Payment Problems Are Solved

Today we’re speaking with Jessy Grossman of WIIM. Jessy Grossman is a long time entrepreneur in the digital media space. She founded the community Women in Influencer Marketing in 2017. Alongside WIIM, which began as a passion project, she built and sold a multi-six figure influencer management company. Today, she proudly spearheads the WIIM community amongst thousands of its incredible members. She believes that women are limitless in what they can achieve, especially with the support of each other. You can find inspiring member stories and more about Jessy on the WIIM Podcast.



[00:00:00] Jessy: Hi everyone, and welcome to the WIIM Podcast. Women in Influencer Marketing is a first of its kind, exclusive networking group made up of inspirational women. This podcast is where we explore influencer marketing and get real about women in business. Find us wherever you download podcasts, and of course, you can always find us at iamwiim.com.

That’s iamwiim.com. Hello guys and welcome back to the Women and Influencer Marketing podcast. My name is Jessy Grossman. If you are new to this show, huge welcome. I hope I don’t weird you out enough and that you stay, and if you have continued to listen to the show, you’re my kind of people.

I’m super excited this is a really big month for us. We just came off of having a huge fun, enthusiastic and vibrant IRL event here in New York City. Earlier this month. We had to cap it at 50 women because paying for 50 women at a really expensive restaurant in New York City is hella expensive. But shout out to Buddha Con because the venue was absolutely beautiful and the team was really top notch.

And then at the end of this month, cause I wanted to pack it in on the 25th, we have this big virtual event called the Bested Influencer Tech Event. So I am swamped. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, it’s taken me days to record this podcast and I don’t know why it’s been giving me anxiety. I think it’s like all the things that are just like pending in my life are culminating, they’re like piling on and things are just getting a little nutty.

But I talk to so many of you on a regular basis. If you’re a member of WIIM, I’m like touching base and I’m asking you guys how you’re feeling and it’s making me feel a little bit better. Then it seems like everyone is feeling overwhelmed.

I was telling someone yesterday though, I was like, I wish there was this sweet spot between, feeling fulfilled and energized and busy but not too busy and overwhelmed and like anxiety laden. So I feel like that’s the key to life guys, is like finding that sweet spot. I’m still on the quest.

Anyways, this episode is gonna be a little different since the holidays are approaching and I feel like a lot of you guys are wanting like more value driven content.

I am going to be sharing more about like my favorite tools, my favorite products, my favorite sources of information. We have an event every single Thursday where we share the latest influencer marketing and social media news and we do it live. And I’m not writing the news like I’m not a news reporter.

I’m gathering up a bunch of my favorite news resources like Business Insider, Ad Age ,Ad Week,The Information and a ton of others. Mashable and bringing it to you guys. And a lot of you say like, where do you get your news from? I would love to just be in the know it’s great to attend your show, but if I can’t, where can I find them?

So I’m sharing information like that. Also, whenever I find a solid piece of technology, which means I have to like thoroughly vet it first, I wanna give it to you guys so you guys know, what’s the best out there that you should be trying out. So in that spirit, I’m bringing you guys today an incredible tool that I am so genuinely enthusiastic about.

Before I get into the tool though, let me share a little bit more about Lumanu. So cut to, I wanna say it was March of 2020, the month that Covid and lockdown happened but right before it did I was actually in LA on a work trip attending a conference and that is where I met up with someone who I’d met in New York.

His name is Tony Tran. So if any of you guys are not familiar with Tony, and you know, I like stick to mentioning women on this podcast but he’s one of the few guys who I’m like now you really gotta know Tony. I know I always talk about women on the show and I’m about promoting us as much as possible. I wanted to bring up Tony because he is the CEO and co-founder of a company called Lumanu.

So we had been introduced years ago and he actually came to my office in New York through Çomü Lee who has done tons of stuff in the industry. She used to be the CEO of a company called Activate and now she’s gone on and has created her own like sleep products called Proper. Shout out to Çomü.

So every time I meet up with Tony, I’m so impressed. I hope he is listening to this because it’s so genuine and he should receive the compliment. He is a very smart guy. He’s also like this sweet spot between technology minded but also understands the creator economy and influence marketing in a way that most technologists don’t.

That is a very rare combination. So we were just sort of chatting and he was giving me an update on where Lumanu is and at the time they were like the go to source for all things whitelisting. Whitelisting was and pretty much still is for a lot of people this like amorphous, very complicated concept.

Like I know how to hire influencers and have them create great content but if I want that content to take on an additional life of its own through whitelisting ,a lot of people know that that’s possible but they don’t know how to do it and so he came in with Lumanu and his team and like really owned that space.

They simplified whitelisting and they really made it available for the masses and a lot of people took notice and most people, I would venture to say no Lumanu for that.

Well now cut to present day, couple months ago I reconnected with Tony cause I’m always wanting to know what he’s up to and he was sort of sharing with me how Lumanu has added an additional suite of services to their company. And so now Lumanu brilliantly, is focusing on creator payments. I just think it’s brilliant for a number of reasons.

Number one, whitelisting was a huge problem and they went after that and went to solve it. Creator payments. Hello you guys know how much of a problem that is, whether you’re on, if you’re on the talent management side every payment is late and every time we invoice for a net 30, we’re lucky if we get it. Net 60 Let’s be real. If you are on the brand side or the agency side, trying to pay creators at scale feels impossible. I’m chasing paperwork that I just need you to fill out. Don’t you wanna get paid? And managing that whole process is an entire job.

Of its own and no one enjoys it. I dunno about you but it’s always been my least favorite part of doing influencer marketing is like the financials of it all. And so they took on that challenge and Tony was sort of catching me up and talking to me about their new services around creator payments and I was like, dude, if you actually were able to solve this problem, that’s freaking huge.

So he’s like, I really feel confident that we have. So he introduced me to someone else on his team who a few days later walked me through a demo of the product. Y’all have had Lumanu ever since. I am a real customer and it’s one of the few tools that I will like shout from the rooftops and tell you how good it is because A, it solves a real challenging problem and B, they do it in a really simple way, which I love.

There are certain tools that like, can I have all the bells and whistles and whatever, but Lumanu who’s actually like very simple and succinctly solves, the payment problem. So if you are not watching this podcast but you’re listening, I’ll try to describe what I’m gonna be showing on my screen in just a second as much as humanly possible.

But I do highly recommend either watching us on YouTube or watching this episode on Spotify, because both show the screen share that I’m about to. So I’m gonna take a couple minutes and just like walk you through my Lumanu dashboard and show you what it’s all about.

This is the Lumanu dashboard. So first of all, you can get all of your contacts in here by simply clicking the invite button and sending them your unique link. You can copy the link, you just send it to them and it makes it so easy for them to just like get into the system. That’s one way of doing it. You can also export and download your contact list to use it elsewhere.

What I do like is that one of the big things that I love about Lumanu right now is that there’s a ton of integrations. There’s ways for it just to live on its own, but also can integrate with whatever system you currently use, whether it’s like QuickBooks or Zapier, like all the systems that are sort of like non-negotiables for me they integrate with.

Or by the way, it’s import. You can also just like type in a person’s name once they’re in your contacts to be able to search them. Or you can search by their handle, which is pretty cool. So another way to get them into your system is simply by invoicing them.

Right now you can see that I’m owed like $3,500, so I don’t wanna show you that information, but if I clicked unpaid here, it would pop up all my unpaid invoices. You can also filter by early pay, which I’m gonna explain in just a few minutes, and that is the cherry on top of this whole system. . Just wait for that.

All right so if you wanna create an invoice, you just call it like whatever partnership it is and then. You say, you know, could default to net 30, 60, 90, but you can also just do custom. Cuz let’s say it’s like maybe like net 45, that’s a more common one. Or it’s like net 30 from when I signed the contract, but I forgot to send the invoice out yesterday. So it’s actually like net 29 and I don’t wanna give them that extra day.

So anyways, you click whatever’s applicable to you also. Very nice cuz who likes to do math. They actually put the date underneath there for you, which I personally find very helpful. Then you put, you know who you are invoicing, what their company is and then their email address. And this is that last way that you can get people into your system.

So once they’ve been invoiced, you can more easily invoice them the next time, which is great. You can add the address and phone number but you don’t need to so it could just be this information, like, in my opinion, the less the better. Like I don’t need a record of people’s phone numbers and addresses it’s like a little old school.

So then you just put what it is, right? And like your phraseology, is that the word? Like your terminology. So it’s this creator with Google, you would put that but sometimes people wanna put post one, post two, post three, et cetera and you can add as many items as you want.

Plus maybe you want like it itemized because this is for the post and this is for a reimbursement of like when they bought product on their own or something. So I think that’s pretty cool. Can easily remove them if you make a mistake and then it shows here the total, which is $5,100.

If you have a PO number to add, you just put that there. If there are specific notes you wanna add, like, thanks for working with us, or whatever important thing you need to add is as public notes. So that is for everybody. And then one other thing that’s pretty cool is that you can add an email recipient in addition to the person that’s being invoiced.

So maybe you’re invoicing like accounting@google.com but Jane Smith is the person that you’re speaking with so you can add both of them to this email just for like max visibility.

All right, here is a super do like hot tip number one of Lumanu they have the ability to split payments, which is such a specific influencer problem that they solve. Because in most instances when you have a creator that like, I don’t know, I swear to God they have over like 10,000 followers lately. They have management and so instead of, you know, if you’re a manager, invoicing the whole thing and then having to like have that extra step times your whole roster to be able to split the payment and pay the influencer after that, you can add a payment recipient right here, which would be your influencer. They’d have to already be in your system and you could say this person will get 80% and I will get 20%. And when this invoice is paid out, you don’t have to do that extra step. It automatically knows to pay 80% to that person and 20% to you. This is a huge time saver.

So split payments, while it says it’s optional, if you’re a talent manager or you are a brand who’s paying an influencer, who has a talent manager highly recommend using it because maybe this just saves you a few minutes, but that times how many influencers and managers you’re working with or brands that you’re working with. If you’re a manager, like obviously you get the point. It’s a huge, huge time suck.

All right, so then you easily send the invoice. You can save a draft if you need more information later you could preview the invoice. Like visually appealing the email version I kind of love Lumanu’s new branding. It’s like this bright green, so it’s like eyecatching but simple and to the point cuz let’s be real, we need an in invoice to just clearly display the information.

One other thing that I really like in the invoicing piece, is that once you have an invoice, you can also copy it which is awesome if you have, you know, 50% of the payment needs to be upfront and 50% later on, you can just easily copy the details, change up what you need to make it part two of two, and then, send that off or keep it in drafts because maybe you want it to be in drafts on purpose so that when the last post goes live, you simply open up the draft like so, and then send the invoice. Oh my God. It’s so easy, guys.

All right, so then. I’m gonna show you the payment piece of it. So this is the other side of it but it’s applicable to like most of you guys listening, regardless of what side of the equation you’re on. So from here, if you are invoiced from Lumanu, all of the payment requests come through here, so you’ll be able to go through them and basically click, click, click and then click issue payment and it’s that simple.

You can also send payment directly from here. So if you are working with freelancers, for example, it’s such a good use case. Or you just need to pay an influencer for a one time thing and you don’t necessarily need an invoice to do so you just simply search for their name here, it’s their name, email or username, they show up and it’s a better version of Venmo. Consider it like a Venmo or like a Zelle, because everything is in one place. That’s the biggest thing that I think is huge.

But I also know that I mentioned earlier about early pay, and I wanted to show you a little bit of that from their main site. So early pay is where your talent gets access to Lumanu early pay, which allows you to pay on your own terms and maximize cash flow. So let me tell you a bit more about how early pay it works.

So early if your talent manager in particular, is a huge game changer, so I know because I’m a former talent manager and agency owner that your talent management is freaking out at you all the time saying, where’s my money? Why is it late? What’s the update with this et cetera, et cetera. It’s like a nightmare cuz you’re having to manage them and manage the people who are paying and there’s so many balls up in the air and there’s a lot of noise. So what early pay allows you to do is Lumanu, essentially takes on the burden of whether the money is gonna arrive on time or not.

They charge a small fee and pay you early. So that essentially your talent feels as if they are always paid on time. Number one, this helps with cash flow. Number two, this helps with time management because again, you’re not having to constantly have these conversations with your talent because they’re asking when is it due? Can I follow up? Are you gonna follow up? It’s like a nightmare so early pay is such a great solution.

Another thing that I do wanna mention about early pay and why it’s particularly awesome for talent managers or talent, I guess, if you’re an influencer listening to this, is because you can negotiate that fee. On top of whatever else the deal is, right? So like if it’s a $5,000 deal, then you would just negotiate a little bit more to account for early pay.

So this is how early pay works you just set an invoice and if your invoice qualifies, you’ll be offered early pay. I’ve asked the Lumanu team like, okay, well what are the qualifications and how many people qualify? And I was told that most people qualified, like it’s not a particularly challenging thing to get, so that’s awesome.

Also, you then accept the early pay offer in the app or via text, which is pretty cool, and the app is also just online. And then once it’s accepted, they verify with the brand or the client to make sure they intend to pay the invoice and work is complete.

So that happens just as if it would if you were invoicing them. And then the money’s instantly paid to your Lumanu account and that’s it. So the fees also pretty nominal. So it’s 2.9% of the invoice amount. That’s it guys, we’re not talking about like 50% of the fee. So when I was talking about the fact that you could negotiate to account for this fee, you just add like an extra 500 bucks or of course, whatever the overall amount is but you bake in 2.9% more or call it three and you just always make sure that is carved out and utilized for early pay.

Think of it as a business expense. Think of it as the opportunity to save time in all of back and forth that is the issue of creator payments. So huge, huge wanted to mention that. So another really clutch thing about Lumanu is that they’re actually able to send 1099-Ks to all creators who receive $600 or more in payments from Lumanu during the calendar year. That’s something that if you’re a talent manager, you are supposed to do there are some rules around, when you’re supposed to do it or not. It’s like I think that if you’re incorporated or not incorporated how you file taxes but most MIDAL managers are responsible for doing that. You no longer have to do it. Lumanu is actually gonna be responsible for doing it, which is huge.

So in addition to the early pay feature, which is clutch, they save you even more time because they actually handle that annoying tax paperwork for managers, for agencies and for brands. Basically, they facilitate 10 90 nines, so you don’t have to. They’re basically designated like a third party settlement organization.

That just means that they’re responsible for handling the tax reporting requirements and because, payments are sent to creators from Lumanu ,they don’t need to submit W nine s to the brands any longer and you aren’t required to issue a 10 99 to them. So Lumanu takes care of all of that for you, which is huge.

So another thing that I absolutely love about Lumanu is that they are current and with it in that they have all of these integrations. So for my business I’ll just speak personally, we use QuickBooks and we also use Zapier for a lot of automations and workflow management processes. So basically Lumanu just fits right into your existing processes. They’re compatible with so many accounts payable solutions, QuickBook, Zapier is an account payable solution but I use it and they’re compatible with it. Melio I’ve heard a lot of people use Oracle, Tipalti and a lot more. It took me like two minutes to connect my QuickBooks to it and then every time I send an invoice, it’s syncing with QuickBooks, which for me honestly, if they didn’t have that, it would just be a deal breaker for me. Like I don’t wanna invest in another product that is not going to just be compatible with everything I’ve already set up. So like any tool or product that I share with you guys that has an integration, you’d be hard pressed to hear me recommend anything that doesn’t have integrations.

One of the last couple things that I also wanna mention about why I’m like truly obsessed with Lumanu is, when you invoice the third party, let’s say it’s a brand that you’re working with and they’re not in the Lumanu system already, they actually have the ability to say how they wanna pay.

So they could either pay I think it’s via PayPal or ACH. There’s a number of different ways that they can select how they wanna pay. And when I’ve invoiced people in the past, I usually have a preference towards ACH. Why? Because it’s the least expensive and the least amount of a hit on my business is bottom line.

But Lumanu, as long as they’re not in the system yet, they actually can select how they wanna pay, whether it’s PayPal or whatever’s like natively comfortable for them. And that actually doesn’t affect your bottom line at all. Like I’m not sitting there being like ooh, they’re gonna pay through credit card crap.

It’s gonna take like 5% instead of like ACH takes a dollar or whatever it is in the system. So they get to choose, which is nice from their user’s perspective and from yours, you’re not like worrying that they’re gonna select to pay the credit card because you’re gonna be hit with the highest fee. Lumanu takes care of all that, even for you.

Anyways, there’s so much that Lumanu does and you hear me talk about this all the time on the show. I love a company that really goes niche and so when it comes to Lumanu they first covered the whitelist space. They had that nailed down, and people very much to this day still use them and love them for whitelist.

Now they’re owning the creator payment space. I just think everything that they’re doing is incredible. The people on their team are really smart and very, very capable. And also like not just on the tech side, they really get influencer marketing, which I think is imperative and it’s surprisingly rare for people in the influencer tech space. Some of them like air more towards the technology side and they just don’t get the business and then the product just kind of sucks.

Anyways, Lumanu is truly a really strong platform. And also I know that they’re like adding new features and stuff as well. They’re super responsive, which I love. I’m looking on their website right now, so they have like a chat widget when you’re signed in and I actually tested it the other day and I was like how long do you guys take to get back to support tickets I swear they wrote me back within like five minutes or less.

It might have even been significantly less than that. And those notifications go to your emails so you don’t have to like sit on their website chat widget forever and wait for a response. I love a platform that has good support. Anyways, Lumanu, I can go on and on. There are other features that it has as well. Essentially, this is something that I honestly wish existed when I had my agency, because I was just using QuickBooks alone and using like the invoicing features of QuickBooks, but everybody was using their own system and it was just like, one of the biggest headaches of my agency was having our creators get paid, get paid on time and get paid efficiently.

And Lumanu is like actively solving all of those problems. So I highly recommend their tool. So I will leave a link in the show notes and description box so that if you wanna give them a try, you can. And I hope also that you go to our best in influencer tech event because they are one of the companies that are gonna be featured.

It’s October 25th of 22, go check out our website. I’ll link that as well, but it’s iamwiim.com/tech and they will walk you through the tool cause I probably forgot a few things. I’m sort of just going over the things that I think are magical because if somebody sort of helps me save time, and gets me paid there considered magical.

All right guys, have a wonderful rest of your week. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I will see you guys next week. Bye everyone. If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective.

You can check out all the information at iamwhim.com. Leave us a review, a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask you to do is to share this podcast. Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.


Founder of Women in Influencer Marketing and CEO of Tribe Monday

Jessy Grossman is a long time entrepreneur in the digital media space. She’s passionate about supporting women in business and being at the forefront of innovation. She’s been quoted in Forbes and was awarded a spot in the “Influencer Top 50” by Talking Influence. In less than two years she created one of the fastest growing talent agencies in the country. Amidst unprecedented growth, she sold the multi-six-figure agency and pivoted to focus on her long-time passion project: Women in Influencer Marketing (better known as WIIM). Founded in 2017, today WIIM is the premiere professional organization for those who work with influencers. The community offers networking and new business opportunities, career services, continuous education and more. Jessy also does consulting, advising and influencer marketing recruiting with her company Tribe Monday. You can find inspiring stories and more about Jessy on the WIIM Podcast. Check out iamwiim.com and tribemonday.com for more information.

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