Facebook Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself
“It’s really hard to write bad copy. It doesn’t need to be the best ad copy ever.” Mark Feldman of Digital Brand Builder Podcast grills me on what the “best” digital ad copy looks like. I give it to him straight – there’s no such thing as perfect ad copy. I reveal my stupidly simple, yet highly utilitarian method of copywriting.
We talk about the intricacies of the Facebook ad algorithm. It may seem like it became harder to target Facebook ads now that Facebook removed much of the targeting UI … but the truth is actually deeper. Facebook understands more about its users than you could ever imagine. The algorithm really runs itself—you don’t even need to do your own targeting.
We also talk about:
- The fact that I don’t personally use Facebook.
- I have never used TikTok.
- Boomer marketing vs. modern marketing.
- Writing ads that don’t just attract the right people – they push away the wrong people.
About the Show: Mark Fidelman is the host of Digital Brand Building.
Mark Fidelman: Hello, everyone, welcome to “The Digital Brand Builder” Podcast. Today, joining me, is Dylan Ogline, and we’re going to talk about direct response advertising and how to do it well. And he’s been doing this for a long time. He is bragging that he’s a high school dropout from rural Pennsylvania, and we made an exception to allow this high school dropout on this program. That’s a joke, everyone. But glad Dylan’s on the show. And, Dylan, before we jump in can you give us a 200-word or less background on yourself?
Dylan Ogline: Hey, Mark, thanks. Thank you so much for having me and I really appreciate you making the exception on the whole high school dropout thing.
Mark Fidelman: Middle school. We cut it off at middle school, okay?
Dylan Ogline: At least, okay, all right. So I did finish ninth grade, so at least I did make it to high school. So, yeah, I guess I can start with that. Yeah, from a small country town in Pennsylvania, I did drop out of high school in the 10th grade. Started my first business when I was 14. And also, like that first business was why I ended up dropping out of high school. I realized that I definitely wanted to get into business. So by the logical thing to do at the time for me was to drop out and focus, go 100% into business.
That didn’t really pay off that well. The next 12 or so years was a lot of struggle, a lot of bouncing around from one business idea to the next, getting absolutely nowhere. And it wasn’t until that I really focused on one single thing, which was digital marketing, right my digital agency work. And then one single service with that digital agency work, which was digital marketing management, managing ads for clients.
So that was probably two or three years ago that I really switched focus on that. And now I have a seven-figure agency, I live honestly my dream life. Before COVID I was able to actually travel around the world– a long distant memory now. But, yeah, I mean it’s been completely different the last couple years once I completely shifted, bouncing around, trying to chase too many rabbits at one time and just focus on one single thing, and here we are with just the agency.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. And that agency focuses on, what, direct response or other things?
Dylan Ogline: Direct response marketing, yes. So we manage ads for our clients, and it’s always direct response. 99% of it is Facebook and Google, we do play around with YouTube as well.
Mark Fidelman: Okay, and before we jump in, let’s define what you mean by direct response advertising in the digital marketing space.
Dylan Ogline: Sure. So I think I should start when most people– especially older folks, Baby Boomers and whatnot– when they think of marketing, they’re thinking of an ad in the newspaper or a TV ad that’s all about brand awareness or something along those lines. Or a billboard where you can’t really track it or something like that. With direct response, it can mean different things for different industries and different niches, but it really comes down to the customer clicks on an ad, they’re taken to a page– a landing page or whatnot– where they take a very specific action. They’re scheduling an appointment to get a quote, they’re requesting a quote from an RFP– a request for a proposal. Those types of things, the potential customer’s taken a very specific direct action.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. So good, now that we have that defined, what’s the top three platforms that you do this for right now?
Dylan Ogline: It would be Facebook ads primarily, Google Ads for more B2B, and then we have been playing around with YouTube. We did talk before the show here about chasing shiny objects and whatnot. I am very much so against– I used to not be this way, very much so used to not be this way, but now focus on the tried and true things. Like right now everybody’s focusing on TikTok ads or whatever. I don’t even know what that means. I’ve never even used TikTok in my life. So three or four years from now if that becomes tried and true, they get better with their platform, okay, maybe then I’ll take a look at it.
So for me it is Facebook ads have been around for years, their platform gets better and better, and now it’s an incredible platform for advertising. Google Ads, same thing, and YouTube is really just taking off now. It’s just a little bit more difficult to get to work.
Mark Fidelman: Okay, so Facebook is like everybody’s doing it, everybody’s on it. I just find it– I mean it’s a good platform, don’t get me wrong, I use it with my clients, but it just seems like once they stripped away all that, those targeting things that you used to be able to do, it’s become a lot more about guesswork, but maybe I’m wrong. Let’s start with Facebook and what would you say the state of Facebook direct response advertising is in right now?
Dylan Ogline: I could honestly go into a very deep conversation about you have to understand really how Facebook works, how the Facebook algorithm works. I’m going to talk about Google first. So Google is somebody specifically typing in “fence installers”– I’m just randomly going with fence installers—“fence installers in Orlando,” okay? They’re specifically typing that. Or now you know because obviously because Google tracks your IP and whatnot, they know your location. You just type in “fence installers,” and it’s going to show you fence installers in your area. So that you’re getting extremely targeted and that person, say you’re a fence company, or you’re a marketing agency like me, and you’re doing ads for a fence company, you’re targeting specifically people who are already searching for that, right?
With Facebook, it is the deeper stuff that you can’t even guess about your client or your potential customers. So you talked about targeting. Thinking about go back 15, 20 years ago. Let’s say you’re a car dealership, which I know I’m bouncing around in industries here, I apologize. But say you’re a car dealership, and you sell trucks, and you want to target more customers. Well, what do you do? All right, well, I’m going to do radio ads. So then maybe you ask a couple of your customers what radio stations do you listen to? Oh, we listen to country music, right? That’s targeting. So then you start running ads on country music stations, local country music stations.
That’s pretty much all you know about your clients. You might be able to figure out their age, you might be able to figure out their income bracket, you might be able to figure out that they like sports, but it’s very limited. There is an infinite number of psychological metrics that are similar to that. How aggressive is the person? What are their political views? Just really deep, deep stuff that we can’t even grasp. Facebook knows that stuff about us. And it’s not like they have like a file on you or something like that. People misunderstand.
So when you start doing Facebook ads, and you let the algorithm run, you let it go, it is going to find people who engage with your ad based on an infinite number of psychological traits that you would never know to target. Is that making sense to you?
Mark Fidelman: Yeah. It does. It does, and I know it self-learns based on behavior, and lookalike audience, and all that.
Dylan Ogline: Yes.
Mark Fidelman: So, I agree, it’s the best targeting. My biggest problem was they removed a lot of that targeting from privacy concerns. So it’s an interesting balance that they’ve obtained.
Dylan Ogline: That is certainly true. It comes down to once you let the algorithm run itself. You can guess about your clients that they like country music, or they’re Republican, or they’re Democrat, or they have Conservative views, Liberal views. I mean, you can guess those things about them, but Facebook knows. When somebody’s on their phone, and they’re scrolling through the feed– which, by the way, I just need to comment that I absolutely hate Facebook and I don’t use it myself. I think it’s totally addicting, and it’s bad for you, but hey, people use it.
When you’re on your phone and you’re scrolling, okay? How fast you scroll Facebook is tracking that. When you type, the language that you use when you add a comment, the things that you engage with, the things that you like, the new stories, the videos that you watch, the stuff that you click on, Facebook’s watching all of that while you’re using their app. Facebook, I mean obviously, the Facebook Pixel, Facebook knows what websites you’ve been to. So that they know that people that– I go back to that dealership example– they know that people who buy trucks tend to visit NFL.com. Just a random example. Facebook knows that stuff so that their algorithm, their AI, is able to get into that deep psychological stuff and target your ads beyond anything that any human can guess.
Mark Fidelman: Right. Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: It’s really boring stuff.
Mark Fidelman: No, it’s not boring. I mean people listening to this are going to be interested in that.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, you know what, that is true. That is true, yes.
Mark Fidelman: The thing for me is, okay, Facebook is one way to target people that don’t know that they really need your thing or to get them to do something else like take a survey, or join an event, or something like that. And it’s based on your interest. It’s almost as if you’re just scrolling in your feed and Facebook thinks that you are going to be interested in this so it shows you this particular ad. And a lot of times it is targeted, it’s relevant. I don’t know if they’re listening to my conversations or they’re just that good at determining what I like. But, yeah, it is pretty good.
But beyond that, let’s just say what the targeting’s like. What kind of an ad creative copy, how do you put that together to get the greatest conversions from your direct response?
Dylan Ogline: See, that’s where you never know. You just have to test. Test your assumptions and test fast. I’m very much willing to break things, and move fast.
Mark Fidelman: Do you use a technology for that or do you just throw out 20 ads and see which one wins?
Dylan Ogline: Throw out 20 ads and see which one wins.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. That’s a lot of work.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, I try to keep things as simple as humanly possible.
Mark Fidelman: Yeah.
Dylan Ogline: And, really, it’s all about engagement. At its core, that’s what Facebook’s all about, that’s what YouTube’s all about as well. And it’s really just putting stuff out there and trying to guess. And I also think that when I’m teaching people how to start their own agency or whatnot, I tell them focus on a niche. And the reason you want to do that is as you write ads for the same niche. Say you’re just doing car dealerships, because we were talking about that before. If you’re writing ads for car dealerships, you’re going to get better, and better, and better. And then as you add more clients, you’re going to get better, and better, and better.
So I think it’s your first ad’s going to be terrible, so just write it, put it out there, and put out multiple, and just test your assumptions. Don’t be looking for the silver bullet. Just don’t look for the magic, the secret cheat code, or something like that. Just do the work, put it out there, and see what works.
Mark Fidelman: Yeah. Okay. And but how do you know how to get started with it? Do you look at competitor ads? Do you look at other creative that’s out there? How do you suggest people kind of get started to be in the right ballpark?
Dylan Ogline: I think it’s a good idea to look at… I’m very much so against looking at competitors or analyzing competitors. You have to be very careful if you’re doing that. But if you were starting from scratch, you’ve never written an ad before– whether it’s Google, Facebook, whatever—yeah, I think if you’ve never, ever written an ad before, I think that’s probably a good place to start. Or just Google like “good Facebook ad examples.” And you’ll find people are looking like what’s the perfect Facebook ad copy? What does it look like? And that doesn’t exist, that’s not real.
So just get out there and look for something and just look for example and then let your own mind run and just write. Don’t overthink it. I know that’s people want the little secrets to things like that. And I get this all the time with students when they’re, “Well, how do I write the ad copy for a client?” like don’t overthink it. There is no secret. It’s one of those things where how do you teach somebody to ride a bike? Just go ride it. I mean, try to, here’s how to move, and here’s how to ride the pedals, and whatnot. You’re not going to learn to ride a bike until you actually go and do it. You’re not going to get better until you just continue to ride a bike.
And I know that’s pretty, it’s not what people like to hear, but I think when it comes to copywriting, writing ads and things like that, it’s okay to look at examples, but just do it. You just got to do the work.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. And doing the work in terms of copy. How do you get inspired for copy? Are these things that you’ve written in the past that you know kind of triggers something emotionally within your prospects or your client’s prospects? How do you look at copy?
Dylan Ogline: Definitely emotion. Emotion is something you want to tap into it, and that comes into knowing a lot about your– in my particular case as an agency owner, knowing what my client’s customers are looking for. So I’m going to switch away from the car dealership because I do want to give you an example here because I think it hones in.
One of the niches that we work in is plumbing and heating companies, like HVAC companies. And our clients aren’t looking for repair works, they’re looking for new installs. Okay, so like getting a new furnace installed, getting a new boiler installed, like that’s the kind of work that they like. So when we’re writing an ad, we have to understand what is the customer looking for. Okay, they don’t care about the features of the boiler to get heat in their house. They’re tired of their high energy bills, their high electric bill, their high gas bill. So you have to understand the emotions that are triggering those people to buy.
So in that particular case, you’re going to talk about are you sick of high energy bills? Or are you tired of freezing in the middle of winter? Or if it’s summer and it’s like say a Florida HVAC company, is your wife complaining about sweating? Like that is actually an ad that’s worked well. Is your wife complaining because your house is too hot? That stuff is tapping into emotion. It’s not talking about, “Hey, we got great AC units.” Or, “Hey, we got energy-efficient furnaces.” It’s talking about the emotion, does that make sense?
Mark Fidelman: Yeah. Yup. And getting that to work though can be a challenge. And, like you said, you really got to know your audience. You really got to know what triggers them.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Mark Fidelman: If it’s politics it’s pretty easy. But when you get into something like I used an example about cars, or lawnmowers, or fences, that gets a little harder, right? Then you have to get a little bit more creative.
Dylan Ogline: But this is where, really Mark, with Facebook in particular. Google is different, it’s a different animal, but with Facebook it’s really about letting the AI, the algorithm figure out what drives your people, what drives the customer. Like once you get it going, in my experience, once you get it going it almost like runs itself, because Facebook has figured out the targeting eventually.
Mark Fidelman: But they’re not figuring out the creative and the copy though. I mean you could have crappy creative and copy, and I don’t care how good the AI is, it’s not going to convert for you, right?
Dylan Ogline: I mean, yes, the answer to that is certainly yes. But I think so many people, a lot of folks they got caught up, and it’s really hard to write bad copy. At least, in my experience, a lot of people I’ve had students in my program who they’re like, “Oh, I’m terrible at copywriting.” I’m like, “Okay, let me see an ad.” And like I take a look at their ad, I’m like, “That’s not bad.” If you’re trying, and you’re taking a look at examples, and you’re actually putting some effort in, I think it’s a lot harder to write bad copy than it is to just write. It doesn’t need to be the best ad copy ever. And that’s kind of the key to Facebook is, in my opinion, it takes away the fact that the copy needs to be incredible. If you write just decent copy with Facebook, you’re probably in the right direction.
I would actually add one more thing here is I think it’s key to you want to write– and this is probably more with Google– but you want to write copy that pushes away the wrong people. Like say I was talking about the fence company, the fence company with Google Ads. I’ve never worked with a fence company, so I don’t know, but say you install high-end fences, which I presume is a thing. You install brick high-end expensive fences. You don’t want somebody who’s looking for a chain-link fence to click on your ad. So you would maybe put in your ad minimum project is $10,000 or whatever. Again, I know nothing about fences, so I’m just shooting from the hip here.
Mark Fidelman: Of course.
Dylan Ogline: I think it’s better to think of your copy as pushing away the wrong people rather than just targeting the right people. Especially with Google. Push away the people that you don’t want to click on your ad. You only want the right people to be clicking on your ad. Instead of trying to get everybody to click on your ad you want the right people to click not the wrong people.
Mark Fidelman: So is there a methodology to determining what that is?
Dylan Ogline: It’s, again, every niche, every industry is different. It’s really about knowing. Going back to my example of the plumbing and heating company. The plumbing and heating company, which is my client, they’re really looking for install projects, right? So they don’t want people who are just looking for AC maintenance. They want people who are specifically looking for getting a new furnace, getting a new AC, getting a new boiler.
So you don’t even want to talk about, “Hey, we do everything from if you need a new AC, you need your AC maintained, you need an AC repair, we can do that for you.” You want your ad to just talk about how is your wife complaining because your house is too hot? That ad is going to drive them to ocean. And then in the copy you’re talking about we can install a new energy efficient AC unit or something like that. Those are the types of things where you’re getting very specific and you’re not talking about, “Hey, we can do everything for anybody when it comes to HVAC work.” Obviously they do everything, but the ad is only targeting the right people.
Mark Fidelman: That’s interesting. I never thought of it that way, but it makes total sense to me, that you would do it in a way that excludes people so you’re not wasting clicks, or time. You’re helping to train Facebook at identifying and finding the right people.
Dylan Ogline: Exactly. Yes.
Mark Fidelman: So let’s move away from Facebook just for a little bit on direct response. You said you do Google for more B2B, you do a little bit of YouTube, but you’re not doing Instagram. Now, to me, Facebook and Instagram they’re different platforms, but you can do it from the same advertising back-end. Why not Instagram?
Dylan Ogline: Because I think in my particular case, the clients that I’m working with are typically not consumer ecommerce, but I don’t have any like ecommerce clients. So if you have, say, a consumer-based product like a treadmill, or a clothing brand, or something like that, Instagram is very powerful and would highly recommend it. It’s not the niches that I tend to be working with. A plumbing and heating company is probably not going to have very good success with Instagram ads.
Like I said, I do think if you have a strictly consumer brand, which has a lot to do with image I think. I don’t mean just pictures, I mean like so with a treadmill, that’s about getting fit, that’s about getting healthy or whatnot. So you can have great videos and great pictures. I think that’s something that would go well with Instagram. If you’re a clothing company, that’s about being in style or whatever. That’s going to go great with Instagram. Plumbing and heating company probably not.
Mark Fidelman: That’s interesting. So YouTube, let’s kind of talk about YouTube direct response. See, I find YouTube to be even better than Facebook in some respects. A: I think it’s less expensive. B: I mean you could run your own video in front of your competitors’ videos in a lot of cases. I mean you could do laser targeting on individual videos. And I don’t find their targeting overall to be better, or even close to Facebook, but you can just target genres of videos that are in your field in order to put your video ad in front of people and they can’t skip it. They can skip it after five seconds. You can also do discovery ads, but it just seems like Facebook is a worthy place to do direct response. Where am I wrong?
Dylan Ogline: You mean YouTube is a worthy?
Mark Fidelman: Yeah, YouTube. I don’t know what I just said, but YouTube.
Dylan Ogline: No worries. No, certainly yes, YouTube is very powerful. And if you understand the whole algorithm thing, and how Facebook is working, YouTube is extremely similar to that. All of us who are on YouTube on our phones or whatever we’re attracted to certain videos, we’re clicking on the other types of videos, and just YouTube’s learning all that stuff about us. And especially if you comment, YouTube is learning a lot more about you. So that is certainly a vey powerful platform.
For me, working with my clients to do it, the challenge is the fact that you have to have like a decent video to have it be successful. Whereas if I’m working with a client who they provide me with no pictures and nothing, their branding’s terrible, I can still come up with good pictures, I can still write good copy. I can’t make the client a good video to use on YouTube. So if you have your own business, and you have your own ecommerce company or whatever, and you’re doing your own ads, YouTube is fantastic if you can make great videos– or just decent videos. It could be just sitting in front of your webcam or whatever just to get a good video out. It’s extremely powerful. Like you said, it tends to be cheaper, you can put ads on your competitors’ videos, I think it’s fantastic. It’s just for my particular business model and my particular clients that I’m working with, it’s just difficult to get them to make a good video.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. And I mean the video part of it, that is totally true. It’s had to kind of AB test a bunch of videos unless you create a wide variety of them and splice and dice them differently. I’ve seen it happen, but it’s a lot harder than what you’re doing with Facebook ads. I just find them to be more impactful and they can last a lot longer.
Dylan Ogline: That is absolutely true. Yes.
Mark Fidelman: I’ve not seen kind of this AB test where you post a video on YouTube, post video on Facebook as an ad, to see which one converted better. I haven’t seen that yet, and I’m sure it’s out there, and somebody can chime in and send me an email if they have. But it would be interesting to compare the two platforms side-by-side to see which converts better in terms of direct response.
Dylan Ogline: For me, you did mention the cost factor. For me, it always comes down to ROI. A lot of the feedback I get like with Google especially is it’s so expensive. We have clients who are paying $10, $12 a click. And the initial feedback and the initial pushback is always, “Oh, that’s so expensive.” And it’s like, I mean, sure, but what matters is the conversion rate. So with Google, you should have a very high conversion rate because it’s extremely targeted. If somebody’s typing in “fence installers,” they’re probably looking for a fence, right?
And if you do only high-end fences, your ad mentions “minimum project $10,000,” you’re probably getting people who read that so they’re probably looking for a high-end fence. So your conversion rate’s going to be really high. So if you’re $10 a click, who cares if one out of ten of those clicks turns into a customer? So I just I think when it comes to cost, I always look at what’s the end ROI? And as an agency, that’s where it comes into I know my niche when I’m jumping on a call with a potential client I’m looking at, “Hey, I know your industry, I know where your profit margins probably are, I know what your minimum projects probably are.” So I know going into it that $10 a click doesn’t really matter if one out of 50 converts, or whatever, it all comes down to what’s the end ROI.
Mark Fidelman: Yeah, I mean, that is the bottom line. I mean, we could sit here and pontificate all we want, but you’re determining what that is and your return on ad spend I think is just as important to kind of monitor. They’re very closely related, but just important to monitor.
Dylan Ogline: Absolutely.
Mark Fidelman: Okay, so in terms of direct response advertising, what didn’t we cover that we should have covered if anything?
Dylan Ogline: Don’t overthink it. I did talk about looking for the silver bullet, the cheat code or something like that. I just I feel like so many people in marketing, especially those who are just like starting out, they’re always looking for that. And I think maybe where that comes from– which I’m getting off topic with the answer here– I think where that comes from is it was a lot more difficult ten years ago whenever Google Ads was still in its primitive state back then. I mean it still was difficult. Now the technology, the platforms are so good, the technology is so good it kind of takes away the necessity of having the cheat code or the secret Facebook ad strategy or whatever.
And I just think emphasizing that over and over and over again where if you’re using the things that are tried and true– the Facebook, the Google Ads, and now certainly YouTube– there really isn’t a secret that you should be working for. It’s really just putting out the copy and letting the platform do the work.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. All right, well then, with that we’re going to wrap up with our final two questions we ask everybody. First of which, which I find your answer to be interesting, is what do you consider the hottest digital marketing technologies that are out there today?
Dylan Ogline: Do you want to go ahead and read my answer or should I just…
Mark Fidelman: Well your answer’s a non-answer. What Dylan basically said is I recommend not trying to find the greatest, newest, bestest, latest tech. Besides the grammar, the answer I think really… And there’s something to be said for this because everyone seems to jump on the new technology digital, which is I think TikTok could be one, there’s a few others. Whether that makes it or doesn’t make it, there’s always a risk. But I find that I learn from each of these things and that I know whether to jump on the next on or not based on kind of the patterns that I see, but you’ve got a different opinion.
Dylan Ogline: Yeah, for me, it comes down it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s more almost going to say because I’m lazy. Like I said, the platforms have gotten so good. Facebook ads have gotten so good. YouTube’s gotten so good, et cetera. Because of that, it makes it a lot easier to get a positive ROI on your marketing. Whereas like with TikTok– again I have now idea how the heck that works– doing Snapchat ads, which I think is a thing, never done it. It’s new, you need to know the secrets, everybody’s still kind of trying to figure things out, and it’s a lot harder to make the magic happen there.
Whereas you can be just decent at Facebook ads and still kill it, still make a great ROI, still be able to really expand your company, and get growth. But with Snapchat, and TikTok, and all those things, it’s you’re looking for the secret because you’re trying to hack something that nobody’s really figured out. So does that make sense?
Mark Fidelman: That makes sense. It does. So let’s go to the second question then: who is the most influential person in marketing today?
Dylan Ogline: So my answer was Gary Vee.
Mark Fidelman: Right.
Dylan Ogline: And that’s because he’s the only guy I know. I have watched a couple of his YouTube videos and whatnot. I think he’s fantastic. But I do not look for the latest and greatest guru. I don’t keep track of that stuff at all. It’s because, for me, I want to focus on what I’m doing, I want to focus on just getting better and better and better at what I’m doing. I’d love to tell you, for me where this mindset comes– you said we got like five more minutes still?
Mark Fidelman: Yeah. Yup.
Dylan Ogline: I probably won’t take that long. So one of the reasons I do this specifically with marketing is there’s a story that I picked up, I don’t know where, maybe in a book. And I’m going to completely butcher this, and I apologize, but the lesson still holds true. So the story goes– and I think it was Jack Trout. In case you don’t know, Jack Trout is it “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”? Yeah, I mean Jack Trout’s amazing. I think he’s passed now, but anybody who’s into marketing read “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.”
So the story goes that there’s like this conference or something going on, and they do the intro, and Jack Trout’s there. He’s just like in the crowd or something. And at the end of the intro they’re like, “Okay, so over here we’re going to break off into two segments. There’s going to be the people who are going over into the advanced marketing we’re going to be talking about advanced stuff over here; the newest, latest stuff, the Snapchats of the day. And over here we’re going to go over to the basics.”
And, Jack Trout, legendary. Again, I don’t actually know if it’s Jack Trout. It could be somebody else, but again, the lesson holds true with the story. Jack Trout starts walking towards the basics class. And somebody looks at him and is like, “Jack, you want to go over there, man. This is just the basics, this is the fundamental. I mean you know the fundamentals.” And he says something along the lines of, “I just want to focus on the fundamentals and get better and better. An amateur practices something until they get it right. The master, the guru, practices something until they can’t get it wrong.”
So, for me, chasing the latest and greatest stuff is practicing something new. Whereas focusing on the fundamentals, not chasing the shiniest object, for me that’s practicing the fundamentals and just going back and doing the same thing over and over and over again until I can’t get it wrong. Does that make sense? And again, if I completely butchered the story, I apologize, but I think the lesson holds true.
Mark Fidelman: Okay, yeah, to me to draw an analogy on that, I kind of look at it as sports. When I was growing up you want to try every single sport. But there was a group of people that stuck with like basketball or soccer. And inevitably they become really good at basketball and soccer, and I couldn’t, I just wasn’t a better player. Now, if you look at all the different sports, I think overall I would dominate them in football and some of the other sports, but it wasn’t the deep expertise that they had in their particular sport. And I think that’s what you’re saying is like, okay, stick with a niche and become a master of that niche, as opposed to being pretty good at everything else. And there’s a good lesson there, I would agree.
I was worried that that niche that you choose because Facebook is so capricious that they end up doing something that totally jacks you up and then you’re out. Maybe you’re not out of business, but you’re significantly handicapped, and that’s what I worry about.
Dylan Ogline: It certainly can happen. I think it just comes down to Facebook’s going to get better and better and four years from now maybe it does become TikTok, but it’s not. You want to make sure that it’s tried and true. Like YouTube’s been around for years. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon until it was proven, until other people had done the trial and error, and then I just learned from those people instead of trying to figure everything out myself.
Mark Fidelman: Okay. And so it’s totally understandable. Where can people kind of find you?
Dylan Ogline: Dylan Ogline everywhere. My last name’s Ogline. O-G-L-I-N-E. Visit my website: dylanogline.com.
Mark Fidelman: All right. Wonderful. Well, it’s great having you on. Really appreciate it. And I look forward to talking to you again about this maybe in four to six months where we could talk about TikTok and how you’ve mastered that.
Dylan Ogline: We’ll see how that goes, but I appreciate it, thank you so much for having me on, Mark.
Mark Fidelman: My pleasure.