Branding Matters

James Nguyen - Build a Media Brand

September 10, 2021 Branding Badass Episode 33
Branding Matters
James Nguyen - Build a Media Brand
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is James Nguyen; the Founder and CEO of inflexion media; an agency that scales companies, brands and individuals by building media brands. Their clients have been featured across global media outlets including Forbes, CNBC, ABC and many more. 

Prior to starting inflexion media, James was the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Anti Hero Capital, one of Australia's first investment funds exclusively dedicated to investing in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. And before that, he Co-Founded M5859 Apps; a global app agency whose founding team built official apps for brands such as BBC Worldwide, 20th Century Fox, Hell's Kitchen and ITV. And in his spare time, James is also a contributing writer at Forbes.

I invited James to be a guest on my show to discuss what it takes for a brand to become a media brand. I wanted to learn some of the ways media helps scale the value that brands offer. And I was curious to learn why it’s so important to use content for media leverage.

Joelly Goodson :

Hi, I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass, and welcome to Season 2 of Branding Matters. Today I'm sitting down with James Nguyen, the founder and CEO of inflection media, a worldwide agency that scales companies, brands and individuals by building a strong media brand. their clients have been featured across global media outlets, including Forbes, CNBC, ABC, and many, many more. Prior to starting inflection media, James was the co founder and managing partner at antihero capital, one of Australia's first investment funds exclusively dedicated to investing in blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. And before that, James co founded me 5859 apps, a global app agency, whose founding team built official apps for brands such as BBC Worldwide 20th Century Fox, Hell's Kitchen and ITV. And in his spare time, James is also a contributing writer at Forbes, I invited James to be a guest on my show today to discuss what it takes for a brand to become a media brand. I wanted to learn some of the ways media helps scale the value that brands offer. And most of all, I was really curious to learn why it's so important to use content for proper media leverage. James, welcome to branding matters. Thank you so much for having me, jolly. Well, I'm excited to have you here. So let's get right into it. Because we have a lot to cover. So you graduated from the University of Melbourne with a commerce degree? Did you know what you wanted to do after you graduated?

James Nguye:

Yeah, it's funny, because you're kind of growing up going through high school, I thought I was going to follow the very archetypical route of becoming an investment banker become an event manager, consultant, that's what I thought my career trajectory was going to be based that that was where I thought I needed to be in terms of status, you know, coming from an East Asian household growing up, academics was really important. And I just thought, you know, I wanted to be successful, quote, unquote. And so that's where I thought I needed to be, they were the, you know, career routes that I thought, you know, we're gonna make my parents the most proud and, you know, in that way, and how I could set up myself financially, and I just understood I kind of had an existential crisis. But I'd say an existential inflection point where I was like, Oh, that's not actually what I want to do. Like it wasn't actually fulfilling. And I was I was doing it more for superficial reasons than anything else. And so that's why I got into this a business commerce in uni, but I was, I was pretty much running my own businesses all throughout uni straight out of high school. And so, yeah, I got to a point where I was almost dabbling with whether I should finish my uni degree because I was already working on my own businesses at that point. But you know, in the spirit of doing justice to my parents, and everything they had given up for me, I kind of accelerated through my uni degree. So I finished it at 20. And then I just went out and started building my own businesses.

Joelly Goodson :

So what were your businesses in university or in uni, as they say, Thunder?

James Nguye:

My first business was when I was 17. And I started a tutoring business when I was in high school, and I was tutoring all the private school kids in my area and all that stuff as well. And that was at 17. And tutoring. I actually had a team of tutors from other schools as well, myself, I was tutoring maths. I think I did some economics. I did some English as well. But I had a team of tutors. And yeah, they were just doing the tutoring. And I was essentially finding the clients. I didn't really have the language for it back then, you know, I was making some pocket money at the time. And yeah, that really just dovetailed into tinkering with other things. So I was in tech for a little bit, actually not a little bit my whole career largely. But in uni, that's what I was dabbling with. Starting a few tech products, I found a co founder at the time and was working on an app while I was at I was pretty much working full time while I was at uni full time. For me, it was just that's what was satiating for my curiosity. At the time. It was just I had an entrepreneurial flair, and I just really wanted to find something that would wet that appetite. And so I was like, I'm gonna spend my time building businesses because I just felt like I was learning more from that than anything else.

Joelly Goodson :

for you. So what do your parents do?

James Nguye:

So my mom is EAA at one of the schools in Melbourne, and my dad is retired. And so he worked in one of Australia's main banks for he

Joelly Goodson :

was so he was a banker.

James Nguye:

He worked in it in one of the banks in the commercial banks. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

yeah. Okay. So where do you get your entrepreneurial spirit from?

James Nguye:

I don't know. I think it was kind of developed through environment, really, when I was deciding I didn't want to become an investment banker. At the time, I was like, Well, okay, I still want to push myself, I still want to be, you know, really challenged intellectually. And professionally, I wanted to, you know, just go off the challenges at the time when I was starting that out in 2013 2014. If it wasn't investment banking, if it wasn't managed consulting, where was kind of the cream of the crop going at the time, professionally, and I was just seeing a lot of people in the startup space and so That's where I went just naturally, it turned into entrepreneurship, which I don't really love that word, but ended up just being in route about I don't use that word. I just think it's a little contrived and a little trite. You know, everybody's like, Oh, I'm into entrepreneurship, or I'm an entrepreneur. And I'm just like, it's just vanity metrics, right? It's just a label at the end of the day.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, it's funny. Sometimes you hear someone when they say they're an entrepreneur, it's sort of another way of saying, you know, they're unemployed or jobs actually, right. You hear that sometimes, but I just teasing. When did you start your business that you currently have inflection? 2019 2020? Yeah.So can you tell us about that?

James Nguye:

Absolutely. So, for me, it was, it was kind of two pillars to it. Right? So it was understanding of this, again, it was just a reference of when we started to build up a media brand back in 2017 2018. around our being consultants and being, you know, industry authorities nationally, having something meaningful to say, we started to see the scale of what media was because people were reaching out to us left, right and center because we were on media outlets, because we were, you know, putting out what we thought was really important insights for people are really important standards and positions to take. And so, you know, that really culminated in Novell replicons tweetstorm. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Haroon, Novell Rubicon is

Joelly Goodson :

no can you enlighten me,

James Nguye:

he's the CEO of Angeles, which is a big Silicon Valley platform, okay, he's a big angel investor, and not really a venture capitalist, but the angel investor over in Silicon Valley. And he came out with this really famous tweetstorm, where he does mention the different forms of leverage. And he essentially breaks it down into four types of leverage. He says, you know, the first two forms of leverage capital, which is money, and labor. And so you know, if you're a hedge fund, and you put more capital behind something, then you're going to make more money if you win, and then the other one is labor, if you don't want to do something, then you hire a team that's able to do things. So you're able to do more while still being a sole person, but you have a team around you. And he says they're the two oldest forms of leverage, because you know, you think about, you know, bankers, you think about hedge funds, you think about Warren Buffett, the money that's been made over the last few decades have been around labor and capital leverage. But he then says this two new forms of leverage, which are the most powerful one is code or tech, which is if you build a platform, once, let's say Facebook, whether 1000 people on Facebook, or you know, 100 million people on Facebook, it's still the same lines of code, obviously, you know, iterations and the scaling of the platform, but you can start to scale something infinitely, you don't have to pay huge amounts for every new person that uses the platform. The other form of leverage is media. And so you know, the famous example is, you know, we're on a podcast now jolly. And we're going to record this for an hour or so. Now, if one person watches this, or 100 million people watch this, we've still only spent an hour of our time, right, so every additional person that watches it, we don't have to spend another hour of our time with it, right. So media in and of itself becomes infinitely scalable. I just had the reference of this back in 2017 2018, when we were building out a lot of our own media brand, a lot of our own content. And then once we put it up, we put it up, you know, I didn't have to talk to everybody about the same things, everybody could just see us and they would start approaching us, and our notoriety and our credibility really started to rise. And so you know, I've really bet with my feet around the two newest forms of leverage. And so I have a tech company that we build out. And we focus on AI technology, as well as the media company. So inflection, AI and inflection media are my three companies. And the main reason for that is, again, it's the two forms of leverage that are going to be the most powerful moving forwards and surround literally this, if you say something once and you have something insightful to say, I think there's a mandate and responsibility for as many people as that can serve and help to be able to hear that there you can build a real media brand around that, then it becomes infinitely scalable. You build the media brand once and then your clout, your social currency, whatever language you want to put to it, that becomes your value. Right? And so yeah, Gary Vee talks a lot about brand. There's a lot of you know, people in the industry that talk about brand. And it's like, how I like to think about things, you're always just all coming down to first principles, like what is a brand, it's like, once you actually have value, you can show not tell that value to a lot of people once you've built up trust with people. Because when I break things down business, and it's very cool, it's just relationships with people, whether it's, you know, relationship with a customer, whether you're Amazon and able to deliver things on time, so you have a relationship with your customer, or whether you're a big enterprise, you know, technology company that has to build relationships with different decision makers, all through the chain. It's all still relationships. And so then when you start to break down relationships, I'm like, well, relationships, whether it's personal, professional, anything ons built on trust. And so for me, it's like, yeah, immediate brand is so powerful, because you can build those relationships at scale. And what you're doing right now drolly is like you're showing people that you're you know, about branding, like you have, really you have people in the industry that have really spent a lot of time and have expertise, in branding in marketing.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, I know what I know. And I know what I don't know. So what I don't know I bring on people like you, right? So it's about the content and I think it's important to know what you don't know and then have people like yourself, come on. And share. And that helps strengthen my relationship obviously, with my audience and then with whoever I bring on as well. So yeah, so I totally agree with you. But relationships. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off there for a second when you said that I just want to be clear. I'm not all I don't know all things about branding, but I do know how to get people like you on. So that's, I think my strength. So I have a question for you. So you're talking about media brands? I mean, can any brand be a media brand?

James Nguye:

Yeah, absolutely. My position is every brand not only can be but every brand should be every single company needs to be a media company. Because when we just think about the internet, right? This is this infinite substitutes. There's such a low barrier to entry now that you can have so many competitors. Everybody can you know, start quote unquote, for everybody who's listening? I'm air quoting right now. Company, right? Yeah. And so it was really important then is like, Okay, well, how do you differentiate yourself? And again, I'm just talking about like, it comes back to relationships and trust, right? I had to build trust with any of your potential customers, they need to be able to see that you're legit. It could be your buying, could be anything you buy hair products, it could be you know, you're trying to buy a new software, whatever it is, it's like, well, how do they know that you can actually deliver on what you say you're going to deliver on? Well, now, the currency for that is content. And it's like what you were talking about just before, Julian, I just want it like really knowledge this, like, what you're scaling in and of itself, is your humility, and like, you're just deep curiosity about how to learn, right? Because you're like, Oh, I don't know everything. So I'm getting like people I can learn from, but that's literally your character that now you're scaling, because that's you as a brand, because that's who you are, you know.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, well, thank you. And I think that's, that's fuckin awesome. I'm not allowed to swear. I don't know, ma'am. Yeah, you are. It's okay. Right? We're, it's an adult show? Well, I don't know, you know what, I appreciate you saying that. I honestly don't know, if it's humility. I'm just keeping it real. I mean, you know, if I wanted it to be just my podcast, I could get on every week and just talk about stuff. Right. But I think that would get boring pretty fast, where I think there's a lot more value. You know, I love that you talked about content, because building relationships is about creating content that is valuable for your audience. You know, you'd have one of my podcasts, one of the impetus is for me doing this is because when everybody started to go on social media, because of COVID, and you know, all of a sudden, social media was just full of people, you know, I use this expression, people were vomiting all over social media, not thinking about their content, right? They were just posting by this by my staff, you know, look at me, look at me. And really, it was so obnoxious versus really understanding the concept. So that was one of the reasons I thought, if I can bring people on and help all these new entrepreneurs, or marketers or branding experts, now I'm using quotations because he's a branding expert. And helping them really understand what it means to have good content, create good content, right?

James Nguye:

So I love that you said that. It's not that I would have like all the audience slash anybody who listens this just consider that content. Everybody says content is king considered content is communication. Right? Right. Because that's actually how you're communicating to your audience now, because as I said, we like you can't speak to a million people, you know, you just don't have the bandwidth for it. So how do you communicate to a million people? Is content, just like that?

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, no, absolutely. I totally agree with you. So what are some ways then that for all those, what did you say 100 million listeners that are listening to this podcast? What are some things that some brands can do to help them leverage their media? What so what do you call it a media brand? You say all brands can become media brands?

James Nguye:

So yeah, there's some things that companies become media companies sell like media companies, okay, what they should do. And this might sound a little rudimentary, it's like, figure out what your audience actually care about, like, the Australian was gonna come out of me, and I was gonna swear again, but like, think about what they actually care about. And when I say that, like, drill down really, like really deep into that, right? Everybody talks about customer avatars, everybody talks about that stuff, but it's like, okay, buzzwords aside, what does that actually mean? It's like, Okay, cool. If you're speaking to a friend, right? Like, what does that friend actually care about? They might not like sports, they might like fashion. So you're gonna speak to them about fashion, because they really care about that. Well figure out who your audience is, find out what they actually care about. And then speak to them about that. And that's why I like the whole humanizing the whole approach, because when we take the buzzwords out of it, and we think about content is communication, it's like, yeah, drolly, I might not speak to you about plants. If you don't really care about plants, and you might like sports, we might like branding more. So the conversations you and I would have might be more tailored around things that you really enjoy. That's not me being disingenuous, that's me actually just calibrating to make sure that I can build a really good relationship with you, businesses and brands should be doing that with their customers find out number one who they want their customers to be, right. And that intersection is you know, where can they actually serve people powerfully, and tangibly improve their lives, whether it's professional lives, personal lives, whatever it is, and then find out what sort of things that those people care about and their lives would materially change if they were able to get like insights will get some sort of value in that realm. And then actually speak about it to them. And when you speak about it, that's about creating really tailored niche down content for that everybody thinks about going really wide, because they have these huge ambitious goals of helping them on their brand to be. But it's like, at the end of the day, like, where you start is to is to start, like with a one on one conversation, right? Like you start with a one on one conversation with the type of person, right. And when you think about type of person, there might be, you know, similar characteristics across the demographics, you might start, but that's what people talk about as customer avatars. But yeah, it's just find out and have that conversation with your it could be your existing customers. So you have a small subset of existing customers, and you're like, Okay, I want to start to scale to the same sorts of customer demographics, or the same sort of market. So it's like, Okay, well, what are my customers right now getting a ton of value from me. So what are the areas that if I wasn't in their life, they would be experiencing more pain than if I was in their life, and providing them a certain service or a certain offering a certain product? It's like, find out what that is, and then keep creating content around how you can show that you are a leading expert or a leading provider of that in the marketing.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so I agree with everything you just said. But I'm just curious, because we are talking about media and scale and everything. So what about a company or business who wants to go on social media and get their brand out there and connect? How do they find out what their consumer or potential consumer really wants? And what their pain point is? How do they do that?

James Nguye:

I would say literally have a conversation with them. And I'm not even talking about like, you know, that's not a analogy for anything. It's like, pull them up, you know, find the people who buy from you right now. So yeah, but you're on it. You're on I'm so I'm on a podcast right now. And my podcast is being aired to all over the world. I mean, obviously, I can't call up every single listener and say, so tell me, you know, what do you like? Or what are your pain points? I'm kind of being facetious, but I'm talking about, I guess more from the media perspective, how do you do it that way? What would you recommend? The rationale for calling people is to do things that don't scale at the very start, because in my mind, I don't want to scale something until I have some sort of confidence behind, I'm making the right call. Right. And that's not to say you don't do different experiments, because you do do that. But let's, let's assume that, you know, you're at a broader scale, and you have a larger market that you want to speak to, well, what you start doing, then whether it's on social media, so you have an existing following, we start asking questions, still the same as having a conversation. So it could be asking questions on an ID live, it could be literally posting something to get your audience to actually reply in the comments, right, have a really tangible call to action, where you're asking your market and your current followers or audience for some sort of feedback. So it's like, if you're having a conversation, you and I, or you're asking me a question, and I'm responding, if you're having a conversation with your market or your audience, ask them a question and see what they respond. And so then what you actually start to look at is, you start to look at, you know, the comments, you start to look at the different sentiment of, you know, maybe they like a particular product, but then it's, you know, it's a little trite to talk about, you know, just look at your life and engagement. But it's also true people today, like their currency is their attention. So it's before they exchange money that they're going to exchange their attention first, right? So right, they're liking your posts, you know, they're watching your videos, like that's literally them saying the very first step at least I'm going to give you a go enough that I'm paying attention to you and not someone else right now. So that's, you know, that's one of the leading indicators, I guess you could say, but how do you get feedback from your audiences? You know, are they paying attention to you?

Joelly Goodson :

I agree. I think that's great. I think stories are a great way. What do you think? What's your take on polls?

James Nguye:

Yeah, depends on your demographic. You know, if you're going to a b2b audience, and you're doing polls on LinkedIn, yeah, it might make sense. If you're doing polls to your a younger demographic, it's on your ad stories. Yeah, maybe that makes sense. But maybe it's you're on tik tok, or maybe you're exploring clubhouse, like those don't really have mediums with as conducive to polls necessarily.

Joelly Goodson :

Mm hmm. I think that's one of the best things about one of the great things about social media is it really is creating that two way relationship with your audience, you know, versus radio or TV or anything, it's really a way for your, your audience and your prospects to tell you what they want. Right? I think that's why it's grown so much. So I've heard you mentioned social channels, and I hear social channels a lot. So what are social channels? And how do they compare to like old traditional now my age is going to show here, but old traditional channels from TV, you know, where you had channel five, NBC ABC, is it the same thing?

James Nguye:

Yeah, I would say it's the equivalent of today's channels back in the day, right? So if we break down, ABC, CNBC, all that stuff had back in the day, it was just mental real estate, right, had some level of loyalty. And so you know, people would tune in to ABC to watch a specific program or wouldn't tune into Fox, right, or, you know, vice versa. Well, the same thing is true. And also something to note with, you know, the older channels in terms of TV stations or anything like that, or radio stations even back in the day. You know, there were certain demographics that would be broken down, you know, smooth FM in terms of a radio station has a specific demographic to make use of it. And so when you Look at it from that way, all your what we're seeing with these channels is just loyalty for attention, right? Because there's a specific following or audience, or look at social channels. It's a similar thing like this specific demographics on LinkedIn, versus something like a tick tock like they're just different demographics. And there's also going to be different content that's being posted on them in the same way, you know, ABC might have specific programs that you might tune into, but Fox would have different programs you're tuned into the same thing is true with social channels today, on LinkedIn, you might have specific content, or specific, you know, updates that you might post on LinkedIn for a specific demographic. But then you would post something different, say, on your Instagram or on your tik tok. Like, if you had that intersection of different social channels, for me, what's really important to understand is that, you know, everything is just breaking down. Loyalty, trust relationships, and attention. So when you think about those things, it's like, Okay, well, there's different sorts of attention that you can find on different social channels. So that's when you would start to divvy up your strategies based on those things.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay. So do you find there's a bit of a crossover? I, you know, I used to find there was a lot more there were a lot more divided. I mean, people who were on Facebook, were not on LinkedIn, people who were on LinkedIn, were not on Instagram, right. But now I find and again, I don't know, if it's because of the world is changing, I find, you know, the same people who are on Instagram. I mean, I think there's a couple of reasons for that, probably, because the millennials are getting older. So all the people that were on Instagram, I mean, there's been a huge, huge influx on LinkedIn, I've been on LinkedIn forever. And I've seen a huge influx in it. How do brands know which social channels to go to? And do you think there are some that they should stay away from? Like, how do they figure out which is the best for them?

James Nguye:

Really great question. This might sound simplistic, but the best way for them to know is just to try, you're gonna have different guesses. Because everything this is important for, again, first principles of business, everything any of us make, in terms of a decision is still a guess, some guesses backed by more reference, we've updated, let's say, our decision making algorithm because we have more experience more reference in you know, different industries, we've made more guesses that have turned out right over time. So we have a higher confidence level. But everything at the end of the day is still a guest slash experiment, right? So yes, maybe an unpopular word. And it's just semantics. And really important thing to understand is, if you have some idea of the sorts of demographics, you're going to go after, well, then you might look at different channels and divide those things up, right? So if you're going after, say, very professional network, or very professional audience, would make sense that LinkedIn would be, you know, higher up your guests priorities, right? Because you're going to try LinkedIn first. Because the probability if you think about it that way, because everything is just probability, you think about it that way, there's actually a high probability that LinkedIn is gonna resonate with your target audience. Now, the next question about how do they find out which ones, right? There's actually a bandwidth question. Because if you have a lot of bandwidth, you have a lot of resources, then you can try a number of different experiments, which is essentially just sampling your environment, which actually comes back to how animals do it, whether it's ants, whether it's honeybees, anything like that, they actually go out and sample their environment to get data back to make a better informed decision. And it's true with other species in the animal kingdom as well, right? So when we just break down those first principles, we actually just start to understand that if we have enough bandwidth, then yeah, we're going to be testing content on LinkedIn, we're gonna test content on Instagram, we're gonna test content on tik tok. All these things just to see what resonates. Right. And that's why I talked about before jolly is that, you know, I don't want to be putting hundreds of 1000s of dollars behind, you know, just experiments at the start, I'd much rather just put a few $1,000 test those experiments and see some ROI on LinkedIn and say, okay, cool, let's, let's invest a lot more money down there. Right. And so the actual way to find out which channel resonates the most is to try the different channels. But if you have a limited budget and say you're a smaller business, and you don't have you know, a six figure marketing budget to go with, then you're going to likely double down on the ones that just based on your, you know, let's call it decision making algorithm based on your guesses that you're going to be able to have a higher chance of hitting the demographic that you're after, right. So, you know, you divided up, you know, we're talking about professional services, we're looking into LinkedIn, you know, we're talking about more image visual based marketing, maybe it's ecommerce products, we're going to look at, say like an Instagram, if we're going to be looking at, you know, a really young demographic that have a super short attention span, maybe we're looking on tik tok. So it's just to understand the different types of people that use these channels. And like, as founders, as marketing experts, whoever it is making these decisions, like the onus really falls on them to have that level of let's call it market acuity to understand within the social channels, what are the different demographics that are going to be most resonant? And that's going to inform their experiments, let's say, well, they guesses right.

Joelly Goodson :

I totally agree with you. I'm still learning. You know, everybody has that part. Yeah. Okay, so I've heard you say that media leverage is a quote here, I'm going to read media leverage allows for viral content to spread. That's a great quote. So can you elaborate on that?

James Nguye:

Yeah, absolutely. So I really like this idea of breaking down to the building blocks of the first principles of things. So if you think about viral content, and we're in an age where there is a viral pandemic going on in the world. And so when we think about that it actually when you break down the actual science of it all, and again, I'm not a scientist, so anybody who's actually going to break down these tips, but the broad brushstrokes, you have a host, and then you actually have how viral or contagious the actual, let's call it literally the virus in this sense, is it's called the K factor or the viral factor, or then inform how quickly that virus will spread. Right? And we're talking about infectious diseases. Well, if you apply that to the idea of content, or if we take the viral factor to be how shareable is it, well, if somebody watched, say, this podcast out of 10, how much would they want to tell somebody else? Like 10 out of 10? Is not I'm sending this to every single person in my phonebook. I don't care if I haven't spoken to him in a year. Just every single person needs to know about this.

Joelly Goodson :

Yes. Send this podcast to everybody.

James Nguye:

Yeah, like that's the viral factor of content. Right. Now, what happens with media leverage? Well, it means that you can create that viral content once and it can be easily spread. Because if you think about I don't want to trivialize you know, the significance of the pandemic we actually are in right now. But, you know, it wouldn't be spreading as fast if they weren't planes. For instance, if there wasn't air travel, it would be Oh, yeah, that's literally why lockdowns, it's not locked down tap. And it's like isolating in a dense physical geographic area, then you're able to prevent the spreading, or you think about content, if there was no internet, you were only you know, speaking to a room of people only speaking to your tribe or anything like that, well, not too many people are able to hear your insights or hear your stories. But now with media leverage, which is really the internet, we literally think about this idea of all, there are no barriers to entry. It's like aeroplanes flying all the time for your content, right? So you're in Canada, I'm in Australia, and there is no barrier for me to be able to consume or watch this podcast or listen to this podcast. So when we think about media leverage, it's like, Okay, if you invest in actually creating a really powerful piece of content, whether it's something that's super insightful to say, whether it's something that's super engaging, whether it's something that, you know, has never been said in that way. And it's just so artistic, whatever it might be, if that has a really strong viral, let's call it coefficient, or like virality factor, and then anybody can share that. Like, it's so easy for somebody to literally text somebody a link of this podcast,

Joelly Goodson :

or click Share.

James Nguye:

Yeah, that's all it is right? You click share, or you tag somebody in media posts or anything like that, when the friction is so much lower, that just means that it can be spread so much faster. And so when we think about media leverage, what we're really seeing now is an age where a podcast like this or any piece of content, and if we break it down is any communication from a brand, let's say can be scaled infinitely, literally at a click of a button. And so if we share this, and it's a 10, out of 10, for all the people that watch this great, well, that means the next person they share it to will share it to everybody in their phone ball. And then everybody who then watches it will share it in their phone book. And what our minds actually find really difficult to actually comprehend is the compound effect and exponential. So what you actually see is that when you're able to do that, first it's like, oh, you're sharing it to 10 people, and then all those 10 people share it to another 10 people, but then it just goes exponential. And that's literally how things go viral.

Joelly Goodson :

You know, it's amazing. And it brings me to my next point, which so I that was a really great segue because you you were saying quite a few times, you've said it throughout the podcast about people watching this podcast, this podcast is actually audio, it's not video, and my next question, but that's okay. Because this is my next question is, how important is video when you're trying to promote your brand on social media and get your brand out there because you're seeing more and more of it, I've had people tell me that I should really be doing this video. versus just audio really, just to tell you quickly The reason I did audio i when i before I started my podcast, and I knew nothing about podcasting, but I did some research and I found that I really wanted to be where you know, people can listen to it in the car, or when they're at the gym or somewhere doing you know, going for a walk and not having to actually look at it, but just listen to it. And so that's when I made that conscious decision. But there's no denying video is growing, you know, is going viral, basically. So, can you share, I want to hear a bit more about video and why you feel so important. And what is the added value for brands to be doing more and more video, especially on social media?

James Nguye:

Yeah, absolutely. So when we break it down to the currency right now we're looking for his attention, which again, might be a little bit cliche. We hear about the attention economy a lot. We really think about the psychology of it all. I'm scrolling through something on a newsfeed nowadays, everybody's attention shorter and shorter. What are the things that stand out most? Right? So if we think about back to how our brain works, when we're back in the savanna or if something moves, well, we're going to pay attention to that because that's something that might be moving Might be a saber toothed Tiger that might be trying to eat us. So our brains are literally wired to look for movement, look for novelty, look for images before we look at, you know, being able to read, write, look for words or anything like that. So what you actually see is when you're scrolling through a newsfeed is literally the psychology of it all, when there is something visual, we're going to pay attention to visuals before anything else, you know, the whole adage picture is worth 1000 words, but then we start to look at video. And I don't know if it's the same, but to me, it would be the equivalent of a video is worth 1000 pitches, because you quite literally, when you think about a video is 1000 pitches, it's just pictures moving. And so when you see movement on an actual newsfeed, you're more inclined to pay attention to the video. And so video is really important number one to catch our attention. And then number two, if you go back to the idea of building relationships, relationships are built through emotion as well. That's why you can build stronger relationships in person. That's why you can build stronger relationships on a zoom call rather than if you just text message messaging people, because it's just more data being communicated. And it goes back to the statistics around on verbal communication as well. It's over 80 90% of communication, all communication is nonverbal, right? It's not literally the words I say it's the international use. It's you know, the hand gestures, I'm using a lot of hand gestures for all the people listening to this. And that just communicates way more, right. And so videos allow us to communicate more in a short window of time. Because we have images, we have music, we have facial expressions, we have, you know, all those different things. So video allows us to be way more information rich and dense in a compressed period of time, where we really only have a small attention span that all brands now will competing for.

Joelly Goodson :

You know what I find though, James is I finally again, I think it's like anything when something catches on, I found when videos when when the first few people started doing v especially on LinkedIn, because nobody was doing videos on like, Dan. So when you see a video on LinkedIn, you would stop because like, oh, wow, that's cool. But now I think everybody's doing videos on Instagram, correct me if I'm wrong, or most people? So do you think it's losing that sense of getting attention? Or what are some important things that you should be doing on your videos to make sure that you are still getting that attention? And maybe also share what things we shouldn't be doing?

James Nguye:

Yeah, really good question. The thing I want to share around I guess video specifically is like, I would err on the side of focusing less on like a tangible, you know, medium of like, Oh, we should do video, we should do blogs, we should do webinars, and understand the rationale behind why we do any of those things. Because you made a really good point. Jolly is like Yeah, when there's a lot of videos and all the videos look the same, it's going to become saturated. So the novelty factor in terms of your psychology is no longer there.

Joelly Goodson :

When I do videos, specifically, like exactly what you said, I like to do posts and I love pictures and everything. And like said a picture says 1000 words, but when something needs to be shown in a way that really it can only be shown in person picture can't do it justice, because it's very static. That's where I find video was really helpful in demonstrating you know what I think that was sort of where to really show the product or show whatever they're trying to promote the different brands really getting into it versus just doing a video, like you said, just because well, we got to do videos because everybody's doing them.

James Nguye:

Yeah, absolutely. And so if everybody's doing videos a certain way, and you want to do videos, do it a different way, right? So if everybody's doing like a really good production video, and then somebody does a selfie, it's like, oh, well, that's gonna stand out, you know, if everybody's doing like visuals, and then you just write like, a two line in big capitals or something like just as a word, quote, maybe that's gonna stand out. And so I hesitate to give people efficient, I'm more like teaching people how to fish, which is just around the principles of why would you pick video in the first place? But at the time, it's because maybe your industry, no one's doing as many videos, right? So maybe it could be I don't know, picking an industry here, but might be law firms where there might be less video content that's being pushed out. Okay, well, videos still has the arbitrage there. If you're looking into e commerce, or maybe everybody's doing product videos at that time, so it's like, Okay, well, you need to think of something else, whether your videos look different, maybe you go back to static images. Or maybe you go back to something that looks so rudimentary, that there's no design feels like there's no design effort that's gone in. But that is the actual design effort. Because that will then stand out. Because everybody's, you know, trying to make a super sexy thing. And he's just written on a piece of paper and like, and posted that people like, ah, I don't see as much as that. So it's gonna stand out. So that's my suggestion to people, whether they're making videos or really, when they're making content. if everybody's zigging you zag, right. That's how that's how you stand out. That kind of analogy I like to feel through is this idea of at a cocktail party, right? When somebody clicks the glass, everybody just stops and pays attention. It's because the sound is different to all the sounds you're hearing, you're hearing voices and hear all this stuff that is literally a different frequency. So you're like, Oh, okay. Like, I'm going to pay attention to that, because that's really different. So if everybody's doing one thing, do the opposite. And that's how you're going to stand out. And really Also remember, like, that's all step one, just to get their attention. Step two needs to be actually give them something that's going to be tangibly valuable to them. That's how you hold their attention.

Joelly Goodson :

Is there an ideal length of video should be I mean, what's too long? What's too short? Are there any standard rules?

James Nguye:

Yeah, I'm seeing get shorter and shorter. So under 60 seconds, 60 to 90 seconds, again, depending on platform, right. So if you're talking on YouTube, or YouTube's algorithm literally rewards you for longer form videos, because you think about the incentive of YouTube, or they want people to stay on their platform longer. So if people are watching your videos for longer, well, they're going to promote you and promote your videos because they're like, Oh, great, if we promote this video, there's going to be more people that stay longer. Alright, so for YouTube, being able to push out, you know, content, 10 minutes plus, it's going to be a good thing. If it's engaging the whole way through that maybe something like obviously a tick tock, your attention span is going to be 1015 seconds, you know, something on an Instagram, Instagram posts might be something like up to 60 seconds. So it is dependent on the platform. And again, back to first principles, just think through the incentive of the actual platforms. If you're able to keep people on the platform longer, they're gonna promote your content, number one, but then the sorts of people who are scrolling through it, well, how much attention then they're gonna pay. And when you see on Instagram, people are literally scrolling. And so they're like, oh, maybe like 30 to 60 seconds is when they're gonna pay attention. Maybe it goes up to two minutes. But again, it's gonna be platform to platform.

Joelly Goodson :

Right. Okay, before we go here, can you share what is the most valuable lesson one of your mentors? Or I guess it's a two part question is Who is your best mentor? And what was the most valuable lesson you learn from that person? Oh, I just put you on the spot or anything? Yeah.

James Nguye:

It's a great question. insatiable curiosity and humility. That's kind of where I I wanted to acknowledge before jollies because when you were talking about you know, you don't know what you don't know. And then you just try to surround yourself with people who know more than you in different areas. I guess that's one of the biggest life principles of life, whether it's could be in any field professional, your personal relationships, whether it's spiritual relationships, anything like that. Just always, always seek truth. and invite that into your life. Seek truth and invite that into your life

Joelly Goodson :

and get rid of toxic people. I added that. Yeah, wow. Wow. That's great. And you have been so informative, and it's been such a pleasure talking to you. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. So James, if people want to learn more about you and about inflection media, which channels are you on?

James Nguye:

We post a lot of ou content is on LinkedIn, because we work with a lot of b2 clients. So just go to inflec ion media at LinkedIn. And yeah, we post across other socials a well. Instagram mainly an inflection dot media is our we site. So head there to find out ore about us.

Joelly Goodson :

And do you have clients? Do you work all across the world? Like all around the globe?

James Nguye:

Most of our clients actually are outside Australia. We've got a number of them in the states as well.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, great. Okay, great. Well, thank you again. It's been so nice talking to you. And I love Australia. I was there. I lived there for a year never made it to Melbourne. So if I ever make it back, or do you ever have you ever been to Canada?

James Nguye:

I've never been to Canada. I spent a lot of time in the States but next time I'm over there post lockdowns.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, no kidding. All right. Sounds great. Okay, well, great. Well, nice talk to you. And we will talk again soon. Thanks so much for having me. Okay. Bye. And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the conversation, and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. But most of all, I really hope you had some fun. If you want to learn more about me and what I do to help my clients with their branding. Please feel free to reach out to me on any of the social channels under you guessed it, branding badass. And please remember to rate and review this podcast on whatever platform you listen to. Thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.