The biggest challenge brands often face in influence marketing is understanding influencer relevance is often more powerful and reach. Tabitha Hawkins founded the Association of Influencers and Content Creators to help influencers be more attractive to brands while also advancing equal representation and fairness in how brands leverage influencers. In this episode of  Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast Tabitha and I talk about the association, the difference in influencer relevance and influencer reach, standardization of influencer pricing, the potential of unions for influencers and more.

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Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast is a companion piece to my forthcoming influencer marketing book, Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, set to publish in early 2021 from Entrepreneur Press. I interview the Who’s Who of Influencer Marketing weekly — from brand managers to software creators, and from agency strategists to influencers themselves. If you know someone who should be a guest on the show, shoot me an email at jason – at – jasonfalls – dot – com.

Winfluence Podcast – Tabitha Hawkins Transcript

Jason Falls 0:20
Hello again friends thanks for listening to Winfluence – The Influence Marketing Podcast. The biggest challenge influencers often face is figuring out how to monetize their content. By partnering with brands to build an audience, you start to see that you have an impact, but you don’t know how much to charge you don’t have brand contacts and so on.

Jason Falls 0:49
A brand’s biggest challenge is finding influencers who understand the business of influence marketing. They don’t want to work with someone who will just post stuff about their product and be done with it. They want to see your analytics they want To know you can motivate your audience to take action and beyond. until an influencer has been around the block for a while it’s hard for them to position themselves to brands and for brands to choose to work with them.

Jason Falls 1:11
Tabitha Hawkins founded the Association of Influencers and Content Creators to bridge that gap and help influencers be more attractive to brands, while also advancing equal representation and fairness in how brands leverage influencers. I caught up with Tabitha recently — she graciously joined for a chat while on her family vacation. And we talked about the association, her approach, standardization of influencer pricing, the potential of unions for influencers and more. We also got into the weeds a little bit in the discussion of equal representation and how the Black Lives Matter movement has impacted influencers and her take on standing up for disadvantaged groups trying to also make their mark in influencer marketing, such a great chat and a fun person to connect with. I know you’ll enjoy my talk with Tabitha Hawkins on Winfluence.

Jason Falls 2:04
Your background isn’t just as like a mom, blogger who evolved into this, which I think there are some people who are involved at this level, organizing groups of influencers who started out that way. But you know, you grew up in like agencies and work to Hilton for a time. So give me a little bit of a background on your background.

Tabitha Hawkins 2:23
Yeah, absolutely. So I actually started kind of my blogging, my foray into blogging around the same time that I started my professional marketing career. And basically, I was, you know, I was in college and I started working for a PR firm. And back then, you know, Facebook was a little bit new and we’re trying to figure out how to promote events and stuff on Facebook and that sort of thing. And I started to consult for like Disney and Marvel, just like doing like, I started with an internship and then just kind of started taking some went off jobs. And it became kind of a focus where it after a while, all I was doing with influencer marketing. And I was helping to put together these programs for Disney and to kind of promote new movies that were coming out and new shows and you know, you got the Hannah Montana’s and all that crazy stuff going on.

Tabitha Hawkins 3:21
And so one of the, you know, it was kind of an easy target to reach out to moms who had kids kind of in that round. And so I actually really started to make a lot of relationships and really loved it. So I decided to just focus my entire marketing career on influencer marketing and worked for several agencies. I worked for like I said, Disney or Marvel. I ended up being there for about eight years. I worked for Nestle. Huge, you know, bigger larger than life, but I actually was running digital marketing and social media for a company that they acquired, which was Sitafil a skincare brand. And they were previously regulated by the FDA, even though they were a consumer product, and under Nestle ownership, they were able to kind of promote as a consumer product. And so when I got there, they had never hired anybody for social media. And they said, Well, basically we’re just gonna give you the reins and you figure it out. And obviously because, you know, I was like, it was great because it was so much freedom there. But, um, it was it was interesting because it was a company that been around for 70 years, we had every beauty award that you could possibly imagine glamour, Oprah Magazine, everything you could imagine, but we really didn’t have a social media presence. And you know, beauty bloggers were already talking about us, you know, influencers and that sort of thing, but we didn’t have a relationship with them. So Really kind of started that influencer program there. And I’ve just I’ve had an opportunity to do a lot of cool things I helped at Hilton. I was with them for a time I actually consulted with them, and help them kind of wrangle 5500 hotels under one set of social media guidelines. And I’ve just had like this, this crazy, interesting kind of background with being able to work with a bunch of really amazing companies either, you know, directly on their payroll, or, you know, just as a consultant, and throughout the years I’ve, I’ve always kept my own blog. But I also have built a lot of relationships with bloggers and influencers. And when we have conversations, I feel so conflicted, because on one hand, you know, I’m working for a huge, you know, fortune 100 company and I have an 11 million dollar budget that I’m managing to, you know, do whatever I want on social, but every time I would go to the brand and say, okay, we need influencers we need to pay them, they would be like, No, you just send them a case of lotion. And I’m like, but that’s not how it works. And so I felt conflicted because I was on the other side as well. And I’m like, how can I go to these people who I’m friends with and who I know, and I know how hard this is, and tell them you know, yes, I want your arm, your leg and your firstborn. And I’m going to send your case alone. And so that’s kind of where the idea for AICC kind of sparked for me, because of just this, this idea that, you know, being an influencer is posting something on your Instagram page. And brands, you know, kind of some brands totally get it and, you know, are fantastic to work with. But just in general, there’s this idea that you are almost like a hobbyist. And it’s like we’re doing you a favor. And so, um, I’ve, I’ve kind of jumped, I guess jumped over to the other side of the fence and just, you know, I felt kind of this this need to choose a side. And I just felt that there was a lot of work that needed to be done on the influencer side and there was work that I needed that I felt that I needed to do because I had the insight from both perspectives. And so I just like I said, kind of jumped ship and decided that it was really important for me to work with influencers to kind of try to lead the industry and help us as a community be recognized as the professionals that many of us are.

Jason Falls 7:44
When you chose to jump over to the influencer side. Obviously, you mentioned AICC, the Association of Influencers and Content Creators which you know, it’s a professional association and give me a little bit of a background on a how it started, how big is it? And then how would you really define it because it’s professional association. Some people might, you know, lump it into a group of associations that are trying to unionize, which I know it’s not necessarily the right thing. There’s one called the American Influencer Council, which is doing something from a union perspective, which we’ll get into in a minute, but give me your sort of, you know, elevator pitch on what it is to someone who doesn’t know it.

Tabitha Hawkins 8:27
The Association of Influencers and Content Creators is a trade organization that’s dedicated to securing protections and helping to really organize and standardize the profession of influencing. And so what we do is our focus is, you know, yes, we are reaching out to brands and having conversations with them about you know, fair pay and, you know, equity and representation as far as you know, you know, Won’t take cultural representation and ads and things like that. But we’re also really focused and this is our primary focus of working with influencers, to come together and establish processes and standards of excellence so that when brands do want to work with influencers, you know, they know that these are the expectations that they can expect. And so the things that kind of we’re working on is to really help influencers, to be able to know how to value your, their work, but not only that, to really develop the professional skills behind that, because we have, you know, there’s some influencers that are really great at photography, you know, they do video or they do blogging, or whatever, but they’re not necessarily structured as a business. And so, the thing the conversation that we’re having, repeatedly with, you know, in the last few weeks, hundreds of interviews answers is if we want brands and agencies to take us serious as partners, then we have to, we have to operate as businesses and, you know, we have to know and understand contracts, we have to, you know, know, and understand how much you know, it is per hour for us to create imagery, or, you know, how long does it take you to write a blog post and, you know, the research and all that stuff that goes into it. And so we’re really focusing our efforts on working with influencers to establish themselves as businesses, and to really formalize themselves as you know, the smaller entities so that it’s, you know, they’re on par when you work with a brand like you know, target its target and, you know, Joe Smith LLC, and in their in us to understand that there’s an actual partnership and that this is not a hobby. You know, when you work with me, I have other clients, you know, This is just the standard of operations. I’m not purchasing followers, I’m not buying likes, this is me from start to finish creating content from you, whether it be copy imagery videos, there is a process and a value to that.

Jason Falls 11:16
So would you say then that the the benefit of this organization for an individual, it’s probably I would, I would guess, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Is this organization more beneficial for influencers who are maybe, you know, new just starting out, and or just starting to really monetize their content versus someone who’s been doing it a while because I think the the longer someone’s been doing it in the bigger follower count, they have, they’ve probably crossed that bridge already. But I wonder if it’s, if this is really more for kind of the new newbie folks on the scene, or if you you know, have, you know, other, you know, focal points where you’re going to be benefiting someone who’s been around for a while.

Tabitha Hawkins 11:58
Yes. So it’s It’s, you know, across the spectrum, it’s for someone who’s maybe newer and smaller, you know, we have influencers that are part of aicc, who, you know, have 500,000 followers on Instagram and, you know, are getting the projects that, you know, that some of us dream about. Um, and I think, I think, kind of what is the benefit of aicc, for any, for any influencer at any level, is that, you know, I think for so long there, there’s only been a small handful of influencers, you know, maybe they have a million followers or, you know, they’re very well known. And at some point, they’re almost like a celebrity. And they are kind of the face or speak for the entire, you know, industry or community of influencers. When it comes to brands or agency it’s in it’s not really indicative of the experience that other agents influencers have. And so what we wanted to do was bring together a large community of influencers, whether they have 1000 followers, or a million followers, and have this conversation with transparency and kind of built this community that says, what have been your experiences, you know, what can, you know, you add, what are some things that maybe a newer influencer doesn’t know, or, you know, there are certainly influencers that have high numbers of followers, who still, you know, they they haven’t hired out, you know, they don’t have, you know, VAs or, you know, personal assistants and so they still do everything themselves. And without having kind of any knowledge of the agency side of it. They don’t know that they can go back and negotiate. A lot of times like you’ll get, you know, a brand or an agency that pitches you something and you’re thinking, Well, great, this is wonderful. I’m just so happy that they thought of me, but the the Without having like a lawyer or manager, which many of them don’t, they kind of sit back and they go, Well, I don’t know if I even have the right to push back. Or if I can go back and say, Well, you know, this is great, but I’d like to, you know, modify or add or say, maybe I don’t want to do this piece of it, because they’re afraid of ruining relationships, or they’re afraid that they’ll be kind of, you know, blacklisted. And so having this organization, what we’ve done is, you know, we’ve opened up this conversation, not with just influencers, but brought in agencies and networks and, you know, kind of broken down the walls and figured out you know, there are a lot of misconceptions that are held on both sides of the fence. Some agencies think, you know, okay, we’re influencers off to work for $125 for Instagram posts, and we’ve never heard any, you know, we’ve never heard anybody say that that doesn’t work for them. And it’s because influencers are afraid to push back because either Though we know and we handle businesses, and we have, you know, multiple platforms, and rake in, you know, decent amounts of money, you still don’t feel like you. It’s just one person, you know, has the right to challenge your brand and said, Well, actually, that’s not what resonates with my audience. You know, the brand wants to leverage your 500,000 followers, but sometimes they want to make you do things that, you know, isn’t in the best interest of it. And so we’re teaching influencers, how to have those kinds of conversations, but not only so they’re they’re talking to a brick wall. We’re having those conversations with brands and agencies to, to kind of, you know, redefine what the expectations are, and let them know that there is transparency and opportunity to have conversations without the fear of being blacklisted. And so it’s, it’s really been helpful for us to kind of especially you know, since black black Matter and you know, the incident with George Floyd, a lot of now, influencers of color have become very vocal and not as you know, quiet about beliefs in advocacy. And before they were afraid that if they spoke up about these things, that it would prevent them from getting another campaign. And so now we’ve had agencies who have come on board and said, you know, what, we recognize that there is a problem, and we recognize that there is that feeling that you’ve felt put in a box. And so what can we do together so that all of our partnerships are mutually beneficial, and so that we can show you support and you know, and you can feel comfortable working with us and build those long term relationships?

Jason Falls 16:47
I would imagine, because you’ve had some of these agencies come forward and probably some brands as well, I would imagine that the, you know, the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 has probably, I guess, opened up some doors opened up some conversations and I don’t want to say, you know, prematurely that it’s turned things around, but certainly, I would think it’s, you would you say, you know, we’re headed in a better direction now.

Tabitha Hawkins 17:12
Absolutely. Becaus again, like you said, I mean, it’s not the way that anybody wanted it to happen, but now people are feel comfortable speaking up. You know, and because so many brands and agencies have publicly come out and say, you know, either we support the movement or we support equal, you know, treatment of all people. Now, influencers can, you know, take them to task and say, Okay, well, you said this. So, now, here I am speaking up and saying that we haven’t been treated fairly. And that’s not just black influencer. It’s the one thing that I’ve like stressed over and over to agencies and brands is that while Black Lives Matter is getting all the attention right now. Um, diversity doesn’t mean just black people, right? It means Asian, Hispanic, and a lot of other marginalized, you know, cultures and things and religions that people have not felt comfortable speaking out. And so I don’t want to lose. While I don’t want to, you know, as a black woman, it’s like you while I’m throwing up my fist and I’m like, yeah, you know, finally people are listening open, I can’t then not take this moment to stand up for our other, you know, brothers and sisters of all races and nationalities and religions and you know, sexuality and all that and say that now it’s time to extend this to that,

Jason Falls 18:39
Right. I was I was talking to a lady by the name of Jyoti Sarda the other day on another podcast that I do about her, she produced a film called “And She Could Be Next” which is about women of color in politics. And she has an interesting perspective that I think aligns with what you’re saying here. She has a perspective that you cannot have a conversation about race without having a conversation about gender, because they go hand in hand and the marginalized groups in one are very similar in how they’ve been treated to the marginalized groups in another. And I, I kind of I’m making an assumption here, but I think what you’re saying is, is you can’t talk about black without also talking about Indian without also talking about Asian, you know, without even talking about you know, Jewish or you have getting into the Muslim or the religion, folks, which I applaud you for that because I think that, that, and this is going to sound really awkward and I hope it’s not inappropriate for me to say this from from from someone who’s a white guy, when I hear that I’m thinking, Okay, this is this is, you know, I want to work with this organization. And I want to help I want to be involved. I think, again, this might may come out wrong and awkward, but I’m one of those people who sticks my foot in my mouth and then tries to figure got lighter? I think when there are people who get is especially, you know, certainly white people who get nervous when one person or an advocate comes forward and is limiting their advocacy to one group.

Tabitha Hawkins 20:15

Jason Falls 20:16
And that makes them nervous. And so I love the fact that you’re saying this isn’t. You know, when we talk about diversity, we’re not talking about black, we’re talking about marginalized groups in a very broad manner.

Tabitha Hawkins 20:29
Exactly. Definitely. I totally agree with what you’re saying. I mean, I understand. And these are conversations that we’re having with influencers, you know, kind of behind the scenes that, like I said, Black Lives Matter is what’s kind of captured the nation’s attention at this point. But we would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to say, okay, you’re listening. So now here are the other things and you know, as a black woman, I’m you know, married to a white man and I have, you know, Children and Family and every spectrum of the rainbow that you can possibly imagine, you know, my, my husband has even come to me and say, you know, I didn’t realize how different the disparity was not just between, you know, a black man and a white man, but a black man and a white woman or, you know, a white man and a black woman. And he said, you know, it’s just because people are listening. And because we have this attention now, it is so important that people realize that, like I said, diversity is not just one it’s not one group. You know, when you say, you know, um, you know, have the lgtb community. It’s, you cannot lump, you know, you can’t just say, okay, you know, transgender like it is about the entire community and if one portion of the community is persecuted, then it extends and you can relate You know, as a black woman, I can relate to, you know, people who are transgender, not just because, you know, we’re we’ve both had struggles and all that, but it’s because if you’ve been marginalized in any sort of way there is that kind of there is a partnership that needs to happen. And I think that, you know, that’s kind of where you get kind of extremist groups and that sort of thing, and I don’t want to go too, too far off topic, but it is really hard to throw your hat behind, um, you know, a group or you know, a cause that is very limited. And so, um, you know, as a, as an influencer, whether you’re a writer, a video creator, you know, podcaster they have lives behind it. So, you know, we don’t know what their background is, we don’t know, you know, whether they’re gay or straight, or you know, whether they have you know, many cultures in their family are black or white. And what’s important is that everybody is represented. And that’s why we keep you know, that’s the message we keep giving to brand is that representation matters. You know, when I worked at Sita fill my every time I went into a meeting, I told them, they said, Well, our target market is and I say your target market is people with skin because we make lotion. So, we love that everybody who has skin and that’s just it, you know, if you’re Pepsi, everybody drink soda, you know, so I don’t care if you’re green, blue, pink, whatever, with your, your product is on the shelf. You can’t limit it to what you think your target audience is people like to see themselves represented. And so I’m like, if you miss that you miss an opportunity to to gain brand affinity amongst people of all walks of life.

Jason Falls 23:55
Right. So let’s talk about that a little bit and how that applies in the In the influencer space because, and I want to be careful because I think, and I’m guilty of this. And so I want to watch out for it because when someone, someone like you is addressing someone at an agency, or someone at a brand, I personally think that the the positive way to go about it is to, you know, give them advice on how to maybe change, you know, things that will help them be more diverse in their, in their selection in their usage, as opposed to pointing at something that they did wrong or they didn’t do right and and criticizing them. So if you’re sitting across from me or you’re sitting across from you know, cmo brand manager somewhere that basically asks you the question, okay, what do I need to do? That might be different from what brands and agencies have been doing up till now? What do I need to do differently to make sure that I am focusing on you know, it Quality, equity, fairness, diversity. When I’m designing my influencer campaigns, what are some things that I need to watch out for? And make sure that I do so that I don’t cross a line into not doing it right? Mm hmm.

Tabitha Hawkins 25:14
I think the first thing I’ve always tell brands is to take a look outside of your normal channels, like your normal social listening tools, right? We all have like the fancy analytics data and all of that I said, you know, if you want to know what people are saying, or what kind of people buy your products, look at the hashtags, you know, the hashtags that you guys are watching, like, take a step outside of your tools, and go on Instagram and click on that hashtag and look at the people who are posting it first. Like, realize that there are real people behind it. And then the second thing from there is to take a step outside of yourself. So me as a black woman, a lot of times I am counting To what other black people see, or, you know, people who are like me, you know, you know, 30 something black women or, you know, millennial women with families, but I’m not necessarily looking at it from my mother in law’s perspective, who is a 60 something white woman, but that does not negate her purchasing power. Right? So it really is to have additional eyes on it. And I know that, you know, we have, you have kind of, you know, brand managers and that sort of thing. Or if you’re talking to the CMO, they’re gonna have you know, somebody on their account team at the agency, look at it and I said, what we need to do is, make sure first and foremost, we are looking at it and then having somebody go behind us, and you know, it, it sounds terrible, and I know to say you know if they’re if you’re a 40 something year old person, and you’ve got you know, an agency executive who is In their 20s, you know, ask them say, Well, how does this sound to you? What does this feel like to you? And, and a lot of times, we as I know, in the black community, we say, we don’t want people to come to us and ask us, you know, whether or not we’re on the mark are off the mark. And I said, but that’s part of the problem, because brands have gotten it wrong for so long, because they are afraid to come and ask the black person in the office. Does this make sense? And does this include you? And I think that we have to open up be open to that just like we need to be open if we’re talking about a product, you know, like a beauty product. Well, let’s not forget that there is the LGBTQ community, who is also very into makeup. So, you know, how do we how do we kind of visualize that? And is this just Am I putting together a campaign Based on my perspective, or I, or have I had other sets of eyes on it. And so one of the things that we’ve done with aicc is we’ve kind of put together these collectives of different niches of influencers. And so for example, if it’s like, you know, the mommy blog, pant mom or parenting space, we’ve got different influencers, whether they’re podcasters, Video Creators, bloggers, whatever. And we kind of asked for feedback. And you know, brands are asking for feedback from people in the niche that they’re trying to reach. And what we found is that they come back with a lot of different types of feedback. And one person doesn’t see it the same way. But brands are able to now start to look at it and say, Okay, well, this kind of came up in that conversation, and it wouldn’t have ever happened if we didn’t have, you know, five people kind of looking at the creative for, you know, a potential campaign. And so that’s one of the things We’re trying to do in our offering to brands is the opportunity to kind of sit and really use us as a sounding board. And you’ll get those different perspectives of people from different walks of life, but in the same niche, and it just allows you to kind of think through things a little bit more succinctly. And whatever you come up with, you still come up with but at least you’ve now heard all of this different feedback. And so I think that that has been helpful. And it’s, you know, we’ve had conversations with like Clever, Clever influencer marketing agency. And that’s one of the things that kind of came up in that conversation is that they were trying to do a really good thing with the campaign that they did, but it landed wrong because of the messaging. And so we had a conversation, and when they heard a different perspective, they were like, I totally get it. I get how this landed wrong. And it’s just that having conversations and reaching out to somebody outside of ourselves and saying, okay, Does this make sense? Am I really about to stick my foot in it this time?

Jason Falls 30:05
Well, speaking as a white man, I can tell you that yes, we need that answer a lot. And sometimes we’re afraid to ask. So I’m glad that you’re creating an avenue for that to be asked. And I’m glad that there are some agencies like out there like Clever who are doing it. We’re actually Kristy Sammis. They’re CEOs and founder is one of our other, you know, initial guests here on this podcast. So let me let me turn around and talk a little bit about sort of the, the standardization there’s an issue of standardization of pay, there’s unionizing. There’s a lot of topics in the influencer marketing world right now. And I’d love to get your perspective from the you know, influencer creator perspective on a couple of these topics. First of all, the American Influencer Council, which is not your organization, but a group of fashion influencers, I think primarily here in the United States and the creators union in the United Kingdom. have formed unions is what they’re calling them to kind of put protections in place. Now, I think a lot of their focus is based on not just wage disparity but certainly lack of diversity is something that they’re focused on as well. Within that beauty and and and, and beauty and fashion space. I wonder what your thoughts are on unionization because my initial thought when I heard of an influencers union is how on earth can you possibly unionize a group of people who are so widespread and desperate and there’s really not like it like most unions are geographically oriented, you know, around chapters and whatnot. And so I’m just I hear the word union and I just think how is that possible when influencers don’t know geographic bounds? What what are your thoughts on unionization?

Tabitha Hawkins 31:53
I think and I’m this might get me in trouble with you know, some of the other organs I think that it’s, it’s a really bad idea to I get the thought process, but unionization is a very dangerous thing. because like you said, you’re dealing with a lot of different, you know, people and I mean, there’s there is really no limit whatsoever on the different criteria that makes up an influencer. And I think it when you start talking about unionizing, the immediate thought that comes up for maybe a brand is great. Now we’ve got, you know, SAG or AFTRA where there’s a, you know, if we don’t pay this, we’re not going to work with influencers, and then for influencers, you’ve got like this thought process that okay, you know, I can’t, I can’t make less than this, but maybe there’s a ceiling. And so for me, I think that, um, as far as what we’re doing, what standardization is, we’re really looking at like the cost of actually creating content. So if you’re working with an influencer on a campaign and you’re expecting the influencer to provide all the, you know, imagery, and the you know, copy and that sort of thing, and you’re going to use it, you want, you know, usage rights for a year and all these different things, I think, as opposed to saying, you know, a sponsored post, the standard going rate is $1,000. I think what we need to look at more so is, you know, you’re not, you’re now not hiring a photographer, you’re now not hiring a copywriter. That sort of thing and saying that these are, these are kind of the, the tent poles of these are the the amounts that you would be paying. So if you were paying a photographer, you’d be paying between 300 and 350. And I’m just making these numbers up, you know, dollars and an hour or for however many images and then really starting to to value, the influencer based on the, the, I guess, the the, the content that you’re receiving. And so, for me, it’s, you know, when I hear young men I think, you know, yeah, it sounds great in theory because, you know, it’s like, okay, we’ll go on strike if you don’t treat us, right. But thing then now I’m limiting, you know, some How can I tell an influencer, what their value is? That’s kind of my problem. And we don’t want to, like get in the business of telling other people how to run their business. We’re supposed to be a support. And so, for me, it’s, it’s very dangerous to say, Okay, well, the going rate for sponsored post is, you know, $200 when there are people who’ve been making, you know, $5,000 And who am I to tell them that they’re not if that if a brand is willing to pay that much and you know, their quality of work and and, you know, That’s how they have valued them. So then it’s not my job to tell somebody else that Okay, that’s not the going rate, because then we’ll have brands coming back and saying, Well, yeah, we know, we paid you this for, you know, we know, we paid you this last time, but now we’re hearing that the rate is actually, you know, 10 times less.

Tabitha Hawkins 35:20
And so I think, um, I think that just kind of, um, valuing the actual assets and the skill that go behind it, and establishing you know, more so not minimums, but um, you know, reasonable rates of service is very different than saying, This is the amount that it is and you can either make this amount or we’re going on strike and I always think union strikes with young my dad was a he was in the UAW, he worked for General Motors, and I remember him being on the picket line. And and so for me, it’s Just I’m thinking that the standardization, we really need to have a conversation with ourselves as influencers, and really figure out what it is that we’re asking for. Because I hear a lot of people asking for a lot of different things, but we’re not. We have not united, and we’ve not aligned on anything. So brands have whiplash, they don’t know, okay, this group wants that. This group wants that, and we’re going to do this to make them happy. And I think, and I think for, I think, really all any, you know, creator once is to, you know, be valued and be, you know, treated fairly and paid fairly, and being paid fairly means different things to different people. And for me, I’m thinking about when an agency goes to someone with the campaign, and, you know, they say, well, we’re gonna pay you you have, you know, 20,000 followers, and we’re going to pay you X amount of dollars, and then somebody else has a similar amount of followers, but they’re black or they’re Hispanic. And they say, well, we don’t have that much in the budget, we’re going to pay you this. I think that there’s a real disparity there. And I think that we need to stop looking. I mean, if you want to look at data points, then look at data points. If you want to look at a static then look at a static, but we have to figure out exactly what we’re looking at. Otherwise, we’re getting all these mixed answers from agencies, you know, they’ll come to you and say, well, we actually don’t have any budget. So we’ll send you product and then we go and talk to another influencer who’s on the same campaign. And they’re say well actually they paid me $6,000

Jason Falls 37:37
Right. Well, there’s there’s there’s so many layers to this. I love I love your your perspective on we want to communicate, you know value as as in the in the content product, but then there’s also value in the network and the exposure that an influencer provides. And then there’s disparity between, you know, someone who is in effective at using that network so that you know the engagement rates and or the conversions and whatnot. So there’s so many layers to figuring out standardization of pay or what a going rate is. I don’t think it’s something you can solve on a 30 minute podcast. But I know that what will solve it is having these conversations. So I certainly appreciate you joining me to talk about this and tell people where they can find the aicc online and what they need to do if they’re interested in joining.

Tabitha Hawkins 38:29
Yeah, if you want to find AICC online, you can find us at And all the information is there. It talks about what it means to be a member, kind of what the qualifications are. And it’s not, you know, if you’re if you have a million followers and you’re the best, it’s it really is an it’s if you want to be a part of a community of influencers who affect positive change and help to grow and you know, evolve this industry, then you’re a potential aicc min. member, and we would love to talk to you. So You can reach out to me if you have any questions at [email protected] That’s t-a-b-i-t-h-a at association of influencers. org and we are very welcoming and we are just a community of influencers who want to make the industry better.

Jason Falls 39:32
Tabitha, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate the conversation.

Tabitha Hawkins 39:35
Thank you.

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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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