Conquering Chaos

Ep 19: Elevate your Influencer Marketing Strategy with Morgan Kling

August 06, 2019 Season 1 Episode 19
Conquering Chaos
Ep 19: Elevate your Influencer Marketing Strategy with Morgan Kling
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 19: Elevate your Influencer Marketing Strategy with Morgan Kling
Aug 06, 2019 Season 1 Episode 19
Erin E Hooley
Elevate your influencer marketing strategy, maximize your social reach and increase your sales potential with Morgan Kling.
Show Notes Transcript

As organic reach becomes harder to secure, businesses are turning to influencers with high engagements to help grow and diversify their marketing strategies.

Join host Erin E Hooley, and special guest Morgan Kling, CEO of CloutHQ, as they discuss tactics that work to elevate your influencer marketing strategy, maximize your social reach and increase your sales potential.



Speaker 1:
0:02
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar ecommerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire is providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or drop in some earbuds and let's conquer some chaos today.
Speaker 2:
0:30
If you like last week's episode on influencer marketing, you'll love this one. We're taking things up a notch with Morgan cling. Morgan is a leading expert in the world of influencer marketing and the founder and CEO of cloud HQ, the first public influencer database as a respected authority in his field. Morgan works with some of today's most popular and growing businesses as a trusted consultant and has been featured in Forbes, Buzzfeed, Influencive, entrepreneur, and more.
Speaker 3:
1:01
Morgan, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 2:
1:04
It's great to have you here. So I'd love to get to understand you a little bit better, your journey and see what led you to influencer marketing to begin with.
Speaker 3:
1:14
For sure. Yeah. So, um, I started my journey on a online business building about three years ago. Basically just kind of playing around with different social media accounts, following a, you know, watch accounts, car accounts, things like that. Um, eventually I started reaching out to those people cause I thought what they were working on was kind of interesting and I thought if I could build a second source of income doing stuff that I really enjoyed rather than just working a full time job that would be really interesting. And so that was kind of the start. I just really started sending out messages to people that were influential online, started relationships with them, um, and really just tried to, um, better understand what was happening in the industry and seeing if there's a opportunity for maybe me to do something there. If, honestly there's just a way that I can help and, uh, do something that I already enjoyed doing and maybe make a little bit more money on the side.
Speaker 3:
1:58
I love it. And you were pretty young when you started it all out, correct? Yeah, I was 19. That's amazing. I love that mix of were you always entrepreneurial up to that point? Yeah, actually as long as far back as I can remember, I've always had some sort of bug that just made me want to sell things or find a way to do for something better, like innovate on certain processes. Um, all the way back to like five years old. I remember I used to um, this, uh, this family friend of ours had a, a giant Saint Bernard and I would walk them around and I would charge people a dollar to pet this dog and oh, five or five year olds. Cause this model. Exactly
Speaker 2:
2:31
hilarious. When I was five, I used to sell sack lunches to my friend's parents for school. So, um, yeah, we, we could have been friends. That's great. Okay. So the term influencer is pretty loosely used these days. So, and there's also, you know, micro influencers and regular influencers, macro or whatever you want to call them. What's the difference and why does it matter?
Speaker 3:
2:56
Yeah, so, um, I mean, you kinda hit it right on the head. There's a broad spectrum of different types of influencers. Everybody from, you know, the local Alpha mom that has 2000 followers on Instagram, that's just, um, really leading the way in terms of how they're making decisions about how to raise their children, how to, um, just lead a community and be involved in the community. Uh, and then it goes all the way up to the macro influencers where you start getting into like the celebrity range, like the Kim Kardashian, Kylie Kardashian, uh, uh, other people out there that have basically been, uh, elected as a influential person by the general consensus of social media. So, um, super broad range. And then I, each part of that, um, each step of that spectrum I guess, uh, has different utilities for businesses to, uh, utilize their influence to promote their products or to promote their brand.
Speaker 2:
3:45
I love it. And it's interesting too because you just touched on it a little bit. It's almost like high school politics a little bit, but now in business world where yes, we've electively w we have electively elected these people to be able to influence our purchasing habits, what we want and we've done so maybe even a little bit, uh, subconsciously. So, but when you consider influencers, influencers have always been around from celebrities to housewives and reality TV shows to the quirky girl next door, whatever it is. We all have our art, the, that, that type, that persona that we're drawn to and it's evolved and it continues to evolve. So what shifts have you seen in terms of platforms used and shifting trends in the industry and where do you see it going?
Speaker 3:
4:30
Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I think the biggest change that I've seen is people just taking their presence online a little bit more seriously than maybe they were three years ago. Um, I think when Instagram first started, it was, uh, being approached as just a place, a photo album for you to post your pictures and for your friends to see it. Um, and then eventually there was a point in time where people started to see the commercial value of that. And I'm, I'm not really sure where exactly that, um, first started at, but, um, I, I've started to notice in like the last two years a lot more, um, just normal people that don't necessarily spend all day on Instagram posting pictures and going on trips and stuff. I'm really just taking their image more seriously on social media because they realized that, um, that personal brand is something that other people have, um, chosen to use to easily identify somebody's credibility or just kind of to get an inside look at what somebody, his personality, his look or personality is like outside of, um, their, you know, whatever they can put on a resume or whatever they can say at a cocktail party or something like that.
Speaker 3:
5:28
It's just more of a expanded version of what somebody's personality is like. So, um, the main thing I would say is just seeing people that are taking that more seriously and really, um, putting an emphasis on presenting themselves in the best light at all times and really just trying to build a solid image online and then build relationships with people that are like minded so that they can all collaborate and, and try to find better ways to do whatever it is that they might be interested in.
Speaker 2:
5:52
I love it. I love it. You know, when you go back to early two thousands and it was blogs, you know, you've got your mom and everything else and you've got your Facebook and Instagram, youtube, snapchat, tick talk. There's, there's so many constantly popping up new new avenues and mediums to be able to reach people and with each new medium comes new marketing potential and opportunities that everybody wants to be the first person to get a piece of that pie on. Yup. Yup. That's right. Very interesting. What are the, what are the mediums right now, the platforms right now that you're seeing having the greatest influential success?
Speaker 3:
6:23
Yeah. Instagram is definitely the winner in all of the other social media platforms, sir. Um, when it comes to people just spending time on it and posting pictures, um, I think that's probably it comes down to just how much friction is involved with crafting an image compared to maybe a video that you'd post on youtube or, um, creating a, a 1600 word blog or something like that. Um, so Instagram's where most of the activity is happening. Whether or not that's the most influential place that people could be. Um, I think that's debatable depending on the market that you might be talking about. But um, Instagram is definitely popping. Youtube is starting to pop up a little bit more. People are getting more comfortable with doing long form videos and they're kind of getting the, uh, the grip on how to be a personality on, on the Internet when there's a lot of things that, yeah, yeah, there's a lot of the things that kind of pushed people away from that. Just weird things that they've seen happen to other influencers or things that they might be self conscious about that prevents them. But I'm finally starting to see it where people are transitioning and becoming more confident online and uh, willing to actually put themselves out there to share what it is that they know.
Speaker 2:
7:25
I love it and I don't you think that there's probably a little bit of a, a scenario here that maybe we haven't considered where this short form video, Facebook and Instagram lives and stories and all these things have kind of broken the ice for people that were afraid to get in front of a camera and that way before to where now they're going, okay, well if I can do that then certainly I can do a curated youtube video that's all polished and spliced together nicely.
Speaker 3:
7:48
Exactly. Yeah. Everybody's got to get their feet wet at some point. The funniest thing is seeing these challenges that happened on social media, like the ice bucket challenge or different things like that. People are just, they see their friends doing and they're like, oh, what the heck. Like I'll try it too. And then they do and it's kind of fun. Like you get this feeling like people react to it, you get comments on it and it's like, well that was fun. Maybe I'll do it, do it again with something else. And then eventually it's like, hey, you know, I'm really knowledgeable in this one specific subject. Like what if I did a video where I just explained what I knew and shared it with the people that would be interested in that. And then it's Kinda cool to see this snowball effect of how people can so quickly go from, you know, dropping a bucket of ice on their head to creating an hour long videos about something that's so like narrowed down in a specific market that really able to emphasize the skill set that they have.
Speaker 2:
8:32
Absolutely, and it's interesting too because I feel like a lot of different people, especially if you have your personal brand and it is mainly based off of challenges or quirky little side gigs that really aren't aggressively pushing a sale, there's still an opportunity for them. Even if they want to remain consistent in that sphere to where they're doing passive sales approach or maybe they're wearing an outfit from somebody, now all of sudden they're giving it a shout out in the credits at the end or in the or in the content below, et cetera. So there's lots of different ways to do passive sales approaches in where you might not have otherwise assumed everything doesn't have to be so blatantly in your face, click here, buy now. Um, I see that working both ways depending on the brand.
Speaker 3:
9:14
Definitely. And I think it's such an interesting thing like the, the idea that you can have a certain amount of followers on Instagram and brands will send you free products. Like just that whole concept if you were to try to explain that like 10 years ago, like yeah, you just go into Walmart and they'll give you like whatever you want for free and they just want you to like take a picture of it.
Speaker 2:
9:30
So you can tell everyone how awesome Walmart is in speaking of these different platforms that are holding different amounts of cloud, you specifically mentioned Instagram. Do you feel that, cause I'm assuming each platform has its own demographic, right. And so do we s do you see that influencers and influencer marketing is more applicable to certain demographics, genders, age groups, et Cetera? Or do you feel like influencer marketing reaches all demographics?
Speaker 3:
10:04
Yeah, great question. Um, you know, the great thing about social media right now is there's a vast selection of different platforms that you can spend your time on. Um, everything from video game streaming sites like twitch to tic talk where it's kind of funny videos that follow a template and have nice music along with it to an aesthetic platform like Instagram. And then Facebook, which is more of like a community family based focused on it. So the, the platform span of really wide range. So, um, there's pretty much a place for anybody that wants to voice their opinion on something or voice a certain topic that they think is interesting on any different platform. Um, now from the brand's perspective, uh, it's a little bit different when you look at different platforms of how that might be used to promote a business. Uh, for example, like when somebody goes onto youtube, we know that their intent is higher for whatever that word that they're searching for is because they're actively searching for a very specific thing.
Speaker 3:
10:55
Um, and we know that that usually indicates that they are, uh, they have a higher, uh, buyer intent, whereas Instagram is more of a, uh, like a consumption platform. Same with like reddit and sometimes Facebook as well. Um, people are mostly going on there just to kill time or to, um, consume the content that they're expecting from a friends and family, like influencers that they follow and just general thought leaders that they're, um, relying on the information from. So it's, it's interesting on the brand side, like there's a few different ways of looking at it. Um, and then on the influencer side for people that do want to build a community and build a, um, a really large following, like you can pretty much tailor your, um, your image to people in different ways depending on the platform and make sure that the content that people are receiving on that platform is the content that they're in the mindset to be receiving at that time. And then dynamically changing that as you switch to posting on different platforms.
Speaker 2:
11:44
Absolutely. I love that. Thank you. So when considering brand consistency, because I know this is a big thing and a lot of times when brands aren't mindful of the consistency or the between them and a particular influencer, their message can get lost and unintentionally. So what tips do you have for brands who are entering this sphere to make sure that the partners, the influencers that they're working with are on the same level, have that same message and a can in essence bring in and attract the ideal customers for them?
Speaker 3:
12:14
Yeah, definitely. That's another great question. Um, when it comes to how to present a consistent message on social media using influencers, um, it's probably one of the most important things that people have faced when it comes to building out this strategy. And it's oftentimes one of the easiest things to avoid because it's just so much effort to, um, onboard people to, uh, whatever your belief system is that you're promoting in a space. Um, so when it comes to a brand actually, um, crafting a consistent message, a bunch of a across a bunch of different types of people on different personalities and um, there's just so many different options for how the influencer might perceive what you're asking them to do. Um, the most important thing that a brand can do is actually create a brand brief and basically that is like an instruction manual for the influencers to follow.
Speaker 3:
12:58
Um, and that will like when an influencer opens it, it'll take them all the way through like, hey, why is this brand reaching out to me? Like, what is it exactly that they want to achieve out of this? Um, and then giving them examples, like every step of the process that the influencer might run into friction. Uh, so for, for example, when it's, uh, when it's time for them to create the content, they might have questions of like, well, like, I'm not really sure what the best way to promote this. Um, this new hair tie company is, I don't know, like w what type of content would really look nice. Like a lot of influencers are. So, uh, they're so consistently looking for new ideas that when the time comes that they need to create like a, a like a knock it out of the park type of idea for a brand. Um, it's really easy to get caught in a friction there. And that's oftentimes where brands will receive content that's not really high quality and doesn't really support their message. Right. And that's why it's so important that they just, uh, they take the time to craft a, um, a brand brief that can really communicate in layman's terms and, uh, fit a wide variety of different types of people so that everybody kind of lands closer to the bullseye. And, um, on the message message that the brand is trying to put out to the world.
Speaker 2:
13:59
Absolutely. That's a fantastic idea. So in terms outside of general communications and having that, that lay out introduction to their brand to make sure that they've clearly communicated that with the influence of their working with what other core pitfalls do you see brands making and how can they be avoided?
Speaker 3:
14:16
Hmm, definitely. These are all great questions. I can tell that you're a, your mind has been working. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
14:21
Okay.
Speaker 3:
14:22
Yeah. So another big thing that I see, uh, brands not really, um, emphasizing the importance on when they, when it comes to constructing a team around it or just to build out the systems and processes that their employees are gonna follow. Um, it's basically just treating influencers like people and building relationships with somebody because, uh, because you want to, like, you want to inspire that person to love your brand. You want to inspire them to actually take on a, um, a piece of the vision that you have and to translate that to their audience. Like that's the ultimate goal that, um, brands have. But oftentimes the easiest thing to leave out, or the easiest thing to ignore is the, the little things like sending a thank you note six months after they posted. Just, hey, I really just wanted to follow up and say how much I appreciate it.
Speaker 3:
15:02
Um, we'd love to have you back again. Here's like a discount code for this. Um, or just, you know, sending a note on their birthday, like happy birthday. Like we're so excited that you're part of this team. Um, and we're really looking forward to the future of how we're going to do x, Y, z, uh, doing things like that. Like it goes such a long ways because like you're, you're able to, it's never been so easy to communicate with people on a one to one personal way, like a personal level. Um, and I, I see a lot of brands avoiding that because they're so used to the robotic nature of like Facebook ads and email campaigns and like other direct response marketing. So, um, that's, that's by far the, the biggest pitfall that I think brands are, um, ignoring whether, whether they know that they're ignoring it because, uh, they don't want to do it or because they don't think it's going to be worthwhile. Um, I, the brands that I've seen take off the best with influencers, like they really emphasize the relationships with these people that are online that just happened to have a lot of followers, um, and putting themselves in their shoes and treating them how they would want to be treated if they were in the same, same situation.
Speaker 2:
16:00
And really it puts them front of mind at the end of the day. And when you're working with so many different brands, I would imagine that those little things that sets you apart next time they work with you, they were going to go above and beyond because you're going to be top of mind to, they're going to appreciate the way that they're treated and it's going to be less transactional and more interpersonal.
Speaker 3:
16:20
Absolutely. And the, the dynamic with the brands right now, it's like there's so many different brands. There's also a lot of influencers, but the amount of brands that are working on reaching out to a good influencer, like somebody with a lot of followers that you can tell, uh, really spends times time with their audience. Uh, there's so many of those brands that from an influencer's perspective, like it's not a hard decision to say like, Hey, you know, like it was great posting for you last time, but I don't think we have a future together. Like there's not really an opportunity that I see for this to be a worthwhile relationship either way. Um, so it's, it's that much more important to really, um, just pay attention to how influencers are receiving your messages, like how they're communicating with you. And then most importantly, just the experience that they have all the way from, um, applying to be an influencer for you or, um, you recruiting them to be an influencer to the time, you know, a week after they post in their friends start sending a message, just like, Oh, where'd you get that? Like, that's so cute. Like things like that. It's just that experience needs to be refined down so that the influencer is always, uh, put in top of mind positions so that their needs are put before whatever monetary gains that the brand is hoping to get.
Speaker 2:
17:22
Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. Well let's talk about debunking the fakes. I know there's a lot of fraudulent accounts out there. How do businesses and business owners keep from getting taken advantage of?
Speaker 3:
17:32
Hmm, definitely. Um, so there's two main approaches that brands are taking right now. Um, one is the shotgun approach where you basically say, okay, I have this product and our customers are 35 to 45 year old women and um, we hope to communicate this type of message to sell it to them and then they out and they find as many influencers as possible, send them all like in the exact same generic message and hope that they all reply. Um, and then kind of weed them out. Like at that point, that requires the most amount of time and most amount of effort to do that. The ideal approach that you could take to weed out the influencers is to kind of take it a, like a slow approach. I'm really look at like how the influencers are interacting with your audience, look at their comments, seeing how people are commenting back on their posts, seeing how often they're actually engaging in the community that they're supposedly a thought leader in.
Speaker 3:
18:19
And really just kind of going with your gut when it comes to like if you see somebody's page and you're like, you know, like they take beautiful pictures and their, their content is amazing, but like something here's just fishy. Like, I don't know what it is, but like there's a feeling in my stomach that just makes me feel like this is not worth $500 for me to pay for it. Right? I'm just going with your gut instinct and like sometimes you'll be wrong. Sometimes you'll be right. Um, but it's, it's always better to lean on the side of, um, preserving the, the money that you could spend on a really top notch influencer because those are the people that will end up generating a, you know, 500 x ROI, um, or like really just make some irrational type of, uh, growth for, uh, after they post about, about your brand switch. I mean, it's that much more important to make sure that you're working with those types of influencers that really have the capability to communicate something so effectively that people will buy rather than just taking on influencers because you think like, well, I told myself I'd be getting 15 influencers this month, so I guess I need to take like these extras, you know, five influencers, even though you know that you might have a feeling in your stomach that like something fishy is going on.
Speaker 2:
19:21
Sure, sure. And you touched a little bit on ROI there and that's one of the tricky things about influencers, right? I feel like that, you know, when you do a Facebook ad or an Instagram ad, you can go into your ads manager account or Google and analytics and you can hone in on what is my ROI, what is my cost per conversion? I'll all of these different CPC, all of these different measures. How does one calculate ROI for an influencer campaign?
Speaker 3:
19:46
Yeah, that's a, that's a great question and it's probably one of the most common questions that I get when people are approaching it from a direct marketing perspective. Um, like when you match it up against Facebook ads and email campaigns. Like honestly, I feel like, uh, from my perspective at least that, uh, people have almost been spoiled by the, uh, abundance of analytics that have been offered by other platforms. Yes. Um, so
Speaker 2:
20:06
do where we undervalue things that may work, but because there's not an analytical platform or a bunch of pretty graphs talking to us about it, maybe we're not seeing it apples to apples.
Speaker 3:
20:18
Exactly. That's 100%. Right. And, uh, I mean that's, I mean, that's the most common thing that I see brands objecting to before they invest in influencers. Um, and it really comes down to who's making that decision. If they're very analytically minded and they're very, very much so a logical thinker, it's really tough for them to kind of detach themselves from the idea that everything needs to prove its ROI right off the bat. And so it becomes difficult because there's so many different examples of brands who have invested in influencers. They, you know, they kind of plug their nose while they were doing it and they're, they're like, we'll look at the analytics, we're not going to rely on the trackable ROI for all of our decisions in the future. Like those are the brands that end up growing to, you know, $400 million a year, you know, sell to Uniliver or just really grow and acquire market share.
Speaker 3:
21:00
And like what used to be a really protected industry that was almost impossible to break into. Um, I mean the, the amount of growth that's happening and the amount of new brand dynamics that are coming out because people are willing to, um, kind of, you know, I would never say to put all of your budget towards influencer marketing. Like the direct marketing side is very important that there's, um, a very, uh, proven model there that will allow businesses to grow. But on the influencer side, it's, it's so much of a branding play and it's so much of a just goodwill type of play with your customers that, um, you might not notice it in the first week or two weeks. Um, but down the line, like you'll start to see things that just appear to be irrational. Like when, like when an email list is getting like a 60% open rate and everybody's like, wow, like how are you doing that? Like that doesn't make any sense. This is totally irrational. Like it doesn't align with anything else that I've ever heard of in the industry. Like oftentimes it's because at one point or another the brand invested in relationships and they invested in the really relationships with the people that could, um, really
Speaker 2:
21:59
dry run that needle. Right. Absolutely. You know, and it's funny because one of my brands is Bailey's blossoms, children's clothing line and we've always done influencer marketing but never, but unintentionally we didn't realize that's what we were doing, not in the formal sense of the word. So all of our, all of our traffic, why did it work? Why did it grow so fast? What it was, because we had involved our customers, we were allowing their pictures to be on our website, their pictures to be on our social media. We were reusing this content, regenerating this content. For us it was because we didn't have money to pay for it at the time. But then in retrospect, I'm looking back going, Dang, that was an unintentional strategy that worked really, really well for us. Not just for content but because for word of mouth is so powerful. And so yes, I am very analytically minded when it comes to my marketing plans and the strategies we put into place. But then when I look back on something like that, I'm going, well we didn't quantify it per se, but there's no way we could have accomplished what we accomplished without that influencer. Um, mindset and approach, even though we didn't even know we had it. [inaudible] yeah, very interesting. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
23:09
I don't think you're alone when it comes to that, you know, like influencer marketing like the last three or four years. Um, it has really became like, it's really built a definition of like what influencer marketing is. And before that, like there wasn't really something that people were, um, adding to their marketing stack that was called influencer marketing. It was just like, yeah, like we get people that post content and like sometimes we reuse that. Um, and then just recently, like it started to become a marketing channel. So I don't think you're alone. And I think that's even better because you guys got to see it from the very beginning of how can we get just normal people to post about our products and help us build this brand and establish credibility in this space all the way to the point where now we're like, um, like I feel fortunate that we're finally having the conversations about ROI and analytics and stuff because it means that people are innovating and people are able to build platforms that hopefully can do this stuff someday. But the evolution of it is, is the most exciting part that I've seen so far of how, um, it basically started with normal people and now it's getting up to like a commercial volume is basically been created out of nowhere. Um, the lifestyle that people aren't able to live because of that is just a, it's fascinating and it blows my mind every single day.
Speaker 2:
24:15
Yeah. And it's fantastic. So another thing too, it's really easy for brands to underutilized and undervalued the content that they get from influencers. So what advice would you give so that they can maximize the value of the content they're getting from the influencers they work with?
Speaker 3:
24:29
Yeah, great question. I mean, the first thing is because we're becoming a more standardized and commercialized industry, um, more conversations are being had about how content should be licensed, if it should be licensed or if it should just be free range for the brand, like to use it wherever they want. As far as where we're at right now. It's, it's pretty accepted that if you, if the brand wants to use the content after the fact, like, um, it's like a general courtesy to um, either pay them more for that or just to add it to the contractor, added to like the general agreement that like, Hey, we would love to use this content on our social media and our Facebook ads and email campaigns and maybe build a case study out of you. Um, so as far as the, like, the logistics of that goes like, it really depends.
Speaker 3:
25:09
Um, some influencers get upset. Like, if, if it's somebody that's really large and they have a manager and like they're doing a lot of brand deals, like a lot of them will get upset if you just start using their content. Um, but usually how I approach it when it comes to like working with smaller influencers or somebody that I know is like, they're, they're just doing it for the right reasons. They're not doing it for the paypal payment that's going to come after they post or like they're not doing it just for the money's sake of it. They're doing it because they liked the brand. Um, a lot of times with those, like the best way a brand can approach that as like, hey, um, like we chose you because we thought you were really aligned with the message that we're putting out. Um, it sounds like we both had a really good experience with this.
Speaker 3:
25:44
Like, we would love to continue this relationship by amplifying your content, um, and maybe getting your voice out there more so that you can start talking to more people and reaching more people. Um, so positioning it that way is like, that's probably probably the easiest and most common way to get, um, to have access to that content and how to utilize it without irritating the other person. And then when it comes to actually posting that and like where you could post it, um, pretty much anywhere that is a good place to have somebody's face involved. But like I said, like Facebook ads, email marketing on your youtube ads, you can do it in display ads on Google pretty much anywhere is a good fit. But the most important thing is just to make sure that the influencer is not, a lot of brands kind of approach it with like a Trojan horse theory where they're like, well, we'll get all these influencers.
Speaker 3:
26:27
I have 3000 followers. Like we'll give them the, uh, the free product and then we'll just use their pictures everywhere, like everywhere we want. Like they shouldn't mind because they're only 3000 followers or something. Um, and that, I mean, that's kind of working backwards on the side of like, building the relationships. Like they should feel just as much contribution. The vision that you're pushing as you feel. And it's just so important to make sure that everybody's on the same page to that, you know, three weeks after they post it, they're not getting a screenshot from their, you know, their cousin or somebody saying like, Hey, look at this. Like you're on my Google, like I'm seeing out for you on my Google, I'm browsing the Internet because then it's like kind of gives them a bad taste.
Speaker 2:
27:02
I didn't agree to that. Right, right. Okay. So for those who are just getting started, what are some tangible action steps that you would give them to, to step into this space?
Speaker 3:
27:15
Definitely. Great question. Um, I mean the, the first step is going to be figuring out who the thought leaders are in your space. Um, so finding out who people are seeking for the knowledge of the problem that you're solving. So for example, if you're selling a sneaker cleaning a product and people are seeking guidance from somebody who's like a huge sneaker head on Instagram, I'm starting to find those people and getting better. Like where to find them, how to search for them. Like finding tools and resources on the Internet. Um, that's probably the first and most important stuff because you need to figure out how many of those people actually exist because there's still some markets where like there might only be a dozen influencers in that space.
Speaker 2:
27:51
Absolutely. And if I can expand on that just a little bit too, I feel like there's a lot of influencers that may be able to do what you want them to do and it may say, Oh man, this, this woman has a million followers. She's a lifestyle or she's a fashion blogger for herself. But I know that she actually has a one-year-old. Um, I could send her things to, to be able to showcase on her one year old, but her per one year old is nowhere on her feed. People aren't following her for children's Dash and they're following her for women. And so there has to be, even though people can do things and they do have big audiences, uh, there needs to be a degree of understanding what people are following them for because just targeting their audience in hopes that a certain percentage of them will be relevant to this new content that they're not accustomed to posting may not be the best theory for you.
Speaker 3:
28:42
Hmm. That's right. 100%. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
28:44
Awesome. Okay. So when we are creating our marketing plans, I feel like it's really easy to put too many eggs in one basket, so to speak with our advertising efforts. And I've been speaking a lot with my team about diversification, whether that's on or off of Facebook and Instagram ads for example, or youtube or Pinterest or, or email or SMS, whatever it is. What advice would you give and where does influencer marketing play into this? Obviously we can't put all of our advertising into influencer marketing, so how do we balance out those efforts?
Speaker 3:
29:17
Hmm, definitely. Um, so I can speak from the experience that I've had working with different clients that, um, were able to grow to a, again, I'll use the word irrational levels because it just, it's mind boggling how much growth they're able to experience today that they wouldn't have 10 or 15 years ago. Um, and that is basically to, um, find one marketing channel that really works for you and usually that becomes the champion for the growth of your brand. So maybe that's Facebook ads, maybe it's like building a really killer email list. Maybe it's a blog, find like that one killer marketing channel that you can use to, um, grow the brand and then to start experimenting with other channels very slowly. So what you don't want to do is if you have one solid marketing channel and you're using that, you know that that's a huge contributor to the growth of your business.
Speaker 3:
30:00
Like you wouldn't want to go out and say, okay, we're going to spend $100,000 and we're going to split it up against a, across these 15 platforms. Cause oftentimes like you're getting a lot of like cross channel interaction, like with different ads, you might wrongfully prove a theory that is not actually correct. How'd you approached it? Like individually. So I've always said like, the best thing that you can do is like, find that one champion for your marketing efforts and start to re really utilize that and try to hone it in as much as you can, optimize what you can and then start to slowly experiment with what you believe to be the next most opportunistic channel might be. Um, and oftentimes you can find that information by looking what other brands have done. Um, I mean I spend a ton of time looking at brands and like reading interviews from like founders during the early days of their growth where they said like, yeah, you know, like we were really doing well on Facebook ads.
Speaker 3:
30:47
And then we started exploring youtube a little bit. But you know, like the one thing that really was like crazy growth for us was, uh, starting to pursue blogs and like doing, uh, guest blogs on other people's site. Like, and we can show you the metrics. Um, and just finding that information, like one tidbit of information like that, um, can allow you to start kind of, um, ranking the priority of other marketing channels in your mind of like where that next opportunity might fit in. And then with influencers, it's, um, it's kind of a difficult thing because if you're not at the level where you can afford to not rely on the direct ROI from that spend, um, it's one of those things like, I personally think that every brand should be at least experimenting, like on a small level with influencers, like whether it's a couple hundred bucks a month or maybe a thousand dollars a month just because it's so, um, valuable to have those people vouching for your brand. Um, but influencer marketing is, it's another one of those things like it depends on, um, the intent that's needed for somebody to buy your product. Like if you're selling $2,000 blinds, the customers are gonna have a, a different level of intent when they actually buy. Then when they buy something that's less expensive, that might be an impulse buy or something like that. So the influencer side is kind of tricky to fit in there. And I wouldn't want to give him an answer because I don't have, you know, misleading if they have a unique case.
Speaker 2:
32:01
Absolutely. No, that's great. And now you are the CEO of cloud HQ, which is a public interview in influencer marketing database. I'd love to know what projects you're working on right now
Speaker 3:
32:12
for sure. Uh, so cloud HQ is my main focus right now. Um, and then I'm doing some consulting for a different direct to consumer brands. Um, and I mean just to kind of explain on the cloud HQ side, uh, because it might be a good segue for what we were previously just talking about. Um, is I, I used to be running a lot of campaigns. Um, I used to spend a lot more time running campaigns for different brands, basically, um, managing the collaborations between the influencer and uh, and the brand and like being a middleman between the, um, the conversations that were happening happening in the negotiations. And that sending payments and stuff. And the biggest friction point that I found when I was doing that was, uh, you know, like I said before, the first step is just finding the influencers. Um, so when I was running these different campaigns, like I can't even count the number of times that I would go to Google and I would just type in giant list of influencers.
Speaker 3:
33:00
Like, where can I find it? Let's just like this is, and I never found anything. And like I searched and I searched and I searched and nobody had created like a public place where I could just only look at influencers, uh, and not have to pay outrageous platform fees. Right. Um, and so what I ended up doing was I built an internal software that could be used to help me manage my campaigns better. And one of those things was being able to aggregate a bunch of influencers in one list and then be able to filter those. Um, and so after I launched that, the, the guy that developed it for me came to me and he's like, hey, you know, like if you were to just out like a subscription model to this and like a, a nice website on the front, like you could probably charge people for access and like, people would be willing to pay for it.
Speaker 3:
33:39
And I was like, man, that sounds like an awesome idea. I love everything you just said, except it needs to be free for people to find the influencers. Like, I'm not going to charge people to access the database because it's like, this is just standard stuff. And like maybe if I do it, people will copy and then there'll be more databases that people can pull influencers from. Right. So that was kind of the inception of that. Like it really came from a need that I was having. And then, uh, just being so frustrated with the business ethics that I was seeing with other influencer platforms, not, um, not really giving anything for, um, for what equity in the market that they were being given by other brands. So, um, from my perspective it just made sense to make it free public database that anybody could click on and start searching through influencers and, um, had that going for about a year now.
Speaker 2:
34:22
I love it. I love it. Well, congratulations. What a great undertaking. Thank you. How, what is one of the biggest mistakes you have ever made as an entrepreneur?
Speaker 3:
34:33
When I was first getting started, I wasn't really sure where I should be prioritizing my focus. I mean, I started when I was fairly young and I mean that comes with like two main hurdles to be overcome. Like on one side, like there's so much to learn just in the business space, right? And then on the other side, like I was basically just coming out of high school learning how to have like normal conversations with people and like talk professionally and like better understand people's needs and like I was still getting to know what the world was like, to be honest. Right. So for me, like I never understood like what type of etiquette was needed to um, really develop relationships with another person to understand an industry or to get them to help or to, for me to be able to help them. So I would say probably one of the earliest mistakes that I made was like not investing time in relationships with other people and treating everybody as like a commodity that was just coming in as like, oh, maybe I can make money from this person, maybe I can.
Speaker 3:
35:22
Um, and if I couldn't, it was oftentimes like, well, like talk to you later. I got somebody else to talk to. That was probably like the most foolish mistake that I've made apart from just other investments into software is that I was making that didn't turn out to be worthwhile or by building a business model that wasn't effective, like changing market conditions and things like that. Like I listen to one of the earlier podcasts about getting kicked off Etsy and like that one hit home for me because when I was, when I was very first getting started, another larger mistake for me at least that I had made when I was first getting started, I built this business on Twitter and it was, uh, it was made to help brands work with influencers that were mainly building an audience on Twitter. And like, I didn't really understand like what a competitive strategy was.
Speaker 3:
36:02
I didn't know what building, but was like, I didn't understand like how market conditions could just stomp out of business overnight. Like I just assumed everybody was like nice and wanting to see everybody succeed, but wouldn't that be lovely? Definitely. So, so I built that business pretty quickly. Within the first two months I was doing about 60 k a month, which, uh, for me it was just like mind boggling. Like I still couldn't believe it. Like, it wasn't that long ago, I was just working as a diesel mechanic, like turning wrenches at night. Wow. So I built it pretty quickly. Um, and then a few months later, Twitter decided to ban all of those influencers overnight because, um, they were using some unethical engagement tactics to basically grow their audience, but the audience was real. Just the ways that they were doing it was against the terms of service.
Speaker 3:
36:40
So, um, my agency went from a pretty large and very fun that I was being able to grow and invest in things I was learning, like faster than I ever learned anything before. Um, and literally in one instant, um, that entire business was taken back to zero and there was like no opportunity for me to ever make any money doing anything close to that again. So that was probably the biggest tangible financial mistake that I made was building a business model that wasn't built on any logic or it didn't have any competitive a strategy around it.
Speaker 2:
37:10
That's so fascinating. And you know what's interesting too, cause that just, that encapsulates entrepreneurship as a whole. I feel like there's so many people that everybody's going to have a, we're all gonna have challenges. We're all going to have failures and roadblocks and big cement walls put in our path. But it's that ability to say, okay, well what's next? What's, what's on the other side of this stupid wall? Because it's not just the walls here, life is over. It's done. Time to throw my hands up and go back to a nine to five. And, and I feel like there's so many people that take that as the, the meat all ends all. And when you can kind of just have that vision to say or that thought, that hope even just of what's on the other side of this, that's how great serial entrepreneurs are born. So I love to hear that, that you've, uh, had your own, um, journey with that as well. I think that that the best of them have, so that's fantastic. Yeah, definitely. Okay, so obviously this has been a treasure trove of information. I appreciate you so much coming on here to pour into my community. And I know there's a lot of people that are going to want to find out more. So where can they find more of you?
Speaker 3:
38:17
Yeah. First off, thanks for having me. This has been so much fun. It's one of the more exciting podcasts where we actually have to talk tactics and it's fun talking with you because I can tell that you've spent a lot of time in it. So, um, it's an honor for me to be here as well. Thanks. Wow. Yeah, if people want to check out this software, it's cloud hq.com and it's about Clo u t h q.com. Uh, and that's where you can find influencers. It's a completely public database. Just click directory up at the top and then if somebody wants to get in touch with me and just ask more questions about influencer marketing or, uh, my very short journey in entrepreneurship and kind of what I'm up to, anybody can send me a, an email@morganatmargaretboost.biz and that's dot bic at the end.
Speaker 1:
38:55
Awesome. Morgan, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Speaker 3:
38:58
Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.
Speaker 4:
39:02
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
39:02
thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media@aaroneleeorataaronequally.com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and conquer some chaos.
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