Jennie’s Casetify partnerships are on fuego. Let’s see how…
Can you believe Thanksgiving is already this week? The holidays always seem to creep up so I’m not sure why I’m acting surprised. Feel the same way?
But when the holidays do come around, I like to spend time reflecting on the year and brainstorming ways to heat things up for the next. What about you? I’m already thinking about upcoming podcast guests, editorial themes and potential partnerships.
Ahhh partnerships. How they seem so out of reach at first, but in reality, everyone has to start somewhere. Finding short or even long term partnerships can really have a big impact on our bottom lines and also a great way to collaborate on ideas and learn from others. You’re going to want to listen in on this episode before diving into the deep open waters of partnerships.
This week, I went to Casetfy’s LA office to chat with my friend Jennie Yoon who happens to be Casetify’s Head of Business Development and Marketing. As employee #1 behind the two co-founders Wesley Ng and Ronald Yeung, Jennie’s been instrumental in putting together impressive partnership deals and brand collaborations from the likes of Olivia Kim, Lauryn Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential, and as of last week, Pretty Little Liar’s star, Lucy Hale. Casetify for those new to the brand, allows you to create personalized tech accessories and has positioned themselves nicely in the fashion industry. And come on, we’re podcast listeners so we’re always on or phones. Are cases should be on brand too.
You’ll learn that Jennie came from the traditional world of corporate HR and learned only with experience that you have to live a life that’s completely yours. Not anyone else’s. Not for anyone else either.
This episodes covers everything from your preparation and your messaging to your presentation and your follow through. Jennie’s made it her priority to cover us from A to Z when it comes to building strategic partnerships.
Here’s a bit of her secret sauce. Tune in to get all the details, but it all starts with…
#1 Authentic outreach
Get out there and network in a way that works for you. Typical networking events aren’t for everyone and that’s okay. You can go about introducing yourself in so many different ways, but one of the easiest ways to get in front of people is through social. Everyone is on it and we’ve heard first hand by Emily from the Stylist LA in episode 28 and now from Jennie, about the power of Instagram as a tool for outreach.
What you can do: Take notice of who you’re already following and who you admire on social. You’re already a brand advocate for them which will make for a real, authentic connection when you get a dialogue started.
If you’re going to an event, know who’s going to be there. Do your homework and know what you want to say to the people you’re interested in knowing better. Jennie suggests you mentally prepare yourself with this:
If I run into this person, this is the one question I want to ask. – Jennie
#2 Engage with a short and authentic message
People have a 3-5 second attention span, your messages need to be short. – Jennie
What you can do: Here’s a sample DM template Jennie sent to Olivia Kim
- Quickly introduce yourself and your brand
- Share a super short example of what you’ve done in the past that relates to them
- Express your interest in them being part of your vision
- Share how this is a win/win opportunity
- Ask if you can arrange a meeting
#3 Personalize the opportunity
After you get the yes to the meeting, you’ll want to create a killer presentation. Do your research and personalize the experience. As the brand being courted (ha, I didn’t know what other word to best describe it), you can prepare something too to show your interest. Listen in to hear what Lucy Hale showed up with during her first meeting with Jennie. Let’s just say, Jennie was very impressed.
What you can do: You want to come prepared to that meeting with the questions you want to ask and also prepare yourself with the responses you anticipate giving. If you’re creating a presentation, here are some points to hit:
- Get them really excited about the opportunity by relating to them on a personal level
- Make it super clear why they should want to partner with you
- Make it even clearer why you want to partner with them
- Show them how it’s going to come together
- Show them how you’re going to bring the excitement
#4 Go beyond the digital relationship
Digital connections can only take you so far. – Jennie
Break the digital walls of your business and connect with your audience on a different and more personal level beyond social media and your blog or website. Beginning this year, Casetify started hosting IRL events for their customers and the industry. Nothing too extravagant either so anyone can do it too. This photo was taken at a NYFW brunch they hosted, but they’ve also hosted simple meet and greets in their LA office and have had customers traveling from San Diego and further to meet the team in person and connect with other Casetify fans.
What you can do: You can also host a brunch, a cocktail hour, or even a meetup at a local bar or coffeeshop. Maybe you have a cool office you’d like to show off. Put yourself in your customer or audience’s shoes. What sort of event or IRL experience would they like? Create an experience that’s completely unique to your brand and remember to create value for them. I’ll say it again, your 100% full effort should be put into creating an incredible experience for your guests. When people are happy, they’ll talk about your brand and inside all of that, you’ll organically create relationships that can potentially turn into partnerships.
#5 Rinse and repeat but first, data
It’s no longer about the numbers, it’s about the engagement & authenticity. – Jennie
On the flip, if you’re a brand that wants to collab with another brand like Casetify, know that they’re checking their data and you realistically should too. The better you know your audience and what they like, the better you’ll be at creating winning partnerships.
For Casetify, when approached by influencers that want to partner with them, they look into much more than the number of followers they have. They look to see if this person has been a past customer, does their esthetic and brand match their vibe and most importantly, is this a person someone you actually want to work with.
What you can do: Check your analytics and see what websites your audience, customers, blog readers and even listeners are coming from. Know what they like, who they like and when they like it. That’s a good place to start when thinking about who you want to partner with.
Now for all the little in between details, go ahead and tune in!
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