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Inside the Click


The $250B Creator Industry – just the beginning for influencers

Inside the Click

Inside the Click cuts through the noise by giving you un-biased data driven insights into the creator economy. Weekly news and analysis on the creator economy are just a click away.

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Episode 1: Welcome to Inside the Click

The Creator industry is constantly evolving and growing at an exponential pace. You get all of these new platforms and new ways of doing things are popping up literally every day. We created the Inside the Click podcast to help you stay on top of it.

Here’s what we’re covering in today’s episode:

  • The need for an impartial data-driven perspective in the creator economy (1:33)
  • Limitations of going viral (2:26)
  • The future of the creator economy (14:50)
  • Prioritizing affiliate or sponsored posts? (19:06)

Have a question on the influencer space or how to become more established in the creator economy? Send us your questions and we’ll get them answered on upcoming episodes. 

DM on Instagram at @insidetheclick

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Instagram: @insidetheclick
TikTok: @insidetheclick
YouTube: InsidetheClickpodcast

The Transcript:

[00:00:00] Monica: All right, everyone. Welcome to the Inside the Click podcast. I’m Monica and I am here with my cohost, Michelle. Hi everyone. And we are so excited that it is episode one. This podcast has been in the works for some time. We’ve been doing all the. Brainstorming and everything that we want to bring to y’all. So we’re finally excited that it’s here.

[00:00:24] Monica: And since it is episode one, thought it would be good to really explain why we wanted to create this podcast on the creator economy. So Michelle, why don’t you start with why you felt like there was a need to start talking about this in a new way? 

[00:00:44] Michelle: Yeah. So this industry is. It’s totally wild. Um, and it’s probably like the first industry that I’ve worked in and like latched [00:01:00] onto where like, I’m not bored.

[00:01:02] Michelle: Um, and even with that, right. The one reason why I think that this industry is so exciting is because it’s just always evolving. You get all of these new platforms, um, these new ways of doing things popping up literally every day, and staying on top of it, um, can be challenging if you don’t know where to go on top of that, right?

[00:01:33] Michelle: Like you have. So many companies like vying for the same audience and there’s not really an impartial third party that’s just kind of like, this is really what’s going on here. This is kind of the way that things are going because we see these five companies all doing the same thing. So there’s just a really big gap there.

[00:01:59] Michelle: [00:02:00] Um, and I also, I mean, you and I are both. Like data, we can get technical. Um, and I think also in this industry where it can be hard to quantify and you have to do so creatively, there’s also a gap there. So it’s just like, there’s just nowhere that really gives that impartial perspective and can really break things down.

[00:02:26] Michelle: Yeah, 

[00:02:26] Monica: I agree. And I think one thing that’s been. Kind of driving me nuts lately from a creator standpoint, because I’m always, I’ve been in this space for like 10 years and I don’t do this influencer thing full time, but I still like to try to stay on top of it, like personally as a little side hustle and what drives me nuts is that all the resources out there on growing your creator business are like how to make your tick talk, go viral, how to make your [00:03:00] reels go viral.

[00:03:00] Monica: How to. Get more likes. And I’m so over that, like, I, like, we get it, the algorithm changes, but there has, this is a billion dollar industry. Why are we so focused on the tiniest piece of that puzzle? 

[00:03:17] Michelle: Yeah. And even, um, just like to your point with all these social platforms, like they’re going to keep changing, like but like.

[00:03:31] Michelle: You in you, meaning like creators need to understand how all of these pieces fit together in like your business to really figure out like, does it actually make sense for you to have like a viral tick tock if that’s like. Not driving your bottom line or if that’s not like if that platform doesn’t really jive well with your audience like there are so many [00:04:00] shiny objects out there and it’s can, it can be very overwhelming.

[00:04:05] Michelle: And I feel like burnout is so big in this industry because of that. 

[00:04:12] Monica: Oh, a hundred percent because, you know, it’s so wild how this is. Again, multi-billion dollar industry, but everyone is kind of just piecing it together and going based on what one other person says. And so it’s just kind of like, you are going to chase that shiny thing because you’re like, Oh my gosh, hopefully, that person has the secret that I’ve been missing out on.

[00:04:38] Monica: And it’s like, what if we started treating this like other industries and kind of. used, I don’t know, data other than TikTok that did go viral, that says how to go viral, but it went viral because it’s just, everyone just wants to know how to go viral. 

[00:04:59] Michelle: Right. [00:05:00] Right. And it’s even like when there is. No, um, even organization in the center or whatnot.

[00:05:11] Michelle: You have like so many, um, different companies like telling you what to do, but they’re all partial to their thing. Exactly. So it’s just like, of course. The person that works for X platform is going to say their platform’s the best because they want you to use it. But even outside of some of those things, like really being able to, like, even look at an experience and be discerning and be like, okay, this platform is like really pretty.

[00:05:47] Michelle: But I see that when I’m using it, there’s like five different steps before someone actually goes to a retailer site. So like, I need to be mindful of

[00:06:00] that. And do I want to prioritize aesthetics or do I want to prioritize ease of use for my audience? So like even just being able to back up and think about that and like outside of, you know, This salesperson’s telling you that this account manager is telling you that like, I, I think that people like need a resource where they can build the skills to think about that for themselves and make those decisions on their 

[00:06:31] Monica: Right. And on that note, it’s like, think about how many new platforms there are that have become Established in the last year. Like, of course, they’ve all been working on this behind the scenes last five, seven years. I think Howell is technically like nine years old, but it’s just now showing up in the market.

[00:06:54] Monica: So when it comes to that, do you feel like

[00:07:00] There is a place for each of these platforms and they’re just going to have a different type of creator in each one? Or this is just the year of all these platforms and then next year it’s gonna go from eight to like four. 

[00:07:18] Michelle: Interesting. Um, I think it really depends on two things.

[00:07:27] Michelle: The, actual value that the platforms are driving. Um, and like, right, that’s, that’s a little more black and white where like you have like conversion rate or do I have higher CPA, right. And like, those are kind of these. like objective values that will make or break a platform. But then I think that there’s this other piece that it’s just like, what?[00:08:00] 

[00:08:00] Michelle: Like what does the company stand for and is it something that creators want to be a part of? 

[00:08:08] Monica: I think that that community piece and feeling like you’re a part of something is huge and I’ve thought about this in so many different contexts, but Yesterday I was thinking about how if you’re a creator You’re not going into an office and have 15 co-workers that you get to like chat with all day You are at home creating content with maybe two other people, max, and that’s kind of lonely and I’ve been there where when I was doing this full time, I just craved being around other people and I joined the wing so I could like be in a co-working space because, I mean, working all day by yourself, In a 360 square foot apartment [00:09:00] is just like, you will go insane.

[00:09:03] Monica: And there’s even like the part of being able to bounce ideas off of people and things like that. It’s kind of wild how isolating this industry is. And I don’t think people think about it because all they think about 500, 000 views. So they’re not alone, but yeah, like feeling like. You are working with a company that stands for something and that you feel like you are a part of their growth.

[00:09:34] Monica: And I think that’s what LTK did, right? They kind of grew with the creators and those top creators probably have the identity that they are equal parts to LTK because LTK wouldn’t be what it is without them, but they wouldn’t be what they are. Yup. 

[00:09:55] Michelle: And even like, I think that’s something that [00:10:00] is even potentially overlooked at times is, That really strong social media presence that makes it feel like you’re like, I have to be there and they do a very good job at that.

[00:10:15] Michelle: Um, and like conference coming up. Yup. 

[00:10:19] Monica: Yup. And making that exclusive. I think they only allow like 200 people. It’s like an invite only. Yup. And I think there’s something to that. It could easily make it so that you have to pay 200 to get a ticket and anyone can go. If they wanted to. you know? Right. There’s that.

[00:10:37] Monica: Like that’s the dream. That’s the goal. That’s a milestone 

[00:10:42] Michelle: piece to it. Yep. And well, that’s the thing is like so many of these new platforms like you don’t have that luxury. Like you see some, like, for example, Howl, right? Who’s just starting to post on Instagram and whatnot? And they’re like, sign [00:11:00] up to be a creator.

[00:11:01] Michelle: It’s like they have to take a completely different. Play at like how to break into things because they don’t have that luxury. Yeah, So it’ll be interesting to see like if a company can like really Like stand out and create that cohesive Experience that people really want to be because like right now it’s kind of like they’re pulling people in but like you want to get to the point where you have people like knocking down the door because they want to be in your program.

[00:11:37] Michelle: Exactly. 

[00:11:39] Monica: And it’s like such a balance too, because if you make it too exclusive, then you’re loose as a platform. You might be losing out on some really high-potential people who just haven’t made it yet. And then you’re also opening up the door for someone who during the pandemic when everyone thought that they [00:12:00] could be an influencer, like that was such a fascinating time.

[00:12:04] Monica: I am sure like all these companies saw the most massive spikes because. All of a sudden everyone’s home, like, of course, I can do this. 

[00:12:12] Michelle: Yeah. Yeah. Well, but even, like, kind of going back to, like, the industry at large, um, that this industry is, like, so big, that I think we might also be in a place next year where All these companies still exist and because there’s plenty to go around like this industry is not slowing down.

[00:12:42] Michelle: I actually one of the, um, something that I will never forget just with how. Um, right. Since like us being so involved in data and like seeing that some of the impact that this industry has [00:13:00] is really untraceable. There was one time that Cody Rigsby, he posted about those like sugar-free. Swedish fish knockoffs and I like saw his post and then later that day or maybe the next day I was in Target and they were like right next to the cash register and I was like, Oh my gosh, that’s what Cody Riggs be promoted or I’ll try it.

[00:13:28] Michelle: They were so bad. Like were they? Yeah. Yeah. I was like, Cody, you’ve let me down this. If you think about like even just where marketing dollars are going and how, uh, different, um, like forces influence your purchasing decisions. It’s not really that commercial on TV anymore. It’s. That person that like I follow and I like all of the advice that they give about X [00:14:00] subject.

[00:14:01] Monica: So on that note about commercials, I could be so off because I feel like the Amazon commercial I’m about to reference is probably for like Gen Z and I have no idea who this kid is, but there’s this commercial like you’re seeing on Hulu and it’s like this kid and he’s like vlogging and like, I get the vibes that he’s probably like some YouTuber or something.

[00:14:22] Monica: So, I think it’s interesting that like, Amazon’s probably using their influencer program to now do their actual advertisements rather than hiring an actor. And maybe it’s an actor, but I just get the, there’s just something that tells me that people know who this kid is. Just the way, like, it was very much about his personality and it seemed like there was an inside joke, so.

[00:14:46] Michelle: Yeah, that’s what the kids are into nowadays. 

[00:14:50] Monica: How wild is it that one in four Gen Zers, is that the term Gen Zers? One in four want to be creators. Yeah. Do you think [00:15:00] that’s, and I didn’t dive deeply into the source of this and like the full report on the survey. So I don’t know if that meant one in four want to be part time content creators, or they want to be full-time content creators.

[00:15:17] Monica: But could we be going into a place where everyone’s a content creator on some level and that’s just like part of what life is? 

[00:15:28] Michelle: Yeah, I mean, I even think that, like, you see, like, people that are not trying to be, like, Quote, unquote influencers or sell things or whatnot. And they have like all really nice curated feeds.

[00:15:42] Michelle: And it’s like kind of the, the best parts, um, of life. And I think that as we all just become more and more entrenched in technology and our phones, and like we use all these social media platforms, [00:16:00] it, I think that that is very real. Just the reality of what is going to happen. Yeah. Um, yeah, and it probably is a combination of full and part-time, but it’s kind of cool to think, like, if it is full-time, um, just like, what would that look like?

[00:16:23] Monica: But we need, like, doctors and lawyers and People doing other things. I 

[00:16:29] Michelle: mean, it could turn into a thing where, like, you literally Like, that’s just part of the gig, yeah. Yeah. 

[00:16:34] Monica: Like, it’s like Like, there are, like, there’s always been celebrity doctors. So, well, I 

[00:16:40] Michelle: mean, I follow, um, a dermatologist who’s, uh, uh, she has, I feel like over half a million now followers on Instagram and like, she’s a doctor, but then she also gives advice and is just like, like, okay, this is not, I know that everyone’s [00:17:00] talking about hyaluronic acid, but like, this is old news, like don’t let anyone fool you.

[00:17:06] Michelle: So it, I could see, I mean. Offering legal advice that way is a little risky. What? I mean, who knows? 

[00:17:17] Monica: I mean, there’s also like worse people, worse things people are doing. There was this whole thing of like TikTokers giving tax advice at one point and they were just like straight up giving advice for like the IRS to come after you.

[00:17:39] Michelle: Even if you think about it, when, when Wikipedia first started, right, everyone’s like, don’t use that. It’s unreliable. But now it has evolved into, I mean, I go there a ton if I’m like, okay, I just want to overview what’s going on. And it’s reliable. Yeah. So. 

[00:17:59] Monica: So. [00:18:00] Oh, one of my high school friends put on our high school Wikipedia that he won like state in every sport.

[00:18:06] Monica: I think that might still be up.

[00:18:13] Michelle: Well, I guess for, for easy to identify things. 

[00:18:19] Monica: I use that to look up celebrities and like who they’re married to. That’s like my most used Wikipedia 

[00:18:29] Michelle: scenario. Yeah, and they’re like, their careers versus personal 

[00:18:33] Monica: life. Exactly, that’s my favorite, yeah. 

[00:18:35] Michelle: And I also do like, um, looking up events ’cause they tend to break things up and it’s very easy to digest, but yeah, who knows?

[00:18:48] Michelle: Maybe TikTok is the future of all of that. Yeah. I mean, that’s what 

[00:18:54] Monica: YouTube, YouTube was supposed to be like YouTube university where you didn’t even have to go to college and [00:19:00] just learn everything you needed on YouTube. 

[00:19:04] Michelle: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:19:06] Monica: So here’s my million-dollar question. Yes, and I think that it’s a good way to establish episode one and where we’re going, but we’ve as we know that this industry is not going anywhere.

[00:19:24] Monica: It’s only going to exponentially grow, but is it going to exponentially grow when it comes to. Sponsored posts and flat fee opportunities or is out at some point Affiliate not going to be in the question or is it always going to be there? I think that’s where creators sometimes Don’t know where to spend their time because affiliate is so time-consuming it would be really nice to think Oh, I just have to book five Sponsor posts a month [00:20:00] and then I don’t even have to like bother But I think and you tell me if I’m wrong, I think affiliates always gonna have to be there for the data 

[00:20:10] Michelle: Yes, I think it’s kind of like I mean, if you, if you just think about it, like, what’s that expression?

[00:20:18] Michelle: Like pound to pound, like the sponsored stuff, right? You get a hundred percent margin. It’s like, you know, it’s coming in your pocket, but then, and with affiliate, you’re getting a fraction of a conversion. That you drove, but I think it’s kind of like, I’m trying to think of like a good analogy. It’s kind of like you practice a sport so that when the game comes like you do well, the affiliate piece with the data.

[00:20:57] Michelle: Is what kind of [00:21:00] proves that you can do it? And it’s like, it’s kind of like lead gen for yourself. So it’s, it’s like, yes, I know I can, you know, drive sales or I can generate a ton of awareness, but. Like, that’s not going to be the bulk unless you have just like these massive audiences or like you can sell a bunch of like 10, 000 purses like it’s going to be really hard to make all of your income that way, but it’s kind of like you need to because you need to do it so that you can show what’s possible in an objective way.

[00:21:41] Michelle: Yeah, 

[00:21:42] Monica: and I think it kind of recession-proofs your business in a way because we’re seeing that right now Brand budgets are tighter and they’re probably picking The creators. Well, they definitely are picking the creators [00:22:00] Who are already driving to that brand who don’t have to teach their audience about a new brand because it’s already working versus I feel like two years ago there were so many ad dollars to be spent.

[00:22:13] Monica: Brands were willing to take a risk on a creator who’s never shared that brand in their life and that they’re using it even for the first time. 

[00:22:22] Michelle: Yep. Well, I feel like this is a topic for another day too, but even with like, like, audience familiarity with a brand. It’s not even as simple as, Oh, okay.

[00:22:37] Michelle: Well, I know that my audience is used to seeing me post Nordstrom. It’s the fact that the audience and the people that buy things already have an account on that website. And they already like it, so they. Might have like a points program or whatever that they’re already plugged into and so it’s not even then it’s like [00:23:00] Oh, why would they post a sex link instead of?

[00:23:03] Michelle: Nordstrom, but like there’s kind of some of that more like technical like onboarding or familiarity or even just like in interest So that’s kind of when it does come to diversifying, which we are seeing a lot of right, but there is a risk of lowering your conversion because of some of those like more technical pieces.

[00:23:32] Michelle: So it’s just, I don’t know, it’s a push and pull, like what works, try new things, but like you also can’t forget about what gives you success. 

[00:23:44] Monica: We’re going to have to do a deep dive on that. Yeah. And, speaking of future episodes, I’m springing this on you, Michelle. I just had this. Lightbulb moment, but anyone [00:24:00] listening, if you have any questions about the influencer space, send them to us, whether it’s a DM on Instagram, that’s probably the easiest, honestly.

[00:24:11] Monica: Um, you can also email us at, uh, hello at inside the click. com, but send us your questions and why don’t we? Have like a Q&A section during our episodes and we answer Influencer questions, maybe we pick like two or three questions and Get those answered for y’all. 

[00:24:33] Michelle: Yeah, but no matter like we’ll also keep a Backlog of questions.

[00:24:39] Michelle: So the goal is to answer every one because I’m sure also I always say this I feel like but If you have a question, guarantee someone else has that question and they’re not asking it. 

[00:24:54] Monica: So there are no dumb questions, especially when it comes to this industry because the Wild West [00:25:00] and I promise you just ask the question.

[00:25:06] Monica: Just ask it. Yep. 

[00:25:09] Michelle: Love it. All 

[00:25:10] Monica: right. Cool. On that note, we did it. Episode one of Inside the Click. Done. Make sure, make sure you subscribe anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast, that way it’s automatically downloaded and you know you’re not going to miss out on the next episode. These are going to be weekly episodes, so keep an eye out for the next one where we’re going to.

[00:25:32] Monica: answer your questions. So make sure you send those in and our Instagram is at inside the click and we’re going to create a TikTok for y’all. How about this? 

[00:25:41] Michelle: Yes. Yes. We got to get with it. 

[00:25:44] Monica: Yes. All right. Have an awesome week and we will chat next week.

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Inside the Click cuts through the noise by giving you un-biased data driven insights into the creator economy. Weekly news and analysis on the creator economy are just a click away.

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