What’s up, WealthGANG… so we all know the importance of social media in today’s media and business landscape.
In a world where follows and likes are currency, the ones who know how to win on social media, win big.
(Just ask The Rock. He charges studios $1M just to tweet about the movie he’s in…)
In this WealthLAB exclusive, we sat down with NuMedia CEO Brandon Harris, who’s built a modern media powerhouse by acquiring popular Instagram handles and growing these accounts to seven figures in annual revenue.
Across the board, Brandon has over 15M followers and gets more than 1B views a year. Here’s how he did it…
WealthLAB: What’s good, Brandon?!
Harris: What’s up.
Let’s get right to it. What is NuMedia?
NuMedia’s a hybrid media-company-slash-influencer-marketing-agency with almost 15 million followers. We generate over 1B views per year. And, we help brands reach and engage with Millennials at scale.
How did it come about?
I’ve been in the sports industry since I was 19 and I identified a huge opportunity. I was on the buying side of a large basketball apparel brand, and I was seeing 12, 14, 15-year old kids make over $50,000 per year off us because of these enormous Instagram channels they built.
Yeah. And, the crazy part was, even with the high prices they were charging, it was insanely profitable on our end, too.
I knew Instagram influencer marketing was a rare win-win niche. I decided I wanted to be the biggest sports network on Instagram.
And, outside of Bleacher Report, ESPN and other huge corporations, there are pretty much no other companies with our level of reach in the extremely passionate sports media industry, available at prices that small businesses can afford.
You’ve gotten crazy follower numbers on IG. How did you do it?
Many people are social media gurus/experts. I’m not. I’m an entrepreneur. And, that’s probably my greatest advantage in this industry.
I am super passionate about finding growth hacks. I constantly look to find scalable methods of growth. And, the biggest driver in this case is basic understanding of unit economics.
For example, this person has this many followers, they get this much engagement per post, their prices are x, their daily sales volume is y. What levers can I pull to squeeze more dollars, more followers from this channel?
We always look to invest in consultation and staying with a finger on the pulse of the latest social growth techniques. First it was share for share, then giveaways, then private/DM technique, and now it’s essentially impossible to gain followers organically.
Who do you work with and how do you decide to go about it?
We hire under-appreciated young content creators. I hire operations people so I can focus on sales and business development. It’s a daily grind of looking at ways to improve the people and processes. We strive to get better every day.
It’s been a lot of growth hacks—social growth and sales growth—a lot of reinvesting, and a lot of strategic acquisitions to help us get to where we are now with the business.
I gotta ask you this. How the hell did you get those popular handle names?
I would love to say I have the secret sauce. To be honest, it’s mostly relationships.
The same person who helped me land the username @sports, helped me acquire @peace. @Acknowledge was someone who I spent over $100,000 on shoutouts with. @Legal was someone who wanted to work for me.
So acquisitions mainly?
Yeah. And I made sure that everyone who was doing major things in the industry knew who we were. And, I got in very early and collaborated with the biggest influencers in the game. They knew they could trust me, given my history of making many of them very wealthy when I was solely on the buying side. So there wasn’t very much I had to do other than respond to incoming inquiries.
Lots of channels sell shoutouts. You have a different monetization strategy. Why is that — and how does it work for you?
I think the biggest difference is, like I touched on earlier, I’m much more of a general business person than a social media expert.
While others were focused on content and social growth, I was focused on scalable content systems, sales processes, other services, branding and so on.
Our monetization model is super balanced. We sell shoutouts like the others, but we’ve also built such a large network that we can offer guaranteed growth at a firm cost per follower.
We sell seven figures in apparel, we drive traffic to media content for a fixed CPC [cost-per-click], we create viral branded content and we help popularize hip hop artists, among other revenue sources. We’re always looking for new ways to profit without damaging our network.
Lots of entrepreneurs—budding entrepreneurs—are reading this. What’s your number one advice for someone who wants to start a business but still is on the fence?
I’m a big believer in taking risks and jumping at opportunities. Learn as much as you can, be great at what you’re doing, and understand that failure, at its worst, is temporary.
I got internships to learn SEO, I bought courses on social media, I’ve spent six figures on conferences and masterminds. There’s nothing more powerful than investing in knowledge and experience. Then, all it comes down to, is moving quickly and jumping at opportunities.
[INFOGRAPHIC] How To Start (And Grow) Your Business With $10,000
Today, starting a new business is easier than ever. With Fiverr, Upwork and social media, you can get started in a weekend—and for very little money.
(What you’re reading right now was created in a week, by the way…)
But if you actually have a little nest egg saved up?!
Awww, man, you are off to the races! SO without further ado, here’s how you can kickstart—and grow—your business with $10,000, courtesy of this oh-so-pretty Infographic from Intuit.
VIDEO: Warren Buffet Bets Big On These Traits To Become Rich
With a net worth that crosses a whopping $100B, it’s hard to question Warren Buffett’s investment moves. Here are the traits that the super investor believes can get one to be financially independent and significantly rich.
[Q&A] This Entrepreneur Founded A $50B+ Company—And Then Helped Startups Raise Money From The Crowd
Howard Marks is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the modern, digital age, a rare founder who’s actually innovated before said innovation truly mainstream.
And not just once, but twice.
As founder of Activision, Howard helped kick off a gaming bonanza that’s become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, birthing an entire new industry known as eSports.
Largely driven by Fortnite—a gaming franchise owned by Activision—eSports is expected to top $1.1B this year in global revenues, according to Forbes. Today, Activision is worth over $54B, trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
(In fact, had you invested $10K in Howard’s IPO, your investment today would be worth well over $700K.)
JOBS Act IPO revolution
Later on, as founder of Startengine, Howard helped kickstart the equity crowdfunding trend, opening an avenue for early-stage startups to raise money and redefine public offerings.
Back in 2012, President Obama signed off on the JOBS Act, allowing companies to go public, taking investments from non-accredited investors (essentially anyone without a net worth of $1M), without having to go through the tedious process of listing on New York Stock Exchange.
As head of Startengine, Howard’s built one of the market leaders in the equity crowdfunding space, with $43.72M in total investments in 2019 alone.
More recently, StartEngine made a coup, joining forces with one of the most influential investors in the form of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary, as reported by Crowdfund Insider.
Crowdfund Insider, the online authority for all things crowdfunding, recently did an exclusive Q&A with Howard, touching on the new deal with Mr. Wonderful, his business and the future of crowdfunding.
Here’s what he had to say.
Challenges of crowdfunding…
One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is that equity crowdfunding is not well understood by the general public. If you walk down the street and ask a stranger if they know what equity crowdfunding is, odds are they say they’ve never heard of it before.
Doing a deal with Mr. Wonderful…
Over the past few years, we’ve had several Shark Tank alumni raise capital on StartEngine, and we eventually got connected to Kevin. When we learned that he had been following the equity crowdfunding space for a few years and wanted to help inform others about the opportunities for raising capital using equity crowdfunding, it was an easy decision to form a partnership with him.
Mr. Wonderful’s role…
Kevin O’Leary is StartEngine’s strategic advisor and a StartEngine shareholder. His focus will be on creating more awareness about StartEngine and equity crowdfunding in general. Kevin believes in the equity crowdfunding model and our business and is helping to spread the word. He is even encouraging the companies in his own portfolio to use StartEngine for their next funding round.
Deal flow during the COVID-19…
Our entire team is operating remotely and staying safe during the pandemic, and our business itself is thriving. We’ve seen a good increase over the last 30 days in the companies applying to raise on StartEngine.
From both the company and investor side, StartEngine’s business has proven to be resilient to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
On the SEC and raising the cap for what startups can raise…
We support the changes wholeheartedly. It’s clear that $1.07M is too low a ceiling for Regulation Crowdfunding [Reg CF], given the average size of seed funding rounds today, and it’s time that we increase the limit to help small businesses achieve their goals.
In fact, we encouraged all 10,000+ of our shareholders to write letters to the SEC a month ago to encourage them to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M to help small businesses today when they desperately need access to capital.
Accredited investors vs. non-accredited investors…
Howard Marks: Our business, and the business of equity crowdfunding, is bringing investment opportunities to non-accredited investors. We do not focus on accredited investors. An expanded definition may encourage those new accredited investors to feel more confident making investments on our platform, as well as increase the amount they can invest in a given year, which would be beneficial to the investing space. However, I don’t believe this would have a large impact on equity crowdfunding.
On changes he wants to see…
Howard Marks: The change we are most excited about at StartEngine is the proposal to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M. Of all of the proposed changes, I believe that one will have the biggest impact for small businesses and will encourage more entrepreneurs to turn to equity crowdfunding.