We had the good fortune of connecting with Ky Schultz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ky, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Definitely persistence — for both myself, my team and my business. There have been so many times that so many challenges were thrown our way in which being persistent, digging deep, and truly believing in our own mission carried us through. Sometimes, when faced with certain challenges, I would begin to second guess if everything I am doing is really even worth it? But after pushing through, I inevitably feel I am making the right decision by persisting. Looking back on 10 years of business, I am happy with all the time I spent trying to solve problems time and time again until I engineered a way to make it work.
Owning a business is very hard. In my first few years I did not plan for taxes properly, understand how to track or manage multiple clients projects, know how to build a website, or even what direction I was really trying to steer my company. But, persistence prevailed. I struggled through learning the ins and outs of taxes, built countless numbers of “systems” to ensure client projects were staying on track and in budget, spent days building a website only to tear it down a month later and start over… Most importantly, though, I learned how to focus our brand vision so all our contributors and clients understand what we do and why we do it.
All these challenges took incredible amounts of time, but each of them taught me a valuable lesson in their own way. Starting the business with no investors or financial partners meant I had to do a lot myself. I feel I understand all the pieces of my our digital agency so much better because of this. I understand everything from why our cinematographer might need a Cooke S4 Prime Lens, to helping that cinematographer calculate dependents on their W4.
Persistence helped me grow, and every time I faced an issue head on and saw it through, I learned so much from it. Growing and scaling a business is so hard sometimes, but those challenges and that persistence inevitably make myself and my business so much stronger.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Lure Films was officially started in January of 2011. It originally took on many Santa Barbara based clients. First simply a production company, Lure Films started with the goal of creating any type of video that a corporation needed, at a price that fit their budget. As Lure began to gain larger clients (such as Verizon), the team began to grow into much more than just a sole entrepreneurship.
Bria joined in 2015, and the business continued to expand dramatically. We moved into a studio in Hollywood, where we filmed our first large scale commercial production with 16 pigeons and an ostrich. However, we were still just a production company. We noticed that we were creating compelling content for clients, but they were not utilizing their videos to their fullest potential. That’s when Lure Films began to pivot from a production company to a digital content marketing agency and became the company it is today: Lure Digital.
Today, Lure is a digital content marketing agency staffed by content creators and strategists. Staying true to our roots, quality content is at the core of every campaign we create. However, we have added value to our services by now offering social media strategy and management that goes in to effectively utilizing digital content. We can act as just content creators, or just as social content strategists. Ideally, however, we prefer to provide full end to end strategy, content creation, and management services.
We believe that digital marketing is the best form of marketing today due to the extensive analytics and optimized targeting of the platforms we utilize. We create content for an extremely specific audience to help clients attain their content, marketing and advertising goals using thoughtful, creative and quality work that helps brands rise above the white noise of the modern digital landscape.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food is my real attraction to LA, and there is so much of it here. As a team, we used to go out to lunch about twice a week as well as celebrate every team occasion with a meal. In Los Angeles, it’s a constant debate about which restaurant to choose because they ALL sound good. There is about every different type of cuisine, at every price range, with well-regarded restaurants at each of those tiers. The ramen craze blew me away and we were frequenting Jinya and Silverlake Ramen about once a week. But even the simplicity of a good Cactus burrito or stopping off for Ricky’s Fish Taco truck is worth taking all my out of town friends to. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I so deeply wanted to find a mentor, and still have not found one to this day. Instead, I turned to podcasts. This was a great way for me to hear from people in the industry about what their tricks and tips were. It was honestly revolutionary for me. Coming from trying to figure everything out on my own to discovering a free place to hear some of the solutions other agency owners have implemented changed so much for me. I still listen to UGURUS today.
At about this time, we opened our office in Los Angeles. I was commuting a lot between Santa Barbara and LA, and I was thirsty for more knowledge. I then turned to audio books. These packed a ton of information at a very low cost (in comparison to seminars, events, and classes). The book I read that had the largest impact on the business was Traction by Gino Wickman. I hit a wall in which I could not figure out why I could not grow past a certain point. This book really helped propel me into greater success with the brand by better defining the vision of my brand, setting up a system in which I can monitor the health of my brand, and bringing all staff members on board in clearly moving forward with the brands mission and goals. Other very influential books I read were “WHEN the scientific secrets of timing” by Daniel H. Pink, “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott, and “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller.
I, of course, owe a lot to my team. Bria Little was employee #1, and has helped navigate almost all of these issues with me. Maybe her form of persistence was just dealing with me? Anyways, our current staff is so dedicated and understanding of the brand, and it shows in everything we do. We hold an impeccable customer satisfaction rate, have won awards and recognitions, and the number one way we make sales is from raving referrals. A lot of the success we have with our clients is mostly from the work the team does, not that I personally do. Heck, I hardly even get a chance to do much creative anymore! But I like it that way, I kind of feel like the proud parent of multiple children who are surpassing the creative skills I possess myself. They have taken creative to a higher level than I ever would have had the ability to do alone. I am grateful to all of them.