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  • The affiliate marketing is a huge part of the space. It is one of the only parts of the influencer space that we don't touch. It's not because it's a bad business, it's just a very different business than we were on. Affiliate marketing is great. It is bottom of the funnel so if you don't know what I'm talking about, look up marketing funnels.

    Think about where you are. Are you bottom of the funnel? Top of the funnel are people that can get people's interest in a brand, to say, "I've never thought about that brand. I've never heard of that brand. I respect this person. If they like this thing, I will pay attention to it." Bottom of the funnel is like a Facebook ad. It's a brand you're probably familiar with.

    You're already probably close to the point of purchase and somebody said, "Buy this now, it's on sale. I buy it," or-- You know, you look at a lot of the influencers that do like to know it and it's a type a certain type of influencer. Every post they do generally is full body outfit or waist up. They keep it under $100. They are like, "It's summer. Here are my favorite slides. They're $54. Click on like now or go to my blog, click on the link," whatever. It is very much the posts are not meant to inspire you. They're not meant to be aspirational, they're meant to get you to fucking click and buy.

    The products you need to work with are ones that people would be like, "I need that. I'll click and buy it." I'll give an example for me, personally. I am wearing these loafers today. I wear them all the time. I talked about them on my Instagram once. I was like, "Hey, these loafers are $180. They're great. They get the job done. I bought three pairs. I love them. You should buy them." I got like 15 messages from dudes over the next month being like, "What were those loafers you mentioned? I'm looking for loafers. Could you send me a link?"

    It was the right kind of product. It was affordable. I talked about it in a way that was like, "Hey, you should buy this." I'm not trying to sell you on the brand of Jack Erwin when and say like, "Oh, it's such a cool startup. They're doing all the shit," because I don't think they're that cool, but they make a good pair of loafers and there's no reason spending $500 on a pair of Ferragamos. I think these do the fucking job. It's a different kind of product and it's a different kind of influencer and it's a different kind of message. You have to think about am I going to be that top of the funnel aspirational?

    Good examples like Taylor LaShae who is beautiful, she looks very French, she is not trying to get you to buy anything. If anything, she's getting trying to get you to buy her lifestyle and her look and just like buy into that and so brands want to be associated with it because there's a lift that comes with that. And you look at something Navy who is very much like she posts something, it sells. Her audience is there because they like her, because they respect her, and they're also shopping. She likes the same things that they do and she gives them suggestions on that.

    If you are a more bottom of the funnel, more product-focused influence, affiliate marketing is essential, you should definitely do it. If you are trying to be aspirational, if you're trying to create art, if you feel like you're more of the brand lift, brand awareness type influencers don't do affiliate marketing. You don't have to. You're not going to make any money on it because you are not going to sell shit. It's really hard to get people to buy stuff just because you say, "Buy it," so if you're making 5% on sales and you sell $1,000 worth of shit for a brand, you make what? Fifty bucks? You make $50.

    Do you think your post is going to sell-- Okay, let's step back. We'll cut that out. Let's just do some quick math and let's say you have 100,000 followers. You could get paid $1,000 a post. Let's say most affiliates pay out 10%. I think that's generally, maybe a little on the high end, but that's in the realm. To make that $1,000, at 10% you would have to sell $10,000 worth of stuff. Is that correct? My math's right?

    To make $1,000, you have to sell $10,000 of product. Do you think you could move $10,000 of product with one Instagram post, from one blog post? There are people who can do that and do much more than that but it is really really really hard. There's a lot of value in brand lift and brand awareness but once you start putting yourself into the affiliate, the other thing is the brand's going to be like, "Cool, we did a post with you. You sold one thing so I don't see the value."

    Look at the funnel, figure out where you are. If you think you're bottom of the funnel influencer, lean into the affiliate programs. Check them out. There's a lot of different ones with a lot of different rates. It's not all just reward style, there are also people that pay per click. If you think you're more of a top of the funnel brand lift, brand awareness, stick to sponsored posts.
    Episode #106
    - Influencer Diversity, Evolving Your Instagram, Affiliate Marketing
  • This is an interesting question. Let's say you just fall into having a following for some reason, what do you that? For a lot of you, you started your Instagram for the sole reason of trying to becoming an influencer, of trying to become a blogger, trying to give people advice, beauty tips, travel tips, cooking tips, parenting tips, whatever it is.

    Then there're some people who just woke up and had a big following, had no idea this industry existed and they're now like, "Oh my gosh, what do I do with this?" I think the first thing that you would notice from a personal feed versus a more professional feed is a lack of cohesion. A lot of professional influencers, they have a point of view. They make sure that everything they do is seen through their specific lens, like a filter on Instagram essintially. Everything they do is seen through that filter. While you may have been to Greece on your own, you haven't seen Greece through the filter of this person. This is what Anthony Bourdain was great at. A lot of you have potentially traveled to Japan or Vietnam or any other country that Anthony Bourdain went to but you didn't see it through-- His lens was so much different than everyone else's that you wanted to see what that place looked like from that person's point of view.

    Personal feeds often don't have that because it's much more just like, "Hey, this is what I'm doing," which probably means in a lot of ways you have a lot more engagement because it is personal. It's not about brands, it's about you. That would be the biggest shift. How do you take something that is about you-- That was weird, like intonation. How do you take something that is about you and start to make it about you and the life you're living, you and the brands, you work with, you in the places you travel, the restaurants you go to and the things that you love, the music that you listen to? It's about not just you, but your viewpoint. That is a pretty big jump, especially if you don't have a viewpoint.

    And we talk about that all the time. That that was a big thing in the last episode. The big takeaway was you need to be interesting enough that people are talking about you. You need to have a viewpoint. People loved Anthony Bourdain because he had a viewpoint. A lot of people fucking hated Anthony Bourdain, they thought he was an asshole because he had a viewpoint and he didn't waver from that.

    As you take your personal feed that maybe you're on a TV show, maybe you-- I don't know, maybe you're just really really good looking and you just have a following. Maybe you are a pro skater and you're not anymore but you have this following. Okay, so how do you how do you take that and start to say what is my viewpoint in the world and what are the brands I love and how can I talk about that? I think I would start by maybe writing down what are my 10 favorite brands in the world.

    Then I would do a post about those brands without talking to those brands, without reaching out to them and saying, "I want to do a post, could you send me something?" I would just do a post about those brands and talk about what you love about them and why your followers should care about them and why they should become customers. That's a good place to start.

    If you can't speak in a compelling way about the 10 brands that you love most in the world, there is no fucking way you're going to be able to talk about a brand that maybe you're a little less passionate about that is now paying you to speak about them. Start with your top 10. Work out those muscles. It's a muscle, it's something that you can learn. It's something you need to train your audience. Do that, that's a good first step.
    Episode #106
    - Influencer Diversity, Evolving Your Instagram, Affiliate Marketing
  • I do think I have touched on the Revolve issue before. Maybe not as a question, but I think I have mentioned it when I'm talking about diversity. I think Revolve misses the mark completely. I think that it is a huge missed opportunity for them to not include more diversity. The world is not made up of skinny blonde women. Revolve doesn't seem to totally understand that.

    I give Revolve a little more shit like, "Look, we sometimes struggle with our clients. We push diversity. Both the diversity of skin tone, body type, religion, location, age, all those things. Sometimes it is hard to get a client and to do those things. We have been guilty of running campaigns that don't have diversity as well, it's not a new thing." What I've been thinking about recently is something that came up in the conference was, I don't think diversity should be a box that gets checked off. I don't think you should say, "Do I have FTC compliance? Check. Do I have a tight brief that I feel like is going to reach our goals? Check. I'm I tracking this campaign? Check. Do I have diversity? Check."

    I think if you're thinking about it that way, and you're saying, "Diversity is a thing I need to do," then you shouldn't be the person coming up with the campaign. Diversity is a thing you should do, it is an opportunity. It is not something you have to do, it's not an obligation. It should be seen as an opportunity. There are a lot of amazing communities out there that you will never reach if you just work with skinny white girls with blonde hair. Brands that ignore that fact are doing themselves a big deservice. They're doing their bottom line a big disservice.

    The conversation-- This is not my idea but I heard someone say that they want to move away from inclusivity and inter-belonging and I like that terminology shift to say that we shouldn't talk about this as these people deserve a sear. You shouldn't talk about this like, "We need to give these people a seat at a table. We need to give them a seat at the table." It should be, "They deserve a seat at the table and you're crazy if they're not there." At the very highest level, the industry is run by all white men and as you go down, it is mostly run by younger white women.

    It is intimidating sometimes to try and market to a community that you don't understand, a community that you are not entrenched in. Especially on social, the little things, the way you talk about things, the language that you use, the wording that you use, the emojis that you use. All of those things can be specific to the niche community that you operate in. If somebody comes in and tries to speak to your community and does it in a way that is inauthentic or where it's clear they don't know what the fuck they're talking about, then it's painfully obvious.

    A lot of marketers, a lot of people in this position, they're not racists, they're not bigots, they don't want to not work with people they don't look like them. I think it is the fear of not understanding the community enough to be able to speak to it with authority and with confidence. I think they say, "I'm not going to be punished for not doing this, but I could be punished if I do it wrong." I think, unfortunately, the weight falls on the shoulders of influencers that are outside of the norm in the function and beauty space. It falls on you all to educate.

    We're trying to do the same thing, but I think that we need to change the conversation and talk about how exciting the opportunity is to work with people that look different than you, instead of, "I feel wrong because I'm not included in this." I'll [unintelligible 00:08:06] all of these by saying I'm a privileged white man who probably has no idea what they're talking about but it's a problem that we are trying to do whatever we can do to help.

    I know a lot of different people from a lot of different background watch this show. If what I've just said make sense, if you think I went off base in any way, whatever it is, drop me an email. This is a conversation and I think one that needs to be had. I'd love to hear thoughts from people that are in that community on how brands such as ourselves can help to change it.
    Episode #106
    - Influencer Diversity, Evolving Your Instagram, Affiliate Marketing
  • When attending events, do you have tips on engaging with attendees? From my experience, it's slightly intimidating. Let me tell you, going up to other attendees at events and introducing yourself is one of my least favorite things to do. I totally hear you. It sucks. There’s a very small percentage of the population that's just like walks into a room and is like, "Hi, I'm this person. Hi, I'm this person, I want to meet you.” That is not me. I've always struggled with it.

    What I have to force myself to do if I'm in that working event is I have to set a goal. I’m decently goal-oriented person. A lot of you who are watching this, we talked about goals all the time and tracking your follower growth goals, engagement goals, things like that. Walk into that event say, "I am going to walk up and introduce myself to five people. I’m not going to leave this in that until I do that,” and then it doesn't become a choice.

    That is something you've said you're going to do and so now you have two options. It's no longer, “Do I feel awkward and am I going to go up to this person?” It's now, “Am I going to do what I said I was going to do or am I not going to and I'm going to chicken out?” I find that simple mental shift helps me to take away some of my anxiety because I would rather do something I'm uncomfortable with than let myself down and not do something I said I would do. That's really the only thing.

    The other thing is just like everyone is uncomfortable in events. Nobody doesn't feel awkward. Go to the person who's standing alone, that's an easy one and be like, "Hey, how's it going? I'm such and such. These things are kind of awkward, right?” You can be honest too and be like, “I always feel awkward doing this but I told myself I'd say hi to five people so I just want to come up and say hi. What do you do?”

    You're not walking into someone's house and saying hi, you’re not walking up to a stranger on a street. People are at an event. They're there to potentially meet people or mingle. It's not unexpected for you to come up to them and say hi. Set a goal, look for the stragglers, look for the people who are alone, go up and be honest and just say, “I feel really awkward doing this but just wanted to introduce myself.”

    The last thing, I guess number four. I said there was one thing, now there's four. That's very typical of one of my answers. The last thing is that it doesn't fucking matter. You're going to leave that event, you’ll probably never see those people again in your life. Who cares? What's the worst that's going to happen? Someone's going to be like, “Oh sorry, I'm having a private conversation with my friend?” Just say, “Oh sorry, didn’t mean to intrude. Just wanted to say hi.”

    Literally, there is nothing really bad that's going to happen. Nothing bad can happen. You can't even really make an ass of yourself because the expectation at the event is that you're meeting people. It is uncomfortable, it is awkward, I hate it but just set a number, get it done. It gets easier with time. That is all
    Episode #105
    - Being More Interesting on Instagram, Brand Pitches, Influencer Events
  • I say you have to be so good and so compelling that when one of your followers goes out to drinks with their friends, they're talking about you. They're saying, “You have to follow this person, they're amazing."

    If you don't think that is happening, if you don't think your followers are literally walking around evangelizing you then I think it's going to be very hard for you to gain a following because hashtags aren't working. People tagging you, that's not working. None of this growth hack stuff is working anymore. Giveaways are not a real way to grow a following. All of this isn’t really happening. Fohr just got tagged four or five times. We were reading Carolina Herrera's stories today, 3 million followers, we’ll probably get 10 followers from that.

    That three years ago would have been massive. You would have gotten a huge spike in following. That just isn't the case anymore. Ask yourself the honest question, "Do I think that when my followers go out and have drinks with their friends they're telling their friends that they need to follow me?" Think about what would it take for one of your followers to do that. You would have to be so good, you would have to be providing advice at a level that people were feeling compelled to say, "You're doing yourself a disservice but not following this person." If you don't think you're getting that, you're in trouble.

    Is it possible to make it if you were not unique and interesting and different and have a point of view? No, it's not possible. Is it possible to make it with 10K if you are copying what other big influencers are doing? No, I don't think it's possible. There is always room for something new. There is always a place for an extraordinary personality. There's always a place for people that have vision that is different than other people's psyche.

    Yes, these platforms have gotten more competitive and yes, they've gotten more saturated but there's also so many more people using it. It's now over a billion people a month that are using Instagram. Capturing 100,000 of those people's attention isn't crazy. It can be done. There are new people joining Instagram all the time. There are new people signing back in and using it again all the time. You just have to have a different point of view.

    Something else that is interesting is that on the whole, we are seeing bigger influencers losing their following month over month. I'd say over 100K. It's like 40% of influencers over 100,000 followers month over month are losing following. That number for micro influencers is 25%. Twice as many influencers over 100K are losing their following than in the micro influencers space. Micro influencers are gaining followers at a faster rate than any other type of influencer. It is possible but it goes back to what we said many times. You have to be interesting. You have to have a point of view. You have to have a point of differentiation or why would people follow you?

    Something to look at as well is that conversion percentage number. If we're talking about Instagram business study, you can go to your insights page on Fohr, if you have that-

    - or go to your business insights on Instagram. Look at how many new followers you're getting, and look at your profile views and divide that, and see how many profile views are you getting a day, and how many of those profile views are converting to new followers. If it looks like your conversion is low, say less than 2%, then tweak some stuff up, change your feed, do some different things, try and get that number up. It's definitely possible but it's definitely hard.

    *How was I supposed to change in the past year if I asked this question a year ago?*

    I think a year ago, I would have said it's much more possible, I think it's much, much harder now. I think that influencers have been such a big part of the national conversation, and marketing, and digital, and content, and social for the last year and a half. They are only getting more powerful but people are just getting a little sick of the conversation and I don't think they're going out there looking actively for new influencers to follow. You have to be so good that-- it's like that Jack Nicholson-- is that Jack Nicholson quote, “Be so good that they can't ignore you?” I don't know whose quote that is, “Be so good that they can't ignore you,” but that is the mentality.
    Episode #105
    - Being More Interesting on Instagram, Brand Pitches, Influencer Events
  • First of all, Instagram business accounts, you go to your insights, you look at what your average reach is, you divide that by your following, you get a percentage. If you're below 20%, that's not great. If you're between 20% and 30%, you're in a good solid, average place. If you're above 30%, you're doing pretty well, 30% to 50%. If you're above 50%, you're fucking killing it.

    Learn those numbers, pay attention to them. Yes, there are a lot of big accounts that are not getting a lot of reach or impressions. If you are, you should definitely bring that up when you're talking to brands. You should say, “Hey, I know a lot of influencers who are getting 15% or 20% reach on their posts. I am on average getting 30%. Even though I have 50,000 followers, I have the reach of somebody with--”

    Then you can say, “Hey, yeah, I know a lot of influencers who are getting 15% to 20% so actually, I am reaching as many people as the normal influencer with 100K.” I don't think you should necessarily alter prices yet because of that but it is a nice way to brag about the reach that you're getting. These are numbers that we're hoping to put more to the forefront over the next few months. It is something that, again, if you're over 30%, I think you should always be bragging about and drawing attention to the fact that some influencers aren't. I think brands should be asking more, "What's your percentage reach?"

    A good way to get brands to start thinking about that is to bring it up yourself and make sure that you start that conversation. It's what we did with Follow Our Health and verified authentic followings. We were able to get influencers to start that conversation. That conversation then led to big brands like Procter & Gamble and Unilever saying they won't work with people with fake followers. That led to that big New York Times story.

    Influencers started that conversation. You guys can start this conversation as well so just bring it up. If it’s good, if you're under 20%, I would try and fix that. I would do what you can to try and get that number up. If you're under 10%, again, I think that you have to have a serious conversation with yourself and figure out what is happening and try and fix it because that is a problem.
    Episode #105
    - Being More Interesting on Instagram, Brand Pitches, Influencer Events
  • I could be snarky and say look for global brands but I'm not going to do that because, it is really hard because marketing budgets are split up by country. If I'm a US marketing person and I've got $40,000 to spend on influencer campaign and you got half your audience in Italy, the fuck, I don't even like the dude who works in Italy. I hate that guy, I'm not helping him.

    I want to work with people that are just in the US because that's the only way-- That's how my numbers are reported. I'd say global audience marketing teams do have global marketing teams so, in a global organization there is generally a global marketing team that sets the vision for what all the local communities and local targets are going to do. I would think that you need to find those global brands and then find those global marketing teams. If those global marketing teams are working on influencer initiatives, they will want those initiatives to tee up what they're doing across all their local categories.

    You see like Gary Pepper Vintage, right? Gary Pepper Girl. She has an audience that is split between everywhere. She essentially like doesn't have a home but she's got the big Australian audience. She's got a big US audience. She's got a big European audience. She's spread out everywhere and she does a lot of these big global pushes for Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior et cetera. She is a rare bird.

    Obviously, very good with her job. All of us would emulate to be able to do what she does, but I would follow some of those girls, follow some of the big influencers who have a big global audience, see who they're working with and even if your micro influencer, reach out to those brands. Try and find the global marketing person and pitch yourself. Talk about your audience and why it's interesting and why they should pay attention to you.

    The other thing just-- I think we've mentioned this before but I don't mind repeating myself. If it were me and I was an influencer, was 50/50. I was half let's say Italy, half US, I would for brands that were specifically looking to work in a specific country, I would give a discount and I would get ahead of their problem. I would say, "Hey, look, I know my audience is half and in Italy and I think that that is valuable to you regardless but I understand that you control the US budget and so that you want that budget to go to speaking to US consumers. I'm willing to come down on my rate and cut it in half to show you my value.

    I hope that after that, we can we can move back to my normal rate but I just want to show you what I can do and so I'll cut my rate in half." That's what I would do. It's always nice to get in front of people's objections. We do that all the time in pictures. We think about what is this brand not going to feel comfortable with, what are their questions going to be. What are their concerns and we are open and honest about those and address them upfront and provide the solutions. Then you're just controlling the conversation. You don't have to have somebody come to you and say. " Oh, we love your content but sadly because you have 50% of your audience outside of the US, we can't work with you." Then you come back and say, "Well, I'll cut my rate in half and now, you’re reactive. You are not being proactive. They’ve already made the decision. They’ve already said no to you in a conference room and they want to work with someone else, and so you’re done. You can’t win that, but come to them before, and say, “Hey, I know this to be true. I am giving you a deal. Let’s make this happen. I am going to do this post with you. You are going to fucking love it.

    You’re going to pay me my full rate moving forward and you’re going to realize that, that Italian audience is just as valuable to you as the US audience. Let’s make some money. Let’s do it. They are going to be excited. You’re going to email me and you’re going to say, “James, your advice literally changed my life. Thank you so much," and I’ll say, “Yeah, it’s just what I do."

    Tim: How often should you be-- I don't know how you find out who’s a brand’s audience is, but is there a way, one, that you can maybe find out who the brand’s audience are, and then two, should you market yourself, because you could speak to the same audience?

    James: There's a decent amount of information about brands on the Internet. Especially, if they're a public company, you can learn essentially anything about them. We have impeaches all the time, we've gone into annual reports for companies and we've looked at their marketing budgets and we've looked at what their CMO wrote about what their goals are. It’s definitely smart to come to the table with knowledge and be able to say, “Huh! It's interesting that you say that you're only focused in the US, because I just read an interview with your CMO last week that said you are making a big push globally.

    Now what the fuck, what they are they going to say? Educate yourself. It's not enough to just be able to take a nice photo of your matcha. The thing that we've been talking about and I think that we're going to continue to talk about over the next six to 12 months is, the soulful swing to professionalism, to higher level of professionalism in the influencer space. That does not just mean answering your emails on time, and doing what you say you're going to do. It also means educating yourself and treating the business side of this more like a job as well, and coming to those meetings with an understanding of who you're meeting with, what their goals are, what their problems are.

    So, you can position yourself as the solution to those problems. That's what every salesperson does. That's what every good marketer does. You got to do your research. So, yes, it definitely makes sense to learn a little bit about the brand and where their audiences and what their goals are. Did they just open a store somewhere? We get Women's Wear Daily, Adweek, Ad Age all those.
    I read an article on Women's Wear about a beauty brand making a push to digital. We send them an email today, “Hey, I saw you in Women’s Wear. Saw you're making the push to digital. We've helped your 50 competitors do this, if you want to jump on board”. It's easy. Read for 15 minutes a day, you'll know a lot more about the space.
    Episode #104
    - IGTV, Reaching Global Audiences, Declining Offers Gracefully
  • I think that most of the shit that Instagram does usually works. I think that you should probably involve yourself in it, invest in it. It's been out for a fucking day, what am I supposed to know? I'm no soothsayer. I don't know. I know a lot of you are trying to get into YouTube. It's really hard. I've talked to Marcel from one dapper street who is actively trying to build a YouTube audience right now and trying to do more video.

    He has found that it's difficult to get his Instagram followers to go to YouTube. He's building his stand-alone YouTube audience. I don't think in any way this is a replacement for YouTube currently. YouTube's value mostly is its search. It's the second biggest search engine in the world next to Google. This search is powerful to a level that Instagram will just never be able to hit. You can find literally fucking every-- There's a video for literally everything. That said, it is hard to build an audience there.

    We've been making videos for over two years now. We've built a little audience, certainly, we have a very niche thing that we cover and I'm not a super likable guy, but it's hard to grow. It's nice just like with Snapchat and Insta stories, it's nice to be able to lean on your followers and lean on that following that you've already built to give them video. I think travel recaps, things like that, I think they could work really well. I think if you have an audience that wants to see video and you want to show your audience video, I think it's going to be great. I think for beauty brands, it's going to be awesome to be able to work with lifestyle influencers who don't have a big YouTube following and get them to be able to do long-form video because, as we said, people once they're in Instagram, they don't want to leave the app. You're in the app, you want to stay in the app.

    The ability to watch a 20-minute beauty tutorial on your phone, if that's what you're into, it's great, it's a good play for Instagram. I'm excited to see where it goes. So far, I've seen a bunch of influencers just post shit that they had laying around to it because they think people are playing with it. We're going to throw up a couple Drink with James on there just to see what the hell it's all about. Hopefully, maybe we'll check back in a month and see where we're at. See if there's any good applications and anything exciting but you're an influencer, this is your job.

    You need to try these things. You need to you need to give it a go. You need to see what you can do. Instagram is going to be pushing this really hard for the next few months and so. Not a lot of people are doing it, so you have this gap of a couple months where there's not a huge amount of content on this platform and Instagram is desperately looking to fill it with content, so the chances of you getting seen are quite a bit higher.

    For instance, when Insta Story was launched I think, they were getting on average influencers were getting like 50% of their audience that was seeing their stories because nobody was doing the stories. Now, there are much more stories than there are static posts on Instagram and that average has dropped down to like 9%. The same thing will happen here so get in early, start publishing shit, play around, experiment and let me know what works. I don't fucking know. Teach me something for once. Jesus.
    Episode #104
    - IGTV, Reaching Global Audiences, Declining Offers Gracefully
  • We're going to touch on this, if you have an agent and if you do not have an agent. Listen, things call for all the time, this space is famously last minute. We just closed the campaign yesterday and it involves a fairly involved brief in which influencers are going to have to go into the woods and do something, they're going to have to plan a trip and it all has to be shot and live by July 4th.

    That is not uncommon in the space, I understand that things come up. There might be something that you agreed to do, go to a dinner, go to an event, speak at something, whatever it is or if it's just, you've agreed to do a sponsored post for someone. Whatever it might be, it is understandable that things come up. There are opportunities that you can't turn down, maybe it's a lot more money, maybe it's a brand that you've always wanted to work with, maybe it's a trip to Bali and for some reason you're a fucking idiot and you want to go to Bali.

    I understand that these things happen and I don't think that you having to cancel will necessarily blacklist you from ever working with that brand again, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. I think the first thing to just remember is that people have a desire to feel important and to feel like they are being respected and taken care of. If you have to cancel a previous engagement because you want to do another engagement, you're already putting the person you're canceling with below the person who you're leaving them for, and that is just a shit feeling, it's just not fun.

    Even if you understand it, even if you say, "Hey, I really wanted to do this but this other brand offered me $20,000 to do this thing and I have to do it." You can understand that but it still doesn't feel good. You're coming in from that big disadvantage, one, you're messing with their job and their work, they're going to have to find someone to replace you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Two, it feels shitty to get left for someone else essentially. I think the first thing you want to do is be honest and sincere and explain what is happening, don't just say, "Hey, something came up, can't do it."

    Let me step back, the first thing you should try and do is not cancel, try and make it work somehow. I can't think of an example right now that is applicable to all of you but the first thing is to try and make it work. Tell the brand who maybe is offering you another opportunity that is a conflict with the other one, that you already are committed to something, and you're going to talk to that brand and see if you can move it around. The opportunity that you are leaving for, they should understand that you have a previous engagement that you're trying to make work. First things first is like, try and make it work, if at all possible try and make it work.

    If you can't make it work, explain the situation, tell the brand that you're cancelling on that you've tried to make it work, say, "Hey, I talked to this brand, I tried to get them to move this shoot but they've already booked the photographer. They asked the photographer if they could move it to another day but they can't because they're flying out to LA that day. I'm infinitely sorry, I really tried. Please let me know if there's anything you can do." That feels a lot better than, "Hey, something came up and I'm no longer going to be able to make it." That feels really shitty.

    Just be a fucking decent person and try and make it work. You committed to something, you want to get out of it, try and make it work. If you can't make it work, try and do something else, "So sorry I can't attend the dinner, I'll give you guys--" let's say it's a launch for a perfume and it's a dinner with the founder and 20 influencers and it's very exclusive blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You can't come to the dinner anymore, you'd still love to support the brand, can they send you a bottle over and you'll make sure to get a post up or doing Insta story about it. Let me know if there's any key messaging or anything I should hit."

    Awesome, they're inviting you to the dinner to get the post out of you anyway, you're saying, "Listen, I'm here to try and make this right for you. That's the long and short of it, you should treat them with respect, make them feel important, show them that you tried to make it work even if you can't, offer an alternative. If it's not something like a dinner or something, say like, "Hey, can we move our shoot date, can we move this how, can we make this work, can I do it remotely?" Just try and make it work. If you absolutely can't, sincerely apologize and offer to try and do something else to support and help the brand. That goes a long way in making you feel good about it. They may even say, "Hey, it's okay. I totally understand. You're good, you don't have to do anything." But just offering is a nice gesture. Now, if you have an agent, I understand that your agent might be the one to reach out to cancel your engagement. That totally makes sense. One of the nice things about having representation is that you don't have to be the bad guy.

    You can tell your agent to say, "Go get me more money." You can tell your agent to say, "No, I'm not using that stupid hashtag." You can use your agent to say, "So sorry, issues with a previous engagement." Tell your agent the same thing, tell them to try and make it work, tell them to all the stuff I just told you, make sure they are communicating that. Then, the kicker is and this is important, you as an influencer should also reach out, you should reach out to the brand directly, apologize again, say you're so sorry, you really wanted to make it work, but as your agent said, you'd be happy to support them with an Insta story or whatever it might be or you hope to be able to make it work next time.

    That little thing, two minutes of your time, your precious time, that I know is so strapped, two fucking minutes, write an email and say you're sorry, that you're really looking forward to it and you hope to be able to do it the next time. You're not that important and it's not that hard, so just fucking do it. Your agent is your mouthpiece, but you are your brand. If your agent writes a weird email that the brand finds to be rude, then you are seen as rude.

    That person is your mouthpiece and if you're not telling them how to speak, if you're not telling them how to treat your potential clients or your current clients, then you're doing yourself a huge disservice. It's not that I look at every single email that goes out of this company, but if I see anything that looks weird or I don't like the tone that I see on an email, we have a conversation about it, because everyone needs to be aligned on how you speak to people.

    Your agent and you should be treating every single opportunity with respect and gratitude and if you cannot make it with sincere regret and hope that you get to work together in the future. Easy thing to get right. If you get it wrong, it's really fucking annoying. I can speak from personal experience and it is damaging to a level that it's probably hard to come back. Do better.
    Episode #104
    - IGTV, Reaching Global Audiences, Declining Offers Gracefully
  • 100%. We always are looking at the percentage of male versus female audience and the influencer, it definitely will affect what you do. Let's say I'm-- What's the brand that just women will interact with?
    We've done stuff for Tampax before. Let's say, we're doing for a Tampax campaign. The first thing we're going to do when doing a Tampax campaign is find influencers who have the highest percentage of female audience, because any man that we show that messaging to, is going to be wasted money. We're going to look for those audiences that are overwhelmingly female.

    If we're marketing something towards men, we're going look for audiences that are overwhelmingly men. If we're looking for balance, we're going to look for balance. We are always looking for demographic information. I think that I've said it before, but as an influencer, you need to own your data, you need to learn the story that your data is telling. If you're 50/50 split, male and female, great. You need to figure out what the story is that makes that interesting.

    How are you going to talk to brands about that? If you are 95% men, how are you going to talk to brands about that? If you're 90% female, how are you going to talk to brands about that? You need to know these stats, you need to know them like the back of your hand. You need to have an explanation for it and a reason why that is a great thing for the brand. You're 75% female, let's say, and you're talking to a women's brand, you can say, "Well, the brand, I prefer you to be 90%."

    How are you going to convince them that actually, this is a good thing? That's up to you how you do that. It's important to own your data and be able to tell a story with it. This principle stands to all of your data. Let's just speak about demographics data.

    I was talking to an influencer from Italy. She lives half the time in Italy, half the time here. She's got a half, 50/50 split, of an Italian audience and US audience. In one way, that's really interesting because you're shooting some stuff in Italy that feels very chic and elevated and the ability to take American brands, shoot them in Rome or something, and post about that. It's great because people love to see places that they don't see that often.

    From a data and demographics standpoint, it's a bit of a detractor because budgets are split up for brands very much along country lines. There's the US budget and the marketing person that controls the spend for the US doesn't want to spend money helping their Italian counterpart grow their business. If your audience is skewed heavily or split across a lot of different countries-- Again, I think you can tell an interesting story about having a global audience and all of that, but understand that for some US-specific brands, it's going to be less appealing for them.

    I would encourage influencers-- I told this influencer who I mentioned, who splits her time, I told her that I thought she should bring her pricing down when working with American brands as a way to get her foot in the door and say, "Hey, I know that my audiences, only half of my audience is relevant to you, and because of that, I'm going to lower my pricing because I really want to work with you. I want to show you that even though part of my audience isn't in this country, it is valuable and that I'm somebody that you should be working with."

    Be honest with the way your demographics are split up. You don't have a huge amount of control over it, honestly, as it starts to grow, it will just happen. I don't you can say, "Okay, I'm going to really focus on getting more men or more women to follow me." I think that's probably pretty difficult without straying from your actual voice and what you actually do.

    Your data is your data. That's what it is and it's probably what it's going to be. Again, make sure that whether it's gender or location or city or state or household income or language or whatever it is, just make sure that you're able to speak to it, and you're able to turn it to an advantage. Because everything can be turned in to an advantage. Unless you have 99% fake followers, it's probably hard to spin that into an advantageous story for a brand but anything else, you can spin into something interesting.

    I say "spin" not as a negative thing of like spin some bullshit, but it's up to you-- Basically, what I'm saying is, I'm not saying "spin" as something like you're a charlatan, you're selling snake oil, but you should be the person that understands your audience the absolute most in the world. Nobody else should understand it as well as you. You should know it frontwards and backwards. You should be able to tell a story of why the audience that you've spent five fucking years of your life building is interesting and valuable to brands, and why they care about you and listen to you.

    If you can't tell that story, and if you can't use data to back that story up, you're not going to have a really long career here. Influencers don't talk enough about this stuff. They don't talk enough about their demographics and their data and their ROY and why you should work with them. Even as a simple understanding, and being able to speak about it a little bit, is going to set you apart from your colleagues and competitors.

    I encourage you all to go into your insights page on four, or go into the insights on your business account on Instagram, and learn that stuff by heart, and start talking about it in meetings. It makes you sound smart. It makes you sound like you know what you're talking about. If you're asking somebody for money, you need to be able to tell them, what does that money buy them? It buys them access to your audience. Who the hell is that audience and why should they care?
    Episode #103
    - Increasing Engagement, Demographics, Rules for Different Niches
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