Six influencers on a Zoom panel

AUTHENTIC Influencer Panel: Influencers Talk Long-Term Partnerships, Ideal Brand Deals, and More at AUTHENTIC 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An influencer panel, including Carissa Stanton (@broccyourbody), Ron Boss Everline (@justtrain), Rachel McClusky (@rachelrecharged), and Jordan Friendly (@dancing.for.donuts), came together to answer questions from moderator Devon Lévesque (@devonlevesque) at GRIN’s first-ever conference, AUTHENTIC: Marketing in the Creator Economy

In front of an audience of over 600 marketers and creators, the group discussed topics ranging from how much time they spend making content to whether they consider themselves to be creators, entrepreneurs, or something else entirely. 

“I would say it feels like a part-time job, right?” said McClusky in response to Lévesque asking her how much time she spends creating content each week. “It’s like, it can be anywhere from 10 hours to 30 hours. I think it just depends on the week and what’s coming and what I want to share.” 

Then, Lévesque gave the marketers in the audience what they really wanted when he asked the panel what they look for in a brand deal. 

“When I first start working with a brand, obviously like, the first question I ask myself is, ‘Do I like the product?’” Stanton said. “And, kind of like, my rule of thumb is—I know we get a lot of stuff for free—but I’m like, ‘Would I spend my own money on this? When I run out, am I going to, like, whip out my credit card and purchase it myself?’ And if that’s a no, then I don’t work with the brand, even if I like the product.”

Influencer panel on partnering with brands

From there, the group discussed some things to look for when partnering with brands, providing the audience with insights into how to connect and interact with creators they’re looking to work with.

“A lot of brands, I feel like, have these unrealistic expectations on how long things take to get done,” Friendly said. “So the right ones understand that it may need a little bit more time … We have to, you know, try it, shoot the content, edit it, all those things. So, allowing ample time for that.” 

Everline then chimed in with his thoughts on the topic. 

“I think brands, when they reach out to creators, they have to be able to trust that the way they built the audience is so authentic to them,” Everline said. “And if you’re coming to them, let them use their voice to reach their audience, right? You’ve got to trust the creator to be who they are.”

And when the panel turned to asking Lévesque questions, he was quick to share his thoughts. 

“And like the big brands in the world, right, you’re naturally wearing this stuff or using the stuff,” said Lévesque when asked if he’s ever tagged a brand in a post to get their attention. “[So tagging them is] like, ‘Guys, I can provide value in such an authentic way. Let’s work together.’” 

Over the 30-minute session, the panel answered many questions and provided insights to marketers on how to build strong and authentic connections with creators. The resounding message they agreed upon was that trust and authenticity between the brand and the creator and between the creator and their audience are so essential. 

“We also have to build brand trust with the product that you’re giving us,” Everline said. “So give us time to go out there authentically with our voice to build that trust with the audiences that obviously already trust us.” I am running a few minutes late; my previous meeting is running over.

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