Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

What Is Social-First Brand Performance Marketing?


Daniel JamesDaniel James is the Founder and CEO of mint performance marketing, a full-service agency that helps disruptive DTC and e-commerce brands accelerate growth through performance marketing. In 2021, mint was acquired by Social Chain Agency, a social media and e-commerce group. He is also an Angel Investor for Good Sport, Obvi, CALIWATER Cactus Water, and Spudsy. Since 2004, Daniel has led digital marketing strategies at companies including MySpace, AOL, Adidas, and Disney.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [04:29] Daniel James talks about his early days with MySpace and running data strategy
  • [08:03] Working with e-commerce brands to transform their business
  • [11:56] Why the foundation of a brand is crucial for success
  • [17:14] Daniel discusses working with content creators and influencers for brand campaigns
  • [22:13] The ways you should customize advertising elements for various platforms
  • [27:09] How can you examine the amount of revenue you’re making?
  • [31:01] Daniel shares why platforms should evolve with the market
  • [36:39] What influencers can do to work with brands

In this episode…

Many brands fall victim to the perception of success from paid ads while housing a sub-par website or online ecosystem. There’s no silver bullet to success — so how can you scale?

The best way to scale your brand using influencer marketing is in the execution. Daniel James understands the benefits and creative structure of influencers that create a drive for products — but the berry is only as good as the juice, and if your brand foundation has cracks, you can never expect to grow. By using the content community, you can increase awareness, expand connection opportunities, and add value to your brand.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Daniel James, Founder and CEO of mint performance marketing, to discuss elevating your brand and retaining customers through influencer marketing. Daniel talks about building strong foundations, content creators for brand campaigns, and why you should be evolving with the marketplace. Stay tuned!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi, folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Joe Valley  0:32

Hey, folks, Joe valley here, welcome to another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, we sold close to a billion dollars in transactions now over the last 17 years, that quiet light. And one of the things I’ve seen consistently with entrepreneurs, like myself, like Daniel James, who I just had on the podcast, like all of you that are listening, that are entrepreneurs, is that we have an attitude of I can do that attitude. And it propels us to the success that we have. The problem is, there’s not a filter on it, sometimes we think we can literally do anything. And until you get to a point in business, where you’ve reached your own sort of physical mental capacity, you don’t outsource. And partially, because when people outsource, sometimes they have very bad experiences. And oftentimes, those are with agencies. And it causes me to hesitate to have agencies on the podcast sometimes, but this time, I had no hesitation. Daniel James runs a company called mint marketing, mint performance marketing. He’s got an incredible history and resume going all the way back to Oh, my brain is going blank. Now. It’s, you know, not vine, not whatever it was one of the early MySpace, there we go, folks, there we go. And you’re hearing the fact that I don’t edit MySpace back in 2002, or three when he was there. And he founded mint marketing a few years ago. And just the whole wholesome approach to helping elevate brands and reach and retain customers is critical. And you can’t do it on your own. And sometimes you can’t bring in one person to do it unless they’re going to outsource to a bunch of different experts or agencies. So he’s not pitching the agency here. He’s talking about influencer marketing. He’s talking about TikTok. He’s talking about SMS, he’s talking about everything that they do that can help you directly if you’re doing it yourself. Or ultimately, if you do end up working with an agency like mint marketing, mint performance marketing, it might make sense. My point here is that just because you may have had a bad experience with an agency, or your friend, it doesn’t mean that they’re all bad. That is my point. So let’s jump in. Let’s learn about what Daniel does. Let’s learn about his background, and how he helps people that elevate their brands to much higher levels than they can on their own. Here we go. Daniel, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. How are you?

Daniel James  3:16

I’m doing great, Joe. Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

Joe Valley  3:20

Good to have you here. Man. I looked at your LinkedIn profile, you came highly recommended. I’m impressed with everything that you’ve done. So let’s dig into it. I’m not going to read your LinkedIn profile. Can you give the audience some background on who you are what you do where you’ve been? That kind of stuff?

Daniel James  3:33

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I’m founder CEO of mint performance marketing. We’re a full service performance agency, based in LA with teams in New York, Manchester, England and the Philippines. We’re a team of just over 50 We work with Shopify Ecommerce brands on all things customer acquisition, customer retention. I started mint about four years ago, been in the industry for a long time. I’m an old dog in this space, I joined MySpace in 2004. So really, the very beginning of social media,

Joe Valley  4:08

you might need to explain what MySpace is to some of the audience.

Daniel James  4:11

You know, you can you can tell people’s age, these days of whether they’ve heard of MySpace or not. It makes you feel old MySpace was, you know, really was the first social media network. It was a place to connect with friends, but it was very, you had to design your page, there was an element of UX UI involved in MySpace, you had your top 10 Friends, you could upload music and it is now what it probably always should have been, which is a crater social networking site, but back then, it was a bit of kind of like it was for creators and as artists. It was also the first place I really knew of or I think there was where it was like just day to day interaction with your friends. So you

Joe Valley  4:58

know, and social media online instead. Have at local blind.

Daniel James  5:00

Exactly. Which, you know, for most people who were, you know, first on Facebook back in the day it was things like here’s why you for lunch. Here’s why I’m going on the weekend. It was very basic kind of updates. It’s evolved quite a lot since then. But see as a MySpace for a couple of years. I then joined AOL. And I was doing strategy at AOL across their performance network and owned and operated properties. And I joined a company called turn. We were a digital social data, DSP, DMP marketing media agency.

Joe Valley  5:37

acronyms, they kill me, DSP advertising, DSP. DMP is what? DSP is

Daniel James  5:43

the demand side platform and DMP is a data management platform. So a DSP is it’s a programmatic machine learning learning algorithm. So it was when you executing digital marketing, it was, it was programmatically delivered. And then a DMP is a data management platform, which is really just the customized data and analytics tool built in like SQL that you could query customer data and do really, I couldn’t do it, I was the guy who says, hey, I want to know this. And then much smarter people than me would write an SQL query and Provide me the data. It was it was really powerful.

Joe Valley  6:26

Is that done by Google Analytics now? Or is it on cross social media and all your marketing platforms?

Daniel James  6:33

I mean, for a company like minutes, we leverage Google Analytics and platforms like triple whale. A true DMP is it’s it’s customized, it’s built. So an internal team built a DMP for us for that company. To pull data from the DSP and other areas of marketing, we were running as a lots of lots of bigger companies will have customized data management platforms. So yeah, it was it was more of a customized play.

Joe Valley  7:06

And you left, what what did you do at turn? Again, this is this was what?

Daniel James  7:11

Yes, I was leading strategy. Again. So what does that mean? It was working with our key clients on execution of digital and social, and their data, their data strategy, as well. So it was turned actually moved me over to the US. Nine years ago now. Great experience, I always wanted to move to the US ever since I first came here with MySpace. In fact, when I first came here with MySpace, my, my goal was to one day live in LA and run my own company. So congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, I, I actually, it took me a while based on the visa process and everything else, but 10 made it happen, which I’ll be eternally grateful to them for. And I got my green card through turn as well. And then that’s when I decided I kind of wanted to change from being, you know, a big company working with really big brands, I started mint. And the real vision for the mint was I want to work with purely e-commerce brands, where what I do has a transformational impact on their business. Right when I was, you know, leading strategy for a brand like Toyota. It’s like, here’s your budget, it’s hundreds of millions spend it. And if we get a percentage point efficiency increase, we’ll be happy. It’s like, it was great. Don’t get me wrong, great people. exciting work. I learned a ton. But apply everything I’ve learned at MySpace to AOL turn onto founder, founder led in the beginning stages, founder led e-commerce brands, you know, the impact is huge people’s lives.

Joe Valley  8:49

I mean, ultimately, if you help them be successful, and you get to know them really well, what it really gets down to it, you’re helping them grow their business so that they can put their kids through college and retire someday it has that much of a personal impact. In my experience when you work with founders to favorite thing, we do some quiet light as well. It’s it’s having a positive impact on people’s both buyers and sellers lives at the end of the day, we happen to make a living doing it. But our goal is to help people more than anything else. It sounds like you’ve got the same same approach.

Daniel James  9:18

1,000% Yeah, that was the motivation. What are

Joe Valley  9:21

the typical types of brands that you work with at mint?

Daniel James  9:25

So we work with mainly Shopify brands, not exclusively Shopify brands, it’s a great platform, that integrations and the mint tech stack is kind of set up to work really well with Shopify brands. And we’re working with brands, you know, on the low end, doing 50k A month in online revenue. On the high end, you know, we’ve got brands we’re doing north of 50 million a year,

Joe Valley  9:48

but that’s quite a spread. And are they consumables? are they hard goods? Are they liquid? I mean, is there any particular niche that you X Sell in? Or do you have so many clients across all niches at this point?

Daniel James  10:04

You know, there’s some core verticals, we’re not a verticalized. Agency as in we only do this one specific type of product. Our I would say our strength is fashion and apparel. We work with a lot of fashion apparel brands. May maybe because I like fashion.

Joe Valley  10:23

And you’re so hip and you’re a fashionista. You get that? Tell everybody I asked about the hat. It looks like a Detroit Tigers hat.

Daniel James  10:31

Fear a theory of gods. Yeah, one of my favorite brands. Yeah, I’m always conscious of saying I like fashion because I don’t want people to mistake that as me thinking I’m fashionable. I just like fashion. Don’t come Don’t confuse the two. But ya know, very good. It’s a great lineup. So yeah, we have a lot of fashion apparel brands that we work with beauty, we work with CPG health and wellness, you know, work of outdoor furniture brands, I think for us, it’s like the, the vertical. The vertical isn’t important. isn’t as important excuse me as the is the the makeup of the brand that a OVS like gin up just like the composition of the brands. You know, I think we’ve been really successful for example, with really higher average order value brands. You know, we’ve worked with some outdoor furniture brands, whether ARV is like two and a half grands. You tell people, can you be successful with a two and a half grand product on TikTok? And most will say no. And we we’ve been able to be we work with a fitness machine. It’s a vertical climber. If you’ve seen them horrendous things, they’re absolutely brutal.

Joe Valley  11:40

I’ve never I’ve never been on I’ve seen them before, though I avoid them like the plague.

Daniel James  11:44

Yeah, I tried to resolve that they sent me once I’ve got one in my garage, and I’ve never used it because it’s just it’s too much. We’ll look for that at eBay or something like that. Awesome. Yeah, exactly. But again, higher average order value. So, you know, it’s pretty broad spread? I think for us, it’s it’s when we’re, you know, thinking about whether we’re the right fit for a client. It’s more around, you know, do they have a good product? Do they have a good kind of like foundation for the brands? And based on how their performance has been previously? Do we have the right capabilities to get them to where they want to be? The physical isn’t as important

Joe Valley  12:20

baseline everything that you’ve done? It seems like you would easily be classified as an expert in social media. In many things, probably. But given AOL and whatnot, social media. Go?

Daniel James  12:33

Yeah, I’d say have you been humble? Say? I’d say humbly, I’m an expert, probably in social media and growth marketing for e-commerce.

Joe Valley  12:43

Okay. So if a client came to you, and they only had they had a fixed budget, and they could only do one thing, you know, is there is there one particular advertising medium that you would focus on more than any other? Or what is the approach, you know, as people in the audience are, they’re handling their own advertising, they’re doing their own PPC, they’re doing their own TikTok videos, or whatever it might be and posting on Twitter doing whatever they can to get some traction, and build their own brand and reputation? Is there a particular approach that you take with most clients? Or if you had a beard or somebody, you’d give them some advice off the cuff that listen, you got to start here? You got to do this? You

Daniel James  13:26

got to think about that. Yeah, from a from a starting point. I think to answer it from this angle, the mistake a lot of people make is that paid ads is a silver bullet to success. I you know, for us, one of the first things we look at in that kind of lower revenue threshold brands is what’s what’s their retention, marketing strategy, what’s the foundation of the brand and by foundation, I really mean your product, your product, offering your website, your email, your SMS, the things that happen on the site on the ecosystem, because the last thing you want to do is invest money into paid advertising, not influencers, send a bunch of traffic to a subpar website, no data collection, no follow up on the customers, you do acquire. We call it kind of a leaky bucket. It’s like before you turn those pay taps on, you really want to make sure you have a solid foundation. Our whole approach as well and is the scalability of a brand is around your acquisition costs and your LTV. There’s other metrics that we that we look at that are really important. You know, a lot of talk in industry is around contribution margin, like the actual profit and I totally get that but really from a front facing marketing language to talk, CAC and LTV.

Joe Valley  14:46

So are you going to do turn clients will say listen, we’d love to help you. But you’re not ready yet. You need to, you know, do these things first so that you’re spending money wisely and being able to you know, follow up with a customer and capture what we need? Yeah,

Daniel James  15:00

I mean, yeah, so we have in house, email, SMS, and website optimization capabilities. So if that’s the starting point, we’ll definitely advise starting there

Joe Valley  15:12

to get up before he starts getting exactly,

Daniel James  15:15

yeah, exactly before you paid that before you turn that traffic driving activity on. And then even then, you know, I think paid ads. It’s a good accelerator, but what you need to pay closer attention to initially, let’s say you have the kind of website, you’re positioning your offering. And your email and SMS in place is the creative, you need to be able to have the capability to test and iterate off of creative, a really good way of doing that is partnering with the creators and influencers. And you can test that organically, especially on a platform like TikTok, where the organic reach is still really large. So you can get organic testing just by putting content out into the ecosystem on TikTok, the algorithm will tell you which creative is the best because there’s actual organic reach.

Joe Valley  16:09

So it doesn’t matter on TikTok how many followers you have in order to get some reach? Is that a correct statement? Explain that if you would, because I think there’s a, you know, a misnomer in the in the industry that you think you have to have a ton of followers in order to get some reach tiktoks? A little different, right?

Daniel James  16:26

Yes, it is. Because the it’s a slightly different algorithm where it’s based on just it’s a, it’s a content algorithm, so that the algorithms of Instagram and Tiktok works slightly differently. So yes, that’s why per tick tock is a great platform to test your creative. But the broader point of that being, again, before you jump into the paid, which is often the first thing people think about is, you know, again, the foundation but then having and being able to test creative and a good way of doing that is partnering with influencers and creators, how

Joe Valley  17:01

do I do that? Are there agencies that you can work with that are legitimate? Or do you just go out and find them yourself? What’s your what’s your approximate?

Daniel James  17:11

So again, we do influencer marketing, it’s been a day one service that man has provided. And we so we come at it from two different angles, influencer marketing, and creators, right, and the to get interconnected in this industry quite often because I don’t know the difference. So so for us. And I think broadly speaking, an influencer is someone who is influencing a community of people, their followers, right? So I’m aligning with a certain influencer, because they are on brands, whatever that means, and looks like and their community, the more important piece is their community is engaged, and also our target consumer. So you’re leveraging them to connect with their communities, whereas a creator for us is, is they don’t necessarily we’re not using them or working with them to tap into a community, they they’re able to create really good ads. So our influencer product at Mint is aligning you with influencers who have communities who want to tap into our Creator product is purely to create ads. So we have vetted creators who we just know, create really good tiktoks Really good video ads, and we work with them, provide them the product or creative scripts to produce ads that we know based on research and testing and analysis are going to, you know, hopefully perform well when they’re run as paid advertising across Instagram and ad tech, how do

Joe Valley  18:48

the different those two different approaches get paid? It my guess, would be the creator gets paid per project and an influencer might get paid a commission on sales that are generated? Is that accurate? Yeah, it’s

Daniel James  19:01

typically Yeah, so it creates a you, you’re typically paying just for the production of that one assets. For us, we have creators who are in our ecosystem, they’re on retainers, because we do quite a lot of these UGC ads, because it’s the content that performs typically really well across the social platforms, influences. I mean, there’s there’s many ways to, to approach influencer fees, right? They typically command a larger fee. Because they know they know they have an audience and a community you’re trying to tap into. Right? So that the price is higher. It can be a one off campaign, it can be a month long contract. We’ve even done things for really big influences where it’s, you know, this maybe minority equity plays plus, like a performance payout. Typically, as well. We’re giving them a code so they can do gratefully give that audience they could benefit for like a code and they will get a referral. Referral payout based on the revenue, their code and unique tracking links provided.

Joe Valley  20:10

I would think something like that would be pretty critical from your point of view, because you can track the results that way. Yeah,

Daniel James  20:17

yeah, exactly. It’s really beneficial. The other thing as well, even with influencers is you can take that content and run it in your advertising. And is it there’s things called whitelisting, and spa TCATS. So that is where, you know, let’s say you’re partnering with me to run an ad for your brand, and I’m an influencer. I have a community of people. So typically, when you see an ad from a brand, it’s coming from the brand, right? But what you can do through whitelisting, and spark ads is that ads can look like it’s coming from me. So that’s really, that’s really powerful, because you can directly target then my followers. But then if I am an influencer, and I’m, you know, I have some level of social proof and notoriety within the vertical that we’re looking to target, or you’re looking to target. And ads coming from me versus a brand, that people might be more inclined to engage with that, because I don’t know this brand, but I know him. So it kind of like it’s it’s, it’s a good way of, of increasing the potential initial engagement.

Joe Valley  21:24

And that’s just the agreement that you have to have in writing, obviously, with the influential that you’re going to work with. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Do the same creative ads work on tick tock versus Instagram versus snap or anything like that? Or do you need to do different creatives for each? You know, I’m

Daniel James  21:43

a big I’m a big believer in contextualized crisis for the platform. However, there is a we are seeing that vertical videos that perform on Tik Tok are performing well on Instagram, right with things like reels. So there’s a real benefit there for brands, because you can, you can have the same base asset, but customize things like overlays and music and everything else. TikTok is very trends driven. Right. So you know, applying trending music or trending sounds or questions or different elements on TikTok. But you can take that same asset and have different overlays and different elements and run it on Instagram. So I think you have to pay attention to the, to the nativeness of how creative feels on each platform. If it feels really out of sync of the rest of your feed, it’s typically not going to perform super well. But you can take the same base assets and customize elements are there for the different platforms, and we’re seeing that work really well.

Joe Valley  22:49

What social media platform is not working, where people are spending money on it’s just getting harder and harder to make it work or it’s not. It’s not ready yet. Like I never hear anyone in your position, talking about advertising on Snapchat. Is that is that because it doesn’t work as well? Or what’s the story there? Yeah, you know, I think I think every platform

Daniel James  23:16

has its place, potentially. I would say I mean, we don’t, we don’t run a lot of Snapchat ads. We’ve tested Snapchat in the past. And for our brands, our verticals where our consumer is, we’ve not found it to be super successful. However, I do know that Snapchat performs incredibly well for the other brands and other types of advertising, I know works really well for lead generation, right? So if you’re looking to just drive leads, and acquire kind of customer data, send emails and SMS to or drive up your SMS lists, Snapchat works really well for that.

Joe Valley  23:53

What are the demographics look look like on SNAP versus TikTok?

Daniel James  23:59

I think quite similar, although, you know, tick tock is evolving to have more, you know, the the general misconception about TikTok is it’s just kids. But if you actually look at the data of who is on the platform consuming content, I think the largest age range is like 25 to 35. And there are, you know, that are kind of Gen X users and increasingly so on the platform, I think there is like there’s a, there’s a difference between who’s creating the bulk of the content versus who’s consuming, the bulk of the content does appear to be skewing younger, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the people consuming all the content is of the same demographic disarming.

Joe Valley  24:43

Yeah, yeah. So for the audience, just let’s help clarify what they’re probably thinking if they’re on TikTok, and they’re looking at dance videos. They think that’s all that’s what TikTok will keep feeding them and that’s what they think. TikTok is if I I understand it correctly, the algorithms are going to feed you what you watch. Is that accurate? So if somebody is really, really focused on makeup trends, and you’ve got to make a client, that’s really you’re gonna hit your audience that way.

Daniel James  25:12

Right, exactly. So like, that’s where if you’re looking at TikTok from a brand advertising or brand marketing or influencer perspective, you know, that’s where finding the right content and creators, do you see what I mean? Makes? It’s so important to do that. So you’re tapping into that niche.

Joe Valley  25:33

And it’s been so long since I spent money on it. I mean, we spend money on advertising quietly, but I don’t do it. Chris, does it. What are you measuring? on tick tock in terms of you know, how to determine whether the campaign is a success or not? You were able to track actual converted orders? What do you look at in a situation like that? When you’re when you’re paid media, or actually, with the influencers as well?

Daniel James  26:01

Yeah, so for us, and this isn’t just specific to tick tock but any advertising? As we, as most of us know, but if you don’t, so what was it maybe two years ago now, the privacy changes that Apple rolled out, limited the data attribution into these ad platforms, so that those numbers are indicative at best, right. So that’s where we leverage tools like triple well, which is a, it’s a third party, attribution measurement analytics platform, that doesn’t suffer the same attribution loss as what is happening in platform. Because the data comes from, you know, pixel base outside the platform. We also look at things like

Joe Valley  26:45

understand triple Well, are you how do you set it up? Like, is a is an e-commerce brand owner, signing up for triple well, and running their ads through there? So it’s all being tracked in that way? Or how does it work? If you don’t mind just stepping off?

Daniel James  27:00

Yeah, no, of course. So triple well, from from a setup perspective, it’s relatively straightforward. It’s a Shopify app that you install into your, into your Shopify store. And then you you put tags in place on the creatives within the platforms that you’re running paid me to, and it’s those tags that populate. And you have to integrate those platforms into triple well, so you can integrate your, your Facebook, Instagram, your TikTok, Google email, SMS, they’ve got a really robust suite of integrations, that pull all that data of like spend, but then also site side performance into a dashboard. So that you can have a better more holistic understanding without the data loss piece of actual channel performance. And that’s really, you know, so for us, it’s a it’s a combination of, in platform indicative numbers, the triple well attribution, but then we also, you know, we’re looking at, it’s called M er, which is marketing efficiency ratio, which is a very simple visor. It’s kind of simple. And to be honest with you is how much revenue are you making? And against how much spend, right? So that ratio, overall, when you understand things like profit and margin, and and CAC and LTV that helps us understand which channels are performing? And is this actually driving profitability and business success based on how much we’re spending against total revenue and total profit?

Joe Valley  28:36

So many details, guys, so much harder than it used to be, again knows, the triple Well, is it literally only Shopify? Or does it work? Or is there a similar product for other platforms? That, you know?

Daniel James  28:50

That’s a great question. I don’t have triple A shot. I should know this. Are all

Joe Valley  28:53

of your clients, Shopify clients does. That really? is nearly

Daniel James  28:57

all right. Yeah. And, you know, triple what triple well is, you know, there are other platforms that do this triple edge just happens to be the one that we use, and, you know, maybe biased, so think they’re the best. They’re not paying me to say that, although they should. But there are other platforms. You know, that that help you with that. I think that the takeaway, though, is, you do need to have that, that ability to analyze data outside of platforms because the data is simply wrong. Right? There have been instances where we’ve run Tiktok ads, an impact form performances look shocking. But then three, good or shockingly bad, shockingly bad, shockingly bad. But then in triple well, and in terms of post purchase surveys, you know, we’re directly asking people potentially, how did you hear about us, etc, etc. TikTok is coming up as a core platform that’s helping drive increases in customer acquisition and revenue. me.

Joe Valley  30:01

Excellent. future prediction. What’s the next TikTok? Like, for a long time it was Facebook than Instagram and people started to warm up to tick tock a little bit now it’s actually working and you’re proving that as many others are. Is there another one that is sort of you should jump on it before the rates go up, and it grows like crazy. Are we not there yet with any other platform?

Daniel James  30:25

I still think TikTok is the one that if you haven’t tested you should be you know, at the very least from an organic content perspective. You know, it’s hard to I think a lot about the future, right, in my role, like, what’s next? How do we stay ahead of the curve, and being an industry from MySpace to now? There was there was, there was gaps in the market, right? And you look at tick tock, it’s like, you know, it’s vine, but, you know, enhanced? It’s, I think we’re gonna see an evolution of existing platforms. It’s hard to envisage a world whereby another app that showcases videos are 15. Like, Where’s where’s the uniqueness in that? Right? Instagram dominates, image, social sharing and kind of communities tick tock dominates the kind of like that quick, creative video, first format, you’ve got YouTube shorts coming out, it’s hard to envision a platform that’s going to do something so unique within the within the capabilities of sharing videos and images with friends, that’s going to take market share from them. Well, I think that what I what I think is happening and will happening is, is more separate niche communities within those broader platforms to see what I mean. So like, you think of all the different communities that sit within Instagram, and Facebook and Tik Tok just knishes. Right, so you got the TikTok, there’s dancers, there’s chefs, there’s fashion, more kind of like, specificity around the fact that there are these core kind of like, communities within these platforms.

Joe Valley  32:07

Like Facebook groups.

Daniel James  32:09

Yeah. I mean, similar, similar concept, right, where you’re, you’re narrowing, there’s a narrowing down potentially of, of the specific specificity of the content you’re viewing based on the community, just super, super engaged with. And, you know, we’ll look at all these platforms as well. And you can kind of see how they’re thinking about things. Because, you know, what’s what, I think of it this way, if I’m, if I’m Adam Azaria, Instagram hope I’m pronouncing his last name, right? What for me, for Instagram to be successful I to get as many people on my platform, keep them on there for as long as possible, as engaged as possible, because then I can monetize the eyeballs. And how they’re doing that is, is through creators, right? So you look at platforms like Tiktok, YouTube shorts, I mean, YouTube, in general, Instagram, they’re incentivizing creators by paying them and offering them pay through on revenue, to create content. So you have a look at how the platform’s are thinking about things that they’re not just these days, everyone come on and create what you want, and will just allow you all to interconnect. And we’re just a social networking platform, that that they’re turning more into media platforms where they’re trying to curate and create that content to keep people engaged. And so I think, like, as a brand, thinking about how you leverage and tap into that, which is why I’m such a big believer in, you know, working and partnering with influencers and creators as a brand, because it’s, it’s not just beneficial for all the people marketing reasons, but you’re tapping into the, the, the strategy that these platforms themselves are deploying to increase engagement,

Joe Valley  33:53

where it’s the best place, either online or off, or podcast or not, where people can go to learn more about working with influencers versus just hiring somebody media, or do you have lots of content on your site that would educate them as well.

Daniel James  34:10

You know, we don’t we don’t on our site, actually. Our site is very basic, unfortunately. I mean, I think there’s, there’s, in terms of like real tangibles, you know, in terms of execution, I do think speaking to and partnering with experts in this space is probably beneficial. There is a lot of information out there on Twitter, on LinkedIn, I put information out a lot of people in my industry put good information around approaches, I think, I think the thing is, is even if you understand the broad approach, because it’s not hard, right? Influencer Marketing, find people send them products, get them to produce content, but the the secret sauce is the execution to see what I mean. So I, you know, because I think if you ask the poll of 100 People does influencer marketing work? We’d get 50% said yes. And 50% said absolutely not. It does work. It does work. I think I think the nuance around influencers is well, what’s the execution? How well are you? Like sourcing the influencers, really understanding the community benefits, and kind of structuring creative and everything else? You know, so I think, I think, if you’re, if you’re new to it, I would say that a couple of experts, but there is a lot of free information out there. On kind of the broad approach,

Joe Valley  35:36

I think you need to start to develop some content to educate people on this because there is nothing out there. When I talk to people, it’s it’s just sort of buckshot approach, and it’s easy to give up. Because, yeah, maybe they’re not using things like triple whale to track it and things of that nature. And is there for those out there in the audience that are listening that may be influencers? Is there one place that they can go or two or three places to sort of connect with brands to, you know, earn a living as an influencer? If they’re just starting out and gaining their audience? Or is it they they will do the reverse and say, you know, I really love this particular brand, I’m gonna reach out to them and see if I can work with them as an influencer? What’s the best approach there? Yeah, that’s a question

Daniel James  36:23

actually. I mean, I think reaching out to brands directly is a good idea. I think potentially even reaching out to agencies, I’m an influencer, I produce this type of content, I have this to have community agencies benefit from having multiple brands, that you know, so there might be a fit there. There are also like influencer platforms that you can get set up in so a lot of brands and agencies use platforms like grin incense tagger, that kind of like crater prospecting, influencer prospecting tools that pull from a range of different influencers and creators so that you can, you know, versus going through Instagram one by one searching get kind of aggregates, a aggregates than baseline search results. So I think getting set up into some of those platforms will also be beneficial. But across, you know, across those three routes,

Joe Valley  37:18

as well as the interactive questions, I keep asking these questions about influencers, I think I’m done. And the well is dry. You mentioned something about SMS A while back, you brought it up a couple a couple of times my question regarding SMS and then we can wrap it up is Do you do you find it’s best for finding new customers or retaining existing customers? Or neither? What’s your approach with it? I use both I think

Daniel James  37:47

it’s a great tool for both, I think, building customer loyalty through SMS. Because you think about it. It’s a very direct, it’s a very direct communication channel. You know, emails, I can turn off and on, I can, I can see them when I want to see them. So like text messages, it’s, it feels a lot more personal. So I think if you’re a brand, you know, with an SMS marketing strategy, it really is a loyalty play. Right? Because they know you getting a text message from me wouldn’t do it from a data perspective anyway. But if you’re not super familiar, familiar with a brand, like overdoing SMS messaging is is probably a negative experience. Because it feels to you know, it’s like, intrusive. So, for me, it does work well as a as an initial acquisition strategy. But that’s always off the back of them showing intent of giving you that SMS number, obviously, so they want the offer or promotion or whatever it is that you’re using. But then the real longtail of SMS is that real community building loyalty building, LTV kind of strategy.

Joe Valley  39:02

Speaking of communities, do you find that any of your customers build communities that caught you know, like with forums and slack communities and things of this nature, so customers can talk to customers? If it’s a particular type of brand, that they’re talking about their experiences and giving advice to each other as customers is helpful? Or is that something that you haven’t experienced yet? Yeah, no.

Daniel James  39:25

I think Facebook was a really good example of brands called Avi. Great guys, great brands, actually, I’m a small investor into the brand. They’ve done a phenomenal job of building their Facebook community. I don’t I don’t know exactly how many people are in it, but it’s 20,000 or more, which is big for you know, a supplement brand and the strategy there is you’re connecting people who are looking obvious or kind of like women’s health supplements. So you’re connecting these women to Ever who have who have a shared passion for improving their physical well being or physical health or fitness. But the content that goes into this is where you have to be quite smart as it can’t be an advert for Obvi. So the community is built on the basis of how can we bring people together and provide them the opportunity to interconnect and also us add value from an additional content perspective. So it’s like workout tips, cooking tips, all these sorts of things supplement tips underpinned by the fact that you know, you’re in this group that is kind of like, you know, run by and managed by Avi, which is the Stockland brand, which can help in that. So that’s a really good example of

Joe Valley  40:43

that. How do you spell the IV? Can you spell it

Daniel James  40:46

the OB VI, ob vi

Joe Valley  40:49

so people can look at it. Another one for folks to take a look at is live bearded. You can look at their website or social media stuff or on Facebook, they’ve got an incredible culture around bearded men, and, you know, men’s grooming products. And it’s that same thing, guys, you know, just talking together and sharing their grilling photos and recipes and that kind of stuff. And it’s pretty cool stuff. So yeah, really, really important. Well, then, this has been great. I could talk to you for another hour. Any any last thoughts? Any last tips or advice or guidance you want to give to e-commerce entrepreneurs out there brands out there that might need your help?

Daniel James  41:29

Listen to your customers. Avoid shiny object syndrome. And reach out to any questions.

Joe Valley  41:39

And how do they find you?

Daniel James  41:41

Best Places? I mean, the website for mint is You can find me directly on LinkedIn. Daniel James, I’m on Twitter as well. But LinkedIn and the website probably the most what is the

Joe Valley  41:54

funky Twitter handle? I think it’s a funky one.

Daniel James  41:58

It’s not great for the personal brands because it’s foodog85 FOODOG eighty five. I have too few dogs tattooed on my chest. When I when I started my Twitter. I wasn’t I wasn’t doing it at the time, through the eyes of being an agency owner and someone in this space, as is pretty cool name. So I just thought a few dog 85. But I’ve tried to change it to my name. But obviously every iteration of Daniel James has been taken unless I want like Daniel, James 7397 It’s not going to work. So I just speak to Elon and get him to get him to give me the Daniel James.

Joe Valley  42:39

I’m having lunch with him to handle our

Daniel James  42:43

my pressure.

Joe Valley  42:44

Glad to help I met thanks for coming on the show look forward to connecting in the future.

Daniel James  42:49

Appreciate it. Thanks, Joe.

Outro  42:52

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 And the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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