- Tell us about your company. When was the company founded? Who were the founders? Tell us more about their backgrounds.
Ans: Lets Influence was founded in 2018 by Bhawna Sethi. She is an MBA in Marketing and International Business from Institute of Business Management and Research. She had managed the Marketing portfolio across renowned media houses before deciding to become an entrepreneur.
Bhawna started Lets Influence in 2018 with the objective of redefining how Influencer Marketing is done in India. Her vision is to make Influencer Marketing more transparent and affordable for all kinds of organizations, irrespective of their scale of operation.
- What inspired you to start your venture in this particular domain? What is unique about your products/services?
Ans: I saw that disparity and the lack of transparency in the influencer marketing industry and hence, decided to take a plunge to address it. Also, I wanted to make Influencer Marketing affordable for all enterprises, including startups.
- Tell us more about Women Influencer Marketing? How does it help businesses?
Ans: Women Influencers play a crucial role since they have a large follower base (as compared to women). If we look at Millennial and Gen Z women, they have a great influence irrespective of their genre, they are ahead of others in a lot of ways, across fitness, skincare, Health, beauty, travel etc. Their creativity and power of expression creates a huge impact on their audience, thereby helping a business.
Influencers are also making an impact on critical issues, from awareness as well as problem solving standpoint. Today, people spend a lot more time on social media. Also, a lot of us are trying to find someone (Influencer) who is facing similar situation. When they come across a post from an influencer around a similar topic with appropriate solutions, they tend to instantly connect with it.
For instance, take the example of PCOD/PCOS, which was an untouched topic. However, things have changed and we now have a number of of Fitness Influencers and Healthcare experts and consultants doing sessions around this, helping people facing issues and giving expert advice. This would not have been possible without influencers and social media.
- Tell us more about the industry and the competition in this particular segment. It would be great if you can share some market trends in the industry.
Ans: In today’s world, people find it difficult to trust the products on the basis of pictures or a social media post on a brand’s page. Hence, they turn to influencers and check influencer views before deciding the purchase a specific product. Influencer marketing has become an integral part of the marketing strategy for any brand, to help increase the trust factor amongst end consumers.
Post the lockdown, when people will prefer to shop from home without visiting the malls or shop and experiencing the products, influencer marketing will play an extremely important role in influencing the buying decisions.
- What kinds of challenges have you faced in founding your company and in the subsequent time period? How did you overcome these difficulties? Are there any takeaways from them, which can help in furthering the growth of your company?
Ans: One big challenge has been building the right culture and hiring the right set of people. We make sure that we provide enough opportunity to grow, help resolve issues and provide a flexible and conducive work environment, so the team can confidently focus on putting their best foot forward.
We have learnt a number of harsh lessons over the last two years, ranging from issues around team building, brand awareness and credibility, or managing the influencers. Our sheer focus on building the right team helps us overcome all other issues.
So, one of the big takeaways for us is to spend all your energies on finding the right team and ensure that they can passionately and fearlessly work towards achieving the organization’s goal.
- Tell us about your journey so far, your current team, and also its customer base and revenues.
Ans: It has been two years of learning. Over the last 2 years, I have learnt a lot of new things that I apply to each new project we take-up. We take pride in being an all-women team that is intelligent, hands-on and committed to the cause of building Lets Influence as the Number 1 agency in the country.
We have already executed over 500+ campaigns for 50+ brands. This is just the beginning and there is a long way to go for us. In terms of revenues, while the pandemic impacted us initially but lately, brands realized how important it is for them to create an online presence. We have seen a 200% surge in our business compared to what we were doing prior pandemic.
- What are the strengths of your company?
Ans: The biggest strength of Lets Influence is its exceptional talent and their skill sets. Secondly, we are rewriting the rules of Influencer Marketing as we are working on Influencer Marketing campaigns not only for big brands and MNCs, but also for startups and SME. We are closely working with young and emerging brands and driving influencer marketing via nano & micro-influencers, which in my opinion are the ideal buzz creators.
Our experience of working with 100+ brands has helped us gain great insights around buzz worthy content & strategies and maintain long-term relationships with our Influencers. This, in turn, helps us with a competitive price as well as direct access to A-list celebrities and regional celebrities.
- What are the addressable markets and underlying opportunity you are going after?
Ans: We currently work with startups, SMEs as well as FMCG businesses. I believe that influencer marketing works well for all kinds of businesses, irrespective of the size and industry type. The common notion is that it is not a viable option for young age startups but we, at Lets Influence, are committed to change this. We work with a range of startups and design the marketing campaign in line with the objectives of the company.
Additionally, the ban of TikTok has opened a range of possibilities for a company like ours. When TikTok was live, we had direct access to more than 500 TikTok creators and were working closely with them to help increase the follower base. We are now exploring new avenues for them across YouTube, Insta Reels, or Unlu.
- How have you distributed your initial funds so far? Do you have any plan to raise funds in the near future?
Ans: Majorly, our spends have been on building the right team. We don’t spend much on new business development as recommendations have worked well for us from a client acquisition standpoint. Over 40% of our clients have been through referrals. Our client retention rate is high.
We are clocking enough revenues to sustain our expansion plans and hence, fund raise is not a priority as of now. We are focusing on striking the right partnerships and making influencer marketing more valuable for all the brands that we work with.