Jessica Rantala, who has made a career in the financial sector, founded Content Corner, a media agency specialising in influencer marketing, together with 13 other influencer women. Rantala has been writing a lifestyle blog for more than 10 years, where she encourages investing and talking about money.
The influencers’ company was not born out of spur of the moment, the idea was nurtured many years. The women, who got to know each other through their blogs, worked as sole entrepreneurs and decided to start by getting a joint office space.
“We came to the conclusion that by also combining our businesses, we can achieve more synergy benefits. The others talked me into becoming our CEO and I thought that I cannot pass up such a great opportunity,” says Jessica Rantala, CEO of Content Corner, founded in spring 2021.
In influencer marketing, companies make use of influencers’ own channels to promote their brand, products or services.
“When a well-known influencer recommends a product or tells about a service they use, people are able to relate with it better than if the same message were to come directly from the company,” says Rantala.
Brand matching at the core of influencer marketing
The founders of Content Corner are among the pioneers of influencer marketing in Finland. They have a strong understanding and vision of the field. There is desire to raise influencer marketing to a new level.
“In addition to influencer marketing concepts, customers often want even more comprehensive marketing solutions, which we are also able to offer. We bring the customer in direct contact with the influencer – without middlemen. It makes a huge difference in the final result, when the influencer is involved in the planning of the campaign from the beginning,” says Jessica Rantala.
According to Jessica Rantala, a brand match is a key factor in influencer marketing.
“For example, an influencer emphasising responsibility cannot get involved in a fast fashion campaign. It’s a bad match. Cooperation also stems from genuine interest of the influencer.”
“In the case of many companies, the product is good, but there is nobody to conceptualise it and to give advice on how to launch the product.”
We at Content Corner want to work with other industry operators to ensure that influencer marketing is seen as a natural part of marketing. Large companies are already used to buying influencer marketing.
“They understand the process and know that we report results very precisely. The customer receives detailed information about what the cooperation has cost and how the results have been generated. There is still work to be done with small and medium-sized enterprises in order to increase awareness,” says Rantala.
Attention to contracts and finances
Entrepreneurship has surprised Jessica Rantala positively. Although there are 14 partners, their cooperation works well.
“There is no idle talk. Things get done. It has certainly helped us that we knew each other from before and we went over things thoroughly in advance.”
Content Corner engaged an external law firm to assist in the discussions and in the conclusion of the partnership agreement. Rantala considers it important that things are done by the book.
“You should think about the longer term and make all agreements in writing from the beginning and make sure that the minutes actually exist. It’s easy to disregard these things when you are excited about starting a business with your friends.”
“It’s important that any hesitations are openly discussed and everyone feels comfortable in voicing their misgivings.”
For a professional in the financial sector, a realistic budget is key. Jessica Rantala reminds starting entrepreneurs that cash in-flow must be secured well ahead to cover the fixed expenses.
“Even if you don’t care for Excel, you need facts and calculations to be sure you’re doing okay. It’s not enough to trust you gut.”
Already in the first six months, Content Corner has landed dream customers and the targets in terms of turnover and growth are high. The influencers also have a softer goal: supporting small entrepreneurs, especially women. In this case too, words will be put into action. The influencers have already conceptualised a series that highlights entrepreneur women in their surroundings.
When there is more than one entrepreneur
Maria Korpisalo, Business Advisor at NewCo Helsinki, encourages to consider these three things:
1. Go over the set of skills needed before the company is founded. What kind of expertise is needed to implement the business idea? A good business idea is not enough, its implementation is the key to success. From the perspective of entrepreneurship, working together must be based on complementary skills and common goals.
2. Think carefully about the division of tasks and prepare profitability calculations. In a company founded with friends, the profitability requirement is higher, as more people have to earn their living from the business. The ‘everyone does a bit of everything’ thinking rarely produces the desired result. In a team, everyone’s strong suits must be harnessed for the benefit of the company, and tasks and responsibilities must be clearly defined.
3. Agree on ground rules in writing. A written partnership agreement sets out the rights, responsibilities and obligations towards each partner and the company. The partnership agreement secures the operating conditions of the company in the event of a conflict between the partners. The agreement must be drawn up and signed before the operations begins. It is advisable to make use of an expert in drafting the partnership agreement in order to ensure its validity.
Support for entrepreneurship
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