Hello! Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m Country Manager for Promoty, an influence marketing platform, in the Netherlands. Basically I’ve been setting up and running the Dutch market for almost two years now. My background is in social media management, that’s how I started. I am originally from Amsterdam, and when I was 18 I moved to London. There I worked in sales at Victoria’s Secret and then for some high-end fashion brands, always as a retail brand manager or sales specialist. That sort of started my interest in branding and communication, so I decided to study that at London College of Fashion. After a year and a half at school, I dropped out. I was supposed to go back, but I didn’t; so I became a ski instructor and I loved it. That’s when I got my first collaboration with Dope Snow. I was at 800 followers. It was just through a friend, and that’s what got me interested in influencer marketing and in social media. I started developing my social media but I then realized that I was more interested in doing it for brands, so I’m self-taught in that way, I guess. I love giving advice on socials and eventually ended up at Promoty and loved it. Now I get to build Promoty here in the Netherlands, which is great.
When you entered fashion school, was that for the creation of fashion or social media/fashion branding?
I entered fashion school for fashion branding, mostly. I very quickly realized that it wasn’t my spot. I’m someone who likes collaborating with other people; drawing on the strengths of other people and making sure that together you create something. Within the fashion industry, I often feel like it’s very competitive in a negative kind of sense. Like, yes, every industry has competition, but in the fashion industry it’s not about building people up. What mostly happens is that people get torn down, which is not an environment I see myself in. Next to that I just discovered that I am much more interested in so many other things, my interests are so broad that just doing fashion wasn’t enough for me. I think influencer marketing right now has been really good for me, I get to run campaigns for so many different kinds of companies. I learn a little bit from everyone, which I love.
Can you tell us a little bit about influencer marketing? What is it?
It’s different for each campaign that you’re running. On the platform, people can run their own campaigns, I just assist them with their thoughts. It’s a very low entry-level for people, it’s a way they can start out with influencer marketing. But when I do run campaigns, depending on the goal, I set up a custom campaign. For example, there’s a campaign that I’m currently working on where we only work with affiliates. Then another campaign I’ve run was where I was looking to find new clients that I knew were going to create great content, creators that had a big reach because they want it to be more out and known. It’s really about what the goals are, what they want to reach, and what the KPI is basically.
Do you think that there’s a level of social responsibility that comes from influencer marketing?
I honestly think there is, and especially if you’re looking at Gen Z they’re so aware of it. I’m in between Millennials and Gen Z, and I think especially the younger people are aware of this which I think is awesome. For me with the social aspects of influencers, you can be an influencer even if you have a small number of followers. With 1000 followers, you can be an influencer. It’s just about: who are you reaching? What are you saying? Why are people listening to you? I do think you have to be mindful of certain things that you do online. At the start, you can maybe be a bit more out there that’s why people will start following you. But you have to become more responsible, especially when you get a bit bigger. You have some Dutch influencers here, they know their followers are young. So at some point, you have to be responsible for the information you’re spreading. And that’s something we try to teach companies and influencers on both sides. Make sure you ask yourself what the message you’re sending with this campaign is. Does that reach the right target audience and does that audience match the message that you’re putting out there?
Could you talk about a little bit of what you talked about during your lecture at Global School for Entrepreneurship?
I mostly talked about the basics of influencer marketing. Basically, I teach influencer marketing 101, as I like to call it. It’s anywhere from start to finish, like how do you start with setting up a campaign? How do you work all those things out? And what are the things that you have to watch? So we focused on how they can immediately implement this into their business. I gave them a worksheet as well that they could fill out, and discussed how not all businesses are suited for influencer marketing. I also discussed how they need to be mindful of their overall social presence. When you start with influence marketing, you need to know who you are and everything. I hope that that’s what got them thinking a bit about that as well. Like, hey, there’s no way of promoting me if I don’t know exactly who I am and what I represent. But yeah, we mostly focused on making sure they know the basics of everything related to influencer marketing.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs looking to get into influencer marketing?
As I mentioned, I think it’s very important to just know who you are and what you want to achieve. The way you get there depends completely on what the goal is, there’s no single way to get there. I always say influencer marketing isn’t one size fits all. It really depends on who you are, what you’re doing, and where you want to go. I have so many companies try out an influencer marketing campaign and are like, ‘well, it doesn’t work.’ It’s important to recognize that influencer marketing is such a long-term strategy. We know that consumers need about seven or eight touch-points before they’re ready to buy a product. Basically influencer marketing is just a great way to get more touch-points for your brand and get them ready to buy what you’re selling.