There are many ways to slice an apple. Or peel an orange. Or for that matter, there are many ways to get from your house to the office or grocery store … and just as many to get back. 

There are also many ways to approach influence marketing. If you’ve been listening and following along with Winflunce for any amount of time you know that we focus on influence marketing, without the R. While social media celebrities with big followings are one way to slice the influence apple, there are many other ways to ultimately persuade an audience to take action. 

Sam Katz knows this. He is an influence marketing strategist and consultant. His history of work includes stints with Edelman and Publicis One. He and I happened to share the stage at the Influencer Marketing Show in New York last month. He led a panel discussion on creators and owning their own content in the world of unstable social networks. 

We got to talking backstage about a few topics and I thought his take on how businesses and brands can approach influence from a bunch of different angles would make for a good conversation. He told me one thing he sees from clients a lot these days is they don’t know what they don’t know. And that is typically that there are many ways to go from start to finish with influence marketing.

I asked Sam to join us today to talk about that topic along with a few others. He also has a current top-of-mind set of advice for brands and creators about content usage rights we’ll get into as well. He’s a smart one. And we’ll dig into more with Sam today on the show. 

Links for this episode:

This episode of Winfluence is presented by We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user-generated content videos and images at scale. Come see us at If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high-performing UGC, just go to … fill out that form and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you. - The Community Commerce Marketing Company

This episode of Winfluence is presented by We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user-generated content videos and images at scale. Come see us at If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high-performing UGC, just go to … fill out that form and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you.

The Winfluence theme music is “One More Look” featuring Jacquire King and Stephan Sharp by The K Club found on Facebook Sound Collection.

Sam Katz Episode Highlights (AI Generated)

00:00:00 Introduction
00:06:24 First party data, emails, blogs, native content.
00:09:12 Creators and influencers are not the same. Brands should establish their own metrics and goals when working with creators.
00:13:27 Importance of partnerships with influential figures in marketing.
00:16:43 Influence and reaching Richard Branson through tennis.
00:18:39 Connecting with influencers led to successful marketing.
00:22:42 Tracking conversions, regaining control of data. Helping businesses scale Facebook ads for consistent ROAS.
00:26:25 Usage rights in partnerships: upfront communication, negotiation.
00:29:32 Depends on situation, negotiate prices with creators.
00:33:36 The value of creators and their content.
00:38:01 Connect with Sam Katz, jot down thoughts on usage rights, share this episode

Sam Katz Episode Transcript (AI Generated)

Jason Falls [00:00:00]:

Do you want Instagrammers or TikTokers to post about your brand? Or do you actually want to engage creators who influence their audience to buy your product? If you’re in the latter of those two, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to winfluence the Winfluence Marketing Podcast. Hello again, friends. Thanks for tuning into Winfluence the Influence Marketing Podcast. There are many ways to slice an apple or peel an orange, or for that matter, there are many ways to get from your house to the office or grocery store and just as many ways to get back. There are also many ways to approach influence marketing. If you’ve been listening to and following along with Winfluence for any amount of time, you know that we focus on influence marketing without the R. While social media celebrities with big followings are one way to slice the Winfluence apple, there are many other ways to ultimately persuade an audience to take action. Sam Katz knows this. He’s an influence marketing strategist and consultant. His history of work includes stints with Edelman and Publissist One. He and I happened to share the stage at the Winfluence Marketing Show in New York last month. He led a panel discussion on creators and owning their own content in the world of somewhat unstable social networks. These days, we got to talking backstage about a few topics, and I thought his take on how businesses and brands can approach influence from a bunch of different angles would make for a good conversation. He told me one thing he sees from clients a lot these days is they don’t know what they don’t know, and that is typically that there are many ways to go from start to finish with influence marketing. I asked Sam to join us today to talk about that topic. Along with a few others. He also has a current top of mind set of advice for brands and creators about content usage rights we’ll get into as well. Sam’s a smart one, and we’ll dig into more with him and what he knows today on the show. As always, this episode of Influence is presented by Cipio AI. We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user generated content, videos and images at scale. Why? Well, Shopify data shows user generated content quadruples your ad click through rates. UGC drives as much as seven times more engagement on social media, user generated content improves website conversions by 29% and email click through rates by 73%. UGC is also more trusted by consumers than even traditional influencer content. And Cipio AI is building the next generation of visual content management solutions. Generative AI for images and videos. And folks, this is not 2024 or even late 2023. I’ve seen the prototype in action. While we fully bake that, though, Cipio AI can plug you into your own community of users, find those who create great content and help you engage them to do it for your brand. Your digital marketing performs better, you don’t have to go looking for content to use for paid or owned campaigns, and we’ve got a team to manage it all for you. If you want, come see Cipio AI. If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high performing UGC, just go to Slash Cipio, fill out that form and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you. That’s Jasonfalls Co cipio. And seriously, folks, we can make your marketing perform better and take a handful of problems off your hands. Come see us. Jasonfalls. Cipio and I will personally walk you through the platform and set you up to succeed with us. There are dozens of ways to slice that influence marketing apple. We’re going to talk about a bunch of them with Sam Katz next on sam, it’s great to catch up with you. I think we’ve run into each other a couple of times out there in the space, but last month at the Influencer Marketing show, we actually shared the stage a little bit. You led a really interesting panel discussion there. That’s a really important topic. How can creators safeguard their content in a world where the social networks are maybe less stable places than we’d like them to be? What were your big takeaways or the takeaways you hoped everyone took away from that talk?

Sam Katz [00:04:38]:

Yeah, and it’s great to be here. We do have a nice long history of whether it’s zoom calls through the pandemic and then to meet in person. It’s always really fun. But yeah, that panel was a ton of fun. And we had representatives from Meta, we had representatives from the affiliate space, and we had a representative from Talent Management, so we had all the different point of views. I think perhaps one point of view being the brand side was missing, but we could fill in those gaps here. But from my end, I was hoping that people would take away that there’s two sort of sides to this coin there’s from the brand side and the creator side. And if the brand can align with the creator and they can both expand each other’s audiences as well as enhance or enrich their audiences through content or through experiences, then it’s a win win. And that’s usually what we see as the top performing types of influencer campaigns or partnerships is a better word for it.

Jason Falls [00:05:37]:

Well, I’ve been banging the drum here, trying to encourage creators to think about this and even have their own websites and build email lists. I’m also certainly a fan of diversifying out there to the only fans or fans only paid social platforms where, again, you can own the connection with the audience, the email, the content, contact mechanisms and such. But I guess I have to play devil’s advocate a bit here, too. For a 20 something social influencer who has all their eggs in the instagram or TikTok basket or maybe they have eggs in those two baskets but no others. Those that might say my people aren’t reading blogs or subscribing to email newsletters, you’re old and dumb, shut up and leave me alone. Are they right? Do we need to worry? And how would you respond to that?

Sam Katz [00:06:24]:

Well, I do want to answer that straightforward and say no one is dumb, but I will zoom out for 1 second. And I think what we’re talking about you’re hinting at do we want to drive audiences to sharing their emails so that we could deliver blog content or email newsletters and anecdotally I still do believe those things do work if it’s quality. But we’re talking about first party data and I think it is always a good idea if you are a creator or a brand to be thinking about first party data. You want to have the quickest way to reach your customers or your fans. If you’re a comedian, you can use the simple tools that ticketmaster supplies and that’s great and that provides certain benefits. But if you have your email lists started in different cities, you’re able to reach those people whenever you want and for free with some quotation marks around that. But we’re talking about first party data. I believe that there’s other ways that creators and brands, though, can own their audience or migrate their audience. So yes, blogs are still a good idea, but it must be interesting and it should just be a representation of your brand. But the other ways are creators are now creating amazing content that is native to platform. And if you’re a brand, you must tap into the term. Now the hot button is UGC, but that’s been around forever and you must be tapping into that. And in order to tap into that, creators must understand also that they can sell their content and they can sell their audience. And the term that gets used to do that right now is usage rights. And the usage rights on content is typically you negotiate around how long will this run and where will you be running it? And that’s a great, I think, step one, elementary view of how we can approach that as either a creator or brand. But there’s so many more ways to build upon that and things to think about.

Jason Falls [00:08:20]:

Well, I know I want to get into the usage rights things a little bit later, so we’ll circle back to that and I certainly want to make sure that we talk about the creator issues. But I’ve got a couple of other things I want to dig in to with you before we get into those usage rights things. So we’ll come back to that topic here in a little bit. But one thing we were talking about as we were talking kind of preparing for this conversation today, I know you spend a lot of time counseling brands and one thing we were talking about last week was that so many brands don’t really know how varied winfluence marketing approaches can be. You said something I really liked, that you talk to your clients about the different tiers of winfluence marketing approaches. Tell us a little bit more about that because there’s quite literally dozens of ways a brand can approach influence, but they need to know what they need to know before they dig in, right?

Sam Katz [00:09:12]:

Absolutely. And you said it that’s I think the number one question that you get on any pitch or presentation is how are we going to use these creators? Or these creators are overpaid, or how do we measure the success of these campaigns? And I think what’s confusing and I’ll try and keep this concise, but some creators are influencers and some influencers are creators, and some kind of do both, and some only do one. And I think people hope and wish that there’s some sort of standardization around pricing and metrics. And I think we’re going to be waiting a long time for that. If we’re waiting for platforms to put in certain rules or the FTC to say you can only charge beauty Winfluence $5,000 or whatever made up thing, we’re going to be waiting a while. And so I think in order to get to a place like an Olmer scale, which what they use for movies like an A scale actor, a B scale actor that’s based on Bankability. I think brands need to come up with their own internal metrics that are based on their key results and how they want to use these creators. And that goes back to the tiers. So you don’t have to pick one method. You don’t have to say, we’re only going to work with these lifestyle beauty creators that make these awesome videos and their fans are super loyal and click through every story. It’s a yes. And we want to use those beauty creators. We want to use some smaller bloggers who are amazing at affiliate and can sell to their constituents of maybe 2000 or 20,000 followers. We want to use the content creators to outsource our creative and have now with Advantage Plus on Facebook, you’re supposed to be testing 20 assets per campaign. And the only way to do that is to have some sort of outsourced creative team. So let’s use creators for that as well. And so that’s what I mean by the tiers. And each of those tiers have different metrics, they have different goals, and they need to be outlined in the upfront of these conversations with creators, set these goals, have conversations with them. We’re dealing with people, not ad units. And so it’s always great to really make these people feel part of the fold. It’s not to say that there isn’t amazing tech that helps scale that process. And so I think it’s that combination of humans and tech that makes that popsixle.

Jason Falls [00:11:32]:

Yeah, well, I love that take on things because you’re encompassing all the different possibilities. And I think it’s easy for brand managers and people who are hiring people like you or softwares like Cipio or agencies out there to help them. It’s easy for them to say I just want a bunch of famous winfluence social media people to take a picture with my product and tell people to go buy it. And that’s 2007 thinking and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but there’s a lot more that could be right with it if you think about it in much different ways. But I love the fact that you’ve sort of talked about the different tiers and different angles because you’re right, man. There are use cases where going out and finding someone with 3 million followers on TikTok is the right thing to do.

Sam Katz [00:12:25]:


Jason Falls [00:12:26]:

And then there are scenarios where it’s the absolute wrong thing to do. I love the fact that you brought up using an army of creators to fill those content coffers that’s what we do at Cipio, we scale that. And so I’ve had conversations with brands constantly about, hey, there are different ways you can use these creators. You don’t have to use them as quote unquote, influencers. Meaning you don’t even have to have them post on their channels. If you like the content they create, the style that they created in, you can just hire them to be your creative team, your production artist, whatnot. And as long as you’re willing to pay their rates, they’re more than happy to do that if you really like them. So I love that approach. I wonder in the conversations that you have with your clients and people that you work with in your experience, beyond that, go find me someone famous who will post a video with my product. Is there one approach that’s more common or something that you’re asked for more or that you recommend more?

Sam Katz [00:13:27]:

Yeah, that’s a really good question. I’m not trying to dodge the question with this answer, but I really do think it really depends on the situation. So I had the opportunity to hear the head of influencer at Tonal Talk and Tonal part of their initial rise to crushing it was partnering with LeBron James. And I think if you’re able to partner with someone like a LeBron James or someone that is this worldly figure, there is no amount of content creators or any type of partnerships that can buy that type of sort of reach or immediate loyalty if it is a built in partnership. I’m not talking just one TikTok post for absorbent amount of money, I’m talking like investment in the company full promoting. And I’m sure it still came with a giant price tag and perhaps some equity, but it’s worth it if it puts you on the map immediately. So I think that if, you know, it’s kind of like maybe this is pigeonholing myself, but it’s like the Vinny Chase effect from like if you’re lucky enough to grow up next to the potential celebrity movie star, you have those close relationships. It’s hard to beat that in terms of efficiency. If you don’t, if you don’t, then it’s what you were talking about. It’s about building that army of creators, but through testing and learning and having really strong points of view and learning agendas. And so with every brand that I’m working with, it’s about having that learning agenda to say, hey, we’re testing these creators and here’s how and here’s what we’re expecting them to do. And then seeing what happens in the results and trying to be as efficient with budget as possible. If a brand has $100,000 to spend, is it worthwhile creating the most amazing event in this local community where all of your shops are going to be or working with three different content creators who are going to post one time on TikTok? I think it depends.

Jason Falls [00:15:25]:

Well, and that is not skirting the answer, because that’s my answer to a lot of questions that people have of me is, hey, how do you do this? Well, it depends. It depends on what your goals are. It depends on how you want to measure success. It depends on what your budget is. There’s all sorts of depends that have to be thrown in there. So another tier in all this, or several tiers actually, because it can all be tiered, probably infinitely is our philosophical foundation here on Winfluence is that influence is the game and that doesn’t have to use social media Winfluence either. And so I’m curious what your take on that is, because you work with different brands and different clients that I’ve worked with, you have different experiences and backgrounds and I wonder what your take on that philosophy is. Because I really believe that we should be focused on and this is why I call it Winfluence marketing without the R, because I feel like we should be focused on the winfluence piece, not the influencer piece.

Sam Katz [00:16:27]:


Jason Falls [00:16:27]:

And that implies it doesn’t matter if the person is necessarily a social media creator, although they are part of it, but it could also be a journalist, it could also be a lobbyist, it could also be the president of the local PTA, it could be a lot of different people. So I wonder what your take on that philosophy is.

Sam Katz [00:16:43]:

No, that’s a really good point. I think you’re hinting at a couple of different things. You’re talking about how do you quantify influence or how do you find this influence? And you’re also just talking about influence in general of I think it’s funny when people question is the bubble going to burst? And in some aspects, absolutely, as everything does, but in other aspects, like Winfluence and working with influential figures or entities, that’s always been something and will never go away. There’s always people that have awesome takes. I think it’s interesting as we and this is a whole other conversation as we explore like democratization of social clout, moving forward, and if everyone’s famous, is anyone famous? But even then there’s levels sorry, back to the point. But I think when it comes to actual influence, there’s ways of looking into this. So one example is we wanted to reach CEOs and tech entrepreneurs, and there was a podcast that we were supporting and they were going to be interviewing Richard Branson. And so we took a look into who Richard Branson is following. And so who is he? I mean, he’s a person. Maybe he has someone managing his instagram, but they followed people for a jason, or maybe it is him and he cares about certain things. And the thing that we realized was there were other billionaire type figures, there were entrepreneurs, but then there were athletes and most specifically tennis players. And so it was like, oh, that’s kind of interesting. Maybe there is a way to winfluence Richard Branson through tennis, or drive a conversation through tennis and support this sort of and make this an enhanced experience for getting people either to listen to the podcast or pay attention afterwards, or even to know Sir Richard Branson’s attention. So it’s like, who’s winfluence? I didn’t make this up, but who’s influencing the influencer I think is a good way to look at it as well.

Jason Falls [00:18:39]:

Yeah, it reminds me and this is definitely a much smaller scale, but still significant, at least for people in the marketing and tech space will probably recognize these names, but years ago, I had a client, a tech platform. That wanted to get more than anything. Like the one thing they coveted when they first came to me was we want Robert Scoble to talk about our software on his videos, on wherever he was at the rack space. Or wherever he was creating videos at the so I had met him a couple of times at some conferences, but didn’t know him well enough to break through the email. Clutter and I could send him a pitch, but I didn’t know if that was really going to work. But I also saw and knew that Robert Scoble often retweeted back when Twitter was relevant, he often retweeted and or would comment on the topics that Lewis Gray was writing about. Lewis was a guy in the Silicon Valley space who was also blogging about social media and the emerging thing. This was back in the late two thousand s. And so I actually started reaching out to and having conversations with Lewis Gray, figuring, you know what, if Lewis Gray writes about my client, then Robert Scobel will see it. And that’s a good way to break that ice. And long story short, eventually not only did Robert Scobel see the client, but we ended up connecting with him, brought him to Louisville, he did an event here. He came to the offices of the client. He got to really be up and close and personal with them. And I really think it was that let’s find a way to influence the influencer strategy that kind of opened that door.

Sam Katz [00:20:21]:

Yeah, it’s illustrated in this really awesome show called Dave. There’s a guy, Lil Dicky, who’s like a rapper comedian, but I believe he’s a genius. But in the show he has like a partner and his name is Gaeta. And Gaeta explains to Dave Lil Dicky that he’s got to put on his gander. And they use that term of like it’s essentially winfluence the influencers. Like how do you get on the radar of the people that you want to get on the radar? You talk to the people who they’re paying attention to and find a way to make yourself sought out instead of the other way around. So shout out Dave.

Jason Falls [00:21:01]:

Good job. I love it. Dave talking to Sam Katz today, who is an influence marketing strategist and consultant. He wears a couple hats, actually. When we come back on Winfluence, we’re going to check in on one of those and learn about Popsicle, which isn’t what you might think it is. But then we’ll get back to talking about the complexities challenges and opportunities with content usage rights as promised. Stay tuned. Welcome back to winfluence. Sam Katz is sitting in with us today on the program talking about a bunch of aspects of good influence marketing. He is a strategist and consultant that helps brands build and execute strong Winfluence marketing programs. One of the brands that Sam works for and with is called Popsicle. No, not the frozen treat. It’s spelled with an X instead of a C. Sam, tell the folks what Popsicle does.

Sam Katz [00:21:55]:

Yeah, popsicle is really fun. So I get to work with the lovely team over there helping them with some partnerships. And Popsicle is solving the data signal loss problem for e commerce, more specifically Shopify brands and helping them regain control of their data so that they could pass it back to Facebook. And what we’re seeing is some pretty crazy results. It’s really boosting these brands Facebook ads performance and efficiency. And we’re dipping our toes in the Attribution space. It’s been really fun. Very good.

Jason Falls [00:22:27]:

So for the brand managers out there listening or the agencies that serve them, I heard Shopify Falls e commerce folks who are doing Facebook and Meta advertising probably need to talk to you. Is that about right?

Sam Katz [00:22:42]:

That would be about right. Anyone that is tracking towards conversions, working with shopify stores and trying to get off that ROAS roller coaster with their Facebook ads and part of that really goes back to regaining control of that data. And so with Popsicle, we work with all types of shops. It really doesn’t matter what industry it’s more of. If you’re doing between 5000 and $5 million a month in revenue, we could work with you. And again, happy to chat through all the results we’re seeing in terms of small, medium, sized businesses being able to scale their spend, or agencies being able to scale this spend for these small to medium sized businesses because their ROAS is getting more consistent. It is growing over time, costs per purchase, acquisition costs are going down. We’re trying to measure that if it is not just in Facebook and across your whole blended CAC. And again, we’re seeing some pretty crazy results across those four key metrics. And then recently we’ve launched some new products that are helping brands understand and trust their Facebook reporting. And I know that that sounds really crazy, but we’re measuring and looking at Facebook click IDs and the traffic compared to the purchases to really understand is your attribution in a really good space.

Jason Falls [00:24:09]:

Wow, that sounds fantastic. We definitely have some more in common. Cipio AI’s main focus is helping brands kind of make their Meta ad campaigns better with that authentic user generated content. So you guys are doing more on the data side to do that as well. Put us both together and you’re probably going to have a pretty successful ad campaign, I would assume.

Sam Katz [00:24:29]:

I think putting the data side and the creative side together is the best way to tap into Facebook’s machine learning platform and forget Chat GBT, forget all these things that are coming out now. Facebook built the best machine learning platform in the world and it fuels brands ad accounts. And what happened was when iOS 14 came out, it completely messed up the data flow for these businesses and these small brands from passing from their shop to their site. And by restoring that data flow, you’re able to create that steady flow of data, which is a good clean oil for the machine learning engine. On top of that, Facebook’s launching all these Advantage, plus and machine learning AI based products that you need all those different types of creative to test. And so now you’re really tapping in and honing in Facebook’s. Behemoth of a machine learning or sorry, Meta’s, behemoth of a machine learning product. And again, you will see your event match quality going up, you will see your conversions going up, everything across the board.

Jason Falls [00:25:37]:

That’s good stuff. Good stuff. We’ll make sure that the appropriate links and whatnot to get a hold of you are in the show notes, certainly for those out there who are interested in following up with Sam today. Okay, speaking of user generated content, falls that creative you need for all this stuff or influencer generated content if you want to include all the angles of it. Let’s talk a little bit about usage rights. We started off mentioning that earlier. I want to dig in a little deeper there. The deeper one gets into the Winfluence marketing space, especially dealing with larger creators, with talent managers and such, usage rights becomes more and more important, or at least more and more in your face. It’s important regardless of what level you’re dealing with, what do brands or creators need to understand about those usage rights that maybe most don’t?

Sam Katz [00:26:25]:

Yeah, so that’s a great question. I think the first step is you must understand that this is a thing and usage rights is a necessary component of these partnerships in some cases. And I think what we’re seeing is sometimes it’s not talked about in the upfront and can find its way in contracts or on the back end. A creator may say something that they didn’t mean, and now someone’s running a piece of content that there wasn’t approval and it’s a mess. And so I think the first step is like, be upfront about these things. It is not an uncomfortable topic or it is an uncomfortable topic, but it should not be. It is the same way how if you go into a store and there’s prices for things, that is the same thing. Except as a brand, you’re also able to negotiate all you want. There are no rules around that. As long as you are respectful, I guess is a good ethical rule. But step two of that is really understanding. If we’re talking about a brand and how they want to be thinking about usage rights, I think it’s about being thoughtful and deliberate with how they will use this content. And it’s not about we just need content. It is we need content for this to do this. And if they’re doing that, they’re going out to creators with, hey, we need three videos for our Facebook ads to support our Christmas sale. Here’s our brief. And then a creator comes back and says, great, the price of me creating that content and producing it is X. And the cost to use that content for this month and any month after is Y. And then it’s about the brand going, okay, we actually only need it for one month, and if it works really well, we’ll pay for the next month. And now there’s a bunch of other ways to negotiate that from either side. Like how do you build in? Let’s do this for three months. If you’re a manager of a creator or hey, there’s built in efficiencies, if you lock us in for six months, we’ll take the price down, so on and so forth.

Jason Falls [00:28:22]:

So talk to me a little bit about outside of the approach that you just outlined for using the creator for advertising. Let’s say I’m just engaging a creator, an influencer in a typical Winfluence situation to create content on their channel. But I want to be able to repost or share that content on my channels as well. Maybe I even want to put it on my website and say, hey, look at the creators that we’re working with. Tell me how a brand should approach that. Because I can understand an Winfluence creator wanting to charge a significant amount of extra money for licensing content to use in paid advertising campaigns. The social media brain in me. Goes reverts back a little bit. And I’m saying, well, if I’m sharing your content, not that a brand audience is necessarily something that a creator wants to get in front of, but I am sharing your content and putting it in front of my audience, pointing people back to you. Why should there be licensing fees for that type of scenario?

Sam Katz [00:29:32]:

Yeah, great question. And I think going back to my other way of skating around it is saying I think it depends. And I think it really is about finding, talking to the creator and telling them, hey, this is how we want to use this content and figuring out the right price. And some creators are going to quote, okay, that’s $20,000 for two images and that’s out of budget. And there’s tons of other ways to scale that sort of process like a Cipio or whether there’s other outreach tools as well, or billow where you put a brief out in the world. So I do think it really depends on that situation. And again, being super straightforward with if you’re a brand, this is how we’re going to use it. If a creator says, okay, it’s an extra X to put on your organic to use for your organic social media and that’s too much for your budget, then I don’t know if that creator is right for that brand. And it’s not to say that you should walk away from a partnership based off of sharing, but I think it is about if you’re a brand, how do you showcase that there is value to that creator? If we do this, so we’re going to tag you, we’re going to support this with ads that will drive to the creator’s link maybe, and on that link there’s an affiliate back to the brand. And so now you’re talking about a complete ecosystem of negotiating and building a partnership with the creator. But I do agree, I think that there’s room in this space for some more grace. I’m creating this great stuff and if you shared awesome and there are creators that are so down for that, which is cool.

Jason Falls [00:31:14]:

Well, I think I’m going to be mildly frustrating for the creators out there for a second and then I’m going to piss them off because I’m going to play devil’s advocate here with you one more time, please. But I will say this. I think the conflict for a lot of brands and even agencies is that let’s back up 1015 years. If I were going to hire a freelancer to create content for my ad campaign or create content for my social media channels or my website, I would go to a graphic designer or an Internet artist or photographer or producer or something like that, and I would pay them a fee and I would just use the content. Usage. Rights weren’t as much of a thing back then. Certainly when you get into the commercial artists and things like that, it changes. It changed back then too. But I think that’s where the conflict derives. Because if I’m using, let’s say someone who has an Instagram account, but I don’t even really care if they post on their channel, I just want them to create content for me, create an image that I can use or a video I can use and let me use it. And I think that’s where the conflict comes in, is we weren’t used to paying for a certain level of artist or creator extra usage rights fees on top of that. So that blows the budget out of the water.

Sam Katz [00:32:33]:


Jason Falls [00:32:33]:

Now, hear me out on this, and I’m sure some creators may take exception to this angle of thinking, but I’d love your reaction to this. And please, everybody out there, understand for the most part here, I’m playing devil’s advocate, so don’t hunt me down and crucify me, everybody. But isn’t influencer usage rights just a lame ass attempt from egotistical wannabes to try and act like they’re somehow culturally relevant, like recording artists or celebrities? I mean, one in a million influencers is going to have the kind of celebrity impact or influence that their likeness can drive sales. Mr. Beast, Jake Paul, I’ll give you a few of those. But for some fashionista, with 100,000 Instagram followers who couldn’t be recognized in most shopping malls in America, to ask for ten grand for annual usage rights for her content, to me seems ridiculous. I can go out and find 100 people as good who won’t charge that. Isn’t this just a desperate money grab from inflated egos?

Sam Katz [00:33:36]:

Tell me how you really feel. No, I would say with some people, yeah, absolutely. With some, yeah, for sure. But my combat to that would be if I take myself, for example, I’m a creator, that I’m embarking on this journey, I’m early in my creative journey and I’m really taking it seriously. And right now I’m on the Winfluence podcast and I’ll give myself just above a nobody in terms of like, maybe there’s a little bit of Winfluence. Let’s say after this, a couple people see this, they like what I have to say, and another podcast asked me to be on, and then another one, and then Scott Galloway of Pivot brings me onto that podcast. And now I’m being interviewed by the New York Times and I had a partnership with Target and they were using my know, because I’m a good content creator and they’re using it know, put up in their stores to say, look, we have clothes for short guys, and I was their UGC creator for it. Now, at one point that was an easy deal, and for me it was life changing to get a $1,000 from Target a month from Target to they’re using my face in store. But now all of a sudden, a year later, two years later, I’m the biggest short guy creator in the world, and I have millions of followers and Target is still getting to use my face for $1,000. That’s like, a silly example, and it talks about the growth and maybe your own value and that can grow. I think the other super serious example, if you’re a creator, is talk about safeguarding your future and your audience is you’re a young person and you partner with an energy drink, and later on in life, your views change or the brand’s views come to light or change. You better make sure that you have something in that usage right clause that says, I’m not associated with this brand anymore. So the short answer is, like, sure, there’s some people that are money grabbing, but I think the real people that are committed to this stuff, there’s some real thought behind this, and it’s important to think, and it’s important to be again outright with all this.

Jason Falls [00:35:54]:

Well, thank you for that. I appreciate the examples because that certainly answers that and makes a better argument than I probably would have made. Let me pause a moment to remind everyone again I was playing devil’s advocate. It’s part of my job here. So thank you, Sam, for reeling us in that question a bit.

Sam Katz [00:36:14]:

I can confirm Jason before the call, said he’s going to say something on purpose to be inflammatory and doesn’t stand.

Jason Falls [00:36:21]:

By that, hey, it makes for a hell of a sound bite. So that’ll probably become the promo for this episode. So it’ll get I mean, I’m a marketer, right? I got to figure out how to be able to do all right, real quick, Sam, what’s the bottom line thing that brands need to keep in mind about usage rights? And then what are the bottom line things creators need to keep in mind to think about them?

Sam Katz [00:36:42]:

Yeah, let’s find some comfort in those conversations and let’s have those conversations outright. Let’s be comfortable with talking about how long are you going to be using these ads? Are you testing this in your paid media? What are the results of these ads? And as a creator, I’d want to know. And so I think let’s start having these conversations on our initial falls, and it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It’s part of it now.

Jason Falls [00:37:03]:

That’s true. Excellent. Sam Katz, where can people find you on them, their interwebs?

Sam Katz [00:37:10]:

You can find me on LinkedIn. It’s pretty hard to find, but look for Sam Katz from Popsixle. You could find me on Instagram at Scatsy five. That’s skatzy five. And that pretty much sums it up. Yeah.

Jason Falls [00:37:26]:

Well, you’re going to be a lot easier to find, too, if you go to the show Notes, because we’ll put the links to Sam and Popsicle and all those places there. You’ll be able to find that specific page at cats. Samkatz. Or you can go to, click on articles in the upper right and look for the episode with the handsome Sam cats there. Sam, really appreciate your time. My friend. Keep up the great work out there.

Sam Katz [00:37:52]:

Thank you Jason. This was awesome. Really appreciate it.

Jason Falls [00:38:01]:

Smart when they’re that Sam Katz, do be sure to connect with him and take a few minutes and whether it’s a Post it note or a reminder in a file somewhere, jot down your immediate reaction to and thoughts about those usage rights topics so you can cross that t when it comes around again for you. Smart stuff there from Sam. Great to have him on the show. If you enjoyed this episode and this interview, please do share it with someone else who may as well. And if you’re enjoying Winfluence overall, do help us grow. Tell somebody about the show. You probably know someone who might want to know more about influence marketing. Send them to or share a link to this episode on your social network of choice. If you have a moment, drop Winfluence a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. We are on the mall. The show is now on video as well. Just look for Jason Falls Winfluence on YouTube to see the show as well as hear it. Winfluence is a production of Falls and Partners and presented by Cipio AI. The technical production is by MPN Studios. Winfluence airs along MPN the Marketing Podcast Network thanks for listening folks. Let’s talk again soon on SA.

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