Season 5 | Episode 2

Connecting with your audience beyond viral trends

TPE Season 5 Episode 1

When Marcel Floruss started his blog in 2013, it was because he had a passion for men’s apparel and fashion. Over the following years, he has built a massive audience on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube- with over 1 million subscribers on YouTube alone. He and host Dave Yovanno discuss Marcel’s journey as a creator, his connection with his audience and how he leveraged his success to become the Creative Director of Aetos Apparel. They also discuss the differences between social platforms, tips for brands and creators looking to build partnerships, and the importance of not seeking virality just for the sake of it.

Episode transcript

[00:00:04] Canned Intro Welcome to The Partnership Economy. This podcast explores the power of partnerships through candid conversations with industry leaders. Join our hosts! Dave Yovanno, CEO and Todd Crawford, co-founder of, as they unpack the future of partnerships as a lever for scale and an opportunity to put the consumer first. 


[00:00:25] Dave Yovanno Welcome back to The Partnership Economy Podcast. This is your host, David Yovanno, and I’m excited to introduce my first guest of season five, Marcel Floruss. Marcel is a New York based creator, founder and creative director who specializes in men’s fashion. He began his career with a blog in 2013, which has transformed into a thriving social media presence today across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. With over 1 million subscribers on YouTube alone, Marcel has also parlayed his success as a creator to join Aetos Apparel as their in-house creative director. Marcel is a great example of someone who has combined their passion with an entrepreneurial mindset to see tremendous growth, and he’s at a pivotal point in his career where he’s looking to make a big change, which we dive into in this episode. We also discuss the importance of growing your brand as a creator, as opposed to focusing on virality, the most important qualities creators need to succeed, and how to get the most out of each social media platform. Marcel shares his candid and thoughtful advice for both brands and creators, and I highly recommend staying tuned for this episode. Welcome back to this episode of The Partnership Economy. I’m thrilled to welcome Marcel Floruss to the show. Marcel built an extremely successful career as a creator, a blogger, and a creative director over the past decade. He’s amassed millions of followers across his social platforms. Marcel, how are you doing today? 


[00:01:51] Marcel Floruss I’m doing great. Dave, how are you? 


[00:01:53] Dave Yovanno Excellent. Thanks for joining us today. I’m really excited for this conversation. 


[00:01:57] Marcel Floruss Same, I’m stoked to see how deep we can poke today. 


[00:02:02] Dave Yovanno So why don’t we just do that? Let’s just dive right in. Could you tell us just a little bit about your journey, how you how you built your career as an entrepreneur and as a successful creator today? 


[00:02:11] Marcel Floruss Marcel 101. You got it. Born and raised in Germany, actually. So I hail from a from a long ways away. I moved here for FIT, so I moved here for the fashion industry and specifically, with a focus on what was then called fashion merchandizing management. Marketing. Right. So I knew that I wanted to be in the fashion industry, but I thought I was going to be a lot less creative and a lot more marketing driven. Turns out I felt kind of like a hybrid. As I studied there, I, you know, blogging was coming up and I’m using the term blogging on purpose, not influencing what as we as we know it today. During my studies, I started out with my blog. Did that for two and a half years straight, a blog post every single day. I don’t know if that rings a bell with you, Dave or anybody that’s that’s listening in right now. But that used to be like the Instagram just for style. So very, very men’s style and fashion heavy. You know, it was a little bit of that outlier syndrome like, you know, right, right guy at the right place and the right time in New York City with a passion for this to kind of like at the at the birth of this entire industry that we’re looking at right now. But I really just wanted to share the fact that clothing and dressing well made me feel very good with the rest of the world, specifically America, because I felt a little, you know, standoffish. Now as a European, I felt like, oh, I can teach these Americans one or two things about how to dress better and feel better about themselves. And, yeah, a long, long, long, long journey. But, I’ve been on a graduated focus on it, had a shoe brand that came and went. I’m now a creative director for fashion company that another influencer started. So I’ve seen I’ve seen a lot in these streets, but. 


[00:03:45] Dave Yovanno I’m really curious, like, do you remember what year that was, that you started your blog? It seems to be the start of your publishing career. Your blogging career was it was your blog, is that right? 


[00:03:53] Marcel Floruss Yeah. March 7th, 2013. 


[00:03:57] Dave Yovanno 2013. Okay. What was the platform that you used to create your your blog initially? 


[00:04:01] Marcel Floruss Oh, WordPress. There was like a few big ones. It was WordPress, and I believe there was bloglovin, which was a bit more of like a hybrid that kind of leaned Tumblr. Yeah. But I actually I remember so three, seven and 13 are my lucky numbers. March 7th, 2013. That was about two months out when I decided I wanted to do this. So I gave myself two months to prep, started pre producing some content, learned how to code some very basic HTML because I felt like I had to. If I’m going to have a website, I need to know how to fix small things. I didn’t have to, never used it, but I learned it for a couple months and made me feel good about myself. 


[00:04:31] Dave Yovanno Interesting side note. So acquired a business called activate about three years ago as well. It was one of the top influencer marketing platforms. Their first product was Bloglovin’. [0.0s]


[00:04:42] Marcel Floruss Oh. Amazing. Okay, so you’re well familiar, right? 


[00:04:45] Dave Yovanno Yeah, yeah. Very interesting. And if you recall so 2013 time frame. I’m trying to remember what was going on in the top social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, you know, were you thinking about like those as platforms to publish on as well? 


[00:04:59] Marcel Floruss I posted on Instagram everyday on my blog everyday and on Lookbook everyday. YouTube wasn’t well it was already probably the biggest platform. It was still a very different, you know, very different community, very different. It had a very different feel. But Instagram was kind of like taken, you know, especially through it through college. I was everybody was on Instagram and I was like the main thing. So those two platforms were the focus Instagram. And that all photo, no video. So so much has changed. But YouTube for me didn’t come into play until another five years later. 


[00:05:29] Dave Yovanno Excellent. So I had to imagine that when you were first starting out, and even now it’s about like building an audience, right? You know what was most important for you when trying to build an audience, especially in the early days, and just truly connecting with them? 


[00:05:43] Marcel Floruss I think it was a lot of fun finding guys that cared about the same thing as much as I did. So it was very it was a very intuitive and a very, you know, fulfilling path. It wasn’t so much like I enjoyed the marketing side of it too. Like, what can I offer, what’s missing from the market? And, you know, I was one of the first also straight men in the field. Straight guys started caring about style more. And, obviously the advice goes for anybody that likes to dress in menswear. Yeah, I really just I wanted to build a community that truly wants to improve themselves, wants to feel good about themselves. And, you know, that has a sartorial knack. So, how you dress becomes part of that. It came together pretty quickly and pretty nicely. So, you know, also centered around optimism, positivity. It was a little bit more than just, okay, cool. Like you can find cool pieces to shop with me. I definitely felt more like a community of of fairly safe space where we can geek out about men’s fashion, which was not super normal yet, you know. 


[00:06:44] Dave Yovanno Yeah. What I’m hearing you talk about is just a real passion for the content that you’re creating. Like there’s a real degree of of in in weight of authenticity as opposed to just like pushing views, pushing numbers, which does seem to be a bit of a game across the internet in general. So actually, in our earlier conversations, I’m recalling now that you made a clear distinction between building a brand versus focusing on pure growth. Could you explain that difference for our audience? 


[00:07:10] Marcel Floruss Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s I think it’s very important. So, there was the passion part, like you just said, absolutely correct. And then the other part of me was, if I’m going to talk about brands down the line, that was the idea. I did not just want to talk about style. I also wanted to show you, hey, you can dress well if you buy these clothes from here. These clothes on there, obviously that’s a brand marketing tool. You know, it’s gonna feel weird. I actually was just listening to another podcast my girlfriends listening to, you know, when you start becoming an influencer, is this awkward stage of you just start acting like it without even being it yet? And for that, I was in a very safe space because I was starting to act like an influencer. But at least I was surrounded by fashion people that at least understood what I was doing. But yeah, I just, I just, from day one started talking about the product. So like, it wasn’t ever just like, oh, I’m here. Like, these are the new shoes. I’m wearing them. My very first job was rubber shoelaces that, you know, like you would stretch your shoes out rather than tying them every time. I think the payment like 70 bucks. But it worked just to focus on okay, what can actually help get your style to the next level, get your confidence to the next level, or even just a single outfit. Right. 


[00:08:19] Dave Yovanno So I’ve talked to a number of creators and I’m always curious about your journey in, you know, just developing your own style in your own flow on how you’re connecting with your audience, how you’re publishing content. It seems like everyone who is serious about making a career and a passion out of this has to cross that line where you know, you’re showing your face, for example, on the videos, and just you’ve got to get comfortable with putting yourself out there as a person to be judged. Right? It’s not just, you know, your personal life. It’s now, you know, your personal life is now your your public life essentially. Can you maybe share just a little bit about what your personal experience was? Was it really just the passion for the content, what you were trying to communicate that that got you over that line essentially, and got you comfortable with putting yourself out there like that? 


[00:09:05] Marcel Floruss I think I live across that line a little bit, so I think I was kind of born there. I overshare, textbook, overshare, talk a lot. Enjoy it too. And don’t necessarily like I’m not an I’m not not a logical person, but I just it just kind of tends to flow up. So, it did come easy to me and in that sense of it’s kind of flowing. I was I was driven by passion, and I didn’t really think about the fact that brand marketing tool, sure. But I didn’t think it would grow to the level that it grew. The term viral wasn’t even something that was like in my head here, right? What if it’s the content that you’re producing reaches people outside of your community where you also, again, there’s that safe space. But when now that algorithms change so much, you can reach strangers on the other side of the planet, you know, if it decides that you should, you will. And all of a sudden you have no control over your community anymore. You have no control over the comments and how you feel. So I think I stumbled into it while being somewhat prepared out of life. But at the end of the day, it’s kind of like. Everything else in life, you need to go through it to learn how to deal with it too. And yeah, you know, this is an amazing job. I think it looks a lot easier from the outside than it is from the inside. We only control ourselves. We can control the outside world. At the very least, we can control what we’re focusing on. Like, even if you’re getting ten messages of hate, if you’re helping one guy and he’s truly appreciating what you’re telling him, you can choose to focus on that. And that gives you more strength, that gives you more, you know, confidence. But it’s not easy. 


[00:10:34] Dave Yovanno I do want to talk about the algorithm and the trends there, but maybe before we get to that, if we fast forward, we’re in early 2024 now, you’re someone who has over a million followers across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, your blog. What are some highlights of the pros and cons of each of these platforms? 


[00:10:52] Marcel Floruss I’ll start with YouTube because I think YouTube, it’s the reason that YouTube is still so valid and so important in the industry, and has been for over two decades now, is the search engine function and the the evergreen content. That’s not something you get from any of the other platforms. All the other platforms are so laid out, obviously, for that very short attention span and also for the nowness of it. So, you know, if you post something today, Dave, I’ll might see you tomorrow. With the algorithm, I might see it in five days right now, like some older posts are getting pushed, but past a week your post is gone. There’s no impact of it. Really. Actually, even if you Google, color theory in men’s fashion, my YouTube video from four or five years ago will still pop up. So that’s a big, big up on YouTube. You have a longer attention span of your viewers that’s also shrinking the you know, I think that’s that’s a societal issue that we’re facing. That’s shrinking, of course, a bit. You’ve got things like YouTube shorts and even your long form content. So the horizontal videos, even those need to be more engaging to keep the attention of the viewer. More so than that was the case in the past. But that’s my play for YouTube and on the creator side. And monetization for me has also just been by far the best on YouTube platform only not brand partners, platform only. The the actual payment you get app payment for videos. Again, because it’s evergreen. You need one video to go off and that’s, you know, it’s going to kick back some dollars for years. And that’s amazing. Straight into TikTok, they dialed it back a lot, but the possibility to truly explode and go off and build this massive following that also is kind of like a cult following. So actually so connected to you. TikTok has that, I think like the way that that whole personal touch the stories and really just, you know, the authenticity, it’s more Gen Z. There’s a reason more more Gen Z users are actually on TikTok than they are on Instagram. And Instagram by now, it’s just established it’s there. They’re doing everything. You know, they were getting inspired, let’s call it by Snapchat, and we’re getting inspired by TikTok. Like they bring it all together. And to me, it’s it’s the difference between TikTok and Instagram primarily, I think is the users for me. So in my head, Instagram is a lot more millennial and TikTok a lot more Gen Z. To put one more defining adjective on the on the characteristics of Instagram and TikTok, I think TikTok is more real and Instagram is more polished. 


[00:13:19] Dave Yovanno And from a monetization standpoint, and I’m just curious when you just give us like a percent allocation or idea of like size of YouTube revenues versus Instagram versus TikTok total, you know, ways in which you’re you’re monetizing content that you’re publishing on different platforms.


[00:13:36] Marcel Floruss Altogether?It’s probably 50 Instagram, 40 YouTube, ten TikTok percent. 


[00:13:42] Dave Yovanno Okay, yeah. Considering the differences in the platforms that you describe there, could you give us a little bit more of the behind the scenes on your content creation, that whole process, do you strategically plan your content? For example, do you look at the year ahead and map out your posts? You mentioned, like, the real time nature of platforms like TikTok or Instagram, do you treat, you know, publishing on those platforms different from what you’re publishing on YouTube, for example? 


[00:14:06] Marcel Floruss Absolutely. So my personal focus is starting to shift away a little bit from style overall and from that content. I’m going to speaking about like last year while everything was still in full, full swing. YouTube has a very, very different strategy for that reason that I mentioned before, then Instagram and TikTok too. There is technically a justification to have a different strategy for TikTok and Instagram. Like I said, you know, if you’re doing a photoshoot and you have really ten beautiful, high polished images, those who go on Instagram on TikTok should probably be behind the scenes video of how you shot those images and overlay them a little bit. So there should be that, again, more authentic feeling. It can be the same thing that you’re essentially showing, which is how you showed what part of the process you show is what makes the difference on YouTube. Because there is, that search engine function. You want to think about what I post, what are people going to look for? Where’s their holds? Where can I truly educate? When can I tie in with major events that are happening throughout the year? Whether that’s holidays like Thanksgiving or, you know, Halloween videos around Halloween costume ideas, 4th of July, red, white and blue inspired outfits. You know, you can get as ludicrous with it as you want or not. But on YouTube, I would plan out pretty much every video, sometimes for the year ahead with some room to shift, but definitely for the season ahead, like the next eight, 10 videos that know what I’d be posting. There’s any creators listening that are trying to get onto YouTube. Very essential tip. Look, look for tools like TubeBuddy. There’s a myriad of them. I don’t know what they’re all called. I use TubeBuddy. Is it helps you actually, deciphered the SEO strategy for each video so it helps you. You can look into different keywords. How many searches a month, is YouTube getting for that keyword? How would you, do compared to competition? How many videos are going to pop up? So it’s pretty cool. There’s a lot more analytics that you can run even, in pre-production before you even post a video compared to other platforms, of course. 


[00:16:03] Canned Intro If you’re enjoying this podcast, we’d love to see you at Impact’s Partnership Experience, our annual sold out event that returns on June 17th to 18th at pure 60 in New York City. Join us for two days of networking, exclusive content, and special perks like the craft beer tasting, bookable meeting spaces, and of course, breathtaking waterfront views. As a special treat to our listeners, we’re offering 20 percent off tickets when you use code TPE20 at checkout. To secure your ticket, head to the episode description or go to And if you’re interested in how to be a sponsor, please email Now back to the show. 


[00:16:49] Dave Yovanno I understand that you’re at a pivotal point in your career where you’re transitioning into making more psychology and spirituality based content. It seems to be a bit of a departure from your, you know, your current fashion and lifestyle content. What’s driving you to make this change? 


[00:17:04] Marcel Floruss Well, it seems to be a departure on the surface, but I think deeper down it really isn’t. It’s more so rather than the departure. It’s a it’s a zoom in to the thing that I’ve been talking about. Like I said, fashion to me is a lot about confidence, how you feel. And, you know, rather than talking about this outside in approach. Now, I’d like to talk more about the core of, you know, I’m happy to share it because I think, you know, maybe other influences find themselves there, too. I know where I want to go, but I haven’t actually found the path to get me there smoothly. I know where I want to go, I know what the conversations are on. The topics are that I’d like to talk about, that give me the same feeling I once got when it was about fashion. But I, there’s some fear, you know? There’s some some doubts. Do I do this on a new platform? Do I, do it at my old established channels? Obviously, I have reached, but I know I want to keep doing the fashion thing for sure, just not as my main focus. So there’s a lot of factors that I’m now considering. Frankly, I don’t know where I’m going to go exactly just yet, but I know that it’s the same core and the same idea of wanting to help people, and that’s coming from a deeper place this time even. 


[00:18:10] Dave Yovanno I love that connection. Honestly, like, you know, I agree with you. Like fashion. Why are people, you know, so interested in that? It really does affect how you feel as a person. And confidence is a big part of that. And so I love I never even like, thought you and I have talked about this. I never made that connection until you just. Oh, it’s just I love that strategy to kind of bring your existing audience kind of along. Maybe not all of them are going to crossover, but I think, you know, that’s an exciting shift. It takes courage, I think, to develop new focuses like that makes a lot of sense that your passions have changed since you started over ten years ago. My life happens, our passions happen. Like we develop new insights and thinking about things, so our interests evolve along with it. I mean, we we evolve as humans. And so, you know, I think it makes sense that your content is going to evolve right along with it. And I’m just curious, like with, you know, we talked a little bit about the different platforms and the algorithms that are out there. Right? Creators used to have followers who saw their content good or bad. Today, you know, the algorithm’s only going to push out certain content regardless of who’s following you. So in that vein, as you look to focus in kind of new areas like we just talked about, do you feel like you’re having to start fresh? And even so, just for a discussion point, someone new coming into the creator space publishing content, are you thinking about things differently as you look to kind of start a new chapter here, and what tips would you give to folks that are just getting into this space along those lines? 


[00:19:37] Marcel Floruss Yeah, I mean, I’ve, I’ve taken a step back and, re-approached with a new approach many, many times over the years. You have to the big shift of of photos when they were, when they were square to than vertical video came about. You had to reinvent yourself. And now just this small little shift of the algorithm to get to the core of your question before we talk about new people. It’s really more about the content than it is about the audience changes everything. Of course, I don’t know that I enjoy those changes. It could be in large part why I’m feeling a little fed up with social media, because for me, it’s about connecting with my audience. For me, it’s about establishing something a bit more real or profound. I don’t know if those words are too big, but I would like to know where my content is going. And I’d like to not just do it for virality, for anybody out there that’s new. Of course you are aiming for real virality. It just simply that’s what the name of the game is unfortunately right now. But I would just a word of caution here is don’t do it just for it. Find what it is that you want to talk about. Talk about it again and again. Don’t like hop on this trend out of this niche. And then, on that trend, all of that industry, because you feel like one of them is going to go like once you have that moment of massive exposure, which wonderful thing for, you know, new people to have the chance to get to that level more quickly than they used to, make sure that you’re setting your brand up properly beforehand so that if you go viral, that people go to your profile and see the same type and level of quality of content on your page, and you can actually build a brand, so you build the brand before you have that viral pop. A word of caution? Also, frustration. A large part of posting on social media, waiting for it to happen. Then when it happens, transitioning into something bigger. But I think one thing that hasn’t changed is over all the years on all the platforms, consistency and patience are the two key terms to make it happen passion, consistency and patience. 


[00:21:38] Dave Yovanno You know there what I’m hear you say it that you know the nature of the beast is you know, I think the reality is that there are a lot of one hit wonders that are out there. But you can’t always predict, like how to build, you know, kind of like a legendary or dynasty, you know, sort of experience with your content. But if you just stay true to your passion, stay true to that connection with your audience, things should take care of themselves. I think that’s the kind of the main advice that I’m hearing from you. You’re very passionate about what you do. You know, it’s highly likely that your audience will follow you and you’re going to develop new audiences. As your passions change in your focus areas change. 


[00:22:13] Marcel Floruss To shift what we’re talking about a tiny bit for brands and businesses here. There’s an article, I think it was in the the daily or something years ago. It was called a 1000 True Fans. So in the these times of get as many followers, as you can possibly like as many of views, as many followers, I’d like to remind people out there also, it’s not just about how many, it’s about who and the quality of which. You don’t need a lot to be able to do the thing you like. If if you love what you’re talking about and you have a thousand people that follow you, but they buy everything that you’re talking about because that’s so niche and that’s the thing, and you can very likely make a living off of that. You can be a micro influencer that self-sustaining and tying back into passion. If you do something you like, the patience comes automatically because you’re not really trying to go anywhere. You’re already enjoying the process. 


[00:23:00] Dave Yovanno Yeah, I thought you would be a fun person to have a quick lightning round of of a few questions on some hot topics. If you’re if you’re open to that, Marcel. Let’s do it. All right. So what percentage of your posts are lifestyle based and in the moment versus like product based and informational? 


[00:23:18] Marcel Floruss On Youtube, none are none our lifestyle. And then everything is planned. On Instagram, Stories really at my posts if it’s not a piece of fashion I can talk about, I think I’d say like 95 percent professional, five percent personal actually. 


[00:23:32] Dave Yovanno Okay. How much time do you spend editing a blog post, a YouTube video, an Instagram post just to give us an idea? 


[00:23:40] Marcel Floruss Instagram post, photos, maybe a half an hour. Real about an hour. YouTube video, two to four hours, depending on what it is could be more. I started editing again about a year ago. My own stuff I had an editor before, but you know, bigger videos like lookbook projects for a spring could be a couple days of editing. Okay. 


[00:23:59] Dave Yovanno And how do you discover brands to partner with and how do they find you? 


[00:24:03] Marcel Floruss How they find me? I don’t know, but I’m glad that they do. If you do your job well and they have a good social media person, you should. You know, if you’re a good fit, it should just happen naturally. Otherwise, you shop brands, you go, you go out. I’ll still love to go actually shopping. Obviously. I love to browse on the internet, look at what other influencers are wearing. If I see something I like, I will reach out. This is very much like any other business. You want to build the relationship. You want to put in a little bit of value also before anything happens. So I have many brands that I approach that say, hey, I love your shoes. I’d love to, you know, create some content for you. Of course, in the hopes of also building a long term partnership that includes some an actual fee. But if not, it’s fine. Again, if it’s if it’s something I enjoy talking about and I think that’s actually a value to my audience, then that’s already a win. But yeah, don’t be afraid to be proactive. And nowadays it’s a lot easier to reach out to a brand than I think the other way around. There’s so many brands reaching out to influencers constantly. There’s not that many influencers reaching out to rants. I think we’re kind of waiting, maybe like a DM, but an email goes a long way. 


[00:25:02] Dave Yovanno Interesting. Okay. And on that point you just made, how do you establish partnership fees and do you prefer short term or long term partnerships with brands? 


[00:25:12] Marcel Floruss No, I enjoy long term partnerships. For sure. I think they are the most organic for it to become a good, solid long term partnership. The influencer, the brand really do have to match up on both ends. You know, for a brand to want to work with an influencer for several posts and for influencer to feature the same brand over and over, there needs to be a lot of actual shared values, I think. I don’t mind one offs, as long as it’s a give and take. Some of my best brand partnerships are long term without having a contractual obligation to be long term. So, you know, I’ll get a paid job in spring, I’ll post throughout the summer, I’ll do something in the fall, and by holiday the phone rings again. So there’s a lot of value that’s being brought in in between those gaps. And personally, I prefer, you know, flat fees over affiliate. I think that’s something you see more in the men’s space. Women. I’ve heard of some of these affiliate members that are absolutely wild to me of of some women, in fact, like mommy bloggers that wow, absolutely mind blowing. For me, I’ve always looked at it as this production fee, at the very least, is production fee and is guaranteed access to my audience. And the brand association, I think should come with a price tag. Hybrid structures are wonderful where you know, you maybe a lower set fee and then depending on on how much you actually sell through, that’s amazing. And it’s also like, you know, it’s it’s it’s how you also guarantee to some level this is right advice. Now often more authentic posts. Right? You don’t because you don’t want it to seem like the influencer you’re working with is just working with you because you’re paying them that one time and then you fade away. That’s a weak partnership, right? Like you want to be building those stronger connections not only with those influencers, but with the influencers audiences. 


[00:26:49] Dave Yovanno All right, switching gears a little bit, it’s incredibly impressive that you’ve been able to parlay your skills as a creator to become creative director of the brand Aetos Apparel. Can you just talk to us a little bit about how you got into that opportunity to join a brand with an in-house role and brand equity, and how other creators can do the same? 


[00:27:07] Marcel Floruss So this is something that came about very, very naturally. And I think that’s also something that makes sense to happen very naturally and will likely for other creators too. So this is, a brand that was founded by, one of my best friends, Alex Costa, long time YouTuber focusing on men’s lifestyle, grooming and style. He had started a company in 2020 that was focused on t-shirts. Really nice fitting, good feeling t-shirts, but it was a slim fit shirt. Right around before that big change came into the fashion industry that everything got looser. So, when he wanted to expand on the collection, which was first t-shirts, then some hoodies, he asked me if I wanted to step in and create some clothes with him. So it’s something that just happened very, very easily. But I think, every influencer brand that I’ve seen comes out of this natural expertise that stems from the passion and the time that you put in over the years to create that content, to make sure you know which brands are the hardest, which, competitors are worth checking out. Where is it necessary to look for quality, where sometimes you want to prioritize value. So you know all these things, you have a really good understanding of the market because the market is your audience. Those are your people. So for the two of us to team up and kind of see where we can take it together just made sense. So like I said, very natural natural progression there. 


[00:28:31] Dave Yovanno Yeah, I love it. All right. We’ve covered a lot in this episode. I’d love to wrap with what trends that you’re paying attention to right now. What’s next for creators? 


[00:28:40] Marcel Floruss The trend is to stay alert. I think, I think it’s really hard to pinpoint that. I think the trend is to try and write every trend without losing yourself. Sorry. I know this is very broad advice and not very ABC actionable, but I do believe that that’s the truest answer I got for you. I don’t think there’s an overarching thing. You have so much competition now. You got to keep honing your craft, keep honing your craft, keep finding that inspiration. Keep keep applying beginner’s mind. Don’t just do the things that the algorithm is telling you to do, or you think you should do because you’re an xyz influencer. Nobody’s telling you that you can’t switch who you are, what you stand for, and what you talk about overnight if you so desire. Considering what I believe the trend is more so an inspiration. Don’t lose yourself and take breaks to listen to what it is that you’d create if nothing mattered right now. Because that’s how this whole entire industry started is just people talking about something they cared about. 


[00:29:44] Dave Yovanno Yeah, sounds like like an important message that that’s probably really needed right now about being original. It was kind of like what I’m what I’m hearing you articulate and regarding trends, I would imagine that a lot of our audience might be thinking about your thoughts on, like GenAI, for example. Yeah. You know, is that a trend that is affecting, you know, creators and what they do and how they think? What are your thoughts on that? 


[00:30:07] Marcel Floruss It, of course, is a trend to me. It’s not something that stands out because I don’t think I think right now it’s just a tool that adds to it. It’s definitely going to change the future more drastically than it has so far. I think I’ve used AI a lot to create scripts to come up with solid YouTube titles for SEO strategy. There’s so much you can do. And I think as any creator and brand out there right now, use it, use it, abuse it, don’t worry about it too much. I think, of course there’s the old debate of, you know, artistic rights and where’s the imagery coming from? Because it’s actually coming from other artists across the if you’re using it to create logos or whatnot. That’s not really the conversation I think I’m fit talking about. It’s more so on the on a business side and how to integrate it into your business. I say go for it. I say strategize with it. I say run, run ideas against it. I say, have it flesh out concepts for you. You can ask it what’s trending right now? Nowadays, you know, things change a lot. About a half a year ago when when ChatGPT became life to today, right? When it actually can search the internet for you now versus data was data two years back. Now you can actually have it scour the internet for you for Instagram trends. There’s so many websites that we’ll talk about real trends, TikTok trends, things that you should be doing, audio that’s going viral. So you have a little pocket helper. Use them. I’m not worried yet. 


[00:31:28] Dave Yovanno All right. Marcel, thank you so much for joining me for such an insightful and candid conversation. And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in. 


[00:31:35] Marcel Floruss Thank you Dave. It’s pleasure being on here. Been an honor. 


[00:31:41] Dave Yovanno I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Marcel and all the tips that he shared, particularly around the resilience of forward thinking mindset. A creator needs to see long term success. Marcel emphasized the importance of owning your niche, as opposed to trying every single trend until one post goes viral. Because after that virality, your audience needs to understand who you are and what they can expect to gain from your content. This is a great way to hone your expertise, which becomes extremely valuable to brands down the road. In that vein, Marcel secured his position as Creative director of Aetos Apparel because the founder knew he could trust Marcel’s insights on the men’s fashion industry, the competitive market and what the modern buyer wants. It was also interesting to hear the different benefits of each social media platform, and how that affects content creation strategy. Marcel provided some quick tips for making the most of your content. For example, how to turn the same photoshoot into different posts for TikTok versus Instagram. I’m excited to follow Marcel on his journey as he continues to evolve his content to, as he put it, an inside out approach. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you, Marcel, for joining us on The Partnership Economy Podcast and to our listeners. Thank you for listening. 


[00:33:01] Canned Intro Thanks for listening to the Partnership Economy, brought to you by If you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to subscribe to the show and rate and review it on Apple Podcasts.

Stay in the know. Get our monthly newsletter right in your inbox.


You have successfully signed signed up to our newsletter. Keep an eye on your inbox...

Invalid email values your privacy.