Jonathan Chaupin - President and COO of Agency 2.0

Little details matter. Perception is so critical, especially in a competitive industry. Every detail counts in your email, tone of voice, website, pitch and sales materials.

Jonathan is the president and also serves as the chief operating officer of Agency 2.0, where he oversees all ongoing business operations within the company. He leads the business development team to vet and onboard new clients and monitors the company’s overall revenue and growth. Jonathan builds news revenue streams around the brand and formulates strategic partnerships for new business initiatives as well as to help clients get their products built and scaled for retail, as well as hit big box stores within months of closing their crowdfunding campaigns.

Jonathan has over 10 years of experience working in independent film sales, marketing and distribution at premiere film companies including Vertigo Entertainment (“The Ring,” “The Grudge,” “The Departed”) and Exclusive Media (“The Woman In Black”). At Exclusive Media, he handled international film sales and distribution for all of North America. Jonathan also co-founded his own film distribution label for documentary films, Syndctd Entertainment, and has worked with A-list artists including B.B. King, The Beatles, Billy Joel, DJ Hardwell, George Michael, The Killers, RUSH, The Stone Roses and Swedish House Mafia.

Where did the idea for Agency 2.0 come from?

Chris Olenik founded the company in 2010 after successfully consulting for a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $200,000 on Kickstarter for the film “The Jay DeMerit Story.” Through word of mouth, his success with marketing Kickstarter campaigns led to almost immediate demand for his services.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start every morning by reviewing my calendar for appointments, calls and meetings. We have clients based all over the world and with over 30 clients currently on our roster, I have to prioritize my time as best I can. Next, I meet with my new business development team to review all the new crowdfunding ideas and potential clients that came through our door the previous day. I pay close attention to every inquiry to make sure I don’t pass over a project with a lot of potential. I then meet with my client management team that oversees all current client projects. On any given day, we have anywhere between seven to ten different crowdfunding campaigns live on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Finally, I meet with my marketing team to understand and forecast our current projects’ funding goals. We look at the remaining budgets with each in order to strategize on maximizing spend and outreach.

How do you bring ideas to life?

It’s really a team effort. Our team has plenty of experience in marketing to a crowdfunding audience, but we have to learn the client’s voice about their product. Once we have a grasp on the product’s features and functionalities, we meet as a team and find the best way to market it to a global audience. Many of our international clients rely on our expertise and creativity to give their product the creative polish and personality that will sell to a North American audience, which makes up a majority of crowdfunding backers. Combining our client’s voice, our expertise and the marketing data, we find the best way to bring these campaigns to life.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m seeing young entrepreneurs that are foregoing the corporate route to success and instead rolling up their sleeves to give startups a go. Self-dependency is a must with such volatility in the workforce. The generation that would stay with one company for 30 years or more has ended. Millennials average well over three to four jobs during their 20s and the number of jobs will only continue to grow. They are looking for not only a good salary but also a great work environment and a job that will contribute to their future career aspirations. I work every day to try and provide this for my team. The modern transaction between an employer and employee has evolved with many more layers added to it, which I think is for the better.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Delegation. I wasn’t always great at it, but I learned the importance of the concept quickly when I had to wear many hats in building the business, including HR, accounting, sales and legal. I found that empowering your team with responsibilities and clear direction not only helps your company’s efficiency but also strengthens your team’s loyalty and appreciation for being a part of the company.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I remember when I knew all the answers and could do everything by myself. I would advise myself to listen more, learn from others and be keen on teaming up with like-minded people who share my competitive edge, but are also great to work with as partners.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Little details matter. Perception is so critical, especially in a competitive industry. Every detail counts in your email, tone of voice, website, pitch and sales materials.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Write things down. With all the apps, tools and devices available, writing down notes and to-do lists is key in being efficient and productive every day. I’ve kept a to-do list for over 15 years now and it never fails. It’s also pleasing to see that at the end of the day everything has been accomplished and what remains to be finished tomorrow.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Researching and learning what the competition is doing, or not doing, is key for acquiring business. The object is not to copy them but to learn their strategy as they also do their research and learn what customers are looking for.

For example, we offer end-to-end services that have high initial costs while many new prospects were going to other agencies for a la carte services at cheaper rates. Once we researched and became aware that we were losing business to this approach, we began to educate customers on why our full services were in place. Blogging and spending time explaining the value of our services was a huge turning point for our brand and customers. It showed a new level of transparency, backed with data, on why our approach is more cohesive and yields a higher rate of success on reaching funding goals.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We did not spend the time or resources on fine-tuning our contractual terms. While the industry of marketing for crowdfunding is relatively new, it is crucial to have legal protection for payment, scope of work and obligations for both parties entering into the agreement. Spending the resources on firm, but fair, legal terms for your customers is key.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

No can do. However, I would be in support of more smart devices catered to health care needs for those suffering from diabetes, autism and other diseases.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought the James Bond Blu-ray collection. For some reason, his character always comes to my mind when I travel internationally.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Teamwork is the best workflow management system ever. For our 200 plus–step process launching our Kickstarter campaigns, it is helpful for our team and clients to use. Teamwork.com is a great resource.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller” by Ron Chernow. Although he’s considered a notorious robber baron of the ages, Rockefeller wrote the book on capitalism. What’s important to take away is the changes Rockefeller made to grow his business. Strategy and gamesmanship led him to overcome government, railroads and competition while growing his empire.

What is your favorite quote?

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time…” – Jack Kerouac

Connect

https://www.agency20.com/
Agency2.0 on twitter: @A2pt0