Jeffrey Nicholson is the co-founder and CEO of Tracer, a data intelligence platform built to solve complex data equations. Jeffrey is a serial entrepreneur with a 15-year track record of building and scaling businesses across multiple fields, including advertising, media, and technology. He holds the unique privilege of running the first-ever ad via the global API on Snapchat, along with serving on advisory boards for Roku, Pinterest, and Nextdoor.
Tracer Website – Your engine for answers. Take back time and control.
Jeffrey’s Instagram – Follow Jeffrey on Instagram!
3 Value Bombs
1) The biggest factor of being successful is mental will power.
2) What is measured gets improved.
3) When you invest in the valued relationship with your partners and clients, they will recommend you.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Empowering Businesses Through Data with Jeffrey Nicholson
[1:24] – Jeffrey shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- The biggest factor of being successful is mental will power.
- Being disciplined is the most fundamental and biggest thing you can do in order to be successful.
[2:13] – Tell us about your journey to get Tracer started
- Jeffrey pitched the idea to Gary Vaynerchuk 7 years ago.
- Gary partnered with him for 3 years, and they split the company 3 years ago.
- Now Gary’s company is one of their best clients.
[4:05] – How do you make tracer not boring, but relevant, and how does Tracer stand out from the comp?
- Tracer provides service where you can aggregate the data of your business to make better decisions for your company.
[5:30] – What is the specific problem that Tracer is trying to solve?
- Tracer solves a lot process problems across a wide spectrum of businesses.
- Understanding and identifying problems by having your businesses data in one place in huge.
- What is measured gets improved.
[11:02] – How do you choose your partners and clients?
- Think of reputation. The goal is to cherry pick the right person where we can add value to them, and them to us.
- They take reputation retention and management seriously.
- When you invest in the valued relationship with your partners and clients, they will recommend you.
- Jeffrey shares an example about one of their clients, Good Life Clothing.
[14:33] – How is Tracer empowering businesses to make better decisions?
- Every aspect of business is very important – how you spend your money, technology, processes, etc.
- We diagnose the data equation, study the processes, and we replicate the process in less time.
[17:31] – Jeffrey’s parting piece of guidance.
- Jeffrey challenges every business owner – in a good way – to make sure they know their data equation and feel that they have full control of it.
- Make sure you understand how you are measuring success and the decisions you make.
- Tracer Website – Your engine for answers. Take back time and control.
- Jeffrey’s Instagram – Follow Jeffrey on Instagram!
Who's ready to rock today. Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like a business infrastructure today, we'll be focusing on empowering businesses through data with Jeffrey Nicholson to drop these value bombs. I have brought Jeffrey Nicholson into EOFire studios cause he is the co-founder and CEO of Tracer. A data intelligence platform built to solve complex data equations. Jeffrey is a serial entrepreneur with a 15 year track record of building and scaling businesses across multiple fields, including advertising media and technology. He holds the unique privilege of running the first ever ad via the global API on Snapchats, along with serving on advisory boards for Roku Pinterest in next door.
And today foundation, we'll talk about Tracer and the problems that tracer is solving and how this can benefit you. We'll talk about partners and clients and how they can make or break a company so how you can choose them wisely and how you can just make better decisions overall. And so much more. When we get back from thinking our sponsors have an idea for an online store, but stuck because you don't have the courage or resources to take action that stops today. It's time to turn your e-commerce idea into reality with the idea to store contests, for details, visit www.ideato.store today that's www.ideato.store. Interested in B2B sales strategies.
0 (1m 29s):
The salesman podcast is the world's most downloaded B2B sales podcast, hosts, wheelbarrow, and helps sales professionals learn how to find buyers and win business in a modern, effective and ethical way. I recently tuned into Will's episode on digital body language, how to have better zoom sales meetings. And I love how he provides a relatable example. So the strategies are easy to understand, listen to the salesman podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. Jeffrey say what's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
1 (2m 1s):
What's everybody Jeff Nicholson here. I don't know how many people would disagree with this. I know some do, but I believe that the biggest factor of being successful is mental willpower. I think there's a lot of different reasons people claim, but for me, you know, focus in fortitude on, on how you apply yourself every day. Being disciplined is fundamentally the biggest thing you can do to be successful
0 (2m 26s):
And Fire Nation. As you heard from the introduction, this is a person who has found his share of success. So we're going to be talking a lot about that specifically empowering businesses through data. So your company tracer, Jeffrey has quite the story. So why don't you tell us about this journey to get tracer started?
1 (2m 49s):
Yeah, absolutely. So Tracer is a data intelligence platform and the founding story is pretty interesting. I actually met and pitched Gary Vaynerchuk, I mean seven years ago at this point, almost on two really simple principles, one building a immediate department inside of his already very successful creative agency. And then two simultaneously incubating tracer, which we used to call green man coat in Hong Kong, named green man inside the media department, knowing that we would eventually split the business out. And lucky enough, Gary is a, you know, Savage entrepreneur and, and you know, both a mentor and a great business partner. And he was, you know, excited to go on the journey with us.
1 (3m 31s):
So, you know, we did that, ran the company for three years in stealth. Then we split it out as a separate entity under the Vaynerchuk umbrella and continue to assign different clients, including other agencies and, and then officially have split it out. And now we are, you know, kind of a completely separate entity, but they are, they're one of our biggest clients and close partners.
0 (3m 52s):
Savage is definitely a word I would use to describe Vaynerchuk when it comes to all things entrepreneurship. I mean that guy is just 100% beast mode, 100% of the time. And I got to get my, my a hat tip to him for all of that stuff. Looking forward to his new book that's coming out actually. And it's a little disappointed though. He did say it was his best book ever, where he featured me in his most recent book before this crushing it. So I was kind of hoping he would think that was his best book ever butts. Apparently he's, you know, whatever he's working on, that's the best thing. I can't blame him for that at all. Now let's just call a spade, a spade Jeffery, I mean a data intelligence platform built to solve complex data equations.
0 (4m 39s):
That is the one-liner of tracer and sounds pretty boring. How do you make tracer not boring but relevant for our listeners? And how does tracer stand out from the competition
1 (4m 51s):
To your first question? I really try to explain it in very simple terms so everyone can understand even, you know, someone's grandmother. So we talk about everyone's business as a data equation. And if you take a very simple e-commerce equation, let's say they use Shopify, they advertise on TikTok, and Google and Facebook, you know, that's four different partners that you need to ingest data. And then for what's happening right now, none of those companies talk to each other. So you need, you know, a process or a product or both, or people, usually all three to aggregate that data and then make sense of it. So you can drive insights and make better decisions for your business. And so that's their equation, right? One source plus two plus three plus four. Now, when you go to a very large business, the equations get extremely complex.
1 (5m 35s):
They could be buying from a thousand publishers. They probably have three creative agencies. They will have an internal marketing team, an external marketing team, and you have silos and segmented data and, you know, fractures all over the place. And so we try to be the glue in between so that people are operating in an efficient and effective way to drive their business. So what I want
0 (5m 56s):
To do is really dive into specifics because I feel like that's how our listeners are really going to get to what you do and why you do it. And all of that jazz. What is the one specific problem that you are
1 (6m 9s):
Not just trying, but actually solving for people that have these specific problems like you have the solution, what is the specific problem that you are trying to solve? A lot of this problem. And, and I've been in this space for 15 years, ran ads for a very long time is that people are mostly doing this still in Microsoft Excel with humans. And the process is extremely slow. It's extremely costly. And so we're solving a process problem across a wide spectrum businesses. We deal with fortune one hundreds. We deal with small e-commerce companies. We're agnostic to the business problem. We just want to add value. But if you look at I'll give I'll go through those two examples and give specifics, you know, if you have any commerce company, that's, let's say, you know, 10 million to $25 million in top line revenue using Shopify, there are difficulties understand correlation between how they spent money on advertising, both in physical aspects, like a billboard or online, and then tied to their revenue data.
1 (7m 6s):
Especially if they're also going to have a brick and mortar store, which might use another POS system. So you're joining mult multiple services to basically understand, okay, what is working or where am I best performing? And you might identify that, you know, a certain product and skew is outperforming in a certain area, and you want to translate that into your creative and then double down on that performance. And then when you go to large scale businesses, a lot of it is simple collaboration when you're running 200 or $500 million in north America. For example, you're likely using one to three agencies to run that media and those companies hate each other. They're actually direct competitors. And therefore it's very difficult for you to have a collaboration across, you know, frenemies in this case, on your benefit.
1 (7m 49s):
And also have everybody operate on the same data sets on continuity and consistency. So we solve kind of different problems for different scales and sides of businesses, but it all boils down to having your own data in one place and having something set up where you can understand what's happening.
0 (8m 4s):
And there's a quote that I've always lived by. I think it's a Peter Drucker quote, which is what gets measured, gets improved. And so many people are just blinds. Like they don't even know what's being measured in the company. They have no way to actually have any kind of irrelevant data at their fingertips. You have no way to compare it to one month, three months, 12 months, they have no idea how to compare it to their competition. And it's just like these individuals that are running these companies are the blind leading the blind. I mean, they're just literally moving from one thing to the next, without any real idea without any north star, without any real data. And this is really interesting Fire Nation because the people that are going to come out the other side are going to be people that really had their finger on the pulse of all of these things.
0 (8m 50s):
And we're going to be breaking down a few things in this area. And more when we get back from thanking our sponsors in order to grow your business bigger, faster, and stronger, no matter what challenges come your way, you need a solid team in place to help support you. What else do you need an effective way to unite that team and the flexible and customizable HubSpot CRM platform can help you do just that HubSpot is continuously adapting to the needs of businesses with sales teams like yours, with brand new updates and features. And what they've just rolled out is something you should be very excited to check out. Not only have they created business units that allow you to manage contacts, marketing, and sales assets, they've made these settings available across multiple brands.
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0 (10m 58s):
So Jeffrey we're back and something that I feel like you've done really well as you've chosen great partners. And you've worked with great clients. I mean, we talked about Gary Vaynerchuk and your whole experience, you know, with VaynerMedia and just what a Savage partnership that's turned into because of all the awesome ramifications that come along with that type of partnership because partners and clients, I mean, they make or break the company literally. So how could you recommend to base off your success and experience Fire Nation choose their partners and clients?
1 (11m 33s):
I think people need to remember that your reputation is dictated on your decisions. And that includes who you work with, who you invest in, both on the client and the partner side. You know, if you go to our website, we're, we're actually invite only for a reason because we want to cherry pick the positions that will, we can add value. And also the, you know, the client feels like we're adding value well, and it's a mutual relationship of, of growth and respect. And I think a lot of companies tend to focus on sell as much as often and as possible we take kind of reputational retention and management very seriously, and how we drive the business. And I think that's paid dividends. And, and if you invest, long-term in your, the, the value creation for your partners and your clients, typically, they're going to recommend you to other people in similar positions and other opportunities.
1 (12m 21s):
And, and we have the benefit of, of completely growing organically based on, you know, what we've produced. And, and I think how much we value the relationships that we do invest in.
0 (12m 29s):
So let's really maybe give an example or two of a way that you've gone ahead and chose a partner. And then let's give an example or two of a way you've gone about choosing a client. This kind of made sense with this philosophy.
1 (12m 42s):
I'll use a very simple one. Good life is, is one of our smaller clients. Actually, they're an e-commerce business. That's mostly sells t-shirts and other kinds of like men's and women's essentials. And we chose them as a client because at the time of our business, we wanted to learn about their specific business model, knowing that there's a lot of businesses like them, that could probably use the services we provide and make sure that we're finding tune, you know, fine tuning our product so that we want to go very large scale commercially, that we're confident. And, you know, we're respecting the opportunity to work with these businesses because they don't have necessarily as much money as let's say, a fortune 100 and every dollar they spend is important.
1 (13m 23s):
And the price point we're going to charge for them is probably going to be a big deal. And so, you know, we chose them because the, the CEO's who have become good friends are great people. They have a, a really good kind of foundation around their brand and wanted the assistance. It was an opportunity where we could add value and it was just very mutually beneficial and something that, you know, we've grown a lot from as a product and in partnership with them and continue to get deeper with their business and have replicated that success with other businesses. And so I think that goes back to my initial point around, you know, reputational management. We took the time to come out with a product that was adding value to a business that a lot of other people, you know, struggle with in certain aspects. And, and I think that's paid dividends.
1 (14m 3s):
And then, you know, as far as partnerships, the one that I would probably talk about is making sure that you focus on the core players that are most important to your clients. So, you know, we've heavily focused on Google, Facebook, Amazon Tech-Talk et cetera, because we believe that those partnerships are imperative to our success and making sure that we're, you know, bringing top tier service to our business. So it's also based on the strategy of what you're going to deploy on, on where you invest your money and time as well.
0 (14m 30s):
This is only as good as this decisions Jeffery. So how specifically is tracer empowering other businesses to make better decisions? I mean, what are a couple of the examples? And again, if you need to keep the business name anonymous, we get that. If you can share it, of course that's even cooler like you did with good life, but what are you doing specifically? What is tracer doing specifically to empower businesses, to make better decisions?
1 (14m 57s):
All of them, it's just business decisions. So you talk about decisions or everything, you know, how you spend your money and that's including, you know, technology product time. Every aspect of that is extremely important. So one of the simplest ones that I love is a lot of the classic global fortune 500 are spending millions of dollars on processes that are a waste. And that is as simple as humans in Excel. And so one of the proudest moments I have typically is we'll take a report. You know, we've had this multiple times over where we go in and we diagnose their data equation. We walk through their processes and they'll say, this report takes us two weeks and four people, that's a lot of money. And when you can replicate that and now produce that in the matter of 10 minutes or even two minutes.
1 (15m 42s):
And that person gets literally two weeks of their time back or four weeks or whatever that report may be representative to their time. That is amazing because it's validating, it's simple to prove. And it's something that shows companies that you're creating more value for them, where they can reinvest in other areas that are probably going to drive growth, as opposed to, you know, what I, I joke is drowning in data. And then if you look at, you know, some of the more e-commerce based companies are product oriented companies, showing them their purchase, skew density and giving them insights on what products they might want to test in their seasonal marketing or what they want to think about on color variations and how they drive their, their even product.
1 (16m 22s):
Innovation is something that, you know, is really fun to watch and, and something that we've had a big impact on as well.
0 (16m 27s):
I mean, think about that Fire Nation. Think about people on your team who are spending so much of their time doing this work, this potential repetitive, this potential, you know, questionably useful, but it's just, th they're literally they're drowning in data. People, maybe aren't even looking at the data. And it's just stuff that doesn't have to be like done by these individual, these four individuals that Jeffrey shares that are just spending all their time doing it. I mean, these people you're paying salaries, benefits all these different things. When you could be utilizing these individuals for actual profit producing activities. I mean, this can make and break a business that makes and breaks businesses every single day.
0 (17m 9s):
Literally. So Jeffrey, with everything we talked about, what is the one key takeaway you really want to make sure our listeners get from everything that we talked about with tracer today, with the problems you're solving with the partners and the clients and the decisions that we're making, what is the one key takeaway you want to make sure we really walk away with, how can we connect with you in your company, any call to action you may have for our listeners. And then we'll say
1 (17m 38s):
I would challenge every business owner in a good way to make sure that they know what their data equation is and feel like they have control of it and make sure they understand how they're measuring success, how they're measuring the decisions, they, and that that is independently controlled from all the partners and kind of the players and the people that they operate in because everything's going to change. But the reality is you're still responsible for your business and therefore you need to have control on what kind of works and what the,
0 (18m 3s):
So how can we connect with you, your business, any call to action you have for us
1 (18m 7s):
Tech has our website feel free to send us a form if there's an interest from a business owner perspective. And then, you know, at Jeff J. Nicholson on pretty much every social platform. So anybody wants to hit me up, feel free to
0 (18m 20s):
Fire Nation. You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with JN and JLD today. So keep up the heat head over to eofire.com type Jeffrey in the search bar has shown his page will pop up with everything we've been talking about here today. Links to all that jazz Jeffrey, thank you brother, for sharing your truth, knowledge, value bombs with Fire Nation today, for that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
1 (18m 45s):
Thank you so much. Appreciate having,
0 (18m 47s):
Hey, Fire Nation today's value bound content was brought to you by Jeffrey and Fire Nation. Are you ready to rock your very own podcasts? We'll if so, check out our free podcasting course, where I will teach you how to create and launch your podcast for free freepodcastcourse.com. I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side, have an idea for an online store, but stuck because you don't have the courage or resources to take action that stops today. It's time to turn your e-commerce idea into reality with the idea to store contests, for details, visit www.ideato.store today that's www.ideato.store.
0 (19m 29s):
Interested in BDB sales strategies. The salesman podcast is the world's most downloaded B2B sales podcast. Host will Barron helps sales professionals learn how to find buyers and win business in a modern, effective, and ethical way. I recently tuned into Will's episode on digital body language, how to have better zoom sales meetings. And I love how he provides a relatable example. So the strategies are easy to understand, listen to the salesman podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.
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