Influencersin the context of our country have to think differently, if they want to continue making money using their images. Big brands here are really slow in understanding and adopting the concept of influencer marketing so as an influencer, the chances that some big brand is going to drop a six figure paycheck for you to plug their product in your daily life on instagram are thinner than slim. What is happening is, most influencers are starting their own brands.
I went to have lunch at Chef Nina’s joint and we got to talking. We discussed about the classic problem in business – the people with the ideas have no capital and the people with the money have no ideas. In other terms, the people with the skills have no money and those with the money have no skills. Then we also have the situation where we have skills that are only complementary. Skills that have to be input into another process before value can be created. I’ll like to say that in this day an age, the difference between a tailor and a designer is internet savvy.
Where am I driving to? I see many people out here who have the natural born entertainers who are also finding it hard to package themselves into a marketable product. I for one I think I got jokes but I don’t know if one I’ll make a good comedian. So of what use are my jokes? There are many just like me who by one means or the other, just know how to make people gravitate towards them. They have captured a considerable sphere of influence on on social media but are walking away from the platform with no financial gains. I am sure you can name some of them. I am not saying everyone here who has a considerable following should be trying to make money off it, but I am also sure many of us here could use some extra soup at the end of the month.
My idea here is for us to try and see how we can do some sort of skills and asset collaborations. It is something very achievable. The only thing that will actually get in the way is our tendency as humans to be selfish and to want to take all the credit.
So what do I mean my skill and asset collaborations? Collaborations because it is not a lifetime commitment. Just like Drake can collaborate with Meek Mill today and beef him tomorrow. I will like to use the fashion industry because it is structured around creative collaborations (Think Nike by Off–White). It also happens that the fashion industry is one that has weathered the economic and political turmoils in the country. I mean, we are out here slaying our way to the graves. Something in the light of what I am proposing here has already happened but in a context that cannot be easily reproduced. Think about the Mboko Gang Merch. Jovi basically built the brand, let other people invest the capital and skills then he helped them market the product. Now, he didn’t take any money from the proceeds but that is Jovi.
We have many other brands that can use the creative/skill and asset collaboration model to expand their reach and stand a chance of creating better products. For example, B.tang is one brand that has been making some waves. Anna seems to have a mastery of the supply chain for her category of fashion products. A brand like 237 Showbiz that has a huge following could enter into a creative/skill and asset collaboration with B.tang. I know the guys at 237showbiz are creative people. They can come up with a concept for some T-shirts, co-finance it with Anna and then take charge of the marketing why Anna functions the supply chain. It has to be a project based venture so that one brand does not risk being eclipsed by the other and so that if losses should occur, they should be limited. This also helps 237Showbiz enter the fashion industry without causing some volatility to their brand. They can do T-shirts with B.tang, then go on to do athletic wears with Oii Company. Some other influencers can then come in at the level of sales only. Where they distribute for a commission.
I don’t think I need to break this down any further. My only advice is for the mother brand to share creative input with the tagging brand. Wonderful products can be realized. My experience is that the mother brands are usually stuck on trying to realize their major goals that they fail to realize the jewels that can be picked up on minor detours.
So if you are an influencer, why don’t you save up some money and start reaching out to some manufacturers to see how you can skill and asset collaborate.