In this episode of Burning the Boats, Oscar shares an insightful interview with special guest, Brittany Ward, founder and CEO of Create Collabs. Ward is a Marketing Executive known for innovative problem solving, exceptional campaign creation and distribution; meets energetic entrepreneurial spirit with a caffeine habit. Most importantly, she loves checking off her goals.
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- Brittany Ward (Twitter): https://twitter.com/brittanyward?lang=en
Show Value Bombs:
- Eliminate where you do not provide value.
- You will never be ready but be decisive and go for it.
- Content is the key to success.
Today on The OMG! Show: Burning the Boats with Special Guest Brittany Ward.
1:32 – Oscar shares that Brittany is an “unicorn,” and asks her how she got started.
- Brittany shares she studied and graduated with Communications at University of Central Florida.
- She got a referral offer w/ a Spring Break tour company she worked for all through college and began working for their marketing agency and that was her first intro to digital marketing creating Facebook games and apps.
- The first account she closed was a Twitter campaign.
- Her first meeting as a subject matter expert was with FoxSports Florida on running a social media campaign.
- For ten years following she worked for a variety of food and beverage branches including corporate communications for Nature’s Table, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, World of Beers.
- In 90% of the roles she was acting as a consultant envisioning entrepreneurship before starting her own agency.
6:12 Oscar asks Brittany if she recalls what drove her.
- Brittany shares that each situation was different but it was ultimately about growth in education, responsibilities, money and ways to advance herself personally and professionally.
7:21 Oscar asks Brittany what growth and advancing herself ultimately means to her.
- Brittany shares she’s always been “the person in the front of the classroom with her hand raised” with constant curiosity.
She is fulfilled by contributing and seeing her contributions.
8:06 Oscar asks Brittany what the last position she had was before making the jump into entrepreneurism.
- She was the Director of Marketing for World of Beer for two years.
- The role started as one thing and turned into another with a lot of travel.
- The trajectory of the company stalled and she started to get antsy.
- She started having people reaching out to her for help and the seed was planted.
- She reconnected with people to start her side hustle and “dip her toe in the water.”
10:19 – Oscar asks Brittany if she found struggles with time commitment and mental help while trying to build her side business and still working full time.
- Brittany says, “No! It’s about work life balance and what fills your cup.”
- It felt like cool projects that she got to do out of her corporate job.
- It did come with sacrifice but didn’t feel daunting because it filled her up.
10:19 – Oscar asks Brittany if she experienced the hidden things that most entrepreneurs face or did she know she was ready?
- Brittany shares she doesn’t feel like you are every really ready, but you just have to make the decision and go for it.
Brittany shares a funny story that held her back for six months.
13:33 – Oscar asks Brittany how often she encounters people that want to start their own business but don’t know how to without the money, benefits or time.
- Brittany doesn’t recommend “jumping into the deep end of the pool when you don’t know how to swim.”
- Ask questions and align yourself with people that have resources.
- Google everything.
- Don’t be afraid to ask and pretending you know everything is to no one’s advantage.
- Own your vulnerability.
15:57 – Oscar asks Brittany if she felt like her ego ever got in a way at any certain point.
- Brittany shares that she things there is a degree where ego meets self confidence and that entrepreneurs have a stereotype but you have to be vulnerable about things you’ve never done.
- Dropping the ego has to be part of the journey if you expect to advance your business and yourself.
- “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
- You must align the marriage of vulnerability and ego.
18:08 – Oscar asks Brittany about when it comes to “drawing the line in the sand,” how does she go about doing that?
- Brittany shares how this is the season of her business and she is currently learning how to draw the line because she’s been too generous as someone who always wants to help.
- Having the courage to know the value of your worth takes time and practice.
20:09 Oscar shares that “no” is an interesting concept but once he started saying, “No,” he started getting more referrals and was able to charge a higher fee. He then asks Brittany where she is with her business today.
- Brittany shares that after starting full service and offering everything to everyone, she decided to cast a wide net to figure out what she loved and pair down to find her niche.
- She discovered she was more in the social media influencer space.
- She started createcollabs.com as a way to productize a service based business so she wasn’t capped billing hours and it offered her the opportunity to scale services.
23:17 Oscar asks Brittany if when she made the strategic decision to go in this direction, if she had a light bulb moment.
- Brittany shared that she didn’t have an “Aha! Moment” but it was things that happened over time.
- Eliminating things were more her path and doing self evaluation about where she could actually make money.
- She decided it was better to make the most out of her network that she could tap when needed.
- As trends in marketing started changing, it opened a door to do collaborations for client campaigns when Facebook’s algorithms changed to offer no organic reach but there was a need for content and advertising.
- She began to see the impact and popularity for small and local businesses and it began to take on a life of its own.
- Brittany tells a story of advice she got and how she ran out of reasons why it wouldn’t work, so she went for it.
26:35 Oscar recognizes that Brittany eliminated the areas where she didn’t want to provide value and asks her to share more about that elimination process.
- Brittany shares that as much as she could listen to a client’s needs and execute a strategic plan, she didn’t want to be involved in the minutia, but she recognized there were talented people who enjoyed that, so she began aligning herself.
- Managing that was not what she enjoyed or what provided money.
- It was taking her away from building a custom platform.
- Brittany joined other platforms and went through other companies that did something similiar. She had a focus group of influencers from past campaigns and clients to see if it was something that would do/join.
29:30 Oscar recognizes that market research isn’t a sexy topic but every successful campaign is grounded in research.
- Brittany laughs that she started her career by avoiding a Calculus class, but a huge portion of her career was working in Excel and trajectories.
- Brittany also shares how her experience at Burger King was an intense lesson on looking at the bottom line and making decisions based on profitability but being able to tell a brand story with creativity and a foundation the start.
34:13 Oscar references the influencers, social media and advertising for small/medium businesses sounds right message and time in terms of combining all three together and asks if her research led her into her field or her own personal feeling?
- Brittany shares that her experience led her there as she ran (and continues to run) campaigns not on a self service platform, but out of a need when Facebook changed algorithm to serve more friends and family and less business messages.
- Campaigns became a waste with no value because no one was seeing them.
- Brittany realized there was another side of marketing which was content, because a lot of brands can’t afford professionals to create the perfect brand.
- They were able to regain organic reach and authentic reach with real people, faces and location without staging and with credibility. It became hugely successful.
38:35 Oscar asks Brittany about her metrics and key performance indicators.
- Brittany shares ROI on celebrity endorsements and macro-influencers gets less success.
- Engagement is a huge metric and how people respond to content.
- Picking the right partner and an authentic exchange must require goals on the front end of the campaign.
- Choose metrics you can track like affiliate codes, redemption codes, click throughs, links, polls, questions, etc.
43:00 Oscar asks if that’s where Create Collabs comes in and bridges gap between the right micro-influencer and business to make sure it benefits both but has a real and authentic feel.
- Create Collabs is trying to solve pain points on both sides by pre-screening influencers and putting them into a content category.
You only see collaborations related to your brand.
- Brittany explains how the platform works from both the influencer/content and brand perspective.
Watch The Episode!