PBP002 - Jess Ruhfus


I am super humbled and honoured to have Jess Ruhfus, Founder & CEO of Collabosaurus on today's episode!

If you don't know who Collabosaurus is, they're an online match-making platform for brands - so pretty much LinkedIn and Tinder mashed together.

Jess is also the winner of the 2017 Anthill 30under30, she is kicking some serious butt.

She's also a self professed “marketing geek”, which I love and her background in fashion and lifestyle PR, and small business marketing, inspired her to create a web platform that made strategic collaborations simple.

Jess is pretty much just an all round legend and believes that business collaborations are necessary to build a modern business, gain exposure in new locations and reach audiences in an authentic way - which you all know I'm a massive fan of!

Whether it be for referral partnerships, products, social media or event collaborations, Jess built Collabosaurus as a way to source and create growth opportunities in any industry.

Jess now runs entrepreneurial events all around Australia, is a marketing consultant for over 20 brands in the fashion, lifestyle and food industries, and runs the Collabosaurus platform for over 2800 members.

But I think most importantly, she is a massive Harry Potter nerd, just like me 🙌🏻


Key Takeaways and Quotes

  • "If you’re a graphic designer and you want to grow your social media, why not partner up with someone who’s got a strong social media presence and needs graphic design! It makes sense to engage audiences like that and cross-promote in an authentic way."

  • "And the power of putting your face to that name, it just inspires trust and connection and it humanises that brand to the point where we were able to grow more significantly and powerfully because there was humans behind the brand.  That was the change that really catapulted Collabosaurus into an accelerated growth phase. Which was surprising to me I never thought that’s how it would work"

  • "Building a personal brand doesn’t have to be reliant on another business."

  • "I assumed when I started Collabosaurus that everyone knew what I was talking about, and that was a huge mistake! It’s really important to simplify it down. How would you describe it to a grandparent, or a friend who doesn’t even have a business and isn’t in the space? Simplifying it down to a point where anyone can understand it and it’s completely free of jargon is really important."

  • "You have to prioritise the gathering of feedback as you go."

  • "I think a lot of people make the mistake of going “I’m going to set aside 3 months to get really clear on this” And they put everything on pause while they do the feedback thing. Whereas I think more value comes from being people in action and asking people while they’re in it and experiencing the product and your brand. Because that’s when everything’s top of mind and everything’s fresh and they can give you and honest answer and honest feedback."

  • "People will say one thing and analytics will say another and it’s really finding that middle ground."

  • "At the essence of it, I really love spreading excitement around like confetti, like that’s my thing, I love to get people really exciting about what they’re building and the potential of what they’re building. So the impact I want to make is to help people understand that what they’re making is incredible and highly valuable, and be able to help them understand how to grow it in a really authentic way."

  • "I think getting clear on core values and core passions are really important and then what you do that ties into those passions doesn’t really matter, as long as you keep your message consistent."

  • "I never set out to build a personal brand, that was never my intention. I’ve been doing a lot speaking spots at events and a lot of interviews which inevitably forces that Personal Branding side of things to come out and I’ve got to stop denying it now and just lean into it and capitalise on it as well and actually give it a little bit of time and nurture."

  • "At the end of the day it comes down to networking and exposure. So when people find out about and people are talking about you and then if the right person hears about you, they’ll recommend you for a speaking spot or they’ll be organising an event and get in touch."

  • "At first it was testing out what content was performing in terms of engagement and ALWAYS content with a human element always performs so much better. People see a mirror of themselves in the human element and they connect with it a lot better. And that is amplified to a whole new extreme when you use things like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live, which are really real authentic video that doesn’t have to be polished and high production value and ANYONE can do it. And it totally brings that human element to a brand like we’ve never been able to do before."

  • "It’s really important to give away value. You’re not going to sell anything if you’re not giving away any value because people aren’t going to get a sneak peak or a taste of what you can do and they also don’t have that trust factor built up with you."