Stacy Jones of Hollywood Branded Uses Content Marketing and Kim Kardashian To Acquire Hollywood Clients. And by “Kim Kardashian” I mean she’s driving traffic to her blog for articles that are about Kim Kardashian. She looks at keywords that are driving a lot of traffic to her blog and optimizes around that.
Stacy tells us a really interesting story about how she has been fired 4 times by the same client (and why they keep hiring her back).
Check out her site at https://hollywoodbranded.com/
Here’s the video interview:
Here’s the full transcript:
Ryan Shank: Alright guys, welcome back to another episode of growing your agency. I’m your host Ryan shank today. Super excited. We’re joined by Stacy Jones of Hollywood branded. Stacy, thank you so much for being with us,
Stacy Jones: Ryan. Thanks for having me.
Ryan Shank: Of course. So Stacy, um, tell us a little bit about Hollywood branded, how you got into it and why and why.
Stacy Jones: Sure. So what Hollywood brand it is, is a co, an agency that matches pop culture to brand activities. So we look for ways that we can leverage Hollywood from TV shows to feature films, to music to red carpet events, to celebrities or even influencers in a way to work with the brand and get higher engagement from those who are going to be targeted as far as the consumer. So
Ryan Shank: go ahead. No, I was going to ask and I maybe give us an example. So is that like, you know, pay to play kind of when they do these like, you know, Instagram brand deals or is it more like engage, you know, like the product is actually like placed into something that looks like organic.
Stacy Jones: Yeah. So we do quite a bit. So we do product placement and movie TV shows and music videos. Some of that is paid for, some of that is not paid for. In fact, the majority is not paid for. Um, you can tell usually when you’re watching a movie or TV show and you see a brand that’s just part of a scene and usually that brand has been lowered to the production. It’s helping the production offset costs or not having to purchase it. They’re not having yet clearance for it. And maybe that brand is also helping promote that film or that TV show. If you’re looking at something where there’s verbal messaging in a storyline and really heightened exposure for a brand and then that turns into something called brand integration. And that’s usually where dollars are being paid and the brand is getting more of a guarantee of their exposure. On the flip side of that, we do celebrity endorsements working with celebrities to become the face of brands or to have the celebrity, I’m actually become part of the retail or on pack with the brand. And then we also do social influencers. So, as you mentioned on Instagram, most of those things are now paid. People wish that they weren’t paid for anymore, but you have any following of any kind, most influencers in getting some sort of dollars and we work with them in order to best capitalize, best showcase the brand within their content.
Ryan Shank: That’s awesome. Um, one example, I’m, I’m assuming this is a pay to play, but I, I always notice, um, Postmates one, I think they’re everywhere with like celebrities and influencers, but they came out with this like a study and I, I’m sure it’s, maybe it’s real, but it’s basically like, here’s how much like post Malone spends on Postmates per year or something like that. You know, and it’s, but it’s like interesting and kind of like relatable cause you’re like, oh man, I probably spend like, you know, 20 k a year on Postmates or whatever it is. But things like that where they’re like taking a brand and kind of like showing that like it’s used by someone else. I always think he’s like, it’s pretty cool.
Stacy Jones: Yeah. And so with post Malone, that is a very, it started off I think is a very organic partnership, but that is definitely a celebrity endorsement where there are different campaigns that he does with them. Our agencies actually been involved with both of those entities in bringing in a third party brand as well. So it’s a lot of fun.
Ryan Shank: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So, so tell me when you first, you know, you’ve been doing this seems like a little while. How do you, how do you get into this? Like how did you, cause I’m and I’m sure evolved like a lot over the years as social media has picked up. Like how do you get into it? Uh, in the beginning.
Stacy Jones: Sure. So I’ve been doing this for 24 years, so that is quite a long time. It’s longer than some of our staff has been alive on our team. So that’s a nice and reflective moment for business owners out there when that happens to you. But, um, so I got into it because I answered an ad in the Hollywood reporter at the time. The Hollywood reporter was, um, very much so focused, obviously on TV and film. It had a product placement coordinator position listed. I applied for it. No one knew what it was. My mother and in fact said, oh, you’re going to be working at a grocery store, moving cans towards people on shelves. I’m like, I don’t think so. This is a movie and TV show magazine. And I ended up running an agency for over a decade, hit that proverbial glass ceiling, left and started something a little bit new with Hollywood branded back in 2007,
Ryan Shank: 2007. And when you, when you left the agency, you started to start your own company, what, how did you get that first client? And you know, I think that’s always something people are interested in. It’s like, and by the way, and like, you know, how did you get the first client and then also like, what got you over like that, that fear factor of like taking the leap into your, you know, creating your own company.
Stacy Jones: Yeah, it took me years to actually take the leap. Um, I think my friends and family were very ready much so before I was, because they were tired of listening to me bitch and Moan about different pain points that I was experiencing and refusing to leave because for all of us, the pain we know is much less scary than the pain of the unknown. You’re the unknown. Yes, yes. So it was bigly. And when I started out, I did not start the company with, you know, a client in hand by any means. Um, I was able to open doors, just the relationships I had fostered over the years and had blackberry, uh, come on board based off of a agency I had previously worked with their other division, had a client that knew who I was. And so they, and made that introduction to me. Um, so that started off a 12 plus year relationship where I’ve never been fired by a client so many times, four times, in fact, because every time they had massive layoffs, we got laid off and then we’d be brought back on.
Stacy Jones: Cause the work we did was phenomenal. And then there would be a buy out of the company and so every agency would be laid off and then they’d bring us back on again that it was just this constant, you know, Tremolo I love doing this and we just recently stopped working with them again on their reinvention of that product line. But you never know what’s going to be out there. And so you really just have to have some faith. And if you, you know, if you were doing something before and you knew how to do it, you probably are going to be able to bring that to your new business. You’re just going to need to teach yourself some extra skills, maybe in financing, maybe in HR, whatever you are not doing beforehand. Make sure that you have a solid plan in place.
Ryan Shank: Um, that’s incredible. How did you get blackberry back then when you know, essentially you had no clients, no brand reputation, maybe a personal reputation or how do you get them to say, yes, we’re going to choose you as our, you know, agency that we’re going to work with?
Stacy Jones: Solid reputation as very well known within my industry. Uh, and I had to do the same thing that everyone else did. I had to do a presentation, I had to fly out, I had to meet with them, I had to explain what my thought process was and we were against many other agencies for the business and whatever it was, they liked it and they went with us. And so they started off, uh, working with us. And then I feel a lot of loyalty for them over the years despite coming back and forth, higher non higher span. Interesting ride.
Ryan Shank: Hey, it’s, everything’s of life is a roller coaster. So that seems like it’s just part of the ride. Um, so now, so back then that’s, that’s how you got clients to, how do you acquire clients today? It’s a lot different.
Stacy Jones: Sure. Really most of our client acquisition is through inbound marketing. So back in 2012 I started writing blogs and I had no idea where that would go. But this today we now as an agency, it’s not just me writing. In fact, I write the least number of blogs than anyone else, but we put out a minimum four to five blogs every week and this is established,
Ryan Shank: I’m sorry, on your own website is where you,
Stacy Jones: yeah, yeah. We, so we use hubspot and in order to keep it a little bit more streamlined and organized and we have it built into our website. Um, we have over 25,000, uh, reads unique reads. Visitors on a monthly basis for our agency could be a lot higher. I’m aiming for that hundred thousand. We’ll get there. Yeah. Back into, that’s in 12. I don’t think at the end of 2012 I even had a 100 leads, honestly. And you know, that was something that just shows where content marketing can take you. Um, we repurpose all of our content. We do blogs, the blogs became my original podcast for marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. I see. Gave over a hundred podcasts of me teaching people in short form 15 to 20 minute chunks of how they could do what I do across social influencers, product placement or celebrity endorsements. And then I grew that into doing podcast interviews. And that’s all part of our content because all of that becomes blogs again. And then that becomes ebooks and that becomes infographics. And that actually becomes, now I’m writing my third book. So there are all ways that you can take content and repurpose it. And it’s not like doing a Google adwords where you spend the money and it’s gone. You’re spending money cause you’re spending time of either yourself or your employees, but it’s that keeps on returning, returning and returning to you.
Ryan Shank: Yeah. So one, do you ever, um, so one, I love that and I also was not expecting you to say inbound marketing is how you’re driving a new customer acquisition today, which is actually amazing. I thought you were going to say it’s all relationship based, which is not scalable for people listening or watching and it’s like hard to get into. So that’s amazing. So it’s, it sounds like it’s just that day in, day out grind, putting it out consistently, not giving up and just continuing to do that. Do you ever go into, you know, a like Google analytics and look at, you know, what are the, what are our most trafficked or, or look at, you know, some old blog posts that are high trafficked and then try to like, you know, add another like call to action or change them up in any way. I was listening to something the other day and someone was saying that as a tactic and I actually did it recently and I thought it was a, had pretty good results but curious if you ever kind of check out like high performing page posts and you know, try to optimize them now.
Stacy Jones: Yeah, I will say our highest performing posts tend to include the name Kardashian in them. It’s awesome. You know, I never thought that that would be the driver to getting traffic to our agency. It’s all about the genders and Kardashians. But yes, so a Google best practices are to go into your blogs and to continuously update them, add video, add photos, change verbiage to it, change to CTA. And the other thing that we do is if a blog is high performing, we’ll look at some of the keywords that are driving that and we’ll try to write similar blogs off of that if it makes sense. And we don’t go in with a strategy that I think people say that you should have, where you know exactly what you’re writing out. We really look at what’s cool today and what’s a good story or where’s the client pain point where we’re going to be able to share more and give them advice through our blog.
Ryan Shank: Awesome. Um, kind of switching gears a little bit into, uh, into like, you know, so now you have the clients, you’re acquiring them. What is, what is the deliverable to them, you know, like, and how do you report that back to, to your clients and the cadence of that reporting?
Stacy Jones: Yeah, so it really depends on what service that we’re providing to them. But in terms of product placement, we’re looking at, you know, what would it cost to advertise on that show? How long was the brand in it? How focus in focus was the brand logo? Was it front and center of the screen? Was it something that character interacted with all these of different grading scales? And so we were able to give an overall ROI on what that value of that exposure is. Um, refill based on, yeah, we can look at CPM or, but it’s really just based off of media impressions as well, but it can dial down to the CPM basis.
Ryan Shank: Okay. So it’s based on the impressions and saying, Hey, we got you this much exposure in, in this, uh, you know, in this format, this placement,
Stacy Jones: the value of it as well. Because you can have a lot of impressions with really kind of crappy branding. Right? And that doesn’t matter so much, but you could have less impressions to a very niche audience with massive branding and storytelling and messaging that actually is going result in sales from it. So that there’s different ways to measure and look at where there’s value in quality.
Ryan Shank: Got It. And what tools are you using to, to measure those and then how, and then how do you deliver that to, to the client? Is it on a monthly basis? Are you having calls with them to kind of go over things like, like how, how does that work?
Stacy Jones: Sure. Well, we email with clients constantly. We have calls with some clients on a weekly basis or as needed, depends on what the campaign is, other clients on a monthly basis. Others are on a quarterly, you know, we’ve worked with some clients for 10 years and they’re quite frankly happy speaking to us on a quarterly basis because we have everything kind of just going and it works and we add to it and it’s a machine for them and so they don’t have to think about it so much. Um, but with all of our reporting, we’ve developed a lot of, uh, proprietary software tools that we use in house versus others. I’m really, it’s more so subscription databases that I use where it comes to, um, sales outreach, right? We work with like windmill, we use hubspot and that’s because it controls our blog and also allows us landing page templates and I really ability to have anyone posting and utilizing the sources and also acts as a very good CRM for sales. We use, gosh, so many different like tools for production leads. Knowing what productions are out there, influencer database software, letting us know what’s going on. Celebrity database software.
Ryan Shank: What are some, what are some celebrity and influencer software tools?
Stacy Jones: Sure. Celebrity intelligence is one of the tools we use. Variety insights. The tool production leads is a tool we use. I mean there’s really a couple of handfuls of different services that we subscribe to.
Ryan Shank: Got It. Wow. I am thoroughly impressed with the level of sophistication in your sales process. Um, and a, and a lot of the tools that you’re using, what’s, what’s your team look like?
Stacy Jones: Well, before I say that, the one tool, I will say that everyone listening on this that’s relevant despite if you’re an agency or a business that you should potentially look at is a media monitoring tool. So even if you are a brand, you can have media monitoring tools to let you know how you’re performing in the media and to help you craft a plan. So we use critical mention and so that’s our media monitoring service that we use. It does television, it does, um, everything in regards to broadcast. It does, uh, digital and it allows you insight to social as well. So what we can do is go out and see what competitors are doing and gives us some insight there. We can make plans against what we are planning on doing for, um, our own clients, what’s and where value is as well.
Ryan Shank: Um, awesome. And, and do they have like alerts and like notifications or like Google alerts? Like whenever there’s like mentions and stuff?
Stacy Jones: Yeah. Right before I was getting on this podcast, I had a alert that we just got picked up for some more media that I was expecting, but it showed me not only the outlet that picked it up, but also all those others that are starting to pick it up and it, so that’s a lot of fun.
Ryan Shank: That’s awesome. Can you name any or all of your clients and brands on our confidentiality agreements?
Stacy Jones: No, not really. Um, so we work with brands such as bumble. We work with a company called, and bumble is a re and dating relationship. So swipe right, swipe left, right. It’s women barrier. I’m very familiar with bumble. Okay. Have you used it in your own life? Okay. Yeah. And you, I’m assuming you use other platforms as well. Yeah, cause that’s what people do. So with bumble we put them, the most recent um, partnership I think that came to life was with Riverdale. So two different integrations in Riverdale. There was a sweepstakes where you could enter if you went onto the mumble app and you could actually go and visit Vancouver. Um, there is elevation swipe right on the CW. It also went through Netflix and with bumble we did a partnership with Ellen degenerates where she spoke about bumble and remade three women in her audiences dating profiles. Like the crazy cat lady. Right. We ask, yeah, a movie last summer. That was awesome with um, Candice Bergen and Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton where Candace’s character finds her new love through bumble. So those are the types of things that we do often.
Ryan Shank: That’s awesome. Um, name another client cause that’s really cool. That’s really cool. Totally.
Stacy Jones: Here is one of our clients. Fleer is a thermal camera, um, company that primarily is for a B2B sector, very much so. Government, very military, very home improvement. And they have some products that you can purchase. Also, like if you’re in hunting and shooting a more older fishing, you might have their, um, their, their technology and cameras on your boats or um, on your rifle scope or whatever it might be. Uh, but we work with movies to bring their technology. And so rampage, this last year as an example, we, uh, loaned the production a multimillion dollar plane that was loaded with camera gear. And so in the quarry scenes where you see all the monsters ravaging and they’re coming and they’re coming and coming, we had the plane, they’re flying and, and picking up all of the pretend military who are racing our us the quarry where the action scene and then back in the headquarters you see the general saying, I need the flir on that image now. And so that they could get the flir camera up so that they could see the crocodile coming at them. And so there’s fun things like that. We do a lot of ghost shows and paranormal with them cause you can see, yeah
Ryan Shank: sure. Are you doing ideation and like strategy? Like he’s all like do they come to you and say like, Hey directionally we went like this goal and then you were kind of back solving it and like who Luke, who’s coming up with creative for all of that? Yeah.
Stacy Jones: So we will read a script and we’re like, oh look, there’s a quarry scene and there’s some special effects. We should talk to the producer about bringing in flir and then we sell them in on it. We pitch it, everything’s a pitch. It’s very much like coming up with your story and your angle and we go in. So there’s not anything that, it’s not like it’s typically scripted up here. There is a can of water sitting here instead it’s going to be okay, someone is sitting at their desk podcast and it would be natural for them to have a can of water next to them because they need to drink and stay hydrated. So we would go in and talk to them about doing that.
Ryan Shank: Wow. That’s really cool. What’s, um,
Stacy Jones: so a couple of couple more questions tactically. Like what are, what’s your pricing model? Sure. So we have two different ways that we work. Um, all of our pricing is exactly the same for all of our clients. Um, for our agency initial fees for strategy and research. And it just depends on the service whether we’re doing celebrity endorsement or uh, event activations or product placement or large scale integration and ideation. So there’s a flat base rate and then depending on what that activation is, there is a fulfillment rate on the other side of that. Um, as a percentage of the day it can being a, with a minimum set in. So, um, for us to do strategy for us to come up with ideas. So if a brand said I want to do something in Hollywood okay. And they wanted to take me to Hollywood, I want to use that power of pop culture. Um, yeah, we have a program that starts at $2,500 a month and that allows us to go out and knock on doors cause we have to sell in the brand as much education that we need to bring to the brand. We have to do a lot of pitching and education about the brand to the producers, the directors, the prop masters, the set decorators, transportation stylists, all these different people who are on set and who are out there so that we can get them to understand who the brand is.
Ryan Shank: Unlike sales, PR, I mean you’re sourcing list with lead names basically. And then you’re like creating the scripts to actually pitch it, hit all that you know. And so 100%, you’re almost like
Stacy Jones: a business every time. It’s crazy. Um, you know, we have very uh, proactive what we call product placement retainer programs and those range from 3000 to $15,000 on a monthly basis for unlimited product placement in movies and TV shows. Um, we have social influencer programs that range from 5,000 a month all up to 20,000 beyond. It just depends cause a lot of these things are budgeted and funded. Additionally because we’re paying third parties for a lot of the work that we do. So we might have a brand that says I want to do Hollywood now that can mean very different things. Do you want to do network TV in Hollywood? Do you want to do an independent film in Hollywood? Do you want to do a blockbuster action movie? Do you want to work with an a list celebrity? Do you want to work with a d list celebrity? There’s pricing that is all over the place. Yeah.
Ryan Shank: Got It. Um, that is, that is awesome. So one, uh, I’m going [inaudible] we’re going to wrap up here, but one final question that we ask everyone. What is your morning routine look like?
Stacy Jones: Uh, I not a good routine and, and I have shame on this one. So I tend to stay up way too late in a work away, too long. I don’t sleep a lot, but when I wake up, the worst thing I do, but it’s how I actually managed my day and it’s how I get my head around things is I check my phone, I check my emails, I look for all the things that are going to possibly pop up and bite me and I quickly deal with them so that I can then actually get on with getting ready and showering, brushing my teeth, and doing all those fun things before going out. And I have a fish pond, so I am able to enjoy nature. A House on a canyon have not gotten the coy cause you’re supposed to have a thousand gallons for that. And it’s all started because I rescued a turtle and I got tired of cleaning a turtle tank inside our house.
Stacy Jones: So I built upon outside of our house and turtle was happy, so happy. And then we got a rescue Oscar because someone’s other Oscar was eating a hole in it. So then we had a turtle and an Oscar, and then we got other fish and then they started eating some fish and some other fish, like gold fish got really big. So we have 12 inch, 15 inch goldfish now. We have a lot of nature in our ponds. Where do you live? I live in palace. Verdi’s in California. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. Stacey Jones, Hollywood. Brandon, thank you so much for joining us on growing your agency today. This was an amazing conversation. Where can everyone find you? You can find firstname.lastname@example.org we have online classes, so if anything I said interests you and you actually would be more so inclined to do it yourself. We got the tools or you can always visit our blog at blog. I would brand it.com or my podcast is marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. Awesome. Awesome. Stacy, thank you so much for chatting today and we’ll catch you later. Sounds great. Thanks so much, Ryan.