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Putting The Content in Capital

You get on the rocket ship. You don’t ask what seat.


Editor’s Note: Karin Kildow is the Founder & CEO of Content Capital.

I’ve long admired how she uses social to tell stories, and I reached out to her ahead of my first trip to LA since 2018.

It turns out we were meeting at the perfect time. Karin — who’s worked at RedBull, Uninterrupted and Beyond Meat — was about to go all-in on her long-time side hustle focused on helping athletes tell their stories.

This interview’s been edited for length and clarity. Listen to the full version here.

Karin at Soho House Studio, West Hollywood.

Karin’s Backstory.

Cornelius McGrath
Karin, welcome to the Junto.

Karin Kildow
Thanks for having me. This is great.

This is super fun. Thank you for making the time. Can we set the scene, please, for the audience?

We are at Soho House, West Hollywood. We are in the content studio. We’re overlooking all of Beverly Hills. It’s slightly overcast.

This is Content Capital HQ in my mind.

It is, it is. Yes, we are here a lot of the time. So this is very fitting for the podcast.

Beautiful. Well, look, it’s lovely to meet you. I’ve tracked you for a while for everybody listening at home. And I told you this story when we first met, but you and another great mentor of mine were wearing the same hat six years apart.

Theresa Foglia?

I don’t know what the brand is, but you’re both blondes. You’re both tall, and you’re both wearing this hat. The mentor I’m talking about is Molly DeWolf Swenson. Shout out to Molly. She’s been on the show. And so when I saw you on Lindsey’s Instagram story, I was like, “that’s an interesting universe moment. Click follow.” I love the chin drip content. And then when we were planning the retreat to LA, I was like, “fuck it, I’m just gonna send an email and see what happens.”

And it worked!

It worked!

And chin drip was the headline.

That caught the attention?

Yes, of course. I was like, what is going on here? And also the chin drip for everyone who hasn’t heard.

Yeah. Can you explain it?

I’ve stopped doing it. So now it’s probably going to be hard for people to get. But whenever I worked out one time, I was like, “oh my God, I’m sweating so much.” And I tried to see if I could capture it when you sweat so much, one drip of sweat drips off your chin. So I posted it, and then suddenly, everyone started sending me the same video, and then it became this chin drip thing, and people still send it to me. I get a lot of sweaty pictures of people.

Amazing. Are you happy you did that?

It shows the power of social, I think.

We’ll talk a lot about that today.

Yes. It was like a user-generated campaign I didn’t know I was starting.

Yeah. Amazing. I’m surprised someone hasn’t picked you up for that yet.

It’s funny. Jake, who we just met here, was doing a pitch for something, and he’s like, “I think I’m gonna pitch chin drip, but like for Peloton'” and I was like, “okay.” He’s like, “am I allowed?” I was like, “yeah, let’s do it. Let’s get some brand partnerships out of this.”

Yeah. That’s amazing.

So still just a hidden gem out there.

Thank you so much for being here—super excited to dive in today. I think I’m finding you at an almost perfect moment. Won’t get to the good news straight away.

But I always love bringing people on to the show who pique my curiosity. I don’t have any other agenda outside of that. I loved our first conversation and some of the stuff you’ve built, and I am excited you’re going full-time on the thing you love.

That’s what we’re all about at EE. But I start all these shows the same way. The question is, who the fuck is Karin Kildow, and how does she think about the world?

I’m a Midwest girl at heart, and the world of sports and media has brought me to LA. I feel like I’m a person who’s intrigued by meeting people, learning about them and then helping them tell their stories to a larger audience. Because I feel like I love when I meet people, and I have a little skill of picking up the interesting little things that the person doesn’t even notice are interesting to them, and I’m like, “that’s something, let’s use that.”

And so, I started working at Red Bull. I just wanted to do marketing, and I’ve grown up around professional athletes. Lindsey Vonn’s my older sister. So I’ve seen that from being a young kid, wanting to be great to winning the Olympic gold and that whole story. So I always just really connected with athletes specifically. And so I just kept following that my entire career and got into the world of social. As social was starting, I think I started when people were putting filters on Instagram, and Vine was huge, so I just kept going in that vein. The worlds have combined, and now it’s a hundred per cent focused on athletes, entertainment, and social content.

That’s amazing. And so tell me, when did you know you were good at social? Because I said this to you in the first call, and I don’t want this to get missed. I do believe it’s a skill. I think it is a respected skill at some level, but given that anybody can go viral at any time, I think people are tripping on dedication and the pursuit. So when did you know you were good? Tell me about that day.

I don’t think I ever necessarily knew I was good. I just really liked it because I started when Instagram started, and I was always very comfortable sharing about my life, and slowly but surely, you start. If you’re authentic in what you’re sharing and it’s fun, I kept getting more interest in it. And then one of my first jobs was as a marketing manager for Red Bull in Miami. And it was when they were like, “every market should have its own Instagram account”, and I just loved doing my own. And so it was like, “Okay, let’s start Red Bull Miami.” And I think I got it to 10,000 followers, and a few months later, it was one of the biggest city accounts. And so then that got the attention of Red Bull media house.

I didn’t know I was good at this, but I just posted the things I wanted to see, tried to be authentic and talked to people like people versus a brand. I think it clicked when I started teaching people about society. I understand it naturally without knowing why, but teaching it to people is fun. And because they’re like, “oh, I didn’t know that. I didn’t ever think like that.” So I think my thought process about it is just trying to share things I would want to see and talk about in a very authentic way. Like talk to people like your friends versus you posting something to millions of people on the internet.

Yeah. But tell me, like when you were a kid, how did this manifest before social media, like did this manifest in your interactions and the way you built relationships?

I think so. I grew up with five siblings. Three are triplets, so I’m always in pure chaos and love people. I love people around me. I love talking to people; I am curious and always want to hear more about what someone does. And so I think over time, those elements help on social. Because it’s like that one story you told was cool. Tell that on social. This one thing about your hands being double jointed is why you’re so good at catching a football. Like yeah, no one knows that, but you know that, so tell people. So it’s just about listening to people and being excited about the small moments. That does help.

Yeah. So I saw you spent some time at USD down in San Diego. I think I saw a little Italy study abroad as well. I know you’ve just finished Anita Elburse’s course at Harvard. So quite an array of educational and cultural experiences.

Why have you done all those three things? Like what were you chasing in, in each of those moments? Tell me about the move to USD. Was it just for warmer weather? The bop to Italy and, of course, as a fully grown adult going into the HBS course. I know it’s pretty well regarded, and some big names in there.

You strike me as a lifelong learner. What are you chasing? What are you trying to top up?

Yeah, I think it comes down to my dad. He was always adamant about everyone going to college, and then once you go to college, you’re required to study abroad. I didn’t necessarily know why, but that’s how it was from the start. And then, when I was in high school, I was obsessed with college. I think I applied to 13 colleges and wanted not to be in Minnesota. I didn’t hate Minnesota, but I always wanted to go somewhere else and go away to school. I think I chose San Diego because I was watching the OC. I want to be Marissa Cooper. I’m going to be on the beach. And so I wanted to go to Pepperdine or Loyola Marymount. San Diego ended up being it, and yeah, I think it was great.

Having to leave your comfort zone, knowing no one and starting life right out of high school, I think, was profound. I loved it. I loved having to meet new people and be uncomfortable. And I’ve done that. I mean, I guess then going to Italy was the same thing. That was like the requirement. You had to study abroad, meet more people and build that confidence. I can start from zero. And I can make my life in three months, four years. So I’ve always loved actually. It’s my favourite to go somewhere with a mission, but knowing no one and then having to build it all yourself.

Karin listens on intently.

Karin on The Unknown

Tell me more about that.

One of my favourite things I’ve ever had to do for work was at Uninterrupted, which is LeBron James’ media company. I had been there like maybe three months, and I was working on this project. It was the Nike world tour. So, LeBron, every year in the off-season or most years, will go with Nike on a world tour, and it’s like two weeks, and they try to hit as many countries as they can. And I was helping, and the guy who was supposed to go had to pull out, and they’re like three days before the trip, they’re like, “you need to go.” So, I got a Chinese visa and went from LA to Shanghai, Shanghai to Paris, Berlin, New York then back. But it was my favourite thing because I knew no one; it was remarkably challenging.

I had to manage the Nike relationship and the Uninterrupted connection and make sure LeBron knew the film crew throughout all the changing locations and logistics, and it was so fun. I love it when you have a task, but it requires meeting all these people and navigating those situations. So, it was very hard, but that kind of thing is my favourite. And after college, I went to LA, North Carolina alone, Miami alone, and back to LA. So having to go in and start over quickly and achieve something is my favourite.

Why do you think that is?

I don’t know. I think it’s just a feeling of accomplishment and getting through the uncomfortable because I always tell people that if they’re going to move to a new city in the first two weeks, you’re excited, and you’re like, “this is great I’m doing it”. Then the next two weeks to a month is like, “holy shit, I shouldn’t have done this. I know no one.” And if you push through that, you can’t freak out in that month and move back. You must just make it through it, and then you’ll slowly get one friend, go to another thing, and then meet two friends. And suddenly, you start to build your community and feel good. But I think it’s the challenge of not feeling like, “oh, should I feel like I have made a mistake?” And when you overcome that, you get the feeling of accomplishment.

Karin’s College Years

So, tell me about how you spent your time at USD. You had the OC image in your head. Were you trying to find people you felt fit with this modus operandi of the story of the unknown? Because it feels like there was no stopping you.

At least I felt that college was a little bit limiting because my curiosity had bounds. It still came back to class at the end of the day. So, I’m just curious, like 20-year-old and 21-year-old Karin, what’s she like?

Yeah. I didn’t know what I wanted to do going to college. I just wanted to be in the OC.

And what did you get there?

Everything. I met so many people who went to Laguna Beach High school. I was like, “no way do you know like Lauren Conrad” And they’re like, “no, that’s stupid.” I’m like, “well, it’s a big deal to me.” I had to get that out of my system—the star-struck Minnesotan. My friends used to tell people that I thought the fountains on campus were hot tubs.

That’s hilarious.

Like I was very sheltered from Minnesota life to be at USD with all these people suddenly. Everyone had fancy cars. So it was kind of immersion into like a new Southern California life. And I liked psychology, and I wanted communication. So, I guess that wraps together into marketing and storytelling. And by the time I left college, I had a marketing and psychology major or something of that sort.

But I was like, “I think marketing will be my place.” And I tell everyone this because I had no idea. I didn’t know if I would be in sales, but I just picked a company I thought was doing things well. And I was like, “I’ll take any job.” You get on the rocket ship. You don’t ask what seat. So, I just was like, “I’ll be on the wings team.” Driving the mini-Cooper and handing out the red bull in college. And it was like my senior year, like my last semester, I was like, “I’ll start there and see where I go.” And I just was obsessed with the brand. I was obsessed with what they taught me. Like they teach you how to talk about every single product. You must have 31-second interactions with every person you meet.

You got to talk about a brand with hundreds of people daily. There are hundreds of wing team members and student brand managers. I loved it. And I ended up just following what I thought was interesting. I applied for those five summer internships at the Los Angeles office. And I was like, “I got to get one of these.” I don’t know how, but I got one, and I got to go to LA and work in the headquarters. And I just was utterly intoxicated by the brand. And I just was like, “I’m gonna keep working here, keep moving my way up”, But I don’t think it was necessary, a clear vision or path of what I wanted to do. I just kept doing what was fun—and following the thing I thought was interesting. And the company that I thought was doing it.

On my favorite hike in the Presidio, a national park in San Francisco. April 2021.

Karin at Red Bull.

I love that. Can you tell me more about the 31-second interactions?

Yes. I think this is probably internal knowledge, but I’m going to say it anyways. At Red Bull, they have the wings team. It’s a sampling program. It’s meant to drive trials and get people to try one red bull. And when it started, it was one girl in Austria, and they’re like, “here’s a bunch of red bull, go get people to try it.” And she did it, and no one wanted it. No one wished to try it. It was weird. No one knew what an energy drink was. So she’s like, “I hope you’re not mad, but I just asked my friend to come along. Because I was so bored. And I just started giving them all out, giving everybody red bull.” And then that they’re like, “it’s working.” People are now trying it, and sales are going up.

So, they created a whole wings team program. It’s always two people in a Mini-Cooper giving out products, but they have a very intense system of how you do that. Never go up to someone and say, “Hey, do you want a red bull?” You have to say, “oh, what are you doing?” And they’re like, “I’m studying for my test”, and be like, “well, you know what? Red bull increases concentration. Do you know that?” And they’re like, “no” You’re like, “do you want to try one?” And you always had to talk to them to understand what they were doing and find the consumption occasion.

What a word.

I know. And this is like people in college. Like we knew this stuff back in front. Like you knew everything about how to navigate this and make a product applicable to any random person based on consumption occasions. So, you always had to talk to them for the ideal time of a  31-second interaction. Never start with, “do you want a red bull?” Always apply a product benefit. And then once they are there, you’re not selling them on something; they’re sold already. And then they remember, “oh, when I’m studying, I should drink red bull.” So it was very profound. I still don’t think many companies have sampling programs like that. And I loved the like stringent nature of it. And sometimes your manager would follow you in the Mini-Cooper, and they’d be like that, “That wasn’t a 31-second interaction. You forgot the product benefit. And that ingredient question was wrong.” So they held everybody to a very high standard.

The real deal.

Oh yeah. And then, when I went to North Carolina and Miami, I was training like teams of wings, team members in the college programs, the student brand manager program. I loved it because they taught you to be a marketer from day one without knowing it.

So how did you get those opportunities? I’m assuming you come into the LA office; you impress, graduate, and then they send you off?

No, you get a three-month internship and then it’s either done or you’ve got a little more credibility to potentially get one of the full-time roles.

Oh wow. So, it wasn’t a guaranteed thing?

No, no, no. Some people do three months and then go on to the next thing. But I think the biggest thing I did was I always raised my hand. I always pushed to be in stuff even when I probably shouldn’t have been. My advice to younger people is, “don’t sit back and wait for somebody to tell you to do something.” Like I would be like, “can I sit in on this meeting?” It was like a big marketing meeting. I asked, “can I just sit in and not talk and listen?” Or like, “hey, here’s like three athletes. Let’s sign them.” I remember I would email the head of marketing, the director of sports marketing. And then, a year later, I was like, “that was ballsy for an intern to just be like these are three athletes we should sign.” I’m so knowledgeable as a 21-year-old out of college. But I got better relationships with those people, and they’re like, “she’s a go-getter.” Maybe they thought it was crazy, but they’re like, “at least she’s trying.”

And it can’t be scarier than skiing downhill at a breakneck speed. Right?

Yeah. Not really. I don’t think skiing is ever scary.

<Laugh> okay. We’ll disagree on that front, but no fear is something you strike me as having.

Yeah. It’s like no fear in just doing it. Just raise your hand, be involved, and push to do things. I think that speaks volumes. Like you’re going to make mistakes, but at least you’re somebody that people are like, oh, “they’re trying, they’re trying.” And so that’s what I did all summer. And then they’re like, “there are two openings for a full-time role. One is in Memphis, Tennessee, and one is in Raleigh, North Carolina.” And I, again, I was just like, “Okay, I think Raleigh”, and I like flew to Raleigh, and the same thing happened. I somehow got the job, but then they drop you in a city where you know no one, and you have to manage 20 people. And do the marketing for that area. And you’re like,” I don’t know what I’m doing.”

How old are you at this point?

Yeah. Like 20, 21, 22. And it was like being in the south and knowing not one person; you’re like managing 20 people.

A long way from OC.

Yes, exactly. So, it was the same thing. You just do it and say, “what’s the best I can make of the situation?” And I was like, “I’m going to be the best in the country.” Even though Raleigh is a small market, not considered like managing LA or New York, I just kept doing it. I also never thought of it as,” oh, I’m at a disadvantage.” I was like, “I’m going to put North Carolina on the map as the best marketing program in the country.” So it is just a competitive nature, I guess, to be like, “I’m going to take this thing, and I’m going to be the best at it.”

And you’re not above it.

No. Yeah, no. I knew headquarters didn’t care about or even notice Raleigh as a market because it’s insignificant. But I was like, “I’m going to make them notice.” And it was the same thing. I would send my recaps. I would send all these reports to the high-up people and say, “Hey, this is cool.” I think it’s the same thing. Keep pushing forward, try your best, and show people what you can do. And then, after a year in Raleigh, they promoted me to Miami, a top three market. So yeah. It works.

Karin on Social

So, when did social come into play?

Yep. So that’s what it was. So I was doing brand marketing and field marketing college market. It was just a field marketing-centric team then in an enormous territory. Big responsibility.  Instagram was just starting, and then that’s when the Red Bull Miami Instagram came into play. And I was like, “yeah, I want to raise my hand. I want this.”

Is it like the early 2010s?

Yeah. Yeah, like, 2013-2014 probably. And then social media blew up. As soon as that happened, then I finally got the promotion to go back to LA and that was my first job in social. So I had no experience, but no one really has any experience on social at that point. So they’re like anybody who kind of has an idea and can try to do it, let’s do it. And they were like, “don’t do social. It’s gonna be almost frivolous”, or like, “that’s not a substantial role. You should take this big like marketing manager for the Southeast.”

I was like, “I think I want to do social. I feel like this is gonna be fun.” I just did it, but, that was a big shift. Because I had gotten a big role to do the head of marketing and field marketing for the south and then red bull media house as an  “influencer” program. And I remember the head of marketing was like, “don’t do that. They’re going to be bored of that. That’s not gonna look good on your resume. Do this. The other role in the south is a much bigger role.”

Better money?

Lifestyle, better money. But is it was in Atlanta managing like 10 manager-level people. But I was just like, I feel like this will be cool to be in like an innovative space and I wanted to be in media. And so, I was like, “if I’m at media house, I think I’ll be around the right people to learn.” You have to surround yourself with where you want to go. So even if you don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen. It’s like, I know this is kind of the place I want to be. So I was like, I’ll take the risk and take less money and just see where it goes.

And what called you to it? And I’m curious in your own personal life, how were you using social at the time?

My own personal life. I was posting granny pictures. I don’t know. I think it was just like random pictures of Miami, and I would do this thing where I always thought it was so funny, like rap lyrics, how they’re kind of ridiculous at times. So I used to make quote cards, like quote, graphics of silly rap texts and be like, “like Snoop was genius for this one.” And it was like “zucchini, bikinis, like blah, blah.” It was like a lyric in a song. I thought of somebody writing this down and then saying to a producer, “I’m gonna record this.” And they’re like, “do it, do it” zucchini and bikinis and wienies all rhyme. Let’s go for that. And I would post those, and everyone loved them. And so it was kind of that, like an affirmation of, “oh, I thought this was funny myself and now other people think it’s funny.” And then I kept doing it. So it’s like the repetition on social, where it was actually a format and a series that I was creating without knowing people expect it, people expect it and then people would send me like, “oh, you should do this song. This is funny.” So, that’s what I was doing. I was just, and at the time, it was so fun because there was no pressure on it. Like, you know, you’re like doing stuff for fun for your friends. 

On my favorite hike in the Presidio, a national park in San Francisco. April 2021.

Karin on Genius

So that leads me beautifully into this next question, which is like, what do you think you see that nobody else does?

I think it’s. I think it’s like seeing the light or something inspiring in a tiny thing. Mm. Because social is so snackable, it’s like tiny moments. And if you could see that tiny moment everyone else sees, put a new spin on it. Yeah. That’s when I think things pop and go viral, just like the smallest thing that you, everyone else, might take for granted, like that rap lyric. If you think of, like, that’s ridiculous. Yeah. And that was somebody’s hope. It’s kind of like, I feel like comedians do it well where they see, or like Jerry Seinfeld, it’s like they see a new take on something that everybody sees. Yeah. And so that’s all it is; the first step is noticing it. The second step is just posting it. And then, if you can add another joke on top of it or another spin,

Make it yours.

Yeah. Add context. Like I always tell the story about one of my clients, he’s a top three wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins. And he’s like, yeah, I have two knuckles in my palms. It’s just weird. So his hands are enormous, and he has double knuckles. So I was like, you were genetically made like, isn’t that crazy? That of all the traits you had, this one that made you even faster and better, and you could catch the ball better than anyone else; it’s like. Yeah. I guess so. And so then it’s like, let’s post that. Yeah. Like, let’s tell people that because I, I know the world would be like this famous athlete has like one weird trait about his knuckles that makes him so good. Yeah. So it’s just finding like little things and sharing them with people. Yeah. But you must just be looking for them and curious about tiny details. Yeah.

Karin on Social as a Business.

So I asked you about the day you knew when you were good. The next question I will ask is: when did you know this was a business?

Okay. This is a very specific moment. I’d been doing brand social forever. But the first moment was at red bull. I mean they’re posting 20 times a day.

Cornelius McGrath:

They are, to me the brand that made it. The helicopter ski team dive all the way to now like hitting the home runs on the side of the Chicago River. All the plane stuff.

Yeah. Red bull was edgy. It was electric. And I think I was very lucky to be at a company where social wasn’t to sell products, red bull’s social was just get people excited, show them, show people. It was like give wings to people and ideas.

So like the basis of my marketing knowledges don’t sell to people, inspire them with content. So I knew that. And then red bull a huge, I mean it grew into a big social program and we were doing deep analytics and we’d say, “oh, turns out blue photos are doing better overall out of thousands of posts” Wen videos started coming out, they’re like, “oh, vertical video. So don’t do the wide crap. Let’s do vertical.” And over thousands of posts, this gets like four times the engagement. And so, at the time, at red bull media house, there was an athlete gym next door to our offices.

So Lindsey, my sister, was always coming and working out. And I was like, “hey, I think you should just post videos. Because we’re seeing that on red bull, you should do like workout videos and those will do well. I think I’m pretty positive.”

And then she started doing ’em and it started working. And that was where I was like, “oh, we just applied these insights to an athlete. And it really, really works.” Amazing. You know? And so I kept doing that. I kept doing that. I kept doing that to all the other athletes. And then I would start kind of putting these things into like fundamental groups of this is how you like formulaically figure out how to do social. So that was big where I was like, I can figure this out. And if I apply it to an individual person, it works even better.

And what year was this?

And this is 2000 like 14 through 16, I think. And so that was big. And then I went to uninterrupted again, doing more athlete content and social.

What did you see there? 

At Uninterrupted? I’d been working with many athletes at red bull and I was like, “I wanna be even more in sports. I wanna do just sports and sports storytelling, not necessarily brand marketing.”

And so uninterrupted was young and up and coming. I loved Maverick Carter and how he was approaching all of LeBron’s deals. I liked that they were doing a media company. And so I was like, “this is great. I’ll learn a lot here.”

So did you email him and say these are the three people you should sign?

I met him once at this conference and he was so nice and I was just like, “everything he’s saying is so smart.” And then I knew somebody else and they’re like, it’s just kind of a weird combination of meeting a couple people at once. And then the job opened up and I got it, but it was 30 people at the time at the company, it was very new.

So it was risky for me to take from a giant role at Red Bull to starting at this small boutique company. But I loved it. And there’s so many things to be said about uninterrupted in the way they work.

But I realized social for athletes was a business after working at a media company and seeing like, “oh, this is how you make money. This is how you turn content into profit and IP. “I was doing this when I started working with Deandre Hopkins on his social, and I analyzed his accounts for the year. And I realized that his growth and his engagement was the same as Uninterrupted in a year. And Uninterrupted had posted maybe a thousand or 2000 times. And Deandre had posted 12 times. And I was like, oh, if they can monetize their channels…

Then he can? 

Then he can. And if we just take what we’re doing at any one of these brands and apply it to the athlete, there’s opportunity here. And then I, as you know, it gives life to more storytelling because we’re uninterrupted, you’re trying to tell athlete stories, but you’re getting them to tell it for your channels and the uninterrupted channel. And I was like, someone could be doing this, and uninterrupted can help amplify their story. But I was like, they could be doing this every day and they don’t really know how. So that’s where I was like, I think there’s something here and I think there’s a fundamental need for people to help the athlete, storytelling their channels so that not everyone else is telling their story. They’re also telling their own story. Yeah.

On my favorite hike in the Presidio, a national park in San Francisco. April 2021.

Karin on Uninterrupted & DeAndre Hopkins

So two questions there before we keep rolling.

What is the uninterrupted business model? And then tell me about what sparked your relationship with Deandre Hopkins.

Oh yeah. The uninterrupted business model is, I mean, it’s a media company, so it’s like they do production for big films. They do brand content series. So it’s like, let’s make a great series, and then we’ll find a brand partner that fits that series and do it collaboratively with them.

So like the shop?

The shop is an excellent example of how this was profound when they started the shop on their own channels. It got a lot of traction. They did it on their YouTube, I think. And then from there, Maverick genius was like, Hey, this is a show. Let’s package it up. And then HBO bought it. And then there were, I think, three or four seasons on HBO. So it was the same thing. Like if you show interest on social yeah. You can, you know, get that on a major network. Yeah.

Yeah. Tell me about Deandre. What sparked that relationship?

Yeah. Deandre was just a friend. Like I think he was a friend of a friend and he was very young and up and coming. I, I mean, we didn’t really know that he was that gonna be that big? I mean, I didn’t fall football, but I was like, oh yeah, cool. You’re like a wide receiver. And then I’m like, oh, you’re really good. And he just, I mean, he’s not like super socially savvy on his own. He like does it. But I was like, just let me try. Let me just try to help you for a little bit, like literally for free. I just wanna,

So you did pro bono?

Yeah, I think, yeah, in the beginning I think I was just like, let me see how this goes and you know, slowly over time just built it up and it takes, I realize it takes a lot of trust and a lot of foundational relationship with the person to do their social. Cause you’re really helping them find their voice. You’re helping understand why they post different things. Why they won’t like, I’ll sit down with dere. I’d be like, why did you chose that picture? Give ’em 10 pictures. He’s like, I want that one. Like, but why? And he is like, oh, cuz you can see my tattoo here. And I’m like, okay. So this like, you know, everyone sees themself in different ways. And I think that so it takes a lot of time to get the trust and the understanding of the person before you can start to help them storytelling on their channels. Yeah. So yeah. So, and then just kept building it over the last five years and but yeah, it was just a friend of a friend, almost everybody is always just a, a friend and then you’re like, this is an opportunity for you if you wanna do it. And he was smart to say, yeah, let’s try it. So yeah.

Tell me about the day you knew you had to leave uninterrupted.

I mean, I think uninterrupted, I feel like at every company I say I’m gonna work there until I feel like I’ve, I’m not learning as much anymore. So I feel like I had, or like I’ve accomplished what I wanna accomplish there. So I think uninterrupted, I had built the team, we had a good strong program going and I loved leaving uninterrupted was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. But I just was like, I know I wanna focus more on the athlete, social thing. I just kept, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And I was like, if I don’t do this now I’ll regret it. I, you know, I, I feel like I’ll be a, it’s like the Jeff Bezos op regret mitigation theory. Mm. Like I know I could keep going another two, three years that uninterrupted, but am I gonna keep learning at the rate that I would if I tried something else?

Yeah. So it was really hard. It was really, really hard, but I think it was just a matter of when you start repeating the same projects again too. Like when you’re like year over, you’re like, okay. And now here we go, super bowl. And that’s where I’m like, I think I’ve gotten this program down and I felt like I was leaving it a good place. Like I never wanna leave anywhere if it feels like you’re gonna gonna be in shambles. But I felt like it was good. It was strong. There was a successor that I, I felt like would be great. So I was like, this is the time to jump.

Karin on Beyond Meat

Yeah. So why Beyond Meat?

Beyond Meat ended up being a weird, like stumbling into it thing where I was about to leave Uninterrupted to do Content Capital full time. And then Beyond Meat, I had a long-standing relationship with. I got a bunch of athlete investors into Beyond Meat pre-IPO, just because my friend worked there. He was like, “does anyone wanna invest in this?” And I was like, “Yeah, let’s go.”

So I introduced him to a handful of people, and then I watched that company IPO, and it was a unicorn stock. And so right as I was leaving, they were like, “We really need help. We would love to have you come on and head social and digital.”

And it’s just kind of a weird thing. And I was just like, “You know what, it would be interesting to learn from a company that was publicly traded. Really I believed in it. I believe in it for the sustainability of it and the planet.” So I was like, I’m just gonna do this and see how this goes. So on Beyond Meat, it was kind of a curve ball and a random kind of alignment of things. But I’m glad I did that too, because I feel like it taught me a side of social that I hadn’t really done before. So your brain just has to be firing in different ways. So it was definitely that.

And you were doing Content Capital the whole time on the side throughout each of these processes?

More or less. I mean, I didn’t always know it was gonna be a company. I just was like, “this is fun. I wanna try to do this. Or this is interesting, like DeAndre.” It wasn’t definitely not full-time. It was just like, “Hey, which of these should we post I need help with this or just like a weekend thing.” And then I was kinda like I think this could be something. So it was just a matter of slowly trying to help more athletes. And then I’m like, “There’s enough demand here.” I think the athletes need it enough. And that’s why after, Beyond Meat, I think it hit a point where I was like, “I can’t do this on the side. I can’t do it on the weekends.” It’s also really tiring to do a full-time job and then get home and work on something. And then on the weekends, work on something, that’s, I think where it’s really hard. So it was always kind of like in the back of my mind, and it was just a matter of how can I, when can I commit my full time to this? Because it could have got to the point where you’re like, “I’m gonna drive myself crazy, and I’m gonna burn out trying to do two things.”

Karin on Content Capital Group

So we finally arrived. What is Content Capital in your words?

So Content Capital is the first and only athlete-first social consultancy. So we work with individuals and we help them storytell based on their social channels. And then eventually we hope to help those individuals kind of turn those channels into a media company structure.

So it’s like, how do we, how do you tell your story? How do you get more content out? And then once the content’s working, how do we help monetize against that content? So sell it into a show or do a brand partnership on that. And, and really the basis of just like help them tell their story better on the, on the massive media channels that they own every day, because yeah.

And why leave a full-time job to do it right now? Why that moment?

I mean, I feel like I’ve been wanting to, I wish I could. I mean, I kind of wish I could have done it sooner, but everything happens at the right time, I think, but right now I’ve, I’ve seen over the last five years, athletes not get it, not wanna do it to kind of know they have to do it to then say, this is very complex to do it well. So now is the time where I think people understand it enough to know that it’s valuable. So I’m not having to explain why they should be on social anymore. Got it. But there’s now so many channels and so many algorithms that it’s really helpful to, to have somebody who really knows that space well, helping navigate it. Cause, and I think also now there’s a lot of pressure on these athletes. Like if you’re relatively good athlete and you have been since college, you’re gonna have 200 5300, 500,000 followers, it’s a lot of pressure to be posting on that publicly.

And knowing what to post knowing, not what not to post or this brand wants me to post this thing. And I don’t think it’s good. So they’re just sitting there alone. Like when you’re everyone knows the feeling of like, is this weird? Is this good? I don’t know. And you kind of build your confidence in that way. So it’s really nice to have somebody who’s saying, okay, we’re gonna do vertical video. Let’s talk about these three topics. Let’s do it at this rate. And you’re always there to help them to say here, what’s the caption, you know, what’s the best photo of all these 10. Like I think it’s just sometimes just a support system to have someone to talk to about it because there’s a lot of pressure in it. And I don’t think people realize the pressure of when you have that many followers and your whole career depends on it. And you know, people, people hire people to manage their money. Like people should manage, help, hire people to manage their social.

Absolutely. So one of the things you said to me on our first call was people used to say you do tweets for a living, but there’s actually way more to it. So I wanna get into the strategy. And my first reaction is having now unpacked the beginning of your career is you’ve just had so many reps at different scales to see what works and what doesn’t. And so simplistically it’s like you’re taking that as kind of a canvas or maybe an ice sculpture and then based on the tattoos, the personalities, the insecurities, the strengths you’re like chipping away and you are getting DeAndre what he needs. Is that it? Or is there something else that I’m kind of missing?

I think the first step is understanding the algorithms. That’s the kind of thing I’ve learned over time of just posting thousands and thousands of posts and seeing the analytics and fundamentally Instagram’s prioritizing video right now. OrFacebook wants Facebook watch or live to work. So you kind of know those basics of like, “this is the type of content.” And I think people can do that. A lot of people now know these algorithms and they have theories about the algorithms and whatnot. And that, for me, it was working with Facebook, Instagram partners, like the partners at Twitter, who would give you the real insights. And then you’re kind of confirming those with what’s working. After that you have to get into, “OK, so some people can know that, but then it’s like, okay, how do you build the brand?”

So that’s a little bit of a brand marketing exercise. I always tell each client to try to focus on three pillars. So if you love cooking and travel and football. Like your sports probably always gonna be one, but what are the other two? And then those are your north stars of like what we post about. So you’re not like, should I post about my food? Should I post about this event? I don’t know. And it’s like, “OK, are they three pillars? Because those are the pillars that you care about you then can build them into pillars of your brand long term. And then after that, you get into the creative storytelling of like, “If you like cooking, how should we tell this? Should we do it in cooking recipes? Should we have a chef on?” Or you know, whatever it is.

But like that’s when you have to marry those two to say, “what’s gonna do the best in the algorithm? And then what’s gonna help tell your story?” And sometimes it’s as simple as “we’re football players. We need content without your helmet on. So people can see your face.” Like everyone just seeing you playing with your helmet on, they see all the highlights on ESPN. What’s something else you’re gonna tell them that shows your face and helps people know who you are? I heard a podcast where they said they’re like, “It’s no coincidence that everyone will know LeBron’s from Akron. He grew up as an only child. He has founded  I Promise School. It’s because he’s told that story really, really well through social, through PR through all of his things. But he’s told that story and athletes have to tell their story and, and help people understand why they should care about them. Because if you’re just on the field playing with your helmet on, no one’s gonna know your story. So I think that’s where social comes into play. Now that you can do that every day. And if you have a personality, if you’re funny, if you’re serious, like all those things you should be telling the world and that will elongate your career so that after you can do whatever you want.

So it’s, it’s day one. I’m a content capital client. All of that’s great. But we both talked about this. You’ve mentioned it today. It’s only as good as the trust you have. How do you build trust in the first couple of weeks? You know, assuming it’s some type of referral, but still, they haven’t seen all the work that you’ve done. Right. And it hasn’t been for them. So how do you take, I guess, little bets to prove out. And if you’re not really asking for permission, how are you gaining it? I’m curious how you think about it.

It’s different for every person. One thing that’s worked well is we have content days, so we’re like, “we’re gonna have one day, we’re gonna spend an hour, probably like two hours maximum.” So it’s a very short amount of time and we’re gonna get a bunch of stuff. Some of it, you won’t know what it is for, but just trust us on that. And we’ll edit everything together for you. So it’s like do a confused face, a surprise face do like, you know, it’s like very small amounts of stuff. And then we take that back and edit it together until a TikTok trend or something like, “Oh, that’s really funny.” Like I didn’t even feel like I was doing that much work and now I’ve got something that’s like a viral moment. And so you kind of have to prove it out with like something that works.

It’s hard because if your accounts have been dormant, it takes weeks to get the algorithm going. It takes a little time. But as soon as you can show something that they think is cool and something that they probably wouldn’t have been able to do on their own. And then once something works, like it really goes big, then they’re like, “Okay, okay, we get this.
And then, after a couple of those, the count starts growing, and then it’s like, “Oh, this is great.” But it’s showing them things that they probably wouldn’t have done on their own, I think is really helpful. And then it’s also really listening a lot because there’ve been many times where I’ve had stuff that I thought was so cool, and they’re like, “we’re not posting that, or I don’t like that.”

Your heart is broken a little bit. Because you’re like that would’ve been great. But then after you try different things and then eventually they’d be like, “oh, that first one that you did actually, let’s do it now.” So it’s just you have to build your own confidence in like putting yourself out there on social. And once you kind of see that people are liking it, you’re like, “oh, I can do more of this.” So it takes lots of time and lots of repetition of content and approvals and, and results. But once you’ve gotten it a few times, then you start really rolling, and it, it goes really smoothly after.

That. And so you typically innovating directly with the athlete. I’m assuming there’s a team around them. There’s always a bunch of people around athletes. Like how do you handle that? Because I could I could see that getting quite frustrating if you don’t have the right relationship from the get.

Yeah. It really has to be with the athlete directly. A lot of it’s just text. We’re not always even in the same city as the athlete. And they’re always travelling and everything. But it’s text, it’s like a little bit of FaceTime to get the content, but then it’s just like, “Hey, do you like this?” Or they’ll send us stuff like, “Hey, do you think I should post these?” And we’ll be like, well just let me get ’em in the right ratios. Or let me just polish them up a little bit.

Are you doing that all yourself?

Yeah. I have a business partner, Sebastian I GATA. And he’s been, he’s been at Red Bull and uninterrupted and now content capital along the way. But yeah, we’ll sometimes hire out editors for bigger highlight packages or really cool visual effects. There are a lot of people we can tap into, but a lot of it’s just a really quick turnaround. Everything has to be done right then, right in that moment. It’s also looking at stuff like, “How is that game going? What’s the highlight? How do we get that on the account fast?” So there are a lot of things to it, and it is a lot of time. That’s why I don’t really necessarily believe in growth hacking or people buying followers. Because it’s just the hard grind of doing it the right way. But then you have an audience that really cares about you. That really will be along for the long term, and they’ll buy whatever you’re making, and they’ll watch whatever you’re making if you’ve done it the right way. But if you pay for 10,000 followers,  it’s just for looks.

 So there’s an athlete listening, and I’m sure there’d be plenty. What’s the perfect engagement for your period of time and the type of person. How long do you need to prove this vision? What’s your minimum contraxct?

We usually do a three-month. If someone wants to try it out, it’s like three months is a good amount of time. Where you kind of get the process down. And the first month is always a little Rocky. It’s hard because again, you don’t always see instant results. But by the end of the month, you’ll probably start to see results and get the swing of what the process is. And then by the third month, you’re starting to really go, so by three months usually people are looking like, “Okay, now I need this. Let’s keep going.”

Do you ever feel like you leave? Is there a point where you say, “And now you go into the world on your own:?” You talked earlier about how people pay people for their cars, their taxes, their houses. Do you see this as a lifetime project? Or do you think there’s a half-life for what you’re talking about?

I think I always try not to keep anything too precious and teach a man to fish. The goal is to make them feel comfortable, or they could do any everything on their own if they want to. I wouldn’t wanna keep someone as a client if they feel like they’ve learned everything they’re gonna learn and they’ve got it. We sometimes do boot camps where it’s like, “this is gonna be a two-hour session. We’re gonna analyze your account. We’re gonna give you all the strategies. You need all the best practices, and you can take that and go.” And some people just wanna do that. They’re like, just tell me what to do, and I’ve got it. And I think younger athletes too are more socially native and they like that. But yeah it ends up being sometimes it’s hard because the more followers you have, then it becomes more and more pressure. So it’s up to the person. And I don’t think I ever wanna keep someone to the point where if they could do it themselves. I think people realize as they keep working with us, they’re like, “oh, it’s a lot of work if I wanna keep doing this.”

You mentioned you wanna start with athletes. You wanna start with social, but then you want to move into a more traditional media company. And I think the words you use are “incubate IP” What does that actually mean in practice? And is there someone doing this already that you’re taking inspiration from? Even if it’s not the way you wanna execute it.

Incubating IP, I think, is a really great concept because if you can have an idea or a series or something you do that people really love I’m trying to think of a great example. And there’s so many. It’s like Gwenyth Paltrow just liked wellness stuff, and she started talking about it, and she became credible, and then she’s like, “Oh let’s make this bigger. Let’s make this into products. And then she really pulls that out or puts that in in a media context. I know there are so many.

A couple of examples to just chime in on what you think. Hot ones, I feel like amazing. Action Bronson has done an amazing job of this with “F*ck That’s Delicious” He took that to Vice but it didn’t end great. Created a couple of cookbooks around it and now is back doing it on his own.  like those shows are brilliant.

I know. I always love nailed it!

I’ve never seen nailed it! What’s that?

It was a meme, actually. It was that people used to look at Pinterest recipes like these elaborate cakes, and then they’d try to make ’em, and they’d turn out horribly, and then they’d post before and after and say nailed it. And now there’s a show on Netflix called Nailed It!. Where amateur chefs try to make elaborate cakes, and then they just do it again with this is cake or is it cake using

I haven’t seen this on Instagram. People started making these cakes that looked like a glass of water or a plate of eggs, and then they cut into it with a knife, and it’s actually cake. And now there’s a show called “Is it cake?”

And it’s a competition series. So like those are, those are memes turned into whole shows.  And I think lots of people have done it. Well,  not lots of people, but the big people can do it. But I think there’s just so much opportunity to say, “I did this little funny joke” Or actually David Portnoy and bar stool with the pizza tasting. Absolutely. Like those are all one once. Nice. Yeah. One bite, you know, the rules, it’s like a p repetitive thing that people start to know and love and care about.

And then it’s like, it’s enough where you could story tell more where he goes around the world and does pizza. And I feel like everyone has the opportunity to do that. And they have the medium and tools to do it on their own channels. It’s just a matter of kind of having the foresight.

Will Smith is a hot topic right now, but remember he had the dad’s body coming out of COVID and he was like, “I gained all this weight.” I was like, oh, “he’s incubating IP right now to do a whole weight loss show. I thought he’d be like, I’m fat, and now I wanna lose the weight. And now I’m gonna take you along for the journey. And now everyone’s doing it with me, and let’s make a show out of it.”

If you think of it’s kinda like you reverse engineer the marketing of the bigger project.  So I feel like there’s tons of things like that. And it’s just a matter of looking for it and saying, “what’s your long term goal? And then how do we talk about that?”

And then what do people like that you talk about in that topic and then how do you sell that into a show? Your low barrier of entry is to try it out on social. And if it works great, keep doing it. And if it doesn’t work, cut your losses quickly. Everyone’s going to Netflix with their best and brightest idea to be like, “Make this show.” It’s like to be able to say this gets a million views every single time, once a week on Instagram, your audience is already baked in. That seems like they will say yes to that a lot quicker than a new idea they don’t know.

Karin on Process

So you’ve recently made the change to full-time entrepreneur. How’s that been for you? How do you invest your time and what are the biggest leverage points for you right now? Is it all about relationships? Is it really just telling the story of the success you’ve already had? I’m curious, like where you find your mind and time going in these early days.

It’s interesting when you start to kind of figure out, “Okay, now I have all the time to focus on this. What do I focus on?” I’m trying to keep the main thing, the main thing, just like the clients we have, make the best content for them, find them the best growth, and give them the best ideas. Because I think if you prove that out, everything else will come naturally. But it is a lot more time in building relationships, talking to people, what’s a brand we could collaborate with,  who’s a person we can collaborate with and kind of like getting that conversation going just being so new. I think the biggest fundamental shift I realize between a company and a brand is that when you’re working at a full-time job, everything is inbound. You’re trying to get through those emails. You’re trying to get Sarah from accounting the right thing at the right time. And all of a sudden, when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s all outbound. Like, no one’s coming to ask you for things. You’re asking everybody else for things. And I think that’s the biggest shift in mindset where you really have to be the one creating everything versus just the one executing everything.

And what feeling are you chasing? Is there a moment in the next year where you’ll be like, look, if I do that, job’s done?

For us, the biggest thing is when you do have those viral moments, it’s so satisfying. Because you’re like, “we made that idea. We brought it to life and people loved it” And it like grew the account and it got them on national news. And when you see also like when complex repost your post and you’re like, that was a great moment. And now people are seeing that athletes face more. They’re excited. And then there are big, like the big milestones, like we’re really close to dere being at a million followers on TikTok. Our other client, Richard Jefferson, his goal is he wants to get to a million followers as fast as possible. And we’re at 700,000 in less than six months. So when the person and the whole team are excited to get to those milestones. It’s really motivating to do that. It’s like when it finally all works and you see the success, that’s the good thing about social is this very instant gratification of your work every day.

So can you ever switch off from it? Because I, I gotta admit, like I love it, but sometimes I just need to get off IG for a week and just chill.

Yeah. It’s hard. I can’t lie. Everyone has like screensaver you’ve hit your daily limit of Instagram. It’s like I can’t really have that because between four clients you’re on it a lot for their accounts. And then whether you’re posting on it or looking analytics or a lot of times, I’m like, “I’m gonna sit down and just scroll on TikTok for an hour just to look for trends.” And so it almost becomes like now everywhere you go, you’re just like on social, on every platform. And it’s hard because you’re not necessarily enjoying it. You’re thinking of it. You’re right. You’re having to be creatively thinking all the time. So it’s hard. But I mean, I couldn’t do my job if I was, if I took a week off of Instagram or TikTok or something. I could, but I think I would fall behind. So that’s challenging.

Yeah. And so do you have a schedule?

Yeah. I mean, I feel like I’m trying to break the days into priorities. So it’s like focusing on each client one per day, like really deep diving into their strategy and then business development, one day accounting and bookkeeping one day. And then I’m trying to think and figure out like mornings are creative. Afternoons are like more executional. So kind of trying to figure out that matrix, but with social everything’s happening all the time. So as much as I’m trying to make the schedule, it’s like somebody will have something that you need to do right then. And so it’s a little bit challenging, but I think structuring it. And I also wake up, like if I wake up at 6:00 AM, like 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, then I get to do some like work uninterrupted and that’s where I would get a lot done. And the rest day you kind of have to be running and gunning and putting out fires.

As you think about the creative outlet, I’m curious, when you create a content calendar, what percentage is like, “Okay, great. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, we’re doing this type of post.” And then what percentage is, “this is hot this week. Let’s go” And like, how do you, how do you manage that with an athlete? I’m sure they’ve got a very rigid schedule. I’m practicing, I’m spending time with family. I’m doing my sponsorship stuff. How do you build that?

It depends on the effort level of each athlete. Richard Jefferson he loved, I mean, he’s really trying to get to that million followers on TikTok and we’re posting like three to five times a day on TikTok.

Oh, bloody hell. Like a lot.

Yeah. Where like a Deandre and I think it is okay for public figures to post a little bit less.  But we’re kind of trying to do like once a day or once every other day to, to kind of keep his account always on, but spread out the content. So we don’t go through everything quickly. So we kind of center it around big moments. So when you know, “Okay, it’s the NBA finals, that will be a big moment for the conversation around you around the account.” So let’s kind of stack and prepare content around that time period. Or Super Bowl or Playoffs or whatever it is. And then during the down times, like off season, you’re trying to bank as much content as you possibly can while they have free time. That’s content that’s evergreen that you could use for a few months. You’re kind of like scavenging/

And is this going to a Dropbox, a Google Drive, or an iCloud shared album. Where’s it going?

You know what? I have tried all the tools and I feel like the best thing is just like iCloud shared albums.

Yeah. Absolutely. Like texting.

Yeah. Because of content and files. I adamantly believe that iPhone content is gonna be the top performer. It’s proven out, but iPhone content does the best on all socials. It’s vertical video. So we’re not really like exporting from big cameras. On huge content days, we’re just like, it’s like iPhone clip, iPhone clip, and we’re putting those into shared folders and then we can kind of pull for them from them, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be like, “let’s have them all in because then you’re just double downloading, uploading all that stuff. So it’s very on the phone but there’s organization to it. Mostly just make sure you have all the content in one place. Every single clip from like a two second video to like a whole series. You need to have one place because then you can use it a bunch of times.

I feel like recently I’ve just been living in Canva.


Yeah. The Modern House is my favourite social channel. They’re a brand that I think tells a really beautiful story and it fits my aesthetic. And so just like building out that template with my brand palette in Canva so it’s always sitting there. But it’s tough because it takes time. You build those templates, and you’re like, “I got it.” But I still have to do the posting on the app. I still have to do the poll or I still have to do the link. So it’s crazy that there’s still such a manual element to social. And like as far as I know, there really isn’t a good tool where you can like pre-program stories like you can pre-program posts, but brands get caught out all the time. Pre-programming posts. And so I guess I’m, I’m curious, are you concerned at all about the scalability of what you’ve got right now?

 I mean even at every company, I think there’s ways to scale it where you get more efficient with your strategies. One of the things I probably could track where I’m working is based on the question of the week. The question of the week started at Uninterrupted, but it’s just like a graphic that’s a question. And then it just real like then the conversation is the real contents in the comments, the commenting. So like that’s a good one where you could just bank 10 questions of the week and then have those once a week for the year. So those are ones where like, “Okay, we’ve got one day down. Like things like that.” You can tweet cards so we kind of have those sometimes as tools to help scale certain elements of it.

But until the platforms change and I don’t even know if you can. Even at brands, I don’t ever really advise pre-programming because you never know like the current events what’s happening that day. What time is best? So it’s kind of preparing the content for the week or the month as much as you can. And then that day taking that hour to post it correctly that day. You can scale that. You can teach somebody how to program that post that one day. It’s the harder thing to think of the whole strategy. So that’s good for younger employees because you’re like, “You’re gonna do this. Figure out how to do this perfectly once a day.” And that’s scalable. It’s just how to put together the puzzle so that it’s happening the whole year round. But yeah, it’s challenging and I think you still can’t pre-program I mean on TikTok or Instagram, really you on TikTok, some of the filters and stuff, you actually have to record yourself live. So there’s a lot that you have to do and we find work arounds to how to do it without the person there or things like that. But that’s kind of the fun of it too.

That’s terrific. I’m curious if that’s gonna change because I feel like someone who figures that out is gonna be huge. But then I guess from the platform standpoint, like they’re selling off how much time people are spending on these apps. So I think there’s probably a strategic element there. But I’m curious, like if someone’s listening to this and they’re not an athlete, and they’re like, “I really like what Karin has to say.” Are you open to working with people who aren’t in sports?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, this problem exists everywhere.

So athletes are just your beachhead?

Yeah. Athletes are just the people and the worlds that I know their world the best. One of my clients is Jeremy VIN. He’s an actor. He has a podcast. I think sometimes people who have specific projects, it helps them understand. Like a podcast. Like I wanna make this podcast big.  That requires a full social strategy, but it helps them think about it in a little bit of a better way. But everyone, I mean, musicians have social strategists a lot because they’re so used to like album cycles and billboard cycles. Authors like to get on the New York Times Bestseller list. It’s like, absolutely. So it’s very applicable everywhere. I’ve had CEOs reach out to me. Like I wanna start speaking, but people aren’t booking me cuz they look at my Instagram and they don’t really know what I do.

I don’t want followers. I just want my Instagram to look like people know what I do. So I think right now athletes is I think a really good area of opportunity that I know the best, but overall I feel I would love to have a whole department that’s artists and actors and podcasters and CEOs. There are similar dynamics to each, but I think that’s why I get excited about it because I feel like this not gonna go away. It’s only become more valuable and people expect your channels to be your resume, to be an extension of who you are. And so if anyone needs help doing that, we can do it in a very small skill or a very involved long skill way.

Two questions on that. Do you think of yourself as an agent? And how are you reframing the current athlete-agent relationship? I would love to get your 2 cents on that. And then you mentioned the word value. How do you figure out what you’re going to charge? Obviously, there’s a time component to this, but looking at the value that you could create for somebody just off one Instagram that’s been reps over five or six years. Like how do you try and capture that value? That must be tricky.

It is. And that’s I think why it took me a while and I’m glad I didn’t go out on my own too soon. Because it’s a new space like that this role has not existed ever before and hasn’t been needed before. So it’s taken me a little bit of testing and learning to understand how to position myself.

On the agent component. I was worried when I first started that the agent would be like, “Get out of here. Like this is my world.” But I found out over time the agent’s actually really excited about it because it’s a space they don’t know. They know it’s important and they know it’s something that’s going to market their athletes. So I position myself, not as an agent, but more as a digital brand manager. How do we tell this person’s story the best so that more deals will come in for the agent? So the agent actually should be like a “rising tide lifts all boats”

They should be dragging you in.

Yes. And now I’ve seen agents are like, “We need you.” And then also there’s a lot of brand deals that require social deliverables. So they’ll be like is 10 posts or too much is should we do Instagram stories versus Twitter? How much should it be for a grid post? So they really like the support of how they should sell brand deals. And then when you show those different elements of their personality, they’re like, “I was just thinking football, but now we can do cooking. Like there’s 20 brands in cooking we could talk to or traveling. “And so it gives them more fuel to what they can sell to. And it’s very teamwork-based. I’m like, “Hey, by the way, this is blowing up, this post is blowing up. Maybe we should talk to X, Y, and Z, and sell something.”

But I think you could start to have a slippery slope into becoming an agent. You could start to overlap tasks really quickly. So it’s a little bit closer to like a PR agent where it’s like your job is to make them as big as possible and make them as relevant as possible. And then the agents are there to do all the brand deals. And I do think there’s an opportunity when it comes to incubating IP and bigger content-type deals. I think that’s where we can come into play, but I kind of keep a strong church and state so that we don’t. We know where our priorities are.

Yeah. I think it’s fascinating when you’re working on something and the language doesn’t exist. Because like digital brand manager, PR. Ot’s not really any of those things, but it’s an element of them. And I haven’t really come up with a better term myself. I like a storyteller in chief or resident storyteller, like something that denotes the thesis of what we’re kind of talking about, which is: be a human first and everything else we’ll build, but also doesn’t step on anybody’s toes. It isn’t forever. There’s a sunset period to it.

I’m just really curious. If you look at any company in the 2000s, social media manager, head of social weren’t job titles that existed. You can look at it the same as crypto now. It’s changed. And so I’m curious what part of the wave you’re on, and as someone who hasn’t done a lot of social but feels like they have a real story to tell, I kind of get stuck sometimes. Like I’m spending all my time telling other people’s stories. So who tells yours?

Yeah. I always have loved social personally and it’s very innate to me, but it’s hard when you’re thinking of everybody else’s stuff. It’s hard to think of your own. And then yeah. You’re like I am my own client, and I even think about how I should position this. So it’s hard to think of EV it’s easier when you’re looking for yourself where you’re like, “Oh, that’s funny. I wanna do that.” Except for being like, “That’s funny. So, and so could do it and then they could do it this way.” And then you’re the last on the list where it’s not gonna get to you. I’m thinking of the clients before myself. So maybe my Saturday should be my own content strategy day, but absolutely it does start to fall off.

I also don’t know the language. It’s hard. Like at uninterrupted, I was director of content strategy, which I think I like because it is the strategy of what content we create and why, but some people don’t get that. Social kind of pigeonholes you in a certain mindset. You’re creating content. You’re being a producer of content.  You’re being a marketing agent. You’re you, know what I mean? Like it’s so many things combined. I mean, if you think of something, let me know.

Yeah. I will. Well, we’ll work on it together. I’m curious to change up gears as we close. What’s something nobody knows about you?

Hmm. That nobody knows.

I always love asking this question.

I feel like if I could do something, I wish I could be like a comedian. Like, I love comedy. And I think I love social because there’s so many elements of comedy that are in it. And I think that’s where sometimes I’ll try to make things funny because I’m like, “Oh, this is really clever.” And I always love looking at comedian’s social, and I appreciate that a lot. So I actually did a, I did stand up once or twice. But if I had more time, I would love to do that.

I saw that you did Second City. Did you do that in Chicago?

No, in LA. When I had more time, I was like, “I’m gonna do a standup class.” 

How’d it go?

It was great. I loved it. And it just the same kind of thinking. It’s like, how do you yeah. Make something funny out of nothing. So I loved it, and it forced me to be very uncomfortable. And so I love it, but I don’t think many people know that about me. 

A good one. That’s amazing. Are there any foundational quotes, movies, books, or people that really guide your thinking and the way you live?

I love a lot of like psychology marketing books, but there’s one called Contagious, which is great. And it’s about the science of how things gain momentum. And it’s not necessarily about social. I think it was a little bit before the social wave, but it’s just about like, how do you make things sticky? How do you make it so that somebody’s excited to tell somebody about it? One example is when a new cheesecake restaurant opened up in Philly and they decided to do a hundred-dollar cheese steak, which had gold and stuff on it. But like that one item was the word of mouth that made everyone talk about it. Because as soon as you go, you have to leave and tell somebody about it. Right. And it became the most famous restaurant, like overnight, just because of one very shareable thing. And it’s just the science of contagious storytelling. So I love that one. I’m trying to think of like other quotes or movies or things. I’ll have to think about that, but contagious is really good. I love all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. There’s a lot of psychology that I really like.

You’re a true psychologist.

It’s very true. Right. Yeah. It’s like, why does someone like that? Why is that like hit so home to people? And so I, I think I use that a lot.

Subconsciously you ever get wrapped up in that? I, I feel like I get wrapped up in that as I like can overthink an interaction because of my ability to take it from so many different domains.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Have you ever done strength finders?

No, but I’ve done other personality tests.

I love strength finders and one of them is woo.

Woo. Woo.

My number two is woo. Okay. And I guess it’s very rare and very rare to have at the top, but it’s not woo. Like woo it’s woo stands for winning others over. Ah, and so the great thing about it is you love talking to people you’re like very social, the bad side of it is you can become obsessed with like making people like you. Yeah. Like if there’s the meanest person in the room, I’m like, I’m gonna make them my friend and that’s where I’ll like overanalyze, and I need them to like me. Which is kind of a bad thing sometimes. But the psychology it I love.

Amazing. Well, look, Karin, this has been amazing. Final question is if people have enjoyed this, how can they support you? Where can they find you? And what do you want them to do with the stuff you’ve shared today?

Overall it’s just like trying to think deeper about the value of social and the value that comes with having our own channels. Fundamentally. Yeah. I always say everyone has their own newspaper now their own TV channel. And it’s just a matter of whether you want to use it. And I think thinking that way and seeing that opportunity is a big shift and it will become the future. And then I think it’s just looking for people who maybe they’re not using that voice the way they should. I always am looking for people who have a lot of influence in the world that are not sharing that influence on their channels. And  I think if you see someone like that and you’re like, “this person has a lot of great things to say or great story to tell, and they need to do that, then come talk to me And yeah just be looking at that and seeing the opportunities in that. And I think Instagram’s probably the easiest way @karinthegarage. Otherwise, the content capital group website.

The hedge fund sash agency, as you said.

I wanted the name to sound like you can’t tell if it’s a hedge fund or an agency or secret society. Yeah. So content capital group.

Yeah. And I love that because now you won’t just be getting sent chin drips. 

Hopefully some.

But more people with a story to tell.

Yeah. So athletes entertainers, again like CEOs, anybody who just has something valuable that needs a better content strategy.

Awesome. Well, look, I hope we do this again. This has been a blast.

Thank you so much for having me. This was amazing.

My pleasure. Cheers.

Karin is the Founder & CEO of Content Capital Group.

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