1,000 True Fans: Celebrities vs. Communities - Ep. 23
July 13, 2022
Updated Feb 09, 2024
Welcome to Negronis with Nord. Today’s episode is about a new potential dichotomy: celebrity vs. community. The future of influencer marketing will get more and more difficult. But James reminds us that 1,000 true fans can change your life. You can submit your questions for future episodes here.
James: Welcome Negronis with Nord episode number 23. I appreciate y'all saying I'm looking good. I got Botox. Finally, last week, I was shocked to hear at the Botox place that I went, that I hadn't had it since January, which explains my face melting off of my skeletal structure, but it's kicking in, you know, we're not totally frozen yet, but it is getting better. So I, I think I'll be in an increasingly good mood here over the next couple of weeks. I'm gonna jump into it. We're gonna talk a little bit about community today, but I, I saw this quote the other day from Mr. Beast and, you know, somebody had asked him essentially, what is your advice for new creators? And he says, you know, he always tells them, you know, make a thousand videos and do one thing better each time. That's all of his advice. That's the beginning. And the end of it, just saying a lot is someone who's, you know, the most successful YouTuber potentially of all time.
It is a really simple but true thing. And it's something we've talked a lot about on here, marginal gains and building these experiments and trying to figure out ways to get better. But really that is what it is about. It's about whether you're, you know, on Instagram and you're focused on imagery and fashion and beauty, or if you're doing makeup tutorials or you're making, you know, comedy TikToks or whatever it might be, it's just about really treating this like a craft and making sure that every single time you publish something every single time you create content that you're getting a little bit better. I think therein lies. I think the difficulty of this job, right.
Increase in competition, quality, and content
James: Like right now, the Tour de France just started. Obviously if you've followed the show for a while, you know that in my personal life, I'm a cyclist. I race bikes. I love doing it. Fohr actually has a bike racing team that we sponsor. And the Tour de France has just started. It's interesting looking at modern sports and saying like, you know, if you went back to the 1970s and you took the best athlete from that time, and you threw them into a modern bike race, they would get annihilated, right. They would not be able to compete. The level is just so much higher than it used to be that people who were superstars 30 years ago would, would not even be professionals today probably. Right. And it's the same thing in social. And I think like there's so many people that have this frustration that like five years ago I was killing it and I was doing so well. Right. But it wasn't as hard two years ago. It wasn't as hard to be as popular on TikTok as it is today, two years from now, it's going to be even harder.
The quality level, the competition, everything is constantly increasing. And if you're not, you know, if you're like this, this is where all everyone else is. And you're creating content at this level. And you just keep creating content at that level. But then like this line goes up like this, right? Like eventually what you are doing today will not be good enough. And that's just a fact. And so you have to, you have to focus your life on getting better. And it's why we talk so much about community, especially now in a world that is constantly changing where, you know, the types of content and what people like, and the tastes are all changing so rapidly focusing on your specific audience and what they want. And delivering that to them over and over again is the surest way to continuing to have a level of success.
And we were talking in a webinar last week to brands all about community building, how it's the future of marketing and how, you know, building these vibrant communities of ambassadors and brand advocates and influencers is going to be what email marketing has been for the last 20 years is what these ambassador communities are going to be for the next 20 years. You know, we started off the presentation really simply like asking a few questions, right? You have to ask yourself, why would somebody join this community? Why would they stay engaged in it? And why would they tell other people to join it? And so, as an influencer, you can ask yourself the same question. Why would this person follow me? Why would they continue to follow me and engage with me? Why would they tell their friends about me?
A new dichotomy
James: I think that social is, is, and we're gonna dive into this deeper in another video, but I think social and influencer space increasingly is going to be split into two categories that it's going to be:
Big superstars that kind of transcend social and go into celebrity
And then it's going to be the smaller niche influencers that are really focused on their community and providing value
I think about someone like Elizabeth Holmes, who does the, you know, analysis of what Royals are wearing called what does she call it? So many thoughts, you know, Elizabeth was a wall street journal reporter. I mean, she's incredibly bright. She's also really passionate and insanely knowledgeable about Royals as somebody who wasn't really interested in the Royals that much, I, I am just riveted by the content. You know, I love what she is doing and it's because it's so smart and it's so in depth and, you know, she is teaching me so much about how fashion can be used to send a message and specifically how the Royals use fashion, the Royals, who, who, you know, traditionally haven't been able to speak out and speak their mind on certain issues as their figureheads, but they use fashion to talk for them.
And she really dissects that in a way that is incredibly interesting and makes you smarter. And she, you know, started doing this for fun and, and, you know, it's turned into a book and other things and, you know, she doesn't have an enormous following. She's probably never gonna have 10 million followers doing this. Right. But she's got a really dedicated community. You know, I look at Frank who from little Frankie's and Frank's and Supper in the, in, in the east village and lower east side. And he does all these great cooking videos, you know, and he calls the methods. He doesn't give you recipes. He gives you kind of like a way to feel your way through the kitchen and understand how to make food that kind of has soul and cooking in this very traditional Italian way. He puts a lot of time into it.
It's really, really valuable. You know, again, not an enormous following. He's probably not gonna be the next Anthony Bourdain. He's not gonna have, you know, millions of followers, but he's doing something that I find interesting and is it is giving people value every day. Alison Bornstein, who's a stylist, you know, and who puts together these in-depth dives into how to wear a t-shirt or, you know motorcycle jacket and is creating this content that is really, really helpful and useful. That's kind of where things are going and with TikTok and kind of reliance on virality and the algorithm, and with Instagram, trying to chase TikTok and do the For You page, a bit more type stuff. And, and focusing on video, we're gonna have this dichotomy in this space where, you know, you can either chase the like casino, you know, can I get triple sixes and hit the jackpot and go viral and, and have this big moment, or can I create this smaller niche community that can be really vibrant and that I'm really focused on supporting and creating value for.
And I really do think that's where it's going to be split up. I think it's gonna be harder for those influencers who are kind of stuck in that middle of maybe they're at 300 K or something. And, and they want to be seen as public figures, people who should, you should follow me. I deserve to be followed. I am genetically gifted and beautiful. And I, I do amazing things. And, you know, the kind of people that think buying Chanel is a personality, but they're not providing a lot of value to their audience. They're just living and expected to be followed. The issue is the person with 20 million followers has a much more exciting life. A lot more money to spend on designer. Clothes is getting gifted, is getting flown around, is doing all this stuff. So from pure entertainment value, increasingly you're not gonna be able to compete with the like super celebrity because their access level is going to be so high.
And what they're doing is gonna be so over the top, you're not gonna be able to do that. And so it's not going to be as interesting. And so again, we go back to the need to focus on your community and provide them value. Again, I think we should talk about this more in another episode, I actually think that the way TikTok is built could potentially be ruinous to the influencer space and could create a situation where it makes it much, much harder for influencers to make money off of their following and off of their content. And again, could be fairly destructive to a lot of people's careers. There's that old saying that a thousand true fans can kind of make your like life. And I think that is, that is very true. And I think the more we can focus on, you know, building those thousand die hard fans that will go to bat for you, the people that you are waking up for and creating for every day, you're going to put yourself into a much better position. I think we'll, we'll maybe bring Sophie from our strategy team on next week. She and I can hash it out, whether TikTok is going to ruin the influencers space or save it until then continue to send your questions in like, and subscribe. And we will see you next week.