CEO & Co-Founder of global influencer marketing platform Scrunch, Danielle Lewis is proof that tenacity and a commitment to never giving up can yield big rewards and tech success.
A lifestyle blogger with 10 years experience in corporate sales, Danielle switched paths from a steady career trajectory at Telstra and dove head first into the world of tech startups.
In this week’s Success Story, Danielle shares insights from different stages of her entrepreneurial journey – why pivoting isn’t a bad thing and how to raise capital for a start up.
Scrunch is an influencer marketing platform hosting 20 million top bloggers, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram influencers.
The platform’s clever algorithms mean agencies can connect with the right influencers to promote a brand in the blink of an eye.
“Influencer marketing is essentially the new word of mouth marketing. For years and years people have been giving recommendations to their friend or family members” explains Danielle
“That is very much one to one. Influencer marketing is one to many. You’re tapping into someone who has an audience of 100 or 1000 or a million people and sharing that same recommendation.”
Danielle studied fashion design at QUT, and happily pursued a career at Telstra for a decade while blogging on the side at Brisbane Threads.
“My background is also actually being an influencer. Ten years ago I started a blog, Brisbane Threads, so I’ve always been interested in the world of blogging and making money online.” she says.
Danielle met Scrunch co-founder Salvatore Garozzo and when they decided to go all in on the business idea, she stepped away from corporate life at Telstra.
This also meant stepping away from a regular pay cheque.
“I think that was probably the number one fear, the pay cheque” she says.
“The way we mitigated that risk was taking that idea to investors and then having them back it”
She and Salvatore dove head first into the world of raising capital to get Scrunch off the ground.
“You need to understand all the in’s and out’s of your business, then you need to talk about that within 10 minutes and absolutely knock someone’s socks off, get them so excited they want to part with their money. Then you need to do that about 100 times to only have 1 person say yes.”
Finding those 100 people was a process of list making and cold calling at the start, then referrals followed, which made things easier.
Learning lessons, knowing when to pivot and push forward have seen Danielle and her team evolve Scrunch into the successful platform it is today.
“It’s always been a lesson of pushing it forward and forward and forward until now we are here, where we are today and it’s worked. We’re a commercial business”
“Don’t be afraid, just do it and keep going. It’s a never ending challenge, there will always be ups and downs. It’s just about keeping going and persevering.”
Hear more in the podcast, where Danielle talks about the importance of investing in yourself, why you need to build relationships in person and how to stay healthy in a demanding leadership role.