Jesse: Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. I’m so grateful to have you here. We are just coming off of a very fun, very exciting, and I think pretty successful New York City meetup. we had it last week and oh my God, you guys like I am my own harshest critic by far, a thousand percent. I felt really good about this event.
So I know that I’ve like been teasing this event for weeks on this podcast, and I’m sure you guys want an update to some extent. I’m gonna probably create a longer episode sharing a little bit more about the behind-the-scenes of producing an event because I don’t wanna just share how it went. Like I wanna share.
The secret sauce and the highs and the lows and like, just like the real talk of, of event production to you guys, because I feel like you can really benefit from that. So I’m gonna save that for a later time. but yes, it was very exciting. I’m happy that it. Was as successful as it was. I wanna give a huge shout-out specifically to some of our sponsors because, without them and the village of people who helped this event, it truly could not have been possible. So huge shout out to you. The folks at Primary, which is the beautiful venue that we’ve used multiple times now they’re a coworking space in the financial district.
Highly recommend personally using them myself. also wanna give a huge shout-out to a lot of our gift bag sponsors. Love a good gift bag. So, uh, Bayer. Arctic, Fox Equilibrium, Marshawn Eyewear, United Sodas, cricket, and Lula Skincare. So giant thank you to all of you guys and all the people who helped support attended.
We are going to be sharing that panel discussion. On this podcast in the next few weeks, but today you’re actually in for a treat because we are going to be sharing the live podcast recording of our LA event that took place just a few weeks ago. So yes, I want you to attend the events live. You’re not gonna get the recording right after.
but you’ll get a little preview of all of our events. The panel discussion in LA was fantastic. So you are gonna hear from our panelists, Bianca Kerr from Tagger and Seema Tilak of, create l l c. It was a really cool discussion about the behind-the-scenes of influencer marketing. I wanted you to get a peek behind the scenes of the data, behind the scenes of like contract review.
And this is like the backbone. Both of those things, especially combined, are like the backbone of the industry. And I don’t know, I love giving you guys a peek into what not enough people are talking about. It’s not enough. People are talking about the data, but not enough people are talking about like, you know what?
Sima’s seeing day in and day out as she’s negotiating agreements and how they’re changing and evolving and what, what you should be looking for and asking for. and then of course we infused a lot about just what it is to be a woman in the industry, general thoughts about the direction of influencer marketing, et cetera, et cetera.
Anyways, it was a great conversation. I wish you guys were there in person. Maybe some of you guys were, But if you have not been to either the panel and event in LA that you’re about to hear about momentarily, if you weren’t at the New York meetup, which we had last week, which was incredible as well, we have one more event left in 2023 in person.
Of course. I mean, and that is our Chicago meetup, Chicago, you guys show. The fuck up. We had an event in 2018 and I will never forget it because you guys showed up and droves. The energy was palpable. It was really exciting. I’m hoping we can recreate that this time around F C B Chicago. Huge shout-out.
they’re providing our sponsor that’s providing the venue and it’s going to be, Gorgeous. You’re gonna feel pampered, trust me. So if you are close by or traveling through, or need an excuse to, head up to Chicago, the incredible city of Chicago during a beautiful time of year. September 14th is when we are hosting our final in-person event for 2023.
Again, don’t have fomo. You probably have FOMO because just LA and New York were incredible. You can. You can save that. You can definitely take advantage of the Chicago event. I encourage you guys to come. As a reminder, if you are a member of Wiim, tickets are half off. They’re $25 guys. That includes dinner.
A panel networking activities, drinks a gift bag, like it all pays for itself in droves, I promise you. so I hope you guys are members. If you haven’t, of course, just check out the membership ’cause there’s so much more that it includes. But if you’re not a member, it’s still only 50 bucks for your ticket.
It will sell out. New York, sold out LA actually sold out as well. Just New York sold out faster than LA did and I had. A whole long wait list of people who were very sad that they couldn’t make it. So get your tickets soon. Don’t miss out. This is the last in-person event that we will be having this year.
I would love to meet you guys in person. I love meeting you guys in person. I cannot express that enough. what I will also say is today is the release of our newsletter. So we have a newsletter. It goes out once every month and we’re seeing pictures from the event. Always take professional headshots, uh, so you can like to freshen up your LinkedIn.
We’re sharing those headshots, we’re sharing castings, we’re sharing all sorts of updates that we only do once a month. We like to aggregate it into this one newsletter. I encourage you guys to sign up for that. If you’re a member, you get it, of course, but if you’re not and you just sort of want more Wiim in your inbox or you want to just explore more of what we have to offer, Newsletter is awesome.
So you can sign up at our website. It’s I am wim.com/newsletter. Very easy. IAMWIIM.com/newsletter. I’m excited for you to listen to this episode. So I’m gonna shut up. I’m gonna let you guys listen and enjoy and, I will see you guys, keep listening after this episode.
I’m not even gonna say I’m gonna see you next week, like, keep listening after this episode. Catch up on some old ones. ’cause the last few weeks we’ve been putting so much effort into these episodes. And, after this one, listen to the next one. So hopefully I’ll see you in about 40 minutes after this one on the next episode.
Thanks for listening as always, guys. And, See you on the web.
Jessy: So let me introduce you to our panelists. So first we have Seema who is a media and IP lawyer and the founder of Create LLP. We also have Bianca. She’s the Head of Global Operations and CS at Tagger Media. And without further ado, let’s kick things off.
Thank you, guys. That was a mouthful, right? Alright, so in true WIIM fashion, we’re keeping it fun here.
My first question, fuck, marry, kill. Instagram, YouTube, TikTok.
Seema: So this question makes me giggle, but I think immediately I would say, marry YouTube just because YouTube is like the try and true. You know what you’re getting with YouTube, you know when you post content where it’s going, you know how many views you’re getting et cetera.
I want to marry that guy. TikTok and Instagram. That one’s tough but I would say, fuck Instagram. Kill TikTok.
Jessy: A little bit on that though. I want to know about the killing part.
Seema: So, I love TikTok and I probably use it more than any other social platform just for viewing and spacing out. But you never know where the algorithm’s going with TikTok and it’s constantly changing and I don’t actually love where it’s gotten to. I like the Covid version of TikTok where you’re just getting fun little dances and videos and cute little tutorials. So I would kill TikTok and it sounds like TikTok may die soon in the US anyways and I would fuck Instagram because that’s what Instagram’s like. Something new every few moments, you don’t know what you’re getting.
Jessy: I love these euphemisms.
Seema: It doesn’t know what it wants to be necessarily. You have your reels, you have your posts, you have your stories, and it’s trying to copy other people.
Jessy: This is the best answer. I would love to hear fuck, marry, kill, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube.
Bianca: I think Kara Swer actually calls Evan Spiegel of Snapchat, the Chief Product Officer of Facebook. So that does make sense. But I would also marry YouTube, but probably because of all the DIY videos.
We’re renovating our house right now and my husband, I’m practically already married to YouTube, to be honest. I think to kill Instagram because then I’d be on my phone way less. And fuck TikTok because they have all the good dance moves. They got all the moves.
Jessy: They have all the movie’s best answers. I love it so much. Okay, so now that we got the fun part out of the way and we’re going to continue with it. So you know, aside from your official bios, which you know we have on our website and when you guys signed up, I’m sure you saw, tell us a little bit about you guys as like a young adult. Maybe Seema we can start with you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a young adult and then how that led you to work in influencer marketing and the career on the legal side specifically.
Seema: So as a super young adult, I went to high school when AIM was just proliferating. So we would all, go to school, we’d come back home, immediately turn on our computers and sit on AIM.
And I don’t know what we were doing for so many hours on AIM but we were all just chatting it up. My parents were like, what are you doing in there? I’m like, I’m chatting guys. And what I thought was so interesting back then was, I would go to school and I’d sit next to one guy in particular, and he was fun and like we were friends, whatever, but we didn’t talk much at school.
But when we went back home, he was the most boisterous, energetic person I’ve ever met on AIM, the funniest person ever. And I thought it was very interesting that there’s like this dichotomy of a person who I know and I interact with on a daily basis. So that just made me very curious about social media and online interactions generally.
When I graduated from law school, I worked down the street here representing talent in online disputes, and disparagement. And I’ve just been interested in how the online world functions generally and like what it’s doing to us as a society. And that’s why I’m here.
Jessy: Amazing. I love your story. And what about you? How was your upbringing a little bit and how that led you specifically to working at a great company like Tagger?
Bianca: I was a huge nerd. I was in choir and still math Appalooza the Musical. But it actually kinda makes sense because I worked in chatbots and data pipelines and super deep technical SaaS background.
And I was really looking for some levity in my life, but still bringing that kind of right brain married with the left brain. So it does make sense. A big nerd who liked musical theater ends up working in influencer marketing, with a data background. So it kind of tracks.
Jessy: I love learning about you. I feel like we’re very similar. We’re going to hang out after this. The musical theater thing is awesome. And so I think that one thing that’s really special about WIIM is that, it’s women in influencer marketing. It’s that people with influencer marketing and it was a very specific decision that we made, back in 2017 when we launched this.
So my next question for you ladies is how has being a woman specifically shaped your career?
Seema: So I worked down the street at a Century City office as a lawyer, which is very different than the influencer marketing world. I was surrounded by mostly men, male lawyers, very aggressive, very like type A.
And I always felt like I was trying to appeal to this mold of being a lawyer in Century City until I started working in influencer marketing. And through your group especially, I found so many wonderful women who are all like, have this entrepreneurial mindset who are all just getting it and learning about this world as it’s evolving. So I wouldn’t have that if I were not a woman so thank you for that.
Jesse: Thank you for being part of it. And what about you, how has it affected your work and how has it just infected your experience?
Bianca: I was thinking about this and the first thing that came to mind was, that’s like asking what does gravity feel like?
How does being a woman affect your career or your life? I think of it almost less than what does it feel like to be a woman? And instead, what does it feel like to be the only one? And I think women and people of color and queer people, will understand the feeling of being the weight and the responsibility of being the only one.
And I’ve had plenty of scenarios working in tech, being the only one and it shapes your voice, it shapes your contribution to a company pleasantly. But since working in influencer marketing, I’m almost never the only one, which is great because then I just get to be the best version that I’m bringing to the table rather than through this lens of, oh, I am the only woman on this exec team or I’m the only person of color on this exec team.
I’m the only one bringing that perspective. I don’t have the weight of that, which is awesome.
Jessy: I think too that one thing that I’ve heard a lot of people say though, in terms of weight is the responsibility to think about the next generation of women in our industry.
And if we could all do a little something to just make it a little easier for them and to amplify some other voices of other women and just be as inclusive as possible. There is an old-fashioned stigma about women that we can be catty and we’re certainly, it’s like the opposite of collaborative.
It’s the opposite of lifting each other up. But I’ve personally witnessed the exact opposite of that. But I do think that it takes like mindfulness, it takes intention to be able to do that. So, I love hearing about your individual experiences. I want to talk a little bit more about, we’re going to get into influencer stuff, but I like to just learn a little bit more and get personal.
So, I think it’s incredible the career paths that you both have had are different from each other, but like really impressive equally. So I’m curious If you have any tips for the people who are watching who might be like, I would love to have that role someday or I would love to have my own company someday.
How to successfully navigate your career path, which is a big question, but I’d love to hear from you.
Seema: It’s a huge question. I think it all just starts with your intention and being true to what you actually appreciate and like to do. I was working in a completely different space 10 years ago.
I don’t know if I would have thought that I would be working in influencer marketing at this point, but it all just evolved over time. So I think the biggest thing is just to be true to what you like, what your interests actually are and it’ll take you to a space that makes sense.
Maybe not immediately, maybe it might take a couple of stepping stones to get there, but just stick with what you actually appreciate.
Jessy: What about you? What do you think to successfully navigate a career?
Bianca: I think it’s just all about saying yes. So when you’re young and you’re coming up and you’re trying to figure out what it is even you’re just trying to say yes to everything.
And then as I start to develop my career, I find it a lot harder to force myself to say yes, to get in my car in traffic, and go to a networking event.
Jessy: Exactly. Yeah. It props to everyone here.
Bianca: To say yes to doing the things that came really naturally to me in my early twenties when I lived in Toronto and I didn’t have to have a car and I could bike to the event.
Saying yes to those experiences was so important to building my career and saying yes now is making sure I don’t get stuck. And I think it gets harder to say yes as you get comfortable and as you’re like, oh, I have a good job. I know people I’ve got this and that’s a really quick way to just end up not continuing to grow.
Jessy: I appreciate the heck outta that cause I will be super personal and share that. I have a fear of almost aging out of influencer marketing a little bit, you think about it, especially when TikTok came to be huge just a few years ago. It’s great that the 22-year-old is now being looked at as the most knowledgeable person in the room when it comes to TikTok or all the social platforms.
But as a 36-year-old woman, I’m a little fearful. I’m like, where does that leave me in a few years? But I appreciate the heck out of what you said because I feel like, in my opinion, I don’t really think it’s an age thing, I think it’s an openness thing. I think it’s the desire to continue to learn, the desire to check your ego at the door.
Because you can so quickly be the more senior person in the room, but let your ego get in the way. But then, that’s how you push yourself out almost of the conversations.
Bianca: I like to joke about our CEO, he’s a man, but we like him still. We like to joke that he’s an old 20-something and I’m a young 50-something and he’s just got this young-at-heart mentality about how he approaches the people in the room.
He brings a levity to that and I don’t think you could be CEO of an influencer marketing company and look like you work at JP Morgan.
Jessy: So it’s something that I think about, but I think those are really good tips on just navigating your career broadly. I like that a lot.
So, Bianca, I’d love to ask you specifically, what you think of the pressures around ROI In influencer marketing. We hear about this constantly, that we’re always trying to prove our worth as a person who works at an agency, the person who manages talent. There’s a lot of pressure to prove that ROI. Are the pressures too high?
Are they not high enough? What are your 2 cents on ROI?
Bianca: It’s still business. So there has to be a focus on ROI, but I think it’s, what’s the context? Is it ROI after one post? Is it ROI after one week? Or is it an overarching strategy that you are making around investing in a space that is more challenging than programmatic? It’s more challenging than searching.
And if you want to be in that space, you have to actually decide to invest in it. If you want to see the ROI. And it’s there, but that pressure is good for the space, I think. I think the pressure is important cause it forces us to mature the space over time to get better about our data strategy, better about our insights, but we also have to add a layer of context.
You’re not going to be able to buy the exact amount of impressions that you do with programmatic, and that’s why it’s different and that’s okay.
Jessy: Yeah, I think an educational, there’s an educational component to your point. I feel this especially, from the brand’s perspective.
The person with the purse strings, if it were my money too, I would want my dollar to be stretched as far as it can be. It’s very natural. But I appreciate your perspective just saying the context matters and we all want for that to happen. If we’re all on the same team, we can make that happen.
But the strategy is important to consider the length of time, there are so many variables and that’s why the experts in this room are so important because all of that expertise really informs how do you measure and effectively measure that ROI. And then Seema, I’d love to hear your perspective.
So this was actually a conversation that happened, I think it was on our podcast somewhat recently. I don’t think the episodes aired yet, so keep an eye out. But we were basically talking about putting a performance clause into an agreement, talking about ROI paring from that.
It’s how you guarantee ROI, which I’m letting my opinion show a little bit, but I don’t think you can. But some people were suggesting putting a performance clause in the partnership agreement that basically requires the influencer to meet some sort of performance metric in order to get paid.
How do you feel about that? Have you seen that and what are your opinions on it?
Seema: Yeah, I’ve seen it come up every now and then and it almost feels like a commission structure than a straight pay-for-services type situation. And I don’t know if you remember, years ago, you were paying influencers based on, how popular they were.
That’s how they find influencers still to market their products. But when I am representing the talent or the influencer, I will take that metric standard and I’ll try to break it into pieces if a brand won’t budge. So I’ll say, if the influencer gets between this many views or impressions, then this will be the price point.
If it goes above that, then there’ll be different price points Trying to tear out the structure a bit if the brand pushes back and requires the performance metrics. But frankly, I don’t think it’s really fair to put performance metrics on influencers because the algorithm is always changing.
We don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. It’s something that’s completely out of our control. So I always try to push back as much as possible, but I think the tier structure makes sense if they won’t allow you to get rid of it entirely.
Jessy: And I’m certainly not going to put you on the spot to name names. I’m not going to do that, I swear. But I’m curious, the people that you’ve seen include that in a clause. Are these people who are like A, spending a ton of money in the influencer space, are they working with influencers pretty regularly? Or are these people new to the space?
Seema: New to the space? They don’t really understand how it works. They’re used to getting a certain product and a deliverable. But then it just takes the explanation, which sometimes they’re not willing to accept ’cause influencer marketing is becoming like the way that everyone is marketing now and spending their money.
But not everyone was doing this even as of a year or two ago. It’s supposed to be like a billion-dollar industry by next year.
Jessy: And so, in the mainstream nature of it, I found the same thing. I don’t want to, maybe I’m probably leading your answer, but I am glad to hear that it’s matched up, but I don’t know, you probably maybe know where my position is.
It’s just and I’ll explicitly say it, I just think I agree with you. I think it’s hard to require certain things of a campaign and a partnership based on things that are just way outside of the influencer’s control. There’s only so much they can control to say it more concisely, but to play devil’s advocate, which I enjoy doing I wonder what can be required.
Maybe it’s not to withhold your payment. But, a lot of people I’ve heard, are leaning a little bit more into the affiliate model lately where, when you’re working with influencers who’ve been doing it for a long time, they hear the word affiliate and they’re no, I’m not working on affiliate basis, strictly affiliate.
But I’ve heard more and more people do a hybrid where there’s an upfront fee in combination with an affiliate payment and perhaps that gray area that could benefit both parties a little bit more. And I appreciate also including it in a contract.
I think that’s a really great idea, maybe it’s not so black and white. Maybe we build out a tier or basically where you have to opt in to what am I trying to say? Basically to oh, you option. There’s an option in the contract.
I don’t know if you guys are familiar, my background’s in commercial work with actors. So we did that a lot back in the day. But basically, you build in an option where if such and such thing happens, then you get paid for it and then you get paid a certain amount for it. But if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
And if it does, you have that built-in agreement already. So I don’t know, just thinking more broadly about how we put together our contracts and what we’re all so used to, I think could be really valuable.
Seema: And it’s different in the online space where you can see the impressions right away and the metrics right away.
Whereas if you have talent or celebrity, that’s like trying to sell a car is endorsing a deal for a car. In traditional media, there are no metrics that you’re really finding like how many cars were sold because Kobe Bryant was the face of the car. So, it’s just such a different system now.
Jessy: It is. And I almost think that because there are more metrics than there were traditionally, people are hanging their hats entirely on that. And I think that while there are more metrics that you can look at and those are very valuable and very important, there is still like both things are true.
You can have that, but you also have so many things that are just outside of your control. And I just think that all of that, it would be smart, it would be wise to take that into consideration. I also think that it’ll. Improve your relationships, with all the partners that you’re working with.
So I always love to give props and give credit where credit is due. I want to explore examples of either brands or creators that you guys have been impressed with lately. We’re sometimes we’re so insular we only look at our work and our partnerships and the ones that we’re privy to.
I would love for us to learn from what other people are doing when they’re killing it. So are there any brands or creators that you’ve seen recently that you’ve been particularly impressed with?
Bianca: So this is a little broad, but it’s really topical right now for me was being in LA and it being Pride Month, and the Dodgers host a Pride Night and they uninvited the nuns of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag activist group, and they uninvited them and it was a huge faux pas The LA Pride pulled out. They were like, we’re not going to be involved. This is a bad move. We’re not going to be involved in an LA Pride event. And we’ve seen brands make FAPAs like this and we’ve seen them double down.
And instead, the Dodgers turned around and they came to the table with LA Pride. They worked something out and and the event went off without a hitch and they were able to really show how so many brands right now are afraid to make the wrong move, to get canceled, to get involved with the wrong creator.
We’ve got clients who are looking for sentiment analysis to see if, as far back as two years, a creator ever indicate that they were leaning one way with another political party. That’s how sensitive it’s getting. And what I really liked that the Dodgers did is they showed, they understood who their audience was, who their consumer was.
They made a decision, they made the wrong decision and then they said we made a mistake. And that there’s room for that. And I think that there’s this myth that if you mess up, there’s no way back. And so don’t make any controversial anything that might be construed anyway. And instead, I really loved, especially during Pride Month with everything that happened with Bud Light, the Dodgers took a different path and they saw success with it.
They earned their audience back. The groups that boycotted the event, attended the event and it went out again in a really great way. So I was super happy about the way that turned out.
Jessy: It’s a great example and I would definitely want to look more into that, to see like how they did that, are you privy to any of those details?
Bianca: I only know what the public in the news knows, but the nuns of Perpetual in Indulgence, or the Sisters, are a drag activist group that was actually going to win an award for the Community Hero Award.
And they were uninvited because groups complained and the Dodgers because they wanted to avoid controversy uninvited this amazing group. And again, I think it goes back to that openness, understanding who your consumer is, and understanding what’s going to resonate with them.
I actually worked with Nike. They were a client of mine back in the day when they dropped the Colin Kaepernick ad and we had built their Facebook chatbot and, wow, people will write some crazy shit to a chatbot. And it was really interesting that Nike, everyone saw Nike shoes being lit on fire and they were like, oh my God, this is a crazy press nightmare for Nike.
But Nike knew their consumer and they knew that the people who were lighting those shoes on fire had bought their first pair of Nike shoes so they could light it on fire. So they knew that their consumer was happy with the choice and that they had made the right move, and they stood by that decision.
And I think brands have to think about who’s my consumer and authentically speak to them, and when they’re being inauthentic, Gen Z will call them out so quickly and so much quicker even than Millennial consumers. So I think, I am so conscious of brands who are being authentic and choosing to make the right moves, I think they’re going to win in the end.
Jessy: I appreciate that. what about you Seema? Who have you seen, who has done, who’s done well on the brand side, the creator side, anyone we should know?
Seema: On the brand side, I really like what Ari is doing. Ari’s, American Eagle’s like sister brand, and I love that they’ve just been so inclusive with different body types, different gender affiliations, and different people of color, it’s been wonderful.
And they even had, I saw a post where there was a woman who just had an osteotomy, so that’s like where part of her stomach is removed and she had a bag that was attached to her stomach. And you see that woman as the face of this Instagram post. And I thought that was so wonderful that we don’t often think to see those types of people in ads and campaigns, but that’s what we all look like we’re not all these models who are often on various posts and promoting campaigns.
So I really like what they’ve done. I think FTE’s done a really good job with that as well and good Americans, they’re all fabulous.
Jesse: I think what I’m hearing consistently is I guess A, knowing your audience, the reality is, you all are in business. It’s impossible to please everybody. Whether it’s your personal life or your professional life it’s just impossible, and I guess the reality is when something, like in the scenario that you shared with the Dodgers you’re going to piss someone off at some point, but so long as you know who, I hate to say, lack of a better phrase, who your best customers are, you that’s the choice, to cater to them and, I’m sure that there are definitely some people who look at those areas and the Good American ads and they’re like, I don’t want to see that. And it’s that’s okay.
So long as you’re not my target customer, my ideal customer, and my loyal customer, I think that’s really smart about our interesting comments about if things went awry with Nike, how many Nikes had they purchased, historically speaking.
And, it’s a scary world that we live in that people legit get canceled all the time. I think that it’s something, it’s like a whole conversation about it and I think it’s really worth it, the focus being what you described, which is just like knowing who your audience is, at the very least, to be able to cater to them as much as possible, prioritize them.
How has the industry changed in recent months? What have you guys observed in your respective world? What would you say?
Seema: I don’t know about like the legal world necessarily, but I think people are being just more genuine and, less filter centric. I don’t know if anyone has been following the news in France.
They just instilled a new law that requires influencers to. you use a hashtag or state when they’ve altered their face or used a filter, so, Ooh, Marilyn Monroe, moment over here. so similar to the sponsored ad posts that we would, that we have to include, they’re doing a filtered one, which I think is great.
And I think it’s wonderful and I think that America might follow suit at some point. I know there’s a lot of controversy about it do you want influencers to have to state that they’ve filtered their beautiful images? but I think that’s a trend that I’ve just been seeing with my clients.
They don’t want to filter as much and they want to get away from fillers and Botox, which has a place. And I think those things are wonderful too. But, I think we’re seeing a shift in just aesthetics.
Jesse: It’s interesting like you could say you could do it, you just have to disclose it, but who wants to disclose?
So I guess it’s probably deterring some people from doing it in the first place, that’s really interesting. What about you, what are like trends that you’ve seen lately in the past few months even?
Bianca: I really see, and I think maybe a wider window of time, even in the last few months.
But we’re really seeing a lot of our customers, of course, they’re going to work with the big macro influencers. It’s going to happen, there’s going to be big tent pole events. But, I had a great conversation with one of our big enterprise customers and he just said, gone are the days of us spending 20 grand for a photo of a girl in a bikini with headphones on.
That’s just not how we’re going to sell headphones, that’s the past. We’re interested in investing in nano creators even those who are up and coming, indie artists who are making space on TikTok. And if they blow up, then we’ve benefited from that. And, going back, I think of that conversation around setting expectations for performance.
That also changes the conversation for comp, because now no longer is it, hey, I’ve got one post and that’s my only time where it’s do or die and I gotta hit these metrics. It’s, oh no, I’m working with this brand for a year, and we’re going to come up with an entire content strategy. I am coordinating the launch of my new single, I’m now going to be thinking about when I go on tour, what brands I’m going to be carrying with me.
And again, it goes back to that overarching strategy. How are you investing in this space? How are you choosing to invest? And where are you putting your dollars? Are you just going to put it toward a girl in a bikini?
Jessy: Totally. I’m like, that’s okay. Some people might do but, they get a free pass.
that’s all really awesome. Seema, the next question is for you, what do you wish more people knew from your perspective of working on agreements day in and day out?
Seema: So many things but, I think people are so afraid to negotiate contracts in this space, and I know things move very quickly.
You’re like, we need to get this deal done. We need the post to go live in 24 hours, whatever. But I think it’s so important to push back and redline the contract. Ask for the terms that you actually want to see in the contract or do your wish and see what you actually get from that.
So, aim for the stars, the worst someone is going to say is no. But I see a lot of fear in that and the fear of redlining a contract, which I think is misplaced and I think we need to advocate for ourselves and for our clients and we shouldn’t be afraid. And if the person on the other side is aggressive, that’s okay.
They’re dealing with something else, but there’s no need for aggression in this space at all. So just don’t be afraid to take that contract and do what you want with it.
Jessy: And I’ll even add on to that too. I feel don’t be afraid to counter an offer. So, ’cause there are so many things that are up for negotiation, it’s like the clauses of a contract and of course the rate as well.
And I think that especially when people like, they come to the table and they get an offer that maybe surpassed what they even thought was possible, even then you counter ’cause it’s commonplace. And sure you might get someone who you’ll redline the agreement and they’ll come back at you being pretty aggressive or whatever it is. I think that’s not the norm. I think that’s the minority. What do you feel?
Seema: I think the people who are aggressive don’t actually know what they’re talking about because like I will call out someone on their aggression and I’ll ask them, why does this indemnity provision need to, why can’t it be mutual?
And they have no fucking clue what an indemnity provision even means. So you just need to call them out. And I totally agree. Even countering an offer that seems okay from the outset is so important because you’re just going to get more or potentially get more.
Jessy: Potentially and like all they could say is no. But I think that it’s important, why I wanted to hear you. I wanted to have you guys hear it from Seema, who’s working on contracts day in and day out. That perspective is so important. And just knowing it’s normal to redline agreements, it’s normal to counter on things.
It’s normal to ask for mutual indemnification. It’s just mutual. And I’ve had the same experience where when people push back, if you politely, just ask but why? Sometimes the people who are the most aggressive don’t know why and then you get to the core of what’s actually happening.
So my next question is for Bianca, what do you wish more people knew from your perspective of seeing so much data day in and day out through Tagger? Share a little bit from your perspective.
Bianca: So much data. Trying to understand what you want to do with the data? What are you trying to get? What’s the goal? What’s the KPI, what are you focused on? Are you top of the funnel? Are you at the bottom of the funnel? Really have an idea and there are people who are there to guide you through that. I think what’s really challenging is someone who’s new to the space doesn’t really know what their goals should be and so just wants to see everything.
But everything is way more confusing than if you have a perspective on what you’re trying to approach. I think the other important thing is understanding what we can’t capture and understanding that we’re not programmatic, again, we’re not search and so it’s not going to be apples to apples.
You’re going to have to make some comparisons and also really contextualize the data. We work with a really fantastic, alcohol brand with a lot of big different brands under them. They’re a super old traditional company, but their marketing team is super new particularly the influencer team.
They’ve only been around for a couple of years and they are consistently having challenges internally when dealing with their analytics team, ’cause their analytics team is presenting the data as if it’s apples to apples compared to all their other marketing initiatives. And they’re always losing out and they’re like, we have incredible campaigns.
We’re crushing it. And yet for some reason the way we are contextualized internally, so we’ve been working with them quite closely to almost arm them, not even externally, but arm them within their own large, more traditional organization. With the right tools and the right data to actually present what their findings are so they can continue to get more budget and get more funding and see success.
Jesse: Yeah. Isn’t it wild how even within the same organization, you have different departments and the larger organizations that have been around for decades, they want to do influencer, they want to follow where the money is, but they don’t understand it. And it’s helpful to have the words to be able to explain what it is that you need, what you’re presenting, and how it could be presented even in the first place.
So we’re going to have a Q&A in just a couple of minutes, so if you guys have any questions, keep them in your heads. but one of my last questions is, what should more influencer marketers do to improve our industry? Who wants to take that question?
Bianca: So, I’m going to actually repeat myself, a little bit because I think it’s a good enough point that it’s values repeating, and it’s the authenticity thing. And I know that there are at least 15 million blogs talking about authenticity, and you’ve read it on LinkedIn and all the places, but it’s like a lot of people read it and then they don’t process it.
It doesn’t actually come through. And I think when we think about heritage calendar events, be it Juneteenth, be it Pride Month, be it Women’s International Day, like whatever it might be, there’s this fear of missing out on an opportunity to post an MLK quote when you have no black people on your exec.
There’s this fear of missing out on welcoming and thanking all the women that work at your company, but you have no women on your board when you don’t give maternity leave. So it’s so important to improve the space to be authentic and you can post a bunch of search ads and you’re not going to get called out for it.
But if you are working with doing an influencer marketing campaign that is so front and center and you are not authentic, it’s going to become so obvious so quickly. So I think leaning into that and knowing where your opportunities are, who’s your audience? Who’s your consumer? What’s important to them?
What are your company values? And if you look around and you say, oh, I really wish I could participate in celebrating Juneteenth, but my company doesn’t actually represent that event in a really authentic way. I think it’s important to look internally and ask why. Why isn’t it not being represented in that way?
And then do the work and talk about it from that perspective. There’s an opportunity still, but. An MLK quote is not going to cut it.
Jessy: I hear you on that. What about you, Seema? What do you think?
Seema: I would go back to something you said earlier, which is banding together and working together. All of the women and people sitting here
’cause it’s not just women, I see. Everyone sitting here is just like a wealth of knowledge in their own way and I think what we can all do is support each other as women and as a community. When you have a question, literally the Facebook group has an answer, has more than one answer.
I see questions there and even as a lawyer and I’ve done this for so long, like I’m learning new things in that group all the time. Just about recent trends. Issues that people are facing. What do you do when a client doesn’t pay you? What are the different ways to approach it other than receiving or writing a legal demand letter from a lawyer?
There are just so many different ways to navigate these issues and there are so many things that come up. So I would suggest just we all lean into all of our knowledge base.
Jessy: Totally. And it’s such an opportunity with an event like this to just share your experiences.
Don’t squirrel them away. Because we can learn from each other and put that out there in the universe and sharing with other people. They’re just going to feel comfortable now to open up and share with you. So it’s like a win-win. My last question, before we turn to Q&A, is, any predictions for the rest of this year in terms of how influencer marketing is going to evolve?
Seema: I don’t think it’s going anywhere, anytime fast. It’s just going to keep expanding. But I do think that AI is going to become more integrated into all of this. Even now I see people who are like, I don’t need to hire anyone to do that. I can just ask ChatGPT to build out the next week of posts and captions.
And ChatGPT probably could and AI probably could, but even going back to what you said about authenticity, there’s something different about seeing posts from a robot versus an actual person. And you build a story differently as a human than a robot. But AI freaks me out a bit.
I think a lot about like even defamation and personal rights issues. AI can trigger, because it happens like Google, their auto-complete search results will sometimes like auto-complete defamatory things. A big case in France was Rupert Murdoch sued Google in France, because when you would type his name into a search bar, it would, oh my gosh.
The biggest one was it would auto-complete. Rupert Murdoch hates Jews. And that’s really bad. And that’s AI or that’s auto-complete and that’s just like a robot that’s scrolling the internet or an individual who’s a doctor who was, his name would auto-complete that he was a rapist because there was a newspaper article where his name showed up and there was like a picture of a rapist next to his newspaper article.
So I think that there’s a lot of exciting potential in AI, but a lot of like weird things that can happen. And I think we’re going to see those things play out in the next few months, in years, which It’s fun but scares me.
Jessy: Bianca, what do you think? What do you predict?
Bianca: I predict consolidation. So Twitter is charging for their API. Reddit is charging for their API. There is especially in my space, specifically influencer marketing platforms, there’s a lot of us. There are maybe five of us that are worth buying but there’s a lot and there’s a lot of like little ones who came up over the last couple of years.
But money is expensive now and so is the Twitter API and so is the Reddit API. And I think we’re going to see a lot of them get gobbled up. I think we’re going to see a lot of them go out of business. And then I think we’re also going to see Meta and TikTok double down on certain relationships with the handful of five, give or take.
And that’s where you’re going to end up getting those deeper insights and extra layers of data. And that’s just going to make it tougher and tougher for those little guys. So it always ends in consolidation.
Jessy: Sure, I see that. Do we have any questions We’re going to turn to Q&A. Does anyone have any questions for either Bianca or Seema?
Bianca: Not everybody all at once?
Guest 1: I had a follow-up question earlier conversation regarding brands requiring performance. I have thoughts on the virality clause and if you, that your thoughts on it, but basically the opposite, where a creator goes viral or reaches X amount of whatever metric increase, X amount.
Jessy: So I’ll repeat the question for everyone over here who might not hear. Basically, we’re asking about a virality clause and Seema’s thoughts on that.
Seema: I haven’t seen a virality clause, but that’s really interesting. I think if you are representing the influencer and you mentioned that you’re opening up the door to like the opposite of the virality class.
How have you seen it in your contracts?
Guest 1: Is it something that. Just, it’s, yeah, just a concept process. I think that open performance requirements but I like it.
Seema: I think if you took a hybrid approach, like what Jesse mentioned earlier, where you have that fee regardless, and then metrics tired out. So if you go viral, you get X amount and if you hit a smaller number, it shouldn’t be punitive whereas if you don’t hit a metric, you automatically don’t get paid.
That’s not fair but I like the thought though.
Guest 1: I like this one. You gotta figure it out, fine.
Seema: Yeah. I would present the tiers though to the other side first.
Guest 1: That’s really interesting.
Jessy: Really great question. Does anyone else have any questions for our panelists?
Guest 2: My question is what do you think are the unique, specific verses?
Jessy: So I’ll repeat the question. The question basically is, why is Tagger awesome? I’ll sum it up in that way.
Bianca: So if you’ve used influencer marketing platforms, which it sounds like you have, there’s a lot of overlap, right? There are things that everybody does a little bit the same and a little bit different. There’s discovery, there’s hopefully there’s some kind of campaign mechanism.
There’s some kind of report builder we have all that. We built that four or five years ago. That’s old news. For us the thing that we see as being our key differentiator, that’s our flagship product, is what we refer to as creator listening, creator intelligence engine. And it’s this idea that a lot of brands and agencies, they’re familiar with social listening.
You’ll purchase a product like that, but brands are really interested in who’s saying something that’s having an impact. How can I map that data across multiple platforms, understand how I can actually inform my strategy before I’m even planning things out before I’ve even decided who I should be working with, and really find discovery in a different way?
So we have a particular product, it’s our flagship product, it’s called Signals. It’s the one thing I would say that we would put up against any platform out there. Now, I think it goes back to some of the questions around data, right? There’s a lot of data and there’s a ton of impact that can be had.
But what I would say is customers who are coming to the table, have never used influencer marketing before, are unfamiliar with the space and are looking to be convinced of the value of influencer marketing are going to struggle with a product like that. If you are a customer who’s coming to the space and knows, oh, influencer marketing is a place I want to invest, but I want to make smart decisions about where I’m putting my money.
I don’t want to just go, okay, I’m looking for a bunch of women who are, 25 to 45 who live in this area and I’m going to work with them ’cause they have over a 2% engagement rate. That’s who I’m working with. I’m going to hire a bunch of them because they fit my price point. That’s the old way. Now it’s what was their content over this window of time that we’re looking at?
Were they actually driving particular hashtags that align with the values of our company? Was there some sort of sentiment during that window of time that we were able to glean by looking at the content they were creating? So it’s not just like profile level data, it’s the post level of what’s being driven behind it.
I really hope I got that it’s being recorded and I’m pretty sure my founder can look it up at some point.
Jesse: I’ll also say that one thing that I appreciate about Tagger personally is someone who’s used a lot of platforms myself I feel like they understand influencers. And I know that sounds like you would think that’s a given, but some of you probably have used other tools and they’re like, this doesn’t do what?
There’s this very important thing that I do every day and you guys don’t have that ability to help me do that. And I have not experienced that with Tiger. It feels like you guys don’t just approach it from like just the data. There are people who are working as influencer who must have informed the product because I feel like the tools that are offered, just help on a day to day. So that’s just my personal 2 cents.
Bianca: We have a really great customer visionary board who we actually just met with last week and it’s not just like a vanity board where it’s like, hey, you get a board seat, you get a board seat, I want to retain you. It’s like we meet with them, we do breakout sessions, we talk to their users.
We try and understand what’s actually driving insights. You brought up AI. We are very focused on how AI can inform our platform, but we talk to our customers. What are you using to improve AI in your workflow? How are you incorporating this in some way? We want to understand that. So I think having your product, innovate beyond the scope of what your customers can imagine is first and foremost important, but listening to what their day-to-day struggles and challenges are.
I pray for the day when I can figure out opting in creators to make it easier. So stay tuned for that. But it’s so important for us to be listening to what they have to say.
Jesse: Yeah, I just appreciate that. I just feel like the whole reason you purchase it and you spend money to have a tool like that is to make your day-to-day easier. And I’ve personally found that they actually do that and some of them do not. I’ll leave it at that. We have time for one other question if we have one.
Seema: It’s a really good question and this has come up because I also represent a Disney star who’s also an influencer.
Jesse: So briefly just sharing as a question. The question is just about SAG AFTRA and becoming a little bit more commonplace to see their involvement and just wondering if Seema is seeing that and how that interacts with the work that we’re maybe more familiar with on the influencer side and brand side.
Seema: Is anyone from SAG here? So I really think SAG has multiple realms. So they have a commercial contract. They have a film contract, a TV contract. They also have a new media contract, which is where I feel influencer marketing and social media falls into, but the actors need to actually be signed with SAG for each different department.
So if you have a Disney star who’s signed with SAG on the TV side, they should also be signed with SAG on the new media side for SAG to have any say on the new media deals.
Jesse: So I can share briefly too. My whole background is in commercials, so we like and pretty much only do like exclusively did. The agency that I worked at was very old school, so they like held on for as long as they could to like only work on SAG projects. Basically, you do get, I think it’s three opportunities until you’re what’s referred to as a must-join.
So I’m sure there have to be people in the audience being in LA that like are familiar with SAG but basically, you don’t have to technically join the union and pay those membership dues, which are a few thousand dollars a year. You do get health insurance, you do get things in exchange for that and then you get access to SAG minimum rates for different projects.
But basically, I think maybe if what you’re asking is if you’re an influencer, you’re not trying to be an actor. So you’re not trying to be up for those, roles in a movie where that’s like important to you. So I guess one thing to just note is that if it’s the first time that you’re working on a campaign where, SAG AFTRA is a union in case anyone’s unfamiliar, that they have jurisdiction over it, you don’t have to join the union from the first time you participate in a SAG partnership or on a SAG contract, a SAG agreement.
I think it’s three projects until you’re what’s referred to as a must-join. Did that answer your question though?
Guest 3: Okay.
Jesse: To that point, there is, I’m not going to remember the name of it, but I will look it up after we finish this panel. There is a status that you can mark yourself within the union. We’re getting really technical here, that basically allows you to be able to do non-union work. There is a status, maybe someone in the audience knows what that is, you can become what’s referred to as Fikor and then it opens you up to be able to do non-union work, which is most of the influencer partnerships and union work. There are definitely repercussions to that as well. And there’s like a status thing about it as well. That’s very much a thing.
The long and short of it is, I’m also happy to chat with you, like individually as well, because I nerd out and I actually know this stuff. But, basically, it’s tricky to navigate. I think the main thing is finding some projects that are more considered brand deals that just still aren’t under SAG jurisdiction and focusing on those partnerships.
And there are plenty of them. And we’ve hosted masterclasses actually, if you’re a member, you can look at our masterclass library. We have two, which we invited SAG AFTRA to come and speak with WIIM So not from me knowing a little bit from them being experts, so you can watch the whole masterclass and learn a lot more than we’re going to get into today.
But what I can share is that the majority of influencer work is not under SAG. And so they should be able to find a good amount of partnerships that just aren’t under that jurisdiction. Does that make sense? All right. We are going to be moving into the rest of the event now.
So first and foremost, please thank our panelists. They are fantastic. I learned a lot. Thank you so much. So, I encourage you guys to take photos of the event and post them on social. We’re @Iamwiim on pretty much everywhere. However, there is a photo booth at the end, that’s so fun. 360 photo booth takes advantage, especially before it gets too dark.
We have a headshot photo booth that’s going to be opening in just a few minutes, right around this corner here where you can get a refreshed LinkedIn photo or whatever you want to use it as, they’re going to be beautiful. And we have dinner here and we have drinks in the back. And don’t forget to enter the raffle with that QR code that is over at the front.
We’re going to be announcing that around 8:30, 8:45.. And the last thing is we have gift bags. They’re going to be asking you if you are a member of WIIM, don’t lie because if you are a member of WIIM, we are giving you a little something extra. I made enough for the members, but I am trusting you guys to be honest because they’re not going to check another list to vouch like for it.
So if you are a member of WIIM, we are giving you a little extra something, please be honest. Thank you guys so much for coming in. Enjoy the rest of the event guys.