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  • Question number two is how do I think Instagram removing light counts from photos will change the platform? I know last week we talked a little bit about whether or not I thought Instagram would do this and what their reasoning for doing it was, and this week it feels like I know I think they're rolling this out on a bigger scale. I've heard from a few Canadians in the last few hours that in Canada they are now hiding like counts. I've two things to say on that, in the week or so since filming the last episode of thinking about this, I have been trying to think why would Facebook do this? Why would they remove likes? Likes is such a big part of the platform, it's such a sticky thing.

    When you post a photo and you go back and you're like for an hour you're just refreshing you want to see what the likes that you're getting. Why would they remove something like that? As I got a little further away from it realized, well one, the experience for you as a poster is not going to change you're still going to see the likes they're not going to remove likes, they're just going to remove the ability for other people to see them. You will still have that thing where you're coming and you're checking the likes. Then I was thinking how the only reason that Facebook would roll this out would take likes away is if they felt like it got people posting anymore. As we said last week Facebook is a business the only thing they care about is making money, that's fine, and they will not make any decision that makes them less money. If they're going to roll this out they will only do it if it makes them more money.

    How would it make them more money? I think one thing that could be kind of interesting about it is I sometimes don't post because I don't feel like the photo that I'm going to post is going to do well, and since it's not going to do well I don't want to post it because I don't want something sitting in my account that has a 110 likes on it, and so I post a lot less than I used to. I wonder if by hiding likes publicly, if people will be more free with what they post. If they maybe go back to posting twice a day or three times a day, or they just are posting more freely and not thinking about it and feeling the pressure of having to get all these likes on every single post and have your engagement be completely equal across the board and blah blah blah.

    If you remove that that tension of 'can I get likes on this post?' Do you post more? And for Instagram, if you post more it means they have more places to put advertising, and it means that they can make quite a bit more money. If they say, stories has been great but stories has completely eroded the amount that people are posting in the feed. We've seen this on our platform. It used to be before stories, that people posted 90 to 120 a month now they're posting 20 to 30 times a month. While they're posting a lot of stories and while Facebook and Instagram can sell story ads, story ads aren't nearly as lucrative, and they're not nearly as common. They probably need more people in the feed doing things, and one way to do that is more photos happening more often. Removing lights might just do that for them.

    The more I been thinking about it over the next week, I think for me it would be great because again you're still going to see-- personally you're still going to see the likes, the brands are still going to be able to I assume somehow access that or see it or they'll just have influencers share that with them, and it could create a space where we don't feel like every photo needs to be perfect and it might create space for more experimentation, for people taking risks for post things they really love instead of just you know posting selfies of themselves, that they know is going to kill and is going to get a lot of likes. I do think that it could increase the creativity of the platform, and increase the diversity of content that we get to see. I personally welcome our new overlords-- they are new overlords I welcome our overlord's new experimentations and then and I'm happy to see where it goes.
    Episode #147
    - Instagram removes likes in Canada, Staying Relevant, Stealing Ideas
  • Question number one is in response to the piece that Taylor wrote at the Atlantic about the Instagram aesthetic dying that I was interviewed for, and someone's just asking to kind of elaborate on that. If you haven't seen the piece Tim put a link up somewhere to it, I know it's been making its way around the internet pretty quickly over the last couple of weeks and I've gotten a couple questions about it. Essentially you know what Taylor was talking about in the piece is that this overly pretty Instagram aesthetic is dying, there like stand in front of a pink wall, hold a big bouquet of I don't know what do people hold. What are those like big thing hydrangeas wrapped in butcher paper, and like smile really wide, like that aesthetic, is dying? She did an incredible job reporting the piece and really dove in and talked to not only influencers who are kind of going against the grain. One of them was Reese from double-exposure who we've talked about a good amount, but also looking at brands she was looking at like kind of meme accounts and Balenciaga who you know has been growing their Instagram really quickly, and outpacing their luxury fashion counterparts as far as growth rate and engagement goes. It's just talking about you know how the aesthetic of Instagram is changing and it's going from really pretty to kind of purposefully ugly almost, and like really kind of grimy and that like it's following the larger kind of grunge trend that we're seeing in fashion.

    There's a lot of like early '90s fashion coming back, this has been happening for years now. It was an interesting conversation about what influencers should be thinking about and how does this truth affect people? If it's the case that like people don't want pretty anymore, what do you do as an influencer if that's your niche? If that's the thing that you're good at. The other and I think that it is important to kind of understand the trends, I think it's important to know like why that is doing well, it's important to understand why people think Balenciaga is doing a good job even though Balenciaga is terrible, and I think everything they produce is total crap. But it is very much like in the cultural lexicon right now. It is like very much like the vibe and I think that it is really important to understand that. To understand that might be why your content isn't doing that well.

    Now how you react to that I think is a different story, and we've talked about this before but something I've been thinking about is just asking yourself why you do this at all, and I think it is really important to continue to have fun with this and to enjoy the stuff that you're putting out into the world. If you are chasing growth or chasing engagement and you are doing that by co-opting someone else's aesthetic to try and jump on a trend so that you can grow. I'm not sure you're going to be happy, now may be your end goal is just growth and you just want to have as many followers as possible. If that's the case, I would say like go buy some bright orange coveralls and some really ugly sunglasses and like take pictures of yourself like squatting on the ground like doing something with your hands this I think is what the kids do, I think they like kind of squat down and like sit and coveralls and they're like oh, my clothes are ugly but like I'm interesting.

    Again this is not a new thing, I believe young people have throughout history dressed like morons to try and piss off old people. Again I don't think this is is really any kind of like big surprising thing that is happening, and honestly not that much different than when grunge was popular last time in the '90s. You got to think we were coming out of the '80s where there was a huge economic boom, everyone had money, it was very ostentatious, it was all about like cocaine in Armani suits and then grunge came along and it was like the total opposite of that right, it was a rejection of all of those things. What right now we are in you know an unprecedented-- the economy is doing great right now. People have a lot of money.

    I think youth like young people I think it's just a pretty similar cultural moment that that was happening back in the back in the '90s-- sorry in the late 80d into the 90s. is that like a rejection of beautiful things that can set young people apart from their crustier older counterparts such as myself. I do think it is important to understand these things, but again as I was saying in the intro, I don't think it's important or interesting to jump on to trends that you don't believe in. Now, if you want to play around with it if you want to experiment like I think that is awesome. I think that like a big part of creativity is experimentation, it is trying new things, it is you know taking like keeping your eyes open to like inputs and like to seeing different things, and then interpreting those things and like trying something new.

    I know I've said quite a few times on the show that like when I was into photography so much of my journey was copying photographers that I really respected, and I would see one of Jamie Beck's photos and I would try to as closely as I could copy it. I often wouldn't publish those photos, but that's how I kind of honed my craft and tried to get better, was by seeing if I could take a photo of the same thing and it was easy because we were both in New York. I could literally go to the same locations and things that she was in, and I would try and take the same exact photo. By doing that I would force myself to learn the techniques that she used without being able to ask her.

    I think that like exploring trends like that can be really really valuable, but I think you can also get lost in them and lose your individuality which is at the end of the day the only thing that is going to set you apart in this world and help you gain a following, and I think that's a real, like a real thing to consider if you are thinking about chasing a trend, is how are you going to continue to keep your unique point of view.
    Episode #147
    - Instagram removes likes in Canada, Staying Relevant, Stealing Ideas
  • I was talking to Chloe Morello last week. Hopefully, you guys watched that episode. She's great. She talked about IGTV videos doing really well, doing better than her YouTube videos. I was interested in that and then we published an IGTV video that did quite well for views. I was like, "This seems a little fishy because Facebook has a traditionally really loose definition of what a view is." I did some research and for IGTV, I think it's five seconds or three seconds. I think it's three or five seconds that you have to watch a video for it to count as a view.

    On a YouTube that's over a minute, it's 30 seconds that you need to watch for it to count as a view. If you look at IGTV and you look at your stats, it shows a graph of how long people watched. Look at how many-- I would say 70% of the views are less than 30 seconds. If it was on YouTube, 70% of your views would have not been counted as views. This is what Instagram is doing to try, and because people are so blinded by likes and view counts and things that, it's a really simple way for them to try and pull YouTubers away from YouTube into Instagram because it's like, "Holy shit, I'm getting 100,000 views on YouTube, but I'm getting 400,000 on Instagram."

    Where are you going to post? You're going to post on Instagram. Then you're going to realize, "Holy shit, nobody's actually watching these videos. They're watching two or three seconds of it and turning it off." That is not watching your video. I think it is bullshit the way Instagram is counting a view. I personally think that it should be standard across all the platforms, so you can just know a view is a view and it has a definition, and that definition is standard across any platform because it gives Instagram an unfair advantage in the vanity metrics, but the real impact of it, is still so much less than YouTube.

    If you're getting 100,000 on YouTube 300,000 on Instagram, I would put every cent I have, which is not many cents, saying that the 100,000 YouTube views are much more impactful than the 300,000 Instagram views because I bet 80% of those are not watching the full video. They're watching the first few seconds because it came in their feed and it auto-played or something, and then they scrolled off of it, but Instagram counts that as a view, so that they can sell more ads, and they can attract people away from YouTube.

    It's bull shit. I would not get too wrapped up in it, and I would look at your metrics, look at your IGTV views, try and calculate what percentage of them made it to 30 seconds and use that number to look at your YouTube views and understand, should you be moving away from YouTube. Other than that, IGTV doesn't give you too many metrics. They're pretty light right now. I think we're still in the infancy of that product and its performance in the way that we've talked about it. I wouldn't sweat performance that much. I would just experiment a little bit and see what's working for you and what's not.

    Hope Mark's not watching, but I don't know that I shit on Facebook earlier. I don't think Facebook has any-- Do I think that they have a duty to try and protect our democracy? Sure, yes. I think that they do. Do I think they have a duty to shut down the terrible trolls and the rampant harassment that is happening on their platforms? Absolutely. Should they shut down white supremacist groups? Absolutely.

    They don't. They're worrying about all these other things, but anyway, I digress. I don't think they have a responsibility to make people feel good if they don't think they have that responsibility. They very clearly don't. I mean, they're one of the most profitable companies in the world and that's their focus. I think the sooner everyone understands that, the sooner you can welcome yourself into adulthood. It may not be right but it is the world. It's not changing. The only way to change Facebook's mind is to do that with your wallet.

    If you don't want to use it, don't use it. I have no problem with them, generally. I think they're a business, and they make decisions like a business. I do wish all the platforms would take harassment more seriously, but I also understand it's an incredibly complex question that starts to bleed into your right to free speech.
    Episode #146
    - Hiding Like Counts, Younger Instagram Users, IGTV Metrics
  • There was an article about young people specifically purging their accounts, not keeping a linear feed. The way kids use the Internet is super weird. The way they use Instagram is very strange. My niece has like 500 followers and gets like 700 comments on a photo or something. It's fucking crazy. Her friends will comment 15 or 20 times, and then they're just having conversations in the comments. I think the comments section of Instagram is a very real thing for youth culture and much less a real thing for ancients like myself. I'm never really commenting.

    I could engage more in people that comment on my photos, but I just don't. I'm sorry if you engage. For young people it's real, and I do think they use these things in a different way. They grew up with Snapchat and so this idea of a feed is not as important to them. Young people don't know who the hell they are, and constantly think they're reinventing themselves. They're just trying on other people's identities until they eventually figure out who they are. It makes sense that they're constantly wiping the slate clean and starting over again. It's interesting to look at it, and understand the way young people use Instagram or any platform because whatever the next platform is, will be built for young people.

    Understanding their behavior can help you to understand where the future of social is going, which is seemingly more conversational and more instant and less permanent. I will say that having followers is huge. I had dinner with my niece who's a freshman in high school. The fact that I have 23,000 followers, which is really not much, is like a thing in her school. She's like, "All my friends think you're cool because you have these followers." Which is hilarious and ridiculous but gaining a following is still incredibly important to them.

    There is this conversation about Facebook wants to go away from followers. They want to make things more a conversation between friends. From what I see with young people, they are still very focused on gaining a following and being an influencer and having a big audience. That is not going to be like DM conversations back and forth. I don't really think there's any implications for other influencers other than a drum that we beat over and over again, especially as all of us are aging, that is a constant.

    I think as you get over 30 and you get further away from youth culture, I think that you have to be more direct in trying to understand it and immerse yourself in it, so that you don't get caught 10 years from now not understanding the world at all because your ability to operate in that world and make money in it will be diminished very quickly. I think if there's anything to learn it's that it's important to continue to learn how young people are using these tools.

    I don't think there's any real benefit to deleting old photos. The idea that someone would scroll really far back in your feed now seems crazy, although I feel that used to happen a lot more. Other than if you're stalking a potential tinder date, why are you going deep on someone's Instagram, I don't know. Yes, I don't really think there's any benefit unless it was your thing. Unless your thing was like, "I always have one Instagram followup and that is it. I don't have a feed." That could be unique, I guess. You can build a following potentially doing something like that, but it would have to be gimmicky like that, I think.
    Episode #146
    - Hiding Like Counts, Younger Instagram Users, IGTV Metrics
  • Look, you guys remember the bug where they got rid of vertical scrolling. Instagram is trying stuff all the time, and they are trying new versions of the platform constantly. Some of them, like getting rid of vertical scrolling, are much more extreme than others.

    I don't know that they'll get rid of Like counts. I also don't know how valuable Like counts are anymore because without-- I think they're still valuable in reporting, and they will never get rid of the ability to like something, I don't think. They won't get rid of an influencer's ability or a person's ability to see those likes. I think the platform could be a better place if you didn't see the likes out there. I think that you might find yourself posting stuff that you just liked, and you wanted to put into the world, rather than stuff that you thought would do really well but that engagement is still going to drive the algorithm, and it's still going to drive performance, and so it's still going to be important.

    Removing that like count certainly might change the way you perceive the platform, but it's not going to change the way the platform works, and it's not going to change the way that people are talking about the success or failure of a certain post. I'm in the middle if they're going to do it. I think that would be a pretty big change. I think there is a small group of people who are saying, "Hey, this is a big problem, we need to change this. This is hurting people's self-esteem." Generally, I find that with businesses if they have a choice between making more money and making sure people's feelings aren't hurt, they're going to go with the money. I don't think that Facebook cares at all what showing Like counts is doing to people's mental health. I know that they don't give a shit. That's fine, honestly. You don't have to use the platform.

    If Instagram is a negative force in your life, then don't use it. I don't smoke cigarettes because cigarettes give you cancer. I would actually love to smoke. I would look really cool smoking. I think smoking is a cool aesthetic, honestly. I know that's probably not a super popular opinion, but I think cigarettes look cool. Sue me. I don't smoke cigarettes because they kill you. Okay, cool. If you have a big fucking problem with Instagram, just delete it. You don't need Instagram. My barber has a flip phone. He seems to be doing fine. He's a strange guy, but he doesn't have Instagram. I don't see Instagram's big responsibility to the world to do something different because you can just not use it.

    If it is affecting young kids self-esteem, then they could probably do more to keep younger kids off the platform, but I think Like counts is overblown as a problem with the platform. I think that a bigger driver of people's neuroses is follower count. I don't think most people are sweating for likes. I think they're sweating for followers, and I don't think they will ever get rid of that. That would be stupid. Again, there are certainly negative impacts of having this digital popularity contest, but also welcome to life. I don't know what to tell you. Everything is a competition. That's not changing. We're probably stuck with it. We just deal with it.
    Episode #146
    - Hiding Like Counts, Younger Instagram Users, IGTV Metrics
  • I think last week we talked a little bit about meetings and how to be effective in a meeting, but what we didn't talk about is what actually goes on there. A lot of influencers, they come to a city, especially in New York where most the brands are, they set up a bunch of meetings with those brands and what happens in them is, you talk about what stuff do you cover? What brands do you cover? Have you done any collaborations before? Tell me about your audience, tell me about your background, tell me about what you're looking to do, any travel plans coming up?

    You're basically trying to brief that brand so that if they have any opportunities coming up, they can figure out where to put you in. The more complete and complex the things that you do can look, the easier it is for that brand to say, "They would fit here, they would fit there, they would be great at that, they would be awesome at this." It behooves you to come prepared for that. Come knowing, what are the top brands that you talk about? What are your five dream collaborations? That if you could work with any brands, what would it be?

    What makes you different as an influencer? Why work with you? That's a question we asked in the Sephora applications. It was out hundreds of thousands of influencers, why you? Because we have 80,000 people in our platform alone and that's a small part of the influencer community. Why should we care about you and what you do? You have to have a compelling answer for that. You're essentially pitching yourself and if you've never been a salesperson, it really makes sense to practice a little bit. A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about themselves, present company excluded.

    If you're not comfortable doing that, it's good to practice. You don't want to come off sounding rehearsed but, if a brand says to you like, "Well, what makes you different?" You're like, "Well, I think that I just like-- I have a really authentic voice that my audience really like relates to." I'm already like, "Meeting's over. Time to go." If you can't talk passionately about what you do and about your audience and about the things that you want to do in your dreams then like, "How can I get excited about it?" I think the point of those meanings should be for the brand person to leave feeling excited and they want to help you.

    They want to get you in a collaboration. They want to work with you in some way. You have to bring that energy and be like, "This is my life. I love this so much. It's been so great to connect with all these amazing women all over the world. Let me read you this DM I got the other day. It's incredible." You have to brag a little bit, and there's the balance between bragging a little bit and being annoying. That's a difficult balance to strike and it's a tightrope that I've walked my entire life but, it is really important to be able to inject some excitement into that room and have them leave and feel like one, you were memorable, and two, they want to help you, and three, they know how to help you.

    If those three things aren't true when you leave a meeting, you have failed. That's it. One more thing on meetings and brands really quickly because I don't think we've said it in a while, every single brand in the world, your dream brand, anyone you want to work with, most of the time, that is one person. One person that you have to connect with. All you have to do is get in front of that one person. It is not as intimidating as it sounds. Sure, they may not take your meeting, but not reaching out because you don't think you're going to get the meeting, just say that sentence to yourself.

    I didn't reach out because I didn't think I'd get the meeting. That makes no fucking sense. There is nothing to lose. These are just people. They are generally really kind, nice, smart, driven people. They like helping young influencers if they can. If you give them a compelling reason to, generally I find that those brands will go out of their way to help you. You have to reach out though. Unless you're just on that Tezza curve and you're growing 50,000 followers a month for 18 months, you have to reach out. You have to do the leg work. They're not coming to you.

    You have to come to them somehow. Don't be intimidated by those meetings. If you've never done it, book a trip to New York. If you've never done it and you're not in New York, pick a random date, two months in the future, email a bunch brands and say, "I'm going to be there that week." You set up five meetings, book the ticket. If you don't, say that your plans changed. You booked a collaboration and you can't come to New York and you'll reschedule some other time. Five meetings is worth a plane ticket if you can afford it.
    Episode #144
    - Anger Towards Influencers, Effective Organic Posts, Brand Meetings
  • This is something I was just talking to Taylor from the Atlantic about, it is baffling and frustrating how much shit influencers get as a whole. Like influencer culture, people being like, "Influencer culture is going to ruin this world. It's the end of us." It's like influencers as a group get a huge amount of shit online in print publications. Just in general.

    Why? I think one thing is-- I think it's a mixture of misunderstanding and jealousy. I think that everyone at this point has probably taken and posted in Instagram in their life and to think that there are people out there who make $ 10,000 for doing the thing that takes you ten seconds is infuriating. It's frustrating to work your entire life, work your way up the ladder, $75,000 after 10 or 15 years of work and to have a 20-year-old to publishes photos of themselves on the internet, make that in two weeks is always going to be difficult for people to understand.

    I think that it's different than being a musician or being an actor because, people look at musicians and they say, Billie Eilish. She's 17 and she's killing it right now but, I can't write a song. I'm not talented musically, so it makes sense that she makes all that money. The Rock is printing money right now and just always like literally, he's probably at the Federal Reserve right now printing money for himself, but people look at what he does and they say, "I can't do that, so it makes sense that he would make all that money." But they look at someone posting an Instagram photo and they say, "I do that every fucking day and I don't make that money."

    As influencer posts have become more authentic and in the moment and less editorial, even more so it's like I could do that. It's the same reason modern art gets all the shit. It's like, "Are you kidding me?" Like Rothko threw up some red and some yellow and sold the painting for 20 million dollars. I don't understand it. Jackson Pollock dribbles paint on the floor and he calls it art. What?

    It's why modern art gets so much more shit than a fairly unimportant, uninteresting piece of Renaissance art because people look at Renaissance art and they say, "Well, I couldn't paint that. I could work my whole life and I couldn't paint that but I could paint a red square on a canvas. That I could do." So, I think it is difficult for people to accept that other people are making money off something that they feel like they could do. I think that is the core of what frustrates people about the influencer space is that they wish they did it.

    The famous thing about Modern Art is, "I could do that but you didn't. It's true, you could paint what Rothko painted. I mean probably not exactly, honestly but there is certainly modern art that anyone with a ruler and a paintbrush could replicate but you didn't. The whole point of modern art is that, in the context of what art was at the time, it was incredibly revolutionary and to put a black stripe on a canvas and call it art was just completely out there. While now it seems really simple and easily replica and it's been in any IKEA canvas that you could buy, it was revolutionary at the time. Yes, what some influencers do isn't that hard as far as like a day-to-day thing. It doesn't take an unbelievable amount of talent.

    I mean, there are some influencers out there that are freakishly talented, one being the person that asked this question. Hi, Jamie. But they were there first. Like they saw it before you did. That takes foresight and that takes courage and that takes something and that is being rewarded a lot of times. It's like, they were there and you weren't. When you were turning your nose up at Instagram, they were publishing on it every day or they were running a blog when all their friends were just going out.

    I think influencers don't get the credit for how much they're changing both media and advertising, and I think we're going to look back on the people who are really successful. The cream of the influencer crop now as revolutionaries in 15 or 20 or years because it's never going back. We're not going to go back to magazines, we're not going to go back to watching TV, honestly. It's all changing so much and it is touching every piece of pop culture and every piece of media and I think that people who are you know crushing it today are absolutely not getting their due as far their impact on society and the history of, certainly, advertising. Let's talk about this in 10 years and see where we're at.
    Episode #144
    - Anger Towards Influencers, Effective Organic Posts, Brand Meetings
  • First of all, if you're a new influencer who's starting out, you should be doing this all the time. Just make a list of your 10 favorite products every month and do a post about them. Let's say you do 30 posts in a month. Do 10 that are really product focused and practice telling those stories. Think about what you love about it. I think Grace, one of the women that works here, she says that the first thing you tell someone about a product is generally the most interesting about it or the way that should lead with it.

    When you're telling stories about products, think about that. What is the thing that you would tell your friend about it that would convince them to use it and go with that? I just did a post about this Headspace Sleepcast that I love. It was interesting. One, yes, I did try and build a post like a sponsored post. I sought out to try and convince people to try this thing. It was very explicit. I wasn't just being like, "I'm going to do a post here." I was like, "I'm going to try and craft a post that can convince some people to try this. I have been using it for weeks I really loved it. I've been talking about it organically.

    I told a little story about the fact that I've been struggling to sleep. I talked about what specifically made Sleepcast so great and encouraged people to try it. Then over the next couple of days, I posted stories at night talking about the Sleepcast. I got dozens of messages about it. About people who downloaded the app because of that. About people who also loved it, people who had questions, people who used competing apps. I had five or six times as many saves as I usually do, which to me indicates that people are saving it because people want to go back and reference it at a later time.

    To me, that was successful. One of my friends joked and was like, "You forgot hashtag ad." Yes, they are a client but, obviously, they're not paying me to talk about this. I wanted to try to do what you all do and try and craft a message that could try and convince someone to take some action. It's not necessarily easy but I do think it all has to come from a place of personal experience and a place of actually using the product and make a checklist, whatever it is. Come up with some system that helps you understand what it is about a product that makes it great because that's the thing you need to be able to distill and communicate to your audience if you're going to be a successful influencer.

    Why is this thing great and why should you spend your money on it? Being able to answer that question is paramount to being successful as an influencer, from a brand partnership standpoint not necessarily from the ability to create engaging or beautiful content, but to turn that ability to create engaging and beautiful content into a sustainable business that can grow and can be something that you do for years and years to come. You have to be able to tell those brand stories in a way that is compelling and concise and clear. I think so simple and compelling that it removes barriers to entry for people to try something that they're just like, "You know what? That sounds great, I'm going to try that."

    Again, harder for bigger purchases but like, I bought a $5,000, 20-year-old camera because of people on the internet. It worked. Now, they weren't trying to sell me that camera, they were just shooting with it but, I think I was using a sleeve cast for like two weeks before I posted about it, and I think that in your paid or organic brand partnerships, I think you should try and set a time and say to the brand, "I need at least a week to use this product before I post. If they send it to you on a Tuesday and they say, I need the post by Wednesday, I would push back and say, "You know what? For me to make this post to make sense, I really need to use the product for a while, and I need to live with it, and I need at least a week."

    I think most brands unless they're under some insane deadline where like, something is launching and they need to get the post out, will really appreciate that because they just don't hear it much. I don't think influencers are taking their personal experience and putting it into the brand messaging really effectively. I think that as a whole, influencers are actually doing a terrible job at that. I think doing that and understanding how to communicate those things clearly can be a huge competitive advantage.
    Episode #144
    - Anger Towards Influencers, Effective Organic Posts, Brand Meetings
  • I don't think that originality has to be necessarily evaluated. One, there is really almost no true originality. Everything is a progression from something else or everything is a iteration or a slight copy, or evolution of something before it. Even if it's not a conscious rip off, you're seeing things and those things are influencing what you're doing, and sure, you can create something totally new that's never been created before. You can also see the thread and the line that gets you to there.

    I wouldn't waste a huge amount of my time trying to understand what the litmus test for like is it original or is it not? I think probably more interesting or better question is like, is it interesting or is it not? Generally, new original things are interesting and compelling, but they don't have to be. Look at Instagram, a lot of posts in the photos that do the best. It's the same shit over and over again. I think you should be striving to find your voice, and I that if you are true to that and you are really trying to project your vision into the world that by nature it will be original if it is personal because it's really just about you.

    I think that's probably the truest way to originality, is to just chase individualism and try and be yourself, because again, that is the only thing that you can do that other people can't do, is just do you.
    Episode #143
    - The Importance of Originality, Live-Streaming's Future, Meeting ROI
  • Look, meetings are in large part enormous waste of time, there's like a whole movement and everything around like killing meetings and not doing meetings, and we have a lot of meetings here for and like we struggle with the same thing. How do you make sure they're beneficial? How do you make sure you're not wasting people's time? How do you make sure your meeting couldn't have just been an email?

    That is a frustration that I don't know that goes away because meetings are in a lot of ways necessary evil, especially as an influencer it's super important to get in front of the brand, be like this is me this is my face this is my personality, this is my vibe this is what I believe in. How do you make it valuable is like, it needs to have a point? I think you need to go into that meeting

    Knowing what you want to get out of it and making sure that there is this temptation to just small talk for a while, let's say your 30-minute meeting, you small talk for 20 minutes of that. That's not super valuable for anyone.

    If you're going to take 30 minutes of someone's life away, 30 minutes that they're never going to get back, even worse, if it's a full hour, you need to have a reason. You need to have a thing and then you have to get to the point at some point. You don't have to sit down and be like, “Okay, here's what I want.” Certainly you have to warm up to it. You always have to ask for the sale and the sale doesn't necessarily mean I have a project I want to pitch and I need money.

    It can be; I want to be on your on Yale’s event list. It can be anything, but think about the point of the meeting and think about that is the sale. Make sure you implicitly ask for it and say, “I want this. I would love this. I want to do this. I'd love to talk about doing this.” You have to have a clear thing that when they leave the meeting, they understood why they had that meeting because you don't want to walk out and be like, “Why the hell did I do that?”

    I meet with influencers as often as I can and sometimes they come in and they just talk, and they tell me about themselves, and I'm like, “That was completely worthless. I got to know you, which is great. There was just no point,” and I'm left now being like, “What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?” Because I met with you, you must have an expectation. I don't know what the expectation is, and I don't know how to fulfill that expectation. I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

    If you leave the meeting being like, “I'd love introductions to your execution team, or I've been trying to work with these five brands and I don't know anyone there. I would love introductions there.” It's now on me to say no or yes, but at least I know what the hell you want from me. Then after the meeting, quick follow up. Try and do it in a couple hours if you can. Do it in the Uber or on the subway after the meeting, sit in the parking lot and write a draft.

    I wouldn't send it two minutes after the meeting, but certainly within 24 hours you want to say, “Obviously great to meet you,” et cetera et cetera. You want to summarize what happened in the meeting so that they remember and there's a paper trail about it. Then you want to summarize what your asks were. If there was any action points where they said, “Yes, I'll definitely introduce you,” say like really “Looking forward to that. Thank you so much. Again, as a follow-up here are the brands that we talked about you introducing me to,” and let's live in that world.

    Let's say we had a meeting and I said I would introduce you to five brands, and you just send an email, you're just like, “Thank you so much. It was great to meet with you.” One, again, I may forget, so you have to summarize what happened, summarize the ask and then go to the next step and be like think about what is that brand? Okay, if I have to introduce you to five people, then do you think it's easier if you give me a paragraph that explains what you do and who you are rather than me having to think that up and write it myself?

    I would be like, “Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. This is such a huge help. I thought it might be helpful for me to just write a little blurb about who I am and what I do so that you don't have to write it.” Little things like that. You want to think about if a brand is doing something for you, how do you continue to make their life easier? We've talked about this when you're working in an activation with the brand about doing your own reporting and things like that that will make the brand person's life easier.

    Same thing after a meeting, how do you start to do their job so that it feels like a really easy thing for them to check off the list after that meeting. That is super important. It's like sending that summary email, summarizing your asks and doing some of the work for them. Then as far as research before the meeting, research who you're talking to. Know if it's a junior person or a senior person, do a little digging about their background. You don't want to be unprepared and you don't want to be left.

    Imagine you are talking about a brand and let's say you bash your brains like, “Oh, this brand I don't like what they're doing or whatever,” and you didn't see that on their LinkedIn, the person you’re meeting with was head of social there for the last three years. The thing you're bashing was actually their project. It's like little things like that that can ruin a relationship can be. You can skirt it one, by not being an asshole and bashing people meetings, but that's hard for me and I understand that could be hard for you.

    Do your research and make sure you’re understanding who you're talking to so you don't get yourself into any trouble, and you can use it. “Oh I saw you into this college. I also went there. I saw you here. I was in that town. Once I drank with my friend there.” You need to try and build a personal relationship and a little bit of research can help do that. Not so much research that you're creeping on them. They're like, “Oh gross.” You’re like, “You know way too much about me.”

    There's a fine line there. I wouldn't go three years back on their Instagram, but I would peek at their LinkedIn, peek at their Instagram, see what their last couple photos are, did they get back from a trip recently? Just something to get the conversation going.
    Episode #143
    - The Importance of Originality, Live-Streaming's Future, Meeting ROI
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