Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on how to increase sales with influencer marketing with Shane Barker

  • There are still millions of influencers and there are still great products that match up perfectly with those influencers if you put in the time and effort into influencer marketing.
  • This is not only influencer marketing. This is SEO. This is anything you do.
  • If you’re going to spend a lot of money on influencer marketing hands down, try to find an agency or find somebody to work with.
  • Don’t go and put all your budget into one person, right?
  • One of the biggest things is before you go and pitch influencers and get all this, you have to know who your avatar is, who’s in theory what you think your perfect client is.
  • It comes down to the terms and putting a brief together and better understanding what the goal of your campaign is and what are you trying to get out of this.
  • The key is people look at followership and they think that person must be good because they have a lot of followers instead of really looking at the individual numbers and the actual profile.
  • How do I pay an influencer? What should I pay for them? Well, everybody’s different.
  • You need to protect your brand. You need to make sure it’s a good fit.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today in the studio I’ve got joining me, Shane Barker who is an influencer marketing consultant and he consults to Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and A-listers, but I don’t want you to tune out at this point. I had an absolutely awesome time and a great conversation with Shane. He is down-to-earth and he’s going to share some really intimate details, how regardless of the size of your company, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or you’re a brand new startup, how you can take a look at influencer marketing and see if it’s a way to leverage your brands, grow your business and increase your sales.

Doug: Shane has helped thousands of expert entrepreneurs expand their outreach and bolster their reputation using influencer marketing. So whether it’s launching products or creating and converting this website traffic or building targeted sales funnels. So he works daily to make sure that brands like Puma and IMAX stay relevant and influential. His wheelhouse also includes business development, marketing, blueprints, SEO and social media marketing and as you’ll hear him talk a little bit later in this episode as well, his expertise in content marketing.

Doug: So in that realm, he practices what he preaches on content marketing, he’s a top contributor at Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post and has been named one of the top Salesforce influencers for his viral article, 15 Ways To Writing Better Content For Social Media Campaigns. So I think you’re gonna enjoy this episode. Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy. There’s lots of information that’s going to come at you and I would challenge you to listen deeply to what he’s got to say. We’re going to cover a couple of topics. We’re going to spend most of our time talking about influencer marketing and kind of what it is, what it isn’t and how to navigate that water.

Doug: And at the very end we’re going to wrap up with the discussion on what would it be like to be an influencer. So if you’re someone who’s thinking hey, not only could I use this for my business, but I have influence in my social media following, what you need to do to get there. So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Shane Barker to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today. Well, welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today Shane. I’m super excited to talk to you today and to learn all there is to know in 30 minutes about influencer marketing.

Shane Barker: Yeah. It’s going to be a quick one today. We’re going to get it all in there 30 minutes or bust.

Doug: Well, I mean, that’s the mentality of people looking at these shiny new objects. They walk by, they lance by, they hear a Gary V. video and they go, “I must do that.” And off they go.

Shane Barker: That’s it. I mean, it’s usually all it takes. All you got to do is watch the 30 seconds of Gary V. and then all of a sudden all the moons will align.

Doug: Do you want to just share with our audience a little bit of your background and what you guys are doing and what you’re doing with your agency?

Shane Barker: Yeah. So I’ve been in a digital space for 20-something years, really kind of pulled myself up through SEO and social media and really it’s come down to a point where we do a lot of consulting and we do the driving of traffic. So it’s like PR, the driving in traffic and being able to get better SEO rankings. So we do a lot of content marketing. So we do about … I write for about 100 plus websites, the Inc., the Forbes, all the other fun stuff in regards to that.

Shane Barker: All of our leads that we get are inbound. So we help our clients do the same thing, in getting content out there, in getting whatever your startup is or your company is and being able to help them get exposure and drive the right type of traffic. So that and then today we’re going to talk about is influencer marketing, where I’m actually an instructor at UCLA where I teach personal branding and how to be an influencer course.

Shane Barker: So I’ve been in influencer space for probably about five or six, maybe seven years now. I’m not really good at numbers, but I’m better with influencer marketing. And we’ve been doing it for a long time. We’ve had a lot of great success stories that we’ve learned a lot through the years and our big things we talked about a little bit earlier is education. We really want to, really, really want to tap into that and help brands and agencies better learn how to work with influencers and do things the right way because you read these great stories about influencer marketing, I spent $1 and made $4, made $7, made $10.

Shane Barker: That’s all awesome and you can do the same thing with SEO, but you got to put in work and there are certain things you need to do to put in place to be able to make sure you have a successful campaign. You have your toolbox of all your marketing stuff. Influencer marketing is one of your pieces in there that should tie into your content, that should also tie in your SEO. There’s a lot of other things that go into that.

Doug: Well, I’m really happy to hear you say that. I mean, it’s not one tactic approach, like you said, it’s part of the marketing mix. So in terms of educating, just share with us what is influencer marketing? So I hear the term and everyone thinks, oh, I’ll just get the Kardashians to do a blog post of my new lipstick or whatever and I’ll be a zillionaire.

Shane Barker: Yeah. Yeah. It’s not highly recommended. Nothing against the Kardashians, unless you got a million or two just to blow and then you can see what happens. I mean, that’s up to you obviously, it’s your brand. I’m not here to judge it, but really it comes down to influencer marketing is really having somebody that has influence. So we’re talking about, it can be a journalist, it can be a blogger, it can be somebody on Tick Tock. It could be Instagram. It can be whatever where they’ve built a community and they have some type of influence over that community where user, brand or service can tap into those influencers and develop some type of relationship with them, since with them talking to their audience and kind of educate the audience on the new product or service that you have and developing some kind of relationship there. Right?

Shane Barker: The Kardashians are an example in the sense that obviously, they’re all about exposure. So the thing is they themselves have gone from just kind of no names to in the situation where everybody knows about them because they put everything out there. So they’re influencers in the sense that they’ve built a conglomerate, they’ve built these things and each one of the sisters has their makeup and have all the stuff that they’re doing. They’re a great example of somebody that, once again, wasn’t doing really too much and then all of a sudden came on the radar and became an influencer because of the way that they were doing things.

Shane Barker: Whether that’s right or wrong is all negotiable, but the thing is, is they’ve built … They’re a great example of they weren’t actresses, they weren’t doing anything at that certain point. Their dad was … I think, wasn’t he like … Didn’t he work for I think Simpson, O.J. Simpson or something? I think he was like an attorney for them or something anyways. Not to get into that, but the point being is that they were somebody that didn’t have a lot of influence and they built influence really out of nothing and now you see him today, obviously, they have their own brands and I think one of the daughters just is a billionaire now because of her makeup line.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Shane Barker: And that’s all done through influencer marketing because she’s an influencer and the things that they do now, now there are a conglomerate in the sense that they’re a media conglomerate that they have TV, they have [inaudible 00:06:39] this, they have products and married to Kanye West, which would be super interesting I’m sure on the weekends. There’s this thing. So they’ve built this big thing up and now it’s something pretty crazy.

Doug: So yeah, that’s that one end of the spectrum. Then we come back to reality, say, okay, I have a company and I’ve got some digital assets and I’ve got a team and I want to add this to my media and my marketing mix. What sort of advice to you generally give businesses when they come to you and say, “Hey, I want to learn to do this.” Or maybe they hire you to do this as a done-for-you or done-with-you service.

Shane Barker: Yeah, so we actually do both. What I like to do is the consulting side of things because, for me, I’d rather educate. I have a three-month program that I do, like a one-week call and I educate people. There’s like 12 pillars that I’ve put together on how to do a successful marketing campaign, like really educating them. By the end of it, they should be at a spot where they can be successful with it.

Shane Barker: We also do, like I was telling you, the workshops as well. We actually go into a big company and say, “Hey, we’ll do an eight-hour workshop.” They actually have workbooks and they go through everything and really, really educate them on how to do things. So if you are an agency or a brand and you want to work, let’s say you say, “Hey Shane, you might be too expensive for me, but I want to … Or at least I want to go in there and learn more about influencer marketing.”

Shane Barker: There’s tons of stuff online. I mean, you can go to my blog and you can join the newsletter. We write about it constantly on different things that are happening, cool things that are happening. Even if you are going to hire somebody to be a mentor or whatever or a consultant, you need to go and kind of go out there and get some information, go out there and take a look around get a better idea of how other companies are doing. I mean, I write about it. There’s a lot of the gentleman that I work with, other consultants that write about it all the time.

Shane Barker: This is not only influencer marketing. This is SEO. This is anything you do. You should go and try to get at least a basic knowledge of what we have going on. I have an eBook that I have you can download. If you looked up Influencer Marketing eBook. I think we’re number one. You can go and download that and get some really good information on … So you don’t go in and go, “Hey, I’ve heard this, I’ve heard this.” You really want to like really, really educate yourself and that’s not a …

Shane Barker: We talked about this a little earlier, is just about follower counts, and there’s a lot of things that I go over in the eBook that are some very, very common mistakes that people make because they assume once again, just because you have a large followership that you’re instantly going to move the needle and everything is going to be great and you’re going to make zillions of dollars. There’s a lot of work that goes into influencer marketing, like anything else, and the industry has changed obviously over the last few years, but there’s still a huge opportunity. There are still millions of influencers and there are still great products that match up perfectly with those influencers if you put in the time and effort.

Doug: Well, as I shared with you before we started recording, I was really excited after reading your article, the 4 Ways to Increase Sales With Micro-influencers or Micro-influencers Marketing, because I think for me what it did is it brought home that you don’t need to think of the big, big celebrities. There’s a way to identify, find smaller, as you call them micro-influencers, which likely have fewer people knocking at the door, who likely charge less or maybe even just do a product review. It may be a way for people to step into the market without looking at the TV and reading all the big press and the big guys and get a better result that’s more organic.

Shane Barker: Yeah. This is the thing. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on influencer marketing hands down, try to find an agency or find somebody to work with. And I’m not just saying that because that’s what I do consulting side. I’m telling you that because you can make a mistake and lose $50,000. And I can guarantee you that I’m a lot cheaper than $50,000 to come to your office and train everybody how to do that.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Shane Barker: So this is now if you don’t have a budget, a big budget. And what I would say is … I’m not saying don’t hire a consultant, but what I would say is that you can go in and read some of these articles about micro-influencers. Don’t go and put all your budget into one person, right? Because that’s a scary situation. I mean, the idea this is you don’t really know what influencers are going to work. You’re not sure which platform is going to work. You have probably a general idea.

Shane Barker: One of the biggest things is before you go and pitch influencers and get all this, you have to know who your avatar is, who’s in theory what you think your perfect client is. So now that you know who your perfect client is, now you go find influencers and use all this great software that’s out there and you can go and take a look at it and say, “Okay, this is Jennifer. She’s an influencer. I’m really looking for my product, it’s a yoga-based product, but it’s mainly towards the female demographic. Jennifer’s a yoga instructor. She has 85% in the female demographic and 50% are in California and we want to start local in California.” Whatever that is.

Shane Barker: Now you have that influencer. Now that takes some software and it takes some looking around, but once you find those individuals, then you grab a list and then you go. And I actually, I look at them, I physically look at every single one of them and I also do interviews. You have to realize that you want to make sure this is not a marriage by any means, but you’re definitely bringing two parties together. So for me, I want to better understand the influencer, if they know about my company, if they know anything about my client, if they’ve looked into anything, if they’ve worked with any potential competitors, what about their competitors? Have you seen any campaigns they’ve put together?

Shane Barker: Like for me, I’m looking for a deeper relationship. If you just send an influencer a free product and expect for them to go and do a review when you haven’t talked about it, you’re going to lose a lot of free product. I’m just telling you. I mean, the thing is it really comes down to the terms and putting the brief together and better understanding what is the goal of your campaign and what are you trying to get out of this. If you, just example.

Shane Barker: I mean, I know influencers that get … You go to their house and they have boxes and boxes and boxes of unopened stuff. And that’s just people are willing to send them free stuff, but they didn’t have any terms tied to it. You were just like, “Hey, if you like it, like would you maybe potentially if you get time, it’s up to you or not, write a review, if you like it. Just let me know.” That’s the problem, are you have to come to terms and figure out what you’re looking for and have a clear definition of what that is and see if it makes sense. That’s the beauty of it, is there are millions of influencers.

Shane Barker: There are influencers for the weirdest niches. I was just telling the story. I was one of the keynote speakers in Mexico City for the first-ever Influencer Marketing Summit they had out there. One of the gentlemen that were there, an influencer, his profile was all about pink. That’s it. Like he’s a pink influencer like he literally came out in a pink suit pink shoes, pink hat. He looked like a pink pimp, like literally.

Shane Barker: But what was interesting is that he had anything that was pink that was a product. It was Cars. It was … Avon did a thing with him. He had these big companies, be very specific what he talked about, which was pink, and now you’d have these companies that would go to reach out to him. So that’s what’s interesting, is you can find these individuals that can fit with your product that can be across a number of different things that could be really perfect for your brand. The key is, is people look at followership and they think, that person must be good because I have a lot of followers instead of really looking at the individual numbers and the actual profile.

Doug: Well, and that’s what we talked about. You said you actually do, what did you call it, a screen test when you actually look at the profile?

Shane Barker: Yeah, I mean, I look at every single one. For me, it’s like, if we’re looking and we want to grab 20 influencers and we grab a list of 150 let’s say, I myself or obviously the team that I’ve trained, but I tell them, “This is what we’re looking for.” You can look at software and get like oh, engagement rates and how many likes and all that stuff. That’s a great start, but at the end of the day, if I go to a profile and they’re like, God, this guy’s got an 8% engagement rate. I’m like, this must be our guy. This is super awesome.

Shane Barker: And then what I do? I go over to his profile and 300 of his comments are emojis, smiley hearts and faces, and thumbs up. And I’m like, that does not engage… I mean, can you imagine if Doug, you walk into my restaurant and you were like, “Hey, we’re here to get a seat.” And I just gave you a thumbs up or a heart emoji. That’s not engagement, right? We’re not really having a conversation. It’s kind of weird. That would be really weird actually.

Doug: Well, I think some of those guys are probably paid engagement as well where they’re paying for likes, they’re paying for shares and retweets. So like you said, it’s not real. It’s not authentic. You can tell pretty quickly that it’s not the real deal.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Shane Barker: Exactly. And that’s the issue, are people use the software, and software is great to filter down that list, but if you don’t give it the eyeball test, what you’re looking at this. And then I also do the interview. I’ll go and talk to and say, “Listen, I just want to know this is the brand, this is some information.” You need to make sure it’s a good fit you need. Just about any influencer will take your money for the most part.

Shane Barker: Hopefully they don’t if it’s not a good fit and hopefully you’re not pitching the wrong influencers, but the idea is you want to educate the influencer on why this is going to be a good partnership, how you’re going to help them out, whether its financial, whether it’s going to be some kind of a value trade, like, “Hey, I know you’re an influencer and I love your content. I’d be willing to give you free T-shirts worth $100 and I understand your content. I understand you have a full team. I would actually have my videographer and photographer come down there. No charge to you. All we need is two hours of your time. Is that worth $100 in free T-shirts?”

Doug: That’s cool. Sure.

Shane Barker: The idea of this is influencers, if you’re an influencer of that, they’re getting pitched 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 times a week easily. So the problem is, is how do you differentiate yourself? And most of the time it’s like, “Hey, we’ll give you a free product or something.” Not saying that doesn’t work with some influencers, but really at the end of the day, you can’t make an assumption. If you look at somebody’s content. They’ve got let’s say, 50,000 followers, good engagement, the content’s absolutely epic. Obviously, they’ve probably got a team. They got a videographer. They got a photographer. So you can’t assume that they’re going to take your free $10 T-shirt and go do spend eight hours out on a beach with their whole team-

Doug: Doing a production.

Shane Barker: … for a $10 shirt. Yeah, exactly. Right. So you have to kind of figure that out. And every influencer, the big question we get is like, how do I pay an influencer? What should I pay for them? Well, everybody’s different. I mean, I can tell you that we’ve reached out to influencers and we’ll just tell them, “Hey, listen, we do have a budget, but we’re also looking at this. Just if you’re honest with them and what you’re looking for, you would be surprised some of them already know who your brand is and if they don’t, that’s fine.

Shane Barker: But if your Nike or Adidas, of course, if I’m an influencer, I’m probably going to take just about any deal you give me because I want to be able to say in the future. This is what we do at UCLA, the branding, personal branding, that I’ve worked with Nike or Adidas.

Doug: Right. Yep.

Shane Barker: Right? So the idea, this is all foundational. So there are two sides. Brands need to, once again, be honest about what they’re offering, put that campaign together, reach out to the influencer and then put in some work, actually talk to the influencer and see where they’re at and see if they’re a good fit. It’s important.

Doug: Well, and I’m assuming too that if you talk to the influencer like you said, you’re going to see if it’s a good fit. And if I like somebody, I’m willing to do a lot more for them than somebody I don’t really know who just wants to send me a check.

Shane Barker: That’s exactly it. And you’re building rapport. That interview, really what you’re letting the influencer know is that I’m taking the time to make sure that you’re going to be a good fit for me as well, which is important. I guarantee you most influencers, not all, and I’m not sure I’m putting them all in one category. If you say, “I’ve got $1,000. I’m willing to give $1,000 for a picture.” 90% of the people that read that are going to say, “Yep. Sounds good. Let’s do it.”

Shane Barker: But the problem is you need to protect your brand. You need to make sure it’s a good fit. It’s not the influencer’s responsibility to tell you, “Hey, I really don’t think you should do that. You should do this, this, this and this.” Because most influencers aren’t marketers.

Doug: And as you said, it’s also about not only making sure it’s a good fit, but setting expectations to find out oh, great, you did this picture, but now I don’t have the right to use.

Shane Barker: That’s exactly it. I mean, I talk to influencers and like I said, these summits that I speak at. I went to one and it was the first day and there was some influencer, some YouTube influencers up there and I asked them. I was like, “Hey, just out of curiosity …” They didn’t know I was speaking the next day, I don’t think, but I was like just curious, like, “What kind of reporting do you guys give to the brands?” They’re like, “We don’t do any reporting. We’ve never had a brand ask for any reporting.” I’m like, “What?” I didn’t say that, but in my head, I’m like, how do you know if anything was successful?

Shane Barker: I had 1,000 more questions, but I didn’t want to be that guy because in the next day they would all go to my do my thing and be like, “Oh, we got some questions for you.” Like you want to be the dude from yesterday, I’ll be the people from today. But it really comes down to that. The problem is if you have a brand that read an article for every dollar, in influencer marketing you make $10, and if the influencer doesn’t ask some qualifying questions that kind of tell me about your brand, like what are your goals, like what are we looking at here? Well, I want to give you a free $10 T-shirt and I want to sell $10,000 for the product. That’s probably not going to happen with one post.

Shane Barker: It comes down at expectation, it does a lot of the times. And this is with anything, not just influencer marketing. When people reach out to me on my website I have qualifying questions because I want to know where your head’s at. I mean, do you have sales, do you have … This is the kind of things I want to know ahead of time before I jump on a call with you. Influencers should do the same thing of like, what are you looking for here? Like a, you have a budget of $1,000. What was your goal? Our goal is to get more likes. Our goal is to … We’re going to give you a specific code. We’re looking to do a 10 review campaign or whatever this is and what we’re looking to do is we’d like to be able to break even on this and build a longer-term relationship with you.

Shane Barker: That sounds pretty realistic. I think that’s what we can do. If you want to make $10,000 on one post of me posting and that’s, we got to kind of talk this thing out. It’s not that necessarily I want more money, but it’s a frequency deal. These days if you’re a brand and you’re only going to do one piece of content with an influencer, be careful of that. I mean, we’re down to the point where marketing is where you see things what, five or six or seven times and then you go buy it.

Shane Barker: So it’s that influencer marketing, in the beginning, was all I would do is grab creatine and I’d like, “Today I’m taking creatine and I’m going to be bigger and I’m big anyway, I’ve got big old muscles.” And they’re like, “God, that must work.” Then they buy it. That was influential marketing five years ago. Influencer marketing today, you have to be very creative. They got production teams. It’s a different deal. You don’t need to be salesy, salesy, but it’s a consistency, it’s a frequency thing. You have done it over and over and over and it really … Then the audience starts to goes, “Okay. So I think Shane really is using that creatine because he showed it a few times and he’s getting a little bigger and stuff. It looks like he’s losing a little bit of that beer belly that he’s had. Things are looking a little better. Maybe the creatine does make sense. It’s a little bit of a longer sales cycle.”

Doug: Well, that makes sense. I mean, you wouldn’t, if you were buying advertising. I mean, if you’re the VP of marketing, you’re not going to go into a publication and buy one add once. You’re going to look at some sort of program and some sort of frequency. I have not found anywhere in my life anyhow a magic bullet where you can just pull the trigger once put $1,000 down and get a 10x return.

Shane Barker: No, no. No, I’ll tell you, influencer marketing five or six years ago, we had some pretty juicy stuff. It was pretty crazy. I mean, I wouldn’t always tell people that’s what was going to happen, but we had some cool … When I go and speak, one of the things I talk about is one of my old clients, Zoe. We got her from 400,000 to 1.6 million, but she was like a millionaire. She was 23 years old. She was selling fitness eBooks.

Doug: Oh, wow. That’s cool.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Shane Barker: Crazy. Dude, it was … When I first interviewed her, like kind of qualifying her. I thought she was lying to me. She says yeah, “I make like 400,000 a year.” And I’m like she’s got to be lying to me. There’s no way she’s … I couldn’t get anybody to give me their email address, just download our free eBook that I was offering. And I’m like this girl is selling 400 … She’s doing 35,000 a month and she was like embarrassed. She was like, “I’m just trying to improve.” And I’m like, “How many people on your team?” She’s like, “One.” But you’re making 35 grand as a 23-year-old fitness person. You gotta be kidding me.

Shane Barker: So anyway, I mean, it is possible, but I’m with you. If somebody says, “I’m gonna get you on the first page of Google for 99 bucks,” run. If influencer marketing does one campaign, you should be able to quadruple all of your money, please run. Be a little scared of that kind of stuff. If it’s too good to be true, sounds too good to be true, there’s old saying that oh, it probably is.

Doug: So how much of a long game is it? So realistically if you’re going to put together, spend some time with your team and like you said, know who kind of your avatar is and identify some influencers. Okay, fine, let’s do a buy and let’s look at four or five or six influencers and run a test and see what we get for ROI. Is that a 30-day project, a 60-day project, is that a six-month project?

Shane Barker: Yeah, I mean, it really depends on your product and service and exactly where you’re trying to line that up with. So if you have a launch or something like that. I mean, this is the thing. Usually, it can be a pretty quick process depending on the influencer and their calendar, what they’re putting together, depends on what you’re asking them to do. So if I said, “Hey, I need you to do a YouTube video. We’re going to do to Instagram stories. You’re going to do three pictures on Instagram and then I want you to do a blog post and you go.” Then you go, “Okay. Well, the video is probably going to take me a month because I got to get my team together, we’ve got to get the product set, we got to do this. We got to set everything up.”

Shane Barker: It really comes down to what they’re going to be providing for you for the services or the money that you’re going to be giving them or whatever you’re trading out there. So this is the thing, if I had something I wanted to launch in three months, I would start my campaigns and look for my influencers now.

Doug: Okay. That’s what I’m trying to get, what’s the ramp up time. I mean, you do the same thing if you’re doing any other sort of production. You kind of work backward to this is my launch time, now what are all the assets I need to produce and what are the time frames to get that done. So someone’s not following you, “Hey Shane, I heard you in the podcast and I’m doing a launch next week.”

Shane Barker: Well, in that situation what I do is, it’s the same thing when I used to do crowdfunding and people would say, “Hey, my thing went live and I’ve got two weeks.” I would tell them to invest in the Bible and pray. Because that’s the only thing that’s gonna be able to help. I was not that mean. Anything else, there’s that ramp-up period of prepping and getting things all ready when it comes to whatever it is. Influencer marketing is definitely one of those. You want to make sure you have that time to go and really do the research. You want to spend that time. It’s important.

Doug: So for our audience that’s listening saying, “Okay, I’ve seen this. I’ve seen people doing this.” What is kind of the first couple of steps? I guess one is your mindset saying, “Hey, this might be a fit.”

Shane Barker: Yeah. It really is … First, you want to figure out like do you think this is my product or service. Do I think that like first of all, who is your audience, right? Who am I going after? And can I find an influencer that has an audience that resonates with that or as part of that, is that demographic? And then how do we want to test this? Do I have a budget to be able to put that together or what am I going to be trading with the influencer, whether that’s resources or whatever that is. Hey, we’re going to promote you, your content, we’re gonna put it on our website. We’re going to put you on our flyers. We’re going …

Shane Barker: What are you doing or what is that trade out? And then really it comes down to actually putting the campaign together. So you go, you look at the influencers, you kind of do a little check of their profiles. Now you do the outreach you figure out what you’re going to offer in the outreach. Another thing is important is that when you’re pitching influencers, don’t just send a templated email to everybody. Customize it a little bit. Show that you’ve done a little research.

Shane Barker: Like, “Hey Jennifer, I see that you’re a yoga instructor and in Sacramento. Also congratulations you had a baby three months ago. That’s super awesome. We’re a new product based out of Sacramento. We’re patented yoga product that floats in the air and we’re looking for people to float.” Whatever it is. Now she goes, “Okay, well, at least they’ve looked into me. “It’s not a templated email that gets sent out to 10,000 yoga instructors, “Hey, looking for a yoga instructor. We’ll pay cash. Let me know if you’re interested.” It’s gotta be better than that.

Doug: Well, and I think those bad habits aren’t just limited to obviously to reaching out to influencers. We see them and you probably see them as a podcaster. You see them come through your email box. You see them coming through your social media posts. You really haven’t taken any time. You’ve just gone and done a pray and pray and hope that somebody picks it up.

Shane Barker: Yeah. The problem is, once again, I go back to this. Influencers get pitched a lot. If they’re doing big things and they’re … What I mean is they have good followership, seems to be engaged and they’re doing some stuff with sponsors. This is what I recommend is you always, when you send an email, be honest with what you’re looking for. Because here’s the thing. This is what I do if I do like an expert round up or I do something like this or … I would prefer that you kind of tell me most of the nuts and bolts.

Shane Barker: I don’t want to have to go back and forth 20 emails to find out what’s going on here. I like to get some information, enough information to be dangerous for me to go, “This sounds like something I want to do or something I don’t want to do.” You don’t have to figure out all the terms there, but be honest with what you’re offering. Like, “Hey, I’ll just let you know, I don’t have a huge budget. We’re a start-up. I do like the vibe, I like the content you produce, but what I’m looking to do is I’m looking for something to be the face of the company.”

Shane Barker: Or, “I’m looking for somebody to do this. I’m looking for somebody to do that. And this is how I think it could be fair to you, is that I actually have a videographer, my brother, who’s worked with these certain influencers. Here goes some of his content. He would be willing to come out and do a free session with you on the weekends.”

Shane Barker: Offer something up. Offer something where I look at that and I go, “You know what. I’m an influencer. I’ve got time on a Saturday for two hours. I get a free product. I get content that they’re going to be producing that I get access to. I know that the goal is at the end of the day they just want to test this thing out. They don’t expect to get $10,000 in sales from one minute video.” Or whatever that is, but it just comes down to being on the same page and understanding the terms and then obviously managing that expectation.

Doug: Well, and I think that that’s an encouraging message because it doesn’t really mean that every time you’re going to do this you have to pull out your checkbook and write a really big check. I mean, at some point I guess when you scale you’re going to need to do that, but it’s a starting point. So it doesn’t always have to be just about the money. It’s finding someone who aligns your brand, that kind of buys into your story and like you said, finding something that works for both of you.

Shane Barker: And it’s the same thing with like PPC. In PPC you don’t have to go spend $10,000 to find a working funnel. You can literally spend $100 on different funnels and you see what starts to work. You’re like, okay, I’m getting a conversion rate of 8% on this, I should put $10,000 there. If you’re just starting off, you really shouldn’t jump in influencer marketing with $100,000 without having somebody help you along the way, because you have the potential of really losing some money. You don’t have to go that crazy.

Shane Barker: The idea is to go and find these little groups of influencers. And now what you’re doing is you’re doing a little bit of an A/B test, you’re kind of seeing what works. You have an influencer that could have 5,000 followers one that has a million and you could see better results with the one at 5,000 from an ROI perspective. Because you’re spending less money on that person, that person might be more motivated because they haven’t worked with a lot of people and they obviously want to use you as a case study.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Shane Barker: Hey, I’m an influencer. I worked with ABC yoga company and what they did is I only have 5,000 followers, but we did this campaign. I’ve only charged $500, but we did $10,000 in sales. That’s gold.

Doug: Sure. Right.

Shane Barker: I mean-

Doug: That makes sense. Yep. Just had that conversation with somebody yesterday, said I spend half my time talking my clients into spending less money testing media. I said, “It’s easy to spend money so let’s start with a smaller budget, find out what works and when we get the ROI, then it’s easy to ramp it up, but let’s not go crazy today.”

Shane Barker: I’m not going to tell you the company because they’re huge and they probably potentially are listening, but I did do a speech. Trying to think about how I can like candy coat this without like giving out any of the details. I did a speech last week in St. Louis. And one of the ladies that was there said, “Oh, I work with a certain company.” It was a huge, huge brand. And said, “Do you think we should do more micro-influencers or macro-influencers, right?” And I said, “Well, here’s the thing. I don’t really think there’s a fair percentage. I can’t tell you what’s … And that would be based on followership and we got to be really kind of little careful of that.”

Shane Barker: And she goes, “Well, because here’s the thing.” She kind of told me some stuff and I said, “We’ll talk when I got off stage.” So I come down there and she goes, “Yeah, we spend a lot of money on the macro-influencers. We just throw the money away on the micro.” And I said, “Well, what’s your definition of throw away?” And she goes, “A million dollars.” Like we just have a million dollars and we throw it at these micro-influencers. We give them pictures of whatever the product is, I can’t tell you, but they give a picture and they do no reporting. They’re like, “We don’t even look into it.”

Shane Barker: And I’m like, that makes my heart hurt. I don’t know like how do you … And they’re a billion-dollar brand, but I’m like, you still have to care about that. You should be looking at something because you could find one of these micro-influencers that is going to be half of the cost, one-tenth of the cost of one of your macros and they could be doing three times as much work and moving the needle a lot more than some of the bigger ones with the bigger budgets. I mean, just depends on what you’re looking for.

Shane Barker: What is your goal? Is your goal just to get, once again, Kim Kardashian to say that she likes Pepsi. Then that’s awesome. And that’s not the brand by the way. So anybody thought they just caught me saying the brand, you did not catch me. You did not. I’m still keeping secrets, but that’s-

Doug: I might talk to you after because I clicked on your Instagram and oh and hey, I was just down at the Arch, we were down for a Men’s Retreat. I’m in a mastermind and we were in St. Louis. So we stayed down by The Smokehouse and every morning we’d get up and do a little run.

Shane Barker: Sugarfire?

Doug: Like a physical run to-

Shane Barker: Sugarfire. Was that where you guys went for food, barbecue?

Doug: Yeah. There was half a dozen that we went to because we were down there for the three days. We ate a lot of smoked meat, but we got up and we did like a 5K run or a couple of mile run to Starbucks every morning and then had to walk back along the waterfront under the Arch.

Shane Barker: Dude, that place. I know we’re diverting. We’re kind of going off to the side. That Arch was awesome. That was the first time I’ve been to St. Louis and I went to Sugarfire. I’m with you. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Every morning I would go my little 10-mile run, walk or whatever I would do and I would plug myself, I tried to plug every artery that I had available with some kind of brisket or some kind of ribs. It was awesome. I mean, I really-

Doug: That was good.

Shane Barker: Good times. Good times for sure.

Doug: Yeah, it’s good. I mean, it fills up your arteries. It helps my posture, keeps me straighter because it gets … My arteries get-

Shane Barker: That’s it. I was actually … I came back two inches taller. Who knew? Who knew?

Doug: So back to an influencer. So why don’t you share with us kind of the education stuff you’re doing. So we have people that are listening to going, “Hey, that’s really cool. I can go online. I can read. I can get to a certain point, but I really need someone to hold my hand to make sure that I don’t screw up because I’m working for someone else or I’ve got a limited budget. I don’t have the million dollars to test my influencer campaign. I’ve got $1,000.” How do you help people like that with the various levels of training you guys have?

Shane Barker: Yeah, there are obviously different levels to it. We have either the in-house training or I actually fly out and I would actually do the training in front of a sales team, marketing team, whatever that would be. And then what I really do is what we call it a needs assessment. So I really would come in and say, we would start off and say, “Okay, let me just figure out what you guys are currently doing with influencer marketing.” It doesn’t have to be in person, but sometimes it is or in-house. And then really kind of understand where they’re at.

Shane Barker: There also could be different departments. Like Amazon is an example. They had different departments that were doing different things and they weren’t necessarily talking together. So like, okay, we have three departments that are coming in. Let me figure out where everybody’s at and do a needs assessment on you guys might be a little different than them, you guys might be going after B2B instead of B2C. So I really kind of assess the whole situation.

Shane Barker: Now, if you’re not an Amazon and don’t have unlimited budgets, then we can talk about doing some kind of a consulting where we do the three-month thing, it’s the 12 pillar thing where I actually will have my team help you find list of influencers, we’ll educate you along the way and show you what we’re doing, and that’s the second level. Then the third level is we have these like we just did one in San Francisco. The charge was only $600 bucks. And what happened is we had … That’s where we had Amazon’s and all these companies that would come in and it was an eight-hour training where people can come in and once again, they get these great little booklets where they have all the slides and they can write down notes and then we would have obviously question and answers.

Shane Barker: I would go over the basics of marketing and how to find influencers, how to negotiate with them, how to put your brief together, what you need to watch out for the FTC and really put that all together. Then we had some agencies and brands that would talk about … And influencers where we did panels and talked to them. So that’s another level and then, really at the end of the day, if people have questions every time I do this for a podcast I get like 5,000 emails. And my assistant’s like, “Why? You know you don’t have to deal with those. I do.” And I’m like, “You know what Ian, that’s just the way it goes sometimes, bud.”

Shane Barker: People can reach out to me with specific questions as well. You can reach out and say, “You know, I was kind of interested in this or I was kind of looking at this.” I usually have a blog post that I’ve written about it somewhere or I can share some general information and help people out, but I try not to be … It’s not all about money for me. It’s about I can help you make the right decision and not mess up somewhere, then I’m always here to help and try to offer a helping hand for sure.

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There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Doug: That’s really cool. So we’ll get your details just in a couple of minutes, but let’s just flip the table just a little bit and for our listeners that have built up an audience of people that engage with them that may be considering, hey, maybe I could be an influencer. Do you have any tips or tools or someplace you could point them to make sure they get set up properly so they are attracted to someone like your company or a company that’s looking to engage them?

Shane Barker: Yeah, this is the thing, and we talk about the education that disconnects with brands and influencers. To be an influencer doesn’t take a lot. What I mean by that is you don’t need to have a million followers. What I teach at UCLA is personal branding. It really comes down to building your brand. And an influencer is a brand, right? You’re an individual, you are selling something, your product or service, whatever you have and you’re going to sell this to up to a brand or an agency. This is what you have to do. Everything is foundational.

Shane Barker: So if you first off mean to start off with Juan’s Mexican restaurant around the corner from you and you’re doing a promotion for them, start off small. It’s all foundational. So you do something with Juan’s Mexican restaurant and the next you’re doing something with the shoe company and then doing this and you’re kind of getting your feet wet. You’re showing that you’ve worked with brands, you’ve put together campaigns. If they’re successful obviously then you want to talk about them and use case studies.

Shane Barker: Then you want to build out some kind of a media kit. You want to say, “My name is Shane. I have 10,000 Twitter followers. I have this. This is my engagement rate. These are the brands that I’ve worked with. These are my rates or inquire with me about my rates. And I’ve seen your brand and this is kind of what I’m thinking is that you guys have done a lot of stuff with these types of influencers. My audience loves this kind of content, as you can see from this picture here. I think that we should put a campaign together and be a five thing campaign, whatever this is. And this is kind of what I was thinking in regards to the content. Let me know if this is something that interests you.”

Shane Barker: One thing that I don’t see people doing is a, first of all, influencers need to put together a kit. You’re going to be pitching somebody. You got to put something together, explain to a braid or an agency why they should work with you.

Doug: Sure.

Shane Barker: Because most of them don’t know. They really don’t. They go and they read an article that I write and they’re like, “Jennifer must be great because Shane wrote about her and I know our product doesn’t make sense, but she has a lot of followers. You have to go to contact her.” Not the right way to go, but the idea of you want to make this into a business, you want to, once again, you want to build yourself up.

Shane Barker: Another thing that I would recommend if you’re an influencer on YouTube or Instagram or some other place, then this is going to be super scary. Hope you guys are sitting down. You don’t own that platform. Right? So you have to be very careful of the only constant in life is that the algorithms for Instagram and all the other platforms will change and it will probably never favor you. I know that’s a lot to take in so hopefully somebody’s not driving or you have your seatbelt on.

Shane Barker: It won’t favor you. They’ll always go to tighten this thing back. Facebook and Instagram, they’re always going to pull this thing back and you know how you’re gonna be able to get more exposure? It’s called paid. You’re going to have to pay for it. So the reason why I’m telling people this-

Doug: Why don’t you re-sure that again just so people get it. I hear what you’re saying. I love that message because you don’t own it and that doesn’t mean you have the right to stay there forever either.

Shane Barker: This is the thing. They can turn your lights out at any point for any reason, and I’ve seen it happen to influencers. This is what I’m telling. You spent hundreds, millions, billions of hours on Instagram to get the perfect profile pictures, to get this up, to get this so you got your little pink dog, you got the caviar that you eat every day, you got the private jet that you fly out on. Life’s good and it’s all fake, but it’s okay.

Shane Barker: The idea of this is you have to be very careful because at the end of the day the algorithm … So you’re getting tons of engagement. You can put out the same content and you get a lot less engagement because there’s more influencers, the algorithm changes, Instagram says, “Hey, I know before you were getting a lot of exposure. If you’d like to get that exposure again, why don’t you go ahead and get out that credit card, go and pay us a little more money so we can open up that algorithms for more people can see.” What I’m telling you is, is at any point because you don’t own those platform things can change and they will change, they’re always …

Shane Barker: It’s never going to get better for you potentially. It’s probably going to get worse because you’re going to have to pay, which is … I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay, but what I’m telling you is that things will change. You should always, things that you don’t own, these profiles, these social profiles should always point to your website, some kind of a money page, something where you own. So it should be your name, your company name, something likes that. These should all be tools for you being an influencer should be pointing to your website. I’m just saying that because Instagram just came out with the thing that now you don’t even have to leave Instagram to buy something.

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[just click to tweet]


There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Doug: Yeah. I saw that. I just posted it yesterday.

Shane Barker: Right. So that changes things up a little bit. Not a bad thing. The change is not bad either. People get all nervous about this. If you own your website and these things are all pushing towards it, then you’re good. That way if you have three things that are pushing the traffic there, you lose one, it sucks, but you’re not down. But if you are an Instagram influencer, and post something that’s racy or something funny or you’re in your boat and it’s a little too racy of a picture, you can get shut down and when you get shut down, it’s very difficult to get your profiles back.

Shane Barker: And that can be your business overnight. So you really have to think about that from a standpoint of you want to mix this into a true business, you have to diversify and do some other things when it comes to like assets.

Doug: I think that’s great advice. I think you’re the first person who’s actually said at some point you have to pay to play because I don’t think people want to talk about and it goes, well, it’s a free platform. It’s like yeah, it’s a free platform, but they have to monetize somehow. So just think about it for a minute. I mean, they’re not going to continue to provide you a free service so you can charge money as an influencer using their free platform.

Shane Barker: Things are always going to change. That’s the only constant, and you have to realize that sometimes you might have to start … This is what I tell people. I know way too many influencers that made a ton of money, didn’t save any of it and then all of a sudden when an algorithm changes or they’re asking to pay, like, “I can’t believe this.” I’m like, “You made a million dollars a year. This shouldn’t be a shocker to you.” They’re just looking to get a little more piece of the pie and really at the end of the day if you want to get that same number, who cares that you pay $10,000 a month if you’re making a million. Really think about it.

Shane Barker: I mean, I’ve had clients that have like … We’ve had almost dragged out brawls kicking and screaming because like, “Yeah, but I shouldn’t. I didn’t have to pay before.” I’m like, “Dude, you’re making a million dollars, bud. I think you’re missing …” And you need to start saving more money and quit going out. I’ve been looking at your pictures, by the way. You need to save. It’s not always going to be this way. Things change and that’s okay. But you need … This is all for you younger influencers now that are drinking beer and it’s 2:00 PM. You need to save that money folk. You need to put that money in a bank account or something. But it’s just, it’s important because it might not always be there and there’s always going to be things that change and you got to kind of roll with the punches.

Doug: Yep. You could wake up tomorrow morning and see that your account’s been suspended, taken down or as you said, you’ve got zero engagement on your last post.

Shane Barker: That’s it. And who knows, and that could be for whatever … You could be putting out in the exact same content of super epic a week ago. This is the thing, is that things change and you just got to be kind of ready for that stuff.

Doug: Great advice. And great advice when you’re hiring the marketers as well when you are hiring people to work with you. I mean, things change on their side as well. So whether you’re the influencer or you’re the agency, like you said, things are changing every day.

Shane Barker: Yeah, that’s it. You gotta be ready for some punches. You got to be able to bob and weave or weave and bob depends on what day it is.

Doug: Depends which [inaudible 00:42:12] when you’re having your-

Shane Barker: This is it.

Doug: … you smoked brisket.

Shane Barker: Oh, you are looking at my Instagram. See, that’s good. Yeah, that was a good time.

Doug: I’ll tell you the cheapest place to buy Opus as well.

Shane Barker: I love it.

Doug: I don’t want to rush because I don’t want to give up my wine secrets. Two things, who’s one guest that you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Shane Barker: Oh, I’m going to tell you who it is. And now this is … Now, he’s a client, but I’m not saying this because he’s a client. I’m saying it because he’s a super awesome guy. His name is Chris Ruden and the reason why you need to have him is this, is he does do some marketing, but he might have me doing his marketing, but he’s good at the content of the reason why I’m telling you this is Chris Ruden and actually has seven fingers. He has seven fingers. He actually has a prosthetic arm and he’s actually a powerlifter. He’s lifted 650 pounds.

Doug: Wow.

Shane Barker: And he was just on The Rock’s TV show, The Titan Games. The Rock had him on there and he’s also diabetic. He was diagnosed with diabetes at 19 and he’s a good friend. He’s been a client of mine for a long time and now he’s doing a lot of speaking at events and stuff like that. I’m not saying that because he’s my client, but really just a genuine guy doing good stuff, went out to Africa and did some things, helped some people out there. And his thing is less about money and more about making an impact. So he’s a super awesome guy and he’s somebody I think you should have on the podcast.

Doug: Amazing. Hey, that’s really cool. Yeah, we’ve been watching Titan Games, it’s been interesting.

Shane Barker: Yeah, for sure.

Doug: I’m thinking man, I got to step up my CrossFit, but I’m a little bit older than those guys so I don’t think I’ll be on Titan Games until they get one for grandparents-

Shane Barker: For seniors? Yeah, I’ll be on that too. I’ll get my little walker out. I’m ready to compete.

Doug: Yeah, there you go. So where can people find you? Where’s the best place for them to track you down?

Shane Barker: There’s a local pub here in Sacramento between Tuesday’s … Oh no, sorry. Oh, you mean online. Oh, online. Online people can reach me at ShaneBarker.com. It’s S-H-A-N-E, then B-A-R-K-E-R.com. And this is going to make my executive assistant cringe, but you can directly email me at [email protected]. And yes, that is my true email and there’s a 40% chance that I will actually email you back, but there’s a 60% chance that Ian, my assistant, will email you back.

Doug: Well, there you go. So, listeners, you can just email him three times and one of those times that he’ll be the guy.

Shane Barker: That’s the only guarantee for sure. I will definitely answer one of those probably because I’m filing a police report, or a restraining order or something because you shouldn’t email me that many times.

Doug: Well, hey, I appreciate you hanging out with us and sharing today.

Shane Barker: Hey, it was awesome, Doug. Thank you so much for having me.

Doug: So there you go listeners, there’s another episode. I hope this has really stretched your mind and given you some insight to why this may be a great fit for your existing media mix, not as a solo effort, not as a shiny new object, but as something that you investigate, like Shane said, do a little bit of research, understand the background of the industry and then go make sure that you get some education and have your team educated or hire an agency like Shane’s agency to get it done for you. So thanks for tuning in. We look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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[just click to tweet]


There are millions of influencers and there are products that match up perfectly with those influencers for influencer marketing.

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Get in touch with Shane:

Find out more about Shane:

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  • Shane on Instagram
  • Shane on Twitter
  • Podcast – Shane Barker’s Marketing Madness Podcast, No link yet (to launch soon)

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

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