It seems a bit obvious at first: working the social media game is crucial in this climate for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses or Startups. So one may ask: what’s the big deal with one of the special guest speakers highlighting this at the Launch of Startup Huddle St. Lucia earlier this week?
In this instance, however, it’s more of a case of the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’.
Everyone knows the what: social media utilisation is crucial. However, Cut Buddy owner Joshua Esnard opened the book on the “how” on Tuesday night; while telling his story about being born in St. Lucia, being raised in the U.S., how the idea of the Cut Buddy came to be and eventually becoming a very successful business owner.
As Esnard told the listening audience of entrepreneurs the story of his life, he touched on the key moment that his invention took off, which led to his initial success and appearance on the T.V. show Shark Tank and to his successes thereafter.
He advised that, though it may be tempting to utilise social media users with huge followings in order to review and advertise your products, it would be better to utilise those users who have a modest following, because they are far less likely to charge you an arm and a leg for their reviews, saving you money and allowing you to stay viable during the critical initial stages of your business.
“I went onto YouTube and I found guys who had between 5,000 and 20,000 followers and I messaged them and I said: Hey! I’ll send you a product.” Esnard recalled.
He continued: “If you do an honest review and I’ll give you a coupon code, you can give the customers the coupon code as you use it, but anytime that someone buys it and I see someone use your coupon code, I’m gonna give you 10% of the sale.”
Esnard then asked the audience: “Now why did I say, find [a YouTuber] that has between 5,000 and 20,000 followers so that they could be your reviewer?”
The past Shark Tank winner went on to point out that “Many of you’ll go onto YouTube and be like: Okay I have this product…and I’m gonna find someone with 150, 000 followers and everybody’s gonna see my product and buy it.”
He once again turned to the audience to ask: “Why do you think that I didn’t tell you to contact those people?”
The point he was building to was now clear, as the general response from the audience was: in order to save money.
“Exactly!” Esnard exclaimed. He told the audience that “Those people are feeling themselves way too much. Those people think they’re influencers because now they need $10,000 a video or they need $1,000 a video”; prices that would be way out of the range of the budget of entrepreneurs just starting out.
He gave three points as to why entrepreneurs should follow this model. “The people that have 5,000 to 20,000 followers are: A) still hungry. They’re probably a college student in a dorm that’s like: Ah, let me try this YouTube thing out. B) They’re gonna speak totally honest about your product. C) They’re not going to charge you any money, cause, if they get a free Cut Buddy, that’s good enough. But now, you’re offering them royalties on each sale.”
Esnard would go on to explain, that this tactic would allow an entrepreneur to save money on advertising, while having a good chance of going viral at some point and breaking through.
He recalled what happened in his case and described how one of the YouTubers he was advertising with, had a video that went viral, his Cut Buddy in turn went viral, and the rest as they say is history.