Bruno Bornsztein l InfluenceKit
InfluenceKit helps bloggers increase sponsorship revenue by proving their value with gorgeous, automatically-updated reports. They strive to make reporting their clients influence a fast and easy experience that gives tangible results.
Can you tell us a bit about your business and how you got your start?
I started a blog called Curbly in 2006, and have been running online content businesses ever since. I got started in blogging about home improvement and DIY projects because, at the time, I had just bought my first home, and my wife and I were in the thick of trying to make affordable improvements. Hence: DIY. At the same time, I had a background in journalism and web development, so blogging was a great meeting of many of my interests.
In 2017, I started a new business, InfluenceKit, which is really based on the challenges I observed in running a digital content business. At Curbly, we needed a better way to prove our value to sponsors (sponsored content had become a big portion of our revenue). So InfluenceKit was born: it helps us provide timely, automatically-updated reporting for all our sponsored content.
How do you think living in the Twin Cities has shaped your style? If so, how?
Definitely! The Twin Cities has an incredible concentration of makers, creatives, artists and entrepreneurs. It’s hard not to be inspired just by paying attention to everything that’s going on. When it comes to entrepreneurship, I’ve been shaped by the willingness of others to offer help and good counsel. I think that spirit makes the Twin Cities special.
How and where do you see growth for your business?
InfluenceKit is currently in closed beta - we’re testing the product with a small group of influencers and a few agencies. Once we feel like we have everything polished up and ready for prime time, we’ll open it up and start working hard to build awareness. I think a lot of growth will come from word of mouth, as well as from interactions at conferences and events.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?
Get your ideas in front of other people. Talk to friends, acquaintances, competitors … anyone who will listen. Find the people who will support, encourage you, and maybe even become partners.
LAB is founded on three key values: connect, create and collaborate. What are your three key values?
Family - at the end of the day, that’s who I’m doing this for. I always try to keep that priority straight.
Integrity - doing the thing I know is right, even if it’s hard, even if no one else will notice
Resourcefulness - making it work, figuring it out, whether you know what you’re doing or not.
What is the favorite thing about your workspace?
We have a great studio that my wife, Alicia, designed. It feels cozy and versatile, but functional. I love the plants and the napping couch.
What’s currently on your studio playlist?
We are listening to a phenomenal amount of Brandi Carlile. When I’m in there alone I usually have Jazz 88.5 on, or else a random shuffle of Phantogram.
What is your no-fail, go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Getting into nature. A hiking trip, a bike ride, or camping with my kids. Live music (or any kind of performance) always seems to inspire me as well.
What are some of your everyday essentials that you can’t live without?
My Aeropress. My Macbook Pro.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
Slightly embarrassed to admit it, but: a hoodie.
Favorite place to meet/collaborate in the Twin Cities.
I love the Minneapolis Public Library (v1 of Curbly was built there). Kopplin’s Coffee in St. Paul is where I go when I want a really good cup of coffee, followed by the best ice cream in the Twin Cities (Izzie’s).
Three Instagram accounts you love to see in your feed.
Ack! I don’t really do Instagram!
Summer ------- Dairy Queen.
Winter --------- Long johns!
Fall -------- Lake Superior.
Spring -------- Petrichor.
Last Adventure: Canyonlands, Utah.
Next Adventure: BWCAW.
By Day: Snacking.
By Night: Asleep. Or snacking.
Latest Craft: You stumped me.
Secret Skill: Unloading the dishwasher.
Believes in: Creativity.
Yes Please: Brussels Sprouts.
No Thanks: Avocados.
Spirit Animal: Wolf.
Brand you can’t live without: If I’m honest? Apple. Or (grimace) Amazon.
Favorite word: Awkwardnessful.
Favorite day of the week: Saturday (worst: Sunday).