Articles Blog


January 17, 2020

– Welcome to the LinkedIn Heroes. I’m pretty excited today, I’m
in Melbourne with Jules Lund. Jules spent 15 years in the
TV and entertainment space and has founded TRIBE, which is leading the social influence game at the moment. Jules, welcome to LinkedIn Heroes. (intro music) – So I hosted, well, I
actually started in radio but only for a short time. So I went back to radio
for about five years and it was only through radio
that I started to fall in love with this two-way conversation that you could now have in social media. The think I didn’t like about radio was it was so visual and
all my ideas were visual ’cause I’d done graphic design and TV and so I was able to express
that in social media. And then I saw the power
of building social tribes. And then, good to be
her Nat, very happy to, we look like we’re about
to present a sports show. (laughing) – Can you give the viewers
a bit about your background? – Yeah, okay, so I’m a
collector of life experience. I’ve never really studied anything but I sort of lean into the darkness and wherever I have an interest, I sort of explore it and
try to educate myself to some sort of an output. So is studied graphic
design in the early days and then I started to backpack, traveling, realized that TV presenting
looked pretty fun because we’re on, me
and a friend, we’re 19 and we’re on Jerry Springer
and then we’re on Ricky Lake. He won comment of the day. And then he won comment of the
day on Sally Jessy Raphael, I proposed to a girl on that show. You name it, we had a
ridiculous adventure. Rather than going to theme parks, we just did TV shows. And then from there I sort of got into TV, combing presenting and
the travel that I loved. And then from TV I moved into Radio. I thought why dig for gold
when you can sell shovels? And so, rather than try
to be a content creator, I wanted to create a platform for hundreds of thousands
of other content creators to be able to express their passion and to be able to make some money. And so that’s why I created TRIBE. So TRIBE is a marketplace,
it connects brands with micro-influencers,
those that have between 3,000 and 100,000 followers on
Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Yeah, we’ve been going
for three years now, we’ve done about 10,000 campaigns, we’ve paid out about $10 million to everyday content creators. And we’ve got about 40,000 of those. We launched in the UK, we started here obviously in Melbourne and now we’re moving more broadly across the globe, which is really exciting but challenging. – Hmm, awesome. And I’ve been following your
journey closely on social media and it is a big shift coming from the entertainment industry, moving into entrepreneurship, I guess. – Yeah. – And you must of encountered
some challenges along the way, maybe you could pick one to share with us, that you had to overcome. – Yeah. Starting the company, that’s the one. (laughing) That’s the challenge, that
was the stupidity of it. It’s been the hardest I’ve ever worked ’cause the company’s been
founded for three years but I’ve been working on it
for closer to four to five. And, you know, it’s a
marketing tech company but I’ve never studied marketing,
know nothing about tech, and I’ve never run a company. And so, I had to surround
myself with smart people. And I supposed the biggest
challenge was early on when I realized that even
though I had a vision and I could tell the story
and I can enroll people and raise money, I
couldn’t run the business. And so, I hired a CEO, Anthony Svirskis and he and I and C.K.’s our CTO and Nick and a whole executive team and all the team underneath have built this company
over the last three years. But the biggest challenge
is just being able to identify my weaknesses, you know. That’s one of my biggest strengths, knowing what my weaknesses are and everyone says you got
to work on your weaknesses but in reality, you could spend a lifetime trying to work on your weaknesses. What you got to do is
identify your strengths and really work those to their utmost and within that, there’s enough
things you have to work on that you don’t have to
turn down paths and go, you know, I’ve got to
understand accounting and the legalities and I’ve
got to understand technology. So I don’t understand technology and we’ve got sort of 30 odd developers and that’s okay, as a founder. So giving myself that permission. So I think that’s been the hardest thing. But also, I think,
that’s been the benefit, not being embarrassed by not
knowing things, you know. And acknowledging that
you can’t be everything and that’s okay. – Hmm, well that kind of leads
me into the next question which is, what’s one of the key attributes that you would attribute to your success? (Jules sighing) As an entrepreneur. – Okay, well there’s, I mean, I’ve always wanted to get shit done. I’ve always been pretty proactive and I’ve always liked the hustle, like I’ve always liked trying
to not go the direct route, trying to go around the edges. I’ve enjoyed that and I’ve
always been proud of that, I’ve always felt proud
of being the underdog. I never worried that I wasn’t, you know, that I wasn’t part of the big business and all that. I’ve always seen the
benefit of being scrappy and have agility, you
know, all the way back down to the hustle of, you
know, as a 12 year old. We had, you know, we used to wash cars out the front of our house for $3 a car. And, you know, there were times when there wasn’t enough demand so we would take mums
vacuum cleaner bag out and then just cover the
neighborhood’s cars in dust (laughing) to increase that supply. Or better yet, when we were
down at the golf course, we had a golden retriever, which we turned into
a golf ball retriever. And so we would hide down in the creek and then as soon as a ball hit the green, we would send the dog
to go and grab the ball and then about three holes later we’d sell that ball back to the golfers. So things like. – Yeah, awesome. And what are you excited
about in your business life at the moment, for the future. – Well look, I’m pretty (sighing), I’m pretty transparent
with what I’m going through and you know, that’s one of
the values of our company. And I think it holds us in good stead, but I’ll be brutally
honest with how I’m going, I’m certainly not going to
give you the sugar coated. What excites me is I’m
actually excited about shaking off a bit of a funk that I’ve had for the last 12 months. So we’ve been raising some money and it’s taken me into areas
that I haven’t felt innovative, I haven’t expressed the
thing that make my heart sing like being creative, working in product, telling people about the story and just feeling at the cutting
edge of what we’re doing. And so, you know, when
you’re building technology, unlike an agency, ’cause
there’s a lot of influence on market agencies,
there’s very few influence on marketing technology
platforms that are pure and self served and that
just takes slower, you know. And it can be frustrating
because I have the vision. Like I had a vision three years ago for and we haven’t even got to that yet. So it’s just, you’ve got
to be sort of, so patient. So, what I’m excited about
is having a bit of a break and allowing myself to have
all these great ideas again that really make me feel excited and inspired about the future. I think that for me is really important. But also, we’ve got a
huge opportunity next year to have one massive crack at it. And, as I said, we’ve
been building technology for three years, it’s built for scale and yet, unless the whole
thing can really scale, you can’t, sort of, it’s like Mouse Trap. You know if I put a ball in one end and the mouse trap, if
it only goes half way and then I have to go in and grab it, it only really works when
it’s fluid all the way through and that takes a while. And so, you know, when
the ball gets stuck, agencies just go, I’ll just grab the ball and put it there, quick. Whereas we go, don’t touch the ball, we have to wait til it works. – Yeah. – And the benefit is after a while, when they put one ball from
there to there as an agency, we have a 1,000 that go
through in the same time. – Hmm-mm. – And so that’s what
we’re working towards, huge scale. – Yes. – And that’s a real discipline. – Yeah and I have to ask,
you mention Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. – Yep. – What does the future hold
for influence of marketing on LinkedIn do you think? – Yeah, you’re running out of money now. (laughing) You got to monetize these guys, get out your wallets. Okay, so I’ll answer that question
by giving you an idea of what my vision is. So, we’ve built a marketplace on the content that you
can get from influencers, not on their reach. ‘Cause the reality is, they
don’t own their reach, right. And LinkedIn right now is giving you a ton of organic reach. But the reality is, they’re
not sharing your content with new users, they’re sharing
the platform with new users and as soon as they hit saturation point, they dial that down and
turn the paid component up. As we know and Facebook did
that and then Instagram. So, I build the most
engaged Facebook brand page in the country when it was in radio. And it was a huge community
and that’s where I realize, hang on, this thing,
influencer marketing can work. But then, overnight,
they change the algorithm and my organic reach dropped and I realize I didn’t own this audience. So I didn’t build our marketplace on the reach you get from
influencers, but the content. So what we do, what we’re generating is, we’re using influences to
generate stunning marketing grade collateral that can be used in billboards, display and social advertising. ‘Cause influencer marketing
is valuable to a point in terms of its
word-of-mouth market at scale in organic reach. But it’s not nearly as
valuable as that actual image or that video that can be taken and put in really sophisticated, targeted, paid campaigns. ‘Cause, you know, Instagram,
you got 100,000 people from an influencer, it’s
a pretty blunt tool, you don’t know who’s there or you don’t know how to target, you can’t differentiate just
with the girls verses the boys, you can’t segment it. Whereas obviously if I
take that piece of content that I know performs well and I put it in Instagram ads and I can say I want 20 to 25 year girls, in Cronulla, interested in
fashion or fitness on Instagram, that’s a sharp tool, there’s no wastage. But yet, to be able to do that, you need a lot of content. So, what we’ve built is a platform, it’s almost like a stock
image library on demand using everyday content creators. So we’ve generated over half a million beautiful pieces of content. So we get 20,000 beautiful
pieces of content every month, right, so there’s about $250 grand a day that go through our platform. Now, LinkedIn, the content isn’t as repurposable. – Mm-hmm. – So if I was to just purely
look at your influence and your content and
reaching that audience, that takes care of the
word-of-mouth marketing component. But what I want to be
able to use LinkedIn for is when the content is stunning. So if it’s going to be
promoting a beautiful watch or it’s going to be a Maude Blanc pen or a diary, or an event space, or all sorts of things, I want that content to live on. And at the moment, the
content creators in LinkedIn, they’re not artists. They’re bullshit artists. (laughing) Most of them. But they’re not all artistic. And so that value, for me, in the lens that I look at this
opportunity isn’t as valuable. – Yeah, okay, I get it now,
I completely understand ’cause it, you’re creating
content on the scale, which it can be repurposed. – Yeah, now that’s not to
say like your videos, right, you could easily create,
you know 90 second videos talking about a certain
product in your style and giving advice there and
it could be paid for, right. No question. Then that brand would purchase that and put it as almost
like a webisode series from their profile. There’s value there but there’s not, it’s not a hotbed. You would have to generate the market whereas Instagram it was already happening and we’re just jumping
in front of that pride. So, that’s my long answer. – Jules, if you could be a super hero, who would you be and why? – Alright. (sighing) Well, let’s walk through them, most of them are on the spectrum. So, you’ve got Batman who’s got, you know, his parents were killed in front of him so he’s all fucked up. Superman, he has to hide. You got Tony Stark who’s
definitely on the spectrum. Hulk has anger issues. Thor, he doesn’t know where he lives. Obviously can’t be one of the girls. Who else have we got? – Aquaman. – Aquaman, don’t know enough about him. Alright, Captain America,
I’d be Captain America because he doesn’t have to hide, he’s just patriotic, so
he just care about people. He can walk around normally, he’s built like brick shit
house, so he looks good. Superman is a horrible example, he was literally, his
whole planet blew up. So he got sent here, not abandoned, but he’s definitely displaced. Whereas Captain America’s
just a strong dude, strong dude, with good pecks. (laughing) Which, to be honest, if you
were to look at me right now, you’d almost assume I got that. No I don’t, I got no pecks. In fact, it’s the only thing I haven’t fuckin’ succeeded with in life. I’ve always wanted pecks,
maybe I’ll get some implants. – Awesome, thanks for
being on LinkedIn Heroes, Jules. – No worries. – Don’t forget to go and
follow Jules on LinkedIn and let us know what you
think in the comments. We’ll see you next. (tech music) – Hey, don’t hit me up about SCM, SCO, I don’t want anyone selling me
on that in my inbox, please.

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  1. Liked Jules' approach and attitude. Down to earth and not afraid to admit his ignorance. Great tip. Focus on your strengths rather than worry about your weaknesses

  2. This was AWESOME! Jules is definitely one of my favourite Aussie business people and this interview was so insightful!

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