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Dec. 30, 2021

How Influencer Gifting Can Build Your Business [Mike Baddeley Interview]

How Influencer Gifting Can Build Your Business [Mike Baddeley Interview]

In The Age of Influence, I talk about how leveraging influencers is the best way to incite word of mouth in social media if you don't have a large fanbase.

What Mike Baddeley did for his brand Passchier is a case study that you can learn from as to how to go about doing this.

We're not talking about randomly paying random influencers with large followings to talk about you. We're talking about strategically building relationships with those that will probably be interested in your product or service and gifting them product to kickstart things.

It is an approach that many startups use with success, so listen in to how Mike has used this strategy to literally help build his business.

Key Highlights

[03:38] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Mike Baddeley

[06:26] How Mike Started Passchier

[08:52] How Mike Promoted His Products

[12:08] The Marketing Technique Mike Did To Spread The Word About Handlebars

[13:10] How Mike Find Influencers

[14:51] The Problem Of Finding Relevant Influencers

[16:24] Sustainability Angle

[18:25] How To Maintain Relationships and Expand At The Same Time

[21:44] Potential TikTok Marketing

[22:39] Mike's Advice On Leveraging The Power Of Gifting

[24:46] Connect With Mike

Notable Quotes

  • The spread the word key audience is his bike tourists and commuters. Just contacting these influencers on Instagram, or on their websites, and just approaching all these people.
  • You've got to get them in people's hands. And you know, you can't sell a secret member, someone saying that it's such an obvious thing to say, but you've got to get out there. And you've got to get people talking.
  • The journey now is some of the influences we've targeted and had dialogue in there reviewed the product, we need, you know, maintain that relationship. So managing that relationship is a critical part of that journey.
  • They've got an audience in the audience wants to hear information. And so if we can be proactive in providing that and providing product for their customers to to sample as well. So we're giving giveaways to their customer base as well, their member base as well.
  • What people forget is that creators need not just creativity and an audience, but they need content, they need things to get content around, right.
  • And it's a really good reminder that really what it comes down to is the content but also you being able to provide that and those do that have product have the ability to provide.
  • It might be a little bit harder to get people excited about wanting to try your product, but the higher value offer and the more relevant it is for the people you reach out to obviously, the better results you're going to get.

Connect with Mike Baddeley

More Info on Neal Schaffer and This Podcast:

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Hey everyone. Hopefully you enjoyed this week's interview with Lauren Schwartz, founder of the loft three to five. If you haven't listened to it yet, make sure you listen and not only learn why video ads in social convert better than anything else, but really tips and tricks and everything you need to know about paid social media today in 2022 Lauren has been incredibly kind enough to offer listeners of the your digital marketing coach podcast, a free one hour creative strategy consultation on branding and ad creative, incredible offer totally free Lauren's cool member she word the Nirvana shirt, just email Lauren at Lauren at the loft three to five.com l au arienne at the loft th e ello. F T the numbers 325 dot com to set up your call you need to make sure you add in quotes Neil podcast to the subject line remember I am the real Neil that's any al add Neil podcast to the subject line once again. That's Liu arienne at the loft three to five one word.com And make sure you include Neil podcast in the subject line. Is it possible to build a business just off of influence marketing? Well today my friends, I'm going to introduce you to someone who has done exactly that and teach you how you can do the same for your business. On this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick tocking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, whew. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody. This is Neal Schaffer. I am your digital marketing coach. And welcome to my podcast. Several months ago, I got an email from someone who had read the age of influence and was looking for a little bit more hand holding, leveraging influencer marketing for their business, I invited him to my digital first mastermind, he's been a member ever since and really sharing with our group and with me, the amazing progress that he's had for his small business out of New Zealand, doing influencer marketing. And I should say not just doing influencer marketing, but doing something very, very natural, which is I created a great product. If only people were able to get this product in their hands. They would love it. And they would tell other people about it. And that word of mouth marketing will work in our favor. Well, if we're going to get it into people's hands, why don't we be strategic about finding the people that would be the most passionate about this product? And those the people who are content creators who are creating content around the product that already exists out there? Let's reach out to them. Let's not say we're going to give you a $20 amazon gift card. Let's just give you our product and get your feedback and go from there. And that's exactly what today's guest Mike badly from patchy air, you'll learn the spelling and what that means and what product it is momentarily in our interview. And I think Mike is just very I don't think he realizes what an amazing job that he's done. But I believe that what he has done should inspire you and anyone listening that you can do the exact same thing for your business once you look at influencer marketing in a very, very different way than what the blogosphere and what everyone else tells you about it. So listen in, follow Mike's advice. And I am hoping I know this is going to be the last podcast episode for your digital marketing coach for 2021. But I also hope it's one of the most impactful ones. So without further ado, here is my interview with Mike badly from past year. You're listening to your digital marketing coach. This is Neal Schaffer. Mike, welcome from down under to the your digital marketing coach podcast. How are things going?

Mike Baddeley:

They're going great. It was great to be chatting to you. So you know it's privileged to be on your podcast so you're not so good down here.

Neal Schaffer:

We always take New Zealand for granted and maybe as I said down under I'm thinking Why do you say that about New Zealand?

Mike Baddeley:

We couldn't be inferred to be Australians, but we certainly prefer to be referred to as New Zealanders but no doubt underworked, steno.

Neal Schaffer:

Good to know we learn new things every day, don't we here? Okay. So Mike, you're obviously a member of the digital first mastermind community, thank you for your membership. And you had reached out to me after reading the age of influence. And I've had been really impressed by I think, a lot of what you were doing, you did before reading the book. But just I think to get a sense of what you've been able to achieve with your influencer marketing, I think it's gonna have a lot of actionable takeaways for a lot of people in the audience. Let's start with the background. Before you did that, basically launched a new brand. You've been doing something else for a long time. So let's start there.

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah, well, I started in 96, a web development business. So that's been chewing up a lot of my time in the last fall held 20 520 a lot of time. And so yeah, you know, WordPress and WooCommerce. And we've developed quite a few web applications and, and work with space, and product selectors and stuff. So yeah, it's a lot of sort of complicated web development as well.

Neal Schaffer:

So needless to say, if listeners need a if they have a complicated web development project, they can reach out to you. But you also started and I don't remember the actual story of how you started this this other brand where you've been leveraging influencer marketing, let's sort of shift gears. What made you start this new company? Well, I

Mike Baddeley:

had this my dick. He's the real Crossman making a lot of things from wood. And one thing in particular with this wooden kite pedals. And he wanted me to help commercialize it and take put it on the web and try and extend the reach beyond New Zealand.

Neal Schaffer:

Wooden kayak pedals. Yeah, yeah.

Mike Baddeley:

He's been making them for about 30 years. And it's just and I looked at them and said, Yeah, I researched the market. And, you know, in New Zealand, this sort of half a dozen stores that sell them and carcass God bless them, they're, they love the outdoors, extremely, you know, a lot, and which is excellent. But they're not the most affluent bunch. And in terms of his pedals, they're expensive, okay, and kind of looking at them and thinking, Well, can we get into a market that I has money and be his size, and with his pedals, the big thing with them was the beauty of them, and the comfort from vibration dampening, and really thinking, I reckon we can apply this to handlebars. Let's see what we come up with. And that's sort of the r&d started.

Neal Schaffer:

So you really ended up being pushy together with Dirk then?

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah, yeah. He's the Craftsman on the on the talker. So

Neal Schaffer:

for those that are listening, that don't know anything about what you created, can you please describe it? So you gave a hint there as this antivibration mechanism for a bicycle?

Mike Baddeley:

Yes. So the bamboo handlebars that are laminated, they'll have a living laminates of spree millage. So, and they're bent into shape 22 degree bend in them and they're just very comfortable. So they look really neat. And they have a really comfortable ride aspect of them that takes the chatter and the the road noise out of the the hand connection with the bike,

Neal Schaffer:

bamboo handlebars. Of course, you think about it now but how did you figure out that material is going to be the material that would work?

Mike Baddeley:

Good question, we just kind of knew the strength of bamboo because strength is an important thing. And the strength of engineered bamboo, you know, combined with the elimination process would give them enough strength and in a silly does.

Neal Schaffer:

Okay, so you I assume these were at first sort of handmade, test the market what happened? How did you get started actually promoting the handlebars,

Mike Baddeley:

there was a shape of a handlebar that I was quite keen for direct to play with. And he just got into his workshop and started tinkering away and whittling away and came out with a prototype and put that on the bike and Paul, interesting. Just continue refinements and improvements both from a design and a production process.

Neal Schaffer:

Very unique. A lot of people who develop products, they might not have that workshop that a friend has where they can put together prototypes, there might be outsourcing the manufacturing, those refinements can take a lot of time right so I think you had the benefit of that advantage of having Dirk and and his craftsmanship but as you created these prototypes did you I assume we started locally in New Zealand you went to bike shops and pay you know what do you think of this or how did it how did it get going from there?

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah, we made a few more and making all of them totally by hand, which has taken a long time and then just really going to two bike shops and gave some to once against the sort of marketing at a real grassroots level. You know, hey, don't have a look at this and people's initial sort of feedback was Wow, those look amazing. And then asking, Oh, are they strong enough. So all these, all these little sound bites, affirm that, hey, we're on the right direction, and would, you know, reinforce the key aspects of the product that we needed to focus on, you know, spring and then that try them and that just give us glowing reviews and not really not solicited. They're just and all the reviews would be about comfort on the pathless peddled more recently, you know, this is a guy who tests a lot of a lot of care, in his statement was the most comfortable bars have ever written. And so kind of changing the paradigm of what a handlebar should be, which is really interesting. It's a handlebar, you know, it's something to, you know, steer the bike, which is, obviously that's logical. But can we add a comfort element to it? Because it does, it does. It's the connection between you the bike and the road? Right? Can you make this comfortable? Can you make a long ride more enjoyable? So that part of the journey is kind of unfolded, and it's been a real revelation? Should we credit something here that is totally unique, and something that the market didn't realize they needed? Until they had a go? So yes, it's fascinating. Sort of

Neal Schaffer:

like the iPhone. Hmm. Yeah. For those of you that are listening, if you're curious, just want to get a quick glimpse go that it's called PASS CA, it's P A S, S as in pass, and then CH, I er.co.nz. And you can get a glimpse as to what what these beautiful golden bamboo handlebars actually look like. So you started off like many other small businesses, local market, going door to door in, you know, relevant shops getting great feedback. So at some point, conveniently, you know how to how to create a launch of Shopify stores that helps but then you started this digital promotion of the products. So how did you get going without I obviously, you created a website, and a shopping cart. But what did you do to sort of the marketing to spread the word about the handlebars?

Mike Baddeley:

Well, the spread the word key audience is his bike tourists and commuters. And there are a lot of bike touring social media instances out there on mainly Instagram, and Facebook, but just contacting these influencers on Instagram, or on their websites, and just, Hey, would you like to give these bows ago, and a lot of these sites are all about something new, the bike industry is always up to something that's different. It's they love their gadgets, the bike sector, and so something that is different, they're keen to engage their initial impression, maybe you've got to be kidding. But there's enough intrigue there. And with with the buzz for them saying, Yeah, I'll give that a go. So it was just approaching all these people.

Neal Schaffer:

Now, gee, it was probably very intuitive. But a lot of people if I tell this story, which I do with a lot of people that say, Well, how did how did Mike find all these people? I'm assuming you just did simple searches in Google and Instagram for bicycle surgeon, commuter bike that that sort of,

Mike Baddeley:

yep, just simple searches. And you're digging in and, you know, one road leads to another one path leads to another and it can become a bit of a, you know, a myriad of paths. But yeah, it's, it's seen you seen establish who, who, what audiences are listening, and what and what audiences are receptive.

Neal Schaffer:

Right now I am on your site. I'm sort of multitasking here. And I don't know how to translate Australian dollars to USD. So I'm going to do that right now. Because your handlebars are about $209.75. So and I know it obviously costs you a lot to to manufacture as well. So you're basically sending off free products each worth $200, you do not have an unlimited supply of these things, I'm sure. Did you start with like, five a month, 10 a month? Or was it like we're gonna go all the way in and just try to flood the influencer market with with getting,

Mike Baddeley:

you know, so far, we've probably given out about 50. And, and I'll be more than happy to give out another 100 another 200. Because that's because they're so novel and so new. You've got to get them in people's hands. And you know, you can't sell a secret member, someone saying that it's such an obvious thing to say, but you've got to get out there. And you've got to get people talking. And some people, some people have put them on their bike, and they go, Whoa, I don't like this. And it's because they're not used to them because there is a degree of flex. And so yeah, it's you know, if I have to give another 100 200 out to the market for people to try, I'm more than happy with that.

Neal Schaffer:

You're having the problem now of finding more relevant people to give them to is that a correct?

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah, it is. Yeah, it's it will be a constraint and so The journey now is some of the influences we've we've targeted and had dialogue in there reviewed the product, we need, you know, maintain that relationship. Because we're, you know, we're always bringing new stuff out, we've just bought some colored ones out, we will bring new shapes out in six months time. So managing that relationship as a critical, you know, part of that journey,

Neal Schaffer:

would you say then that the initial successes, a majority of it have really come from that word of mouth that emanated from those first 50 handlebars that you sent out to influencers?

Mike Baddeley:

Oh, totally, you know, from that, you know, from one little icon, you know, a tree grows, the people will read the pathless pedal, and they'll contact me, and they'll want to do a magazine article. And so it's, it's intriguing enough for people to want to continue the conversation based on what other people have been signed. So yeah, it's nice.

Neal Schaffer:

I think you've also found something interesting, I talk a lot about which is that when you reach out to influencers, they're almost like a user focus group. And they know, as much as you know, bicycles, they know them way more, they're engaged with a lot of different products, a lot heard from people. And then you've been hearing a lot about this whole sustainability angle, that you probably would not have known or had not been through that word of mouth that came from those influencers. Right?

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah. And that's another, you know, that's not a trend that we're aware of sustainability. But until we hit the European market, we didn't really understand the true extent of a net, with chatting to, to influencers in the sustainability space as well. Now over there. So yeah, that's really exciting. And because our product, it's made of bamboo, it's made of renewable roots. And there's a bit of a drive in the bike market to move away from carbon, which isn't renewable. So that's really exciting as well. So yeah, one door opens, another opens another. And it's just a matter of knocking on the door. And not IE, knocking on doors that you might not think will lead anywhere, but in and there'll be one person that your your message and your, you know, offering really resonates with and that's exciting when it does resonate, and they become true believers with of the influencers, there's probably half a dozen who I would call true believers now then there's another dozen, enthusiastic and spreading the word, and then probably too busy, quite possibly riding the bike.

Neal Schaffer:

Well, and what's really interesting, so this is just a great case study of gifting, right, but it's gifting to the right people. But it's also product that has immense value, and it has that novelty, which your industry is looking for. So is it replicable in every industry? Certain aspects definitely are. Some might be relevant, as you said to the bicycle industry. But obviously novelty is something that I think every industry has some interest in. But now you're in this is something we talk about when when you join our digital first cause is the sort of next stage which is maintaining those relationships of those influencers. And a lot of brands just forget about it. They're they're one and done. It's a one night stand, they helped in our campaign, it was this success. That's my new people. And you realize it's only a finite number of people. Right, especially at that truly influential level. And how do you you know, maintain that while at the same time expanding? You mentioned at the beginning was websites and Instagram. I know that recently you have expanded to YouTube influencers as well. Correct?

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. In terms of your the pathless peddled that's on YouTube, he did a great 10 minute video. So yes, kind of trading ecosystem, you know, family of believers and influences. Our task is to maintain communication with them, and continue to give them value based on our story. Because they're all after content. They've got an audience in the audience wants to hear information. And so if we can be proactive in providing that and providing product for their customers to to sample as well. So we're giving giveaways to their customer base as well, their member base as well.

Neal Schaffer:

smart, smart. Yeah, um, just based on just thinking that you're basically creating in the age of influence what I would call this, this this brand ambassador program, right, where it's this long term relationship. What's really interesting, you know, YouTube recently came out, I think it was in October of 2021. This report on the crater economy, it was focused on YouTube, but that creators on YouTube have an economy that's like bigger than a lot of European countries in the billions and billions of dollars. And what people forget is that creators need not just creativity and an audience, but they need content, they need things to get content around, right. And it's a really good reminder that that's really what it comes down to is the content but also you being able to provide that and those Does that have product have the ability to provide that right? Especially with all these other angles and information around the product, such as the sustainability? I just think it's something that a lot of brand just forget about when engaging with influencers is that keep feeding them not with promotion after promotion? Sure, do a giveaway with their audience. That's an awesome idea, right? But just also that information and further products and just bring them you mentioned six of those 50 are now what we call to advocates their true believers. How do we get from from six to 10? To 15? To 20? Right? Oh, and I understand. And that's how you

Mike Baddeley:

do it honing in on the ones that are right, they have a certain makeup, a certain in audiences sit in tone, it's as much tight you know, the people that have a relaxed disposition in terms of these influences that don't take themselves too seriously. But we've got a credible product. So we need a credible voice in the tone of the influencer.

Neal Schaffer:

So are you doing only those giveaways with those people that are performing the best or

Mike Baddeley:

I'm happy to work with anyone with an Amish, why they want, I'm happy to give away another 100 of Turner bars, right? It just just doesn't that's that's my marketing cost,

Neal Schaffer:

ya know, exactly 50 times 20 is $10,000. But to to launch a company without being your sole source, obviously, your cost is gonna be lower than that. So it actually doesn't cost a lot of money that the shipping, depending where you're shipping to may may cost a little bit, but I'm just curious, because you mentioned you're going after in a fluent, relatively affluent market, a lot of direct to consumer brands, like you are, are very infatuated by Tik Tok. And it's obviously a much younger demographic, but it is getting older, just like Instagram has. Do you think that there is a demand for your product? Have you been starting to do searches and potentially engage with tick tock influencers? Or you're still sticking with with Instagram? You

Mike Baddeley:

haven't haven't as yet. But any audience that's got ears and eyes and and is after content? Certainly the you know, the the Tick Tock market is something that that we'll definitely look into, and see where the bus line there. So that'll be part of that, you know, research journey

Neal Schaffer:

for for further influencers. Yeah, so for those that are listening, just I think your story is just, you know, the power of gifting when you want to get the word out about your product and social media, no one's talking about you. And you just want to get feedback. And I mean, there's just no better way to do it than then what you've done. And that's why I use you as like my role model. Whenever I explain this, this concept to brands and what have you. Any other advice that you would add to those listening that want that one to consider doing this for, for their own business, any things you've learned along the way that you'd like to pass on

Mike Baddeley:

just being I guess it sounds sort of bit glib, but just honesty in your whole messaging, don't have a seller. Just be upfront and say that, Hey, you can't use these bars on this buy. Yeah, I don't want you to do this, you know, this is we use them. This is the experience people are having. This is what people are saying this is not what I'm saying. So just having a lot of honesty, integrity. I know that sound clip is a club that have a nice candid relationship with these influencers.

Neal Schaffer:

You go in to the story of how you created the company with influencers do tell them sort of who you are, and just you and a friend.

Mike Baddeley:

We do it. See we'll talk about the workshop. And we've got a lot of images on Instagram now the workshop and Dirk Annise Sileo baggers just chatting away. Yeah, and I guess it resonates with people, we're just couple of blokes with an idea that are just doing stuff. And then that has some appeal.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, no, that's awesome. I think that's something that we often forget to talk about, is that that story, the story of the company and though those human elements, authentic, you know, transparent elements that people buy into more and more with every day we know

Mike Baddeley:

yes, because there's lot of black and brown. And that's just so we stay clear there.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, no, that's awesome. Yeah, everyone listening Yes, from Southern California, New Zealand, it is a long time away. And that's why we seem to have these like time delays during our conversation. So my apologies for all that. But Mike, it's been great. Finally having you on the podcast, I know that everyone is gonna, you know, a lot of great takeaways. If there are people listening that are in the bicycle industry and or sustainability and they have an interest because I know it's probably it's still a secret but you're looking at leveraging sustainability raw materials for other products in the future as well. How can people obviously passier.co.nz is the past your website how else can people reach out to you if they want to get in touch?

Mike Baddeley:

You just make it past here. You know, emails the best way to touch base with me really

Neal Schaffer:

make co.nz And what is the for your web development? What is what is that website? I don't even know that one.

Mike Baddeley:

So that's wired.co.nz wi, Ed co.nz wired.co.nz.

Neal Schaffer:

I'm just multitasking, just want to make sure this pops up. There we go. Okay, wired internet group, web design Christ Church. Make sure you check that out as well. Mike, thank you so much for being on the show. And I look forward to continuing the conversation in our digital first mastermind community.

Mike Baddeley:

Yeah. Joy. It's always a pleasure chatting with you, Neil. Thanks so much.

Neal Schaffer:

Isn't that a great story, and it's something once again, that anybody can replicate. Now, what is great about Mike's product is it is of a value, like, you know, 200 something dollars, that when someone receives, they know it is a value. So if you're selling a one or $2 thing, or even a 995 a month thing, it might be a little bit harder to get people excited about wanting to try your product, but the higher value offer. And the more relevant it is for the people you reach out to obviously, the better results you're going to get. And Mike's product and strategy was just in the right sweet spot to generate results. I'm really excited to see what happens to pass year in 2022. I'm also excited to see what happens to your company in 2022. Thank you for a year of tremendous support for your subscriptions for your reviews, keep them coming. I know I say this at the end of every year, but I feel like I have just gotten started. So here's to an awesome new year's eve. We'll see you again in 2022. This is your digital marketing coach, signing off. For 2021. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.