How Ryan Deiss Grew Digital Marketer to $10M in ARR

DigitalMarketer has over 15,000 paying members and half a million subscribers that trust them to learn about digital marketing. Learn how they grew past the $1M and $5M ARR plateaus and how Ryan Deiss’ business model had to change.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • [01:35] How Ryan got into the traffic conversion space and what it was like back then when he was just starting
  • [07:33] How Ryan was able to build an email list and the pivotal moment that eventually launched DigitalMarketer
  • [12:16] When DigitalMarketer became an actual company and how they built the business
  • [16:23] What they did to change DigitalMarketer from a personality-driven brand into a company-driven brand and some of the big shifts that they made in the company
  • [25:15] What it was like when DigitalMarketer went almost bankrupt
  • [27:57] What they did to improve their customer churn and create the stickiness that made customers keep coming back
  • [35:10] The shifts they had to make to get to $10M in ARR
  • [39:45] Tips on what not to do when it comes to product expansion
  • [41:52] How hiring the right people made the biggest impact on DigitalMarketer’s growth

Key Takeaways:

  • Just going out there and selling something for $2,000, the market would only bear that price point for so long, especially when everybody else started doing it. Because at that point, if everybody is doing it and a lot of them suck, it doesn’t matter that yours are good. People aren’t going to know the difference from the outside looking in.
  • When everybody in the marketplace looks exactly the same, the only advantage that you can have is to have a better brand.
  • If you want your business to be a sellable brand, it can’t be about you.
  • Selling a subscription is much harder than selling one-offs, but as long as you have something new to talk to people about, they would sign up.
  • People will join for content, but they stay for the community.
  • If you really want to make subscription work, what you have to incorporate into it is some type of pain of disconnect.

Action Steps:

  • Turn your business into a company-driven brand.
  • Take the “genius” and turn it into a transferable document.
  • Consider shifting from an ala-carte model into a subscription model.
  • Do something new that would entice customers to sign up for a membership or a subscription.
  • Invest in creating a community for your brand and then leverage that.
  • Hire people who care, who are excited, and who want to learn, and invest in them.
  • Focus on efficiency rather than productivity.
  • Set aside money for taxes.

Ryan Deiss said:

“If you’re in the guru business, you want to tell your origin story, you want to talk about how all these amazing things happened to you. If you want to make a pivot away from the guru business and into this true sellable brand… you’ve got to set your ego aside.”

“Productivity is a myth. It’s garbage. The more productive you get, the more capacity that you create within yourself, which means the more work you do. We don’t get more productive and then do less. We get more productive and then do more.”

More from Ryan Deiss:

DigitalMarketer Website

Ryan’s Twitter (@ryandeiss)

Ryan’s LinkedIn

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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