James: Welcome Negronis with Nord. Episode number 33.
I am back from Mexico. I made it home against all odds, I lost my passport. 7:00 AM well probably about six 50 in the morning. Leaving. We were supposed to leave the house at seven to drive the hour and a half from Tulum to Cancun, and then I was flying out to New York. So 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave, I can't find my passport. Pulling the house apart quickly realized, you know, you know those moments when you like lose something and you know, instantly like it's ******* gone. Like I can look all over this house, but like I, it was in my briefcase. I had looked, I had been in my briefcase, that's where my camera was a bunch. I hadn't seen it and I just like instantly realized that I hadn't seen it since I got into the house and I didn't have it. So I'm like, okay, let's go. You know, searching on the way to the airport, can you fly without a passport? Everyone's like, No, of course you can't. Like you cannot fly internationally without a passport. I was like, I am getting my *** back home. I am not sitting in Mexico for another day or two, flying to Mexico City, going to the ******* embassy, getting my mom to probably like overnight my birth certificate or something so I can get an emergency passport. I was like, this is gonna be thousands of dollars. And ultimately like I just wanted to be home.
I get to the airport I go to check in, they're like, passport. And I was just like about that. Yeah, like, I don't have passport, but I am having a medical procedure tomorrow. I have to get back to New York. I have to, I don't have my passport. I can't delay it. You have to get me onto this plane. I don't even know if I would have to make up that lie cuz they were just kind of like, you know, we don't really give a ****. Like, we'll put you on the plane. Ultimately, what happens to you when you get back to America isn't our problem. And luckily when I would landed back on American soil, they also didn't seem to really care that much. They were surprised that somebody let me on the plane without the passport all's that to say anything is possible and don't let people tell you that if you were stuck in a foreign country without a passport, that you can't leave because it's just not true.
Do brands want to work more with influencers who have 9-5, corporate, "normal," jobs?
One, it is interesting that there is still this idea that like being an influencer isn't an actual job. Says sometimes people talk about it like, oh, brands wanna work with influencers who have actual jobs, which is like actually a little bit offensive and ****** up. But you know, the core of what they're trying to say is, is they wanna work with people who are working in the office, who have an office professional kind of nine to five normal job.
Maybe it's press, the press wants to spin this into a big story. You know, they want to say that this is is about, you know, people becoming sick of influencers and influencers becoming less authentic. And then, you know, wanting to be centered in, you know, following people that, that have a life that's like there's, and that's like mostly ********, but there is interesting insights of why this is happening because we definitely have brands who are looking for influencers who have day jobs, normal jobs. The reason is how much it can help in storytelling.
Influencers need either brand love or a story: How to close the authenticity gap
James: In our 10 Ambassador Rules, one of them is this idea of like, you have to have love or story.
Love: The way James loves Campari
So like if I did a post for Campari and I was like, "Hey y'all, this is super exciting because y'all know I drink negronis all the time. Negronis are my bloodstream. This is amazing that Campari is finally acknowledged my existence and wants me to do a sponsored post for them because I am a living and breathing ambassador." And y'all would be super excited, you'd be like congratulations. Also, side note, kind of ****** up that they just had a big event at fashion week. I didn't get invited personally with my life and with this ******* company, I must buy 200 bottles of Campari a year VIP customers, people spending, you know, probably a 100K to a half a million dollars a year, if not more. I digress.
You have to love the brand like I do Campari, right? And then that makes it authentic, right? People understand why you're doing the post.
A Story: How James would recommend a non-alcoholic aperitif
Now if, if you don't love the brand already, you need to have a story. And what we mean by that is that, you know, what we're trying to do with our followers, Like what we're trying to do when we're, when we are building a sponsored post is cross what we call an authenticity gap. Authenticity gap is that feeling that you have when you see someone doing a sponsored post and the the first thing that you think is this is ********. You're being paid for this, you don't mean this, right? And it is our job and it's, it's your job and it's the content's job to bring the audience across that gap to get them to believe you. There's no authenticity gap when I'm talking about Campari. Y'all know I love Campari, so I don't have to tell some big ******* story about how great Campari is and all this because I talk about it all the time. I drink negronis you know, that like the authenticity gap doesn't exist. But if I am doing the sponsored post for let's say a non-alcoholic aperitif okay, well now I have to tell a story. I can't just be like, y'all know I love Gh ia. I don't even know how to pronounce that thing. I wouldn't drink a non-alcoholic aperitif.
Let's assume I did. You have to, you have to tell some kind of story that connects you to this brand in some way. Let's keep this example. I'm just gonna do this on the fly, right?
If I'm doing a post for a non-alcoholic aperitif, I could be like, "look, y'all know I love drinking." I do. This is, that is a, a truth. I love having a cocktail. I love the process of making a drink. I love that you can sit and have a cocktail with friends with, with my fiance and sit and talk about the day. I love that. Again, now I'm doing a sponsored post for a non-alcoholic aperitif, right? But I'm also getting old and I am trying to balance running a hundred person company exercising every day and you know, not being unhealthy, you can love something too much, right? And like I don't wanna be drinking every night.
I have been using this non-alcoholic aperitif a few days a week to be able to get the like feeling of having a cocktail with people without the side effects of having that cocktail, right? And now I have like taken a story, which is like my life as an entrepreneur and as somebody that, that likes to exercise and somebody who loves cocktails and I've connected it to something that I've never talked about before, which would be a non-alcoholic aperitif.
Why brands seek influencers with day jobs: Relatable storytelling
James: Why brands like working with people with normal jobs is it, it gives you more ammunition to tell those stories.
Nuuly is a recent client of ours and they actually work with one of our employees here, Sophie, who's been on the show with Sophie. She can tell the story that a lot of the people who are Nuuly customers are experiencing, right? That like she has to go into the office, she's got work events, she's got friends birthdays, all of these different kind of scenarios she needs to dress for.
And that Nuuly is giving her a way to do that without buying the clothing and like it's authentic because they know she has a job, they know she's going to the office. And so unlike a full-time influencer, Sophie is experiencing some of the challenges that Nuuly solves for in a way that is super relatable for the audience, right? Because if you're a full-time ad influencer, you can tell the same kind of story of like, look, I have to photograph my ******* clothes every ******* day and it's a huge pain in the *** and it's expensive and Nuuly is there to help me do that.
But that's like not a relatable story for people that are not influencers necessarily, right? It is like certainly maybe that person is like showing the wide array of like great outfits you can get from Nuuly, but they're not relating it to people's lives. And I think that's what brands are looking for. It's whether you are a new mom or you've just moved across the country or you have a full-time job or you're a chef or you know, you like to juggle in your spare time. Whatever it is, is that as brands are telling more and more stories on social through influencers, we need more ways to tell that story.
As brands are telling more and more stories on social through influencers, we need more ways to tell that story.
We can't tell the same story over and over and over and over again. And so we need that variability of stories that we're telling. We look for someone who's a chef, we look for somebody who works at TikTok and has a a following. You know, we look for these stories that help us, you know, vary the brand story that we're telling and, and the the kind of engine that is, is driving those stories.
Final advice: What you can do
So what can you do right as an influencer full time is not that you should go out and get a full time job so that brands will work with you.
It's that you should be really explicit about what the different avenues are, where you could tell stories and make sure you talk about that stuff. So you seem, you come off on social as multifaceted as you are in real life, right? Like, again, you talk about that stuff a lot and then brands can kind of figure out how they're gonna fit into that.
So I think the takeaway is, is you know, trying to be your full self look, don't be afraid to talk about things that you are interested in that maybe you feel like your audience won't be. Because those will definitely help brands understand how to tell a deeper, more interesting story even if your audience doesn't immediately connect with it.