Brand deals are a great way to enhance your membership and generate more revenue, and the key to successful sponsorships is that they're win-win-win relationships. So what does that mean, and how can you leverage brand deals for your communities?
Our guest today, Justin Moore, has the answers. He also shares his blueprint for attracting lucrative partnerships that benefit you, your members, and the brands you partner with.
Justin is the founder of Creator Wizard. Having run an influencer marketing agency, he now has insider knowledge about why big brands choose to work with some creators and pass on others. And, because we know you'll want to dive in deeper with him after you hear our chat, he was also a recent guest on the Smart Passive Income Podcast!
So how do you get sponsors even if you don't have a massive community? What are the steps to crafting an irresistible pitch that gets companies excited to work with you? How do you authentically incorporate brand collaborations into your community?
Join us for this epic conversation with Justin to find out!
Justin Moore is a Sponsorship Coach and the founder of Creator Wizard, a school and community that teaches you how to find and negotiate your dream brand deals so that you stop leaving thousands on the table.
Along with his wife April, he has been a full-time creator for over 8 years and has personally made over $4M working with brands. He also ran an influencer marketing agency for over 7 years that has helped other creators earn an additional $3M.
Justin brings a very unique perspective because not only has he been a creator in the trenches doing sponsorships for years but by running an agency, he has insider knowledge behind how big brands choose which influencers to partner with and why they pass on others. Justin's mission is to enable creators big and small to land 1 million paid brand partnerships by 2032.
- Find out more about Creator Wizard
- Join the Creator Wizard newsletter to get curated lists of sponsorship opportunities
- Connect with Creator Wizard on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok
- Follow Justin on Twitter and LinkedIn
In This Episode
- Hoarding domain names … should we be concerned?
- Why Justin left a six-figure job to become a YouTuber
- How Justin helped clients earn millions through brand deals
- Why brands are eager to sponsor communities of all sizes
- Using your expertise to help companies engage a niche group
- Why every sponsorship should be a win-win-win
- The ROPE method for crafting an irresistible pitch
- Find out more about Justin's signature course for advanced creators at BrandDealWizard.com
- If you're just starting out, check out Justin's beginner course at GiftedToPaid.com
- Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra [Amazon affiliate link]
- Connect with @TeamSPI on Twitter
The CX 067: Brand Partnership Wizardry with Justin Moore
Justin Moore: Every sponsorship has to be win-win-win. The third win everyone seems to forget. Okay. The first win is yeah, obviously you're going to win because you're getting compensation. Okay, that's clear. The brand is going to win because they get to partner with you and they get to access the third win, which is your audience and how they're going to win, Jillian? They are going to get exposure to a brand or a product or a service that is going to measurably help them in their lives or their businesses. And you're actually going to improve their life.
Jillian Benbow: Hello and welcome to another episode of The community Experience Podcast. I am your hostess with the mostess, Jillian, and today I'm talking to Justin Moore. Justin Moore is the founder of Creator Wizard, where he teaches all of us how to negotiate brand deals and, wow, let's just get into it. As a community builder, thinking about how you can leverage brand deals to just stabilize revenue, my brain is just wheeling. It's not sleazy, so just going to put that out there. We do talk about that, because when I think about things like brand deals, influencer marketing, I'm often like, "Ew. I do not want to sell diet tea." That's not what this is at all. Listen in on the convo with me and Justin, and you'll see why my brain is just a-moving and a-shaking.
Jillian Benbow: All right, we are back and I'm so excited, as I always am. I have such a fun guest today, who I feel like we met on Twitter. It's the story of the ages, right?
Justin Moore: I think we did.
Jillian Benbow: I think we did. It's funny, 10 years ago that would've been weird, and now it's like, "Yeah, totally." Yeah. Welcome to the show, Justin Moore.
Justin Moore: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Jillian. I'm super excited to be here.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah, I am excited about this because it's adjacent to what we often talk about. You are the founder at Creator Wizard, which I love that name. I just immediately go into wizardry, which I don't know if that was your intention, but Hogwarts fan.
Justin Moore: It's funny, when I was deciding, trying to figure out what I was going to call myself on social media, I liked it because computer science is my background. A wizard is a step by step thing that takes you through a process. Right? Or you've got the wizard with the magician and the wand and all that stuff. I felt like it was kind of a double meaning.
Jillian Benbow: Expecto Patronum. Yeah, it's even deeper. I like it.
Justin Moore: And the URL was available, so yeah.
Jillian Benbow: That's always the real answer. Right?
Justin Moore: Totally. It's the real answer.
Jillian Benbow: I actually, yeah, I did that, where I was like, "This idea, this name, this URL is available, I'm going to get it." I bought it. Then I looked up the trademarks and found out it was trademarked. For whatever reason, the people didn't have it. I'm like, "Do I just email them and be like, 'Seriously, just pay me what I paid. Just take it'?" I was so excited and so deflated.
Justin Moore: My toxic trait is I have this graveyard of old domains that I was like, "I need to buy this for something. I'll use it in the future. I'll figure it out."
Jillian Benbow: Well, yeah. You just need the collection so that when it's time, it's there. Otherwise, it'll be taken.
Justin Moore: Famous last words.
Jillian Benbow: I think we all have that toxic trait, that's like everyone has a hoard. It's actually a joke at SPI where it's like, "How many domains do you own right now?" And everyone's always like this frantic look of like, "Oh, I don't know."
Justin Moore: Right. Exactly.
Jillian Benbow: I thought I was bad. Then I met Matt, my boss, who's sometimes on the show. I think he's in the triple digits for URLs.
Justin Moore: Ooh, I'm not quite that bad, but I'm pretty bad.
Jillian Benbow: I'm just like, "What is your bill at whoever you use when they're all up?" All right, well that was amazing. Tell the audience, besides domain purchaser enthusiast, Justin, what is Creator Wizard? What do you do?
Justin Moore: All right. Well, I have a very specific niche. I help creators find and negotiate their dream sponsorships. The way I got into this is that my wife, April and I, started our first YouTube channel in 2009. Way back in the day, before there was a partner program, before you could really even make money on YouTube in that way.
Jillian Benbow: Totally. Back in the vlog days.
Justin Moore: Yeah, this was back in the ... Even prior to vlog days. It was the beauty guru era. That was what was popping, like Michelle Fawn and that was what was popping on YouTube at the time. And that actually is what my wife's first channel was about. It was about beauty cosmetics, because she just loved that stuff and she didn't have any friends or family who in real life, in IRL, who was into that kind of thing. She was watching YouTube for maybe a year before I was like, "Honey, you have to do this. You'd be so great at this." I was just kind of poking her, the Facebook poke that back in the day. Right?
Jillian Benbow: Oh, no.
Justin Moore: Where I just kept saying, "You got to do this."
Jillian Benbow: Not the poke.
Justin Moore: Yeah, not the poke. I kept saying, "You got to do this, you got to do this." Finally, she uploaded her very first video. We used our webcam for the video, and it was literally 140P. It was so terrible quality, pixelated. We edited the video on Windows Movie Maker. I remember this. I just kind of helped her get it out there into the universe, this very first thing. It was really interesting because the first inflection point for her was when brands started reaching out, offering free stuff. She was like, "Yes, I've won."
Jillian Benbow: Success!
Justin Moore: "I have won at life." Because it was like we were young, in our early 20s and just out of school. It was like, "Free stuff." Makeup especially, is expensive.
Jillian Benbow: Free makeup. Yeah.
Justin Moore: Yeah, free makeup, free hair curlers, beauty tools, and stuff. She was stoked out of her mind. I was also stoked because they're expensive. Finally, what happened was, the moment where, this was always very much just kind of like, "Oh, it's just for fun." It was a hobby. Then when the first brand reached out and was like, "No, we're actually going to pay you to talk about us." She was like, "What? What is going on here?" Here I was, I was in business school at the time, and she's like, "Can you look at this contract for me?" I was like, "Sure, I'm in business school. I could do this." Right? That was what led us down the past.
Started helping her kind of behind the scenes with the business side. I started transitioning from being behind the camera in front of the camera and making more cameos in her videos. We started multiple different channels. We started a cooking channel together, we started a family vlog channel together. It was just kind of this snowball where there was just so much interest. It was kind of this wave that we were in the right place at the right time, I think. So much interest from a viewership and audience perspective, but also from an advertiser's perspective, really wanting to tap into this kind of new marketing tactic.
Working with brands became and still is an absolutely massive part of our business. My wife went full time, she was a preschool teacher prior to that, and I was in medical devices. She went full time I think in 2012. Then I went full time in 2014, 6 weeks after our first son was born. At the time, I remember everyone, our friends, family looking at us and being like, "You're going to leave your six figure medical . Device job to be a YouTuber? What on Earth is wrong?"
Jillian Benbow: Oh, honey.
Justin Moore: What is wrong with you? Yeah, exactly. It was like, "Oh, sweet child." Right?
Jillian Benbow: Sweet Summer child.
Justin Moore: Yeah, sweet summer child. We were like, "Yeah." It was always, we viewed it as an opportunity cost where if I thought to myself, if I could spend 60 hours a week on our creator business instead of in this cubicle. I had a great job. It was the health insurance, all this stuff, all the normal tropes. It was this pregnant question, what if, right? Sure enough, we basically planned for two years, once we hit this point, I have to quit. Otherwise I'm never going to do it. We took the plunge. And so right around that time, I would say maybe about a year or so after we were both doing this full time, business school Justin over here was like, "Okay, this is going really well. The chances of us being able to do this personally, maintain the same level of viewership and audience growth and influence and stuff for 10 years, 15 years probably is low."
That was my hypothesis. I was like, okay, we got to do something now to diversify our revenue streams essentially. I started an agency, I said, okay, we've done so many sponsorships by this point and we've got all these friends who also do this. What if I just emailed the brand that we just worked with and be like, "Hey, it was great working with you. Are you also looking for other creators to partner with?" I literally made this business out of nothing. It worked. People was like, "Oh yeah, that's so interesting." I was not managing anyone directly. I was not their manager. It was more just like I called them up and I was like, "Hey, if I can get you deals, can I put you in a deck and say you're on my roster?" They're like, "Sure."
This is how it happened. It worked. It really worked. Fast forward seven years or so, we paid out millions of dollars of sponsorships to other creators. Basically what happened is it went really, I have a whole YouTube video all what happened with the agency, but the long story short is that ultimately everything blew up right when Covid started. I had multiple employees. We had all these contracts that were in the pipeline that just got evaporated. It was just crushing. I had to lay everyone off and I had a bunch of debt. It was a whole saga. Basically what happened was I was kind of in the lowest point of my life, candidly. I was very depressed. I just had to lay off a bunch of people I really enjoyed working with. Things were still going for April and I for our personal business and channels and everything.
I had spent the last seven years of my life trying to build up this other business to diversify our family. It didn't turn into the big profitable venture that I hoped it would be. Right? Here I was in the ashes at the lowest point of my life. I was like, you know what? There's something very interesting about this perspective that I have now, which is I've been in the trenches doing sponsorships for many, many years as a creator, but I've also been on the other side of the fence now. I've been behind the curtains and heard how advertisers are, now they tell us, "Okay, we have $500,000 now." Not 5,000, 500,000. What creators should we partner with? What platform should we be on? What's the strategy overall? What's the creative concepts? All this stuff.
It was a very, very different conversation. In addition to that, I've also been on the receiving end of tens of thousands of emails from creators. I just have seen it all. All the mistakes, people being super unprofessional, just chaotic deals that have happened and all this stuff. I was like, this is kind of interesting. Maybe I should just make some YouTube videos about this because I feel like I should help people so they can prevent these mistakes. That's what I did. I started Creator Wizard, I made those handles on social media. I started making YouTube videos and basically started calling myself a sponsorship coach where I was going to help people navigate this really tricky landscape of working with brands.
Really, the major insight here, which I think will lead us into this conversation is there is a whole cohort or segment of people who are online business owners, creators and so on, who have built up a fairly, maybe let's say small to mid-tier level of audience or influence or community or whatever it is. Not large enough to have a full-time person on their team, like a manager or a brand partnership person coordinating all this. They're making money. They may be doing affiliate deals or flat sponsorships or whatever it is. They need help. They have no idea what they're doing. They're shooting blind, they don't know how to price anything. I was like, I feel like I could fill that void. Here we are.
Jillian Benbow: Wow. It's quite the ride. It's funny, I have so many follow up questions, but the main thing that triggered in my head was just like, I would love to talk to your wife about the beauty guru drama that went down I guess it's a couple years ago because that was just the train wreck of all train wrecks.
Justin Moore: Oh my goodness.
Jillian Benbow: Anyways, that's for cocktails.
Justin Moore: Which beauty guru drama? There's been many, many over the years.
Jillian Benbow: That's true. That's true. If there's one thing that is a constant is some sort of drama.
Justin Moore: Yeah.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah, we'll talk about that another time because everyone's like, please don't. We don't care.
Justin Moore: That's for the after hours podcast. Yes.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah, this is so fascinating because I think a lot of creators and especially community builders, we don't think about this. Explain to the audience why this is actually something that we should be at least thinking about. It's not right for everyone. Before we started recording, we were talking about TikTok and you mentioned you have an article that's like you don't have to dance on TikTok. I think that's a great lead in just to explain why we're talking about this today, why it is relevant to community builders.
Justin Moore: Sure. Let's go back to fundamentals here from both perspectives. I think a lot of, especially community operators, managers, they don't think of themselves number one as creators. A lot of them feel as though the word creator doesn't resonate with them or isn't associated with them, creator or influencers is somehow people who have social media platforms. I think the big mindset shift around this is that whether you have built your business on social media platforms, which is rented land basically, or owned platforms whether it's communities or you're a newsletter operator or you're a podcaster or a blogger or whatever and so you have a little bit more control over how you are connecting with your audience. Both of those business owners have influence, they have an audience, they have people who are influenced by them.
By virtue of that credibility that you've built up over the years, there are lots of brands and companies who would absolutely die to be able to access that level of influence. Regardless of what the format of the sponsorship is or where this partnership is actually happening, a lot of brands will just get stoked about the fact that they can align themselves with you, your name and likeness. Be able to say, "Oh my gosh, I am partnering with Pat Flynn, or I'm partnering with Jillian, or I am partnering with Justin, with Creator Wizard." Here's a great example. My community is on Circle. I have a private community.
Jillian Benbow: Same.
Justin Moore: Extremely same. It's such an interesting development because it's not something that I expected or planned, but it's like I started out on YouTube, I started making the content, then I made courses, I have my coaching, all this stuff. I obviously made a private community to be a compliment to the cohort based course that I have. I never thought that brands or companies would want to actually sponsor me. Because here I am, I kind of look at myself as during the gold rush, the people who made all the money were the people who are selling the pickaxes and the shovels, right? Not the gold miners. That's kind of how I've always looked at myself as I'm helping other people generate money, I'm at that crossroads. I never thought, "Wow, yeah, maybe there's some people who would actually want to sponsor me."
Then all of these creator economy startups who raised all this massive amounts of venture capital, started knocking on my door being like, Hey, you are speaking to other creators. That is exactly who we're trying to recruit to join our platform or work with us or whoever it was. It became this conversation where I'd hop on these calls with these brands. One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of creators or online entrepreneurs make is that they are very me focused. It's like, okay, how can I make the most amount of money? Or how can I fit this brand or this sponsor in my little box of how they can work with me? It's a very narcissistic focused or narcissistic view on partnerships. One of the major axioms of my coaching technique is to completely flip that and think, okay, your entire goal when you get on a call or you start talking with the brand is to say, tell me what success looks like to you. What are your goals as an organization, as a brand, as a company?
Rather than leading with, "Hey, I've got this community, or I've got this web series, or I've got this blog, sponsor me. Here, you can sponsor me in this little box right here. That's how I work with every sponsor." No, you shut up. You don't say anything and you ask questions. Tell me about your goals. What product lines are you trying to focus on right now? What are your Q1, Q2, Q3 goals? What are the pockets of customer segments that you've seen to be successful? Oh, that's so interesting. You've seen success with podcasters? Oh, have you tried working with community organizers? Your job is to be a detective on these initial calls. Then once you hear exactly what they're trying to accomplish, then you say, "Oh, here's what I heard. You told me you're trying to do this. Well guess what? Sponsoring my community actually would be a great way for you to accomplish that." Or sponsoring my YouTube channel or sponsoring my newsletter or whatever it is.
It's less about here is the a la carte menu or all the packages, the prefixed menu of all the ways in which you can partner with me. It's here, I'm designing you a customized solution that is a direct response to these problems that you've told me you've had from a marketing perspective. Because guess what, Jillian. Brands do not have a slush fund to pay random creators or business owners who reach out. They just simply don't. Guess what they do have? They have marketing budgets that they've already allocated to accomplish their own objectives. Your job is to say, "Hey, that money you already allocated, slide it my direction."
Jillian Benbow: Right. I'm curious, when I think of a community sponsor, very niche in that idea, how have you seen those work? Because I'm picturing this, welcome to SPI Pro, brought to you by Baremetrics.
Justin Moore: That's the basic way. It's like, oh yeah, you have a little intro and end card with videos if you have a course or some sort of badge on the branding of the community or whatever it is. It could be creative stuff too. It could be sponsored webinars, it could be guest expert lectures where they come in and they'll do a session for free or they'll provide complimentary consultations to your members. Very low hanging fruit, stuff like this where the brand is just going to be absolutely thrilled to be able to come in and they have to pay you for that privilege to be able to talk to your audience. It's not something that you give them for free.
The best analogy that I can give is that you have two cliffs, okay, the brand is on one side and their ideal consumer is on the other side who is your audience, by the way, or your community members. Then their choices are twofold. They either can try to jump across this giant chasm and risk plummeting to their death to get to these consumers that they're trying to reach every day, or, oh wow, there's this really convenient rope bridge two feet to the left. Guess what? The rope bridge, you built that, you created the community. By the way, they're not just paying for the rope bridge, they're paying for your expertise. They're paying for the fact this big old brain that you have of understanding how did you create such an engaged community. How did you create this space that people are super engaged, people are super excited and influenced by you, because then the expertise that you bring to them, Jillian, is not just access to your community, it's also strategy.
Hey, maybe part of this sponsorship is we're going to do a quarterly call and I'm going to tell you what I'm hearing on the ground. I have hundreds of posts that are happening in my community, all relevant to your industry. I'm going to give you firsthand first party data on what your ideal customer segment is saying, and both the positive and the negative. You're going to say, "Hey, they're talking about X, Y, Z features, benefits. I noticed that you don't have ever considered doing this?" It's almost like R&D to some degree. This is something that you are charging them money for. How do you quantify that, Jillian? It's very difficult to quantify how valuable that would be to a potential sponsor or brand.
I humbly implore anyone, any community operators listening to this, that the way in which you can charge a brand or a sponsor $50,000 or $100,000 for these types of sponsorships is not, "Oh, I'm going to do twice or three times or five times the amount of posts and deliverables and all this stuff." It's about no, the fact that they can say that they are aligned with you and your community on social media to virtue signal and be able to say, honestly, a lot of it sometimes is about that, is just being able to say, we are sponsors of this community because they can position themselves as advocates. Sometimes it's as simple as that.
Jillian Benbow: I mean, this is fascinating because I feel like a lot of times when you think about influencer marketing in whole, or even just this concept of sponsors, and when I hear sponsored community, it's immediate red flags tingle in the back of my head of this feels like sleazy is probably a good word, which it sounds harsh, but in reality as you're describing it's not at all. It's very authentic.
Justin Moore: I am so glad you brought this up, okay, because I'm so passionate about this topic.
Jillian Benbow: I had a feeling.
Justin Moore: This idea around sponsorships being sleazy is one of the absolute biggest myths. If you're taking sponsorships that you're just fleecing them, that the sponsor's not getting any value out of it, your audience isn't getting anything value out of it, shame on you. Okay? I'm going to say that right now. Shame on you. Okay?
Justin Moore: The most important thing you have to value is your own integrity for your community. Right?
Jillian Benbow: Yeah.
Justin Moore: Every sponsorship has to be win-win-win. The third win everyone seems to forget. Okay. The first win is yeah, obviously you're going to win because you're getting compensation. Okay, that's clear. The brand is going to win because they get to partner with you and they get to access the third win, which is your audience and how they're going to win, Jillian? They are going to get exposure to a brand or a product or a service that is going to measurably help them in their lives or their businesses. They're going to get a discount code. They're going to be like, "Oh my gosh, Justin, thank you so much for telling me about this. I have never heard of this before." You're actually going to improve their life.
If you come at it from an audience first perspective, and here's a really easy way to actually figure out, okay, what brands or products could I target using this approach? You literally ask your community members. You put up a post, you say, "Hey, I want to learn more about what's going on in your lives right now." It's a Google Forum survey or a type form or whatever. You can do this on social media too, Instagram stories, YouTube community tab, whatever, wherever this is, you literally put together a survey and beyond, you go beyond the demographics, you go into the psychographics, you say, "Okay, help me understand where are you interacting with my community? Are you in line at Starbucks with just a few minutes to spare scrolling through Circle posts? Or are you sitting down and two hours every Sunday you read through all the posts that you missed for the week?"
Help me understand how you're interacting with this community. Help me understand, do you have kids? Do you not? Where do you live? What type of jobs do you have? If you're comfortable asking this, what's your HHI? What's your household income? Help me understand what are the brands and products and services that you're loving and using right now? That's a freeform text box. Then you'd be like, oh, really interesting. It seems like all of the people in my community, for example, they are in their juniors and seniors in college and they're looking for their first job. How would I have known that from my demographics of my Instagram demographics or YouTube demographics or whatever? You would not have known that unless you asked them.
Now you realize that they're at this particular place. Well, you know what? You should probably go and put together a pitch for Indeed or Monster Jobs or something like that and say, "Hey, I have this huge cohort, 75% of my community based on the sample size is trying to get their first job. I think it would be really awesome to put together a partnership where you sponsor the community. I could have someone from your marketing team come in and talk about blah, blah, blah, the support resources, help do resume building and strategy, whatever." I'm just making stuff up. It's like you start at it from an audience first perspective and go from there.
Jillian Benbow: Oh, it's super smart. It's funny because some of the things you're saying to do, that's programming we do in our community already. We invite brands in to do demos and whatnot, and usually there's nothing really attached to it. We might have an affiliate partnership. That's probably the closest, but we don't always. Sometimes it's just we know people use the platform or are curious about it. We have someone come in and talk and obviously there's incentive for them to do it because then they connect with potential customers. Didn't occur to me that I could charge for that, which makes some sense. Not all of our communities, but in one in particular, it makes a lot of sense.
Justin Moore: I mean that just goes to build your credibility for your community. You just be very clear which ones are sponsored and which ones aren't. They'll know, again, going from the audience first mindset, they know that you've got their best interest at heart. So whether you're getting paid or not, the goal of having bringing someone is to serve your community. You're just very authentic. You're very straightforward. You'd be like, "Hey, yeah, they're coming in to talk. We're getting compensated, but it's going to help you too. It's win-win-win all around." The other thing too that I really want to talk about, which I think is very important, which is that it's not just about serving your existing community. You can also tap into brands and companies for lead generation to get people to join your community.
Jillian Benbow: Go on.
Justin Moore: Because think about this, brands and companies are literally desperate to talk about anything other than their products to their customers. Because literally they're sitting here thinking, "Okay, what can we do in our newsletter blast? Well, it's Black Friday, so I guess we're going to do a Black Friday." Or on a random February, "What the heck are we going to email people today?" Oh, I guess we're going to talk about this other feature, benefit of our software that no one cares about or we've talked about for the 15th time in a row in our newsletter.
Imagine if you went to a SaaS tool or some other company or brand or whatever and you were like, "Hey, I would love to do a webinar for your customers." That's it. That's the pitch. You go in and you say, "Hey, random SaaS thing, I noticed that you have a hundred thousand people on your email list who are customers. I would love to do a webinar for you or a guest post or a guest newsletter blast or whatever. I'm going to talk about my subject matter expertise, my community, whatever it is. This is what I talk about."
The brand is going to be thrilled to be like, now they're positioning themself as like, "Hey, we want to be advocates for you customers. That's why we're bringing in Jillian to talk about X, Y, Z." Oh, by the way, part of this deal is that they're going to do another newsletter blast. Two weeks later when they talk about how your community open enrollment is starting or your course is starting or whatever, that's part of the deal. That's part of what you negotiate for doing this webinar for them.
Jillian Benbow: What a fun idea. How would you recommend, say someone wants to do that, you kind of walked us through the collegiate job search example of creating a deck, creating a pitch for say Indeed or Glassdoor or whatever. Both with that and with this idea of offering yourself as to come into some brand's audience and provide value in some way, what are your recommendations for someone to actually go about that and get someone on the other end that you know what I mean?
Justin Moore: To respond, how do you craft the pitch is the question.
Jillian Benbow: Preferably if you have any tips on it being more than just a cold call email type thing because we get lots of those.
Justin Moore: Oh, don't worry, don't worry.
Jillian Benbow: People don't do it.
Justin Moore: I'm a big acronyms and framework guy. My course and my community is littered with that, probably excessively, but I've got a very simple one and it's a very easy one to understand. I've created something called the ROPE Pitch method and ROPE is an acronym. Okay? And R-O-P-E. R stands for your pitch has to be relevant to a campaign that they've either ran in the past or are currently running. O stands for organic meaning that you can tie your pitch back to organic content that you've either already posted on social media or something you've already talked about in your community that you can illustrate to them. Okay? P stands for proof. You can illustrate to them how you have helped other brands or companies achieve results. E stands for easy to execute when they say yes so that you're actually pitching them something tangible. You're saying, "I'm going to do this, this, and this." Not just saying, "Hey, I'd love to collaborate with you. What do you think?" Right?
The form that this pitch takes is I brought up Indeed in a recent example because I did research on them for a recent cohort of my course. Here's a really easy example of how you could do a pitch like this. Indeed in January last year on Instagram, they posted a campaign all around New Year, new job. That was their campaign. It was like, Hey, New Year's rolling around, might be time to find a new job. Are you not happy? Kind of thing. Or you're feeling like you're, you want to shoot for the stars or go for more? Indeed can be your one stop shop for job hunting strategy and resume tips and all this stuff.
It was a campaign they ran around January. Let's say we're trying to pitch indeed for our job hunting community or whatever. We're sitting here right now at time of recording Mid-November. When you reach out to a brand, by the way, you need to be shooting for right now, probably Q1, probably not holiday campaigns because those have already been wrapped. Right? The planning for that. Right now, if I'm pitching any brands, it's for Q1. Your pitch to Indeed becomes, "Hey, I saw last year that you were running the New Year, New Job campaign. I was wondering if you're going to be doing that again this year. Okay? Because a lot of people think that brands reinvent the wheel every single year with their marketing strategy. That could not be further from the truth. They literally dust off the same old playbook and they run it again and maybe with some slight modifications.
By the way, the subject of this email is New Year, New Job? Or New Year, New Job in 2023? You think that marketing manager's going to open that? Probably they're going to be like, oh yeah, wait, what's that? We ran that campaign last year. Right? Okay. So yeah, you say that first sentence. Right? Are you running this campaign again this year? Right? You say, "I have also been sharing with my community members the importance of resume strategy in advance of a job hunt." Then you link something, you link either a social media post where you've talked about that before, a blog post, maybe it's a screenshot of a post you've made in your community, whatever it is, get creative and you basically say, "My audience is hungry for more of that type of information and resources."
I say, "Okay, as part of this partnership, I can help you amplify this for 2023. I can do a couple community posts, I can invite someone from your team in to do a guest webinar. We can do some social media posts and I'll give you the usage rights to be able to repurpose this as paid advertising maybe for three months or whatever it is for Q1. I'm also happy to share a recent partnership I did with LinkedIn or whatever that accomplished similar results. Are you free on Thursday at 10:00 AM to chat about this. Justin." That's the ROPE. You notice how conspicuously absent from this pitch is, "Hi, I'm Justin. I have 5,000 people in my community. I get this much engagement, or I have this many subscribers on my YouTube channel or this many newsletter, blah blah blah. I have this open rate, I have these demographics." The brand doesn't care, Jillian. They don't care. They don't know who you are. Instant delete on that email. You've been on the receiving end of these things.
It's basically like what's in it for me is basically what most brands think. If you do not take the effort to show them that you've researched them, that you are very quickly and clearly drawing a line of how you can help them, then it's going to be very, very difficult for you to achieve responses and get any results. This ROPE pitching method is an absolute, this is literally one of the things I teach in week one of my course. It is an absolute game changer. The moment that you shifted again from being not about you but about the brand, everything's going to change.
Jillian Benbow: That's so interesting. My brain's spinning with ideas where all the different ways this could happen. I could see this being a just a nice revenue source for communities that maybe just need a little bump, but for whatever reason whether it's paid memberships that they don't want more people in their community or whatever, it could just be a way to stabilize revenue.
Justin Moore: Well the one important ah-ha I think for a lot of community organizers is that we're so fixated. Because I have my own course, I have my own community so I get it. You're very fixated on numbers that are very relevant to your own business of running a community. It's like okay, churn and understanding what it requires to actually get someone onboarded. If you do have your LTV dialed in and understanding your lead generation, a funnel and all this stuff, we're all so very fixated on that type of stuff because that's our bread and butter, that's how we're making revenue and that's where our mind is. You think the juice is just not worth the squeeze to go after work with brands and sponsors and stuff like that because it's just like, well, I should just focus my effort on getting more members in and retaining members and all that stuff.
If I told you that the right brand or company would not blink at paying you $5,000 a month or $10,000 a month for access to the right community for access to the right lead list or whatever it is to help grow their own customer base, would you change your mind? I bet a lot of you would. And the budgets that we're talking about here, this is the low end here. Some especially larger players, that is just not even a question for them. The other thing too that I think is really important to understand is that for a lot of brands and companies, there is not that large of a supply of people like you in your niche or your industry. There is if they decide, "Hey, I want to actually partner with a community or a newsletter or creators or other people." Because this is just their strategy, it's their marketing strategy, we want to go out and work with partners.
Whether you have a community or whether you have a social media presence or whatever it is, it's just like, no, this is the partnership strategy for the brand. It's probably one person doing all of these types of things. Let's just say you have a community where you teach people how to do underwater basket weaving, there is probably not a lot of communities that teach people how to do that. If you are a company that supplies the basket weaving material, there's not a lot of avenues that they have. Think about it from this perspective. Their other options are let's say running ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, YouTube TrueView ads, to be able to create the content for that, they have to go out, may probably hire an agency, hire a production company, hire actors and actresses to star in that content, hire a voiceover artist, hire an editing team to cut the content.
Then, once they actually get the asset, they have to pay Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to run the dang ad. Contrast that with you, dear community operator. You have an organic distribution channel. Not only can you create the content, but you can market the content. You're the creative team also. If there's any sort of actually assets generated, videos, photos, whatever you're creating all that, you're marketing it, you're distributing it. Think of yourself as a production company in a box to some degree. You may not think of yourself as that way, but you truly are. This is the calculus that the brand is or the agency that you're talking with is doing in their head when they're trying to decide whether to hire you or not. You have a tremendous value proposition that I think most people don't realize.
Jillian Benbow: Mind blown. It's interesting too because, well one, I'm just sitting here when you take a step back from just capitalism or humanity or whatever and it's just sitting here, we're weird. People are weird. The things that happen just to connect someone to a product or oh my gosh, how did we get here? We're here so we'll go with it. Yeah, I mean I feel like to summarize what you said, you're basically cutting the noise. It's like I have your customer base all paying attention in this space, so for the right deal, I can get your product in front of the people you're trying to find everywhere and they're ready. Bring your wicker, wicker man, because the baskets are being woven.
Justin Moore: Literally. It's sometimes as simple as that. If you believe that your role is making their life easier, your brand contact or whoever this company, they will pay you for that privilege. Literally they will pay you for to just not have to worry about this. They've got these marketing dollars and you make them give them this warm and fuzzy feeling that just giving you the money will make them look good to their boss or their client if it's an agency or whatever, they're going to do that all day long. Sometimes it's as simple as that.
Jillian Benbow: No, smart. Well, I'm thinking about our communities and we try to help people create income and live their best life. That's our ultimate outcome goal. We provide education, we show people how to use tools, we recommend tools. I'm thinking about the community where people go to learn, our All-Access Pass. If we had sponsors in there, I mean I'm thinking about partners we already kind of have through affiliate programs, but if we're like, "Hey, we'll give you a space in this community and you can put tutorials or you can do whatever and connect with our community members who are your target customers." Like you said, it's a win-win-win because they're getting access but also then our members are getting the support they need. We get super specific questions about different platforms we recommend and we can only answer to a degree. If we had a place to be like, "Oh, let's find out together here." That's very valuable to our community members, it saves them a ton of time.
Justin Moore: Imagine being able to be like, "Hey, as part of this sponsorship, your team gets to be in this community. You can answer questions, you can do tech support for us."
Jillian Benbow: Yeah, totally.
Justin Moore: Right. The power of something like that because a lot of people are concerned about letting the people the wolves into the den or whatever.
Jillian Benbow: Right. Because it'll turn into a soliciting.
Justin Moore: Yeah, it's like shill and stuff. No, you have to moderate it obviously. You have to provide guidelines and you have to establish the house rules and that's just part of that goes with it. The other thing real quickly is I want to really hammer home this very important point you just mentioned, which is about who is in your community and the types of businesses that they run or whatever type of community you have. You said something which is very similar to me, which is that, oh, we are teaching people how to make income and it's the exact same model for me. For my newsletter for example, I have a newsletter where I literally send creators sponsorship opportunities for free. I'm literally sending in my newsletter, "Hey, click on this link apply and you can get paid by this brand to do a campaign." It's a free newsletter. I have over 8,000 creators on there now.
It's like when I am pitching my newsletter sponsorship, I am able to command double or triple the amount of a newsletter that is of a commensurate size or even larger than mine because I say to brands and sponsors, I say, "Look, the people who join my newsletter or who are in my community or whatever, these are not people screwing around on TikTok. These are people who are trying to make money as a creator. These are people who are well established in their career. They're investing in tools, they're investing in software, they're investing in equipment to improve their creator business. That is why you're going to pay me 2x or 3x the amount of money."
It's very important that you understand who you're serving because you have to be able to tell that story to an advertiser to help them understand why they should be paying. Because a lot of people, they'll gaslight you, "You're 2 or 3x times the amount of these other people who have a similar size." "Okay, my audience is way different than those people." You just have to be very, very frank about it.
Jillian Benbow: Absolutely. There's definitely a lot to think about. I think anybody listening, depending on the type of community you have, who your members are, what you're helping them solve, all of that. I think this is a really interesting way to diversify revenue and take the pressure off. It's kind of exciting to be honest. I know shots fired I was like, "When I hear about these things, I think they're sleazy." Like everything, there's an authentic way to do it. The win-win-win as you said, I like that. Then there's this sleazy way. Of course we hope everyone uses their power and knowledge for good.
I think increasingly brands are going to lean into this sort of model because it's just direct to the people they want to get to. If it's your community, you're the gatekeeper. If the diet tea company is like, "We want to sponsor SPI Pro." I'll be like, "Hell no, you won't." Obviously that's not a match. If a SaaS company that helps people do things that make sense for our All-Access Community, for example, that I'd be like, 'okay, let's talk'." Right? It makes sense.
Justin Moore: I'm going to leave you with one parting idea because I imagine there may be some folks listening who'd be like, "Yeah, this only works for people like SPI who have a ton of members in their community. How am I going to go out and pitch a brand or a company where I don't have that many?" Maybe it's just a handful or a hundred or 500, whatever it is. I want you to hear me very, very clearly here, which is that there are so many other things that you can pitch to a brand beyond just the scale or the size of your community.
One of them could be, for example, you pitch to the brand that you'll create a community for them. And the credibility that you have is the fact that you have your own community. They'll look at that and be like, "Oh wow, you've got a hundred people in there? That's awesome." You pitch them, "Hey, I'm going to help you create a advisory board of your own customers." Or, "I have some top people in my community who I think would love to be a part of this." Maybe those people are compensated, I don't know. You're definitely compensated for running their community for them.
The analog for this with a lot of social media creators is a lot of times what I advise people to pitch when they're at the outset of their journey is like, hey, go pitch that you will create the brand's podcast for them. Not that they're going to be on your podcast. You actually create one for them. The beautiful part about all this, by the way, is that now the amount of money that you can charge them is completely detached from your audience or your influence or your social media following, or how big your community is. Whatever it is. You can now charge whatever you desire because you are again serving them. You are fulfilling an objective that they have. How do you know they're not willing to pay you 20 grand for that? You don't know. You don't know unless you have a conversation.
Jillian Benbow: Frankly, it's cheaper to pay you 20 grand to do that than it is to hire a dedicated person.
Justin Moore: 100%. This is one of my favorite tactics. But literally go look at a brand's job board set up Google alerts for influencer manager, content marketing manager, digital strategist. If they are recruiting for this type of thing, why can you not reach out and pitch them? Hey, I saw that you're trying to create your own community or trying to do your own x, y, z. I can do that for you want a freelance basis? Yeah, it's going to be $7,500 a month but I can do this for you.
Jillian Benbow: Oh yeah. I mean I actually have done that. It is lucrative. It's just, just time really. If you have the time to do it and do it well, which I don't currently, but when I did man, I was rolling it, those Taylor Swift tickets that are going for a thousand bucks men, give me the row. No problem. No, just kidding.
Justin Moore: Oh man.
Jillian Benbow: I was just in the queue for five hours yesterday.
Justin Moore: Oh dude it crashed though, right?
Jillian Benbow: Oh yeah, it did. I did get tickets.
Justin Moore: You did? Wow. Impressive.
Jillian Benbow: I did. Ticketmaster, I know you're listening, but you just need to create a tier of tickets that are non-transferable and then let the people who are actually going to the concert come in and buy those that aren't going to resell them because they can't. Then, people like me who are stuck in the queue for five hours because their daughter wants to go so bad won't be so salty today.
Justin Moore: Mom of the year. Let me just do a sound effect. Mom of the year for that one.
Jillian Benbow: Thank you. Thank you.
Justin Moore: Of course.
Jillian Benbow: Yes. I did get a nice big hug yesterday from a teenager.
Justin Moore: Yeah. Wow, that's big.
Jillian Benbow: Hashtag worth it.
Justin Moore: Yes.
Jillian Benbow: All right, well on TayTay, let's shift to our rapid fire. This has been so fun. My head is just spinning. Obviously your energy is contagious. You are very loving all this. We'll get your links at the end so anybody who wants to learn more about your course and whatnot can, because it sounds at the very least, the newsletter sounds like a very good idea.
Justin Moore: Yes.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. Anybody wanting to actually learn how to do this, I think should connect with you stat. Let's do some rapid fire. I'm going to ask a question. First thing that comes to your mind is your response. It should be one word to one sentence. As I like to say, despite how much I will want to, I really try not to ask follow up questions because I often find these questions so fascinating. I keep pitching, I'm like, we need to have just a bucket list or not bucket list of a rapid fire, like slow fire bonus episodes where we just talk these through. David, if you're listening, let's do it. Okay, Justin Moore, when you were a wee boy in the world, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Justin Moore: Oh, concert pianist. I wanted to be like for many, many years that was what I was a hundred percent sure I was going to be. Then I became an engineer, so I don't know what happened there.
Jillian Benbow: I'm sure there's some sort of psychological, interesting fact deep in that somewhere. Justin, how do you define community?
Justin Moore: When the bonds between your community members are as strong as they are with you.
Jillian Benbow: What is something on your bucket list that you have done?
Justin Moore: Stay in an over the water bungalow in Bora Bora.
Jillian Benbow: Yes. All right. The flip of that, what's something on your bucket list that you have not yet done?
Justin Moore: I have a goal to help creators big and small land a million sponsorships by 2032. In 10 years. I have not accomplished that yet.
Jillian Benbow: That's lovely. What is a book that you just love or recommend to everybody to read? Fiction, nonfiction, doesn't matter.
Justin Moore: Negotiation Genius by Deepak Maholtra, one of my favorite books on negotiation ever.
Jillian Benbow: All right, I'm going to have to check that out. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?
Justin Moore: Bora Bora. I mean, literally, my wife and I were talking about this right when we got back. We went for our 10 year anniversary and we were like, how can we do this? We're geographically independent, we're creators. We work from home. Why can't we just move here for a couple months or something? Why not? We have two small kids, so that's makes it challenging. But why can't we do this, Jillian? We could do this.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. See, the truth is you can do it. You just have to-
Justin Moore: It's all details. We have three cats too. Ugh, man.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. Cats can stay at mom's house for a couple months. If the kids aren't in school yet, what an experience.
Justin Moore: I know.
Jillian Benbow: You can keep us posted on when you're moving there.
Justin Moore: I will.
Jillian Benbow: All right, and final question, Justin. How do you want to be remembered?
Justin Moore: I want to be remembered as a good dad and as a good husband. That's it. My mark on the world, if I can help other people beyond that, that's just icing on the cake for me. Just having the impact I can with my kids and my wife is all that matters to me.
Jillian Benbow: I love it. I love it. You passed. Excellent job. Justin.
Justin Moore: Woo.
Jillian Benbow: Woo. Yeah. That was that a tough one. Now for the math. No, just kidding.
Justin Moore: Okay.
Jillian Benbow: Of course you're an engineer you're like, yes.
Justin Moore: I have a minor in math, so I could do it.
Jillian Benbow: You're like, bring it on. Well, I don't, so I was bluffing. I can spell really good though. Justin, tell the audience where they can find you on the interwebs should they want to get in touch.
Justin Moore: All right. As I mentioned the newsletter, it's free. I send it out every Monday and Thursday. Thursdays are the sponsorship email. Mondays are actually what I call Mindset Mondays. I send you stuff all around what's in between your ears, because I feel like that is what prevents people from actually making money a lot of the times when it comes to being a creator, imposter syndrome, all that stuff. Yeah, you just go to creatorwizard.com/join and I would love to connect with all y'all listening, and I'm just @CreatorWizard pretty much everywhere on social media.
Jillian Benbow: On all the webs. You mentioned your course, I thought I heard you say cohorts?
Justin Moore: I do, yeah. I have two courses. My signature course, I guess you could call it, is called Brand Deal Wizard. It's a four week course that I run three times a year. So I actually just finished cohort number seven. The next cohort will be in the winter, which is February, March timeframe of 2023. Yeah, you want to join the wait list, it's just branddealwizard.com. It is, I would say, a more of an advanced course because it's designed for creators or online business owners who do have some experience working with brands.
If you're kind of at the outset of this, I have another kind of a self-study course called Gifted to Paid, and it's for creators and folks who are just used to just getting a bunch of free stuff offers, free product offers, like, "Hey, here's a free subscription to our SaaS tool, or here's this free thing we'll ship it to you, but you got to talk about it." It's all focused on this topic of how do you actually transition those into paid partnerships and have that conversation, articulate to brands why actually why it would require an investment. That's just giftedtopaid.com.
Jillian Benbow: Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the show today.
Justin Moore: Thanks for having me.
Jillian Benbow: That's a wrap. That's the episode with Justin. You can check him out all over the interwebs at Creator Wizard. Head over to his website creatorwizard.com. Yeah, that's the episode today. I hope you found this valuable. Whether it's something you're interested in or something that does not align with what you want to do, let me know on Twitter @JillianBenbow. I will see you next week. Have a wonderful, wonderful week, my friends. We will see you next Tuesday.
You can find Justin Moore at creatorwizard.com and on all the socials @CreatorWizard. Your lead host for the Community Experience is me, Jillian Benbow. Our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our editor is Paul Grigoras. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Theme music by David Grabowski. See you next Tuesday.