How Svenja Rossig used brand partnerships to start her SaaS video marketing company | Svenistudios
Welcome to the Intribe blog. Can you please tell me a bit more about your professional background?
Yeah, sure. I'm Svenja.
I am the CEO and founder of Svenistudios, a video marketing agency that helps companies kickstart their video marketing. This includes any types of videos for ads, social content, and websites. That's what we do.
We also help the people not only create the content, but actually market the content through paid advertising and so they can really reach the people they want to reach and increase their conversions and sales.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Was that your first starting point or did you perhaps work other types of jobs before starting?
Yes, it’s always been my dream to become an entrepreneur, to just kind of be self-sufficient and do my own thing. Even as a kid, I was very stubborn and dedicated to my goals and I never took no for an answer most of the time. Sorry, mom and dad!
I'm still in university, so during my studies I started a podcast with a friend of mine, which was kind of like my stepping stone into the entrepreneurial world. Then I started doing freelance social media management for some clients. Shortly after that I started a SaaS company. Through that SaaS company, I then discovered that I'm actually good at making videos and so I decided to make that my main offering and this is something that’s been going on the longest. It's become my profession, if you will.
That sounds quite interesting. So how long have you been running the company?
When I started making videos, we weren't Svenistudios. I started making videos about like a year ago. Svenistudios has been Svenistudios as we know it for four, maybe five months. It's still a little baby
Why did you specifically choose to branch out into video content creation and how did you discover your passion for creating video content?
This is actually a really cool question because I just thought about that today. When I was running my SaaS company, I made videos for it. When people saw that I was making videos for my own company, they started asking me to make videos for their companies too. I thought to myself, “ well, if they want videos, I might as well monetize and make it a business.”
I thought back to my younger days when I was like 15 or 16 when I went to the States for an exchange program and I made a video diary on YouTube to document it. I loved filming that and I’ve always loved being in front of the camera. Today I also discovered a very old YouTube channel from my mom's business, which has one single video on it. This video is a video that I recorded during 7th or 8th grade and it’s a business promotion video.
Of course, I think it looks absolutely horrible now, but even back then I was always so excited to film and edit. I feel like it's always been a passion but it took me until now to realize that it's actually what I want to do.
That’s quite the backstory! Just to segue into the main topic, which is brand partnerships… Since your business is still fairly new, how do you leverage partnerships and find businesses to partner with to help you get your name out there?
So I think there's really three ways to find partners. First of all, you have to network like crazy. Build a network, get out there, talk to people... You can’t be shy to ask questions or to connect with people. I think that’s important for finding brands to partner with.
Using social media to find like minded people is also key. You can use your social media platforms to promote each other's content. I like to consider if there’s any value I can benefit from by partnering with a company and if there’s any value I can give to them too. I see brand partnerships as a two way street.
The third way I find brand partners is Intribe. I've always been a fan of collaborating with people and providing mutual value, but with Intribe that was actually my first official launch of a brand partnership. This partnership I have with Intribe now is really the first official grown up version of a brand partnership that I'm experiencing, so I'm still learning a lot. It's been great so far and I think the future is bright. There's a lot of exciting things coming, that's for sure.
I’m glad Intribe is of value to you! Since your business is mainly service based, how do you partner with product based businesses? What would that look like for Svenistudios?
I think it depends on the product that they're selling. Let's say we're talking about a company that sells a social media management tool, that would be considered a product – a SaaS product. We could partner and I would provide value to their community through shared blog posts, a live streaming session or a webinar on LinkedIn. I feel like there's so many opportunities to drive value to each other's communities.
For example, I'm going to make a video for you and you're going to give me a free subscription or something like that. I ultimately think the real value lies in leveraging each other's communities by providing knowledge through shared online events.
That’s true. Providing mutual value is important for a successful brand partnership. Just to circle back a little bit, you said you were running a SaaS business. Did you partner with any other businesses when you were running it, and how did that go?
We were about to partner, but we never actually ended up doing it because that was my first business venture and it completely flopped. Me being young and inexperienced, I had no idea what I was doing. The partnerships had a decent amount of potential, but we never really ended up doing it because I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really take the right steps to help the company grow. So they sadly never ended up happening.
Can you please expand on that? What mistakes were those and how do you feel like someone who's perhaps looking to be an entrepreneur and is also young, can learn from the mistakes that you made?
I think the advice I would give is don't do it alone. I didn't do it alone, but we ended up in a situation where my co-founder was focusing on other things because he had another business which was thriving. I think in order to make a business a success, you either have to have the strongest will ever to do it on your own, or you need to have a partner who really is with you and pulls their weight.
Make sure your partner is like-minded and doesn’t have the same skills as you. You should have complementary skills. I would also suggest people to not be afraid of failure. Failure is inevitable in anything you do. Entrepreneurship is about failing fast and failing often, but learning from it.
If you're looking to create a product, don't do it before you have the first potential customer. Really do some market research before and try to see if people would actually use it. If you have people pumped and interested, build a waiting list so you see if there's actually a need for it. Only then I would start building. I wouldn't do it before, but these are some of the mistakes that I made because I didn't do these things and that's why it failed.
I think that's good advice. What's in the future – what's in the works for Svenistudios?
What I’m really trying to do is drive video creation. I really want to focus on the advertising aspect as well and really increase revenue through paid video advertising because I think there's so much potential. I recently spoke to a fellow entrepreneur and he told me that the entire video industry is a market of either 80 or 800 billion. I'm not 100% positive either way but it's a huge number though.
There's so much potential in the video space and I really want to just make Svenistudios the one stop shop for quality video content, video marketing, video advertising – basically anything video. I also want to expand my products from demo videos and YouTube videos to maybe live action videos and creative shoots. I just really want to dive deep into this whole video realm because I love it so much.
That is cool. I can tell you're quite passionate about it. Do you have any noteworthy projects that you’ve worked on?
Absolutely. My current project is one that I’m enjoying. I’m working with a screen recorder called Tella. I love working with them because I'm building their YouTube channel right now so some videos I make and some videos he records. I cut them up, edit them and make them YouTube ready. I also do all the SEO. This is really fun because I get to learn a lot. It's always great to have people who are on the same journey but in a different niche so you can learn together and grow together.
I’ve also worked with a marketing startup from Hamburg before. I started with social media management for him and then we made some videos. Another project I was also very stoked about is a really big venture backed company from America. I helped them build their help center and that was quite cool.
Seeing that you're also on the Intribe platform and open to partnering with other brands, do you have a specific type of brand you’d like to collaborate with or are you open to all niches?
Svenistudios is focused on tech companies and software companies, but that is something I am trying to expand. I'm always eager to partner with tech companies and software companies because I think we can provide great value to one another. I'm also very open to the idea of partnering up with a clothing or apparel brand or maybe another agency and some copywriters.
I don't have a preferred type of company I would want to partner with as long as the values align. I wouldn't want to partner with a company with very different values to me. I feel like if you force that match and it's not natural, people will also know and it's not going to be a good partnership anyway.
That's true. Speaking of values, what do you feel your brand values are?
I'd say loyalty, trust, and support are super important to me. I'm not a fan of seeing somebody else doing good and not being supportive. I hate that. So I want support, loyalty, positivity and creativity. That's something I really admire about people who are creative. So yeah, I think that should be it. Support, loyalty, trust and creativity.
You can learn more about Svenja Rossig and Svenistudios here.