I think you want to own the pitch. I think everyone wants to go to the big-name first, but it takes a while to figure out the pitch that works. Also, a brand needs to build equity in space. Let’s say for us, the NBA 2K streamers, we were working with small guys, but they were receptive and willing to work with us when we had confusing directions.
I would recommend a startup look at it more that way, where we’re going to build to the mid-size, but these smaller influencers allow us to test what we’re doing and nail our pitch. We didn’t spend cash for the first year. I don’t regret it because we needed that time to nail it.
Our first sneakerhead that we worked with, we knew sneakerheads have a lot of money. They love to flex their basketball games, and they love our product. No one is marketing to them in a way that we can. Now let’s work our way up from the 10,000 to 15,000 view guys up to half a million. Once you’ve worked with small people, the bigger people suddenly email you and are like, “Wait, why does this guy have a deal and not me?” Even though the internet is a massive place, these verticals are actually pretty narrow in that all the creators watch each other. I’d recommend starting small and working your way up.