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Growing an influencer marketing agency (featuring Jess Phillips and Dylan Conroy)

In this episode of Chats with Chip, Jessica Phillips, CEO/Founder of The Social Standard, and that agency's Chief Revenue Officer, Dylan Conroy, discuss their approach to growing the business.

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In this episode of Chats with Chip, Jessica Phillips, CEO/Founder of The Social Standard, and that agency’s Chief Revenue Officer, Dylan Conroy, discuss their approach to growing the business.

The conversation focuses on the journey from founding through the pandemic and into the future.

Many agency owners think about having someone dedicated to business development in their small agency, but fewer have done it successfully. This episode takes a look at why Jessica and Dylan believe it has worked well in their case and what lessons it might provide for others.

Resources

Chip Griffin  

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Chats with Chip. I’m your host Chip Griffin. And I am delighted to have with me today two people who’ll be able to talk about agency world and specifically influencer marketing in the agency world, Jess Phillips, the founder and CEO of The Social Standard, and Dylan Conroy, the CRO of the social standard are here with me today. Welcome to the show.

Jess Phillips  

Thanks. Glad to be here.

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah. Thanks, Chip, really appreciate you having us on.

Chip Griffin  

I’m delighted to have both of you here, particularly because influencer marketing has taken on such importance in the last couple of years. But before we jump into the conversation, I’m going to have each of you just share a little bit about yourself with listeners. So, Jess, why don’t you go first?

Jess Phillips  

Sure, yeah. My name is Jess, I’m CEO of The Social Standard. So I started The Social Standard about seven years ago, and wanted to stay in the influencer marketing, because my previous company, which was also an influencer marketing company, I ran that for about three years. And then we ended up selling that to the New York Times. And that was really sort of the, I say, at the very beginning of influencer marketing, it felt like something that was going to stick around for a while. So I said, Alright, I’m going to see if I can do something even bigger and better the second time around. And that’s, that’s where The Social Standard came from. That’s what we call it The Social Standard. Our goal is to set the standard in the influencer marketing space. And we’re always striving to do that. So, um, yeah, it’s been a wild ride the last seven years. But it’s been a lot of fun, a lot of good growth, a lot of amazing clients, a lot of amazing influencers. And the industry is taking off even more, I think in the last few years than any anyone could have ever anticipated. So it’s a super exciting time to be there. We’re having a blast, running, running all the influencer campaigns coming up with incredible creative and growing a tremendous amount.

Chip Griffin  

I love you describing it as a second act and trying to top your first act. That’s

Jess Phillips  

Right, I think the second time we do it intentionally. So.

Chip Griffin  

Absolutely. Dylan?

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah. Thanks so much Chip. So yeah, I’ve been in the revenue side media sales side for about 11 years. But I’m not one of those guys that have jumped around a bunch of places. I really only have two companies on my resume, one I started as the very first salesperson at Channel Factory, led their West Coast Division and launched the Chicago office, pretty much everything having to do with that company except the East Coast, New York market. And I was kind of like the Navy SEALs like startup guy within a startup. So they had me, we were doing a lot of YouTube media sales. And this is when influencers and MCNs, especially YouTubers, were just kind of popping up and they said, well, Dylan, you’re starting to like package these deals with influencers on top of the media buys and branded content. And those are performing really well. So why don’t you kind of maybe launch a division that specialized in that, and did that didn’t really see it as the place where my influencer marketing career was gonna take off and checked around and see what was going on and got introduced through a big recruiter, event called Venture search, put me in touch with Jess and decided to, you know, go do the startup thing, again, came on as employee number three. And now we’re, you know, in our sixth year working together as a great partnership. And it’s just been such a pleasure to learn from her and to get to support the company on the revenue side. So

Chip Griffin  

Right, and I’m looking forward to learning from both of you over the course of the next 25 or 30 minutes. And and as we do that, one of the things that I always like to talk to agency owners about is why they decided to take that leap into entrepreneurship. And so Jess let’s start there, if we can talk about, you know, you had just been through the experience of selling the agency where you were, I think the number two at to the New York Times you you’ve clearly had success, you now had to choose, you know, what am I going to do next? And with that kind of experience on your resume, you can to some extent, write your own ticket, what made you decide that you were going to start your own agency at that point?

Jess Phillips  

Yeah, I think once you get a taste of that freedom in terms of what you can actually create from nothing, you either love it, or it scares you to death. And from here, I loved it. It was a no brainer, honestly, to go right back into it. When I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur, myself and kind of getting that stepping stone with Hello Society, my previous agency, it just opened so many, so many doors just changed the way that I thought maybe, you know, this is this means the future of marketing. There’s no way I can look away from this.

Chip Griffin  

And and Dylan, you had talked about the fact that you didn’t have a lot of companies on your resume, which is unusual for someone on the sales side, right? I mean, most sales experts tend to move through a lot of different companies because it’s sort of how you climb the ladder. You know, why have you remained, you know, with just a few is it? Is it just the passion that you have for those particular businesses or something that you see long term play or talk to us a little about that. So that’s an interesting…

Dylan Conroy  

no, totally. Well, you know, to be completely honest with you, I think a lot of salespeople move around and have a lot of notches on their belts, because they’re not great salespeople. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of salespeople who can interview their way into a company, because they’ve got that resume, and they talk about the relationships they can bring to the table. And unfortunately, that just hasn’t been my experience. On the sales side. When I got into management and started hiring expensive media salespeople, I always was more excited about the person that had the X factor that I felt I kind of brought to the table as a young person in the media sales space with really no background in my 20s. You know, I came in to Channel Factory not even knowing what a media agency was, you know, so I just started emailing people that I knew at brands, and then I would get introduced to companies like Starcomm and Digitas and be like, Okay, I’ll figure this out. And then you just kind of learned by osmosis by getting out there in the space. But you know, for me, I was very successful at Channel Factory and coming in with Jess pretty quickly with a landing Channel Dactory. Within six months, I closed a Star’s business, and also Nestle. And those became really big accounts of mine and I became the top producer at Channel Factory for the years that I was there. So all the some of it was golden handcuffs. But some of it was also just the fact that I really love learning and going like what I would call like a mile deep in my vertical rather than, you know, trying to gain all this different experience in a bunch of different aspects of the media sales space. But you know, my background, I went to film school, I thought it was going to be a screenwriter at one point in I developed reality TV, and worked in traditional entertainment. And what I always loved about the influencer side, you know, the media side was, it was a fun enough, you know, it’s fun, being able to go to cool conferences, and entertain clients and talk about cool things that were happening on YouTube. When we get down to media. At the end of the day, you’re talking about boring things like impressions and click through rates and, you know, quartile view through and a lot of metrics and stuff like that. But what I was really passionate about was the storytelling. And I felt like influencers was influence influencer, marketing and branded content was the closest place you could get to, to have a conversation with clients about all those important things that are, you know, KPIs around, you know, digital that brands care about, you know, reach impressions, engagement, and then getting into working with direct to consumer brands, like, what can you actually do to drive the bottom line for sales? But it was also about the creative, what are the influencers are going to create? What’s the brief, it felt to me, like the closest thing you could do in media sales and get to have a creative sell and conversation with clients versus just talking about their media buy? And yeah, so I, you know, working at Channel Factory, Tony Chen is an amazing person, you know, I started working for him when he was 19 years old. So he had just graduate who, you know, couldn’t even go to a bar, he had just graduated college. And, you know, a lot of people have graduated from the school of Tony Chen. You know, there’s a lot of companies out there, like Strike Social, and Naam, and Video Amp, that all spun out of Channel Factory, but there’s a culture that, you know, kind of drove people to want to get out and go do their own thing. When I started working with Jess, you know, it was just a night and day component from, from, from culture, you know, the culture has been so good. And I think that’s, you know, we work hard, we play hard, we get our work done, but it’s also about, you know, life balance and staying, stay staying well mentally, you know, like, we know, we work in the agency space, but I always found it fascinating that Jess left private equity to come over to the influencer marketing world or the agency world for quality of life, and you don’t usually hear anybody coming to our industry for quality of life. Yeah, you know, culture culture is I think, more important than, than ever, especially in the day of, you know, COVID and remote work and all these new things that we’re dealing with. So yeah, you know, I’ve had some interesting offers from time to time but I’ve never found a reason compelling enough to to leave what I started with Jess and you know, we have a vision of what we want to do, whether that’s an exit or you know, creating a long term business and I’m in it to win it and and I just like, you know, I’m very loyal, I guess to a fault. So

Chip Griffin  

Excellent. That’s great. So just let’s talk about influencer marketing little bit and you mentioned that you had gotten in early on at least the trend as it is crafted today. First, I’m curious you know, how is influencer marketing today different than celebrity endorsements and some of the things that, you know, those of us old timers might think about in terms of, you know, what we did you know, 20, 30 years ago?

Jess Phillips  

Yeah. Well, it’s interesting that you bring up that sort of parallel, because when you’re in a space that is new and growing, you know, I always say like, how do I explain this to my mother, my grandmother, or what I do, and anytime people don’t understand influencer marketing, I say, look, it’s you know, Michael Jordan and Sprite commercials. That’s what we’re doing. It’s just a different format. Right. And I think, for me, there are two there are two big things that are that are pretty different than like a celebrity endorsements. So one is now the influencers own their audience size. So when it you don’t have to create the commercial, put it up on television, to get the audience, you don’t have to buy the creative and the audience separately you buy them together. And the second part is the creative. So the influencers are, you know, they’re creating their own content from scratch, we don’t have to send a production crew out to film them, give them a script, you know, have a minder there to make sure that they’re show up on time, all that sort of stuff. These guys are content creators, first, right, influencers second. I think the influencing part comes because they build a connection, and a very loyal following from their audience. So that’s, that’s how I would say it’s primarily different. I actually think what you’re seeing now is a lot more traditional celebrities and athletes figuring out how to become influencers and content creators. So we’ve almost done a 180.

Chip Griffin  

Right. And how do you handle brands, clients who are concerned about the the level of control over the detail, if you will, because, you know, this is this is something I’ve seen over the course of my career, and it’s improved in recent years, but clients have always wanted tight control over every word, every angle that their product is shown from. And obviously, when you start working with influencers, you often have approval rights and things like that. So you can, you know, have have a greater degree of control than you would on the editorial side, but there’s still an element of putting it into someone else’s hands, how do you manage that expectation with clients? And how do you manage it with the influencers themselves? So that they feel respected? if you will?

Jess Phillips  

Yeah. And I think, you know, if it’s definitely a meeting of minds, right, it’s not one person’s message is more important than another person’s, but or brands, companies, whatever it is, but I think, if you, if you look, maybe even, they’re still kind of having a little bit of trouble with that, I would say up to five years ago, but brands have figured it out. And I think that they figured out that look, influencers increase top line, right? And if it’s working, why would you why would you not do it? Right? I mean, it’s like you can’t you kind of you no longer can depend on primetime TV, to reach an audience, you’ve got to go where your audience is and your audience lives on social, and they want the content that the influencers are creating. So you have two options, right? One, you can do paid content where you can control the messaging completely. Two, you can partner up with an influencer. And they’re going to help tell your message through their own style and their own process. And both are, I think, equally valid ways of marketing. But you have to do both, you cannot just show up and do one, or it’s not gonna be effective.

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah. And I think what a lot of what a lot of clients who, you know, think about the idea that, Oh, I’m just going to let the influencer have creative freedom, sometimes they think that’s the best way to have a great campaign. But what I’ve actually found is, you know, even working with some of the biggest creators in the world, like we did a campaign with Adobe and Casey Neistat. And I think Adobe, you know, Adobe was like, oh, Casey, you know, we trust you, you just go do your thing. But at the end of the day, when you allow so much ambiguity, or too much freedom, or you don’t actually, as a client, tell the influencer, what your goals are, what are the key messages you’re trying to get across influencers actually do like being put in a box to the effect that you give them some type of a world in which to execute around. So writing a great brief that says, you know, this is what we’re trying to accomplish with this campaign? These are our key talking points. This is these are the things we want to get through from a marketing perspective. You know, give them the essential do’s and don’ts and then let them take that and translate it to their audience. That’s a way that’s authentic, that’s authentically going to reach them. I think that’s actually where you get kind of influencer marketing Nirvana, right? Where the client actually tells the influencers what they want, but they allow enough creative freedom to where the influencer can disseminate it in a way that their audience will resonate with it with the messaging of the campaign.

Chip Griffin  

And how have you seen the influencer marketing landscape shift over the past couple of years? You know, I know from my own experience in consulting with a lot of agencies, particularly those that were focused largely on events, a lot of them have pivoted to some degree towards influencer marketing because if you can’t get together in person, this is another way to do some of the same kinds of things in some ways, but is that something that you’ve seen generally Is it is it staying or you know, as people start to get to more in person things. You know, do we do we shift back away from from that or I don’t know. I’m curious what your take is on the landscape.

Jess Phillips  

You want to take that, Dylan?

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah, for sure. So I was just having this conversation about an hour ago before we jumped on to the phone because we have an a client, we have a client named, I am not Shane. That’s his handle on social. But he’s not just an influencer. He’s actually an aspiring pop artist. So his management sent me over a link to a online set that they’re playing on January 29, on a platform called Veep, which is basically a direct to consumer streaming platform for musicians that host live shows. And part of what we wanted to do to create some goodwill in our agency community, we have a newsletter that goes out to about 44,000 brand and agency contacts. And we decided to send it out to our network and see if anybody wanted to attend the show. And surprisingly enough, my inbox is flooded this morning with agency and brand people that are willing to log into a virtual concert at noon on a Friday. So I agree with you, I think, you know, events or what I would call, you know, scheduled activations, where they happen live in a in a place in time, whether that’s happening in the real world, or whether that’s happening in the virtual world. Whether it’s you know, happening in the metaverse on games like Fortnite or Roblox I think there is a huge demand for consumers to want to kind of tune into things on an appointment scale to kind of create community. But I agree with you, you know, we were very bullish as an agency wanting to come back to experiential during kind of the first decline of COVID. Obviously, this most recent surge with Omnicron has made a lot of things challenging. You know, we had activations planned at Sundance Film Festival this year, that didn’t happen. CES looked a little bit like a graveyard this year, you know, when you saw the pictures, it was like, wow, there’s nobody there. But a lot of people tuning in on social and a lot of people tuning into the live the live streams of what was happening at CES. So I think, you know, in a little bit of a long answer to your question, I think, event marketing or appointment viewing or live streaming at a certain time and leveraging influencers to get the word out or to be your featured talent, I think there’s still I think, I think behaviors that change towards virtual are here to stay. And even when COVID is no longer a concern, I think that behavior has already been engraved into our culture that, you know, people want to have the flexibility of doing things in the virtual world and in the real world. So I think it’s a staying trend that’s going to be around for a while.

Chip Griffin  

And the influencers that your clients are working with, are you seeing a concentration on particular platforms really spread out and dependent upon, you know, who they’re trying who the brand is trying to reach? You know, talk to me a little bit about what you’re seeing from a landscape from a platform standpoint, and, and the kinds of influencers that are most in demand today?

Jess Phillips  

You know, I think that that’s an interesting one, right? Because we were actually having conversation about this other day. But if you look at how things have changed, I think right before, right before we had kind of overall COVID shut down stuff. I was sort of getting this itch that something needed to come up. Because you know, at that point, we were Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, like those platforms had all been around for so long. And it just felt like the industry was ripe for something new to come along. Right. I think Twitch was probably the last big platform and Roblox obviously they’re, they’re coming up as well. But TikTok really took off. And we’ve seen like a tremendous amount of growth on that platform, a tremendous amount of interest. And I think a lot of that’s driven from video consumption trends. Everybody wants to do video consumption, I think that ties in nicely with live streaming, too, right? And all these sort of digital events as people want to get online, and they want to see movement, it, it reflects more of what is in real life than a simple photo would reflect. And so we’ve seen tremendous amount of growth in TikTok. We’ve also seen platforms like Instagram and YouTube and where they’re coming up with their own version of real shorts, whatever it is, you know, spaces, all this sort of stuff to try to copycat what TicTok is doing and no one’s really done it super successfully. I’d argue Instagram probably done it the best as far as a copycat product, but we’re seeing a lot of competition in the platform space. And then you’ve also saw, you know, have Clubhouse which was very, very hot ticket for a while. That sort of died down pretty quickly, but I wouldn’t necessarily write them off just because audio has been another another big trend that we’ve seen, you know, a lot going on. Spotify is doing some really great work in the audio space, especially with podcasts. So I would say in the last two years, it’s been TikTok and it’s been podcasts that we’ve seen pop up probably In the most impressive ways, and everyone else seems like they’re just kind of clamoring to figure it out.

Chip Griffin  

And, you know, since I’ve got both of you here, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask about the dynamic of having an owner and someone who is focused on revenue at a senior level, because this is, this is sort of the dream of a lot of small agency owners that she’s, you know, I want someone in house who is focused on business development, who can, you know, be my partner in that or even take the lead on it so that, you know, that’s not the main thing I’m doing, because maybe I started the agency, because that’s not what I want to do. And obviously, Jess, I’m not sure whether that’s what you that was your reasoning behind it all? I’ll be curious to hear that. But I how that works, I think is going to be interesting to a lot of listeners, because a lot of them have tried hiring someone to do business development and have been unsuccessful. So Jess, why don’t you first talk about why you decided to go down this path. And then Dylan, perhaps you can talk about, you know, what makes it work?

Jess Phillips  

Sure. Sure. So I think if you go back to my time, at my previous agency, I actually ran sales for them. So I was did a few things, but sales was a big part of what I did. And I saw the success with which we could grow very quickly in this space with someone and you know, with with a sales team, effectively, it’s definitely not your traditional agency model. But I think you’ve got to look for the right person to lead this because I think what, what’s so powerful about Dylan, his experience, and his approach is that he is equal parts sales and business development. He’s an idea guy, he’s not just out there kind of trying to sell whatever, you know, product or new division or new feature we’re selling. He’s got ideas, he brings them to the table, and it works really well. So he functions as sort of like this business development, creative and sales. And I think that’s exactly how I or any owner would approach it. Anyway, you’re, you’re there to solve client problems. And so how do you do that? And how do you do it fast, especially in an industry like this, you have kind of two, two sides of the coin with influencer marketing, you go out and we represent a whole bunch of influencers and that’s where inbound comes in, or you’ve got to go out and make it happen. To me going up, make it happen, making it happen was a much more interesting prospects just because of where we were at in the cycle of influencer marketing. And I think it’s proven to be a very good model. We’ve had some, we’ve had some good learnings, I would say, Dylan over the last couple of years, but it works really well if you can find the right team.

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah, totally. And, you know, from my perspective, what was most important for me to do is to free Jess up so she didn’t have to be the primary driver of the revenue of the agency, which I know a lot of founders are. So what’s awesome is I can still always depend on Jess for, you know, 20% of our total billings, just by her nature, she’s gonna network her way, and there’s some amazing accounts, and she’s gonna have some really exciting conversations throughout the year just by doing what she does. But at the end of the day, she doesn’t have to be responsible for it anymore. And it allows me to go out there and be the one you know, at the beginning, I was the, you know, pretty much started from the ground up, you know, sending out as many emails as I could, and going to as many conferences and touching base with people on social media until we got a nice stable Rolodex of clients that kind of kept the lights on and allowed us to then start to hire out, you know, we did go we did kind of go the traditional, I would say, like, multi channel network, influencer marketing, platform, play and try and build out a media sales team originally, you know, kind of going maybe the, the direction of some of the platforms are some of the influencer marketing networks. But what we found pretty quickly is that, like I mentioned a little bit in the beginning of our intro, you know, those high level set those high level media sales, guys with the big salaries and the big books of business, they just didn’t kind of, you know, convert for us. What happens for us sometimes is, you know, we’ll have to dance with the client for a year, you know, before they come on, you know, we might they might see one of our newsletters and jump on with, do a couple of pitches. And we’ll pitch some programs that might be a year before the first time we talked to them before the business comes in. So what we’ve specialized in in building out our sales team, under me is that I’m really the only senior person on the team. And a lot of our sales team is Junior folks. So folks that are coming in one to two years of experience either in sales or marketing. And I’m getting fresh canvases that I can kind of train from the ground up that don’t have a lot of bad habits and don’t have a lot of preconceived notions of what sales means in the media sales space. It’s been really interesting to have to do this, you know, in COVID, where we don’t have the luxury of taking people to Lakers games and buying them fancy dinners and coming in and doing the lunch and learns. So what I found is, for the very first time our agency has had to actually drink our own Kool Aid. You know, we’ve had to go out there and do all the things that we’re telling clients to do. So we now invest heavily in our own social media marketing, you know, we actually do influencer marketing as an agency, we pay influencers to do events with us. We buy media, you know, we spend, I would say, you know, high five to six figures on media to try to drive inbound, we have a newsletter and email marketing campaign that we invest heavily in. So now a lot of our business development is driven by inbound, which is exciting, that we’re able to kind of have a little bit of a poll strategy versus a push strategy, where we’re always out there banging on the doors. And it’s been really exciting to be able to see that. And I think a lot of times, you know, clients can feel a lot more comfortable working with us, because they look at what we’re doing. And they can say, Oh, well, if they’re doing work that, that that’s that good for their agency, imagine what they’re gonna be able to produce for us as a paying client. So

Chip Griffin  

and I love that you bring that up, because I always encourage agencies to treat themselves as a client and make sure that they’re applying, you know, their own knowledge to promoting themselves. And, and part of that’s because it’s a good way to do business development. But part of is, it’s also a good way to learn as an agency, and you can start experimenting with new platforms, tactics and things that you can do in a less risky way when you’re doing it on your own behalf as opposed to a client. So there’s just so many benefits, if you treat yourself as a client. So I love that you brought that up.

Dylan Conroy  

You know, Jess, Jess and I are both podcasters, too, you know, I think everybody should have a podcast, in my opinion, everyone’s a creator, everyone has something to offer and knowledge to, and I’ve gotten such bigger meetings with people that I’m way under qualified to be in a room with, they’re totally willing to jump on a virtual setting or do a live podcast, talk to you for an hour, it forces you to do your research ahead of time. So you can have an impactful show, and then your entire network gets to benefit from it.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you call someone up and say, Hey, I’d like to spend an hour telling you about, you know, my own business, nobody’s gonna listen to you. If you say, Hey, will you hop on for an hour long podcast, most people will say yes, so it is a great way to open doors, it’s a great way to learn. I’ve been podcasting for 20 years and love it for all sorts of different reasons. So as we’re wrapping up our time here, I guess I’ll ask each of you just to look into that crystal ball. And we’ve talked a little bit about what the future holds. But, but tell me what you think the future holds, particularly in the the portion of the agency industry that that you all are involved in?

Jess Phillips  

Yeah, that’s, that’s always a tough one. Because it’s, it’s growing. And also, my general philosophy is, let’s not make predictions here, because you have a good chance of being wrong. But what I do know is that we’re seeing…

Chip Griffin  

No problem,we’re not recording this or anything. So nobody will be able to go back and look and see what you said. No, but just between us,

Jess Phillips  

we’re, we’re seeing a tremendous amount of growth in this space, I think, you know, we’re really sort of just getting started, especially with everything going on with, you know, the cookieless world that we’re all sort of headed straight for influencers are going to provide a lot of solutions to a lot of different pain points that marketing is going to experience. So I foresee the growth happening a lot here. I also think we mentioned earlier with a lot of the behavioral patterns that are now instilled in all of us about spending a good chunk of our time in the digital world. That only bodes well for influencer marketing. And just, you know, just this content machine, that we all seem to be part of that brands cannot create content that’s interesting enough, quick enough and relevant enough, and the influencers continue to solve all these problems. So for me, I think we’re only halfway through the entire journey. So I see a lot of big stuff. And I would tell you know, anyone who’s listening, if it’s any PR agencies, brands, small companies, if you’re not doing influencer marketing, you need to get on it. Because it just gets harder and harder to do. You need to establish those relationships with creators and just start figuring it out now, because today is, you know, you should have done it yesterday, but we’re here today, we can help you do it now. And it’s just gonna be so impactful for the overall long term growth your business.

Dylan Conroy  

Yeah, and I’m super excited about what this year has to bring for influencer marketing in general, from just the opportunity perspective. You know, we saw a kind of this world get wrapped up and rolled up and acquired pretty big during the MCN craze of like, the full screens and the maker studios that were all getting bought by big companies like Verizon and DreamWorks and others. And you know, all of those MCNs are either been kind of absorbed into those companies no longer exist or they’ve gone away. I see the same thing happening with all the venture capital that was poured into these influencer marketing platforms that have created, you know, some solutions plus activation and tried to be like all things to all people but just ended up being kind of a cog that messes things up in the middle. I think there’s going to be constriction there, and you just don’t see a lot of exits happening in that space. So I I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for companies like ours that have focused on creative talents and some of the more less technical components but also have invested in great partnerships with the Saas companies that do only provide the pipes for influencer marketing. So we like to call ourselves tech agnostic. We have great relationships with companies like Grin if you are a direct to consumer company with a Shopify account, or if you’re a Fortune 500 company, you need a great influencer marketing CRM, you know, crater IQ is a great solution. And we’re certified and we work with all those guys. But I think a lot of these companies that kind of came in and tried to do all things for all people in the influencer marketing space are going to feel some pain this year. We’ll see how we’ll see if it how it goes. But I think it’s a great year for growth, great year for companies that are ready to expand capabilities in this area. And you look, you know, if you haven’t built ins in house capabilities, I saw a great infographic of like the holding company is the big shark. And then there’s a shark with like many fish that’s making up the other shark. Like we partner with smaller agencies or agencies of equal size of ours that have different capabilities, such as PR and creative and media buying all the time. You know, if you don’t have these capabilities, let’s go out and win that business together. Because we’re strong small agencies that partner together, I think are just as strong as big holding company relationships. And we’ve definitely proved that proven that inside of some of our key accounts.

Chip Griffin  

That’s great. Well, if anybody who is listening is interested in partnering or learning more about you and The Social Standard, where can they find you all?

Jess Phillips  

Yeah, I would say you can check out our website where Sostandard.com or you can find us on any of the social media platforms. Or if you want to hit us up on email, just check us out at [email protected]

Chip Griffin  

Fantastic. Well, I’m really happy to have had you with me today. I know you’ve created great value for listeners. Again, my guest today have been Jess Phillips and Dylan Conroy of The Social Standard.

Dylan Conroy  

Thanks, Chip. 

Jess Phillips  

Thanks, Chip.