Almost everyone seems to want to be an Instagrammer, YouTuber or a TikToker. It’s not difficult to see why. Being an entrepreneur is usually tough. Being an influencer, entrepreneur in 2020, where nothing is normal, is monumentally difficult. And yet, some entrepreneurs are able to adapt quickly and come out on top.
Yahoo finance published the top 10 entrepreneurs to watch in 2020 and one of those entrepreneurs caught my attention; Jase Bennett. He is the Dad of The Ohana Adventure, a YouTube channel with millions of subscribers. He is also the co-founder of PROUDUCT, a company that sources, manufactures and fulfills custom product lines for its customers.
What intrigued me is that he is able to thrive when most are scrambling, but also able to motivate and uplift others in the process. I caught up with Bennett and asked him to allow me to peek behind the influencer curtain. I started by asking Jase the obvious: Is it really possible to earn enough money from being an influencer, and what advice would he give to influencers who are not able to take their digital brand to the next level.
Bennett wasted no time and dove straight in. “In order for influencers to be able to take their brand to the next level, they must recognize the difference between customers and fans. This is a common mistake that many online influencers make which is why they fail at scaling their brand.”
“Fans will consume your content and support you digitally. Customers on the other hand are fans that transition to supporting you financially via physical and digital product sales. Those sales can be digital products, merchandise sales or the ultimate situation of going to a sales channel (website or retail location) that you do not directly own.”
Having extensively covered the digital influencer space, this is something that I have not heard before. I pressed Bennett for more information. Bennett explained that “this means that your product is so good that someone else is willing to align themselves with you and your company. The value you bring is that you are merging your customers with theirs and both brands will benefit from the collaboration.” Influencers T-shirts, hats or hoodies are lucrative, but I wanted to know how can an idea be converted into real 7 figure sales? Having worked with countless well-known influencers in the Social spheres, Bennett’s work with PROUDUCT has resulted in repeatedly creating 7 figures to their income statement. To my surprise, Bennett openly shared his strategy.
“One of the first influencers we helped with this was John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneur on Fire (EOFire) podcast. We met with John, focused in on one product, John got an amazing kickstarter crew and together we closed a nearly $500,000 campaign!
“We then helped another entrepreneurial guru, Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income podcast. We met up at a social media event in LA and he asked us if together we could change tripods forever and we said ABSOLUTELY. Fast forward a few years and the tripods are in major retailers and have sold tens of thousands of units all over the globe!”
Jase went on to talk about some incredible women in the Yoga sphere that they are manufacturing first class products for, stay at homes moms that are now competing directly with some of the largest female fashion brands from just one Instagram account. Due to confidentiality reasons, he wasn’t able to mention these names or brands but whisper his name in the Influencer space and you will immediately get a knowing head-nod and a smile. Jase continued to share more and more of his secret-sauce as I was frantically taking notes as fast as Jase was revealing these.
“First you must know your audience and poll them genuinely and continuously via all of your platforms.
Second, catalogue the data. Don’t worry, you do not need to be a statistician! You need to know what your Instagram audience wants vs. what your YouTube audience wants!
Third, start testing the options that you want to release to them and finally you need to act!”
Before I could ask how, Bennett exclaimed “That will be different for each individual and their brand. Some will finally contact a company like PROUDUCT to have their product manufactured. Some will finally start a web site selling their course or presets or other products. The list goes on and on. I figure just like any entrepreneur you need to see a need and fill a need and then focus on progress!”
If you are ready to take the next step in your influencer journey, head to PROUDUCT and who knows, I could be interviewing you next!
Follow - www.instagram.com/jasebennett
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.