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Janet Thaeler & Maryanne Conlin on Influencer Marketing

holding out your hands

Yesterday I had a lovely chat with two fellow influencer marketers, Maryanne Conlin and Janet Thaeler. Both conversations were quite different but both really reassured me that my practice at Gerr.is and the articles that I am writing for you here are on target.

Influencers Are Shifting from Blogs to Social Media

Maryanne Conlin
Maryanne Conlin

Maryanne asked me, during our call, whether I have experienced Social Media Flight — the rush from blogs to social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Medium, Tumblr, and even Vine and Periscope in lieu of their first homes, blogs.  Indeed!

While I still reach out to my influencers through their blogs, all the analytics I have done lately have proven that the majority of bloggers out there are not influencers because they blog, they’re influencers because they have tens of thousands if not millions of friends, fans, pins, and like across all their other social media channels — they only use their blogs as media hubs, where they can collect all their videos, projects, contact info, and successes into one convenient and well-branded place, almost like new media news clippings, like a resume of bona fides.

While the traffic to their blogs may be only 500-2,000 visitors-a-month, their true fame burns bright on YouTube or Facebook. Ethan Newberry personifies this in his alter ego, the Ginger Runner.  He had a central website, of course, but it’s only a hub for his massively successful YouTube channel, his Twitter following, his Facebook posse, and his fans on Insta!  I am not just a pandering shill, I am a fan — ask him yourself!

Just Say No to Prospects with Crappy Products

Janet Thaeler
Janet Thaeler

After just a call, I’m professionally in love with Janet Thaeler. We spent almost an hour comparing notes on much heart we put into campaigns that would never work because they couldn’t. While we worked even harder on these clients than we even did on home-runs like Mizuno Running, Kimberly-Clark Healthcare, and Skinny and Company, we couldn’t make anything happen.

We tortured ourselves and we walked away from money and we even went to court over clients we took with products and services that just wouldn’t fly via earned media influencer marketing.  They were Spruce Geese! And we beat ourselves up until we realized that the client/vendor relationship is a two-way street: while clients get to choose whether they engage us, we also get to decide if their product, announcement, news, etc, are exciting, trendy, appealing, generous, or timely enough to take the blogosphere and social media sphere by storm.

Well, that’s on us.

If we take the gig knowing that the campaign might come up empty, even if we state that very clearly in the contract, it doesn’t matter, the client will freak out. So, it’s up to us to either say no, clearly; or, to come back and suggest that while that campaign will not work with earned media, you can pay to play so if you have the discretionary budget to pay to have people review your iOS App or your commencement speech — no matter what you have to get out there into the social mediasphere, you can do it with a compelling enough check — even you SEO bottom-feeders!

It was so nice to speak to Janet because until now I thought it was me but it wasn’t, it was them not me, but it was me because I shouldn’t have tried in the first place; or, I should have given better counsel.

People Buy You Not the Widget

Gumby

PR pitching is just like selling: people are investing in the narrative, the story, the personality, the charm, the attention. It’s a seduction, it’s a love affair. Even when winning friends and clients, the rules of love still apply, to paraphrase Tommy Dewey playing Alex Cole on the dark and stormy Hulu series Casual.  And, once you’ve won them over, remember, whether a client, a friend, or an online influencer, you should always treat them like your BFF.

And while How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is arguably the most successful book ever printed on the art of connecting, some people are skeptical as to how authentic his strategems are; however, that’s not the point. When I went to high school dances I used to carry a little rubber Gumby doll in my shirt’s chest pocket.

I was a shy boy and used the little rubber bendy green doll to get girls to start conversations with me. If you don’t develop the right angle of attack, if you can’t fine a compelling, charming, attractive, or even amusing way through the front door, you’ll never have the opportunity to prove that you are, in fact, a beautiful child of God, too, and not just a spammy shilling sleazeball.

Become a Influencer to Reach Fellow Influencers

Chris Abraham
Chris Abraham

So, before I was an influencer marketer, I was an influencer. Even now, I sort of am. I have a Klout of 79, I have 50.4k followers on Twitter, 5,000 friends on Facebook, 7,000 connections on LinkedIn, 3,500 subscribers on YouTube, 2,000 followers on Pinterest, 1,000 followers on Vine, 7,600 followers on Medium.com, and over 7,500 on Instagram.

I used to have a following on ChrisAbraham.com and on MarketingConversation.com but now all my blogging’s on this blog, Biznology, and on Socialmedia.biz. That said, Janet, Maryanne, and I agree: the sky is much bluer if you’re currently or have ever been an influencer yourself.

For two reasons: 1) you can relate to how shitty being blogger can be, especially based on how crappy a lot of pitchers, brands, and marketers are on a day-to-day basis, especially in your INBOX. 2) you can always lead that you’re a fellow blogger and include all of your mad social media and blog bonafides in your pitch.

And, if you’re like me and pitch long-tail, from the A-list all the way down to the Z, you’ll often find yourself of a quite higher caste then they are, which can impress them and aid to the appeal of working with you: you might very well be able to mentor them yourself, mention them across your network, etc.

Becoming an influencer ourselves is the best thing that we all have ever done.

Part Two in Two Weeks

I have run our of words but will continue in two weeks on these topics:

  • Influencers Equate Getting Paid with Having Influence
  • More Influencers are Becoming Partners, Affiliates and Profit-Sharing
  • Top YouTubers are Proper Celebrities
  • Influencers Respond to Recognition and Respect
  • Marketers Will Get What They Put Out There
  • It’s Worth Getting to Know Folks

Exciting, right? I was going to write to all of these points today but I looked at the time and how many words I wrote and hit the brakes. Next week I will be reviewing Blog2Social, an amazing WordPress plugin you should check out. What it does is simple but so essential for content marketers like me who tend to end up being a one-man band:

Blog2Social publishes blog articles directly from the dashboard or the editor surface of an article to multiple social media networks. The postings can be customized individually for each network. A preview pane allows users to optimize their postings for various networks with individual comments, #hashtags, tags, keywords or @handles – in one single step.

Blog2Social connects to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Xing, Tumblr, Storify, Pinterest, Flickr and Diigo. Blog2Social also posts to Facebook pages, Google+ pages and communities, LinkedIn pages and groups.

Blog2Social allows users to select images from the article gallery for the posting. Published social media postings can be tracked per link. Blog2Social also allows users to schedule their postings for any time and will send them out individually and automatically.

Blog2Social makes social media management for blog posts easier and more effective. Blog2Social makes the submission process quick and easy and at the same time allows users to customize and optimize posts for each network.

Pretty sweet!  Stay tuned!  I have installed it on my rnnr.us blog and will give you a full report next Tuesday!

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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Discussion

  1. Avatar Janet

    Chris,
    It was my pleasure to talk shop with you. Now I just want to know how you’re ranking so high for my name! Spill your secrets (blog about it!). the sky is much bluer if you’re currently or have ever been an influencer yourself.

    People definitely hire us for our savviness knowing how to work with influencers – because we are influencers too. It’s our world. I’ve started to ask other bloggers for their opinions before accepting some new clients – just to check. Sometimes they have a lot better ideas than I do and my events and launches have been better for asking. A lot of clients don’t understand what to ask or have anyone to ask. Or, they have no idea what motivates bloggers (it’s not always money). I help with that.

    Look forward to future posts and collaboration.

    Blog on
    Janet

    1. Chris Abraham Chris Abraham

      To be honest, chrisabraham.com has been alive since 1999 and there are thousands of links to it even now. And I feel like Google loves prioritizing quirky little CMSes like Plone or Drupal instead of Blogger or even WordPress. Who knows. I also feel like bloggers spend too much time hiding their names instead of controlling and owning them. There are so many paragraphs in all your sites that do not have your first and last name as page title, page description, meta tags, and in the copy. It comes down to literal mentions. I will write about it tomorrow!

  2. Avatar Janet

    Good point. We’re not self promoting to help Google find/like us. Looking forward to the post!

    1. Chris Abraham Chris Abraham

      Well, I didn’t do it this time but maybe this coming Tuesday or next Tuesday. I need to think about it because it honestly won’t have any basis on data or numbers of facts, only conjecture and experience.

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