1- Hello Jay, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a serial entrepreneur, aspiring real estate developer, and investor. I’ve always been interested in the big names of our generation and the irony of how they use unconventional methods during their claim to fame. After going through some hard times in my late teens, I used that as motivation and a foundation for the company I am now putting together The 407 Group. The 407 Group is structured like a private equity firm but is actually a digital media agency. We recently developed and sold the iOS app, High-Speed Wings. Now, the wholly-owned assets under The 407 Group management include the Tails Casual Outfitters brand, FactoryDirectUrns.com, and our most recently launched software – Zenfluencer (obviously a combination of Zen and Influencer), a time-saving marketing automation tool.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
My company specializes in everything from viral marketing to real estate investing. Our core focus is anything and everything digital, but we also are actively looking for securing our investments with real estate purchases. The reason for this is because we are part of a pivotal generation. Online assets have minimal fixed costs and with scalable advertising, you can get a high ROI. The downside is a lot of the online trends are short-lived. So, by focusing on online assets for our main source of revenue while also specializing in real estate you can turn that potentially short-lived capitalization into a long-term real estate play.
3- How do you describe your journey in few words?
Like a rollercoaster.
Building one brand is tricky… simultaneously building multiple brands in different sectors at times seems impossible. But it showcases the potential The 407 Group must offer – we’ve started brands across various industries from the ground up, so our knowledge can add serious value to existing companies looking to grow their brand.
4- Can you tell us about “Zenfluencer”?
Yeah, Zenfluencer is an app we’ve developed to help solve brands never-ending problem of having a million things to do and not enough time in the day. If you’re stressed about everything that comes with starting your own company or brand, social media marketing shouldn’t add to that stress. We’ve streamlined social media marketing to the point that we can manage an account in 1/10th of the time it traditionally takes, which equates to 5-10 more hours every month to handle the zillion other things on your agenda.
5- Where do you think you are making an impact?
The biggest advantage of using Zenfluencer is saving time, hands down. We actually help generate our clients’ better results, in shorter periods of time, because Zenfluencer is more than a service, it’s a platform for marketers to come learn the right way to post for business. A lot of people use the same tactics for their business pages as their personal pages, and that’s why their results are lacking. If aren’t looking at your page from the eyes of your target customer, you won’t connect with them at the right level – and that’s what our platform helps to teach people.
6- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working to launch “Zenfluencer”?
There was a lot, at first. But I’d say the hardest part is that a lot of people have a stigma towards marketing automation, or that they don’t believe they can save that much time on their social media marketing. I understand where they are coming from… You ask yourself, marketing and sales is a very personal experience. How do you automate that while saving time and while generating better results? We really are changing how people market online. Currently, brands are spending 15 minutes or so finding the right content, writing a good hashtag, typing out 20 hashtags, every single day from their mobile device. Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to be able to spend 5 minutes mapping out what you’re going to post that month, 10 minutes collecting the entire month’s pictures, then 15 minutes scheduling the posts to be uploaded every day?
When you start looking at marketing as a monthly chore instead of a daily one, you can really start to build a better marketing strategy and save a lot of time doing it.
7- Where do you see the platform in the next 5 years?
Marketing automation is still in its infancy, so if we can roll out our platform effectively I don’t see why we aren’t one of the big names in the space. While we are only on Instagram at the moment, we have plans to expand into the other major networks as well. We’ve had talks of making the service completely free and bringing revenue through ads on the educational side of the platform. In that case, people could use the service however they want, but to really master it they learn from us and we use that to sell ads. But we are just getting out of the gates, so we are just analyzing our users to see what they’d like the platform to be.
8- What can you tell young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams?
The biggest thing is just to keep grinding. I can’t tell you a number of times people have tried to convince me not to do something. A lot of the times, I probably should have listened. But it’s the times when you don’t listen and have the balls to do something different in which rare opportunities come from.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m just excited for the future. We’ve got a lot of kinetic energy right now that is just starting to be put to use. After years of building up these brands and ideas, it’s nice to finally see some it coming to light. But all of that to say, there’s a lot of work to do and we’re just excited to keep the ball rolling.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
Thank you so much for the time today! Really excited about everything we’ve got going on and glad this interview gave me the opportunity to speak out about everything The 407 Group has in store, like the launch of Zenfluencer. I’ve also been working on a book that should be available in the next few months so be sure to look out for that.