Interview With Danny Tran CEO and Founder of Highstoke Media
I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Tran. Danny Tran is the CEO and Founder of Highstoke Media. Highstoke Media is the #1 Luxury PMU Growth Agency that helps permanent makeup artists generate new clients on autopilot without relying on outdated marketing tactics. They have helped over 1,100 luxury PMU artists in 15 different countries close deals, collect deposits, and book appointments. They have been featured in MarketWatch, Digital Journal, and more. They are also official partners of the Vegas PMU Conference, in which they speak annually. Their company is revolutionary in the PMU world and has a proven track record of success in the field.
Can you share with us your background and your career?
It’s quite funny how I got here actually. Everything I’m doing now isn’t even remotely close to what I thought I’d be doing in life. Growing up in an Asian household, I really thought I was supposed to follow the stereotypical doctor, lawyer, engineer route, but I somehow started my career in the Silicon Valley scene working with financial technology companies helping them with all things marketing, advertising, and business development.
Throughout my years in Silicon Valley, I got obsessed with numbers and all things customer acquisition. I figured out that if I could fundamentally understand “what” makes people buy and “how” to make them buy it, I could essentially push out any product/service successfully. I eventually got let go from my gig (due to investors pulling out of the company) so I decided to take that skillset and start my own business. About 9 out of 10 businesses absolutely failed and after years of trial and error, what finally started to show success was Highstoke Media.
Can you share with our readers how you started your company and the mission behind it?
When I started Highstoke Media, I had no intention of ever focusing on the luxury beauty industry. In fact, we were all over the place, servicing niches all across the board. Health & wellness, gyms, personal trainers, yoga studios, chiropractors, physical therapists, medical spas, wellness spas, and even industries as crazy as private airplane tours.
Eventually, I had an old colleague reach out and ask if I could help her out with her permanent makeup (microblading) business. At the time, I had no idea what PMU was or why it was a trending industry. I thought tattooing your face was absolutely crazy. After some time, we realized that it was such an untapped industry where 99% of the market is struggling due to outdated marketing tactics. 3 years later, we’ve worked with hundreds of artists around the world, spent millions on advertising, generated multiple 8-figures for our clients and brands to date and a global team of 27.
Our mission is to help luxury beauty professionals grow and scale their dream businesses so that they can focus on what they do best.
How is diversity in the workplace evolving, how does it play into your company and its mission?
That’s a fantastic question. Diversity and having a global culture is one of the things we take a lot of pride in when it comes to Highstoke Media and our mission. Our team is now 27 strong and is across 8 different countries. We have employees in the US, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Valenzuela, Colombia, Philippines, Argentina and more. We believe in global talent and empowering people around the world who share our mission of being #1 in this industry and having as much impact as possible in this field.
With that said, I don’t think we would’ve had the success we’ve had if we didn’t have a global team with our culture.
During the pandemic many people lost their jobs and livelihood, how did your company adapt and pivot during this time to be what it is today?
I believe in adaptation more than anything if you are a business trying to survive and thrive in today’s digital age. What worked last year won’t work this year. What works now won’t work next year. At the rate that the digital landscape is evolving, if you are not innovating on social strategies and testing new frameworks constantly, you will eventually be irrelevant in the market.
Believe it or not, because we were so focused on digital strategies and paid social media, we saw the pandemic as a blessing in disguise because this presented the opportunity to help so many local businesses that were struggling for new clientele and getting their name out. If you are not investing in digital marketing and paid strategies to get in front of your ideal market, you will eventually lose to your competitors. One of our core values has always been to innovate with integrity and be at the forefront of the industry and grow one day at a time.
If you could go back and talk to your younger self what would you tell him and why?
That’s a great question! The number one thing I would tell my younger self is that “The most successful things in your life will come from making tough decisions consistently.” Throughout my early career, I would always procrastinate, have limiting beliefs or always wait for that “perfect moment.” Taking consistent action, day in and day out, and ignoring the voices inside your head will always get you further and where you want to be with your life and business. Sometimes, it’s the smallest decision that will change everything for you.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now?
Absolutely. We just launched a brand new system called Brow Clients-on-Demand Plus which is designed to help permanent makeup artists generate new clients consistently with the first-ever Brow Expert Concierge Team. This is the industry’s first-ever growth program that completely takes care of all the marketing and sales so that our clients can show up to a booked and busy calendar and focus on what they do best.
In addition to that, we are launching The Highstoke Academy which has the mission to be the #1 marketing and business school for beauty professionals around the world. With all the outdated strategies out there, we’re so excited to bring something fresh, modern and actually proven to work (across hundreds of clients) in 2022.
Where do you see yourself and your career going in this new year and in the future?
Like I said earlier, our mission is to be the #1 growth partner in the luxury beauty industry. What that entails is building a world-class community where they have access to the very best tools, resources, education, and programs to build the business of their dreams. In addition to that, we plan on hosting more events over the next couple of years along with franchising a few of our own locations. Lastly, we are launching our own software which will be the #1 system to help beauty pros run and scale their businesses the right way by replacing all of the outdated tech the industry is currently using.
How can our readers connect with you on social media?
You can get more information about us on our website at www.highstoke-media.com or any of our social media handles @highstokemedia (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube). We look forward to connecting and working with all of you!