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  • In my career on the internet and running this business, I have not done as much philanthropy as I could and probably should do. I have talked about the things I'm passionate about the fact that Trump is a white nationalist, racist, bigoted asshole, that we need stronger gun control laws, that people shouldn't be persecuted based on where they're from or the color of their skin or their religions, that women deserve equal rights and equal pay.

    Any number of issues I have been vocal about, but I don't really have a huge platform. It's easy for me to be vocal about those things. We are doing this trip to Bangladesh this week. We're bringing three influencers with us. It is not going to be an easy trip. It's not going to be a normal press trip. We've already talked to the influencers.

    There's no outfit post, there's no Bangladeshi skincare routine. We are going there to one of the gravest humanitarian crises in the world right now to watch and see the work that this charity is doing and to hopefully try and, one, raise money so that they can do more of that work and maybe, more importantly, bring awareness to the work that they're doing and start that conversation.

    I think that as influencers, you underestimate the power that you do have. If you look at AOC and The New Green Deal which isn't even a bill, it's not an actual thing. I don't even know what the thing is actually called, what The New Green Deal is. Yes, everyone is like, "Hey, it's not possible" and right now it's not possible. It's like, "It'll never get passed in Congress." It's like, "Right, it's not even a bill." It can't get passed, it's not a thing that can get passed but it is driving the conversation.

    It did put climate change into the front seat of the news cycle for quite some time. It, I think, is forcing Democrats especially to move farther left on global warming and our response to it. In that, it's massively successful.

    I think as influencers, if you can move your audience a little closer to an issue or you can get them talking about it with their families or their friends or their loved ones or their colleagues, you're doing your job. Again, the easiest thing you can do is to become educated on the things that you're interested in and passionate about. If you build a following, I think you have to care about more than makeup or clothes.

    Those things are massively important, I believe that. I, obviously, wouldn't dedicate my life to this business if I thought that what you all did was silly or stupid. I think it's really important and just reading the testimonials that influencers have been getting it's clear how much impact you have over people's lives in building self-confidence and not feeling like they're alone.

    If you're not naturally political that's totally fine. You don't have to talk about politics, but become aware of the issues in the world and read up on them and see if you connect with some of them. If you become passionate, then I implore you to talk about them. Then to give your feed over to talking about those issues even if it's going to cause you to lose followers, even if those posts aren't going to do as well. I think you have a responsibility to talk about it.

    In the same way that philanthropy is a counter-balance for extreme wealth, this is something that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would say is broken and how our economy is rigged and that philanthropy has to step in where government maybe should be if the super-rich paid more taxes. They have so much money, so much wealth that there is a moral imperative to give some or all of that away for them to be able to continue to live their lives.

    It's like anyone who's that rich has done probably terrible things to get that rich and their businesses are probably ruining people's lives and the planet. They have to counterbalance that with philanthropy. As influencers, you have a different kind of wealth. You have a wealth of attention. You have more attention on your life than most people. You are in the 1% of the world as far as the platform that you have. I think there is a similar imperative to use that platform for good and for something that is not in service of you and your bank account and your stature in the world.

    I hope that with the trip we're doing to Bangladesh, it's the start of many things like this that we're doing and more influencers are doing because I also believe that using your platform is great, but I do think that there is more that influencers can and should be doing. I think it will be harder and harder as an influencer to continue to enjoy the success that you do without doing those things, without at least using your platform to shed light on issues that are important to the broader world.

    My last point is it doesn't have to be political. Countries being ravaged by disease and poverty, that is not a political issue. Nobody thinks that children should be starving in other countries. That is not political. You don't have to talk about Trump. You don't have to talk about even the things happening in this country. There are a lot of great organizations and they make it really easy now. You can post on your stories, there's a donate button, you can pull up almost any charity and you can raise money through Instastories without a swipe up. It's really simple. You can do that today. I implore you to do that.

    I think all of us need to, especially as we start to come into some success, think about how we are going to share that with people who are less fortunate because in many instances we just won a lottery of where you were born, to what parents and what station in life. I think the sooner you recognize that and shine and spread the love and the wealth and whatever you have to give, the better the world will get.
    Episode #160
    - Getting brand attention, aligning values, using influence for good
  • This is obviously a question that's been asked because of things that have been in the news cycle recently. I just spoke to Glossy. We can put a link to that article up. I just spoke to Glossy about this same issue of what do you do as an influencer when a brand's morals or behavior don't align with yours.

    I think one of the great things about this industry or the best things about it is that it is full of individuals, and that those individuals are generally autonomous, and are in charge of their own destiny, and can have the flexibility to say what they believe in without any corporate oversight. So, I think as an influencer, you have a responsibility to your audience to be true to your morals and to be true to your code of ethics and the things that you believe in, the things that you think are okay, and the things that you think are not okay.

    If you are a customer of a brand or you're working with them and you don't believe in what they're doing or you find that their morals aren't aligned with yours, it is 100% your right to walk away from that partnership or stop being a customer of that brand. It is your right to talk about that on your channels and tell your audience why you are not aligned with that brand.

    I will caveat it by saying that this is also your business. As you grow as an influencer and as your business grows, you shouldn't compromise your morals in pursuit of capital, but you should remember that this is a small industry. Make sure that if you're going to exit a partnership because of something in the news, because of some morality issue, to make sure that you do it in a way that is as classy and fair as possible. These issues are not new. We have H&M, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, all of them doing things that are insensitive and that cause a well-deserved uproar on the internet.

    I think it's important to remember that the people you're actually working with at the brand, that are working on the contracts, that are your day-to-day contact, they probably had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. I feel for the social teams and the PR teams at these brands because they're probably going through the same moral and ethical struggles that you as an influencer are. Except for them, taking a stand would mean quitting, which would mean all of their income disappears.

    Whereas an influencer, let's say you work with a hundred brands a year, it's 1% of your income. It's much easier to take a stand when it's 1% of your income versus 100%. I feel for those in-house teams that get this thing thrown on them that was not their fault and they have to deal with it and they are taking the hate and acid from the mob.

    I think that if you are going to step away from a paid partnership that you're contracted for, one, absolutely speak to the teams first. Speak to the teams on those brands. If a brand is finding out you're walking away from a partnership from your post, you have made a huge misstep. Let those teams know. E-mail them, try and get on a call. That's a conversation that should, I think, be had on the phone. I think you owe them that, at least, to talk through it. I think that there is a way to walk away from these partnerships in a way that you continue to be in service to your morals and your ethics and the way you see the world without joining the mob in bashing a company unnecessarily more than it needs to be.

    You can say, "Hey, you guys know I've been working with this brand. You've seen the news. I'm no longer working with this brand." That is very different than going on a huge tirade. Again, I'm not saying that that is not ever justified. We have seen that influencers and celebrities have real power in this space. When they stand up and say, "Hey, I'm putting my money where my mouth is, and I'm going to lose out on money because I believe so strongly that what this brand is doing is wrong. I think that is a very just and honorable and admirable thing to do.

    I just think that you need to also just make sure you give the teams that you're working with a chance to know that's coming and not be blindsided by it because they will have long memories about this and they might go somewhere else. You don't want to get the reputation of being unfair or reactionary inside the community because again, it is a small community.

    I will also say on the brand side in our contracts we have morality clauses. We have the ability as do our clients to walk away from an influencer who we feel like is their actions or beliefs are not in line with ours or our clients or their actions are negatively impacting our business or our client's business. I think it is totally valid as an influencer to have those same morality clauses and know that, "Hey, if you do anything that I don't agree with, I'm allowed to walk away from this."
    Episode #160
    - Getting brand attention, aligning values, using influence for good
  • Let's first talk about some in-the-box ways to get brand's attention. The first thing, we've talked about this before, if you want to work with a brand, the best way to get their attention is to start working for the brand. We do this all the time at Fohr. Sometimes, we want to work with the client, we'll be in the middle of the pitch, and they will have something coming up that they could potentially use help with, and we just help them. They've got an event that Friday in a store in Dallas. We will send them hundred of our influencers from Dallas that we think would want to go to the event or they are looking for an intro to a specific influencer, and we help broker that for them.

    We just start working for brands before we're paid and what I say to the sales team is that we assume the sale. We just are saying, "Hey, we're going to work together. I know that we have to work this through legal and you have to go through your boss and all these things to get it approved," but we're confident that we're going to work together. In good faith, we're just going to start working for you. As an influencer, especially if you have a following that's substantial,let's say it's over 30,000 or 40,000 followers, your biggest tool at your disposal is that following and your ability to just talk about the brand.

    If they're bigger brand, they're probably not going to see your post unless they have a social team that's really on top of it. They're probably not going to see your post especially if it's in a story, so I encourage you to post about the brand, send that post to them, send any comments, highlight comments that you've got that are product-specific, not comments from your influencer friends that are meant to look good. Again, just as a side caveat, like everybody sees through that so you know.

    Everyone in the industry sees through when you do a sponsor post or work with a brand and all your influencer friends comment on it saying, "Oh my God, I love that. I need to buy that. Love that product. I love those shoes." We know that you're doing that to make the comments look better, and I don't think you're doing yourself a favor. In fact, I think it makes you look less influential. It makes it look like you're part of, whether or not you are part of it, it makes you look like you're part of a comment pod of influencers who are commenting product-focused comments to try and make the comment section look more appealing to brands. Detour over, we'll get back on to it.

    Posting about the brand first and best thing that you can do, send an email with the post, any comments, DMs, information that you had, whatever it is to make yourself look good and say, "Hey, I've been a fan of this brand.
    Here's a post I recently did. Here's the comments. My audience loves it. I'd love to work with you, love to get on a call with you and hear what you guys have going on."

    On Fohr, there's content search. If you haven't been to Fohr recently, you haven't done a content search, go into your profile and scroll down to the content section where you have most engaged content and recent sponsor posts. Under there is a bar that says search your Instagram. Type in any brand that you post about, and it will open up a page that you can then generate a report and send to a brand to say like, "Hey, I've talked about your brand 40 times in the last three years. Here's all of those posts with the average engagement rate and the total impressions." Those reports are great.

    I know that Jess Kirby used it, not too long ago, to get a collaboration with Barber. She went, searched, said, "Hey, I've been talking about this brand for years," [unintelligible 00:08:52] the brand." They paid attention. Opened up a dialogue, and she started working with them in official capacity.

    That is the easiest and best way. When you think about out-of-the-box ways, I don't think you have to get too gimmicky to work with a brand that you want to work with. I find in general that most brands are pretty accessible. These departments are pretty small. They don't actually get a huge amount of inbound interest that is real. My girlfriend works in marketing for fashion beauty brands, and she will sometimes forward me emails from influencers, 98% of them are an email that says, "Hey, love the brand. Love to collaborate." That is not an email that will ever get a response.

    When I say brands aren't getting a lot of inbound, they're not getting a lot of inbound that is thoughtful and worth paying attention to. I think what you can do to stand out outside of the box is just spend some time and put a thoughtful e-mail together, pull the content together that you've already created for the brand, do something to show that you actually care. You don't want it to look like, and it shouldn't be, a mass outreach, right? If you've ever gotten an e-mail that says like, "Dear blogger," where it's clear that, like in an Excel sheet, instead of your first name, they have blogger and then they sent a mass e-mail out, and they didn't change that, that's really frustrating because it feels impersonal.

    The same is true for brands. If you just say, "Hey, love your brand, we'd love to collaborate." It doesn't matter if you have half a million followers. That's probably not going to get a response. So, instead of telling you that you should be doing some crazy thing to work with the brand, I think that you should get good at doing the simple things and building a case that shows the brand that you care about them, that you're passionate about what they do, and that you really do want to work with them, and your motivations are not just monetary. Well, obviously, you're entering into a business relationship and that means that there has to be some payment on their side, be it through product or money, you don't want to reach out and have it feel like, "Hi, pay me." That is never really going to work.

    `Outside of that, if you're a bigger influencer and you're looking for a big partnership, and that is going to be, let's say, over $20,000, $30,000, so a long contract term for a lot of money, you can also always go above the person that you may be working with that might be making that decision. One out-of-the-box method might be to try and reach out to the CMO, or reach out to the CEO.

    Again, you guys get a lot of e-mail and you read most of your e-mails. So while it may be difficult to get a response from the CEO of a large organization, or maybe because I'm terrible at e-mail, it doesn't mean that they didn't read it and that they won't forward it along.

    We had an issue with a bank years ago where we had a bunch of money stolen from us, and I was having trouble getting it back. I e-mailed the CEO of one of the largest banks in the world everyday for 14 days in a row. Eventually, somebody e-mailed me back, said, "Hey, the CEO has sent your messages. Let's talk." That connection led to a resolution of the issue and is a lesson in that everybody is accessible in some way, and if you really want something, you can definitely get someone to at least read your e-mail.

    Don't be afraid to go to the top if you really want to work with the brand because the higher up you go in an organization, especially if it's a founder, they appreciate hearing those stories of people that genuinely love their brand.

    So, if you're not getting something from the person that does the influencer work at a certain brand, e-mail the CEO. Not about wanting to collaborate, but about how much you love the brand, and all the work that you've done, and how you just respect what they've done. Make it about them and not you. A lot of ways to get in there. The first thing that you want to do though when you're trying to work with the brand is you need to build a relationship so you have to get them to answer that e-mail. Just keep plugging away and trying.
    Episode #160
    - Getting brand attention, aligning values, using influence for good
  • I will say a standard contract if you work with Fohr on behalf of any of our clients, our contract gives the brand use of that content in their own channels so their Instagram, their Twitter, their Facebook, their Pinterest accounts. It gives them the rights to use it in their own channels. It does not give them the right to put any spend behind promoting that, so organically, they can use it, but they can't put any ad spend behind it. It gives them the right to use it in a newsletter but not to link to a product. You could be in the header of the newsletter linking to the homepage, and that would be under the contract, but if it is a photo of you wearing a certain handbag and it linked to that handbag, that wouldn't be allowed.

    Same they can use it in their blog or something on their homepage. They can't use it in e-com, so it can't be on a page that is driving to sales. Essentially, we give the brand rights to use it for anything that doesn't directly result in a sale. If a brand is pushing you for usage rights, 100% it is industry standard to charge for that. What you charge varies greatly on what the ask is. Is it one month? Is it three months? Is it two years?

    The thing you have to think about with usage rights is-- Excuse me. Let's say you're doing haircare, shampoo. Let's say you do a shampoo ad, a sponsored post with the brand, and they buy six-month usage rights on your photos. Then in three months, you do a post for another brand, but brand A still has usage rights and is running ads with your face and your content for a competitor of the brand you're talking about. Now, that puts you and your new client in a difficult situation, and that is a big reason why you're charging for usage rights is that it kind of is like a form of exclusivity because I think it is difficult for you to continue to do sponsored posts for a direct competitor knowing that someone else has usage rights on that same product.

    I would feel like if I was the brand and I bought a sponsored post from you and then I logged into Instagram and I looked at that sponsored post and then four posts later was a paid post from my biggest competitor with you in it, I would be very, very upset. I don't know enough about the contracts to know if that would be breach of contract, but I certainly would feel wronged. That is why I think it's important to charge brands for this stuff is because it does limit what you can do inside of that space.

    I think part of the question was also brands asking for extra images and wanting usage rights on those. Again, for a brand to do a cheap e-com shoot, so this is just like they're kind of shooting product on a model in their office, on the lowest end that's probably $2000, $2000-3000 to do that. A campaign shoot on the low, low end for a brand is probably $10,000-15,000, so when they do those shoots, they obviously own the images, and they get to use them as much as they want. One of the ways that brands are using influencers increasingly is they're not shooting. They're not doing their own campaign shoots. They're using influencers to do them, which I think makes a lot of sense and is much cheaper, but it is something that you should charge for, certainly. You're doing work. There is value there.

    I'll just back-of-the-napkin say that, let's say you charge $3,000 for a sponsored post. If the brand wanted 30 days of the usage rights, paid social ecom, I would charge another $1,500 for that probably. That's just the general-- Again, it varies quite a bit, and you want to be fair. Especially if a brand is buying a sponsored post and usage, you want to make sure that they get a little bit of economy of scale there, but I also wouldn't give it away.

    I say that partially at the detriment of my own company and our work because whatever I say here, it seems to come back to our team, being like, "Why are you telling influencers to do this? Because now it's all getting more expensive". I say this in some ways at my own detriment, but understand that if you're not charging for usage rights, almost everyone else is, and it's become quite standard. Any negotiation, you have to understand your value, understand where you are in the space, and be realistic, but this is something that people are used to paying for, and you shouldn't be afraid to charge for it.
    Episode #159
    - Reposting Instagram Stories, Fohr Influencer Profiles, Usage Rights
  • I believe last week I told you guys if you haven't logged in do it. That's the basics. If your Instagram disconnected. we will email you. if your YouTube gets disconnected, we'll email you. We'll let you know those things have been disconnected so that you can come back and reconnect it. It's going be hard to get any opportunities with us or our clients if your accounts aren't connected. It's going be hard to get anything with us if you haven't submitted for verification, so if you haven't done that, absolutely make sure you go in and do that.

    Then there's a new feature we have called testimonials where you can drive your audience to a page where they can leave you testimonials. Those testimonials then show up on your profile.

    Testimonials got launched a couple of weeks ago. We've had about 10,000 testimonials left for influencers. Again, we use testimonials in the Freshman Class and the Sephora squad activations that we did. What's different here is that you see the testimonials. Really, this is a way to just get compliments. If you're feeling a little down, go to Fohr, grab that testimonial Insta story, post it to the audience and just watch the compliments rush in. I think Grace Atwood did it last time I checked, and in like a day, she had 500. That's 500 compliments. I need to do it because I don't get complimented enough, honestly, so I think I need to get my testimonials out there so I can see all that good feedback.

    What we're trying to do, in all seriousness, is give brands a look at what you do beyond just your feed. The way your audience feels about you, the connection that they feel to you, the impact that you have had on your audience's life, that's what testimonials are trying to suss out, things that when a brand went to your feed they wouldn't be able to see. They wouldn't be able to glean from just looking at your feed. If you haven't done that, absolutely go check it out, and go grab those testimonials. I think they'd be really beneficial, and I know clients are already using them quite a bit in their influencer selections.

    I also just recently-- Many, many episodes ago we talked about influencers doing newsletters as a good way to stay in touch with your brand contacts, send out a monthly newsletter. We'll find what episode that is and link to it. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out. I got one from an influencer the other day that had some of her testimonials from her audience in her newsletter. I thought that was a really clever way to use it. This isn't something you usually get as an influencer. You're getting reviewed, essentially, by your audience.

    If you have a 100,000 followers and you feel like that's not much but you can be like, "Hey, look at these 20 testimonials from my audience that talk about how important and influential I am in their lives", that can kind of tip the scale away from your following into this other place. If you haven't done it, not only is it a feel-good thing to do but it really can help your business.
    Episode #159
    - Reposting Instagram Stories, Fohr Influencer Profiles, Usage Rights
  • This is something that I've really just started to notice more and not because it's happening more, but I think I've just started to notice it annoying me more. When you go to an influencer's stories and again, it looks like it's got the perforated edge across the top, it's like you're in for a 30 story day from them, and it's all just people posting about the influencer being like, "Oh my God, goals. Oh my God, this person is amazing".

    I think if we go back to what we were talking about last week, inspire, educate, entertain, I think the problem with blindly reposting people's content or people blindly reposting people talking about you or complimenting you or wishing you a happy birthday or congratulations is that it doesn't inspire, entertain or educate. It doesn't do anything for your audience. It makes you feel cool. I personally, I think, used to do more of this because it's nice to have people say nice things about you, and you want other people to know that people are saying nice things about you, especially if those other people are also kind of semi-influential.

    I was talking to a reporter friend, and she was like, "It's kind of blasé. As a reporter, you don't retweet praise of your articles. That's just a no-go". I thought that was interesting because in the influencer space, if someone says anything nice about an influencer on Instagram, they just repost it without thinking about it, being like, "Thanks, babe". Subsequently, I asked a few other reporters, and they're like, "Yes, absolutely. That's kind of an unwritten rule. You don't retweet praise of you". It shifted my perspective on reposting praise of your work or of what you're doing.

    I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't think that influencers are held to the same standards as journalists necessarily. I don't think influencers should take themselves as seriously as journalists because, honestly, journalists take themselves way too seriously. I don't think you have to say like, "I'm not going to do this". I do think that-- Think about educate, inspire or entertain and think about how you're going to do that.

    If you are launching something and you know people are going to repost it a lot-- We'll do this on Fohr sometimes. We'll collect a bunch of the reaction posts, and we'll put them all into a couple stories. We'll lay them out all together on a page and say thank you there. If your goal is "I want people to know that people are talking about this", then actually the worst way to do that is to Regram every fucking time somebody talks about it because that feels small.

    An example moving out of the influencer space, Chance came out with his new album last week, maybe two weeks ago. Once you hear this, week ago. I don't know. On his Twitter, he's been retweeting random fans complimenting his album, and to me, it feels kind of sad because it's like, "Why is Chance The Rapper, with seven and a half million followers, retweeting random fans?" For me, as a Chance fan, these tweets do fuck all for me. They're so boring. It also is like, "Why is he doing this? Shouldn't it be bigger than him taking this one small compliment and sharing it with his seven and a half million people?"

    I think, as an influencer, you have to think about the optics of what it looks like but also what can you do to achieve the goal. Again if the goal is, "Hey, people are talking about this", there's better ways to do that. I will sometimes use an influencer who has mentioned Drink with James. I will use that to talk about it myself, which is totally fine. If it's something that you haven't posted about or you haven't posted about in a while or whatever, you can use those posts to tell your own story on top of it, but just blindly Regramming everything, it's not a strategy. It's the absence of a strategy. It's lazy, and I think at all costs you should avoid doing it.

    This is your job. It's okay for your friend you went to high school with who Regrams the birthday wishes that they get. That's fine, but this is your job. I think you need to put a little bit more effort in than just saying add post to story and click the button to publish. That's just not enough.
    Episode #159
    - Reposting Instagram Stories, Fohr Influencer Profiles, Usage Rights
  • First, absolutely. I think we said before on the show that saves are like a super like. Again, think about why you would save something. Because you want to see it later. There's liking it, which is like, "I want you to know that I saw this and I liked it." There's no other real reason to like a post. Saving it is like, "I want to look at this later."

    I think looking at the post that gets the most saves is really interesting to understand what your audience is connecting with. We had a data scientists on our team look through the data on thousands and thousands of posts, I think 50,000 posts, to pull out insights of what is working, what posts are getting saved more than others. Number one, and this is obvious but sometimes the obvious stuff is important to hear again, it's posts that have tips or hacks or something like that. It makes sense. You leave some photography tip or this is how I do my makeup or this is a DIY trick I learned. Obviously that is something that if it's interesting, you're going to want to come back too. So it makes sense that a lot of people will be saving that. When I saw this study there was like a little light bulb that went off in my head. It's just like, "In our campaigns we should be pushing influencers more to try and give tips, give something that is saveable in the content." Because again, we talk about educate, inspire or entertain.

    Those are the three things a post needs to do. If it doesn't educate, inspire, or entertain, then it's probably self-serving. It's probably like, "I think I look good here so I'm going to post this," or, "I just feel like posting this," or, "I'm getting paid to post this, I'm going to post that." Post needs to inspire, educate, entertain. So educate. I think if you don't know what to say or if you feel like your content is not doing that well, I think a good thing for everyone to do maybe this week is just to try and do a post this week where you teach your audience something.

    I think lists are good. In the captions you can be like, "Hey." Like, "Here's five things that I learned about this or here is what I do when-- I think I just saw, Quigley. What's her account name? Officially Quigley. Officially Quigley. She's been doing like mad long captions recently which had been doing really well. I think she just did one that was like, "Here's what I do when I'm in a creative rat," and how she gets out of that. Things like that. Take this week, try and do one post that you feel like is something you can teach your audience.

    Be really explicit about it. Then look at the saves. Let's see if that becomes one of your most saved posts. I think it will. I think that it's a good metric to start tracking and maybe once a week you can start pulling some tip or something and obviously all the content at fore is that. The content that does the best is always stuff that's teaching you guys something. It's never like, "Hey, we're launching this new thing. Hey, we did this really exciting campaign that we're super proud of." You might be like, "Cool. You guys did a good job. That is cool."

    I don't really give a shit. What does that have to do with me? So the content that does great for us is when we're teaching you something because it is valuable to you. So take that lesson, whatever it is and try and teach your audience something this week and look at the saves and see if you can do better than normal. So she's on episode 15 of foreground, she talks about long captions, why she writes them, why she loves them. Maybe she also explains why the hell her Instagram is called Officially Quigley.
    Episode #158
    - Instagram Saves as a Metric, Editorial Content, Hiding Likes
  • No. Hiding likes is coming, it's obvious, right? It's in Australia, a bunch of other fucking countries, I don't remember, but it's going to happen. You're still going to be able to see your likes as you know. There's this thing people keep saying, I see on Twitter and in articles that this is going to hurt influencers or this is some reaction against influencers and that Instagram is doing this because they don't want influencers to be as popular? That's fucking crazy first of all. That makes absolutely no sense. That is no way, shape or form why Instagram is doing this.

    They're doing this so people post more. End of story. That's it. That's the only reason they're doing it, so people post more. The reason they're testing it is to see if that theory is correct. It's going to happen. That's it. It's going to happen. You can come and take my fucking job if it doesn't happen. It's going to happen. It's not going to hurt influencers at all.

    Now, it will be a little harder for brands to assess an influencers', like right of the bat, it will be harder for brands because they won't see the likes. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out because most brands are still finding influencers by just searching through Instagram. I don't know if they have a plan to release some platform for brands where they can get behind that and see the likes. I don't know if having a verified brand account maybe the brand will be able to see the likes and other people won't. I'm not sure exactly what they're going to do for that. I'm sure they will take care of it.

    For influencers, this is going to be amazing. Just because you can stand to publish some things that don't get a lot of engagement because you just want to publish them. I am really excited about it. Don't listen to anything that's like this is bad for influencers or some way this is a reaction against influencers. This is going to be great for our space, it's going to be great for influencers. I think it's going to make the platform more fun again, I think people will just enjoy posting more.

    Anyway, I see this stuff going around. I just want to talk about it because I think a lot of people write about this space without any understanding of it whatsoever. Instagram understands the power of influencers. They understand that you guys are the power users and while you're not driving a huge amount of the revenue and you're not driving a huge amount of the platform. Without influencers in the platform, it gets a lot less interesting. Think of it like Netflix. Does Netflix need to exist? Question. We're going to see.

    The question for Netflix long term is their original programming interesting enough to justify the cost of a subscription because they're losing friends, they're losing the office, they're losing all of these things. If you think about Instagram, it's like Netflix. You guys are on there, you are creating all this- think about Kim Kardashian, the big big people on the platform, if they all in mass left, that would be really bad for Instagram. They know that they need to- Kim Kardashian is Instagram's friends. It's not-- sure, in the grand scheme of things one or two or 10 or 1,000 accounts aren't that important. They know that if they lost that community who are their most ardent fans, biggest users all of that, it would probably be the beginning of a shift away from the platform.

    That's exactly what happened at Tumblr, is that Tumblr started losing a lot of interesting people to Instagram. They went and then their audiences went and then everyone was on Instagram was like, "Oh, this is better. I like this more." They just slowly stopped coming back to Tumblr and then it died. Instagram knows that. They're not going to do anything to try and fuck up what's going on. Right now they're literally printing money. They're just trying to keep staying competitive but not rock the boat too much. Hiding likes is going to be great. You guys are going to love it. Everyone get excited.
    Episode #158
    - Instagram Saves as a Metric, Editorial Content, Hiding Likes
  • So we've talked about this a good amount We talked about Taylor's article from the Atlantic, is the Instagram aesthetic dead? Is like editorial perfect, beautiful imagery. Is that what works on Instagram anymore? The world would say no. The data says no. There are outliers that do work. Obviously, we talked about Tessa all the time. She's crushing it. Everything she's doing is really, really editorial. Obviously, I talk about Jamie Beck all the time. Hi, Jamie. Every time I mentioned Jamie on the show, she screenshots the like where I mentioned her with a smiley face.

    So hello Jamie. She's doing really well. She was on the show. She's doing great. Editorial can work. It is a harder path that gets you to a similar place if you're trying to build a following. In researching this and thinking about this question, I've been into what Krystal Bick and Igee Okafor have been doing recently. They'd been recreating movies as like these shoots with Grant Leegin. They did one for-- what was the silly face? What was it?

    They did one that was like-- I don't know. Some fucking old ass movie. Some old ass movie. They did like a notebook one at Coney island. Which like what turd of a movie that is but I digress. That movie is absolute trash.

    The latest one they did was Roman Holiday. So I was interested because like they are putting a shit load of effort into these things. These are multi-day multi-look shoots with Grant who is very busy and doesn't do this stuff off hand. They're renting studio space. Have you ever been Coney island? It is far. I've been to Coney Island once and I drove. Just taking the F train to Coney island. You take your life into your hands in a lot of ways and it's like two hours on the subway.

    So I was like, "Why are they doing this? Is it working?" One, they're on their third shoot, their accounts were both stalled growth wise and they have started to grow. So the first time in months they have started to grow recently which is interesting. We'll keep tracking it as they keep rolling these things out. I talked to Igee and Krystal about why they're doing this. For them, similar I think to Grace Atwood and what we've heard from other people in the show, like, "This is just what they want to do." Krystal loves editorial.

    Igee is like a walking, beautiful mannequin. I don't think he's a real person, honestly. I always expect his face to open and a little robot to pop out. I'm not saying Igee is a robot, but he seems too perfect to be real. Anyway, so I talked to them about it like, "Why are you doing this?" So they both had similar feelings of the engagement wasn't amazing. They didn't expect it to be amazing. They have gotten like a great-- like Krystal said, "If I ask my audience if they want this type of content, they absolutely would say no. They want more in the moment, lesser editorial."

    When she publishes it, she feels like she gets a big outpouring of support and love for it. Igee posts like-- sometimes he'll post like five photos in a day. He says when he does that each photo the engagement is not great. He does say he gets a huge amount of profile visits because people feel like they missed something. Again, thinking about Instagram and the algorithm, anything that you do on someone's feed. I was doing this research on Igee yesterday and I was on his feed a bunch.

    I didn't like anything, but I was just on his feed scrolling through opening photos, things like that. Today I had like three of his old photos in my feed. So like any action you can get from Instagram, I don't think it necessarily has to be likes on your account. It's going to do good things for the algorithm. Igee has crazy high reach as well in general. So that was interesting that he said that he does the drops. He publishes all the content at once and says like, "I know the engagement is not going to be good but it's going to create more of a moment. It's going to be harder to miss it."

    I think that it's interesting for them to shoot these campaigns and publish them at the same time because it's very different than how people generally use Instagram. So if you don't follow Krystal and Igee, I would definitely have a look at what they're doing. I think it's really exciting and fun and beautiful and it totally again goes against everything that you should be doing on Instagram. I think it's starting to work for them. I think that again, sorry to mention Jamie again but we talked about how she was stagnated for years.

    When she really leaned into the thing she's doing in Provence for a year of doing it, her following didn't grow. Then after that year, it started to grow. I think if I had a theory about like if Krystal and Igee kept doing stuff like this, is that like on the 10th one it would start doing really well. That it will eventually drive growth but anything that you're doing, any new type of content, like yes, you're looking for that immediate, does the audience like it? For both of them, they say that they're the way they know they have like product-market fit that the audience likes it. It's DMs that they're getting. They're getting a lot of DMs about it. So once you have that, you are like, cool, this is a concept people like. Then you just need to be consistent. You need to do it over and over and over again to really see if it works. I think if you're going to bring a new editorial aspect into your feed of if you're going to try something new be it YouTube, you're going to bring cooking in, you want to do more home stuff, whatever it is, if you're tracking the performance of that and that's something you care about, you want to know Week 1, does it have product market fit? Do people care about this? Should I spend my time on this? You should be able to answer that question within the first couple of times you publish something and then after that, give it, I'd say three months to really see if the attention stays or if people get bored and drift away and if it's something that you consistently want to do.
    Episode #158
    - Instagram Saves as a Metric, Editorial Content, Hiding Likes
  • Just a comment on-- There was a New York Times article about influencers, it says- about not dismissing influencers and what my thoughts are there. If you haven't read the article, the technology reporter from The Times went to VidCon, had this article, essentially said, "Ignore influencers at your own peril. This is no longer a question of is it a bubble, is it a thing? This is the future." I think he spoke to a few things that we talk about on the show a lot. This is nothing new. He says, "This is not new, it's just that influencers used to be sports stars, and movie stars, and politicians, and magazine editors. Now they aren't. The world has always been controlled by influential voices, and it just so happens now that those influential voices are building their own platforms on these social channels."

    He, I think, first explains the craziness of it. Again, he was at VidCon, so it's very young. It's a lot of TikTok people, it's a lot of YouTube people. It's just talking about this bigger global shift. Increasingly, every day, I feel more and more confident about the space. It is only growing every single day. The budgets are growing, there's more influencers, there's more platforms. I think what's really exciting now is this new class of influencer that's coming up, this younger person, so much different than what we're used to in the space. TikTok is bigger than Instagram already. It's got 1.3 billion users. That's pretty crazy.

    Anyone watching this show probably is going to have a really hard time building a TikTok audience. I don't think you're doing meme dances, or whatever the fuck happens on TikTok. It's a really different platform. Brands are starting to spend money there so much faster than they did with Instagram. Instagram- even Snapchat, Snapchat was up and running for years and brands still weren't investing in it. TikTok has been around for like six months, it feels like, and brands are already starting to spend big money.

    That's really interesting because I think a viable competitor to Instagram might be able to take market share away a lot faster than Instagram gained market share. The other thing that will be interesting with Instagram specifically is that as more people start to have access to shopping, I think in the next few months you'll see Instagram start to give a lot more people the ability to get whitelisted by brands that sell products.

    As that happens, it will be interesting to see people's reaction like, "Do you want to open an app where you're just constantly getting sold shit? Is that what you want to do? Do you want to be looking through a stream that is essentially an e-comm stream." I'm not sure, but the commercialization of any platform opens up opportunities for ones that are less commercialized to come in and to start to take some mind share away, because while it's great for influencers, the normal person is going to start to get ad fatigue where they just get sick of of seeing advertisements and they run away from those.

    Most people use these platforms to stay connected to their friends and most people's friends, their career isn't on these platforms and so they will go to the platform where it is most natural for them to just talk to their friends. Once that shift happens, you start to lose a lot of your following's attention because, again, most of your following is not built up of people whose livelihood depends on Instagram. As much as people love it, they will leave it very, very quickly and never look back. I think we are entering a atmosphere that is right for that, that is right for someone to come in and take some of this market share away.

    As an influencer, it's a time to think about diversifying, it's a time to think about what you want to do with your future. You certainly should be looking to these other platforms and figuring out how you can be effective on them and trying to move your audience over as quickly as possible. If you're not on TikTok yet, go and try and see if you can do something there because in six months, it's going to be much harder to build a following there than it is today. These platforms, one of the ways they grow is they make it really easy for people to grow in the beginning and really easy to gain followers so that it gets harder for you to abandon the platform.

    This is one of Snapchat's big mistakes, is that they made it really, really, really annoyingly, unbelievably- I don't understand why they did this- hard to grow your following and once you grew it, you didn't even know how many fucking followers you had. When Stories came along, it was just like, "Well, fuck this platform, they've done nothing for me, I've never made a cent from them and I don't even know how many followers I have. I'm fine leaving them."

    I would just say stay vigilant. I am overwhelmingly positive about the space, but the industry is different than your career, the industry is different than Instagram or any one platform, and you have to understand that as money flows in to anything, the stakes get higher, it gets harder to be effective and there's going to be a lot more people trying to eat that pie. It is not a time to sit back and enjoy what's happening and not be hustling because once it clicks over, you might find it's too late. It's a little bit of optimism and pessimism, which is essentially my entire life, I guess.

    I'm an optimistic realist. We've seen this happen before, this is not new. Go back to magazines, I don't have the stats, but my guess would be there was at least three or four times as many magazines in circulation 20 years ago as there was today. Now, do I think magazines or certain magazines will always be there? Probably. I don't see Vogue shutting down. Could, one day, if they fuck it up that badly, but they shouldn't. They should survive. GQ should survive. Vanity Fair should survive, The New Yorker should survive. These things shouldn't go away, but Teen Vogue, I don't know, is that still around? Maybe, maybe not.

    All the international editions are closing. Influencers, it will be the same thing, we're in these- all these dollars are coming into the market. There's all these influencers and everyone can make a living. What will happen is there will be new platforms and money will go there, or new influencers and money will go there, and then there'll be a correction, and if this industry goes to $20 billion, it's probably at four or five right now. Let's say it goes to $20 billion, it would probably then settle back in at between $12 and $15 billion a year. That delta will mean a lot of people will have a hard time making a living.

    You have to understand that markets are predictable and they act in the same way over and over again. If you know that and you're doing really well now, one, save your money, get a financial advisor, invest, understand that if you're an influencer and you're killing it and you're making half a million dollars, congratulations, but what happens if you make $75,000 dollars in three years and you have an apartment that's $8,000 a month. That's a little bit of an issue.

    Think about your future while things are going well. It is much better to do that than to try and fix things once they've gone to shit. My last thing I'll say before we go, I'm already late for an event is, if you haven't done this- I think I've talked about this in the show before, but I will often, with Fohr, I make a list of everything that could significantly negatively impact a business, what I call existential threats, and this isn't a little one, this is terrible. Terrible things happening. My worst nightmare keep me up at night.

    I list those things out and then I write down what I would do to fix it or what I could do now to avoid that even happening. If you do that, you can start to plan for these things because the things that can go wrong probably will go wrong, and if things are going awesome for you now, that is great, but most successful people, that their path to success is full of shit going wrong and failures and terrible times, the business almost close, whatever.

    Make that list of everything that could ruin your business and what you would do to fix it and that can make you feel a little bit better. You realize there is a path out or you might realize, "I have the single point of failure where if this one thing happens, there is nothing I can do to fix it," and if that's the case you need to get really, really serious about changing that. We looked at a business two or three years ago and we realized 60% of our revenue was from one client, and that made me really, really uncomfortable. I said to the team, I said, "I want to get- by the end of this year-- Not the end of the year, I said, in the next 12 months, I want that number to be under 20%."

    We got that number to under 20% and then that client dropped us completely. If I had not done that, if I hadn't said, "What is my point of failure here and what do I need to do to make sure if something changes that I'm okay." If we hadn't done that and we had just gone one business as usual, we maybe would have had to fire a bunch of people. It would have been a total catastrophe. I know that clients, no matter how much they love you, they're always leaving you. I saw this on Mad Men, I was like, "The day you close the client is the day you start losing them."

    That's client services. That happens. You have to think about, "What am I going to do without this client? What am I going to do without Instagram?" Ask yourself that question. If Instagram closes today, do you have a plan? Do you have a plan B? Do you have a way to talk to those followers still or are you fucked? If you're fucked, that's okay because Instagram isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but in a year, in six months, you want to be able to answer that question and say, "That would be bad, I would lose a lot of money, but I wouldn't be ruined."
    Episode #157
    - Pre-launch hype, anti-bullying on Instagram, NYT article
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