Chris has founded a number of successful ventures including Delib (digital democracy), Rubber Republic (viral advertising), VAN (apps to help people make awesome shareable content), #KittenCamp, and aMap.
→ His successful ventures including Delib, Rubber Republic, Van, KittenCamp and aMap
→ What is Rubber Republic
→ How did it begin
→ What the audience needs to understand about virality
→ Difference between planning for viral videos online and planning for TV commercials
→ How long does a typical viral campaign take to pull off
→ Find out what Van do
→ What is the viral ad network
→ How they acquire their customers
→ His insights into virality and growing companies
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Chris Quigley with us. Chris, thanks for coming on the program.
Chris: Hey, Bronson, good to join you.
Bronson: Absolutely. So, Chris, you’re the co-founder or owner of a number of companies as I was poking around looking online. And in this interview, I really want to focus on a couple of them, though, that seem to be the ones that our audience would be most interested in. So let’s start with the Rubber Republic. What is it? It’s kind of an odd name. What is Rubber Republic? How did it begin? And who’s it for? Tell us about a little bit.
Chris: So Rubber Republic. It’s a viral ad agency. We’ve been around for 12 years or so, so a fair amount of time in the Internet space. And we’re dedicated to making viral videos basically for brands. We we started life actually out of kind of the political scene. So we started life in 2001 making political satire for our election. We were inspired by guys like JibJab over in the US and wanted to take it to the UK. So we started doing that, taking the piss out of politicians and have since then kind of grown into making viral videos for us. So for brands like that, I mean, the typical scenario is that kind of brands come to us. Like the videos we make are generally part of big campaigns. So we work with the big brands. So like kind of Mercedes kind of, we do a lot of kind of car brands. Audi And yeah, we’re basically the guys who make the make the fun videos that kind of get millions of views.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s awesome. Let’s talk about some of those videos that get millions of views. What was great when I was researching for this interview is when I looked at your portfolio, I realized I was in love with some of the stuff you all had done. I think the was it the body form or was that one of them? I’d seen that and thought it was just absolutely brilliant, you know, the first time I saw it and then I realized you were behind it, I’m like, Oh, that’s awesome. I get to interview this guy. But but talk to us about some of those videos that have just had massive success, millions of views. What are some of the things that our audience might recognize about your work?
Chris: Yeah. So probably our biggest kind of breakout video format full four years ago was Roger Federer trick shot video. So yeah, yeah. A guy with a cat on his head and Roger Federer kind of knocked the ball off couple of times. That was kind of a big breakthrough for us. That kind of got 10 million views. And then since then, in the last year, we did a mercedes catch video. So driving a mercedes AMG at 180 miles an hour and catching a ball in the back of it. That’s awesome. We did a great piece with Marquis Scott, a guy called Nonstop on a YouTuber, and he’s a great dancer. And we paired him with with Pogo and did like a dance music video with him that’s had about 9 million views. And as you said, like body form was, was, was one of our breakouts at the end of last year. So that was a Facebook response video. So a guy made a snarky comment on on Facebook body form a UK sanitary wear brand basically came back and made a response video and that just kind of blew up. And for us that was that was a real sign of proper virality. It was organic. It came from the Internet. The brand came back and and yeah. So for us, that kind of like symbolizes what, what brands should be doing.
Bronson: Yeah. So you said the Body Forum one, it was a real response to an actual comment. I thought it was just a part of the whole kind of make believe world you were in there. So that was real.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean.
Chris: So many people think we made it up. And I think for us, like if you talk about kind of values of viral viral videos these days, you’ve got to be authentic, otherwise someone’s going to find that out.
Bronson: That’s great. Now I have even more respect for that whole campaign. And if people don’t know what we’re talking about, they just need to go on YouTube and search for body form or something like that, or go to Rubber Republic and look at your portfolio. And then they’ll they’ll know why that I’m smiling cause I think about it. But so should any company consider using you guys or are you really focused on, you know, brand driven companies? You mentioned Mercedes, you know, things like that. You’re I’m sure the budgets are quite large to come and hire you guys. So is that accurate? It’s brand driven with larger budgets.
Chris: Yeah, mostly. So. So, yeah, the budgets we deal with are pretty big. They’re generally kind of like six figures, so it’s kind of big stuff. And that’s largely because to generate the stuff we do make you need, you need you need good money to execute the ideas. We do do some kind of smaller stuff and we do do some kind of charity stuff where it’s just the idea that that makes it work. But yeah, we’re kind of pretty much brand only at the moment.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s right. So given the success of Rubber Republic, I mean, I’m looking at all the hits you guys have had. You must have a deep kind of psychological understanding of what? Kinds of content can go viral because of a company that have come to you and they’re going to drop 100 K. I mean, you can’t say, well, you have a 3% chance that this might get traction. You know, like you have to be to like, no, like, okay, these are the things these are the ingredients that make something have a good chance to go viral. So talk us through kind of the psychology of reality, the ingredients of of reality, what, you know, has to be present. I know you mentioned one already with body form. You mentioned authenticity. You know that it was a real response to a Facebook comment. And what are some of the other ingredients that our audience needs to understand about virality?
Chris: Yeah, so so we kind of talk about internally, we talk about things like the viral behavior of a video. And if you think about viral behavior, then you really think about kind of two things. So the first thing you’ve got to understand is why someone got to share the video and talk about the video. And the second thing you want to do, you want to know is, is who is going to show, share and talk about the video. So for us, they’re the two most fundamental parts of it. And we turn that into into what we call a viral formula. So we we internally talk about conversation triggers as the why and communities of interest as the who. So for all the videos we we develop, we always think about those two fundamental things and idea and come up with ideas to make sure that those two things are ticked off. And then we look at kind of other things you said kind of viral values. So the values we look at things like authenticity, simplicity of idea is super important and simplicity is important because you’ve got to think about if someone’s retweeting it or tweeting or talking on Facebook about these things, they’ve got to people talking concise terms. So they’ve got to be able to understand your idea and pass it on as simply as possible. So yeah, and then other things are like detail is really important. So I talked about kind of big budgets. I mean, the great thing about big budgets is you have more time to finesse, more time to to craft. And those things are really important when you’re when you’re, when you’re making a video because ultimately, especially for brands, I mean, for anyone making content is so much content on YouTube, you got to make something good. You’ve got to make something stand out. And the detail aspect is a big part of that.
Bronson: Yeah, no. When I think about, you know, the work you’ve, you know, created, there is a detail, you know, the transitions feel right. There’s little things they do with their hands or there’s little things that happen that are like, all right, that’s that’s what makes this feel really polished. I want to kind of dove into what you just said. You talked about kind of the equation that you guys look at, right? You have the why and and the how and then kind of the values that surround it. You mentioned conversation triggers for the why. What do you mean by conversation triggers as a why to why they would share? What do you mean by that.
Chris: Yeah. So so conversation triggers. I mean, could be could be anything. But I mean, kind of classic examples, lot of things that are funny, what the fuck. Things that are just massively surprising, things that are topical. So Facebook was, was hugely topical, things that are epic, things that are not safe for work. So kind of boobies, things that are kind of referential. So you might be riffing off another meme or another kind of cultural icon. So kind of those kinds of things that the peop, the people can kind of pick on to and talk about. So I mean, we use those as kind of stock ones, but it could be anything really. But it’s got to be the fundamental thing. It’s got to be something bad that someone will want to talk about.
Bronson: Yeah. So which is interesting. End of the day in some way. It’s interesting. Yeah. And then you also said the other part of the equation is the how so you’ve put in the Y triggers. So what do you mean when you say how they share it? Are you talking about the technology platforms? Are you talking about something beyond that? What do you mean by that?
Chris: Yeah, so? So I mean, who?
Bronson: I’m sorry. Who? Okay, who’s. I talked to me about that.
Chris: Yes. The who the who is very much, as I say, communities of interest. And I think for us that is a really, really big difference between planning for viral videos online and planning for TV commercials. So TV commercials, you talk about audiences, you talk about demographics, ABC ones, etc. The Internet isn’t made of ABC ones. It doesn’t work like that. The Internet, the social internet’s made of communities, communities talking about different things to different people. So I’m a big fan of kind of football and and music and advertising, and I have different friends who I talk to about these different things. And I’ll, I’ll essentially, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll share specific things to those specific communities. So when you’re crafting a viral video, you need to understand that and you need to make sure that what you’re creating. Is aimed at those communities so that the me and my my football community will share that football video because it hits the right triggers and is aimed at the right community.
Bronson: Yeah. So the two that were together, you know, the triggers and the community, you know, those triggers only work for that community, you know, so you really have to, to build something that makes them both kind of interoperate perfectly there. When a brand comes to you, they understand the community that they want to go into or do they come and say, we’re looking for something viral and then it’s up to you guys the size. Okay, here’s some possible communities, here’s some possible campaign ideas, here’s some possible triggers for those communities. Like, how much did they come in knowing? And how much do you guys have to fill in the blank for them?
Chris: Yeah. So in the most part, they come to us with a traditional brief, which is we want to aim target ABC one whatevers, and then we go back to them and say, No, you need to be thinking about communities. You need to be thinking about what those people are talking about or what those people might want to talk about. And then and then link that to the brand and make sure that the brand works within those environments. And a lot of the case, the answer is no, no, it won’t work. We spend like 90% of briefs. We say no to basically and and because we don’t want to waste our time making something that isn’t going to work. So the brand then may come back with something else. But, but yeah, but it has to work within those constraints.
Bronson: Gotcha. So if they’re really adamant about doing it their way, you just may not take on the project because you want to be a part of something that hurts your brand or producing bad stuff.
Chris: Yeah, exactly that now.
Bronson: Absolutely. So it seems like you kind of have a machine going here. You know, people come to you with the brief, you tear the brief apart, tell them what they need, and then if it all works out on that kind of negotiation stage, you have kind of a production, you know, pipeline there. Now you know how to think about the why, the triggers, you know how to think about the who, the communities. You know how to think about the values around it. Let’s talk about that pipeline a little bit, because people watching this, they want to kind of really get into the details of like, all right, so like a company comes to you. Like, where do you go from there? What’s the maybe the first conversation you have with them once you’ve decided to take on their project? Or does it look like, you know, on kind of day one, they’re in your office? What’s the first conversation?
Chris: Yeah. So I mean, largely it’s a creative conversation. So from from a rubber republic perspective, they come to us because they like our creative, they like our ideas. So we’ll be talking about creative ideas. They’ll be probably referencing past campaigns. We’ll be showing them things that have work similar to the kind of ideas we’re talking about to try and get them into into the zone. People generally, if they’re not used to this kind of thing, that that they they don’t really get it so much. So there is a lot of kind of hand-holding. So the first kind of first part of our work is really getting people to to get into the zone, really, and understanding and thinking in a viral way. Once we got them past that, then it’s cracking on into finessing their idea, making like, as I was saying, we say no to lots of things. So we need both clients. The best work we’ve ever done with is with is with good clients because the client is ultimately good, is their money. They have to sign it off. So so that like getting the client on side is such a big part of it. Yeah. And yeah. And then once, once, once everyone’s on board, it’s about crafting the idea and then it’s yet into production.
Bronson: Yeah. So when it goes into production you kind of just decided on the creative aspect. You know what the campaign is going to be everyone’s, you know, rubber stamped it. How many people will you have working on a single client? Is it everyone in the company until that client is done, or do you have multiple campaigns going at the same time? So how many would be on a client? And then what are some of the roles they have? Are you doing the videographer and how else are you doing all that yourself? Are you hiring out production companies? Walk us through the actual production a little bit.
Chris: Yeah, so? So we’re a pretty small team and we pretty much push out one piece of work at a time. We generally have one piece going out on one piece in prep, kind of where. Yeah, so it is, yeah. It’s kind of kind of one and a half at a time. The we, we, we are, we outsource, but we have, we bring in teams to, to actually produce it so we don’t have camera equipment, we don’t have like camera people on staff. We bring all those guys in. And the important thing there is each film we make is so different. So on one film we may need people who can film like for that, for the Mercedes capsule. And we have to bring in specialist golf cinematographers who who work on like the PGA Tour or whatever, who can track golf balls. We need to bring in that specialist kind of these specialist skills. So actually one of the best skills like. We have in-house is is those contacts is sourcing good people and work and yeah. And bringing together a good team. Then it’s down to our kind of creative director, who’s also a film director, which kind of helps to then shoot the piece and yeah, and so he so to a point, our creative director is, is the main kind of glue within the team. We have a really, really good kind of production assistant who, who, who kind of brings the team together and yeah. And then so, so from a team perspective, we have a core team and then we bring out outside resource.
Bronson: Yeah. You mentioned earlier that, you know, a lot of these campaigns are, you know, six figure deals for larger companies. Are they then paying, are they getting, you know, build for those teams that you bring in or are you taking that out of your profit just so we can kind of understand how your business works a little bit?
Chris: Yeah. So, I mean, so so Rubber Republic is a is a is a pure production company play. So yeah, all that money comes out of our, out of our fee. So we will, we will cap, yeah we will budget upfront and generally clients are pretty open if we, if we kind of get it wrong or if we need to get extra, extra stuff in, they’ll generally be happy. We’re pretty transparent about how we build.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. How long does a typical viral campaign take to pull off? You mentioned you have kind of one and a half going at any time. Are we talking a couple of months? Are we talking six months? What does the timeline look like for you guys on a campaign?
Chris: Yeah, so so generally for the bigger campaigns, the lead time might be it might be about a three month lead time. So there may be like three months of chat beforehand and planning and and coming up with ideas. The campaigns we run themselves, it really depends. But most of them are set campaigns, so they will be part of like a bigger ad campaign. It may be a teaser to it to a launch of a new car. It may be part of like a bigger kind of marketing mix above. Yeah, but bigger campaign, not the different things. So but generally the campaign we’re judged on runs in a fairly short period. They may run for four weeks or six weeks and that’s when we we need to kind of jack up the views and make sure the videos kind of go viral. Having said that, we have some clients who who who who are building their YouTube channel and use these as kind of our videos as ongoing resources. And so the long tail of views, the long tail of activities is important to them.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, hearing you talk about it, it seems like, you know, you’ve created a pipeline, you’ve created equations, it seems like you’ve got it down to a science of some degree, right? So if somebody is watching this, it almost sounds easy. It’s like, Oh, I go and imitate Chris. I put these things in place and now I too can create or have viral videos. How hard is it really to do this? Could a team watching this go take what you’ve said, put in a practice and maybe be successful? Or is there something special about you guys that allow you all to just do what you do? I mean, what’s your take on that?
Chris: Yeah, so I’d say experience is a huge part of it. So as I say, we’ve been doing this stuff for 12 years now. So I think what? So the reason, the formula that we’ve developed, yeah, it is, it is replicable and we want people to kind of replicate it and we want people to use our experience to make better stuff. And that’s what Van is about a suite of apps which which I think you ask about in a sec. So we’re happy for people to set to make better stuff themselves and we want to help them too, because as I say, we say no to lots of stuff. So yeah, there’s enough is enough stuff going around in the world for everyone. Yeah, good marketplace is a growing, growing industry. So that’s, that’s great. But from, from a, like the real world, like, so, so we can, we can help people make better videos and more viral videos. But like this stuff we do, as I say, is real craft. It is real experience. And you’ll only get that from from from from yeah. From working with someone like ourselves.
Bronson: Yeah. I was guessing that’s what the answer was, but I just wanted to make sure that you said you are also the creator of Van and you mentioned it’s kind of a support for other people trying to do this because it’s not a zero sum game and you’re trying to produce tools to help them as well. So tell us what is Van?
Chris: Yeah. So as I say, we say no to lots of stuff and and we want to help other people make good stuff. So Van is basically is the suite of apps designed to help other meet other people make viral videos. So as you say, we’ve got kind of formula, we’ve got kind of processes that we’ve developed through rubber. And basically we wanted to provide, I suppose, scale those, those, those, those tools, scale those processes for other people. So the moment, Van, is we’ve got three main apps. All our apps are designed to facilitate different parts of the viral video making process. So Cheap Rank is designed to help with the idea and create creative process. Road Network is designed to help with the distribution aspects. And we also run Kitten Camp, which at the moment is like is an event. But we also see that as kind of a learning platform to help educate other people how to how to do this stuff.
Bronson: Yeah, let’s talk about those three a little bit. The first one you mentioned was to Brink and you said it’s for inspiration, ideation. How does it actually work? What does it actually do? I played with it a little bit and it’s almost addicting. It’s like you can really get lost in it. So tell us about it to break a little bit.
Chris: Yeah so cheap brand is is I say is designed to help with the creative process. When you when you think about the creative process, one of the key aspects in coming up with ideas is inspiration. You need to be inspired. You need to how to to to have those kind of those ideas kind of come at you and so that you can develop your own ideas off the back of them. So what your brand essentially is, is a is a viral video search engine, but is a viral video search engine that allows you to search on conversation, triggers and communities of interest. So it’s back to that viral formula. And so you pick, for example, low and then you pick, for example, parenting, and then it will basically come back and show you lots of different funny parenting videos and you can do the same for know what the fuck in school. So if you want to look at like crazy sport videos, you can do the same. So what we’ve basically done is layer this kind of layer of kind of viral syntax over YouTube videos to allow people to to search for. The other useful thing in it is that videos on search on listed on the ranked according to their their view count and they’re ranked according to their share to view ratio. And that’s a really important factor because what that shows is, is the real, real creative viral nature of video, i.e. how many times it’s been seen and how many times it’s been shared. And that gives a real sense of whether a video is really being shared and whether a video is really going viral. So yeah, so I’d say over to two main aspects.
Bronson: Yeah. How do you measure the share to view ratio? Is that something publicly that anybody can get access to that data to see or is that something in-house you guys have created? How do you do that?
Chris: Yeah. So it’s it’s it’s fairly simple. Basically, we layer social sharing data across YouTube videos. So we, we pull in from from APIs, the Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter share data. We then aggregate that and then we essentially divide the YouTube views by that number. And then you get so so to give you a sense, so a good like a super, super good share to view ratio is something like 1 to 10 that’s like super awesome off the scales.
Bronson: 10% of people are sharing it. Let’s see it.
Chris: Yeah, exactly. Like the average share to B ratio of videos is about 1 to 222. Right. And that’s that’s that’s that’s an average. So that that is also pretty good. So yeah. So if you’re under 100, that’s, that’s, that’s pretty good. If you’re under 50, that’s even better. If you’re under ten, you’re awesome.
Bronson: Yeah. And the videos in that in to break. Are you guys curating that by hand or do you have algorithms finding these videos and crunching the numbers on them?
Chris: Yeah. So it’s, it’s half and half. So we, we put in the videos into chief rank automatically from from influences is our speeds. We scrape out the YouTube, the URL, we then associate all the all this sharing data with the videos. And then the last bit we do, unfortunately at the moment we can’t check whether they’re funny or what the fuck or not.
Bronson: Site What I was asking because I didn’t know how you could have an algorithm do that and if you figured out a way, I was going to ask you more after the interview how you’re doing that.
Chris: Yeah. So, so yeah. That aspect, we are kind of limited at the moment by YouTube’s API. So they are at the moment opening up more data associated to videos which will hopefully in the future allow us to automate that, that process. But at the moment there’s no no idea as to whether it’s funny or not.
Bronson: Yeah. So the YouTube brain for inspiration, ideation, those kind of things. And then you also mentioned that you have a viral ad network, which sounds awesome. It’s a great name and everyone wants to be a part of a viral ad network. So how do you help them with distribution? What is the viral ad network?
Chris: Sure. So part of network is basically is a distribution platform for viral videos. We have a network of about 5000 blogs. You all sign up for the service and basically they give us part of their real estate. So we looked for native spaces, so in content spaces in their blogs, and then we distribute the most kind of relevant content to those guys. Yeah. Three, three, three. The vast network and the clever bits of it are about matching content to relevant spaces, optimizing content and essentially from a far larger network perspective we see our main client is our publishers because we want to make them as much money as possible. And that works back to the to the advertiser because if, if the publisher is making lots of money, it means that their content is being engaged with. So it’s a it’s kind of a virtuous, virtuous circle.
Bronson: Yeah. So somebody would come to you with a viral video or something. They hope to make a viral video and then you then put they pay you to do that and then you put it in the pipeline and then the publisher gets a cut of that. You guys get a cut of that. And the end user is, do you allow people to put videos in that you know aren’t good? How do you have a filter there as well?
Chris: We have a we do have a filter and we do say no to stuff. But I mean, we we do take content that isn’t as shareable. So so obviously viral is a big word. We talk about shareable content in-house, really, and these various scales of share ability. So yeah, we do put content in there that isn’t hugely scary, shareable, but is just good content. And we say no to that completely rubbish content.
Bronson: Yeah. When, when you see all the kind of data about how these different videos are doing in the ad network, as I’m sure you’re, you know, you see this data, you see which ones are doing well, which ones aren’t. Have you ever been just really surprised, like one that you thought was like it was okay that it got through and you almost didn’t do it or something? Maybe, but then you realize it got shared. The share of you ratio is high or something. Is that ever happened?
Chris: Yeah. You’re always surprised, and I think that I’m a pretty good judge of things, but I get a I get it wrong quite a lot. And again, is understanding these communities and understanding what makes them tick. And I don’t understand every community. So I think that’s the bit that that you can misjudge.
Bronson: That’s a good takeaway is if someone has a deep understanding of a particular community, it can make up for a lot of other failures.
Chris: Yeah, definitely. Definitely, definitely. In that respect. Like, like the funny thing about when we were developing cheap rent was we initially sourced all the videos from cheap rent directly from YouTube and some from their API, and they basically let a gutter of YouTube videos out. And the things you find that trend, they’re essentially Minecraft videos is filled full of Minecraft videos. I’m like, what the fuck is all these? Like what focused Minecraft videos come from? These videos have like millions of views and like they like going massive and it’s just because I’m not tuned into Minecraft. So yeah, you’ve got to have yeah. You got to have respect for the issues in the community.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. That’s a great takeaway from this interview that you also run Kitten Camp. Yeah, it’s you know, you know, and it’s pound sign kid in camp, everything. So it’s a great name. Oh, what in the world is kitten. Yeah.
Chris: Yeah. So it’s it started as an event. It’s not as an event involving me dressing as a cat, curating YouTube videos. It then moved on to me, dressing as a cat and getting a guy along to dress as a dog while we. And having a YouTube battle and a YouTube battle. So so basically we show each of us shows a YouTube video. So like I call myself me Master Meow. So I show the cat, shows the YouTube video and then the little puppy, the guy goes to the dog, shows a YouTube video, and then we get the crowd to vote and they vote with low cards guys with the most loads, most vote knows when.
Bronson: And this is a live event.
Chris: It’s a live event. Yeah. And we’re doing, we’re doing a tour at the moment, a US tour. So we did one in New York last week, which is super awesome, but a huge crowd along to the audience grocery which is Lower East Side, really awesome, awesome place, great crowd. Everyone loved it. We’re doing a couple in Chicago this week and then we’re off to San Francisco next week to butter to to do the same. So yeah, we’ve done them around that. We’ve done them in Sydney and Australia. We do them all the way around around the UK. So these things have turned into like cult cult events that that. Right.
Bronson: What’s the reason for doing them? Is it, is it advertising for Rubber Republic and Van, is it just because you’re bored? You think it’s fun but what’s, what’s the end goal of kitten camp.
Chris: Yeah. So I mean, it’s got a big altruistic point. So like we, we genuinely want to share our insight. Some knowledge of of all of things that go viral. So a large part of of of getting can be curating the videos. We don’t just show them, we create curate them. We talk around why they work, the history behind them, etc. And people really enjoy that aspect. And then obviously the and then a big part of it is, is, is new business. We get of clients along, we get potential clients along. It’s just a fun environment. And again, like the big thing for for our clients is really understanding this stuff. So we, we, we do a lot of educational work teaching people this stuff. So yeah, it is all part of that part really.
Bronson: Yeah, it makes sense. So you obviously help a lot of other companies, right? You know, through, you know, Van, through, you know, Rubber Republic. But let’s talk about how you get your own customers for a second because, you know, as I was thinking about this interview, I thought, I wonder if these virality to get their own customers or if it looks more traditional is that they’re buying Google ads like the rest of us, you know? Yeah. So how do you guys actually acquire your own customers?
Chris: Yeah. So it’s a mix is very, very much a mix. So we started off like we launched our company in a viral way like rubber back in 2001. We did all this political, political satire stuff that that went viral. It meant we went viral. People were talking about us. People talk about our work all the time. So there is a buzz about what we do. We, we, we haven’t made any like bottles ourselves about ourselves. It’s just we try to make our work viral basically, and get people advocating and talking about us. So we try, we try and build that into and kitten camps like people talk about that. So we kind of practice what we preach within our business, but we, we’ve never actually made a viral ourselves for ourselves rather then and then it’s just a whole, whole mix. So from, from a, we have a, a strong agency team who go out, who sell directly into agencies. So our direct marketing is very strong. We have guys on the phone calling people. So yeah. DM is, is a big part of what we do because again like people may have seen our work and when we, we explain who we are and the awesome stuff we do, they go, Oh wow, yeah, I’ve seen that, that’s great. But a lot of people don’t, don’t connect the two. So there is again, that’s a that connection is a big piece. Yeah. We yeah, we do kind of Google AdWords where we’re we’re we’re really like a real focus for us at the moment is tightening up on our DMS so our mailings, Twitter and all that stuff. So yeah, like I think like any business, I think advertising businesses are like classically people say advertising businesses are worth people to advertise their own business ads. And, and I would say that’s possibly true where we’re much happier giving other people advice on what they should do rather than taking our own advice or at least listening to ourselves. So yeah, so we’re, we’re tightening up on a lot of our marketing at the moment. But yeah, but, but the answer is a whole mix. Yeah.
Bronson: No. Thanks for your your transparency there. That’s great. You know, and it’s great here too too. You know, here’s this company that specializes in virality and yet they also have an agency making phone calls. You know, it’s like it’s good to hear the raw truth that, you know, because people can assume, oh, I’m sure they’re so flooded with inbound leads, you know, they couldn’t possibly even wade through them all. But the reality is, like, you have to go out there and hustle like the rest of us and you have to find leads and you have to you know that them and you have to make it work. And there’s a whole process there. So so again, thank you for the transparency there. I have one last question for you, Chris. It’s been an awesome interview. It’s been one of the more fun interviews I think people will watch on this show, which is fitting given what you guys do. But what is the best advice that you have for anyone that’s really trying to grow their startup? Because you’ve grown startups yourself, you also do other startups that aren’t necessarily in the viral, you know, kind of space. So just in a broad way, what’s the best advice you have for anyone trying to grow a startup right now?
Chris: Yeah, I think focus is the most important part. So as you say, I run a number of startups and the one that the main one we haven’t talked about is one called the lab and delivers is completely different. This is a is a software company for the government to run policy consultations. So it’s completely.
Bronson: Opposite of viral stuff like.
Chris: It’s completely different. And I, I’ve grown these businesses over the last 12 years organically. We’ve had no investment and that meant doing lots of things. Myself, I have to like there’s three founders to our companies and my two other founders. Are awesome too. But between the three of us, we’ve done everything. And and in the late last year, one of the biggest things we’ve actually done was with 100% segment the companies we now basically between the three of us head to each each one of those companies. Previously, we used to dip in and dip out of all of them and and it was useful. And we all have experience and stuff to put into those different companies. But it was, it was, it was to go to a bit of a head fuck and and so we divide the companies up. I now am focused on Bam, that is my business and I’m more of that focus on growing banners and making it as awesome as possible. And the two brothers are heading up the other companies, and that has radically changed how we run the businesses and how successful those businesses have. We’re now, now super, super focused. We’re a lot individually a lot happier because we’re not so scrambled in our heads. Everyone, everyone knows who’s the responsibility is, etc.. So it’s really, really kind of changed, I think the businesses performance and our individual performances as business owners. So and I think as entrepreneurs, especially creative entrepreneurs, you always have millions of ideas and you always want to do the next thing and there’s always the next better thing kind of coming on. And us entrepreneurs aren’t particularly good finish businesses necessarily. So I think that focus is is super important. Get that success under the under the belt, make sure your business is running well and then if you’re happy with that, then move on to the next. And I guess maybe if we applied that to to our businesses earlier on, we’d be maybe at the same stage we are now six years advance. I don’t know. That’s probably not necessarily true because because of technology and stuff, I’m business cycles, but I think we would have got there a little bit quicker if we focused earlier. But yeah, focus is a key, I’d say.
Bronson: Yeah, it’s great advice. Chris, thank you so much for coming on the program. It’s been an incredible interview. You’ve given us so many insights into virality, into growing companies, into all those things. So thanks again for coming on.
Chris: Awesome. And thank you so much for inviting me.
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