Last month the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists or SAG-AFTRA in the trade, unveiled a plan to account for influencers in its union. My initial take was applause for the move because it meant that an influencer or content creator now had at least a path to health benefits and pensions they don’t normally have as independent entities. As it turns out, the promise had some good sizzle, but not enough meat.
Patrick Janelle is a lifestyle influencer and also the chairman of the board of the American Influencer Council — a trade association, not a union, for influencers. He sees SAG-AFTRA’s move both from the individual perspective, but also from that of an industry leader looking out for the good of all influencers.
He joined me to talk about where SAG-AFTRA comes up short and what’s really needed for such an effort to be more inclusive of all creators, not just ones that are either already SAG-AFTRA members, or celebrity influencers who can afford the investment.
To qualify for the benefits, you pay dues and surrender a percentage of your income to the union, so it’s not just something you sign up for. It’s an investment.
But I wasn’t going to led Patrick out without diving into much much more. Janelle is the influencer behind @aguynamedpatrick. He has almost 450,000 followers on Instagram posting about life in New York City, style, restaurants, travel and my favorite … cocktails. He also owns an influencer talent agency called Untitled Secret.
We talked about his journey from graphic designer to influencer, how he migrated from accepting gifts from brands to getting paid. And we spent some time breaking down all that goes into an influencer’s creative output. You brand and agency folks need to take note. I use a brilliant collaboration he and one of his agency’s clients did with Q-Mixers as an example and we discuss the work and investment that went into that. It will help you see what you’re paying for when you engage the good ones. You influencers should take note, too. The collaboration is a brilliant example of how to do a collaboration with a brand.
As a related piece of content, I wrote my own recap of the SAG-AFTRA agreement, including comments from Janelle and others, on Entrepreneur last week.
This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius.
If you’ve read my book, you know I’ve depended on Julius for influencer discovery and campaign management for some time now. When I’m looking for the right influencer for my clients, Julius allows me to search across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs and more. When I click into an influencer’s profile, I can see their audience demographics, what other networks they have reach through and quickly scan their recent posts to decide if they’re a right influencer for my brand. All the pieces of campaign management are there, too. Julius allows you to reach out, document contracts, share and approve influencer content and, of course, measure the ROI of each campaign, influencer or post. You owe it to your brand or agency to do a demo of Julius today. Go to jason.online/julius and request one. That’s jason.online/julius.
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