The official launch date of the book, Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your  Brand – is Tuesday! This is technically the last episode of the podcast before the book is officially out — though Amazon has already started shipping it, so you can get it before then — but that launch date brings us to another book sneak peek episode and today we’re going to talk to Daniel Lemin.

He is the co-author of Talk Triggers – The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth, written with Jay Baer. We talked about word of mouth on the last episode with Ted Wright and he comes up in the conversation here, too. But Daniel and I chatted while I was writing the book because I use some research he and Jay Baer conducted that was relevant to influencers. But I needed clarification as to whether or not an online influencer might qualify as an “expert” in terms of a source for product recommendations and research.

For the conversation today, we start there, but get a little deeper in what role influencers play in ratings and reviews and Daniel’s main area of focus which is online reputation management or ORM. He explains what that is for those of you who may not know, but it’s essentially a combination of the disciplines of SEO, social media, content, public relations, corporate comms and beyond, to ensure a company’s online presence is protected. 

Daniel recently joined the team at Edelman, one of the world’s largest PR firms, to head a team devoted to ORM. You can find him online at DanielLemin.com or on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

Order Winfluence now!

This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Winfluence, the book! Get a special discount by clicking the button below, buying on the Entrepreneur Press bookstore and using the discount code FALLS20. That earns you 20% off the retail price, just for being a Winfluence (the podcast) listener. Read and learn why we’ve been backed into a corner to think influencer marketing means Instagram and YouTube and how reframing it to be “influence” marketing makes us smarter marketers.


Winfluence Transcript – Daniel Lemin – Edelman & Co-Author of Talk Triggers

Jason Falls
Hello again friends thanks for listening to Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast. The official launch date of the book Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand is Tuesday. This is technically the last episode before the book is officially out though Amazon has already started shipping it so you can get it before then. But that launch date brings us to another sneak peak episode and today we’re going to talk to Daniel Lemin. He is the co author of Talk Triggers – The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth written with Jay Baer. We talked about word of mouth on the last episode with Ted Wright and he comes up in the conversation here too.

Jason Falls
But Daniel and I chatted while I was writing the book because I use some research he and Jay Baer conducted and that was relevant to influencers, but I needed clarification as to whether or not an online influencer might qualify as an expert in terms of a source for product recommendations and research. For the conversation today. We start there but get a little deeper in what role influencers play in ratings and reviews and Daniel’s main area of focus, which is online reputation management or ORM. He explains what that is for those of you who may not know but it’s essentially a combination of the disciplines of SEO, social media, public relations, Corp comms and beyond to ensure a company’s online presence is protected. Daniel recently joined the team at Edelman one of the world’s largest PR firms to head a team devoted to ORM. We’re talking consumer research our influencers experts, and online reputation management today. Daniel Lemin is next on Winfluence.

Jason Falls
This is normally the point in the program where someone jumps in and says support for today’s podcast. Well support for today’s episode of influence the influence marketing podcast is brought to you by influence the book Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand is available now from Entrepreneur Press. You can find it in bookstores everywhere, but I’ll have a special place to go online and get a discount in just a second so get ready to jot down a note and influence the book is not just a strategic blueprint to help you employ smart influence marketing strategies for your business or clients. But it explains why our common perception of influencer marketing is all wrong. I take you through how to rethink and reframe the concepts to turn an influencer marketing into influence marketing, broaden the perspective and open new avenues of leveraging influential people online and offline to grow your business. Here’s the special URL and discount code just for you the listeners of this podcast go to jason.online/buywinfluence that’s jason.online/buywinfluence. That takes you to the book on the Entrepreneur Press bookstore. Buy the book and use the code FALLS20 all caps F-A-L-L-S-2-0 and get 20% off the retail price. The address again is jason.online/buywinfluence. Leave a review on Amazon after you read it because select reviews will be read here on the show. Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand is available now. Go to jason.online/buywinfluence and use the code FALLS20 today.

Jason Falls
Okay, Daniel, I’m I’m chomping at the bit here to get this question that I asked you this for the book but I want to dive in here and vet the topic a bit more and I’ll give everybody a little bit more context in a moment. But the question of the day is this, for the purposes of where people go for advice or recommendations when making purchase decisions, are online influencers experts?

Daniel Lemin
Good question. And I guess I guess the question is really, what do we define as an influencer? Is is Elon Musk an influencer? Or is my next door neighbor an influencer? Or is that true for both? And I think you know, to an extent that’s a very academic question because it doesn’t really matter how you define it right? You know, we go to the people we know and trust and if that is happens to be a Kardashian or a musk then so be it if it’s your next door neighbor then so be it. So uh, you know, yes, we go we go to influencers.

Jason Falls
Now, for those listening, here’s the context for that question. Early in winter The new book I use a chart from Daniels best selling book Talk Triggers co authored with the incomparable if not incorrigible, Jay Baer. And that chart from your Chatter Matters research in that that I use in the in the book shows on a seven point scale with the most valued sources of information when making a substantial purchase decision. So, at six out of seven on that chart, personal experience comes first that makes perfect sense at 5.5 out of seven, the second source of information preference is someone’s familiarity with the brand, again, makes perfect since then you have the third, fourth and fifth most valued sources of family and friend recommendations, online reviews, and then expert reviews. So my question to Daniel for the book was are influencers experts? And I think in that conversation, Daniel, you agreed they were for the purposes of this argument. Now, my reasoning was there were no other entries on that list where an influencer might fall. So I would think that someone taking that survey would file them under experts. Is that a fair assumption? on my part?

Daniel Lemin
For sure, that may lift my Nick next door neighbor up a little higher on the on the fact then, then he might otherwise agree. But yeah, I mean, I think I think the fact that we, we, as consumers classify that as an influencer, and he sort of the people, you lift up as a as an expert, no matter what the context is,

Jason Falls
Right. Now, I get the sense, though, that because that definition maybe wasn’t clear, when the research questions were presented, there might be some degree of hesitation to make that a solid affirmative. Is that just out of deference to the way the questions were structured more than a philosophical conflict? Or is there more here to it than that?

Daniel Lemin
I know, I don’t think there there is more to it. I, you know, in looking back, it probably would have moved us to maybe make that question type a little bit more clear. So but at the same time, I think, you know, we that was survey was done to actual real, everyday consumers. And I don’t know that most people is a consumer thinking about influencer, they’re thinking about a neighbor, you know, what is that to them? So we’ve tried to keep those questions fairly broad, I think it could have been beneficial for us to, to have delineated it a little bit more clearly.

Jason Falls
Well, and I brought it up to you and to Jay, both, to ask the question, because obviously, the question, you know, is an argument that helps, you know, my cause in my book, but I also brought it up so that maybe if there’s a reiteration of that survey down the road, maybe that’s a consideration. So I think we’ve accomplished that goal. So I want to shift gears a little bit here, I didn’t want to just come and beat you up over that one thing. But and I didn’t, I didn’t intend to beat you up at all. But Talk Triggers has become kind of a new what I would call a new Bible for word of mouth in a lot of ways. It’s at least the best book written about word of mouth and several years, I won’t say how many, or Ted Wright will call and yell at me. But I’ve made the argument to Ted and other word of mouth marketing purists that influencers online are great fire starters, for word of mouth, I’ll pose that to you. Does a paid or partner relationship taint that does word of mouth have to be organic?

Daniel Lemin
I don’t think it has to be organic. So long as there’s crystal clarity on on the nature of how an influencer has a relationship with the brand, or a product, be it a paid relationship or some other kind, I think, you know, word of mouth is really just all about the stories that we tell other people, whether it happens to be on a place like Yelp, or in an Instagram feed, where you’re talking about your real life experience with talk triggers. Thank you so much, by the way for giving it such high praise. If you know the context matters. So I did not compensate you for that. Very generous plug. But had I would have been helpful if you if you were to clarify that. So I think I think a lot of it just comes down to, to those notions of being very clear. Otherwise, it’s really advertising, isn’t it? I mean, that’s, that’s what we were talking about.

Jason Falls
Yeah, that’s true. Well, and first of all, you’re welcome for the compliment. I mean, from the from the Chatter Matters research, which came out before the book, which I knew that Chatter Matters research was gonna be used in the book, all the way through when I actually read the book, I thought, holy crap, this is really good. And I’m serious when I say that, I don’t think there’s been a good word of mouth. There’s only probably five or six good word of mouth marketing books out there anyway. And I definitely think your all’s is is at the top of that heap and certainly the most recent good book at the top of that heap, so Let me throw this out there to you too. And this is, again, Ted Wright, who I’ve mentioned once before, kind of jokingly, and I’ll mention him again, jokingly wrote the foreword, I think, to talk triggers, and is the CEO of Fizz, which is a word of mouth marketing firm that’s responsible for a good portion of kind of the gold standard word of mouth marketing campaigns and whatnot out there. But what gets me about the argument, and I think Ted has made this argument to me before that, what gets me about the argument that paid influencers don’t necessarily qualify, as, you know, word of mouth that taints it somehow, and some people have that opinion. But the thing that bothers me is that the street teams are the bar babes or the in market activators, that real word of mouth marketing programs start with are paid for that work. So I don’t see any difference. Now, I’m sure Ted’s gonna call now and yell at me, which is fine, I’ll let him do that. But that I don’t know that that’s just kind of a point that I wanted to make in the conversation, that paid relationship, I agree in line with you, that it doesn’t necessarily taint what it is, and that it certainly depends on the context. So the word of mouth piece has an interesting overlay an impact on your main role, you work in the world of online reputation management, ORM. Now that’s kind of a specialty. So give us a sense of what all that encompasses. Because I think I can think of probably 10 things that that means to some people. And it might mean all of that to some people, and it might mean some of it to others. So what is ORM give us a good sense of what you do.

Daniel Lemin
You know, it really very much does depend on who you ask it some sort of reflect on it as an SEO sem role, which is that’s a facet of, of reputation management, I think of it very broadly. And I work with with senior executives, C suite executives and brand leaders on, on helping them recover from a crisis, recover from a bankruptcy, these these sorts of things. And when we end and also deal with misinformation, disinformation, fake news, which is probably a crescendo effect happening right now, more so than and maybe last year. At this time, if we would have had this conversation that might not have been quite the case. But you know, when I, when I define it, I think of kind of the comprehensive footprint of your, your brand, your personality, your yourself online, and that can be in search that can be on LinkedIn, that can be on Twitter, that can be on TikTok. But is that accurate? Is it reflected accurately? And how can we influence and try to help address that? Right?

Jason Falls
So just based on resource management, I’m guessing this is a segment of digital marketing and communications that really only happens with larger companies into smaller companies just call it dealing with the trolls and and how can they pay attention to something like this?

Daniel Lemin
I think you know, small companies, even individuals, I I think of this sometimes for myself, but you probably do as well, is this my LinkedIn really reflect the best part of me and and the recommendations and the feedback I have on there. Although I do hope that I’ve cultivated that that accurately. I think, you know, every business no matter how big or small you are, especially right now, when the you know, customers, customer experience and customer expectations have changed so dramatically. I think every business is dealing with with issues if it’s not a reputation issue, that that it’s sort of earned because of something they did. They’re dealing with the bigger questions about, are you a COVID safe place? Are you? Do you have mask requirements in your store or in your, in your facility? How do you how do you deal with this for your employees, all that kind of stuff? We’re seeing that percolate up now. So I think, you know, whether you’re a one person business or a 100,000 person business, it it directly impacts you.

Jason Falls
Sure. ratings and reviews play a big role there. And they are the foundation of one of my four purposes of influence marketing, which is validation. I would argue in the book that influencers are great resources for driving ratings and reviews, I would certainly stipulate that they shouldn’t be used on sites that prohibit solicited reviews, of course, but in your line of work and your advice for clients, the conversations that you have, do you use or recommend influencers for such activities like driving ratings and reviews?

Daniel Lemin
Not necessarily, although there’s an asterisk on that. And I say that because there are some sites Yelp is probably the best example that allow you to do things like check in offers. I think that’s what they call them. Yup, check in offers. And with that you can offer a discount for checking in or a free, you know, a free ice cream cone for checking in to Yelp. And that kind of self selects for yelps most active people, it’s kind of Yelp elite. So in a way you are kind of tapping into the Yelp influencer network without necessarily having a transactional component to it. So, yeah, I mean, that aspect is it’s not like a binary of black and white thing.

Jason Falls
Interesting that you would bring up Yelp, because that’s the one network that a they prohibit owners or they have in the past said to your business owners. It’s against our terms of service for you to tell people to review you on our site. And they have even stipulated, I believe the media coverage of the Yelp controversies over the years, they’ve even stipulated that you can’t tell them, You can’t ask your customers to go review you positively or negatively, like that. You just can’t do it. And yet they give you a sticker to put on your door that says please review us on Yelp. So that’s always confused me. But I digress. So should I stipulate and well, women? I should stipulate that my definition of an influencer in most of the conversations I have is anyone who can persuade an audience to take action. And I mean, you brought up you know, your neighbor earlier. And so influencer is a very broad definition in the conversation here. But for the purposes of that question, of, of influencers, driving ratings and reviews, I’m talking about online influencers with audiences and and such, I think the way that you typically think about influencers, but if you’re using customers to drive reviews, and like you said, kind of the Yelp elite, you know, if you’re tapping into some, you know, Zeitgeist or some environment there that happens within those networks. I think that fits my definition of an audience of influencers, too. Now, I’m splitting hairs, but I think it all fits. Where do you think influencers fit into the idea? And I’ll stipulate this two different ways. Where do you think online influencers Instagramers, YouTubers with big audience fit? And where do you think, influential people, people who just have impact fit into the ideas that you take to clients in the ORM world?

Daniel Lemin
So there are two parts to your question. The first part was, was the, the the notion of like paid influencers? If you Yep. And then beyond that, kind of like tapping into your customer community to do this, you know, paid influencers for for me is a specific, it’s a it’s a catalyst moment, you know, unless, unless you you have endless budget, I generally think of it as a catalyst moment, if you if you’re trying to drive trial or drive awareness in a very short period of time, that’s not an enduring form of word of mouth. I mean, it’s not going to stick around forever, but it might be enough to spark the idea. And you see a lot of this use on Instagram and increasing on TikTok and snapchat to try and you know, leaning on the power of influencers network to try to spark interest in a product. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve even seen if, if you’ve seen on Amazon, they have this crazy new service, somewhat new called Amazon live, where they have a lot there’s a lot of the same kind of faces from Instagram and from TikTok on they’re just talking about products. So it’s, it’s kind of a crazy thing. It’s like QVC. But if you merge QVC and TikTok, it’s, it’s kind of this interesting experience, I just kind of stumbled upon it the other day. The other the other. The counter to that is our customer community. I mean, that that is where I think a lot of the more enduring form of influence happens and and, you know, the whole notion with talk triggers. And the idea with word of mouth is that you do something notable enough in your customer experience that people notice and just inherently go out and talk about and that is obviously influencing the opinions of others when they do it. So I think, you know, we have to think about the short term and the long term objectives.

Jason Falls
Nice. You’ve recently made a big move, haven’t you? You went from the guy who wrote the book and research I use in Chapter 2 to working for Edelman, the company behind the trust barometer, I quote, I think later in Chapter 2, or maybe Chapter 3, tell us about your new role there.

Daniel Lemin
Yeah, it’s exciting. I mean, I haven’t changed offices. I’ve just changed. I’ve just changed pants. Changing a job and pandemic times. It’s, it’s been an interesting experience. Part of it. Yeah, it’s it’s a very exciting role. It’s a new team at Edelman focused on On, on these these topics around reputation and brand executive reputation, so just kind of getting started with them getting to know the team and the the client work all remotely which has been a very interesting experience itself kind of how they’ve adapted. When you start with a new company, what does that feel like? Right now?

Jason Falls
It’s interesting. Well, I’ve known I know and have known and been friends with a bunch of Edelman folks over the years and I’ve always admired the work there. I’m sure you’re gonna make them better and build a new thing there. So congratulations to you. And thanks for spending time with us man. I appreciate the work and your insight. And thanks for being you know, part of the book too, so let everybody know where they can find you online if they want to follow up and connect.

Daniel Lemin
Indeed, I am on Twitter my full name Daniel Lemin. I’m also on Instagram under my pseudonym Leminheads, which is a throwback to our favorite 80s candy. Leminheads spelt like my name.

Jason Falls
Very good L-E-M-I-N.

Jason Falls
Thank you so much again a good luck with the new gig and keep can’t keep keep kicking ass man.

Daniel Lemin
Same to 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.


Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

Order Winfluence now!

This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Winfluence, the book! Get a special discount by clicking the button below, buying on the Entrepreneur Press bookstore and using the discount code FALLS20. That earns you 20% off the retail price, just for being a Winfluence (the podcast) listener. Read and learn why we’ve been backed into a corner to think influencer marketing means Instagram and YouTube and how reframing it to be “influence” marketing makes us smarter marketers.

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