Awesome People - Ep 74

creative, storytelling, go-to-market, video

Hi fellow founders and VC Friends!

Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know—the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, ops wizzes— who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable on a part-time basis.

Please meet Samay (and his team), your secret storytelling weapon and video producer 😎

This year, Samay launched ADMILK, a production company that created a kickass launch video for OnJuno (Sequoia-backed seed co). Over the course of his career, he has created a short film that aired at SXSW, grew a SaaS startup to $300K ARR strictly off cold emailing alone, and built interactive digital signage deployed at live cultural events like New York Fashion Week. Fun fact about Samay: when he was in high school, he ran some of the most influential viral meme pages on Twitter back in 2015, like Doge! It’s also his b-day today! Happy Birthday, Samay 🥳

Samay and co are trusted by founders backed by Polychain Capital, Sequoia, and 500 Startups, artists like JCole and Angelo Mota, and by film studios like Marvel and Disney.

You can hire Samay and the ADMILK team to inject soul into your brand through all kinds of creative content: from launch videos to animated social content. Not sure what you want? Not a problem. They’ll even come up with creative content roadmaps that create storylines around your startup.

Need some creative spark to level up your co? Respond to this email and I’ll intro you!

Samay was gracious enough to share some creative pro-tips with us here 🙌

Sell stories instead of products

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation to come.” — Steve Jobs, Apple

Gen Z buys into a brand before it buys a product. Create an impressionable brand by prioritizing storytelling and design. People need to genuinely care about your mission and values. Post thought leadership content on social media, build a community of like-minded people that share your values, educate and entertain your audience, and convert that audience into superfans by doing things that make them feel special. 

Here are some companies that truly understand the power of stories and brand:

  1. Content is a big part of 100 Thieves. They provide daily entertainment and allow you to follow the storylines behind their eSports teams. There are few gaming brands that value content, and the ones that do have the largest followings.

  2. Marty Bell used his viral radio station to launch Vacation, a sunscreen brand. He generated buzz by combining impeccable design with a nostalgic commercial to make customers feel special.

Don’t launch without creating pre-launch buzz

When the folks at OnJuno reached out to us to create an ad for their high-yield checking account, the first thing that came to mind was medieval times. Nobody likes big banks and nobody likes monarchies. 

The narrative ad we made for OnJuno helped them reach 2M pageviews, a ton of love, and attract over 500+ active members to their Slack community. Most startups make generic explainer videos saying, "This is how you use your product." That’s too cookie-cutter. Take a more impactful approach by telling a story, while also being informative.

We gave OnJuno a modern personality and put it up against antagonists. We showcased the bigger picture behind the tyrannical old-school banking industry. People got behind the relatable narrative.

The most promising go-to-market launches foster conversation, create an emotional response, and motivate specific actions. They create champions for your brand. You need to be a movement for change. Be something bigger than yourself and the company you’re building. 

Establish a brand early to have an excited audience when you’re ready to ship. This will accelerate your path to PMF! 

Data kills the art of advertising 

Focus on storytelling over vanity metrics. Too many companies settle for stacking up quantifiable wins on paid marketing. They forget the other half of the game. They chase vanity KPIs instead of focusing on what really matters: high-quality conversions, lifetime value, and creating advocates. Brands that consistently articulate convincing narratives convert customers. They attract the best early adopters, talent, and investors. 

Generic content saturates feeds. It’s easier than ever to stand out. Take advantage of this moment while everyone else follows the same formula. George Lois, the brain behind this ad that made Tommy Hilfiger a household name, once said:

“I always use the term ‘seemingly outrageous’. You should look at something and think it’s a little crazy... Great advertisements make food taste better, make cars run better. They change the perception of everything.” — George Lois

Tell stories instead of selling products and services. Make your brand stand out by doing something “seemingly outrageous”. 

Need some creative content? Respond to this email and I’ll connect you! 

As always, let me know if you have any questions and if you want an intro to any of the folks in this email (including the PS section 🎉). 

Stay awesome,

Julia Lipton

Founder of Awesome People and Awesome People Ventures (join the syndicate here!)

If you liked this, ❤️ it below. If someone forwarded this to you, sign up here 💌

Awesome People continued 🔥

Most recent features

Eryn - Rockstar EA and founder. Eryn has over 20 years of experience as an EA and founder and now runs an EA agency. She has worked with founders at companies backed by Techstars, Founder Collective, Kleiner Perkins, and more. Since their first 6 months in business, Eryn has grown the co 9x, expanded it to 7+ countries, and provided service in 4 languages on referrals alone.

Elizabeth - Co-founder relationship coach. Over the course of her career, Elizabeth has helped countless early-stage founders backed by a16z, IVP, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Initialized Capital, and other top VCs. She is kindly offering a 10% discount to the Awesome People community for co-founders who signs up before Q2!

Anna - Marketing queen. Anna recently started her own marketing business after 10 years in corporate marketing. Before that, she led marketing at Elevate K-12 (education co that’s raised $23M+) and Fooda (Lightbank and 500 Startups-backed co that’s raised $34M+). She's trusted by Accenture, Groupon, and Signalfire, where she’s an advisor for the firm’s portfolio companies. 

Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you!

Part-time opportunities 👀

Want to make some extra $$$ and work on interesting projects? The Awesome People job board is filled with awesome flexible advising and consulting roles. They’re perfect for fun-employed folks, self-employed folks, and moonlighters!

That’s all for now folks ❤️ 🚀 ❤️