Those of us on the agency or services side of the influence marketing industry covet one thing really: Insights from brand-side marketers, particularly those who are the decision-makers in the business. I would imagine talent managers and some creators also covet that since the brand’s investments in any of us is what makes the industry tick.

In that broad category of brand decision makers, there are a wide variety of businesses and brands. You have small businesses, often mom and pop, local shops, who are regular businesses we encounter all the time. They’re probably not often called startups, which is a separate category. 

These are companies that often take on investments and try to grow to be medium to large businesses. They’re tricky because when they’re really new, they don’t have any money to invest in marketing. As they grow or take on investments, that budget grows and they can wind up being a godsend for those of us looking for brands to help who area also able to pay for that service.

And then there are mega brands … the ones you always hear about. They have big teams, multiple brands within portfolios and lots of money to spend.

A few weeks ago on LinkedIn, one person at the latter of those three types of companies struck up a conversation that caught my attention. Kyle Peters works in the strategy and innovation department at Nestle … the largest retail company in the world. He focuses on internal innovation, but he joined the team there after building a startup ice cream brand. So he’s been on the startup and small business side, too.

Kyle asked this: What is the value of an influencer? I was intrigued. So I jumped in and contributed to the comments, but then asked Kyle if he’d like to come on Winfluence and talk about the topic. We’d be tickled to have someone from Nestle sharing that kind of conversation with us. His perspective from the startup and small business side are helpful too.

So today, Kyle joins me to talk about his background, but then, the value of influencers from both sides of the aisle … how influencers and creators value themselves versus how agencies and brands do. 

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Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand

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Kyle Peters Transcript

[00:00:00] Jason: On this episode of Winfluence.

[00:00:01] Kyle: It’s talked about a lot on LinkedIn, right? I think we’re seeing it from the creator side, from the influencers side, you know, talking about how brands don’t assign their true value and don’t value them enough. And then also too, we see brands kind of complain about the way influencers and creators kind of, overinflate their value and everything else.

And so it’s just two sides, like barking and talk and complaining about the experience overall. Right? Like, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of positive discussion around the good experiences and relationships that brands and creators and influencers cultivate.

[00:00:35] Jason: There’s a difference between being an influencer and actually influencing. I’m Jason Falls, and in this podcast we explore the people, companies campaigns and stories that illustrate that difference. Welcome to Winfluence, the Influence Marketing Podcast

Hello again, friends. Thanks for listening to Winfluence the Influence Marketing Podcast. Those of us on the agency or service side of the influence marketing industry, covet one thing really, insights from brand side marketers, particularly those who are the decision makers in the business. I would imagine talent managers and some creators also code that since the brand’s investments in any of us, is what makes the industry tick.

In that broad category of brand decision makers, there are a wide variety of businesses and brands. You have small businesses, often mom and pop, local shops who are regular businesses we encounter all the time. They’re probably not often called startups, which is a separate category.

These are companies that often take on investments and try to grow to be medium or large. Businesses. They’re a little tricky because when they’re really new, they really don’t have any money to invest in marketing.

As they grow or take on investments, that budget grows and they can wind up being a godsend for those of us looking for brands to help who are also able to pay for that service. And then there are mega brands, the ones you always hear about. They have big teams, multiple brands within portfolios, and lots of money to spend typically. A few weeks ago on LinkedIn, one person at the ladder of those three types of companies struck up a conversation that caught my attention.

Kyle Peters works in the strategy and innovation department at Nestle, the largest retail company in the world. He focuses on internal innovation, but he joined the team there after building a startup ice cream brand.

So he’s been on the startup and small business side too. Kyle asked this, what is the value of an influencer? I was intrigued, so I jumped in and contributed to the comments, but then asked Kyle if he’d come on Winfluence to talk about the topic.

We’d be tickled to have someone from Nestle sharing that kind of conversation with us. His perspective from the startup and small business side are certainly helpful too. So today Kyle joins me to talk about his background and then the value of influencers from both sides of the aisle, how influencers and creators value themselves versus how agencies and brands do. Let’s just say it’s an interesting discussion and it’s coming up on the show.

Winfluence presented by, the community commerce marketing platform, I love what they’re doing so much. I joined the company as executive vice president for marketing in November. is a platform that has a family of applications that helps you drive commerce through your own community.

One of those taps into a big theme for 2023 for brands and creators, and that’s efficiency. Whether you are a brand or a creator, you probably spend a lot of time writing and rewriting captions for social media content. You also have to make sure that content will perform well by keeping up with the trends across social media. Right?

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Vibe check’s powerful generative AI engine digs into the big data of over 140 million social media users, posts, images and videos. It mines that data for deep learning insights to give you not just content, but content that will perform that makes it very different from other AI content generators out there.

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 What is the value of an influencer? We have the perspective of a startup company founder, who also happens to work at one of the largest retailers in the world. Kyle Peters from Nestle is next on Winfluence.

 Kyle, this is a real treat for us today, which is an interesting coincidence. You work on strategy and innovation at Nestle, which makes a lot of treats, so we don’t frequently get folks from the big CPG companies to come talk influencers with us.

So thanks for hanging out. Before we talk influencers, though, I want people to hear the Kyle Peters story. You founded Carter and Oak Ice Cream, either with or for your mother, right? Tell us that story, which will then kinda lead me into my next question.

[00:06:22] Kyle: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me on here too. I’m pumped. So, the short story of Carter Oak is, my mom had battled stage four colon cancer for seven years. I had done at-home hospice care nearly full-time with my dad in about the last year, that she was with us.

And during that journey of hers, I really saw that after her treatments, she would have, sore throat lack of appetite, high sensitivity to smells. So cooking a whole meal or having her just eat any like hot food was really difficult sometimes.

And, she really needed like her throat to be soothed and kind of find those more like comforting foods that were just easy to eat, because whole meals just really weren’t an option. So, she was missing out on the nutrition that she really needed. And the products that she was eating, like ice cream and pudding and ice pops, all that stuff was high in sugar, high in artificial ingredients. And just not really helping her recover from the rigorous cancer treatment that she had.

So I wanted to take the comfort and indulgence of the ice cream that she was already eating and blend that with the nutrition that she was missing out. So that’s when I started Carter and Oak. That was the mission to really kind of provide comforting nutrition to healthcare. And developed a high protein zero added sugar frozen dessert. Super clean label and really premium tasting ice cream.

[00:07:31] Jason: Well, I found an article about Carter and Oak, I think it was in Food Business News, where you gave some tips on being an entrepreneur in the food industry, and it was written around this context that Carter and Oak failed as a business. I’m curious if that’s how you characterize it now. I know the brand is still out there, and if maybe you landing at Nestle in and of itself may even change that characterization in some way.

[00:07:54] Kyle: Yeah, so I definitely label it a failure. And Carter and Oak isn’t still in operation. I still like, own all the IP and everything else. Maybe there’s a second life to it, that I’m working on a little bit. But that’s kind of yet to be seen.

What I’ve been saying and how I’ve characterized it, so far has been, it was a failure, but it wasn’t a waste. For me the goal was to launch and build and continue to grow a successful, sustainable business for, 10, 20, 30 years. Right. I wanted to have people at our company, supporting their families on the salaries that we provided. I wanted to be able to provide nutritional products in healthcare in ways that have never been provided before. With true integrity, real accessibility for people, you know, that are battling all different types of illnesses.

And we didn’t achieve that goal, right? You know, we did for a small period of time. But ultimately we weren’t able to do that. So for me, just looking at it objectively, it’s like, yeah, that, that’s a failure, right?

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s almost worse to be like, there’s no such thing as a failure. You learn, but it’s like, my goal wasn’t to just learn. If I wanted to learn, I’ll just go to school forever. And I don’t wanna do that. I damn sure don’t wanna go back to school forever.

So, yeah being a founder ,I wanted to have a successful business for a very long period of time, and I didn’t do that. So I have no problem looking at it and saying it’s a failure, but I learned, an incredible amount. It’s given me the opportunity to go and work for the largest CPG company in the world, Nestle right?

Doing something that a lot of other people don’t get to do. And so, I’ve been able to benefit a lot even from that failure. But I don’t look at it as like a waste, right? I think that’s like the key distinction that I like to make.

[00:09:26] Jason: Nice. So tell us a little bit about the story of getting to Nestle and then what does someone in strategy and innovation do at a big CPG company like that?

[00:09:34] Kyle: Yeah, so, LinkedIn has always kind of been my favorite tool in the world forever. Like ever since I started Carter and Oak, it got me opportunities to gain accounts in the NFL. It got me opportunities to work with Aramark. It got me opportunities to work with Marriott. It’s just been the best for me. Am not paid by LinkedIn. I wish I was, but I am so happy to be a LinkedIn, advocate because it’s just done so much for me.

I made a LinkedIn post after I made the decision to shut down Carter and Oak. And really what drove the decision to make that post is kind of funny because, I did it out of fear and almost like a little bit of ego behind it too.

Not that I was like super active on LinkedIn before, but people that I was connected with on LinkedIn, they knew me as a founder, they knew me as like an ice cream guy. And so I didn’t wanna all of a sudden go dark for like two months and all of a sudden I’m talking about whatever I’m doing this new place. And they’re like, oof. You know, I guess, Kyle’s business didn’t really turn out too well. Right? And they can come up with whatever narrative that they want of it wasn’t good enough, or he’s a bad operator. Like whatever it might be.

So I made a post to kind of like, set the story straight and then really be able to like tell the truth of what happened so nothing was misconstrued and I was also like, hey listen, you know, great people that I’m connected with on LinkedIn and maybe I’m gonna end up getting a job opportunity from it.

So, that’s what I did. I kind of shared the, very unfiltered truth to what happened in the conclusion. And then I asked, you know, hey, if anybody’s hiring, I’m a free agent, so let me know.

And I got a response that I just didn’t expect of, hundreds of people commenting and founders asking me to be a consultant or an advisor. And then startups looking to, you know, interview me and have discussions about me being a co-founder or me joining the team in one capacity or another. And then even large companies saying, hey we should get connected, but I just wanna learn more about kind of like your journey. We might have a place for you here.

Nestle was one of those companies. I had two people from different parts of the company reach out and say, hey, like we should get connected and talk a little bit more. And then, you know, had talks with both of them. Went through the interview process in both. Got an offer for one before the other and accepted.

I didn’t really know what I was walking into. Right? Like, it’s like I’ve never worked at a corporate company before, so I was like, you know, this sounds exciting. They’re able to pay me more than I was able to pay me. So, it was just kind of like a win-win. I was like, you know, let’s go and have another experience. This will be great.

[00:11:49] Jason: So, in your role in strategy and innovation at Nestle, what is it that you do? Are you inventing new products every day? What’s the role there?

[00:11:57] Kyle: Yeah. Yeah. So I sit in a part of Nestle that’s called The Accelerator. And it’s an internal accelerator. So different than probably what, you know, if there’s founders listening right now, they’re probably like, oh, it’s an accelerator. I’m gonna reach out to Kyle and see if they can bring my company in for the program. That’s now what we do yet. We will end up working with external partners down the line that’s yet to be seen when it’ll exactly be. But currently it’s strictly for internal innovation.

And it’s tough cause I kinda have to like dance around a few things, but I just talked at a, virtual conference about our process and everything. So I, should be able to be pretty clear on kind of, you know, the way we do things.

But essentially, like I said, it’s for internal innovation. I work across categories in coffee, creamers, frozen meals, and frozen pizza. And so, every project will have a group of stakeholders, which will be made up of some of our in-market executives.

So like our chief strategy officer will sit on projects and be part of like sprint reviews occasionally, or at the very least part of our like final end of project like demo day where we present everything back and kind of have discussions about what’s next.

And then we’ll have, like, if it’s a beverage, our global president of beverage. If we’re working with a specific brand, it could be, you know, the top ranking person for that brand in the market. Maybe even the global member too that helps lead that brand.

So we have that group of stakeholders. They kind of come up with like this, like rough scope of what they’re looking to achieve. Maybe it’s a brand that typically has, consumers that are over the age of 60 and they’re like, hey, listen, we need to bring in younger consumers from the Gen Z and millennial generations. So we want you to develop a product, for this brand that speaks to those consumers, right?

We say, okay, great, we get on track. Essentially it’s me, one other person that are full-time on accelerator projects over those categories. And then we pull in a cross-functional team from Nestle maybe somebody from that brand, a marketing person from that brand. And maybe it’s like somebody from our technical team. We always have a product developer, people from different expertise, right?

We do that and then we go through what should be six months. So ideally these are six month sprints. Sometimes they go a little bit longer, right? But should be six months. And we go from kind of like ideation, conceptualizing these ideas ,running like quantitative and qualitative analysis, figuring out what’s making consumers tick, what problems can we really solve, making sure that we are solving a consumer problem and not just trying to solve like a Nestle problem, but trully like adding value for consumers and doing something that maybe hasn’t been done before.

Figuring that type of stuff out. We have amazing product developers that then, you know, get to work and start messing around with different ideas, bring us physical prototypes, continue to test with consumers, and then ultimately, towards the end, we do like, an in-market test with some type of retail partner where it’s an e-commerce test, something that makes sense for whatever it is we innovated.

Then we want to get about eight to 12 weeks of learning of the product in market to understand velocities, how it’s like communicating with consumers on shelf or on a e-commerce platform. Then from there we just take all of our data, we put it all together and do what we call our demo day, which a lot of founders are probably familiar with.

It’s basically just like a pitch back to the stakeholders to say, this is all of our findings and we need X amount of dollars to be able to create X amount of revenue because we’ve identified this is a true opportunity in.

The other side could be, hey, we identified that, we shouldn’t play in this side of things, right? Like, you know, the purpose is to be quick and efficient when it comes to spending. And so, these projects give us an opportunity to low cost, low risk, identify areas of opportunity or identify areas that we shouldn’t be investing large amounts of money into. So a recommendation of, hey, this isn’t what’s best for Nestle right now, is totally fine. Right?

And it’s good that we do that with the budgets that we work with versus the budgets that the actual brand might be working with, nationwide launches and stuff. Right? So that’s kind of the main purpose, a little bit of our workflow.

[00:15:47] Jason: So in all that, a couple of questions popped for me, and one of which is obviously the topic that I wanted to kind of invite you here to talk about, which we’re gonna get to after the break. I want to just kind of set the stage for that conversation now.

You’re digging into consumer insights, you’re digging into the marketplace, you’re talking to people in market and whatnot, and there’s, you know, dozens of layers that influence kind of lays on top of all that work.

But I’m curious for the, you know, larger social media influencer conversation, are you incorporating influencers in that work at Nestle or is your experience more from the building of the Carter and Oak brand where you got the experience with influencers that informed your opinion on them?

[00:16:27] Kyle: Yeah, so most of my influencer experiences from Carter and Oak .There are some opportunities that I’m working on kind of building in to our like, insight strategy because I feel like there is opportunity for it.

It’s a sensitive line to, walk because it’s one of those things in innovation, especially at a company like Nestle, where it’s like we need the responses from consumers, but we can’t expose ourselves to too many people because then the whole world knows. Right?

And as we know on like TikTok or something, you know, if we go and we put something out there it could hit and next thing you know, if 4 million people see it. Right? And that’s not always ideal for us, even though like so many people’s dreams.

Like for us, it’s, we want the insight without the risk, right? So how can we get the insight in all the data that we need, but without that exposure. Maybe before like a patent is filed or just, you know, hey, like we can’t get a patent, but like, we wanna be first to market, so we’re just gonna put our heads down and really work on this. And if we tell a million people, it’s not gonna be really effective, right?

So, the insight would still be valuable, but we put ourselves in a sticky situation. It’s an interesting line to walk at Nestle. But yeah, a lot of my experiences coming from Carter and Oak.

[00:17:34] Jason: I would say that a surefire way to kill a product is to have it go viral, let’s say, in the focus group stage, and not be able to keep up with the demand. If you had 4 million people all of a sudden wanna buy this and you didn’t even have a supply chain mapped out yet, you’re just dead in the water. So..

[00:17:50] Kyle: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:17:52] Jason: So this is the point where we tease the people to stick around for more after the break because the whole reason I wanted Kyle to come to the show is a LinkedIn post he threw out a couple weeks ago on the value of an influencer. We’re gonna talk to Kyle Peters, who builds products for Nestle and what he thinks of influencers after the break. Stay tuned.

 Welcome back to Winfluence. Talking to Kyle Peters, he’s part of the strategy and product innovation team at Nestle. So Kyle, you posted a query, I guess, of your LinkedIn connections a few weeks back and asked the question, what is the value of an influencer? My friend and fellow marketing podcast network host Colin Jeffries tagged me into the comments, which is great because I found you and your thoughts.

You had some interesting things to say there. So without stealing your thunder, where do your, work and thoughts intersect with influencers and kind of what brought about that question?

[00:18:44] Kyle: Yeah, so I think, It’s talked about a lot on LinkedIn, right? I think we’re seeing it from the creators side, from the influencers side. Talking about how brands don’t assign their true value and don’t value them enough. And then also too, we see brands kind of complain about the way influencers and creators kind of, overinflate their value and everything else.

And so it’s just two sides, like barking and talk and complaining about the experience overall, right? Like it doesn’t seem like there. A lot of positive discussion around, the good experiences and relationships that brands and creators and influencers cultivate.

So, to me, like I saw somebody else’s post and I wish I could give them the credit. Now I might have mentioned them in the post. That spurred the thought for me, like, what’s the value of an influencer? How do you figure this out? Like, It’s just such like a polarizing topic that a lot of people aren’t agreeing on.

So, it was really like me posing a question and just kind of putting out my thoughts to it. I’m getting really granular now, but I think influencers and creators are different. I think an influencer can also be a creator, but I don’t think all creators are influencers.

And I think that’s a distinction that is probably not like widely accepted or known or understood whatever, you wanna say. But I think that’s like the first piece. And so I think creators and influencers have an overinflated sense of their own value.

Because it’s so personal, right? and like they should, know, they should feel very, like, confident and, value themselves for what they’re doing. But sometimes it can be a little bit too much. Like, I think I said in the post too, like, everybody thinks they’re a Kardashian, right?

Like, it’s not the case like maybe someday, but like right now you’re probably not . And you need to recognize that. And brands, a lot of times, depending on the size of the company and, who’s kind of running the influencer program or whatever else, they might just be somebody that got assigned, hey, you need to manage our influencers and have no idea the landscape or the actual value that they’re bringing. Right?

And that’s super unfair, which then increases the frustration on the influencer and creator side. Right. And rightfully so. So it only takes one or two bad experiences like that for the influencer creator to get upset about, right? And it’s like, wow, this whole landscape just sucks. And everything else and for brands, it’s the same thing.

We had an influencer that had a million followers and they couldn’t sell a hundred dollars worth of product in a month. Like, what the hell? And I think a lot of it is, it goes into the conversation that needs to be had in the beginning of like, what are the expectations? What can you truly bring to us? What’s your strength? Is it creating content or is it distributing content?

Like those are two very different things. And I think some creators think that they’re influencers and they’re not. And that’s fine. And maybe they’re working on building their platform, but they don’t have the distribution that warrants the big price tag that they wanna assign to themselves.

[00:21:18] Jason: Well, I love that you dove into some ideas for creators and or influencers on how they can correct their perception of themselves, and it really came down to all about proof points. Right. You know, tell us what creators can do to convince brands they’re worth more than the brand thinks.

[00:21:33] Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. So I think number one is if you are just a creator, somebody who can develop like UGC, user generated content. You’re somebody that is comfortable in front of a camera, you’re creative, you are kind of like a director of sorts and you know how to talk to the audience that the brand is trying to talk to, but maybe you don’t have like the platform and the distribution that the Kardashians have, or a professional athlete has, or whatever else, right?

And that’s fine. But then you gotta have to look at what you’re doing through the lens of, you’re kind of like I don’t wanna say just, but like, you are a, photographer and videographer, the same way that like a creative company that’s filming advertisements and everything else, you’re similar to them, where the value you’re bringing is the production quality.

I know how to talk to the people you want to talk to better than you do. I can do it in an authentic way and can do this in a way that, you know, those traditional studios can’t do. Because there is a little bit of an art to being able to pick up your phone, switch the camera to the selfie mode and talk in an engaging way, cadence and everything else, like that’s a skill.

So they’re great at that, but I think they need to recognize that they’re more of a creator versus an influencer. And so I think if you can approach it through that lens, then you don’t have the brand team kind of being like, look at this person. Like who do they think they are? Like, It kind of like levels of playing field of like, okay, this person is reasonable and they understand, what the value is that they have to us.

Because that’s what you need to know. You need to know what can you do for the brand, and that’s how you sell yourself. What boxes do you need to tick? And so I think to again, touch on those like data points that you had talked about, they need to be able to prove, hey, my content is driving X amount of engagement on brand platforms, right?

So if a creator, makes a video and a brand launches it on their page, what is the increase of engagement on your post that they put out versus a post that maybe they generate on their own? Right?

So you can just look at their page and see that, right? So what’s like the average of their five posts before the one that they made. Before the post that you created, right? So then what’s that increase from those five previous posts to now the one that they launched where you’re the star?

Use that as a data point because that’s an increase in average engagement that they’re gonna see. Talk about your personal platform. You can sell that a little bit too. But then just showing your portfolio, it’s the same as like an artist, right? So share that portfolio with them, what you can do and why you can speak to their consumers better than they can or continue to be a megaphone in the way that they’re currently speaking to their consumers.

So just understand that you’re in addition to their overall strategy and you’re not like the be all, end all. And the thing is at the end of the day, they don’t like you. They’ll go and find somebody else. There’s somebody else that will go and talk to the camera and talk to their consumers. There’s a lot. So if you get to the point where you can have that meeting and conversation with them, they’re looking for a reason to not work with you, essentially.

So don’t give ’em that reason. Give ’em only reasons to work with you. And then on the influencer side, it’s talking about your platform, your engagement, the increase in engagement. I think there’s a little bit of like, you have to build that trust with the brand of like, hey, I need basically like a flat fee to get started because it’s gonna take time, it’s gonna take my resources and every and everything else.

So I need to at least get paid for my time. And then, you know, if they’re looking to drive sales, then okay. If I’m a influencer that’s really confident in the platform that I’ve built, I’m gonna say, hey, let’s agree on a flat rate, and then we’ll do commission for the first month. We’ll see how that engagement works. And when I drive the sales that I know I can drive for you, we’re gonna renegotiate this contract and, increase it, right?

So make it for that single period of time, and then once that contract ends after the first month. Reassess, if you provided the value that you felt like you could, they’re gonna come back and you renegotiate from there because then you were able to display your value more than just saying like, hey, trust me, I’m gonna get you stuff because I know plenty of times that brands speak to influencers that have a million followers, literally a million followers, and can’t sell a hundred dollars worth of product.

And if the goal is to sell product, that’s very ineffective. Like, you’re not just gonna get paid because you have a number next to the word followers. If the goal is impressions and brand awareness, that’s very different. But even still, you need to be able to prove that your followers and the engagement that you’re garnering is from real people and not from just bots or whatever else. Just ghost followers and stuff.

[00:25:52] Jason: Right. The thing that i’ve used to explain, and I think this actually is useful for both brand side folks and for the creator side folks to listen to and hear, because I think it does explain why there is a little bit of a misperception on both sides of the aisle.

I’ve always tried to tell my clients that when you are engaging with an influencer or content creator online, you’re basically paying them for three things. You’re paying them for their time, you’re paying them for their content, and you’re paying them for access to their audience. And those three things are valued differently on both sides of the equation.

I think for the creators out there, what they don’t understand is the one thing that the brand typically values more than anything, is can your content actually move people to convert and what creators don’t understand is even if they have a good history of driving conversions through their channel, brands are used to paying for that type of thing on a, cost per conversion, cost per acquisition basis. And you’re talking, dollars or cents per conversion, you’re not talking a lot of money.

And so unless you’ve got a bazillion followers, you’re not gonna get rich that way because it’s typically like an affiliate arrangement or referral fee or something like that. If you get into, B2B or large scale, you know, products that have a big price tag, maybe it’s a little different, but for the most part, you’re not gonna make a whole lot of money there.

So what the creator needs to do, Is, make sure they understand the value of really good content because they can sell that and the value of their time. If they were to be only a content creator, if you were only a designer, only a photographer, only a videographer, whatever, what’s your hourly rate? How long does it take you do that math?

I think if creators were to present that, hey, here’s what you have to pay for my creative output, just like you would pay for a freelancer. Brands might be like, oh, okay that makes a little bit more sense. But brands also need to be willing to back off a little bit and say, well, I’m only going to judge you on, how many units you sell because you’re getting more value than just that out of a creator.

[00:27:51] Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with that. Both sides, meaning to kind of look through a slightly different lens. Right. And I think once they can kind of both do that, I think people can end up with everybody kind of being happier.

It just takes that little slight shift in perspective for them to understand things a little bit better and kind of gauge expectations. And also too, I think a lot of creators and influencers are trying to price themselves based on like the 1% earners In influencing and creating.

They’re like, well, so-and-so is making $20,000 per, like video stuff. And it’s like, but that is the top 1% of what’s happening. You could get there, but like, you also need to sit like, what’s their audience? Like, what else are they doing? Like, you need to understand where you are at.

And there’s nothing wrong with being a stronger creator than an influencer. Influencer side will build and grow as you do these things, but it’s gonna grow and build if you’re being more realistic with, hey, right now my strength is really in creating, so I’m gonna do that, become a really great storyteller for these few brands. And then contracts will grow and brands need to build comfort.

That’s the other thing I think that needs to be understood too, is like brands aren’t just gonna jump in and sign massive checks for you right away. Right? Not unless you are Kim Kardashian or professional athlete stuff.

If you are just, you know, Edward Jones in some random state, right? And they’re like, oh, okay, well you have 50,000 followers. Like, that’s interesting. Like I can go find John Smith, who also has 50,000 followers, right? Like so, if what you’re doing Is similar to what you can find somewhere else, like you need to recognize that, but then just be easy to work with, right?

And understand every video you do, every engagement you have is a chance to just continue to build that relationship. And people wanna do business with people that they like. So if you can get the brand to feel comfortable and to like you because of your personality, the way of working and everything else, you can earn that business forever.

I think that’s kind of an approach that I would love to see creators take, but brands need to be a lot more receptive for sure, too.

[00:29:41] Jason: Now, I know that you contextualized this a little for us earlier with your role on the strategy and insights team. So you’re talking about the sort of the preliminary focus group, building a, you know, a platform and an argument for a new product. You’re not necessarily, engaging influencers in the marketing of a product in your role, but I know a lot of folks might be interested to hear the answer to this.

You’re at Nestle. You know the largest CPG company in the world. How big are influencers in the conversations that you or your colleagues have day-to-day with brand teams, marketing leads, the agencies you work with? Are they as big of the planning puzzle as those of us in the industry think they are? Or are we perhaps a little overhyped on them?

[00:30:19] Kyle: So I don’t work as closely with that strategy as a lot of other people at Nestle do. We do have like an entire group where influencer marketing is like a good chunk of. So I can’t say too much on like a granular level because I just truly just don’t have that proximity to where I feel like I could confidently say like, this is kind of like Nestle’s approach and stuff.

But what I can say is we do have a division, a marketing division, that influencer marketing is a good slice of the pie, right? Two ways ,we do like some self-managed stuff and we also do like agency managed stuff as well.

 I imagine Nestle has some engagements that work well for everybody, and I imagine there’s probably opportunities for Nestle to do a little bit better too. Right? So, they’re certainly not batting a thousand.

We have some really smart people that sit on that group and people that are from the generations that brands like Nestle and the brands in our portfolios are trying to communicate with. I feel like we have strong people in place to like say, hey, we need to think about this approach differently.

Like that change is happening. I feel more and more because there is value being assigned to the megaphone and platform and ability to create that these people have. And now slowly and slowly we’re starting to have millennials, who are the oldest people that understand this piece I would say, right?

Like as a whole, the millennial generation is the oldest generation with the largest number of people that understand the value of influencer market, right? So as we’re getting older, I think now we’re getting into roles that, we’re able to make more decisions and call more shots and develop the strategies to implement.

So I think even over the next 2, 3, 5 years, we’re gonna see larger companies, becoming more and more effective and like realistic in those approaches and being a little bit more like progressive just purely based off like who is now in the driver’s seat

[00:32:07] Jason: Sounds to me like the future of influencer marketing is a bright one.

[00:32:12] Kyle: Yeah, I would say so. I think, you know, there’s definitely some change, but it’s all about how can you just capture consumer attention, right? And there’s always gonna be another social media platform that people are gonna gravitate towards. And if that’s where the attention is, that’s what brands are gonna try and get.

So I think, you know, it’s here to stay for a while, if not forever.

[00:32:31] Jason: Awesome. Well, Kyle, I really appreciate your story and the motivation to create something inspired by your mother. And even though Carter and Oak wasn’t your billion dollar exit, you’re in a good place doing good work, probably as a result of all of that. And I’m also honored you would come and share your thoughts on influencers with us here on the show.

Where can people connect with you if they wanna follow along with your career and see what your work will bring us?

[00:32:52] Kyle: Yeah, for sure. Honestly, I’m probably most active on LinkedIn, so, I think my like URL is just Kyle C. Peters. And yeah, add me on LinkedIn. I’m the most active there.

[00:33:02] Jason: Awesome, well, we’ll make sure that links are in the show notes to that, Kyle, thanks again for taking the time with us, sir.

[00:33:08] Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

[00:33:09] Jason: Always good to get the perspectives from the brand side folks, even if they aren’t the primary decision maker for the brand or spend for influence marketing help.

But we wanna inform what we do and how we approach the work, right? So good to hear from Kyle. Check him out on LinkedIn and see the links to his various places online in our show notes, which you can find at

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 Winfluence, the Influence Marketing Podcast is an audio companion to my book Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing To Ignite Your Brand. Get your copy online at While you’re there, sign up for the latest ideas about influence marketing delivered in my periodic newsletter, or book me to speak to your company or organization about influence marketing.

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