• Zain Khan

Klyxx Creative: How We Went from Passion Project to a 7-Figure Agency, Part One

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

When I started Klyxx, it was really more of my own personal work organization processes all tied together, combined with a natural tendency towards stacking my plate as high (and occasionally higher) than the constraints of a 24-hour day can afford. These forces led to our natural, if not wholly unpredictable, evolution into the full stack, startup incubating, business model pivoting growth agency that we’ve become today.

If I were to pinpoint where I started to begin developing my own growth philosophy, it was probably somewhere around my senior year in college. I was employed at the time by a media company that interfaced a great deal with marketing consultants, and my interest in the growth marketing industry in general developed around 6 months into working on the product development end of the business. I was anxious to learn more about channel management and got an awesome opportunity to switch departments and join the marketing team. Needless to say I took it and found my passion.

I eventually got offered the role of Head of Marketing, and despite it being an amazing opportunity, I decided to turn it down. My reasoning was this: the traditional marketing agency structure was and is outdated. In my short time working alongside one-channel marketing agencies with a more traditional approach to growth, I’d realized something that more and more businesses looking to hire marketing agencies are realizing today, that the single channel agency model has outlived its usefulness. When I took a look at the value of what our consultants’ were actually delivering, it became clear that they were essentially offering stock solutions to novel problems, and they were consistently failing to produce meaningful results.

I may not have known what Klyxx would ultimately become at this point, but I was already realizing what I didn’t want it to be: bloated, slow-moving, inefficient and hyper-invested in the one-channel agency model. No, we’d have to move fast, and our knowledge would have to be broad. In the following 5 months, I did what a lot of people in their early 20s do: I traveled the world and thought about my future.

Upon returning to the States, I got another opportunity to work in the marketing department of a company in the media industry. The leaders of the company had sold previous startups to the likes of Blizzard & Sony. The head of growth was someone who had worked with massive brands and had a lot of experience under his belt. I saw it as an opportunity to learn.

Having the chance to work with a head of growth presented the opportunity to learn from someone experienced. I firmly believed that to get to where I wanted to go I’d need to follow someone else’s lead, but by the time I was a month and a half into the job I found myself independently pitching new initiatives across the entire department. I’m a person that loves to research and learn new things, and I naturally gravitated towards experimentation. I wanted to apply all the amazingly effective growth tactics I was reading about in article after article online to our own marketing efforts. I was genuinely surprised to be met by reluctance and a general “not the way things are done around here” outlook from my superiors. My ideas were being throttled.

It was at this point that I realized I could just do it all myself. I had always had an interest in entrepreneurship, the prime example of which being DotaCinema - a YouTube channel myself and a couple of friends grew to 1.37 million subscribers in our spare time when I was in high school. They say you usually revert to the passions of your childhood once you escape all the needless confusion of being a teenager/young adult. Entrepreneurship was my passion. My time working for the media company came to an abrupt end then and there, and Klyxx was born.

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