Working with Sam
Who is “SwagSam”?
“SwagSam” is Sam Kabert. He describes himself as the most non-techy millennial in Silicon Valley and he grew up in a small farming community. He is ambitious, likes to keep fit and lives a healthy but balanced lifestyle.
He graduated from Chico State with a Recreation Major and while studying, he was the campus rep for Monster Energy Drinks, Neuro and Rebootizer. In his final year of college, he started his own business called Chico Feet.
In the Spring of 2012, he moved home to Silicon Valley and wanted rebrand his family’s business “Value Business Products”. Although his focus was originally on building the office supply side of the business, quickly made promotional products his focus and for the next three years, he nearly doubled the business each year.
Value Business Products, over the years has transitioned from a retail store, to B2B deliveries with orders placed by phone and fax, to online ordering, and most recently surviving despite the threat of online competitors such as Amazon, Costco etc.
What is Swag and how does Sam “work it”?
“Swag” is essentially promotional products. Anything branded with a logo on it is what Sam refers to as Swag. The Swag industry is over an 18 billion dollar business with more than 1,000,000 stock items available. Sam works with thousands of suppliers (factories). He is essentially a middle man.
Think of branded hats, shirts, bottles, pens, notebooks, backpacks … literally anything with a logo on it. It needs to come from somewhere? These items come from Sams company and over 17,000 other similar companies in the USA.
Here’s how it works…
Client (end-user) reaches out with an idea > We brainstorm and pick products > Client approves the Sales Order > I send a PO to the factory we are using > Factory sends us a proof and we send to client > Once proof is approved it goes to production > Shipping/Delivery/Invoice client
The business does not sell online in an e-commerce sort of way.
To learn more, go here: http://www.valuebpmarketing.com/
What is Sam’s Side Hustle?
Sams side hustle is the podcasts he does (3 per week), his blog, books he has written and a store at http://whatupsv.com/shop/
The Websites – What’s that all about?
The WhatUp website is the place where the pods get published. The pods look to inform and inspire young professionals and entrepreneurs trying to find their way and make their mark in the hustle and grind of Silicon Valley.
The pods bring the latest, the hottest, the most on-point South Bay news in business, sports, networking, and innovation to those with an interest.
This the website for the branded products part of the business. The one-stop shop for all branded and other marketing needs.
ValueBP is the family business. Suppliers of all things business products (break room supplies, coffee service, office supplies and stationery, printer products, office furniture, stamps and new hire kits (welcome kits).
Podcasts? Who, when, where, what?
Mogo Mondays: Published Mondays (of course!)
This is a weekly podcast to pump people up for the work week. Sam covers goal-setting and other productivity tips. The demographic is entrepreneurs, salespeople, and those with a side hustle.
That Valley Vibe: Published on Thursdays (or when Jess feels like it)
The host of this Podcast is Jessica Smith. She puts out a weekly podcast for young professional ladies in the South Bay of Silicon Valley that covers trending wellness topics in the area.
Sam & Serg: Published Wednesdays
This is the flagship show, where Sam and a co-host interview movers and shakers in Silicon Valley. The demographic is young professionals in the South Bay of Silicon Valley.
Sweet Home Silicon Valley: Published Fridays
The host of this podcast is Aubrie Avina. Her weekly pod is about where to go and what to see in different neighborhoods in the South Bay of Silicon Valley along with real estate tips. The demographic is for transplants and weekend warriors along with those looking into buying their first home.
Brand Hero: Published Tuesdays
Sam interviews entrepreneurs about their brand strategies and other business strategies that have been successful for them.
Working with VA’s and other remote freelancers.
Sam engages freelancers to help with the following aspects of his business:
- Podcast Editing
- Editing books and blogs etc
- Social Media Scheduling
- Website Maintenance
- Publishing Pods on website
- Swag Store management (whatupsv.com/shop)
- Book Promotion
- Designing e-blasts
- SEO strategy
- Graphic design
Sam first book was all about working with VA’s.
The second is about goal-setting.
The third will be about Swag.
The first two are to position Sam as a thought leader (they were not created to make money so sales are not important).
The third book is to gift to clients and prospects and get them to think about Sam for their Swag needs.
What’s good about working with Sam?
Sam is super motivated, positive and great to work with. You’ll have a lot of autonomy but you’ll be expected to deliver and communicate.
He prefers his team to over communicate than just make assumptions. When in doubt, ask.
He is action oriented and does not micromanage. So he wants his team to be the same – take action and get things done.
The logistics – exactly how does Sam work with remote freelancers?
Sam has a preference for email communication but will occasionally have a Skype meeting with his remote staff.
Trello is the main tool used for project management.