Social Media Influencers Are Your Next Great Generation Of Entrepreneurs!
For 20 years, I worked at agencies and then my own firm(s) at booking athletes, celebrities and experts on endorsements which could just include utilization of their picture, image and likeness and could extend to a much more elaborate activation including SMT’s, PR campaigns, on-site appearances, motivational speeches, trade show appearances, etc.
If you are a brand person, an entrepreneur or an agency that has activated a social media influencer campaign in the last 12 months, haven’t you leveraged most if not all of these elements as well? And there is the ultimate cosmic change in the market today, that celebrity campaigns and social media influencer campaigns activate almost the same just many times at different scales.
I own 4 companies and these companies are split between talent management and corporate consulting in the area of celebrity/influencer activation. So I am seeing both sides of the market-place. I build social media and celebrity campaigns from the murky bog up, and I vet, negotiate and contract talent all day, every day. What amazes me, is how so many marketers aren’t seeing the connection between the two. To hear some marketers talk about “micros” as they are indentured servants and should be thankful “we” even want to offer them a shitty affiliate program is insane if not insulting. If you signed Beyonce, you would kiss her ass from here to the end of time. Why should a 32 year old mom with 410,000 followers, 89% of them women be respected any less? Yet it happens every day.
“Micros” and “nanos” are getting smarter. They are talking. They are hiring agents and they see the future. That future is if you need their followers as much as they need your validation and money, its time to pay up or they will do it themselves. But here is the thing that should keep marketers up at night sweating…. The next generation of influencers are following their big sisters and brothers (social media stars) who have come before them and scaled their accounts. The one word that should scare anyone looking to offer a lame affiliate program, Entrepreneur! Yep, these influencers are getting so much smarter and see the opportunity to monetize their community at such a higher level than what is being offered to them now.
Brands and companies better get ready because the meteorite is about to hit the earth again and all of these horrible affiliate programs will go the way of the dinosaurs! Mark my words! You will see influencers with 20,000 followers making 100,000s of thousands of $$$s on their own and not need your cheap 7% back-end on sales charade!
Manufacturing in China, Mexico, the Philippines to name a few has never been easier or cheaper (Tariffs or not). Digital designing with services like Fiverr can cost as little as $5. So if you are a 35 year old mom with 94,000 followers on Facebook and Pineterest, interested in developing a gummie that provides folic acid, some vitamin and Turmeric because inflammation when pregnant is a real issue, this mom can manufacture small quantities build her own Shopify account and post and link all day long. Why does she need a major brand to pay her pennies on the dollar. She doesn’t and she knows it…..
My agency CelebExperts is working with a significant number of influencers consulting them on building their brand, building products and assisting them on building their businesses. We are also consulting companies on how can they WHITE LABEL their products and offer them to influencers in small batch/quantities. This market is exploding. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Its just not the ex hedge fund manager who is bored. Its your next door neighbor who has a voice, followers and the spirit to build an empire!