The Challenge of Influencer Fraud from an Influencer and Agency Owner


Fashion influencer Emily Ho has a unique perspective on influencer marketing. She’s not only one herself, but leads influence and marketing campaigns for clients with her marketing agency. One battle she continually fights is influencer fraud. We dive in a bit to talk about the not-so-ethical influencers out there, how they hurt a brand’s marketing and how to combat the practices.

If you haven’t heard of comment pods as a brand, or influencer, you may want to pay special attention to this episode. If you’re involved with one — whether you know it or not — you’re not likely getting the most out of your influence marketing as you might think.

Emily and I explore her journey from marketer to influencer and back and even land on a great idea for influencer marketing software companies to build in an invigorating episode of Winfluence.

This episode of Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast is presented by Mighty Scout. Easily measure influencer campaigns on Instagram by selecting the influencers you’re working with, identifying the hashtag or account tag to track and let Mighty Scout do the rest. It even pulls in the full array of data on Instagram Stories and allows you to white-label reports.

This tool saves you time which makes you more efficient and profitable. Check out my full review of Mighty Scout which includes a video walk through of me using it. Then, go to mightyscout.com/falls to sign up. Billing is month-to-month and you get a 30-day, money back satisfaction guarantee.

Winfluence Podcast – Emily Ho Transcript

Jason Falls 0:00
So you’re an influencer but you also run an agency basically for digital influencer content marketing would you consider yourself a marketer first or an influencer first?

Emily Ho 0:12
Absolutely marketer first. I got into influencing back when it was blogging you know eight nine years ago and that I feel like a grandma of the quote unquote influencer world but absolutely marketer first that’s what got me into it. That’s what allowed me to help grow my channels I knew kind of different levers I could pull and so that was extremely beneficial to helping me become I guess an influencer unintentionally.

Jason Falls 0:39
So, you’ve … you walk the line of doing both how much of your life is is you’re the marketing side versus the content creator or the influencer side and which of those two Do you really prefer to work in?

Emily Ho 0:51
Um, it really can change and COVID has changed some of it but right now I’m probably about you know, 85% on the agency side and 15% on the influencer side, my influence is more with fashion brands and obviously with the pandemic fashion has kind of been a little bit obliterated, or it seems a little bit toned down, but the majority, vast majority of my time is on consulting pieces. So the creation part has always for me been fun. The money has been a bonus. But I really do try to kind of focus on on more of the consulting side.

Jason Falls 1:32
So I know that you you you probably have clients that you recommend and manage influencer programs for how different is it being on the agency side of the aisle as opposed to the influencer side of the aisle in those campaigns.

Emily Ho 1:43
I think that the biggest thing that I see because I kind of straddle the line is I feel like I’m a little bit more I don’t know perceptive or wary of fraud within certain influencers and when it comes to insurance Once their selection, really trying to drill down and see who’s using those comment pods who’s trying to do giveaways every single week. And that, that I think has been really helpful. Because I feel like when I’m, you know, recommending an influencer, they meet the standards that I would want to have as an influencer, representing a brand, as far as you know, clarity of message, quality of the followers and also quality of the content and their ability to meet a deadline in brief. So it’s they all they both inform each other and I feel like maybe, sometimes I get a little bit swayed in the, you know, if a client wants a certain influencer because of their numbers, I really try to dig in and kind of dissect What that means is bigger really going to be better. And what are the goals with that particular influencer? Is it because you think they have a super engaged and loyal audience that will convert or is it because you think that their content is beautiful, and those can Both, you know, one or the other, they can both be great goals or they can, you know, exist together. But I think it’s really drilling down to figure out what are the goals? And then also on the flip side, how do you quantify the results to the brand, that’s the most important part, I think of any program that I end up doing, whether it’s for the influence inside on my end, or if it’s for a client really being able to show this is what we did. These were the deliverables. And this is how it worked out against, you know, your KPIs like this is how the engagement was, these are the conversions if we can track them. And you know, this is your cost per engagement and really trying to break that down to prove because I’m always trying to prove the value of influencer marketing and that’s me as a creator and me as a strategist.

Jason Falls 3:46
Well, I would imagine that that makes you a much more effective influencer for those clients than they’re probably used to dealing with because I think that’s probably the major issue that I think agencies and brands that I talked to The major issue they have with influencers is is not having ones that understand the business proposition that they are fulfilling and reporting back the, you know, associated associated metrics.

Emily Ho 4:11
Right. And I’ve had people because as an influencer, my following if you look at, you know, the most popular platform right now everybody wants to be on Instagram or I guess coming up Tik-Tok, but on Instagram, my followers are very small, like, I mean, I am, I’m micro, and it is. It’s something that I get questions on from fellow influencers, and they have totally fine intentions. And I know I’m an open book, but how have I consistently been able to book work for the past eight years, with such seemingly low numbers on this popular channel. And that all comes down to I have had relationships for so long with these brands that I’ve built up. I’ve proven over and over that I can hit a brief that I will respond to your emails that I will get everything done on time. I will submit my And then I have an impact report that I send after nearly every campaign if they request it. This is what I did. And this is how it performed. And so it makes it easy. It’s an easy Yes. And as an influencer, I think, especially if you’re trying to establish yourself or pitch yourself to new brands, you know, you really have to establish that. And I mean influencers, get reputations with brands, you know, just like anybody else will get a reputation for your friends. You know, the ones who don’t respond, you know, the ones who don’t hit deadlines, you know, the ones you have to like, drag to try to find the content or get the stuff on time. So, um, yeah, and

Jason Falls 5:37
You know who the peacocks are. The peacocks are the ones who if, that’s my name for the ones who throw their ego at you all the time and are you know, they’re, they’re too busy to talk to you and I’m not going to share analytics. I just I’m so big and so fabulous that you should just be honored to be working with me. I love those. Those are

Emily Ho 5:55
Yeah, I avoid those.

Jason Falls 5:57
I think I think most of us do. They don’t, they tend to not last very long unless their last name is Kardashian. So although I’ve never worked directly with them, so I should, I shouldn’t judge just, that’s a punch line that I should avoid. So let’s go back on on the fraud issue a little bit, because I don’t think that many brands and quite frankly, many agencies quite understand when you, when you throw the word fraud out there, and you and you talk about content pods and whatnot, define that a little bit better for us. I know what it is. But I want everybody to kind of understand what you’re looking for when you’re looking for fraud. And what that means because that that word can can can be incendiary. So I want to make sure everybody understands what you mean when you say that.

Emily Ho 6:38
It can and I think we’re really at an inflection point when it comes to influencer marketing. And I think that I’ve been saying this though, for probably two years, that the industry and brands will start to catch on at some of these tactics, but we’re not quite gotten there yet. I think with this kind of reset we’re having during this pandemic, maybe it will open people’s eyes as dollars have tightened and and whatever But, you know, fraud really comes down to the, you know, pulling different levers in the background to try to increase your followers or to increase your engagement. So, for me, you know, a lot of people think fraud is just outright buying followers or by engagement and that’s really easy to see, you know, you can go and look at the demographics of, you know, where are this person’s followers from, even if you just click, you know, who is following them and you scroll down several pages, you can see, you know, if it’s a female influencer and you’re trying to work with, you know, some kind of makeup brand and you see that, you know, all the followers that you can see are Russian men. There’s a flag there, but you have to look for it. And the same thing with with comment engagement and fraud, looking at everybody, you know, looking at taking maybe a representative sample of three different sponsored posts from someone’s feed drilling into the comments, and seeing Are you just seeing replies of emojis? Are you seeing relevant engagement? Is someone just saying, girl that looks good, but you talked about your mom dying in the post that happened to me before? You know, so what are you actually seeing as far as you know, what kind of the quality is there with that engagement? And also Are you seeing the same people over and over comment? Other influencers comments? So a lot of things that happen is you go on to Facebook groups and Facebook groups where you can drop a link to a post and you can have hundreds of fellow influencers go and like it and it’s mindless likes and I’m like, if you call yourself an influencer, but you cannot truly and genuinely influence someone other than someone who is reciprocating an action for you. Are you really an influencer? And so looking at some of those and being on the influencer side, it’s great because I can look in at some of those Facebook groups I’m in them to be able to, you know, search for Somebody and see are they dropping their links in there? Are they using a comment pod because I’m seeing the same people respond to every single thing. And you can even follow the likes sometimes. So you can see, you know, maybe five people, you always see, like this person’s posts, maybe mutual follow, and you can keep clicking through each one of them and follow the trail. See who all is kind of connected, and then also giveaways. So

Jason Falls 9:24
Yeah, let me jump in there real quick, though, because I want to I want to I want to play devil’s advocate on the opposite side of the because I’m totally with you on this. And yeah, content pods are a problem. But let me play devil’s advocate and say, okay, what’s the difference between finding out there or snooping out and suspecting someone is involved in a content pod? Because you see the same five or six people liking and commenting on you know, everybody else’s posts within that little gaggle of people and influencers who are genuinely connected to each other and her friends and like each other’s content because if you’re talking five or six people that could just be you know, A circle of yas if you will, if you’re talking 50 or 60. Now I’m starting to think, okay, something’s up.

Emily Ho 10:05
Yeah. And that’s a that’s a great distinction. And I mean, I know there’s a group of influencers that I follow within the plus size realm. And we all comment on everybody’s stuff just because we’re genuinely friends. Like, we want to see each other succeed. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I have post notifications turned on for most of them. So you will see, you know, there is some of that that is definitely genuine. But I think there are some where you can continue to see, you know, a lot of times you’ll even see, here’s a trick, if you see some of the same people following but then you click or commenting. If you click on that person’s bio, and then search if they’re actually following the person they’re commenting on. That is a huge red flag, you’ll see a lot of comments coming in from the same people and they’re not actually mutually following each other. So it’s, it’s not and this isn’t something that you would want to spend a ton of time you know, really digging into that particular way. I’d look more at a demographics of who the followers are But it is definitely something that you can keep an eye on and there is definitely a distinction between a small comment pod of 10 friends who are in a similar space and want to share their content versus ones who are dropping links for in a telegram pod for you know, hundreds of likes and comments each each post

Jason Falls 11:20
Sure. This is this is something out there for for the for the the influencer marketing software people listening to the podcast. I love this because we can all you know, gain knowledge from this this isn’t just a podcast for brands and agencies. It’s also for influencers. It’s also for the software in the vendor, you know, set, but this is a great conversation for the people who work at those software companies because, you know, platforms like izea and whatnot have built in like, you know, fake follower count detector so they can say you we estimate to 15% of this person’s followers are fakes or bots so that you can extinguish that fraud a little bit. But this content pod thing, I think, is a concept that nobody’s tackled you I don’t think anybody’s figured out a technology way to determine whether there might be fraudulent behavior in the engagement process. So for those of you out there in the software world listening, make a note of it and challenge your tech teams with that, because that would be of great benefit to agencies and influencers.

Emily Ho 12:16
Yeah, I mean, I know they’re calculating, you know, percentage, I think, cuz it’s fake. And then they look at also, you know, huge spikes if your Social Blade or whatever, seeing spikes when people might have bought or participated in a giveaway, even a blind giveaway. But yeah, and then, you know, but otherwise, the platforms are just listening and engagement rate, but what’s really behind that engagement as well, you know, if you see someone with, you know, 50,000 followers, and a 29% engagement rate, and, you know, is that a flag because that’s so high for someone have that amount of following So, you know, where are the outliers and you know, maybe taking a peek at those outlier accounts.

Jason Falls 12:57
So let’s circle back to the the giveaway thing too, because That’s obviously an issue and I want to, you know, make sure that I understand it because to be honest with you, by the time this airs, I will have already done this but I’m getting ready to launch a giveaway with a partner on my own channels as in my role as an influencer in the marketing space. And, you know, I’m, you know, making, building all the strategies for that now and figuring out how I’m going to communicate it and what the rules are and all that good stuff. And so I’m managing to give a giveaway for something on my social channels. But I want to make sure that I understand your perspective on Okay, giveaways are a red flag. Tell me why they’re a red flag and what you need to watch out for because I think the giveaway in and of itself isn’t a problem. Right?

Emily Ho 13:39
Exactly. A giveaway in itself is not definitely not a problem. And I think it’s a great way to incentivize your audience to get them excited about a brand that’s that you have loved or you have talked about or products you’ve used. And I don’t know about in other verticals that I know in fashion and lifestyle and beauty, there is a master With a ration of people giving away peloton, or 20 $500 gift cards there is one that came out yesterday from it’s a celebrity Well, no no no maybe de Lis celebrity couple with kids and the buy in I think they have 3 million total between the two of them followers the buy in is $5,000 to be a part of this giveaway where they’re giving away $25,000 and it’s, you know, or you’re giving away a Louis Vuitton purse or you’re buying into these things where I get emails every day, like buy into our luxury giveaway, you know, all you have to do is share it on your your social or on your stories, and then have someone follow you know, have all your followers follow all 90 other people who are participating in this giveaway to be able to enter

Jason Falls 14:50
That sounds like a Ponzi scheme.

Emily Ho 14:54
It has I mean, the number and I I keep a lot of receipts, so I take a lot of time. screenshots of these that I’m seeing over and over and they’re trying, they shift their strategy so often because, you know, Instagram is one day will say, you know, oh, you can’t do a cash giveaway, that’s not allowed. So then they’ll post post it in the stories so that you can’t really track it super high or the method of entry is to go on a story and then slide the little slider on the story. So there’s no super trackable, transparent way for the public to see who is actually participated in these things. And it’s, it’s interesting, because there are people who will giveaway at Louis Vuitton every week. And then as soon as the giveaway is done, they pull it down. And these are people with half a million followers, 600,000 followers, I mean, all the way down to people with you know, 2000 followers who just really, really, really want to grow a following,

Jason Falls 15:51
Right? Well, it’s interesting. Well, I’m not going to be doing any Ponzi schemes. I’m just I’m having people submit ideas for cool like stuff. projects and we’ll give them a free domain name as a result of it. So I think I’ll be okay. Now. I might do one a year if that so I think I’m in good shape,

Emily Ho 16:09
you’re in good shape and I think it’s tantamount I think the real distinction is tantamount to are you buying followers, which is how I look at it is are you paying to be included on this thing? And then point of entry for them to get this thing is to follow you. And my, my thought, that’s the same as buying followers.

Jason Falls 16:29
So fashion and beauty is a space that in many ways, I think has kind of led the way for influencer marketing. How far back how early in the evolution of I guess social media were brands reaching out and connecting to online influencers in that space.

Emily Ho 16:46
I mean, I can’t speak to everything also because I’m specifically in plus size fashion, which were just an entirely different scale, a very tiny cog in the wheel of what fashion is but I know even as far as you know, seven years ago getting reached out by to Kohl’s you know, wanting to give her a free pair of tennis shoes to style them in a cute way. That that has definitely been happening I think really with the, you know, massive blow up of Instagram when there was a more visual platform versus a long form blog post that definitely kind of kick things into super high gear and that’s when the typical what I think, you know, life person would think of as an influencer, you know, you mentioned a Kardashian or you mentioned you know, someone like a pink peonies or someone who has been in this for forever and just their lifestyle and their photos just look like do you have a professional following you all the time and sometimes they do. So they’ll pull teams and and i think that that you know turning content that way and you could see what happened to fashion magazines that are continuing to fold because if you want you know beautiful content you can get you know high quality editorial content on Instagram from some of your favorite for creators, so I think really Instagram kind of flipped the switch there when that came out because that’s everyone wants to show off kind of what they’re wearing.

Jason Falls 18:09
Yeah, and I would imagine for that vertical probably more than any other you know what when people may say influencers to me I always say look if you think about it in terms of content creation, as opposed to quote unquote influence, even though influences kind of the the gist of you know what I try to build strategy around. If you think of it in terms of content creation alone, an influencer relationship can be incredibly valuable for your brand because again, what you just said, you’ve got people who are creating professional grade photography, professional grade videos, they’re obviously good writers, they obviously know how to build engagement and a following around a given topic. I mean, you probably can’t get the same quality stuff out of maybe your agency or maybe the you know, creative team that you have within your own walls,

Emily Ho 18:56
Well, and also quick turn so they can turn it around in a time. That it would take someone to storyboard a concept. So that’s Yes, absolutely. And you can see that too with the pandemic. And the way that a lot of eecom has had a lot of my, my consulting customers are in eecom. Retail, they’ve had to pivot pretty quickly because photos, photo studios were shut down models couldn’t travel to the studios, you couldn’t have people on set. So you have whole huge brands that have been engaging their favorite influencers to create the catalog shots for their econ pages versus shooting them, you know, as a flat layer on a mannequin. And that’s been really interesting to see how you know, oh, the whole image of this brand is kind of changing on their eecom layout because you have influencers now creating this content but that comes down to they could execute it quickly. And probably a lot a lot more cost effectively than shooting in studio with all the precautions

Jason Falls 19:54
I would think some of the brands are probably spending a ton on you know high high dollar fashion. photographers in high dollar fashion models. And COVID has made them probably take a couple steps back and rethink that i would i would imagine.

Emily Ho 20:07
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve seen I mean, some of my favorite influencers that I follow they, they all of a sudden have turned into E-Com models. And that’s amazing. And then you have some of the models who are influencers themselves that have you know, been able to take shots at home and use those like esos has a lot of that going on. elqui has a lot of that going on. If you look at those those pages, and it’s like, oh, this is a different look. And in some ways, it’s a lot more relatable, it might not be as as editorial as a brand, you know, hopes and obviously you give up some creative control by outsourcing that to an influencer. But it’s also really interesting to see how how the items are portrayed now versus you know, in a straight traditional E-com shoot,

Jason Falls 20:50
Well as a as a testament to what we’re talking about here. Part of one of the one of the case studies and one of the things I talked about in the book Which is assumed to come out with influence. L’Oreal, I think it is spends 75% of their marketing budget total marketing budget on influencers. And their total marketing budget is over a billion dollars as a company because they have a lot of brands underneath that umbrella. So you’re talking about a company that spending we estimate over a billion dollars a year on influencers, not on marketing on influencers? Yeah. And and that that’s a great testament to the fact that, you know, this type of content creator is incredibly powerful, especially in that fashion space.

Emily Ho 21:32
Well, and you have to look at where, you know, where a brand like L’Oreal, what traditionally are in the past, advertise, how are they reaching people? What were the only mediums you could use to reach people? You know, you could do TV, you could do print. But now Where are people going to consume their beauty content, they’re going to YouTube, they’re going to Instagram. So it totally makes sense that the dollars would follow where the consumer is taking in that content. So

Jason Falls 22:00
So how did you find your way to becoming an influencer? I know you’ve you’ve mentioned that you’re obviously in the fashion and beauty space, you’re in a niche, you know, vertical in that in the in the plus size, fashion and beauty space. But how did that evolve for you? How did you become an influencer?

Emily Ho 22:15
Well, I started … this is my 11th year. So I was started actually in weight loss. And that’s something I don’t ever talk about anymore is weight loss as a topic. But I was just it was a journal, it was an online journal, I was a marketer, I, you know, worked in brand and product management, I knew how to, you know, create a website or a blog or, you know, whatever. And I just started writing, you know, this is what I’m going through what’s happening and I thought my friends maybe would read it, maybe they wouldn’t. And it really just kind of grew from there because people were like, Oh, she’s getting an audience. I had no idea where they were coming from the you know, old school power of SEO, I suppose. And also Twitter, Twitter. Really really helped me in the early days. And now I’m like, oh, Twitter, but really in making connections and the more that I wrote, and the more that I shared, the more people talked back. And I was like, hold on, there are other people who are interested in this thing that I’m talking about that I maybe don’t necessarily feel like I have representative my friend groups. So here’s a way to kind of build this, this thing where I can have a community, and it just grew, you know, from there. And the more I talked about different things, the more people followed, and, you know, the clothing and fashion that came because I took probably a before and after picture or something, and someone asked, Where did you get that card again? And I’m like, Oh, it’s just a card again, like I don’t, I don’t know. And then but then it really was like, Oh, wait, they really don’t understand or they don’t know where I’m finding this stuff. And so fashion for me has always been a creative outlet. So then being able to pivot into that, and I still do talk a lot about I’m a very personal blogger. I talk a lot about a lot of personal things. So I think that the power of how I’ve been able to do this for 11 years, even with small followers on on Instagram, one, my channels are diversified. And I have good long form content. And then also the people who have been with me have with me for 11 years. And they know me and I think that’s going to be interesting. Coming up with you know, everybody wants to be an influencer. But do you actually know who this person is? I see some of the most beautiful photography on the Explore page and beautiful clothing. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, but I don’t know who that person is. So I think that’s going to be a next interesting thing to watch. You know, are we going to move back away from beautiful pictures and whatever, and to really understanding who that person is? What do they stand for? And you see a lot of that right now too, with just everything going on is are you going to talk about masks? Are you going to talk about quarantine or are you either party right

Jason Falls 24:54
Yeah? Yeah, that that that level of transparency and being authentic which actually is part of your brand name is is a big factor and a big separating factor too. I think that that oftentimes is the distinguishing factor for me when I’m working with clients on who we would you rather use versus not use is, you know, the superficial ones. Yeah, they might be able to get your reach maybe a little bit of awareness, but the ones who are really authentic and have that sort of deep, even I even prefer influencers who have blogs, because I know they can go deep on the long form content. And most of those people are just by the nature of the content that they create going to be a little bit more authentic, a little bit more transparent. There’s going to be a lot more depth to that relationship. So those are the ones that I I tend to recommend if if I’m comparing apples to oranges and say, well, one is better than the other. That’s That to me is better than the superficial, you know, person. I spent an entire chapter of the book talking about a specific influencer in the fashion space lifestyle fashion space, who launched her own brand didn’t sell a thing. And it was. And I diagnose it because I’m like, here’s why she wasn’t successful at launching her own product. She wasn’t successful launching her own product, because nobody knows who this person is. It’s just a series of pictures. We don’t know you. Right? And so that’s a big piece of it. So you you mentioned there how you made this the pivot to fashion, you know, with the Where did you get that cardigan thing? Tell me about how you made the, you know, the next step in the process of being able to connect with brands and actually monetize that content in an interesting way.

Emily Ho 26:35
You know, I’m fortunate and that I got into blogging early, and which gave me a definite first mover advantage and do you know, having my name out there a little bit earlier than some people? I know clever girls reached out to me like eight years ago to do something with Yahoo. And I was like, I don’t know how you found me, but I’m really thankful. So that that definitely one of the biggest turning points for me was you know, when I was kind of straddling the the fitness and body positive fashion space was, there was a brand that I just used and loved. And I talked about it. And then I was like, You know what, I’m a marketer, I’m gonna see they need some help, I can see they need some help, I’m gonna send them a pitch. It’s something I bought organically, whatever. I sent them a pitch because I wanted to go to a blogging conference. And I’d never been to one and I said, Hey, do you want to pay for my, for my travel? And here’s what I’ll do for you. Here’s my deliverables. Here’s my following this is lean to the value of what this this, you know, is? And they said, Sure. And so they sent me to my first blogging conference. And I, you know, did that I came back, I wrote my little report up, I sent it to them, they were like, this is fantastic. And I said, oh, by the way, I’m a marketer by trade. You know, I do work for a corporation. But do you want me to do this for you? I have some time on the nights and weekends where I can help grow your social channels, come up with some content for you on behalf of, you know, on your behalf, and they said, Sure, send a proposal, and I did and that was a years ago, and I’ve been handling their digital marketing ever since. Yeah, so that’s great. Yeah, well, that’s how all of my major clients I’ve had for the past seven, eight years have have come about is synergy between what I was talking about online, what I’m personally passionate about. And, you know, kind of who these people are, like, they’re just fans, I’m fans. And, you know, obviously, the best thing for a marketer is to be able to market something that you’re super passionate about, and being able to prove that I’m passionate about it before I even you know, approach them is that’s been really beneficial.

Jason Falls 28:33
So that that story and tell me if they’re one in the same because I want to, if they’re different, I want to separate them out. But that story sounds to me like where you made the pivot to, you know, working as a marketer for building an agency and working as a marketer for other brands. But where was the Where was the first sort of, you know, hurdle that you jumped over and became a fashion like a plus size model for a company and we’re doing you know, photoshoots, and things like that. For a brand Where did that happen? Or do I have? Or am I mixing the two together? Are you mixing the two together? And I’m not seeing it?

Emily Ho 29:07
No, they’re definitely different because that I was still in the, I don’t know, in in the fitness II space. So I think it came down to I started sharing more of my outfits. And then this is actually another client story, but definitely how I got more into Well, there’s a few different stories. But I think this authored, like, organically talking about different brands that I love, like, there’s not that many places that plus sized shoppers can can shop from especially eight or nine years ago, 10 years ago. So I think just, you know, tagging brands early on as they were establishing their channels really helped. I know mine, Brian then flew me out to New York to go to some kind of event where they were talking about their new upcoming launch and I was like, What is this life what I don’t even understand. And then because of that, you know, I think just having a topic that I’m passionate about and that I’ve talked about repeatedly It helped me become a little bit of a, I don’t know if you want to call it a thought leader or something like that in the plus size space. And so then I had someone who was like, Oh, I follow this person said this to the CEO of a company that was starting up and said, you know, you should follow her. She has some fashion stuff. And that turned into they were like, Oh, we really like your stuff. We’re launching this, you know, startup service subscription for plus size clothing. Can you come to New York and talk to us about your experience? It’s a plus size consumer. And so then that turned into a whole whole thing. So I really think it’s it was from the outset, you know, just talking about things that I loved, and then having people reach out to me organically. And that’s not to say that I definitely don’t pitch people and I do and I think one thing I can point to is consistency of content over a long period of time. So yeah, it’s all intertwined. It’s a very interesting my professional life and my influencing life. All of that it all ties together.

Jason Falls 31:04
So if someone were to come to you now, a young whippersnapper out of college or whatever and said, I want to be an influencer, assuming that they can create content, so that’s got to be a minimum, they’ll learn very quickly that they can’t do it if they can’t create content, but let’s assume they can create pretty decent content from a business side of things. What advice would you give a young person today saying I want to I want to have that influence or life?

Emily Ho 31:30
One, I would say don’t quit your day job. No, but I really, I think my biggest advice would be, you know, write about what you love, share about what you love, create content about brands that you love, so that there is already you know, when you go into actually approach a brand, have that synergy between Yes, this is who I am, I am the representative person for your brand. I am your customer, I am this person. And then you know really starting out that way, but I think the biggest mistake that a lot of younger people whippersnappers, as you call them. I think a lot of a mistake they make is that they, they think that you can just make a lot of money and become famous and have all these followers and it’s easy. And it is this influencing, it’s harder than running a consulting business like influencing is, it’s very difficult. The amount of time you have to do to create the content is very difficult. So I think really, it’s also niching down your positioning. So what do you want to influence? If you’re someone who wants to become lifestyle and do home and decor and fashion and beauty and travel and food and like, that’s not? That’s throwing, you know, darts in too many different directions. So also, you know, starting a little bit smaller starting, what are you really passionate about? What are the companies that you want to work with? What does that look like? And then how are you going to create content in the meantime, to be able to one, get their attention in the future and be able to show them what you Did but to build followers around, you know people who are also passionate about these things.

Jason Falls 33:07
Emily where can people find you on the internet?

Emily Ho 33:10
My consulting company is called Authentically Social. You can find me at authenticallysocial.com and @authenticallysocial on Instagram and Twitter and then my blog is Authentically Emmie – authenticallyemmie.com and it’s at authemmie – A-U-T-H-E-M-M-I-E on Instagram and Twitter and I’m on Facebook.

Jason Falls 33:30
Always great to catch up with you. love what you do and really appreciate the the knowledge you shared with us today. Thanks for your time.

Emily Ho 33:38
Of course. Thank you.

Transcribed by otter.ai

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.



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