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Q&A Day!!!!

We love taking questions from our listeners and answering them in our episodes. In this episode of Building While Flying, Joe Quattrone, SVP at The Sasha Group, is back to answer some of YOUR questions!

Everybody is struggling with this just like you are. Don't worry about that. Try to just analyze everything that you're doing from a very objective perspective and work on fixing the problems that you have in front of you.

Joe Quattrone


Katie Hankinson: (00:00)

Welcome to Building While Flying, a Sasha Group podcast, where we interview business leaders about how they tackle challenges, stay resilient and navigate ever-changing skies.


Joe Quattrone: (00:12)

Hey, there podcast listeners, I’m Joe Quattrone SVP at the Sasha Group, and I’m here to respond to some great questions that we’ve had across the social media spectrum, uh, from all of our different accounts. So let’s dive in. So the first question we have comes to us from DJ Realty solutions who asks, how do you know when it’s time to add staff at a small agency? Well, I think that’s a really, uh, crucial question, but first I would start by putting a question back at you. The question would be what are your ambitions? Right? So are you a small agency that’s, you know, playing in a certain region, are you playing within a certain category or industry? What are your ambitions beyond that? Uh, that’s gonna really dictate, uh, how I answer, how you add staff to such a, a small agency. Uh, but I’d say in general, right?


Joe Quattrone: (01:03)

There’s a couple quick rules of thumbs that you wanna keep in mind, you know, how is your revenue doing right? Are you comfortable? Are you consistent? Are you making the same amount of money every month? Can you hit that reliably and consistently you’re not having any problem at making payroll. Great. If all those things are true, then maybe it’s time to start adding some people to be able to really scale up to the next level. Right? You always wanna be thinking about that before you go into too much debt. So that is kind of how I would really be thinking about growing from a small agency standpoint. The other thing you could probably think about, uh, outside of just are you comfortable and want to get to the next level? Is, is there, uh, a market opportunity that you know is ripe, uh, that you have the knowledge and the intellect to really solve, but maybe you need to pivot a certain direction with how you staff your agency a good example would be, you know, what we deal with every day at the Sasha group in Vayner media is do we have the, the right type of creative talent or creator talent to be able to create what the market is looking for?


Joe Quattrone: (02:07)

So something like TikTok, it kind of comes outta nowhere in 2019, and it’s very different than the way we make all the rest of our content. So we kind of have to figure out, all right, how do we pivot slightly? How do we add in more of that type of talent to be able to address that need that’s in the market right now? So those are probably the two things. Where are you at with your revenue? Are you comfortable? Can you add people comfortably without going into debt? And then second of all, like, is there a market opportunity that you really just have to attack? So the next one comes to us from Joseph Mar majo. I hope I get that right, Joseph great name by the way, uh, this question’s coming in from LinkedIn and he’s asking us, how do you know when it’s time to take the leap and start your own company?


Joe Quattrone: (02:52)

Well, I would imagine you’re feeling like you’re, you know, brushing up against some sort of a glass ceiling or some sort of a wall, or maybe you’re, you’ve lost passion for what you’re doing in your current industry. You’ve job hopped a little bit, and you’re still not satisfying that long term itch that entrepreneurship has. So my guess is there’s some sort of an obstacle that just cannot be satiated with getting a w two paycheck, maybe it’s freedom, you know, to do whatever it is you wanna do. Maybe you wanna be a podcaster, but you went to school for finance. Like honestly, you should probably spend time doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Uh, cuz that’s, you know, honestly you never wanna spend your life going through a career where you’re chasing money. You always want would be a situation where you’re doing what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about and let money follow you around.


Joe Quattrone: (03:44)

So I would say that’s another thing, you know, if, uh, if you’re just not happy in what you’re doing and you know, maybe you don’t have the time that you need to be able to go find another job where somebody else pays you. Maybe you need to take the leap, take the leap and, and try to figure out what it is that will fuel your passion and figure out how to make a business out of it. So that would be advice, uh, coming from a guy that’s never actually gone out and, and formed his own business. So there you go. thank you, Joseph. Next question comes from Vikram on Instagram. What do we do when you don’t get enough engagement from the community for the content we’re creating? Well, I don’t want to sound like a bad guy or a villain or a heel, but I think it can be this simple.


Joe Quattrone: (04:34)

You make better content um, and let me unpack that for a minute. So like in our world, at least in our consulting world, talking to brands from an organic social media standpoint, hacking algorithms, really knowing how to build out an audience, the equation is multifaceted. It’s multivariable. You’ve got a lot of things going into it, right? You’ve got speed to market. How fast you jump on trends, the volume of content you put out because a lot of platforms like TikTok really favor volume. There’s a supply and demand, uh, part of the equation and, and they’re definitely favoring supply side economics on it. But then once you kind of put in all those, those variables that are more platform centric and, and kind of supply and demand oriented, really channel strategy, if you will, then there’s a massive variable out there that counts for probably 50%, which is the creative itself, right?


Joe Quattrone: (05:26)

So if you’re putting content out there in an efficient manner, right, it’s timely, it’s relevant from a, from a timing standpoint and you’re putting enough content out there, meaning, you know, you don’t wanna necessarily get in the rhythm of putting content out and then be disrupted for whatever reason and take long valleys of breaks, right? You don’t put up four TikTok a day and then stop for three months, right? Cuz then it’s gonna be hard for you to get that engine going again. That’s one of the reasons you might obviously be seeing a drop off, but if you’re doing everything consistently, you’re timely, you’re relevant. You’re getting stuff out and you’re getting enough stuff out there. And you’ve got that part of the equation solved, but you’re still not getting good quality engagement, comment, shares, likes, saves, all that kind of stuff. Then you’ve gotta start to inspect what it is you’re doing differently.


Joe Quattrone: (06:13)

Like what happened at your peak? What was going on when you were getting the most engagement when you’re setting your benchmarks, what is different about those posts than what you’ve been putting out recently and really take a critical eye to that? Cuz it could just be, maybe it’s a change of scenery that’s necessary. Maybe you need to bring in different types of talent into your content and maybe your copywriting sucks right now. Maybe you’re not using the right types of hashtags. So any one of those things are most likely a combination of those things are leading to low engagement, but definitely be fully willing to be as, uh, humble and and use as much humility as you can in your own process because that’s what you need to do in the spirit of, of growing and getting better. And it’s, it’s not only somebody that’s struggling now.


Joe Quattrone: (06:56)

Like you’re always gonna struggle. Like every brand, every creator is always gonna have self-doubt they’re always gonna have reasons why they can’t do something, why they can’t put content out more often, why they can’t post a high volume content or even when they are on the flip side of things, they’re always gonna second guess their creativity and whether or not their ideas are good or not. So everybody is struggling with this just like you are. Don’t worry about that. Try to just analyze everything that you’re doing from a very objective perspective and work on fixing the problems that you have in front of you. Next. We have my boy, Doug bell stalk member up in Canada. What KPIs should small businesses pay most attention to in evaluating creative, creative effectiveness for brand building? Are they different for eCommerce brands and retail, CPG brands? Well Doug, yes and no.


Joe Quattrone: (07:50)

I would say, um, so I think just because you’re a eCommerce brand and you can sell things on Shopify and you know, utilize TikTok and Instagram advertising to lower your C and all that kind of stuff, you shouldn’t be foregoing the need to build brand, right? You should still, one of the reasons why a lot of VTC eCommerce brands have fallen apart in a post I iOS 14.5 world is because they didn’t build enough brand. Why they, why they were getting cheap advertising, why they were acquiring customers on the cheap. So all of these categories need to be building a brand, right? So when you’re thinking about effectiveness of building brands, like, like an e-commerce brand is not gonna measure their brand the same way they would measure their sales. Right. But building brand for in your case, like an alcohol, uh, variant, some sort of a packaged beverage company, or, you know, a non CPG brand and kind of connecting the dots what’s similar and what’s different from you guys versus like an eCommerce company.


Joe Quattrone: (08:53)

I think there’s more commonality than you’d expect. And I’m gonna break this down to like the basic level taking paid media to the side for a moment. And just looking at the content you’re putting out across various different platforms. So there’s engagement and then there’s meaningful engagement. So I would almost be waiting those things separately, like when you’re scoring things and you’re looking at likes versus comments versus shares versus saves, uh, and it’s gonna be slightly different across platforms start really thinking about what actions are people taking and how hard was it to take those actions, the harder the action, the higher weight you should apply to it. And the reason I say it’s slightly different across platforms is you gotta take into account. That’s something like LinkedIn is a very low engagement platform, right? So it’s not like a TikTok where, and, and I said, but by, by low engagement, I’m not saying people don’t engage.


Joe Quattrone: (09:42)

I’m saying that algorithmically it’s the same, like a, like a comment or share, no matter where you do it, it’s gonna impact the algorithm the same way. Right. Is kind of what I mean by that. Uh, whereas on like a TikTok or like a YouTube, a YouTube is a great example because the culture on YouTube is for people to not necessarily share their full identity, they could literally sit behind their fake identity and just give you a bunch of BS comments and they can troll you and stuff like that. The much harder thing to, to achieve on, on a YouTube is like a positive expression coming from somebody that’s already like showed who they are like an unboxed verified person, or, you know, the other thing about it because it’s not a walled garden. People share YouTube links, probably more common than other social networks.


Joe Quattrone: (10:30)

How many times do you sit back and have somebody sharing a text message with you? And it’s a YouTube video that happens far more often with YouTube videos than it does on other social platforms. TikTok is starting to catch up to it on that regard. So maybe on YouTube, you’re prioritizing shares and in maybe the more people share, the more you’re waiting that engagement. So you gotta decompose engagement and kind of figure out what it means to you and your brand on different platforms. So yeah, that, those are some of the, the things I would be thinking about in terms of effectiveness for my brand today, the next one comes from Watertown films who asks business account or personal account on TikTok, which do you recommend? So this one’s a lot more straightforward than some of the other questions and it it’s a simple enough answer.


Joe Quattrone: (11:15)

And the answer is when you are first starting out and you’re starting to build and grow, I’ll clarify, I’m talking about brands specifically, not personal brands or influencers like Watertown films, not whoever the CEO is behind it, which would be, I don’t know, I don’t have that information in front of me, but yeah, like if Watertown films went out and put a to account out in the market, start out as a personal account, main reason is cuz you wanna take advantage of the music library. So regular people, regular accounts, personal accounts, much larger inventory of trending sounds. You flip on business. And all of a sudden to TikTok, that means advertising revenue. The artists that have the rights to music in trending sounds, that means, you know, money, dollar signs go off, cuz they they’re believing in, in with good reason that they should be paid when brands use their content, cuz brands obviously have way more money than people do.


Joe Quattrone: (12:07)

So when you’re first starting out, I think it’s fine to have like a personal account and take advantage of all those things. Once you’ve reached a certain level of scale and that’s gonna be kind of hard to dictate, but there are gonna be certain things that you can’t do with a personal account as a business. And so I would keep that in the back of your mind when you’ve scaled to a certain extent and you’re gonna want to let say, get an easier unlock of a verified badge, right? It’s easier to get verified if you’re a business than it is. If you’re an influencer, right? The, the amount of pressure they put on you as a business to be verified is not the same as an in influencer actually has to perform from a content perspective. Business is not as much, but then there’s other certain types of features inside a TikTok.


Joe Quattrone: (12:51)

Some, some types of things when it comes to advertising are gonna be more difficult as a personal brand. You know, you’re not gonna be able to use the ads manager and be able to target people as cleanly as you would be as a business. So it’s really just about, you know, how you wanna scale is kind of the difference between business and personal. If you’re fine, kind of keeping it low key for a little while. I would recommend staying personal as long as possible. Cuz there are other ways to kind of grow on the platform other than utilizing certain types of ad units and stuff like that. And being able to pre-plan your media. Like you can do a lot to unlock visibility and impressions by being really good at community management, right? Like you could just create a rhythm and cadence of going over to other people’s tos and commenting and liking and engaging in content and becoming visible to their audience and that can gain you subtraction.


Joe Quattrone: (13:44)

And I think it’s worth having the ability to attach yourself to some of the trending sounds, uh, as a personal account can versus going straight into business mode and losing a lot of that benefit. So I would hold out as long as you can, but eventually there’s gonna come a time where you just can’t do it anymore and you gotta switch over. Thanks for tuning in to this week’s version of building while flying. I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions. If you like this podcast and wanna hear more of this type of content, don’t forget to engage with us in social media, keep asking those questions, but more importantly, follow the podcast, leave us a review. If you got five star, that would be great, but we’ll take anything we can get. So feel free to go in and leave a comment that definitely helps increase our reach and get our name out to more people. Thanks a lot.


Katie Hankinson: (14:38)

Thanks for joining us for building while flying today. I hope you learned as much as we did. We’ll meet you right back here. Next time for another flight.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by Sasha Group. We’re the consultancy meets agency arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding media and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together.

We’re here to answer your questions!

We love taking questions from our listeners and answering them in our episodes. In this episode of Building While Flying, Joe Quattrone, SVP at The Sasha Group, is back to answer some of YOUR questions!

Topics in this Q&A include:

  • When to add staff at your agency
  • When to start your own company
  • Increasing engagement on your content
  • KPIs for evaluating creative effectiveness 
  • Business vs personal account on TikTok
  • …and more!
Like what you heard? Want to have YOUR questions answered on the podcast? Connect with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn and tell us what you want to know.

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