route.
And at the same time, I’m starting to think about that, my brother leaves the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki, which I recommend to absolutely everybody. It’s like my financial bible. He was reading that and just had it laying around. I picked it up and just I think I read it in like one weekend and it changed everything for me at that age. On top of that, I also started dating this girl and her dad was like the president or vice president of like one of the biggest companies in our small town. So I had him, I was reading this book, I had my parents, and it was like, okay, like I’m going to go down the business route, and it was just all at that one time at that perfect time that everything was hitting me.
Brian Olson: That’s great. No, I love that. Now, I know you were a high school dropout or you mentioned that because you went from a high school dropout to a seven-figure business, that’s amazing. What led you to leave high school?
Dylan Ogline: So it was actually it had a lot to do with hockey. So I remember I was starting to realize like I’m not that good at this, and the prospects of getting the scholarship and whatnot was like dwindling in my eyes, I was realizing that. And what I saw was all these players that were much better than me, I started playing when I was like ten or 11. They started playing when they were like four or five. So they had like a huge experience gap compared to me.
And, again, serendipity, all these things are hitting me at the same time, and I’m kind of starting to think like what if I were to do like homeschooling, I start this cellphone business. I already ha that like kind of going. What if I were to do homeschooling and focus on that, and I don’t know where that’s going to go, but what if I get started in business now at 14, 15. I will be ahead of the curve whereas most people are coming out of college at, say, 22, 23, 24. I’m going to be a decade ahead of them.
And at 14, 15 I saw that, and I convinced my parents. The long story short, I convinced my parents to let me do homeschooling so I could focus more on my business. I had to pay $2,000 or $3,000 for it, and they were like, “Oh, okay, yeah sure, that sounds like a good idea,” and I never opened any of the books, I never took any of the tests at all. And eventually, I was like, “Listen, guys, I’m just like not going to do this.” And, yeah, they let me quit. That was it.
Brian Olson: Awesome. So you had really supportive parents.
Dylan Ogline: It was more I was a rebellious child. At that time I was going through a rebellious stage. But prior to all this, like I was like a straight-A student, all that stuff, and then the writing was on the wall for me that like I need to get started. Which is dumb looking back on it, like don’t quit high school, not a very smart decision. But, for me, it was just I was obsessed with it because I didn’t want to be go to college, and all that stuff, and end up where I was with hockey. Like, okay, but I wasn’t incredible because I was so far behind of everybody. Now, like you mentioned at the start, I have 17 years, 16, 17 years of experience. I’m only 31 and it’s because I’ve been doing this since I was 14. So that’s I saw that writing on the wall way back then.
Brian Olson: That’s great. Now, you were bit by the marketing bug. You got interested in marketing. Tell me a little bit about that.
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So, for me in particular, when I had that cellphone business and I also started doing like affiliate marketing at the time cause it was just easy to sign up for low barrier of entry. This was like the infancy of Google Ad, Adwords. I think at the time it was just Google Adwords. And this is like pre-Facebook and stuff. And the idea of the fact that digital marketing was so much different than just traditional marketing blew my mind. And I don’t know if I picked it up in a book, or I watched some webinar, or I watched some video, I don’t remember where I picked it up. But I picked up the concept that you could literally buy growth and track it with digital marketing.
And that sounds very primitive, but go back 20 years ago prior to any digital marketing. You maybe did a TV ad, or you put a billboard up, and couldn’t really tell if you got anymore business from it. Whereas with Google Ads, like even in the primitive very beginning, you could track and say, “I spent $100 on Google Ads, and I made $150.” And that just absolutely blew my world away because it was if I can figure that stuff out I will be able to just spend money and get more money in return. And that’s how I just started focusing on marketing, that was it.
Brian Olson: That’s awesome. So when was the decision made to start your own business Ogline Digital?
Dylan Ogline: So Ogline Digital actually didn’t start until the beginning of this year. You mentioned at the beginning of 2016 I scrapped all these business projects. So I did talk how up to a million dollars in debt because I was going in too many different directions. So what happened was is I scrap everything, and this was a result of a conversation that I had with a long-term mentor of mine, where I was admitted that I was going in too many different directions. I admitted that I was miserable, overworked, didn’t know what a vacation was, sleep was a nice fantasy to have. I was barley making anything.
And I literally just that night that I had that conversation with him, I went down to my basement office, sat on my bucket chair cause I couldn’t afford a chair, it was literally just a five-gallon bucket, and I just scrapped every single project. If it wasn’t making money today, like I did have some affiliate things that were making maybe a couple hundred bucks a month. If it wasn’t like that, I absolutely deleted everything, and I focused just on one thing that was the digital agency work.
But then I took it even further. It was I’m only going to offer one product or one service, and that was digital ad management. Cause at the time I was doing it was just like an independent contractor. So if somebody needed a website, they would hire me on Upwork. At the time I think it was Elance. But if you needed a website, I was your guy. You needed a logo, talk to Dylan. You needed a banner, boom. I could get it done for you. You needed a PowerPoint presentation, done. And I just scrapped all of that stuff and just focused on the ad management.
And because I was so relentless and aggressive about just focusing on one single thing, I naturally was like, “Oh, I need a website. I need to set up a phone system. I need a logo. I need all this.” And I was like, “No, I’m not going to do any of that. I’m just going to focus on getting clients and delivering a service to them.” Like break it down to its absolute bare minimum, and that’s what I did. So it was 2017, might have done like $300,000 or $400,000. By 2018 I had seven figures, didn’t even have a website. No website, nothing. I had an LLC previously that I was just using, but that was it, no website or anything until the beginning of this year.
Brian Olson: It’s great that you mention the focus was your best friend. You really needed that focus because your eggs were in so many different baskets that you said, “Listen, I’m going to focus on one thing, give everything I’ve got,” and it really worked for you, right?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. I probably took it a little too far with like not having a website or anything like that. It certainly does make you feel more professional to have like a decent website, and a decent logo, and stuff like that. But for me, I had just spent so much time bouncing around from all these different projects trying to make them perfect before I ever actually launched anything or ever actually got anything out into the marketplace. So it was just I was absolutely relentless about it.
Brian Olson: That’s great. And learning is part of the process, right? You go out there, and you learn by doing, and you make those real-time adjustments. It’s exactly what you’ve done. Now speaking of that, what are some of the great learnings that you’ve experienced from the time you started your business till today?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So, obviously, first thing would be definitely focus. Like just relentlessly focus on one single thing. And I think the most important thing to every business is simply making the cash register ring. Getting sales, getting clients, or in my particular case with the agency, like as we get the client better results, the client typically increases their ad spend and we make… Basically the business model is, is we charge the client 10% of their ad spend.
So if they spend, say $10,000 on Facebook ads, we send them an invoice for $1,000. So as we get them better results, they’re going to increase their ad spend, we make more money. So that’s making the cash register ring, in my opinion. But if you were an ecommerce business or different kind of service provider business like your number one priority should be making the cash register ring. Just relentlessly focusing on that.
Second big lesson would be to keep things just brutally simple in the beginning. Cause you want to fail fast. You want to fail as fast as possible. So get things out into the marketplace and prove your product market fit as fast as possible. A lot of people talk about the MVP, that’s a big thing in the tech space, your minimal viable product, your minimal viable service. There is so much importance behind that. You get things out into the marketplace as fast as possible. And the fastest way to prove product market fit is incredibly simple, and that’s get somebody to give you money for your product or your service.
Focus groups where you talk to people and be like, “Hey, would you be interested in this product or this service?” Like people will lie to you to make you feel better. But until somebody actually gives you money or actually gives you a credit card, that’s the only way that you can know that you have product market fit. So relentlessly focus and fail fast, get things out into the marketplace as quickly as possible. If I had to dumb it down into just two absolutely simple things, that would be it.
Brian Olson: No, it’s simple, but it’s so effective and so important. I mean, if you look at the focus groups, they’re so underutilized, right? And they’re so important. I’m a big proponent of that. Now, you talk about making the cash register ring, but a lot of people are having a tough time with that. How did you go about landing some of those clients when you first launched the business? How did you do it?
Dylan Ogline: So, in my particular case, typically the hardest thing to do is to get your first client, obviously, for most business. In my particular case, like when I decided to focus on the digital ad management, I already had a client where I was doing digital ad management for them. It was one of the many things I was doing. And but because I wasn’t really focusing on it, it really wasn’t growing, like the client was getting okay results. That’s another thing with the focus is I wasn’t getting better at the one thing I was doing because I was doing 20 different things.
So I already had that one client. And I also encourage people to, if you’re just starting out, to go for the low-hanging fruit, which is previous clients that you’ve worked with. And that’s absolutely what I did to get probably the second and third client. I just reached out to previous people that I maybe built a website for, or built a banner for, or whatever. I just reached out to them and was like, “Hey, I’m offering this digital ad management service, blah, blah, blah, here’s the details, would you like to jump on a call?” Maybe jumped on four or five different calls and got two clients, one or two clients doing that. And then once I started to get some cash flow coming in, and actually started to get profits, just simply did Google Ads and that was it.
Brian Olson: Nice. Nice. Was there any struggles that you had overcome during this period or was everything smooth sailing?
Dylan Ogline: It’s tough for me to answer that because for me it felt easy because I had spent so long in pain and suffering getting nowhere, absolutely getting nowhere, struggling with absolutely everything. So once something was actually working, it was a completely different experience. So I’m probably not a good person to ask that because I was probably blind to any of the what would be considered struggles.
Like when I started to bring on team members, like that was different. How do I get people to do this because I want to design my agency in such and such a way so I have a certain lifestyle? And that was a fun challenge, like I’m not complaining, I loved it because it was I actually had a business that was working. So, yeah, sure there was challenges, but for me it was because I had got that one thing to work, everything else just seemed easy. Everything else seemed like not a problem.
Brian Olson: No, that’s great. Great mindset, great work ethic, and that always helps.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah.
Brian Olson: Now there’s so many marketing companies and agencies out there. You know this more than anyone. How did you differentiate your company and really stand out amongst the crowd?
Dylan Ogline: Sure, this is a fantastic question. And, for me, the answer is very simply just niching down. And this is something I teach people too, is just to niche down and get more specific. Either typically it would be a certain industry or certain vertical. There’s absolutely no way that I could have the world’s best marketing agency. Like I’m not going to be the best person at marketing in the world.
But I probably am the best company in the world at specifically helping plumbing and heating companies grow and get more install projects with direct response digital marketing in the Northeast United States. I’m probably the best in the world at that. Because that’s something very niched down and very specific.
So I really encourage people to, pretty much in any vertical. Whether you’re starting a digital agency, or web design agency, or a photography business or whatever where you’re not going to be the best photographer in the world, but if you pick a particular type of photography and a particular geographic region, certain things like that. That’s how you become the best in the world at something or differentiate yourself from everybody else in the marketplace.
And then on top of that, you also get better and better. So if you’re only doing digital marketing for plastic surgeons, and you keep adding clients that are plastic surgeons, you’re going to get really good at Facebook and Google ads for plastic surgeons. But if you’re doing plastic surgeons one day, and then restaurants the next day, and then car dealerships the day after that, and then you’re building websites, and then you’re doing logos, you’re probably not going to get good at anything.
Brian Olson: No, absolutely. Now if somebody came to you and they said, “Hey listen, Dylan, I’m a business that is looking for leads. A performance marketing eccentric business and we have a limited budget.” What would you recommend to them? What’s the best bang for their buck as far as a method of marketing? Would it be social media? Facebook? SEO? How would you guide them?
Dylan Ogline: It depends on the industry and the niche, which nobody likes to hear that. I get that. Like if you’re a consumer brand or you’re selling to consumers, typically it’s going to be Facebook, but not always. If you’re business-to-business, like most of the time it’s going to be Google Ads, but not always. But here’s another good example is I had a student who wanted to target auto body repair shops. Yeah, that was the niche. And, obviously, I teach people how to start a digital marketing agency, and typically they’re doing Google and Facebook ads.
Well, he started going to these clients and whatnot, and just wasn’t working because for auto body repair shops, Facebook ads are just not going to work even though they’re selling to consumers typically. Because nobody’s like, “Oh, I’m on Facebook, and like oh, you know what? I do need to get my car fixed.” Like that’s just not how it works. So what they ended up doing was focusing on SEO because with that it’s typically somebody is searching for it. Google Ads worked as well, but the real winner was with SEO.
So that’s a great example where like nothing fits the mold. You just have to look at like where is the best place to typically find these people? Like what are they doing? The end customer, like, what are they doing? Is this like an emergency need or is it something where they’re actively searching it out? It depends.
Brian Olson: No, that makes perfect sense. It’s a custom solution for that business specific to what they’re doing, who their target audience is, and depending on their goals and whatnot. I don’t believe in a boilerplate approach, and I know a lot of companies out there do, they take the same playbook from one business to the other and it really doesn’t serve them. Right, it really doesn’t help them at all.
Dylan Ogline: One thing I would add is-- not to interrupt you-- was I really recommend that if you have a limited budget, and you’re just starting it out, you’re not working with somebody, you’re not working with an agency that’s helping you out. Like you’re an ecommerce business and you’re doing everything yourself. The absolute worse thing you can do is to try and make multiple verticals profitable. So it’s okay if you’re going to try out, say, Snapchat, and Facebook, and Instagram, and Google, and SEO, and Yelp. And you’re just like throwing the money out there, you realize that you’re not going to make a profit, and you’re just trying to see like what’s going to stick.
That fundamentally is okay. I don’t recommend it. But the last thing you want to do is to be trying all those different avenues—Facebook, Yelp, Google, YouTube ads, Snapchat ads. I don’t even know how to buy Snapchat ads to be honest with you. But trying all these different and expecting to try to make them profitable. It’s going to be extremely difficult to do that. It’s much better to, “Hey, I’m an ecommerce business, and I’ve seen Instagram ads work for other people in my industry. I’m going to try and make Instagram ads work.” So you only focus on Instagram ads. It’s much better to just pick one thing and focus on that.
Brian Olson: No, I love that. Now, right now, Dylan you shift a little bit of your focus to helping others build their own profitable agencies, right? So who’s a good fit to start an agency? Do they have to have advertising experience, a passion for advertising, who is the ideal client?
Dylan Ogline: I’m launching, hopefully, probably going to be in mid-December the new version of my program. And I specifically kind of scrapped everything and rebuilt it. It’s the third version of my program that my ideal client is anybody. I want to be able to take, I always use the example of a soccer mom or somebody fresh out of college, who realizes they don’t want to sit in a cubicle all their life, or they don’t want to have the inflexibility of a job and they want to star their own business.
I want to be able to take any of those people, whether they know something about marketing, or they have absolutely no idea how to do Facebook ads. Be able to take that person, and within six weeks, teach them everything they need to know to create a six-figure digital agency. But obviously if you know a little bit about Facebook ads, like sure, that gives you a little bit of an edge. But my goal is to be able to teach anybody and get them started.
Brian Olson: That’s great, Dylan, that’s great. Now is this an event or process? Meaning that once this is finished, is it, “Hey, here’s your certificate, good luck.” Or is it an ongoing process where maybe you stay in touch with these people and see post-launch how everything’s going? Maybe some advice, or tips, or something. How does that work?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So with the program it’s called Agency 2.0. All the content is broken down into six weeks, and the goal is that by the end of that six weeks you have everything in place to start and grow your agency. But then beyond that, I do weekly group calls with my students, and then I am adding a Facebook group here shortly. Yeah, I mean my goal is to continuously be in contact with people once COVID ends, and the world’s back to normal, I want to do live events and actually meet with people to give them more hands-on education. Whether they signed up for the program in December, or they join next January, or whatever. No matter when they join I want to be able to continue to work with them and continue to help them grow their agency.
Brian Olson: No, that’s great. What’s the reception been thus far for the people you’ve been coaching and teaching?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So, like I said, this is the third version of my program. First version was like brutally scrappy because that’s how I do things was there was no website, it was just I made some videos, threw them in Google Drive, and just sent people the links. And I think I used Gotowebinar at the time for like the group calls. Then the second version I actually used Kajabi, and like there was actually a client portal, and things like that. That was a lot better. It was a lot more structured.
And I mean people, to me, it is such rewarding work. I mean I still own my agency, I think we’re probably going to hit seven figures this week. I still love that, but helping people with the education company. When I’m able to get students who they join and maybe they have some job where they’re making $3,000 a month, and they hate their job, and they’re able to quit their job and make $5,000 or $6,000 a month. That’s not changing the world, but that changes that person’s life. I feel like students are getting incredible results. People are actually taking action, which is the most important part, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to me.
Brian Olson: You make a great point. And cause I know you travel the world now. Before you were working so hard, you didn’t have any time to yourself at all, and it affected your personal life. Maybe talk to the audience about the positive impact it’s had on you being able to free yourself from the burden of being a slave to working nonstop and being able to actually have peace of mind, travel the world. How has it enriched your life? Talk about the changes there.
Dylan Ogline: It is very difficult to put that into words because no matter how much I can hype it up right now, the expectation is still too low of just how absolutely incredible it is. Somebody said to me recently. I’ve talked a lot about like the four hour work week. I don’t think we’ve talked about that in this conversation. But I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Work Week” had a huge impact on my life. Great book, I recommend it to everybody.
And somebody was like, “Oh, you live like the four hour work week lifestyle. “ And I was like, for me, I understand what that means. I was like, “Yeah, I do.” And people can get the misconception it’s like, “Oh you know you’re not working a lot.” And especially with COVID now I can’t travel. Everything’s still kind of weird. I still probably work 50 to 60 hours a week. But the most important part is that now I can work on what I want, when I want, and whenever COVID ends, where I want to.
So I can be in Europe bouncing around from city to city, and I can work on what I want. And if I want to take two days off, I can take two days off. If I want to sit in coffee shops, and grind away, and work on something I’m passionate about it, I can do that too. And that whole like soul-sucking working where you’re working 50, 60 hours a week on something you hate, not having any freedom, you have to get up everyday and work 9:00 to 5:00.
Even if you have the freedom to work at home, I talk to a lot of people who their employers are like tracking the number of keystrokes that they make during the hour. Like what is going on? Like I could not even imagine living that life. So, yeah, I think there’s absolutely no words I could use to hype it up enough. No matter how much I would hype it up right now, your expectations are way too low for just how freeing and incredible it is.
Brian Olson: Well, I’m glad you’re experiencing that. I’m sure everything’s been better with you and your girlfriend since then. And I’m glad you are sharing that with others and allowing them to live their dream as well. It’s wonderful. Now we have a lot of people, entrepreneurs and business owners that are really struggling with showing their value and they’re hiding behind low prices. I’d love to get your perspective on this.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, so when it comes to value, and hiding behind low prices, a lot of people make the mistake-- this is probably more commonly with services-- where I need to get more, I need to get more clients, so I’ll just cut my prices. And what happens is when you cut your prices, you end up hiding behind the low prices and providing a low quality service. Whereas when you charge more, think the example I like to use here is cars. Think of Mercedes selling $180,000 S Class AMG, whatever, whatever it is these days. That is going to be an incredible product. Then think of Chevy selling a $15,000 Chevy Cruze I think is what they’re called these days. I mean they’re like the basic car.
They are hiding behind those low prices so that when consumers complain it’s like, “Oh, I mean it was like a $15,000 car. What did you expect?” Mercedes stands beside their high prices. So somebody complains, they’re going to take care of that customer, they’re going to make them happy because they feel obligated to because they charged a high rate. And with service providers, it’s the exact same thing. You want to deal with people who are paying for quality, who are paying for some kind of result, not searching for the lowest priced solution.
That never ends well. No matter if you’re a digital agency, you’re selling a website, you’re a photographer, you’re a plumbing and heating company, you’re a plastic surgeon. Like it does not matter. And 100% of cases it is better to be the high-priced, quality solution provider than it is to be the cheapest option. Because nobody’s ever happy with the cheapest option. Everybody’s unhappy. You’re not getting what you actually want and then you can complain, but then you as the provider, you’re like, “Oh, I mean, what did you expect? I mean, you went with the cheapest solution.” So always increase your prices in my opinion, which is very much so against the grain. Nobody recommends that. But I think go be the high quality, high service provider option.
Brian Olson: Yeah, and it comes down to confidence, right, and belief in your offering. I mean, exactly what you mentioned, you get what you pay for. And I’m a firm believer, hey listen, if we’re not the right fit it’s a two-way valuation, right? We’re evaluating each other to see if we want to work with each other, and if you are looking for that low cost, low service level, or lower quality product, then you want to go elsewhere, right? Our competitors will service you, but not us. So I definitely believe in that wholeheartedly.
Now, Dylan, there’s a couple quick questions here before we wrap up. Now, you are a Millennial, and the knock on Millennials is that I mean yourself you’re a very hard worker, right? You’re very focused, you’re hardworking. Is that the exception not the rule? Because a lot of people they always say to me, “Brian, it’s a crapshoot with money. It’s either A: they’re very idealistic. They’re very purpose-driven. And you really have to be in line with their values in order to work with them properly.” Or it could be, “Hey, they’re lazy, they’re entitled, they’re spoiled.” What do you think about that? Tell me about your generation.
Dylan Ogline: Well, I mean you kind of stole it from me. You mentioned about being purpose-driven. I think that is certainly with this generation, and I think it’s going to be more and more going forward with what are we on now? Gen Z or whatever. That you have to feel a purpose behind what you’re doing. And if you’re not, then you’re not going to be motivated to work. I really think it just comes down to that is if you’re not excited to get up in the morning and go to work, you’re just not going to.
And I don’t know why our particular generation is… cause I definitely see like a lot of people that I went to high school with that they’re very lazy, but I think every generation probably has that. But ours is much more purpose-driven, and it’s the people that end up finding their purpose they’re able to go really far because they’re excited about doing what they’re doing. But if they’re not, then they’re going to be lazy.
Brian Olson: Right.
Dylan Ogline: And, yeah, I think it all comes down to purpose. All comes down to purpose.
Brian Olson: No, it does.
Dylan Ogline: Having a reason to do what you’re doing.
Brian Olson: And I know a lot of Millennials they look at their parents and they see that, yes, our parents sacrificed for us, but a lot of them are miserable, and they’re mistreated, and underpaid, and overworked. And they want much more than that and they’re not going to settle for anything other than that, so in a way, that’s very admirable, right?
Dylan Ogline: Not to interrupt you again, but I think what you pointed out there is really important because I don’t know why this particular generation, but a lot of that like looking to people who are older and being like, “I don’t want to live like that.” For me, like I was able to look at mentors that I had when I was 15 years old, 16 years old and looked at mentors who were… Or just people I knew who were millionaires, had more money, I didn’t even know that amount of money existed.
And they were 60 years old, unhealthy, living a miserable life, their version of vacation was taking a once a year cruise. That just didn’t seem appealing to me at all. Sure they worked hard, sure they had money but beyond that it just seemed like a miserable life. And I just was able to realize at a young age like I didn’t want to do that. And I think a lot of other people from my generation were able to look to those elders-- it feels weird saying that-- and just being like, “I don’t want to do that. That seems absolutely miserable. I want to do something a little bit different.”
And I think it has its pros and cons. I think the world is a little bit better off, and certain people are doing work that they’re more passionate about now, and that’s a good thing. But then there are a lot of people who are lazy, which is a bad thing, so I think it’s one of those things where it has pros and it has cons for sure.
Brian Olson: It’s all about balance, right?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Brian Olson: Dylan, it’s been fantastic. Any last words of wisdom, thoughts, anything you’d like to share with our audience before we wrap up?
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, I had written this down, and this is going to go back to something very specific. We were talking about hiding behind prices and whatnot. And I forgot to mention it, and I think this is specific advice, it’s really silly because it’s so specific, but I think it’s worth going back and me bringing this up. I believe if you’re the high quality priced solution, whatever, you’re the Starbucks, you’re the Mercedes, what have you. You want to write your outreach, write your ad-- if you’re doing warm email, you’re doing Google Ads, you’re doing LinkedIn messages. Whatever you’re doing, you want to write those-- I’m going to generalize them as ads-- you want to write those ads for people to not click on you.
You don’t want to waste your time with people who are looking for the low quality solution or the cheapest solution. A hack that I used is I include if I’m running ads for Ogline Digital, I include the pricing in the actual ad. So it’d say like, “Minimum ad spend is $5,000 or $10,000 a month,” as an example. If you’re doing websites put, “Starting at $5,000.” That is a good way to then you’re not getting inquiries for people who are looking for the cheapest solution and then you have to have that awkward conversation where you’re explaining the value. And then that messes with your mindset where you’re like, “Am I overcharging here?” So I know that’s one specific thing we talked about, and that’s really specific advice, and jumping back, but I really think that that’s important.
Brian Olson: No, I love that. It’s very beneficial. I’m sure everybody’s going to benefit from that. Now, Dylan, last question, very last question. Just a personal question just to get to know you a little bit better. You’re going to be in an island for the rest of your life, you can only bring one book, one movie, and one album, what would they be? Now I know what drink you would bring, but we’re talking movie, album, and book.
Dylan Ogline: Oh. I’m going to be there for the rest of my life?
Brian Olson: Yeah, forever.
Dylan Ogline: Forever. So if I’m on an island, I’m a hockey player, I’m going to bring the movie “Mystery, Alaska,” with Russell Crowe.
Brian Olson: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: It’s a hockey movie. I absolutely love that one.
Brian Olson: Nice.
Dylan Ogline: Let me see, if I’m bringing a book, I know you can’t see me right now, but I have like a whole bookshelf. Man, if I’m going to be there forever, I’m probably going to want some kind of fiction. If I could condense all the Harry Potter books into one.
Brian Olson: There you go. It’d be a big book, yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, give me all seven of them in one version, and yeah, I’ll take that. And then what album?
Brian Olson: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: That’s presumed that I’m stuck on that island with my girlfriend. And if that is the case, then we’re going to take some Taylor Swift album. Probably “Reputation.”
Brian Olson: But what if you weren’t with her, what would you bring for yourself? Because if you were with her she’d probably bring that for herself and you could bring one for yourself.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, and I’m going to end up listening to it all day long. If I was bringing it for myself, see, I’m a Millennial, man, I don’t really know albums. I’d probably go with some Fall Out Boy album.
Brian Olson: Okay.
Dylan Ogline: I don’t know the name of the album, but it’s whatever album has “Bishops Knife Trick” on. That is like one of my all-time favorite songs.
Brian Olson: Great! Dylan, it’s been fantastic. How do people get in touch with you and connect with you?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Real simple, my website’s dylanogline.com. Ogline’s O-G-L-I-N-E. And I do actually, yesterday-- I think it was yesterday-- I put out a free ebook, you just have to put your email in to get it, and then I’m going to bombard you with a bunch of stuff, a bunch of SPAM, because that’s just how I do things. That was sarcasm by the way, you can’t see my face. But, no, it’s dylanogline.com/six. I’ll spell it out: S-I-X. And that is my sort of just a free, short ebook, “The Six Steps to a Six-Figure Agency.”
Brian Olson: Wonderful. Dylan, listen, I appreciate everything. Thank you for what you do. You’re inspiring many people out there and allowing them to live the life they’ve always wanted to live and be financially free. Have a beautiful rest of the day and keep up the good word.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man. Thank you so much for having me. It was a great honor.
Brian Olson: Yeah. My pleasure.