• Specifically in this case an influencer has a larger male following than a normal female skincare influencer. Something like skincare is unisex and so that technically shouldn't impact your ability to work with brands. Let's step back here. Two brands care about demographics absolutely. Demographics on a whole, even from Instagram are a bit of a guess, so you don't have to disclose your sex, your age, your household income, anything that when signing up for Instagram, where you live.

    A lot of it is a guess in general, so that is one thing. We get questions all the time. Your data is different than Instagram's. That is why everyone's just looking at the content and trying to make assumptions. Is this a man? Is this a woman? Where do they live? How much money do they make? Are they married, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Why is it important? Well, for most of these brands, they say, 75% of our customers are women or 75% are men. Obviously, I want to work with influencers whose demographic split matches that of my customers unless I am specifically going after a new customer base.

    We had years ago, a whiskey company come to us and say, "90% of our customers are men. We think there's a really opportunity to market whiskey to women." And that's something we're focused on. In that case, demographics were still really important because we wanted to target influencers with a largely female demographic. We are constantly looking at demographics when we are trying to apply the strategy that we have and pick the right influencers.
    Now, as an influencer, sometimes split demographics can make it difficult to close those brand deals. It can be hard if working specifically in skincare, obviously in makeup to explain your male audience. Do men buy skincare? Absolutely. Do men buy makeup? Absolutely. At much lower numbers than women do in general. Then often, like it or not, or whether this is right or wrong, specific brands inside of even the skincare category, obviously market to men and women.
    It's crazy to me that there's like, "This is moisturizer for men and this is moisturizer for women." There's just moisturizer really. We are biologically different, our skin is different, there are different needs, but it seems more to do with the fact that men are uncomfortable at buying skincare. It has to be this ridiculous macho thing of just some guy with a handlebar mustache being like, "Get your skin looking tiptop."

    They don't want to be seen as gay because we live in America and even though it's 2020, that is still a big driver of most men's behavior so I digress. What do you do if that split is unfavorable for you? One is understanding your audience a bit more. If you have a skincare specific feed for instance, and you're 50/50 men, women, but my male followers are crazy about skincare. They love luxury skin care. Here are DMs, here's explanations, get ahead of it.
    Anything that a brand could come at you and say, "This looks weird." Always good to get ahead of it. I talk about the freestyle rap at the end of 8 Mile. Where Eminem, in his freestyle, he takes everything that the guy's going to say about him and says it himself. He's like, "I live in a trailer," whatever. I don't know what he said. It was great, great moment in cinema but I don't remember the rap exactly.

    Then it kicks over to the other guy he's got nothing to say. We think about that in our sales meetings. If we're the smallest company, we use that as a strength. We don't wait for the brand to say, you guys are the smallest company pitching us. We get in front of it. We say, we know we're the smallest company here. Here's why that is a positive for you. We don't let them turn it into a negative. Understand those demographic splits and understand how to talk to them.
    Now if-- I'm going to use a friend Olivia Caputo here, as an example, I met her two years ago. She's from Florida. She's got a history of beauty pageants. She had a following that was largely male. She's like, "I want to move to New York. I want to do this influencer thing." Part of my advice was you have to try and shift that audience. That New York brands are going to look at it and say, "You're a beautiful girl that is posting bikini photos and it's attracted a male audience and that male audience isn't interested in our brand's new color palette that's coming out this month. They're following you for different reasons."

    She put the work in over years to shift her content away from the Florida beach vibes into a young professional woman who's in New York trying to make it and hustle and incorporating beauty, incorporating skincare and hair and all of these things. She has over the years significantly changed her audience, to be quite a bit more balanced or to be more women than men and is killing it. We work with her all the time. She's great. That took years to get there, but you can change those things. If you feel like your demographics are not representative of the content that you want to create anymore, you can change that.

    Just, it's going to take a long time to get there. The advice I gave Olivia years ago, potentially it be the same advice I'd give you now is if you feel like I know 30% of my audience isn't valuable to brands and they always bring that up, then again, one way to get ahead of it is be like, "Hey, I know. that you don't want to market to this 30 % of men so I'm not going to charge you. I'm going to reduce my rates 30%. That's how much I want to work with you. I'll give you that for free."

    I'll say like, "I understand that this may not align with your strategy, so let me cut the price off." Instead of charging like someone with 100,000 followers, I'll charge like someone with 70,000. It makes you sound a lot more confident. It again makes the brand be like, "That's really fair," and it's you being honest and transparent and not trying to just optimize that relationship for the dollars that you can get today, but think about the long-term success of the partnership.
    Episode #183
    - Instagram alternatives, leveraging demographics, bespoke content