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SCAMfluencers – the importance of ethics as you grow your influence

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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Welcome back to our weekly deep-dive on the Creator Economy.

This week we discuss the scams that unfortunately happen in Influencer marketing. It’s so important as you grow as a Creator that you stay true to yourself and your audience, and that you don’t fall into any traps as you find resources to grow your business

Below is what we discuss:

  • The line between good marketing and false marketing for your business
  • Why emotionally connecting with your target sells, and may take longer if you do so legitimately
  • The importance of multiple income streams in your Creator business
  • Finding legitimate resources to help grow your Influencer earnings (like Mind Your Business, created by Nitsan Raiter Fluxgold)

Let’s Connect!


The Transcript

Michelle: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome back to inside the click your creator economy podcast. I’m Michelle. I’m Monica.

And today how should we break down what we’re talking about today? We,

Monica: We’re trying to talk about influencer scams.

Michelle: We’re trying to dispel some at times negative perception in the industry when it comes to.

Like the validity and how ethical what people are promoting is. And we also talk about how you can actually learn from it and do it in a genuine way, but then also make sure that you stay on that genuine path

Monica: and how to spot. A not so credible source.

Michelle: Yes. For when you’re, for when you’re [00:01:00] trying to grow yourself too, right?

Monica: You should always be, no matter how successful you are, I think there is always a growth opportunity to learn from someone else. It’s you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room in order to evolve. So there’s good stuff in here.

Michelle: Yeah. So let’s jump in.

So how do we like kick this conversation off?

It’s like part of any creator or influencer growing their brand is being able to effectively market themselves

because that’s the thing is. A lot of the time, people really just try to nurture the community that they already have, but there’s going [00:02:00] to be natural attrition. I like what you talked about where like people might change their life stage and Like their audience is just not there yet.

Or maybe their audience is like changing and That person is still like partying it up in New York and they’re like, I don’t need to see this. So that’s where marketing does become very important for any creator influencer.

So you’re constantly feeding that pipeline, but then there’s some people that are very good at marketing. And it becomes like that is the main thing and then what they have to offer is actually not of value. And that can be where this industry gets a very bad.

Monica: Yeah, so like [00:03:00] in Texas, there was that fitness creator, her first name’s Brittany, I can’t remember her last name, but basically the attorney general’s office in Texas sued her because she was promising people customized fitness plans.

And on top of that, she was targeting people, with eating disorders and. It became very obvious that she started to gain followers, was like I’m gonna make money, and then everything became about making money and not about it. being someone with a platform to provide value to the people that are following you.

And I feel like it’s so dangerous to call that group of people influencers, but I think the media doesn’t know what else to call them either. So they’re just like influencer scamming people with. [00:04:00] Fake fitness plans or whatever and those actions give the industry such a bad name but there’s just so many people who Really do think this is a platform that I can quit my job make lots of money fast what’s the fastest way to do that and Completely bypassing the whole actual influencer part of it.

Michelle: I can see nine times out of ten Those situations start from a very genuine place. Yeah, I would say, right? It’s okay, I’m going to set out. I’m going to try to help people, but going back to, I think we talked about this in the holiday prep part two episode, going back to this job, it is hard.

So it’s not like you [00:05:00] can just. Jump in and start making 5, 000 a day. That is, you need to really be priming your audience. Like you have to put a lot of face time in, right? They’re connecting with you. And that does take a lot of work. We talk a lot about wanting to make sure that you’re enjoying the content that you’re creating and it’s fun and you don’t have too many of these like obligation type things because then that’s also going to be a major drag.

Monica: And with this fitness instructor or influencer case. Maybe the intention was to give everyone, those custom plans and she just got overwhelmed and then just didn’t , there’s so many things that really could have happened to lead up to that. But at the end of the day she didn’t provide the service that people paid her for and she didn’t pay them back.

And her [00:06:00] marketing was a little predatory, but yeah, I feel like the key to longevity in this is to stay true to Why you originally started it and not get so caught up in the how am I gonna make? 10, 000 a month.

I feel like I see that everywhere. It’s ten thousand dollars a month ten thousand dollars a month And it’s like it’s the coaching world has created this fake milestone where you have to make ten thousand dollars a month to be An entrepreneur.

Michelle: It’s the same thing as 10, 000 steps a day.

Monica: Yes, exactly. Exactly why it’s an easy number that feels like a stretch, but then you hear people doing it. So you’re like, okay, that’s my goal.

Michelle: But that’s, so that’s, what’s interesting. And these things all kind of connect, right?

Because legitimate [00:07:00] influencers and content creators. You do need to be able to do some sort of marketing you need to grow, right? So you have to take advantage of like those channels and different tools that are out there you also need to understand who you’re targeting and actually Monica and I are having this conversation right now with our podcast.

Who are we speaking to? Who do we want to be helping? That’s only going to make your content stronger. If you know who you’re trying to connect with, who you’re trying to help, what their problems are, right? Cause you’ve defined that.

It’s like those two principles have a line in them and in one way It’s like the ethical way and you’re building your legitimate business and all of that.[00:08:00]

And then the other way is where the icky stuff happens and that’s that. Girl Britney or whoever that influencer is. It’s, I don’t want to sound like too like bold, but like preying on people that are vulnerable, like that is a very vulnerable audience. Yeah. And actually I see a lot of MLMs doing the same thing, right?

Like where it’s the supplements and it’s Oh, I feel amazing. And then they’re targeting people that experience different things like recovering addicts. And yes, like people always want to be like feeling better, especially if you have gone through that, but you’re targeting them with things that you either know you’re not [00:09:00] providing or, are not genuinely working.

Or, in some cases, you’re choosing to be ignorant if you don’t know, but yeah.

Monica: Speaking of MLMs and influencers, there’s an MLM, it’s a hair one. It starts with an M. Monét, Monat, I don’t know how you say it. But they now call their reps or whatever they are, influencers. So I have seen, there’s one girl in particular who I’ve seen who is like highest level there.

She calls herself an influencer and she has courses on how to become an influencer. And the course is basically how to. Become part of her MLM team and I’m like, oh my gosh, this like absolutely drives me insane [00:10:00] because it’s taking someone who maybe generally wants to be like a travel blogger and then basically be like, the only way you are going to achieve your dream is by joining this MLM and paying 200.

Buy whatever and then sell it to your friends and family who are gonna be like you’re really annoying I guess is it people just think having social media followers equals Influencer? I guess so. And so then, to that point, then it’s like you have all these people on Instagram who are quote unquote social media experts or whatever and the only content that they’ve ever shared is like Maybe three outfit photos, and then everything else is how to grow followers, [00:11:00] how to be an influencer, how to do all these things, and it’s have you even pitched to a brand before ever?

Because… They’ll say I make 5, 000 a month and it’s like they’ve only ever sold a course on how to be an Influencer and it’s like you’re bringing people in and you’re skipping so many steps Because you have a social following that you’ve been able to grow does not mean It doesn’t I don’t want to say it doesn’t mean anything, but it doesn’t mean what?

It does to the people that you’re trying to get to buy from you.

Michelle: It’s the emotional of course, everyone wants to set off. And within your first two weeks, you’re making like 5, 000, right? Great.

Even though that is very not genuine, and that’s partially why those people do very [00:12:00] well is because everyone wants that.

So if you think about legitimate influencers and content creators and people that are actually. Like doing this as a craft and like really trying to relate to people and show, here’s how I use these things, all of that. You can still learn from that. Because it’s like those like quote coaches that bring in, I think a ton of money it’s partially because they are marketing themselves in a way.

That is very emotionally appealing to people, right? Like it’s just give me 1, 000 and then you’re going to make 50 in your first six months. So it seems like nothing.

Now you’re obviously not going be like, Oh, buy this thing. And it’s going to make you money .

Like you’re not going to do that, [00:13:00] but it. It is something where you don’t just want to be like link, here’s the product link. Here’s the product, right? You’re taking your audience on a journey with you and they’re becoming emotionally invested. And yes, it takes a lot more lead up time than. Like just, Oh, you can make 5, 000 sign up, but it still is like keying on that emotional side of the brain.

And it’s going to make you more successful. It just takes a little bit.

Monica: And then this also isn’t to say that like someone who is selling how to be an influencer, how to grow your social. It’s not valid. Like I love when I see creators who are very established in the industry, release something like that because they have been through it.

They’ve been through the whole journey. Their friends are all in this world. That’s who I want to hear from when [00:14:00] it comes to. Learning and growing and mentorship. There’s one creator that I follow her name’s Nitsan, but she created a membership called mind your business and she’s going to, yeah.

And she’s been a creator for a decade and she’s. Her content has always been, like, very, it’s personable where you understand who she is, but it’s also marketable to where she gets really good brand collabs, and has had lines with brands and things like that. And she created this membership that’s, I think 20 a month, if that.

Very low price. And she gets on two calls a month. You can ask her literally anything. She brings in expert speakers from her world. So like people who are very established in the industry and beyond that in the business [00:15:00] space. So you have that and then you have people who woke up one day and are like, I think I can teach people how to get followers and they’re charging 2, 000.

Yeah. And it’s I don’t know. I just get so. Frustrated because more people are seeing their stuff and buying that than Nitsan’s 20 a month membership, who is so genuine in what she’s doing and has done it. And that’s why she’s able to do it well. But, if you’re starting from scratch in the industry, you, how would you know?

What to choose. I don’t know.

Michelle: And a lot of those like super buzzy offerings, or I guess like the super buzzy marketing for the quote unquote offerings. Those are [00:16:00] the things that do get clicks. So this is where it’s like the algorithm can hurt things in that way. because it’s very appealing, right?

Some of the messaging from that side. But I do think if you’re at the point where you want to take it to the next level, it goes back to the planning thing. You have to always be planning ABP always Planning where it’s like, how are you going to be connecting with your audience and That is going to make them more likely to share your stuff with their friends.

To even want to buy it? Because you’re able to connect with them on a deeper level and then also That makes it [00:17:00] that makes me feel like so good that she’s doing it. She’s charging people like a very reasonable price She could probably charge more right but like maybe for sure She probably wants to like make it more accessible and she’s doing it like genuinely because She likes it as a

Monica: and she has multiple incomes, income streams. And that’s the difference. Like when you see these programs are like 2, 000, that’s their only income stream, most likely. So they do have to price it there to make it. Makes sense, but I think to future proof your business as a creator You have to have multiple income streams

Michelle: you have to have multiple income streams and like really understand the purpose of each stream

Monica: And I think that’ll keep you on track with your values Yes. And not lose sight [00:18:00] because your rent is due.

Michelle: That’s the big crux of the issue where, yes, you’re always going to have people that just want to get rich quick. That’s been a thing. Correct. It’s to Barnes and Noble and there’s a million books from 60s on that.

Yes. And that’s, it’s going to evolve. This is how it is evolving. So there will always be that piece, but I think that if you can really identify. Here’s my engine that’s running for me, whether it’s like going into the LTK app and right, you have like your rediscoverable content or even really making sure that you optimize your SEO on your blog.

I forget there’s one influencer that I know. [00:19:00] Has optimized her SEO for her blog for a really niche thing And it’s one day in the year. She has a ton of traffic It’s a ton of sales and yeah, she doesn’t have to do anything for that. It’s because she’s put the work in Ahead of time. And that is something that is consistent.

So once you have those types of things, then you can start to explore what can some other ways that I monetize be and try things out and not be afraid or even so desperate. Yeah, you’re like this cannot fail because that’s how you start to go off the path and get into just that like questionable space.

Monica: I also don’t want, I feel like someone might hear what I just said and be like, they should be able to charge like [00:20:00] their value, like there’s the whole thing about you could charge 10, 000 if you wanted to. Know your worth. I’m not saying that every single person who has a social media course.

Should not like there are some that probably are worth 2, 000 because maybe you get like really intense membership or whatever it is, but there are people who are literally just like slapping on like 10 page ebook and making it 400 that’s the space that I’m talking about where it’s like truly not an expert and they’ve only grown because they’re saying They’re an expert, but they’re quote unquote, like becoming that as they’re promoting themselves.

Yes. People who have been in the industry, worked in [00:21:00] advertising and then branched out on their own. It’s two different, two different things here.

Michelle: And that’s also so important, even for creators, as they’re trying to figure out new resources to use, because you also don’t want to fall into that trap yes, You, you don’t want to be the one that’s like perpetuating that, but then you also don’t want to fall into like essentially being conned in some ways, right?

Where you’re taking your hard earned money and then you’re not getting value that you need from it. So doing your research and we should link that creator that with the membership because You’ll be able to see by her page even, and It becomes very apparent when you look at the background of these people, like it’s not just like they’ve been doing it for six months, and [00:22:00] then they’re like, I’m gonna now sell you a course.

I’m so successful.

Monica: Exactly. I had a course on starting a blog and I created that course five and a half years into having a blog. I didn’t make the course while starting a blog. Yeah. There’s such a difference. Yes.

Michelle: And with us we work in this space. Yeah. We have seen it in depth.

You’ve been in this space for 10 plus years. I’ve been in like social media, like marketing for 10 plus years and now this space very heavily.

All right. Thank you everyone we’re trying to increase our ratings so please rate and also put a comment That really helps especially with discovery we’ve been taking a look at our analytics, so we’re [00:23:00] trying to figure out like We’re at a pretty good spot now, and we want to try to figure out, talking about getting to the next level.

So please that would be really helpful. Share with people, subscribe to our sub stack, which gets a decent amount of traffic. We try to not put like more than three links in a really brief summary, so it’s nothing super crazy. But yeah, all right. Thanks all! Bye!

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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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