With founder Jordan Quinn’s finger on the pulse of all things social, socialQ are a multi-faceted creative agency, specialising in influencer marketing, content creation, social media management & ad campaign conversions.
Hey Jordan how did you start out?
I started socialQ back in 2018. I had spent the years prior working in public relations and influencer marketing agencies but never found the right fit. So I decided to create it. In February of 2018 I registered as a business and haven’t looked back. I started with one influencer and at one point grew to over 35. Operating as a mid-size influencer agency was never my goal. I preferred the notion of working one-on-one with my clients and as such scaled back my business at the top of 2021. We have been thriving ever since. socialQ manages 15 of Canada’s top bloggers in the parenting space. We believe in the mommy (and daddy) blogger’s ability to influence household purchasing decisions. That’s why we niched down.
At the rise of the pandemic, brands were nervous to work with influencers and invest dollars behind them. As such I chose to pivot my business model to include a new arm, social media management. Today I oversee both sides of the business. Both are equally thriving.
How are you helping to simplify the process in which brands collaborate with influencers?
By working with socialQ we simplify the process for brands to collaborate with influencers in that we offer a one-person touch point for over 15 content creators. Rather than dealing with 15 different contact points, we are able to effectively and efficiently manage multiple campaigns at once.
Why do you think it’s important for brands to drive productive conversations surrounding content creation?
It’s imperative that brands understand the importance of the content creators role in modern marketing. Everyone is living online, especially throughout this pandemic. Influencers aid in the development not only of content but also communication between you (the brand) and your ICA (ideal client avatar). When working with influencers it’s critical that the brand be forthcoming with any and all important messaging to ensure the brand’s messaging is being communicated most effectively.
What is the best business building lesson you have you learnt to date?
To fail forward.
I have undoubtedly made my mistakes in business. Hiring too soon. Not knowing my numbers etc. But what’s kept me in business has been my ability to fail forward. To identify my weaknesses and improve upon them. I continue to move forward because I acknowledge failure as a driving force behind bettering myself and my business. I have either won, or learned. Never failed. Only forward.
You often liaise between the talent and the brand/agency. Which 3 tools do you use frequently to enhance the efficiency/productivity of your business?
1) Keeping everything in a shareable calendar. Whether that involves our creators posting dates, submission dates for concepts and content or simple reminders, this helps keep our talent on track for success and ourselves organized as managers so we know what we have upcoming.
2) Checking in with brands or agencies on a frequent basis. This helps us to keep up with current campaigns or opportunities and keep our roster at top of mind! It’s also a great way to keep your media list up to date and friendly conversations rolling.
3) Sharing as much information as possible in the initial outreach. When we send pitches, we try to give a full picture for the brand to give them a sense of the ask as a whole. We break down what deliverables would be involved, fees and a theme or project description so help eliminate a ton of back and forth. This is both productive for us as managers and for the agency or brand we are in talks with!
4) Knowing the value in our talents’ work. We know what goes into content creation for our roster and the benefits it can have for a brand. This helps in the process of negotiation and knowing the time commitment behind each project. Going into an ask with a brand, we keep this on the back burner to ensure our talents work is being valued and that they are being fairly compensated while also understanding the brands needs, wants and budget.
What brands do you admire for their most effective influencer marketing campaigns?
That’s a hard one. We have had the good fortune of working with some many amazing brands. Over 1200 in our 3 years of business to be exact. Ranging from fortune 100 companies like Walmart and Amazon to smaller mom and pop shops, each company has been a pleasure to work with and has seen the ROI of working with our top-tier influencers. Influencer marketing isn’t just for the big guys. It’s actually so effective for smaller, local shops. People, especially now, are leaning on content creators to direct them towards small shop recommendations.
How are you working on your own personal development?
Ahh what a great question. I think the most impactful way I am working on my personal development is by practicing my boundaries. I believe “no” is a full sentence. I exercise my boundaries on evenings and weekends where possible and allow myself the time to read, relax and spend time with my family and friends. As an entrepreneur it’s so easy to work constantly. But you didn’t leave your 9 to 5 to open a 24/7. Nd that has been a key learning for me.
Finally, what is next for you with SocialQ?
Growth is important to us. However; Im looking at growth differently. We feel confident in our current roster, as I do with my social media management business as well. Growth will include increasing rates, and lowering deliverables so that each party is getting what they deserve. Working smarter not harder is very important to us.
Images taken by Maria Denomme