In this podcast, Deividas welcomes a long coming guest Darius Kunca – who he met around 1.5 years ago.
Darius also works in eCommerce, running AdKings Agency, but has completely different expertise from Deividas. Making him the perfect guest for the podcast.
Darius describes himself as a ‘simple guy’. But there’s much more to him than what he says.
He started his first eCommerce business at 18, made a lot of mistakes, and 7-8 years later he’s now running AdKings, helping businesses scale to 6-7+ figures. Deividas, meanwhile, has only been in the eCommerce world for 3 years so far.
Looking back, Darius says he wasn’t as mature back then. And he had to learn things the hard way – going from one project to another. He chalks this up to a learning experience.
He wanted to create a unique private label and as he found out, working with manufacturers was much harder than he expected.
He encountered 2 main problems:
- You don’t have a lot of capital when you’re just starting out.
- He used to have stock only once per month out of 3-4 months.
Deividas agrees that managing the supply chain and product development can get incredibly hard. Instead, for him, marketing is easier.
At the time, Darius was working as freelance with different projects in Lithuania – but he wasn’t super happy about the quality of the clients.
For 6 months, he decided to drop everything, focus on bettering himself, and figure out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
He didn’t have a lot of money at the time and he was still a student. So, he decided to sign up for a gym, download a ton of Tony Robbins podcasts (Get an Edge), and try to figure out what was his life vision.
From the podcasts, Darius learned to take action and figured out what drove him.
Darius explains that during childhood, he had a lot of problems. He came from nothing and learned how to reshape and reforge himself.
This inspired a lot of values in him so that he’s constantly seeking challenges now and believes that a person coming from 0 can reach anything. It’s all about taking baby steps and mastering all areas of your life.
At a certain point, he was spending 12-16 hours a day consuming self-improvement material.
He explains the concept of trial by fire. Even though he had stuttering problems, he spoke at a conference of up to 100 people and now started his own business.
After 2 years of constant efforts of improving himself, he started seeing results. Now, 5 years later, progress has been huge.
The next topic they discuss is agency plans.
He explains that AdKings is a boutique agency, consisting of 11 people, working with 9 clients, and they’re generating low 6 figures per month.
They treat each client independently, treat them as partners, and they grow together.
He explains his main goal is to reach 25 people and 20 clients. Darius says he doesn’t want to grow to a huge agency because of personal preference.
After a certain size, the magic of a small business disappears.
Finding the right people becomes different and usually, results suffer.
Deividas agrees that big agencies have it different. They have a bigger budget, but they don’t dedicate enough time to their clients. He recalls one client who ended up going to a big agency instead, but a few months later came back and wanted to work with Deividas’ team again.
Darius then explains his approach to having a network of partners. Having a team in-house is good, but it can be limiting on the number of things you can do.
With partners, you can do a full spectrum of different things – from creating user-generated content to video reviews.
The next topic they discuss is video ads.
Deividas explains that the classic “Buzzfeed-style” video ads have stopped working for him, and instead, 15-second ads and GIFs are performing better now.
Darius says they’ve also tried a modified version of “Buzzfeed-style” ads and emotional videos also work well.
He then explains another top-performing video ad format: Running a ~40-second video in a 4×5 format, the product footage below has to be captivating, and on top, instead of text, you put 5-6 reviews. The first reviews are usually more hype that act as a hook.
Then, you include reviews about USPs. For example, one review about one USP, 2nd review about 2nd USP of the product, and so on.
Deividas explains his approach: The ads aren’t exactly direct-responsive, but rather, they’re conversational ads.
Next, Deividas explains that agencies aren’t as sustainable as businesses. At this point, he has the formula to scale a business up to $50M, as he’s working with 3 of them now. He knows what mistakes they made, what pitfalls to avoid, what people to hire, and so on.
Deividas says he’s reading a book called Organizational Physics (recommended by Kris), and according to it, there are 4 types of people in any organization:
- Producer – Someone who’s super hands on and can work 12 hours a day until the project is done.
- Stabilizer – Always asking the ‘How’ questions behind projects and decisions. Takes time to have meetings and decide carefully how to approach the projects, and doesn’t get along with the Producer.
- Innovator – Comes up with great ideas and is annoyed when people aren’t listening or supporting their ideas.
- Unifier – People-person who makes sure everyone gets along.
For an organization to grow, you need all of them in your team.
Growing a business is like jumping out of an airplane and building a parachute as you’re falling, explains Darius.
Some people grow with your agency, while others get stuck and bring down the agency.
Which is why you have to sometimes stop and identify what’s working within your agency and what’s not – within your co-workers.
Next thing they discuss is cyber Mondays and black Friday – Darius shares his expertise on the topic and lessons learned from A/B testing. Deividas explains he’s planning to test live shopping for eCommerce and then share the data based on what worked.
Darius explains that at the end of the day, it all comes back to the basics: it’s all about testing.
You never really know what will work and what won’t.
So, the one thing he recommends is not to overcomplicate things and a lot depends on your offer.
Last question: Today is your last day on earth. You’re going to Mars with Elon Musk. You got one paragraph you can leave for your kids, family, or the planet earth. What does it say?
Darius’ answer: Divide your time in half, in between learning and taking action.
Here’s what we cover during episode #40:
- Meet Darius: Memories with Deividas and how they met
- How Darius’ 7-8 years of experience compares to Deividas’ 3 years of experience in eCommerce
- Flashbacks into Darius’ past – running an eCommerce business way before dropshipping was a thing
- How Darius got into the agency life after taking 6 months off to focus on himself and figure out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life
- How Darius ended up co-founding AdKings over a random pool game when he and Justin (co-founder) decided to challenge each other to go into foreign markets and figure out how to land clients there
- Why Darius decided to sign up for the gym and listen to 30 days of Tony Robbins podcasts to figure out his life vision
- How Darius got into self-improvement, his transformation and the concept of trial by fire
- How coming from nothing shaped Darius’ life and allowed him completely to reshape himself
- Next topic: agency plans. Darius explains his approach to AdKings and how they’re operating
- Why Darius wants to reach the magic number of 25 people and 20 clients balance
- Big agencies v small ones: What Deividas and Darius think and their perspective on growing
- Darius on his video approach and their video styles: How they manage to outsource and maintain their quality
- Deividas and Darius discuss video ads: What’s working and what’s not
- Darius’ secret top-performing video ad template you can copy today
- Deividas’ approach to video ads – why they’re not purely direct-response, but rather, conversational ads
- New video ad trends and brands to keep an eye out for
- Growing businesses from the ground zero: Bootstrapping clients and 20xing a business – lessons learned
- The mindset shift from the business perspective, and why agencies transition into running their own businesses
- Why agencies aren’t as sustainable and what Deividas learned working with 3 clients making around ~$50M
- The 4 types of people you see in any organization, based on a book on management Deividas is reading
- Doing personality tests when hiring people
- Why Darius is in a phase when he’s rethinking everything right now – in terms of business structures and what makes someone a right fit
- Growing businesses, finding the right fit, and how to make sure someone isn’t bringing down you with them
- Summertime for agencies: Is it the best time or worst time for agencies? Darius talks client retention for agencies
- Cyber mondays and black fridays – eCommerce tips, growth-hacks, and what to test
- “The irresistible offer”, according to Darius
- One last question from Deividas – Darius is going to Mars with Elon Musk, what one paragraph does he leave behind for the planet earth?
- Time management skills and lessons from Darius to accomplish your goals
Links mentioned in the episode:
eCommerce Growth Hacks | Facebook Ads, Creatives, Email & More | by Sugatan
Last 3 Episodes:
#39 Tom Shipley – The Secrets Of Selling $1B Worth of DTC Products
#38 Deividas & Kris – Optimizing for Success: Unblocking Bottlenecks and Winning Processes
#37 Fares Benouhiba – How to Spend $300k/Month Profitably on Snapchat Ads