Darin Lynch on Creating Evangelists

darin lynch of irish titan on the founders mentality

It’s an interesting duo on this episode of The Founders’ Mentality, Darin Lynch joined us for number 26, the same guy who wouldn’t hire Josh and told SalesReach’s founder to pursue his dream 100%.

At the time of this recording, Darin had Irish Titan’s Customer & Partner Appreciation Night (soon to be rebranded as Shennanigans for Good) on his mind as it was coming up in a few days. Unique to this event, anyone is invited.

“We want all the good people in the community there. There’s no content to it. There’s no structure. There is no program other than the raffle. I just want good people having a good time at our event.” said Darin.

He arrived at the SalesReach studio in all green, head to toe, with a bag of Irish Titan swag for an episode due to be released on Saint Patrick’s Day. No one can question that Darin is always on-brand. However, creating a brand was not as important to Darin early on.

Darin is a catalyst for the community and creates evangelists from his employees as well as customers. We were really excited to hear more from him about what it takes to build a business out of nothing into something people really identify with and love.

He shares authors that inspired him his trials working for companies that weren’t a great fit and he walks us through his process.

About the Guest:

  • Darin Lynch: CEO & Founder of Irish Titan an e-commerce agency.

Your relationship to your audience defines your growth as a company

Darin shared with us that every new company goes through a few initial stages. He had credited a lunch that he had attended so if you know the source let us know, but the idea stuck with us so we unpacked his thinking a little bit here.

Early Stage 1: Everything to everybody

You need a check to keep the lights of the business on. You don’t have a full pipeline, you don’t have a following you can tap, but you have a business. It’s probably not a stage that many people are proud of, but it’s a stage we all more or less have to go through to find traction.

Early Stage 2: Something for everybody

A stage for discovery. As Darin puts it, “[The] second phase, you’re something for everybody. You know what you do but not really yet who you do it for.” As we’ve found at SalesReach, sometimes your total addressable market can be much larger or more specific than you had thought when you set out on your own.

Early Stage 3: Something for someone

Now your business is the solution to someone’s job to be done. At this stage, you might think you have product-market fit and you’re hitting your stride. One thing that many people take for granted is, it took the previous two stages to get here.

Darin Lynch’s three stages of business evolution.

The driving factor of business growth is how your business is meeting the needs of your market and getting people to pay you for that solution. It seems simple but in the early stages of a company, it’s easy to get distracted by the thousands of other things that need to get done.

Create meaning, cash will follow

Here’s Darin channeling one of his favorite authors, Guy Kawasaki, “Don’t worry about your brand or about your culture as much, build a product or service where you have paying customers.”

This is one of Kawasaki’s favorite points, “…if you’re thinking of starting a company, your starting point is to figure out how your product or service will make meaning. Everything flows from the answer to this question.”

Customers pay for things that add meaning and value to their lives.

The meaning your business creates for your customers is the most important thing for you to focus on and will carry you through the stages Darin described for early companies.

Obviously, founders need to find profit but you’ll have a greater chance of getting there if your products, services, content provide value and meaning to customers.

People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it

How do you create meaning for customers? You tell them why you created your business and they will connect the dots.

A lot of founders make the mistake of just talking about how great their product is or how easy their services are and never touch no why they created their business.

After Kawasaki, Darin moves right into another one of his favorite authors, Simon Sinek ( 🔥YouTube channel and author of several best selling books) to talk about what’s on the horizon for companies who are perhaps in that third stage and after when concepts like culture and brand become important.

Darin said that he had a firm idea for the company he wanted to start, it was one that he always wanted to work for. Early on culture wasn’t as important until he was at a stage where he had a more mature relationship with his audience. Then, he could more clearly articulate his company culture and uses a stool to explain.

He starts his model using Sinek’s golden circle and three legs. He explains this to his prospects, his new employees, and his following.

Culture should reflect your ‘why’

The Golden Circle (Irish Titan’s ‘why’) is the trademarked phrase, “business first online second.” On the Irish Titan website they explain it like this, “Since 2004, we’ve been beating the “Business First. Online Second.℠” drum, and it’s more than just a catchy (and trademarked!) saying. It’s a corporate philosophy. It dictates how we work, who we hire, and becomes a personal maxim for every Titan (check out their profiles for proof). We get to know your business, we get to know you, and most importantly, we work with you to eliminate the mystery typically shrouding the interwebs.” 

Darin’s first leg is as such, “I talk about if you’re a developer, it’s not about bits and bytes. If you’re one of our strategists, it’s not about keywords, et cetera. It’s about how we put together all of our talents to support our clients’ e-commerce and digital needs,” says Darin.

The second leg is an acronym that stands for the companies core values. Darin says they are passion, ownership, teamwork, impact and skills.

“I expect everybody every day to demonstrate those in their own authentic way. Not everybody is the same from a passion perspective. Like I might stand up and talk maybe too much sometimes and other people might not be as comfortable standing up. But that doesn’t mean that either one of us can perform at a different level of passion. We all should be passionate in our own ways” says Darin.

The final leg of Darin’s stool is a culture of respect, “We want to be a place where people can be real, can be authentic and give a joke, take a joke, laugh at a joke. But that only works in a culture of respect.”

Over Darin’s, 16 years as CEO of the company he created he’s seen many challenges and changes in the e-commerce industry but his customers are loyal and Irish Titan has some serious fans.

Darin has carved out his own space, he said “I didn’t create Irish Titan to create a job. I felt there was an opportunity in the market and I wanted to succeed or fail on my own merits and create the kind of company that I always wanted to work for.”

A brand, a culture, a good business all came into being through an intense focus on building a better relationship with the right audience.

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