A few weeks back, I was visiting my friend Russel in Victoria, and I spotted a book in his bookshelf that caught my eye. It was called Stop Chasing Influencers,The True Path To Building Your Business and Living Your Dream, and it was written by Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easeley.
These guys are probably best known for Podcast Movement, an annual podcasting conference that has picked up quite a bit of steam in the last few years.
The reason it caught my eye, is because Influencer Marketing is something I talk about a lot in my classes; it’s something I practice in my business, and I see it being a big part of many marketing campaigns these days–and yet–these guys are advising against it?
What’s the deal with that?
Constable and Easeley point out, and rightly so, that influencer marketing is incredibly competitive these days. In addition, it can get pretty expensive, especially if you are chasing after big influencers. This book was published in 2015, and a few things have changed since then, so I would add to that list that influcencers have been losing credibility in recent years because of incidents like the Fyre festival.
So. Instead of chasing after influencers, Constable and Easeley suggest you become an influencer yourself.
The reality is, you don’t need hundreds of thousands, or even tens of thousands of followers to be successful as an influencer. In fact, they don’t even really focus heavily on vanity metrics (which is the number of followers you have on your social channels).
Of course you want to grow your social following as much as you can. But Constable and Easeley suggest focusing your efforts on growing your email list. The question is, is email marketing still relevant in 2019? And the answer, I think, is yes. Your email list is what’s known as owned media, whereas your social accounts are considered to be borrowed. If, for some reason, your account gets deleted, your entire income could vanish over night. It happens. It happened to this gal last week.
So, your email list; your list of blog subscribers, these are still powerful marketing tools in today’s world. Think about ways to grow your email list: can you give something away in exchange for emails? A white paper? A discount? An e-book? A small course? Think about that and focus your efforts on growing that list.
Here’s where the really interesting part of the book kicks in for me.
Instead of focusing so much on growing your social media following, Constable and Easeley suggest you position yourself as an expert in your field by doing the following:
- Pitch yourself to local media and get them to write stories about you
- Pitch yourself to local TV stations and get them to have you on as an interview guest
- Get yourself booked as a guest on popular podcasts
- Write guest posts for big online publication
I love this idea! I think that the traditional media still has power, and many social influencers don’t think about this as an option.
My friend Sacha D has been using this method to grow her influence. She has written for The Huffington Post, and she regularly books segments on morning news shows.
The key, here is to create a niche for yourself. You can’t be doing the same thing as everyone else (which again, is something that I see a lot of influencers doing). Be unique and interesting, not like everyone else.
Once you’ve carved out a niche for yourself, and you are getting known as the thought leader, or the expert in that niche, the next step is to think about monetizing.
You have a bunch of options, and all of these options lead to even more influence:
- Self-publishing a book or an e-book
- Becoming a coach
- Creating a conference
- Paid speaking gigs
- Paid consulting gigs
These steps further build your credibility as an influencer or a thought leader.
I found this book really inspiring. I found myself taking notes, bending pages. I think what I appreciated the most about this book was how practical and tactical the advice was. There were many great suggestions, all of which felt actionable.
I will definitely be putting some of the advice from Stop Chasing Influencers into practice in my work, and I would like to recommend you get the book and do the same.