Episode 013

Russ Perry

Founder & CEO of Design Pickle

A Weekend With John Lee Dumas,

Everything He Learned, and Growing His Passion Podcast


Transform your business and automate creativity by integrating Design Pickle’s unlimited, cloud-based graphic design into your workflow.


About This Episode

In this episode of The Content Coalition, we interview Russ Perry, Founder and CEO of Design Pickle.

Design Pickle is a flat-rate, unlimited graphic design service. Founded in 2015, Design Pickle was born from the idea that everybody needs access to seamless, reliable and professional graphic design on a consistent basis.

Russ has successfully scaled Design Pickle from 2 employees to over 200, with thousands of global clients and over $10 million in annual recurring revenue. Additionally, he mentors creative entrepreneurs to level-up their lives through The Creative Syndicate. Russ co-hosts the Good To Be Home Podcast with his wife Mika, and is the author of The Sober Entrepreneur.

Tune in as Russ shares his story on how his weekend with podcasting extraordinaire, John Lee Dumas, transformed The Russ Perry Show a successful podcast with a specific, next level niche.

What You’ll Learn

  • [03:44] How a day with John Lee Dumas completely transformed the idea of Russ’ show.
  • [06:50] Learn the #1 factor that led to the success of  the Russ Perry Show
  • [09:48] Why entrepreneurs are screwed from day 1, according to Russ
  • [11:40] Discover the upcoming monetization strategies and funnels for his podcast that you can also follow
  • [14:45] Russ’ vision of bringing a lifestyle brand to a term that became his passion
  • [16:17] Whether or not it’s valuable to  air your show live
  • [19:21] 1 actionable thing to implement in the next 24 hours to improving one’s content

About Shaina

Shaina Weisinger is the Founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns long-form content into optimized videos and images for high engagement social media strategies. Shaina has a background in video production for digital marketing and is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. She has taught about content in many publications including DigitalMarketer, Inc., and Startup Nation, and continuously offers valuable takeaways by interviewing industry experts from world-recognized brands such as GoDaddy, HubSpot, MarketingProfs, and more through her video podcast, The Content Coalition. She loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius. Learn more about Shaina here: ShainaWeisinger.com

Read Episode 013 Transcriptions

Shaina: Hello content coalition fam. Shaina here. I just wanted to record a quick video before raices episode just to let you know that this video was filmed about a year ago. Um, I am still posting it because he has so many amazing things to say. Also, he spent a weekend with all my demos, so I would, I think everybody should hear it about what that would be like. Um, but he raices been a million different places in the last year and I’m excited to announce we’re going to do like a 2.0 episode out of the new design pickle headquarters and talk about like what this last year has brought him, the things that he’s done with his content and just like how he’s evolved as like a business person and with design pickle and with his new, his new initiatives. So know that there’s going to be another episode coming in the next couple of months, but this is a stellar episode and you’re gonna learn so much. So I didn’t want to not post it because it’s a year old. Um, you’re going to learn a lot and Russ is a good friend of mine. He is an amazing person to learn from and I think that you’re going to really enjoy this episode. So enjoy.

Russ: A lot of times people think that you need, you need actual like of a value add to give somebody. So they wait to put up an email capture on their site because they’re like well I don’t have a guide or a Freebie or an ebook or whatever. I’ve had just a hey follow me generically on my email, on my website, my personal site [inaudible] dot co for a long time and I ended up selling a bunch of stuff recently to that list. Any there I’m, I’m not like giving anyone anything. Yeah. But I but it just capturing that cold or or small try and I have not a lot of traffic. Like I don’t have a ton of, people don’t even know about my site really. I until recently we’ve started talking about it but still it’s capturing. So making sure you have that captured even and don’t, don’t think you need to deliver something even. Yeah. Cause if you deliver some good content online and you connect with that one person, they’ll happily go to your site and put the email and just to see what happens.

Shaina: I’m Shaina, I love dogs. I trip a lot and I happen to have a knack for making pretty sweet videos for businesses. But the more videos we made, the more questions I got about how video and other content can be leveraged to make a bigger impact in their marketing. I mean 44% of marketers say that producing content is their biggest challenge. Get content marketing is 62% less expensive than outbound and produces three times more leads. Now I know a lot, but I certainly don’t know at all. So I made it my mission to talk with content, kings, Queens, and bosses to learn as much as I could about crushing content marketing. And I’m taking you along with me. Welcome to the content coalition.

Shaina: Hi Russ for joining me again. I appreciate having you on the show. So Russ Perry is the founder of design pickle, hence the Schwag are always in black design pickle gear. And I’m shocked that I’m the only one in this video. My wife this morning, she was like, you’re wearing a gray, you’re, you are all black all the time. Right, right. But I don’t have any long sleeve black design pickle geared and we’re going somewhere cold today. So that was a reason I wore

Shaina: being in Phoenix. It’s like why exactly right. It’s a waste. Okay. So we are here to talk today about you will you have what’s called the Russ Perry show, right? It has traditionally been live on Facebook every week and you’ve decided to make a transition into making that a podcast also, which is super awesome. Right? And um, from what I hear from what I saw, a lot of that was attributed to your weekend with John Lee Dumas, the podcasting a mega star. Right. So I just wanted to hear cause I mean everybody listens to his shit. When I arrived, the people who listen to a show, no he is. But I wanted to get the point of view of somebody who gets to go hang out with them and how it affected your thoughts on what to do with your podcast branding, all that stuff. So, okay, let’s hear it man.

Russ: So the Russ Perry show at our, at a conceptual level was, was me just starting to create content on a regular basis. There was really no strategy around it. We just did. The one we did recently was our 16th episode. Oh Wow. And that was the first one with the plan. One way to do it, you know, there are 15 we’re really wraps and practice and getting the gear dialed in and making sure I don’t have like blue stuff in my hair, which I did one episode, I don’t know, it was like some lint or something. I don’t know. We never figured it out but, but, but it was at first just that comfort level. And, and, and it’s not that I wasn’t uncomfortable creating content, but delivering that live is a very different experience then delivering it either prerecorded or like an interview style where you can go back and edit stuff and cut things out.

Russ: It’s scary. But my weekend with John Lee Dumas, so it, you know, he is a phenomenal dude. I’ve, I’ve come across them a few times at events and I saw him speak years ago when we were just starting out with design pickle and much different guy in person than he is on his podcast. The podcast is a personality, right? That’s just a personality, his style, that’s how he does it. And I invested in a day with him to go and literally hang out with them and he was wide open. Whatever topics I wanted originally actually didn’t have the intention of using that data, talk about the rest pairing show in my brand. Just it just aligned that way. So headed into the day. That’s a lot of the questions I submitted was just understanding that and it was, uh, it was amazing, you know, um, getting access to someone who has the experience that he has really that’s what it was, is he has six plus years, seven plus years of podcasting experience.

Russ: If I think my memory is correct, which is a long time in podcasting and how could I short cut my own launch and brand development by tapping into that experience. And a lot of the takeaways we had weren’t these life changing things. It was really nice having the, uh, the questions posed to me, basic stuff. Who’s your audience? How can you be more direct? In fact, when we sat down the very first, our very politely, he told me my show was super vague and ambiguous and would not be successful. He didn’t use those. Yeah. Use those exact words. But I knew he was right because I, I didn’t have a plan. And that was one of the first wins of the day was, was was getting that next level of niche of the show, which is what you saw. Why sober equals success. So I had this book and the story, my background is sobriety and entrepreneurship, but I wasn’t, I was just tip toeing around the other content I was creating.

Russ: And so that was one of the biggest decisions we made was having every week a conversation on why sobriety equal success. Yeah. And we saw, we talked about the guys including him, like we talked about him and other brands, people that are brands, they’re always the best at something there. The guy for something. Yeah. And that’s going to be me. Like that was the decision we made was I’ll be the guy for being a successful sober entrepreneur and champion that brand. And yes, it narrows my focus and I might turn off others, but that market alone is entire is so huge and pretty wide open to, yeah, I would say that you would probably have more loyal listeners that aren’t because there’s so much of that ambiguous like, Hey, I’m an entrepreneur talking to entrepreneurs and I tell him, you start up story to actually niche really hard into something that you’re passionate about.

Shaina: I think that’s just going to be, I’m certain he’s right. I mean you’re going to

Russ: well and he’s right. Not because he’s some genius. He just has a shit ton of experience. You see, he literally talks to 60 plus entrepreneurs a month. Um, he records, he’s like months and months out in his schedule. He sees businesses, he sees podcast. That’s a lot of his revenue. He makes his businesses, the money he makes is on helping people start their own podcasts. Yeah, but his opinion is like this is like something I think about for your audiences, gaining access to someone with a lot more experienced than you. What’s that worth to you and can you pay for that and advance that and get that like advanced withdraw so you don’t have to go down the path. It’s like probably the content you’re creating is going to allow your audience to shortcut their journey on launching their own podcast or video podcast.

Russ: Same thing with getting access to him. And that narrowness also for me was a big relief because I, it’s like we were talking about for the show, like your focus now on this business because we’ve known each other a long time. It’s like, okay, every day I can wake up and I know like where I’m headed, I have a clear destination and the content might be, you know, maybe I interview you for my podcast and we have a conversation, but I now can have that one extra detail of, well tell me how sobriety’s helped you with the success or tell me where maybe you’ve struggled and we can reconnect it to that theme or focus. One thing I thought was interesting in your last episode that you basically announced that it was going to be this new format or like the new niche. Um, if if you say, oh, I don’t have that issue.

Shaina: Like I’m not addicted to anything. And you called bullshit on that really hard because it doesn’t have to be alcohol or drugs to be addicted to something. So explain like why does this work for people who aren’t just experiencing like an alcohol addiction? How does that translate?

Russ: Right. Well, in my book, the silver entrepreneurs would, you should read, it’s either a free chapter or the book free, it’s or entrepreneur.com I say we’re, we’re kind of screwed. Entrepreneurs are screwed from day one because to be successful you have to be an addict and then this case you have to be an addict to your idea, your vision or your passion, right? So we already have that addictive personality inside of us. If that’s not the case, you don’t start your own business. Those are the people who worked 35 years at a job and then just say, I wish I would’ve done blah, blah, blah.

Russ: Now they’re probably addicted to something else, which is security. Safety. But so you’re, you’re stacked against. And then what ends up happening for a large portion of us is that the stresses and the added pressure of literally being the master of your own fate in charge of everything and eventually in charge of other people’s lives. We, we aren’t taught ways to cope with with that. So we find ways to have a release. Some people do just fine and they manage it great and they, they, they, they knew all this stuff. I didn’t know, I just happened to be in the bucket where I didn’t know and I, I turned to substances but you could turn to anything. You can turn exercise, you could be addicted to that. And, and I’ve, I’ve had friends and you know, one of my coaches and mentors dear Jay White, like he was addicted to long distance running in and he was running away from his marriage problems and he was running away.

Russ: Like he was broke and he was just, well I’ll go run. So he, but he was addicted to that escapism with it. And so the show, the show, we’ll have a lot more significance if there is a more acute addiction you can identify with. Sure. But the behaviors and traits in the conversations that we’ll have every week, we’ll be sort of like insurance for both parties, whether you’re currently in something and challenged by something or if you’re just an entrepreneur. And you want to make sure to not go through the same shit that I went through that that’ll be a lot of the conversations. We have two.

Shaina: Awesome. So what is the goal, um, moving forward with the rest parish? It’s certainly, we called the rest Perry show. Right? Okay. That’s great name. It’s an awesome name. Wrestled, keen. Do I have a three d printed three print? I just got out about this yesterday when I watched your show live. So, um, are you planning on monetizing it in any point in the journey or do you have like a plan moving forward?

Russ: Okay, so monetization is a side benefit of the whole Russ Perry brand and funnel that we’re building tying into the sober entrepreneurial platform. Yeah, so I want to make sober, this is my vision. This is actually one thing. I was walking down Pacific beach boardwalk with John Lee Dumas life. You live right? I know. And I told him I, we were walking, I said, John, actually I’ve, I have an idea of a vision right now because so many like cool hip California kids running around that area. And I s and I said, I want to be here in a year or two from now and see someone walking this other way on the boardwalk with the shirt.

Russ: This is sober. And it’s like a brand that they’re wearing and they’re repping like being Vegan, like being, you know, like being Jewish. I don’t know all those Jewish shirts. You see why, maybe not in Arizona, but like that’s an identity that people are proud of and not necessarily something they’re like, Oh yeah, I’m sober. And people are like, oh yeah, what it struggled. So the funnel and the monetization exists because I need money to promote, I need money to make that happen. So it’ll go to the show and then to the book, sober entrepreneur and then that will give away for free and then have added video content will sell. And then I want to do some experiences around that. And maybe some group, it’s like virtual group experiences too. I don’t know if that’s a community community or not, but just taking the sober brand and powering that every week.

Russ: Um, and then obviously the connection to my other product design pickle and learning about just design. It’s super general, anyone can use it. But learning that I’m the CEO of that company, uh, allowing the Russ Perry show to be a really wide net for top of funnel awareness that people can check out. The other things I do and I mean you, you deal with funnels and stuff with design pickle anyway, so this is not like a four and thought process for the Lord.

Shaina: Did John Talk to you at all about this?

Russ: There was this already kind of dialed in before you, this was pretty dialed in. I learned a lot from, you know, Russell Brunson and click funnels in general and how he has driven so much of his marketing away through content, uh, for his software product, but also knowing that there’s just a, a gap in the marketplace for a modern day conversation on sobriety.

Russ: Like if you’re really struggling with something and you try to go to the legacy establishments, not to knock AA or any, you know, recovery programs that exist, they’re pretty depressing places. And so I want to help anyone who is struggling, but I think my sweet spot is someone like on the path of of destruction, but like life, they can still turn it around. Sure. So they don’t necessarily identify with like an AA yet because a lot of times you go to Aa either when you’ve been arrested and you have to or you’re light, you’re like you need divorce and you’re like, fuck, my life is just miserable. So, um, or any other sub like designated support programs. So I kind of want to intervene with the sober brand prior to that point and have it be something people aren’t ashamed about. Just like, you know what you know, like again, like a life hack.

Russ: Like I kind of love this as more of a lifestyle hack. Then a, my life fell apart and now I need to just change it all kind of deal. I have a problem and this is the only way out I has a license. It’s like getting your cholesterol tested and you’re, you’re, you’re like, I need to not eat so much meat. Right. You’re circumventing the decision 30 40 years from now when you have to take a ton of medicine or you’re diabetic, you’re just making a lifestyle change now. Yeah. But when someone finds out you don’t eat meat or you eat less meat or you only meet on the weekends, you’re like, they’re not like, like, oh, let me give you hose. I mean, we’ve all kind of weird about it, but it’s, it’s, it’s a different stigma that I want to, I want to, I want to, I want to bring that lifestyle brand to the term sober.

Russ: Yeah. Awesome. So, um, traditionally the rest Perry show has been alive. Are you going to continue doing it that way? Yeah, I’m just going to keep rolling with it as long as I can. Eventually. Yeah. Like W I’m traveling next week, so that was my next spoiler alert. We prerecorded one, but, uh, it will airline, it’ll air live, but I don’t know. Like that was another thing I talked with John is I asked him that same question, hey, should I shift to me be prerecorded? And he’s like, no, keep rep in live. Um, the algorithms on the channels like Facebook love live, so it really promotes that and it’s just good practice.

Shaina: Did he talk at all about like prerecording and then uploading live because I know a lot of people who do that. I mean, did he say that that’s a good option or did he mention anything about that too?

Russ: That I don’t know. I don’t know if if Facebook, the algorithm algorithms know the difference we do. We do it all live with multiple cameras and stuff because it saves, it’s like when the show’s done, the show’s done. Yeah, we don’t have to do much post editing and so that, and then, and then we export an audio for the podcast and then we upload to youtube and were done. Was it tough for you the first few times to go live and be like, here we go. And with no content, just winging it. Normally I’d be, I don’t think it was tough, but I don’t think it was good.

Shaina: That’s a difference. Was it hard? Was it quite hard but it wasn’t good? So maybe that is really good practice to just be able to do it on your toes, you know, I mean,

Russ: Right. So I did actually the second episode yesterday, well, yeah, I guess the 17th episode, but the second episode that we’re going to be syndicating a podcast, right. And I feel powerful. Like I felt I was in, I told a story, it was about why I chose sobriety going back in my history, opening up the conversation for the audience and the listeners to find their why for sobriety. And that, again, after 17 goes, I finally felt I was in like a good flow. And if right now we had to turn the switch and like all of a sudden this was the rest Perry show about sobriety, it would, it would take me a second and then we could have a solid episode because I have that universal theme now.

Shaina: That’s awesome. I love that. Cool. So we kind of answered some of our rapid fire questions. When you think of another one, I’m going to rapid fire. What are more rapid fire questions here? That’s so rapid fire. I can’t even handle it. Um, what’s your favorite place to visit?

Russ: Travel Japan. Why? It is a magical place. My wife’s half Japanese and so she, my kids are, that’s where their ancestors are from, which is crazy to think about. But it’s also such a humble place and a place where there is just a moment you can just experience a different way of living and that is not, it is fast paced at times but there are very easily you can find yourself in a spot where you’re just by yourself and that’s that.

Shaina: Awesome. What is one thing that people who are currently podcasting can do today to make their podcasts butter? To make it better, more effective? I mean maybe not tell the listeners a bit to their own business on it. Anything.

Russ: Well the f the easiest thing that I have always done, which I have some prize with some people is there’s nowhere for their audience to go to, to like just give an email address. Yeah. Right. So and a lot of times people think that you need, you need to actual like a value add to give somebody. So they wait to put up an email capture on their site because they’re like, well I don’t have a guide or a Freebie or an ebook or whatever. I’ve had just a, hey follow me generically on my email, on my website, my personal site Roseberry dot. CEO for a long time. And I ended up selling a bunch of stuff recently to that list. G and I’m, I’m not like giving anyone anything but I, but it just capturing that cold or, or small tribe and I have not a lot of traffic. Like I don’t have a ton of people don’t to know about my site really until recently we’ve started talking about it, but still it’s capturing. So making sure you have that capture even and don’t, don’t think you need to deliver something even.

Shaina: Yeah.

Russ: Cause if you deliver some good content online and you connect with that one person, they’ll happily go to your site and put the email and just to see what happens. Sure. Yeah. And I don’t even have like an auto sequence or anything. It’s just like, thanks for your email. And I think it probably was nine months, 10 months until I sent my first hell. I’m like, I think I signed up, but I had a, I had 1200 people on my list. Wow. So it was, that’s awesome. Yeah, it was like a, a curated thing and I, and probably because I hadn’t sent a lot of stuff right when I first sent that one thing, it was really well received and opened and delivered. That’s awesome. Okay. So even if you’re not doing anything with it yet, it just captured it. Just make sure there’s a place, like one of my friends, he’s, he’s a coach with me and warrior and he’s like totally transforming his life and doing content and all this, but he doesn’t eat.

Russ: There’s no where to sign up for more. Yeah. Like, dude, you got to get that. Yeah.

Shaina: Yeah, for sure. So then tell everybody how they find you then.

Russ: Well, now that Mika is not here, please follow me on just so we, you’re watching this. There’s another episode we did with Shane, with my wife, the Russ Perry on Instagram. I want to beat her and followers this year.

Shaina: How many followers do you have?

Russ: 1300 how many does she have?

Shaina: How many does she have?

Russ: Like almost 10,000

Shaina: good luck. I know. It’s awesome. It’s pretty cool. But I mean I think she trumps you a little more work in

Russ: I have like several people helping me with it, but a respirator yet, Russ Perry on Instagram and then Russ Perry. Dot. CEO and, and ultimately if the silver entrepreneur book conversation, uh, resonates with you, go to sober entrepreneur.com you can get a free chapter and then shortly we’re going to be twitching that to a free copy of the book.

Shaina: Awesome. And then the podcast is the rust Perry show.

Russ:  Yeah. So we promote that on Instagram. I’m, that’s just find it wherever we’ll be on it. It’ll be there. I’m thinking we’ve cornered, I’ve cornered Google on Russ Perry, so you could just put in Russ, Carrie show and they’ll show up. Perfect.

Shaina: Awesome. We’ll thank you for chatting with us about your weekend with JLD and niching hard. I love it. Yeah. And, uh, yeah, we’ll see you guys next time. Thank you. Thank you so much for checking out this episode of the content coalition. Now, whether you’re listening or watching, make sure that you subscribe to the Youtube Channel and to whatever platform you’re listening to it on, because you’re not going to want to miss out on the incredible things that I’m learning with these amazing content marketing pros. So make sure you subscribe and we will talk to you next week.

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