Dear influence.co Members,
A lot has been happening since the new year at influence.co.
While the influencer marketing industry continues to surge forward at an incredible pace, it also appears to be maturing just as quickly.
Influencer marketing companies are starting to realize it’s hard to do everything: recruit and keep influencers engaged, market and sell services, execute campaigns, build sophisticated software, and constantly expand their global footprints.
We are seeing new partnerships form to bridge these gaps, rollups and consolidation starting to happen, and even a few acquisitions here and there.
This is all good news for the industry as a whole and an indicator of a healthy ecosystem that’s moving from purely a land grab to one which is figuring out how to be really good at what it does and serve all of its customers the best ways possible.
Since day one of influence.co we have had a different vision than others in the space.
Being a creator or influencer is a visual medium.
Inspired by companies like Dribbble, LinkedIn, and even Model Mayhem (for those that remember that site) our goal has always been to provide a public space for everyone in the ecosystem to show off their amazing work.
While this was an obvious need for influencers we also wanted to highlight brands and agencies who were developing amazing campaigns, as well as photographers who were behind the lens, video content creators, and bloggers who weave text and visuals into unbelievable content.
By bringing everyone into a shared space to show off their work we believed we could help everyone find and engage with each other.
We’re proud that we’ve stayed true to this course.
As a company, we don’t sell or execute influencer marketing campaigns and we don’t make money off of collaborations we facilitate.
We do help lots of brands and agencies find influencers to work with and similarly we help influencers to find collaborations.
It’s pretty close to finding an amazing job or employee on LinkedIn or an amazing graphic designer on Dribbble.
For the most part everything on the site is still free.
We’re proud of this because we can help individuals and small agencies as well as large enterprise brands and powerhouse agencies too.
For our members that want a bit more, we offer PRO plans.
For brands and agencies that want to save countless hours finding great talent to work with, our PRO plans allow them to run campaigns to find that talent.
No percent of spend, no payment transaction fee – just a simple freemium model that starts by giving everyone data, discovery and access.
The great news is it’s working.
We’re quickly approaching 60K influencers on the platform and almost 2B total reach of their audiences.
I still remember sitting with my co-founders at our Coachella launch party marveling at the 15 influencers who signed up that day!
Our growth and number are accelerating every month.
You can see it by the fresh faces on the site, the steady stream of campaigns available to apply to, and some of the amazing partners we’ve started to work with.
The influence.co team is giddy every day at the number of contacts being made on the platform, how many influencers are added to lists, the number of searches made on the database and the applications from influencers to campaigns.
To further help our community succeed, we’ve been quietly releasing a stream of new features this year.
While we have a few major announcements coming soon about the platform, for the time being we wanted to make sure you knew about these new features and how you can use them to achieve your goals as an influencer, brand or agency.
Everyone will find something useful in this mix.
From advanced search tools, access to your social growth statistics, and the ability to promote and be inspired by great work our members are doing, we continue to try and take our own path through the landscape.
As always, we’d love to hear from everyone one of our members.
You can always write to our incredible support team at email@example.com if you have any questions, use our recently added live chat functionality on the site to talk to sales, or email me directly.
For now, check out these new features – we think you’ll love them. Ask all the questions your want. There is more to come!
UPGRADES TO OUR SEARCH TOOLS
We have introduced many new ways to search our members (not only influencers) including an incredibly powerful Advanced Search.
This should help you find some of the best influencers, brands, photographers, and agencies in our database a lot easier than before.
While we’ve allowed anyone to find influencers from day one we recently released the ability to search over 4000 brands who have built profiles on the platform.
Many have built amazing pages and use them as a way to engage interested influencers.
Just because a brand is not running a campaign at the current time, it doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to them to see if they’d be a good fit to work with.
We’ve seen many influencers have incredible luck proactively reaching out to brands and sending their influence.co profiles or media kits to them.
Take your influencer career in your own hands and go find some brands to collaborate with today!
Next to finding brands, our most requested search was to find bloggers.
For ages we’ve had lots of information about our members blogs in the system – it was just hard to search on.
You can now find member profiles who have added blog posts as featured content or connected Google Analytics to their account.
If you’re looking for longer form collaborations make sure to update your profile information to include this so you show up in blogger search.
Looking for your friends or someone you’ve worked with on influence.co?
Looking for a brand whose exact username you can’t remember?
Now you can do this with a simple username search built into the platform. Reminder – all our usernames are the same as Instagram.
With over 25 parameters to choose from, our Advanced Search lets you slice and dice our influencer database in an unprecedented way to find the influencers you’re looking for.
Need influencers who are 21-30, live in Spain, post on Instagram and Pinterest and have 50-75K followers.
No problem, Advanced Search has you covered.
Advanced Search will be available to all members for a limited time (before it becomes a PRO feature) so make sure you play with it to see how you appear in various search results.
We recently launched the ability to see both how many searches you have appeared in as well as how many profile views your profile has received.
We know that exposure is everything for getting collaborations so these stats are a simple way to understand how well you’re doing in the system and how changes you make to your profile will help increase the exposure you are getting.
We’ll be sharing some tips and tricks soon about how to increase exposure to your profile and rank higher in search results.
For now, simply make sure your profile is as complete as possible.
Our search results algorithms prioritize profile completeness over anything else (e.g. follower count) in terms of how you rank.
FOLLOWER GROWTH STATS
As soon as an member signs up we start tracking follower count growth on a daily basis.
Wonder how quickly you’re growing?
What about your friends or a brand you’re about to work with?
Instagram follower growth is available publicly on all profiles underneath social network stats.
Click through to get more detail. Here is mine: https://influence.co/nielr1/stats
While Instagram information is public to all, we also are tracking follower growth for each channel you have authorized on your influence.co profile.
This currently includes Pinterest, your Facebook Page, Twitter, and your blog via Google Analytics.
We are putting the finishing touches on this data and will be presenting it to you soon.
Channels other than Instagram will start off as private for your eyes only.
You will be able to pick and choose which ones you make public.
If you haven’t connected your other social networks yet, do that now so we can start tracking your growth.
You can add social networks from the Edit Profile page.
We want influence.co to become a go-to source to track your social media presence to this is one step in that direction.
We quietly launched our industry jobs board a couple of months ago and it has become one of the most active parts of our site.
You can find it here: https://influence.co/go/jobs
We list any type of job available in the influencer industry from internships to VPs of major companies.
Looking to go full-time as a specialist in the industry?
Have a browse!
If you work for a company that’s looking to hire you can have your job posting listed for free as well.
Just email the URL of the job listing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to our next update.
Lastly (and far from least), we are very proud to introduce Showcases.
Showcases is a critical component for us as a company fulfilling an internal vision we are calling “Inspired and Hired”.
For a long time we have believed the actual content that influencers make (and the work that goes into it) is highly under appreciated in the industry.
The press loves to focus on fake followers, missing ROI, and vanity metrics around follower counts and engagement rates but we all know the heart of being and amazing influencer or creator is incredible content.
Few people really understand the actual effort that goes into the final posts that everyone sees.
Our goal for 2018 is to not only be a place where influencers, creators, brands and agencies come to find collaborations, but to be a place where everyone can come to be inspired by others’ work and to applaud those who have inspired them.
To this end, we launched our first Showcases this week with an amazing set of influencers.
A Showcase is a simple way for an influencer to show off the technical and creative journey that went into the final photo they posted online.
This could be all the photographs that hit the cutting room floor, techniques and tools they used, or creative decisions they made along the way.
Accompanying each photo are notes from the influencer on these decisions and how it got them to the final product.
The idea is that everyone can view these Showcases, learn from the description of the process, applaud the work, and perhaps comment their support to the influencer.
We have similar plans to do allow brands to create Showcases of their final campaigns as the collection of work that went into them across influencers get lost a bit with the posts scattered across so many accounts.
Over time the idea is to allow every influencer to create their own Showcases and to bring influencer-created content to the forefront of our community and site.
If by the end of year half our site’s visitors are simply looking for great ideas for their next photo shoot and half are looking for their next collaboration partner, we’ll be very happy with that.
If you want to be involved in our beta version of Showcases please email email@example.com.
We are still looking to add more to our first batch.
You can see all the charter Showcases here: https://influence.co/go/showcases/
Please stop by and read about our influencers creative journeys and show them some comment love.
I know that’s a lot to consume so go have fun playing with the new features and don’t forget to give us feedback.
Could we present data better?
Do you want more control over what the public can see?
What other statistics do you want us to collect and share with you?
What else can we do to promote the hard work influencers, creators, brands and everyone in the industry does.
We want influence.co to be an incredible resource so please continue to give us feedback.
Niel and the influence.co Team