In our first book in the Over Coffee series, we wanted to explore the topic of ‘influencers’ and their impact on marketing and content strategy. Carlos and I (with our Venti cups of caffeine) sat down to assess the use of influence in traditional marketing and it’s evolution into the digital space. We wanted to examine the countless ways brands can use influencers to help their product and how making the wrong influencer selection can harm the overall message. We also wanted to define what makes an influencer and understand how and why influencers have influence.
From the people who think they can instantaneously become an influencer to the people who stumbled upon influencing millions by being themselves, we discuss the importance of authenticity in today’s culture and how to find your passion.
Grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let’s begin the conversation.
Carlos: There is a creative path to becoming an influencer. It starts by identifying what you’re passionate about. What do you care about? A lot of people think, “I'm going to go be an influencer in whatever I do for a living since that’s what I’m paid to do and what I’m qualified to talk about”, something like, “I'm just going to go be one of the best accountants of influence and people will listen to what I say.”
Dana: The best accountant…that’s funny. You know there’s an accountant podcaster?READ MORE
Carlos: You also can’t begin by looking at what other people are doing and where the gap is, the white space you’re going to fill. All of those traditional old-time marketing thought processes no longer apply in digital. This new world has a steep learning curve. Traditional marketing was incredibly effective in it’s day. Like we’ve said, it was used until it was abused and a new marketing model had to emerge. Remember the broadcasters of the 50’s and 60’s that would ask families to gather around the TV?
Dana: Yes, people like Walter Cronkite. He was very trustworthy and I remember my parents took his word as gospel. He was reporting on the state of America.
Carlos: Trustworthy. Magical word, trust. People trusted what newscasters like Walter Cronkite would say and they believed that what they were hearing was the voice of the Nation. Today many news organizations, desperately trying to stay relevant have developed into these unbelievable broadcasts that sometimes are screaming for credibility when they have rushed to air without the time for proper research. There’s doesn’t seem to be as much time put in for researching anymore. With cable scrambling for ratings, issues often get exploited. So many are jumping the gun to be first; they are not doing the level of reporting that was done back in the day when only a few were reporting.
There are millions of cases in the media now where people have lost their trust and confidence in the traditional delivery of the news. The base of any influence is trust. Trust is something that you build with your followers, you can’t force it for ratings and it takes time to develop.
Dana: It’s really come full circle – going back to finding those genuine and unique voices that we trust - those influencers that say what we believe. As an influencer, it’s about being who you are and trying to send followers the messages that you’re passionate about. People are smart; they can tell when you're not being honest.
Carlos: If people hear what you're saying, read what you're saying, see what you're doing on video, on YouTube or wherever, and you’re not ‘you’, you're not being authentic, the dishonesty comes through.
Dana: I think as humans we have an innate ability to smell a rat! Let me act as a person who wants to become an influencer: I've got this idea that I want to share with an audience and I'm not going to be concerned about who's going to pay attention to me, how do I determine which outlet I should use to start sharing content?
Carlos: You don't get to start there, Dana! You don't get to skip to the outlet part yet. Where are we supposed to start?
Dana: Oh yeah, passion…COLLAPSE
Amazon Customer on Amazon.com wrote:
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversational and breezy, September 29, 2016
In a Q & A format, this book explains how marketing has changed. It gives an easy to understand overview of how to approach social media to find the right audience. It also clearly discusses how each platform requires a tailored approach. A lot of information laid out in a friendly fashion.
Pal Paula on Amazon.com wrote:
5.0 out of 5 stars Chock-full of relevant and interesting information put forth in an accessible way!!!, September 12, 2016
What a pleasure to have been exposed to this little book-such a great read about timely topics that all of us need to learn about. A fun, informative read that i can't wait to tell friends about.
5.0 out of 5 stars INFLUENCE SURPRISED ME..., September 26, 2016
Interesting read..SUPER INFORMATIVE!!
Working for many years as executives in the corporate environment, both Carlos Sapene and Dana Arnett found business was becoming more about delivery as fast as possible for the most amount of money (Carlos) and as fast as possible for the least amount of money (Dana), and somewhere along the way loyalty stopped being valued. While freelancing, they worked on a TV rebrand together and found they respected the same things – innovation and integrity – and the desire to develop long term relationships with both their team members and clients. Out of that they created Wicked Bionic, a full service Digital Agency, where they take their clients successes to heart and get to innovate on their behalf. The huge desire to create successful digital experiences and go beyond what’s expected is at the heart of Wicked Bionic where it’s not about striving to be good, it’s about striving to amaze!
Carlos has built a career helping some of the most recognizable brands in the entertainment, fashion and music industries learn, understand and grow their audiences using the Internet like E!, Style Network, Bravo.
A long career in television and entertainment culminated in working as a VP in charge of Post Production at a Top 5 reality television company for over a decade, launching such shows as The Biggest Loser, Bar Rescue, Extreme Makeover Weightloss and many others. By providing oversight and guidance to hundreds of post production teams, over 400 series and pilots on multiple platforms were delivered to broadcast television and cable networks.