Every organisation has a story, this is Dooply’s story so far … the rest is hidden in the future.
Since our inception in November 2017, we changed our business model a couple of times and we have managed to record every turning point Dooply has been through.
Initially, the idea was an application for social media influencers to aggregate their content and establish a common place on the internet where their followers can come and enjoy influencer-generated content. This project, however, never really came into reality. There were multiple turning points that led us to deviate from the original idea and explore other untapped markets.
First, the development expense of such an aggregator app would be enormous and worse than that an application that acts like an aggregator of all social media platforms would be greatly dependent on social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram etc…
Having our survival under the mercy of the big companies that run these social media platforms would probably not be a very good idea in the long run. So we paused the project and focused on building personal relations with a few influencers and content creators in our city Brighton.
During that time, we were also running influencer marketing campaigns for our clients (which yielded amazing results) and this kept Dooply breathing in terms of cash flow. We were also working on our Fake Followers Identification System. This system accessed and collected data from Facebook’s API, and used algorithms to classify each Instagram account as fake or real on a scale from 1–10. We used this system to find the right influencers for our clients’ campaigns and it proved to be very effective in an industry that was loaded with fake accounts.
We were preparing to make this system public for everyone to use, however, something very significant happened. Facebook changed their API policies following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In one day, our system was dead and worth nothing.
On this day, i remember, my business partner Gabe and I went for a beer in a pub in Brighton. We sat down wondering how we can solve the “fake influencers” problem having no historical data to test our theoretical models on. So we came up with another idea; Conversion Score. This model did not depend on data collected from Facebook’s API however, it had its fundamental technical flaws.
This web-based app allowed influencers to post links on their profiles and measure conversion using a formula to calculate an estimated conversion rate. The app was ready for launch until we encountered another turning point that would change our business model once again. Information leaked out of FB that the tycoon was preparing a similar feature to be introduced in the next year. Well, who wants to compete with Facebook? We decided to pause the project and considered revisiting it at a later stage.
At this point in time, we managed to get a lot of feedback from businesses in regards to the influencer marketing space. We discovered that there is a painful amount of lack of knowledge in the industry and many businesses were struggling to find the right entry points. So what did we do next?
We came to a realisation that there were a lot of entrepreneurs with a tight marketing budget who intended to get into influencer marketing. To satisfy their needs, we launched the new influencer recruitment model. Not just to stand out from our competitors, but to make sure that this service fulfils exactly what the market needs.
The recruitment model was pretty straight forward. Our services included finding, assessing and recruiting influencers on behalf of our clients. In essence, this service connected influencers with entrepreneurs / businesses and both sides enjoyed direct and organic contact which is essentially important for a successful influencer marketing campaign.
One regular day, we received a phone call from a prospect who wishes to launch a campaign to promote their app. After a series of workshops undertaken to formulate the best strategy and approach possible, we realised that instead of promoting our client’s app, it would be best if we promote their persona. Accordingly, we commenced in formulating a strategy with the aim to promote the client as an expert in their field and make them an attraction to their prospects. We realised in today’s world, it is easier to promote a human figure rather than a product or a service. The reason is because people can easily relate to a fellow human being and establishing trust can be done more effectively.
Today, however, we have pivoted even further. We were approached by an inspiring individual who had a dream of becoming an influencer. What was very surprising is that this particular individual was just one of many prospects who were seeking a service that helps them attract attention and convert it into real social influence.
We became aware of an untapped market niche. In a world full of social influencers, some really inspiring people are being left out . The question that is running in their minds is “why can’t I share my vision to the world while I can serve as inspiration to a selected audience. What is my legacy and where can I position myself in an economy where the value of social influence equates to the value of money if not more”.
The reality, however, is that money doesn’t always buy influence but in some cases, if you have the right team around you, equipped with the right knowledge, expertise, and connections, there is a higher chance you might succeed.
Today, to cultivate influence, you must first have an authentic core message powered up with a legitimate cause. Your story must be engaging, entertaining, and educating enough to attract the right audience, build trust, and establish an influential persona.
Accordingly, the Dooply model consists of three main pillars; branding, publicity, and relationships. The heart of this model is the cause and the narrative that reflects your unique value proposition and your contribution to your audience and the world.
In a world dominated by technology and automation; human influence will be your only competitive advantage. The reality is that the more technologically sophisticated we become, the more scarce human relations will become and therefore the more valuable the human element will become in social and economic contexts. Today’s gold rush is attention and hence, attention agencies will rise and will help people attract attention and cultivate influence.
In a nutshell, this is how we help our clients, the rest, however, is up to them.