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John Vitti of VersusGame: Five Ways For Influencers To Monetize Their Brand

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Speak up! Using your voice on various outlets like podcasts, Facebook/Instagram lives, and television is a great way to help scale your business. The more eyes that you can get on your business, the better. Unexpected doors open as credibility and exposure increases.

As part of my series about “How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” I had the pleasure of interviewing John Vitti.

John Vitti is an entrepreneur and the CEO of VersusGame, an entertainment prediction-based gaming app that puts trending topics about celebrities, pop culture, sports, entertainment, food and more head to head in a classic “this” versus “that” competition.

After successfully launching and selling three companies within the consumer space, John’s entrepreneurial drive led him to his latest venture, VersusGame. John has worked with celebrities, entertainers and influencers, including DJ Khalid, The Weekend, Fat Joe, Amanda Cerny, Scooter Braun, Sway House, Noah Beck, and Dixie D’Amelio.

Since its launch in 2019, VersusGame has grown significantly, with over $17 million in cash prizes to more than 9.5 million players.

As part of my series about “How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” I had the pleasure of interviewing John Vitti.

John Vitti, born and raised in Boston Massachusetts, made it his aim to take control of his destiny and pursue entrepreneurship. “I refuse to work for anyone else and struggle like my father. I want to level the financial playing field and give the masses the opportunity to reach financial wealth and have fun doing it”. This life goal positioned him for success. Vitti serves as the CEO and Founder of Versus Game, a global entertainment gaming app which allows users to capitalize on their knowledge of mainstream culture. With over 9.5 million users and with over 17 million in cash prizes, this platform is changing the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is your “backstory”? What brought you to this point in your career?

I was greatly impacted by my dad’s life that was filled with much uncertainty and pain. It journeyed years back to a quaint farm in Italy where he was raised. Nothing came easy for him including the basics like running water. It seemed he toiled all his life without the freedom to just live comfortably. After the war, he came to the United States to Boston Massachusetts. However, for him, the war continued. He constantly fought to keep a job due to being fired or laid off. Fast forward to my adolescent and adult life, history was on repeat. Like my father, I found myself hearing the same words… “you’re fired”! I started numerous businesses with the seed of entrepreneurship that was planted years before stemming from how I didn’t want my life to look. Both businesses failed miserably and I came face to face with the hardships I witnessed my father endure. Though I failed at my first two startups, it was still clear to me that I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I wanted to be in control of my destiny, so I turned up the heat and continued pursuing entrepreneurship. I realized that the impact that my father made on my life was pushing me towards something greater. Not only was I desiring financial and career freedom for myself, but I wanted it for others. Out of that passion birthed five companies. The first two failed which sharpened me to keep going. I’m glad I did because I later launched two more successful companies. Both of which I chose to exit. Those decisions made room for me to start my fifth company thriving today, VersusGame.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?

#1) Funny

I think my face still hurts from laughing so hard. I can remember that day like yesterday as I bared part of my cheeks to a crowd of people I didn’t know. I decided to attend a pretty big fashion show. Little did I know that my ticket as a guest would shortly turn into a full blown runway participant. It all started as I stood backstage watching all of the models and commotion. Maybe I wore an outfit that made me look extra handsome that night. Or maybe it was my shiney hair that caused someone to walk up to me and ask me to be in the show. I reluctantly said yes and I was escorted to a room with fellow Ken dolls. What made it more comical was the scene I was asked to walk in. It was for underwear and it would be my opportunity to show my body to the world. Before I knew it, I was strutting down the runway in what looked like speedos. It definitely changed my perspective on what it means to always be ready to give it your all!

#2) Interesting

I was at lunch with Mark Burnett at his home in Malibu. Without question, one of the greatest storytellers and narrators in the world. It was beyond interesting having a front row seat to listen to the beautiful way he so eloquently crafted and told a story. However, the captivation for me didn’t stop there. Mark had a technology that would take storytelling to the next level. I stood in amazement as I gave a sentence that would be placed in a machine for translation. In a matter of seconds, it was transcribed into a story that blew me away. During that moment, I realized the importance of mastering telling my story. In a world of texts, emails, and Instagram DMs, having the ability to converse on a deeper level with stories is so much more meaningful.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Making wealth accessible to everyone would definitely be my spread of goodness to the world. We are all familiar with Wall Street but many don’t have bank accounts that represent that culture. I decided to level the playing field with the concept that knowledge should be rewarded. Attaching the bank account to the brain and not to an institution with a big name. Let me explain. VersusGame is an app that gives the world the opportunity to get rewarded for their knowledge. We naturally form predictions, but when is the last time that you got paid for what you know? It’s wonderful for me to witness others making great amounts of money utilizing their knowledge right from the comfort of their homes. Hearing testimonials from happy users that have quit their jobs because of their success with VersusGame let’s me know that I’ve done something good for humanity.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

It’s simple. Being an entrepreneur is hard. I often will say that you have to learn to hate sleep, embrace change, possibly lose those you love, and sometimes even your sanity. I liken it to the boxing ring. You can’t go in worried if your dreams will be dashed. If you are, it’s better you shouldn’t start. You have to have courage and go in ready to get your dreams dashed. Then, if you make it out of the ring and your dream is still alive, you’re doing ok.

None of us can achieve success without a bit of help along the way. Is there a particular person who made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

I touched on this at the beginning, but I’ll echo that my dad made a profound difference in my life. It’s easy to lean towards someone with a huge name or big pockets. My father had neither yet he propelled my purpose in a way that no one has. If it were not for his struggle to survive and inability to maintain a steady job, I would not be the creator of VersusGame, the top predictions gaming app in the world. I hope my story will inspire others to pursue their dreams like my dad’s story did for me.

So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m excited about 2022 and this amazing project I have to offer the world next year. It’s a game changer both literally and figuratively. I’m thrilled to announce that VersusGame will be launching its very own television game show. Imagine having the ability to make money from your couch while interacting with the VersusGame app and tv show in real time. Gone are the days when you shout at the TV during Wheel of Fortune or Family Feud unable to participate. Winning virtually will now be accessible to everyone.

What are your “Top Five Ways That Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)

I’d like to first share what not to do if I may. I think it’s relevant and sets the tone for what I believe are the top five ways influencers can monetize their brand. So before we get into the crux of it, influencers should not rely solely on advertising if at all. We are leaning more into modernized culture and I believe ads are more old school like the telephone book. It’s not what consumers are looking for and it doesn’t allow them to effectively connect with the brand. Resulting in the stifling of monetization. There’s a better way to mortize. Here are my top five;

#1) With an average of over 100,000 new users per week, influencers are finding VersusGame a great way to monetize. Many are making thousands of dollars per week interacting with their fans by creating their own pop culture polls.

#2) It’s important to have “Swag”. I’m not talking about your picture, I’m talking about your product. This is a great way to include an additional stream of income and it keeps your business in front of your customers. This can include t-shirts, shoes, energy drinks, and mugs. .

#3) Sponsoring a podcast is also a great way to monetize. Especially if they have a large following. It will get your name out to audiences you may normally not be able to reach. Once they go to your social media sites, you can present a call to action. Visibility definitely leads to profitability.

#4) Leveraging NFTs (nonfungible tokens) are a great way to help monetize. These “one-of-a-kind’’ digital pieces are creative money makers trending across all sectors. They also give you the ability to tailor them to your business.

5) Speak up! Using your voice on various outlets like podcasts, Facebook/Instagram lives, and television is a great way to help scale your business. The more eyes that you can get on your business, the better. Unexpected doors open as credibility and exposure increases.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would inspire the movement that would challenge the world to pause before every action was made. During this pause, I’d ask everyone to consider the long term repercussions of every choice they make. When faced with a decision, if everyone thought about how it would affect someone else first, we all would be a much better humanity. For example, I’m very passionate about helping Mother Nature by not using plastics. If we all did our part and considered the future, our efforts would combine and make an impact on the earth. It’s about being less self-serving and more life-giving.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

It would definitely be Jeffrey Besos. Respectfully, the second wealthiest person in the world. However, my desire to have a private breakfast with him transcends his financial status. What I find fascinating is how he started his business selling books in his garage. I want to pick his brain and understand the moment he made the decision to go from a brick and mortar business to online. The one decision I imagine is the catalyst to where he is today.

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