Jessica Ruhfus will be speaking at #Radlivn festival on Saturday 11 March. A unique event made to inspire you to do what you love now. Speakers, Live Music and Rad Like-Minded people coming together to get inspired, share their dreams and celebrate livin’ life to the raddest.
Jessica Ruhfus is the Founder & CEO of Collabosaurus, a matchmaking platform for brands. Her passion for creative brand experiences moved her from a background in fashion PR and small business marketing to developing a partnerships platform for brands of all sizes. She believes that when brands partner up, incredible things can happen. The likes of GoPro and Redbull, Spotify and Uber, and Samantha Wills and Yellowglen sparked the idea of Collabosaurus, which now facilitates connections for product, social media, referral and event collaborations. Jess now runs entrepreneurial events around Australia, is a marketing consultant for over 20 brands in the fashion, lifestyle and food industries, and runs the Collabosaurus platform for over 3000 members. Jess has also spoken for Apple, General Assembly, The Collective Hub, ADMA & The College of Event Management.
Can you tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Apart from Tinder being super popular at the time Collabosaurus was born, I saw the benefits of partnerships and collaborations through the marketing jobs I was working. We launched in 2015 to help small businesses and startups spark collaborations with brands all over the world, essentially doubling their marketing capacity for zero budget.
I was 22 when I came up with the idea, so I was happy to jump into the risk. I knew I was onto a good idea that would mean great, time-saving solutions [and huge marketing impact] for brands of all sizes.
Could you explain your business model to us?
Collabosaurus works just like a dating site for brands. It’s free to list a project & browse your matches anonymously, however, if you want to make connections, you need to be on a paid subscription.
Subscriptions start at $30 for up to 5 connections per month, and the Business or Pro plans now offer access to the CollaboHub (a resource hub with email scripts, legal agreement, templates and fortnightly strategy calls).
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next year?
We’ve only just launched our new offering, the CollaboHub, which acts as an extension to a Collabosaurus Business or Pro subscription.
It looks to support brands in their collaboration efforts beyond purely matchmaking, so businesses of all sizes can confidently play a bigger game.
The CollaboHub helps subscribers secure dream deals with email scripts, such as ‘how to reach out to a dream collaborator’ ‘how to ask for a better deal’ and ‘how to get an event sponsorship’
It supports the negotiation and deal phase with legal agreement and contract templates, thanks to our partnership with Law Squared. This feature significantly reduces the chances of a collaboration agreement turning sour or becoming an unfair exchange. Legal documents help startups and small business play a bigger game, particularly when dealing with large businesses who have a legal budget.
In addition to these features, there are resources for marketing help, including fortnightly calls to generate great ideas and give advice on marketing campaigns. We have also partnered with Stocksy, Moo Printing and Startup Creative to offer amazing business-building deals and discounts as well.
How do you make ideas happen?
I’m fortunate in that I’m still operating as a startup, so I have flexibility on my side. I’ve only recently got more comfortable delegating and outsourcing tasks so that I can focus on the things that I’m good at.
Have mentors played a role in your business life?
I am lucky to have some incredible mentors around me! I think that a variety of mentors with different skill sets is what can make all the difference in building a business. It’s ridiculously valuable to get different perspectives on problems and support from people who have ‘been there.’
Can you explain what a typical day looks like for you?
There is no such thing! Today it’s mapping out the next 6 months worth of content in The CollaboHub, following up on some press opportunities, a private marketing consultation, working with the development team on making some design and feature changes, and creating processes documents for new employees.
I work well late at night, so I try and structure my calendar to avoid crazy early mornings, but the only real typical aspects of my day are checking emails + getting a coffee first thing!
Is there one idea you can share with us that you are willing to give away for free?
Look at what other players in your industry are doing to command attention, and go elsewhere.
When I started Collabosaurus, not many tech companies were taking advantage of Instagram – it was all Facebook ads. I preferred the Instagram platform and got in early, and now we see more than 70% of our sales come directly from Instagram marketing.
What companies do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
I think our partner’s Law Squared are a great company to watch. They’ve made law accessible to the risk taking, budget conscious, entrepreneurial market with an out-of-the-box business model and a killer team of young guns.
I think that Who Gives A Crap are doing great things locally too with engaging, unique artist collaborations that build buzz and create a ‘limited edition’ vibe around the brand. Love them!
Can you recommend 3 websites to our readers?
Do you have any opportunities for people to get involved with your idea?
Yes! We’re always on the hunt for bright minds.
We’ll also be kicking off a fundraising round in April, so I’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in Collabosaurus! [email protected]
What is your favourite café or restaurant?
I have SO MANY.