Business Tips for Influencers: Hiding Likes, Going Beyond the Brief & Managing Your Manager - Episode 7

Last updated on
March 29, 2022
James Nord

Welcome to Negronis with Nord. Today’s episode covers three more tips to help influencers run their business – why you shouldn’t hike likes on sponsored content; going beyond the creative brief; & managing your manager or agent. Each episode will focus on your most pressing questions about the space. You can submit your questions here.

This episode includes:

  • #SephoraSquad applications are now live!: link to apply
  • Thoughts on the Winter Olympics & new media (hint: it’s already here)
  • Today’s Topic: 3 (More) Business Tips from James
  • #1 Hiding Likes on Sponsored Content
  • #2 Going Beyond the Creative Brief
  • #3 Managing Your Manager

Why you should apply for #SephoraSquad

James Nord: Quick exciting top-of-the-show announcement life-changing opportunity. #SephoraSquad applications are open today. This is the fourth year that we have done #SephoraSquad. This is going to be the biggest, most impactful year yet. Getting into the #SephoraSquad is a career-defining life-changing opportunity. Not only does this come with a full-year contract with Sephora, not only does it give you access to all of the brands that are stocked at Sephora and being able to do campaigns with many of them, it changes the way you are viewed by the beauty industry. It takes your career to a completely different level. I know that doing the application and asking your followers for testimonials is nerve-wracking. I know that it is putting yourself out there more than you have to sometimes as an influencer. But I am telling you, getting this partnership is transformative.

It will be a turning point in your career. It will be something that you look back on and that was the start of when things changed for me. Put yourself out there, apply for it, you never know, the worst-case scenario, you get a bunch of testimonials from your audience that make you feel really good about what you're doing and gives you an insight into the impact that you're having on people's lives. Something you don't really get that often. Best-case scenario, you get into #SephoraSquad and change your life. So that is a classic win-win take. Take the 10 minutes, apply, maybe change your life. Now, moving on to the show.

2022 Winter Olympics & New Media

Welcome, Negronis with Nord episode number seven. I want to start off by saying I was just reading the paper this morning. Well, this is two weeks ago. They were saying this was the lowest-rated Olympics of all time, 11.4 million people on average tuned into the winter Olympics this year. I've been talking a lot about how the ad world is changing and how scaled media is going away and we are in this kind of critical moment where advertising as we know it is actually essentially dead, but nobody is acknowledging it yet. This is a great example. Kim Kardashian's Insta stories probably get twice as many average views as the fucking Olympics got. Hey, new skims line coming out next week. Twice as many people seeing that as the Olympics, there was a new mainstream media, CNN, and Fox, and if we're talking about news, right?

Check out our webinar, End of the Advertising World as We Know It.

And you think about things like sports and the Oscars and all of that, these are dead or dying. The TikTok that has 50 million views or Mr. Beast's YouTube getting more fucking views than the actual Squid Games, right? Like this is the new media. It is already happening and people just don't realize it. Another example of why y'all are on the right path, why you are focusing on the right things, doing the right things with your life. This is only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Hiding Likes on Sponsored Content

So for today's episode, three quick pieces of advice. We're going to keep this easy breezy. Number one, hiding likes. Not a huge amount of adoption on hiding likes, not a lot of influencers doing it, which makes sense. There are some influencers who are hiding likes on sponsored content. Even if you're hiding likes, normally hiding likes on your sponsored content looks shitty.

And I'll tell you why. Let's say you're getting in #SephoraSquad. You're doing a sponsored post for Sephora and you hide your likes because you're like, look, this is what I just don't feel like showing them, right? I want to have this space where my likes aren't kind of controlling my life. I understand that. I understand why Instagram rolled out the post. The issue is it's not just us that's going to see it. It's not just the direct client that's going to see it. There are 40,000 people that work at Sephora. Okay. And I guarantee you the executives are looking at those posts and they're going to look at it and say, well, that's weird, why is this person hiding their likes? Right? And they aren't going to think, oh, it might be to protect their mental health. It might be because they want you to focus on the art, not the numbers.

Again, I understand those things, right? When an influencer is hiding likes on sponsored posts, our team often will get questions from the client, why are they hiding these likes? I'm getting questions from my boss if they're hiding likes because their engagement's really bad? Or because they bought followers, they don't have an authentic audience. Right? That is where people's heads go. Even if that is not the story, the why behind hiding likes, that is absolutely what people think. And so I think if this is your job if it is what you're making money on and the norms are that you're showing likes, I think you have to show likes on sponsored posts. I actually don't know if you can toggle it on and off for specific posts but toggle it off on your organic posts if you can, but you got to keep it on your sponsored posts I think.

Going Beyond the Creative Brief

James: Okay. Number two, let's talk about creative briefs. Okay. When we talk about briefs, we talk about them like a fence, right? And we try and build a fence and allow the influencer to create within that fence. And it should allow you the creativity to add your voice, to be able to tailor the message to your audience, and across the board influencers do a great job of that. I also just want to reiterate that you can go to the brand or go to the campaign manager that you're working with if it's through an agency or a platform and suggest something else if you like. This is a creative field. The people that work in the industry are creative. They love ideas. It's impossible for us to come up with specific, personalized briefs and creative ideas for every single influencer we are working with.

And we are totally open and excited to hear your idea. Don't be afraid to say, hey, I was thinking, what about this? This is something I'd be really excited about because at the end of the day, we talked about passion before and it's so important for you to be passionate about it, and if a brief comes across your proverbial desk and it's for a brand you're excited about and a project you're excited about, but you don't love the brief or you have an idea that you'd be more excited about executing on, shoot them a note, ask. I'll speak from Fohr's perspective. If we have influencers pitching us really awesome ideas where they want to kind of go above and beyond and we get to bring that back to the client and the client is excited because you've shown a real interest in trying to promote their product in a new way.

So if you're a creative person that likes that stuff, don't feel like you can not push back. Don't feel like you cannot throw your idea into the ring and say, hey, I've got another way of maybe doing this and I guarantee people are going to love it.

Managing Your Manager (or Agent)

Number three is about managing your manager. Now so this is just for the people who have a manager or an agent. They work with an agency, whatever it might be. Across the board a lot of the managers we work with are great. Here's what concerns me. That manager is your representative in the world. You are sending them out into the world as you essentially, they speak for you. They essentially have power of attorney, right? They are making decisions for you. I don't think enough influencers are sitting down with their agent and setting expectations. What does success look like?

How do I want you to respond? How quickly do I expect you to respond? What kind of tone would you like them to use? Do you want them to be really friendly or cold? There're benefits to both. You can have a hard-ass agent or you can have someone really friendly. What's your brand? Because if you don't tell them that, then they're just going to operate the way they want to operate, but they work for you. Right? And we have standards in the way our employees treat external people. We have standards in the way that we expect them to communicate, how quickly we expect them to respond to emails. And if they don't hit those standards, there are repercussions for that. This is your employee. Set those expectations. Ask to see the emails, or better yet, after a campaign's done send a personal note to the client and just say, hey, I really enjoyed working with you, it was fantastic. I just wanted know how is the experience with my team?

Anything we can improve upon? Anything that you thought was really great? Anything that you think we can do better? That's it. You might find one that someone's like, I loved working with your team. Your agent's a fucking rockstar. Thank you so much. Awesome. Right? That gives you a lot of confidence and you can tap that agent on the back and say, thank you, great job. You might find, actually, it was really hard to work with them. And there are so many influencers that we don't work with because their agents make it impossible for us to work with them. Not the influencer. We like the influencer, but the agents have created a situation where it is not worth trying to work with them to get to the influencer.

God forbid your representative in the world is turning people off and turning brand deals away because they're not professional, because the tone they use rubbing people the wrong way, because they're not responding to emails in a timely manner. And it is not crazy for you to check in every once in a while with your brand partners and just see how it's going. This is your money. Somebody could be fucking with your money and it behooves you to just have the confidence to know that your whole team is operating at the level that you expect them to. To my agents watching this, I think most of y'all are great. I think the work you do is so hard. I think it is underappreciated. I think that many of you probably deserve a bigger cut of these deals given how hard they are to negotiate. This is not anything to say against the wonderful agents that make the work that we do possible by being that bridge between influencers but influencers this person is your representative and you should be 100% confident they're representing you in the way that you want.

More Influencer Business Tips

We talked a bunch last week about the five ways to run your business more effectively, right? And all the things you can do as an influencer to be more professional, to be a better partner to brands, and ultimately, to increase the probability that the brand partners you work with once will be brand partners of yours for years. But if you have an agent, all of a sudden, a lot of that work falls on that agent to do and it's important for you to manage that manager, to manage your agent, to make sure those five things we talked about, and if you didn't see it, go back to the episode that if you aren't the person doing those things that they are doing them for you.

As always, thank y'all continue to send us questions. Drop them the comments, DM us, comment on an Instagram post, send a carrier pigeon, send me a Le Labo candle with a handwritten note. Send me a bottle of scotch at least 18 years old with a note, and we will answer your questions. So thank you very much.

Cheers, and thanks for watching.

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