The Excitement Of Web3 With Hannah Forbes Of Pearpop

Today we’re speaking with Hannah Forbes of Pearpop. Hannah Forbes is one of the leading pioneers of the creator economy, now working hard to help creators earn a living doing what they love as the VP of Marketing at Pearpop. Hannah built her career around a clear purpose of unlocking innovative ways to build creator-driven communities through brand values, culturally disruptive partnerships that drive equity within the creator economy. Originally from Canada, Hannah resides in New York and spent the last six years building and leading R/GA’s Influence Studio where her team crafted innovative influencer strategies and award-winning, authentic collaborations between creators and some of the world’s most respected brands like Samsung, Verizon, Uber and Instagram. Prior to R/GA, Hannah was at the LA-based creative agency Omelet after launching Xomad, one of the first social influencer agencies in 2010.



[00:00:00] Jessy: Hi everyone and welcome to the Wiim Podcast. Women in Influencer Marketing is a first of its kind exclusive networking group made up of inspirational women. This podcast is where we explore influencer marketing and get real about women in business. Find us wherever you download podcasts, and of course, you can always find us at iamwiim.com. That’s I am wiim I com. 

Hey guys, what is up? I’m so happy to have you guys back this week. This conversation that we had today. I don’t know, Hannah Forbes of Pearpop, like she’s my people. So I was super excited to have her. We were chatting about like the innovation of PearPop, how they think about influencer marketing, differently and just like the creator economy differently which I was so excited about. 

And I’ve, they’ve been on my radar for a while. They’ve been hiring really interesting people, paying people really well, and I don’t know. It’s been on, they’ve been on my radar for a while as wanting to bring on this podcast.

So Hannah Forbes is joining us today from Pearpop. We also transitioned into talking about Web2 versus Web3 for quite a while, so if you have been intrigued by it or been like, what the hell is everybody talking about ? I’m like, why is it such a thing? She gets it and she’s just as enthused about it as I am. So tune in for that. 

And then, she also gives some great advice for those of you who are wanting to explore influencer marketing starting out at the beginning of your career. So we asked her like, what advice would you give somebody who’s fresh outta school wanting to start their journey and influencer marketing? So she gave a little bit of that as well. 

Share a little bit about who is Hannah and why this episode is gonna be so good. So she’s definitely one of the leading pioneers of the creator economy. She’s been in it actually since before me, since 2009 she mentioned.

She’s working hard to help creators earn a living doing what they love. She’s currently the VP of Marketing at PearPop. She built her career around the clear purpose of unlocking innovative ways to build creator-driven communities through brand values, culturally disruptive partnerships that drive equity within the creator economy. And we talk a lot about. All of that in today’s conversation.

She’s originally from Canada, but she resides in New York and spent the last six years building and leading R/GA’s Influence Studio, where her team crafted an innovative influencer, strategies and award-winning authentic collaborations between creators and some of the world’s most respected brands, some like Samsung, Verizon, Uber, and Instagram.

Prior to R/GA, she was at the LA-based creative agency Omelet after launching Xomad, one of the first social influencer agencies back in 2010. I love that her Twitter is. Dr. Banana Zero, which we will link ways of getting in touch with her below in the description box anyway, and in the show notes if you’re listening on one of the podcast platforms.

But just as a heads up, we are now distributing all of these episodes via video and audio, which is super cool. I know I personally prefer to watch some, not all, but some of my favorite podcasts. So I thought, why not? We’re gonna record these anyway. We might as well record the video version. 

Also, if you are a member of Wiim and you’re part of our membership, you can actually tune into all of these podcast recordings live. Why is that fun? Sure, you get a peek behind the scenes and there are definitely some things, not a lot, we don’t have a heavy hand, but there’s some things that are edited out, so you get to see the those moments. 

But I think one of the most intriguing parts about joining the live recording of our podcast episodes is you get to ask questions in real time. And of course, get featured on the podcast . So we’ve had incredible guests join, and some people after the fact when the podcast aired, say, oh, can you make an introduction to that person? And I’m like, of course. And most of the time they’re part of whim already. 

But in so many instances, I think that our members could have just joined in live during the recording and have met them in real time. So we made that of reality. And now if you navigate to the events part of our website, you will see all of our upcoming podcast recordings. New ones are being added all the time. Also are about to launch a special Google calendar that members can subscribe to and just have it like dropped in natively into your calendar so you’ll have a better sense of when all of our events and happenings.

There’s so much to update you guys on in terms of the ins and outs of Wiim. I guess I’ll drop a couple things. We are getting closer and closer to launching our new website, which is super fun. We also hired another employee. You’ll definitely see her around. She is managing community and making sure that all of our members feel as if they’re getting the most out of the community. Her name is Daryl. She’s fantastic. She joins Wendy, who’s been with us for a while. And what other housekeeping stuff do I have? I feel like that’s it.

Oh, the last thing is. I am gonna be in LA the traveling the day that this podcast episode airs. Why am I flying to LA? And I’m so excited, by the way, because I’m going to VidCon. So we are also if, you are a member of Wiim, check our Slack channel because we have a special Wiim discount. The special code is listed on our Slack channel members only. Sorry, but not sorry. And also, we are hosting an in real life happy hour. The Friday of VidCon. Let me look at a calendar. That is for Friday, the 24th of June at 7:00 PM. And the location and all the details are also shared in the announcements Slack channel. 

I emailed our members a little bit about that also a couple days ago. We’ll be announcing it more as a reminder, I would love to see you guys in person. Holy shit, it’s been way too long.

Anyways, super excited for you to get to know Hannah. I got to know her. I freaking love this girl. And I I hope you enjoyed this episode, guys.

I am super, super stoked to have you on the show today for so many reasons. Hannah, let me count the ways . I am just, I’m like, I gotta tell you, we haven’t I didn’t geek out with you before we started this recording. But I have Pearpop’s has been on my radar for quite a while now and I have been like, pseudo stocking you guys. I’m not gonna lie because I am just like very intrigued with all that you guys are doing. 

So I’m like really excited to learn more about you, more about Pearpop. I have so many questions and I think probably a good way of starting our conversation before we get into it is first and foremost welcoming you. So welcome Hannah. How are you today? First of all?

[00:08:28] Hannah: Thank you. I’m great and I’m so excited to be here and to talk to you. Cause I feel like I am just as many questions for you who I’ve been watching for so long. 

[00:08:37] Jessy: Ooh. We’re gonna pseudo interview each other. It’s gonna be so fun. I am excited. But I think a great place to start, we heard on paper an intro about you at the beginning of this podcast. I just wanna hear in your own words, if you don’t mind, a little bit about your professional journey to Pear Pop. 

[00:09:03] Hannah: Wonderful. So once again, thank you for having me. I have been working in the creator space for a long time, since it’s infancy, which feels like a lifetime ago.

I’m, I know that you understand that as well. I started working in it when I was about 21 years old, and I got really lucky to be at a dinner party when I was an intern in sports marketing, and I was seated next to the chief marketing officer of Blackberry in about like 2009, and he was working on a launch plan for this new innovative technology called BBM.

If you remember what that was. It was really that the first instant mobile messaging service, and he wanted to reach me and my demo and was asking questions about how to connect with, people in their twenties who were career driven and and use social media in order to find recommendations on what products to buy.

And so I ended up partnering with him and creating the first influencer marketing program where we really worked with tastemakers and the word influencer wasn’t around then. It was we called them, we called it friend to friend endorsements online or friend to friend recommendations online.

And the creators that we would look for were bloggers and people with maxed out Facebook accounts, which was 5,000 friends. So those were like, like most likely your promoters, you’re like the Hollywood Insider types, and we gave them all Blackberries. And essentially to get into the hottest parties, you would have to BBM for an entry.

So essentially you would buy the phone and then BBM and then all of a sudden we had Paris Hilton and Kesha. This was like the height of 2009. But it was really cool to see that new technology unfold and it really opened our eyes in a lot of ways with the potential in this space.

And then from there I’ve really just ha haven’t been able to let go or do anything different. So I we helped launch an influencer agency right then in 2019 called Xomad. Work it brought on like a lot of brands who would never touch the space before, which was really cool to help teach them about how to enter and how to be authentic and what types of people to work with and what to care about. 

That it’s not just like eyeballs, that it’s really about a human recommending something to a human, but you can just do that online. And yeah, so I did that with Xomad for a handful of years, and then I moved over to the agency world. So I worked at Omelet, an independent creative agency in LA and I helped them establish an a creator practice working with brands like Axe and Red Bull and Nike, cause they were really fun brands doing cool stuff at the time.

And then about seven years ago R/GA, which is an I P G owned agency, which I think Jessy is where we met they called me and asked me to create a specialized department to service this growing need in the market. And so I built that capability from the ground up, trained strategists to really have an eye for the data to look for and I really believe that like looking at the data unlocks the opportunity for really cool creator collaborations.

And yeah, and then I guess earlier this year in January, I joined PearPop. I was really itching to build something again, and I think that the creator economy’s in such a special space right now, and I, yeah, I haven’t looked back since.

[00:13:07] Jessy: That is a great way of saying it. It’s in a very special place right now. I agree. I feel like it is in a very pivotal place. I feel like I don’t know. You probably, I, my guess is that you probably got into influencer marketing. What year would you say that you got into influencer marketing actually? 

[00:13:31] Hannah: I think that was all like 2009. 

[00:13:35] Jessy: Totally. So you got into it a little bit before I did. And like early days it was just like it felt different. I don’t know about you. I feel like it was ex a little bit more exciting, a little bit more like uncharted. And now I feel like some of us are stuck in our ways a little. People aren’t necessarily experimenting as much as they did.

And I gotta say I’ve done a bit of digging on you and from what I see, you’re certainly not afraid of a new venture or like really pushing the envelope and I don’t know, that’s why I got into influencer marketing in the first place.

So I think we’re like cut from the same cloth. I love what you’re saying about like the data, like that really gleans opportunity and it absolutely does. And there are way more creatives out there in this industry than perhaps those who appreciate, understand what have you, whatever the data.

So I know about Pearpop that like a hundred thousand plus over a hundred thousand creators use Pearpop, like every single day to grow and to monetize their influence. Tell us what we should know about PearPop. 

[00:15:03] Hannah: Yes. And I love what you say about experimenting as well, cause I think you’re right. We’ve been in this for so long that we’ve seen it and a lot of people are just getting involved in it now. So I think, the, but we’ve seen the story unfold in a hundred ways and I get bored really easily. And so that’s why I’m always thinking like, how can we hack the algorithm? How can we like, disrupt and break the feed and really think of it almost as not stunty, but like having somebody, show up on your feed, and then to get somebody to DM that same piece, that asset to somebody else, that’s a huge emotional barrier asking them to do.

And so I just like really think about it in terms of like, how are we gonna like really emotionally motivate people and that really helps get me out of the product placement or doing the same thing again.

So I love that you, I love that you called that out and I guess that’s why I joined Pearpop at the end of the day because so PearPop was created during the pandemic in 2020. And it was started around this mission to help creators earn a living doing what they love. And it was created by an aspiring creator themselves Cole Mason, who had quite a few followers and he wasn’t able to monetize.

And he noticed that a lot of his friends had millions of followers and they weren’t earning a living. And it was very difficult for them to build a business because people were offering them goods, merch exposure. And obviously that doesn’t pay rent. And so he saw a big opportunity and, during the pandemic when ad budgets were being cut so significantly and creators were really having to look at their business models, again, this unleashes huge opportunity.

And so that’s why you said I think when we spoke a couple months ago, it was a hundred thousand. Now it’s double that. So we’re growing really quickly because we’re seeing creators really want to take autonomy over their career and our technology allows us to do that.

So that is what PearPop is a technology. And it’s not an agency. So I think that really separates us from the crew in a lot of ways. And what we do is we create opportunities for creators. So most of them at this point are brand opportunities.

So at any given time, creators can come onto the platform and see a host of opportunities if they wanna participate in a challenge that is, around a new Netflix film or around a new app that is coming out. Like we did some really cool space with some stuff with them, with Talk Space at the beginning of the year around mental health. So it’s really these like branded challenges, opportunities and if you see one that you like, you can participate in it. So you create a piece of content and you share it.

And what I, from an agency and marketer perspective, love is that the parameters around the creative are fairly flexible. And so that allows a creator to really create something that’s truly awesome. They’re not creating ads. I’m so tired of seeing ads by creators.

 It’s like they’re not good cause they’re not trained to make ads and nobody let, nobody wins in that instance. But in this instance the way that Pearpop’s model has created, aligned incentives makes the creative really awesome.

So what that means is that, brands pay for verified views and engagement on the content itself. They don’t pay ahead of time based on how many followers you have or based on a cool post you did six months ago that went viral, which is traditionally how it’s done, it’s still done to that day where you try to do some math and come up with an algorithm, and then you offer a payment.

This is done based on how many people view, watch, save, share your content. And so that means that the creator is super motivated to create a really engaging, awesome piece of content that their audience is gonna love. Because if they get lazy and they create an ad and they say, here, buy this and I’m gone the next day doing something else, their audience knows and it’s not gonna perform well, and they’re not gonna get paid.

So this really aligns the incentives which I think just fuels the creativity within creators and allows them to pick and choose what opportunities they wanna do.

They’re not at the Wiim of an agent or a manager. It’s really like giving them autonomy over their career which I think is needed in this industry.

[00:19:44] Jessy: So I have so many follow up questions. First of all, I just love the company because I don’t really, I personally don’t know of anything else out there that’s quite doing what you guys are doing.

So I really respect that you guys are in your own lane and paving the way for others who will inevitably come in and try to emulate and beat you guys out. But, hopefully being first market and learning all the things that you are, you’ll just be the best. 

I have so many questions. First of all, I’m curious, do you think of Pearpop as just like an additional revenue stream for creators? And if so, like where does it land? Is it their priority revenue stream? Is it like usually their number one, number two, like supplementary very much at the bottom? Is it filling in gaps or does it just depend on the creator? I’m curious about that. 

[00:20:37] Hannah: Good. Great question. So it definitely depends on the creator. It depends where they’re at in their journey. If they’re an emerging creator, if they’re just trying it out and they wanna see if this is something that they want to dive in headfirst doing a lot of larger creators do it, to fill in the gaps, to to also to create, have reasons, to create more content.

On, on TikTok it’s best practice to create five videos a week minimum. That’s a lot of content for a lot of these creators so, for some of them, they come to Pearpop just honestly, for ideas. They’ll see a lot of the brands that we work with are record labels, and so we’ll have a lot of new trending tracks that are on there and the artists are looking for promotion around these tracks.

So creators can come and see a new track and then create whatever piece of conduct that they want with that track and then get paid for it. And so there’s some who are using it every single day as a primary revenue stream, and they’re making tens of thousands of dollars a year and this is their full profession.

And then there’s some who use it as creative inspiration and there’s some use it as build the gaps and everywhere in between. So we really look at the segmenting, the mindset of the creator and making sure that we’re having enough opportunities and building the right tools and solutions for creators wherever they’re at in their journey.

[00:21:58] Jessy: That’s so interesting. And so conversely, tell me a little bit more how brands are like maximizing it the best. Cause I’m sure similar to the creators, there are different use cases and we’re talking about record labels, but I’m sure like, traditional brands with like products use it as well.

What are there any like case studies or like any specific examples that you can share where you’re like, this person knocked it out of the park and like you might wanna explore what they did ? 

[00:22:27] Hannah: Yeah, I mean I think it really, when you look at the industry specific, if you break it down by industry, you can see where the innovation is happening and we’re lucky that a lot of the brands who started with us are in the entertainment industry. 

So like I said a lot of Netflix, almost every film or show that they wanna promote, they come into a challenge with us. And the creative is usually fairly open and fun. And a lot of the, like I said the record labels the creative is really fun.

Then there’s a lot of industries where they’re still learning and they don’t know how to take out the ad. They try to deck on a lot of hashtags or ask creators to jump through too many hoops. And so we’ve actually just recently assembled a creative studio in-house, so a creative strategist and a creative team. This really hybrid really, smart team who can help these clients just teach them about the best to ask creators to do things through that challenge.

And that usually means just doing less and you’ll get more. It’s really simple, but I just like to think of it in terms of the lens of the consumer. So if you’re, how many things can you ask somebody to do on a post? One max, they’re not gonna follow here and then download this and then go tag this person and then it becomes spam and it and it becomes obsolete within a second. So again, leading with emotion, getting them to buy in and then asking them to do one thing.

 And also fashion in particular, luxury fashion, I think does a very good job. If you look at Balenciaga and if you look at Gucci there really at the forefront of really awesome creative using creators Prada as well. Fashion Week, it’s a, the fashion week, the last few years has done some really cool things.

And I think that you might not immediately see downloads or some of the lower funnel metrics, but I think it just worth reevaluating, what to track and in what moments. 

[00:24:42] Jessy: So it’s interesting that you’re talking about like the fashion industry. When I think of something that they are doing really well these days, it’s diving into Web3, which is like really interesting to me on so many levels.

 I was gonna say I don’t think of the fashion industry as being so innovative, but no, maybe they’re I don’t know. I’m fascinated like you saw, very well known like legacy fashion houses, the, some of the first to create some pretty successful like NFTs and like really explore Web3 before, like they were some of the first into it.

Super interesting. I would love to hear like, how you think, like Web2 and Web3 are most different? How are they similar? Because I do know that you, similar to myself, are really into Web3 and I wanna talk all about it. So let’s get into it. 

[00:25:46] Hannah: Oh, I’m so glad you asked me about it cuz I’m so excited about the possibilities. I think the biggest difference is that Web2 has really been about acquiring users. Who can I buy? Who can I get and keep within my world? And how do I keep them there? What programs do I have to like, create so I can gate them in here and their mine, where Web3 is really about recruiting members.

So from acquiring users to recruiting members. And that’s a huge mindset shift that a lot of brands and creators are having right now. And it’s really cool when you see like the eyes open about the possibilities. And I think that from a brand and a creator economy perspective, it’s really interesting when you think in terms of ownership.

So in Web2, you can create content and you can consume content, but you don’t own content. Even if you have a million followers, you don’t own those followers and you don’t own any of the content that you put out in the world. Instagram, TikTok, wherever you place it, they own it. And so at the end of the day, you’re held at the whim of these algorithms, of these very powerful few at the top who have your entire career in their pocket.

And with Web3, you can create content. You can consume content, and you have complete ownership over your career and over your content. It’s minted on the blockchain and in perpetuity. And so that is a huge shift from brands. If you think about it. I think it’s it’s the new loyalty program.

It’s like instead of having your Starbucks card, it’s like you’re, if I was launching a brand today, I would absolutely like mint something to give to those few hundred who are going to make my brand very powerful. That concept works with creators as well. So you can, for the first time really reward your fans for helping you grow.

They can get a stake in it. Imagine like a really easy analogy to understand is imagine you went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1991 when they were like just starting out and hadn’t even gone on tour yet. And then you sent their songs to your friends and they sent to their friends and then now they’re really, I don’t know why I use Red Hot Chili Peppers as an example, but now, imagine if you didn’t just own a poster from them, but you owned a token that was actually worth quite a bit of value now.

And not only was that worth something from a monetary perspective, you also then got access to buy their concert tickets. You weren’t stuck out of tickets master because you couldn’t afford them, or you went quick enough, like you actually had a lot of room to grow with the artist. So I think there, there’s a lot there, but I think it’s really this idea of ownership and the fan and the creator and the brand all working together closer to grow and to benefit each other instead of this sort of top down approach that Web2 has and we’re really feeling, I think, like the inflection point of right now. 

[00:28:58] Jessy: Yeah, no, absolutely. And it is, it’s like a complete shift of thinking in terms of the value proposition, right? Like it’s, I don’t know, I should have written it down. I’ve heard someone say it so perfectly, but I’m gonna probably butcher this, but essentially it’s like the distinction between just like gathering people and like prospects and customers versus like most people who are like part of your organization.

You talked about like giving them like ownership of the company or like the assets and you’re giving them a piece of the pie, which is really intriguing and a very different way of thinking about the creator economy, whereas, I don’t know if it’s like ego driven, or it’s very, it’s like a power struggle in a lot of ways, right? Yeah. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

[00:30:06] Hannah: Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re right. And even looking at what Instagram’s been doing with Reels as of late where there’s a lot of craters who are finding a lot of success with Reels, and they’re like, this is amazing, this is going viral. 

 And that’s amazing. But it’s not necessarily because their content’s awesome. It’s because somebody at Instagram decided to pump Reels, pump your piece of content, to take out their competition. And so when you think of that from a macro Meta point of view it’s crazy.

But they can also just as quickly decide to shut that hose off and then what happens to your content? Say you quit your job and you’re trying to go full-time on Reels. And so I think being in this so long, you’ve seen this happen so many times where in Web3 it’s not an algorithm, a person in a boardroom in California who’s deciding what happens with your career and your creativity and your fan connection.

It’s the fans. The fans decide. Like a lot of, people are skeptic about NFTs and there is a lot of reason to be skeptic and to do your research, but they’ll say what is just an expensive jpeg but it’s the community who decides if that’s valuable.

The Mona Lisa is a great example, the Mona Lisa, nobody decided was valuable until one person found her painting in a closet like a hundred years later. And then now look at her. So it’s art is very subjective and I think that this gives, the power to the community to say this is awesome or this isn’t awesome. Instead of the powerful minority, powerful few at the top and almost like one or two people. 

[00:31:55] Jessy: It’s so intriguing. It does feel very like synergistic of what you guys are trying to accomplish. I think because it’s like a slight shift in power. It’s like a very different way of approaching the creator economy and to sort of circle back to the beginning of our conversation. Like I think that’s why I’m excited about it because it feels more reminiscent of when we first got into influencer marketing in the first place and we’re like, we’re thinking innovatively again. You guys are, at least not everybody is. And it’s refreshing. 

[00:32:36] Hannah: Yeah. You’re right, it’s overwhelming the amount of possibilities, but I haven’t felt like this. You’re right, since the early, like 2009, 2012, where it was like, we are writing the playbook for the first time and now we’re doing that again.

And it does make so much sense for PearPop to be building technology and solutions in this space. Because like you said, it’s the fundamentals of what we believe in are infinitely possible in Web3. So like community ownership, career ownership, creative ownership, not having somebody dictate and have a hundred rounds of creative review to Frankenstein and add and throw it out there where you get minimal back on, but really giving the power back to the creator and creating the infrastructure that allows them to do that. 

 It’s overwhelming, but I’m so excited about the possibilities and think it could really change things for creators and shift the power finally, really back to them where they belong.

[00:33:47] Jessy: I completely agree with you. I worry, I’m like a natural warrior a little bit like, but I worry that while there is that opportunity, 100% and the opportunity is there, like for the taking, there’s a big barrier to entry currently in terms of the tech not being there and there’s like literally, it’s like a different vocabulary that a lot of people just don’t understand. And I worry that while it is there and the possibilities are endless and it could really move the needle in terms of things that I think influencers and just even people in the influencer economy or the creator economy and even in terms of the influencer marketers have been asking about for the longest time.

I worry that people are gonna be like turned off intimidated, like not interested because they’re so stretched thin already and they’re like, wait, I’m supposed to learn this? Like entirely new language, this entirely new way of thinking. Okay, like I don’t know, maybe I’ll put that on the back burner and it’ll happen later.

So what are your thoughts on the state of Web3 in terms of the creator economy today and where you think the opportunities specifically will be like in the next year? Let’s not speak into the theoretical of five, 10 years from now, but convince someone who’s listening now who is intimidated by web three that they should be, prioritizing it. Where are the opportunities for them in Web3 within the next year? 

[00:35:29] Hannah: Yeah. I fully subscribe to that worry . You are not alone. I think it’s so interesting because the possibilities of inclusivity and this decentralized world of Web3 are amazing.

But then on the flip side, it’s actually created a really big barrier to entry because you have these really smart tech, very predominantly male men who have created this language and these gate walls that make it really difficult for people, especially women, to enter.

And I mean that, cause I’ve gone to quite a few of these hacker houses, to these crypto lounges, to these conferences because I’ve tried so hard to understand on discord. And I actually saw a tweet once that was like, discord is like the AOL. Like how are we still here? 

The user experience is awful and there must be people working on solutions there, but you’re right, it’s like this really like tech first, if you don’t code, it’s hard to understand. And they’ve created all these algorithms that make it, so you have to learn this language and there’s no easy wait place to go and you have to find your own rabbit hole and commit so many hours. 

That’s all changing because people are getting fed up with that and they’re creating solutions. There’s a few female based communities, NFT Dow projects that I’m a part of who are helping to address this.

BFF is a really great one that has a ton of educational resources on them. Another one is Boys Club that I actually just came across and they’re trying to do something similar, which is really just demystify the language and make it a safe space for crypto curious people to enter and ask questions because it is all very new.

So even the experts, it’s oh, when I started this project two years ago, it’s two fucking years ago. I don’t know if I’ll have to swear on this, but it’s like we’re all new. So I think just embracing that mindset like you’re not too late. Have a beginner’s mindset, ask questions and try to find these safe places where you feel comfortable.

And I’m happy to recommend a few others that I have as well. But I think that’s where the real opportunity is because the technology is there, it’s being built. The the opportunity is very clear, and we just really need to create spaces and things, technology and solutions that creators can easily adapt.

Because like you said, like being a creative full-time job. You’re an editor, you’re a producer, you’re an accountant, you have all these different channels, formats, algorithms changing all the time. Real world digital, it’s very overwhelming. And then you add on an entirely new ecosystem, it’s a huge barrier.

So I would just say ,to start learning and try to find places where it’s fun to learn Twitter spaces. They have really good a lot of really good like listening sessions. There’s like some good YouTube playlists. There’s a lot of good reading material, but you’ll find that there’s starting to get curated in different sections of the internet and just, yeah just remember that everyone’s a beginner. Don’t be overwhelmed because you’re not too late. It’s so fun and new 

[00:39:02] Jessy: No, it’s so fun and very new. A thousand percent. In fact oh my gosh, somebody invited me to a weekly chat just so like the handful of us can sit on a Google meet and just share what we learned in Web3 the last week and learn and share formation and so I personally love that you’re…

[00:39:31] Hannah: I love that. 

[00:39:32] Jessy: Into it.

[00:39:33] Hannah: I love that.

[00:39:35] Jessy: I hope to find more women in particular who are intrigued by it, all the possibilities of it. I can certainly cosign my BFF is wonderful when they launched only just a few months ago, I was like oh shit. Like they’re really onto something. So I’m a LinkedIn creator and my creator manager was friends with someone who worked with her at LinkedIn who just left to work at my BFF.

 It’s fun guys. If anything I can just impart on anyone listening or watching, cuz we record the videos now for these interviews as well. Is talk to myself, talk to Hannah, and we will tell you more and more about how fun it is.

Like we’re sitting here so enthusiastic about it. Like very genuinely. There’s so much opportunity. I just bought like my first significant amount of ETH Ethereum two days ago. And I’m like, ah, this is so fun. Thank you. And I gotta tell you, it was cause of this like little mastermind that I’m now a part of, which are like these one of ’em is a member of WIIM, she’s wonderful.

And she was the one to put this together and she’s like, I wanna help teach women about it. If you’re interested let’s just meet once a week. It’s super casual. Let’s talk about Web3. And she puts together a little Google Doc with links. 

There was like, my BFF was running a giveaway last week on Twitter. Oh, that I’m so mad that I missed to give away another bracelet. And, finding anyone who was like, what does that even mean? It’s not a real bracelet, it’s an nft. The NFT having holding that bracelet. First of all, those cost thousands of dollars now. So giving one away is like very valuable and the price is only gonna go up. It’s an investment and it also has a ton of utility to it, meaning like you’ve all this access and all this stuff. Anyways.

[00:41:55] Hannah: Did you see they’re doing a big conference next year? BFF Con. 

[00:41:59] Jessy: I didn’t, wait tell me. 

[00:42:02] Hannah: They said what’d they say? They’re like, if Coachella in South By had a baby, that’s what it’s gonna be. And I was like, dude, give birth. I’m here. . . 

[00:42:12] Jessy: Yeah. When is it? Did they announce? 

[00:42:15] Hannah: They just said coming 2023. And that’s why I was like, okay, I’m getting this bracelet. Cause you’re with these NFTs, it’s not just a jpeg you’re buying into this community. You’re saying, I support what you’re building. I wanna be with these women. I’m gonna get access to go to these things. So also gone to so many like marketing events where it is really difficult to meet people. 

Everybody seems to know all the answers and everyone’s cooler than you. And I go there and I’m like, defeated. I’m like, okay, I’m just like this small farm town girl from Canada. I’m just gonna get my free tacos and get outta here. 

But the cool thing about a lot of these Web3 conferences and if anyone is in the New York area next week is New York, or N F T, New York. So it’s a conference, but then there’s a ton of satellite events. There’s also this amazing spreadsheet with all those events.

So just reach out to Jessy or myself and we can give it to you, but great opportunity to go and learn and people are just so willing to share what they know, ask questions. I went to my first hacker house in Miami with Solana, and I went by myself and I was like one of the only females and it was just like, I don’t know anybody here just asking questions.

And everyone was so willing to teach me to ask me their questions. I was just reaching out to people on Twitter and Telegram, cause those were the channels and people were really willing to help. So just know that it’s like a different world. It’s very inclusive and friendly. 

[00:43:44] Jessy: It is isn’t that interesting? And I’ll say this, that’s a good call out. I’ve experienced that as well, that it seems very approachable and friendly. Everyone’s very willing to help. Yeah. 

[00:44:00] Hannah: Yeah. I’ve never experienced that in Web2, like this world . 

[00:44:05] Jessy: It’s very rare, isn’t it? Except what I personally have experienced and maybe like it’s my limited experience in a whim. I found that in a lot of, not all of, let’s be real, but in a lot of influencer marketing communities, like specifically in WIIM. 

We’ve spent a lot of time to cultivate this type of community, but we wouldn’t be able to force people to be a certain way, right? And so I found that that’s the spirit of WIIM and that’s probably why I’m also attracted to Web3. 

Basically, if you are part of WIIM and you have appreciated the, like the sisterhood or the support and the like, let’s learn together and we’re all just in this together and we’re, there’s like egos checked at the door all that, Web3 is very similar and it can be very separated from, the creator economy, but there is such, it like could fit like a puzzle piece, like the perfect, one last puzzle piece to finish the complete picture of the creator economy. 

So this is my next question to you related to that. I feel like one of the main components to Web3 that is incredibly synergistic and complimentary to the creator economy is just the element of community, right?

In my opinion, I’ve said this for years, that the most successful influencers, it’s not a one-way conversation where they’re just talking at people. It’s not even a two-way conversation where they’re like they’re followers or subscribers are speaking to them, they’re speaking to the subscribers or followers.

It’s actually a multi omnichannel conversation, not omnichannel, but it’s a multiple person conversation in which they’ve really cultivated a community. Those are the influencers that I have seen have the most success at influencer marketing and the creator economy and creating just a brand of their own identity of their own.

So my question to you is about community, because there’s absolutely, in my eyes a link between, community and influencer marketing and the creator economy. And in Web3, my question is, what are people doing wrong presently in terms of community, and where is there white space that people should be more aware of and explore?

[00:46:53] Hannah: That’s a really smart parallel that you drove. I think that they’re, even like your example with what you built with Wiim, it’s like that use case is completely applicable to Web3 and it really is just about building that magical place. 

I think that the word community, which makes me so sad, but I’m getting burnt out by it. I think that people are just throwing it on to tacking it on and not actually thinking about what it means. And what a commitment that is and how much work it takes to build that.

The number one thing is to show up thinking about how can I help? Not what can I take. Give more than you take also a big Web3 principle and really thinking about giving impact and value, and that’s where you see the most successful communities in Web2 or Web3 take off where they’re face planting is when you might not, and also having a very clear vision where you wanna build, why you’re doing it, where you wanna go.

For a creator or for a community, both of them who are now becoming brands or our brands, making it clear that if you sign up, this is what you believe in, what do you stand for? What do not stand for? What does it take to show up with a logo on your shirt? You’re then exemplifying things about you. This is what I believe in. This is what I care about. This is real estate. 

And now it’s really just putting that on the digital storefront. You can think of it in terms of like your avatar in the metaverse, but then you can also think of even if somebody’s just talking about you, they’re saying something about your brand.

So really giving them something to believe in and making them feel proud to talk about that thing. And so there’s a lot of work, like I said, that has to go into that and thinking about those branding elements. 

And I actually went through some old decks from when I was working on Samsung and we were looking at how Apple had really built this iconic brand and how Apple had actually really modeled a lot of the branding elements after the Catholic church.

I don’t know if that was intended, but they clearly had done that. And we did this study that showed that, where it’s like you have these places where people go, these symbols and you, if you think about it like that, you can really allow people to be the be incredibly powerful advocates for you.

So I think that while the word community is being tossed around, the premise of it is more important than ever. If you’re a creator, if you’re a brand, if you’re in Web2, if you’re in Web3, it’s all sort of becoming similar. The principles are very similar and those principles I think are really interesting. And I think that is where the opportunity is. 

[00:49:53] Jessy: So well said. I love it. If I haven’t said it out loud yet, you’re like invited to our next and recurring Wednesday afternoon chats about. 

[00:50:06] Hannah: I would love you.

[00:50:10] Jessy: Oh my gosh, you’re officially invited. You’ll meet Lindsay who like put these together and she like casually dropped this in conversation when her and I were chatting and she’s oh yeah, I like meet with these girls like every week about like Web3. We just chat about it and I’m sitting there and I’m like, in my head, like shouldn’t invite myself, right? Like I really wanna be invited. Can I invite me? Am I getting invited? Like how do I get there? You were so invited. If you love it. 

[00:50:45] Hannah: I would love to, yes.

[00:50:47] Jessy: Amazing. Amazing.

[00:50:50] Hannah: Help each other out. Thank you. 

[00:50:52] Jessy: You’re welcome. And if anyone listening is interested, …

 We can go on and on about Web3 and how it differs from Web2 and how it’s such an upgrade and how there’s so much opportunity in terms of the creator economy. It just feels so synergistic. Like I was mentioning before, there’s so much opportunity, but we will put a pin in that because I don’t know, we can go on and on.

I love what you’re saying about community though. It’s interesting that you feel as if people are overusing that word. It’s becoming the new, like authentic, the new word, authentic, where people are maybe overusing it. It’s a good call out though. I feel like there are some words that we all use so regularly and it’s worth digging into it to say or to ask is this actually even the word that we mean?

 What does that word mean to us? Like not every use case of the word community might even mean the same thing. I say this all the time in terms of Scaling. People throw around the word scale a business. And I’m like, do you really understand what scaling a business is?

Because if you do, you might not want to scale your business. It might not make sense to scale your business. 

[00:52:27] Hannah: Yeah. 

[00:52:31] Jessy: I appreciate you calling out even the word community and let’s just put more thought into what that means for our use case. Even if the goal is to build community, like what are some more innovative, interesting ways that we can go about that?

 I would love to hear from you if you could close your eyes and make one wish for our industry. What do you wish would change? 

[00:53:08] Hannah: I wish that more diverse and important, but undiscovered voices had the ability to be heard. I think there’s so many creators who have very interesting perspectives and ideas and and creative niches, and they get lost in the fold and they have regular nine to fives. They’re raising families. They can’t really commit themselves, but we need to hear them. 

And I don’t love seeing, these TikTok houses with very white, gorgeous people all doing the same dance. I think that there’s creativity there, but I think that we as a society just can put a little bit too much, admiration towards that. 

And so I would love for the people who are working multiple jobs or who are writing essays and don’t have time to build, look into the algorithms or hire community manager. I would love for a way for us to get more exposure to their thinking. 

[00:54:22] Jessy: I love that. And like more discoverability for those people too, right? I don’t know about you. I get bored by there are influencers who I started following years ago and very few of them are completely changing their content. There’s one influencer who I happen to have noticed.

She’s Liyss, L Y SS on Instagram who used to talk all about like travel and like fitness. And now she’s like at a completely different phase of her life in that she’s like single and wasn’t before and she’s completely changed her content basically. And I found that really interesting because when I started following her, probably 10 years ago, I was at a different phase of life than she was too.

And so I think that like more influencers need to just pivot their content and I think people are probably afraid of, they’re like, oh like my audience expects this from me and the algorithm favors this and this is what I’ve been doing. So oh, I’m so scared to change it when in fact I don’t know about you, but like for me, I’m like, nah, that gets boring after a while.

I don’t really wanna follow you anymore. Are there people that you have followed for a while that have changed and evolved over time in a way that has kept your attention? Or do you find that more or not, it’s people who are just like continuing with the status quo.

[00:56:08] Hannah: I think that those who do more like storytelling capture my imagination and my interest a lot more. Where they are like, exposing you to more vulnerable, parts of bringing you into the home. It’s not just look at these shiny things. Cause I get really bored of that really quickly. And I think that’s also why I’ve just been like almost all of the time that I spend on social is like from a personal perspective, is on Twitter for Web3 and TikTok for Web2 and TikTok from a discoverability perspective, it is really awesome.

If we could scale that, I think it’s great, but yeah, I think that you’re right. Like people get stuck or they get comfortable or they’re worried like, okay, if I had a kid, am I gonna lose my audience if I start talking about the kid? Or maybe their priorities change.

And I find that the creativity just sometimes gets just squeezed out with, and so I think, yeah, I’m constantly following different people. I feel like right now the people I’m most interested in are like, Young, like Gen Z or like my TikTok thinks, I’m a 65 year old gay man, and my TikTok… 

[00:57:25] Jessy: You’re not. I just feel like I’m sometimes.

[00:57:29] Hannah: I know. And I’m like, this is so fun. This is such a fun corner of the internet. But yeah, I’m just not really not vibing with a lot of what I’m seeing on from the people that I used to follow on, Instagram. 

[00:57:43] Jessy: Yeah. And that’s valid. I wonder for people who are like, listening to this conversation what you’re finding and I am very curious for those, if there are other accounts that sort of stand out in that they are evolving over time.

Change is difficult for a lot of people. It’s very rare. Some people really love change. I happen to be one of those people my, like my partner Paul he’s the opposite. Like he hates change. It’s lovely that he’s open to it, but I know that he’s so uncomfortable.

But thank he’s God open to it.

[00:58:24] Hannah: Most people are, it’s hard. 

[00:58:27] Jessy: Yeah. Most people are uncomfortable with it. So it makes sense that a lot of creators would be, I find that a lot of creators are, weirdly, like superstitious almost, that they’re like, oh I don’t know, like the algorithm is like doing this thing and so oh, I can’t stray from that.

And I’m like, we need to have a whole masterclass or podcast episode or like just fireside chat. Like some sort of conversation where we’re like debunking these like myths that have existed for so long that are like literally not true.

We are actually talking with Instagram. We just had a masterclass with Instagram about reels and that kind of, that question came up actually from somebody in the audience and she was like, we should do a whole masterclass. Another one about debunking myths and like wait. Yeah like really?

[00:59:19] Hannah: You should. Yeah. 

[00:59:21] Jessy: Yeah, because like people wanna hear from them. That’s part of the issue. They hear it from like all these different sources and like they don’t know what to believe. But if they hear it directly from Instagram, I feel like they’d be more inclined to believe it. 

I think that, like one of the last questions I have for you, and I’m so sad that our time is up, but hopefully i’ll be seeing you more because you’re gonna come to our weekly Web3 chat

 And of course we’re gonna drop into the show notes ways for you guys to get in touch with Hannah as well cause I’ve enjoyed my conversation with you and I feel like a lot of people are gonna wanna reach out. 

My last question for today is like, for somebody just starting out in influencer marketing and, wanting to like really get the most out of their career or like really find their place in influence marketing because there’s so many different avenues to go down. What advice would you give to them? 

[01:00:19] Hannah: Good question. So one thing that I find is like I said, like really get used to, to studying data and subscribe to as many platforms as you can to read reports on what’s going on from a marketing and a consumer and a culture perspective. That will allow you to see the white space and plan a little bit further in advance so you can think about ways to that your content can disrupt.

But I would think the number one thing that I think has really helped me is that I’m not like a classically trained marketer. So I think about everything from the perspective of me on my phone scrolling.

So thinking about when you see a creator that you think that you love or a piece of content, really look at why .Go through the caption, go through the comments. Is it the same people commenting on everything? If you see something that you love and you wanna DM it to somebody, just thinking about why.

Thinking about the why, that you’re motivated to do things, why other people are motivated to do things, can really help you figure out ways to do different things.

It’s not just about the, cool, popular, like you can look at impressions or their follower numbers, but like we said, there’s a lot of nuance to that. So looking at engagement rate, the quality of the comments.

So I look at, is it just, I’m thinking about working with a creator and in their comments it’s just a bunch of oh, you’re so hot. I love that dress. A lot of emojis. First of all, I do a check to make sure that they’re humans writing those and not bots. But then I look at the quality. Are they really like engaging in a discussion that could be relevant to what I’m trying to do? Do I think that discussion could happen if I work with this creator?

So I would just really double click, double click, double click into the numbers, into the data, into the people, and think about everything from you as a person and what’s making you do things, cuz at the end of the day, it’s like I said at the beginning, it’s friend to friend recommendations online.

It’s fairly simple. It’s what motivates you to tell somebody else to do something. And when you boil it down that simple, that opportunities are endless, but it really just takes a different mindset and I think that mindset makes this whole game a lot more fun anyways.

[01:02:40] Jessy: I agree so much. I feel like that’s like the theme of this conversation. It’s have more fun. Have more fun, find what you think is fun. Like you and I feel like where you like equally geek out about Web3 and..

[01:02:54] Hannah: Yeah.

[01:02:54] Jessy: I don’t know. I love that you’re at Pearpop. I don’t know, tech minded and like data minded and like some people probably listening to this and being like, that’s fun. I’m listening to you say that. And I’m like, that’s fun. And so I think we’re very similar in that way. But look, if you’re listening to this conversation and that’s not your jam, find what’s fun for you. Like maybe it’s more of the like artistic, creative side. Maybe it’s the strategy side, maybe it’s the relationship side, like whatever it is.

But I love that, like that’s my take away from this conversation is find the joy, find the fun. We’re very lucky y’all. We work influencer marketing, like it’s such a cool place to be. And there are a lot of other people in this world who do not have, half the fun that we have. 

And look, I completely like real talk. I know that in the day-to-day we feel stressed, we feel overstretched, all the things of course. But take a beat. And if you’re not having fun, maybe you need to shift to another side of the industry. Maybe you just need to find the joy again. But we should all be having more fun. That’s my takeaway from the conversation.

What final closing remarks or words or anything that you wanna share with our audience that you wanna leave them with as we end today’s chat?

[01:04:28] Hannah: I think you summarized it really nicely, have fun and like you said at the beginning, like break things, try new things. The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn something.

 You’ll get more information and more data. And so just try to do things, reach out to people go through the screen. It’s so hard in this digital world, but people like Jessy it’s our great connectors remember that it’s just work.

We’re just playing and experimenting and we should all. I have to tell myself that all the time. It’s just work. Have fun. 

[01:05:08] Jessy: Have fun. I like that though. Like in addition to the fun, like experiment more, break things. I love that you said that. Break things and learn from it. Learning can be so fun.

You guys like, so fun. So don’t be afraid of breaking things. Look at it as an opportunity to learn something from it. Like it’s not something to fear, to break something in a lot of instances like you should try to break things because that’s the way that you learn from them. 

[01:05:38] Hannah: Yeah.

[01:05:39] Jessy: And get better and all the things.

[01:05:40] Hannah: It’s not as quo like that is the only way. 

[01:05:44] Jessy: I love that so much. You are such a pleasure to chat with. You’re so appreciative. I’m so appreciative that you could come on today. We’re gonna drop all the ways in which you can reach out to Hannah as well. And I hope you do. And thank you so much for coming on today. You’re the best. 

[01:06:04] Hannah: Awesome. Thank you guys. 


[01:06:06] Jessy: If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at iamwiim.com. Leave us some review or rating but the most important that we ask you to do is share this podcast. Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.

Hannah Forbes


Hannah Forbes is one of the leading pioneers of the creator economy, now working hard to help creators earn a living doing what they love as the VP of Marketing at Pearpop. Hannah built her career around a clear purpose of unlocking innovative ways to build creator-driven communities through brand values, culturally disruptive partnerships that drive equity within the creator economy. Originally from Canada, Hannah resides in New York and spent the last six years building and leading R/GA’s Influence Studio where her team crafted innovative influencer strategies and award-winning, authentic collaborations between creators and some of the world’s most respected brands like Samsung, Verizon, Uber and Instagram. Prior to R/GA, Hannah was at the LA-based creative agency Omelet after launching Xomad, one of the first social influencer agencies in 2010.

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