Jeff has been a self-employed designer for over 15 years. He has worked on projects for companies like TRUECar, McAfee, Pluto TV (Viacom), Christie Brinkley Skincare and more and became well known in the marketing industry for his specialty in social media ad creatives. In 2018, he launched No Limit Creatives, a subscription based design service that offers businesses of all sizes graphic and video designs for one flat monthly rate. In just two short years, he was employing 250 full time workers across 30 countries and runs the entire operation from home. Everyone he employs works from their own remote location and has never set foot in a brick & mortar location. Jeff has helped thousands of companies increase their revenue and improve their reputation through high quality custom creatives that serve a purpose and tell a story.
Whole objective is as you know, what they were trying to do with the business. So I think if you can run lean as beginning and, and self-fund, I think that's the best way to do it personally, unless it's something that, you know, you're building software and it's half a million dollars or something you have to come up with to invest in. But, um, you know, for me, that's, that's just always been something I've really taken a lot of pride in is just having, having been able to run this with a very low overhead. And I've, I've stuck to remotely operating the business for that low overhead as well. So it's, we've been able to sit to make it work, but, um, that's like the biggest thing I think I would think of after just speaking with other business owners this year,
Speaker 2 (00:53):
You're listening to the rich add poor ed podcast, where we break down the financial principles that rich advertisers are deploying today to turn advertising into profit and get tons of traffic to their websites without killing their cash. These advertisers agencies, affiliate brands are responsible for managing over a billion dollars a year in ad spend. You'll hear about what's working for them today. They're rich ads and we'll roast their Epic failures and crappy ads on the internet with poor ads. Let's get into it. All right, everybody, we're back in business with another episode of the rich add poor ad podcast. We've got your host, Dylan Carpenter and Zach Johnson in the house. Zach. What's good. My man. Yeah. I'm excited to get into some creative today. Uh, so be a breath of fresh air. You know, I'm not talking to another media buyer or another, uh, e-commerce companies spending millions a month.
Um, this will be good, man. I'm, I'm excited to dive into the creative aspect of, of ads. Oh, especially, I mean, this guest has over 250 full-time workers across 30 countries and runs the entire operation from a home. So I mean, this guy's killing it and when it comes to creative, I use it for a couple of my accounts. So I mean, I know we're going to get into some good nitty gritty stuff. So I mean, as many back what's good, man. What's going on guys? No limit creatives is what's going on, man. I was shocked when you told me that you guys have you're, you're, you're producing over 8,000 creatives a month. Like what?
Yeah, it's a crazy number. I mean, it's, uh, with all the requests we get, a lot of them are like, uh, different size variations for different platforms, um, different creatives and text areas for split testing. And so we, we pump out a, just an insane volume of requests. That's really crazy.
That's awesome. And, and how, and how many designers, uh, do you guys have on staff there
Over to two 20? We have over 250 people full time. Um, but the designer side has ever two 20, I don't know the exact number. It's, it's crazy. It's, it's been, uh, you know, just a couple of years, we kind of, we, last year we had, well, 2019, we had a hundred people just over a hundred people. So in that year, um, you know, we, we brought on 150 new people and, uh, we wanted to try to get ahead of all these requests. You know, we're getting so many requests for different variations of ads and things like that. So we really just upped our game last year in 2020, really did the hiring process pretty hardcore, um, to get ourselves ahead. So we're in a good position now to just keep scaling as other companies scale with us now,
What percentage of maybe your client base or just the overall requests, like how much of that really is ad creative specifically?
Oh my gosh. It's ton. I think that's the number one, um, design that we get is, is ad requests. So, I mean, I it's, it would be probably 70% easily of our requests, our ads. Yeah. So, you know, it's, it's, uh, image ads, video ads, you know, animated gifs, all, all kinds of different things, but it's, it's almost all ads. It's nuts.
There you go. You're the first guest on the show that is producing over 5,000 ads every single month. So this better be a good episode, Jess.
Talk about Amanda. What what's working breakdown, a breakdown, the rich ad, hopefully there's a closed loop and you're, you're getting some level of feedback, uh, from your guys as creatives of, uh, of what's working or maybe even some trends, but break it down for us.
We all know video is, is doing really well. I mean that still proves time and time again, that it's, it's really the number one thing to focus on for creatives. But, um, you know, we're, we're seeing every year, I feel like the attention span of people is just shorter and shorter. So we're, we're always producing shorter and shorter videos. Um, we're really hitting a lot of like, uh, five to seven, second videos, animated gifs, things like that that are just really fast paced. Um, we're also seeing a lot of requests come in where the video is split down the middle horizontally. And there's like a video on top of video on bottom and in the middle is, um, texts. And it could be like captions or just as a static text. That's like kind of a strong call to action or something like that. But some weird funky stuff that I wouldn't normally think would be popular is very popular now.
And you guys know UGC content is just killing it right now. I mean, if, if you can get your hands on real people reviewing products and things like that for your video ads, it's just really, really working well. So, um, we always try to push creatives that look more native and kind of user generated basically then than trying to do the polished stuff. But, um, because we're not an ad agency, people don't always tend to trust our judgment or our suggestions because we're just designers to them. But, you know, we, we know what we've seen come in from agencies in e-commerce brands and, uh, that UGC content stuff is just doing really well.
Speaker 2 (06:24):
And how have you been able to kind of adjust the UGC content to the shorter video side of things? Um, you know, I'm definitely noticing things under six seconds working good, but those UGC videos could be, you know, 22nd, 32nd little product demo. So I'm kind of curious how y'all adapt and execute on those bad boys.
Yeah, that's pretty difficult because you're right. I mean, most of them are easily 32nd videos that we get from coaster customers. So, um, a lot of times we will actually mute the, uh, the voice, the voiceover work or there, or the audio completely, and then just chop up a bunch of these videos and have big, uh, texts, call Alison things coming in and out like that. So that, you know, we're still kind of getting the point across as quickly as we can, but it's not wasting 30 seconds of your time to listen to what we can show in just a few seconds, um, with text call-outs. So that's the kind of stuff that we, we do a lot of these days and even, um, uh, just doing like reviews of, of a bunch of videos scrolling by and everybody's showing their themselves with the product and we're showing FiveStars or quick little review pop-ups, things like that. So, um, the, the longer videos do work, but you know, like, like you said, I mean, you're, you're seeing stuff working at five or six seconds and you really have to get creative on how you're actually able to show all that in such a short amount of time
Speaker 2 (07:48):
Deal, add a lot of overlay text to it. I know that's kind of popping up a couple of times, so I'm kind of curious on your overlayed text and even the subtitle side of things and how it actually impacts the creatives versus just, Hey, here's some raw footage, here's some raw audio. Let's see what happens.
We, I, I would say probably 90% of the time we add some kind of text I realize. Um, and it's not really because we want people to not listen to audio, but it's just that we, we really want to flash on the screen the most important features or benefits selling points, um, and, and get them to quickly see what we're going for in the ads and then the call to action. So we, we almost always do that. We always do, uh, captions, if it's a longer video, just, you know, we transcribe the audio and put it up on captions because we've seen time and time. Again, people just don't listen to audio all the time. Uh, when they're playing videos, I don't myself, especially if I'm in, if you're in a doctor's office or something, you don't want the video you're watching to start blasting. Um, so we, we almost always put those, those, uh, transcriptions or captions and the videos to people can just read along with it.
So here's what I want to know is what, how, how can somebody ensure their success with a no limit creatives? Like how can, how can somebody, like, can they send you, um, you know, like the worst requests you guys probably get is like, can you make me an ad? Right. It's just like open ended question, but like, can you describe, you know, cause there's just so many mixed reviews out there right? Of just these, you know, uh, unlimited creative services, but it, you get what you put into it, right. Or you get, you get what out, what you put into it. And I think like just a little bit of a four, one, one on how can somebody give you the absolute best, like request at no limit creatives to ensure that they're getting the best, um, ad creatives, can they send you like a swipe file? Can they send you like their best competitor's ads? Can they send you, you know, their, their, their current performance? What would, what advice?
And I think that one's probably seen this, but we do have a standardized brief in our system. And it basically, it works across all fronts, not just ad creatives, but it basically, um, it asks for things like, you know, what are you, what does the ad promoting, or what does the product or service who's the target audience? Um, is there any specific texts that you want to show? Uh, what's the web address? So we can look at the branding and is there any branding we need to follow things like that, or are stuff that we need to know at a bare minimum. But, um, you know, as far as the creative direction goes, we just kind of run with it and do what we think is going to work best. Um, or that particular product or service, but briefing is everything. And I think, um, a lot of people fall short there because they just don't know how to brief.
They don't know, they know they need an ad, but they don't know what to ask for, uh, specifically. So that is a bottleneck that we see all the time, not just with, uh, e-com brands in general, but even agencies, people that are doing this for a living, um, they really lack the understanding of, of how to properly brief a design team. So, um, sharing examples is huge for us. If we can see examples of what people are kind of looking to have created, um, showing us competitor ads, we have design libraries that you can reference, uh, for inspiration and things like that. So even swipe files, I mean, like I said, all of the above, anything that can show us visually what you're after is going to just make the results so much better. It really, it's hard to remotely work with designers, uh, in general, and then to convey your vision to them in written format is really difficult. So, um, if you can visuals, that just goes so much further. We even have people doing like loom, uh, screen recordings, kind of talking while they're showing the same things on the screen. And that's been really helpful for us too.
Speaker 4 (12:05):
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So what's somebody not do Jeff. What is, what is the formula for a poor ed? Um, exactly how you said before we went an ad. I mean, if you don't know, um, you know, from, from a marketing perspective, this perspective, what your goal is with the ads. I mean, if you're, you're just clueless on the ad front, um, and do you expect, you know, a designer or even freelance or in-house person and just come up with an ad, it's not going to be a good, good results. I mean, we, we find the most success working with people that have, um, creative strategists or directors on staff, because they're the type of people that they understand marketing and they also understand design. So they can really help, um, kind of give you the visual on exactly what they're looking for, but, you know, if you come to us or, or any designer, and just say, we need to ads for this website, we're not, we're not marketers ourselves.
We're just designers. And our, our focus is just to pump out as many variations of creatives for you every month as we can so that you can split test the heck out of everything. Um, but you know, we, we, we would always need to know some kind of bare minimum briefing or instructions. Otherwise you're just going to get a lot of things that we're thinking you want to see, but that's not what you had in mind and, you know, 10 rounds of revisions later, we're, we're still not getting to the, uh, to the end of the finish line there. So I would say you just don't want to go into this, not having any idea of what you're looking for or wanting that almost
It makes me want to hear a nightmare story you've had to deal with in the creative side. Has there ever been a specific most, most revisions? That's all
We should keep a log of that. It would be really interesting to see. I know, you know, as a freelancer before I started on, I'll see, um, I started kind of building my reputation on Upwork and that's where I started landing jobs and kind of getting a more steady income, things like that. But there was a lot of times where, um, people would, would come to me and say, I need ads for this, this landing page. And it would be like literally a Shopify template with nothing on it, but one picture of a product and no assets and, and, uh, you know, no text about the product. They don't know who their target market is. I mean, I've, I've had several scenarios where that has happened and, um, it's always been a nightmare cause I'm not a miracle worker and, and I can design what they're looking for, but, um, they, they just, if you don't have assets or anything to work with, it's really difficult. So we run into a lot of, um, we work with a lot of drop shippers now, and everybody has the same products, the same photos from ally express or whatever. And, and, uh, it's like, uh, you know, we can only do so many things with these name, the same assets, and everybody's kind of getting the same stuff.
Oh, that's hilarious. Let's talk about that for a second. What do you think if you were to guess, like, what do you think the, the typical profile is of your customer? Is it like this kind of solo advertiser, dropshipper spending like a couple of grand a month figuring things out, or are they pretty established businesses? Like who, who are, who are the people using no limit?
It's, it's all over the place. I mean, I think the two biggest areas of our business are e-commerce and marketing agencies. Those are the, like, they, they take almost a hundred percent of our, uh, industries. So the rest are kind of like startups, um, brick and mortar service-based companies, things like that. But, um, you know, we have some really big brands that we work with and like, uh, Karen Enoch and fight a cop and Pluto TV. I mean, blue TV was a bigger one cause they were bought out by Viacom, um, a couple of years back or a few years back. And that was a big customer of ours. But, um, we also work with tons of people that are just startups, you know, single member LLCs. Um, I would say the majority of our client base though is, is smaller budget people, smaller startups, um, smaller operations. So, you know, with our price point, it makes perfect sense for people like that, just getting into the game.
Speaker 2 (17:52):
And that's what got me in it. I mean, I have it for, I think, three accounts on the kind of the starter package. And I mean, it's been smooth. The briefs are super Sinise, send them screenshots, Hey, these ads are working. Usually get them in 24, 36 hours. So, I mean, I I've enjoyed it. It's been a walk in the park for me.
I appreciate it, man. We're, we're working on a custom portal as well, like a customer facing portal that we've been working on for quite a while. We had a bad experience last year with a development team, but we're, we're on track this year to get that out there and hopefully that'll streamline the briefing process more, just make things a lot more efficient for customers and internal use. So our whole goal is just to make this an amazing experience for everybody, no matter what industry you're from too,
Speaker 2 (18:33):
I would have ended up even having some sort of pop-up or something. Hey, you know, how was your last request? Do you have any performance updates that way you can kind of, you know, have a little archive of, you know, every performance per account that could be kind of cool to get some more, you know, metrics that way, but then at least have, you know, a little portable someone to say, Oh, had to do this ad last year. I did pretty good. Maybe it's bringing it back in rotation.
We have that and the new portal. So every time you complete a job, you'll get a pop-up that says, how do we do? And it'll have a rating system and you can actually write notes on the project. And really it's, it's, uh, I mean, it's beneficial for customers, but internally we can see if there's like a constant problem with somebody or, you know, the processes of working. There's a weak link somewhere. So we are, um, doing that kind of stuff too, but it's, it's super important to know what's working and what's not from a customer. You know, we, we don't get to see the, uh, the ad results and the numbers from customers. So we don't always know what's working for them unless they tell us. Um, so we do run into that a lot of times where people keep wanting us to make ads, but they're not telling us if, if, if something's working or not.
So we're just doing what we think they're happy with or what's going well, and it may not be. Um, so you really have to have that open line of communication with your designers, no matter who, what designers are you use. I mean, it can be anybody, but they need to know what's working so they can keep making variations of that and seeing what they can improve upon. Yeah, that's awesome, man. Well, one of the art this show is where we're really educating advertisers on, um, financial principles for scaling their ad spend and in bridging the world of advertising and finance, what are some other financial principles you run, no limit creatives, um, uh, by and what, um, and what are some pieces of advice that you would give to the folks listening? You know, I I've this year, I, as I mentioned, uh, you know, earlier, before the call is we're really focused on partnership building this year.
And I was amazed at how many companies have VCs that, that, uh, are not, you know, fund that or anything like that, which makes sense. I mean, depending on what you're, um, you know, if you're a SAS company or something, you're going to need a lot of money to, to build something like that. But we, we were a hundred percent cash funded. I mean, I just started this and ran a really lean to just get by on the bear, the bear, uh, centrals and stuff. But I, I personally would never have a VC. I mean, that's, that's one thing that I think I would say for me as my piece of advice, just because I've seen them take, take your vision and just throw it out the door and tell you exactly what they want to see. And it's really, and at some point you just kind of fall off the rails and you're not really going in the direction you had hoped initially, um, not having investors or anybody helping with funding has really kept me focused on exactly what I want to do with this business.
And, you know, I've never had anybody steer me off course or anything like that, or tell me what I should or shouldn't do. And that's, that's something I've, I've talked to people so many times that really struggle with that, um, because they just kind of lose that fire and motivation and they're in their whole objective is as you know, what they were trying to do with the business. So I think if you can run lean as beginning and, and self-fund, I think that's the best way to do it. I personally, unless it's something that, you know, you're building software and it's half a million dollars or something you have to come up with to invest in. But, um, you know, for me, that's, that's just always been something I've really taken a lot of pride in is just having, having been able to run this with a very low overhead. And I've, I've stuck to remotely operating the business for that low overhead as well. So it's, we've been able to sit to make it work, but, um, that's like the biggest thing I think I would think of after just speaking with other business owners this year,
We got to get these other businesses out there. Uh, no, that's cool. And what advice would you have for folks just on investing to creative? Right. Like, do you have some thoughts on like, Hey, um, you know, here's, if you're spending X, Y, Z, and ads, like here's how much you should be spending in creative or here's like, when here's like, when you graduate from a no limit creatives to like, when you should throw down for a $20,000 creative package, right. How do you think about investing in like real long-term assets versus kind of short-term iterative, um, production?
Uh, we personally don't know when that point is in somebody's business, but I, I think, you know, uh, for the companies we deal with specifically in e-commerce, for example, I think they just, they all hit a point where these, um, these smaller ads just aren't cutting it anymore, and their competition is running high-end productions and they're running stuff they're shooting in their basement. Um, so we work with all, all of the above. I mean, those small companies, people that shoot at home, people that get full production work done. Um, but I think, you know, really just look at where you're at in your business, if you can afford to get into those, uh, more expensive productions, it's definitely worth it. Cause we, we just, at the end of last year, a lot of money, um, with bacon and eggs. So you guys know his production company out in LA and had them make a couple of really amazing production, uh, productions for us. They were just way, way, way above what we run as our, as in our own company for our own ads. So, um, we've seen some really awesome results there too, but, um, you know, it's, it's hard to say. I think everybody's just kind of different in, in where they're out of the journey in business. Um, but these, these smaller ads and just running tons of variations works really well and it always has, but I think if you can afford to get into some more custom stuff, um, you'll definitely see the return as awesome.
Speaker 2 (24:48):
The funny part about this, all it is is the amount of, you know, poor ads and rich ads we've had on from, I know truffle hot sauce was a good example of them spinning a good amount on a professional commercial, maybe 10, 15 K for this video versus another video, which was, they went to a little, you know, hot sauce, fair, just had videos of people try in the hot sauce and that outperformed a substantially. It was a free video. So it's kind of cool. Sometimes I can kind of put those together and see what works best to where that professional video could have been better on YouTube, but you never gonna know really. So. Yeah,
And I I'm, I've seen their ads a bunch too, all of a sudden. Um, but I think, uh, you know, the, the whole native looking ads just aren't really working well. I feel, I feel like people resonate with those better and they feel like a real person like them has made this and it's not, um, you know, expensive corporate production. So I think it really just depends, um, the type of business. I mean, if you're, if you're really established, you have a huge following, you know, I think there's high end productions work really well, but, um, you're hitting cold audiences with those. I mean, it's, it's really hard to get people to just sign up right away from things like that. So I feel like for me as a business owner, I like to focus on those smaller, uh, smaller productions or smaller motion graphics based videos and just pump out tons of them. And then, uh, you know, as I get a warmed up audience, I started hitting them with, with higher end production.
Speaker 2 (26:15):
I love this. Well, Jeff, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for your time. Tell us how we can support you and how people can get in touch.
Yeah. Thank you guys too. I appreciate it. So no, lemme creatives.com is our website. Check us out. We're a subscription-based design service, but we do have a one-off options as well. So if you're not in the, uh, in the realm of subscription-based services right now, you can still get single for graphics or videos. We have Amazon packages now, too. So check us out there and see how we can help. I use them. I love them sign up. Y'all appreciate it, man. Thanks for coming on, man. Alright guys. Thanks.
Speaker 4 (26:59):
Take care. Thanks so much for listening to another episode of the rich, add more at podcasts. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich ed [inaudible] dot com slash podcast. And if you absolutely love the show, go ahead and leave a review and a comment share with a friend. If you do take a copy screenshot of it, email me email@example.com. Show me you left a review. I'll give you a free copy of the rich add poor ed book to learn more about the book, go to rich ed for a.com to leave a review that a rich ed or at.com/review. Thanks again.
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Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR