Kara Dake, Produce Evangelist for CleverTap recently chatted with Zachary Melamed, Founder for TipTalk a messaging platform that gives fans one-on-one access to receive text, photos, or videos from their favorite influencer.
1- Tell us about TipTalk and what your role is at the company.
I am a Co-Founder of TipTalk and serve as both the CEO & CTO , overseeing the company’s overall as well as technical direction. TipTalk is a messaging platform that connects fans with their favorite celebrities, influencers and experts in a variety of categories from sports to business and fitness and health. It is the only platform that offers influencers a safe and direct channel to respond to fans on a one-on-one basis, while monetizing their time and expertise. Influencers set their own “price” for engagement and fans purchase credits to participate in conversation, ask for expert advice or to request personal photos or video messages. Influencers are able to keep the money they earn or donate a portion or all to a charity of choice.
2- TipTalk launched about three months ago. Congrats! Can you tell us about your early insights from your launch?
We have validated TipTalk’s core hypothesis that people are willing to pay for one-on-one interactions. In the process, we’ve learned which verticals have the highest engagement and which fans are the most active. The most traction has been seen with influencers in the streaming (YouTube) and eSports space. This has proved that TipTalk can act as an effective complement to existing social media and streaming platforms and can allow experts and influencers to further build their brands.
3 – How does TipTalk fit into the influencer space? Talk about what types of influencers you’re working with, the verticals you’re engaging, and the overall direction your company is looking to go.
Current influencers we are working with include Rick Fox (Three-time NBA Champion), Jay Glazer (cast member FOX NFL Sunday and UFC), Tony Gonzalez (CBS NFL sports analyst), John Salley (Four-time NBA champion), Stratton Sclavos (venture capitalist) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee actress). We offer experts and influencers across verticals including sports, eSports, business & finance, marketing, social media (YouTube), health & wellness and fashion & beauty. Our ultimate goal is to be the leading platform providing one-on-one access to expert advice across various verticals.
4 – What strategies are working for you to acquire your users?
We are a supply driven marketplace with experts and influencers being our driver/supply. We’ve been focused on influencer onboarding which results in them spreading the word to their fan base through social media and other existing broadcasting platforms.
5- What strategies does the company use to engage and retain your mobile users after they’ve downloaded the TipTalk app?
We focus on building a product that fans and influencers naturally will be interested in engaging with and returning to. We employ push notifications and email campaigns to drive engagement, as well as frequent fan and influencer promotions. The influencers and pros themselves drive most of the engagement organically through interacting with their fans. We’re actively developing more tools and features for both fans and influencers in order to boost engagement. We’re always trying to make TipTalk more fun to interact with for both sides.
6 – What is one tip you have for entrepreneurs?
Don’t try and perfect your product before launching. Early adopters will understand imperfection and provide honest feedback. Focus on the numbers and listen to your users as this will prove very valuable to your company in the long run.