Want to Make More Sales? Try RAISING Your Prices.
The VoiceBox Podcast
November 6, 2020
“Stop hiding behind low prices.” In this episode of The VoiceBox Podcast, Chris and Simon flatter me by taking to heart some of my ideas about niching down, product/market fit, and charging what you’re worth, not what you think the market will bear.
Some people believe that it is greedy to charge a higher price, but that’s not true. It actually benefits everyone to offer a high-priced product or service that you can actually stand behind. Lots of people are unhappy with their unreliable $15k Chevy, but no one is unhappy with their $180k Mercedes-Benz … because it’s an amazing car. Chevy is hiding from consumer complaints behind a low price; Mercedes-Benz is standing beside a high price.
We also touch on:
- Why I’m against the idea of being “self-made.”
- Why I think it’s usually unnecessary to seek investors before starting a business—and what I would do instead.
- How I would rather spend a few hundred bucks proving product/market fit than spend six months spinning my wheels for free.
- How even a small information advantage gives you a big leg up.
About the Show: Christopher Romance and Simon Weis are the host of The VoiceBox Podcast.
Christopher Romance: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of “The VoiceBox” podcast. A steady voice of reason and truth to stay afloat in a sea of confusion. My name is Chris.
Simon Weis: And I’m Simon.
Christopher Romance: And today’s segment is entrepreneur connoisseur, where we take an inside look at the minds of entrepreneurs, deciphering how they have succeeded in their field and inspiring you to achieve that same success. Today we have none other than Dylan Ogline himself, a self-propelled successful entrepreneur who has gone from being a high school dropout to owning a seven-figure digital agency.
Simon Weis: We’re honored to have Dylan on the show today. But before we dive into the actual interview, we want to remind you listeners to subscribe to our Patreon. Giving you access to behind-the-scenes content like bloopers and soon-to-be private Patreon-only podcasts. So make sure to support the show because otherwise we might be forced to put it behind a pay wall. And thank you so much for supporting this show. We really appreciate you guys so much.
Christopher Romance: So, Dylan, what’s really interesting to me personally about your story, honestly, is how you’ve gone from being a high school dropout—which is what I am, I dropped out in grade nine—to just sort of owning your field and becoming an incredibly successful entrepreneur earning, like we said, over seven figures in revenue. And for me, and also for our listeners who I know are probably like, “How did he do it?” We want to know like how is it that how you come from this place where people would tell you that you’re never going to succeed, you’re never going to make it, you’re just a high school dropout punk. And then it’s like, “I’m never going to make it,” but you did! And it gives us a lot of hope and encouragement that, hey, if he can do it, maybe I can do it too.
So what we really want to know, Dylan, to just start off is what’s your story? How did that happen and how did this unfold to go from high school dropout to who you are today?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So I am going to give a kind of an unexpected answer here.
Christopher Romance: Awesome.
Dylan Ogline: Because I kind of knew a question like this was coming from you guys after talking pre-show and whatnot.
Simon Weis: You saw it coming.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah. Saw it coming. My answer would be is first, I would say, I hate saying “I come from adversity or something like that,” because I certainly didn’t. I consider myself extremely privileged, but I did drop out of high school, and that’s not exactly smart. And a lot of people who come from something like that, or they come from adversity or whatever, they kind of have this “ I did it all myself,” they believe they’re self-made.
And I’m very much so against that. I believe that we all have help along the way. So, for me, a big thing—again, this is an unexpected answer—is gratitude. A silly kind of example for me is literally where business started for me. Like where I was like, “I really want to get into business and own my own businesses and whatnot.” Was I picked up the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, which I recommend everybody read.
And it wasn’t like I was driven, and I was like, “Oh, I need to find a business book.” Like literally that was just a book that my brother was reading, and it was just sitting around the house, and I picked it up, and I just engulfed everything in that book, I loved every word of it. Had he not let that book, if he wasn’t reading that book, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. And so I consider that luck, or a blessing, or whatever you want to call it. And, for me, by having that kind of nobody is self-made, and having gratitude, and being thankful for all those things. It allows you to be kind of flexible.
So I never think that I’m always right. I always think that I’m learning, and I’m always probably wrong. And I think that that attitude, I really believe that having that kind of the opposite of a cocky attitude, of not thinking you’re always right, of just always questioning things and always trying to improve, that was probably the biggest thing for me. I mean, sure, there’s a lot to say, which I could talk a lot about how you have to be just relentlessly there’s no way I’m going to fail. You have to keep working, and grinding, and all of that. But if you just have that, but you go into it with an attitude of, “I’m always right,” you’re probably going to fail.
Christopher Romance: Wow, yeah, before pride cometh the fall, right? It’s like if you’re going to sit there and think that you’re all that and a bag of potato chips, it’s not going to work out well for you because humility is the sort of foundation of success because with humility you can recognize your faults, and by recognizing your faults, you can improve.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely, man. That is a perfect way of putting it. Yes.
Simon Weis: Yeah. I totally resonate with what you just said, Dylan. Absolutely. Because I had that attitude that no leader stands alone. And because the reason for that is that a leader, what is a leader without followers? Who is a leader if not somebody to lead? A leader can walk around by themselves and tell themselves, “I’m so great! I’m incredibly great!”
Christopher Romance: I’m one of the greatest. I got the best words.
Simon Weis: Yeah, exactly! Nobody follows them. Who are they leading? Are they leading themselves through the forest? Like, yeah, so who are you leading here? I’m leading myself. That’s great. And so I really resonate with that. And I actually want to know, because one thing that you mentioned in our previous conversation that we had, like the pre-meeting that we had, you mentioned that when you’re building things, you’re building things to break. But also you have to be lean, and mean, and you have to be scrappy when you’re starting a business.
Dylan Ogline: Yes.
Simon Weis: And that’s why it’ll bring success to that business. And I would like for you to kind of elaborate on exactly what you mean by that.
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So this is like specifically business advice because I believe in when a lot of people when they’re starting their business they think, “Oh, it has to be perfect and whatnot.” So they’ll spend six months, a year, two years—and I certainly made this mistake. I spent 12 years struggling. And the problem was is that I never actually launched anything because I was just convinced. It was like, “Oh, before I do that, it has to be perfect. I have to get everything in line. I have to have a nice logo, and I have to have business cards, and I have to do this, and dadada.”
And the truth is, is that none of that shit matters. Like what matters, specifically in business, is proving your product market fit. So I teach that lean, mean, and scrappy. Like you want to get the absolutely simplest—in the tech space it’s called the MVP or minimal viable product or service—the absolute simplest version of your product or service out into the marketplace and prove that there actually is a need for it. That people actually want the service. And the easiest way to do that is to actually get people to give you money. Like you don’t want to just ask a bunch of people and like go to your potential clients, and be like, “Hey, I have this service, would you be interested in that,” because people will lie to you to be nice.
The best way to prove your product market fit is very simple, it’s to actually get somebody to give you money. And what I recommend doing is—this doesn’t work for 100% of cases, but people overestimate, “Oh, I need to have all these things in line.” If you have a product or whatnot, actually sell the product before you ever have it built.
Yesterday I did a show and we were talking about like info products, courses, programs. I have one myself, like that’s the big thing these days, is online education. And my advice was like sell the course before you ever build it. Like don’t even start building the program until you actually sell it. This is not like some scammy thing. Like if you sell somebody a program or a course and then you don’t end up doing it, just refund their money. Apologize greatly and be like, “Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t end up building it because of dadada reason,” but just give them their money back. But don’t spend two years building a program, or a course, or a product, or a service then to only find out that there’s actually no demand in the marketplace.
Christopher Romance: And you know that we are in the process of building our business that we feel that there is a demand in the marketplace because for multiple reasons. Because podcasting is growing through the roof and everybody wants to get in it, but no one knows how to do it properly. Well, some people know how to do it properly and they’re very successful.
Dylan Ogline: And what did I tell you guys in our previous conversation?
Simon Weis: A lot of people don’t.
Dylan Ogline: Start selling it before you even build it.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. And I think that’s a really big challenge, especially for entrepreneurs like us. I don’t know if what you would define entrepreneur. If you make enough money then you’re an entrepreneur, I don’t know. For me, it’s someone who’s trying to…
Simon Weis: I think it’s mindset, to be honest.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: If you start a business, dude, yeah, you’re doing something.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. Exactly. So, I mean, yeah, that’s a big challenge because it’s like, “Okay, that’s great, sell it, how?” You know what I mean? Like how do you actually do it with a digital market? It’s like, okay, I had a painting business. Me and Simon talked about this many times before.
Simon Weis: Yeah.
Christopher Romance: It is so much easier to sell painting services, or start a business, a physical business. So, so, so, so much easier. Because literally if I was doing a painting business, I would just go door-to-door, offer free estimates, and then do the estimates, and I had a 70% sales ratio, and I would get these clients. But with online it’s like, “What do you do? I don’t know where to get the people. I don’t know how to…” So it’s like it’s even more challenging for a digital business to do what you’re saying than it is for a… And I think that’s the challenge. I think that’s the biggest hurdle, in my opinion. Because it’s our biggest hurdle right now is like, “Great. How? You know?”
And that kind of makes me want to ask you how? How would you recommend someone like us, or just anyone out there that’s starting a business that’s in our same position where we’re like, “Okay, we have a product, but how do we sell it? Where do we go? How do we do it?” What would be your recommendation?
Dylan Ogline: That’s a fantastic question. And what were the words you used: where and how. You’re asking the wrong question. Two: you need to be asking who, okay? Think of it this way. All right, so I own a digital marketing agency, right?
Christopher Romance: Yup.
Dylan Ogline: So it is incredibly difficult. So the answer to this is to niche down, okay? That’s the short, very quick, one-line, one sentence answer: niche down. All right. So think of it this way, imagine if I as a digital agency owner, I go to all these different businesses and I’m like, “We offer digital agency services. You need a website, we can do it for you. You need digital marketing services, we can do it for you. You need a logo, we can do it for you.” All right? First and foremost, it’s incredibly difficult to be the best at that stuff because you’re doing everything for everybody. It’s incredibly difficult to be the best in the world at everything. But let’s take that a little bit further, okay?
So instead of saying, I’m going to all these different business and I say, “I can help you with this. I can help you with that.” Imagine you’re narrowing it down and saying, “We specifically do direct response digital marketing. We can help you grow.” Well that sounds a little bit better, right?
Simon Weis: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Okay, so that might interest a company. Okay, I’m looking to grow, this company they do direct response marketing. Yeah, okay, that sounds intriguing. Let’s take it one step further, okay? I specifically help plumbing and heating companies grow and get more install projects with direct response digital marketing. Now imagine if you’re a plumbing and heating company and you hear that. That’s like, “Whoa, okay. All right, so this guy only helps my industry.” And then there was also a key thing I said in there. You noticed I said “install projects.” I don’t say, “Just get more clients.” Now what is the value in that? I am saying install projects because, in this particular example, I know the plumbing and heating industry and that’s a vertical that I work in that I have clients in that industry.
And they are more interested in install projects because install projects are easier, they have higher margins, the customer’s not always calling them back, it’s a repair, this and that, it’s easier, you’re not diagnosing a problem. They would much rather have those than repair projects, right? So I said that in my headline or whatever I just said. I specifically help plumbing and heating companies grow and get more install projects. As a plumbing and heating company, he’s like, “Damn, this guy not only helps my industry, he specifically knows that I’m most interested in install projects.” And then when I jump on a call with him, I would be able to talk about like, “Listen, I know that in your industry you get install projects have higher margins, blah, blah, blah.” Okay?
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So that right there, like you just solved the problem of sales. When you positioned yourself like that, the person is already sold by the time they jump on a phone call with you.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So the answer is to not try to convince people, not try to get good at sales, not try to blanket all these industries. It is to try and you get as niche down and as narrowed down as you can so that when you catch the attention—which is actually relatively easy—catch the attention of potential customers, they’re already sold by the time they jump on a call with you, or visits your website, or whatever.
Christopher Romance: Interesting.
Simon Weis: That’s very interesting.
Christopher Romance: That’s actually something that me and Simon struggle with the most, I think. Since we last spoke in our pre-meeting before our podcast recording, you had given us some information. I went ahead and created an Excel spreadsheet for all the services I think we can offer. And I’ll show it to you at some point in time, hopefully.
Dylan Ogline: Sure.
Christopher Romance: And what’s interesting about that is like you’re saying offer very niche market, offer to a very niche market. And that’s something we’re not doing. Because literally on our, what I call the client-cost analysis sheet, literally we offer everything from… But the thing is though, and what’s interesting and challenging for the industry that we’re going into is like these things are actually necessary, like image production, and like thumbnail production, and…
Simon Weis: Transcriptions, [inaudible 14:50] markers, yeah.
Christopher Romance: A lot of these things are like necessary for the production and management of a podcast. But I think I will run with your idea in some degree in the way that I think we will do it, is we’ll offer very tight services. In the sense that’s like this is like our service, and this is our other service, and make them not as flexible and create tiers. I’m definitely going to use that information because I think that’s one of the things we keep hearing from all the marketing people and all the people that we’ve had on our podcast it’s always focused on niche, niche, niche, niche, niche, niche, niche and refining, refining, refining, refining to a very, very specific person. Like you said: who? And that’s amazing.
Dylan Ogline: One thing I would like to clarify is you mentioned like all these, which we talked about this before the show. Again, I don’t know a lot about your industry, but like in my particular case, we offer direct response digital marketing services. Well, okay, that’s just summarizing it, right? But when we onboard a client, like sometimes we might actually build their website. We’re going to build their landing page. We’re going to write the copy for their landing page. We’re going to write the copy for the ads and probably come up with the images for the ads.
Christopher Romance: I see what you’re saying now. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So there is like, technically speaking, like ten different things that we do for them or whatever but it’s just direct response digital marketing.
Christopher Romance: You really narrow that.
Dylan Ogline: Exactly. So we come to them. And again, I think we talked about this in the previous, like people don’t care about you, and all the specifics and all the technical crap. They care about the result.
They want a viable service. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: A fantastic video on this is look up “Simon Sinek,” I believe is how you pronounce his last name? I read an incredible book called “Start With Why.” Don’t quote me on that, but that’s pretty close. But he has a TED Talk that talks about like Apple, and PC, and TiVo, and stuff like that. Like people don’t give a damn about the specifics of a PC.
Simon Weis: They just want it to work.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: They want it to work. And like Apple, they positioned themselves as like, “Are you the creative who’s looking for a tool that can help you?” And the way he puts it is absolutely incredible. But that’s a good way to think of marketing and whatnot. So like in your particular case—which again, I don’t know a lot about podcasts—like I would be like, “We offer podcast management service.” And, okay, well what is that? Well, we do this, dadadadada. But we specifically help sports podcasts grow their audience and launch…” I don’t know what the terms are in this industry, so I can’t be perfect with it, but…
Christopher Romance: Yeah, that’s a challenge, because if we were to pick a niche it’d probably be close to our niche because we don’t know sports. Like it might be completely different to grow a sports podcast versus… I mean, I don’t think it would be that much different, to be honest, but that is an interesting point you bring up.
Simon Weis: It is.
Dylan Ogline: I feel like there’s like a lot of advice for your business here.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Simon Weis: Yes.
Dylan Ogline: In terms of like the niche, is a lot of people they overthink. They think that like, “Oh, I need to everything about that niche.” Or, “I need to have worked in that niche or that industry or whatever.” And a good way to think of it is you only need just a little bit of an informational advantage. Just a little bit. So like I use that plumbing and heating example. Technically, we use the headline HVAC companies, but it’s the same difference. The only reason I targeted that niche is, at the time, I lived in Pennsylvania and I had a guy come and install a new boiler in my house. And he was just a cool dude, and I just started chatting with him, and we ended up like going for beers, and grabbing a burger. And we would just end up talking about work, and that’s how I grasped the idea. He was like, “Man, I hate when people call me for these repairs. Like I just want to do a bunch of installs. The profit margin’s like 60%. It’s in and out. People are so happy. They’re not complaining.” And that was it, that was my informational advantage.
And so then I just started targeting plumbing and heating companies, and they were just blown away that I knew a little bit about their industry. I knew that they didn’t want repair projects. I knew that they wanted installs. So don’t overthink that you need to know everything about a particular industry or whatever. Don’t do that.
Christopher Romance: Well, you said that it’s like, “Oh, I feel like I’m giving a lot of business advice for you guys.” Yeah, and I think that’s true, because also it’s for our listeners too.
Simon Weis: Not just for us, also for our listeners, yeah, exactly.
Christopher Romance: Yeah, exactly. Because the listeners are listening to this are people that are trying to figure out how to achieve success as well. That’s why we do the podcast. And we’re luckily in a position where we also need advice too. So it’s like we get the advice from you, you give it to the listeners, and everyone hopefully can take advantage of what Dylan’s saying because he’s been there, done that, and do something with it.
Dylan Ogline: Specifically you guys, I’ll send you an invoice after the show for my consulting services.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. Yeah, I have about $50,000 saved, so that should be enough to pay for it, and then there you go.
Dylan Ogline: That’s a good down payment, yeah. I mean we do offer payment plans. Yeah.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. Okay.
Simon Weis: And actually, I want to quickly mention, speaking of services, that we have a website called voiceboxme.com, where we actually offer services when it comes to creating a podcast. So if you’re out there as a listener, you own a business, or you’re a private person, and you’re like, “You know what? I actually want to create a podcast, but I have absolutely no idea how to do it or where to even start,” then make sure to visit our website voiceboxme.com, and reach out to us, and I’m certain that we can figure out together what exactly it is you need to get started with your podcast today.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. You can alternatively reach out to us at email@example.com and we will respond to you there. Okay, so Dylan, one thing that you mentioned in our previous conversation is that you recommend that entrepreneurs simply switch their focus. And we’ve kind of talked about this already, but marketing is number one. That’s actually something that when I read that, I was like, “Wow. Hm. Interesting that that was one of your main points is that the number one thing that you should be focusing on is marketing.” But marketing is a big word—big, incredibly big, one of the greatest big words.
Dylan Ogline: Bigly. Bigly word, yes.
Christopher Romance: It’s a bigly, big word. And so, my question to you is like because we had talked about it before about like I know how that looks like in a physical business with a physical product. It’s very easy because you can operate in the physical world to do a lot of your marketing where when it’s a completely digital product, and that’s what most people I think are doing now is they’re trying to launch digital products because I feel like they’re a little bit more reliable, and there’s a higher profit margin, more than likely.
So what is it that you would recommend for entrepreneurs to do in this situation if, let’s say, they don’t have $10,000 for marketing and they really just want to get their business out there, they really want to launch their product, they’ve done the niche thing, they’ve narrowed it down, they got everything to go. What’s next step? What do you do? Do you look for investors? What would you recommend our young entrepreneurs, including ourselves we can take information from this as well.
Dylan Ogline: Sure. Sure. So the first thing is there’s a very, very, very few cases. And I would say probably 99.9% of them have to do with an actual physical product where you have to do like product development where you need to take on investors. But even with that, even with that, you probably should just do like not necessarily a Kickstarter, but a Kickstarter type of thing where like you get people to actually pay you, and then you use that money to actually build the product. So there’s, again, very, very few cases where somebody is starting a business and they need to take on investors. I don’t believe in that for the vast majority of cases.
You mentioned $10,000 to go towards marketing. I think marketing in general, most people they’re thinking of Google Ads or whatever, and yes, 99% of the time that’s what it is. I guess it’s probably client outreach or customer acquisition. Whatever you want to call it, that should be—behind of course, delivering your product or service to your existing customers, that should be your number one priority, and it is your number one responsibility when it comes to growing your business.
So what does that look like? I like to think of it in two ways. You have time methods, methods where you’re actually going to be investing your time, and then you have money methods. Which obviously pretty simple, but you could be doing LinkedIn outreach, you could be doing warm email strategies. Where, let’s say you’re targeting podcasts, if your niche is sports podcasts—which I don’t even know if that is a niche, I presume it is.
Christopher Romance: It is. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: You find the top 500 sports podcasts, and you find their contact us, and you literally just reach out to them. Like that’s it. Or you reach out to them on LinkedIn and whatnot. That’s a lot of work, obviously. But if you have absolutely no money to invest, then that’s what you have to do until you get your first client or two. I would actually back up here. The reason this is the number one priority is like you mentioned the $10,000. Why do you think you need $10,000? You obviously probably have $100. I mean, everybody has access to $100 to put towards on a credit card or something to buy some new ads, right?
Christopher Romance: Or they can get that pretty easily.
Dylan Ogline: Exactly. Why don’t people do that? Because they haven’t proven that it works. And that right there is proof enough of why it is so important. Because I like to think of like in my particular case with my agency. Right now I’m not taking on any new clients. But as sure as I am that the sun will come up tomorrow, I know that I can log into Google Ads. I have ads in there that I use to get clients, and I could turn on those Google Ads. Probably cost me a couple hundred bucks, and within a week I’m going to have five or six calls for like maybe $500 and I'll be able to jump on calls with potential clients and I’m probably going to get one or two of those clients.
And because I have that confidence, I know like okay, I want to grow, I want to add a full-time employee. Well, what’s the actual problem there? Like why do people hold off on hiring that employee or whatever? It’s because of the money. Because they’re scared that like I’m making this much money with my business, and if I add this employee am I going to be able to afford them? Me, I don’t have that problem because I have confidence in my marketing. And I think of it, as silly as this may sound, as like a faucet. Where, oh, I need more revenue, or I need new leads, or I need new clients to come on. I just turn on the faucet, and boom, I got more clients coming in. That gives you confidence in your business.
And so using the podcast—again, I know nothing about the podcast industry, I don’t know what you would charge, I know nothing about that. But in most cases, if it’s a business-to-business product like that, probably Google Ads would work. And you could probably come up with $100, and you could probably get leads for $25 to $50 each. So you’re thinking of $10,000 and I’m thinking like spend $!00 and talk to a couple people to prove you’re a product market fit.
Now, again, this is like that’s the fast track. You can of course do the whole LinkedIn thing, and warm email, and stuff like that. But if you want to fast track it, like within two to three days you could probably have four to five conversations with potential clients for $100, $200. That’s how I think of it. And it’s not this massive investment that you need to make. With direct response marketing—especially with Google, Facebook’s a little bit different—you can specifically target your potential clients at a very cheap and affordable rate. Does that answer that question for you?
Christopher Romance: It does. Yeah. And there’s definitely a lot more to go into with all that. And that’s, I think, like the biggest problem that entrepreneurs have is we really don’t know. We have the great idea, we structure it, but we don’t really know what’s the best move. And that’s why like one of the things that we have in our pitch deck that we send to investors is like we don’t care about the money. Like the money could be like $2,000 or $1,000 for investment. We don’t care. It’s more about having somebody that knows what they’re doing coming alongside of us and being like, “Okay, dumb fools, this is what you do. Do this, this, this, and that.” We go, “Okay, father,” and then we go and we go do those things, and then make bank and split profits or whatever, right?
Like but it’s like when you’re starting out I think the biggest thing is like, “Well, where do I go? Like where do I look for information? Like do I listen to this idiot on YouTube? Do I go over here?” And, like you said, there’s so much information, like in our previous conversation, there’s so much information out there just everywhere of everything and everyone’s an expert on everything. That it’s just like, geez, where do you go and how do you win? I think that’s the biggest struggle, and it’s part of the reason why we do these entrepreneur connoisseurs. Because bringing on experts like yourself, Dylan, that can sort of guide our listeners, including us, in a way that we can be more profitable and pay it forward, so to speak.
Dylan Ogline: I would say, in terms of the information, which I do believe we talked about this in our pre-call. For listeners out there, we had a long pre-call.
Simon Weis: It was amazing.
Dylan Ogline: It was a great conversation.
Simon Weis: Yeah, it was.
Dylan Ogline: I was told to get to the chopper.
Christopher Romance: Yeah, I was like, “Get in.” “You have to get to the chopper. Come in. What are you doing?”
Dylan Ogline: I love that. I love that.
Simon Weis: That’s great.
Dylan Ogline: I don’t even know where I was going with that. Okay, yeah, yeah.
Christopher Romance: I’m sorry, Dylan, I distracted you.
Dylan Ogline: Arnold, you got me off. So what I recommend is there obviously is an infinite amount of information online. You can watch an infinite number of YouTube videos and every minute there’s like a thousand hours, and I think it’s like 50,000 hours are launched on YouTube so you’re never going to watch it all.
Christopher Romance: It’s so ridiculous. Yeah. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: So the key is to recognize that information paralysis is a real thing. And the best thing to do is if you’re following some—I don’t like to consider myself an expert—you’re following somebody like me, or some other dude, or some girl who does YouTube ads, or whatever. The truth is, is that they’re probably all right. What matters is, is actually picking one, following the strategy, and then just taking absolute ruthless action. That’s what I think matters more than anything.
I also wanted to mention one other thing, and I talked about spending the $100 to jump on a couple calls with potential clients and get some leads or whatever. A good thing to think of—and I tell my students this—is to kind of shift your mindset into thinking, “Oh, I’m just trying to get some clients.” Instead, think “I’m just trying to figure out if I have product market fit.” So I’m willing to spend a couple hundred bucks to save six months of going in the wrong direction. I’m willing to spend a couple hundred bucks to jump on a few phone calls with potential clients. Even if I don’t sell them, if I just find out a little bit more, and I either prove or I disprove my product market fit, that’s worth the investment.
By changing that mindset, you become more like, “Okay, I’m more willing to spend the money on that to actually prove this.” Instead of spending how much is six months worth to you? Probably more than $100 or $200, right? I mean it sure as hell is for me.
Christopher Romance: For sure.
Simon Weis: Yeah, it certainly is.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: And the fastest way to skip ahead that three to six months is to simply jump on the phone with potential clients.
Simon Weis: Interesting.
Christopher Romance: It’s really amazing advice and me and Simon definitely going to have our session where we talk about everything, and like re-imagine our direction with our business, and see what we can do. And I think that’s part of the process, isn’t it, Dylan? Is like when you’re first starting out—and I’m sure there’s something similar to you because you said you got nowhere for 12 years until you figured out some stuff, knowledge, and these key things can really just change so much for whether you success or fail.
And it’s kind of like—who did we have this conversation with? I don’t remember, but it was on one of our podcasts where it’s like why does one artist succeed, but somebody who makes… Let’s say voice acting, for example, right? So I was an audiobook narrator. I’ve done over 40 audiobooks. And I do currently just for one the side I do work on Fiverr, that’s it, and the rest of my time is spent doing business and the podcast.
There can be someone out there who is less skilled than me but is being paid more than me. And this actually kind of resonates with what one of your points is, is that it said stop hiding behind low prices. And, for me, like when I first started out, first thing I knew nothing about audiobooks, right? I said, “Okay, they offered me $50 for a finished hour.” I’m like, oh, that sounds pretty good. Well, it ends up taking about five hours to produce one hour of audio, so you’re making about ten bucks an hour, which is garbage, garbage. For an actor, shut up, that is garbage.
And so now I won’t do anything less than $250, and I don’t even do audiobooks, because most people won’t pay that. So it’s like, “Well, I’m not doing them then because it’s just I’m wasting my time. It’s like I’m not going to sit there and work.” It’s like if it was a skill that everyone could possess, and it was everyone had the voice, and everyone had all the requisite audio engineering and editing also you need to learn in order to do the job. Then okay, yeah, if it’s working at unskilled labor, pay me ten bucks, but if it’s skilled labor that you can’t find anywhere else, it’s like offering you, “Hey, Dylan, do you want to represent our business and be the marketing guy for our business for ten dollars an hour?” You’d be like, “I’m worth more than that, bud.”
And so what’s really interesting is, and actually reading that, and hearing that from you, I’ve actually considered to up our prices for our business right now, which we thought was they’re all right, but I think we should go higher because we know what we’re doing. We’ve looked at our competition and I can’t say that anyone can compete. I mean maybe there’s someone there that I missed that’s like really good and already doing what we’re trying to do. But I think that we should stop hiding behind low prices and put our true value forward. What do you think? What do you think and what do you mean when you say stop hiding behind low prices?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So first I’m going to address something. You mentioned like not everybody’s willing to pay, in particular, the audiobooks—which I know nothing about that industry, but this is a good example. So I was talking earlier about sports podcasts, okay?
Christopher Romance: Yeah. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Or plumbing and heating companies. I’ll use both of those examples, all right? So with both of those situations, there is probably not a single service that you could offer to either of those two industries, niches, whatever—whether you’re offering digital marketing services or podcast managing services—there is not a single service that you could offer that 100% of people would want. You could offer it for free. There’s probably not 100% of people, okay? Because there’s probably 5% of sports podcasts or 5% of plumbing and heating companies that are looking for the premium solution. They want the high end stuff, okay?
Just like if cars were free, if all of a sudden tomorrow GM comes out with a free car, okay? There’s probably a bunch of people who will say, “No thank you. I want an electric vehicle. Or I want a luxury Mercedes. Or I want a Ferrari sports car.” Okay, the money doesn’t matter. So a lot of people get caught—
Christopher Romance: It’s the value.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, value is everything. A lot of people get caught in the trap of thinking that my service, or my product, whatever needs to fit everybody. And because there’s all these people who aren’t willing to pay for it, I need to lower my price, and price is the easiest way to get more clients. When in reality, what you should be doing is offering the premium solution, the premium service, the premium product whatever, and charging a premium for it. And will there be whether you’re doing digital marketing services for plumbing and heating companies or you’re doing podcast management services for sports podcast, like 95% of the marketplace won’t want your service, and that’s okay. You don’t want to talk to them, okay? You want to be working with the people who doesn’t matter if GM has a free car, they still want to have their $!00,000 Tesla Model S or whatever that situation.
So if you’re—again, I know nothing about voice work—but if you’re charging $250 per finished hour, you only want to be working with the people who were willing to pay that, which is not going to be 100% of the market. It might only be 3% of the market and that’s okay.
Christopher Romance: Right. What’s actually counterintuitive about this is that the jobs that pay more, right? So, for example, Ford, built tough, built like a rock, built like my house. I don’t know, whatever.
Dylan Ogline: Just take my money.
Christopher Romance: Has a line like that, $50,000, that’s what Ford will pay you for that. $50,000 to sit there and say something like nothing. And one of the things that you notice is that the higher paying the jobs, the easier they are. The better the clients. It’s like what? What?
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Christopher Romance: And I’ve noticed this too because I went from audiobooks making $50 per finished hour, I did a bunch of books, and it was just hell and a nightmare. I had to work like 16 hours a day to get end’s meet.
Simon Weis: Yeah, it was rough.
Christopher Romance: It was very rough, and I ended up breaking down, and just like for a whole month couldn’t work because I was just like--.It’s like when you work so hard for so long your body and your brain is just like no, no.
Dylan Ogline: You’re fried. You got fried. You burnt out.
Christopher Romance: Yeah, I got fried. So but what I noticed—and this is actually what I’m noticing now with Fiverr—is like I charge not a whole lot, it’s definitely way easier. So it’s like within like an hour or two you can make $100. Super easy, right? So it’s like you’re making anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour USD, and I live in Canada, so it’s even more for me. But Fiverr is actually low-paying as well.
And so it’s interesting, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m thinking that with our prices. Like right now for each podcast just audio engineering, mastering, editing the podcast. Doing something which we do one-time, which is creative audio development, where we look at what it is that you want to do and we help you structure a podcast, right? We charge $200 for that. I think we’re going to charge more because right now it’s about $275 per episode. I don’t think that’s enough. I think that we should be charging $350, $400, somewhere around there. And I’m not even sure what other people… I think when we looked, what was it, Simon? Like other people were charging $1,200, something like that, a month?
Simon Weis: Yeah, it was a pretty high amount, and we were like, “Wow, that’s a lot of money.”
Christopher Romance: We thought it was high, but now it’s like no, I don’t think it is high. I think that is that you should charge based on your value and based on the client’s value. It’s like I got a $5 million revenue business and you want to represent me at $300 a podcast, bud? So it’s like very, very counterintuitive this information, but I have seen first-hand in my own voiceover business that, yes, if you charge more, you’ll find the right clients that are willing to pay, and they’re always better clients anyways, so.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Christopher Romance: It seems like the people that suck usually don’t have a lot of money. People that are awesome at least to work with in terms of services usually. Because I would imagine that in most cases—not all, because sometimes it’s daddy’s money—but in most cases, those who have a lot of money to spend on services are those people that had to have the intelligence, and the humility, and everything else that’s required in order to get there. And so that when you work with them, they’re just generally easier to work with because they’re just more developed because they had to be in order to give you that money.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Simon Weis: Just like you, Dylan.
Christopher Romance: Just like you, yeah, just like Dylan.
Simon Weis: Dylan.
Dylan Ogline: One other thing, you had asked about hiding behind low prices is the best thing to do is to be the premium product or premium service in your industry. I think I use the car example, okay? Well think about how many people who buy like a $15,000 Chevy Cruze, and they’re like, “This car is a piece of shit.” Like it happens all the time. Well, what did you expect? You spent $15,000 on a brand new vehicle. Like that’s going to happen. But how many people buy $180,000 Mercedes S65 AMG, which I think that’s a correct model—don’t hold me to it. How many people are buying that car and are like blown away by the quality?
Well, it’s because Mercedes in that particular example was charging a ridiculous amount so they have to deliver ridiculous quality. Subconsciously, if you’re like on the low end of the spectrum, if you’re providing the low end service, the low end Chevy…
Christopher Romance: You’re providing garbage, yeah.
Dylan Ogline: Subconsciously, you’re going to be like, “Well, what the hell did you expect?” When a customer complains to Mercedes, they’re like, “What? Like we have to change.” They’ll stop everything to fix your problem and deliver you great product because they’re not hiding behind low prices. They are in front of really high prices. Whereas if you’re behind low prices, subconsciously, everybody involved is like, “Well, what did you expect?” And not only do you make more money, obviously, you get happier clients, happier customers, it’s a better working condition, you’re not fried, you’re not miserable, everybody’s happier, it’s just a better place to be. 100% of the time.
Christopher Romance: That sounds amazing.
Simon Weis: That’s really what we want more than anything is happy clients.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. And I feel like people might criticize, “Oh, you’re just greedy. You’re just greedy.” But I think, no, it’s like this is human nature, right? For example, diamonds are a rock. They’re literally a rock. They’re a nice shiny rock. But because they’re valued so high we pay ridiculous amounts of money for an exchange for these shiny rocks that are just rocks that came out of the ground. Imagine if someone tried to sell you a piece of dirt, you know? And it’s like, well yeah, because it’s rarer than dirt or whatever, I get it. But I mean that’s the same thing with business is like if you’re going to charge services…
Dylan Ogline: The whole greed argument is just absolutely ridiculous. I mean there are certain people who are greedy, by all means. But think of it this way, let’s go back to that Chevy Cruze and Mercedes example. Really, how many people that buy that $180,000 Mercedes end up thinking that they got the short end the stick? They’re blown away by it, right? How many people buy that $15,000 Chevy Cruze and end up angry, and they’re like, “This is poor quality”? But wait, wait, no, no, no, it’s Mercedes who’s greedy. No. Mercedes delivered an incredible product.
And this can go in every industry. I have a friend who does photography and I recommended this stuff to her, and all of a sudden she went—I forget what the rates are, but instead of doing like $100 photo shoots, she’s doing like $600 photo shoots. Same amount of time to shoot the photos.
Christopher Romance: Same quality that she was probably doing before, too, right?
Dylan Ogline: Well, no, like her quality went up because then she could buy better equipment, and then she spent more time on editing. And all these people would complain…
Simon Weis: It makes so much sense.
Christopher Romance: Amazing.
Dylan Ogline: …when she was charging $100 or whatever, but nobody complains when they’re spending $600 because they get an incredible product.
Christopher Romance: Yeah. Because people just they look at the price and they say, “Can I afford it?” They don’t care about the price really. They just like, “Well, can I afford $600 or $100?” And if you charge them $100, they expect your $600 value, and it’s like why not just charge them the $600 then because then you are actually getting paid. It feels very much like when people be like, “Oh, can you fix this or fix that?” Or like I’d have people come to me on Fiverr and be like, “Okay, you delivered the work, but actually I want to change this script.” I’m like, “Then you’re going to have to order again.” Because it’s like you expect me to do double the work.
It’s like if you would have paid me double then I would have no problem. Oh you want to pay me more? Great, yeah, let’s do it. I’ve had people come to me and do that where they could have paid $20 and they ended up paying me like over $100. And then they come back to me and they’re like, “Hey, can you do this quick line?” It takes me five minutes, and I’m like, “Yeah,” because you paid, you gave tips, you gave everything. It’s like, “Yup, let’s go.”
And amazing, amazing different what a shift in focus. And that’s for all you entrepreneurs and everyone else out there that is like thinking like, “Oh, I got to charge as little as possible to make money.” No, don’t. Stop what you’re doing…
Simon Weis: No, don’t.
Christopher Romance: …and charge what you’re worth. Charge what you’re worth. Charge what you’re worth. And it’s like, “Well, I don’t know what I’m worth. I’m worth my hour.” No, you got to calculate profit, you got to calculate everything else. You’re worth what you’re worth, and if you charge it, you’re going to find the right clients who can pay that amount, and you’re going to have even more clients, happy business, happy life.
Dylan Ogline: What I would add is it’s not necessarily what you’re worth.
Christopher Romance: Right.
Dylan Ogline: You need to think of your pricing in terms of value. So, and this is a lot easier to define when you’re talking about business-to-business. It’s a little bit more difficult when you’re like the Mercedes, or you’re like that photographer where there is no necessarily ROI or something like that. But with business, I’ll use my particular example. I have a digital marketing agency, and the way we charge our clients is we charge them 10% of whatever their ad spend is. Whatever we’re managing.
So let’s say that they spend $50,000 in a month. At the end of the month we’ll send them an invoice for $5,000, okay? We might spend two hours managing their ads. Once we get it going, like the time amount becomes lower and lower as it gets better and better. But let’s use that example. Say the client spends $50,000. Every industry is different, but let’s just say that they get a 5x return on sales, or 10x return on sales.
So they spend $50, they get $500,000 in sales, and they have a 50% profit margin, so they’re going to make $250,000, all right? So they’re going to spend $50,000 on ads, so now their profit goes from $250 to $200, and then they’re also going to have to give my company a check for $5,000. So they’re going to make instead of $200,000, $195,000. Do you think they give a damn about spending that $5,000?
Christopher Romance: No, no, they don’t. It’s about value.
Dylan Ogline: It’s about the value. They don’t care if I spend one minute on those ads. They care about what is the value that I got. And, again, this is a lot easier when it’s business-to-business. So if you have a podcast—again, I know nothing about this industry, so take everything I say with a grain of salt—but if you have a podcast where you manage it—which I don’t know what all that service would entail, but you edit it, and you make the promotions, and you do this, and you do that, you write the show notes, and all that stuff, and it costs $1,000 per episode. But because of that, the host because they’re not doing all the work now, they make say $4,000 per episode in terms of ad revenue or whatever.
But because they’re not taking the time to manage it at all, and you’re doing it, now they’re able to do two episode a week instead of one because they’re saving all this time, right? So they do that and now they’re making $8,000 per week instead of $4,000 per week. Do you think they really care that they have to pay you $1,000 an episode?
Christopher Romance: Nope.
Dylan Ogline: Probably not.
Christopher Romance: Value. Amazing.
Simon Weis: I love it, Dylan, that’s amazing.
Christopher Romance: This podcast marks the rest of our future.
Simon Weis: It does. Things will change from here on out.
Christopher Romance: This was the one. Always look back to the release date of this and be like, “That was the one. That was the one. The only one.”
Simon Weis: No pressure. No pressure, man.
Dylan Ogline: No pressure.
Simon Weis: Dylan, it’s been an absolute honor to have you on our show. And to have you share with us and our listeners your key insights into producing a successful business model. I really feel like we’ve learned a whole lot, and there’s no doubt that a lot of these principles that you’ve taught us today, we’re definitely going to go forward and apply these. And you did mention earlier that you’re not an expert, but I would still thank you for sharing your expertise on these things because wow. Just absolutely wow.
Christopher Romance: Yeah.
Simon Weis: And if anyone in our audience is interested in working with you through your own digital agency, what’s the best way to find you? How can they reach out to you?
Dylan Ogline: Sure. Sure. Well, first, thanks for having me on the show of course.
Simon Weis: Very welcome.
Dylan Ogline: If you’re a business looking to grow your online presence and specifically get more install projects with direct response digital marketing, my agency website is oglinedigital.com. And then if you were looking to start and grow your own digital agency, I have an education company where I have a training program called Agency 2.0. And that is on my personal website: dylanogline.com.
Christopher Romance: Both the links for this will be in the description for you guys to check out, so make sure you check the podcast description wherever you are listening. So we want to just let you guys know as well that if you want to keep in touch with us, first of all, join our Discord and come and talk with us. But, secondly, we have an app that’s available on the Apple Apps store and the Google Play store that you can download right now and stay in tune. And our link to our website is in the app itself. So if you ever want to find us or find out more information about what we do—maybe you’re a podcast and you need some podcast management services, we got you covered. Check it out, it’s called “The VoiceBox Podcast App.” Google Play store and the App store. Dylan, it has been awesome having you here, and I’m sure our listeners have just been blown away. I know I have, so thank you again, so much for being on the show.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Simon Weis: It’s been an absolute pleasure, Dylan, and that’s it for today’s episode. Hopefully you guys got some really beneficial information out of it. And remember, guys…
Christopher Romance: You’re always going to hear…
Simon Weis: …a novel perception…
Dylan Ogline: …while listening to their podcast.