In April last year, millions of iPhone users were asked if they’d like to download the latest iOS—14.5, to be specific. They clicked to confirm, put their phone on charge to complete the download, and went about their day as if nothing were amiss.
But for marketers, app developers, and business-minded folk everywhere, it was a game changer. See, Apple’s previous iOS editions allowed apps to track pretty much everything we did on our phones. Advertisers used this data to target us with highly personalized ads, and developers built their whole business models around collecting it.
With the release of iOS 14.5, that all changed. Apple started requiring apps to request permission before they could track us, and many users said no. Overnight, the app ecosystem was turned on its head.
For Terrence Kruse, however, it was an opportunity, and one that he gladly took.
At just 27 years of age, Kruse is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. He’s launched three separate seven-figure businesses, and he’s on track to launch an additional business in the consulting space for entrepreneurs who want to take their businesses to the next level.
”My third business is the most successful for a couple reasons. One, I had so much experience from building the two previous businesses before. Two, I trusted my intuition and built a business that was first-to-market, which was a game changer.”
His third and most successful business, a TikTok ad agency, could not have reached its current success without some incredible foresight on Kruse’s behalf.
“When the whole iOS 14 ban happened, advertisements started getting a bad rap. We switched everything over to TikTok advertising. And we’ve found ways of using third-party tracking to run even more effective advertisements post-iOS 14.”
Terrence Kruse was truly the first cab off the rank when it came to taking this unique approach to advertising on TikTok. His agency, Ads That Scale, now boasts some of the most impressive results in the industry. Kruse’s ability to predict industry trends is what brought the opportunity to life.
“I knew that TikTok ads were about to be the next big thing. And I beat everyone to it. It’s funny to see all the copycat agencies pop up after seeing the success we’ve had.”
The early bird gets the worm. We’ve been saying it for centuries, and some of history’s most successful entrepreneurs have proven it time and time again.
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975, years before the personal computer would enter into millions of homes worldwide. Steve Jobs of Apple was warned against getting into the music business with iTunes in 2003, but he saw the potential for digital downloads and went ahead with it anyway.
Gary Vee, one of today’s most successful entrepreneurs, is known for his ability to see potential in new platforms and technologies before they become mainstream. He was one of the first to capitalize on online space, starting the very first e-commerce platforms for wine.
Terrence Kruse can be added to the list of these visionary entrepreneurs, having predicted one of the biggest trends in advertising: the shift to TikTok ads after iOS 14.5.
“When TikTok started to make the transition from not being an app for teenagers but becoming more widespread in the beginning of 2021 with business owners getting on TikTok—that’s when I noticed the opportunity. And then they launched the ad manager, and we pretty much launched right away.”
The lesson to be learned here is that forward thinking is a must as an entrepreneur, and if you don’t seize the opportunity, someone else will.
“Anyone could say, ‘Oh, wow, TikTok is getting really big. TikTok is the new thing.’ But because I’ve already been building marketing agencies for three years, I was able to be the first to market and build it all out within a month. Boom—TikTok ad agency, up and running.”
Alongside his business partner, Jay Austin, Terrence Kruse now enjoys a highly lucrative career as a result of his foresight and ability to take advantage of new opportunities.
“We have a 13-person team. We’re doing just shy of $200,000 revenue months: we’re spending $40,000 a month on advertisements alone for our business. I’m not some kid with four clients who says I have a TikTok ad agency; we’re operating a big-time seven-figure business here.”
The take-home lesson? If you want to make it big, innovation is key. Keeping your finger on the pulse of industry shifts and trends is key. And of course, applying the valuable skills and experience you have to new opportunities is what will make you a success.
“In order to survive in this market, you have to be innovative and creative. And we’re going to continue to bring innovation and creation to our community and our network of people that are associated with us. We’re not going to hold back.”
Written in Partnership with Luke Lintz
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