Direct-To-Consumer Secrets of a 9-Figure Branding Guru | 377

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Dan Kuschell is a husband, dad, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor. He runs Breakthrough3X, a company that gives you instant access to a Fractional CMO Team. Breakthrough3X helps founders and CEOs grow their businesses 3 to 10x and generate more clients daily with a simple system that gets them free from the day-to-day. Dan has owned 12 companies since 1992, building multiple businesses with revenues exceeding eight figures before selling. He is also the host of the Growth to Freedom podcast, where he interviews industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields.


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

  • What is direct response marketing?
  • How Dan Kuschell merges direct response marketing with branding
  • Dan shares what he learned from multiple business successes and failures
  • Dan’s personal and professional endeavors
  • How does Breakthrough3X help clients grow their businesses?

In this episode…

Are you still relying on traditional marketing systems to promote and scale your company? Business owners are expected to generate content multiple times a day with little payoff. So, how can you refine and optimize your marketing strategies?

Business growth expert Dan Kuschell has combined direct response marketing and branding to help expand your reach and amplify your impact. This model involves making compelling offers to clients or business partners that produce measurable results. Your strategy should have multiple touchpoints that you follow up on regularly to develop a long-term, valuable relationship.

In today’s episode of Growth to Freedom, Neil Twa, host of the High Voltage Business Builders podcast, interviews business advisor Dan Kuschell about direct-to-consumer marketing strategies to grow a business. Dan explains how he merges direct response marketing with branding, his personal and professional endeavors, and how his company Breakthrough3X helps clients grow their businesses.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

Thanks for listening to this episode of growthtofreedom.com.

Are you struggling to get a steady flow of new clients every day? Or maybe hit a plateau or hit a wall in growing your business? Well, let’s help you solve this problem today. Let’s review your business and have a conversation. You can do that for free today at breakthroughstrategycall.com. That’s breakthroughstrategycall.com.

In addition, if you’re looking for a simple way to implement some of what we’ve been talking about in today’s episode, I want to encourage you to get our free small business toolkit. You can get that at activate.breakthrough3x.com. That’s activate.breakthrough3x.com.

If you’d like access to the special resources and all the show notes for this special episode, make sure to visit growthtofreedom.com.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to growthtofreedom.com, the show that brings you inspiration, transformation and leadership, we’re helping you connect the dots, see the blind spots, and get unstuck. So you can go out and generate more leads more sales, more profits. More importantly, so you can go out and have a bigger reach a bigger impact and make a bigger contribution.

Dan Kuschell  0:25  

Really get clarity on, like what you want your business to be. Because you can either own the business, or it can own you if you’re just chasing the dollar if you’re just chasing transactions if you’re just chasing growth.

Neil Twa  0:42  

Alright, Dan, welcome to the call. It’s good to have you here.

Dan Kuschell  0:45  

Same here Neil, thank you. 

Neil Twa  0:47  

All right, so we were just jamming on your history. Let’s, let’s get into that in just a minute. But first off, let’s tell people maybe what you’re doing and why they should be listening to the next 20 minutes of your superior intellect and knowledge and why they want to focus on what you’re doing?

Dan Kuschell  1:00  

Well, first, I would say don’t believe a word I say. Why? Because the only thing I can share from and teach from is my own personal experience at the end of the day, right. And there’s not such thing as a one size fits all model. That’s true, in my opinion. So you know, there are nuances there distinctions and different things like that, what I would say is, if you’re struggling to grow your business and get clients daily, then try what I’ll share with you, and see how it works for you. Give it like 90 days, see how it works for you, and then report back and let us know how it may have worked. And in most cases today, Neil, we see, you know, I have a lot of fun helping companies grow and scale and do all sorts of fun stuff.

Neil Twa  1:47  

Yeah, you’re very good into the direct response component. We’re gonna talk about that today. And the direct marketing and consumer aggregation, of course, finding the right fit for the right client. I know that’s a big thing we talked about in the past. And of course, pivoting and business, which is a big component of obviously, having successful measure in business that we’ve all experienced, it’s the one commonality across all entrepreneurs, they never started one thing and became successful, they started 10 things. And then one of those things became successful after the eight things didn’t kill them. Right. So let’s talk in depth a little bit more about some of these things, talk about what it means to be a direct response marketer for you.

Dan Kuschell  2:23  

Yeah, so our framework, so direct response marketing, I actually feel is outdated. Traditional marketing is outdated. And so direct response marketing is, you know, the short version of this is putting out a marketing message that you can easily measure to know what kind of a result you got from it. So it’s results based, essentially,

Traditional marketing is outdated. So, direct response marketing is…putting out a marketing message that you can easily measure to know what kind of result you got from it. -Dan Kuschell Click To Tweet

Neil Twa  2:47  

yeah, what we call deep funnel linking or deep marketing, which again, in direct response, the concept is one or two touch points, or up to seven point touch points that occur. In my experience, and where I know you’re going with this combo is why I like that. And I wanted to hook that out there so people can get into it is, you know, what does it take for somebody to touch me however many times it takes them to touch me and whatever timeframe that takes over a maybe even two, three month period, so that my long term relationship with them becomes a more valuable resource than how many clients I have and how well I serve and how deep I go with each of my clients. Is that a fair assessment?

Dan Kuschell  3:23  

Yes, absolutely. In fact, you know, our version of this, we call it direct response branding, right? For the small business under $25 million a year, Neil, you know, like we’ve talked about is most companies that are like leading with branding, you know, because there’s certain experts that are still out there teaching, which is just drives me crazy as they’re going, you know, to build your business, you should post like 50 to 60 times a day, which is utter crap. For most small business owners, and CEOs and founders and or their teams that are being trained to do this sort of thing. Right? It’s the emergence of these two connections together direct response, branding, gives you the greatest impact, the greatest result, the greatest outcome to give you the best chance to grow exponentially,

It's the emergence of these two connections together; direct response and branding give you the greatest impact, the greatest result, the greatest outcome and give you the best chance to grow exponentially. -Dan Kuschell Click To Tweet

Neil Twa  4:11  

it actually pulls the value closer in to the times that you actually do engage with them, as opposed to what I call the white noise of marketing, which is that how many times that I post a day and how much content Am I pushed out there? Nothing against Gary Vee and that whole thing, but I really think that that’s kind of messed with people a little bit. And it sounds to me like you’ve also had that same

Dan Kuschell  4:32  

I have a lot of stats on the clients we work with probably like you to write and we’re big on data, data driven decision making. And so many times people have kind of bought into a version of that posting all these times and then go how many clients did you get from that? And they go, zero, how long you’ve been doing that? Oh, I’ve been doing that for five years.

Neil Twa  4:50  

Five years. As somebody the other day, it was like, I shut my podcast down finally. And I’m like, Well, how long have you been doing it? Like three years and I’m like, Well, what well, what But to do for you, like why are you know, in there really couldn’t quantify it? Other than they could quantify the negative response at the time in which they do it. Right. Yeah. So obviously, you’re into breaking through these barriers, what are some of the things you would suggest maybe for people that you know, are your own historical experiences, you talk a little bit more about yourself, that you’ve learned to overcome in your own business, cuz you’ve had some great successes. And I want to focus on some of those.

Dan Kuschell  5:25  

Yeah, I mean, well, first of all, I’ve learned mostly deal from like many people from failure, right. So I got started with my first business officially in the late 1980s. But I’ll call them a first company that was a seven figure business in 1992. And we were fortunate to build that to seven figures. And just a couple of months, I was 22 year old kid, and, like, hit it. But what I learned is I wasn’t good at running a business, we were good at marketing, we’re good at selling, we’re good at helping our clients do marketing. And we were I wasn’t good at running a business. And so I had to go through a few failures, bankruptcy and, you know, some stuff that got in the way got the dirty t shirt to prove it. That ultimately got me to a place where since then, we’ve I’ve had multiple, seven and eight figure companies have grown up a big coaching business to over 25 million a year. And then I had a publishing business where we were generating over 2000 new clients a week and over 10,000 subscribers a day, in leads a day, which was a lot of fun. We learned from that meeting now. You know, we get to help clients install systems, right. And so if I had to say a couple of things that have been valuable, and learning is, number one is, you know, really get clarity on, like, what you want your business to be. Because you can either own the business, or it can own you. If you’re just chasing the dollar if you’re just chasing transactions if you’re just chasing growth, right? So I’d encourage you to look at getting clarity on like, what do you really want your business to be? In other words, what’s your vision of it? And then how, you know, like, for me, big mistake I made in the early days, I just, you know, I have a type A personality, Neil and I can run it 105 miles an hour and will and I did literally almost put me in a hospital for four days where I needed a heart procedure. Oh, wow. Um, 10 years ago, I don’t even know if I shared that. Oh, yeah. It was a huge wake up call. And at the time I was running this big company, there’s 175 employees, three offices that we have grown from like a Dan with a volunteer, which is just crazy to think about. Yeah. And when I was able to, you know, because of that experience, it was one of the main reasons that I decided to sell for my own personal health. But then I really had a coach who said, Dan, what do you really want. And I realized what I wanted was more freedom. And I had built this kind of box around my business. And so selling was one option. And it was a good option. And very grateful that I had that ability, of course, to do that. And today, you know, not only do I spend a lot of time with my wife, I also get a chance to spend a lot not just quality time, but quantity time with my kids. They’re now 16 and 14, I’ve basically been around every day to help see him and work with him and grow up, grow up in all their activities for many years, close to a decade. And on top of that, in running our business, I also coach high school football. And I’ve done that for the last five because I love building young men and there’s a lot of 14 18 year old young men that you know, and a lot of ways I feel men or boys have been emasculated. And so to give them an you know, accessibility to leadership and, you know, success traits that it’s more for me off the field stuff, Neil, then on the field,

If I had to say a couple of things that have been valuable in learning, then #1 is getting clarity on what you want your business to be. -Dan Kuschell Click To Tweet

Neil Twa  8:40  

No, it’s a powerful, it’s a powerful what you do.

Dan Kuschell  8:43  

And built all these little mini call it platforms for you know, helping people reach their potential, either in the business or otherwise.

Neil Twa  8:52  

Yeah, dude, I love that. And you kind of remind me, I mean, you’re you jokingly said, your age. And I’m not going to say but there was a meme. You said a minute ago that reminded me of you. And it’s like, there’s the 80 year old guy who’s like, Hey, I’ve been online for years, and I’m only 30. He’s 80. People would not recognize that you’re only like 30 years old. But yeah, you’re you’re you’re a good guy. But your history and your family. I appreciate the lifestyle by design phrase came into my mind when I was listening to you talk. And it’s something that you actually, you actually applied through the experience and some of your mistakes, and hopefully somebody listening to this will they will avoid that because I did the same thing as we were talking, right? I grew and had the business and got involved in the companies and leveraged myself too hard into it, and then went bankrupt and went through all that nonsense and had to reinvent myself. Quite honestly, you and others who are some of the most successful people I know, have all had major failures that everyone else is still afraid of. And while we not want you to go through that, that wasn’t really the point. Maybe you could avoid it but you can’t avoid all mistakes and you know, all mistakes are going to make you into something different. You shouldn’t avoid all mistakes and I think that’s part of you know, What I’m taking away from what you said. So in terms of response in terms of this year in terms of things you’re doing, to continue to propagate that message, what is your biggest focus on obviously coaching little league football for men and boys to become great men, which is like probably the most critical and wonderful thing I think you could be to outside of business. What else are you focused on?

Dan Kuschell  10:19  

Well, you know, being a husband, being present with my wife and us being best friends, and just celebrating life, because every day is a gift. And, you know, it gets, I think we all get to realize that more and more of these last couple years, being a dad, for my kids, and then from the business point of view, is really working with great clients with these strategies to help companies get a sales and marketing system in place to help them grow with less stress, and to get free from the day to day because like when you have the right sales and marketing system in place, many times it can be that dream come true solution if you do it by design. So those are, that’s one part of the business separately. This will maybe be really kind of funny to a degree. But I’m writing a new book called Direct Response Branding. So this is literally me handwriting. And so I record a video. So there’s, by the way, if you want to write a book, here’s a couple simple tips. I have a version I do, which is I record a video of the concepts and I transcribe it and then I take that transcription and I start free flow writing with that combination. And literally this I’ll have the book done in less than 60 days as far as the first draft.

Neil Twa  11:33  

Sounds like another program ready to go Dan.

Dan Kuschell  11:40  

That’s another big thing and then you coach our high school football Believe it or not, even though fall is the season for high school football literally I start Monday with our call it preseason camps and training and different things like that.

Neil Twa  11:53  

Well, dude, you are a busy guy.

Dan Kuschell  11:55  

Having fun, right? Yeah. Oh, here’s something else. Yeah. Yeah, I got a little fluffy truth be told this a damaging confession. But you know, you know, if you’re a type A driver, creator, visionary type, maybe you can relate to this a little bit where sometimes your health might take a backseat and damaging confession mine did last quarter of last year. So I got a little fluffy. I call it and my wife says the same phrase. Anybody else use that just by the way. So one, one day, like between the 25th and the first of the year, I looked in the mirror and I was like, oh my god that looks like melted ice cream and ice. Like melted ice cream. Oh my god. So I have had enough, right. And Tony Robbins has always taught you know, if you’re, it’s got to be a must not just should. Yeah. So for me seeing melted ice cream out of my body everywhere. I was like, I gotta do something about this. So, but I needed to find some because I’ve had a knee issue for quite a few years now, after tearing up PCL, and severely sprained MCL and an ACL, oh, choking on the sideline, which is crazy to think about. So I, you know, gotten this a little bit fluffy. So I talked to a friend of mine, Jason, and said, Hey, I noticed you gotten some really great shape. And he said, Well, let me hook you up with my guy, JT. And what I love about the program he put me on, is he said, Neil, look, then stop doing everything you’re doing. And I don’t want you doing weights upfront. We’ll get to it. But um, usually all I want you to do is walk. I’m like, Are you sure? Like, you want me to walk? He goes, Yes. I want you to walk for about 45 minutes to an hour a day. Can you do that? I’m like, That’s sounds like too good to be true. Yeah, I can do that. And then on top of that, you know, he set me up with a nutrition I said, but it can’t be extreme like because it needs to be something that’s a lifestyle, right. So long, the short, no extreme diet, no extreme exercise and 45 minutes to an hour a day. I am a proxy just short a 60 days into the program. I’ve let go of shed over 30 pounds as of right, which I feel feel great. And in this Oh wait, I was in high school my sophomore year, which feels really great. And it’s just, you know, the pressure off my body and my heart’s you know, strong all those sorts. So that’s another thing is the fitness for life. And especially being I’m 52 I’ll be 53 in a couple of months.

Neil Twa  14:35  

Oh, well. We’re not sharing age on here. Come on now. Oh, that’s right. That’s right.

Dan Kuschell  14:39  

But Fit for Life. Right is absolutely just what I think great. Yeah. How can you be great in your business? Like if our fitness isn’t there? Or our home life is a wreck. So our bodies are wreck our whole life’s a wreck. I think ultimately it will catch up in the business. So you know what I love about you, Neil, what I love about what you represent what you stand for It is front stage and backstage, connect. Right you can have the best of it all you can meaning you can have a great at home life, great fitness and a great business. You don’t have to give up on despite what a lot of experts may have led you, or I do believe you can have it all. So anyway. 

Neil Twa  15:19  

Well, thank you. That’s very kind of you to say that. Yeah, it’s a balance of life and eating. It’s a huge thing. And I still have 20 to get off myself and i Dad, I don’t even told you this. But when I was 19, I blew out my ACL, I was actually going to do a pickup game, we’re gonna go red letter, because I was a wasn’t on the team. And I get an intramural game of football, blew out the ACL. And that was the end of it. So those are extremely painful. And they’re hard to come back from. So kudos for you getting out there. And getting back from that, because that’s a challenge. I’ve been there.

Dan Kuschell  15:47  

Yeah, as I look back, I probably shouldn’t have done the surgery that I

Neil Twa  15:50  

did the full service, right? Yeah, I’ll end up having to do the other one. At some point, it still bothers me. It’s my, it’s my old, creaky man knee that I like to joke about. Weather it’s changing, it’s like, oh, the knee is getting achy. But yeah, everybody has different ways of doing that walking, or whatever. And we live in the country. So a lot of my stuff out here is physical labor. I jokingly say I don’t need to go to a CrossFit in a gym, because I can do tractor tires and tires out here. And I can do logs and do all kinds of stuff and chainsaw for hours.

Dan Kuschell  16:20  

During Rocky in the snow, walking through logs, and doing a workout.

Neil Twa  16:24  

Just got back from the snow, because we got almost an inch ice out here. And we’re having to get water for the animals and take care of things and go out even though it’s like 12 degrees and a negative window, you still gotta get out there and take care of the animals. But I designed this life. And I love that and other people might hate it. But we love the way we live our lifestyle. And it’s such a big important factor in mindset really, is when you get to where you love. Because if like you just said very succinctly, if the mind is not right, then the food will take you and then the body takes you and then the business will eventually go. And they’re all interconnected. I mean, you said that very well. And you’re doing very wonderful things. But though so tell me a little bit more about Breakthrough.

Dan Kuschell  17:00  

Yeah. So Breakthrough3X, you know, been very fortunate we’ve been writing, it’s a boutique business, essentially, we work with clients, Neal, where we’re kind of like a virtual, fractional CMO, and to implement, right, so we go beyond traditional consulting, we go beyond traditional coaching, we go beyond traditional agencies, to basically walk into a business and become a strategic growth partner, as a fractional cmo and team, right? To help them grow and scale their business. We’re performance based. So the better our clients do, the better we do. Right. And, you know, we have a lot of fun, or like highest value client to this point has been paid us about a million dollars as a bit of because we helped them grow by over 10 million, which, if you do the math, that’s free throw client, which we feel we should be free to a client. So you incorporate a lot of things with our team where you know, if someone needs services done, like, you know, because, you know, for example, a lot of people struggle with an offer, right? So I’ve built most of the things that our business almost like a franchise system, that not only we use, and I’ve used for decades, running our business and growing them, but also when we work with clients, we’re basically building it on tools and systems so people can then run those systems, right kind of evolved out of my work initially, way back when with the E Myth and Michael Gerber, right, we just happen to focus mostly on marketing systems and selling systems, right. So it can go beyond the owner go beyond the founder or visionary creator. So it’s a lot of fun. So if someone needs, you know, help with, you know, creating their model, or their funnels or their offers or copywriting or tech issues, or SEO, we’ve got a team that can go just get all that stuff done and done fractionally right, and a fraction of what they would pay all these different team members to do it.

Neil Twa  18:54  

And, I know Dan, I know you’re serious, because I mean, obviously I know your business. And I know who you are, and I know who you’re connected to. And I have actually one of your clients who’s coming on in about two or three shows from here and an episode amazing to talk here as a high voltage business builder who reached that pinnacle and business because of what you guys did for him and his team. So I’m excited to have him come on here and chat about it. And so anybody listening to this today if you’re interested in connecting with Dan, go check out Breakthrough3X go they look him up what’s the best way to they just want to Google you go to LinkedIn, Facebook.

Dan Kuschell  19:24  

Yeah, I mean, if you want to Google by name is a little tough to spell but go to breakthrough3x.com Real simple, you can learn more about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, some of the clients, we work with our case studies, if you want to get you know, kind of a taste of what we’re up to put together for the show special Small Business toolkit that includes a handful of tools number one, I built a tool for me originally 20 Some years ago called The CEO checklist, because I’m not a trained CEO at school. It was trained by running businesses, growing companies etc. school of hard knocks. So like literally up on our wall, I’ve got my CEO checklists that I use to keep me on track yearly, quarterly, monthly and annually, or weekly and daily. And broken down, we’re just with checkmarks. It just keeps me on track to handle the things that as a CEO, we can cover. So we’re gonna give you a give you that CEO checklist. In addition, we have a hiring checklist. And basically how we look at hiring is build a marketing system for hiring because who wants to waste hours and hours with unqualified prospects or candidates. And there’s a much more effective way. So we can show you we have an eight step blueprint that shows you how to build essentially, your version of a hiring marketing model to hire right the first time all the time. The next tool is something called casual conversations that lead to conversions. Right. This was a tool that in one of one of our companies, the coaching business, where we turn literally customer service people Neil into high performers. And lots of people said it couldn’t be done couldn’t be done, because it’s a different skill. And it is a different skill set. But what we were able to do with this 12 step checklist is train our team on how to use the 12 step checklist to become high performers. So we’re gonna give you that checklist and outline that you can model use and implement if you know for some people we’ve had people tell us that’s been worth minimum, six figures a quarter for them, that one single tool, and more so go, you can go to Activate, Activate.breakthrough3x.com, activate.breakthrough3x.com. And you get that small business toolkit for free. And then, you know, as a follower of Neil’s and being a part of this show, if you have any questions whatsoever, please just reach out at our email, which you’ll see in our follow up help@breakthrough3x.com Hit me up, let me know we run a boutique business and have a lot of fun helping clients so we can help solve some of your challenges growing your business we’d love to.

Neil Twa  21:59  

Absolutely and if you guys want to get connected through me too and get a personal relationship with Dan, you know how to connect with me please do that in the show notes will be those links as well for anybody who wants to get on. And of course you can check out his social media and stuff. And I encourage you, if you’re looking for leads, if you got an offer, if you’re coaching if you’re just running ecom or you want to potentially have someone help you on a performance basis with your marketing, I can recommend Dan extremely highly. And I appreciate you so much for coming on today and sharing some wisdom and knowledge and have some fun with me, Dan, thanks so much.

Outro  22:26  

Thanks for listening to this episode of growthtofreedom.com. Are you struggling to get a steady flow of new clients every day? Or maybe hit a plateau or hit a wall and growing your business? Let’s help you solve this problem today. Let’s review your business and have a conversation. Do that for free today at breakthroughstrategycall.com That’s breakthroughstrategycall.com. In addition, if you’re looking for a simple way to implement some of what we’ve been talking about in today’s episode, I want to encourage you to get our free Small Business toolkit. You get that at activate.breakthrough3x.com that activate.breakthrough3x.com. If you’d like access to the special resources and all the show notes for this special episode, make sure to visit growthtofreedom.com.

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