Ep 46: Expert Tips for Marketing, PR, and Personal Branding with Julie Solomon

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There are many different paths to building an audience, but leveraging other influencers by managing their publicity is a great approach for those who are just starting out. In this episode, we sit down once again with the wonderful Julie Solomon to hear about her journey from being a publicist to a marketing coach who now enjoys her own massive audience too. Julie is a seven-figure entrepreneur and host of the wildly successful Influencer Podcast which has accrued millions of downloads from listeners across the globe. She is an expert in marketing, PR, and personal branding, and has worked with stars like Lenny Kravitz, Dave Ramsey, and Amy Porterfield.

In our conversation today, you’ll hear how Julie found the inspiration and confidence to keep pushing higher even after she had found amazing success as a publicist. The insightful and practical steps to orchestrate brand deals and approach thought leaders to arrange collaborations she offers in this episode are incredibly valuable. Julie also talks about how to appear on National TV – in many ways the holy grail and benchmark of influencer success – and the advice she offers could be used by absolutely anybody. Julie’s strategic and tactical clarity on today’s show is remarkable, so make sure you don’t miss out on it! 

WATCH THE INTERVIEW:

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE BELOW:

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • Julie’s process of becoming an influencer through her marketer family and being a publicist. 
  • Self-limiting beliefs about what women should be like and how Julie got over them. 
  • How Julie went from supporting other famous people to stepping into her own fame. 
  • Staying true to her dreams and how it helped Julie level up from publicity. 
  • The role moving to NYC and meeting her husband played in Julie’s rise in confidence. 
  • Business, marketing, and entrepreneurship skills Julie learned as a publicist. 
  • Transitioning from fashion to marketing blogging and how Julie found her ‘why’. 
  • Influencer tips for how to define an audience and network with thought leaders in that space. 
  • Leveraging other influencers by sending them valuable old content to look at. 
  • Ratios of how many influencers you should approach vs how many will respond. 
  • Earning a spot on national television by synchronizing with hot topics and starting small. 
  • Using pitching to turn a big but low income-producing audience into one that pays. 
  • The idea that you don’t need a huge audience to make money as an influencer. 
  • Approaching brands to augment brand/influencer relationships very early on. 
  • Why brands love micro-influencers: low follower counts have a high engagement rate. 
  • The research process for finding appropriate connections to approach brands. 
  • How influencer-created, brand-sponsored posts can be leveraged for money and reach. 
  • Special snowflake syndrome: proud thoughts that are in fact self-limiting. 

TWEETABLES:

“Whenever you’re trying to cultivate any type of audience for what you do, you gotta know who you’re talking to.” — @JulsSolomon [0:13:40] 

“It’s not that challenging of a thing at this point to find a contact or to find someone who may know someone.” — @JulsSolomon [0:15:18] 

“We’ve had students that have had as little as 300 followers that have gotten brand deals.” — @JulsSolomon [0:25:07] 

“Being diagnosed with special snowflake syndrome can be detrimental to your overall success.” — @JulsSolomon [0:34:52] 

ABOUT JULIE SOLOMON:

Julie Solomon is an expert in digital marketing, PR, and personal branding and is the Founder of Pitch It Perfect, The Influencer Academy and host of The Influencer Podcast. She has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, and People Magazine.  With her viral podcast achieving millions of downloads in more than 170 countries, Julie was recently named as one of the Top 100 leaders in influencer marketing. As a seven-figure entrepreneur, she has founded several companies and has worked with household names such as Dave Ramsey and Lenny Kravitz and has interviewed cutting edge trailblazers including Rachel Hollis, Marie Forleo and Drybar Founder Alli Webb. With degrees in journalism and digital media, Julie is the creator of The Influencer Academy and Pitch It Perfect and is a sought-after keynote speaker. With over a decade of experience in helping individuals turn messages into movements, Julie empowers entrepreneurs to expand their brand and grow their influence.  

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Julie Solomon — https://www.juliesolomon.net/ 

Julie Solomon on Twitter — https://twitter.com/JulsSolomon 

Julie Solomon on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/julssolomon/ 

The Influencer Podcast — https://www.juliesolomon.net/podcast 

Forbes — https://www.forbes.com/#12f798af2254 

Huffington Post — https://www.huffpost.com/ 

People Magazine — https://people.com/ 

Dave Ramsey — https://www.daveramsey.com/ 

Lenny Kravitz on Twitter — https://twitter.com/LennyKravitz 

Amy Porterfield — https://www.amyporterfield.com/ 

Marie Forleo — https://www.marieforleo.com/ 

Rachel Hollis — https://thehollisco.com/ 

Michael Hyatt — https://michaelhyatt.com/ 

Good Morning America — https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/ 

Create & Cultivate — https://www.createcultivate.com/ 

Pitch It Perfect — https://pitchitperfect.net/ 

Nike — https://www.nike.com/ 

Brand Builders Group — https://brandbuildersgroup.com/ 

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RV: (00:01) So Julie Solomon is my new next door neighbor, best friend or neighbor bestie, they just moved to Nashville recently and we got the chance to work together like six or seven months ago and got to know each other a little bit. And I just adore this woman and I adore her story and her heart, what you’re gonna hear all about. And she’s already never home in Nashville, so I don’t actually get to see her that much. Even then. Now she is here, but you know, the official, let me give you like the official so she’s a seven figure entrepreneur and she hosts a podcast called the Influencer Podcast, which is an incredible podcast. So she’s been an expert in marketing and PR and personal branding. You know, her whole career. She’s been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post people magazine, but her podcasts, literally has gotten millions of downloads. She has listeners in like 170 countries. And so over the years she’s worked on campaigns for people like Dave Ramsey or Lenny Kravitz. But in the last couple of years she’s gotten to interview, you know, Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, Rachel Hollis, people like that. And she’s just awesome. And I, I knew when we put this together, you had to, you had to get to meet her if you didn’t already know her. So, Julie, welcome, welcome to the show. JS: (01:21) Yes. And thank you so much for having me. You know I love any more soul of time that I get with you. So it’s amazing to be here. RV: (01:29) So tell us like your, tell us a little bit about your story, right? Like it seems like one of the reasons I wanted to talk with you is cause it seems like you sort of started behind the scenes promoting everybody else and then you stepped forward and became the personality. Is that an accurate JS: (01:49) Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. And I think that partly due to confidence and partly due to just knowledge and experience and then how, you know, how, how I saw that I could really show up and serve people I’m a two part in and why and why I was kind of behind the scenes and then went in front of the scenes. So I started well growing up I’ve always had a knack for connection and you know, loving to talk to people. I’m a very curious person. My mom was a medical sales rep growing up that, you know, so that, that knack for marketing and sales and just kind of doing that. I, I saw it, you know, around me. I came from a line of realtors, you know, so just that knack for really kind of being that being that people person being someone who wants to serve people kind of in that, in your face capacity. It was always around me growing up and majored in marketing and communications. Started my career in New York City as a publicist. So that was kind of, I remembered at one point in college, I was watching some kind of like red carpet, like Golden Globes or something. And I kept seeing these women in like black dresses with like little walkie talkie things behind the celebrities, like walking them around. And I was like, what is that? And I kind of looked into it and it was a publicist and I was like, I want to do RV: (03:13) Laura bodyguard. It couldn’t use the potty card, but you went to publicist route, route. JS: (03:20) And so I, you know, and I think at the time it was, it was a little bit of, I knew that I could probably do that very well. I, you know, I’m, from what I just said, I love people. I was always really good in terms of integrations. Really organized type A, did well in school, could stay on top of my stuff. And I think at the time I probably didn’t realize it, but I might’ve really wanted to tap into more of my visionary stuff, but I wasn’t confident enough to do that yet. So it was a lot easier just to kind of like sit back and in play that integrative role, which ended up serving me very, very well. And so women, RV: (03:57) Let me talk to you about, I want to stop you on that part because, cause I want to get into some of the tactics, particularly in publicity because the, that’s like I think something you’re really good at and always have been. But before that, tell me about the confidence issue because more and more as I have learned and gotten to meet entertainers and celebrities, you’re married to one a and an actor, a very successful actor. And it’s, it’s like the confidence really matters on camera and really believing it. And then also the confidence to just like start your own thing and go after it. So what, what was the point where you made the pivot from going, you know, I, I don’t have the confidence to, I’m ready to take the leap. So, so what was kind of going on in your head that was the limiting belief that was holding you back? That you kind of like something happened, he flipped the switch and you, you went for it. Do you remember much about that? JS: (04:54) Yeah, I just, somewhere along the way of growing up, I cultivated this belief system in me that as a woman, in order to be accepted, I needed to s to stay small and quiet and just cute and just kind of like stick to my little like box kind of thing. You know, it’s dream but not too big speak, but not too loud, you know, you don’t really want to be a big deal. And so I kind of allowed that to hold me back and you know, I would, I’ll, I’ll be a publicist for the people, but I’m going to stay right here. And so I would always kind of like dabble in this idea of wanting to all these kinds of creative endeavors, if you will. Always wanted to write a book, but I didn’t have the confidence to do it. So I became a book publicist, you know, I always wanted to have these creative endeavors that didn’t have the confidence to do it. RV: (05:48) It goes to the people, but you were never the person. JS: (05:52) Exactly. So it was kind of like in some way I was like feeding off of their energy, kind of felt like I was a part of the cool kids club, so to speak, but didn’t really have the confidence and the self and the I think the, not that necessarily the self awareness, but I think it’s, it was just purely the confidence to really step into that and say, I don’t have to believe that story anymore. RV: (06:17) Wow. And I, I mean, I know for sure you know, I still to this date have these moments where I really struggle with, I know for sure somebody is watching right now or they’re listening and they’re going, holy crap. Like that’s me. Like, I, I’ve wanted to pursue this dream. I know I have a mission I, you know, I feel called by God or I feel like this is why I’m here. But they don’t have the con like they’re up against that block and they’re, they’re probably watching or listening because they want to do it. And, and this helps them feel close to it, but making that leap. So what do you remember what happened that like, cause that’s a big time limiting belief. Oh does he know that you were carrying that? Like oh women are supposed to sort of play small. Were you, you were aware of that and then how did you break free of it? JS: (07:05) I mean I think that if I, to get really honest with myself, I do believe that there was something in here that was telling me like, cause I also at the same time I had this small voice inside me that was longing for more, that wanted to pursue more, that was curious about gangs. And it just kind of kept getting louder and louder and louder. But I also knew that by staying small and not really taking action on those things that I wanted to take action on, you know, I wasn’t being authentic. I wasn’t really living authentically. And so, you know, it’s kind of that idea of my beliefs became my thoughts like which became my feelings, which became my actions, which became my results. And so that’s just kind of what I allowed myself to stay in. And then it wasn’t until I mean it was a while. JS: (07:50) It was probably about almost seven or eight years into me doing PR. I had at that point had met Jonathan, had moved to Los Angeles and that, what was the other thing too? I think that at that time I was also surrounded by people, at least what I kind of look back on now, that they might have been a little afraid to kind of lose me in their life. And so they didn’t really want me to grow either. And, and I kind of allowed that to be like a really easy excuse for me not to grow as well. But once I met my husband to is so about just supporting my dreams and letting me go and, you know, having that path and holding space for that it was a multitude of things. I think it was I moved, RV: (08:37) He’s a good piece of arm candy too. It’s, it gives you confidence and they, when they land a good piece of arm candy, JS: (08:43) Yes. He’s not, he’s not too shabby to look to look at. And I, I got that zest in New York, you know, I was around so many different types of people and different types of industry and cultures and so I got this zest for it but didn’t really have the confidence to like drive it home myself. And once I moved to La and met John and we had gotten married and we were pregnant with our child that’s when it really started happening. I had been doing the PR thing for about seven or eight years at that point and I was just kind of getting to this really stagnant place. Like I was hitting that ceiling. I wasn’t inspired. I had, mind you my PR work, I got to do a lot of really awesome things. I got to work with a lot of incredible authors and thought leaders and we’re part of really amazing projects. JS: (09:29) So you know, my work there, I don’t want to kind of just shy it away because I did learn so much. I learned a lot about business, a lot about marketing, a lot about, you know, being an entrepreneur. But I would even see some of these people, even the, the old CEO of my publishing house was Michael Hyatt and he even left the company to then go off and do what he does now, which is this massive entrepreneurial company and machine. And so even watching people like him, I was like, man, like people do this and it works out. Like people really do follow that, you know, and really listen to that. So if they can, like, why can’t I? It’s kind of that idea of if you spot it, you got it. So so I started kind of again and it was slow because I had this limiting belief, took some time to kind of retrain. JS: (10:17) So I started kind of dipping my toes into blogging, which was kind of my side hustle at the time. And I started out as a lifestyle mommy blogger. I was writing content, I started to acquire brand deals. I started to really use my, my expertise and my technique of pitching to pitch myself for media, pitch myself for, you know, paid collaborations with companies and really use my expertise as a publicist to kind of help me along the way. But again, I found myself kind of hitting that ceiling of like, you know, lifestyle and fashion. Blogging really isn’t my passion either. I love to write, but fashion is not really a passion for me. Like I’m not as passionate about it as some of the other people that I see or talking about this or that or whatever. So I kind of got back to the roots of like, what my why was like, why do I want to do this? JS: (11:09) What, what problem do I really solve for people and how does that align with my why? And that’s when I kind of went back to the, to the, to the connection piece and the communication piece and the marketing and PR piece and tried to figure out ways to kind of merge those things together. And so I thought, well, maybe, maybe I’ll start blogging about marketing and PR and branding. And maybe help these bloggers and youtubers and content creators that are now my people years that I’ve met through this blogging space. And that’s what I started doing. RV: (11:42) One of the things that jumps out to me about that too is, is just like the people you were around had something to do with with it. And that is so true. It’s like you’re either around a group of people are holding you back or you’re around a group of people that are pushing you forward. And when we started brand builders group, you know, we were very clear on like, all right, we’re gonna, we’re gonna support people and help them, you know, get clear on their positioning and figure out what problem they solve and who their audiences and their primary business model. But the thing that’s come out of it, which we never really saw is the community of all the people that come to the events. And it’s just like this rabbit, like quick friendships that are developing. And it’s like, it has nothing to do with anything we’re doing other than just putting the people together. RV: (12:31) So I, I think that networking thing is, is powerful. So I want to talk about the publicity thing cause I don’t think people understand it and I don’t think I even, Eh, do a great job of it. But what is your mindset like you mentioned pitching and a that like when you think about publicity, like getting PR. So if somebody’s watching and they’re like, okay, well I want to watch the ban but I’ve never been on good morning America and I’ve never been featured in Huffington post and I’ve never been whatever. How do I do that? What is your like mindset and process just in terms of ground, how do you get PR who gets selected to be interviewed? You know, like what’s that all look like? JS: (13:15) Yeah, I mean I think the first step, and I think this goes with, with whenever you’re trying to cultivate any type of audience for what you do, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. So that’s the first step. Because you want to make sure that you’re pitching the appropriate outlets for what you want to talk about. So a lot of it is research on the front end. Like if you, if you want an article in Forbes magazine or forbes.com or Huffpost, you first have to figure out what, what am I bringing to the table, what is the content that I’m going to be sharing and who does that content for? And then once you get clear on that step, the next step is, okay, now who is the editor or the freelancer or the writer who serves this content in this audience. And a lot of times you can find that through Google. You can find it through Twitter, you can find it through going to Huffington post or going to forbes.com and going through the articles and see who was the contributor for that piece. And you can reach out to them directly and say, Hey, I have this idea. This is who it’s for RV: (14:15) Through Twitter or Instagram or like JS: (14:17) Through linkedin. Yeah, I mean in this day and age, when I first started PR in 2007 there was no Twitter there. Facebook was kind of really early in its, in its beginning there was no Instagram. We literally had media databases. There was one called Cision that costs an arm and a leg that people had subscribed to for a year to get it. And then you might have gotten lucky if you, if you googled back then, but now in 2019 I mean honestly if someone comes to me and says like they can’t find a contact, I usually kind of think I have to call them, call them out on that excuse because we have more information available to us now than we ever have of, you know, it’s like sign up for the $20 a month on linkedin. Right. Like get the email, you know, it’s not that challenging of, of a, of a thing at this point to find a contact or to find someone who may know someone a little bit of work. RV: (15:09) Are you shy? You’re not in, you’re not shy about approaching. It was like if you’ve done, if you’ve done the research and you know that this media outlet produces this kind of media and this is the writer or the interviewer that covers segments just like this, and, and, and I can talk and provide value to that audience, then you just basically like straight up send him a linkedin message or a tweet or a DM and you tell them, I know you write on this. I know you serve this audience. That’s who I’m an expert in and here’s the content, you know, I’d love to like, is it that simple? JS: (15:43) It is that simple. And a lot of times you can actually take, if you’re someone who has a blog, for example, you can take a piece of content you’ve already written and repurpose it and send it to them. Say, yes, you know, I sent this out. We got a lot of feedback about my audience. It really served them in this way. These were the, you know, this is what we hit on. This is how it helped them. This was the call to action. Okay. And I think that it would fit your audience. This is why I already have it written. If you want to read it, let me know your thoughts. I’m happy to tweak it for you. Let me know. You know, if you need anything else or if I need to help you pull together something else to make it happen or responsive to this. JS: (16:16) Oh yeah, they’re responsive. I mean even the other day I there’s a company called create cultivate that have conferences all over the country that target my ideal audience, that target my ideal woman and I’ve been wanting to be a part of their conference for a while, kind of put it on the back burner, saw something that came up the other day and it reminded me and I literally found an email, sent it to them and said, you know, hey, I’m going to be in La for a couple of weeks. I would love to have coffee. And I also know that you have some conferences coming up. This is what I’ve been doing this year. These are the topics that I’ve been speaking on. I would love to come wrote me back the next day and said, we would love to have you at our San Francisco conference RV: (16:53) And this is just like send an email, lay it out and just, JS: (16:58) Yep. And you may, again, there is a little research on the front end. I don’t want it to sound like it’s just, you know, I mean, and I’m also going off of the basis that you are someone who actually has valuable content to share. Right? Well going off of the basis of that RV: (17:11) You have something worthwhile bring them. Yeah. JS: (17:15) Right, exactly. But it’s a lot of the times, again, it’s that fear of like, well what if no one gets back to me? What if I email the wrong person? What if I hear crickets on the other end? And that may happen and you know, you have to kind of go into it with, with, you know, for every 10 pitches you send out, you may get five that actually respond to you and then three out of the five that you actually land and hey, that’s three more that you would not have if you would have never reached out to begin with. And you can craft, I mean, RV: (17:44) We have a good ratio that’s not like, that’s not like you’re making a thousand calls and you’re going to sell one person. I mean JS: (17:51) Exactly. And it’s actually easier now more than ever because when I was doing meaty, yeah. You know, back then that that was before, you know, dotcoms had really blown up and there were more traditional editors that were on, you know, there were employees of the company, they were on staff there. They’re looking for contributors, they need the content. They don’t have a team and a staff of writers anymore. So they love it when you come and you hand them everything on a silver platter, you have it curated and you’ve done your homework. Like take a little time to read what these writers that you’re pitching to are editors that you’re pitching to have you actually written, give a little time and a little feedback to them so they know that you’re being serious about what you’re offering. RV: (18:33) Yeah. So I love this. Now I know I want to talk to you a little bit about like national TV cause that’s the thing like, oh my gosh, you know, like people think media and they go, good morning America, the today show. Yeah. Like, you know, is it, when is it realistic to do that? Like should you wait, should you just go for it? And you know, I know that you’ve, you know, you’ve, you’ve worked with people who are on those, you know, have been on those outlets and what does it really take to sort of catch the attention at that? Like huge, you know, major national scale, JS: (19:09) Right? Well there’s a couple of ways that you can go. But specifically for TV, there’s kind of a little niche here. Like there can be instances, again, depending on the climate, you know, of our culture. So if, let’s say if your, if your topic is politics and you’re coming out with something fall of 2020 during an election, you may have a better opportunity of getting a national television spot, depending on what that topic may be. So the seasonal approaches can change certain things with television, hot topics, folks can change certain things with television. But you know, traditionally speaking, if you’re someone that wants to hit a national television spot, nine times out of 10 a national television booker or producer is gonna want to see something from you that is on camera, right? Whether that’s, you know, a local television spot, you’ve done what they’re, that’s youtube interviews that you’ve been on, any kind of local media, they’re gonna want to see how you are and in your dynamic on camera if they’re going to potentially put you on camera. JS: (20:11) So the first thing that I would always tell clients of mine in the past is that sometimes you do have to start small to kind of build up your reel and build up your deck, go to your local television station and you know, pitch them, start small and kind of build it up. Reach out to dotcoms that have digital television shows or digital and interviews there, things like that. Anything, even something like this, you know, where they can just, they can see you on camera, they can see how you’re dynamics, they can see how, how you flow your dictation, all that kind of stuff that will go into effect. So that is the first key. Those are the kind of the two folds there. You could go off the bat and national media and see what happens depending on the topic and what not. Or what I always say is build up the deck and build up the real, and then you can have a real that you just send out and then they can see for themselves. RV: (20:57) Yeah, I think that’s, that’s the big thing that I learned. You know, I’ve, I’ve had a few major national appearances, not a ton, but I is remembering that TV is a visual medium and whatever you’re doing, the more you can make it visual and just if, even if that’s just you as an interviewer, ultimately to attract eyeballs, you have to do something that’s interesting visually. The other thing I remember is it goes by insanely fast, like a five minute segment feels in real life. Like 10 seconds. I mean, yes. So, so I think that’s great. All right, so I’m a little bit kind of, oh, go ahead. Go ahead. Yeah. JS: (21:36) Is that, and no one ever really thinks of this. If you’re pitching yourself for TV, you can always do a pitch on video. So they see lar, we’ve actually had some pitches come through on video for us for the podcast, which was great because we got to hear the person auditorily. We got to really kind of hear their passion and how they were and how they really sounded. So video pitches can work really well as well. RV: (22:03) What a simple, yeah, what a simple thing. A, I love that. I love that. Okay. So I, I want to, I want to get to, you know, kind of also on the line of pitching his brand deals. Yeah. you know, this is a thing we have a saying around Bram Ram builders group where we say, you know, there’s a lot of people out there unfortunately who are Twitter rich and dollar broke. They have lots of followers and they don’t, but they’re not converting it to money. And it’s amazing. You know, we’d meet these people with a million followers and like they have no income coming in and you know, we teach all these different business models and you know, as you, as you know, you’ve been through our training and we try to help people figure out one. But when it comes to brand deals, like I go Julie, like Julie is she, she’s the master and I know you have your course pitch at perfect, which is killer course for people on this space. RV: (22:56) But can you dislike, talk to us a little bit about what is, what is a brand deal? What’s the likelihood of getting one, you know, how much do they actually pay? I mean I know if you’re tiger woods or you’re Michael Jordan, but like if you’re, if you’re a person, how many followers do you need to have to get one? And then what’s the process of actually of actually getting one? Cause I think like national TV, we all SORTA sink. We sit around waiting going, what do I have to do to make somebody find me? And I’ve really appreciated your outlook, which is like, no, that’s not how it works. Like you Kinda, you gotta go get it. So can you talk about it? JS: (23:34) Yeah. And actually I love that you bring this up cause this is the entire reason why we created pitch it perfect was that when I was starting out, I didn’t have, you know, compared to a lot of my friends who had tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, I had way less than 10,000 followers and I would pitch a brand and I would make, you know, three times more on a brand deal than they would. They would actually be accepting gifted product. And I would be over here making five, $10,000 for the brand deal. And so I would have these women predominantly that would come up to me and say flat out, you know, they would say, no offense Julie, but how is it that I have a hundred thousand followers and you have 7,000 followers and you’re waking, you’re making way more money than me. JS: (24:14) And I’m like, well, I know how to pitch myself. And so that’s when I said, I really need to create something that can support these people that are interested in doing this and having it be a really good source of a, of a revenue stream for their business. So we created pitch perfect under, under that pretense. And since then we’ve had thousands of students go through it. But with, with that in mind, well, one of the biggest issues that we see from people that come into our program, one of the biggest things that they say is, I thought that I had to have a certain amount of followers in order to get a brand deal. But now I know that that’s not true because I’ve gone through your program or I thought that brands were just gonna come to me when I was ready to work with them, you know? JS: (24:57) But now I know that that’s not possible. And that’s the thing that really kind of letting people know that there’s no brand ferry that just falls from the sky and is going to give you a brand deal. Just like with anything like you, you’ve, you’ve got to go out. If it’s something that you really want to make a model in your business and kind of part of your revenue stream, you’ve got to get your ducks in order and kind of go there. So there’s kind of certain tiers. First off, I will say that there’s really no set number to start building that relationship with a brand brand. Love what is called, you know, micro influencers, which is anyone that has 10,000 or less followers. We’ve had students that have had as little as 300 followers that have gotten brand deals. So what we really talk about is you want to get in there from the beginning to really start the relationship. JS: (25:42) It’s kind of like a marriage of sorts. You wouldn’t go to someone and marry them most likely the first night that you meet them, you want to warm the relationship up. You want to go on a few dates and really kind of get to know the person and see how you can support one another. Same thing goes when you’re working with these brands. So it’s really about coming and approaching, asking them certain questions, you know, how you know, what is it that you’re looking for? What is your bottom line? What are the new products and services that you have coming out? Who are you trying to target? What is your current budget in your marketing plan? Do you even have an influencer budget? Do you even pay influencers or do you only do gifting? Really asking these kinds of questions on the front end. JS: (26:21) It’s gonna kind of help you save a lot of time in organized. So there’s no quite follower number. But I will say that mostly, you know, you get those 300 to 500 follow a 300 to 500 influencers that have that number of following that get brand deals. But I would say mostly I see any anywhere from 2,500 followers and up, it’s really about the engagement rate. So brands like to look for an engagement rate of at least 4% or higher. Now obviously, typically the smaller your follower number is, the higher your engagement rate’s going to be because you’re not going to have as many followers there that need to engage with you. So that’s why they really do love micro influencers that you may only have 2,500 followers, but if you’ve got a 25% engagement rate in 25% of those 2,500 people are seeing it, you could actually outweigh someone that may have 10,000 followers, but only 0.03% of their followers are seeing their content. So it’s really about, we really like to focus more on the engagement rate and getting your engagement rate strong, as strong as it can be. Then the following number per se. So you’ve got your micro influencers, then you have your macro influencers. RV: (27:33) Who are you talking to? Like if you’re going to go, I want to deal with Nike, like who are you trying to get ahold of? Is it the senior vice president of marketing or is there like a person that may be, JS: (27:46) Yes. So it, it depends a lot like a company like Nike for example, they are going to have this farmed out. You know, their in house team is not going to be dealing with pitches from influencers all day long. They’re going to be sending it to an influencer marketing company, a PR company, you know, there’s kind of a bunch of different umbrellas of how that can unfold. So the first thing, again, you have to go back to the research. Linkedin is a really good place to start researching some of the, you know, who’s the PR Rep and just asking them, hi. You know, I’m so and so. This is my website. This is what I do. You know, I’m really wanting to build a relationship with Nike who is the best contact, you know, that works with the influencers for you guys. Simple as that. I mean, it’s really just getting out there asking the questions, RV: (28:30) But just find somebody and ask them who’s the right. JS: (28:34) Exactly. Deeming brands on Instagram works very, very well. Facebooking brands, sending dms on Facebook to brands works really, really well. And linkedin and Twitter is really good for media. For brands, I would say Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram are going to be your best bets. RV: (28:50) Oh, interesting. So Twitter, you say that again. Twitter is good for media. Yes. JS: (28:54) From media. Yep. And then Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin is better for brands and then the companies that represent the brands, the PR companies and that sort of thing. But a lot of times with Nike, you know, if Nike has a $10 million marketing budget, they’re not going to go. I mean, no, mostly they’re probably not going to go to micro influencers and they’re not even going to go to macro influencers. They’re going to go for the celebrity endorsement deals. We’re going to say we’re going to get so and so. RV: (29:21) What’s the realistic, what is the realistic version? Right? So let’s say somebody is watching and they’ve got 7,500 followers or maybe 25,000 followers, you know, and there you, you know, but they’ve never done a brand deal. What size company would they look and, and then like how much does a reasonable amount to expect? You know, it’s like, you know, celebrities get millions of dollars, but what does just, you know, kind of a person get, JS: (29:52) Yeah. So again, it also depends on like how full Tom are you going into it. So for example, I’ve got a girlfriend of mine that has 250 ish thousand followers. Influencer marketing is her full time Gig and she makes anywhere between 30 to 50 grand a month off of brand deals. RV: (30:07) Okay. Say that again. So she has 250,000 followers. Yep. JS: (30:12) And she makes about 30 to 50 grand a month off brand deal. Okay. RV: (30:17) Gotcha. So, so posting content on social is her full time. That’s her full time job. That was her job. And, and what do they kind of like? So what does that, that’s probably several brands and then would be, what do they normally ask for? Like what do you have to do for them? JS: (30:33) Yeah, so it depends on the assets. It depends on kind of what they’re typically it is. It’s a, it’s an Instagram, it’s a static Instagram post, so on your feed it is brands really love Instagram stories because of the swipe up feature and they can, they can see how many clicks are going and it’s a lot easier to kind of equate into, into follow for them to really see what their ROI is. So they really like Instagram stories and like Instagram is their main focus. Facebook not Twitter, not so much. They may ask for some Pinterest stuff depending on who the brand is and what their focus is. And it also depends on, you know, what is the brand’s goal? And this is one of the questions that I always tell my students to ask when they’re reaching out to brands. Are the brands focused on conversion or are they focused on awareness? Because that’s also going to factor in on how much they pay you on who they choose to work with on why they’re choosing to work with them. So that’s another big thing. If they’re looking to convert dollars, there may be some influencers out there that for whatever reason they don’t convert really well, but they have a huge platform for awareness. So it really kind of just depends on where, what is, what is the goal of the brand and then they can align with the influencer that way. RV: (31:46) So the other thing is while we’re on this topic, this is awesome. This is so enlightening I guess is a world that I know nothing about. Like it’s very eye opening to me how this is how this works. And it’s also very simple and sort of straight forward. It’s like, oh, you know, you just go do it. But what about influencers paying other influencers? Does that, are you seeing, like, do you hear of that happening much? That’s a, a growing thing. JS: (32:14) Yeah, it, it used to not mean, I mean when I first started into this industry of blogging in influencer marketing, which was 2013 ish, it that wasn’t happening as much, but now that influencers are essentially becoming their own brand, they’re creating their own products and services and getting it out there. You definitely see that happen more and more. And in the, in the online course creation industry, you would see it a lot with you know, launches that that affiliate launches that people would do or they would come on board and kind of do a co launch and support one another that way. But I’m seeing it now more with influencers. You’ll have an influencer who has a products coming out and now see it out to other influencers to support that. Or even the brand may put some marketing dollars behind that influencer to then use to kind of see it out that way. The other thing that the brands are doing are also white listing Facebook ads. So they will ask for an opportunity, what does that mean? So they will basically take the posts that you do for them and then they will sponsor it. So they will pay the money to sponsor it as an ad and then that will run for a certain amount of time time. So obviously if the brand is doing that, then they’re going to be saturating you even more, which means more money in your pocket. RV: (33:28) Hi. So that, so you do a, like you create a post on Facebook, like a video of like a product review or something like, Hey, I love this microphone. It’s amazing microphone JS: (33:39) And that’s sponsored. So you’re getting money in your pocket to create that piece of content for the brand and then the brands going into your Facebook ads and they are putting money in and promoting that post. Exactly. RV: (33:53) Yeah. Interesting. So you don’t make any money off of that, but they’re paying you to create it and then they’re exposing you to a bunch of people. JS: (33:58) Right. And what I say is to take it one step farther to say, yeah, you can boost my posts, but if you’re going to be doing that, we need to have terms. And limitations because you’re essentially oversaturating me to my followers and I need to be compensated for that. RV: (34:13) Yeah. So you’ve kind of worked that, worked at an a, this is so, so interesting. I mean, I think the thing of all of this, this is just, yeah, it comes back to that original piece about the confidence and just the siting. Like, you know, I’m going to do this. So I have one little, one last little thing I want to ask you about before we do that, where do you want people to go to connect with you and follow you? You’ll, we’ll put a link to your website and pitch it perfect in in the, you know, recap, show notes of this, but is there where, where’s the best place to find you? JS: (34:48) Yeah. So if you want to learn more about that, that specific skillset of pitching [inaudible] been talking about today, you can go to pigite perfect.net and then if you want free resources on an array of things including pitching, branding, marketing, I of course have the influence or podcast and you can find [email protected] or iTunes, stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. And then my website is just Julie solomon.net and there is where you can learn more about me. I have a lot of free resources on there as well. And then of course it links to the various other things that we’ve talked about today too. RV: (35:23) Love it, love it, love it, love it. So we’ll link, we’ll link all that up as well. So the last thing I want to, to have you talk about is when, when, when you came here, you came to Vaden villa, you, you were, we did a two day strategy session with you and John was there and loved it, loved meeting you guys. And I think we became friends out of that. But the, there was something that you said that has stuck with me ever since was you, you have this thing, I just, I love this so much called special snowflake syndrome. And again, I think the thing that just sticks with me from, from you is just that decision to just go and just freaking do it. Can you, can you just land the plane by talking to us about what a special snowflake syndrome. How do you know if you have it, what, what, what is the problem with special snowflake syndrome? And then just like what do you do about it? JS: (36:23) Yeah, I know being diagnosed with sss can be detrimental to your, to your overall success. And again, it comes back to that confidence piece. So really to me, special snowflake syndrome is just an excuse. It is a way in which we use certain circumstances to keep ourselves small, to limit ourselves and to make up excuses as to why we can’t achieve something. So an example would be, you know, I, you know, I don’t, I should, I shouldn’t have to worry about sales and marketing, but I’m the influencer. I should just be able to cope. Did to create my pretty content and to post it on Instagram and to do my Instagram stories. I shouldn’t have to learn about business. I shouldn’t have to learn about strategy yesterday. I have to learn about this finance syndrome or this finance stuff. And it’s like, well no, you’re in special snowflake syndrome. JS: (37:13) They’re, you know, you think that you’re just this special snowflake who doesn’t have to worry about certain things or it doesn’t have to figure out certain things. And also that idea of when we kind of get into a little bit of that idea of I’m, I’m powerless or I’m helpless to something, right? Like, I just can’t grow no matter what I do. Or I just don’t have enough time to figure that out. Or there’s no way I’ll ever have enough money to invest in myself. I just can’t do that. I’m not like everyone else. It’s like, no, you’re in special snowflake syndrome. You know, the, we all have the same amount of time of day. We all choose to use it, how we choose to use it. It’s really goes back to that accountability piece that you really have to start being responsible and accountability for the, for your own beliefs and for the decisions and choices that you make. Because really at the end of the day, the only thing that you do have power over is yourself and your thoughts and the truth voices and the beliefs that you choose to have. You are actually kind of powerless to everything else outside of that, but it’s that idea that, you know, I’m so different. I’m so unique. Woe is me. No one can understand me. No one can, can understand what it’s like to walk in my shoes. Therefore nothing will ever work for me. That’s the special snowflake syndrome. RV: (38:31) I love this so much. Suck it up. Yeah. Is Great. Great. Great. Well Julie, thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for your inspiration. Also, you know, your strategic clarity and your tactical clarity but just kind of your, your mission and I know you’re, you’re inspired to help people get their message out. So it’s been, it’s been wonderful having you, as always, we’ll continue to promote you and thanks for, thanks for being here. Thanks for having me.

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