Search Interviews:

Johnathan Dane 5:46
they were there were three parties at the end of 2019 that were interested in us and they came knocking on our door. And so when I was having conversations with other people that I would call them tours are just people I trust. They’re like, are you sure you don’t want to like, you know, hire somebody to run shop for you and see what else is out there, given the fact that three different companies are knocking on your door? And I was like, Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a good point. And so I started doing my own little knocking on doors outside and didn’t obviously have any success with it. So I just kept the conversations going with the three parties that were knocking on our door.

Jeremy Weisz 6:23
So yeah, so what happened leading up so they’re not going to or what what happened?

Johnathan Dane 6:28
So there’s a lot of diligence. There’s a lot of seeing, like, if so in the world of, of agencies, there’s two different options you have, you have the chance to be a platform where you continue to be the brand and you have the chance to be a bolt on where you’re part of a bigger brand. And so the conversation that we were having was being more of a bolt on and,

Jeremy Weisz 6:49
you know, preference?

Johnathan Dane 6:51
No, definitely not. I mean, if I could still keep the brand going of what we’ve been able to create as far as a snowball already. I think I’d be in the best interest if there was no moment. involved same with the people acquiring us we just have a higher domain authority, we were more well known. And so it would have been best for them to take our brand but you know, for me I was like what’s more important for me at the end of the day I care about the money that’s why I started the business not gonna lie. And so I needed that to make sense first and then whatever they want to sell for scraps or parts later, you know, I’ll be honest, I didn’t care

Jeremy Weisz 7:25
for Is there a concern with due diligence of like they know our processes or internal things or clients or anything like though

Johnathan Dane 7:35
I so it’s, it’s interesting you asked so we have a value set principle that’s that basically is an acronym that spells party It stands for pushing ourselves accountability, resilience, transparency, and a focus on you, which is like the client, right? Like you give us a feedback. You help dictate what we do in the future, how we make things better and all that kind of stuff. Once we get all that stuff done, we can celebrate and we do celebrate. So the on top talking about the transparent See, you know, I have been tempted I thought about it, but it’s like really doesn’t do much of a favor to like, literally disclose our entire client list and see if any agencies out there can try to poach them. Because if they can, it’s the same as if like somebody’s poaching your employee on LinkedIn. If they’re able to do that you shouldn’t be upset, you should be more so look at yourself and say, why am I not doing a better job having a relationship with this client? And simply Yeah, so the answer is no, I’m not concerned. There’s a lot of things that people need to copy and compel the brand, the tone, the personality of who we are, all that kind of stuff. The things that I think of as far as next steps of our own marketing if they knew everything, which they do, you know, it’s necessary to to make the acquisition happen so there’s no way around that and you know, knowing my thoughts on it before I’m not concerned about it. Yeah, it’s interesting about that. First of all, I think that’s the name of your like book after you sell or before you sell a party and then some some cool tagline their name, I think about it the name of my book is going to be called the art of eating shit. And it sounds horrible, but it’s literally

Jeremy Weisz 9:07
it doesn’t horrible.

Johnathan Dane 9:09
It’s all about adversity and I want it I want it to look at other founders and things like that that I’ve gone through things were like, No This was shit when it happened. But now I’m loving it because it gave me gives me like these skills or this focus or this mindset and things like that, too. So anyways, but I could write another book called party Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 9:27
no, I yeah, maybe more PC but um, yeah. And Rand Fishkin on with his book I don’t know if you read his book, but I think he would, he would. Yeah, exactly. I think he would agree with that title. Anyways, with with his book. If anyone listens to that, it gets lost in power, great book. And, you know, that definitely, in your title, definitely encapsulate some of the stuff that’s in there. Um, so the, the sale or potential sale made you realize a few things.

Johnathan Dane 9:57
It did. Um, and so on. What we found out was prior to the acquisition being underway, which starts with like a letter of intent, you know, phase which is an exclusivity that usually lasts between 60 to 90 days. Um, what we had already thought of was, you know, we have a pretty agnostic sounding name, like KlientBoost, like, what does that matter? Or, and or sorry, what does that mean? And you could argue that like, Hey, we help our clients boost or we get you more clients, which is fine. But the way we go about it doesn’t matter. And so we were thinking ourselves, hey, we built our own brand. I’m content marketing. A lot of our clients are asking us about that a lot of our clients ask about email marketing, or chatbot marketing. Why are we holding one hand behind our backs when it comes to this and now, with the pandemic underway, one of the fastest things we’ve realized is that advertising agencies are really in for a world of hurt because you have the advertising spend that a client can lower or just pause, and then you also have the agency fee of what we charge. So if you’re a content marketing agency, you just have the cost of the content, you don’t have an ad spend portion, same thing with email. So we were at this like risky, in this risky spot where like, we just weren’t really prepared, like take hits or be part of a storm or anything like that either. And so learning through the acquisition, what this bigger agency is doing and how they’re doing it, and all the data that they had to support, I was like, Okay, now we definitely have to go this route, because it’s like the future like we should. It’s a way to protect ourselves. It’s a way to make more money from less clients, things like that had longer contracts, like all the things that actually make you a stronger company, it was going that way. And the only thing that had me second guess or be not sure about that was we built our brand and our thought leadership in the world that we live in, which is you know, paid ads and conversion optimization. If we start saying that we do radio advertising and build like all these other things, then it Could dilute and that’s what I was afraid of. But now, I’m like, I’ve seen it work, you know, I don’t care anymore like it is going to work. So that’s what we’re going for.

Jeremy Weisz 12:09
You seen it work? Because you saw that through that other company through the due diligence,

Unknown Speaker 12:13

Jeremy Weisz 12:14
Correct. It is a legitimate point, right? A lot of people say, listen, focus, you know, focus and double down on what you’re good at. So it’s a balance. So how do you decide going forward? Now you have other things that people can, can utilize how you decide certain things you probably decided not to do? And certain So talk about the things you’re going forward going to do? And maybe some of the things you decided we’re not going to do that.

Johnathan Dane 12:42

Yeah. real specific examples. Like we could have offered social media management, which is like the organic way of posting on social media, but the attribution of that and proving that it makes money is a little tougher, unless you’re actually already a well known brand. And if you are, you’re probably not going to give the keys to the kingdom to us, right. Like, you’re gonna Keep doing what you’re doing. Um, so that was a

Jeremy Weisz 13:02

that was an aspect of I was on the table but like it got on the chopping block

Johnathan Dane 13:06

it got it got it got chopped, because it’s not easy to prove ROI from it. And so all the things I do and want to do for myself and even for our clients is I’ll prioritize only the things that I know can have an effect and an impact in that way that we can prove. And so that’s that’s Yeah, that’s one reason why the other reason why it’s just like, I’ve had so many talks with other agency owners I run a community called Growth Comet with a buddy named Ross Hudgens of Siege Media. And we also have insight into like, agencies from around there’s over like 100 agencies as part of that community like what they do what works what doesn’t, and they’re obviously there to like learn from us. There’s a lot of what’s the what’s the site people could check it out. It’s c om e t calm. Yeah, if it looks like you are seeing a flaming meatball, you’re in the right spot.

Unknown Speaker 13:57
That’s the cover art for your for your

Johnathan Dane 14:01
That’s the third book.

Jeremy Weisz 14:03
So yeah, you were saying GrowthComets because you have insights into that.

Johnathan Dane 14:07
So through the due diligence process was like the most clear insight like, okay, you know, this bigger agency has bigger retainers and us but not necessarily bigger client, like, like, the size of the company is a client itself is not necessarily bigger. And then, you know, it was it was very logical than to have the conversation understanding that like, hey, the more hooks you have in a client, the more services you have in the client, the harder it is for that client to just say, Hey, we’re letting you guys all go and you’re going to try to replace us by hiring us in house like, good luck. Like that’s not gonna be easy plus, one of them those different marketing services communicate with each other, like there’s gonna be I hate using the word synergies, but there literally is because of the recipes that we have. And like, usually, a lot of companies will have them operate in silos, they won’t understand the conversion intent of different traffic sources and what that means from a CTA and you know, I can get really technical about that.

Jeremy Weisz 14:58
There’s a pain of breakage you No, like, if you break one of these pieces, the rest kind of breaks. Also, there’s a pain of disconnect there if they talk about,

Johnathan Dane 15:07
like, when you get the breads at the restaurant or Yeah. So, so we had, so we had the like the, I would say qualitative feedback from growth comment and understanding and seeing that and also just knowing other marketing agencies that do have this holistic focus, or sorry, a single focus where we’re trying to be more holistic, and it just gives us so much more freedom and wiggle room and actually allows us to just get results faster for the client we can, like is that is that analogy of like, the the rising tide is lifting all the boats. And so we’re doing it for ourselves, we can do it for other clients. And it’s it’s so far with a few clients that we have that we’re testing this with, it’s working really, really well.

Jeremy Weisz 15:50
Yeah, I could see because like one of our principles also at Rise25 is like we have an ROI filter. So you know if it’s not gonna prove ROI, so that seems to be great. Kind of one of the things you looked at when you’re like, here’s the services we could do. But these are the ones you can directly track to ROI. And the other ones. We don’t want to do that. They may get ROI. It may not it may be better for branding, but you’re not branding your direct response. Yeah, at least we won’t prioritize them.

Johnathan Dane 16:17
So we live in the future, but not now. Before the other ones.

Jeremy Weisz 16:21
Yeah. And it was interesting. So thank you for that conversation on focus. Because I know I always struggle with that with that whole conversation in my head and other people do. The other piece and we’ll get to the contrary and things I like about us you go contrarian on certain things. But you mentioned Ross and Siege Media and you had a really interesting conversation with Ross that I was watching and what was cool is interesting that you know, you help your clients you know, SAS lead gen eecom. Get clients through paid media. What was interesting is how you got a lot of your clients

Unknown Speaker 16:59

Jeremy Weisz 17:00
Yeah, so talk about that.

Johnathan Dane 17:02
So we invest and I have a heavy, heavy focus on brand, and content marketing. So all of our clients and all of our growth to hit our recent milestone, which was a 10 million in recurring revenue, has come through our content, our thought leadership, and like, it’s such a no brainer, if you can have the long term patience, but still being able to execute and see that you’re, you know, every blog post, or every piece of content you come out with is literally just planting a seed for it to be harvested later. That’s literally what it is. We’re not literally that’s stupid to say, because it’s not an actual crop, but you get what I mean. So, so that’s, that’s the funny thing that we’ve done where, you know, early days of KlientBoost, I looked at the landscape I looked at what I thought was this is really much like the uniformity across all agencies, they all look very identical. They all look alike. You know, how can we differentiate which is a big focus That I still think of that I’m very excited about our rebrand and our refresh and our redesign that we’re coming out with. But it all started with, you know, that lemonade stand principle that I shared in that interview where the internet is like a street and on that street are all the different agencies that somebody can think of. And if there’s not a way for you to like, continually give value or scratch backs or give high fives to your content or whatever you’re doing, then you’re going to look identical to everything else on that street. It’s just how people are going to perceive you. So the things that I mentioned in the in the video is how do you focus on making your lemonade stand the best looking lemonade stand out there, you have your, your social proof, you have other people talking about you, which in the digital world can be reviews, testimonials, video, case studies, you know, things like that. And then you also have the ability to make sure that your uniform is the best looking you have organic lemons, you have the best ice cubes, not the cube ones but like the crunchy little nugget ones, right? You have the best looking glasses like you have, like, you just have that customer experience focus. And then to actually take that and put it into action. A lot of people talk about it, a lot of people think it’s cool, and they agree with it. But they can’t continuously execute on it. And they’re not willing to audit themselves to make sure they keep doing that. So, so to your original question, like the content was a pillar to building a brand. And that is one of the hardest things to do in a very, very saturated market. Because if you think about it, we are marketers, marketing against other marketers to attract marketers to be our clients. I don’t know. Either, I don’t know of another order things. Like if we’re going to make this work, and not fall in the trap of like, only asking for referrals or only tapping our network for the next client, then like, how do we make sure that we were very successful in parting with, you know, content?

Jeremy Weisz 19:52
Yeah, one of the things you mentioned on that talking in general, which I thought was interesting is one of the other reasons why is when you are advertising Or in your in other places. It’s a comparison engine. So they’re looking at you side by side with your competitor. And I give you a google it is yeah, Google, I mean, even Facebook, you know, there’s, you can see comparisons out there. And so the content, you’re kind of stand alone like, This Is Us. This is what we serve. This is, you know, the value we deliver. And I kind of stand alone. It’s kind of like, what I picture when I get you know, your get those Google AdWords mailers, like, if you notice, they’re sending direct mail to get customers, even though they own Google AdWords, right?

Johnathan Dane 20:42
Well, it’s a it’s a point. What I love about that point is that once you have a channel of acquisition that works for you keep improving it, but now go on to the next one. And so Google is obviously has a lot of money, they can do a lot of things and experiment with him Spirit works for them, but yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:58
they own it.

Jeremy Weisz 21:00
I want to talk about the console. You know, when I looked you up, Johnathan, I told you I do a lot of research. I found so many articles and blogs and which is great and terrible for my research because now I’m like I look at all these but you know, I think you’re on like HubSpot, and you have like a profile there and you got articles there and everywhere. What’s been a big you remember early on that gave you that sort of the flywheel.

Johnathan Dane 21:25
The, the the accelerant, or like the enzyme that was like the catalyst to our our growth was a contrarian, again, like going against the grain opposite approach article that I wrote for Unbounce, which is a landing page software. And I basically wrote an article that says, and it wasn’t even my idea with the headline if they didn’t use this headline, it wouldn’t. I don’t know if we would have been where we’re at today. I don’t know if I’d be talking to you honestly. They wrote the headline that says, You’re doing AdWords wrong, which is the old name for Google ads. Here’s how to do it right. And, you know, I just started getting flooded with comments there was at some point, and I don’t haven’t checked it recently, but it was up to a point of like, 400 comments in a blog post. And I’m like, I’ve never seen that anywhere else. And people were like, hey, how do we how do we do this? Like, how do we how do we run this execution within our Google Ads account? And so a lot of I think, I think I personally inflated the numbers of comments, because my my replies, I don’t remember. Yeah, but that was was back in like, 2014. So I was a co founder of another ad. And then, you know, did my own thing and moved back to Southern California to start KlientBoost. And that was it. And I think, a lot and actually, Rand Fishkin, who again, Lawson, founder, author, now founder of SparkToro, talks about contrarian marketing, like how valuable it is, as long as you can back it up, because after I came out with that article, it became very normal and we saw a lot of things At heart had the structure that we recommended, which is a single keyword ad group structure, but our execution was specific. Um, and, again, people are trying to, like knock it down to the contrary and against that, but it’s only going to work if they actually have, you know, an execution or stats or data to support it. Because if not, it’s just her opinion. And so it looks foolish. So we had the data, we had the facts, and we had the contrarian opinion and that, like,

Jeremy Weisz 23:24
took off. So what other opinions or maybe expand on that, that you have that are contrary and whether it’s in running an agency or marketing?

Johnathan Dane 23:33
Um, I think that differentiation by itself is very contrary and obviously, but I think what people struggle with is the How do you look at that black and white? How do you make it objective? So an example that I can give you is, agencies, you know, most most marketing agencies suck at marketing themselves, and they just do. The ones that do really well are the ones who invest in illustrate Like custom stuff, right? The ones that take professional photos and not just like, Hey, give me your iPhone, I’m gonna take it like there act like every detail matters. Like literally, if you ask my entire team to send you an email, there is a space between our little banner that we have in the email and the dash line beneath it. And if I see that there’s a, like, an extra space, like flip out in a nice way like I’m not a dick. Like I don’t like to think that I don’t I don’t see you flipping out in

Jeremy Weisz 24:29
the meanwhile,

Johnathan Dane 24:31
I tell our brand designer that I’m like, Hey, you know, we need to fix this now like every single thing that matters. So that’s that’s one piece. The other piece like let’s look at it who the length content marketing, differentiation there is. Any any focus keyword that you’re trying to get your blog post to rank for. If you are seeing that your competitors have a listicle which is basically a list of an article right that’s what’s called a listicle. And and the points they have is more or higher than what you’re getting. Posting, don’t even publish, like, you’re not going to get anything. Like, as far as like, again, just looking at it from the lemonade stand principle, people are gonna judge you, they’re gonna pick an article. And if you, you know, your competitors has 21 ways to perform better with podcast marketing, you’re going to publish one with seven. Get that out of here. Like why would you sense like wanting to do that. So things like that also, first party data, like the day that you can actually come out with first party data is a day that your brand starts taking off from a marketing perspective, because you are the source of truth, you are the citation. Nobody can go beyond you, like you have to be cited, you have to be linked to. So those are just a few things that like, are really important. So let’s talk about that for a second. I’m

Jeremy Weisz 25:46
talking about being the source, right? You have a lot of you going if someone goes on klientBoost website I was on it yesterday and today, you have a whole page of case studies. Okay? And It lists a bunch of SaaS and you could even click be a category SAS lead gen e-comm if someone’s looking to do an actual case study page on their website, I suggest you look at case study, because it puts people to shame it puts us to shame like we need to step up our game. Well,

Johnathan Dane 26:18
what’s crazy is that the page that you see is actually an unbounce page is not part of our actual website as a test. And we have I sent you a Google Drive folder. I don’t know if you can share with the listeners. But But our actual amount of case studies are like over 120 and like the ones on the website, things like 20 so you have way more but thank you.

Jeremy Weisz 26:38
Yeah, it looks you know, the way it’s structured is really good. And and I say it because you’re like, you know shipstation at espresso auto pilot, I know you have companies that you work with Bloomberg Stanford University, but I wanted to talk about one of them like as a use case because it’d be valuable for people to hear and I know a lot of people I mean, there’s a lot of people I know in SAS and e commerce but yeah, you commerce specifically. And on the kind of contrarian topic, yeah, he studies, maybe one of the e commerce case studies that’s maybe took some contrarian thinking.

Johnathan Dane 27:13
Sure, for sure. Um, the one that I’ll highlight in this case is the one called Lead Tote. And I don’t know if it’s on our website, but I’ll get it

Jeremy Weisz 27:22
was 263% increase in conversion rate? Okay, cool. Yeah.

Johnathan Dane 27:26
So so one of the things that could help everybody listening to is that when when we think of how we execute anything marketing related, I think of it in terms of recipes, like how, how simple can I make this so that everybody can bake the same cake and have the same outcome. And that goes across like, our own marketing when we are doing ads or content or podcasts or whatever, our salespeople when they’re talking about it, and then our fulfillment or operations when they’re doing the actual work for the client. If I can’t make it a recipe, I really don’t care about it. Like I don’t try to make it like that. Interesting, or I just, you know, don’t do it. So litotes specifically, what was really, really interesting about them is that this was early as a KlientBoost. We were just hired on to just do the Google Ads side and the linkage side, the paid social, they had pretty much narrowed now down or sorry, nailed down. And they weren’t looking for help with that. They just wanted to scale the Google site. So what we did was we exhausted the impression share of all search traffic. And in search, there’s basically four buckets of commercial intent that you can be pretty sure there’s your brand which is you know, great, the more you have that great ROI greater return on adspend then you have competitive traffic, then you have generic traffic and then you have informational traffic, informational can be symptom related or like what we’re how you know, things like that. And they all convert at different rates and also if you can get it to convert and you are a lead gen or you are SaaS company and I’m not talking e commerce because ecommerce a sale happens on the site, right? It’s very black and white. You can get that right Realize and see the full picture very quickly, Legion in SAS, there’s usually an offline component.

Jeremy Weisz 29:04
Yeah. And maybe a demo, there may be like conversations. Yeah.

Johnathan Dane 29:09
So so a lot of people when they do tracking to revenue they do at the campaign level. And what they don’t do, which they should do is they have enough volume is that they do down to the keyword level. But even better than that, your search term level and I don’t want to get too technical. So you tell me where I should go ahead. So basically, in Google Ads world of service,

Jeremy Weisz 29:28
this is the section of your e commerce, are you actually doing this stuff? You should listen? If not just

Johnathan Dane 29:34
this is just on the search side? This we’re not even talking shopping yet. So also, recently ago, Google came out with making shopping ads and listings free as a retaliation against Amazon, just to get more advertisers on Google Shopping, which is pretty rad. So um, what was I talking about? After you were saying the search level key? Oh, yeah. So search term is what people actually Type in and the keyword is what you actually bid on in 99% of the time, your keywords and your search terms have a pretty wide discrepancy. So it’s not enough to just bucket your campaigns in those four buckets of intent that I already mentioned, it’s also really important to keep mining your search terms, not just for negative keywords, but making sure that they actually correlate to the correct keyword, because depending on the keyword match type you’re using, it can skew your data very, very quickly. So if you are doing any type of revenue tracking for lead gen and SAS, which lotto does partly also a sass company, not just ecommerce company, um, it’s important that you have the data clean, because when you get it into your Salesforce or whatever CRM you’re using, you’re not going to be able to act on it. And if you do, it’s not gonna be data that’s accurate to act on. And then you’re going to screw yourself when you actually go back into the platforms and platforms. So we had exhausted going back to my point we had exhausted the search volume of impressions that we can get and we can see that through impression sharing. Google basically tells us, you know of all the trends available for these keywords, you know how much how often are you showing up in Google for that? So our point of contact over at lotto was like, hey, how do we do display advertising and display advertising are usually the banner ads that you see. And a lot of people say, you know, display advertising is just for awareness. And I’m like, it’s not like anything can be direct response, like I can advertise on a trash can. And if you give me enough time resources, I’m gonna make that make money for you. obviously depends on what we’re marketing and all that kind of stuff too. But But a lot of people speak in absolutes which I’m a big big I hate I hate it when they do that, because it’s just not true. It also shows that they haven’t even tried to be creative or trying to solve a problem. So anyways, we’re trying to do advertising on display network and we can target fashion blogs and things like that. And just so you guys know to tote for the people who don’t know is a company that’s a competitor to Stitch Fix, which is basically allowing me to send you you know shipments of clothes that it thinks you’ll like based off your own profit. And you’re on onboarding. So it kind of rotates through that you can decide to keep some of them if you want and things like that to just you have that frame. Not. So the display side, we were trying to target, you know, females who are on fashion blogs and trying to get them to actually come through and create an account or buying individual product did not work. We even try to give a 50% off discount did not work. So what we did instead was we paired the call to action, what we want them to do with the temperature, the conversion intent of the traffic, which is very cold for display traffic in general. If you’re doing remarketing, where like the ad follows you around because you’ve already been on the site, that’s a different type of traffic. That’s higher intent. They already know about you. We’re talking about like net new eyeballs to come through. What we did instead was we took an interim offer, we didn’t ask them to onboard and create an account and buy you know clothes. We asked them to sign up for their newsletter. And the landing page for the newsletter was all about the benefits and the features of the newsletter. It even talks about lotto So we’re thinking, Okay, these people around these fashion blogs, they’re going to click the ad, they’re not going to have a high intent to like go through this onboarding quiz and swipe their credit card at the end. But to fill out an email form to get value in terms of the newsletter might make a lot of sense. So we tested that and started working. Then on the thank you page, this is the most important part. On the thank you page, that newsletter landing page was the original call to action to onboard as a regular, let’s hope you know, new customer. And because we put in a in between spot that was more in line with what they’re okay with, it’s kind of I asked you, Hey, can you send me a million dollars? You’re gonna be like, No, I don’t even know you, Johnathan and Mike, well, if I do a ton of work before you and trust you and like, you can basically name your son after me or whatever, then maybe one day you’ll give me a million dollars, but it’s called the yes ladder. And it’s a sales technique that we then have called the breadcrumb technique, which is like the Hansel and Gretel children’s story and all that kind of stuff. Like we’re slowly progressively asking things, they’re increasing in threat level visitor to then get to the ultimate thing. We

Jeremy Weisz 34:00
Yeah, it’s funny when you say that I’m picturing just at the end kids being locked into a cage, like, oh, here’s the

Johnathan Dane 34:09
term, I coined that term very quickly, and I didn’t think it all the way through and I was like,

Jeremy Weisz 34:16
in this case, it’s a happy place where they become a customer and all that stuff, they get fattened

Johnathan Dane 34:20
up, they get all the candy and like they can eat the house and like it’s exactly, exactly and they survived. Like, it’s okay, like they’re not like it the fate is not what you think it is.

Jeremy Weisz 34:31
Well, your Danish background, like my favorite course, in I went to University of Wisconsin Madison was Scandinavian literature. And we studied the tails of Hans Christian Andersen and we actually discovered the sect of those, you know, maybe your Danish background, you know, lends itself to that

Unknown Speaker 34:49
particular analogy.

Jeremy Weisz 34:52
So, yeah, I love that anything else on the contrary and approach from from the toe, that would be important to note

Johnathan Dane 34:59
Yes. So so we we find these recipes. And then what we also do, going back to the differentiation perspective is we coin these terms. So we make them famous, and we just call them something we call, we have the breadcrumb technique, the iceberg effect, the mob effect, the gold pan technique, things like that. And what’s your favorite one? The one, the one that works almost very universally is definitely the breadcrumb technique because it’s the same thing. If we’re doing email marketing for clients, and let’s say that we’re doing cold outbound email. Most cold emails, like start talking about, you know who they are and like what they do and like, nobody gives an F like, you’re emailing me like, I don’t care about who you guys are. Instead you ask him for like a small thing you need to ask him for a small step. Like again, it’s again, the bread crumbs. Yes. ladder approach. So that’s

Jeremy Weisz 35:48
a ladder breadcrumb equivalent, is that like,

Johnathan Dane 35:52
Yeah, so the yes ladder is basically a sales technique and the breadcrumb technique is then we just stole that and then we turn it into a marketing related form, and we call it the breadcrumb technique.

Jeremy Weisz 36:03
Got it?

Johnathan Dane 36:05
That’s really helpful. And then the other thing, that last thing I’ll lead off with is the gold pan technique. The mob effect, single product ad groups are very ecommerce focused. But they’re all rooted in what we focus on very heavily, which is granularity, like we break things down, to force them to prove that they make money for us or clients. And so when we do that, we have more control versus giving the ad platform control.

Jeremy Weisz 36:27
And that helps out a ton to Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And I love the granularity and detail on it. And I think, you know, people who are doing this stuff will totally appreciate that and even even if not, if you have you’re not doing this, one thing that he just said that you use, like just having something on your thank you page, I mean, just this stuff in general, super valuable on a high level, you know, most people may not have anything on their offer of thinking which they may or may not even have a thank you page, Johnathan. Well, so,

Johnathan Dane 36:31
so let me let me add some flavour to that. So if you’re b2b or lead gen, when you are, you know, having people sign up for a demo or a consultation or getting a price or whatever the CTA might be doing the breadcrumb technique and actually having a multi step form will work better. You never ask for name, email and phone number on the first impression. Never do that. If you go to our website, you’ll see that we live by those words, we have a three step process that works tremendously well all of our case studies if you look at him had the bread contacting mentioned because it’s a multi step form. here’s the kicker on the thank you page. If you don’t tell, you know, when you’re the person who just converted when they’re going to be reached out to by what number you’re going to call them what area code because again, the day of Robo callers people are not even answering calls they don’t know anymore. You don’t tell them what the next step is you’re really hampering your speed towards the sale. And so those are just some quick wins you can take care of. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 37:52
So many good questions I have. But um, yo one thing I want to take us to your page, you have people go to You see this really nice graphical page and you’ve got your b2b Coronavirus, PPC CRM proposal now? Yeah. Okay. And get my free proposal. Tell me about the free proposal.

Johnathan Dane 38:16
The proposal is basically what we like. So compared to other agencies, what we found is that people, you know, have a consultation, as a call to action people have a quote as a call to action. The proposal is only thing that we split tested over time that actually had some tangible value because we also explained what’s in the proposal once you click that button, actually, the pop up,

Jeremy Weisz 38:38
let me back up for one second out, is who’s a who’s a good client for you? Like who should actually be? Oh, you know,

Johnathan Dane 38:47
the, I’ll tell you like, very black and white. If you have at least 30 employees or spend at least $10,000 on marketing a month. You are a good client for us. Whether that’s ad spend with us content marketing doesn’t really matter.

Jeremy Weisz 39:00
So don’t flood us get my free proposal if

Johnathan Dane 39:04
you can’t, we’ll just we’ll just disqualify you automatically. But you have we have the, you know, the volume of case studies in all these different categories. Because our recipes work very well across the board, which we’re really excited

Jeremy Weisz 39:15
about. Yeah, I think in one of the nerves this was like dated back you’re like, we I forgot if you said we get 500 leads a day or there’s some

Johnathan Dane 39:23
No, we get a month,

Jeremy Weisz 39:24
a month. I was like, that’s still good. Um, okay, sorry to interrupt. So yeah, so get my proposal, get my free proposal. I mean, then what happens what happens now basically, depending on the

Johnathan Dane 39:39
ad spend, drop down, you select it gets routed to the appropriate, you know, executive, the salesperson on our side. But the more important part happens when what it basically entails is that we give you a discovery call, we understand what your goals are, what your challenges are, like, you know, people might want to, you know, lower their cost per acquisition and or they Might want to get more volume, depending on in real stuff to understand like, well, how many platforms are you on things like that. So that’s like an information gathering phase, then we get access to your accounts or your Google Analytics, we then with your goals, go in and find all the low hanging fruits that are based off our own first party data or case studies. And then we present to you like a 30 minute, run through through a zoom call on like, here’s the starting point, like if we were to work together with, this is exactly what we do. And we’re going to give you all of this so that you have it. And the reason why people hire us is because we’re the fastest at executing it. And we’ve done it so many times. That’s why they trust us. But if you want to, you’re more than welcome to do yourself, like we give you that option. So

Jeremy Weisz 40:39
you know,Johnathan, I see that valuable in itself, you typically charged for because you’re kind of doing an analysis of their account for them right. Now, we don’t charge for that or have you ever have you ever charged for it?

Johnathan Dane 40:53
We never charge for it. And there’s only a few times where people have asked us to come on site and train their interns. Team where it’s just like a very, very much, much deeper dive longer approach way more holistic looking kind of thing. But no, we don’t charge for it. Okay,

Jeremy Weisz 41:10
that’s that’s generous of you. Yeah. At what point did you I imagine the beginning you were doing these calls?

Unknown Speaker 41:19
I was Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 41:20
And so what point did you actually stop doing these calls?

Johnathan Dane 41:25
So I was handling because that’s a lot of calls. I guess you have 500 emails, just Well, number. That’s okay. That’s not what it was early on, obviously. But what I did early on was, I wish I would have gone faster and delegated quicker because I just was such and I still to this day, I am such a perfectionist, and I just not that I micromanage or anything like that, but I’m just like, hey, if it’s anything marketing related, I gotta do it right. Like I gotta do it. I can’t give that to anybody else. So I was handling 16 clients by myself, probably like $60,000 of monthly recurring revenue, like the first early days of KlienBoosts. And then I was doing the marketing and I was doing the sales. Now we have a team of like four salespeople. And then I come in on that more strategic ones like the bigger ones and say hi and and then my thoughts.

Jeremy Weisz 42:12
What do you look for in a salesperson? Do you look for someone who’s like actually been trained as a salesperson or more someone who’s just, you know, really down with PPC, like an expert at PPC? How

Johnathan Dane 42:25
do you know? So the ladder and the reason why is because it’s so technical that you can’t like, again, we’re marketing against other marketers to attract other marketers like their bullshit meters at an all time high. It’s just a random salesperson. And there’s a lot out there that marketing agencies rely on. But we found the person who was already an account manager is the best person to turn into a salesperson.

Jeremy Weisz 42:47
So do you start them in as a commander and they graduate or do or is it just a totally separate position?

Johnathan Dane 42:54
No, it’s it’s the first one you said. Like we started

Jeremy Weisz 42:58
in then Again with the so they go to the polls like this sounds amazing. Gentlemen, let’s do this. I want to get more leads, I want to get more conversions on leads, then how does it work after that? So we basically measure with this, it’s a lot of rolling up your sleeves and doing a lot of work. Like

Johnathan Dane 43:19
how does it though? So here’s what’s crazy, too. We build our own software called kite that actually scans the accounts for those recipes and finds the outliers for us

Jeremy Weisz 43:29
now because a lot of it buy that or does it only for internal purposes,

Johnathan Dane 43:33
that’s through the acquisition and all the private equity firms that we’ve talked to. They’re like, don’t have it as a separate company, which I thought to begin with, we should have and and so now, we’re moving it internally. So we still have other agencies are using and all that kind of stuff that are

Jeremy Weisz 43:48
how you’re not gonna let anyone else use it. Correct, except if they’re already using it,

Johnathan Dane 43:53
correct it Well, there’s gonna like let them dry out themselves. If they cancel. We’re just gonna tell him Hey, In 60 days, we’re going to stop offering the service. The reason why is not only as a great from a sales perspective, but it’s also great from current clients were manually As humans, we cannot be overseeing the 200 clients that we have, and still do the strategic work. So like we have to get pinged by our software kite when things fall outside of the norm that we didn’t have to go check me on. So. But the interesting thing is that regardless of you being lead gen, or e commerce or SAS, a lot of these recipes apply to you. And so when you actually look at our proposals that we send, the starting action plans are very similar. And everybody thinks they’re getting a custom proposal, which they are, because these are the things that are going to help them improve and goals. But the truth is, because we’ve simplified it so much, we’ve been able to make it a lot quicker.

Jeremy Weisz 44:48
Yeah, I mean, also you disqualify certain people that don’t fit into that. Maybe that you know, you’d have to customize more if you took, you know, certain types of businesses or too small or whatever. So I’m gonna be it’s going to be more

Johnathan Dane 45:02
of a challenge once we actually come out and offer our other services and like that prospect wants, you know, all of the services, that’s when it’s gonna take a lot longer.

Jeremy Weisz 45:13
So that kite of gives you a proprietary edge against your competitors it seems. But you did decide at one point to release it to have other people use it. And so the acquisition people are like yeah, keep us internal because that they’ll get the edge right exactly. So right now people cannot get it

Johnathan Dane 45:34
like they can today if they want to, but like the support of the outward facing benefits and features of it are some of them are being deprecated to focus more on what we needed to be internally instead, so they’re not going to get the best experience but you can today go sign up for and use Huawei.

Jeremy Weisz 45:50
Not that when a flood you with a bunch of users but people he knows a scarcity if you like, I can’t get it. I better get it now. Before you never know I’m curious as some of the lessons you learned you had another and built another agency in Utah. So what are some of the lessons you learn from that, that you took over to KlientBoost?

Johnathan Dane 46:12
Um, so before so before going to Utah, I was there for about like a year and a half. They the point like my co founder, the CEO there now, he was my client at the time, and I was a college senior, basically doing nothing but work marketing word wine class, and he was seeing what I was doing on a small scale and say, Hey, I had the more enterprise background and the connections, would you consider, you know, working together and so my girlfriend at that time now wife and I drove to to Utah, and we’re like, this place sucks. No, no, no, no harmful, you know, great people, but compared to Orange County, Southern California, like, come on, and I again, I left Denmark to come to California. So you know that I’m not about the seasons. I don’t like even Chicago. You can’t fall. It’s

Jeremy Weisz 46:59
terrible in Chicago. It’s freezing here.

Johnathan Dane 47:01
Yeah, I didn’t talk about it better be over here, not over there.

Jeremy Weisz 47:05
On unless it’s like two months of the year in the summer, then you’re fine here. Yeah,

Johnathan Dane 47:08
actually, I was at Lollapalooza a couple years ago.

Jeremy Weisz 47:12
I see There you go.

Unknown Speaker 47:12
Yes. It just

Johnathan Dane 47:15
only two months ago, like a couple hours. Just wanted to experience it was pretty funny. Um, so what I learned was to honestly, like, it sounds super cliche, but it was like, Okay, I can do this. Like, I’m talking to Red Hat. I’m talking to Citrix. I’m talking to, like, and I’m impressing that it gave

Jeremy Weisz 47:35
you the permission to do it on your own.

Unknown Speaker 47:38
Did did

Jeremy Weisz 47:40
gave you permission, just like oh, like,

Johnathan Dane 47:42
Well, yeah. So So what happened was the founder, and we’ve had our differences, and we’ve a lot better friends now than what we just weren’t maybe a couple years ago. You know, I was over operations. I was doing all the account management work, making sure everybody how would they help. Then I started being in charge of the marketing. Then I started being in charge of sales and at that point, I was like, Why no everything now and I feel like I can do it better than my co founder honestly that was like my NFU. Here’s this I hope he does is this the truth? I felt like I could do it better. And that gave me all the confidence I needed to be like okay, I’m going to go back to where we’re from we also knew was temporary in Utah we weren’t going to be there forever because again we’re not Mormon or anything like that. And again, love the people are awesome people, but we’re just away from our family like we were gonna we got married while we were out there in in Temecula, California, while we lived there, and like we were gonna start our family and all that kind of stuff too. So it’s just a matter of time.

Jeremy Weisz 48:34
What about lessons from you know, because you guys have grown grown fast as most people standards from KlientBoost, any hiring, you know, onboarding, sales, any of those things that lessons they like, oh, I’ll I’ll do this better or I won’t do it this way, or maybe some stuff you took from it.

Johnathan Dane 48:53
I’m not the only thing that was different was the way that we were approaching marketing and I wanted to build a brand and I want to be different And I didn’t I didn’t have I wasn’t seeing eye to eye with with the co founder about that. And so that was the biggest lesson. But one thing that has helped us out so much right now, especially during these times when everybody’s like, Oh my god, am I gonna get laid off? Am I gonna get fired? And they’re not sure is like, operate from like radical transparency actually do it like everybody at the company knows our profits everybody at the company knows exactly what we’re spending our money on. Like I’m opening the book. And again, I’m not concerned about anybody copying it or running away with it because it’s, it’s five years of work, like you can start sure, but if you’re not that person yourself, if you’re not having that personality, if you’re not fun, or slightly immature like I am sometimes too. It’s not gonna come across as authentic and you’re not gonna have the results I use. So the transparency aspect is really helpful because I’ll give you an example of when Coronavirus hit, and we did lay off some people but we use it more as a pre emptive measure to layoff people who are not performing well. And people who were more newly hired that didn’t have a full plate because we did Take a hit in clients that left or clients that paused. And people then came and asked like, Hey, can you give me a, like a guarantee that I’m not gonna be like, Oh, my like, to your face over zoom, obviously. I was like, I can’t promise you that. And here’s exactly why. And I’m just laying out the steps. And so even if it’s good news or bad news, operating off, transparency is very helpful. Now, people that I’ve been in, like entrepreneurs, organizations like eo and all that kind of stuff. And I remember there was one founder, who was like, deathly afraid of her team, you need to know her revenue. And I’m like, What are the benefits of that the pros far outweigh the cons when you’re transparent. And as long as you can tell your people on your team, that these are your rules for the game, that they have to play by your rules, then you can’t really have anybody who gets upset as long as again, you’re being honest and direct and transparent. And so that was the biggest thing where I was like, okay, even more so because I wasn’t the CEO then now I am How am I gonna operate

Jeremy Weisz 50:59
what What do you think was that person’s objection that people like they saw how big the company would be? So they would have,

Johnathan Dane 51:06
you know, that they would ask for more money.

Jeremy Weisz 51:09
And so that’s the thing that I think they would be concerned about. And so how do you get what would you What would you say to that person? Or how do you like it? Well, that’s,

Johnathan Dane 51:17
here’s how you can make more money. The way that you make more money, at KlientBoost is that you make the company more money first. And then the other part to it is like, what’s the market rate for your position? Like, I can help you make more money. And we can put a growth track together to get you to where you want to make. But if you’re at, let’s say, $80,000 a year today, and you want to get 250, or $500,000, I’m going to tell you flat out, it’s not going to happen. And if you really think that you’re going to do that anywhere else as an employee, be my guess. But you’re not. Instead, I’m going to give you the honest answer and honest feedback and show you here. The Glassdoor average salaries, you know, pick anywhere in the country you want. If it’s New York, you probably won’t even get close to that number anyways. So again, the transparency and honesty The truth has always been very helpful.

Jeremy Weisz 52:03
Can you This is interesting. Johnathan, can you talk to me about a conversation? Because you know, you want that your staff to when you some amazing staff, I looked up one of them has got like a YouTube channel, like 70,000 people on it. I watched one of his videos, he’s got out to him. He’s funny. Um, but, uh, when you had that conversation, you sat down because you really want to help them grow within your company, because that benefits the company benefits them. Can you talk to me and you have to mention names, but someone’s like, Listen, here’s where I’m at. Here’s one where I want to go and like you help walk through here’s the path here and they followed it.

Johnathan Dane 52:41
Yeah, the first thing is, like, you know, do as you say you’re going to do is really important like consistency with what you’re saying too. And so in the last in 2018, and 19, those two years in a row, the company actually made less profit year over year compared to 2000. 70, which is kind of crazy. Why is that? And it’s because we invest in our software, it’s because we mess it in the middle management layer that and we gave raises and all kind of stuff. And so when I show people that I chose to take less money home, even though I technically still make more than them, but I chose to take less money more, because I’m investing in the business, I’m giving raises. So these other people who are in those positions, it kind of puts away their, their their weapons, like their ammo is gone, right? There’s not really anything they can point say, hey, you’re just a greedy CEO, and you just want to make more money. And I tell them the same, I want to make more money, like you want to make more money too. So the way that we look about is if you’re an account manager, for example, you you average, a certain monthly recurring revenue that you’re handling that is like whatever the clients you’re handling are paying us. You can either raise the revenue by hitting the goals of those clients, which is like, you know, a good incentive in of itself. So you don’t have to add more clients to your list or you add my dog sorry, more, you add more clients. Those are the only two options now if you want to be going above that and becoming a manager or a director, beyond that. Well, here are the things that you have to hit. And that’s also spelled out black and white. And so and like, we were growing at the rate where like, we couldn’t say like, oh, here the next 10 steps for your career, because we hadn’t made those, like those positions yet. Like they’re we’re still working on it.

Jeremy Weisz 54:15
Yeah, someone can grow within their position, or they can grow into a different position. And then do you have a specific, um, you know, obviously, I remember interviewing someone you know, and they said that, you know, money is the least motivating, you know, appreciation, like all those things are more motivating to someone but, you know, people still want to, you know, obviously make more money. There’s certain bonus structures that you’ve seen, or ways to appreciate people whether it’s money or not money that

Unknown Speaker 54:50
yeah, I think,

Johnathan Dane 54:52
I think the lead so so we actually do what’s called a disc assessment of all our people that we hire, so we had like this, I would call like a scientific background. A motivational benchmark that we know, in the best performing people are the ones at client groups with a high dominance, the people who have high dominance, usually motivated by money. And so that’s why I started there. But on top of that, because we built, you know, some thought leadership because we have a brand people are really happy and excited when they can publish a blog post on the kindness blog, or, you know, if I put them in, you know, any other podcast wants, interviewed them, because I don’t have time or whatever, like that is a big plus. So they’re like using kindness, I tell them this, use this as a stepping stone. And right now, I also told them that I’m I’m doing a test on LinkedIn, with my content that I’m publishing there to see if I can get like a lot of engagement. And I am getting like over 100 reactions per post and a lot of comments and all kind of stuff. And I’m just getting started. I told him like, hey, if this works, I want to roll this out for you guys, so that we can be a force together but you should also care about your own brand, but don’t and this is the This is where the additional value comes where like they’re excited about content because they see it working for us, they see the fact that I get asked to be on shows like yours and things like that, too. That’s like sometimes blows their mind, which I’m really excited about. So I want to, I want to furnish that for them and give them those opportunities where they’re really pumped about. But also, one thing I keep time is like, Don’t confuse your own brand, with what is really the brand behind it. Because I never put my own brand before KlientBoost because it’s all it’s all hollow. Like you can’t, I can’t do the service for you myself. Like who cares? Eventually, like it might get bigger and bigger for my personal brand, but I care more about and the people that I respect the most. So people have built something right that once they they can’t fake anything. So I look at people like Gary Vaynerchuk for example, you I’m sure you’re familiar with him. Yeah. But a lot of people can give him flack, but what you can’t give a fuck about is he has over 1000 he was an operator. Yeah. How the f do you do that at that speed? Like That is impressive. So I gotta, I gotta take I literally saw him on stage and saying Diego years ago with my wife and we were so first we were like, appalled by him because he was just like raw. And then after that we were done when he was done talking, we’re like, holy shit, this guy’s amazing. He has a podcast we literally I literally went through episode one and it was like 200 episodes you know so far that point that I like listen to every single one of them went This is crazy. bought his book went to his Hudson Yards office was in a conference room with him as well to get this a year ago. Bloomberg tells me our point of contact that we were up against VaynerMedia in the actual like the reason why we won was because we can go super deep on the technical side because we can explain an answer the reasons why and I was like f Yeah, so anyways the whole the whole thing of like what I give them additionally in beyond money is that is that they know that they’re part of a brand vehicle that actually exponentially make themselves more famous. You know, it opened up doors to for sure yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 58:00
stick on that topic for a second, Johnathan, who are other colleagues or mentors or people that you respect in the industry that you follow like a Gary Vee could be people you know, or people you don’t know. I’m trying to think

Johnathan Dane 58:14
Gary Vee is the one that has like, tangible value, tactical value that you can like, listen to watch, read take right away, right. And the stuff works too. So those are the people. So I tend to say, but it’s not always the case, because especially during the pandemic, I consume a lot more content than I used to. But I focused very heavily on creating more than I consume. And so I don’t give my attention to a lot of people or companies that I don’t find like really impressive, and he’s definitely one that comes to top of mine. Peep Laja from conversion XL, which is a conversion. I interviewed him. Yeah, yeah. That guy’s a badass. He’s so funny. I’m literally part I’m a teacher for Conversion XL Institute and again these guys work with like like big brands right? And I and I’m I’m a teacher in his own course and I say and one of my guys in my team was like hey you know do you think we can get access to this conversion XL I was like of course we can buy it but like let me ask Peep if I can just get it for free so I email him he’s like yeah you can pay for it I’m like wow guy doesn’t be so guys straight to the point and like all this is this this is what is cool about Peep that I don’t think a lot of people understand is writers go out and do cool shit. So like he’s known for his blog, so Chanel Mullen got hired at Shopify. Alex Bearcat got hired at HubSpot. You know, like, it’s like, it’s like PayPal ma like doing cool stuff after like the LMS kind of people. So that’s, that’s another person I have tremendous respect for

Jeremy Weisz 59:50
any when you were talking about the acquisition, now Who do you go to to get advice from

Johnathan Dane 59:57
um, it’s really Interesting and it might sound super naive. But this is this is where people have given me advice on like, Hey, you should do better, like holding some information back so you can negotiate a bit more. And I’m like, No, it doesn’t really make sense for me to do that because they’re going to learn it anyways at some point and so, you know, I’d rather get to the answer and the end result quicker by just giving them everything now and so I don’t go to anybody really, I had a few conversations with like a business mentor who trains more of our VPS and directors. He was the one who recommended me that I actually leave entrepreneurs organization because he thought he would bring me down. So I was like, okay, like, I don’t hang out with you know, those the other founders or things like that. So there’s not really anything I look to in regards to that, that I can recommend. So,

Jeremy Weisz 1:00:47
I have two last business questions. And first of all, thank you, Johnathan. This has been amazing. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and thank you people should check out with a and check out everything that you guys do. And before I ask the business questions I always ask since it’s Inspired Insider, what’s been a low moment that you had to push through, it’s been a challenging time. And then what’s been a high proud moment. But before those two, I want to hear from your basketball career, what was like your favorite game of all time or something that you think back on? As because I just remember you telling a story like you would just dribble in your room for like, hours? I don’t know how tall are you? I’m 6161. So like, you play professional basketball overseas, and so you must be able to dunk or do something crazy.

Johnathan Dane 1:01:43
Well, you really well, okay, yeah, I saw once.

Jeremy Weisz 1:01:46
So maybe your your game like when you go to bed, your head hits the pillow, and that’s like the game you think of.

Johnathan Dane 1:01:56
So the coolest experience was So I had actually gotten in the fight with my dad. I was I was in high school over here in the US, and he sent me back home to my mom and Denmark. And everywhere in the US, you can pretty much go anywhere to play a pickup basketball game pretty easily. In Denmark. It’s like it’s soccer first, and it’s handball. And then it’s like, probably not even basketball that at that time, but it’s only like very seasonal. So you can only do it during winter or something like that. So I had a, my first job was being a receptionist in a fitness center, which I thought was like, that’s going to be a very good use of me being productive, right, I can work out and I can make some money, which I actually didn’t make any money. I always got a free membership from doing that. So they had like an aerobics studio. And there was again, no basketball hoop, but they had this Reebok medicine ball that was rubbery and bouncy where normal medicine balls will just like you know, drop them into large like loud thumping, like that’s it. And so I just was dribbling like crazy and my forearm muscles were getting pretty ripped and so I was getting really good at dribbling that summer. So I came back to Denmark in February. That summer. The Cut the the Danish championship team was holding a basketball camp. I signed up joined I forgot a blow up mattress. I didn’t sleep on anything but my clothes scattered on like the cold cement floor. And so for a good week, I just slept on that only like my clothes which wasn’t a lot and then go out to play like what seemed like six hours a day and then go back to sleep and all kinds of stuff. I won MVP of the of the camp. I got asked to join the team. They gave me like a place to stay in the city and all that kind of stuff and copy for travel. I physically never got paid money. I got comped, which was still the NCAA rule breaking. So that’s why I call myself professional and it was also the professional league. But to get to your get to your question, because they had won the Danish championship. They got invited to Europa League, and in the preseason, and you go to cut like basically drive down to teams again in Germany or Was Croatia and things like that. And like kids in Croatia 18 years old, average height six, seven. It’s just like farm teams and there’s biome Tony, coach from the bulls.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:10

Johnathan Dane 1:04:11
My favorite thing was talking to these other American players who were on these teams that were playing against that were like, bench players for USC, or like massively, you know, successful college programs. And I was like, This is wild. And I again, I wasn’t a starter or anything like that. I came off the bench, but I got decent playing time. That was just the experience to say that you’ve done that was incredible. And I actually came to the US get this wanting to be a marine biologist, and play basketball. And the whole thing didn’t work. And I hated chemistry. So I stopped breaking biology and I found marketing.

Jeremy Weisz 1:04:52
Were you just a light out shooter? How did you win the MVP?

Johnathan Dane 1:04:56
Um, I guess. I guess the competition wasn’t that good. Great when I look back at it, but I was I’m a I’m a decently good shooter. I can obviously, you know, be too cocky, but I’m pretty good. Alright, well Chicago

Jeremy Weisz 1:05:09
dinner and then horse is like the agenda. But um, you could probably be me We’ll see. So, low moment challenging time and proud moment. Well, we’re,

Johnathan Dane 1:05:21
um, so I, people ask me what my motivation is today and I think I’ve I go to therapy pretty regularly. I it’s such a help. It’s amazing with my wife as a psychologist, by the way, so if she Okay, awesome. She’ll give me a high five on normalizing therapy. I think it’s gonna happen very, very soon. It’s amazing. But what we basically found that was so my dad sent me home. My mom kicked me out. Again, it sounds really bad and I wasn’t growing up in the hood or the ghetto or anything like that. It’s all relative right to like your own circumstances. Then I came back over to the US and I wasn’t on terms of my Dad yet, but I was with my grandma his own mom. And she kicked me out. And these are reasons that are like, why I was like I was like a problem kid who seemed like such

Unknown Speaker 1:06:10
a nice guy was,

Johnathan Dane 1:06:11
well, let me let me give you the reasons. So my dad, I got a girlfriend in high school, I started losing focus on basketball or losing focus on school and like my grades are dropping all that kind of stuff. And we got in a fight. And I was like that, why don’t you just send me home? And he was like, cool. He printed out a British Airways itinerary that days, guide me to the airport, and like, send me off. My mom had because I lived so many years in the US had basically, you know, continues your own life, got a boyfriend at the time moved in together, they moved to another part of Denmark, which is called Jutland, which is like the south, you know, in the US equivalent. And I just didn’t get along with the boyfriend. And it was more him being threatened by me. I was actually pretty chill. But I was 18 at the time and my mom is like, can you get you know your own place? And I was like, sure. I did. I got stressed induced asthma like literally couldn’t reach an apex of my breath, like the peak of it. And that’s like the most frustrating imagine taking a deep breath and not being able to like I’ve experienced it

Jeremy Weisz 1:07:09
like a couple of It’s so frustrating. Yeah,

Johnathan Dane 1:07:11
yeah. So that happened, um, how to how to get my first job and all that kind of stuff too, which sounds easy, but it’s not easy when both your parents are not there to really support you. And then my grandma kicked me out because I didn’t change the light bulb in my own bathroom fast enough. And I had a dent a tiny little dent in the bumper that I didn’t get fixed fast enough, either. She just decided to send me out. So my point is, is that I had people who have controlled my left is pull the rug out from underneath me that since then, this is now so that’s my down part. My highlight is that since I’ve been so focused on making my rug as heavy as possible, financially, that I have this drive that I have today, because I had this fear in the back of my mind that somebody can just yank it out. Um, so I took my bad things and turn them into good things. Which I’m really thankful for. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 1:08:02
Thanks for sharing that. A lot of times I find that hard charging really motivated people. There’s some pain that’s driving them

Johnathan Dane 1:08:10
or fear that they don’t want to really fear and pain. Yeah, exactly.

Jeremy Weisz 1:08:13
So, you know, thank you again, Johnathan. People check out and you know everything that you’re doing. I really appreciate your time and knowledge.

Johnathan Dane 1:08:25
Thank you, my man. It was so fun being on here.