Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Phlanx.com is the brainchild of two Greek Australian entrepreneurs, civil engineer Steven Piliotis and director of Sydney Public Relations agency Tina Zafiropoulos. Even though they come from different professional backgrounds, they agree that the online tech space and the endless potential that remains untapped on the internet is their passion.The two combined their knowledge and creativity and recentlylaunched a digital platform that aims to revolutionise how marketeers and clients approach talent.Essentially tapping into influencer marketing and PR, Phlanx does away with talent and model agencies and commissions, empowering both the client and the influencer.Instagrammers, Facebook personalities, bloggers and YouTubers, not to mention professionals can be approached directly by labels or apply for jobs that would until recently be given to whomever an agent would decide was suitable. Meanwhile, to minimise fraud, Phlanx also offers social media engagement calculators and documentation for businesses to avoid being duped into paying ridiculous amounts of fees for fake following and legal advice respectively. Neos Kosmos contacted Tina and she helped shed some light onto this new social media-based marketing reality.How has this first year been for Phlanx.com, did you achieve your initial goals? The first year skyrocketed to 90,000 monthly visits, and the last quarter has seen a monthly growth rate of 100 per cent. We never launched with numeric goals in mind, however, initially we wanted to create a community platform that connected a directory of influencers straight to small-medium sized business owners.We are very passionate about the marketing space and we swiftly began to add features that made Phlanx.com an all-inclusive platform with a social media engagement calculator, a contract generator and a collaboration portal – with more to come!Were you planning on hitting the UK and US markets this soon? How does this translate into numbers? Expanding into the US and UK markets began swiftly after our developers made it [the website] internationally friendly including currency conversions and sorting by locations. Our sign-ups are sitting at 50 per cent Australian and we’ve captured 35 per cent of the US, 10 per cent EU and five per cent of the UK market. How many members does the platform have? Can we break this down to businesses and influencers? Since inception the platform has acquired 861 members. The majority of our members are small or medium-sized business owners, and industry professionals such as marketers and PR employees.How do you choose your influencers? Is anyone able to join? We select our influencers based on particular categories including: business, lifestyle, health and wellness, entertainment, and creatives and the like. We have a myriad of micro-influencers on the directory who have become a go-to for business owners looking for purely contra arrangements (product/service in exchange for promotion on their social platforms). We have medium sized influencers (between 20 thousand – two million) and celebrity influencers well above the two million mark. Business owners browse the directory and can contact whichever influencers they think will suit a campaign. The engagement calculator on the platform tests how good their engagement is – that is, the ratio of followers, likes and comments. In your opinion, what is it that makes Phlanx.com so popular within such a short timeframe? There are so many PR and marketing agencies out there that run campaigns for brands, however we found a gap in the small and medium-sized businesses who simply did not know where to start and could not afford an agency. Our members absolutely love that they can log in for $35 per month, run an influencer campaign, test their Instagram engagement or simply cross-collaborate with other business owners on a project. How does your entrepreneurial model differ from other platforms of this kind? Other platforms in our space either take a percentage of sales or charge $100 – $5000 monthly for this service. We never thought about this business from a profitability standpoint, we thought about it from the point of view that we wanted even the smallest business owner to have this platform accessible. As a result, we were able to make the platform approachable and create a happy community of members.Where do you see Phlanx.com in the next two years? Phlanx.com in the next two years will continue as an all-inclusive platform with a myriad more features added in order to bring immense value to business owners. Our vision for the brand is to be the one-stop-shop for marketing needs, and an addition to any marketing or PR professional’s tools.
Entrepreneur Staff Next Article Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals December 18, 2017 A whopping 16.7 million people follow Elon Musk on Twitter, where he shares his musings about how artificial intelligence is a danger, updates about progress at SpaceX and Tesla and, lately, jokes about selling merchandise for his latest venture, The Boring Company.I know it’s a little off-brand, but kids love it— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017It’s true that Musk is working on a lot of intriguing, high profile projects, but those aren’t the only things that make the currently self-described “hat salesman,” a Twitter power user. Stacy Minero, Twitter’s Director of Brand Strategy, says that in addition to breaking news on Twitter, Musk is adept at using the platform to make his customers and fans feel heard.Related: 23 Weird Things We’ve Learned About Elon Musk“He responds to tweets from everyday followers, which just blows up Twitter because it’s like an adrenaline rush when he responds to you. He takes advice,” Minero explains. “[He] has this direct connection with users that that makes people feel special and makes them feel like there’s a spotlight on them.”But that conversation also extends to actual change. Minero cited one interaction in which a Connecticut-based customer shared with Musk that people were using a Tesla charging station in the area for parking instead of simply charging like they were supposed to.“[After that tweet,] he instituted a rule that you could charge for 30 to 45 minutes and after that you would incur a fee,” Minero says. “So actually listening to feedback from customers as a way to improve either service or products. That’s one of the things you can do on Twitter as a CEO, is use it as a live learning lab to actually improve products and services.”Who are some other CEOs and founders you like to follow on Twitter? Let us know in the comments. Add to Queue Image credit: Bloomberg 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. –shares The Real Reason Why Elon Musk Is a Twitter Power User Elon Musk Nina Zipkin And how you can use his approach to boost your own social media profile. Register Now »