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#36 Kristaps Beltins – How We Generated $350k/month And Growing With Influencer Marketing

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Last time Deividas and Kristaps spoke was about 6-7 months ago – when they were discussing influencer marketing secrets and only kind of knew what they’re doing.

Now, everything is different.

They’re making over $350k/month from influencer marketing and it’s time to catch up.

Kristaps’ department (influencer marketing) within Sugatan has grown quite a bit, and 10% of the agency’s total revenue comes from there.

And that’s the first thing they discuss.

Kristaps says that it’s been a huge journey to get where they are now. Back then, they were just learning and trying things out. Now, they’ve built and grown systems from scratch, optimized their processes, and it’s paying off.

For him, the turning point was hiring the first person in their department – Anna. This allowed Kristaps to focus more on strategizing and learning. 

Now, they’re in the process of hiring even more people and scaling up even further. Potentially leading up to another turning point.

Up until this point, Kristaps had 2 people from UpWork delivering him the research on influencers, and his assistance and right-hand person – Ana.

When talking about the effectiveness of influencer marketing, Kristaps says a lot depends on the client’s goals. 

For him, the two main priorities are as follows:

  1. Generating revenue – which they measure based on discount codes, through Google Analytics.
  2. Getting more user-generated content – from co-working with influencers.

You can measure these two down to the metrics, as they’re essential for growth, he explains.

Next, Kristaps breaks down his exact process when doing influencer marketing.

He explains that there are many platforms and apps that can work as an influencer search engine. 

But if you’re just starting out, you can just go to Instagram, search by location, and start analyzing the top posts.

Now that he’s developed a working process, it goes something like this:

  1. Come up with certain influencer demographic info and requirements. E.g. women of a certain age from the U.S.who are interested in the beauty industry with a certain amount of followers and engagement.
  2. Outsource the research work to someone on Upwork or Fiverr for as low as $5/h.
  3. Create a Google Sheet file with all their information (first name, Instagram link, email/contact info) and contact them using an email outreach platform.

This way, he can email 400+ influencers a week with highly personalized outreach templates.

If they haven’t opened the original outreach email, his email campaign is set up to automatically follows up in 2 days.

Once they respond though, you have to manually put in the work. And this can be a quite time-consuming process.

You have to negotiate, answer their questions, and explain your working relationship. Obviously, you can’t automate these.

Once everything is said and done, Kristaps has all the influencers make the post (usually on the same day) and then watch the results roll in.

Based on that, they decide with whom they continue working.

The next question Deividas asks is something that’s on everyone’s mind:

What’s the deal with TikTok?

Kristaps explains that people can get a huge number of views in a small time. They haven’t done anything significant there yet, but they’re planning to look into it.

The process will largely be the same (from research to the outreach). One thing he’s noticed though is that TikTok influencers tend to be cheaper and there is a lot of potential there.

Moving on, they discuss celebrity influencers. 

Kristaps explains that it’s a connection game and building relationships is very important here. 

You can’t just message them out of the blue and hope for the best – as their inbox is probably going to be full and they won’t notice you.

Instead, you can connect with them through an agent (which is what they’ve done) and they’ve had some moderate success with shoutout posts in that regard.

When Deividas asks about his approach to doing contracts with influencers, Kristaps says that as surprising as it may sound, they’re NOT doing contracts with most influencers.

Contracts usually make everything more time-consuming, and it’s extremely unlikely for an influencer with up to 10,000 followers to take your $50 and run without holding up their part of the bargain.

They only do contracts if the budget is up to a certain amount of money. For example, if they’re paying $3,000 and requesting image and video usage rights, they’re definitely going to be requesting a contract.

He explains that it’s also important to change up the type of content they’re requesting from influencers.

For example, one time, they did a sponsored post where the influencer was answering frequently asked questions about the sponsored skincare product.

But once they repeated a similar style of post, the results were lower as the audience had already seen the influencer talking about the same questions.

You need to overflow the influencer with information about the brand, and exactly what type of content you want, Kristaps explains.

This includes all the details they need to know about the brand, and even examples of posts that worked in the past.

The next thing Deividas wants to know is, just how exactly did Kristaps manage to learn and figure all of this out?

Kristaps explains that since he was given the autonomy to figure everything out on his own, he wanted to prove himself in digital marketing.

It was a mix of being hungry for knowledge, consultations, and mentorships with people who have years of experience in the industry.

For him, the biggest challenges were when he was just starting and was overwhelmed. 

Yet, he realized that once you start, you can always ask for help and figure it out along the way.

They both agree that taking a break from it all when you’re feeling overwhelmed helps a lot.

Next topic: A lot of people think influencer marketing is dead. What does Kristaps think?

Obviously, he disagrees with this sentiment

If anything, he thinks a lot of people are still trying to figure influencer marketing out and that the industry is still growing quickly.

A lot of people said the same thing about Facebook ads and email marketing, claiming that they were becoming obsolete. But obviously, this is not the case today.

Finally, Deividas has one last question: Given the chance, what would Kristaps say to himself one year ago when he had just joined the agency?

To this, Kristaps explains that he’d tell the past version of himself to learn more, network more, and to give away more of his strategies.

Deividas agrees with the last point. Saying that in the podcasts, he would always reveal his best-performing strategies, and in return, get even more strategies from his guests.

     Here’s what we cover during episode #36:

  • Catching up 6-7 months later
  • What changed?
  • One important turning point for Kristaps that changed everything
  • 2 Main priorities Kristaps looks at when doing influencer marketing 
  • Kristaps breaks down his influencer marketing process step-by-step, start to finish
  • How he outsources influencer marketing research for as low as $5/h
  • Kristaps’ 3 step process that gets him a list of 400+ influencers a week 
  • The exact outreach workflow he follows to reach influencers with highly personalized emails
  • Why you should always follow up with your emails when contacting influencers
  • The exact influencer marketing and outreach tools Kristaps uses and how
  • How to negotiate with influencers and arrive at the best prices possible
  • How Kristaps decides which influencers to send free stuff to
  • What’s the deal with TikTok?
  • Micro-influencers? Macro-influencers? Celebrities? How does Kristaps manage it all?
  • Contracts – are they necessary or too time-consuming?
  • The best type of content Kristaps wants to receive from influencers
  • Biggest influencer marketing challenges Kristaps faced when he was just starting out and how he overcame them
  • What Deividas and Kristaps recommend doing when overwhelmed 
  • Some people think influencer marketing is dead. Here’s what Kristaps thinks
  • Deividas’ bad experience with an influencer marketing agency regarding YouTube influencers 
  • What would Kristaps say to the past version of himself one year ago? What about Deividas? 

Follow Kristaps:

Find Deividas:

Links mentioned in the episode:

#11 Kristaps Beltins – Influencer Marketing Secrets

#27 John Hagan – Attribution Models, PR and Getting From 8 Figures to 9

eCommerce Growth Hacks | Facebook Ads, Creatives, Email & More | by Sugatan

Last 3 Episodes:

#35 Saul Colt – Non-Traditional Marketing and Stunts With The Smartest Man In The World

#34 Emma Fallman – What PR Consulting is Really Like: Brand Building, and Stories of Ad Agencies

#33 Deividas & Kris – 2+ Years’ Worth of Knowledge in Creative Ads and Running Sugatan

4 Comments

  1. Anfernee

    Thanks for an epic episode~

    Kristaps mentioned about the IM search engine that is used in the team.

    What is the name of the app?

    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Kris Sugatan

      Hey! Glad you enjoyed the episode. The IM search engine is Scope.

      Reply
  2. nicolas

    Thanks sugatan for this podcast

    kristaps have mentioned a platform for email

    what is the name of the plateform ?

    THANKS

    Reply
    • Kris Sugatan

      Hi Nicolas! It’s Yesware and Mixmax.

      Reply

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