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Podcast Episode 22 – Merging UGC With Shopping Experience | Miguel Schalk – Swyper

podcast-episode-22-–-merging-ugc-with-shopping-experience-|-miguel-schalk-–-swyper
Podcast Episode 22 – Merging UGC With Shopping Experience | Miguel Schalk – Swyper

We’re thrilled to present the latest addition to Afluencer’s content lineup – our podcast series featuring insightful conversations with influential brand owners. In this inaugural article, we have the privilege of introducing Miguel Schalk, the visionary founder of Swyper, as our esteemed guest.

Miguel Schalk, the innovative mind driving Swyper, takes center stage in the Afluencer podcast series. With a wealth of experience in the world of influencer marketing, Miguel shares captivating insights, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his brand’s journey.

Podcast Premiere: Delving into the Swyper Universe

Join us in exploring the enchanting world of Swyper through the eyes of Miguel Schalk himself. We’ve embedded the riveting YouTube podcast video below, offering an exclusive glimpse into the transformative power of influencer marketing.

Also, listen to the Afluencer Podcast on:

Key Takeaways

00:00 🎵 Introduction to the podcast and guest, Miguel Schalk.

– Miguel Schalk’s background and introduction.

– His journey into building the Swyper app.

– Balancing college, work, and app development.

03:37 📱 Swyper’s Evolution and Vision.

– The initial concept of Swyper as “Tinder for shopping.”

– Focusing on the fashion and beauty niche.

– Transition from the like/dislike feature to swiping and the rationale behind it.

– Current features of the Swyper app and the influencer section.

– Influencer collaboration and their role in Swyper’s growth.

07:01 💼 Collaborating with Influencers on Swyper.

– Influencer collaboration process and profile management.

– The role of affiliate links and product promotion by influencers.

– Swyper’s approach to working with influencers and gathering feedback.

11:55 🚀 Future Plans and Enhancements for Swyper.

– Improving the shopping experience, including testing products through filters.

– Integrating user-generated content seamlessly with shopping.

– Enhancing the influencer experience and providing a unique platform for content monetization.

16:46 📢 Collaborating with Swyper as an Influencer.

– Criteria for influencers interested in collaborating with Swyper.

– Benefits of having an app profile for influencers to showcase products.

– Opportunities for influencers in the Beauty and Fashion niche.

18:34 🇵🇹 Closing Remarks and Timezone.

– Wrapping up the podcast with Miguel Schalk.

– Brief discussion about Portugal and Lisbon.

– Miguel’s upcoming exam and work schedule.

19:45 📚 Managing College and App Development.

– Miguel discusses his balancing act between college, work, and app development.

– The importance of keeping things moving forward in the development process.

– The early response to influencer collaboration applications.

20:13 💬 Personalizing the Influencer Experience.

– The value of personalizing influencer collaborations.

– Brett Owens highlights the benefits of having Miguel on the podcast to connect with potential collaborators.

– Miguel emphasizes the importance of user engagement and feature suggestions in product development.

21:34 🌐 Finding Swyper and Miguel on Social Media.

– Information on how to find Swyper on social media platforms.

– Mention of Swyper’s presence on Cora.

– Encouragement for users to follow Swyper on Instagram and engage with the app.

22:02 📱 Closing Remarks and Contact Information.

– Wrapping up the podcast and providing contact information.

– Mention of the Swyper app’s spelling (with a Y) for clarity.

– Emphasis on reaching out through Instagram for inquiries and messages.

Transcription Insight: A Peek into the Conversation

Gain an insider’s perspective as we burrow into the transcription of our engaging conversation with Miguel Schalk. Discover the strategies, anecdotes, and wisdom that have fueled Swyper’ success, all captured in this in-depth transcription.

In Conversation with Miguel Schalk, Founder of Swyper:

Brett:

Welcome to our influencer podcast where we talk influencer and creator marketing. Especially the latest collab so that our influencer in April and her friends can apply know about them. Today we’ve got a special treat fellow founder and fellow bootstrap. So we’ve got Miguel Schoch, who is the founder at Swiper, a new app with some collab and influencer type opportunities that we’re excited to talk about here. So Miguel, welcome. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came up with the idea for Swiper or.

Miguel:

Hybrids by everyone? And first of all, thank you so much for having me on. It’s a really nice opportunity. So thank you for taking the time as well and going on about myself. So pretty much I’m. My name is Miguel. I currently live in Portugal. I’m Portuguese as well as German, and I was born and raised here. I’m 23 and yeah, basically, I mean, I started about three, three or four years ago to get into Swiper, the app that we’re building.

And pretty much since a young age, I always try to find something to do on my own. In this case that I found some people to to help me along the way as well. But that’s pretty much it. I mean, I’m I’m currently studying for my bachelors in business management as well. At the same time while trying to to build the app as well and and working at the same time as a customer advisor at the moment.

Brett:

Oh, there you go. Yeah. You got all the habits going on. Is this you know, that’s something I always wish I would have done. My goal is to start something in college. I didn’t start until after, and then I went back to my school and I noticed I just saw the resources that some of the students had. And I wish I would have started sooner.

Is this your first app or have you been at it for a while? I mean, three or four years. That’s a nice track record already with Swiper.

Miguel:

Yeah, well, I mean, and it’s definitely like that, let’s say maybe too long of a time, but just from the point of view of like, I mean, I also tried some other stuff at the beginning, but mainly I was like trying, you know, the reading books and trying to learn stuff. And the app was like three or four years ago and it just took us like longer than supposed, let’s say, to build it out.

Because also at the same time, we’re trying to, you know, doing the regular, let’s call it life right work and college as well. So so that’s why it’s just taking us a bit longer than usual. But our focus is to learn as much as possible with the process as well as a team. So it’s me and two guys at the same time.

So yeah, I mean, yeah, that’s great.

Brett:

No, I think and honestly, I would maybe ignore some of the kind of tech crunch press and stuff in terms of timelines, because in my experience it always takes four years no matter what. I don’t think that gets reported a lot. I think you hear about like these success stories where they start like last year and raise a ton of money.

But I don’t know my experience. I was talking with another founder at a networking event down in San Francisco, which is not too far from us, and he was in year four of his current company and we were in year four of April and saw that point and we just kind of were like, Have you ever had something to work with for the fourth year?

And no, like we had and and I think the main we’d had five or six companies. So yeah, I think you’re doing great and that’s usually it’s that year for where it starts to go. So I think just kind of hanging in there is awesome. And it sounds like you’re right on track in terms of like perfect timing, looking at the influencers, getting ready to go.

So can you tell us with that a little bit more about the app, how it’s evolved, what it does today, how it works?

Miguel:

Right? So basically also to give a bit of a backstory on that. So in terms of the idea itself, which again for us building this throughout four years, it’s not really our main focus of like the idea of being something crazy. We just started with something basically, and the first thing was like I was just typing in brainstorming ideas on my own and I believe I was at the movie theater, Earth Theater at that point, and I just wrote down like randomly Tinder for shopping, you know, like just and my idea was like trying to mix that with shopping.

So we started out with like the swiping right and left to say if you like or dislike a product. So we started with that. We started to draw out like the basic concept and in my, my CTO, in this case, my technical co-founder said, okay, this is doable or not. And we adjusted with that and then we had to decide as well of like where we wanted to go.

And in terms of like the products, right, that we wanted to to build on. And we went for fashion at the beginning because for us it was like, okay, we want to capture as many people as possible. But and we quickly understood that maybe going a bit more specific would definitely benefit us, you know, in the perspective of like branding of, you know, talking to the customers.

So we decided to go with like mainly woman fashion and beauty in that sense. And of course, mainly from the point of view of, you know, it’s an audience that probably is usually more hyped about fashion and beauty in that sense, you know, so so that’s why we went for that specifically. And again, at the moment we changed that like and did like feature to like a more swiping motion, just like Tik Tok or Instagram reels, which is definitely working in those areas.

So we, we said, why not? Let’s try to implement that because it’s a really fast paced way of using an app, right? And as we know nowadays, people are used to things going really fast. The attention span is really short as well. So we we thought that should be our way of going through the app as well. At the moment, again, the app is live, we build it out the last years and around like one month ago we got to the version of the app that we have at the moment, which is like has the features of like, you know, swiping through thousands of products from different brands between fashion and beauty.

And we’re at the moment trying to implement the influencer section, which is also live at the moment. So again, that’s why we’re we signed up for, for influencer to try and see if we can organically as well in some way start chatting with some influencers and see what their feedback is as well and hopefully as well onboarding some of them to the Yeah, we’re basically going on that as well.

They will be able to display up to eight products, their favorite products in the fashion and beauty scene and earn commissions on on those products as well. So, so that’s basically the goal there.

Brett:

Yeah. Very cool. So is that a separate user log in, if you will, for influencers or do they just have their own way that they can use it and that anyone could use the app as an influencer? What are your thoughts or plans or current use case?

Miguel:

Yeah, right now. So it’s a good question. That would definitely be the the best way to do it. I mean, we definitely wanted to go there where they can actually log in and manage the entire profile on their own or even through the app at the moment being because we wanted to deploy it like as fast as possible to just see what happens.

We’re basically managing that on our end. So basically, once we connect with an influencer, we just ask for the products and the respective affiliate links they might have already or not, or if they just wanted to, you know, promote those products, they don’t have to have those affiliate links. And at the moment they just provide us that and we will build out the profile for them and also adjust and update the profiles as we go as influencers ask us because it’s not a scalable thing at the moment, but since we’re like at the beginning, I feel like it’s a good way for us to to get to get it moving, you know?

Brett:

Yeah, makes sense, right? You can get the you can get it going now and then you can always automate that. Yeah. So that’s cool. Are you actually hooking them up with the specific affiliate A referral links for each of the products. So like you’re going and chasing down pay for this product that’s through this brand. And here’s the affiliate link.

Miguel:

No, no, it’s totally up to them. So basically, they’re the ones that decide which ones, as long as, of course, they’re fashion or beauty products. Right. Because I mean that’s that’s the concept of. Yeah, right. Yeah. So yeah, that’s the audience that we’re trying to bring on the and, and so basically as long as it’s within that range it’s totally up to them.

They can promote, we can put the image and we can change everything. That’s not a problem at all.

Brett:

Yeah, got it. Very cool. Very cool. Yeah. Yeah. So how do you see that in terms of the evolution? Then we’ll get back to the influencers in a moment. But in terms of that shopping and consumer experience, I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the swipe. I mean, it’s funny how our attention spans, I guess they are what they are these days, right?

Everything’s lightning fast where I mean, I thought it’s funny, swiping is faster than just hitting a light button. Right? That’s so like doing this is too slow. You got to do this, right? Swipe up or swiped. So do you see that heading that way in terms of the end user experience, in terms of shopping, are we looking at, hey, I want to buy that hat and I’m swiping, it’s in the cart and it’s gone.

What where do you see that in terms of trends? Yeah.

Miguel:

So, so here basically what we’re trying to do from a general concept of like also attached to our vision for the future of the app, because again, since we’re bootstrapping, of course what we have is basically what we’re capable of building out at the moment, right? For the last years it’s mainly focus on like bringing together the user generated content together with the whole shopping experience as well.

So there’s basically one side to it, which is like we definitely want to improve and revamp, let’s call it the shopping experience itself. This could be, as you mentioned, just stuff like this, the mechanism and how fast it is to actually go through products and then to your wish list, send them to friends. Adam Directly buy them even.

And then also an interesting part, which is definitely also actually the present already in the future for sure, which is like being able to test products as a filter, right? Because we’re also already seeing that’s mainly with, for example, shoes that you can just open up your camera and test those shoes on, on, on yourself. Right. And that would be a really cool thing to do as well, for sure.

With beauty products mainly, for example, like makeup and all that. And as time goes and those filters and also now with a of course it gets better and better, it would be definitely something that we will love to implement on the app as well, because if you can just swipe through products and instantly test them out on the app with your camera, I feel like that would be a change in the way people shop, right?

And give brands a whole different opportunity in that sense. So that’s the part of like the shopping experience and of course some other stuff that might come. And then from the user generated content part of things, it’s again, it’s that thing of like being able to, you know, just at the same time as you’re entertaining your, your viewers, right.

And people that decide to follow you, you can also monetize it how it’s been done in other platforms. But here we also want to try to get more of the approach, like it’s just a regular thing, like just ask people, watch influencer stories. They just always have some way of going through the products that the influencer was using on that story.

You know, instead of being like that too much pushy way of doing it through like ads and having to say, this is an ad and this is that, you know, so we’re also trying to touch on that side as well as the spectrum. Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah, very cool. Yeah, I know there’s always a there’s always a million things to do and want to build. Right. And sounds like you’re doing the right thing. You just prioritize and you focus on that early use case, right user base of fashion beauty in your case. And you just kind of go and I think you’ll be surprised also with bootstrapping because yeah, it feels a little slow at first, but within a few years you’ve got the advantage of being able to kind of stay lean and you logically think through things and sounds like you’re making pretty good progress today.

And I think that’ll that’ll continue to accelerate for you. And then you see some of some of the venture funded companies as they get a little mocked up where you don’t know who’s making the decisions. That’s right. So, you know, I think it’ll I think it’ll continue to pay dividends for you being bootstrapped. I think that’s yeah, that’s.

Miguel:

That’s that was Yeah. Sorry to interrupt you there. That was totally like what you said was like our vision from the beginning. It was like, look, we’re young, right? I mean, we still have so much to learn. Why not, like, just start building this out, right? Since we do have, like, let’s say, the advantage of time in some way and see what happens from there.

You know, we will never lose whatever we build because we learned with it as well. And working mainly as a team as well. So now we’re at the point as well, as you mentioned, of looking into as well, like, you know, starting our pitch deck and see what we can do there since we have the more decent and clearer vision of where we want to go.

And now in the next few months, hopefully next few years, as you mentioned, we can also have maybe hopefully some better and more robust infrastructure to actually build on that vision, you know?

Brett:

Yeah. So yeah, honored. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Just you doing it on your own as long as you can. Sometimes you find that as you keep going and you start to monetize it and then you don’t need investors, which is when they’ll really be knocking on your door because it’ll drive them nuts that they can’t invest and swiper right.

Or you don’t, you know, you don’t need them at that point. And there’s nothing that drives an angel or DC more crazy than when you say, Hey, thank you, we’re not looking for signing right now. Keep in touch then I really want to talk to you. And I said, with all this action on the influencer side of things.

So then so tiny things back like that on the use case. So we’re looking specifically for beauty and fashion influencers. Sounds like maybe the micro or even nano influencer, just the high engagement, right? The people are hustling out today, great content and they’re really focused on the beauty, maybe skin care, fashion, clothing. Is that fair to say in terms of that, what you’re looking for?

Miguel:

Yes, for sure. I mean, again, since we’re at a pretty early stage, right. In the sense of traction and, you know, engagement and downloads themselves as well, it’s like we’re mainly the most value we can get even from collaborations at this point is really even the feedback that these people can give us. And we’ve had that experience as well, right?

Of like connecting with an influencer. And even though if maybe they’re not down to collab with us at the moment, at least they always kind of, some of them give some very decent feedback that we can also then implement, right? And so from that point of view, again, we’re really looking you mentioned it well known, no micro-influencers of course that just think the vision for the app as well as something interesting and they would like to have some other place than Instagram or TikTok for example the usual places to you know have their own profile and maybe start bringing people on there and update that profile on regular basis.

And yeah, that’s that’s pretty much exactly what you said. Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Gotcha. So yeah, for our beauty and fashion micros and nano influencers and all influencers really, I mean, that’s a great advantage because in Instagram is, you know, right, you get the one link and maybe they can update it and sounds like this is a great potential use of that link to send them out to their profile with Swiper.

And there’s the other opportunities for them to show off their content monetized and all of all of that good stuff. So I have to remind Miguel, it’s been kind of a crazy morning before I hopped on air quality. I didn’t get a chance to look up your collab, but you do have a collab poster with us, right? Yeah.

Okay, awesome. Cool. So we will, we’ll get a link there underneath the show so that everyone can apply and in the newsletter really promote the podcast. Any specifics you want to add in terms of details, the criteria that you’re looking for in terms of that ideal partner, I mean it sounds like there’s kind of a nice wide opportunity here and like a nice unique kind of ground floor opportunity like you’re saying as well.

It’s not just there’s not just the Amazon Associates program where everyone has an Amazon link and it doesn’t pay anything. This is a really kind of unique way to promote yourself, content, ground floor or anything else you’d like to add in terms of who should apply.

Miguel:

So, I mean, again, we’re we’re really looking open to work with anyone at all, again, within the fashion and beauty space that they would like. They feel like I would like to have a specific place because maybe it also feels a bit more personal when you actually have an app profile, right, in a different space than just your usual Instagram story where you promote products right?

You actually have, let’s call it, I don’t know, like a board of products where you actually update them on a regular basis with us and and users and people that follow you, even if you’re, let’s call it a nano micro influencer, you can always like on a regular basis have people check on those products that you might change from season to season, from summer to winter, for example.

So maybe it’s it’s basically like your wish list, let’s call it for your followers, let’s say, and I’m sure there are other options out there, but if if the app like feels like something you definitely like, we would love to to work with, with, with all of you.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s great. Well, the focus I mean, there’s others, of course, but they tend to be, you know, generic, right? Where this is opportunities, especially now, like for beauty and fashion. So that’s definitely a really great advantage. And again, we’ll work with you and even tailor the app and experience as you go. You know, be very responsive with the with the product feedback.

And I know you get a ton of it because we all do some running app and software companies of sorts. So I’ll I’ll let you go on this one. Go I know it’s late over there. What time is it, Portugal, right?

Miguel:

Yes. So it’s correct. It’s 721 at the moment. So seven.

Brett:

21. Where again? In Portugal are you? Lisbon? Oh, Lisbon. Okay, cool, cool. Yeah, I’ve been over twice. Really enjoyed it. Last was 2016. I had a friend from New York from college she lives in, and he’s in D.C. now, but grew up in New York, and they got married in Lisbon, and it was a destination wedding and they didn’t think anyone would go and everyone went.

It was such a beautiful destination. Everyone gets a trip out of it and it was great. And then I was out. What’s it called over on the castle, like you can get to from.

Miguel:

A coastal soldiers here in Lisbon.

Brett:

And I think so, yeah. I was outside. It was like 25 minutes outside towards the coast. I’m like, I’ll look it up. Yeah.

Miguel:

It’s. But it’s definitely a cool place and the weather as well is amazing.

Brett:

So yeah, weather is awesome. Yeah. Yeah. It’s kind of like a hidden, hidden secret. The first time I was over is definitely like a hidden secret. Now it seems like you’ve got especially, you know, it’s not as I figured it out. It’s not.

Miguel:

Anymore. Yeah, it’s not a secret.

Brett:

So I didn’t know if any of Europe, right? Yeah.

Miguel:

Yeah, kind of. Yeah, that’s right.

Brett:

So what’s, what’s next then? Here? You got stuff to study with your.

Miguel:

Well, right, exactly. So basic. I actually have an exam tomorrow. I’ve been so basically I always have like the day off before and the day of the exam I have off from work. So I get like, you know, study and gets up because it’s kind of hard to to keep stuff working at the same time. But of course, again, I’m just trying to keep stuff moving forward at least and see what happens.

Brett:

So that’s yeah, that’s the key, right? Yeah. You just always you always just kind of keep it moving forward and you see the progress you make over months and years and yeah, that’s really awesome. And the product, the market and have your focus and have it going out and we’ll get this collab out there, get some beauty and fashion influencers.

Sounds good. Yeah.

Miguel:

Then I think some applications as well already. Actually. Like we just posted the collab like I think like two days ago or Oh yeah, and I mean we’ve had some people at least two message here and there and see where we will go from now. But, but it’s something interesting. We’re really, we, we really appreciate this opportunity in the space to actually even post a collab like this.

So that’s really nice.

Brett:

Oh that’s awesome. Very cool, Very cool. That’s great to hear. And like you were saying, in terms of personalizing the experience and the influencer side, I mean, it’s great to have you on the podcast because this helps us personalize your collab. Also writing in the collab will give you the page and you can put your criteria and you describe Swiper and it’s great to be.

I’ll get on the horn and meet the person and the founder and get to know the company and, and also your plans. I mean, I think users and customers, they always like to hear that also that they’re part of something that’s kind of dynamic and growing. Yeah, that’s nice. It’s nice to be a part of that. And they can give you a feature suggestion and you’ll listen.

I mean, obviously I know we, we can’t implement any everything. You can’t, we hear a lot of stuff, but you listen to everything, right? And you kind of take it all in and figure it out in your product development, of course. So let me let you go with this. But how can people find you other than in April and Sarah, give us your socials and all that good stuff website?

Miguel:

Yeah, I mean, in terms of like the app you can you can find us under at Swiper underscore app. So if you want to follow us on there, we’re also trying to pull some like educational kind of fashion and beauty stuff on there. It’s being a bit slow, but we’re trying to and and also I mean yeah I mean the Instagram would be the best place to go and definitely also check the app out.

And if anything, you can always shoot us a message under the Instagram account as well and we’ll reply as fast as possible. So yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Brett:

Great. Sounds good. We’ll get that link to the collab again and then Swiper with a wire on. So if you’re just listening S.W. y PR and then swipe our app and we’ll get the link to the collab post again. All right, we got to let you go so you can get back to studying. You’re joining us. Thank you.

Miguel:

So much. Yeah, thank you so much for the opportunity. It was a pleasure.

Brett:

Yeah. Great to chat with you. A great to get to know you.

Miguel:

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Reflecting on a Journey of Innovation and Influence

As we wrap up this enlightening podcast experience with Miguel Schalk, we invite you to consider the valuable takeaways and inspiration has has shared. Looking to harness the power of influencer marketing? Afluencer is here to guide you on that transformative path.

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