Business Tips I Learned From Dude Perfect's Success
Wow, what a fantastically entertaining evening I got to spend with my son at the Dude Perfect That’s Happy Summer Tour at the United Center in Chicago.
If you do not know who/what Dude Perfect is, let me give you a little background.
What all started with a small bet between 5 friends on a trick shot has turned into one of the top YouTube channels in the world, with close to 60 Million subscribers.
Everything they produce is family-friendly content that can be enjoyed by all ages. What started as simple trick shots has grown into a full-fledged business that includes:
- YouTube Video content includes trick shots, contests/battles, overtime shows with cool/not cool, get crafty, wheel unfortunate and Top 10 lists, Bucket list videos where they film at unique destinations/experiences, and the Dude Perfect gaming channel
- A television show that made it 3 seasons on CMT and Nickelodeon
- Merchandise, including a t-shirt club
- 2 Mobile games/apps
- Live Shows like their summer tour and cruise ship
- And more
My son’s smile from that night was the biggest I had seen in years. From the VIP meet and greet, to the live performance and being able to high-five his favorite Dude Perfect members, it was a night he will never forget.
When I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t help myself from thinking about their success and which key lessons business owners could use.
While there are probably many lessons to take away, there were 5 that I wanted to focus on, which include:
Do what you love
Don’t go big too early
Add some lemon
Controversy can be good
Stay true to your core
Let’s dive deeper into these 5 takeaways/lessons.
Lessons From Dude Perfect #1:
Do What You Love
This sounds simple, but to be successful, do what you love.
So many people want to make a quick buck or just want to be successful so they chase after ways to make money but are never passionate about what they are doing.
I have so many friends who talk about their jobs as a “means to the end”, meaning it’s a way to make money so they can live the American lifestyle.
Starting a business where you get to do what you are good and passionate at is not an easy adventure.
Like many start-up businesses, the guys at Dude Perfect did not have an easy path and almost stalled and quit at one point. But they kept at it and were able to create a business that brings them joy every day.
I was lucky enough to do the same with U-Nique Accounting. It was a really difficult 3-year battle, but anything good is worth fighting for and now I own my own accounting firm where I get to build close personal relationships with small business owners and help them grow their businesses and navigate the stressful terrain of taxes and cash flow.
If you do not love what you are doing, please, please keep looking and fighting for it as it is out there.
Lessons From Dude Perfect #2:
Don’t Go Big Too Early
When it comes to testing the market, sometimes owners will tip-toe into the ocean and inch towards knee-deep water, and other times owners will just dive in.
In business, if you take too long then you could lose ground to competitors.
If you completely dive in and over-guess the market’s reaction, you could waste vital resources that could potentially impair the other operations of your business.
Dude Perfect may have a large variety of revenue sources today, but it took years to get there, and they always tested the market 1 step at a time.
- Like when they decided to make a music video. They made just one and released it. It was not great, did not perform well, and will likely be the only music video they ever produce.
- Another example is their summer tour where they started in small venues (around 10,000 seats) and then expanded to larger venues of over 20,000 seats. They do not over-extend their resources until they received feedback and/or were able to gauge the market.
Lessons From Dude Perfect #3:
Add Some Lemon
Humans are attracted to new shiny things – we just can’t help it.
In the realm of digital content, you have to continually stay fresh, and Dude Perfect continues to excel here.
In retail/e-commerce, think about when you go shopping – every so often it will look different.
This could be because the packaging has simply changed, the formula was altered so that it has a new taste or better taste, or a new flavor, like lemon, was added.
So, is what you are doing fresh/new or is it stale?
Where can you add some lemon to what you are doing to attract new, or keep the gaze of your current customers:
- Change your packaging
- Change the name?
- Add a new scent/flavor?
- Offer a new product/service?
Lessons From Dude Perfect #4:
Controversy Can Be Good
Now, let me start off by saying that controversy is usually bad as it can deter new customers or turn away current customers.
However, in some instances. controversy can be used as a positive business tool.
With Dude Perfect, one of the segments they produce for their “Overtime” show is called Top 10.
This is where one of the members, usually Tyler, does a ranking of their Top 10 favorite sodas, cookies, cereals, etc.
Whether this was intended or just happened through the natural evolution of the show, this particular segment has caused controversy amongst the members of Dude Perfect and the fans as they continue to disagree with some of the odd choices Tyler has made in his rankings.
This controversy has not divided the fanbase and caused any loss in current viewership or deterred future viewers, but it has caused so much controversy that at the summer tour all the kids in the audience were standing and chanting “He must go!”, meaning they want Tyler to stop doing the Top 10.
When a new Top 10 comes out, my son is not deterred from watching. In fact, he is interested to see if Tyler is still doing it, what bad choices he will make in his rankings, and how the four other friends will react to his odd choices.
Controversy in this instance creates interest and further viewership.
If the Top 10 was done in a way where the mega majority agreed with the rankings, they would most likely have fewer viewers and less conversation surrounding them.
Kids would not mention to their friends,
“Did you see the Top 10?”
“Ugh, I can’t believe Tyler didn’t have Oreos in the Top 10 cookies.”
“You have to watch what he picked!”
Lessons From Dude Perfect #5:
Stay True To Your Core
Sometimes in the pursuit of more, businesses will lose their identity.
This often happens as businesses chase additional profits.
They become focused on the financial gain and will do so at the cost of their core, whether that’s core principles and values or core products and services.
In the 13 years that Dude Perfect has been around, they have not forgotten or strayed from their core. They even took ten minutes at the end of their recent show to talk about this.
They have continued:
- To keep everything friendly family
- To still produce trick shots while they have expanded their business model
- And most importantly, kept Jesus at the center of their lives and decisions.
So, let me ask you, are you still doing what you sought to do when you started your business?
Find that original manifesto, business plan, and/or mission statement and compare it to what you are doing now.
Are you still staying true to your core? Or have you strayed off of that path in the pursuit of more?
If you are not sure, reflect on your key business decisions over the past years.
- What was the key driver behind those decisions?
- How did these decisions impact the core of your business?
While all five of these are good business lessons that we can learn from the guys at Dude Perfect, the first and last lessons are the most important.
Do what you love, and stay true to your core.
Until next time!