Episode 184: Breaking the Rules - Jeff Dwoskin's Entrepreneurial Journey from Dentist's Son to Engagement GuruJan 23, 2023
Jeff Dwoskin is an Internet marketing pioneer. In 1995 he founded an online marketing venture that rapidly established its dominance. Under Jeff’s skillful leadership, the venture blossomed into a highly successful, multi-million dollar enterprise. USWeb — at the time the world’s largest web development firm — acquired Jeff’s interest in 1997. Jeff is also an award-winning stand up comedian. Jeff is an avid tweeter and his tweets have been featured on Laughs TV, CNN.com, People.com, and numerous other media outlets. Jeff was listed as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs to follow on twitter. Jeff’s current venture is Stampede Social. Jeff created Stampede Social based on the belief that fan engagement should be easy and measurable for brands, agencies and creators. Stampede Social improves the fan experience and gives brands and creators the tools, and data they need to increase their marketing ROI, raise sponsorship value, accurately attribute and create more meaningful engagement on Instagram.
In this episode, you will learn the following:
- How Jeff Dwoskin used his creative skills to make a statement at his college, leading to the start of his marketing career.
- Jeff Dwoskin's comedic journey, from taking a comedy class to achieving success as a comedian.
- Jeff Dwoskin's inspiration for creating his podcast and the challenges he faced in getting it off the ground.
You can find Jeff on Instagram, Twitter and check out his business, Stampede Social, on Instagram, LinkedIn and on their Website.
“You have to do what you love. You ever stand somewhere where you have to jump into water from like 10ft? You know how hard it is to mentally send your body over the edge. But when you do it once, you're like 'let's do it again!'"
Today’s episode is sponsored by:
- Picked Cherries’ social podcasting app is the destination for the best podcast listening experience for all listeners. Download the app for FREE on Google Play and the App Store. Share podcasts like never before with Picked Cherries. Learn more at PickedCherries.com.
Find Us Online!
- Website: iamJulietHahn.com
- Instagram: @iamjuliethahn
- Twitter: @iamjuliethahn
- LinkedIn: Juliet Hahn
- FB: @iamjuliethahn
- Fireside: Juliet Hahn
- Clubhouse: @iamjuliethahn
- YouTube: Juliet Hahn
Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. In this episode, I speak with Jeff Dwoskin. So many things that Jeff has done, and he has done them really well. Cannot wait for you guys to listen to this and be inspired. Jeff is an engagement guru, a product management expert, influencer, brand builder, comedian, professional speaker and podcaster, and a box breaker. Literally. He has verified on Twitter where you can follow him at Bigmatcher. And that's B-I-G-M-A-C-H-E-R. He has invented apps where you can go find that is stampede social. Really cool. Something to do with social media. You do not want to miss that. Instagram. Stampede Social. You can also find him on his personal Instagram, which is Jeff Dwoskin show. And I'm going to spell that for you. His last name is D-W-O-S-K-I-N you can also find him on the LinkedIn by his name and then also at Stampede social on LinkedIn. We get into some really fun, interesting conversations because Jeff has done so many different things. But then it took him three years to really launch his podcast, which is classic conversations. Again, fascinating. If you guys have not heard, I am a storytelling consultant. I help people find the parts of their story that are going to connect deeper with people, deeper with audiences. So if you are a brand, an influencer, micro influencer, if you are a small business, you're an entrepreneur, the best way to get your story out is to go through the podcast circuits and do media. So I help you figure out what the important parts of your story are that are going to connect deeper with your audience. I do that for my clients. So I help clients find their stories and find the stories that are going to connect with the audience that they are on a podcast. So if you're on a 20 minutes podcast, your story is going to be a little different than if it's a 40 minutes podcast, then it's an hour podcast. Also, if the audiences are different, there's going to be parts of your story that's going to connect deeper with those. I help you do all that. Hit me up for a 30 minutes free consultation to see if I am someone that can help you do that. You can find me at info at imJuliet Hahn.com. You can also find me at all the Socials. I am Juliet Hahn. My website I am Juliet and you can find me on LinkedIn. Juliet Hahn. Those are the places I hang out the most. Instagram. I am Juliet Hahn. Website is the best place and that's Imjliott Han.com. You can find the podcast, your Next Stop. You can also find all the live shows. Your next stop live y and s live with NFL thread. YNS live with NFL thread pivot. We will see you guys soon for another episode. And enjoy. Have you ever been listening to your favorite podcast and that moment comes up and you think, oh, my gosh, I need to share it? Well, now you can with picked cherries. What I love about picked cherries so much is that when I'm listening to my favorite podcast and that moment comes up that I want to share, I can take a Snippet, which is called to Pick Cherry, and I can send that to my friends and family so they can get involved in the podcast that I love. It's almost like sending an IG or a TikTok. Available now. iOS and Android. If you're not picking cherries, are you really listening to podcasts? Welcome to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. I say it every single time. I am so excited to bring you another person that has followed a passion and turned it into a business. Welcome. Jeff Dwoskins. How are you?
How are you? Great to be here.
Yes. I'm so excited. So I have to set this up. So Jeff is a comedian. He's an entrepreneur. We're going to get into his whole story. But he has stampede social. You guys definitely have to check that out. It is really cool. He's taking me through it. We're going to get into what that is, but just going to give you a little kind of a little glimpse there. And then you can also follow Jeff because he is also a podcaster. Classic conversations, but you can go to his Instagram, which is at Jeff Dwoskin show. So we're going to get this started. So, Jeff, what I ask every single guest of mine is give us a little background about yourself. Where did you grow up, if you went to university, and then we'll take it from there.
Sure. I grew up Farmington Hills. It's a suburb of Detroit. I went to Eastern Michigan University, where I studied marketing. And it was there that I sort of tripped into some of the creative things that would eventually come later. I used to draw. I used to draw. I haven't drawn in forever, but I used to draw. And the Greek Week was very active in Greek Week, and they were doing a theme. And as a joke, I drew all the Looney Tunes characters. And sometimes you just got to break the rules. They ended up changing the entire theme, and I ended up to Greeks Have Character. And then I drew the sweatshirt. And so that was sort of like my first creative thing, where I was like, oh, I could do something and people would be interested in it. And my mom was so cool, she framed it. It's in my basement still, the sweatshirt.
Oh, we love it.
Yeah. That's sort of where the root of kind of creativity being part of a thread that I needed to kind of always latch onto started.
Got it. Now, what made you go into marketing? What was that kind of behind that?
I'm not sure why I chose marketing. It was like a communications degree, and then I did marketing. It might have been just because of how I ended up, how my credits ended up. And so it seemed like I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the idea. You know what it was. I always wanted to be in advertising when I grew up. I watched bewitched, and I know this sounds silly, but I would watch darren, and darren would go, and he pitched the ideas, and he would make the ideas. He worked in ad agency. He worked in ad agency, and that's what I wanted to be. And the greatest disappointment of my life was going to donor, WB donor, and interviewing, and the guy literally says, no prompt says, it's not like bewitched right? I hadn't even brought it up. I'm like, oh, how do you mean? He's like, well, you're either a copywriter or you do this, or you're an account person. You have to pick your box. I'm like, well, what was appealing to me about what darren did on bewitched, whether it was real or not, was that he did everything. He came up with the ideas and executed on them, and that turned out to not be the reality of that situation. So I never actually went down that path, and sort of ended up creating different versions of it for myself in various ways throughout my life.
I love that, and it's not silly at all. We've had guests on that, you know, brady bunch. They always wanted to get into, like, famous people, because they loved the brady bunch, but they wanted to know more about the characters, like, really actually who they were, and that really led them down this interesting path. And I have to say, I totally remember that I did go into advertising. However, I went into the sales part of advertising, not the creative part of advertising. And I remember the first time I went in to take to do an interview, and I used to say, I might not be qualified. Like, I didn't obviously say this in the interview, but I would not be qualified for the position, but I could interview to be the president of the united states. I was a really good interviewer. And I remember the first I think this was on the ad agency side, I have to remember, but it was I had to take a math test, and any of my listeners know I am terrible at math, so I'm dyslexic, but the part of my dyslexia is like, math, I'm terrible. And when he said I had to take a math test, I remember I literally started sweating, my mouth started getting dry, and he's like, you could just go into the room, and we'll call you afterwards. And literally, my brain completely stopped. That's sometimes what happens in dyslexia, I mean, other people, too, like, when you're nervous about something, literally went blank. And this is before phones and I was like, I can't cheat on this. Just nothing for me to leave and look around. I know that sounds terrible, but I was like, Holy shit. I know I'd be really good at this job. However, I'm not going to get it because I'm not going to be able to pass this. And I know this guy is going to think I'm an idiot because I literally was like, I don't know how to calculate what he's asking. So it is funny when we see these things and we're like, oh, I definitely want to go do that. And when the reality hits, it's like, yeah. No, not so much.
When you said the cheating thing, it just reminded me of something. V back then, I was really into technology as well. And so, like, I spent a lot of my money that I had from my bar mitzvah to buy a computer. And I had a scanner, but it was a hand scanner, so it was like it used to be like, this is before the flat tops and all that. So I'm going late 90s right now. So you'd scan something and then you draw the little marks on it, and so that when you would scan something else and you'd match up the marks. I can't remember what they're called. And then you'd have a single image that you could create in the thing. And I remember I was taking an advertising class. This is, I think, what eventually turned me off of advertising, and we had to do a promotion. So I'm using technology that most of these teachers probably don't even know exist, right? And so when we turned it in, they thought somehow we had cheated. And I remember losing it on the guy because it was really good, right? But it was a little ahead of its time just because probably most kids weren't investing in this at that time. It was very new and I know it sounds crazy now. I remember going and buying an $1800 color flat top scanner, $1,800. Same thing you can buy at Office Max right now for probably $25.
Right? But that's so interesting. You definitely had that forward thinking, though, obviously. That's very entrepreneurial kind of thoughts there. So I want to get into that. What did your parents do? Was that something that you saw from someone in the family?
My dad was a dentist and he had his own office. So, I mean, it was entrepreneurial in that way where he started out with someone else's practice and then built his own practice. And so I grew up seeing that as someone who ran their own business, had to make all those different decisions. And obviously then he also was pulling teeth and stuff, literally. It was funny. Like, I remember from my high school college graduation, I asked for a printer, a laser printer that had 600 DPI, which was a big deal at the time. Keep in mind I got to go into the 90s when I'm saying all this stuff, but I knew that I could become a designer if I had this printer because that was good enough to print stuff and then take it to a print shop and have things printed. So that's how I started my first business with a design company called RLW Graphics. And I would do newsletters and stuff like that on my computer. And with this printer, I was able to actually run an entire business from it.
Right? That's so fun. When was that?
That was late 90s.
After college or was it after college?
Yeah, it was just after college. I got a job at Hermanoff and Associates, which was a PR firm. And it was funny. A friend of mine just one day just sent me a little ad. It was this big, and like one of the ad marketing magazines, he's like, It wasn't even that. It was smaller, local. And he's like, they're looking for a designer. And I'm like, oh, okay. So I send him my resume. I end up working there. It was like 2 miles from my house. So I'm living at my house. I have a job. My dad's like, as long as you save the money, you can still live here. But the rule is you can't spend the money just because you don't have anywhere to spend. You have to save it. And so I worked there for years, and I ended up from there starting one of the very first Web development companies in the United States, in Michigan, from that office, actually. I ended up on the front page of our Detroit Free Press with my two partners as having launched this Web development company. And the picture was taken in this PR company's office, my office there. So it was kind of cool. It was a good times back then.
That's very cool. So you definitely were always a real forward thinker. Opportunities obviously came up, but you also were a forward thinker. The fact that you were saving your money and buying things because you knew you had an interest in something I think is very cool. So now I need to know where the comedian part came in.
That's a good question. So I was working at this company called Quest Communications. And so I was in their Internet development side, but I was sort of out of Chicago, but I was in the Michigan office. But the Michigan office was a telecommunications office. And so it was a miserable place to be. More so for the people working there in that particular office. And me, I was just kind of renting. I had a desk there, right? So I'm living up, but they're not enjoying it. And so I would be part of this office, but I was a little removed. I was always kind of naturally funny. I was always funny. I guess I'll just say that. Yeah. But in this organization because I don't have bosses in this office. I don't have anything. I almost moved within a kind of a safe zone. I could say things that other people couldn't say. I could get away with things. I always had a natural way of saying something and being able to get away with something just with how I would say it or my personality. And so I would present at these they'd have the weekly company things or whatever, and just I'd be funny. I was funny. And then when I mentioned the web development company, one of the first websites we did was for Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle. And so I knew that they had comedy classes. And so everyone's like, you should take one of these comedy classes. So I'm like, all right. So I end up in the comedy class. It doesn't teach you how to be funny, but it teaches you how to write for the stage. So I took this class, and that was oh, man, that was at least 20 years ago. It's been over 20 years. So it was another thing. I went in, I started doing comedy. I won awards. I've headlined. It's been a fun time, right?
Now, when you were doing that with the comedy, where was your business? Did you still have the business that you were did you still work there? Or were you able to be like, okay, I'm going to follow this full time, or did you see, this is just fun? I like it, but it's not.
Comedy was something I would have loved to have done it full time, but it just nothing ever clicked that way for me. So I ended up just it was a really great side hobby, you know what I mean? I would call it like, ATM cash. Like, I'd work a weekend, and I wouldn't have to go to the ATM, you know what I mean? And so it wasn't like I was rolling in it, but it helped with other areas of my life, because then at work, if I were to present, everyone would be like, don't go after Jeff. If Jeff's presenting, don't go after him. You don't want to be the guy. Go after him. It helps. It helps in real life, too, where I can communicate with people. I think it helps with my podcast, where I can interview people that I don't know. And there's a certain freedom the way I think, and can engage with people that I think helps to create good conversation. So in that sense, it's an interesting life. Being a comedian. You have to tour. You have to do all these things. And it was like I think one of the things that kept me from it was I started later in life doing comedy, and I was married, and every comedian I talked to was on his 2nd, 3rd divorce. And I was like, I don't want that. I never want for whatever reason, it could be they were infidelity or just the fact that they were always away. You have to be away. You have to tour there's 52 weeks in the year. You have to tour 40 of them. Maybe you're on a boat for two weeks or a cruise. As much as I love doing it, it wasn't something that I exactly wanted to do.
Right, so it wasn't your path. But the thing that's really cool, as you said, it gave you skills in life, but it also you were doing something you loved, and so there was a creative passion that you were following. So it's also making you just happy. Well, that's it. Sometimes people will say, like, oh, I'm not making money at it, or I'm not doing this. And a lot of times it's like, well, let's see where that can go. You don't know that. It could be something that you can make money in, but also, if it's just making you happy, you're just a better person to be around. You're better for your family, people that you are working with, maybe in your traditional job. So I think that it's something that people sometimes brush off, but it is really good. If it's something that you love, why not do it until it's not meant to happen anymore?
Right? And I'm hoping I can figure out a way to maybe corporate speaking or something where I can still be that energetic on stage, give a message, be funny, and kind of share some lessons maybe, that I've learned along the way with people.
Right, okay. So now this is going to take me to when did you start the podcast and why? Because I know you touched on that. It kind of gave you skills from being a comedian to really start this podcast.
The podcast sort of came about. I've been really into social media for a long time, and so for seven and a half years, I ran an account on Twitter and I developed an app called Hashtag Roundup, and we would play what's called Hashtag Game. So think of it as like calling, response, relax in five words, stuff like that. We'd play like nonstop. We developed an entire community on Twitter around this. So we trended like 8000 hashtags in the top ten in the US. So it was all that was good. The Twitter and the comedy sort of started kind of meshing together because as a comedian, I started focusing on Twitter, and then with Twitter, I realized, oh, there's this community that can be developed and nurtured. And so I ended up kind of expanding to that. I developed an app for it so that people could get a ping to their phone whenever a game started. And then that app experience led to my career at Little Caesars, helping them develop their ecommerce web and app online ordering over the last five years. So everything kind of meshes together in one way or another. The podcast started. Originally, it was going to be a social media podcast. Then I got lazy and it kind of just sat for a long time. It's kind of funny. It was going to be called Viral Intentions, and it was because I had this tendency on Twitter at least, to be able to make things go viral and get pressed and all this kind of stuff. And so I sat on it from 2017, and then the pandemic hit and I'm like, oh, finally, I pull it all out of a box. I have time. Finally we're all home. And I'm like, I can't start a it's a pandemic, people are dying. I can't start a podcast called Viral Intentions, you know what I mean? The timing was a little didn't work out. And I had everything. I had intros, everything, I had everything. I just had got lazy for three years. And so I decided, just said, I'll just start it, though, because I have time. I'll do it differently. It was originally the Jeff DuoSkin show and all that, and eventually evolved to classic conversations as I sort of understood exactly what the podcast was. So I rebranded it at some point, which is I talked to one of the things that you can kind of see in my background, the little eight by ten autographs. I've always loved meeting celebrities at Comic Con's and stuff like that. So that sort of became what my my podcast was. It was being able to reach out and talk to them, but also all the comedians, you know, as a comedian and doing that for 20 years, I've worked with a lot of headliners and thank you, Facebook, we're connected, and all that kind of stuff. So I was able to reach back out to them and have them as guests as well. So talking to comedians, famous comedians, talking to TV and film stars, but the ones from that, you'd find it like a Comic Con or something like that, where they got the stories to tell. And so we kind of dive into that. So it sort of ended up just becoming a version of that passion and then kind of mashing it all together, which was fun. It was great. And that's why I think I'm still doing it. It'll be three years in May, but you got to do what you love.
And I do want to touch on because I know a lot of my listeners will appreciate this and a lot of people that will listen will appreciate this. When you say you sat on you got lazy, you sat on the idea. Was it truly laziness or was there some fear behind it?
It was both. It was laziness driven by fear, right? It's hard to do it. You ever stand somewhere where you have to jump into water, but you jump from like 10ft you know how hard that is? You know how hard it is to mentally send your body over the edge. But once you do it once or go down the slide, right? Or you go down the slide when you're a kid, how scary it is. But then once you do it, once you're like, let's do it again. And so to me, that's what it was. I had held off. I had held off. And then my friend Bob Phillips and Sal Demilio, they had a podcast to say on Bob show, and they had me as a guest. And so I'm sitting there and I'm realizing, why aren't I doing this? And so I ended up just doing it right after that. It's like anything, once you start doing it, once you kind of break that fear, then the problem is you're never going to stop. Then you got to worry about more, like how your family is going to have to deal with the fact that this is now part of your life, right?
So this is so interesting to me, and I do want to touch on this a little bit more because I think it's important for people to hear, because also the beginning of this whole podcast, all the things that you started, it seemed like, oh, this guy doesn't have fear, right? He doesn't have fear. He just jumps in and does things. So was it more of just getting started? Like, okay, I don't know how to do the pot. I don't know where I'm going to host it, what equipment do I need? What am I going to talk about? Or was it more of, I don't know if I'm going to be good at this?
It was a combination of all of it. It's scary to put yourself out there. I mean, even with comedy, I took the class, and that class helped me get through and cross that goal line. So sometimes there's a lot of things out there that can just help you get going, right? Anyone can do anything by themselves, and God bless the people that can do that. Some of us need a little help, a little handholding across the goal line. There's really nothing wrong with that. With comedy, it was that class. And then being able to where they do a seven minute show where I could go out and I could do that. And all those people from Quest Communications I mentioned earlier, all there was 50 plus people that came. And with the podcast, it was just a matter of it's funny, I yelled at my friends recently because I put out the podcast. It's also a fear, I think, that it's not going to be good enough. But the thing about podcasting, which is interesting, I always joke if you listen to my podcast backwards, I get worse, right? And that's the way it should be. When I switched providers, once, I had to go in and kind of listen to some of the shows, maybe to put in some ad markers or something. And I was like, oh, my God. Those first episodes, I didn't sound like I thought I sounded in my head, which later I think I do, meaning, like, it's loose and free, as I would have thought. And I called those guys. I'm like, you guys all said this was so great. Thank you for telling me, because I kept going. But I think at the time, it's like everything has to be kind of looked at in the moment that it's being done. And at that moment, yes, it was great, and it was like, oh, Jeff's starting something. And I get better, and everyone gets better. Everything you do, you get better on comedy and comedy. I do a joke today that I might have been doing for a long time. I do it a thousand times better now than I did it then. It just time helps and practice.
But I just think it's interesting for the listeners to hear because literally, you're like, oh, I started this game. I jumped on the stage and did comedy. Like, it sounds like, oh, this guy doesn't have fear. And I love to get into that a little bit. The reason I was asking you a little bit more about it is we talk a lot about this on the podcast because I'm fascinated with where people get their grit or where they have that fear. The people that come on that are perfectionism. Perfectionist. And, okay, where did that come from? Or for someone like myself, being dyslexic, I've failed at so many things. I don't even double think if I have an idea, I just run with it. Sometimes I run with it too much without doing a little bit thought. Like, oh, wait, maybe I should have paused a second and started this part instead of starting right at F, I should have really started at A. So there's benefits and not benefits. But I think it's really interesting to kind of get into when that's why I always ask kind of like, what you grew up, what you studied, because obviously and having a dad that was a dentist, he obviously was in school a lot. I think dentists tend to be a little bit more on the perfectionism side. That's a stereotype. But people that I've talked to, that's what they say is a little bit more kind of that straight line. They're not usually going out of the line like crazy. But the things that you did were kind of interesting because you really did pivot a number of times in your life after you had one thought of what you were going to do. I would love to know your parents, your dad, were they always supportive in everything that you did, or there were times where they were like, okay, we need to rein some stuff in.
Yeah. I was blessed with two parents that were extremely helpful. So in the late 90s, we started that web development company and the headquarters of. My parents basement. We had employees. We had a designer. We had people. We were working out of my parents basement when we needed $5,000. My dad gave me $5,000. Now, we ended up getting bought by a company that went public, and that $5,000 ended up being a really good investment for my dad. So after they converted that to stock but but he didn't know that, you know, that was just something that, you know, good karma, you know, leads you in the right direction. But, yeah, thankfully, they were always so supportive of me and my brother and everything that we did. And, yeah, it was great. Sometimes they think it would have been nice to have been focused on one thing, but then I'm like, but maybe it was great that they never really pushed me in specifically any one direction. And so I was able to kind of explore stuff my problem is problem, and then quotes why I don't jive, I think, in the corporate world, and I've tried, I've really tried to live in there. I don't work good in a box, you know what I mean? Nobody ever wanted to take advantage of that. I had always ideas. But in certain corporate, you have to stay in your box. And it's like, I just can't stay in my box. And it probably goes back to that B, which thing we were talking about earlier. It's like, I like to be able to do the different things. And I remember being told once I was working with an agency, and I said, oh, well, why don't we do this? And afterwards, they all yelled at me, you can't talk to the agency. You can't tell them what to do. I'm like, Why can't we have a conversation? Are we on the same team? No, refer them to the brief. I'm like, my brain does not work like this at all.
But I think it's great that you followed because there's been so many people that I've had on the podcast that their parents, especially in the doctor lawyer, like, no, this is the route you need to go in. And so I think it's beautiful that your parents were like, no, just go. Because it is. It's so true. I obviously don't think not a good inside the box person either. I live outside the box. I'm always like, Let me see if I can get my hand out there. I was always that kid. This is what you have to do. I'd be like, yeah, I'm going to go left. I know you told me to go right, but I'm going left. I think it's so important for you to know yourself and then to know your limitations, your strengths and weaknesses, and then just go. So I love that you did that. So now I want to take it into a little bit of you've created. So you said you started this app, you know, back in the Twitter days, and so what year was that again? If you can reference that, the app.
For the Twitter would have been probably 2015.
Okay. And so you were doing that, having fun. Obviously, you were still married doing your, you know, comedy stuff, right?
So the yeah, and that was out of, you know, I had worked on million dollar web applications. Then all of a sudden, the world changed, and the world was like, well, have you built an app? I haven't built an app. I did the Chrysler Daimler day one launch. No, I haven't built an app. Well, we can't hire you if you haven't built an app. And so I ended up just building an app, and I paid for it myself. I built this app, and it was around this community and this idea, and I designed it. So that's sort of like in my corporate world, in my entrepreneurial efforts, I'm really good at taking technology and creating something that end users or marketers or consumers can use, right? So that's sort of, like, always been my superpower, I guess. And so that's what I did with this app, and that's how I ended up getting the job at Little Caesars, because it was that experience that led to that. And then with the Twitter stuff, we started building automation so that companies could maybe get more out of just because what we do is we do some hashtag games with brands. They would do brand related stuff, and we'd help them get large amounts of engagement. And then we're like, oh, what if we created a system where you could automate a response from the brand and drive them to a registration form or something where they could collect first party data? And so we started doing that on Twitter, but then we then from that involved an entirely different company called Stampede Social, which is an entire suite of automation tools for brands and soon kind of just creators that they can really leverage instagram in a whole different way than any of these other existing tools allow them. I've always been fortunate to have really smart friends who can program and do things and come up with these ideas that then they can turn into reality. So it's fun. It's a good time.
It's a good time. And you're all doing this as you have your podcast. Are you still doing some stand up stuff?
I do stand up every now and then. The podcast takes so much time. You know that's, right? So I had to cut back on one thing, but every now and then I do it like I just did a weekend, and it was the best. It was the greatest. When I'm on stage, there's nowhere else I want to be. And when I'm off stage, I have all this stuff I have to do, unfortunately. So it would have been a cool life, but semi famous podcaster is my lot, right?
Yeah, but you're really adding value too, and you're seeing what's out there and what brands and people, creators need. And so if you want to take us a little bit more into Stampede Social, I would love the listeners to hear a little bit more about it because you've taken me through it and it was really cool. I remember being like, oh wait, wow, I need to process this. Give me a second. I really like this.
Yeah, thanks. So the whole idea of it is that it can take the data of Instagram and organize it in a much different way than any of these other apps. So it's not an inbox management tool. It's not like Sprout Social, you're not scheduling posts or managing your DMs, but what it does is it connects your Instagram to Stampede Social. And then we start collecting all your comments that come in, because that's really the kind of the indicator, I think, of true engagement, are people commenting positive or negative on what you're posting? And if people aren't, why aren't they? And creating these conversations is the most important thing on Instagram. You really have no full database or understanding of who's really fully communicating in this way. There's a live database being created on the fly of everything that happens during reels posts, live events on Instagram, and it also automates DMs links to DM. So you can collect first party data or run posts or run contests more efficiently. So just, hey, comment below hashtag Juliet and then you get a DM. But it's not just a DM, it's a trackable link. You know who that link was sent to, whether they click on it, everything becomes real trackable. And it's in this database that's being stored. And you can have multiple ones of these running, so you don't have to rely on link and bio to get people where you want them to go. So it's a real easy method to do it. And then, because everything is stored as a database contextually, you can run post level contests so easily because you can come into our interface and you have 1000 comments. You just click a button and it actually will deduce it and randomize it and download it for you as a randomized winners list. So there's and you can do user generated content real simple in terms of tracking it. So it does all these cool things. I'm trying to keep it like with that real quick, but it does all these cool things. So as a podcaster, I said, hey, if you want my episode, comment below hashtag Lost in Space and I'll DM you a link, right? That kind of thing. And so then they can get that, and then you can start to understand which of your posts are more popular, who's your micro influencers, who is your fans. You can start to really kind of understand that stuff right now. You don't really have a pulse on that with Instagram.
And I know we're coming to the end of the show. But what was when you first came up with this idea, was this like the idea or did it evolve? Did it evolve to this? Was it like, okay, I need to think something, and did you work a lot of stuff through, or was it like, no, boom, this is what we need to do? And it kind of just was there.
Well, it's funny because we had built it on Twitter, and we were having trouble with brands kind of embracing Twitter. Now it's I don't even know who's left, but I had a friend at Reddit, and I set up a meeting with them. I said, Reddit kind of flows are the same. Let me show you this technology. And would something like this work for Reddit? And so I was talking to Reddit, and we're talking to them, and they're like, doing a Reddit AMA. They literally copy. So you got like a fancy celebrity on there, and everyone's asking them questions, and they're copying it into a Google Sheet and then giving it to them so they can have the questions. And I turned my buddy and I said, I think, aren't we like one degree away from just automating that concept? And they're like, yeah, so we built like an MVP. They didn't ask, but we're like, hey, this is an MVP. This is exactly what you can just have this running it'll, collect it, and they can look at this interface and just have the questions. You don't have to copy. Jeff, why don't you think we built that if we want? I'm like, well, no, you wouldn't have I know how billion dollar companies work. You never build anything for yourself. And if you're not embarrassed by the fact that you're copying and posting to Google Sheets by this point, then there is nothing left. And so I'm like, all right. So I said to my buddy, can we just do this on Instagram? Everyone's on Instagram anyway. And so then we just took that entire idea. So it was interesting. Like, you have one idea, it's the nose sometimes that can actually give you the best ideas, and people shut you down and you can just kind of reframe yourself. That's what my teams are. The nose are just really hidden yeses. And it may not be a hidden yes for that person, but it might be a hidden yes for a real need that they just uncovered but they don't want to deal with. And then you can kind of exploit that somewhere else. So we ended up focusing on Instagram, and we ran one cool promotion. We automated like 4.6 thousand DMs in five days and drove to over 85% click through rate to their registration forms. So this is about collecting email addresses and first party data. That's really what it's all about. Because originally you asked what was the impetus, one of them was that the cookies are going away with Google. So collecting first party data is so important, and it's going to be once they eventually flip that switch to off. So this is a great way to do that, collect your mailing list and be able to no one thought MySpace was the biggest thing ever, right? Gone. Vine gone. Twitter is now in flux. It may not disappear, but it's not what it was. So these things change, but mailing list, as simple as it is, remains the king and constant. So modern technology that can help you get there is something that we did, and using the flows that people are already using and making it easier, making a social media manager's life easier was really the goal. Everything on Instagram is easy to start and hard to manage and measure, so we just made it easy to measure and manage and create. Attribution back to the registration form. I think it's brilliant. It's just a matter of other people returning my calls, right, and getting it.
Out there, but, no, it really is. Okay, well, I know we in the beginning and we've done this twice, but shout out where people can find you.
And follow you and, yeah, Stampy Social. If you're interested in learning more about that, there's some cool information on that website. And for me on Twitter. I'm Big Machher. B-I-G-M-A-C-H-E-R-O-G. Verified. At least until they start charging me $8, which I will not pay at Jeff Dewaskin show on Twitter or Instagram as well. If you want to follow classic conversations, wonderful.
Oh, my gosh, Jeff, thank you so much. And my brain is, like, going because I'm thinking of all the people I need to put you in touch with. And I know last time we spoke and we went through Stampede Social, I said the same thing to you. And then I think life just went crazy and I was like, I know we're going to interview. I know we're going to get together and do an interview, and so I'm going to bring it back up into my mind. So just thank you so much for joining your next stop and sharing your inspirational story.
I can't thank you enough for having me here. This has been great. You're awesome.
Thank you. So you guys know what to do, like, share, rate, review, and you might be listening to this episode and thinking, oh, that's a fun story. I love it. I love the pivots. But you don't know who in your life needs to hear the story. You don't know who in your life is sitting in that cubicle in that box and is miserable because they have all these ideas and they can't do it and they don't know how to get out of their own way. This episode might give them that little push that they need. So share it with as many friends as you can, like rate and review. And Jeff, thank you again for joining your next stop.
Thank you so much.
I hope you liked this episode of your Next stop. Please subscribe to my channel, share with your friends and join in each week.
My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR PASSION YOU WILL NATURALLY ENRICH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE