Full Transcript: Founder And CEO Of SHADE Jacques Bastien On GHOGH Podcast

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Jacques Bastien
Jacques Bastien discusses ‘huslepreneurship’ with Jamarlin on this episode of the GHOGH podcast. Photo: Anita Sanikop

In episode 36 of the GHOGH podcast, Jamarlin Martin talks to Jacques Bastien, founder and CEO of SHADE, a leading influencer management agency.

They discuss Jacques’ concept of “hustlepreneurship”, developing a culture that embraces the benefits from entrepreneurship failure and navigating the complex business of social influencers.

You can listen to the entire conversation right now in the audio player below. If you prefer to listen on your phone, GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin is available wherever you listen to podcasts — including Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 36: Jacques Bastien

Jamarlin talks to Jacques Bastien, founder and CEO of SHADE, a leading influencer management agency. They discuss Jacques’ concept of “hustlepreneurship”, developing a culture that embraces the benefits from entrepreneurship failure and navigating the complex business of social influencers.

This is a full transcript of the conversation which has been lightly edited for clarity.

Jamarlin Martin: You’re listening to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin. We have a go hard or go home approach as we talk to the leading tech leaders, politicians and influencers. Let’s GHOGH! Today we have Jacques Bastien, the founder and CEO of the SHADE Agency and serial entrepreneur. Welcome to the show.

Jacques Bastien: Thanks for having me. Excited.

Jamarlin Martin: You use the word “hustlepreneur”?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah.

Jamarlin Martin: Explain that concept.

Jacques Bastien: Yeah. My definition for the word… I was born in Haiti and coming here when I was 10, I know what life is like back at home and I know what life is like here. That’s probably the reason why a lot of people from the Caribbean naturally work so much harder than those who are from here, right? Because we’re privileged to even have the opportunity to come to the country like this. So hustle has always been part of my DNA. Everything that I’ve ever started, I’ve had zero experience. I started teaching in college. I had zero experience teaching. I started companies, I had zero experience. The only thing I had was hustle. That’s all I had was the amount of work that I put in. So a “hustlepreneur” to me is somebody who works both smart and hard, right? So there are those who say you gotta work smart. Right? And that makes perfect sense. And there are those who say you got to work hard, but I think a “hustlepreneur” is somebody who embodies both of those things where they able to get more done within an hour than those other people may not be able to get done in a day.

Jamarlin Martin: The people who look like us, entrepreneurs, do you find that you see more “hustlepreneur”ship with immigrant black folks, then African-Americans here.

Jacques Bastien: A hundred percent, without a doubt. And I think it’s just a product of our environment. My wife and I spent three months in Southeast Asia within the last few months and seeing life over there, it really helped us check our privileges because things we complain about over here, they’d be happy to have.

Jamarlin Martin: The stuff that we complain about or we raise concerns about, you guys come over here and you’re like, what are you guys talking about?

Jacques Bastien: Right, exactly. I remember in Haiti, I probably only owned one pair of sneakers throughout the year. I remember we had to work for every single meal, whether it was like going to catch then what I was going to be cooked or going to get the fruit. Right. So every single thing we had, there was some work component. Right. And when I come here to America with Uber’s and things like that, I’m excited. I’m not complaining. I’m not one of those folks who think that’s lazy or hey this generation, anything like that. But I’m happy for the privilege, but if it did not exist, I would also be okay. Right. So I think it’s definitely a product of our environment.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah, it makes me think of when I was traveling in Mozambique and I was watching the kids play soccer without shoes. And I feel like to have a good perspective on where you sit, you need to just have different flavors of experiences. You’re a serial entrepreneur. How has failure helped you to get to where you are today?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah, that’s a great question. I am a product of failure. You know what I mean? I think that’s all I know how to do is fail. As I said, I think that the most important thing about my story that I always share with people is that I had zero experience and every new thing that I go into, I have zero experience. But I embrace the journey. I’ve done this long enough to understand that it takes trial and error, takes this not going right and instead of complaining about it, I use that opportunity to learn, see how do we improve and things like that. So I mean, failure everywhere from hiring the wrong people to making the wrong investments. I mean the list goes on. We fail every single day, every single hour, there is some sort of failure happening, right? And as an entrepreneur a lot of people think it’s like, it’s like a slope straight up, right? You start this thing, you put a little work in it and it goes all the way up and you start seeing hockey stick results, right? But instead, whether it’s finances or your emotions or just the whole journey itself, it’s up and down.

Jamarlin Martin: Do you think there’s something that’s tremendously defective in our culture where when we fail like, Hey, this sister’s business was closed down, or this brother’s business closed down, or didn’t make it. Man, they messed up, they did this versus, hey, they went out and gave up a job opportunity to go out and get it and they had to take risks. Right? High risk, high reward, high failure. Do you think that there’s a tremendous opportunity to remix the culture where when we see people failing at business, it’s actually the inverse of where our culture is today. It’s like, man, they went out there to try something new. They took chances most likely that failure is going to lead to some success later on.

Jacques Bastien: Right. One hundred percent. I forget which book I was reading. It was talking about the culture in Japan and it was like how when you compare the U.S. to Japan, the way they look at failure is completely different. So you look at us in school, when you fail, you get a bad grade, you’re looked down upon, you get detention. So it’s negative, it’s not considered learning, it’s just called failing, right? Whereas over there, the way they sort of look at the culture. When you fail, it’s an opportunity to know what not to do. Right. I wish I remembered the book, but they shared some scientific data that said that based on their way of looking at things, people end up being more successful over there because it’s like from the beginning, they’re learning and trained how to look at failure, right. Because if I was looking at failure in business, like I learned in school, I would be like, man, I didn’t get this project, detention or something that looks like that. Right. Whether let me just quit or whatever the case may be, but fast forward to today, the way we look at failure is just another opportunity to learn what not to do and we can try again with a different approach. So I agree 100 percent. I think the culture of failure in the U.S. and the way we sort of look at it and the way we treat folks who fail and that whole thing, I think it could seriously use a huge 180.

Jamarlin Martin: Do you see delta between Black American culture and mainstream culture in terms of the perception of value of failure?

Jacques Bastien: That’s a good question. I think it’s harder for us because in addition to everything I just said, we are Black, right? And the stakes are a lot higher and so it’s one of those things where in a perfect world you want to look at failure as something that you can accept and learn from and all that kind of stuff. But if we’re being realistic, right? It’s already so much harder for us Black entrepreneurs when we fail, a lot of times it could also look like we’re bringing our people down. If there’s a big company, the big black publication that does this, the big black-owned whatever, for me, I’m routing for them.

Jamarlin Martin: It seems like when we see our business people struggling or their enterprises struggling, it seems like we’re inclined at times to beat them down. Oh, they don’t know what they’re doing. This and that. However, in the culture of Silicon Valley, as you know, a lot of folks didn’t really hit the big liquidity button or big success on the first try. You take Uber, for example, the founder filed for bankruptcy with his first business. His second business, I believe got into a lot of legal trouble. A lot of lawsuits. The third business is Uber. But the culture out there is like, hey, you just failed on your first startup, where’s the next one man? What’s up?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah. 100 percent.

Jamarlin Martin: You started your own agency, SHADE. What problem are you trying to solve there?

Jacques Bastien: I think to sort of give you the sort of bigger story. So when I went to school, I went to school in upstate New York, in Albany. I met my girlfriend at the time who’s now my wife today. We started an agency, just regular marketing agency working for everybody from lawyers to construction workers and the list goes on. But around 2016 or so we hit this point in our life where we just sort of started questioning what we were doing, what value are we actually adding to culture in general, right? We’re not the most successful people in the world. However, we have overcome a lot of things that normally we’re not supposed to. We were sitting at certain tables we are not supposed to sit at. We knew certain people we’re not supposed to know. So we started sort of looking at what can we actually be for the culture and that’s how we made a decision that everything we did from that point on was going to be using our experiences, our connections and our skills to help improve the life of people like us and bring more opportunities to our communities. And since then, that’s been the mission that we’ve built every other company around. So SHADE was the first movement towards that vision, right? So we saw an opportunity to improve two things. One, improve representation as a whole in media, but also help Black and brown creators earn money from their influence. As an agency, we see the budgets being thrown around, 50k here, 10k here, 100k there. But whether we’re in the project as a partner to the brand or we’re a partner to another agency, what we didn’t see were many people that look like us getting those budgets, and it makes sense. I spent some time looking into sort of human psychology and the why. Why we’re dealing with the things that we deal with. And you are naturally more comfortable with people that look like you, act like you, sound like you come from the same place as you. So it’s understandable why maybe those other casting agencies only cast white talent or white creators. But us having the opportunity and privilege to be in the seats that we were in, to be able to meet with the people that we met, we decided that we were going to start an agency where essentially we bring our friends to the table. That’s what started SHADE. We launched SHADE October 2016, and today we’re now managing 85 creators and having the blessing to be able to have them on board with campaigns with brands like Mcdonald’s and American Express.

Jamarlin Martin: With these creators, what percentage of your creator portfolio clients are exclusive?

Jacques Bastien: So we have about half. A 50/50 split. So half of them are exclusive and the other half sometimes have managers or other sort of representation.

Jamarlin Martin: Let’s say an investor says, I love the vision, but the influencer agency space is crowded. It’s very bubbly, there’s too many players in the market. What do you say to that?

Jacques Bastien: That’s the same thing with every industry. Most of them. Even something like the Uber space is getting crowded now, where all the different startup taxi-hailing companies are coming. For us in terms of what we bring to the table. A couple of things. So one, we’re fortunate that we are under 30 years old. I think everybody in the team is. What that allows us to do is, the talent that we’re representing, they’re not who’s currently popular, they’re who’s up next.

Jamarlin Martin: The thinking is the mainstream creator agency, they may be focused on Selena Gomez or Bieber. They’re just going to miss a lot of the people we’re covering. They’re not going to be engaging the people and understand the market like you.

Jacques Bastien: Exactly.

Jamarlin Martin: And so you want to be the Essence Magazine, or BET in the space.

Jacques Bastien: Right. Exactly. And then you look at cats like Everette Taylor and John Henry and a lot of those guys, they’re doing a lot of amazing things right now for our culture. They’re doing great things within their group of audiences, but they’re only going to get bigger from here. They’re going to get bigger to the point that they have mainstream fame and mainstream success, and we fortunately have the opportunity to have a conversation with them today, start working with them today so that when they do get to that point, we’re going to be the agency behind them.

Jamarlin Martin: That sounds like that’s where you can get a lot of competitive advantage, like a farm system, essentially you’re finding them like an athlete earlier than everybody else. There’s a lot of fraud in social media marketing, influencer marketing. You go buy some likes, you go buy some followers. How much of that stuff over the last couple of years has been cleaned up, where the agency is not going out, not knowing that they’re selling fraud. Like a lot of these followers, maybe they’re in Pakistan or India or maybe they’re bots. How is fraud being addressed in this market?

Jacques Bastien: So a lot of players have actually stepped in trying to help fix that problem. You have a lot of software now that exists that can sort of analyze the audience and give you a percentage. Maybe this person has 75 percent real followers, 80 percent fake followers, that kind of thing.

Jamarlin Martin: You’re seeing buyers use that tech?

Jacques Bastien: Right. Even for us, when we’re bringing on new talent, we actually use that tech to help us in our decision process. But the other thing is we also have seen an increase in people actually buying these followers and getting these bots. So it’s one of those things where like, while the technology is existing not to clean it, there’s an increase of people using it. And the reason is the pressure that comes from brands and agencies. So from our experience, what we try to sell is we definitely try to sell the reach, but we try to sell the fit, meaning that this audience is a great fit for who you’re looking for. And we also try to sell that person’s influence. There are people out there with 5,000 followers that can get four of those 5,000 to respond to something. Whereas there are people out there with 100,000 followers, I can barely move the needle.

Jamarlin Martin: When you look at your portfolio of clients, how many of them, percentage-wise, are buying based on shallow metrics of, I want likes, I want retweets, I want views?How many are still buying a shallow perspective of marketing?

Jacques Bastien: You’re saying our clients like brands?

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. Like, Hey, I want you to find some influencers.

Jacques Bastien: Way too many. Way too many.

Jamarlin Martin: Over eighty percent from your perspective.

Jacques Bastien: Over eighty percent, yeah.

Jamarlin Martin: I know you don’t want to talk about your clients, but you do believe that that’s dumb money going into the influencers.

Jacques Bastien: Yeah, 100 percent. We’ve seen it. I mean we have companies, and I’m not going to name the brands, but there are companies that are paying me $2,500 to post two things on Instagram stories. Right? And for me with only about 15,000 followers, that’s a lot of money for that. Right? But they see the value that I bring to the table as a talent, but there are companies out there who, they care so little about the quality of the content, they care so little about everything else. They just want the reach, they just want to be able to tell, and it makes sense because the pressure comes from the brand to the agency saying I need numbers. So the agency now can say, the potential reach is 300 million. It doesn’t mean you’re going to reach them. But if we work with a creative that has 100,000 followers, then that increases what our projections will look like. And so I believe the influencer marketing space is broken. I think it needs a ctrl, alt, delete and just to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Jamarlin Martin: It is just so messed up.

Jacques Bastien: It’s because every single player in the game, one, they’re selfish in their own ways, and two, they don’t mesh. When you have a social media software out there that helps companies cast, their goal is quantity. They want to be, I can get you 50,000 influencers, but you’re paying them $50 each. Right? That’s because that’s the only way for that to make sense because you’re already spending so much money on the software. So that platform does not work with a company like ours where we want to sell the influence. We’ll give you 10 really good fit rather than 100 people that sound like they’re a good fit.

Jamarlin Martin: And part of the solution is that the buyer, they need to demand, hey, I want to use some type of conversion system for registrations. I want to track my sales. I want to know exactly what I’m getting with an action. That will weed out a lot of the fraud and the noise and the fluff in the market.

Jacques Bastien: What I want to also add is it’s not even just influencer marketing, man. I think the entire marketing space is BS. I think 90 percent of marketing is BS. Like 90 percent is just checking boxes, 90 percent of people who go to work everyday at these agencies, at these brands, they’re just checking off their to do lists with no care of actually producing great work. And I think it’s frustrating for agencies out there who are really trying to bring quality to the game. But this is the space we’re in.

Jamarlin Martin: Let’s talk about the economic empowerment aspect of what you’re doing, where from my view, you have Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, they are generating obviously a massive amount of money on the backs of content creators.

Jacques Bastien: For sure.

Jamarlin Martin: It makes me think of a saying. “Why do you like the devil? Because he gives you nothing”. And when I think about the pennies, when you look at the share prices, I don’t think the right way to look at is just profit and revenue of a Google or Facebook. But when you look at the value being created at their share price level on the back of content creators, that’s a massive problem. And so when you think about like, Hey, what are the drivers of inequality? Well, you could start, at least in the digital space in terms of these massive corporations banking billions and billions of dollars of wealth and only having to kind of, “Hey, I’ll throw you some crumbs here and there”. So how is this problem fixed? How do we disintermediate the Googles and the Facebooks from pulling so much value off these Black content creators and giving them nothing? How do we solve this? How do we have a scaled attack against that type of structure?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s one that I hope somebody solves.

Jamarlin Martin: But do you see yourself kind of being a piece of that, where you want to promote. Let’s say I want to come to you, hey, let’s, let’s partner with some Black creators, and then we can transact directly with each other and we don’t have to share any of the money with a Google or Facebook.

Jacques Bastien: Right? You look at even a platform like Twitter for example, right? I definitely think we play a little role, probably a tiny fraction, but we play a role in that. Like if somebody was going to post a tweet that’s going to go viral, make it to the news and then folks who’ve never heard of Twitter say, what is this Twitter thing? I want to go here now so I can start seeing things like this. That’s tremendous value to Twitter, but where we come in being able to at least have some dollar figures attached to that tweet, whether it’s like it was a brand tweet or we got somebody to pay for it. It does help. It does help play a role, but I think there’s a much bigger problem that I don’t know what the solution is, specifically to the question. But what I’ll also say is, I think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, all those guys, at the very beginning, if we take it all the way back. This wasn’t their intention, right? They just wanted to create a product that got people to allow you to connect with your friends and family in a very unique way. Whether it’s via images, via 24-hour snaps or whatever the case may be. Obviously the business model came afterwards and they’ve been banking on building great products that got people like us to say, “I like this, I want to use it”. But I do think, respecting how they originally started, it was just a platform to help us connect. So with that said, there’s also a part of me that’s also like, do we need to try to ask for more from them? Right? If they need the business model to be a business, to still exist, for us to be able to do what we’re doing, the vain thing of sharing pictures and sharing statuses and things like that. So it’s a weird thing that I don’t know the solution for, but there are definitely a lot of different opinions that are very on point.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. In my view, I would like to see platforms develop, where folks will come off the platforms or like a Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, you can do all the similar stuff, but there’s like a pot that rewards the content creators. Everything is on the back of the content creators, it rewards folks. And so I can see some players stepping in where, hey, how you can defeat your Googles, your Facebooks, your Snapchats is to create really good products, but there’s an incentive system where more value goes back to the people. Do you see the social media players making it hard for players like you, where they see you, like, Hey, you’re trying to get in the way of our business, where we want to control the advertising. You’re coming in, partnering, helping these people to smarten up, understand their value, help them get $100,000, $50,000 checks based on their content creation and their built in audience, hey, we’re going to disallow you to do those types of activities. Are you seeing them crackdown?

Jacques Bastien: Definitely. What I’ve seen them do more so is not necessarily try to end it, but rather try to find a way to get piece of the pie. So if you look at even Instagram recently, allowing the sort of “paid partnership with” tag. That concept is just mindblowing because if you think about it years ago, anyone who’d be paid to partner with a brand would be celebrities. So now you look at Joe from down the block, post something and it’s tagged with paid partnership with whatever brand. However, what that does now is it allows Instagram to be part of that conversation because now the brand can promote that content and boost it. So then that boost, Instagram make some money. They are also able to track it and they can use that data to resell that data or do whatever they need to do in terms of X amount of our users doing this, X amount of our users doing that. So I think what I’ve seen is them really trying to come in and provide tools to help creators do the best that they can do, but with the intention of getting a piece of the pie.

Jamarlin Martin: What pick my brain advice do you have for Black content creators scaling up, understanding your value and monetizing that value?

Jacques Bastien: There are tons of advice up there. I think one of the ones that’s important to know is, it’s very important to have a talent associated with whatever content you’re creating. It’s good to have that sort of that lifestyle, “Hey, look at me, hey, look at me” thing. But once all is said and done, talent wins. So I think it’s important to figure out, regardless of what content you’re creating, there’s a talent behind it, design, comedy, whatever that talent is. Secondly, I don’t think we take ourselves seriously enough. And that’s not even just a Black thing. I think that’s just a people thing in general. But I think us Black creators, we don’t take ourselves seriously enough because we see people like us even making money from these things, but we often look at it as if that can never be me, right?

Jamarlin Martin: You’re saying folks are not thinking seriously, like, hey, this can become a million-dollar business if I’m thinking about it the right way and doing the right things.

Jacques Bastien: Right. And I think the final thing I’ll say, and this is the reason why artists fail, why actors fail, a lot of know athletes even. It’s not diversifying enough. I think with whatever you’re doing as a content creator, it’s good to take whatever that talent is, but do different things with it. When you’re creating content on Youtube and maybe trying to get some money from ads, that’s one avenue. Maybe create a course that you put on Udemy or your own platform. That’s another way you’re making money from your talent. So I think any creator who’s trying to make money from their talent, it would definitely make a lot of sense to figure out different ways to diversify their income, specifically based on that talent.

Jamarlin Martin: What pick my brain advice would you have for buyers, where you can get more value with your marketing objectives, not going directly necessarily to Facebook or Youtube or Snapchat or Twitter, but working directly with the content creator or influencer? What is your advice for small to medium sized players where you’re going to get more value working directly with the influencers?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah, for sure. I think one of the things that we don’t realize as people is when you’re hiring a content creator to create content for you, you’re essentially hiring a creative team. Videographers, if it’s video content. You’re hiring a copywriter, you’re hiring media to help publish and share this thing out to the world and you’re even hiring for buying somebody’s likeness. But you’re getting all of that under one roof. And the reason I think that’s important is because if you were to take that content and do it the right way, which is hire four different people and do these different things, it would end up costing you a lot more than it would if you just hired that one creator, and most of them can do all those things. So I think hopefully that helps in terms of seeing the value that a creator brings. Because in one campaign you can get 10 content that you can use for social media. You get three of them that can be posted on that creator’s wall or their social feed that then brings people back to your business or back to your website. You have a person who’s probably recognizable that is aligned to your business and that means something to people, and you got all the content created and produced. So I think, using that to not only see the value in working with a creator, but also see the value in paying them more. Because if you’re looking at them as, that’s a lot of money to pay a creator, look at it as how much would it cost me if I got this produced by hiring all these different players.

Jamarlin Martin: Your top partners, what type of checks are being written, how consistent is it? And then do you see this platform is where the bulk of the revenue is going? Can you talk to that?

Jacques Bastien: Right now Instagram owns that space of the platforms where people are killing it. For sure. At least 90 percent of our campaigns, maybe even more involve some sort of Instagram. And so with our creators, we have creators that are overall reach of 800,000 followers and we have creators with overall reach of 50,000 followers and sort of all the way in between. So in terms of the spendings that we’re seeing and budgets that’s coming to us, we’re seeing $50,000 budgets. We’re seeing $20,000 budgets. Some of them for one creator, some of them for a group of creators. So it’s sort of like all over the place and normally most of our conversations start at $10,000 but it’s sort of everywhere. And to tell you sort of what a $50,000 budget project may look like, for example, if it’s multiple people it’s probably we’re looking to cast and maybe five to seven people to do X, Y and Z. And if it’s one person it’s probably like we’re looking for one creator who’s going to be an ambassador for six months, who’s going to create X, Y, and Z?

Jamarlin Martin: How much money do I need to work with you? Or do you have like a minimum where, hey, based on how you’re structured, it’s not going to be efficient for me to work with someone with a $500 budget or $1,000 budget. Can you speak to that?

Jacques Bastien: This happens all the time. Anytime somebody comes in and talks to us about working with creators and they say their budget is maybe $1,000, $1,500…

Jamarlin Martin: Go over there.

Jacques Bastien: Not even that. I mean, yes, definitely not here, but there’s a nicer way to say that. What I tell them is you’re probably going to get more bang for your buck, buying some ads. You’re getting more bang for your buck, putting that budget on one post that you create running on Facebook or Instagram or something like that. So for us, most of the engagement that we talk about, a good starting spot is about $10,000 for a brand to work with one creator and from that we sort of build it up. So maybe if the creator’s a larger creator, they may just do one thing.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah, I know it’s all over the map, but the best creators you have, how consistent is the money coming in on the advertising side? So is it like, Hey, I may not have a deal this month and a deal next month, because I read about reports where someone’s getting, $10,000 or $20,000 for a couple of tweets or a couple of videos. The numbers sound like, Whoa, they’re making a killing, but I see it as, maybe that money is not very consistent

Jacques Bastien: For sure. It’s not. It’s funny because there’s a video that I’m going to be putting together soon. It’s going to be called something along the lines of like, “Why influencers are broke”, or “Why entrepreneurs are broke”, or merging them together. Because there’s a lot of similarities between the two, right? Because outside looking in, it looks great. Content looks good, news featured on this platform and featured on that platform and this and that, but it deep down doesn’t really tell you what’s really going on internally, and the influencer marketing space is one of those where like, you may have an opportunity in January, then the next one doesn’t happen until April. Then the next one doesn’t happen until November. Then you have other folks who are in demand, they have opportunities coming every day, and that’s really what our experience has been with our different creators. Some of them are getting opportunities, not everything closes, but the inquiries come in very often and others, they don’t. So with that said, as a creator, back to what I was saying about making sure you have a talent. What we’ve seen from those who get sought out very often, they have a talent, it is very clear who their audience is, and very clear what brand would make sense for them because then you can also negotiate higher rates. If you have a college audience, all the college brands would want to work with you and not only that, you can negotiate higher rates because you’re more rare, right? Compared to a regular person out there who’s just posting to everybody. So that’s what it is. I mean some folks get reached out to once every quarter, and some folks get opportunities once every quarter. Others get opportunities every day.

Jamarlin Martin: How does SHADE scale up from here? What’s your next step?

Jacques Bastien: Fantastic question. In the last two years, if there’s anything we’ve learned, is that we’re more valuable to our creators, working with them one by one. The last two years, most of our work has been sort of like mass, meaning a company comes to us billing for 10 people, we give them 10 of our folks. Somebody is looking for five, that kind of thing. So the next step for us is bringing on individual agents to represent all of our creators. And how we scale from here is really back to what I was saying earlier about helping creators make money from their talent. Our mission from SHADE is helping creators get paid for their dopeness right? So with that said, taking those talents and seeing where else we can apply them. So the brand campaign is one thing. If you’re a comedian, the brand campaign is one thing, but what else can we do? Can we do a comedy show and take it on tour? Can we do a comedy book? Can we do a TV show and get it sponsored by a brand or get it partnered with a media publication and launch it and then sell ads within it? So right now, the next step for us is exploring what else can we do within our creator network to help them get paid for what they do, which also will then help us get paid as well. So for those who get contacted once every quarter or once every six months, while they wait for those contacts to happen, they have other things that they are doing where they’re making money from their audience and other things like that.

Jamarlin Martin: Okay. So for our audience, folks who want to learn more about what you’re doing and also want to consider working with your agency, where can they find you online?

Jacques Bastien: Yeah. On every social media platform, I’m Jacques H. Bastien, you can find me there. https://www.shade.co/ is the agency and https://www.boogiebrands.co/ is the umbrella company, that’s the website that has all of our companies.

Jamarlin Martin: All right, thanks brother for coming on the show.

Jacques Bastien: Thank you for having me.

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