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21 Jun

Ep. 47 – Connor Blakley – Entrepreneur, Adviser, Speaker and Youth Marketing/Branding Strategist

Connor Blakley – Entrepreneur, Adviser, Speaker and Youth Marketing/Branding Strategist; Engagement & Authenticity; Understanding GenZ.

Segment 1: (Length :05:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Connor Blakley and his journey as an entrepreneur thus far; starting several businesses before the age of 17; Why companies miss the mark at marketing.

Connor’s finer points:

“It’s funny when people ask because they’re expecting my journey to begin a year ago, but I truly feel entrepreneurship is a DNA trait and it started when I was 6.”

“When I was 10 and 11, instead of me doing lemonade stands and standing outside, I used to have all my little friends run them and then I would go play video games and come back in a couple of hours and pick up the money.”

“When I was 12 / 13, I did the whole football card, collectible trading. When I was 14, I almost got expelled from middle school for starting a homework starting network.”

“My dad, who’s an entrepreneur as well, told me, ‘Listen, you need to find a way to bring actual value to a business’, so that’s when I felt social media is a great gateway to get started.”

“So I basically started my first social media agency and ended up helping 50 small to medium sized businesses across the United States and Canada. I did that for about a year and a half. After that, I didn’t want to become known as a social media guy.”

“I need to leverage my age and my marketing experience to have greater impact in solving problems.”

 “85% of people under 21 don’t trust the marketing done by brands.”

“Companies are interpreting the data wrong and then it gets messed up in the sales and marketing strategy.”

Segment 2: (Length :07:00) – Talking with Connor Blakley; Engagement and authenticity; Understanding how to speak to Gen Z.

Connor’s finer points:

“I don’t think followers matter. You can have the attention but it’s what you do with it. What value are you bringing to them to make them convert.

“For those that don’t know, ROI means return on investment. Well that incubates a marketing and advertising of talking at non-engaging, all of that, cause they’re only focused on monetary rewards and they don’t value their consumer.”

“I flipped the acronym to Return on Interaction to the belief that selling to a friend is easier than selling to a stranger. And not only will your friends buy your stuff, but they will also advocate for you. Not only on social platforms, but the best marketing inspires word of mouth.”

“As much as you have these ‘gurus” who are saying that they know all this shit, you can’t go to anyone anymore. Not only that it’s so clouded, but it’s moving so fast. Gary Vaynerchuk could say one thing and the next day it’s something else.”

“I think it really comes down to being real. Well, two things actually. Realness and coolness. The second something is uncool, they won’t deem it worthy of their attention. And the second something isn’t real, then your fake and who would want to create a relationship with someone who’s fake to begin with.”

“The reason that Aeropostale or Abercrombie is failing is straight up advertising and customer experience. Gen Z has grown up in a world where we saw our parents go through a recession, constant world wars and attacks so we don’t necessarily believe in that ‘perfect’ aspect that is the American dream.”

“So brands that are portraying that perfect scenario lifestyle, we’re just sitting there and saying, ‘What even is this’. I can’t put it into words.”

“Treat them (GenZ) like adults. It sounds crazy but GenZ is the first true digital native generation. Millennials embraced technology as they got older, but GenZ is the first generation to where they grow up taking a selfie, texting their friends and ordering a pizza all at the same time.”

“They don’t know a world without a constant streamline of information, mostly personalized to them. This is why I preach engagement so much is because when you engage with someone, it’s specific to them.”

Segment 3: (Length :07:00) – Differentiating in a world of ‘gurus’;

Connor’s finer points:

“I’m 17!

“People ask me all the time, ‘Why are you different Connor? Everyone has marketing experience. What makes you different?’ I fully believe that purely based on the fact that, experience aside, purely based on the fact that I am 17 now and I am GenZ. You can’t have a 40 year-old saying that he knows what a 17 year old, 14 year old, 13 year old is thinking.”

“The whole thing with the void between the data and the marketing strategy is the reason that brands don’t know how to communicate with us and they’re losing. It’s because they have people that aren’t GenZ interpreting data that doesn’t mean what it means.”

“I think the influencer marketing space is on the uprise. It will probably be one of the most influential pieces that the industry could possibly move forward. Gen Z already has this relationship with these influencers.”

“What resonates with every single person? Coolness and kindness. The point of all human relationships is one connection.”

Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

“If you don’t know why you do what you do, you’ll never be able to exceptional at your craft. Find your driving force, pour gas on the fire and let it propel you towards success.”

– Connor Blakley


Connor Blakley – Entrepreneur, Adviser, Speaker and Youth Marketing/Branding Strategist

  • Connor Blakley is a serial entrepreneur, adviser, speaker, and youth marketing/branding strategist.
  • Connor was featured as the ¨#1 High School Entrepreneur to Watch in 2016¨” by StartUp Grind, and deemed a ¨business phenom and tycoon¨ by Inc. As well as a ¨youth marketing and branding expert.¨ by Forbes.
  • Connor helps personal brands and companies position themselves to better connect with GenZ in order to create lifelong brand loyal consumers. Connor works alongside a North American Gen Y & Z consultancy, Intercept Group, who supports brands like Microsoft, 3M, 7-Eleven, Unilever, Toyota, L’Oreal. Together, we help brands connect with Gen Y & Z consumers.
  • He also is a highly sought after speaker. He has spoken at schools, conferences, and companies on various topics including entrepreneurship, youth marketing/branding, and social media.
  • Previously Connor ran a social media consultancy that he grew to over 50 clients in North America as well as many non-legitimate enterprises shut down by his school before he turned 13.




Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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