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167: How Kettle and Fire Built a World-Class Affiliate Program

Posted by Austin Brawner on October 16, 2018

In today’s episode, we explore how Kettle & Fire went from a couple of guys boiling bones in a pot to closing $8 million dollars in Series A.

I first met Jack Meredith in January when I hosted a Private Intensive here in Austin for him and his team. He was the first employee at Kettle & Fire, and they’ve been on a rocket ship of growth – mostly fueled by affiliate marketing.

For most companies, affiliate marketing starts out as an exciting opportunity but ends in disappointment. Not so with Kettle & Fire. If you’re familiar with the paleo world, you’ll quickly notice they’ve got all the top health influencers and affiliates as supporters. Today, Jack shares the process that led to actually getting those people to support and promote Kettle & Fire.

He also shares challenges they’ve faced as they have scaled, how to think about growing a team, and a framework for thinking about new projects. I had a great time recording this episode and I hope you enjoy it!

Episode Highlights

  • 10:31 The first step Jack took to set up measured growth for Kettle & Fire.
  • 12:50 How Kettle & Fire tested the waters of affiliate marketing.
  • 15:00 Why Kettle & Fire has seen such success with their affiliate program.
  • 22:00 How changing up their email flows and layering in segmentation significantly increased Kettle & Fire’s ROI.
  • 24:00 The approach Jack takes to testing new channels and how to tell its time to hire a person to manage it.
  • 28:30 The best teams don’t have to be in the same room: How the entire staff of Kettle & Fire work remotely.
  • 33:10 Why raising a funding series can open up opportunities to test and try new avenues of marketing.
  • 36:30 A few of the key tools in the Kettle & Fire toolbox that you can use too.

Links and Resources

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If you want to make sure you’re growing as quickly and sustainably as possible, click here to learn more. Hope to see you on the inside!

Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by Klaviyo. If you’re running an ecommerce business and sending emails to your customers, you should be using Klaviyo. It will help you find out who your best customers are and target them one-to-one to make more money.

I’ve been using Klaviyo since they were just two employees. Now they have a team of 150 and are rolling out new features almost weekly. If you aren’t already a customer, head over to www.ecommerceinfluence.com/klaviyo and you’ll get a free trial + priority on-boarding.

Transcript

Austin Brawner: Jack is a really sharp guy. He’s a director of marketing at Kettle & Fire. I met Jack in January when we were doing a private intensive here in Austin. He was the first employee at Kettle & Fire, and they have just been on a rocket ship.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, they really have. And I think it’s because the quality of their product and the way that they have not really marketed themselves, right? It’s like people have come to them and have seen that it’s a quality thing that over time adds value to their life. And he talks about the way that they’ve grown, what it used to look like, what it looks like now. The challenges with that, growing a team, thinking about investments they’ve had. So, really an interesting episode.

Austin Brawner:  This episode comes right on the end when they just finalized the round, raising eight million dollars. So we asked him about that. And also, if you guys are in the paleo world at all, they have managed to get the top health influencers and affiliates on board. And he shares a lot about their process on how they were able to actually get those people on board. So, great interview, you guys are going to enjoy it. I want to welcome Jack to the show.

Jack Meredith: Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here.

Austin Brawner:  Now, I’ve wanted to have you on the show ever since we met last January, when we were working on a private intensive. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot from working with you guys, it’s been on my list. I wanted to check back in and talk about what you guys are doing, because there’s lots of cool changes. You guys have continued on a crazy growth trajectory over there. I’ve already given our guest a little background of you. But why don’t you take maybe like 30 seconds or so. Give us a rundown on who you are personally and maybe a little brief overview of your marketing expertise.

Jack Meredith: Totally. Yeah. So my official title at Kettle & Fire is direct marketing. I was actually employee number one, came on about two and a half years ago. In terms of my career path, I originally was doing marketing and event ticketing, which is a completely different industry than bone broth. So I did that for a couple of years, wore many hats. And then just went and got in touch with Justin, the CEO of Kettle & Fire. They were looking for marketing to help getting the company started.

And so I just did a little bit of freelance work on the side for him. And over a couple of months, I started really enjoying it and then became a full-time employee. So yeah, that’s basically where I got to where I am today. And other than that, personally based in Austin, Texas, been here for about 10 years. And just really, really love everything in regards to e-commerce and marketing. I’ve definitely grown into having a passion for this industry. Like I said, I was in SaaS before this, for the event ticketing company. I think with e-commerce for me, at least, it’s just a lot more exciting.

Andrew Foxwell: For some of our listeners, I know this is going to be new. So, why don’t you tell them a little bit about the specific products. So what is bone broth? Why should people drink bone broth? Let’s start there so people get a better idea what Kettle & Fire is about.

Jack Meredith: Yeah. So bone broth essentially, it’s a health food. How we make it is that we slow simmer bones for up to 24 hours. When I tell people about what bone broth is or that I work for a bone broth company, they typically respond with like, “First of all, what are you talking about? What is bone broth?” And the second question is like, “Is it like stock? Is it like broth?” I see where that’s coming from. But I think the main difference is that with a broth, it’s more of just a liquid, right? That’s made from scraps from animal meats.

And then with stock, you are actually boiling bones. But the big difference between bone broth and stock is that, bone broth is simmered for long periods of time. Like I said, up to 24, 48 hours. And through that simmering process, we’re able to extract all the nutrients from the bones in the connective tissues to really create this very nutrient-dense product that has a lot of health benefits. So, it’s a rare superfood in that you’re not able to get a lot of these nutrients from other types of health products. So every carton of our bone broth is very high in collagen, gelatin, all the essential nutrients and amino acids, all that good stuff. And that’s why our customers swear by it just because they’re using it on a daily basis, for whatever their health or lifestyle needs are.

Austin Brawner: And I mentioned you guys is, crazy growth trajectory a little bit earlier. But you mentioned you were the first employee. How are things different today? How much have you grown in terms of team size from when you first started to where you guys are at today?

Jack Meredith:  Oh, man, night and day. So yeah, when I first started, it was literally just myself. And then our co-founders, Justin and Nick, who are both brothers. And I was in Austin, Justin was in SF. I think Nick was in Philadelphia at the time. And it was very boots on the ground, just trying to grind away, find customers of various scales and budget.

Fast forward today. We are now, I think our marketing team is at five full-time employees. And then plus a bunch of agencies and contractors we work with. And then the total size of the team is now up to 13 and we’re growing pretty quick. So yeah, very, very night and day in terms of where we were about two and a half, three years ago.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I mean, one of the things is that Austin and I are talking to a lot of founders, or people like you, marketing directors, that they can’t see. As you know, they have their initial growth channels and they don’t know what’s next to try, or do they do more of the same. Or how do they diversify of understanding different marketing channels. What are things that you did initially that helped the growth of what you’re doing? And then what are things that in terms of marketing you are still doing today? And what are some of those new things that you’ve added to the mix that have been really helpful to your growth?

Jack Meredith: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think we’ve always applied just the growth process popularized by Brian Balfour, and so that’s where we started off from the beginning. So really, my first step coming into the role was, okay, what’s working for us now? Where do we see some type of growth? What channels seem to be working? And then really identifying, have we hit the ceiling on any of these channels? What’s going to be needed to scale from where we are today to 10x later on?

And then finally, really understanding what are all the other opportunities that we could be testing that we haven’t yet. So that’s a very rigorous process, involves a lot of time and reflection. But once you do that and you make that like a reoccurring thing that you try to do every, at least once every month, it’s easy to bubble up these new opportunities and really reflect on, where are all the gaps right now?

But yeah, early on, it was a lot of trial and error. Just trying little things knowing that we had a very tiny budget to play with. I think at that time, we had just raised a small seed round. And so I had a very small budget, enough to do a little bit of damage, test some things. And once we quickly ran some tests, new learnings came up, and through that we’ve identified some potential new channels. It was at that point to where we started doubling down on that.

And so we never had a big win, we didn’t get on Shark Tank, or something ridiculous to where it would be just from zero to the moon in 24 hours, right? It’s all been very small incremental growth over time. And as we’ve been continuing to drive revenue, drive retention, build out our subscription service, it’s allowed us to open up the floodgates to where we can take more risks on different opportunities and continue to really drive into this growth process so we can find opportunities to scale.

Andrew Foxwell: So just to follow up on that, I’m just curious. What are some of those specific things, if you’re okay sharing? I mean, to talk about budgets. But what are some of those specific things that you’re doing and using today that have been really instrumental to the growth overall and foundational for you?

Jack Meredith  Yeah. So, if I look back, I think a good example of this is affiliate marketing. So, we’ve grown it to one of our top acquisition channels. But when we first started, I had zero connections in the health and fitness industry, and again, zero budget. So what we did was we just ran some small test to where we pinged a bunch of small Instagram influencers. Said that we’d send them samples or maybe a small amount of money for them to promote our product. And so we did a round of that for maybe a month, saw some lift, and that just snowballed into getting introduced to bigger affiliates.

And now we’re to the point to where we’ve really grown the program and been able to identify key players in the health fitness space to really drive real revenue. So the learning there is that we’ve always tried to start really small just to get a taste of what the opportunity is. And try to limit the scope as much as we can so we don’t just build out all this documentation in a playbook for something that might not even work in the end. And that way, we can really rapidly gain learnings to figure out, what is the size of this opportunity if we pile some more of our budget and do it? If we maybe hire an agency, can we continue to scale this? So that’s how we deal with these types of opportunities.

Austin Brawner:  We’re with you guys. So I feel like to a certain extent, that was a very humble way of describing you guy’s affiliate program. Because from the outside looking in, you guys have built an affiliate program that is super, super impressive, and it drives sales month in and month out. If anyone’s familiar with the paleo world, some of the top thought leaders in the space, people like Melissa Hartwig, like The Paleo Mom. All these people who’ve been promoting it.

Austin Brawner:  Now, I talk to people all the time, business owners who are trying to build an affiliate program. And usually it just fizzles out, does not work. Why do you think you guys have had so much success with your affiliate program when a lot of other people have failed?

Jack Meredith:  Yeah, that is a very good question. I get asked that a lot as well from other store owners. I think for us, at first starts off with the product. We have very high quality product that’s organic ingredients. Like I said, slow simmer times. And so the quality of the product definitely plays in effect to that, because typically affiliates especially, in the health and fitness industry, they want to promote something that they can really stand behind. So that’s definitely something that’s been to our advantage.

And then when you look at the tactical side of things, I just think with affiliate, it’s not like I’m going to put in $1,000 and get $2,000 back, where you might see that with paid media. Affiliate is very much a sales-driven type channel to where it’s very involved in relationship building, understanding where the opportunity is, what the affiliate wants out of the relationship, what their goals are. And so it’s definitely a better grind.

It takes a while to develop these relationships and then get them to promote. Because if you look at on the affiliate side, these guys are promoting tons of products. And a lot of times they even have their own product lines that they’re promoting. And so there’s very limited I guess you can call it inventory, on there in terms of what they can promote and when.

So a key for us early on, when I was just really exploring this channel, was that, we really have to do everything for them to make it as easy as possible for them to promote. Because if you look at other e-commerce sites that have an affiliate program, they might have to get a page set up. All the times it’s done through an agency. Or maybe they have a form, you fill it out and then you get an automated email saying, “Hey, do these five things. Thanks.” And that’s very just hands off.

And after talking with affiliates, it just became very clear to me that they really want more of a hands-on approach. If they’re going to send an email out on your behalf, they want to have the swiper. They want to have landing pages that convert really well. So I think that’s the big key. And then yeah, it’s just a grind, it takes a while. It’s something that you have to really have going on in the background for a couple of months before you actually see any big results.

But once the results are coming and you get your first two or three big ones, because of the affiliate community, at least this is true in the health space. Because that community is so small, people start talking. They’re like, “Hey, Kettle & Fire is great to work with. You should promote them.” And so it starts snowballing to where you get intro to bigger affiliates. So yeah, that sums up how we’ve gotten to where we are.

Andrew Foxwell:  I think it’s really interesting, Jack, the way that you’ve built it and the quality that you’ve paid and the attention. Austin has told me a lot about your story and the affiliate marketing that you do, and the way you go about it. So I appreciate hearing that background.

I think what it illuminates honestly for me is, even more of a reinforcement of my feeling that the typical customer journey is so much different even now than it was even a year ago. And how much influencer and affiliates and trusted sources makes a difference in what you’re doing. When you see people travel through your site or you see the way that you’re investing, marketing dollars, how different is that for you than when you first started? And what are the things that you’re doing now that you weren’t in terms of understanding the true customer journey, what a first time Kettle & Fire customer looks like?

Jack Meredith:  Yeah, that’s funny. I was actually having a discussion with my coworker, Wilson, today about that, because that has dramatically changed. I think early on, we’ve always been very performance-driven, and that’s how we judged a lot of our experiments on. But I think over time what we’ve learned is that, particularly with bone broth, while it’s definitely a trendy health food, it hasn’t hit a mainstream audience yet. So a lot of people don’t know what it is.

So when we’re running certain campaigns to different types of audiences, they might not be necessarily ready to buy at that point in time, which before we were … They want to convert and then we’d be like, “Oh man, that campaign went terribly.” But now because we have all of our retargeting setup, automation, all that good stuff. We understand that yes, maybe they won’t convert on that first touch. But over time, because we really value education and teaching people about bone broth and various health topics, we know that there’s a good chance that they’re going to convert down the line. So it’s interesting to see how that plays out, just because we definitely have different types of customers.

You had your first time customers that maybe bought through an affiliate like Wellness Mama, who promoted bone broth, she stands behind it. They see an email, they’re like, “Oh, this sounds cool. I’m gonna make an impulse purchase and buy.” That customer is very different from someone that is a two-year long subscriber who uses it for some nasty digestive issue that they have to where it’s almost being replaced as like a medicine, right? And so it’s important for us now and it’s gonna be important for us in the future, to really understand these types of segments, and understand what these use cases are. And make sure that we personalize our messaging around that to where each type of customer can really get the most of our product.

Austin Brawner:  What I think is so interesting about the affiliate side of your guy’s business, you mentioned someone like Wellness Mama, maybe they followed Wellness Mama. She sent an email, someone converted. There’s education going on from Wellness Mama and other thought leaders in your space about your product without you even investing in that education, which I feel like that’s one of the reasons why it has worked well for you guys.

It’s like you’ve got these people out there that are educating people, so they’re coming in with a certain level. But if they don’t have another person educating them, another thought leader educating them, then yeah you guys have to do it; start the process of discovery for them. That’s a harder thing to do than somebody who’s listened to The Paleo Mom podcast for like two years, or something like that. You know what I mean? They’ve got a little bit of info.

I want to touch on something you mentioned earlier as you were going through that last answer. You said, “Okay. We’re in a place now where we’ve got retargeting setup, we’ve got email automation setup. Now …” And it’s working for you guys as you drive cold traffic into this kind of funnel. Now, we worked together in January of this year. Can you tell me a little bit about what your email program looked like back then, and what it’s evolved into?

Jack Meredith:  Yes. And I’m chuckling right now because it’s slightly embarrassing where we were before we had that intensive in January. But to answer your question, before we met up we, for whatever reason, wrote off email marketing. I have no idea why. I just think we were seeing a lot of growth in some other channels that we were focusing on. But at that point in time, we had some flows set up, some autoresponder, automation type stuff. And then really from a campaign standpoint, we only sent emails to our audience when we launched a new product. And the problem with that is, we only launched like two or three products in the past two years leading up to that point. So you do the math.

We weren’t emailing our audience at all, and we weren’t developing a line of communication to them to really develop our brand and build that relationship. But after our intensive, I think it’s really just done a complete 180. In the next couple of months leading up until this point, we really dialed in all of our email flow stuff through Klaviyo, set up a campaign schedule. Really focused in on segmentation, how we can hit people at the right time.

And I think a clear example of how this is really worth for us is that, just this month we’ve brought on a full time marketing manager to oversee the entire channel. So, it’s been pretty cool to see that growth and to see how much we’ve been moving in the right direction.

Austin Brawner:  That’s awesome. It was exciting because you had such a big opportunity there. It was like, okay, you’ve got an engaged audience. Let’s tap into it and support the rest of what you’re doing in the marketing. That’s awesome to hear.

Jack Meredith:  Totally. I just think for us, how I typically look at new channels, because myself and my coworker, Wilson, we’re definitely growth-minded. We’re typically trying to tackle channel first, and dedicated enough time into it to see what the opportunity is. And then really get everything put together and develop a strategy. But I’d say about a month and a half ago, it’s became clear that, okay, this is the ceiling that I can get us to, but I’m just spending 20% of my time on this. So what could happen if we had someone dedicated a hundred percent of time of the week. So that’s how we came to that decision, that we need a full time hire.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, it makes sense the way that you’re thinking about it, and what it leads me to think about too in the email, and looking at that as a separate opportunity. Obviously, you’re director of marketing fast growing startup, and there’s a lot of … Let me just rephrase that. You get bombarded with messages of, we should be doing this or we should be doing this. How do you make the decision of these are the things? And we talked about that a little bit. And then what are the challenges around that you as the director of marketing face?

I know that you talked about longer attribution and looking in things a longer window, which I think is awesome. But I’m curious to hear your take of both of those questions basically in terms of, what are the ways that you’re adjusting? And what are some things that you hear a lot that maybe others aren’t necessarily saying?

Jack Meredith: Definitely. So I can totally relate to that. I think everyone on our marketing team is getting bombarded with questions or inbound emails from different publications, asking them to sponsor us, and it can get overloaded. I think, after a lot of reflection and weekly meetings, we’ve all come to the understanding that to a certain extent, we all have shiny object syndrome, just because there are all these opportunities available to us.

So as a way to combat that, we tried to set up just a monthly meeting to where we reflect on how the month went. But also more importantly, identify and prioritize all the new opportunities that we’ve been collecting. And that way we can really dedicate time to think through and understand that, okay, what’s the impact here? What are the resources required? Is this something that we can pull off in the next month? Should we wait maybe a couple of months down the line? That helps us really take a step back and look at everything from a bird’s eye view.

Whereas, I think early on, a good learning for us was that we would jump on just too many things. Or we’d agree to do touch stuff. And then we’d be in this almost like a hamster wheel-type setting to where we’re just grinding away day after day. “Okay, I have to get this project done. Oh, I needed to do this thing.” And it just wasn’t scalable.

And so by really following this process to where we do this reflection and try to rigorously prioritize all these items and all these experiments that we can run, it just makes it easier for us to pick the three or four things that we want to test out this month. And be comfortable knowing that we’re not gonna be able to do everything at once.

Because growth is just an iterative process, and we’re still a pretty small team and I don’t foresee us becoming like a 50-person marketing team anytime soon. But I think where we’ve had success has been able to pick the three or four big things that we want to work out for the month or for the quarter, and really just drive those home. And then over time, we’ll be able to get to all those other opportunities or all those other channels down the line.

Austin Brawner: So let’s dive into that a little bit more, ’cause I think you guys are a fascinating story. Because not only are you doing that, but you guys are doing that remotely, right? It’s been a remote from basically day one, right? You said you were in Austin for the last 10 years. I know Justin was out in San Francisco and now he’s here in Austin. But I think a lot of people are, I don’t know, nervous or maybe scared of running a company, especially a fast growing company, without having everybody in the same room.

Why do you guys think you’ve been able to successfully manage that growth, being a distributed team? And what do those meetings actually look like, those monthly meetings that you’re breaking things down, organizing priorities? How do those actually go down? How do you run those remotely?

Jack Meredith: Yeah. So it’s funny. Kettle & Fire wasn’t designed to be a remote company at all, it just fell into place like that. So Justin hired me and I was in Austin. Wilson, my coworker, who also oversees marketing, he just happened to be based in Toronto. So over time, that’s just how we ended up acquiring talent. It was just all over the place. And so with that, there’s definitely some big challenges, right? You’re not getting a lot of face time and it’s very hard to replace that with software.

But I think what’s been critical for us is to really establish a lot of structure around the different types of means that we’re having. And to really examine the different communication channels that we’re using, and what is the right type of communication for a specific channel.

On the meeting side. So how we structure it is, every Monday we’ll have a weekly growth marketing meeting, and that’s really to go over, how are we tracking for the month? Are we lagging behind? Do we need to make any tweaks to what our original plan was? And then we’ll just go through each channel owner and they’ll just describe, what’s been going on with your channel? Are there any blockers that are preventing them from moving forward on something? And finally, we’ll just go over any big campaigns that involve all the marketing team. So we’ll do that every week.

And then on a monthly basis, I think after this call I’ll probably have on one with Willy. We’ll chat through what happened this past month again, how did we hit our goals, and more importantly, looking into the next month. And determining, okay, how are you gonna allocate our budget? Are there any hires that we should start thinking about making? Are there any agency plays that would maybe remove time away from what we’re working on each week?

And so there’s a lot of questions and answers, a lot of discussion to really figure that out. But I’ve always found that having those discussions over the phone or preferably on a video call, is gonna be way much more productive than having an impromptu Slack conversation. Or an email thread. I think that’s a big part of it. Like with Slack, I think how we do it is we use it all the time. It’s good for water cooler talk, to highlight any big wins. But I find it very terrible for really thinking through and making big decisions on stuff. And so we have a very hard rule to where, if you’re going back and forth on a big topic five or six times, immediately just suggest let’s hop on the phone call and talk it out. And that usually eliminates any confusion around whatever’s being discussed.

I mean, I love working remote just because I do think it’s easy to focus and get a lot of deep work done. But the same time come with challenges and you really have to work through as a team. Like, “Okay, how am I going to build culture in a setting to where everyone’s all around the country?” So stuff like that is definitely challenging.

Andrew Foxwell: It’s interesting with the remote company. I think it’s one of those where in practice, everybody’s gonna do it differently. The communication you’re talking about between your team and hopping on to go through bigger questions is huge. That’s one thing that I personally have noticed even dealing with communicating with clients. If it becomes at a certain point you gotta go through it in another way, because it’s not going to solve that problem.

One question I have is, thinking about the fact that you’ve raised some serious money now, from some really awesome VCs. How does that investment help you change the way you think about growth? Is it a lot of hiring that you’re going to be doing? Is it a mixture of hiring and just more investment in other growth tools? I’m just curious of how that shifts your thinking now that you’ve raised that series A.

Jack Meredith: Yeah. So backing up just a bit. Like I mentioned earlier, up until that point, we had only raised a seed round. And we were growing pretty immensely, so we had revenue to plow back into marketing activities. But on the same token, what I and the team noticed is that we weren’t scaling in parallel to what our aggressive growth rates were at that time. Because I think over a year we didn’t really even hire any new people, but we were still attempting to hit these higher and higher revenue goals each month, and hit our KPIs.

So what this raise does is it really just opens the door and allows … It gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of making more hires and also, it allows us to take more risks and test out more channels. And really take some more moonshots on stuff that maybe before we wouldn’t have been in the position to do. So one example is, we were looking into doing podcast ads. And for a while, economically, it didn’t make sense because it just took up too large of a percentage of our budget for something that we didn’t know if it was gonna work.

But now with our budget, I just talked to the guy that runs all the ads for Joe Rogan’s podcast. He’s a huge bone broth guy. But at the same time his audience is huge, so the cost per ad is pretty high. But now we’re in a better position to pull the trigger on stuff like that, knowing that we … Even if we don’t hit whatever our ROI targets are, it’s not going to be the end of the day, the end of the world, right?

So I think it’s going to allow us to have more flexibility to scale a lot faster and again, make a lot of key hires in areas that we know that we need, but then we just haven’t been in a situation to make those decisions on them. So, all in all, it’s very good, not just for marketing but just for all other sides of the business as well on regards to operations and product.

Austin Brawner: It’s exciting. Now, that same question about how to deal with a wholesale and wholesale-retail online, it’s so confusing. I don’t think there’s any really good answers to that, right? I don’t know anybody who said, “Oh, we figured it out.” Right? Everybody in your space right now is dealing with that exact same thing. How do we mesh all, do attribution for all these different channels and figure it out. So it’s exciting.

This has been really, really great. Just a good overview of what you guys are doing, how you guys have grown. Do you have any resources or things that have helped you and might help other e-commerce marketers and store owners grow their business? That can be like productivity apps, things you guys are using you’d recommend that you want to share here?

Jack Meredith: Yeah, totally. So, from a marketing team standpoint, we heavily use Asana, the project management tool. That’s typically how we manage all of our progress on our growth experiments, campaigns, all that good stuff. I just found that it’s very easy to throw together a board, assign owners to different tasks, and it just gives us a lot of insight into what’s going on, what are the deadlines and all that. So that’s very helpful.

For me personally on a productivity standpoint, I use an app called Things, which is really great. And I actually found it through a blog called Praxis, I think the guy’s name is Tiago Forte. And he’s just a master of productivity and organization.

I think I took one of his courses and I read through a bunch of his material. I was just like, “Oh my God, this is a Godsend. I need this now.” Just because with marketing again, there’s just so many projects that you’re having to manage. And now there’s more people that I have to manage as well. So being able to really stick to some type of project management structure, not only from a business standpoint, just your day-to-day stuff, just makes life a lot easier. So that’s been awesome.

And then tools, we just use a ton of stuff. Like, we have a content marketing arm, and one of my favorite tools that is Ahrefs, really gives you good insight into your SEO trends, keyword opportunities. We also use it for affiliate marketing as well, to find different lead sources. And then to that on the affiliate marketing side, we just started using a tool that no one really knows about, but I think it’s pretty powerful. It’s called Mediarails, and it’s like an affiliate CRM. But the neat thing about this tool is that they’re able to source and automate leads based on different APIs that they have.

So let’s say I want to find people in the recipe space that have recipe sites that have over 200,000 views per month. And based in the US. I can put together a little source trigger that will just go ahead and scrape all those leads. And then the best part is that we can even do automated outreach based on those leads. So that’s a very powerful tool for us. Because with affiliate marketing in particular, one of the areas that’s hard to scale up is just the constant outreach and relationship building. And so I’m always on the hunt for tools that can automate that process a lot.

Austin Brawner: Sure. No, it’s awesome. Yeah, the horizontal scaling of affiliate just creates a lot of … It just continues to add more work. But I definitely want to say the same thing about Praxis and Tiago. One, he’s got I think, the best positioning for his program, which is building a second brain. Everybody would love to have a second brain, right? Just another brain there working for you. So he’s got some great stuff and he is the dude on productivity … Yeah, it’s been awesome man.

If somebody’s listening and they’re like, “This guy knows what he’s talking about.” I’d love to get in touch. What’s the best way they could connect with you?

Jack Meredith: Yeah, so definitely email. My email, it’s jackthemeredith@gmail.com, that is the best way to connect with me. I live in my email inbox trying to inbox here all the time. You can also ping me on Twitter, it’s @JVMeredith. Honestly, I check that maybe a couple of times a week. But email is probably the best way.

Austin Brawner:  Who are you guys hiring for right now? I know that’s a big thing that we’ve talked about outside of this podcast. I know you just raised you guys are hiring. If people are interested in joining, they’re listening and they’re like, “I want to join the team,” or maybe you could help you guys out. What are the things that you guys are most looking for right now?

Jack Meredith: Yeah. So first, if anyone is interested in talking to us, they can just head over to kettleandfire.com/careers, and you can see all of our current openings. But from a marketing standpoint, I know our media hire that we’re looking for right now is a data analyst. But beyond that, if you go to the page that I just said, you can click this green button under the Apply Now button, that says “Click here to tell us about it.” And that will take you to a type form to where we basically list out all of the positions that we’re going to eventually hire for. We’ve just been too lazy to put together a job description yet.

So everything from junior copywriter, brand manager, community, junior growth. We’re always in a hiring mindset, even if they were not looking for a particular person. But it’s funny, almost all of our hires have just come through connections, and that’s been great. And so hopefully, people can stumble upon this page and fill up the type form as well. I’d love to chat with anyone that’s interested in potentially working for us.

Andrew Foxwell:  Thank you so much for joining us. Been an absolute pleasure speaking with you.

Jack Meredith:  Likewise, yeah. Had a lot of fun.

Austin Brawner: Yeah man. And thanks so much, we will talk to you soon. Thanks a lot Jack.

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