Klyxx Creative: How We Went from Passion Project to a 7-Figure Agency, Part Two
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
When I first founded Klyxx, it was just me running the ship. My first client was a company called Ignite Talks, a TED competitor at the time that paid me ten dollars an hour to single-handedly manage their growth marketing. After landing a second client - the media company I had walked away from in order to start Klyxx, the hourly price increased to $15, and the clients kept coming.
Since day 1, Klyxx Creative has always put the same offer on the table to all prospective clients: a 30-day money back guarantee if our services aren’t driving the type of growth promised in the terms of our engagement, a full audit of all existing platform presence from organic to website to paid social before our introductory conversation & discussion of terms, and business strategy and support that goes well beyond the scope of most growth agencies.
By 2 years in, I was still single handedly running every aspect of my clients’ growth efforts across multiple channels - doing the work of a growth marketer through paid advertising in addition to designing using Canva and handling my own dev requirements through a combination of caffeine and endless instructional articles. As the business grew, so did the workload. By the end of year 2 I had brought on 5 clients… all of which came from cold leads.
Doing the work of an entire agency on your own is laudable but ultimately unsustainable, so shortly the need arose for me to build a team. My first hiring priority was a designer, and the second was a developer. Luckily for me, I quickly found both. The designer in fellow NYU attendee and overall badass Victoria - who was only a sophomore at the time, and the developer in my friend Iggy who had a full-time job but chipped in hourly dev work on the side.
Victoria (today our Head of Design), started much like I did, with relatively little experience but an exceptional drive to learn and expand her skillset. Today her design philosophy remains much the same as it was in the early days, “no matter how confident you are in a subject, you can always learn more.” This focus on actively preventing stagnation and remaining ready to pivot to client need is what facilitated our growth throughout years 3 and 4, and in the current ever-changing economic and social environment, it’s remained our masthead and consistent approach to staying ahead of the curve.
With Victoria and Iggy on board I saw the next logical expansion to the team to be someone who could get us sales. But I knew they couldn’t just be any sales person, they’d have to deliver from virtually day one. I found my closer in another friend I’d made back at NYU: Matt, our now CMO and CDO. Prior to starting at Klyxx, Matt was a Management Consultant at a company called Accenture and worked in the innovation consulting space advising Fortune 500 companies in emerging tech adoption. Matt was understandably hesitant to walk away from an opportunity that promised corporate stability, a path to promotion and a guaranteed salary, but he ultimately chose to abandon the relative safety of a corporate life to help build Klyxx.
Within a month of being brought on, Matt had already signed his first client (Beat the Bomb) for $3k/mo. Beat the Bomb remains to this day our longest served client, and with our upcoming management of their national expansion efforts, their story is fully intertwined with our own. In the vein of this early client, we relish the opportunity to take on clients from square zero, much like we did with Beat the Bomb, actively managing and optimizing every
aspect of their growth marketing efforts from pre-launch to launch, growth, development and expansion.
With the addition of Matt, The founding 4 were now assembled. Victoria & I had been meeting weekly in a Starbucks near NYU’s campus, but with a fully fleshed out team and the know-how to sustain our increasingly rapid growth, the time had come to get our own space.
Several years, several offices and countless projects later, and we arrived at the Teach for America offices on Broadway, the (to-date) final brick-and-mortar home of Klyxx Creative. By this point Klyxx had reached full agency status. But working with startups has a way of keeping you humble, and keeping you light on your feet.
Proactively pivoting to client need is a big part of the reason for our success and the success of our clients. Take the recent example of our client Eat Offbeat. When it became obvious that Coronavirus was here to stay, we had as much time as everyone else to anticipate the massive changes to the U.S. economy that precipitated from the outbreak, which is to say… none. Eat Offbeat was (at the time), a strictly in-person catering company with little in the way of existing delivery infrastructure. We knew we’d have to fundamentally change their business model in order to keep them in operation through the crisis. Our approach in a nutshell was to try as many things as possible in as little time as possible, collect valuable data-driven results, and see what stuck. Whatever worked… we replicated and doubled down on.
Our goal was and is to continue EOB’s growth plans to the greatest extent possible in spite of the obstacles to doing so. We ultimately decided to pivot EOB’s 4-pronged catering approach into a 3-facet business plan designed to protect consistent revenue in order to compensate for an anticipated cash crunch. These 3 facets were as follows:
Furthermore, we knew we needed to actively drive engagement, so we decided to implement a referral program through ReferralCandy to amplify our reach and expand our subscriber list. Ultimately, it’s our ability to implement these types of tactics in a timeframe dictated by client need that separates us from the pack in the world of growth marketing.