I met Chase Clymer back in 2010 at a We Came As Romans show, when he played bass in City Lights, one of my favorite bands of the 2000s. I think he was only 19 or 20, but even then I was impressed by his natural hustle and how easily he fell into the role of the band’s salesman. We ended up becoming good friends, and I watched him turn into a show promoter, graphic designer, and then (after the band called it quits) an entrepreneur as the co-founder of two70, a full service digital marketing agency in Columbus.
I’ve been really stoked on watching Chase’s career grow since I met him, and anyone who dreams about working for themselves could learn a lot from his unstoppable work ethic and networking hustle. Keep your eyes on this guy, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Give us your life story in a few sentences: who are you, what is/was your involvement in punk/HC/DIY culture and what is your “real job”?
I’m a poor kid from a bad neighborhood and ignored all that by throwing myself into music and technology. I’ve had so many jobs in the punk/HC/DIY scene that I would have to write a novel to cover them all. I’m just going to focus on my time in the band, how I made money while I was in the band, and what I do now.
I started going to concerts with my uncle at a very young age and have probably seen your dad’s favorite band. That same uncle bought me a guitar for my 14th birthday, and eventually I learned three chords and joined a band by the name of City Lights. We were trying to bring pop punk back before anyone cared about pop punk.
Touring is not cheap. We spent a lot of time on the road, which meant I needed to find creative ways to make money for myself because bills exist. I had a decent little freelance photography business that helped out, but most of my connections were local to my hometown, which meant I couldn’t take it mobile. This is where I polished my design and development skills. Nobody cared where you were, as long as the job got done!
“If someone is contemplating a career move, I highly suggest reading everything you can about what you’re looking to do. Knowledge is power.”
I always put on the City Lights hometown shows, and ultimately started promoting shows for other bands in my hometown as a way to make some money for myself, as well as try and cash in on these favors for my band. I was pretty good at it, and currently still work with a group that booked over 300 shows last year.
Eventually the band broke up, and we all went our separate ways, with some headed back into the work force and some to play for other bands. I settled on starting my own marketing agency, and have been building that ever since.
Woe Is Me shirt designed by Chase– one of the few band shirts I still wear!
What did you learn from your time in DIY culture that has helped you in a professional capacity?
I learned to hustle. I discovered the world of underground and local music, and once I got my license I was at any show I could attend. This opened up a whole new world for me. This is where I learned what DIY was all about. People, not much older than me, were starting clothing lines, promoting their own shows, selling their own services, just hustling and making money. As a poor kid from the ghetto, I wanted some of that money!
On the flip side of that coin, are there any bad habits or bad ideas that you picked up that have held you back professionally?
I did a lot of freelancing and consulting after the band broke up. Eventually deciding to polish my portfolio and start looking at joining the real world. I interviewed at a very prestigious agency, crushed the interview, and never got a call back. Luckily, I had some friends in high places and figured out why. I was too DIY. They felt I would take what I learned and start my own agency. I saved them the wait and filed my agency’s LLC that same day.
In my opinion, you are a master networker/salesman. I think a lot of that comes naturally to you, but what tips can you give to someone if it doesn’t come as easily to them?
Anytime I approach a situation where I need to talk to someone, I’m always thinking the same thing “What’s the worst that can happen?” The worst thing that can happen is never really that bad. Nobody leaves an interaction any worse than when they went in. The other trick is also very simple. Just do it. If you’re always running the million ways something could play out, you’ll never have time to see how it actually plays out when you just do it. Other than that, just make sure you read the situation, don’t try and talk to someone who is clearly in the middle of a conversation with someone else, but beyond that, just do it.
two70 has been up and running for a bit now. What have you learned about running a business so far?
I am a very competent digital marketer, working with dozens of businesses, but making the transition from freelancer to agency owner is a big step. Luckily, I’m not the first person to start a marketing agency. There are so many resources out there. If someone is contemplating a career move, I highly suggest reading everything you can about what you’re looking to do. Knowledge is power. And you’d be surprised who you can have coffee with if you just ask. People are great resources as well!