Tracy Brinkmann  00:00

How can you deliver an authentic message with authority and conviction? Well, today’s episode tackles that very question. Okay, here’s the question. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us when we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question and this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann. Alrighty, and away we go. All right, so here we are Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Dark Horse entrepreneur entrepreneurs I’m here with my man Hayden crimer he got his bachelor’s degree in why known as state or he worked with I believe it was called MK eSports and entertainment, in a marketing capacity doing everything from email marketing, and press releases, and article writing newsletter, newsletter creation for it was multiple sports organizations, I’m sure he’ll give us a little bit more insight about that. And then he went off and started working on a three year action plan providing some marketing decisions for a startup tour business that was going to be run by blue who is the students of Wynonna State College and it was called walkabout. Now, all this is while he was still in college, and if I remember correctly, and correct me if I’m wrong here, Hayden, you were playing sports while you were doing all this? Right?

Hayden Krimmer  01:32

That’s correct. Yep. I was a pitcher on the baseball team.

Tracy Brinkmann  01:35

Yeah, there we go. You were all into that, right. So shortly after, after college, he joined up a legendary whitetails for a couple years. And this is where I was lucky enough to meet Hayden. And it’d be quite candid, we all we all get a first impression of a person when we meet them, right. You know, just look them up. You check them out, you work with a little bit. Well, my first impression of Hayden was okay, this guy’s got mad skills, and he’s going places and you know what was wrong. He’s got crazy mad skills, and he’s already hidden places. We work together for a couple of awesome years doing some planning and marketing. And I know I learned my myself I learned a lot from Hayden and his way of viewing things. And his desire really to keep learning more and growing his skill set. As often is the case stuff happens, right? lw took a turn down a business road. Neither one of us wanted to follow Hayden. He had something to offer and he found a brand he believed in. So he took that bold step of setting off on the independent consultant route. And from my perspective, I was just telling him a minute ago, it appears it paid off because Hayden is now the brand manager of the hunting public, where I know he’s going to keep working his magic. All right, I think I’ve batted balls babbled on enough, and I really don’t think I’ve done yet. Any justice here. Hayden. So, welcome to the show. What’s up, brother?

Hayden Krimmer  02:57

I appreciate it. Tracy. I thought that was a great summary.

Tracy Brinkmann  03:00

I didn’t want to I don’t want to steal too much of your thunder but I know you had done some awesome things. So I mean, really just want to you know, just sit here and chat with you a bit to kind of give you the the the stage here to tell your story. You know, how you got to where you are, where you came from, how you got there and why it is that you love doing what you do so much.

Hayden Krimmer  03:18

Awesome. Yeah, so kind of going back to the college days that you touched on. When I first went to when I went to state I started off as a composite materials engineering major. My dad was an engineer. I had a similar mindset and way worked through problem solving and whatnot to him. So I always thought that that was a similar route that I wanted to go for three semesters and once I get it It started getting into more of the the core classwork. I could handle the classwork it just didn’t seem like something I was going to enjoy long term as a career. Um, like you said before I was playing baseball at Winona State, but also one of my other passions was the outdoors hunting and fishing. couldn’t get enough time outside. So when I wasn’t either working or doing baseball or school I was outside in the woods or on the water doing something of that fashion. So I decided that I wanted to make a switch to marketing majors I felt like that allowed me a lot more opportunity to kind of branch into a career that was centered around something I was passionate around and really enjoyed. So I started started down that path and never looked back. It was really enjoyable classwork for me, especially when I got that those upper level classes didn’t even seem like school. I really enjoyed going to class. Love to take in all that information really thought I learned a lot from from that classwork. So you kind of touched on some of my positions from a professional standpoint that I had in college. Throughout all four years. I also worked in the university weight room. But that position you spoke on in That sports and marketing company that was based out of Milwaukee, and learned a lot from that company, that company is blown up since then it’s called the rock sports complex in Franklin. It’s owned by a company called RSC ventures. If you’re in the Wisconsin area, check that place out, they’re really expanding. So really close spot. So learned a lot there got a lot of good experience, that walkabout position that you talked about. That was a, something that was started by the College of Business that went out of state. And they identified some of the the handful of marketing students to kind of lead this tour company that one of the actual local high school students that started but he was going off to college and wanted to pass it off to the College of Business kind of take on as a project for some of their students. So we were the first group of students to kind of launch that. And I laid out a marketing plan for them for the future, three years, so that that was also a great experience for me. And then that led me to legendary whitetails, like I said, I wanted to do something in outdoor industry, I was pretty much looking strictly at jobs that were around hunting or fishing, coming out of college. And that led me to legendary whitetails, it was a good location, it was only 45 minutes from my hometown. I was a fan of legendary whitetails already. And it just kind of went from there. The interview went well loves everyone that I met at the company and was there for a little over two years before the company had some financial issues and had to sell off. While I was there, I was the merchandise specialist for gifts and gears start. So basically, I handled all the hard goods and non apparel skews for the company. While I was there, I kind of noticed there was a large bridging communication, gap and communication between a lot of the different cross departmental teams. And I kind of started to branch into being that person who helped bridge that gap between those different departments. And that led me into the merchandise coordinator role. And then that ended up progressing even further into a project integration specialist roles, what they call it. So it’s basically the quarterback of the product team, if you will, kind of been the main communicator of the product team between different departments. And while I was there is when I met the members of the hunting public, which is the company I currently work for. In that role, as the coordinator, I was communicating with a lot of those influencers and bringing a lot of the feedback back to the product team. And I actually was fortunate enough to go on a few hunts with some of those guys and became good friends with them. And then following the the the sell off of legendary whitetails to era. In that transition time, I was helping with that transition of legendary whitetails to their new company. So I was working for them for a short period of time. And that company had actually offered me a couple positions with them. But it just didn’t feel right didn’t seem like the right situation with me, for me. And I ended up turning those roles down without having anything lined up going forward yet. And fortunately, shortly after that Aaron from the hunting public, he’s the president of hunting public, one of the owners. And throughout that time, he had been helping me try to find other roles with other outdoor brands and connections that he had had. And one day he called me up and said, Hey, I might have opportunity for you. What would you think about coming in and doing some, some work for us and getting the merchandise lines going for us? So I jumped at that opportunity. wasn’t wasn’t what I wanted from a financial standpoint, but I knew that it was a brand I believed in, I knew that I could make it into something that could have substantial revenue in the future. And that would allow me to get to where I wanted to be from a financial standpoint. So I felt like the opportunity was worth the risk to take it and it’s paid off since the company’s grown at a rate that I couldn’t have even predicted and it’s been a complete blast. I’ve got complete freedom. Within my role. I set my own schedule. As long as I’m getting my work done and the numbers are coming in then there’s no questions asked. it’s up to me to kind of set my day and set my schedule and agenda and priorities and take the company in the direction I want to take so it’s been a lot of fun. The ability to work remotely has been a blast too, especially with my passion for the outdoors. I love to travel and whatnot. So I’ve been able to go travel somewhere for a couple weeks and spend time outdoors and then work just from my phone and do stuff like that. So that’s been a real blessing. So it’s been, it’s been fun.

Tracy Brinkmann  10:13

So, oh, shucks, we’re all envious. I know, I was we were trying to coordinate this, this little, little chat here, you were often Montana. Oh, it had some sporadic connections. And I was like, Oh, is it gonna be able to make it? But no, that’s it’s awesome. I, I think one of the cool things I caught and as you were, walking us through where you’ve been to where you are, is, you know, when you started off as an engineer, it was cool. It kind of made sense. But then you found I guess, your passion, which is more of that marketing stuff, and all sudden, it really wasn’t working anymore. And as I listened through and you took through the timelines, and you got to the legendary as a result of another passion, which was your outdoors, and hunting, which, if anyone cruises any of Hayden’s Instagrams or whatever, you’ll see him, he’s frequently out there, bagging game and enjoying the outdoors. So being able to combine both those passion now here you are with a brand you believe in, you’ve taken three passions and pack them all together, and you’re, you’re you’re cruising on on high energy. Now, it seems like,

Hayden Krimmer  11:20

Yeah, it’s pretty easy to get up and work every day when it’s something that you really care about. And enjoy. It’s, it’s pretty nice.

Tracy Brinkmann  11:28

It’s it really, it’s not work at that point. I think you’d probably agree with that.

Hayden Krimmer  11:33

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Tracy Brinkmann  11:34

So I know one of the things, and I know you, we you and I say it so so easily. But when you talk about merchandising, I think, from what you’re if I understand it correctly, the things you’re doing for the hunting public is you’re you’re finding products, you’re coming up, maybe even coming up with the ideas, and then you’re going out with find people that will create this product and bring it in and getting it up on their e comm and then doing the marketing, kind of walk you through that.

Hayden Krimmer  12:01

Yeah, so I pretty much do every single step from sourcing to the e commerce side of the product. So it starts with deciding what type of styles to come out with. So setting up that line plan for the styles that I want to come out with. And then after that I work with either I’ll create designs on myself, or I’ll work with either people I know, Jesse actually from legendary had done helped out with a couple designs, and then that other friends that are designers and worked on getting some designs together. So I helped facilitate that. And then worked with the specific partners to actually source the source the materials, the products, get it printed. And then once it was the products were finished and printed, I also oversee the fulfillment and warehousing side of it. So manage that, that entire side of it as well. And then the e commerce listing. So the entire website, I manage all the the listings of the products, the photography side of the products, copy on the whole line, and then also the paid marketing side of it as well. We didn’t have to do a whole bunch of paid marketing in this last fall this this year, we’re gonna start ramping it up a little bit. We’re pretty fortunate where our brand is such a good phone that a lot of the sales were driven organically last year. So I helped like coordinate what we were doing from an organic standpoint. But I’m also managing the paid side of it when it comes to Facebook ads, as well as email marketing. So all the marketing side when it comes to product, I handle that as well. I have a one partner on the product. Team, her name is Mindy. She’s the wife of one of the other members on the team. And she’s one of the other full time members but she handles a lot of the customer service side and helps out with some of the fulfillment process and email as well. So she helps out with a number of things in those areas too. But pretty much everything around product is comes back to me.

Tracy Brinkmann  14:11

Sweet. So if it if it does, great, it’s your fault. And if it fails, it’s still your fault. Exactly. Do you now listen to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast? Yes, yeah. So I want to I want to pick your brain a little bit. From a brand standpoint, we hear this thing bantered around so much especially in the entrepreneur world. You know, what is a brand and why is it brand important to have?

Hayden Krimmer  14:38

Yeah, absolutely. So I was fortunate where the brands was pretty well established by the time that I had gotten on the started in 2017. The hunting public is a YouTube hunting show, I guess add some context to your viewers who may not be familiar with it. Yes, but a couple guys started a YouTube show where it was a hunting based outdoors based YouTube show. But there was a consistency in the hunting media where it was very product pushy, sales driven and kind of unrealistic settings that the average hunter couldn’t really relate to. So the Aaron Zach, Greg, the owners of the hunting public, sat down and came up with the vision of creating a show that’s for the average hunter by the average Hunter, and kind of established that Wayne, from the beginning of we are just everyday guy, we’re gonna go out on public lands, we’re gonna be educational, try to help out the viewer. But we’re not gonna push products on your throat, we’re not gonna add in all these extra effects and cinematography, that kind of just like extra added effect, we’re gonna do log style real world, this is what we’re doing. I’m real transparent. And really just try to help the viewer understands how to have success out on public land. And one of the main reasons for this mission and trying to help educate the public on the opportunities that there are out there on public lands was because hunting participant participation has seen a decline pretty drastically over the last few years. So there’s a big push in outdoor industry to help get more people involved. Not only get them involved, but retain them moving forward so that the hunting industry can sustain itself moving forward. So really want to just add a positive light to the hunting industry, and be just everyday guy educational for the viewer and help encourage people to go out there and hunt. So we established that that lane, as a brand from the get go, or Aaron and Greg and Zach did and did a great job of sticking to that and just being really authentic. And that kind of really just took off from there as far as the following the game. And the word of mouth, that kind of spread about just the educational side of the channel. And just the entertainment side was just really authentic to the viewer. And really resonated well with the masses as opposed to those hunting shows that have the select properties with really unrealistic hunting scenarios that everyone can relate to. So that that really just helped us grow as a brand. And and that kind of established a good start from there. So once they had that brand established when I came on from the to start the apparel line, those customers were already really, really loyal to the brand and really involved in the brand engaged. That was one other thing to to note was the engagement in the brand was very high, as far as posts that had comments and likes, the engagement for the level of following have on YouTube and across social channels was extremely high. So that was one thing that also kind of led me to believe that this is a brand that can continue to grow at a high rate. So once I came on, it was pretty easy to just retarget those people who are already involved in the brand and give them what they want, it was hard to sell them on our products, because they were already into the brand, they wanted to support the brand and show off that product. So it’s just already giving people what they wanted, as opposed to trying to convince them to buy a product. So that’s kind of the main point is having that brand that people believe in, feel like they’re a part of, and can connect to, it’s a lot easier to get them to convert on things when they want to buy it as opposed to having to convince them that it’s something that they want to buy.

Tracy Brinkmann  18:55

Amen. So what would it be? Would I be accurate in saying that when you when you create a brand, or you have a brand you have you start creating an imagery or and or a voice of that brand. And as long as you stick to that, you’ll start attracting those people that resonate with that brand. And as a result, you get the higher engagement that you mentioned earlier, because you brought these people in and you’re staying true to that voice. And they’re saying, Oh yeah, I want to engage with you because I know who you are, and you’re saying who you are, as opposed to I think some of those people are like, Oh, I can be this to everybody. And maybe you can still be you know, something to everybody. But by being by being something special to a very select group of folks. You you become a bigger voice. Does that make sense?

Hayden Krimmer  19:44

Yeah, absolutely. And and another thing to note too is as we’ve grown as a brand, it’s become, I guess more difficult to kind of stay in that lane of that average guy, but we’ve been really conscious about trying to stick to that overall Brands direction as far as staying in, that’s who we are. That’s our lane. Even as we grow, we want to stay conscious of that and make sure we stay true to our customer and really are just focused on the viewer first is the main goal and making sure that we have that connection to them and never really lose that. With our viewer, we want to stay true to that.

Tracy Brinkmann  20:21

Do you guys have kind of a values and mission statement that kind of everyone knows about and kind of sticks to,

Hayden Krimmer  20:30

we don’t have any defined mission statements or values, it’s kind of just the idea of helping to support hunting, get more people involved in the outdoors. Basically, that idea around conservation, and the three, the reactivation retention, the getting people more involved into hunting is kind of just the main mission of the company.

Tracy Brinkmann  20:52

Outstanding, outstanding. So when it comes to setting up a branding, so we’re speaking to all the Dark Horse entrepreneurs out there, whether they’re just starting off, restarting, kickstarting, or already doing well and want to want to up their game, what kind of tips from a brand perspective would you offer up from your experience,

Hayden Krimmer  21:14

I would just say the main thing is stay authentic to who you are. And don’t try to copy other people out there. There’s a lot of other good examples of brands and there’s, I’m sure, whatever lane you’re trying to get into, there’s probably other people that you’re going to be competing with right off the start. And it’s really easy to fall into trying to mimic a lot of what those people find success in or try to get too close to that. So making sure that you can identify why those other brands are successful. But still try to find your own lane and be able to separate yourself from someone else and find that competitive advantage from the start. So really identifying that core competency that you have as a brand, or as an individual, and then finding out a way to leverage that in your brand to separate yourself from those other brands that are already well established and having success in that lane. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:05

This is funny you mentioned that is, as I kick this off, you know, I was working with a mastermind, other podcasters. And one of them is Zachary Babcock who has an awesome podcast called the underdog empowerment show in his niche is, as he said, I’m going to use his words his alpha underdog entrepreneurs, so he focuses in on those, those guys that are very raw and very, you know, very, I almost want to use the word aggressive, but they themselves are not aggressive. But when you if you close your eyes and I said the words alpha underdog entrepreneur, that imagery you get is very true to his audience. So as I was coming up with my, my little niche of the Dark Horse, it’s kind of that underdog but it’s not. So it was similar and I was chatting with him he says don’t do what you got going on is perfect. Because you know, the the dark horses are those folks that end up coming from the back and winning, not so much the ones that no one ever thought was ever going to show up on the racetrack. And I’m like, you’re right, because that’s the image I was going for. So you know, whatever it is you’re doing out there to come up like, like Hayden says and be authentic to who you are, and who it is you’re trying to attract into your into your world, be it your business or your podcast or, or your website or whatever, you know, stay true to that. Mr. Hayden, I want to be I want to be respectful of your time, because I know I know you get to work from home. That’s cool. All right. Any big takeaways you want to be sure people walk away from from hearing your your story.

Hayden Krimmer  23:46

Um, I would say one thing is early on in a career, especially for younger folks that are coming out of college, or even someone who’s just switching into a new position. I think one of the big things that allowed me to have success early on in my career was having humility, specifically in understanding that I didn’t know everything from the start. And I was pretty fortunate with the team that we had, we had a lot of other new people. So we’re, if we’re in a situation where I was confused in a meeting or didn’t understand something I wrote, I generally figured that there’s other people that had similar questions that that, that it if you have a question, speak up early, like questions are good. That’s how you learn. That’s how you make sure everyone’s on the same page. I think one of the biggest roadblocks within organizations that I’ve seen in the limited amount organizations I’ve been in is just the communication between people and just making sure everyone’s on the same page. So make sure you’re asking questions early on, be eager to learn. But then also if you don’t agree with something, don’t be afraid to speak up and and speak your mind. Don’t just kind of go along with the flow. Add in your opinion, be adding value to to you’re rolling in your input into other areas of the company Don’t try to overstep, but don’t just follow along with the crowd. Try to make a difference and and try to keep learning.

Tracy Brinkmann  25:12

Amen. Yeah, as you were talking about, you know, asking the questions I was thinking, yeah, and, and speak your mind and and give your ideas and you you went right there for it. So definitely on the same page with you there. So, where if people want to learn more about the hunting public or Hayden Kramer, where do they get to go to do that?

Hayden Krimmer  25:32

Yeah. So to learn more about the hunting public, you can go to the hunting public.com or just google the hunting public. You can find our website there that has our merchandise, or you can find us on YouTube. If you just search YouTube, search the hunting public, you’ll find our channel there. If you want to learn more about me if you just search Hayden Kramer on Instagram, I’d come up there you can find some cool pictures of some of the adventures I go on there.

Tracy Brinkmann  25:55

And that’s Kramer k ri m m er, that’s right. Yeah. Mr. Hayden, I appreciate your time. And I’m gonna want to do this again, sometime, I probably want to loop back with you in a, you know, maybe six months or a year and see how things have really launched off for you and the hunting public. Would you be up for that? Yeah, that sounds great. That’d be good, man. All right. All right. That was hating everybody. All right, everybody, once again, another guest dropping knowledge bombs from us. So here’s three things I took from the conversation. Thought number one, Hayden started in a field in this case engineering, but then found his true passion, which was in Hayden’s case, marketing. So often I hear about people following a road, just because it was a road that someone told him would be a good career path. And, and don’t get me wrong, they probably had great intentions. And quite often they might be right. Engineering in this case, can definitely lead to a good career path. Yesterday’s guest our last guest, Tony Whitely made a very lucrative career in engineering. But much like Tony Hayden found his passion elsewhere. Once again, the lesson I take from here is follow your passion. First, when you follow your passion, your ability to provide value to your end customer, to your client, or your employer, will, will seem far less like work and the ideas will just flow far more readily, further, increasing your value. All the while, let’s not forget that when you’re following your passion, or in Hayden’s case, passions, your ability to be 101 110%, authentic in what you do, in who you are, and the message that you’re delivering? Yeah, it’s going to come from you, it’s going to flow authoritatively in his flow convincingly, like water. Thought, number two, do not knock the experience you can get by serving in smaller capacities. Hayden served in multiple capacities across several groups and associations and businesses, early in his college career, as well as his professional career, you could say, I would say that Hayden said, let me rephrase that, Hayden could have said, Now, I’m not going to do that. It’s beneath me. But when we close ourselves off like that, we closed the door to so many potential opportunities, then he would have missed out on the introductory opportunity that was presented to him by the president of the hunting public. And, you know, now he’s in charge of the entire brands voice and their products that they’re producing with that voice. And in the meantime, he’s living that entrepreneurial lifestyle that we all covered, right? idea number three, when seeking out opportunities, combine passions is combining passions is yet another tactic that you can take. In Hayden’s case, he was an outdoor and hunting enthusiast. He combined his love for all the things marketing. And then he went, he actually said this, he went searching for companies that dealt with his passions for outdoors and for hunting. So he wasn’t just doubling down. He was tripling down on motivating passions. What could you do in your job, or your business to pivot towards not just one, but multiple passions that you have in your realm of expertise? All right. So once again, I’m going to ask you, what did you learn? Please feel free to email me at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling calm, and tell me what thoughts you gleaned from this, how you put them into action, and what results you saw. Until I hear from you or tell you listen to me again. I’m going to leave you as I always do, think successfully and take action. Please. Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Check us out at www Got Dark Horse schooling.com All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.

EP003 – Hayden Krimmer How Can You Deliver An Authentic Message With Authority & Conviction?

Hayden discusses

  • Not just finding his passion in Marketing but combining that with two additional passion he add value to his customers, clients and employers
  • Giving first by serving in smaller capacities to learn and be in position for other great opportunities!
  • Having a goal behind the goal.  It is not just about selling products it is about educating the customer on this high level topic as well.
  • Some great tips on being authentic and having humility while being strong enough to ask question and to share your input and opinion

The Hunting Public Website

The Hunting Public YouTube Channel

Hayden Krimmer on LinkedIn