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Social Hustle

A business that meets people where they’re at

Published in the September 2022 Issue Published online: Sep 12, 2022 Social Annie Carbutt
Viewed 407 time(s)



FROM THE TIME HE WAS JUST A KID, Chris Parrett knew he would one day run his own business. He had watched members of his family create and run businesses of their own, and he wanted to do the same. He also knew from observing that if he wanted something to happen he had to hustle. “I was always working on some little startup,” he said. “My dad was an entrepreneur and his dad was an entrepreneur. I wanted to be like them.” Chris didn’t have one set business idea in mind. He was drawn to a variety of ideas. He describes his younger self as a nerdy kid who played video games and loved to cook and bake. He also played in the band.

“The truth was, I had interests, but I really didn’t know where I fit in,” he said. “I bounced around through a lot of different groups. I had friends in the sports groups and friends on the student council and friends in theater. I found connections in almost every single niche.”

Whatever challenges came from not knowing where he fit in as a kid, as an adult Chris has discovered his own versatility. Not fitting into just one place has proven very useful. In many ways it’s what drives his business today—Social Hustle. Social Hustle is an award-winning digital marketing and creative design agency that helps an impressive array of businesses take their game to the next level. Being able to slip into different modes and connect with people of all stripes is an important part of what makes Chris successful in his field.

“One morning I might meet with a venture-funded startup in the SaaS space looking for scaling advice,” Chris said. “Then later in the day, I could transition to working on a global men’s jewelry line that sells gold or iced-out chains and watches. Being able to transition how I speak and how I interact—the vernacular I use and how I connect—is essential. I can’t be the same person on both calls.” Chris enjoys the challenge. He and his business partner, Dalin Bernard, get to connect with a wide variety of people in the work they do.

“Dalin is even better at connecting with people than I am,” Chris said. “He can be on a plane and meet a random stranger and end up with an invitation to a wedding. Things like this happen all the time. He’s very good at making friends and making people feel comfortable.”

While Chris and Dalin enjoy connecting with many different people and are open to working with anyone, they’ve also learned to consider all aspects of a deal before taking it on. This means sometimes they turn down business opportunities because they don’t think it’s in everyone’s best interest.

“There are a lot of agencies that will say yes to every single contract,” Chris said. “Before we sign a contract, everybody that’s working on it has to be in agreement that we can win for them. Because of this, we have higher than a 98% retention rate on an annual basis, which for a marketing agency is unreal.” The team at Social Hustle is very clear on what makes a good fit for them in a client relationship.

“We partner with companies that have proven processes that are looking for growth and need an engine to take them further,” Chris said. “We don’t typically partner with companies that are still in the early struggling stages. It’s not that we have no interest in what they’re doing, it’s that we have enough opportunity right now that we could grow 50% in the next 30 days, but our staff is limited. We have to be clear on what we can take on.”

Right now Social Hustle has offices in Idaho Falls and Scottsdale, Ariz. They currently have 12 employees in different locations around the country. “We’d like to cap out at 50 employees,” Chris said. “We’ve never intended to become a 200-person mass media shop. We want to keep it small so we can keep our quality high.”

Chris and Dalin value their team members and want to make sure everyone is comfortable where they’re at. One unique thing about the way they do business is that they never take on more work than they have staff for. If they decide they want to take more work, they hire the staff first and then look for the work. This way they don’t overwhelm their team.

“It’s an unusual approach and it might mean we get stuck paying employees who have nothing to do for a short time, but we’re good at what we do and we know we can grow when we’re ready.”

Social Hustle recently moved into a newly renovated office in Downtown Idaho Falls, located in the old post office. It’s beautifully designed with a great energy that really reflects the company culture.

Chris says they’re happy with where the company is now and he knows they will expand when they’re ready. Meanwhile, his team is doing awesome work on social media and around the web.

To learn more about Social Hustle and meet their team, visit www.mysocialhustle.com. Visit page 50 to learn about exciting developments in the TikTok world from Social Hustle’s head of paid media and marketing, Ashlie Green.

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