Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

Quiet Light’s Home Page Gets Audited (Yours Should Too)


Shaun Brandt

Shaun Brandt is the Co-founder of Oddit, a CRO solution for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands wanting to increase their conversion and brand loyalty. He is an experienced entrepreneur and the Co-founder of Kulin, where he helps DTC e-commerce brands scale revenue through smart strategy, Google ads, paid social, email/SMS, and creative. Shaun is an Investor at Triple Whale and the Founder of Nowhere Else Inc. Previously, he was a Partner for Wilfred’s, Partner and Creative Director for MAST Hair, Co-founder and Creative Director for Versett, Co-founder of Federal Moto, and Principal for ONST Creative.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:15] Shaun Brandt discusses building customer relations through his CRO business
  • [06:55] How Shaun discovered his value in successfully scaling his agency
  • [12:15] Ways to raise your website conversion rates through brand CRO
  • [16:45] Shaun shares how to attract and convince consumers to remain on your website with one click
  • [23:19] Why examining the statistics of your website can provide greater accessibility and traffic
  • [27:27] Shaun talks about implementing audit recommendations to increase conversion
  • [33:51] How the Oddit Club is a resource tool for DTC brands to connect with other professionals
  • [38:24] The importance of managing product expectations for client satisfaction

In this episode…

Are you worried your website is missing strategic opportunities to attract new growth? What steps can you take to increase your conversion rate?

While you’re growing your brand, it can be difficult to gauge what draws or repels new consumers. Knowing your website’s weakness can only help you on the path to reducing friction and creating a greater strategy to grow, which is why Shaun Brandt created a brand-first conversion that reviews the face of your brand. Removing the clutter provides brands a better foundation to showcase their story — and makes their products more accessible to consumers.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Shaun Brandt, Co-founder of Oddit, to discuss how Conversion Rate Optimization can elevate your brand. Shaun talks about how building successful consumer relations scaled his agency, why examining the statistics of your website can generate higher conversion rates, and connecting with other professionals to increase your revenue. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!

What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07  

Hi folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Joe Valley  0:32  

Hey folks, Joe Valley here, welcome to another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast. This podcast is an interesting interview. It’s with Shaun Brandt from Oddit Shaun is a very experienced entrepreneur that has grown and sold multiple companies, the last one a very large agency. And at the same time, he’s running a company that does brand, I want to call it brand first brand. First CRO. It’s not a typical Conversion Rate Optimization Company. And during the interview, I drilled down into his own exit and how he did it to his partners. And then in the brand for CRO and the reports that he does, I had him look at the Quiet Light site. And he pointed out some really obvious stuff. So if you are on a mobile device listening to this, at some point, when we start talking about the Quiet Light site, I’d recommend you’ve pull up the Quiet Light site. If you’re listening and you’re at your desktop, and you’ve got your buds in, pull up the Quiet Light side, and you’d be like, oh, yeah, that dude is completely right. Quiet Light could be getting more clicks, they should be doing this, they should be doing that. And eventually, we will because as soon as I’m done recording this, I am clicking send. And I’m sending it to Chris Moore, our CEO, I’m sorry, CMO, maybe eventually CEO. And I’m going to recommend that he goes ahead and hires Oddit to go ahead and do a brand for CRO report for quiet light, well worth the money. Not much at all in the big scheme of things. They’ve also got a club for people that kind of want to figure this stuff out on their own. So highly recommend listening to the entire thing through we talk about Sean’s personal journey as an entrepreneur, audit the homepage of the Quiet Light site, and then talk about a number of different things that people can do that are really simple to increase the conversion rate or journey UX journey for people visiting your website throughout throughout the throughout your entire homepage and other pages as well. So here we go. Hey, Shaun, welcome to the podcast. How are you man?

Shaun Brandt  2:39  

Joe, thanks for having me.

Joe Valley  2:41  

Good to have you here. So talk about you a little bit in the intro, but for the sake of the audience want to give a little background on yourself and

Shaun Brandt  2:49  

who you are and what you do. Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Shaun Brandt, one of the cofounders of Oddit a brand first CRO company. My background isn’t it always actually surprises customers, I have no background in CRO kind of fell, fell as first into it. I started a product design agency with my one of my current partners in on it in 2011 started out just doing branding and you know, your your typical small agency branding website designed that kind of thing. And grew that to offices in New York, Paris, Miami, Toronto, had just under 100 employees, and just kind of got tired of that, that agency back and forth, just constantly trying to upsell that next service and increase the retainer. You know, it just became much less about actual doing design work and more about trying to get more money out of people. I always joke that

Joe Valley  3:53  

must have been hard with 100 employees to be sorry to interrupt. Yeah,

Shaun Brandt  3:57  

yeah, I know that I I mean, I’m my closest friends will tell you they couldn’t believe that I ever had that many employees because I’m not, I’m not great. I really like to put in my headphones and work alone. So it was definitely difficult in that especially that when that was the you know, all in person, no, no remote. But I think I just kind of got tired of that. I guess that that customer relationship not necessarily working with brands, but you’re just charging for so much so much clutter and and fluff that in my opinion, you don’t really need right you’re hiring an agency for their professional opinion. And then half the fees that get eaten up are in feedback loops and you know, things coming from top down that have no relation to the actual product and the outcome. You know, I always joke that you’re paying an agency for 50% of the fees or what you need 2% or what they need, which is just more cashflow. So gotten out of that in 2018 and just spent a few years private consulting. I had a few other businesses I’ve I’ve opened restaurants I had a motorcycle company kind of dabbled in a little bit of everything.

Joe Valley  5:05  

So for the for the agency, I know people are wondering, did he sell it? Did he close it up? Did you? What did you do?

Shaun Brandt  5:11  

It’s still going I sold, we sold our, our half like I sold my portion to another one of my partners who’s continued on with it. They’re actually doing fantastic. It’s called for set. I think as of next month, and some recent acquisitions, they’re going to be around 500 employees. Growing this, yeah. growing, growing aggressively.

Joe Valley  5:37  

So can we can we keep talking about this? In particular, I want to I want to, yeah, of course, you know, because we get a lot of questions about agency sales and exits, and people listening, probably want to hear about how you structured an exit to a partner, as opposed to an outside buyer? Did you? Yeah, did you? First of all, did you do a multiple of revenue or multiple a profit?

Shaun Brandt  6:01  

It was a, it really, we had different numbers based on how long I was willing to get paid out for. So because it’s an agency and cash flow is king and pretty much every business. It came down to not them not having to take out financing to buy me out. So I allowed them to structure it over. Actually, I think it was 18 month period. So it allowed me to boost that multiple, a little bit. But it’s interesting when you’re selling to your partner, because there’s really nothing you can hide, right? Like when you’re talking to them like an outside party. And they’re asking, Well, why is EBIT lower this month or that month? You can always post rationalized or give them an excuse of like, oh, you’re like we’re hiring or whatever. There was no real hiding anything, right? I knew whether or not why a bid was lower or revenue was a certain way, or what was happening or which client was on thin ice, right? So you’re, it’s not really a negotiation. It’s just kind of like, what do you both think is fair, there was no real like, to be honest. Like, spreadsheet type, you know, crunched the numbers, it was more just like the number that would work for you. Yeah, I That sounds like now I think back and like, that sounds terrible. But yeah, that’s, that’s what it was. It was basically like, I’ve put in this many years, and here was my value. And, you know, there’s also that part of it, you’re playing into it, where it’s kind of like, you know, for anyone on owning an agency out there, you know, it’s it’s very hard. So there’s also a part of that, that factors in where you’re kind of like, I’m kind of leaving you holding the bag like that. It’s not that fun to do. As successful as it was. And as great as it was. It’s not fun to do alone. It’s actually I couldn’t imagine doing I would never ever do it alone. I kudos to anyone out there that that can do it alone. I required a lot of emotional support from partners throughout that journey. So there was also a part of that that played into it, right, where I knew it was going to be harder without me being involved. And that kind of factored in price as well.

Joe Valley  8:08  

And in 18 months, they’ve gone ahead and gone from 100 employees to 500. Is that what you said? No,

Shaun Brandt  8:13  

sorry, sorry that my bio was 18 months, but I exited in 2018. So that would have been I was four years later. Okay. Yeah, four years later.

Joe Valley  8:23  

Are these mostly remote workers in the Philippines and things of that nature?

Shaun Brandt  8:28  

I think it I think he wishes they were but it’s so just for just for clarity on that it didn’t, they probably grew to 150 in the last until the last year, and then it got acquired by a large agency bundled a few together. So it wasn’t just like slow growth of employees. It was leveling up. So yeah, it’s I think they’re based in they would have offices in a few in Europe, because the company was repeating the purchasing.

Joe Valley  9:00  

So that answers my next question is how are you? You know, currently partners with a former partner in the agency in Oddit? And it’s because he exited eventually as

Shaun Brandt  9:10  

well. Yeah, so it’s like, well, there was three of us. So it’s the other one that three but also Yeah, okay.

Joe Valley  9:17  

And, you know, continue with your story. What did you do after that with a consulting and then let’s talk about conversion rate optimisation. Because obviously, you’re you’re, you don’t have a background that is what your business is now and how you help? Yeah.

Shaun Brandt  9:29  

Yeah, so after that, I mean, I had a lot of existing relationships with our clients. I was one of the founders and the creative director for almost a decade so I had a lot of relationships and built a lot of trust and you know, my personal name from an outside you know, you know, marketing standpoint of marketing myself was not big but had met a lot of people over the years and had that trust. So I just did private consulting and really enjoyed it just helping brands get off the ground helping products launch you know, head Hunting for just kind of doing a little bit of everything for customers that would reach out, really enjoyed it. It was super flexible, even consulted for the agency that I had sold my, my portion of. And then, you know, it was ready to get back into the startup world again. And so I was approached by an old colleague of mine, Chris McMillan who runs coolant agency, which is another one of our companies. performance marketing agency, Chris is kind of just a, he’s just a really smart kind of performance marketing guru he really looked up to in the space. And he kind of came to my partner and I and said, Look, I, I’m seeing the traction I’m seeing, you know, people are very interested in what I do. I’ve never built an agency that never had my own company. I know you guys have built one would you like to just be advisors on it? So we kind of took on that advisory role and it really just, we saw the potential and we just kind of latched in and, and went with it. So we took that from 20 20,000 MRR to 250,000 MRR in 12 months. And in that process of helping him do that, we just saw so much potential I, how we fell into CRO was, we were watching all of these customers on the coolant side. So just for perspective, the average customer coolant is spending anywhere between 50 and 500,000 a month on paid media. So Facebook ads, Tik Tok, ads, email, whatever. And just from the outside looking in, I just kept seeing them spend all this money. And they always have questions about why the ads are converting and all this. And I just I couldn’t I couldn’t believe how little all of them were spending on their websites. Like they’re putting all this money into ADS strategies, ad creative ad budgets to get the click to the site. And then once they’re on their site, it was just like, Yeah, this is our website. You know, hopefully, that converts and there was just no, but

Joe Valley  12:00  

we’ll do. But

Shaun Brandt  12:03  

yeah, it’s just it was just so crazy to me as a product designer. To be like, there’s that step one. And then there’s four, five steps, in some cases, 10 steps after that, that they’re just leaving it not chance, right, like they put time and money and effort into this website. But there’s no analysis of what’s working, there’s no, it’s just get them to the site. And hopefully they convert. So we started doing UX tear downs for the cooling clients and, and we started just running them as like a free service that we did for our customers that spent a certain amount. And naturally, their conversion rate started climbing. And so we kind of said, maybe we’ve got something here. And so we started packaging them and selling them under a different name. And that’s how Oddit was born. We called them brand first CRO, because it wasn’t CRO I mean, CRO is make your hypothesis, run a B tests, you know, implement the winning test. We weren’t doing any testing. We weren’t doing any, any service based stuff like that. And so we were like, Okay, well, we’re increasing conversion in 99% of these cases, but we were not doing CRO so we kind of invented the word brand for CRO and kind of

Joe Valley  13:16  

what does that what does that what does that mean brand for CRO versus just CRO?

Shaun Brandt  13:20  

Yeah, it when we first started having some success in the space it was there, we met a lot of combat from like it was very competitive from traditional CRO because we were looked at as competition. And we’ve since kind of found our places Switzerland in that conversation, I think we we really look at ourselves as kind of the first step before you get into that. So what happens is a lot of customers that invest in CRO and like the traditional CRO, they just don’t have a great setup to start with. Right. So what ends up being tested is just things that are picking away at their brand equity, right? So they’re recommending to change a color or something or a placement of something. And it’s not part of a solid UX journey to start with. So as soon as you start playing with that, it’s just starts. For me, at least the trust factor of these brands starts to fall apart because they start to look like a you know, a puzzle with all the pieces connect in the wrong way.

Joe Valley  14:17  

I do I do this to everyone I’m gonna do to you. What is your stand for? acronyms?

Shaun Brandt  14:22  

Crazy. User, sorry, user experience. So whenever I explained it to someone that’s not entered the space, it’s like, UX is the architectural drawing UI is the interior design and the you know, the final product, the paint colors and everything.

Joe Valley  14:36  

Gotcha. So CRO, are they more UI versus UX?

Shaun Brandt  14:40  

I think the UX is where we find our conversion rate optimization happening. Okay, UI is where what Oddit’s become known for. So we started posting all of our growth organic, we don’t do any paid marketing. And but we started posting before and afters of all the recommendations we made In the UK, a really simple visual model. And that just kind of took off. And what we’ve become known for whether it’s doing content syndication with different newsletters or platforms or, you know, paid clubs, that’s what we’ve become known for. And that’s kind of what the report was comprised of. So when it comes to brand first, it’s like, we’re literally just going in and trying to give brands a better foundational user experience. So we’re going in removing clutter, remove, just making sure that the brand stories coming through all of these just simple things that a lot because of accessibility to launch products now, right, like, it’s just easier to launch things you pack getting custom packaging made is easier, you know, finding the product that you want to make and customizing it is easier, just there’s accessibility to everything. And because of that, there’s just a ton of competition. And it’s become really hard to stand out unless you have a truly a unique product or a patent type product. And so we kind of go in and just help these brands find their, I guess, their voice and their more unique side of their brand. So that when they go and start doing traditional CRO and split testing, they have a better foundation to start from instead of just whatever Shopify template they happen to pick,

Joe Valley  16:15  

almost sounds like pre CRO, can you talk a little bit about, you know, maybe three or four ideas, things that you work on things that you consistently recommend for people on their on their homepage to improve conversion rate?

Shaun Brandt  16:27  

Yeah, I think one of the, one of the major things that we, we’re constantly pushing, and it really, it always blows me away how, how consistently this happens. But most people when they get to a homepage, or sorry, most brands, when they, when they’re designing their homepage, they start off with a marketing tagline. So something something vague, but maybe cheeky or something that, you know, that just is on brand, I guess, but they now have a lot of them fail to actually describe what they do, what they make what makes it great. And, you know, if you go look at your, your heat map, your Hotjar, whatever you use, most your users don’t get past that first fold.

Joe Valley  17:10  

Okay, so All right, so critique this, I’m going to the Quiet Light homepage right now. I think we’re doing okay, because it says get more offers for your online business. That’s right there above the fold. Right below that there’s a button that says Get Your FREE valuation.

Shaun Brandt  17:25  

How’d we do?

Joe Valley  17:29  

Put them on the spot guys. We’re putting myself on the spot. Get more offers for your online business. So that is saying what we do. It’s not our tagline necessarily, but it’s

Shaun Brandt  17:43  

been pretty good. It’s a very, it’s a very good headline. I like it a lot. I think I have I have two comments. They’re not related to that headline, but two comments. The first one is that, and I and this happens with every brand. But my guess is that you have customers, right? You have however many businesses that you’ve gotten more offers for. The internet is mostly discovery, right? You’re stumbling on something or you found an ad or someone said something, you need to give people an idea of how many people you’ve worked with, or right, like just the simplest line that says, you know, we’ve done over a half billion in exits. Yeah, like that alone, I’m clicking that. I’m clicking that button instantly if I see that, I don’t even have to read your headline. So building that instant trust in a way that’s like, one easy to scan, but just just puts you on your ass like just hits you in the face. It’s so important because most especially when it comes to our customers, which most DTC brands, they’re not built organically. They’re not. They’re not living off of like, this viral natural, like it’s 95% pay traffic, right? When you click on an ad, you’ve got their attention for a millisecond. If you don’t catch their attention and convince them that they you they need your product or service. You’ve lost them in most cases, right? So finding that unique, like, what’s gonna hit him in the face and just be like, I have to read more, or I have to click. If you’re not if they’re not saying that in that first few seconds, you’ve lost them. And I think something like that what you just said that does that, you know, as much as it says exactly what you do there that that’s what grabs me is something like that.

Joe Valley  19:29  

So if we said something like that, we then have to make it clickable, to talk about the fact that we’ve sold more than a half billion in online transactions in the last decade. Right. So we have to create the content behind it. Is that right? No, no, I

Shaun Brandt  19:45  

mean, I mean, yeah, there’s definitely going to be the people. There’s always going to be those people that say prove it. For sure. And social proof whether it’s press whether it’s reviews, it’s become so easy to fake it, right? Yeah. Whether it’s it’s just so easy, right? How hard is it to go Google all your favorite New York Times GQ logo, all this bullshit and just put them on a band and say as featured in or as? It’s easy?

Joe Valley  20:08  

You mean exactly what we have just below the fold? Yeah. A Forbes

Shaun Brandt  20:14  

Exactly. I’m sure yours are real, and they have a very positive, that type of social proof is a has a great effect on on conversion. But yes, when possible, if you can prove it in a really simple way. That’s fantastic, right? Like, if, if that amount you’ve gotten in offers for people or I can’t say exactly how you word it, but a half a billion in exits, if you generate that much in exits, you know, relating that back to like linking to customer reviews, that’s an easy way to do it, right? Like, let’s go link to success stories are linked to customer reviews to be like, here’s some proof of people that we did it for. You don’t have to show all of them and write a big case study around it. It can just be really simple.

Joe Valley  20:54  

We’ve got them we’ve got the testimonials, and we’ve got recent wins just below the fold. There you go. Three or four below the fold. Okay.

Shaun Brandt  21:02  

So the other. The other thing I’ll say, is, I don’t know how much your traffic is mobile? Probably it’s probably a lot. Yeah, I’d say 50 is a lot of people sleep on color contrast. And it. You know, when you look at when you talk about accessibility, what we’re talking about is really just how easy is something to read, right? Can I easily scan it? And you know, in a lot of cases that comes down to people with vision issues. But one thing that’s never talked about on accessibility is just screen brightness, right? You’ve got people on their devices, they never put them down. They’re never not dinging with a notification, which is draining their battery. And so their brightness is never turned all the way up right there. Brightness is halfway below. And so when you have low con color contrast on your actions or key phrases, you’re in a lot of cases, they’re not even seeing it. It’s just lost noise, right? So what I’m getting at is like, your white text on screen buttons, that bright green. In a lot of cases, I bet you people are just seeing a rectangle. They don’t even know what the hell that says. Because it’s so low color contrast. Plus they’re dim screen in a lot of cases.

Joe Valley  22:16  

Okay, I noticed change. I’m looking at my phone. Now I need to change my glasses, so I can actually read the content. You’re right. I mean, first of all, you’re right on my mobile device, the the, you know, the brightness was turned down. It’s amazing how good it looks when I actually turn the brightness all the way up. But people don’t think of that they just look at the sides.

Shaun Brandt  22:36  

Okay, no, and it’s, it sucks. Because you’re like, I’m not even sure if

Joe Valley  22:40  

I like it brighter as I look at it. I’m like, Oh my God, that’s I don’t like a call it out. Okay, all right.

Shaun Brandt  22:47  

It’s one of those things. I’m just gonna share this with you, I think it’ll work in zoom. But it’s one of those things where it like most of the internet, it’s designed on a, on an iMac, at full brightness, and, you know, everything looks sexy on I like put anything on there, it’s, it’s gonna look great. Whereas, you know, reality is just, it’s just not that simple. They’re looking at it on a, on a device this big and their brightnesses down because they don’t have their charger with them at the restaurant they’re at and they don’t want their phone to die. And, you know, all that crap. So it all plays into that. Like, obviously, that’s something tough to define a statistic. But like, you get what I’m saying, right? You go there, you turn your brightness down, you can see it. Yeah, it makes total sense. Just for reference your I just ran your buttons through a color contrast ratio thing, or what my program says is very poor 1.68 out of 10. So basically, I’m saying you’re, you’re like 70% below the threshold of just common, acceptable accessibility. Interesting.

Joe Valley  23:59  

So that’s going to look even more horrible on mobile devices.

Shaun Brandt  24:04  

I just sent you know, like, I think that should

Joe Valley  24:05  

show it. Good. And we’ll show we’ll share this folks in the show notes and give you that color contrast. I’m also going to share with Chris our CMO who’s oh my goodness, look at that is bad. Oh, and this is what I saw on your website to something like that. Yeah. It’s funny because we went off the colors in the logo, which we’ve had for you know, well over a decade. They’re just they appear to be a little brighter on my computer monitor but so what do you do in a situation? I mean, we’re trying to stick with a color theme and so with somebody else listening trying to stick with the color theme of their, of their brand.

Shaun Brandt  24:42  

Yeah, I mean, in your case, it’s I don’t think it’s an even as a necessity to change that green. I think it’s just updating that color on there like you use a secondary blue here that’s almost black. If you use that color and put that inside the buttons. Yeah, so I just, there’s a button or the color that shows exit for money and better terms of the team. That color I just input to the same color checker and it’s 6.65. So like 3x 4x What your other one, so you sent it to you. Okay? Brilliant. So you know, you, I would update to that color. And then I would make the, you know, you use a nice heavier weight of your font everywhere on the site, except your buttons on your buttons. It’s like razor thin, just use a heavier weight, open up the letter spacing of it and make it dark. And it’s pretty on the Mexico mmm, tears.

Joe Valley  25:40  

It doesn’t it doesn’t help people getting to where they need to go. It’s funny, because on the bottom banner, it’s a bold, you know, request a free evaluation and the blue button is bold and capital letters on the word for evaluation?

Shaun Brandt  25:54  

I would, I would make a guess that that’s getting more clicks than the other two combined.

Joe Valley  25:58  

All right, we’re gonna analyze that. All right, this is great. You know, I’ve never really done a teardown of our own website and one of these podcasts before. So this is great. I could pick a client, but they probably get really mad at me if I did that. Or maybe really glad you never know. Because for what you say.

Shaun Brandt  26:12  

Yeah, I mean, I, it’s very rarely that we get blowback from talking about these things. Because our approach is definitely very unapologetic. Like, it’s never, hey, what do you think of this, it’s, here’s what we think Take it or leave it. But we deliver it in a way and approach that. It’s, it’s always beneficial. It’s never like, this is stupid, right? Or, you know, there’s, there’s, I understand fully how they got in every type of these, you know, every scenario, I understand exactly how you ended up with green buttons and white texts, just just how it goes. Sometimes those simple things fall through the cracks when you don’t have the background of someone like me or my team, right. It’s just how it is. Very cool. Very cool.

Joe Valley  26:57  

Anything else that stands out on homepage, or any homepage that you look out? And then do you have any examples of you know, if we were to make these kinds of changes? What kind of increase in clicks Do you think we’d see?

Shaun Brandt  27:14  

That’s a good question. I mean,

Joe Valley  27:16  

there’s always going to ask it, I have to ask it, and the answer is you don’t know. Right? I know.

Shaun Brandt  27:21  

The answer is, I don’t know until I see it, just because it’s so different for every brand. We’ve had customers implement their audit recommendations and and see, you know, to x and their conversion, and we’ve had customers see flat, and we’ve had customers implement everything and flip the switch on a whole new website the next day, and it goes down for a month, like, it’s so dependent on the brand, how it’s executed, how heavy it is. So when I say how heavy it is, like, if they used a bunch of apps and API’s to implement the recommendations, their site, overall weight is heavier, which means it loads slower, which means their conversion is going to drop anyway. So there’s so many factors playing into these things. Simple stuff like this, where it’s not necessarily a true conversion rate. It’s just like, how does that affect clicks? If you update those buttons, in my opinion, you’re gonna see overnight, your your click through rate on those is going to be up. I don’t know what percent, but it’s going up. Sure.

Joe Valley  28:19  

Yeah, it seems pretty simple what we’re talking about here, and it wouldn’t change the traffic or how to go down. The even even adding, you know, a phrase in here about the fact that we’ve done more than a half billion in exits with a link to, you know, the testimonial page or success stories, right. There’s actually up on the banner there. The it’s not really banner, but the button there. There’s short films that we’ve created that are success stories from people that have sold through us.

Shaun Brandt  28:52  

Very cool. Yeah.

Joe Valley  28:55  

Interesting. All right. This is fascinating. Let’s spell on it for the folks listening. It’s not AUD it, it’s spelled how

Shaun Brandt  29:04  

sorry, yeah, it’s Oddit websites

Joe Valley  29:09  

Is it just a play on words that you wish that you can buy? But you couldn’t say you spelled it differently?

Shaun Brandt  29:16  

No. I mean, my background like I, one of the things I was most hired for when I was a consultant was naming companies. So something I’ve always had fun with. But I think that we when we came up with the idea, and we solidified how we were gonna deliver it. It really was intended to just be a really different take on an agency service, right? Like, we’re giving a customer, unapologetic feedback, and we don’t care about their opinion. Like I don’t, I don’t want a feedback loop. I don’t care if like, I don’t want any background in your company. I’m just gonna go in and tear it down. That’s how we keep our price low. That’s how we keep it full of value is there’s no back and forth. There’s none of that fluff. So when I look at The word odd or odd, it’s meant to be kind of like a flip on that agency model, we’ve removed customer communication, we’ve removed all that kind of fluff. And so I mean, it really is kind of the flip side of an audit, a UDT. And it’s a little, a lot.

Joe Valley  30:17  

It’s fascinating. You know, I’m so glad we spent so much time talking about your agency before and how it became, I don’t know, a grind. Let’s let’s just say it that way. Overtime, lots of customers, lots of employees, and all about cash flow. And like you said, 50%, for you, and 30% for what they need. Where’s this is, again, flipping the script, but it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be ongoing relationships, even though I do, I did look at your Oddit Club, which is pretty cool. But it doesn’t seem like you are designing stuff and have a retainer and an ongoing relationship with these clients outside of the Oddit Club. Is that Is that accurate? Or is it is? Am I missing something?

Shaun Brandt  31:03  

No, you’re not missing anything. And it’s weird. We like we have a partnership with Shopify and a ton of great brands. And every single time we talked to anyone who like people started doing design services or development and yeah, I go through my background, it is something I would say 99% of our customers, when the audits done, they’re like, this is fantastic. Can you help us implement it? And the short answer is yes, we could. But it’s, it’s I think, what a lot of people miss when, and I’ve, luckily, and unluckily went through this 12 plus times now in startups is, a lot of them are built for what’s best for the bottom line. And I think I’ve learned that that doesn’t really get me that far. Personally, I’m much more happy and fulfilled in life if I enjoy my work. And I know that I don’t enjoy client communication. So Oddit is partially Yeah, a more efficient agency service. But it’s also just selfishly, we don’t want to deal with people. And so we build a business where we don’t have to, and for at least that’s minimized. And, yeah, could we be doing more revenue? Yeah, we could probably triple revenue by adding development services, but we wouldn’t be happy.

Joe Valley  32:17  

This is the difference between an entrepreneur and what I would call an exitpreneur, because you have already exited multiple businesses, and you know, what you want as a person and an entrepreneur. And just because you can doesn’t mean that you should, you’re happier, you’re more fulfilled, and you have a life now, versus if you took on, you know, design work and all that you’d be going back and forth with clients and headaches and hassles and working on their schedule instead of yours. And it’s just not the life you want to live. Please, everybody out there, listen to that experience, because it will make you happier and more successful as an entrepreneur. And I know that right? Is that how you feel,

Shaun Brandt  32:54  

which is exactly how I feel. And it’s so funny when we we had a moment a glimmer of weakness both six months ago. And we said yes to one customer who wanted us to fully you know, instead of having a report hate just fully redesign our page and help us implement it. And I’m telling you, it’s we’ve only done two refunds in 1000 reports. And he was one of them, because it was just, it didn’t go well. The expectations were too high for the price point, all these different factors. And it’s just like it just put this verification stamp on we made we made the right choice.

Joe Valley  33:34  

Can you talk about Oddit club? What you do there? Because it looks pretty cool.

Shaun Brandt  33:39  

Yeah, so we kind of launched it, we have a lot of customers, I would say 75% of them are, you know, successful DC brands, either in the beginning of their success or tremendous, you know, 510 years success. So in that anywhere from one to 5 million DTC brand to we work with brands that have, you know, 100 to 200 million a year DTC brands. But there’s a portion of our leads that we get in our free trials that are, you know, smaller brands, mom and pop shops, or agencies are people that are running their own CRO or running their own paid media or running their own development and learning on the go. And so we develop the Oddit club is kind of a just a lower, easier access point to some of the stuff we’re sharing. So in that private Slack community, there’s channels for everything from paid media UX, CRO, you can literally just ask a question and someone from auditor will answer it. There’s a ton of opportunity to learn and grow in there. And that’s kind of what it was built for. We’re also building a really large database of just information and tools and things like that, that you get access to. So every time we do a live event, I do live tear downs, just like that one we do with your site just now where we just customers hop on a zoom and there’s 20 of us in a room and they put in their domain, and then I live, tear it down on screen share with them. So like, we have a database, like a backlog of all those recordings, we do live events with brand founders and ask questions, you know, not quite as professional as this, it’s more more just like shooting the shit with a with a bunch of different people in a room. But there’s just a ton of value in there and, you know, 50 bucks a month is, for a lot of people. It’s just, you know, another subscription on their list. And it’s accessible. And it’s simple. So we started that, 90 days ago, maybe a little longer. We’ve got 250 people in there, and it’s good. It’s really active. Everything from, you know, DTC founders to, you know, marketing people, branding, people UX, it’s a little, it’s a really interesting mix of people. So highly recommended, and the first month free. So

Joe Valley  35:52  

it’s fascinating from a business model standpoint, as well back to that agency where, you know, you would you kill them, then you gotta get the next report, the next report the next report, whereas this is building recurring revenue. I know what’s not much yet but, you know, it’s only been 90 days. It’s an interesting

Shaun Brandt  36:11  

twist. In Yeah, it’s, yeah, and I think, I mean, fast forward 10 years, I, I don’t know if I’ll necessarily own Oddit or be doing on it in 10 years. But fast forward 10 years, I think, where Oddit’s going is is, you know, kind of a younger, more accessible and approachable Bay Mark, I don’t know if you’re familiar with a mark, but it’s really just giving people access, simply to reference points and education in that space. And I think the Oddit Club does that. And to your point, you know, any type of recurring revenue can do versus you know, monthly stuff like we’re doing now is huge. Right now, it only makes up, I don’t know, 5% of our revenue every month, but

Joe Valley  36:57  

it’s hidden 10 grand a month already in 90 days, if you can 10 times that a year, you’re looking at, you know, over a million dollars in recurring revenue, which is

Shaun Brandt  37:07  

Yeah, and valued high. Yeah. And I think, you know, MRR is one of those really easy things to evaluate when it comes to acquisitions and investment. But it’s also when you layer in the community side of it, where they’re not just subscribers, they’re brand advocates, and there’s a there’s a layer there, that’s really powerful when it comes to that stuff.

Joe Valley  37:28  

Speaking of powerful at the top of your website, it says 100% money back guarantee, if you don’t find value in Oddit, get a full refund. Seriously, so you’re going to do a full report is is this? No, this is for the brand for CMR. CRO reports. If you do the report, show it to them and they’re not satisfied with it, you’ll give them a full refund. Yeah,

Shaun Brandt  37:47  

we’ve, we’ve had to do. We just did our fourth. So for reference, that’s, I don’t know, point zero 4%. But one time it was I mean, was the design client where I never should have said yes, another time it was they just got it. And I don’t think they fully understand what the report was. And they were expecting like a full design file with every break point. So that was just partially them not reading partially partially is not communicating our product properly. So I mean, we learned from both of those, which, you know, I love getting better uses purchase, it sucks in the moment, it’s where our product shifted the best. And, you know, the other two were just simply they they get it? And they’re like, Yeah, I don’t think you made enough recommendations for this to be worth X price point. And I mean, I could show you the email threads. We don’t even argue we just your thing has been processed. We ask for feedback. But it’s one of those things where it’s, it’s an really abnormal way of delivering designs and feedback for people whether they worked with an agency before, you know, maybe they use templates before, it’s not a normal way to receive things. And we don’t necessarily show a full report on the site, right. So when you get it in a lot of cases, you’re either really impressed. But regardless, you’re caught off guard, right? It’s an abnormal way of consuming this type of information for your site. So I think that’s probably one of our larger missteps. When we first heard out, it’s just not being more clear about what exactly you’re getting. We’re getting better out every day, but it’s never perfect.

Joe Valley  39:24  

Well, I love the fact that you do this. This is an interesting interview, because it’s not just about what you do and how you can help the client. But it’s what you’re doing as an entrepreneur and running your own business as an agency or a you know, somebody that’s helping other brands. Because a lot of people would look at this 100 year money back guarantee and say don’t do that people are just going to scam you and ask for a refund. And I guess that’s a little bit of human nature and maybe that’s going to happen but at the end of the day, it’s you said it’s like less than one half of 1% or 4%. It’s exceedingly small. Yeah. You get a lot of value out

Shaun Brandt  39:58  

of that. Yeah. think there’s definitely when it comes to sales is helpful, right? Where they’re, you can tell they’re on the fence and it kind of like, you know what, if you don’t like it, we’re gonna send your life back. And yes, anyone can say that and then send you to the fine print when you ask. So it does take a certain conversation and trust to, for them to actually believe that but, you know, I, I spent enough time, my life hating, hating on clients and I think just having that that relationship and rapport from a brand perspective, where this is the type of mentality we, we, we evoke in our in our brand voice on Twitter and everywhere, I’ve just like, take our opinion or leave it, we think we’re pretty good at what we do. If you don’t agree, take your money back. I’m not gonna waste my breath arguing I’m not gonna send this to my lawyer. I’m not, it’s not worth time. It’s not worth the money. It’s not worth the men the language. It’s just not $3,000 It’s a lot of money. But I mean, and it’s lost time for my team, but it is what it is. I mean, it’s just not worth it. And not my experience.

Joe Valley  40:57  

There’s Rand, is that what you just said? You just talked about the what the actual audit prices?

Shaun Brandt  41:01  

Yeah, sorry. So they range, our base point started at 28, and range to 3500. And then you can add as many pages as you want to be audited for 750 bucks per page extra.

Joe Valley  41:13  

So okay, so that would be primarily for the homepage. Initially, yeah, we most likely folk,

Shaun Brandt  41:18  

we focus on what we call conversion pages. So okay, homepage product page and your collections template. Um, very rarely do brands need more than that. Sometimes they need, you know, us to audit a quiz flow or a subscription flow, something like that. But primarily, it’s, it’s those pages. And that’s just simply because, like I said, most of our customers, their primary traffic is paid. And they’re deciding where that traffic goes, in most cases, it’s a product page homepage or a collections page. What’s the turnaround time? When someone says, yes,

Joe Valley  41:54  

let’s keep going. And is it a is it 10 days of the week? Is it a month? Is it two days? How long does it take?

Shaun Brandt  42:00  

It’s it’s four weeks. And that’s just a result of the report itself only takes two. So you know, admittedly, if you buy one today, you’re not we’re not even looking at the domain until two weeks in. But we just have a, we haven’t scaled staffing, like headcount hot fast enough for sales increases. So we’re just, we’ve increased timelines, it was two and then it was three. And now it’s four. Hopefully, we’ll get back to that. But it’s, it’s a, it’s been a very rare scenario where customers are so urgently needing it, that they’ll make a buying decision based on timeline, unless it’s like, you know, a month before Black Friday, and they’re like, we really want these changes done by our biggest sales day. That’s the only time we really see customers push back on timeline, because again, they’re used to an agency relationship where four weeks in, you’re having your second kickoff call, and that’s all that’s happening.

Joe Valley  42:54  

Yeah, no. And what’s cool about that, is that you are, you are moving the timeline back so that you can maintain the quality instead of just adding inexperienced people and getting out half assed reports, you’re extending the amount of time it takes to produce the report versus, you know, jamming stuff through and not doing as good of a job. At least that’s my

Shaun Brandt  43:12  

view. Yeah. Yeah, no, no, that’s exactly. You nailed it, we’ve, we’ve got really talented people, but finding more talented people and not outsourcing to I don’t want to say not talented, but just more junior designers that, you know, our our reports really are cohesive look at the brand UX like everything and so you just knowing figma is not enough, you really have to have a little more experience. And you know, our designers are very senior designers from from large, either tech companies or agencies that come over to Oddit for a different role. But, you know, they’re they’re creative directors, and they’re not, you know, fiber designers.

Joe Valley  43:52  

Okay, so let’s give out some information on how people reach out to you. What’s the best way to find on it, then you? Yeah, so

Shaun Brandt  44:00  

Oddit best place to kind of see what we do is probably Twitter our website. So is the site and our Twitter is its Oddit. Me personally, my Twitter is Brandt IBrandt FYI, I don’t tweet a ton. I’m not a big social media fan. It’s just kind of something that I’ve had to do since we launched it. So apologies if you are expecting a bunch of knowledge bombs, it’s not going to be a ton on there for me personally, but Oddit you will. On our site, you can get a free trial. So if you just go put in your domain when you click to try out at free we send you back a free teardown of one section of your site within 72 hours and then or you can just book a call on the site and we can go through your domain with you and help you pick which report you need.

Joe Valley  44:49  

Very cool. Very cool. Okay folks, that’s Shaun Brandt from Oddit Shaun, thanks for joining us on the Quiet Light Podcast much appreciated.

Shaun Brandt  44:59  

Absolutely. Thanks, Joe.

Outro 45:02  

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 And the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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