021: Brand Goals + Successful Collabs on Influencer Platforms with Brandbacker co-founders Sumeet Patel and Max Klausner

1 1 Cara & C.J.

On this week's episode of the Blogged Podcast, we talk with Sumeet and Max about how to create successful collaborations using influencer platforms. They share insight into brand goals when it comes to collaborations as well as give us a little info about the BrandBacker platform and how bloggers and influencers can use it to connect and work with brands.

BrandBacker intelligently connects brands with thousands of influencers who create original blog posts, videos and social media posts. The BrandBacker content creation network has over 30,000 influencers that work with 100’s of brands including Neutrogena, L'Oreal, Evian and even the band One Direction. For over 6 years, they have helped generate over 100,000 pieces of content (and counting) that have reached well over 500 million consumers.

Sumeet Patel is a Co-Founder and Head of Product and Technology for BrandBacker. He is focused on building the inner and outer workings of BrandBacker while ensuring that the platform works well for both Influencers and Brands. Prior to founding BrandBacker, Sumeet was one of the first members of the renowned LinkedIn Data Science team and also worked on the model behind the FICO Credit Score.

Max Klausner is a Co-Founder and Head of Brand Partnerships for BrandBacker. He’s in charge of building relationships with brands and helping them craft their influencer marketing strategy.  Max has been involved in the beauty industry his entire life while working with his family's chain of cosmetic stores and recently founded an e-commerce makeup company. He's also served as a product manager for Affinity Labs and worked with the director of Moneyball.

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What we cover:

  • How the idea for Brand Backer first came about + how Max and Sumeet Met
  • A  little insight into the brand collaboration process: what are some of the most common goals brand’s have when working with influencers
  • How influencers can leverage influencer platforms to build relationships with brands
  • How influencers can get plugged into the BrandBacker platform and what are some of the advantages it offers
  • About one of Brandbacker's most successful campaigns:  What made it so amazing and some lessons that both influencers and brands can take away
  • Tips for influencers when it comes to being stand-out and an excellent influencer when it comes to working with brands

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Cara & C.J.: 00:00 You're listening to the blog podcast, episode number 21. Welcome to blog, a podcast for influencers. We're cj and Cara founders of my host society, a blogger community with events and resources to help you grow your following, build your blog, and monetize their influence. In this episode, we sit down with Max and submit to talk about how to create successful collaborations using influencer platforms and a little bit of insight into brand goals when it comes to collaboration and partnerships.

C.J.: 00:41 Brand backer intelligently connects brands with thousands of influencers who create original blog posts, videos, and social media posts. The brand backer content creation network has over 30,000 influencers that work with hundreds of brands, including Neutrogena, l'oréal, Evian, and even the band one direction. For over six years, I have helped generate over 100,000 pieces of content and counting that have reached well over 500,000,000 consumers. Amit Patel is a co-founder and head of product and technology for brand backer. He is focused on building the inner and outer workings of brand backer while ensuring that the platform works well for both influencers and brands. Prior to founding brand backers, to me, it was one of the first members of the rebound linkedin data science team and also worked on the model behind the fico credit score. Max Costner is co-founder and head of Brown partnerships for brand backer. He's in charge of building relationship with brands and helping them craft their influencer marketing strategy. Max has been involved in the beauty industry his entire life while working with his family's chain of cosmetic stores and recently founded an e-commerce makeup company. He also served as a product manager for affinity labs and worked with the director of moneyball. 

C.J.: 02:09 Thank you so much and some meat for sitting down with us today. We are beyond excited to talk a little bit about brand backer. It's a huge social influencer marketing agency obviously, or maybe not agency is the word you'd use, but it's huge in our world. We're. I, I know a lot of influencers are aware of it, so thank you so much for spending the time to chat with us. Awesome. Thanks for having us. Thanks for having us have corners. So just tell us a little bit about your background. Maybe what you were doing before you launch brand backer and how the two of you met and decided to watch brand backer.

Sumeet: 02:47 Yeah.  I'm originally from the bay area and so I've spent my whole life in kind of silicon valley kind of seeing the rise of that, um, you know, the nineties and then obviously, you know now, uh, and so I've always kind of been interested in technology. And so after graduating from UC Berkeley, go bears, um, you know, I, I went and worked in the tech and so, uh, initially working at [inaudible], um, which was great. Um, although, you know, there was a mortgage meltdown that happened, uh, and so, you know, saw, saw kind of the, uh, the backside of that and then moved on to Linkedin, which is a super interesting. Was there very early I got to see linkedin grow from kind of a small company to a publicly traded company. And I was focused mainly on analytics there. Um, you know, working on analytics products. So things like people you may know, things like that or also the business side of things. Um, then backs I actually met while while living on San Francisco. Maybe you can kind of go in his background.   

Max: 03:49 Um, so yeah, I'm just going like way back when, um, my background is sort of rooted in the cosmetic industry and uh, my family had a chain of cosmetics stores when I was growing up and uh, so they started those and so I kind of came from this entrepreneurial background, um, and then they sold their stores to JC Penney and then they did product development for a lot of the big box stores like Kohls, Walmart, a bath and body works, places like that. And then, uh, so I was sort of like grew up in that environment of doing product development and marketing pitches and that sort of, um, the environment that I, I was raised in and then when I was in college, so I went to Nyu for film. So I kind of come from that content creation, a background. I worked for a Bennett Miller who is a director who did a movie's lycopodium moneyball.  Kinda coming from I guess I was uh, I'm a photographer like growing up as well, um, and then got into video production and uh, and then built up that side of things too. So I'm sort of, I mean, I think both of these things are sort of applicable to, um, some of the roots of what we're doing now in fusing content creation with a, we work with a lot of, um, you know, cpg beauty brands and things like that. So a partially why I'm talking a little bit about that, but um, but yeah, so, uh, then, uh, my family, uh, I helped them start a makeup company when I was in college, so it's a performance makeup company that does a thing. Basically my sister was a dancer, so yeah. So you know, a little bit about that, the world, uh, yeah, I mean it's a different type of makeup and um, but yeah, like the, the idea was that every girl in the studio should have a similar look for the numbers and uh, providing a, um, a really easy way of being able to do that for the whole team. And so it's, it's a little different. But, um, I, I was uh, getting that off the ground when I was in college and then when I graduated, uh, I was sort of tasked with using my video production skills to do all of the content for that. So Youtube was like relatively new at this time. This, I mean that not to date myself or anything, but I like how old I'm getting, but I, yeah, I mean like youtube wasn't, that, didn't have that, a community and all of those videos and that content and that it has now where it's its own, obviously you guys know, uh, it's its own world. So, so yeah, I was very early involved in getting some of the, I went on to say some of the first, like how to make up videos, so like cut to, we did like a very in depth shoot and we did something like [inaudible] 20 like clips that were like maybe four or five minutes long of like all these different looks and a lot of glitter and sparkle.  So, so sorry, I'm already getting on tangents. So, so I was doing that and that's how I got into technology because then it turned into me doing all the video production to then, oh, you're somewhat technical than I basically moved out to silicon valley and a San Francisco. Uh, actually that is where I met some meat. So, but um, but yeah, we, we met um, early on, uh, because I, through craigslist, uh, moved in to my apartment and then a sweet lived down the street and was very good friends with the people who live there. They like, they went to college together and until we met at like one of the first weekends at a party there. And, uh, he invited me to start going to a weekly dinner that he had with one of our good friends and we'd all talk about startups and about, you know, our, our jobs and all kinds of stuff.  And um, we, we had similar interests, uh, like we were both into like he had done, so we did, uh, some film and video production in college and worked for some local TV stations and things like that. So, um, we just immediately clicked in movie we wanted to work on stuff together. Um, and uh, yeah, that's, that's kind of how that it was. It was really a chance and uh, luck, uh, that, uh, our, our paths crossed and then we started working on projects together. Yeah, that's sort of the backstory there that the time I like love hearing how people met. Um, we get asked a lot too and it's just really cool to, of see how the team

Cara: 08:59 I love how different your backgrounds are as well. Definitely. That's always cool to hear. So how did the idea for like brand backer specifically first come about through the projects that you're working on or just kind of hit you one day?

Max: 09:14 So basically we worked on a number of different projects before a brand backer and I think that's something that, uh, like when you're entrepreneurial and you're, um, like you learned that it takes a lot of trying, a lot of different stuff. Um, obviously when, when you, when you set out on the project, do you think like, oh, I, I, uh, I know exactly like what I want to build and then you put it out there and then that's not what the market wants necessarily. Um, or in, in you have to iterate and learn from that sale. Um, our, our first project was actually a project, a website, so like a, of like a kickstarter on steroids, um, in the sense that it wasn't necessarily about getting the funding, it was more about being able to find projects that you were interested in. Uh, and so, so that site was called go make it go, make.it to make it easier for, uh, to make people's ideas come to life.

Max: 10:11 That was the, uh, the goal of the site that was really the seed of everything. And to this day our company is still actually called go make it labs like our actual company name. So yeah. And then we had this idea for a, a, a trend site. So the main idea behind that was essentially that we could find trends before they became popular. We were able to predict, um, some, some, like, for example, like up and coming music like six to eight months before it blew up. Um, so it was like sort of like a crystal ball of, of contents and there are two, two big things that happened, uh, that are related to brand backer. Um, one was that we started working in monitoring creators more because it was the creators and influencers. And I guess at that, this was like maybe six years ago, maybe six and a half years. It was more like bloggers, but like the influencer wasn't as widely used as it is today. Um, as we're like now everybody, because we're not just using blogs, were using all the social channels and influencers more of the catchword than bloggers.

Sumeet: 11:21 Well, I think, I think a lot of, a lot of it was that. And even instagram wasn't even around yet.

Max: 11:26 Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah.

Sumeet: 11:29 I do remember meeting some of the instagram guys early on when they had just launched instagram and, and you know, it was one of five photo-sharing applications obviously in one. Um, but, but back then it was all about blogs and it's really hard to even to find blogs. So, um, you know, we've focused on that heavy, heavy early on.

C.J.: 11:52 Well, I think that was like really smart  of you guys because, um, I think a lot of people started focusing really hard on instagram the last couple years and it's obviously it can pay off, but instagram is an APP in itself. So the biggest thing we always tell people you know is God forbid instagram all of a sudden decides to leave one day, which I don't ever see that happening, but it's something, a lot of influencers talk about. My space to all your, all of your content goes with that. They own that and all of your followers go with that if you don't have something to kind of bring it home too. So we're really pushing that. I'm having that blog is like the most important thing and I think that brand back, we're kind of backside and really focused on that as well as like a big thing just because I think that kind of got lost in translation over the past couple of years and people had been blogging, you know, 10, 10 plus years ago and that was before it was even huge and now that you can actually make money off of it and there's all these social channels, it's a great thing.  But I think people really lost the sight of what the importance of having a blog and having people follow your, what you're saying it more than just like what an image that you're putting out with a quick caption. So, um, that's like really cool to me. Can you guys share a little insight into the brand collaboration process? Like what are some of the most common goals brands have when working with influencers? It's kind of a big thing we focus on is, is obviously creating that long-term relationship and, and really just building a good relationship overall with a brand. So what are some of those common goals that you see from brands?

Max: 13:23 Yeah. So, so what I see from the brand side, uh, is that the first thing that they're looking for overall in, in there like, you know, from a business perspective is exposure. Um, they're looking to get their product out there, their name out there to get visibility. Um, and I think that was like early on they're the main goal, but now it's become also about getting original content that is used in a, across their social media channels so that they have something that shows off the authenticity of the brand and a social proof for the brand because it's, it used to be that the brand was more top-down, it was saying that I am telling you like I'm Loreal, I'm telling you that this is what's cool and now the relationship is more bottom up where it's the consumer that is dictating the image of the brand.  So it's important for the brand to be able to work directly with the consumer and with influencers and bloggers to, uh, shape the narrative around the brand. And, uh, that's, that's a big part of, um, you know, a lot of brands marketing now and you're seeing that with the rise of a bunch of brands that are more bottom up and dictated by the crowd. Um, as opposed to you, um, them being in their own. Uh, I don't wanna say like labs and dictating what the products are. So, um, yeah, I think that those are, you know, from the brand's point of view, from a business perspective, ultimately all those things have been doing a good job at drives more revenue. Um, and you know, they are businesses and that's something important for influencers and bloggers to keep in mind is that ultimately they're, you know, trying to get the drive reputation.

C.J.: 15:15 Yeah. And that's something we try and kind of push to like our bloggers. Um, and it's something we've talked about in past podcasts as well that it's really important to know, like I've said before here, and I have both worked in corporate before, which I think gave us that mindset overall just because we kind of understood a little bit more behind how businesses run and um, you know, what needs to be done in, in business. Sometimes businesses business, it's my favorite saying. And so sometimes it's good, it takes a lot of the personal out of it and really just realized that there's money that needs to be made and goals that need to be made and sat and everything. I think influencers really need to see that, just like they're running their own brands and their own businesses and brands are working with them and, and running their own business as well. So that's good points. Influencers can leverage influencer platforms to build relationships with brands.

Sumeet: 16:07 I think just generally a heartbreak influencers to get in front of brands are on their own doing their own part of a bigger group. And so they're, you know, a lot of them have to reach out to brands individually. A lot of bigger influencers. Um, you know, people who are below 300,000 followers and more, you know, they get tons of brands coming to them, almost too many, uh, or they have an agent that deals with all this for them. And so I think, you know, having an influencer platform like brand back or uh, you know, we have, you know, Max and we have, we have a team of people that go out and are constantly looking for brands, for influencers to work with writing. So we're betting those people were going through or making sure that, you know, they understand how influencer marketing works and how the benefits and the pros, the cons so that when an influencer works with the brand or brand backer, they're already warm right there already.  They're already somebody who wants to work with you and is already willing to go the relationship with you and just being on the platform itself, uh, and engaging with brands, you know, already a step ahead of what you'd have to do if you are on your own doing it wrong. Um, I think, uh, once you know you're on a platform, I think, you know, building that relationship is a little bit easier. Um, you know, when you're doing as part of the community, uh, you know, the brands more willing to engage with you on messaging and work with you on content. Um, you know, obviously, you know, repeat working with the same brand is a huge thing. So I think a lot of influencers, um, you know, if they, like the product will do that. Um, and, and for, from what we've seen in our side, a lot of times brands constantly want new influencers, right? They don't want to keep going back to the same person. And so that makes building a relationship extremely difficult.  Like we always encourage our brands like, you know, if you like, you know, 10, 20 people that you've worked with in the, in the campaign, I go back and work with them again, do paid posts with them, uh, you know, build interest in terms of content with them because that really helps build a relationship going forward. I think it's really difficult when you just do a one off with the brand and then never hear from them ever again. And so like a lot of these, uh, a lot of times, you know, influencer platforms lie to work with the brand over and over again, just because the brand is using that platform to manage their, their influencer content. Um, and then I guess lastly, um, you know, generally like from, from building a relationship, just like you guys said, uh, it is, uh, you know, you're working with someone who's a professional.

Max: 18:39 On the other side, right. And so the more professional you are as an influencer, a, the more likely they are to want to work with you going forward. Um, and so, uh, you know, being responsive, you know, creating good calling, contact, being flexible because you know, they're just like you, they have, they have a schedule or they're doing things are busy. Uh, and so, you know, all that goes along way in terms of being easy to work with these here you are working with, the more likely you are to keep working on building that relationship with the brand.

Cara: 19:06 Yeah, I think there's so many good nuggets of good advice to unpack there, but I guess the first thing is like we've really seen the focus on long-term relationships kind of becoming a theme here in 2018 when I'm both brands and influencers are realizing that like we're more effective if it's not just that one off collaboration and if we actually kind of partner together, um, for the long-term and yeah. Then just the fact that like the platform really helps you, you know, get in touch with brands and, and know that when they come to the table, they already have influenced your marketing experience because otherwise if you're just reaching out to brands, you don't know what they've done and you might have to be starting from square one, like educating the brand about influencer marketing before you can even get into like a discussion about collaborations and payment and all of that.

Max: 19:56 That's been a problem for us for awhile, right? Because we were one of the first people in influencer marketing and I think we started probably 2012 with brand backer. Um, and we were, you know, we would approach brands and, and say, you know, you should get in front of these people, um, who are creating this great content. Uh, and they were just like, why? You know, they didn't understand. They didn't understand the reasoning. They didn't understand what the return on investment was. So to give away products or do you want us to pay these people? How do we know that they're going to even create the content itself? And I think that narrative has changed now I think, you know, pretty much every brand at this point understands what influencer marketing is, not everybody is comfortable with as a budget for it. And so that's why when you come to a platform and you see brands are already on there, they're already willing to work with influencers. They already understand that.

C.J.: 20:41 Yeah. And I think just getting on, um, the platforms themselves is like the biggest thing. Like I  sadly wasn't on many last year. It wasn't something that was like in my mindset of doing things and once I started putting myself out there is when I started really seeing sponsored posts come through and really building relationships overall with brands. So I think that's a huge good point that you made. Um, so how can influencers get plugged into the brand backer platform and what are some of the advantages that come from that?

Sumeet: 21:12 Obviously the easiest ways is just visit our website and sign up to you to confirm your channels is something a little bit different that we do. The other platforms may not do an idea behind it is that, you know, we don't want, we want to make sure that you actually are the owner of the blog or the instagram channel that you're signing up with and that you're not just making up that you'll Ryanna or something like that. So we have a little bit of a process that goes through that. But then once you're on the platform, um, you know, there's a number of open campaigns that you could apply to just brands that you can reach out to, to be part of their team. And what would that is that brands have a list of contacts on there, end of influencers that they trust, they work with regularly.

Sumeet: 21:55 And those influencers are people, um, who they count on for, you know, maybe they have a last-minute campaign they need to do and that they don't want to blast out to the whole network. They'll reach out to you and say, Hey, I need, I love for you to post on instagram or on Youtube. You can work on rates with them and things like that. And so those are kind of brand teams and get involved with, along with campaigns in terms of advantages. I think, uh, like I said before, you know, we're, we're curating all the brands as they come through and so we're not just letting everybody in. Um, and that means that, you know, you're not seeing a lot of junk and not seeing a lot of people who are coming in who are going to abuse the process. You don't say they're gonna do one thing and do something else or say, you know, they're going to pay you and not pay you things along those lines.  And so there's a lot more trust involved. Um, and then, uh, another thing obviously is like we've been around longer than than, than most. And so we've kind of worked out a lot of the kinks. I mean, as you guys know, and as anybody listening that, that works in this space knows there's a ton of back and forth that goes on during this whole process. Right. You know, whether that's like negotiating a rate or you know, getting a sample or creating content and having that reviewed or you know, just even tracking and doing analytics and things along those lines that goes on behind the scenes. And I would say that, you know, uh, you know, our platform has kind of worked on making that as efficient as possible just so that people aren't wasting time. There's no, you know, there's, you know, there's tons of things everybody is doing on a daily basis and that this shouldn't be as simple as possible and make it a seamless as possible to, to, to work with a brand or work with an influencer and get high quality content out as quick as possible.

Cara: 23:34 Yeah. Just as an influencer, kind of speaking to the platform, um, the team feature, being able to be on a brand team is really unique because a lot of platforms are kind of solely campaign based and you're only getting in front of the brand are in contact with the brand if they have a specific campaign out that you can apply to. So I thought that was a really, really unique approach and then as far as like content submission, um, the platform is definitely one of my favorites because you guys do make it so easy. I don't have to like email someone a wink or like fill out a google form, like there's a tracking code I can put in my blog posts. It's just very, very straight forward. So just from personal experience, I really have loved using the platform.

Sumeet: 24:18 Yeah. I think from a brand team perspective and then we're going to be doing a lot more of that going forward just in terms of having more visibility from the, from the influencer side. I think right now, um, if he joined our platform you can, you can join a team or request to join a team and that's kind of where it ends. Brands will then reach out to you when they have things going on, but you know, going forward more, more for you to do within, within the teams and things along those lines.

Cara: 24:46 Yeah. I just see like the industry kind of naturally moving that way to where there's those relationships and that were constant contact. So it's exciting to hear that you guys are kind of doing that already. Um, can you share a little bit about maybe one of your most successful campaigns? Uh, why it was so amazing or some lessons that both influencers and brands can take away from it?

Max: 25:10 Like we've worked with, uh, like now thousands of campaigns and uh, um, produced maybe close to millions of pieces of content. Um, so there's a lot to like be like, oh wow. I like one that stands out to me. Uh, that was just a very cool experience and something that was really huge and scope was that we did the launch of one direction's makeup line and uh, so this was like, you know, obviously a few years back. Um, but it's still sticks with me because it was like we were involved from like before the product existed and were involved in that. So like even involved in the discussions of like what some of the product might be and the product development process. And then having the product shipped to our influencers before it was available to the general public to build buzz. So it was, it was cool for us to be able to give our influencers the experience of having a product before, you know, it, it was out in mass and uh, just like a cool tree that we don't normally get to do. Um, there, there was also some cool things involved with working with the brands, with the band's management, uh, and working with the band and I'm doing posts that were, you know, for the lion and US getting to you be involved  in that process. That's not always something that happens in campaigns. And then we typically don't get to work, you know. It was definitely a, it was definitely an interesting campaign I think was one of our first kind of bigger campaigns that helped us grow as a company. Early on. I think we had, we had the, some of the, I think one of the band members paint his nails posted on instagram and like it got picked up by like 17 magazine and like teen vogue and all sorts of publications because, you know, this is outrageous that kind of a boy band is coming up with a women's makeup line. Um, and so it was definitely a fun, fun campaign to work on. Definitely.

C.J.: 27:26 That sounds super fun in that sense. So unique just like super different than anything we've really heard. And then to have like the band backing you in being super creative, like most bands are with coal state, you know, a nail picture of that as like, it's hilarious and something I think a lot of people can connect with in a really different way than just kind of like a social influence. Um, can you give maybe like two to three tips for influencers when it comes to being a standout influencer? Like an excellent influencer when it comes to working with brands? I know that's something we really try and push with our community, with ourselves. Um, and something that we talk about all the time in the podcast is just how to set yourself apart because there's obviously millions of us social influencers out there now. So, um, what are like two to three tips that you guys have for them?

Max: 28:16 Yeah, I mean, I, I think, um, I think the number one thing is creating high quality good content. Um, I think a lot of people focus on how many followers they have and so they're going through and saying like, oh, I haven't hit my, I haven't hit my 10,000 follower goal or whatever that is. And um, I think what's more important a lot of times for brands, especially the type of content that you're creating and the type of image that you're creating. And so, um, you know, I, I know for a fact that when brands come through our platform, they, they look for infants or work with, you know, follower count is one thing. But if you're creating really good imagery, if you're doing a really good job with your blog posts or youtube videos, I'm explaining, explaining, you know, uh, you know, their, their products and things along those lines, you know, brands are more likely to pick you.

Max: 29:06 And then the second thing I would say, uh, it's probably again, like it's making sure you realize being professional, right? So it's making sure that you realize what you're working with, like a marketing or a PR professional on the other end, right? You're not, you're not talking to a customer service, you know, a lot of times we get, we'll get messages where people are like, you know, all caps emailing us about the sample or something. Like things like that. Like, you know, if a brand's sees something like that, they may like your mark and saying like, Hey, I don't want to work with that person ever again. So, you know, in a lot of it comes down to that, a lot of it comes down to the more reliable you are in terms of, you know, updating the brand, uh, on, you know, your content timeline on when to expect certain things.

Sumeet: 29:50 Um, if you received a sample, things along those lines, being reliable, being consistent, uh, goes a long way in helping you from an influencer side, be seen by brand as somebody they want to work with. But it also just helps generally when you're posting, right? So, you know, especially for you to, uh, you know, posting on a regular schedule issues, right? So it's just like a TV channel, like if you're posting every Tuesday and Thursday your followers will naturally come back. And so consistency is a big, is a big piece there. And I guess like the last thing I would be, I would say is that I focus more on, on the engagement, on your posts. Um, again, like, you know, follower accounts are great, but if your posts are engaging, you're going to pick up followers naturally. And so, you know, do more I guess, uh, in, in the post themselves.

Max: 30:40 I tried to engage your community, right? Like ask some questions, uh, you know, run giveaways and contests, you know, reply to all their comments and I think that's, it could be basic things that you, you should be doing regularly. But you know, brands are constantly looking at engagement numbers right there. If you have 100,000 followers and 50 people are liking each of your posts are, um, so, so, uh, is that, so make sure that, you know, the more engaging the postcard and more people who like comment, you generate conversation around your posts and your followers are going to get naturally and the way I to ask like, you know, is there a way to game the system? Can we get more engagement? Can I get more followers? And you know, we don't control that, you know, instagram, youtube as those channels control how people are seen. But the best do you think you can do is creating high quality content that's engaging?

C.J.: 31:28 Yeah, I think that's really good advice. Like spending your time on focusing on good content rather than like trying to find the loophole or the hack is probably the most valuable.

Max: 31:39 Yeah. And if you have, if you have the resources like in I, I mean not everybody does, but you know, invest to try to invest in some equipment that helps make your product better. Right? So that, that might just be like, it's like having a friend who's a photographer come out and take your photos or do a video for you. But that could mean like, you know, getting the proper lighting for your video or um, you know, potentially taking a class online or whatever, just to learn more about how to take a photo better or video veteran things along those lines. You know, refining your craft is going to make your product much better at the end in ter, in terms of your content.

C.J.: 32:13 Exactly. That makes you like enjoy it more. I think being someone who likes to be creative in putting the effort into every single photo you post sometimes sounds silly because yeah, you don't want to overthink it. I think a lot of people can spend way too much time trying to create the perfect. Um, and overall I think if you are in that creative mindset and really just, you know, putting your heart into it, the best images are going to come out of that. And then um, I think what you hit it on the head with engagement is the biggest thing that we try and push. I'm really trying to like engage with the people that are commenting on your pictures and maybe going to comment on their pictures and then even going a step further and seeing who's commenting on their pictures and really reaching out to that.

C.J.: 32:55 And I think another way we say engagement as huge as with the creation of IG stories. I'm really taking the time. A lot of people don't like their face or their voice on videos or anything like that. Really hard to get over. But I think doing that step is like the easiest thing because giving away after 24 hours, you know? Yeah. If someone's judging you, they can unfollow you. But the likelihood of that happening more than someone connecting with you is, is not likely. So I think just like really making that connection because people think they know you through your social channels, which is scary but also great. But um, I've enjoyed talking with them one on one in a sense through stories and showing them a little bit more about your life behind the perfect image or the perfect feet is the way I've definitely seen like a huge connection for me with engagement, which I love it story because I was never a huge snapchat girl, so it was big for me.

Sumeet: 33:55 The more, the more authentic, the more authentic you are. Right? I mean, you don't want it. You want to be just like everybody else, right? You don't want all your, all your photos just look like everybody else's photos. Videos don't think everybody else's, you know, it's, it's, you know, you have to bring your personality into it and be authentic because people won't, they won't trust you as an influencer or just trust you as a general person if you were putting out all this stuff that doesn't seem legitimate.

Cara: 34:19 Yeah, so like a tie in to that importance of like authenticity. A lot of times we talk about how you should only be partnering with brands that are a good fit. Um, do you guys have any advice for identifying brands that are a good fit for you? Maybe for an initial collaboration and then even for that, like long-term relationship?

Max: 34:41 Yeah, I mean, I, I think um, if we're talking about in the context in brand backer, um, first of all, uh, there are all kinds of different opportunities that you'll be exposed to you and essentially, and I, I'm not sure like how familiar people are with our platform or how it works, um, but essentially there are different campaigns or are we call them campaigns or opportunities depending on if it's going out to you the network or if it's a private opportunity that's only going out to a segment of people. But uh, regardless, I mean, I think like as an influencer, you know, uh, what you like about and you should be writing about the things. Going back to that whole point on authenticity, I like things that you enjoy, that you're passionate about. And when I talked with brands and they'll often ask me, why do you, uh, why do influencers do what they do it bloggers do what they do.

Max: 35:36 Um, and uh, I mean, I think a big part of that is that it starts out as an outlet for your passions and your creativity and a space for you to be able to, uh, you know, talk about what you enjoy and then from there, you know, maybe it becomes more serious, uh, and becomes to the level where you're monetizing it or you get perks from doing that. Um, but I think that that whole idea of I'm doing what you're passionate about and then finding brands who are representative of your values and of, uh, the things that you like, uh, is, is huge. So we basically are presenting different brand types, uh, things that you are interested and genuinely want to talk about. Uh, you can apply for. And then from there, the brands will, uh, you know, pick and choose the people that they think are the best match for, for the their brand. So there is like a matchmaking process happening between the two sides and um, and it's, it's also like the brand being able to say like, I think that this person, um, you know, is a good representation of um, of what our brand stands for and they're going to produce that authentic voice that we're looking for that's going to support all those efforts that, uh, you know, feed into that brand story. So I think that those are kind of how both sides are working towards finding that place where it's authentic.

Max: 37:06 Yeah. I think, I think when you look at it from, from just like view beauty campaign itself, I think we see some kind of money. We, we've, we've run campaigns across the board. Most, most of our campaigns kind of are in the lifestyle side. CPG, we'd have run like things, uh, you know, from pets, right? And people will, people will apply with the campaign. They don't even have pet or there say, I mean, there's like just basic things like that where it's like you shouldn't be applying to campaigns where you know that, that don't make sense for your, your channels, right? So if you don't ever talk about food and your channels mainly about beauty, probably shouldn't be applied to the food campaigns, things on those lines as well as having a general idea for what you want to do with the product. Once you get it. I think a lot of times, um, you know, people get excited and they're like, oh, this a new campaign was just supply, was really thinking through and saying that this was actually a product that, that fits what I'm doing.

C.J.: 38:02 Awesome. So, um, now that we've chatted about a ton of this, where can people find you online so they can get in on this? Goodness,

Sumeet: 38:11 OK, well I'm a, I'm, I'm not really a much of a public person, but most of my life,  most of my online presence is, are private, so like friends and family. So you, you can see back to that, very responsive on email.

Max: 38:31 But, uh, and, and obviously you guys should check out brand backer, far as the, uh, the main thing that you should be checking out, uh, because we ourselves are not as interesting as a platform. Um, and all this stuff going on. Yeah. Yeah. My, my instagram's worlds of Max. Uh, so like, yeah, we're old of Max and uh, if, if you wanted to check it out, there's all kinds of stuff. We've been very, uh, head down, building out the features and functionality and the robustness of the platform and have done a pretty bad job of actually doing our own content tuition just because we've been, like say it's like we're a very, a bootstrap team where we're, uh, just, just very much product focus and, and getting a lot of brands. So, um, but we, we are, we'll have a lot more content coming in the near future.

Sumeet: 39:32 We're going to be doing a lot more on our blogs, into soaps and youtube channel. I think if you visited our instagram or youtube, you wouldn't think that we were even a company. Still the art, we are still active and uh, we'll be posting more or, uh, this year. Perfect. Well thank you so much. Thanks for having us.

Max: 39:51 Awesome. Thanks so much for spending the time. Yeah. Thank you guys for having us. It's been great.

Cara: 39:57 Of course, don't forget to check out the show notes for all the amazing resources like this. You here in this orange. One more thing about joining my society has less than a month, doesn't go and you can get access to all sorts of exclusive resources like posts, guides, workbooks, rate calculators in more. That will help you grow your following, build your blog and monetize your influence. If this sounds like a good deal, you can hop over to my hood society.com/join. See you soon.

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brand backer | collaborate with brands as a blogger | my haute society | blogger resources | blogger community

brand backer | collaborate with brands as a blogger | my haute society | blogger resources | blogger community
brand backer | collaborate with brands as a blogger | my haute society | blogger resources | blogger community
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We’re Cara & C.J the founders of the My Haute Society Community. We started this community as a place for bloggers and influencers to connect in an authentic way, but also to be supported with the resources they need to excel as a content creator. My Haute Society is a community for bloggers and influencers. We have amazing resources to help you grow your blog and succeed as an influencer. Teaching you tips, tricks and industry best practices. We also host events to help connect brands and influencers in meaningful ways that can lead to amazing collaborations.

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