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Optimization Strategies for eCommerce Businesses With Duane Brown of Take Some Risk

Duane Brown

Duane Brown is the CEO and Head of Strategy at Take Some Risk, an advertising agency that helps ecommerce, DTC, and SaaS brands create and scale profitable growth. As a global digital marketing and branding professional, he has 16 years of experience working with clients, including Walmart, WooCommerce, and WealthBar. Duane’s world travels have enabled him to help advise global brands on the best approach to using PPC, CRO, and data while maintaining budgets.

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

  • [4:28] Take Some Risk’s history and the story behind its name
  • [9:37] How Duane Brown optimizes and prioritizes his business
  • [16:09] Duane’s decision to become a “digital nomad” and his various cultural experiences
  • [25:50] Duane talks about Unbounce and his role at the company
  • [28:39] Balancing speaking engagements with entrepreneurship
  • [31:06] AI’s impact on digital marketing and paid media
  • [37:05] Who are Take Some Risk’s clients, and how does the agency acquire brands?
  • [43:36] Duane shares how he began teaching a PPC course on LinkedIn

In this episode…

Balancing growth, clients, profitability, and culture is critical to any successful ecommerce business. But some entrepreneurs struggle to prioritize their operations effectively. So how can you optimize your company to enhance value?

Duane Brown says achieving business objectives requires making crucial decisions and moving forward. Remaining indecisive and stagnant may cause you to lose control of your company and compromise its worth. Duane has chosen to focus on profitability and an enjoyable company culture. Accordingly, he selects clients based on revenue, value proposition, and conduct, while ensuring his company can provide original and customized services.

In today’s episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin is joined by Duane Brown, CEO and Head of Strategy at Take Some Risk, to discuss optimizing business practices and digital marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Duane also shares why he became a digital nomad, how he balances speaking engagements with entrepreneurship, and AI’s impact on digital marketing and paid media.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts has helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce Industry and take an in depth look at their struggles and successes and growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:17

Hey guys, Josh Chin here and the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast will be host, top experts and entrepreneurs in the ecommerce Industry, we go behind the scenes of the successes and struggles of growing a brand. Now, this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency, if you run a direct consumer ecommerce brand that is ready to scale and to double your customer lifetime value true retention and lifecycle marketing Chronos is your company. We’ve helped hundreds of brands scale profits with email, SMS, and mobile push, while getting an average of 30 500% ROI. Through our efforts. We’ve worked with truly beauty the lightest skin and Dr. Livengood and many more. Now the next step is to email us at sales@chronos.agency. Or you can go to Chronos.agency to learn more. Today’s guest is someone extremely experienced in not just the ecommerce Industry, but the digital marketing space as well. Duane Brown, now doing as a CEO and head of strategy at his company Take Some Risks, Inc, which he founded about six years ago, six years plus. And He’s based in Toronto, Canada was the most, I never told you this, but I had the best sushi I’ve ever had in Toronto, like hands on, ever. I don’t know why might be the water might be the fishes out there. But it’s amazing. Now, Duane, you have spoken at lots of different stages, including EECOM, world, mass con, inbound at your time, at your time, with Unbounce. And then following that as well. You’ve also worked with some amazing brands like lark, WooCommerce, Walmarts, and the likes. You have a very interesting history of not just work, but also in digital marketing. And you have a very different approach to growing your agency. And we just briefly spoke about this on a dive deeper into your thought processes, how you think about work life and everything in general. So welcome to the show. Thank you for coming on. And I’m excited.

Duane Brown 2:37

Cool. Thanks for having me, Josh. I will say though, you don’t want to tell people that we have the best sushi in Toronto, because people in Vancouver, Canada might be pissed off because they think they have the best seafood and sushi in Canada. So that on the geologist a little bit,

Joshua Chin 2:49

I hear you I was I lived in Vancouver for just four months actually for an exchange program, and University. And I went to UBC and that was a really good time. Really, really good time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to explore the country. Just because I was growing Chronos, at that point in time was 2018. That was literally the first year of being in business. And it was a fun experience. That’s where I pick up picked up a poker as well. Interestingly, a big fan of poker,

Duane Brown 3:24

actually lived in Vancouver as well from 2015 to 2018. So too bad. We didn’t like cross paths in that.

Joshua Chin 3:30

Oh, okay. Thank you very nice, really, really nice.

Duane Brown 3:36

City. But it looks like a small city. Right? That’s 100,000 people. It’s not very big.

Joshua Chin 3:41

It Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty tiny. I mean, coming from like, where I’m based in Singapore, very, very different. Like when we think about we try to like in Singapore, we try to have nature kind of littered throughout the city. It’s it’s planned, right? It’s manmade, and makes it kind of it makes it livable. Because of all the concrete and infrastructure you kind of need that the balance of nature and trees and it helps with like temperature and stuff. But in Vancouver, it’s it’s everywhere. It feels like you’re free. You know, you see blue skies, it’s actually blue. It’s like kind of gray and pollutants. So that’s nice. But sidetrack Duane you run Take Some Risk. Think now. What’s the what’s the history and story behind that name?

Duane Brown 4:28

Yeah, I mean, I used to work at a chemical imbalance. I was unhappy my job so I just quit it, gave my notice and decided back then I was I’d go freelance or just went contract for a while and the next step in my life, I mean, I’m really good at what I do. I’ve had, you know, big name brands, American brands, like BestBuy and Tallis reached out and say, Hey, you want to come work for us more than once at Shopify? COMM four times and are quite rejected each time. I always joke you can find me company and then maybe we can talk but I don’t want to come work for you necessarily. It’s just like call We’re gonna we’ll right. And you know, I know most people work with Shopify and other places, and they’re happy, but it’s just not for me. So I quit the job. And I started freelancing, and it was 2017. And freelancing turned into more work and more work and 28 team came around and there was to hire someone, do we not hire someone? So we hired someone for a bit, and then the pandemic hit? And then it’s like, do I hire more people do I not and I thought about it for a few months, and I just went down the route of like hiring a few people. And that’s kind of where it is. I mean, that’s like a really short version. But it really just started because I quit my job. And it wasn’t plan to start an agency, it just kind of grew into that. Very organically, as a friend would say, my wife seems at times, I try to leave like lots of options open in life, and then kind of optimize towards, you know, happiness, for lack of a better word. You know, money’s great, we make good money, I’ve had jobs that paid very well. My last job and, and bounced, paid really well, when I was bored out of my mind. And so I’m 41, in a couple of months, I my 20s, I go for the money, course, you go for the money, you’re in your 20s. But in your 30s, and 40s. I don’t want to optimize usually for something else other than money, because even if you make lots of money, and you’re bored, it’s going to crush your soul and make you just stressed and gain weight. And that’s not that’s something you want to have when you’re older and your metabolism goes down and you gain weight, because it’s harder to take off.

Joshua Chin 6:26

Okay, two places I’m gonna take this conversation to so you talked about optimization and how you optimize your life. But before that, the name right, Take Some Risks. Can you come up with that?

Duane Brown 6:39

Yeah, so I think that’s my 20s i Back then my company was called Creative traction. Because we were to find creative ways to get you traction, because like PR coms thing. Yeah. And then Take Some Risk made sense. Because I wanted something that kind of simplified my life. In order to get to where I am and had to take multiple risks, tactical, you’d say take a risk. That’s, I would say graphically in English. But Take Some Risk actually make more sense, because you’ve got to take multiple risks to get somewhere. Yeah, I mean, unless you’re the dude who founded PayPal, or eBay, or these other companies, we make a shit ton of money, you’re usually gonna take multiple risks to continue to be successful in life. And so I just named to take some risk it was available as a domain name I could incorporate in Canada didn’t seem like anybody was using anything similar to that. So like Google mobility seemed really good. Yeah, I thought it was a good name. Because often tell clients have done this a few years, maybe need to get back into it. But I often say, it’s kind of like, if we were in a helicopter, and we’ve got to jump out to save her wise, I hope that you’ll grab my hand, we’ll put on the parachute we each have and jump on that plane to save our lives, you’ve got to take some risk sometimes to get somewhere. And so that’s kind of why I named it and you know, most people bring it up at some point, they either make some joke about taking risk, or they say they like it, no one’s ever told me they hate the name. But I don’t think people would ever say they hate it. If they did hate it. It’s either they love it. Or they make some sort of joke about it in my last job, because it is kind of funny, but I’ve heard it all at this point in six years.

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