In this week’s episode of The Hunting Influence Podcast, Aaron is joined by Adam Silverman, CEO and Head of Talent of Hot Dot Media. Adam Silverman discusses his journey as a serial entrepreneur from a young age, talks about the future of influencer marketing and where he sees Hot Dot Media in the next few years, his tips and tricks for increasing the reach and potential virality of TikTok videos, and his advice for those looking to build their own influence.
His most recent venture, Hot Dot Media, gives brands who are looking to promote their business an easy platform that gives them the tools to be able to meet, talk and get to work quickly. It was recently acquired by Wondr Gaming which is a publicly traded company that builds partnerships and fosters community within the gaming and Esports industries by creating and acquiring new assets.
- Adam grew up in a family where both his parents were entrepreneurs with his dad having a variety of ventures like car washes and gas stations and his mom was a realtor. Throughout his whole life, he has had an entrepreneurial passion as it stemmed from his parents.
- His first real taste of entrepreneurship was in elementary school where him and his friend would buy toys from FAO Schwarz in New York City and resell them to friends at recess.
- At the age of 14, he started a more substantial business called Silver Sells, where he would take a variety of different products ranging anywhere from kitchen cabinets to Gucci purses and liquidated people’s belongings that they didn’t like anymore.
- Had several failed ventures along the way. One venture Adam started in high school was purchasing a machine from China that would waterproof iPhones before it existed. Although it wasn’t a success, he learned about his passion for business being able to get up every day and stand behind something that he really enjoyed.
- In University, Adam was selling a product that was difficult to sell through conventional channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Google. He had to go through alternative marketing outlets that were untapped such as Reddit and Quora. He learned that in order to obtain results, it was just a matter of communicating effective stories.
- Adam graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Adam was a part of the Western propel community which is an incubator for student start-ups. He worked on two large scale projects which were a Kickstarter campaign for an energy gum as well as a food delivery app for on campus food delivery.
- He took his experience from the Propel Entrepreneurship Centre and transitioned that into an internship at Bancorp where he started doing influencer marketing on a full-time basis. He got his first taste of influencer marketing and how to work with influencers.
- Adam noticed the rapid growth of TikTok early on and how content creators were growing their followings exponentially on the platform which wasn’t achievable on Instagram. He took advantage of this opportunity and founded Hot Dot Media, reaching out to several influencers on TikTok and determining what brand deals they currently had.
- Adam would message hundreds of influencers on TikTok trying to figure out who the best creators for each particular campaign are. Once the content was created, he would leverage and reshare it on platforms like Reddit.
- Hot Dot media has worked with both small and large brands, with the smallest campaign having 7 influencers and the largest campaign having 15 million influencers for one deal.
- Adam’s mentioned several tips and tricks for increasing the reach of TikTok videos. Auto generated captions is one way he was able to substantially increase his ability to have client’s videos go viral. Another tip for successful content is giving users some type of prompt to interact with the post such as asking them to comment an emoji.
- If certain content does not perform as expected on TikTok, Adam believes that there’s always an opportunity to put paid dollars behind it and repurpose the content, using it as a video asset moving forward.
- Adam wants to start providing influencers with equity deals and further revenue share based on the results that they are able to drive in the next few quarters.
- Adam believes in being creator first and empowering creators in the sense that the price they ask for is the exact price they get paid. He believes this establishes a great relationship with the creators and the brands.
- Adam’s favorite campaign was with a creator named Philip Vu. Adam saw Philip grow from 100,000 followers to over 500,000 followers on TikTok in the past year alone and he is one of those creators that is a great storyteller and creator.
- Adam believes that Influencer Marketing should always have the human element to it for the screening process of connecting brands with creators rather than it being fully algorithm based.
- The acquisition of Hot Dot Media by Wondr Gaming was perfect from all regards according to Adam, as his company is getting a technology arm where they can now launch NFT’s and also have a gaming rewards platform which can enable creators to generate additional streams of income.
- If Adam could go back in time and do one thing differently, it would be to focus heavily on his operations and make sure that they are scalable. He recommends to think about what are your core operations, what you actually need fundamentally to operate your business, and really making sure that it is well put together so that your offering is extremely clear when you pitch to clients.
- Adam believes that the biggest thing that will change in the next one to five years is the speed at which influencer deals are happening. Adam believes there is no reason that real time bidding can’t occur with influencers as long as they have availability. He wants to decrease the amount of time it takes to go from a campaign all the way through to execution, taking it from a week right now to eventually less than one day.
Adam’s morning routine
- Oat milk latte, double shot of expresso, and drinking a lot of water
Adam’s favorite resource
Adam’s favorite book of all time
Adam’s favorite hundred-dollar purchase
Adam’s favorite place he has ever been to
- Tel Aviv, Israel
Adam’s favorite brand
Adam’s advice to those looking to build their own influence
- Don’t hesitate on reaching out to people through a cold email. Persistence is the key to success. If a brand doesn’t respond right away, keep on messaging them. Be persistent without being annoying and keep on following up until you get a definitive no.
“Persistence is the key to success. I always tell creators that if a brand doesn’t respond right away, keep on messaging them, you want to be on top of inbox at all time. Until somebody says, I’ve had enough of this or has given me a definite no, I keep on following up because it just means that I haven’t got that definite no yet”
“If you can find a very great storyteller and amazing creator, their ability to drive results is really unlimited”
“You always want to make sure in entrepreneurship that you’re very confident in what you do. I would recommend to everyone to think in greater depth about figuring out your core operations, what you actually need fundamentally to operate your business, and really making sure that its well put together so that your offering is extremely clear when you’re going to pitch your company”Adam Silverman
CEO of Hot Dot Media