Episode: Jane Ko — The Impact of COVID19 on Influencer Marketing, Knowing Your Brand Voice and Doing Good As An Influencer


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Jane Ko — The Impact of COVID19 on Influencer Marketing, Knowing Your Brand Voice and Doing Good As An Influencer

“You’re placing an ad on my platform in my voice, and I know my audience the best.” –Jane Ko

 

Welcome to the Conscious Creators Show; where through intimate and insightful interviews with authors, actors, musicians, entrepreneurs and other podcasters, you'll learn tools and tactics to 10x your creativity and strategies to grow and monetize your audience.

 

Jane Ko is the blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. A Taste of Koko has been featured in O Magazine, InStyle Magazine, OWN TV Network, and The New York Times. 

A Taste of Koko launched Shop Koko, her very own line of foodie tees that help support local non-profits in Austin and her first book, Koko's Guide To Austin."

 

On today’s episode of the Conscious Creator podcast, host Sachit Gupta speaks with food and travel blogger and social media influencer Jane Ko. They discuss the Austin food scene, how influencers are being impacted by the pandemic, and the insider perspective on brand deals. They also talk about how Jane’s childhood in a tiny Texas town impacted her career, self-publishing a book, and more.

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Jane introduces herself as a blogger rather than influencer because she started her blog before that term existed.
  • The “free stuff” you get as an influencer isn’t actually free because it requires hours of work to leverage for content.
  • Jane works 80-100 hours per week, from restaurant tastings to brand deals.
  • It took Jane about 3 years before she started getting paid through brand deals, but it may take someone less time now because the market has changed.
  • The main thing Jane has learned about brand deals is how much money brands have to spend.
  • Her biggest frustration is brands not listening when Jane brings her own ideas and expertise to the table.
  • Jane has an agent, but she still does her own first round vetting of clients who reach out directly to her.
  • Jane was supposed to work with GoDaddy, which has hosted her website for 10 years, on featuring Austin businesses during SXSW, but the event was canceled due to the pandemic.
  • Instead, Jane presented an idea to GoDaddy around the domain hireacreative.co, which she had been paying for but not using and saw this as an opportunity to finally  launch it to support the freelancers like her who had just lost all their income.
  • Measuring KPIs for influencer marketing is almost impossible; the only metric you can track is impressions.
  • Everything Jane does for local businesses is done for free and is only for the sake of supporting her community.
  • Jane grew up in a small town in Texas and never believed she was going to amount to anything.
  • Jane works hard to make the process as easy as possible for brands because that makes it easier for her.
  • She always communicates her idea for the content fully so she doesn’t end up in the position of having to redo anything.
  • Travel blogging is the most time consuming work; it isn’t a vacation.
  • Jane spends time sourcing outfits for posts while traveling, planning an itinerary of locations and shots and posts.
  • Jane self-published her first book last year in 5 weeks, but she had been doing research and planning for years.
  • Jane was surprised at how easy it is to do brand deals and how hard it is to sell a product.
  • Her goal for her book was to sell just one copy but she sold over 3,000 copies in 5 months.
  • Jane believes her book had good product-market fit.
  • It’s a common misconception that authors make money on book deals; almost no books make profit.
  • Because Jane self-published, she’s able to brand books for companies who want to buy in bulk and give them as gifts.
  • The first quarter of the year is always the slowest for influencers.
  • Jane launched hireacreative.co and Hundred for Hospitality to support local businesses and freelancers in Austin in response to COVID-19.
  • Hundred for Hospitality provides 100 meals a day for free for any service industry person who has been laid off by a restaurant in Austin due to COVID-19, while being able to pay the restaurant for those meals.
  • Jane’s income is down 80% right now.

 

3 Key Takeaways:

  1. There is no secret to getting brand deals other than working hard for a long period of time and waiting for the right opportunity to emerge.
  2. Communication is key in brand deals to make the process as easy as possible for both parties.
  3. Nothing can replace the impact of building relationships over time.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

“So for brands, they’re thinking, we’re getting 2 in 1. We need exposure & we need content, which is something that we were going to pay an ad agency easily $50-100k to shoot photos, & we can get that in one blogger? So it’s a great deal for them.” –Jane Ko

“You’re placing an ad on my platform in my voice, and I know my audience the best.” –Jane Ko

“We don’t own this platform. We’re allowed to produce content on these platforms & we’re lucky enough to then be paid. So if this ends & disappears my mindset has always been well, now I can go retire & live a normal lifestyle & not work 100 hrs/wk creating content.” –Jane Ko

“I think I’m very conscious and very aware of where my brand is and where I stand in my city that I live in and what I can do for the community… I think it’s being very aware of your brand and what good you can do.” –Jane Ko

 

Actions: 

  1. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a review.
  2. Thank our guest and let them know what you thought of today’s episode — send Jane a message on Instagram!
  3. Head on over to Creators.Show to get new episodes, exclusive guides like our guide on “How to Connect With Busy Influencers”, partner deals and additional bonuses.

 

Resources Mentioned:



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