Dr. Jeremy Weisz 4:12

So tell people about Mavely and what you do.

Peggy O’Flaherty 4:15

Oh, sometimes I think I actually am one of the best jobs in the world. Mavely is basically a technology company that brings together all kinds of brands. And women I think you said something like 25 or 30,000. We are now over 60,000 women. And our women actually tell brand stories across social media. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok across blogs, and even in their circle, because we believe that a woman can have influence even though she may not be an influencer. And by doing so she can really impact brands, brands, their fourth quarter goals, their sales objectives, and even just their mission.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 4:59

Women have Most important. Peggy, let’s talk about an example. I’m tied works at Procter and Gamble.

Peggy O’Flaherty 5:07

Yes. Procter and Gamble has had very successful types of campaigns. And we see their campaigns. You know, on TV, we see their campaigns at the grocery store. We see them even on social. But cam. Procter and Gamble has a particular new product. They were trying to drive awareness with a particular user. And although they tried influencer marketing, and they tried some digital marketing, they had a very specific niche that they came to me and said, Peggy, we really want to find like a soccer mom or a hockey mom, or people who have a lake house and they have towels, they get kind of musty smelling. their product is one wash miracle has some very specific science around it that handles musty odors. So I went out for them and I found 75 women, connected them to the brand, the brand did kind of like a live commercial, a training session to inspire them and educate them. And then those 75 women went out onto social, they started sharing those brand stories and what makes that product unique. It drove a ton of user generated content, brand awareness and ultimately sales. That tide has now hired me three more times to run other types of campaigns with very niche kind of personas and products.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 6:21

That’s amazing. So how does someone like tide or Procter Gamble find you just because you’ve been around in the industry?

Peggy O’Flaherty 6:28

No, we’re actually I’m at mayfly is less than three years old. And we have done no real marketing or advertising. We haven’t been we have been asked to speak at several conferences because what we’re doing is very different than influencer marketing. It’s the idea that like women under 10,000 followers, like what I always say is like real moms and real dads who like we did a one for a Sunday lawn service. It was like lawn care. We just found dads who love their lawn. And they try to product they

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 6:57

talk it’s not me but yeah.

Peggy O’Flaherty 7:00

And it was able to drive a lot of authenticity of that brand story. And so through things like your podcast, I have met so many direct consumer brands, startup brands, service brands, as well as you know, actual products that come back to mainland say, I think for Black Friday, Cyber Monday we’d like to use your team of women.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 7:25

So do you also then there’s women are there men influencers? Like you mentioned the lawn as well?

Peggy O’Flaherty 7:31

Yep. 20% of the our community is men. And we started with a lot of women my age, so there were like 40 to 50 year old women or on Facebook very quickly, we grew through an audience of like the 32 year old first time mom on Instagram. Then we did a growth hack with a bunch of college kids. And we grew the 18 to 28 year old market on TikTok Snapchat. And that has been an increase the amount of growth and conversion because you know tik tok is more than just dance videos. It’s a huge channel right now, in some ways competing with YouTube, and videos that educate people on products and services.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 8:11

Coming about how it works. So a brand’s like we need to get in front of like you said, soccer moms, whoever they come to you.

Peggy O’Flaherty 8:20


Dr. Jeremy Weisz 8:20

What’s next?

Peggy O’Flaherty 8:22

Well, I’ll give you another example. There was okay. If you know right now during COVID and the pandemic, so many people bought pets. Yes. Okay, we all needed to pay COVID dogs Yeah, totally. Right. What they did is it actually really drove up the demand at the veterinarian office. So there is a company called pop pa WP is basically a virtual pet visits, you know the pet, not only pet insurance, but more pet like health care. They, they solve that problem. If you bring your pet right now into the bed, you could be a four hour wait or you have to just drop your dog off and you then get your dog back two days later. So they do this all virtually. So they knew there was a huge demand, they just needed to tell their story bigger and faster. So they came to me and they said, Peggy, we’d like to have like 100 women who would get a month free of our pet insurance and our virtual pet visits. And for those that love it, we’d love for them to go out across social and tell that story. So we went ahead and we found 100 women they got the pet insurance free for about a month. They tested it with their cats and their dogs and you know all kinds of animals. And then they started doing posts so they did a combination of the brand pic, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok where these women did video, educating consumers on why this is a viable solution to an in person bet visit ended up driving so many clicks and people who actually signed up for the service that that particular brand has continued to use this for future services going forward. So those that’s an example of the brand will come to us with a need, we create an activation plan. We give the women a product, we educate them, we activate them, and then we ultimately optimize the way that they’re working. And drive further sales and brand awareness from there.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 10:19

That’s pretty cool. I want to talk about how brands can take advantage of the fourth quarter. I mean, now we’re entering in the fourth quarter, you know, if you’re listening to this, you know, because people listen this like three years from now, it could be any time. So I mean, obviously, this could help drip drive sales at any point. But right now we’re in the fourth quarter e-commerce company, specifically, we have stuff coming up. How can people take advantage of more in the fourth quarter?

Peggy O’Flaherty 10:45

Well, he marketer estimated that this fourth quarter and Black Friday, Cyber Monday all the way through December is going to be exceeding $10 billion. So anybody that is listening to this call that has a product or service to sell, I would love to be able to help them get a slice of that $10 billion. So what we know is you can do all kinds of marketing and advertising. But what we can do for them, is actually pick a time frame leading up to, obviously, in this hot season, activate their brand, if it’s a fashion brand, beauty brand, a clothing brand, all those things that are really shoppable, even something like mint mobile, which is a mobile solution that people are looking to create efficiencies with their mobile solution. That can be something that can be promoted over the holiday season, in video in static posts, and it’s not only a like kind of like a billboard, or broadcasting across social media, because one user, you know, one person on Instagram that’s in our community has anywhere from 10,000 to 250,000 followers. So if we do a campaign for somebody, we typically can reach 250 500,000 or 1.2 5 million people by doing our campaigns. Does that make sense?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 12:08

Yeah, that’s that’s pretty, pretty amazing. How did you meet your co founders? We have Sean O’Brien, Evan Wray.

Peggy O’Flaherty 12:15

Tim Connors, who was the investor in my last company, Tim and I wrote this business plan about three years ago, we knew that there was two problems that needed to be solved. One problem was directed consumer brands that were looking to acquire customers at a lower cost. So we knew that there was Facebook and Instagram, Google Ads continue to rise. So we wanted to help brands acquire customers at a lower cost. The second problem is, we know that there’s an awful lot of women who talk about products that they like. And if I can give those moms I always like to say, but it’s not all moms, if I can give those women more money back in their pocket, so they can spend more time at the dinner table with their kids doing homework and eating dinner, then I’ve done a good thing. So how can we help bring women together where they can earn a residual income, while we can also bring together brands through a technology platform that creates links across shows social that converted our higher rate. So Tim, and I came up with that idea. And he offered me about $250,000 to get started. And I said no. And then he offered me about $600,000 to get started. And I said no. And then he came back at about a million dollars. And he said, Peggy, why are you saying no. And I said, You know what? to really do this? Well, I need to strong business partners. I need someone who is completely strategic and can financially manage the books for me. And I need a strong technology officer. So he brought me Evan Wray, and Sean O’Brien. And the three of us started with an MVP. And we that we actually it was our first time we started was the fourth quarter of three years ago. And our sales went through the roof. So from there, we ended up raising $2 million. We’ve been off and running. And actually we were just recently acquired.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 14:02

You were Wow, congratulations.

Peggy O’Flaherty 14:05

We’re not changing what we do, because obviously what we do is working. But we can now will now have an opportunity to impact this on a more global scale with a $3 billion business, which I can’t yet talk about. But you’ll see

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 14:17

I was gonna ask, can you talk another week? I don’t want you to say anything you can’t say. But that’s congratulations with that. And how does the acquisition help you? From a structural standpoint? It sounds like there’s a lot more resources. What else? I’m sure there was a decision of Should we keep running this ourselves or take that?

Peggy O’Flaherty 14:41

Well? No, I mean, it was it was really something that when we first started the company, the name was a million moms, because we wanted to impact a million moms telling brand stories. So we’re at about 60,000 and this is going to give us a chance to hit that million moms much faster. On a global perspective, but the company that purchases does a lot of manufacturing, so they have so many additional brands that we’ll be able to support. And really what we created is that we’re really a tech company. We’re really a tech company that brings the brands and women together to create the integration with the shoppable links across social. So that’s really kind of the secret sauce. And really, what, what, what this acquisition has provided us is, most likely, we’ll see it immediately in our reach will be able to take our technology integrated into their community and their brands, and all of a sudden create massive growth for them. And then we’re going to get the additional resources that we need, so we can continue our mission.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 15:45

Oftentimes, with an acquisition roles change for the founders, how is yours? Maybe it’s too early to tell, how is yours gonna change.

Peggy O’Flaherty 15:55

If you know I’ve been through a couple of acquisitions before and very quickly, they’re like, we don’t need the founders anymore, we already have a good thing going. And this one, this company has been amazing. And they’re really we’re here in Chicago, we’re not changing our name, we almost we’re not even going to do a press release, we’re really just going to keep it completely under the radar because we’re operating as our own company, and they’re giving us complete free rein to go do that, which is amazing. And it’s super exciting. Now, you know, something may change. And right now the brands that I get to work with, I’m super excited to, you know, help them hit those fourth quarter and 2022 goals.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 16:29

That’s great. So I mean, part, you know, co founding and partnership is like a marriage. When you met Sean and Evan, even though they’re introduced you, you trust him, you still have to do some vetting. I mean, people set up people on dates all the time, and it does not work out. What was it about them that you say, okay, like, I’m willing to, to do this with you guys?

Peggy O’Flaherty 16:54

Well, part of it is, I think, knowing myself, and I’m 52 years old, and I am a mother of five. So those are two big priorities for me is maintaining, and I’ve done several startups. So startups can be really hard, right? And a lot of

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 17:06

feel like you should have more, you should have gray hair, like with what you’ve been through a lot

Peggy O’Flaherty 17:10

of sleepless nights and a lot of stress. And I didn’t want to sacrifice my children in the process of startup. So I needed to find, what I’m really lucky is both my partners and actually our entire team is in their 20s, I have a ton of energy. And they view social media and technology in a way that’s far beyond even what I can imagine. So but it’s also been the hardest probably relationships of my life, because they’ve pushed me to accelerate my growth around processes, operating procedures, ways to scale a business that I had not really thought about in some of my past companies, some of the key to success for business is about the numbers, right. And then I’ve been able to help balance them with a bit of wisdom about the other side of businesses relationships, and operating within your core values. And having empathy in addition to you know, your EQ is as important as your IQ. So I’ve been a little bit more of the heart space and the people part of the business and the face of the business where they’ve done a great job of helping drive forward the scalability,

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 18:20

probably helped to Peggy it seemed like they had a successful company and a successful exit with with Swift Media too. So they had real experience in the space.

Peggy O’Flaherty 18:32

Yes, and then to be in your 20s and to have already sold the three companies. That’s why Evan and Sean were both rising stars under 30 years old by Forbes magazine.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 18:42

How do you you, it seems again, you put together this amazing advisor group for the company, talk about some of that, and, you know, maybe a lesson or advice you’ve gotten from Tim Connor.

Peggy O’Flaherty 18:59

Yes, Tim Connors has given me so much great advice. But if you look at like our advisory board, and we have obviously somebody who’s very strong, with a proven history of success in tech, which Tim is we also have people that are in this like e-commerce direct selling direct to consumer kind of space. We also have people that are, you know, the breadth of investing in other direct consumer kind of companies where they understand the needs of those brands, which means they also have connections and reach. I think some of the best advice that Tim has ever given me was probably around the idea of never undervalue, valuing your EQ, the idea of having empathy for your customers, for your employees, for your business partners, because every single one of us brings baggage to work. You know, and then every single one of us goes home with the the the heart of our business apart. of our family, but it cannot consume and overlap and, and take over the relationships within our marriages and our children and the ways in which we serve in the world. So Tim has really encouraged me to keep a balanced life, but never underestimate the importance of empathy and EQ for success.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 20:19

How’d you meet Haley?

Peggy O’Flaherty 20:22

Haley was when we were looking to do another round, starting line out of Chicago, we wanted to really and we wanted to have an investor here in Chicago, which is where we’re located so that the three of us as founders could meet with like a bank, have smart investors, who would challenge us. So every single month, we sat down, and we would go through our KPIs, and our okrs, and we would really show, here’s where we’re going. Here’s some of our success this month, here’s where we’re having challenges where might need we need help. And then they help hold us accountable to our long term and short term goals.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 21:01

I love it. And then how do you choose it looks like from the page, there’s six advisors on the website? How do you choose six as opposed to four opposed to listen, let’s get to more people, I think that’d be good. How do you how’d you come to those people in that number?

Peggy O’Flaherty 21:21

Well, very specifically, we, we wanted people that wanted to be a part of this, regardless if they were any kind of an equity holder of any sort, that they really cared about us our mission and where we were going, and they were willing to share their knowledge to help us grow. And, you know, obviously, if there’s things that we could do to help benefit what they were doing in their own, you know, businesses, we obviously were doing that. But typically, you know, somewhere between three and six advisors is about as much, you know, input that you want, based on the size of where we were at, to get the accountability and the kind of intellectual property that they have, you know, their their knowledge so that we can apply it to what we were doing, and where we were going.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 22:06

How do you structure advisor meetings? I don’t know. Do you do on a one on one do you group?

Peggy O’Flaherty 22:13

Well, Evan does a lot of our advisor meetings. And so he does a lot of one on ones. But then he also sends a quarterly update about basically every aspect of the business.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 22:25

I love it. So what I want to do is last question, Peggy. And first of all, thank you, thanks for sharing what you do it’s pretty amazing and I love you really help relationships at scale, you know, brand relationships with the people who love the brands. And before I ask the question, Where should people go I know people can go to joinmavely.com that’s one site is joinmavely.com. Well, should we point people online to learn more?

Peggy O’Flaherty 22:58

I would love it if people would like to actually review my LinkedIn page. Peggy O’Flaherty and you’re welcome to also email me [email protected] Ma, v e l y dot life. And we can set up some time to review what are your brand goals for the fourth quarter or 2022. And I’m certain I can curate the right men or women within our community to tell your brand story.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 23:25

What type of companies are ideal.

Peggy O’Flaherty 23:28

So you know, on social media, I mean for lack of a better way of saying it. It’s really sexy to talk about haircare skincare, makeup, clothing, shoes, jewelry, that’s a big thing that people are buying for the holidays, right. And we do a lot of that fashion beauty haircare skincare. But the other thing is that there’s a lot of service businesses that I love telling those stories like pop the veterinarian services. We recently signed a deal with Amazon. So AWS cloud services wanted to get the message out that AWS cloud offers free training and certification, but people don’t know about that. So we wanted people to tell those stories. We have another company called sprout. It’s basically a new way to do life insurance. So we’re telling their story. So there are service based businesses. Another one is big, a lot of home cookware, lifestyle lawn products that really need because they’re not maybe as sexy as lip gloss and makeup, but they need people to be telling their story to drive that brand awareness. And so we’re really good fit because nobody is really doing b2b, micro influencer marketing.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 24:40

Love it. So last question, Peggy is, you know, over the years in your career, your wealth of knowledge and I’d love to hear resources that you love, whether it’s a book like some of your favorite books, it could be just a software you like or all the above.

Peggy O’Flaherty 24:57

Oh my gosh, okay, a couple books one, there’s a great book called Hooked. h o o k, Ed hooked, Hooked is all about how do you make your product your brand go viral. A lot of people will get this book hooked and say well things like social media like Twitter, or Facebook, you know, that creates addictive habits. Okay, you can say that, but their products also went viral. So hooked is one great book. My other great book I love is called the Messy Middle. Everybody needs to read this book. Because when you first start a company, it can be so romantic and exciting. You have tons of energy. And when you sell a company, there’s a lot of sleepless nights, but there’s a ton of energy and it’s exciting. But in the middle, that’s where the hard work happens. And it’s hard. So I read stories about like, fresh green and Netflix. And it’s a lot of great examples of recent companies that you’ll hear they’re messy middle. My last book that I really recommend is called oh my gosh, it’s called the Pope and the CEO. And it’s about how do we take in business, our faith and and apply it in our core values across the relationships we build.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz 26:14

I love it. Peggy, I want to be the first one to thank you everyone, check out Joinmavely.com and we’ll see you next time.

Peggy O’Flaherty 26:22

Thank you.