• The question was actually, are influencers over 40 on our radar? and some suggestions for influencers who are operating in the food segment. I'll blow that out to talk about niches in general. One, short answer, to the first part of the question, we definitely are looking at influencers with older audiences. A lot of the purchasing power in the United States is locked up in people that are over the age of 40. Those audiences are increasingly coming to Instagram a little late, and those audiences are generally smaller, but we're finding that they operate and act a lot like influencer audiences used to years ago. They're more engaged. They're more ready to buy. They're ready to buy. They're ready to swipe up. They're excited.

    We are finding a lot of effectiveness working with older influencers, and it's definitely a place for watching. It's something we're really excited about. That's just absolutely, if anyone's watching the show and you're over 40, keep going. I think the next couple years are going to be great for influencers who are over 40, as far as the volume of brand deals that start coming in because it's just this very interesting untapped market that is full of people ready to take their wallet out, which is a marketer's dream, really. Speaking to other nations, in general, I think that, again, there's this thought that everything's been done and there's no space for you to come and do something interesting.

    When I thought of food, I initially thought of Infatuation, which I'm sure you guys have heard of. This was a blog started by a couple of guys who were in the music industry, and now, quite a big business. They bought Zagat Guide recently. When they launched, they weren't doing anything different. They were doing food reviews. They were doing them in their voice, and they had a little bit of differentiation as far as tagging restaurants as being big for good groups or big for people watching.

    In general, I think they focused a little less on the food than a normal food review would and more on the experience of dining out in that place. One of my things that got me reading Infatuation was their review of Rao's, which is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The first line is like, "If you can't have a good time at Rao's, you're an asshole," which would just not be in a normal food review, but it was just a food review site. I think that, again, there's this potential frustration of like everything's been done but the guys who started that, it wasn't innovative.

    It was just a fucking food review site. There's nothing different about it really. It's just that their voice and their point of view is different, and it has become this big thing. There is always an opportunity, in any of these niches, to do something. The other thing I think with Infatuation, specifically, is they're a food brand, but most of the advertising that they seem to work with is lifestyle brands because food has become such a part of lifestyle. That's not becoming.

    Obviously, food has always been pretty important to people's lives and living, but interesting that when you see the people that they work with, the brands that they work with, it's generally not people in the food space. I think that, again, if you're a travel influencer and you're frustrated because it's harder to make money, I do think there is a way to cross verticals and start integrating other things. If you're a travel influencer, can you work with beauty or fashion brands? Absolutely. You have to be a little more aggressive in getting those people to come to you because they're not thinking of you.

    Obviously, Infatuation is now quite big, and they're a very hip company right now, but I imagine, in the beginning, they were doing a lot of pitching. Amex wasn't just coming to them being like, "Hey, I want to do this big thing." They were probably saying like, "Hey, we have this really exciting thing happening, and it's involving food and people and all this thing, and you can pull your lifestyle brand into this in a really exciting way."

    If you're in a niche that is outside of the verticals that are pulling a lot of money, and for influencers right now, you can think about how can those brands work with you? As always, think about what you're doing different. What is the thing that you're doing that no one else is doing? Because there is always room to just reinvent an existing business. Like, again, Infatuation is a reinvention of a Zagat Guide. Funny that they ended up buying it. Tesla is just a reinvention of Ford. Amazon is probably in some ways a reinvention of like Walmart. It's the same thing just done in a little different way.

    There's always room for you. There's always room to do something interesting, but you have to be doing it in a way that is different and unique to you. I think, long term, if I was not in any niche, I would worry about being too replaceable. Because Infatuation is built on their tone of voice and their perspective of the world, right now, they can't be replaced because they own that whole way of talking about restaurants. They have a really good defensible position, as far as the business goes.

    If your brand and that brand can be your Instagram feed, is just like plain white toast, nobody's mad about toast but not a lot of people are super passionate about it either. That's actually probably not true. People do really like toast but probably not white toast. You have to worry about being replaced easily. You become interchangeable with a lot of people. Things start to commoditize and prices fall.

    If you're not in a niche and you don't have something super specific that is specific to you, then people can price shop and say, "Okay, I'm looking for an LA blogger who's wearing high pony and Adidas track pants all the time." It's like, "Okay, there's 1000 of those." You can price shop a little more than you could if you have something really specific and unique that you do because you can hold your ground and say, "This is me, and if you want me you have to pay a premium for that."
    Episode #140
    - Niche Mastery, Sponsored Instagram Stories, Brand Interactions