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Understanding Influencer Marketing
What exactly defines an influencer in the marketing space? Do you need Oprah in order to sell your product? These days the term influencer is used so much as the concept spreads to become more of a “scope of influence” rather than just a celebrity endorsement. There are all kinds of influencers and within any industry, there are influential people out there, it is just a matter of finding them. When it comes to buying and selling a business, a company can add value to their business by diversifying their sources of traffic. The more diversity in traffic, the more the risk goes down for the buyer and the value goes up for the seller.
Today’s guest, Shane Barker, teaches the “Personal Branding – How To Be An Influencer” course at UCLA. He’s a seasoned marketing consultant, who for the past several years has become an expert in using influencer marketing to boost sales for brands. Shane believes that nowadays companies have got to run an influencer campaign just like any other facet of the funnel in order to maximize their brand’s reach.
- What exactly is influencer marketing?
- Finding that niche person for the product.
- Identifying real vs. fake followers and how feedback needs to be weeded.
- Measuring real engagement over just follower numbers.
- What is a good engagement rate to look out for.
- The influencer marketing software tools that are out there and how to use them.
- Aligning the influencer with the product.
- What is the typical cost per influencer?
- How can you track the influencer’s impact?
- Why Influencer marketing works well.
- Tips and tricks on how to find influencers in your sphere.
- Cheaper alternatives to hiring a consultant to help with your IM campaign.
Mark: So this past weekend I was at Rhodium Weekend and we’ve talked a lot about Rhodium here on the podcast. It was out in Las Vegas and somebody that we know, somebody who’s been on the podcast Shakil Prasla, a good friend of Quiet Light Brokerage happened to run into another Shakil; Shaquille O’Neal. And he has a great photo of himself on Facebook with Shaquille O’Neal and he told me and he said that Bobby Brobine called his attention and so Shakil just shouted out and said hey we share the same name and sure enough that called his attention and then resulted in Shakil our friend having a picture with Shaq; really really cool. It’s always fun to be able to reach out to people who are well known and have some influence and obviously, this is something we can definitely use in business as well as in we are in a whole are of this in business and marketing called influencer market something I haven’t done a lot of. Joe, have you done much influencer marketing?
Joe: You do it all the time Mark. We do … you just did it. You just did it for Rhodium Weekend. How many people that have signed up for Rhodium Weekend have gone to Chris’s centurica.com website for due diligence because you’re an influencer and you talked about it?
Mark: But I’m not on the same level of Shaq so you know.
Joe: Oh I don’t know. I don’t know.
Mark: I’m definitely not as big as Shaq in more ways than other knows because the guy’s a big dude. I’ve seen companies use influential marketing before and it’s crazy; the impact that you have on your business when you find the right mix.
Joe: Well you know a lot of folks think influencer marketing is … I’ve had a couple of listings where Dr. Oz mentioned the product or the ingredient and the revenue went … sort of skyrocketed. I sold one earlier this year where the product was named one of Oprah’s favorite things, that’s like the golden ring. That was back in like 2008 and they still get traffic and revenue from it and it’s 2018. So that is what a lot of people think about in regards to influencer marketing like you and Shaq. And by the way, Shakil call out that was a great photo thank you for that I showed my kids. But that’s not really just the influencer marketing that I think a lot of our audience should be thinking about. We’ve talked about it all the time when you’ve got multiple channels of revenue, multiple channels of traffic it brings the risk that you’re going to lose business down and increases the value of your business; the lower the risk the higher the value. Influencer marketing should be another channel. The next generation buyers people they’re … my kids, I have 2 teenage boys, I cannot get them off of Instagram watching videos. My son, 17 years old, he learns everything. The computer I’m on right now he learned how to build it on YouTube through influencers. They’re all about influencer marketing. So the next generation is going to be just that. We had Shane Barker on the podcast, that’s who you’re about to hear folks. He’s a UCLA professor. He teaches a class on influencer marketing at UCLA. He’s a consultant and he helps people. He’ll take over their campaigns and he’ll just tell you how to do it. He had some great advice in terms of tools to use to track your influencer engagements; how to find them, how to measure their success, and what to do in terms of maybe interviewing them and negotiating with them and writing up contracts with influencers and all these different things. The one thing I didn’t touch up on was workload but he said that when you frame it up right and you put the right package together in terms of your plan through a consultant so you don’t waste a whole lot of money it can then be handed off to a VA who should be able to run with it fairly easily.
Mark: That’s pretty cool. So is this going to help me get Shaq to a certain point in Quiet Light?
Joe: Hmm … Shaquille O’Neal, no not Shaquille O’Neal but Shakil Prasla yes. He’s already an influencer [inaudible 00:05:01.2] is what he is.
Mark: I would rather have Shakil Prasla … actually, that’s kind of a lie, sorry Shakil. All right let’s get to it. This is actually a huge topic. I know this is going to be like the next big thing in marketing and this is one of those areas that people don’t really know a lot about. Some people are doing it well. They’re making a lot of money because of it. They’re building their brands because of it. It’d be great to unlock this so why don’t we go ahead and listen to it [inaudible 00:05:25.8].
Joe: Yeah I do. You’ve got to think about it just like an Amazon sponsored ad campaign, just like your content development for an SEO, just like your Google Ad Words campaign. You’ve got to run an influencer campaign the same way and Shane really talks about that in detail so let’s go to it.
Joe: Hey everyone its Joe Valley from Quiet Light Brokerage. Today we’re going to talk about influencer marketing with Shane Barker. Shane Barker is an expert in the space. How are you doing today Shane?
Shane: I’m doing awesome Joe. How are you doing man?
Joe: I’m good. You know back in my day there was no influencer marketing. It was pay-per-click and write good content and Google will reward you. Of course, my day wasn’t that long ago. I sold my business back in 2010 but the world has changed dramatically since then and it constantly changed and you’re on top of that and you are at the forefront of it which is one of the reasons that I will call it out right now why you haven’t written a book about it yet because it’s constantly changing right?
Shane: Yeah that’s the deal. We talked a little bit before the podcast started today. The thing is it is an evolving space. I mean it started off back in the day and I said back in the day as we kind of joke around about that but you know I’m doing this for a while but it’s really word of mouth marketing right? Which back in the day the presentations that I do I always talked about like as an example would be like Tupperware. That was kind of like Helen who is a lady that she would have these parties and have everybody over and she was influential in the area because everybody loved Helen. She was a great wife and she’d have beautiful little kids running around. Everyone wants to be like Helen and they’ll all come too. They’d have a few drinks and the next thing you know they’re buying Tupperware right? So it’s that influential type thing, that’s how it kind of all started and then obviously we evolved to Beats by Dre and some other ones like that where you see this people wearing the headphones and they would go and give them the free product. And you see all these athletes that are wearing this stuff and I mean obviously they sold I don’t know it’s like 3 or 4 billion dollars to Apple so you know it’s obviously some-
Joe: I guess it’s been around a while because celebrities have been endorsing products for years, for decades and they get paid for it.
Joe: So that’s influencer marketing right there let’s do this. So Shane, I didn’t tell you before we started recording we don’t do fancy introductions. Obviously, we’re a couple of minutes in already.
Joe: Can you tell those folks that are listening about your background, what you do, how you do it, and where you come from?
Shane: Yeah absolutely. So I reside out of Sacramento California but I’m in Los Angeles quite a bit because I teach at UCLA. I teach a class called Personal Branding and how to be an influencer. It’s a quarterly system so I do how to be an influencer on one side and the other side on how to work with influencers. We work with brands down there as well. So yes I’ve been in the digital space for 20 something years. I really jumped in the digital space because I had my own business. So it was one of those like hey I want to bootstrap this thing and I didn’t have a lot of capital. This was a long time ago. I’ve got a company called Hotpad that I had a patent on it; a reusable heat pack. I had a cool patent on it and so I had to do everything. I had to do the logo, I had to do the website and this was this is probably 15 plus years ago. So we were jumping on the internet, there really was no SEO. We just put something up and something went on the 1st page. We didn’t know how it happened or what happened. We were just excited that that was happening. There was no … there was just nothing, there was not a lot of software, there was … we were grinding this thing out and it was kind of wild wild west. And so I jumped into it and was working with this … once again probably 15 years ago on called getafreelancer.com and now it’s freelancer.com. So I was stating hey, listen I want to manage projects and I want to go work with people that know how to do these certain things that I didn’t necessarily know how to do. I was … at that time I was in school and I’d already owned my own business. Just as I owned a bar and I had done some stuff. It took me 10 years to graduate not because I wasn’t smart. Well, I don’t know … maybe because I wasn’t smart but maybe the bigger the reason was is because I want to travel and do this and I had my own businesses. So I jumped into that and like I said for about 10 years I owned a bar and did some other fun stuff; all offline type businesses. And then when I was doing Hotpad the reusable heatpad company I decided to go back to school and that’s when I really started doing outsourcing and kind of figuring out how to work with other people and I’ve been doing that ever since. I mean right now I have a 31 person team that’s all over the world. I don’t have them … yeah, I have all like project management software or like all front stuff in place. And so I have like where I’m doing this interview today is I have an office here in Sacramento that’s strictly for content creation; for us putting content together. And my team is once again all over the place so they’re … so it’s kind of awesome. So that’s kind of catapulting me out once again where I’m at today. We do heavy content marketing, we do heavy influencer marketing. And then I’ll kind of talk about my story a little later about like how I jumped into influencer marketing and all that. But I consider myself like a brand and an influencer specialist and then also a digital strategist. Because it’s just that’s what I’ve done for so long when … it started off on SEO and then obviously a lot of social stuff and now we do influencer marketing. We’re always trying to … the new stuff that comes along it always seems to knock on my door whether I want to do something new or not when it comes to marketing. So that’s kind of where I’m at today.
Joe: Well, our audience is full of people just like you and people that want to be like you; those that are leaving the corporate world. For influencer marketing, I want to go through some of the steps that you teach in that class at UCLA and the process. But let’s 1st define it what exactly is the influencer marketing in your view?
Shane: Yeah so influencer marketing in which I said a little bit earlier is in the back in the day it was influencer marketing was not called influencer marketing but really it was working with celebrities and getting somebody that had some kind of influence because they’re an actor, or celebrity, or some kind of singer, or something like that and you ask them to endorse your product. But usually, it was for the Nike’s, the Toyota’s, these bigger brands because you had to have a big budget. And the deal was that you were going to do some kind of a commercial, maybe sometimes radio, but mainly a commercial where you would go and this person would say oh my god I have this kind of car this, I love my … whatever my [inaudible 00:10:57.3], I love my Toyota, I love my Nike shoes whatever right, usually bigger budgets and once again somebody that has a really really high influence. Well, last in the 5, 6, 7 years you’ve seen this switch of where really anybody can have influence. You don’t have to have … you don’t have to be an actor; you don’t have to be a famous person to do this. And you’ll see this obviously on YouTube, Instagram, Snap … sometimes on Twitter and then on Facebook as well. The idea is that an influencer is anybody that has influence over their sphere … over their community. So as an example you Joe obviously are an influencer because you have influence over your podcast and what we have here. So that makes you an influencer because people follow you, they listen to your podcast religiously, and they go and they get great information from it and they go and apply that in the real world. So if you were to say hey guys this is some software that I use and I’ve used it for the last 6 months. I’ve tested it its absolutely awesome then guess what probably a lot of people in your podcast are going to go hey that sounds like an awesome product. If Joe uses it then I should use it. And so everybody has this type of influence and we look at this. So as Instagram as an example I look at people, let’s say you have 5,000 followers or 10,000 people I go well are those influencers? They absolutely are. I mean if I have 5,000 or 10,000 engaged … a heavily engaged audience I would much rather work with that person let’s say as an example yoga mat. I’m a yoga instructor and you as a brand you’re selling yoga whatever quick bed or something. And so you come to me, I would much rather work with a yoga instructor that has a 5 or 10,000 following that’s heavily engaged than somebody who has a million or 2 million or 5 million. Because really at the end of the day what … in the beginning of influencer marketing was like hey I want to go with the people with the highest following right? They have a milion followers like that’s how … it’s who I have to work with because of the fact that you look at all those eyeballs. But the issue is this … and we all realize this thru marketing is that back in the day it was like if I can get a million visitors that’d be awesome. It’s not the amount of visitors it’s the quality of the visitors; the type of traffic that you’re getting from that. So same thing with influencer marketing you want to really niche down and find the person that is really going to be best for your product. The reason why and we’ll go onto this later but the reason why there’s these issue with influencers and fake followers is because brands were paying influencers on the amount of followers they had. So you get a situation where they say, Shane, if you have 10,000 followers I’ll give you a 1,000 bucks. If you get 25,000 I give you 2,000. But if you have 100,000, my friend, I’ll give you 10 grand and then guess what happens an influencer goes man how do I get to that quicker? How do I get to that mark faster because obviously I’m doubling, tripling, quadrupling my money? Well, then what happens is now they’re doing something where they’re adding fake followers and doing some stuff that’s obviously unethical to be able to get to the next price point.
Joe: How do you measure engagement over followers?
Shane: Yeah that’s the deal and it’s funny when you talk about back in the day because it literally when I talk to people I’ve influenced I mean I always talk about back in the day that makes it sound like we’re like 100 or something; like I went to school with Jesus or something or Moses or like I was on the boat or something. But you know for us it’s like when I look at this like we were doing influencer marketing 5, 6, 7 years ago there was no software right? So there was nothing out there to really … I mean what we would really do is we would go and try to find these influencers by search. Like go on Instagram and look up hash tags and stuff like that which is still relevant today and we still do that say obviously. And we would go and we’d put these profiles together and I would manually go look at them. Because that was it, like that was my … an engagement for me was not necessarily a number but it was more … we ended up coming up with an equation over time that we looked at of followers, engagements, likes and stuff like that. So we had a little bit of an equation or some kind of … and we call that algorithm because it wasn’t that crazy but where we would go and take a look at that. And we would just have these Excel spreadsheets that I would just take tons of notes and we would do all this kind of crazy stuff. Now there’s plenty of software. There’s all kinds of softwares you can use. I mean we use … Grin is one of them that we use that you can do. There’s another klear.com which is with a K. There’s Neoreach, there’s Revfluence … I mean there’s all kinds of them. There’s all kinds of different ones that you can go. Some of them are free, some of them will cost … I have, I mean I’m very fortunate since I have access to almost all the softwares because they want me to look at their software and evaluate it and stuff so I’m very blessed in that sense.
Joe: You do?
Shane: Well I mean you know it’s so funny. I’m very humble about that and I don’t think of myself as an influencer but over time you start to realize you’re like wow I guess I am an influencer you know. I’m just not … I don’t know I just don’t think of myself that way, like when I go to conferences and speak and do stuff it’s [inaudible 00:15:08.8] people come up to me like I’ve been following you for a long time. It’s always really … it really kind of shocks me. Or like while walking somewhere and I’m not that famous by any means but they will come up and say are you Shane Barker? And there’s been a few times I’m like God do I owe you money, are you VISA or like I’m just trying to figure it out right. It’s like this weird … so you know an influencer [inaudible 00:15:25.1] come up I guess and things are good and I’ve got some good foundation and people are following me so I’m not mad at that by any means but-
Joe: That’s good. The software does it help you measure the engagements does it go that deep? What is this like Grin and-
Shane: It does. So this is the thing you have to look at when it comes to engagement, this is the key and when you talk about software … so software is that 1st level. So the 1st level of when you’re going in you go and you take a look at it, you can put in hash tags, you can put in keywords, you can do this kind of stuff. So let’s say it’s yoga, that’s the thing I’m looking for and let’s say I’m I can sell this yoga mats all over the world. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be in Los Angeles or Las Vegas or something. So I go all over the world, so what I do is now I can curate these lists. I mean go take a look at them, you add them to whatever … some kind of a folder or whatever it is, you pull those people in. That’s the 1st step and it’ll say the engagement. And it’ll say your engagement is 3.5%of 5.6% and software is the 1st step. That’s where you’re you curating the list and you’re saying hey okay I want to find 10 good influencers so I’m going to curate a list of a 100 or 200 or whatever. And then the next step to this whole thing is you … software is lovely but influencers once again because they want to make money and I’m not saying all influencers are this way but … well, we all probably want to make money but there’s ways to fudge your numbers. So that’s what we have to look at. I can go on to Fiverr right now and I can add any picture on Instagram and I can get 10,000 likes for $5, $10; whatever the number is.
Shane: And that’s not engagement. I mean somebody like if you came into my store … let’s take this offline. I own a store and Joe you came in and you knocked and you said hey Shane I was wondering do you guys have this and I just went [thumbs up] that’s not engagement right? You’re like okay so Shane no … so say that again so what do you have this I’m looking for this-
Joe: You just gave us the thumbs up.
Shane: The thumbs up, that’s right I forgot we go audio and video on this. So the issue with that is that’s not engagement right? Engagement is like oh hey Joe thanks for coming in my shop. If you’re looking for these blue widgets then you want to go over here or let me show you some … blue widgets are cool but the yellow widgets are the ones I think you need because of this this and this. So that’s where we kind of get this thing of where the software is awesome go take a look at it but engagement is conversation. So if I’m a yoga instructor or a brand and you’re a yoga instructor or either way you know vice versa.
Shane: Then what I should do as a brand I should go look at your profile and find out 1st of all how many other sponsorships you’ve had. We don’t want somebody that has a new sponsorship every day because the audience is going to be a little unauthentic … not authentic right?
Joe: You don’t want somebody that has a new sponsorship every day you want somebody-
Shane: No, because think about that like this is a thing, it’s like it’s like dating. If you wanted to date a girl that’s had a new boyfriend every day for the last 15 years like you got to think well there’s got to be something wrong with that right? Like there’s … it’s not … the numbers aren’t working they’re not … you really want to develop your brand, you want to develop a longer relationship with an influencer. But if they’re talking about something every day the problem is then you get to a situation where people start to go okay does Joe the influencer really like this product or is he just doing this for money? Because it just doesn’t feel like we want Joe the influencer that says listen I’ve tried this product for 3 months you guys you know I don’t promote tons of products this is a product that I’ve used it’s absolutely awesome this is why I’m promoting it.
Shane: Right, so you want to get authentic-
Joe: You’re going to look at that engagement percentage and you’re going to focus to see if they’ve had lots of different advertisers on a regular basis. Back to that engagement percentage so Shane, you had said 4 or 5% what they have … what is a good percentage? And I mean people talk about open rates and things of that nature in email campaigns, what is a good engagement percentage for people that are just starting off? What would they look out for; the number?
Shane: I would probably say it’s like probably 3 to 5 % is a good engagement rate. I mean anything higher than that is awesome.
Shane: And here’s another thing we talk about that engagement because I’ll touch on this as well is you have to look at the comments. So we have this list of let’s say its 100 influencers and let’s say I’m looking for 10 great ones. You want to go through … you want to look at their profile; A. look if they’ve done a thousand sponsorships then I would get away from them or you look at the engagement. But you want to look at what people are asking for like hey Joe the yoga instructor. Hey, I want to know … it looks like you’re using that new mat or you’re using a new water ball whatever like where did you get that? Or hey Joe when are you coming to town or hey this … like what you want to show that people are engaged with the content and this is where things get … where people can fudge numbers where if you go to somebody and they have an engagement rate of 10% you’re like oh my God this guy’s crushing it, this girl’s crushing it, you go and look at it and they have 1000 emojis, that’s not engagement right? So you can … from software standpoint an emoji is engage-
Joe: You want actual communication, people talking back and forth info and some responding, people asking questions.
Shane: Right. That’s the thing and that’s when we talk about the … when I said I’d rather have somebody of 5 or 10,000 or 15,000 than a million.
Shane: That’s where the engagement rate stays higher because Joe what I would look at is Joe the influencer. What I want is that if people are asking questions and you get 20 questions there should be 20 answers by Joe.
Shane: Joe, you should be going in there and saying hey … where I think is that’s engagement. That’s showing that you have an engaged audience. When you get to the … I’ll use Kim Kardashian as an example, you have 20, 30, 50 million; they’re not responding to anybody for the most part because they can’t physically do all that. And so the engagement rate is a lot less. You have your audience that’s … you get eyeballs so if you’re Coca-Cola you’re going to say hey I’ll go with Kim because I know that she’s going to get eyeballs. I don’t really care about the engagement. I’m looking at overall exposure and they’ve got a big budget. If I’m a brand you really want to go take a look at that and say who is … who’s on the come up. They don’t have to have a million followers but who’s engaged? Who seems to be really into it? What’s a good product alignment? You’re at this … is your product and this influencer going to align correctly? And then what I do … and this is a big one a lot of people don’t do this, I interview all the influencers. I do a call just like you’re doing here Joe. I get on there and I say hey Jennifer I’ve got XYZ product I usually have some questions and I say so tell me a little about yourself or what … who you’ve worked with. They should have some kind of a media kit so there’s some 1st steps that we take. And then I go so tell me a little bit what have you looked in [inaudible 00:21:17.3] XYZ company and they go … I mean I haven’t looked into it but I know that you guys are offering 1,000 bucks a post so I was interested.
Joe: Right. And that’s the thing I was just going to ask actually so thank you, you went there. How do you track this? How does it … what does it cost? I mean people do sponsored ads in Amazon, they do Google Ad Words, and it’s a clear defined cost per click. What is it typically cost per engagement I guess or per influencer if they’ve got a 3% engagement and 5,000 followers?
Shane: Yeah that’s the thing is it’s everything is negotiable. So this is where it becomes a little harder because you do for if you’re going after the keyword Sacramento DUI attorney you know that it’s $3 per click. It’s very easy. If you’re going up with Amazon there’s a … they have a model that they put in place to be able to understand once again how popular it is and what they’re going to charge.
Shane: Influencer marketing is different because you’re dealing … each influencer is different. Each influencer, in theory, should own their own company or their own brands. So what you do … I mean there’s certain websites and stuff and calculators you can go to and kind of what you think would be fair but what I always tell people is this, the analogy I use is like let’s say if I have a Babe Ruth signed baseball card. And everybody tells you and all the big guys go hey man that’s worth a million dollars Shane; guaranteed a million dollars. There’s only 2 of those out there. Yours is in mint condition it’s worth a million dollars and I go well I’m going to wait to get a million dollars. And then Joe you come to me and say hey Shane I heard around the campfire that you have a Babe Ruth card I’d love to buy it from you. And I said well it’s worth a million and do you know what Shane I appreciate that but how about if I give you 75,000? And I go okay you know I’m actually not off. I guess I don’t need to hold on to it. I mean 75,000 is a good deal. And that’s a good deal right? It’s a supply and demand type thing. The cool thing about brands is there’s hundreds if not thousands of influencers. So everything is negotiable. There are some companies or some influencers that will do free product. There are some of them that will do free product plus some type of an affiliate link where they’re getting some kind of residual sales. There will be other ones that just want a flat pay per post. But everything is negotiable so it’s very difficult to say you should spend this amount. You have to figure out what you think is going to be fair. So if I go in and say listen I want to get to 10 influencers I have a $10,000 budget so in theory I have $1,000 per influencer. What you have to do is go in and figure out those influencers and talk to them and say what would you usually charge. Well I charge $250 per post on Instagram let’s say. And so my mind I’m thinking I get at least 4 right? So I say how about this why don’t we do this, I’ll go and pay you $1,000 we’ll do the 4 things but I also want you to do two Instagram stories and I want you talk about a Snapchat for 2 times. If I think that’s a good deal and that can move some traction and you think it’s a good deal then it’s a good deal. So that’s where everything is different with everybody but I think what happens with brands and what they don’t realize is these influencers once the followers start getting honey because that’s what brands still look at most of the time. Is that they get pitched 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 times not a day but a week-
Joe: The influencers-
Shane: The influencers do.
Shane: And especially if you’re up there then you’re getting pitched over and over and over right? So the thing which you have to do as a brand, you have to 1st you have to differentiate. So make a nice little catchy subject line. You want to get their attention, not just looking to work for you that’s just kind of yeah okay I get it. But come up with something kind of flashy. But in the email, you’re going to tell them, you want to make it a win-win right? Because influencers are used to people saying hey if you post 2 pictures I’ll send you a shirt. And that’s kind of like ah okay thanks. So you want me to A. the reason why you got in contact with an influencer is because you love their content. So they probably have a video, they probably have a video guy and a photo person and all this kind of stuff. They have like … it’s a business and you’re telling them that you’re going to send them a free $20 shirt for 2 posts when they have costs. I mean there’s a reason why you picked that influencer because they have great content. If they’re a lower influencer what I mean by that lower followers and they’re doing it themselves then maybe that makes sense. And maybe they love your brand and maybe they will do it for free. They’ll say you know what I love you guys as brand why don’t we do … you guys send me one shirt a month, I’ll do two posts a month and that’s going to be a win-win for everybody.
Joe: Let me ask about tracking because you know with Google Ad Words you can track response at ads you can track … we know what cost per acquisition is. How do you do that with an influencer that you give $1,000?
Shane: Yeah there’s a number of different ways of doing it you know the ones that just want a flat pay per post … I mean that’s … the difficult part is … I mean what I would recommend is so this’s the thing if this is my company this is my brand this and what I do with my clients. There’s a number of ways to do it. There’s coupon codes, so you put Jennifer25 so they should put something on hey this is Jennifer these are these products by these companies I’ve used it in the last few months everything’s awesome and I’ve worked out a deal where you guys everybody gets 25% off hurry it’s going to be gone in 40 hours; whatever the message.
Joe: The influencers, for the most part, is saying use my coupon code and being up front and saying I’m getting a commission I’m getting paid I’m-
Shane: They’re supposed to, FTC you’re supposed to right? So the thing is because they don’t want you like in theory fooling the public right? So it’s no different than if you had whatever Snoop Dog talking about Toyota on a commercial at the bottom really low will say Snoop Dog was paid for this promotion. So there’s … they want to make sure people aren’t being fooled so you should put this as some kind of a sponsored ad or #ad or #sponsored something like that.
Shane: They would put that in the hash tags it’s … the FTC’s there’s always a little bit of gray area with that. But if you put some things like that you should be safe. The thing is that what you want to do when you have those like I said when those people reach out to you and you’re trying to develop those time relationships. The thing is you have the coupon code so you can use something whatever that is the thing but one thing a brand realizes is just because you hire Jenny that has 50,000 followers they can’t be a frequency deal. So email marketing if I want to go buy a Coca-Cola what I do is I see a commercial and then I see a banner and I see this when I go to the store I go, man, I feel like drinking a Coca-Cola for some reason. It’s the same thing will influencer marketing, don’t think 5, 6 years ago you could put up one post and probably make some great money; it’s a frequency deal. So you don’t … when you’re negotiating with influencers make sure that there’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … there’s multiple things that they’re going to do for a set price assuming that’s how you want to … but just make sure it’s a multiple deal with the … so we have coupon codes, you have an affiliate link. So Instagram being the example there’s only one place to put a link right so it’s a very valuable valuable place. What we use … there’s a number of different things you can use but with that you can either A. you can negotiate with the influencer and say hey we would like to give you an affiliate link that you put in your bio thing and we’d like for the next 2 weeks while you promote this product we’d like for you to have that affiliate link in there. So they can put link in bio or something like that. So it pushes them up there but you have to have a contract with that influencer and make sure they know what they’re doing. That’s another big thing with this is we have brands and if-
Joe: Where do you find these contracts?
Shane: You can look online. And we actually have some templates that we use that we could that I think … I’m sure I’ve shared them on multiple different posts but really just a brief right? You want a brief of like hey this is the hash tags you are going to use. This is the kind of content that influencers have used in the past that have been successful but give the influencer free reign to do what they want. Just give them basic guidelines. Hey, we’re also looking for you not to do any anything within our competitors for the next 3 months so that you’re not doing 10 different campaigns about the same kinds of stuff; just some basic stuff where you’re covering yourself. We want to also want to make sure that our link is in your bio for at least 2 weeks or a month or once again everything is negotiable but you have to talk about those terms ahead of times and brands don’t because they don’t know. That’s the reason why I always recommend hiring a consultant or somebody to help you with your 1st few campaigns because then they can … there’s these things where you can lose a lot of money and not know what you’re doing and just assume by hiring an influencer an influencer is going to do what’s best for you. Most influencers aren’t marketers; they aren’t right?
Shane: The yoga instructor that just … he’s a yoga instructor, he didn’t go in and get his marketing degree and say hey I’m going to go and try to build this huge community. He just started doing what he does.
Joe: So he needs guidelines given to him from you on what to do and how to do it.
Shane: Yeah because if not then it … you just, you need some direction.
Joe: Got you. And you’ve talked about Instagram; my kids are always watching videos in Instagram. Occasionally they snap back and forth and I don’t know how they’re ever going to make money on Snapchat but I’m sure they are. I’m sure they probably are. But what social media outlets are the best options for people that are selling yoga pads [inaudible 00:29:20.6].
Shane: So Instagram is where we spend a lot of time because it’s like that lifestyle; everybody wants to like have the pink puppy and be doing yoga be … have the perfect little cute little babies around and the perfect relationship. And so it’s that lifestyle type you know when I’m always on my jet I’m eating caviar and life’s good. And then we have YouTube which obviously is awesome because YouTube’s always going to be out there. What I mean by that is YouTube’s the number two search engine.
Shane: So we work with an influencer that does a review of a product or talks about your product they’ll go and put that content and they have a huge subscribership let’s say it’s 10, 15, 20, 30, 100,000, 1 million and that video literally goes out to all those people and then you get those eyeballs on you.
Joe: So the software you mentioned before measure engagements on different mediums like YouTube and Instagram or?
Shane: It can. Yeah, there’s multiple … there’s different softwares that do different ones. I mean there’s one or two that can measure engagement in all of those. Or what you can do … what you want to do is you can talk to the influencer and say hey put this in the brief. I want to make sure that I’m getting all of the inside information on my campaign and how it went and what we did and that kind of thing.
Joe: Okay. So Instagram number one, YouTube number 2, is there a 3rd that people should look out or a 4th or a 5th that you’d consider?
Shane: I mean Snapchat is not bad and then Facebook and Twitter there’s some stuff going on there. But really where we spend our time is Instagram and YouTube just because it’s the amount of how many people around them. I mean people spend I don’t know … I guess like 55 minutes a day on Instagram. I mean I think it’s after … like after you die it’s like 8 months or something … I mean it’s … of your life time. I mean it’s crazy right and obviously people spend a lot more time on there and then YouTube once again as always it’s that evergreen content that’s always going to be out there when people are looking for certain things. If you have a … once again I have this thing and this is a brand new patented product and I get someone to do a review on it on YouTube and they’ve got a huge subscribership like my sales could go through the roof because of that.
Joe: Right we’ve got a number of transactions over the years where I’ve had businesses that had huge spikes because of Dr. Oz mentioning the product or the ingredient in the product. I sold one earlier this year … I think all these years have blended together, earlier this year where it was on one of Oprah’s favorite things back in 2012 or 13 and that carried it for a long time. Would you recommend that the audience members that have the yoga mats of the world go after those big influencers or just focus on the smaller ones or maybe a combination of both because you might get lucky?
Shane: Right. You might get lucky. I mean it really depends on budget as well. So if you’re going to go after I mean Oprah being the example that you give. Like if Oprah talks about your product then all you have to do is hire somebody to count your money at that point.
Shane: You got to … you physically have to figure … you have somebody and get maybe 100,000 and just have … and just count the money and just probably I will organize it through serial numbers just to get something to do.
Joe: I think these people would argue that you also have to scram like it’s an inventory to fulfill those orders because that’s what happens.
Shane: Oprah is not going to promote anything without knowing that you’ve got some good distribution in place.
Joe: A good problem. But that with free endorsement as well, it was sending products to that influencer looking for a free review and Dale called them one day and then said hey you’re going to be in this issue and they’re like oh my God that’s two days from now.
Shane: So I’ll answer your question, so Oprah obviously being the mega of this whole situation but there’s no reason not to ask bigger influencers or smaller influencers … I mean smaller following. They’re going to be probably more apt because they’re hungry and they’re just either getting started and that kind of stuff. You see the prices can be a little lower. They’re going to be more engaged stuff like that. But I’m not saying don’t shoot for the stars. I’m not saying don’t send something to Oprah if you have a patented product that really takes care of a need that nobody knows about because you’ll never know. You’re saying right there that all of a sudden Dale gave the phone call and said hey we loved your product and you’re like you’ve got to be kidding me right? The thing is nobody is going to knock on your door if you’re not out there and pushing. If you’re not out there sending that information to Oprah or whoever you’ll just never know. And so what I would do is do a nice … I mean I would once again just pull in what … figure out who your buyer persona is and if it’s Oprah’s people because you have a book that you just read and it’s a self-help book and you think you can really help everybody, you have a different angle, you’ve got a great phenomenal story then pitch Oprah. Go for it. Like why would you not? She’s not going to know about people that don’t pitch her but I would also say the smaller influencers are … you know ones of medium size and all that go after them as well. The other thing that I always do is like let’s say I’m a newer company I go and look at my hash tag. So let’s say I’m #whitecoffeemug so … great I go and look that up and that’s the name of my company. You might already have influencers in your sphere that love your product.
Shane: That’s a no brainer right? Like that’s a … you go in there I’m already talking about your product I don’t … you need to convince me of anything except how much free product I can send you to keep spreading the good word about my product.
Joe: Okay, awesome. So for those that are listening again that are trying to sell yoga mats and use the medium influencers, forget the shooting for the stars and Oprah that type of thing. These people are usually entrepreneurs with maybe a remote contractor or 2 or 3 VA’s here and there. They may take this project on themselves at 1st and then hire somebody to take it over once they’ve setup SOP’s. What kind of time do you think it would take if it was me and I’m working 25 hours a week running my business which is pretty standard for the types of businesses that we sell, should we focus on a lot 5 hours a week to get started, 10 hours a week and what kind of budget would you suggest somebody starts off with that maybe they’re doing a couple of million years in an annual revenue.
Shane: Yeah, so what I would recommend and once again I’m not just saying this because I’m a consultant. I would hire a consultant and say hey what do we need to do here? Because there’s people that have paid me a lot of money for me to learn what I learned … what I know today. I recommend that with anything, not just influencer marketing, with anything; like if you want to jump in and do your own PPC figure out somebody that’s a PPC consultant and have them so you listen I just want to hire you for 5 hours a month or 10 hours a month or whatever. I want to put together my ideas. If you can go in and tighten them up it will save you so much money because as entrepreneurs we always go hey we’ll do it ourselves right? I’m a grown ass man I’m going to go do this, I can do it. It’s not a problem. I’m not going to delegate because I have at least 2 more hours in the day. I’m only working 22 hours in the day I have at least 2 more hours, sleep is so overrated. I’m going to do it myself. Okay, that’s awesome; take it on. I’m not here to squash your dream but what I am telling you is that if you have a consultant that helps you along the way they’ll help you with you know these … they’ll potentially save you money, save you a lot of time. And because there’s like plans I’ll put together for people and say listen now you go hire a VA or let me show you how to do this or put the plan in place and now these people can go and implement it and they will come back after a month and hey what problems did you have? Hey, you kind of messed up here let’s look at the pitch emails you sent. Who responded? Now, what do we respond back to them? Like that’s a person that wants to take it on themselves. We have two ways of working obviously, one is hey we’ll do it for you like don’t worry about it. You sit back we’re going to just ask you questions you give us the answers. Or the other way of like hey you want to learn right? And a lot of agencies don’t do that like you want to learn because they don’t want to give up the secret sauce. I don’t have a problem giving up the secret sauce. I want to help you out and I just want to make sure you’re successful.
Joe: Well look I think what’s going to happen is a lot of folks … you know we give up a secret sauce all the time. We help. If you help people they may say you know what I love this I think it’s going to be great please do it for me because they’re busy doing other things as well. So I think it’s a great idea. Some of the people that are listening may want to give it a go and shoot from the hip and see if anything sticks which is probably not the greatest idea in the world. Others will hire a consultant to create a campaign and then they’ll run with it, they’ll hire the VA. And others may say look just please take this on and run with and we’ll measure results with you and if you want we’ll keep going.
Shane: Also, we’re doing that thing too is we’re actually developing a course as well. We’re doing of course for influencers and for brands. So now we’re in current stages of developing that. So they’ll also be an inexpensive option or a cheaper option than hiring myself as a consultant or hiring my company to do everything for them where they can go in and take a course for whatever $97 or $300. And they’ll go in and they can go through it and once again they’ll have enough information there to be dangerous so they don’t have me on an hourly basis. Or if they want a bigger project they can do that as well. But we’re developing that ritual as we speak.
Joe: What’s your timeframe? People are going to go okay great when is it going to be done?
Shane: I knew you we’re going to hold me by the fire Joe because I told you about the book earlier and so then you put me on tonight.
Joe: I know.
Shane: It will be done by the 1st of the year.
Shane: That’s right, I said it.
Joe: When it’s done make sure I get that link and we’ll put it on the show notes of the podcast okay?
Shane: I can’t wait but by the 1st. If not by the 1st then I would just … I’ll drop off as an entrepreneur and just go and do something separate that’s not online just because I’ll be so ashamed.
Joe: 61, 71, you’ve got something like 80 days maybe to get it done okay.
Shane: Now you’re just trying to stress me out, Joe. I mean come on I just gave you a date I mean now I got to go talk to my people and go listen we’re going to have to double our staff-
Joe: [inaudible 00:38:00.2] for meditation for that stress. You’d be okay.
Joe: You’re not just … no, you’re thriving on stress. Come on.
Shane: I love that, like the fact you just told me that like secretly I don’t even need any more coffee. Like I just got these goose bumps on my back that I said you know what I’m going to show Joe. I’m going to show him by the 1st he forgets this.
Joe: Please do. Shane, I love the influencer marketing approach. So many people focus on one thing and you know when they diversify their revenue streams, their sources of traffic it de-risks or lowers the risk of the business and the lower the risk is for the buyer what happens the value goes up. So for those that are listening take a look at it. Take a look at influencer marketing. Hopefully, this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast has helped. Shane, tell the people that are listening how they would reach you if they want to talk to you about consulting or talk about maybe you taking over their influencer marketing campaign.
Shane: Yeah so you can reach me at ShaneBarker.com that’s S-H-A-N-E-B-A-R-K-E-R.COM and my personal email is [email protected] just email me if you have any questions or if you need anything I’m here to help once again.
Joe: And if they want to be an influencer themselves they can just head on down to UCLA and take your course right?
Shane: Yeah, it’s a really cheap course. It’s UCLA, I mean it’s only one of the top 20 universities in the nation. It’s not a problem, just get a little bit of financial aid you’ll be fine. Talk to your parents.
Joe: You must be doing something right if it took you 10 years to graduate and now you’re teaching at UCLA so good for you.
Shane: I’ll tell you. Thank you so much.
Joe: I appreciate your time make sure you give me that link. I’m going to hold you to it.
Shane: I’m on it.
Joe: All right buddy, talk to you later.
Shane: Thanks, Joe bye bye.
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