Episode #61: Influencers: The Real Real

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Influencers: The Real Real

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about what is an influencer. We’ll finish up with a weekly actionable tip!


Diane Sanfilippo: But I do really want to encourage people to not solely rely on social media. I think that there is a lot to be said for digging in and creating some kind of content or some kind of connection with people that goes beyond what’s on social media. I also feel very strongly that you don’t own what’s happening on social media, and you don’t know that there could be a day that that all goes away.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about what is an influencer.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [1:04]
  2. Shop Talk: Being an influencer versus one who has influence [28:23]
  3. Tip of The Week: Gut check [1:07:36]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:04]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, give us some updates.

Cassy Joy: Oh, my goodness. Hang on.

Diane Sanfilippo: From the prairie! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: From the prairie. Y’all.

Diane Sanfilippo: Tell them why I said that, though.

Cassy Joy: I am sitting here wearing a blue gingham shirt, and then. So, I put this outfit together in pieces. I was like; oh, yeah. A blue gingham shirt; feeling it. Oh yeah, blue jeans. Feeling it. Oh, maybe I’ll even put on my little farm booties. And then, I thought; this black hat looks nice. It’s very cowboy-like. Put that on; and then when I got to the office, I put in my pigtails, and then I looked at myself in the mirror. And I look like; I look like Little House on the Prairie. I would fit right in.

Diane Sanfilippo: Actually; you have braids, actually. Now that I’m thinking about it, you kind of have a Dorothy vibe going in.

Cassy Joy: Dorothy!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m into it. I think this is cute.

Cassy Joy: You do?

Diane Sanfilippo: {gasp} That would be a really good Halloween costume, like for your family. Because you’re eventually going to have a lot of nuggets, probably, to fill out the characters.

Cassy Joy: Oh yeah. Bring it on. I love that! That’d be so fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’re giving off the Dorothy vibe right now. It’s good. I like it.

Cassy Joy: That’s very exciting. Grayson, we were thinking Halloween. Which is, of course, going to look very different. But she’s so little, she’s not going to know.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I’m always waiting for her to show me some kind of sign of what she wants to be. And last year, she was very into the lion goes “Rawr” so she was a little lion. And the other day {laughs} she was; so you know the song baby shark goes, do-do-do-do. Everybody knows that song.

Diane Sanfilippo: All the moms are getting so annoyed right now.

Cassy Joy: I know. They’re like, triggered.

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t start!

Cassy Joy: {laughing} She made up this song. She goes, crab shark. Did I already tell you this? I’m having dejavu. We have a round coffee table, circular coffee table, and I walked into the living room. Her walking around this coffee table with her little hands up pretending to be a crab, and goes baby crab, do-do-do-do-do-do! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Awww!

Cassy Joy: I was like; you want to be a crab for Halloween? You bet. We’ll be a sea creatures. Anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aww! I love it.

Cassy Joy: There’s that. That’s an unplanned update. I was going to give y’all an update on the house. I don’t know if anybody cares.

Diane Sanfilippo: We all care.

Cassy Joy: Do you care? Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: I never know. I care immensely, and sometimes I can project that. {laughing} So, Austin and I are building our; what is essentially going to be our dream home, forever home. And y’all, this has been a process. I’m going to try to tell you the short version. What’s happened was; we fell in love with some lots. A lot, in particular. We’re only getting one. Because of the neighborhood is in my parent’s neighborhood. We just love this part of town. It’s going to be very, very close to the office. And we have one option with the builder. Ok, because the builder owns the lot. So, this builder, exploring options with them, we found out that we could probably save a bucket of money if we went with one of their production homes. Which essentially means you choose a house essentially out of one of their booklets, and then they go and they build that. Because they’re already used to building it. You just save so much on the design and all of these things.

But, I didn’t love; classic. I wasn’t obsessed with this production house, and it would have been a deal breaker for me. Because I don’t want to spend all this money on a house that we’re going to be in forever if I’m not just totally in love with it. So it turns out, though, that they can make a bunch of changes to the production homes, as long as you don’t move the rooflines, or the footprints of the house. So that gave us some flexibility.

So we brought in a design firm, Well Dressed Home. This is not an add. I’m paying them money. You know, to kind of help consult us on this, because we’ve never built a house before. And early on in the process we just didn’t know what we didn’t know. And they were very helpful. Helped us reconfigure this whole thing.

We kept; all of this is an annoyance. This ends in a very annoying circumstance. We kept our builder up to speed on all of these changes at every step of the way. Diane, we turn this perfect; I’s are dotted, T’s are crossed, plan into the builder. And the person who we’ve been interacting with then submits it to the rest of his company. A couple of weeks go by, and he comes back and says; oh, you know what. You actually want to make so many changes that we’re going to have to move you over to this custom build process. Surprise!

He was like; this is just too many changes. And I’m just so; I mean, what a privilege to be even in this process. I do see that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, but. Once again, information that would have been helpful yesterday.

Cassy Joy: Would have been helpful; yes, before we sunk all of this professional advice money into this situation. It’s not that simple. And a custom build process is more money! You know, of course there’s an upcharge. I told Austin; I was like, is this just a pain in the butt surcharge? Is that what this is? Because that’s what it feels like. Because we’re asking a lot of questions and being very particular along the way.

So anyway. That’s where we’re at. So we’re back to the drawing board.

Diane Sanfilippo: Literally.

Cassy Joy: Literally! Literally.

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw you drawing, yeah.

Cassy Joy: Yes, drawing on the board. The builder’s intention, then, was to just take this plan that we had kind of constructed from what they had. He’s like; so, we’ll just go ahead and submit this to the architects. And Austin and I are like; oh, no, no, no.

Diane Sanfilippo: If this is going to be custom, then I’m not following all of those other restrictions.

Cassy Joy: 100%. If now we’re going to pursue the custom process, and pay more for that custom process, you better bet that we’re going to actually customize the house now. Which is actually really nice.

So all this, to tie it with a bow, this morning I actually had really good feelings about it. And I just really believe that this process was supposed to go this way. It never; this whole trying to rework their plan into something that works for our family. Even though it made sense on paper and I felt good about it, and we spent a lot of time thinking; something was off. In my gut. Something just didn’t sit right. But it wasn’t enough for me to say; no, let’s not move forward.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: And now, even though we don’t even have plans. Just the ability to dream through some of these things. I was like; oh my goodness! This is how it was supposed to go! Why do these big decisions tend to have to run into; like I have to run into dead ends, I feel like, every time I do something big like this. I have to figure out all the ways not to pursue before I find the one that I feel totally confident in. So that’s where we’re at. I’m actually; after all that anguish and frustration, and we were ready to walk away because we felt very mistreated through that process. And I didn’t know how much to trust this group we were working with. After all of that, I finally feel actually really good about it. So there’s that.

And then the only other update I have for you today is; so we submitted the manuscript for the book, and the photos. It’s such a; here you go. And then you just lose tough, and you don’t know what they’re going to come back with.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Because with Cook Once, Eat All Week, I essentially rewrote it four to five times. I can’t even remember. I lost track. It was such a mess to edit that book because the concept was so different.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Cassy Joy: Do you remember that? It was such a painful process.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do. I mean, any book that sort of breaks a mold of what a publisher is used to traditionally is going to kind of be that way. I mean, I did not do that in the way that you did with my first book, but in a way, it was very untraditional, my first book. And I remember like; ok. We’re in this whole process. Literally; you know, we felt like we were in the trenches, you know. And it was painful.

Cassy Joy: It can be so, so painful. Especially when; it is. You’re just trying to, it’s like molding pottery. Now you have another set of hands on it, and you’re trying to get to a point that makes sense for both of you. And just a lot of reworking. And with Cook Once, Eat All Week, it was just taking the clay off altogether and just putting a new blob on. And we did four to five times. And it was just; what we wound up with…

Diane Sanfilippo: I like that analogy.

Cassy Joy: Right? What we wound up with at the fourth or fifth time, whatever it was, almost was identical to what we had initially turned I, but again, it was like the building process. We had to meet all these dead ends before we understood what it was supposed to look like.

Whereas, I have really incredible news. My editor emailed me after sitting with the manuscript. I’m sure he was working through it. All 400 pages of it. And 70,000 words. And his response, Diane, was; I want to print it off, blow it up, and frame it. Because I never want to forget it. Essentially, I’m just going to paraphrase. He essentially said; this is so well done, between me and the editor that I hired externally to help massage the work. He’s like; I think my edits are going to be so light I don’t even know that I’m going to have to involve you in them. The manuscript was so buttoned up.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} As an author, there could not be greater music to your ears. Right?

Cassy Joy: Those were the words I sent him!

Diane Sanfilippo: Because literally the worst ever thing is when you submit when you’re like; here’s what I did. And then you get back these documents with tons of; they call them track changes in Microsoft Word, or I don’t know what other programs are used. And it’s like; this document that you’re like; I wrote what I meant, and what was there is what I wanted to say. So if you feel it should be something else, go ahead and change it; is how I always feel. I’m like; I wrote the garlic thew ay I meant to write it. So if you don’t think that’s clear, you can go ahead and clarify it. because I don’t want to write it again.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: For the millionth time before it got to you. Anyway. When those things come back with edits and queries; oh the queries. And you’re like; you just take this list of queries and go somewhere else with it. {laughs} That’s just how I always feel.

Cassy Joy: How do I mark all this read? {laughs} Just kidding.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I’m pretty sure there’s a way to just say accept all.

Cassy Joy: There is.

Diane Sanfilippo: Definitely on recipes, I always felt that way. Sometimes on the front matter, I’d be like; ok, I guess I can explain that a little bit better or whatever. Anyway. That is amazing. So that’s what you said back to him; this is music to my ears? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I literally said; that’s music to my ears.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: And then I said; I stopped and second guessed myself. Because I thought; oh my gosh. He’s an editor. He’s a word editor. Is he going to be like; is it music to your ears, or to your eyes? Because you’re not hearing me say it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: You’re just reading it. I almost wrote on there; it’s music to my ears, but you know, my eyes. I overthought it and I deleted it and I just said, music to my ears. {laughs} Y’all. Everything I write and put out I overthink five times over.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it.

Cassy Joy: But yeah. So that’s just such incredible news, because I kind of had been holding my breath, thinking we’re done, but we still have the editing process which could be twice as long as the writing process. You just never know. So that was great. It was really great feedback to know that we were on the mark, that he’s happy. That means so much to me because he helped really develop and hone this idea. I’m just thrilled.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I love that. I’m so happy for you. I feel a great sense of relief for you. This is one of those things I can fully empathize with. I feel like there are a lot of grown up women pains that I never feel as a non-mom. There are so many mom struggles. But just as a colleague, I feel this pain and I feel this sense of relief. And I’m so happy. I’m happy to hear that for you.

Cassy Joy: Thank you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay, gold star! Good job!

Cassy Joy: Thank you. What do you have going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, super pumped. The mural is in progress over at the shop. It’s really fun to watch it come to life. We had a bunch of different mockups and different iterations of that that we had sent back and forth between myself and the designer. It’s really interesting; the first design she came up with. I don’t know if I ever showed it to you, actually maybe I’ll text you a copy. But it was much more of a scene. Like, which, you know, you can imagine on the side of a building, a mural that kind of has people. And then something over here, and something over there. And I don’t know. It was just a different thing that I was imagining. And we have come a full 180 from where that original mockup was. Which I’m pretty happy about, because I was like; mm, I don’t think I want there to be people on here. Just, I don’t know. It just wasn’t really my jam.

But the artist, her name is Katie. We’re doing this combination. I forget how much I talked about previously. But this combination of a bunch of the elements from our branding and this pattern that our logo designer had created for us. Which, it kind of reminds me of; I don’t really know. What does it remind you of? It’s almost like deli paper.

Cassy Joy: Oh, yeah! A deli paper. I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. I could picture it; I feel like I’ve been to a restaurant touring the country. Maybe in Nashville. Where it’s like a burger restaurant, and there’s wallpaper on the way to the bathroom, and it would look like this. I don’t know. {laughs} Anyway. We have this pattern. If you got one of our coloring sheets not long ago, it was basically that pattern where it’s a little piggie, and an apple, and a carrot, and it’s got meat and veggies, and has some words on it and all of that.

So anyway, she’s kind of combining this swirly line art, which is her flair. Which is very fluid, and sort of feminine. With these very sharp and graphic, iconic, little pieces of illustration. So little pieces of food and things like that. So all of that is going on the wall. It’s just really exciting.

We have a fun little element of it; I don’t know if she’s just working sort of front to back, or how the whole thing is going to come together. And I’m trying to meter the way that I share it, because I want there to be a moment of excitement and not just these little build ups. But I haven’t shared a ton of what’s actually happening. I mean, as of the airing of this. I’m not sure how much I will have shared.

Also, we’re recording this the day after the presidential debate, and today I wanted to share things, but I woke up and I was like; I literally cannot even talk about anything else. I was like; here’s what I think. I shared a Van Jones video. And then I was like; that’s it. {laughs} Anyway.

And that’s part of this whole running a business thing. Where I’m like; I have to pick and choose, for me as a business owner. This is something that, on my personal page in particular, where I’m like; not today. I just don’t want to share it today. That’s not what I feel like making front and center today. This is nothing against what anybody else chooses to ever post on any given day. Everybody has their stuff. It’s just; for me, it’s so important that I always feel like 100% aligned in what I’m sharing on a given day.

This even goes back to when we released the three super blends. It was really like right in the middle of the uprising about George Floyd. And I’m sure I talked about it on the show. But basically, I was like; I have to move forward with my business. I can’t just hold this back. We had sent a bunch of product to friends and influencers and all of that; which, good topic for today. And it was good because I was able to just really drop my expectations. I was like; you know what, I don’t expect anyone to do anything with this. Everyone is going to do what they’re going to do. I’m happy to just give generously. It is what it is.

But we were able to sort of take that moment and pivot and just say; a dollar from every jar that we’re selling from these batches is going to the NAACP. Just; how do I turn this thing that feels awkward because I have to keep moving forward with my business and my life and I pay people. You know, I can’t just stop everything for a month. But at the same time, respect the time and space that we’re in.

So anyway; long story short. Just metering out what I share for a variety of reasons, and that being one of them. But yeah. This mural is going to take a little while to go up. It will probably be a total of two to three weeks. But that’s not all day every day. She is in art school, and so she’s in classes some days. And coming back on different days for parts of the day. So, it’s just going to be a little process.

And I’m waiting for furniture, so it kind of doesn’t matter. I told her. I was like; well, those shelves that are attaching to the wall will not be here until sometime after October 19th. {laughs} So there you go. But we have some other things coming in and other things to work on. Just hitting a few little snafus along the way, and things that I’m realizing; oh, I just order this thing in this giant size. And that’s not available. So, we’ll see. Anyway.

Another sort of I don’t know; I guess by the time this episode airs, which will be on October 12, our newest edition to the Balanced Bites spices line, which are not actually spices, they are infused sugars. Those will be launched by the time this episode airs. So if you’re listening to this, very exciting. I gave Cassy a sneak peek of some photos just before we were recording.

Cassy Joy: They’re beautiful.

Diane Sanfilippo: She has a little grin on her face, like give them to me! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I do, I want them right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: So we have four flavors. And they’re all infused sugars. So I think, even when I was initially deciding to create these, I thought it would be like cinnamon and sugar in the jar. And that’s actually not what happens. And I learned this. You know garlic salt, when you buy garlic salt. It’s not granulated garlic and salt in the jar. It’s actually garlic infused salt. So important lesson. Important distinction. It goes through a whole process in order to get that infusion to happen. That’s what we have with these sugars. They’re organic infused sugars.

So when you look at them; one of them is a cocoa sugar. And there is also some cocoa in there because I like that little bit of extra cocoa. But the cinnamon infused sugar, it’s like; these light brown colored sugar crystals. And the flavor; the smell and the flavor. It’s so strong. You can’t believe that you’re not visually looking at cinnamon in the jar. But I think it’s just so fun. Such a fun little topper for your coffee or your cocoa for treats. I put little notes for ideas of how to use all of them on the jars.

I don’t know; it’s just really fun. It’s just a fun holiday festive kind of thing. So I’m excited about it.

Cassy Joy: I love it! I’m so glad you did that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you. Me too. We’ll see what happens. Just pivoting and trying new things. I’m just trying to do things that seem fun and see what other people think is fun, you know, what people want to use and what they enjoy.

And we also did them in this gradient of blue labels. We picked colors that kind of ranged between two colors of our new logo and branding; this teal and this navy. And we created some shades that went between there. I really wanted to make shades that would work together in a little pack, almost like a little ombre of these colors. But I don’t know that these are really going to stay on the line. As it turns out, those super blends that we did introduce as a limited edition.

And when I say that; I didn’t know how they would be received or what would be the life of them beyond the initial run. It’s like; I ordered a very limited quantity of those. I was able to get some more in; I was very lucky. But with the sugars, it is limited edition, and I don’t anticipate necessarily carrying all of those all the time. Maybe if one or two of them are kind of the best sellers, or whatever, then maybe we would do them or maybe we would have one of them all the time, or two all the time, and then bring some back for the holiday again next year. Or some new versions, I don’t know.

So, you know. It’s stuff that we can play with. Its fun to do that. I just think that creating products is; it’s a whole bunch of challenges but it’s definitely a lot of fun. I actually just really love seeing people; just like with our books, when someone uses the book. That little hit of endorphins, you know?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like that, watching people use a product, and eat it, and enjoy it. Like, it brings them some joy and that’s just so much fun.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok so that last thing I want to talk about; it’s not actually an update but it’s kind of related to a lot of things that we’ve talked about in recent episodes about diversity and inclusion. And also just sensitivity around this topic. I think also for us as people who own and run our businesses, I think it’s really important to show leadership around this conversation. So I’m not going to name names, because I don’t think it’s relevant. But I had a conversation recently with someone who is kind of in our greater field of health, wellness, food, all this stuff. We had a really good conversation, and at some point in the conversation, we were talking about a business relationship that existed and an agreement that had been made previously that was something that was really no longer available. So of course, the expression; that person is grandfathered in, came up. On the other person’s end.

And I heard it in the conversation, and the conversation kept moving forward. And I put a little flag in my head. I was like; mm, I should probably tell this person that that has racist roots. That’s an expression that this person probably doesn’t realize or if they did it came out. Because, look; how many of us have used that expression over and over again?

And you and I talk about this all the time. We find new words, and new expressions, that we didn’t realize what the roots of it were. You know; we pull it back. And it’s tricky, because I think for a lot of us. At least for me. It almost feels like we’re pulling away sophisticated language when we pull those words back. There’s this feeling that I always have of; oh, well, there’s a way to say this in a short-hand that feels; this is going to sound weird, but it feels well-read to use that expression versus something else. But unfortunately, because of the society that we live in and because of the social constructs that are happening, obviously we did not know the true roots of that expression or many others. And we have learned so many things.

So I circled back with that person later in the day and I sent a note. I was like; hey, actually, I think I’m going to read it.

Cassy Joy: Ooh. Can’t wait.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ll read it to you. {laughs} I was really nervous to send this. But at the same time, I think it’s important. I especially think it’s important for all of us as white people especially, because I think a lot of our listeners are likely white people. And we need to call it out when we see it, even if it’s not overt racism or even covert racism. It’s just an unawareness; a lack of awareness in this situation.

So I said; “Hey, nice catching up today. I realized something when we were on our call and I meant to note it to you, but then we kept chatting and I forgot to circle back. Then I remembered it now. I’m not sure if you’ve learned more about things like this recently, but I have and I’m working hard to show leadership in taking it seriously and making shifts in my language. Because; well, we can, and it’s the right thing to do. The term “grandfathered in” has racist etymology. Most of us have/had no idea, we assume it just meant someone got in under “an old rule that has since changed.” That’s not the case;” and I sent a link to history.howstuffworks.com/American-civil-war/grandfathered-in.htm. Sorry, but I just wanted to give that to you guys just in case. But it’s on a history.howstuffworks.com.

I said, “The term I’ve turned to now is ‘legacy’, and then in quotes I said that was a legacy program that we’re no longer offering, or that we no longer offer, or something along those lines. Not sure if you care, but I’m making the assumption that you do. Cheers.”

And this person wrote back. “Great catching up. Oh, wow, I never knew that about that term, thank you for letting me know. I agree, legacy is the term to use.”

Cassy Joy: Beautiful!

Diane Sanfilippo: I kind of held my breath sending it, you know? Because it’s not that I held my breath about saying it. It’s that I held my breath hoping that the response would be what it was. And I was like, whoo. You know? I really breathed a sign of relief. Because you really do hope for the best. But you know? It feels like that’s a little uncomfortable in the moment.

But I really just want to encourage people to stand up for those things. Even when you are pretty darn sure the person meant no harm. Using these words consistently without being aware is just not ok. It’s just not an excuse anymore. The internet is vast. There’s a lot of information at our fingertips. And I think there’s a lot of good that can come from that. Because this happens to be a white man. So I felt it was really even that much more important to have that conversation in that direction. Because hopefully he can have that conversation with somebody else, as well. So.

Cassy Joy: Beautiful.

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s that.

2.  Shop Talk: Being an influencer versus one who has influence [28:23]

Cassy Joy: Shop Talk. In this segment, we’re going to talk about what it is to be an influencer. Diane. Did you ever think you’d see the day where you’d walk up to somebody in a party; well, I guess before 2020. Let’s rewind the clock. {blipping noises} This happened to me in 2018, I actually think it was. Yes, Wayne’s World; {blipping noises}. {laughing} In 2018 I was at a party; I don’t remember. I’m sure it was a toddler party {laughs} I don’t go to really fun late-night parties anymore. Some probably 3-year-old was having a birthday. And I remember meeting somebody there, and we were all chatting about what we do with our lives. And I think I asked her; what keeps you busy? Which is always what I’ve learned to be a more inclusive way to ask, what do you do? What keeps you busy? And she said, well I am an Instagram influencer. And my jaw just about hit the floor. I don’t know how great my poker face was at that point in time. But I said; really? That’s a thing? That’s what you do? And she said, yeah.

And of course, y’all know. I’ve been working with Fed and Fit, now, I would have been 8 years in then. So you could argue that I also influence on Instagram. But I would have never introduced myself as such. Did you think we’d see the day that you’d meet somebody, and they said that that’s what they do? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Cassy Joy: That’s a rhetorical question.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: I didn’t either! I really didn’t either. It really surprised me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Leave it to me to answer it.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} I mean, I did pause long enough for you to answer. So that’s what I think we want to talk about today. It’s just fascinating. Because Diane and I entered into this world; and Diane, you say it so eloquently, so I don’t want to steal your thunder. But we entered into this world before this was ever a thing. And we’re not out; we’re not trying to say, put ourselves on any kind of pedestal or that there’s; I don’t want y’all to get that impression. And I do not mean to belittle the work of people who do want to aspire to this kind of work.

So we’re just going to talk about that today.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So the thing that I wanted to clarify; because we are going to talk about both sides of this. What is an influencer. And sort of; I don’t know that we’ll talk about pros and cons, but just kind of drawing a delineation of an influencer. Someone who decides that they want to be on social media as an influencer. Like, that is the decision. That is the intention. That is the way someone might introduce themselves with a title, right? Versus somebody who does something and has influence.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: As a result. And is on social media, and has influence. So those are, to me, two different things. And we’ve had this; I don’t know if I would say there’s a sensitivity or a feeling of; it feels dismissive when someone calls one of us an influencer.

Cassy Joy: It does.

Diane Sanfilippo: As the first identifier. Because we did not; I say hang a shingle, because that’s kind of the old school. Eh, put up a sign, open for business. We didn’t just start on Instagram and post pretty pictures and build a following and that’s the beginning and the end of it. The content just being there or solely there. When I say just, I don’t mean just and that’s not good enough. I just mean, solely. So if I say that word, that’s what I mean. Solely in that place.

And I really think it makes a difference to be respectful of who people are and what they are. So here’s an example; I would never refer to Glennon Doyle as an influencer. She has a huge amount of influence. She’s an author. Many other things. A speaker. An advocate. A social justice warrior. But she has influence; she’s not an influencer. So I think that it’s important to; I do. I think the words matter. I think it’s important to be respectful of the work that people do. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t love and respect and follow advice of someone who decides to be an influencer. I think it’s disrespectful to ignore the depth of what built a platform for a person and created the gravity of their influence. That’s how I feel about it. I don’t know if that’s just ego getting in the way. But I do think; I would just never call that person an influencer. You know? I would never call Brene Brown an influencer.

Cassy Joy: That’s who I was going to…

Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m not putting us on that level.

Cassy Joy: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? We are not college professors. But I just think there’s a difference.

Cassy Joy: There is. And you know what’s interesting; the folks listening, if y’all follow us on Instagram, for example. This term really surfaced originally with Instagram, has then blossomed over into other platforms. But to be an Instagram influencer, I feel like the person who is following along; I call them readers. The person who is following along; I feel like our audience understands that. If they’re there, and committed to consuming content, the get it. I find that I am assigned the term influencer by brands. By other people who are trying to figure out how you and I fit within their organization.

And that’s where it does feel very much like; it feels like an insult. And it depends on the brand, and I’m not saying that every brand I’ve ever worked with referred to me as an influencer behind closed doors did that, and it was insulting. But it’s just interesting because this industry came out of nowhere. Right; Instagram just came out of nowhere, you could argue. And then all of a sudden brands, and marketing, and PR. They’re just trying to catch up and figure out; what do we make of this? What do we make of these humans, now, that have this kind of influence? So they started calling us influencers. But instead of understanding originally when the term popped up, I didn’t have a problem with it until it became so watered down due to overuse that it lost it’s meaning.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it becomes a giant pool.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? And I think that to say; I’m with you. I do think that from a brand perspective there’s a huge difference. As somebody who owns a small brand, you know, I do look at people really differently. When I go to vet if somebody is asking to collaborate, I’m like; is this all there is? Just what’s here? And if it is, I want to see what the engagement is. Is it real, etc. And we can get into that. Is there a blog? How long has it been around for? How consistent is this person in posting, etc.?

I think that, just to kind of reiterate a couple of points there on this difference. I think it’s dismissive of a depth and a body of work. And the reason for the influence to call someone an influencer or solely an influencer who has done a lot more, and that’s the reason for their influence. I think it’s also potentially dismissive of the depth of connection that that person has to look at numbers to say; this person is an influencer, and here are the numbers, without truly understanding how long have those people been there? Where else are they? How much do they convert? Not necessarily just dollars and buying things. But like when this person says something, do people listen?

And to me, as somebody who really values significance. That’s one of my strengths; the strength finder thing. To me, it’s really important to have significance in other people’s lives. In whatever way. That doesn’t mean I need to be of the most important people in your life. That just means that if I’m touching your life, I want it to be in a real and significant way. I want it to have meaning. I don’t want it to be solely; you liked my T-shirt, you bought my T-shirt.

So I think this word often ignores depth. And that, for me, is problematic. Because one of my least favorite things on social media is when someone is, or seems, vapid. That to me is so ugh. It’s just icky. That feeling, like when people say; oh, you’re so real. I’m like, who else are you following that’s not? And why are you following them?

And I think it’s also interesting because; I don’t really know about this world of Taste Makers. But I feel like before the internet there was something; do you ever remember hearing this word?

Cassy Joy: I do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Taste Makers? I feel like I heard it on this show that Billy Eichner was on. Anyway. {laughs} I have weird pop culture in my brain. But I feel like there was this way that maybe PR firms or advertising agencies may have introduced product to people that they considered Taste Makers. So similar to what now an influencer is on the internet, with reach. But in local real-life communities. Like; oh that person. They have good style. They have good taste. People listen to them. They trust them for advice on XYZ. And I almost feel like it’s this now hybrid of a modicum of celebrity. And I say that in air quotes. It’s not like we’re talking Jennifer Aniston level, but we’re talking; a lot of people know us and we don’t know there. That’s kind of what fame is, right? You know me but I don’t know you, combined with this Taste Maker thing.

And it’s totally new, and it’s interesting. I think there’s just a lot that kind of comes up with it. And I do think it does end up, as you said, being almost more of an issue when it comes to brands and how do brands deal with somebody who has influence.

Cassy Joy: Yes. And it’s interesting, because if you’re listening to this, and you’ve had; maybe you’ve written it on a vision board and you’re like; I want to become an influencer. I think through this conversation, I almost want to just encourage you to lean into what area is it that you do want to find influence. Because influence is the byproduct of building trust with people.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Cassy Joy: And you build trust by providing content, answers, solutions, support, you name it, community.

Diane Sanfilippo: Value.

Cassy Joy: Value. Exactly. That’s the word for all of those things. Value. {laughs} You do that by providing value. Value which converts into trust which converts into influence. So, I almost want to ask folks to sit down and reflect, rewind the clock, and figure out what value is it that you want to bring to the table. And then don’t keep your eye focused on trust and influence. Because if you’re true to your work, and if you’re truly there to serve your community, the others will happen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. So one of, I think, the most important foundations to being an influencer. Whether that is someone who says; you know what, I want to be an influencer. Or someone who has influence. We will collectively speak about them today, right? Because for ease of conversation. I think is integrity. I think integrity is really at the core of what makes somebody feel like they can trust you. And to your point, or to our collective point; providing value. Value can come in many different ways. It can come in the form of, you know for 8 years Liz Wolfe and I produced a podcast every single week and people were able to tune in for 400 episodes and learn about nutrition and health and sometimes about silly things like a charcuterie facial. {laughs} Which was a joke, by the way.

But, just that commitment of educating people every single week for 8 years. And also building trust by doing that work consistently, even if every week wasn’t the most educational episode. Even if it was a little bit silly. So building trust in that way. And also providing value. No matter what you’re doing in terms of creating a depth of content, whether it’s social media content, micro content, or a blog, podcast, a combination of these things. Whether you write a book. And for many people, it goes social media to book, not necessarily book to social media. So I think that’s something to also be aware of.

I think at the core of it is integrity, and the way that that plays into things. Again, this is going back to what Cassy said before. If you’re like; I want to be someone who is an influencer. I want you to put a note on the wall that’s like; integrity. That has to be at the core of everything. Because if you are to build something real and sustainable that will be successful in the long term, not just you somehow snag a couple of brands to pay you a little bit of money to make posts. The integrity has to be there, because that’s what you’re building on, long term.

My point is; we don’t want to be detracting from that. So, what I mean by that is; don’t buy followers. And don’t get to a place where you are so desperate for likes and follows and engagement that you’re operating solely in a pod, where you’ve got 10, 20, 30 other people who want to do what you’re doing. And the comments back and forth are of each other.

I really caution you against that. And I feel like I’m the queen of, here’s what not to do. So don’t worry, Cassy will probably come in with, here’s what to do. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I really like to tell people what not to do, because I think that a lot of people end up landing on those. And I’m like; that’s not it. And I also don’t always know what is the right it for you. Because I think it’s a little bit different for everyone. But what it isn’t is buying followers. Is having this sort of house of cards built where it looks like you have influence, but you really don’t.

So then the flip side of that is, how do you create influence? How do you hang the shingle on Instagram, put up the picture, get some nice photos done. Whether it’s your Instagram husband, partner, spouse, just the joke of the person taking the pictures of you for Instagram. Whether you’re doing a self-timer on your phone, whether you pay someone to take photos of you. Whatever it’s going to be.

There still has to be a way for you to create something of value to offer. Part of that value can be consistently sharing about certain topics. It’s not that this is not valuable to say; I’m sharing a different outfit all the time. Because maybe that’s what somebody really wants to see. They want to see a real person who kind of looks like them. Maybe have a unique body shape compared to what’s out there in the fashion magazines or online models or whatever.

I follow this woman, her account is Queen of Sleeves, because she never wears sleeveless. Which, I do sometimes. But I also really appreciate a lot of clothes that have sleeves. That’s her thing. And she has a curvy figure, and she looks amazing, and I love following her. And so I don’t know everything else that she shares, but for me that’s value. It’s unique. It’s something to really offer. And that consistency in showing up and kind of having that platform, I think that actually builds a lot of trust. Just being consistent and showing up there.

But I do really want to encourage people to not solely rely on social media, even if you feel like; well I want to be a social media influencer. I think there is a lot to be said for digging in and creating some kind of content or some kind of connection with people that goes beyond what’s on social media. I also feel very strongly that you don’t own what’s happening on social media, and you don’t know that there could be a day that that all goes away. So we need to be able to have a conversation somewhere else.

So, that was kind of speaking a little bit to; if you are in that world; specifically probably Instagram. But also just a note of caution and advice; hey, maybe don’t put all your eggs in this basket. Make sure you have this kind of breath of where you’re connecting with people. So that if that ere to go away, you wouldn’t lose that entirely.

Anyway, I will let you jump in because I feel like I’m just kind of on and on about this. But just a little bit of that advice to the people who want to be an influencer, and they’re like; ok, I want to open this account. This is what I want to talk about. What words of wisdom would you have for that person?

Cassy Joy: I {laughing} You want to know what I’m actually doing? I’m trying to look up, so I can sound really smart about astrology {laughing}. I’m trying to figure out what kind of star it is that pops up out of nowhere and then goes away really quickly.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} And the first couple of hits on Google are not serving me well. But y’all know what I’m talking about. Man, I was going to sound so clever, Diane, by being able to just throw a smarty pants word out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: But what she’s trying to get at; essentially the social media can giveth and social media can taketh away. And so just really being aware of that. I think about Tick Tok; there are Tick Tok superstars that are superstar level of fame and income and influence and all of these things. And they essentially popped up out of nowhere. And we just know what’s going to happen with these apps. They could go away tomorrow. You just never know. Because you don’t own that, you don’t control it. So it’s just something to be aware of. I just want to double down on Diane’s point of having meaningful content somewhere else, so all your eggs are not in that one basket.

But, I really like and appreciate your do not do’s. And it’s interesting because I, probably even more so than you, have spent a lot of time in the blogger sphere. Right? The food blog sphere specifically, and this group of professionals who are really trying to take our blogs. There’s this generation of bloggers. Let’s call food bloggers; really zero in. There’s this generation of food bloggers who established before Instagram became a thing. And maybe it wasn’t a very big business. Then Instagram happened, and all of a sudden we felt like, in order to be relevant in the food blog world, we have to now also be relevant on the Instagram world.

And what happened is a lot of what Diane is recommending you do not do, because they started building these pods of; well, we’ll just hack the algorithm. Instead of spending time and energy on figuring out; how do we create content for the people who are on the social media platform. Content that they really want and acknowledge that that might be a different consumer than the people who are on our websites. We’re just going to hack the algorithm, and as soon as you post something at this time; you text us on this group chain that we’re on and we’ll all go over and we’ll comment and we’ll like and we’ll just boost the engagement of that post. And what’s going to happen; the sponsoring thought here is that Instagram is going to reward that initial behavior. The initial, what seems like, viral behavior. Put it in front of more people. And then your content will get more likes and follows, and you’ll have better stats that you can then show to a sponsor.

But, this strategy only holds water for a very short period of time. If we’re talking about the algorithm, it’s going to get smarter and smarter as time goes on. And it’s going to realize that you have an initial bump in comments, but maybe not later. It doesn’t have longevity. It doesn’t have depth. And your other readers are not sharing it. That’s what we really want.

So instead of focusing on hacks. And I know it’s so tempting to hear about these pods. To think about; well, if I just post these kinds of photos. Or if I just use this kind of filter. Or if I just post the most; I don’t know, the photos that I know will always perform well. Just a picture of an avocado; we used to joke about that back in the original days of Instagram. If you just post a picture of a very ripe avocado, you’re going to get a bunch of likes. You know. Or if you post a picture of some cookies, or of a baby, or of a puppy, it’s going to go viral! Or whatever that means. It’s going to do really well.

And that’s so tempting, to just post a grid of avocadoes, cookies, babies, and puppies. But what depth do you have there? What you really, really want, if you want to build trust and know if you’re actually providing value to people is when your real deal readers; subscribers, fans, followers, whatever they heck you want to call them. When they start tagging their friends and say; this is the account I was telling you about.

When you start seeing those comments show up, you’re on the right track. Don’t worry about the rest of it. Even if it’s slow to grow, the growth that you will experience from these pods hacking at trying to get you more exposure to a wider audience is; it’s not going to stick around very long. Buying followers is not going to stick around. Eventually all those bots will get cleaned out. It’s just a waste of your time. And I would rather see you pour that time and energy into creating really valuable content that makes those five readers that you’ve got; those five subscribers, followers; them go in and say; wow. That is so cute. Or that’s so helpful. Or I just love that. And they tag their best friend and say; you’ve got to follow this person. That is the kind of engagement that you want.

And to Diane’s point, who runs a brand and now she’s studying this industry from the other side of the mirror. You know, it’s really interesting because brands are getting smarter. They’re getting smarter. They can look at your comments and understand what’s a real comment and what is just a colleague trying to pat you on the back. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I do that to my friends.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s different. When we genuinely comment on each other’s posts, it’s totally different. What I end up seeing in the; so I’m just going to say it. Because if you’re someone who is like; oh, I was going to do one of those. Or I am doing it. Or I have a friend who is. I mean, listen. There might be some brands who are not hip to it who don’t understand what to look for. And I mean, frankly, if they’re going to pay you for something and they’re going to sort of get taken advantage of in a sense, because they’re paying for engagement that’s not real. I mean, it’s on them. Yeah, shrug. I do a shrug emoji. You know, sorry they’re not smarter, basically.

But, what I notice happening will be; first of all I look at the account, and if it’s super curated and the posts all have a certain filter; listen, part of this is probably just me also feeling a certain kind of way about how people share on Instagram. The filter alone is not the problem, so let’s just put it there. I’m happy for people who aren’t sure how to light things, and aren’t great at photos and all of that to use a filter and make it look better. Please, make your stuff look better. By all means. {laughs} Use the filter. Or the preset, whatever you want to call it.

But, when the feed looks formulaic, and it doesn’t feel human. When it appears to be pandering; to your point, Cassy, and my joke earlier. I don’t know if it’s a joke, but it’s like; sometimes it’s just like boobs and butts and babies, to the point of exploiting those things. I have no problem with people; women who have a curvy shape, and their breasts are in the photo. That’s not the issue. Your body parts are in a photo; not an issue. Your baby is in a photo; not an issue.

It’s the exploitation of that. Again; listen. If that’s what you’re doing. If that’s actually what you’re selling, I have no say in what you’re selling. I am not against whatever people want to sell. But if that’s not the thing you’re selling, and you’re using it to sell something else, that’s where I feel like the integrity kind of breaks. And again, if that’s not the thing you’re selling, then just look in the mirror and ask yourself; is that what I’m doing here?

So I don’t know if that really came out right. But only the person who is posting it knows. Am I using this thing in a way that is icky? {laughs} You know what I mean?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I want to encourage people; so what I was saying is, I think I got a little off track there. What I’m saying is; I can go in and look at the feed. And for me as a brand; as a food brand, right, for Balanced Bites, if somebody does have a lot of skin photos. Again, I’m not judging that approach or what you might be selling. Some people tried to come attack me one day for being against sex workers. I’m like; I don’t care. Do whatever you want to do. Honestly. {laughs}

I’m just saying, it doesn’t really align with my brand. I’m going to come look at the feed. If you’re like a fitness influencer, and the way that you share about fitness is very skin-forward, it’s just not my brand to be aligned with that. So I’m going to look at the feed and see what’s in the feed.

I’m also going to look at who are the people who are commenting. If you actually have comments on the post, and there are 30 comments; wow, that’s a lot of comments. Then I noticed that 25 of them, it’s a person with a semi-professional looking little avatar photo. Right? It’s not just like their puppy or whatever randomness of actual people that follow us. It’s not always this polished looking photo of someone in a kitchen or whatever. And then their handle is a handle that is something I can read. It’s a handle. It’s not Jane Smith 25. Which is like more of a real legit follower. Right?

So I’ll look at those. If that is the bulk of who is commenting, I’m like; these are all just other influencers trying to work with each other to give the appearance of engagement. And I can tap on them. And everyone has got somewhere between 10 and 15,000 followers. Or maybe it’s more. But everyone has somehow decided; I’m going to pay so that I can be above that 10,000 mark so I can have a swipe up. Like, there is just a formula. And I see it happening over and over again.

What I want to tell our listeners is; a smart brand can see right through it. And I want you to know that that is not the way. Don’t build that way; build something real. As a brand owner, I would rather see you have 2,000 followers, 3,000 followers, 1,000 followers. I do feel like that’s kind of a thing. I’d kind of like to see a little bit of traction. A micro influencer. But then I see comments from 5 real people. Those are real people. Not just other people who are trying to do this thing and make it look like something else.

So, that’s my take. I come from a perspective of; look, I’m not a brand that has millions of dollars in investors and money to just burn. And it doesn’t matter who I would pay. But I just feel very strongly about building a brand on integrity. And the reason I feel so strongly about that now is that when I look back at the last 10 years of the way I’ve built my brand. Have I made mistakes? Have I maybe now and then said a couple of things in the span of my business that I’m like; I kind of wish I hadn’t said that. Probably about three tweets I wish I hadn’t made. They probably don’t exist anymore. I don’t know. I’m sure I deleted them. Nothing too out there.

But every step of the way, it’s just; if you can learn from an 8; from an Enneagram 8, learn this; none of it will ever be worth it if you are building a brand that does not have integrity. That you’re like; you know what? I can stand up for what I said then. And I can say now; oh, I made this mistake. I made that mistake. But I will never look back and say; you know, I did that because I thought it was going to get me ahead. I just feel really strongly about that.

So maybe it feels a little like off topic for this idea. But I feel very strongly about the fact that people just building slowly and consistently; especially now. I actually think there are ways to build that are kind of viral these days with certain types of content. Enneagram content is obviously so hot right now. And if you are in a space that’s a little more saturated, a little bit trickier to kind of build quickly, maybe you’re sharing recipes I still think it’s a matter of staying dedicated to sharing what you’re sharing, being consistent. Leaning on teaching people something. Inspiring them in a certain way. Being who you are. You know?

If you’re a mom of 6 and you decided you want to start sharing recipes on Instagram; get it. Because there are going to be other moms with lots of kids, even who don’t have 6 kids. Who have just one kid or two kids or whatever where they are learning something from just the way that you do what you do. It doesn’t need to be something that’s super complicated to have depth. And to really just teach.

My friend Lani is a really good example of this. She was a schoolteacher. She has an account at Life is But a Dish. I’ve talked about her before. She’s somebody I met at a food photography event. We were both learning more about food photography and we just connected. She’s just such a sweetheart. And she’s a teacher at heart. So she didn’t have; she had been blogging for a little while, but when she started on Instagram, now she is just super consistent, and she is so committed to teaching people how to do things more easily. How to just put food together without always having a recipe. How to help your kids learn how to cook and all of that.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s extremely consistent. She has her integrity to what her mission is and what she wants to teach. And she has built slowly but surely to over I think 60,000 followers now. And the reason I say that is; I think there was a time, maybe about 6 years ago where I think the potential to grow faster was really there. There was about a year; you probably remember because it was before I was paying attention to; what should I do?

Cassy Joy: I wasn’t on there. Or, I was on there but I ignored it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because, I don’t know. It felt grabby to me.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: People did a lot of extreme giveaways.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which, we still do lots of giveaways now, but it was like this real magnetic way to just people following. And I think that was one of the big things that people did back then. But you could grow a lot faster then. But I really want to caution that high quality connections with brands that might not have all the money right now, but one day might have more money to spend. I’m like; maybe one day.

But I think; it’s just never worth sacrificing your integrity is kind of the lesson. And you know when you’re doing something that does not have integrity. You know that buying followers isn’t the right thing to do. So I always want people to check their ego. Because I promise you; the confidence and the way that you’ll feel about what you have built when it is real is so different.

I’ve watched people in my little sphere buy followers, and then just; it just doesn’t even work.

Cassy Joy: It’s like a diet pill.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like a diet pill. The amount of deflated energy that comes as a result, because then not only were you not willing to just stay committed and keep your head down and eyes on your own account and do your thing, but you got so attracted to what was sparkly. Then you have to live with the bad decision. And I’m telling you now, the reason I say this stuff because I’m like; let me tell you the bad decisions other people are making so that you don’t make them.

Cassy Joy: Or, you know; I hate to sound so crass. But it comes down to boiling down to; what do you want? Do you want to just be like; oh, once upon a time I had 11,000 followers on Instagram and now I have nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Do you want a year of some sponsored stuff that’s from brands that are not wise, or are you really trying to build something?

Cassy Joy: Do you want a grand total of probably $1000 pieced together of a year of sponsorships because of your 10,000 followers, and it’s a lower rate because your engagement isn’t that high? Because it starts to trickle off? And you just be like; oh, once upon a time I made $1000 off Instagram and I had 10,000 fake followers. If that’s what you want, then you pursue that path.

But be really honest with yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re here to tell you. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: That’s what you’re going to get. But if what you want is something that’s going to last, that’s going to be an efficient place. I don’t know that building a business you could actually argue is an efficient process. But it’s more efficient than building something fake and watching it just go away. So, I think that just be really honest with what you want. If what you want is something that is going to stick around it’s more sustainable. It’s going to be a place to receive your time, and actually propel your mission forward. If that’s what you want, if you want to build an actual business. If you want to actually have influence in the world, then don’t pursue in the vapid sense of what it could mean the fast track of becoming an influencer. You’re not going to get what you want.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. I think it’s a slow process. So I want to encourage people, as well, on other places to build and create content because I don’t think we’ve touched on too many options there. And we will maybe wrap up this episode with a tip, because I realize that we’re coming up on a lot of time here. There are places to create content outside of social. YouTube; if you’re somebody who is good at creating video content. If you’re doing a lot of stories, if you’re doing little demos and things like that, your YouTube videos do not need to be big long vlog videos. One minute is great. I think two minutes is where people will trail off anyway. So, some short videos. And if you just want to download your content from what you’re sharing on social media and use something like video shop and create a video for YouTube, by all means.

A blog, obviously. We’ve talked about that many times. I think this is probably one of the best anchoring places. And then I would say the most lightweight of those would be an email list. Where you have your email list, people opt in, you provide something of value to them for opting in. And you also, however consistently; once a month, twice a month, once a week. I would say once a month is the minimum. You are sending something out to stay in touch with people.

I definitely think you can put something of unique value in an email, but these days because social media is so overwhelming, I think part of providing value can be saying; don’t worry, you’re not going to miss the best of what I share. I will summarize it for you every week in a no-mo FOMO email. {laughing} So, no more fear of missing out what I post on social. If you’re getting my email, once a week I’ll make sure you’re getting the best of the best. I think this can work really well for people who recommend a lot of products. If people follow you because they want product recommendations, or fashion, or beauty, or whatever it is. I think that’s fantastic. And eventually, maybe you’ll see, ok, I’m able to do an email once a week. Maybe I can put up a blog post too, and get that going. And build something that is outside of these platforms that we truly don’t own.

3. Tip of The Week: Gut check [1:07:36]

Diane Sanfilippo: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy, why don’t you give us a tip?

Cassy Joy: So, the tip that I want to close out today’s show on is; we do a lot of these but I just think they’re most helpful kind of tips and action items. I want you to give yourself a gut check on what are you really pursuing in the world of social? And if it is something that you aspire to this title of influencer, I want you to be really honest with yourself. Is it that you want someone else to call you an influencer? A brand to call you an influencer? Or is it that you want to have influence? And then just tease that apart. Figure out if it’s influence that you want, how can you build trust? And what value can you provide that will build that trust? Reverse engineer; you’ve got this.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @CassyJoyGarcia as well as @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo as well as @BalancedBites.

Tune in next week for another brand new episode.

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