Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Jared: From the looks of my Instagram, somebody who didn’t know me would probably think I was an instant success that has no problems whatsoever – this is not true! The road to wealth in the ecommerce space was a difficult one for me, as I came from a small humble upbringing and had a few failed businesses to start my entrepreneurship journey. Overcoming those hurdles with grit and determination has made me who I am today.
Adam: How did you get here? How did you become an influencer? What is the inside story?
Jared: I became an influencer in the ecommerce space by first mastering my craft. I spent endless hours working to perfect online advertising techniques and trying new things. Eventually, one of my ecommerce stores became the second-fastest growing store on Shopify, only behind Kylie Jenner. I coined the phrase “drop-surfing” and started to amass thousands of followers across social channels. This created an opportunity for me to share my methods, so I started an educational platform called the eCom Hacks Academy. This educational platform now has over 4,000 students and 40k members in the corresponding Facebook group.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Jared: Overall, I would just be sure that the influencer you’re looking to work with is credible in their space. See what makes them unique and make sure that their followers are authentic and are engaging with their content. I like to work with people who are driven and have their own entrepreneurial spirit. Each person that works for me is a self-starter who hustles. To me, there’s no room for individuals who don’t come to work every day ready to make a difference.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Jared: As I mentioned, my idea of an influencer is somebody who is looked to for advice on a certain topic. To become an influencer, it’s first important to master the subject you wish to influence others about. Well before I had a large following, I was spending long nights learning the ecommerce game and sharpening my skillset. Once people realized that I was doing things differently and having more success than almost everyone else in the space, people started to look to me for insight. That’s truly how you become an influencer in your field.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Jared: The biggest misconception is that all of the fun things you see in photographs by influencers is making them truly happy. For me, even though material items are fun, they don’t truly bring me happiness. What brings me joy is knowing that I have freedom, the courage to grow and the belief that I can help others. The support I can provide for my staff, family and friends rarely come through on my Instagram feed, but it’s what fulfills me. Don’t think that life is all about fancy cars and clothes, you can certainly be very happy without those things if you do what truly fulfills you.
Adam: What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing? What are your three best marketing and branding tips?
Jared: For design elements of branding, my best tip there would be to find somebody who’s work you really like and have them carry out your brand vision from a design perspective. I’m always the first one to bring on somebody else if I don’t feel comfortable doing something myself. For marketing, I would say that it’s important to market yourself differently than everybody else. Even if it’s just a phrase or two that makes you unique, it’s best to try and stand out from the pack a bit. When I coined the phrase drop-surfing, nobody had ever heard of it. It’s something that’s not too different than other practices out there, but it is slightly different, so I used that to my advantage. I would also say that it’s important to market yourself as much as your business. As an influencer, you are your product in some cases, so build your personal brand to match the industry you’re looking to market to.
Adam: Who are the best leaders you have been around and what have you learned from them? What do you believe everyone should know about leadership?
Jared: One of the more influential individuals I’ve learned from of late is Tony Robbins. He speaks about how your wellbeing and mindset start with your physiology. Standing up straight, talking with confidence, making eye contact, etc. all factor into your ability to be successful. I think everyone should learn to act like a leader in order to be a leader.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Jared: When I’m not working or spending time with my girlfriend, you can typically find me on the golf course. I use golf as an outlet to get away from the grind a bit. While golf is relaxing, it’s also a challenging game that allows you to compete with yourself. I’m always looking to grow as a person, so the sport checks multiple boxes for me.