• One, it may not be a big problem in the near future because they are going to start hiding light, so you do whatever the fuck you want. We just live free, baby. Two, let's make sure you don't great engagement. Let's put up the average engagement by tier for the platform.

    These averages are across our 80, 000 influencers. This is where you should be. If you are below that, yes, you do have low engagement. I'm sorry. How should you handle it? One, If it were me, let's say I had 100, 000 followers and at my level, the average engagement was 2% and I had 1%, that's dramatic. That's 100% lower. That's not a small amount. Again, we talked about this in the episode with Patrick and he said he doesn't do this. Patrick, I love you but I think I would if it were me. I would get ahead of it.

    Okay, let me step back. I guess there's two things. If the brand comes to you and they want to work with you, then don't say a thing. I think when I was talking to Patrick and he said that he doesn't bring it out, it's because he is getting reached out to. If someone reaches out to you, you don't have to be, "Super excited to work with you. I do want you to know I have bad engagement." That is not really helpful.

    If you feel like you don't have great engagement and you are not getting brand deals because of that, I think you need to, when you reach out to brands, you need to bring up the engagement right away. I think you need to say, "You are going to look at my account, you are going to see this engagement number, let me explain why that is the way it is." Whatever you do, don't say, "Oh, my God. My engagement was 50% better last week but the algorithm is just fucking killing me," and like, "It's not my fault. I don't know what's going on."

    How many people will just tell me all the time when I defend the algorithm, that in the last month, Instagram has cut their engagement into half? Again, for somebody working in the industry, when I hear that I'm just like, "I shut off." I have no interest in hearing anything else you have to say because again, the algorithm is not predatory. It's not going after you. It is true that your content may not be very interesting to your audience anymore.

    They may not be engaging with it and that not engaging with it compounds itself. That's the difficulty with poor engagement is that it trends downward. The worse your engagement gets, the worse your reach gets because the algorithm isn't serving that content to your followers and it just keeps sliding down and down and down. Then it's really hard to correct that path because Instagram is no longer serving your content to your audience, so it's difficult to bring them back in and get them to engage.

    Now, I think even if you have bad engagement and I will actually answer the question eventually. Even if you have poor engagement, I think what I would probably do is I would focus not on just doing the same thing over and over again, but trying to get a big winner. I usually get four, 350 to 600 likes on a photo, let's say. I don't have very good engagement. Sometimes I'll get 1,000 to 1,200.

    I would probably focus on, and when I get that, my reach is usually-- My average reach is let's say 6,000. I have 24,000 followers. My average reach is around 6,000. When I do the 1,000, 1,200, 1,500 likes, I do like between 10 and 13,000 in reach. In that instance when I have these photos that really take off, my reach doubles. In the short term, I would focus on those big winners and I wouldn't focus as much honestly on consistency or things like that.

    I would just step back and say, "How can I get a big winner? If I get two or three of those in a row, do I start to retrain the algorithm? A bunch of people have now liked these posts. Is my stuff showing up more?" I think you need to figure out a way to break out of that thing that is holding you back. Again, there is this frustration that is like, "Yes, the content that I usually posted and would get all this engagement, isn't getting the engagement anymore."

    What frustrates me is that influencers' reaction to that is to just post more of that content that isn't getting good engagement. Listen to the performance, try and find those winners to try and claw yourself out of that hole because that hole just gets deeper and deeper and deeper if your engagement is sliding. That's that. I would try and get ahead of it. If I had 100K and I had poor engagement and I was reaching out to a brand, I would discount my rates because my engagement wasn't as good.

    I think I would discount my rates by how much I thought my engagement was down, because engagement does follow reach. Smart marketers now, people that know what they are doing, if your engagement is under a percentage point, let's say, and they know it's half as what it should be. They also know that unless Instagram is working much different for you than most people, that you're reaching half as many people as the people at your similar following level.

    In what world would I pay you the same that I'm going to pay someone else knowing that if I work with that another person with better engagement and thus better reach, that my money is going to go twice as far? Just think about it yourself. If you were going to a restaurant and there were two cheeseburgers. One of them costs $15 and one of them cost $30 and they were the same exact cheeseburger, which one would you get?

    Of course, you would get the $15 one every time. If your engagement is bad and your reach is bad and you're not adjusting your pricing, that is what it looks like. It looks like you're walking and trying to sell me a $30 cheeseburger when I see the cheeseburger on the menu is $15. It's never going to work for you.

    I think you'd have to discount your rates and you have to get ahead of that and say totally, "Just want you to know, I've been struggling a little bit with engagement. I'm doing a bunch of things right now. It seems to be turning it around but in the short term, I'm going to give you a discount because I know I'm not reaching as many people as I should be right now."

    That's a very honest conversation. It's a difficult one to have but I think that if you're not getting work because of your engagement, you have to meet it head-on. I think I've said before to go back and watch Eight mile, that last rap battle scene with Eminem where he he says every insult that the guy's about to say about him, and then the guy doesn't have anything to say all. It's like, "Do that," but just for pitching yourself as an influencer.

    If there's anything that you feel I could get them to say no, then just address it, because when you address it, you get to craft the narrative. It's so frustrating to us. We just heard from a client, we really wanted to work with that we lost a deal. It's $180,000 deal. That's sucks for us. The brand told us why we lost it. It was frustrating because they just misunderstood our offering.

    The reason they said that they weren't going to work with us was absolutely not a valid reason not to work with us. They never mentioned it. In that case, our inability to frame what they saw as a weakness lost us the deal. If you don't talk about your bad engagement, they're going to make up their own story about it, which is probably a lot worse than the truth of it. It behooves you to get ahead of it
    Episode #156
    - Influencer engagement rate, differences, relevance in your industry