Master DTC Marketing | Learn Organic vs. Paid Acquisition | with Nik Sharma, CEO Sharma Brands

Everyone wants to start a DTC (direct-to-consumer) brand, but how do you ACTUALLY grow it from scratch? Meet Nik Sharma, who has done just that for some of customer’s favorite DTC brands like JUDY ( Caraway ( and Hint Water. The key here is content marketing strategy, influencer marketing, proper use of marketing analytics, and social media marketing.

Nik’s Twitter for DTC Advice:
Nik’s 40 page deck on how to launch brands —
Nik’s New Youtube Channel! —

0:57 Meet Nik Sharma!
2:12 Nik’s first job
3:05 Working at Hint
3:55 Focus on WHY
5:13 How Nik Reduced CAC by 70%
6:37 Origin of “DTC”
7:14 Product first, then brand
8:27 Personification of brands
9:33 How to Start
10:50 Solve a REAL problem
12:49 Focus on product
13:35 How to Validate an Idea
14:34 Organic vs Paid Marketing
15:25 How Haus focused on organic
17:56 How JUDY used TV Marketing
19:04 How to grow a product organically
20:41 SEO and content is underrated
21:19 Best marketing channels?
22:36 Why to focus on 2 channels only
23:32 Consistent branding is key
25:11 Key DTC metrics
25:55 Caraway – First purchase profitability
27:23 What did Nik wish he knew earlier?

100% of the revenue from this channel is donated to – thank you for helping me help the engineers of tomorrow.

I’m Garry Tan, venture capitalist and founder at Initialized Capital. We were earliest investors in billion dollar startups like Coinbase and Instacart, and I’m a Forbes Midas List Top 100 venture capitalist in the world. We want these videos to be about helping people build world-class teams and startups that touch a billion people. Our startups have gone on to create more than $40 billion in market value so far, and Initialized has over $770M in assets under management.

Please like this video and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more videos like this!

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35 Replies to “Master DTC Marketing | Learn Organic vs. Paid Acquisition | with Nik Sharma, CEO Sharma Brands”

  1. Garry, love this video and your channel. This sort of Q&A mentoring is exactly our platform DingDongNow is trying to provide, connecting mentors and mentees to solve real life issues. I have been spending so much time self-learning from various channels: Reddit, Quora, Youtube, friends and networks since i started my own company last year. I realize how important to have a mentor to learn from and can guid you through your journey. Thank you for the great content!

  2. absolutely loved this! been watching your videos for a while and I'm glad to see some DTC wisdom that I can apply to my own business. Thanks Garry!

  3. My bitcoin Investment has blown my financial status away, against all odds I have been earning massive profits especially during these economic crisis.

  4. Thanks for the awesome content Garry! I'm shifting a few brands I manage from traditional wholesale to DTC. So I selfishly would love to see more content on DTC! Particularly on a more granular level. e.g. what is the best way to hire talent to run social media in-house (we have been outsourcing social up to this point). Where are the best places to find these talents and what to look out for? Keep it up and wish you have great success with your channel!

  5. Hi Garry, can you also upload a video giving an in depth explanation of your experience with tech startups hiring ad agencies vs doing marketing internally? And how to hire a person or agency for the best possible outcome?

  6. A video straight to the point 😎. I have been doing similar videos and maybe you should visit. I'm kinda sure you'll find find a lot of useful info on this topic on my channel too.

  7. I don't know how you did this, I was just thinking of finding more about DTC marketing, and this video was in the top of my YouTube recommendation – and I haven't even started googling it!

    Great video as always, keep up the good work!

  8. Hello Garry! It’s really great to see how you engage so many comments. Thank you for that.

    Would you please make a video about hiring contractors?
    I put out hiring posts but keep getting inundated by contractors instead. It’s getting to the point where I may just give it a try… just not sure how much we should trust them early on (like with access to our codebase).

  9. Great video Garry – keep up the great guests. Production level is on point. Video podcasts are tricky. I need to learn this style 😀

  10. Ok, I have heard Nik go through this in several awesome interviews. What are the best providers/ use Unbounce for landing page, Klayvio along with Shopify?

  11. Great video as always, really appreciate your enthusiasm Garry! And you did read the Japanese word correct. 珍道具(Chindogu), although it's not really a common Japanese word, lol.

  12. Awesome video. Thanks Garry….. A general shout out: I am seeking a DTC partner in America. I have a product from the wilds of Tasmania in Australia. Recently we got picked up by the day spa's at Hilton Hotels in Australia and will soon be selling at the airports. I am looking for a partner state side to launch a DTC version of the product which is killer for treating symptoms of arthritis (More than 80 Million Americans suffer from this affliction, with a lot of cashed up baby boomers, which is a big TAM) product is: – Have a new DTC brand in mind.

  13. Very interesting episode but I completely disagree with Sharma. 

    My background is in creative, trained under people like Dave Trott, Rory Sutherland et. al. 

    What Sharma said is true if you're not trained in advertising. 

    Silicon Valley shines because of software engineering but it's not exactly the place to be when it comes to incredible advertising… For that, you'd wanna be in Chicago, London, and NYC. Good advertising can create as much value as good engineering. Sharma was specifically talking about "bad" advertising which is just throwing some shit up on FB and hoping it'll be ROI pos. It can be ROI pos and still be bad. That's when you get the problems he talked about, where your company is dependent on advertising. The people who run those campaigns rarely have any form of creative education beyond on the job training.

    But now look at Nike. Take their celebrity campaign with Jordan back in the day. That has created lasting value in the consumer's mind by tying greatness to "I can do that too." Or Chiat/Day's work with the famous Apple campaign. Or DBB with the Volkswagen. Or Ogilvy with the positioning of Dove. Or the amazing work Schoolcraft has done with Oatly.

    I can give a billion more examples but the point is, most people today just don't understand the fundamentals of advertising that Bill Bernbach, Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy, etc. created and so they come to the wrong conclusions which stem from a faulty premise.

  14. Awesome interview! I know results may vary, but would you know what did the progress looked like when the brands mentioned were just starting out, compared to where they are now?

  15. Great interview and many actionable Tips. One note, in the description, the part about SEO and marketing – it should be underrated instead of overrated 🙂

  16. Building brands is no rocket science – If it's better cheaper and faster. And Great Customer Service. It's going to sell itself by word of mouth.

  17. I appreciate how your questions are geared towards people who are completely new to this game! Learned so much here. Thanks Garry!

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