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All About Direct Response Advertising With Dylan Ogline

Posted by Maya Dolan on May 27, 2021 at 7:30 AM

Taking The Guesswork Out Of Growing Your Business

There are so many unknowns that prevent people from starting their own businesses. But there is a way to take the guesswork out of building an agency.

Recently, our CEO, Stacy Jones sat down with an expert in direct response advertising. In this blog, Hollywood Branded learns how to drive your business with digital marketing from the expertise of Dylan Ogline, Founder of Ogline Digital.


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A Little More About Dylan Ogline

Dylan is the founder of Ogline Digital and is a leading expert in direct response advertising and business growth. He's also created a digital agency ownership training program to help teach others how to have more freedom and live a life with purpose and meaning. Dylan's training programs are designed to take the guesswork out of building an agency and remove all of the unknowns that stop so many people from starting their own businesses.

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Question: Before we dive into direct response and just digital advertising general and all those good things, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about you? What got you to here today? Because you have an interesting story, because you are a high school dropout I read.

Answer: Yes, that I am. How did they get here? I started my first business when I was 13, 14. This is back when Google AdWords was just starting out. My business was selling and flipping cell phones on eBay, but it wasn't Shopify. This is pre-Shopify. A long time ago, but I was flipping cell phones. I'd buy them from a wholesaler in Europe, ship them to United States and sell them for like a 10 or 20% markup. This was back in the beginning of Google AdWords. I don't even think Facebook had started yet.

2003 or 2004, somewhere around there. I started playing around with it, and it just fascinated me because it was this game-changing idea of marketing. I had read a couple of marketing books at the same time. I did a little bit with my business, and that business ended up getting shut down because my merchant account provider found out that I was under the age of 18. I think that happened around tax time they found out. This guy's a little too young for this. They shut me down, and I spent the next 12 years bouncing around between different business ideas, getting absolutely nowhere.

The main thing that I did for income essentially was agency work. I was doing websites, logos, banner designs. Banner designs used to be a huge thing, but there was always this marketing backdrop. Finally in it was like 2016 or so was getting absolutely nowhere, but spoke with a long-term mentor, scrapped all the business projects I was working on, focused on one single service, which was the digital marketing management, and spent the next three years getting really, really good at that and scaling my agency up. And here we are. 


Question: What is it that you love about digital advertising? Besides the fact that you're like, "This is it. I did it, and it centered me. I have a business and it's going strong. We consistently hit seven figures every year, which is phenomenal." You've worked really hard to be able to get there and do that. But why do you love digital marketing much?

Answer: Once I got really good at it, the part that I probably enjoyed the most was the big way, it's different from traditional media, like a TV ad or something like that, where you're almost trying to convince somebody to use your product or service. If you're doing Facebook, Google, YouTube Ads, and if you're doing them right, you're introducing your product or service to people who didn't even know that they wanted it.

I talked about this before, if you're getting comments on your Facebook Ads like, "I'm so glad I found this product or service," whatever, that's when you know you're getting it right. Now that I've gotten really good, I enjoy that so much, being able to introduce products and services to people that didn't even know that they wanted them. I would say before that what I liked about it so much was it gave a business the ability to purchase growth.

If you had your Facebook Ads, if you had your Google Ads, if you had all those things dialed in and figured out, growing wasn't a question. It was just increase your ad spend, so then you could manage other parts of your business and just scale things up. That's a game changer for many digital businesses. Even brick and mortar businesses, it's an absolute game changer.


Question: What are some of the areas when you're working with a brand and they're coming on board with your agency that you focus on first? How do you figure out how to kick off and dial in and drill in on getting them started with you all on the path that you have planned?

Answer: Most of the time, a lot of brands are making their marketing too complicated. I'm really big into just simplifying things. We deal with a lot of brick and mortar businesses, a lot of blue collar businesses. We're moving now more towards into like e-commerce and things like that. Especially businesses like that, they're used to doing a billboard ad and listing all their services on the billboard ad. Whereas my philosophy is put up a billboard ad with one word on it. That's the dream right there, if you could get to that level of marketing.

They're used to like just cramming as much information into it as possible. Really simplifying things. Every business is different, but just trying to get it down into the absolute simplest process we could. The dream would be a Facebook Ad with one word, and that word is the link to a landing page where the person puts in their email. The cleaner that landing page could be, the cleaner the ad could be, the less products and services we're advertising, the more data we can get with that, the better. Just keep things simple.

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Question: What are the biggest mistakes besides too many cluttered words, not enough area to breathe that you see brands making?

Answer: Wanting to try too many different things. Most of the time when we're working with... I don't work with a lot of big brands. I'm typically working with smaller businesses and then scaling things up with them and helping their businesses grow. I don't know if this is necessarily an issue with bigger brands, but with the smaller businesses, say less than a million a year in revenue, a lot of them are like, "We need to try everything. We need to do be doing Google and Facebook and YouTube. I've heard a lot about this TikTok and Snapchat Ads. We need to be doing that. I want banner ads everywhere.

They're just trying to do way too many things. They're splitting their budget around, but they are never really getting good at one thing. I like to say that the simplicity approach really scales clients back and being like, "Maybe we will get to Facebook and Google and YouTube and all these different things, but let's get really good at one single thing." Trying to do too many things is the mistake.


Question: What are things that brand managers should be aware of when they're approaching digital marketing, whether for the first time or after decades of experience of working within the field? Aware of, concerned of, cautious of, or seize the bull by the horn and run with because it's the best thing ever under the sun.

Answer: I would go with the latter. I am just absolutely convinced, if you're looking to grow your business, figuring out digital marketing, Facebook, Google, YouTube. Don't waste your time on Snapchat just yet. If you can figure those things out, it makes so many other things in your business so much easier. You have the ability to now buy growth. You're not wondering, how am I going to scale the business up? Once you figure it out, the ability to scale up is huge. You're not talking 20% growth this year. You're talking 20% growth every month or 100% growth every month.

You go back 10 to 15 years ago, the entire business world was like asking "How do I get more customers? How do I get more growth?" Once you figure this stuff out, the issue with growth becomes, how do I hire more salespeople? How do I scale up my sales team faster, because I have an unlimited amount of leads that I could give them? You can shift your focus. Shifting your mindset to just realizing how powerful this stuff can be for your business, I think that's probably be the advice I would give.


Check Out The Podcast!

Dylan has SO MUCH great information from his experience with digital marketing, check out the podcast below to learn more about how to drive your business from his advice and expertise!

Each week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

Each week we release a new podcast featuring a knowledgeable guest, and you don't want to miss one! Click below to subscribe and be sure you never miss an episode!

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Topics: Business Advice, Podcast Interviews