Ted Murphy founded IZEA, the first influencer marketing platform, in 2006 to cries of heresy from the social media crowd. Twelve years later, he took the company public and can take considerable credit for the industry’s growth. In the first official episode of Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast, I catch up with Ted to look back at the journey, talk about the 2020 version of IZEA’s offering and arm-wrestle about the one element in IZEA’s offering I have issues with.

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Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast is a companion piece to my forthcoming influencer marketing book, Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, set to publish in early 2021 from Entrepreneur Press. I interview the Who’s Who of Influencer Marketing weekly — from brand managers to software creators, and from agency strategists to influencers themselves. If you know someone who should be a guest on the show, shoot me an email at jason – at – jasonfalls – dot – com.

Winfluence Podcast – Ted Murphy Transcript

Jason Falls: [00:00:31] Hello again, friends, thanks for listening to Influence the Influence Marketing podcast. It’s hard to have a conversation about influencer marketing without quickly injecting the name Ted Murphy. He founded IZEA back in 2006, and it became the first technology platform that paid bloggers to post on behalf of brands. This was in a time when social media for marketing purposes was in its infancy. At the time, public relations as an industry was trying to lay claim on influencer marketing. We called it blogger outreach back then. And yes, I was one of those talking heads who was trying to help shape the conversation. We all thought Ted Murphy was nuts. His sponsored posts and sponsored content concepts flew in the face of the organic join the conversation mantra of the social media world. He was committing heresy in a world where The Cluetrain Manifesto had said Ads don’t belong here. Markets are conversations. Ted Murphy was, however, ahead of the curve and his time and quickly built a company that helped brand scale paid involvement with influencers and creators online. The company grew quickly, and in 2013, Murphy took the company public and trades now on the Nasdaq exchange, since he’s continued to guide the platform to higher heights, adding innovative features and bringing a lower price point discovery tool to market. His brand graph feature, launched last fall, is an incredible tool to help visualize and map where people talk about brands and who sees the most resonance from that conversation. He’s one of the true pioneers of turning influencers into money makers and brands into influencer marketing practitioners. Let’s find out where his vision came from, what he thinks of the marketplace and where he sees influence marketing going.

Jason Falls: [00:02:12] As we listen in to my conversation with Ted Murphy, the first time that you and I talked was a video interview that we did on a platform called Oovoo, you know, back in the day when there was a startup that for everything and there were the dozen startups doing everything. So Oovoo was one of these old video platforms. We use this video. And did you know that when we first talked, it was August 15th, 2009 — nine 11 years ago.

Jason Falls: [00:02:56] Yeah, that’s crazy, innit.

Ted Murphy: [00:02:59] Yeah, that is nuts.

Jason Falls: [00:03:01] I mean, but I would not have imagined at that point in time that I would still be alive, much less talking to Ted Murphy about how big IZEA has become and how big influencer marketing has become and that we would even be calling it influencer marketing. It’s been a it’s been a wild ride, has it not?

Ted Murphy: [00:03:20] It has been an incredible journey, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, I shouldn’t say I want to change probably a couple of things, but it’s been OK.

Jason Falls: [00:03:30] Yeah, I would say so. I mean, so so. So you guys start in two thousand six. And you were the first technology platform really that connected advertisers with bloggers back then. It was sponsored content and I think for a while they called it sponsored conversations. And so you started doing this in the middle of the sort of social media’s infancy, at least social media marketing infancy. And people like me were basically calling you all sorts of names and saying you’d lost your mind because you were tainting this wonderful organic join the conversation world with your damn advertising ideas. Where did you get this this idea, this concept? And did you know at the time that this vision would evolve into what it is today?

Ted Murphy: [00:04:24] You know, I I had a feeling that it would happen, but I just I didn’t know how long it was going to take. You know, this all this was prior to the the iPhone and Facebook and Twitter. I started doing the first influencer activations when we were reaching out to people on MySpace and message boards like super, super early blog platforms.

Ted Murphy: [00:04:53] We didn’t call it influencer marketing back then. And actually the name for Sponsored Conversations didn’t come out for a couple of years after we first first launched the platform, but that was at a time when if you asked somebody who was a blogger what a blog was, they would be like, oh, it’s my it’s my online diary. You know, it was something that was just different than than it is today. I mean, there weren’t as many people doing it. A lot of it at the time was was a long form content. And people were really like pouring their hearts and souls into these these blog posts and exposing a lot about their their own lives. And I would just say that as far as the social platforms became more prevalent and as smartphones became more prevalent, it. Everybody was creating content, and that was the big idea in the beginning, was just like as soon as everybody had the ability to publish online that that they would it just the the advent of the iPhone in particular just I think changed the entire trajectory of everything.

Jason Falls: [00:06:16] Yeah, I think that my and I want to ask you pose the question this way. I wonder if your and I love the fact that you guys have always referred to the the end sort of connecting point for you in this world as creators. And you’ve I think you’ve always sort of used that terminology, I’m sure in two thousand six, seven, eight, nine, you weren’t calling him influencers because nobody was calling him influencers back then. I’m not even really sure when that term became appropriate. They were MAVEN’s for a while and then they were bloggers and then they were tweeters or whatever the platform was.

Jason Falls: [00:06:58] But I love the fact that you guys have always called them creators. And I wonder if your original concept wasn’t focused on let’s find people who can do a good job of creating content that brands can leverage versus let’s find people that have an impact on a big audience that that that brands can market through. Was there a distinction between those two things in the beginning?

Ted Murphy: [00:07:22] No, I would say that it was about the reach of that individual because this all was borne out of an advertising agency that that I had prior to this, an interactive agency. And what we did was we built high end websites for companies like Disney and Fox and Coors and Burger King. And so you’d had these brands that were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lot of what we focused on was online video games and like many sites, and we didn’t really have a great way of driving traffic to them.

[00:08:00] So we started doing these outreach programs to these message board moderators and and MySpace, power MySpace users. And we were offering them like fifty dollar gift cards to to just like write about the content. Right. About the website that we were trying to promote. And what we found was that it was just incredibly effective at driving traffic and the ones that were really effective, they were adding their own spin to it and they were providing maybe some sort of review or commentary. And that’s when everything kind of. Went up in my head, it was just like, oh, my gosh, not only are we getting, you know, this phenomenal amount of traffic, but we’re also getting something that you can’t get from any other form of advertising because these people are giving feedback or new ideas about about the product.

Ted Murphy: [00:09:02] And I remember super early campaigns that we did on Pay-Per-Post. It was this guy who is trying to sell these trays for your couch that. You know, he was trying to pitch pitch to them as like TV dinner trays, like you put in, you’re sitting on the couch, you get this, wouldn’t trade it, plop down your dinner and you watch TV. And Bloggers took it and they’re like, oh, my gosh, this is a this is a blogging tray. Like, I can watch my TV show, blah, blah. I’m watching TV. And when that happened, I was just like, oh my gosh, you don’t get that through any other form of advertising. That was like that. That was when it really just took off.

Ted Murphy: [00:09:52] In my mind, I’m like, this can be so much more than banner ads or search advertising or anything else that was begun on the Internet at that point in time.

Jason Falls: [00:10:03] Right. Was there a was there a particular blogger either then during that campaign or along the way when you sort of transitioned over into the sponsored posts on Twitter and other platforms? Was there a particular person who, like, just totally got it and delivered on the promise of this isn’t a celebrity endorsement. This is someone who is genuinely going to dig into this product in this brand and share their honest, genuine opinion, even in a sponsored post. They’re honest, genuine opinion about something that just absolutely tipped the scales for a particular campaign. Was there was there one or two of them back there? Because I would think that when you first see it, like, executed perfectly, that’s got to be one of those aha moments that you always remember that moment. And I wonder if there was one or two people that stuck out as the early getters in this whole thing.

Ted Murphy: [00:11:01] You know, there was a there was a Kmart campaign that we did that Chris Brogan participated in, and, you know, Kmart was what it was, you know.

Jason Falls: [00:11:14] And it quickly wasn’t what it was.

Ted Murphy: [00:11:18] It was not a big fancy retail experience, but it was a place where you could go and get some some deals. And he he blogged about it in a typical Chris Brogan fashion. And he was completely honest about his his experience. And we had a charity component of that particular campaign and it performed incredibly well and. That was. You know, that that, to me, was a really special campaign because I also had a personal relationship with with Chris and I was like, where what is this going to be like? Like, I’m a little nervous to actually participate. When I was personally involved in a lot more of the actual execution and he, you know, he just delivered flawlessly. And all the people that were on that campaign delivered flawlessly and just sharing their honest opinion about what their their experience was, was like.

Ted Murphy: [00:12:27] And you know that campaign. That campaign really blew up for us in a positive way and got tons of tons of traction and pick up by the pick up, picked up by a number of press outlets as well.

Jason Falls: [00:12:42] We talked about it the first time I interviewed you. By the way, do you remember you were sitting in your car for that interview? I literally interviewed it was a video interview. I was in my kitchen and you were in your car and I was. And that was so early in the whole sort of video streaming video conference calls. I don’t even think Skype was a thing back then or wasn’t as big a thing as it became. And and I was fascinated that I was in my kitchen. And you were in your car and we were doing an interview. And I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Ted Murphy: [00:13:17] I was probably like sneaking away because I was probably with my mother for her birthday. That may very well have been the case. I got here real quick. I’ll be back.

Jason Falls: [00:13:31] Well, you know, when you’re when you’re trying to build a company, sometimes you can do that stuff. But but we talked about that Kmart campaign then, because that was about the same time that you guys unveiled the the Twitter, the sponsored conversations on Twitter. Yeah. And so was, as I recall, that was your first foray into leveraging a social network specifically rather than just blogs, and because that was before Instagram and whatnot. How what did you learn from that sort of pay per tweet? Well, you got mad at me because I called it paper tweet instead of instead of sponsored tweets or sponsored conversations or whatever it was I used to I used to do that kind of on purpose to just dig at you a little bit of that.

Ted Murphy: [00:14:17] It’s a skill.

Jason Falls: [00:14:18] You know, I’m kind of a sarcastic bastard sometimes, but anyway. But what did you learn from that first social network execution on Twitter that you were able to then implement down the road when, you know, the Snapchat and the Instagram and the tick tock evolved as as options for you?

Ted Murphy: [00:14:39] Yeah, that was interesting. So we actually had Twitter inside a social spark which was launched in 2007. But it wasn’t you know, it wasn’t specialized to Twitter, it it was kind of a clunky experience. And so we decided that we were going to build something that was focused one hundred percent on Twitter and and just try to make the transaction model is clean, is as clean as possible.

Ted Murphy: [00:15:12] With that platform, it was the first time that we started activating celebrities, so we had the Kardashians in there and we had a bunch of NBA stars in there and we had P. Diddy in there. And we we did this we did the first campaign with Kim Kardashian. It was. Was 10 that we paid her ten thousand dollars to do a tweet for Armani jeans.

Jason Falls: [00:15:42] Wow

Ted Murphy: [00:15:42] That was unheard of. Ten thousand dollars for a tweet? Yeah, we unheard of. And she crashed their server.

Jason Falls: [00:15:56] That’s why she gets a million dollars an Instagram post.

Ted Murphy: [00:15:58] I mean, and that was just I mean, that blew my mind when that happened. And, you know, we started to see that. People were becoming really big on on social media, on these individual platforms that. Weren’t necessarily famous for anything else. I mean, Kim was. But we will we will go into why she was originally became famous, but she she responded for other things. But you started to see people pop up that really. They they grew their following on the platform rather than already have a following and just joining a platform, and that was just something that that we saw and we’re like, we got to figure out how to connect with these people before they become. Too big, and that’s one of the reasons that when you join ideas like we we have never created a limit for like a minimum number of followers because we just we don’t know who’s going to be the next big person. I would hate to have to sign somebody up and they blow up a week later and not have an opportunity to to work with them.

Jason Falls: [00:17:24] Well, I can tell you the only frustration that I have from that in someone who’s used your tools is when I get into the discovery tool and I put in my keyword or whatever I’m searching for and I get a list of people and I go, OK, let’s let’s dive into this list of influential people. And then, like the third person down who’s got like eight followers, I’m like, what the I’ve got to make the filters work.

Jason Falls: [00:17:47] So that man I know I got you can make the tool, do what you want it to do. But when you first get in there and you’re all excited about it and you see what the hell is this crap with eight followers, come on.

Jason Falls: [00:18:00] But I get I get it. I just didn’t at the time. I wasn’t using the tool appropriately. I’ve since learned how to do that better. So let’s talk a little bit about the tool, because obviously, I mean, you’ve mentioned a couple of different features or components here, but those are features and components from a bygone era. And I guess we’ve gotten to the point now in the history of the company that there are bygone eras in the history of IZEA.

Jason Falls [00:18:25] So you’ve got four, I think, primary products now. You’ve got the discovery tool, which is for my description for other people. And you can correct me if I’m wrong, is basically for the probably small medium business who doesn’t have thousands of dollars to spend a month on on on software. But you can come in for a reasonable price and be able to kind of tap into the database, search for a keyword or a topic and find some influencers and get some some data that will help you do that. Then you’ve got the Unity Suite, which is kind of a step up from that. And I’ll I’ll let you expand more on what the step up means. And then, of course, you’ve got the managed services, which is where basically you sign a contract with IZEA and IZEA basically handles it. You give them a creative brief, say, here’s the number, the budget we’ve got to work with. Here’s the number of people we want to use or here’s to the ultimate business goal. And then your team kind of goes out and executes that for you. And then you’ve got the brand graph before we get into the brand graph, which I know you want to talk about because you love that thing. Tell me tell us the difference between the discovery of product and the Unity Suite product so that people can get an understanding of where they might enter IZEA if they haven’t already.

Ted Murphy [00:19:43] Yes, so that the discovery product is really designed for people that don’t necessarily have a lot of money to put towards an ongoing influencer marketing campaign. They’re not necessarily paying people in cash. They don’t need a workflow or analytics to to measure the campaign. They’re doing that through other means. But they want something that where they can go in and they can find influencers and they can search through content and they can take advantage of all the analytics that we provide, the audience, information we provide and the scoring of content that we provide and then the next step up, as is the Unity Suite, which provides all the same features as Discovery, but then allows you to have your own white label on your own domain, you can invite influencers to come and join a private network on your on your domain. You can you have all the workflow tools, all the campaign management tools, the analytics.

Ted Murphy [00:20:55] You have content mine, which is a repository for all of the content that’s produced by by the creators. You have single sign on for the organization. And you have collaboration tools as well, so if you’re an agency, you can. You can enable what we call the collaboration suite. This is something that’s actually in closed beta right now, but you can invite your customers to come in and and give them access to parts of the workflow so that historically that has started at a couple of thousand dollars at the base price. But we actually just here in August have a new version of that that starts at five hundred dollars for four, really geared towards smaller, smaller agencies or brands that have up to two people. So it’s and it has all the functionality of the bigger enterprise platform that the Fortune five hundreds are using. It’s just very much so constrained to to to seek licenses. Sure.

Jason Falls [00:22:14] And it’s and it’s more of a self-service platform because the enterprise folks are probably using more of the managed services that. Correct?

Ted Murphy [00:22:22] Well, the so the starter edition is all of the customer training is group based. And then once you get to the higher level tiers, we’re providing like a dedicated account manager and. More one to one, but in terms of functionality, software functionality, it is the exact same offering you get. You get everything.

Jason Falls [00:22:51] That’s a that’s a pretty fantastic price drop for people who probably haven’t looked at IZEA maybe in a year or so. They may not realize that all that technology is available for 500 bucks a month as opposed to what it was the last time I saw that.

Ted Murphy [00:23:06] Well, I mean, basically the the it’s it’s twenty five percent of the cost of what our lowest tier package was before. But I mean, what is happened with COVID is it’s just been devastating for so many marketing organizations, whether you’re on the agency side or you’re on the brand side. A lot of a lot of those teams are just smaller than they used to be or the budgets are smaller than they used to be or both. And so we we wanted to create a tier that would allow us to to service those customers. But we also it took us a little bit of time because we had to make sure that everything was available and online so that the customers were able to serve themselves because five hundred dollars a month, you can’t have somebody really doing a lot of handholding with you in terms of the initial training, how much of an impact and hear you on the COVID thing.

Jason Falls [00:24:06] And that makes perfect sense. I want to ask this question, though, because I often see software as a service platforms that are built and grown and they have an enterprise target. And in my personal opinion, the pricing on a lot of enterprise software out of the gate is ridiculous because especially new stuff is unproven, et cetera. This is not a reflection of IZEA. This is just in general speaking about social technology. But you have a company that comes out and they launch a product and it’s targeted at the Enterprise five thousand dollars a month or whatever. So basically you’re eliminating ninety seven percent of the businesses out there that could even potentially do business with you. And then there’s there’s one of two things that happens as these companies grow. They they do one of two things. They either have to go out and get more users because they want an IPO or they want acquisition or there’s some endgame in it for the founders. And so they got to go out and get users. So they have to offer this like lower end product for 20 bucks a month or whatever just to get user headcount or they do sort of kind of. What I think you guys did was you guys built a really nice company, went public, had an IPO, and now you’ve I’m wondering how much the IPO had to do with your decision to say, hey, let’s make the platform more accessible to people.

Ted Murphy [00:25:34] You know, the the goal for us, I mean, clearly, look, we’re here we’re here to make money and drive revenue. Right? And so we want more people using our our software. But our our mission has always been to help the creators. Our mission is to help them to monetize their content, creativity and influence. And so if you are offering a software platform and a closed marketplace, we’re only a small percentage of marketers can afford to participate and have those seat licenses. Then you’re cutting off the transaction opportunities for the creators. And so it just feels. Counter to what we’re trying to to accomplish at the end of the day, and we didn’t even I mean, you mentioned the other the other platforms. We didn’t talk about Shake, which is our our newest platform that that we just announced two months ago and is going to be opening up for the public here in this quarter. But there there’s no there’s no license fee. It’s just all the action based. And it’s and it’s 15 percent of the transaction, which is lower than you’re going to find just about anywhere with the idea that we we just want creators to make money and get paid. And if we get cut but there’s more transactions like we’re happy with that.

Jason Falls [00:27:04] That’s great. And for people who don’t know, Shake is the new product and I’ll I’ll do my best to fumble around describing it to people. And you correct me if I’m wrong, but the way that I sort of when I looked at it and I logged in and created my first couple of shakes, it to me it’s like this sort of open marketplace, almost like a fiver for creators in a way, but it’s it’s expanded to, you know, photographers and voiceover artists. And there’s lots of different video producers. There’s lots of different versions of creators there that are beyond the definition of a, quote unquote, influencer. I think it’s really more focused on I can create unique content or a product in some way. And this is a marketplace for brands to connect with folks like that. Is that accurate?

Ted Murphy [00:27:52] Yeah. I mean, if you think about the people that work. In a ad agency, or if you think about the people that might be employed or work with a talent agency, it’s it’s those individuals that we’re targeting. Right. And influencers, a lot of them have become influencers because they are great at writing or they’re great at making videos or they’re great at taking photos or making music or some combination of all of those things. And historically, in IZEA X, we’ve just focused on the output of a post to social for the brand. But what we’re finding is that. Brands are looking for different ways, all sorts of different ways to create content and and the creators already have those skill sets. And so what if we can allow you to join the marketplace and sell as one person? You can sell a sponsorship on your podcast. You could sell a sponsored photo on your Instagram, you could sell graphic design services and you could sell video editing services because you’re able to do all of those things. That’s the idea behind behind the platform. And to make it so that the creator is driving that process and driving those listings rather than what happens in our current marketplace, which is largely driven by the the marketer, the marketer, and they create their opportunity and they either the people are going to bid on it or they’re going to select people to participate. But the marketers really and and control, they’re right.

Jason Falls [00:29:34] It’s an interesting take on it. I appreciated it because, you know, I like to do some voiceover work from time to time. And there are some things that I do just as a side hustle that I don’t really have a great place to market those unless I want to go post on one of these five or type marketplaces which have never really been interested in. So I thought it was a it’s a pretty, pretty interesting platform. I’m interested to see how it shakes out and certainly interesting to see people ask me to create stuff for them, because that would be kind of fun to just figure that out.

Jason Falls [00:30:06] Now, let’s talk about Brandgraph, because this is this was a big deal at six or seven months ago whenever it came out. And I know you and I have had a couple of conversations about it. I’ve shared some information about it with people on the blog and whatnot. Is this basically IZEA’s flag in the in on the planet or on the moon of social listening? Is that kind of what this is?

Ted Murphy [00:30:33] I mean, it has social listening components, but but it is not a social listening platform. We’re not there trying to deliver. Real time updates that somebody made it or somebody wrote a tweet or somebody posted a photo. What we’re trying to do is provide the next level of analysis on top of that. And we are able to do that because we’ve created this universe where we’re able to measure brands against each other. And we’ve gone through a tremendous amount of effort to catalogue them properly and to index them and to identify them so that you can understand how you’re stacking up against your your competition and how you’re trending relative to your to your competition.

Jason Falls [00:31:28] It it appears to me when I look at at the the product and have seen some of the outputs from it, it appears to me, though, to have a very healthy social listening component, because basically when I go in and look at a brand dashboard, it’s like here’s basically the volume of your conversation of the people that are posting about you. Here’s the half of it or the part of it that’s sponsored versus organic. Here’s how it compares to competitors. Then, of course, the graph part of it, I think is, is what goes beyond listening and says and here’s how all that’s connected, especially with influential voices, which makes that’s the brilliance of it, I think, is being able to not only see the conversation, but who’s impacting and influencing the conversation, which is pretty fantastic, pretty fantastic. I just when I saw it for the first time, I thought, wow, this is like IZEA’a take on social listening. It’s not you net net. It’s not going to be a, you know, a Radian6 type thing. It’s a very different thing. But it it’s it’s the social listening component that I would have thought Ted Murphy would have come up with.

Ted Murphy [00:32:40] Well, I mean, where it’s really going to start to get interesting is with the next generation of x, so IZEAx right now in the search tool utilizes some of that brain graph information. But there’s so much more that we haven’t displayed yet. And when you think about analyzing, you know, right now, if you go into brain graph, it’s going to it’s going to benchmark you against. Other brands and how much content is being created, what’s the engagement rate, how much of a sponsored what’s your momentum? But. With with the next iteration, we’re really going to take all that data and then look at that from the influencers lens. And so what brands are the influencers talking about? What is their engagement rate for a piece of content about this brand versus another influencer? That’s that’s where it really starts to get interesting, interesting from inputs or marketing standpoint. And we’re also expanding the capabilities of brand graph to be able to understand more about how brands in different categories tie back to each other. So if you think about NBA 2k, which is a video game, and then Air Jordans, which is athletic wear, and then the Chicago Bulls, which is a basketball team, those are all categorized as as separate things inside brain graph. So they have different competitive set, but they all share the same theme of basketball. And so being able to tie more of those concepts together through multiple types of associations is going to allow people to look at that content in a whole different way. That’s great.

Jason Falls [00:34:46] All right. So I’ve I want to ask you a philosophical question here, because as you are well aware, I have become way more intimately familiar with IZEA’s platform and managed services by nature of Cornett and what I do there and the clients that we have in the last little bit. And I only have one concern about IZEA, the way that you do things. And that concern is a philosophical sort of difference. And this goes back to our very first conversation when I was the, you know, snot nosed PR guy saying you can’t bring advertising into social media. Damn you, Ted Murphy. Right. It’s it’s the same genesis of that, because I’m a PR guy by trade.

Jason Falls [00:35:37] I look at social media and I look at influencer marketing as a very organic, as a very relationship based sort of practice. And IZEA is much more I’ll make this assumption and you can correct me if I’m wrong. IZEA has a much more sort of advertising transactional approach to connecting brands with with creators, influencers. And the one thing that drives me nuts, even though I understand why and I’ll let you talk about why. The one thing that drives me nuts is for your higher end managed services. Contractually, I as the client, as the brand or the agency, cannot really have direct contact with the influencers, which removes the feasibility and the possibility that I can build a relationship with them without IZEA in the middle. I know there’s a reason why. Please feel free to share that, but I want to work with you to find a way around that because the relationship building part of it is the most important part to me. And that’s I want to fix that.

Ted Murphy [00:36:47] Yeah, I mean, for for those it really depends on what the what the relationship is to and what what type of campaign we’re talking about, some of our customers run that. They run campaigns that are just very transactional and episodic. They come in, they say, I want this, this and this. I have a flight of three months and then this campaign is over and we’re done and we’re going to move on. Others are doing much longer ambassadorship type campaigns where they are bringing people on for a year or longer with a very heavy vetting process up front to make sure that they’re engaging that the right people, but for for those managed services campaigns, that the relationships really are between our company and and those influencers and the campaign managers who are running those programs. We do have customers who. They want they they want to have those relationships, they want to have a level of management, but also want to have software that allows them to communicate with those people and. Establish those those longer term relationships, and so we those customers are licensing the platform and in what we call SACE plus relationship, and so we are in there working with them. They are doing some of the work they may communicate with with the creators as well and have those relationships.

Ted Murphy [00:38:32] You know, these things happen kind of an off in all flavors. But I think the biggest the biggest reason why we would. In a managed services, a services relationship with a customer, why we would want to keep that relationship between us and the influencers that we don’t want multiple parties calling the shots and and making that a difficult relationship for us to manage.

Jason Falls [00:39:04] Yeah, I mean, you you guys need to have the ability to negotiate pricing primarily, probably, but other things, too.

Ted Murphy [00:39:12] And in terms of like, you know, we absolutely want our customers to take the content that’s being delivered by influencers posted to their social handles. We absolutely want them to recognize them and and and tag them. And posts like all of that is. That’s great. All day long, it’s just more of the the actual management of the campaign and the back and forth of any sort of negotiation. Sure.

[00:39:44] Well, Ted, I really appreciate your time and your perspective on this. I mean, I it’s hard to have a conversation about influence marketing without your name popping up because you sort of kind of started this whole thing and a lot of ways. And and it’s it’s been great to be connected with you over the years and see how IZEA’s evolved and grown from an idea in your head one day to a publicly traded company that’s, you know, incredibly successful. And I’m tickled pink that because of my you know, where I work in the clients we have, I actually get to work directly with you and your team on stuff. So thanks for sharing your your perspective on this. And thanks for coming on the on the new show.

[00:40:26] My my pleasure and best of luck with the new show. I’m excited for you.

[00:40:30] Well, just you guys need to make all your creators listen to it and then I’ll be great. Now I’ll have all the ratings I need at that point.

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.

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