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Dan Knowlton on Winning Big Brands and Overcoming Business Fears
Episode 3401st April 2024 • Your Dream Business • Teresa Heath-Wareing
00:00:00 00:47:56

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Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with the very funny and very clever Dan Knowlton, where we chat about all things business, marketing and public speaking.

This episode is not only filled with some really valuable and practical tips and advice, it also has some funny stories and lots of laughs in it too - and I know you will love it!  


  1. Marketing strategies that have worked for Knowlton
  2. Tips and advice for pitching to big brands
  3. Techniques to overcome fear and impostor syndrome in public speaking
  Dan is the Co-Founder of Knowlton, a business that he started with his brother back in 2015. Knowlton is a creative video and social media marketing agency based in Kent, UK, and they are on a mission to rid the world of crap marketing! Knowlton help businesses to generate a trackable ROI from their marketing with their creative social media management and thumb-stopping marketing campaigns. They've generated millions in trackable sales for some of the world’s leading brands like Wahl, Buy Whole Foods Online, Boston Consulting Group, and BBC Storyworks! If you enjoyed this episode then please feel free to go and share it on your social media or head over to iTunes and give me a review, I would be so very grateful.  


Connect with Dan on LinkedIn Check out the Knowlton website Watch the Steven Bartlett parody video Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook


Teresa: Hello and Welcome to this week's episode of the Your Dream Business Podcast. How are you doing this week? So this week I have. a very dear friend on the podcast and a fellow podcaster. He has his own podcast as well, but his on the whole is a little bit more funnier than mine, which I'm a bit gutted about because I think I'm funny, but no, his is definitely funnier than mine. So this week I am very, very excited to welcome to the podcast, the very lovely Dan Knowlton. Dan, how are you doing? Dan: Oh, good. I'm really pleased. I can't believe I've never been on your podcast. Teresa: Never. I can't believe it. I don't know how. Dan: Yeah. Yeah. It's good to be here. Nice. Really, really good to be. I don't know how funny our podcast is that you've kind of built it up a bit. Teresa: Oh, so I was doing my research this morning, right. And I was listening to some of your episodes. Now I do listen to your podcast, but I have to say as a podcaster, I don't know about you, but I am a bit rubbish at listening to other people's podcasts. And also when I do listen to podcasts, I tend to listen to health related podcasts or like I listened to Andrew Huberman, Huberman's lab. Do you listen to that? Dan: I don't, but I watch his content on TikTok and stuff. Yeah. Teresa: Love it. He's so good. So yeah, I'm not very good at listening to like businessy type ones, but yeah, so I was listening this morning and there's always a funny story, which generally in our life, there's always funny stories, but you told this one. Wrecking hilarious story. Oh, of what I listen to. Right. Which I had to, had to ring up. You were talking about Cheese on toast. Dan: Oh no. I thought you were gonna say it. Oh. Teresa: Brilliant. Please tell, tell my lovely listeners what the hell happened. Dan: I'm like this is a business marketing podcast. This is nothing to do with business or marketing. So I'll very briefly tell the story. We were talking, we did an episode about the biggest mistakes we made in 2023 and you know, how everyone shares the highlight reel. And we were like, so we talked about business mistakes and stuff. And then I just sort of had to share one of the biggest mistakes I made over the Christmas period. Which was I, I basically like cheese on toast. I've always liked cheese on toast from a kid. And Crystal, my other half had gone out for the day and I had the kids at home and I thought, I'm going to make some cheese on toast. So got the cheese out, got the bread out, you know, and saw this new cheese grater on the side. I thought, wicked. We've got a cheese grater. I grated the cheese. cook the cheese and toast was delicious. And then the next day I did the same thing. I was so good yesterday. I'm going to do it again. And then to my horror, the next day, Christelle said to me, why is my foot greater in the dishwasher? And I was like, Oh no, it's the grimace thing. And she used it, the worst bit is she like soaked her feet the, the night before and stuff and really had a good go on her. Oh no. Teresa: My God. Oh my God. It's too brilliant. And do you know what, like, because I have one of those. Dan: Oh, do you have one? I didn't know they were a thing. Teresa: Yeah, Right. Dan: I didn't know they were a thing. Teresa: And Paul and I always joke, like anybody would need Parmesan. Dan: Yeah. I literally ate some Parmesan. Teresa: Literally disgusting. But yeah, like, I don't, is it just women who have really awful feet? I think men don't have awful feet. Dan: I don't know. I just don't. Yeah. I don't get why you need to grate your feet. So I didn't even know that was a thing, but apparently it is. Teresa: It is. It is. But what it was doing in the kitchen, I'm not entirely sure. Dan: I think like an open plan space. Yeah, that was my thing. Like it was like on the side in the open plan kitchen. So I was just like, Oh, it's been put over there. Like just on the edge. Teresa: That is brilliant. That is brilliant. Were you sick or were you all right? Dan: Oh, it's fine. They tasted delicious at the time, but yeah, I also can't believe you've actually done research for this episode. I thought, because we know each other, I thought she's not going to bother doing anything. You've actually. Teresa: I do. Right. And it's funny because it's almost worse when I know someone because it's almost a case of like, I'm so relaxed about what, like, just chatting, but then actually, is there a reason to us chatting? Can I just share, right, just so people know the research that Dan did in preparation for this interview. I have an Asana form that people have to fill in, right? And it says on the Asana form, can you please give us examples of questions that would be great to ask you? This is my way of, like, not having to do research. Dan wrote, These is questions he wants me to ask him. Why are you so charming and incredibly good looking and model? Please can I give you 10, 000 pounds and why are you such an incredible human being? Those are my questions to ask Dan today. So yeah, I needed to do a bit of research. Dan: Well, I thought it's your podcast. I'm not giving you the questions to ask me. I don't know what you want to ask me. Teresa: That's helpful. That's really helpful. Dan: You know me anyway, you know me. Teresa: We do. We do. So Dan, let's start by you explaining what you do and how you got to do the thing you do. Dan: What do I do? I am the co founder of Knowlton, which is a creative video and social media marketing agency that I started with my brother back in 2015. And we, we work with brands to support them to deliver really creative marketing campaigns, mainly on social media that deliver a trackable return on investment. And we've worked with lots of well known brands over the years. We're also like you said, we've got a podcast called business anchors and we love that. Teresa: Just even the name, like, you know. Dan: Do you know, do you know, Yeah, because we wanted to call it business anchors, but we knew that it wouldn't, it would get demoted in the algorithm. So we called it business anchors and put an anchor in front of the A and made it like nautical theme. So it looks like a W. So you can imagine the vibe of the podcast. And anything else I should tell you? Also, speak at events. We've spoken at quite a few events together over the years. Teresa: Yeah, we have. That's how we met. Except the first time we met, do you remember the first time we met? Dan: I just remember us really getting on, but I can't remember which event it was at. I'm amazed it's not ingrained in your head. No, go on. What was it? Teresa: So, it was at a social day. It was one that was at like Years ago, right? Yeah, yeah. It was like a football ground or a rugby ground or something like that. Dan: Was it Birmingham? Teresa: No, I don't think it was. We did the Birmingham one. I did the Birmingham one and that's where I first met Biz Paul, which is ace. Yeah. And then. There was another one that I think was further down south because obviously you're based down on Margate. Yes. So I think it was further down south, but it wasn't in London, but you were speaking, Andrew and Pete were speaking. It was the first, Victoria Taylor was speaking. It was like the gang. It was the first time I'd ever met any of you. Yeah. Biz Paul was there again. So it was like, Oh, I know you. We met before. But yeah, and it was quite small, but it was a really good day. And I think Lloyd was there as well. So Dan has a brother called Lloyd, and I think Lloyd is there as well. But, I mean, I don't want to play to your ego, Dan, but I did cause my stepdaughter was with me at the time because she used to work in the business. Yeah. I did say to her, he's pretty good looking. Dan: Oh, thanks. Thanks Teresa. Teresa: It's fine. It's fine. It like. Dan: The only trouble with whenever, whenever I see an event, we end up just not going to the event and go out and it's like lunch and just chatting. And then we like social media marketing world. Yeah. There was all these sessions on that. We just. Teresa: We didn't do any. Dan: That's the only trouble, isn't it? Teresa: And I think that's the thing and I think that's the shame about when you're a speaker and, and like the speaker, people go to events, that's the only time you get to catch up. And it's like, well, and that's a sucky time to catch up because you're all doing something and you've all got to be there for a reason. And so it's, it's so lovely to see you. But we don't often, and I always say this like we, the group of us should all just organize something where we all hang out. Dan: Yeah. I like going, I like going to events where I'm not speaking and just like to them then you can actually catch up, can't you? Rather than just you're in the like speaker zone and you're almost trying to concentrate and make sure you deliver and you're Yeah. I, I, I struggle to not just think about delivering a good session until I've done it and then I can be like, Ugh, relax after that. Teresa: Do you, okay. So that's interesting. 'cause I don't like going to events if I'm not speaking. because I love speaking and I just sit there and it's like I have to sit with my hands underneath me so I don't jump up and get on the stage. Yeah, I really struggle. I really love the speaking side. I get a bit like, Oh no, I want to, I want to be. Dan: Do you know, do you know an event you should, you should come to this year? The best event that I've ever been to, and we're going back again, it's in Ibiza. Did you see that? It's called Agency Hackers Super Summit. We spoke last year, we're not speaking this year, but we're going back, we're taking our team and stuff. It's going to be wicked. You should come to that. Teresa: Unbelievable. Dan: I keep forgetting we're on a podcast. I'm just trying to catch up with you, but you should come to that event. Teresa: People don't mind listening to this stuff. I'm going to write that down. Agency hackers. I mean, I don't have an agency. Well, I did, but I don't anymore. Dan: It's a lot of like marketing business people and stuff. It's really, it was, yeah, it's an amazing event. You should come. Teresa: That's awesome. So Dan has this agency now with your brother. Which, so that's one of my first questions about, cause I worked with and supported lots of twos in a business. You are not one of those people I've worked with or supported with, but how is it having someone who is your brother working with them? Dan: It's brilliant. This is the question that a lot of people ask and because people relate to anything that I could never work with my brother or my sister, but. I absolutely love it. And the reason I love it is because we, we, we've learned to really work well together. We're, we're, we've got, we've got completely opposite skills and We went on a walk over there and we're talking about that. It's like, we've got to the point now where every week we have this weekly meeting as part of, we kind of use the entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs operating system to run our business. So we have these weekly meetings where we look at like, how is everything going? And we keep each other accountable. And when we started doing it at the start of the business, we used to critique each other and take it really personally. So he'd be like, Dan, this week numbers aren't looking as good. Like I saw you did this. Could you, and like, I take it all personally and it was just rubbish. Now we know each other so well that we can like, we critique each other, but we completely take it on board in a positive way. Like that's such a good suggestion. I'm going to take an action next week. I'm going to schedule that. I'm going to speak to this team member to make sure we do this. And we've over the years, we've just evolved that relationship. So, and it's also really sad because we spend all of our lives working together. We play squash together multiple times in the evenings. Our families hang out on the weekends. Like you'd think that we should hate each other. Teresa: Beat up of each other. Yeah. Dan: Yeah. But I, our, our other halves always take the piss out of us that we like, oh, come on, you've seen each other all week. Do we have to like, see them again? And we're like, yeah, we wanna hang out. Teresa: That's ace though that is like. That's so good. Do you both have the same vision for the business? Dan: Yep. Teresa: That's awesome. Dan: So we, we sat down in, in 2019, I think it was, we sat down and like discussed that we, I think we went, Lloyd went to a seminar, this guy called James Sinclair, and he speaks about the importance of having an end point. Whether or not you want an end point is like knowing what could that end point be and then work backwards from there. And that's when we developed our like 10 year 2030 plan together. We were like, what do we want to have? Like, what do we want to get to be within 10 years at 2030? And we both agreed on that and then came up with like a comprehensive plan of each year, how we're going to get to that point. Yeah, I mean, we're totally aligned on where we want to get to. Teresa: So give me a quick rundown then, like, where do your skills lie and where do his lie? Dan: So, okay, so he, his official job title is like our CEO. So he does, he manages our team and the projects and that side of things. He is really good at managing people. I'm dog shit at that. He is very empathetic and caring and kind. I'm not saying I'm not, I'm, I'm very commercially driven and he's very much like people's feelings and things like that, which is lovely. And I, you know, I, I, I'm also like that, but, but I think like if, if it was just him running the business, he'd end up just being a charity and failing because he'd just give everything away. Yeah. If it was just me, I'd probably be, too commercially driven and people wouldn't like me, so we come together perfectly and it works really great because we always discuss everything. So he's very good at managing people and he's logistics. I'm terrible at logistics. Previous job role I had, I basically had a meltdown because it was a very logistical and my brains and work like that. So he's very good at thinking about all these projects to deliver. We can do that then we can do this then. So he's very logistical. And I guess on the other side, I am, I feel like I'm a real people person. Love like having chats like this and like, you know, with people and I, my official job title is CMO chief marketing officer, but I handle all of the sales and marketing. So, and our marketing team as well. So I love sales. I love pitching. I love meeting people, love speaking at events and things like that. Yeah. So I think that that's why I'm, I'm better at sales and that kind of stuff. Teresa: And you're the, like, I was going to say you're the face, but like, in one way you are, but Lloyd, it is as face front, you know, as, as you are, but you're the one who speaks on stages. You're the one who does podcast interviews. You're the one who, who, like you said, goes out and does the pitching and things and the training, if you have to do, cause you and I both worked for a company in Dubai and did training for that company. And, you know, so you would be the one that goes and, and does that. Dan: Yeah. It's kind of evolved over the years though. So it started out. I was very much speaking events. There was just me and Lloyd is behind the scenes. Then Lloyd started being, Lloyd's way more funny than me. Like I'm not funny. Teresa: Lloyd is hilarious. Like in a, the driest, most subtle, unassuming way, he is hilarious. Dan: He's, he spent the last 30 years knowing how to say, whisper one thing in my ear and I'll be in hysterics. So he gets me like in the, on the podcast when we were shooting content, he just knows how to get me. So. He's, he's definitely the funny one. He started being in more of our content, like our sketch based content. And then we started the podcast together and, but yeah, so it's, it's kind of a combination now, but I'm...




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