You have to think deeply about your company, and its self-image — who are you serving and why?

Takumi Instagram influencer campaigns at scale

Please introduce yourself and Takumi to our readers!
My name is Solberg, I’m from Iceland and I co-founded Takumi in 2015.

How did you get the idea to Takumi?
Iceland is a small community and we don’t have celebrity influencers. But I did notice that smaller local influencers were just as creative and probably more interesting than the big ones. But for brands – to be able to work with them at scale – there needed to exist a platform to ensure trust and facilitate transactions.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
When we started out I thought it would be hard to attract influencers and easy to attract brands. When we launched it was the other way around, because we were asking brands to trust us – a newcomer in the market. It would have been easy to give brands access to a list of influencers and help them run their own campaigns, but we want to sell campaigns as a managed service, which is a bit different and requires more trust. We’ve now proved the model and are attracting hundreds of influencers to our platform every week.

Who is your target audience?
We work with an extremely varied group of influencers. We often get asked how we know if an influencer is good or not. And it turns out we can rely on data for this decision. If 2,000 people have found a good reason to follow somebody on Instagram that’s enough to qualify you. We just make sure you that there are no fake or bought followers, and that the influencer is a good supplier on our platform.
The target audience on the B2B side – the brands –, it’s mostly consumer brand and lifestyle related businesses we are working with.

What is Takumi’s USP?
We let influencers pick campaigns through an app. After they have submitted their work on instagram, we pay them two days after the posts. We trust our influencers to come up with great content, so we never have to verify the work before it goes out to their audience. Most companies and campaign on the market are focussing on the big celebrity influencers and nobody is working with the ones with “only” 1,000 follower influencers. But we love them and we pay them every week.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I travel to London a lot for founder syncs and meetings. As head of product I also spend a lot of time working with my team in Reykjavík. I write code less now, but coming from that background allows me to work intimately with the engineers and product plan efficiently. We love Slack at work, I probably spend too much time playing wack-a-mole with the notifications there.

Where do you see yourself and your startup in five years?
We’re building the brand for influencers and we optimize everything around them. Most influencer companies say they do the same, but we manage to attract those influencers that nobody else is working with. At the risk of sounding stupid and megalomaniac: The digital ad space is dominated by Facebook and Google. But I think there’s room for another big company, because influencer marketing just makes sense – but probably doesn’t make sense for the social platform owners to do it under their own brand.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. You have to think deeply about your company, and its self-image — who are you serving and why?
2. Don’t experiment with your company structure, compensation or management stuff. Instead learn from the best, read the books and focus your experiments on the product itself.
3. Be careful about what medium you use. Millennials break up over text messages, but they should at least be doing a phone call. The same accounts for your business. If it’s important elevate from email, to Slack, to text, to do calls and in-person meetings. Nothing says “I care” more like a plane ticket and an in-person meeting.

More information you will find here

Thank you Solberg Audunsson for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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