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Jason Falls: Influence Marketing Strategist and Podcaster

What happens if you stop thinking of influencer marketing, and focus on *influence* marketing instead? In this Art of Sway episode, we talked with longtime influence expert, Jason Falls, in order to reframe our approach to brand promotion with influential voices.

Jason Falls is one of the leading thinkers in the digital marketing space with a particular focus on influence and community commerce marketing. He serves as EVP of marketing for, the community commerce marketing platform. Jason also hosts the widely downloaded Winfluence podcast, is the author of three books, and is executive producer of the Marketing Podcast Network.

Don’t miss this great episode on the power of influence, which includes:

  • “Influence” marketing versus influencer marketing: what’s the real difference?
  • The downside of fixating on creators with millions of followers
  • What creators (and brands) need to know about influencer agents or managers
  • Why brands should focus on the goal of influence — not the channels!
  • The surprising positive effect on a brand’s marketing strategy when they take the “R” out of influencer

Episode 18: Jason Falls Transcript

Danielle Wiley: Welcome to The Art of Sway, this is a podcast that brings you inside the world of marketing through the lens of influence, I’m your host, Danielle Wiley. Each week through candid conversations with industry insiders, we will uncover how influencer marketing is making an impact across all consumer buying habits and is changing the way we talk to each other, let’s dive in.

Danielle Wiley: Jason Falls is one of the leading thinkers in the digital marketing space with a particular focus on influence and community commerce marketing. He serves as EVP of marketing for, the community commerce marketing platform. Falls hosts the widely downloaded Winfluence podcast, is the author of three books, executive producer of the Marketing Podcast Network and loves sports, bourbon and his family, not in that order. I always love talking to the OGs in the influencer space and Jason Falls is one of the OGs of the OGs. We covered a ton of interesting topics in this episode, including a very interesting conversation on the term influence marketing versus influencer marketing and how at his new gig at, he is now championing influence from the inside out, enjoy.

Danielle Wiley: Well, hi and welcome on.

Jason Falls: Well, thank you Danielle, it’s great to talk to you again, great to be here.

Danielle Wiley: I think you win the award for best response emails to all the requests we send. [inaudible 00:01:39].

Jason Falls: Yeah, I get it. I get it. I get it, I know how to do this, let’s go.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. Well, I’m looking forward to having this con… I mean, I always enjoy talking to you, just really looking forward to this. I wanted to kind of start by setting the stage because I don’t even know if I know the whole story. So for those in the marketing world, you are kind of known as an in… are known as an influencer marketing expert and a host of the podcast Winfluence, and we run in a lot of the same circles and probably have a silly number of connections in common on LinkedIn, but I don’t know that I know your origin story and how you got there. So I thought it would be interesting to kind of-

Jason Falls: Sure.

Danielle Wiley: Interesting to me at least, to start with that.

Jason Falls: Okay. Yeah, sure. So I’m a PR guy by trade, and I actually the whole marketing talking head agency world that we live in is actually my second career, I spent 15 years as a PR guy in college athletics. I traveled around and watched ball games for a living and ran press conferences and press rows and all that good stuff, and so when my son was born, he’s a senior in high school now, so 17 years ago-

Danielle Wiley: Yeah, mine too.

Jason Falls: … I decided I didn’t want to travel as much and wanted to get out of college athletics and landed at an advertising agency in 2005, but it happened to be the… I was in a really unique position because I was at Doe-Anderson, which is an agency in Louisville, Kentucky, and they’ve been the agency of record for Maker’s Mark bourbon for about 50 years. And the brand manager at Maker’s Mark was watching the internet trends at the time, she was trying to understand what social media was, blogs were starting to become relevant, brands were starting to sniff at social media. They weren’t really doing anything yet, but she came into my office one day and I didn’t really work on the Maker’s Mark brand at the point, but she came into my office one day and said, “I hear you know a lot about the internet.”

Jason Falls: Because I had been in the sports world, I’d worked in forums and message boards, and I’d had a silly blog on Myspace just for fun to try to figure out these channels and how can I figure out how to promote my student athletes and my coaches in unique ways? Because I was always at small schools that were overshadowed by big state universities and big conference schools, so I was always fighting for attention. And so she came in and said, “I hear you know something about the internet.” And I said, “Oh, I mean, yeah, I play on it a lot.” And she said, “Well, I need you to think about Maker’s Mark through that lens. How can we start to use these emerging channels?”

Jason Falls: And fast forward about three or four weeks, and I was director of social media and I was developing strategies for Maker’s Mark and then some of our other clients. And because I was working in regulated industries a lot, I started getting invited to conferences, and one thing led to another, and I had a blog that was starting to grow because I was starting to get out there. And I just kind of landed in this spot of, I have thoughts about social media marketing that I think are pretty salient and true, and if people will listen to me, you could probably figure this out faster.

Danielle Wiley: Mm-hmm.

Jason Falls: I was in the right place at the right time and didn’t screw it up, is what I like to tell people. And it kind of just led to me being a social media person, thought leader, whatever you want to call it.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: But I’ve always been a PR guy, so the influencer marketing piece came as I was working through the whole PR spam with bloggers issue back in the day and trying to help PR people figure out how to use these new non-trained media members.

Danielle Wiley: Right.

Jason Falls: And to me, influencers are the same thing, it’s a third party we’re trying to work through to get to an audience, to influence that audience, to take action. The fact that they’re trained differently or they didn’t go to journalism school doesn’t matter, you still got to figure it out. And that’s kind of where I’ve always sort of worked.

Danielle Wiley: Well, first of all, it’s so interesting that those of us who’ve been doing it for a long time we’re kind of in the marketing world, but then also using social media on the side for our own personal reasons, and that became our… we had to teach ourself, there were no master’s degree in influencer marketing, which is wild to me that that exists now, but I still remember one of my clients back in… it was before I had kids, so it must have been in the nineties, at a cabinetry company. And he was in charge of digital, and he had used to be in charge of CAD designs. He would actually design the cabinets and they realized they needed someone to oversee the agency building their website, which was us, and to handle all of the internet stuff. And so they said, “Who here uses the internet?” And he raised his hand, I swear, because he was watching porn, I swear that’s what he was doing is the only reason he knew what was going on.

Jason Falls: Yeah. There you go.

Danielle Wiley: And lo and behold, I mean he was there for a long time running the digital department.

Jason Falls: Yep. That’s how it evolves, it’s funny the-

Danielle Wiley:  Yeah.

Jason Falls: And I’ve actually had this really serious conversation. That story is not surprising to me because especially if he had any technical skill at all and knew anything about coding, because if you think about it, the adult industry actually pioneered everything we’re doing because they’ve always had-

Danielle Wiley: Oh, totally. The first website I ever went to in college, my friend and I, we were like, “What’s this internet we keep hearing about?” And we asked this guy that she knew and he was like, “Well, go to” So we went.

Jason Falls: Yeah. I mean literally I mean they were the first-

Danielle Wiley: Because they had a good one.

Jason Falls: Yeah. They were the first industry to figure out how to do paywalls, they were the first industry that figured out how to do streaming video, they were the first… I mean, you look at all the stuff that we consider sort of day to day today, almost every bit of the technological advancements come because adult publishing houses and companies and whatnot had to find ways to get around the nuances and the laws and the regulations to get in front of consumers in a way that they could do it privately in their own home.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: And otherwise you would have to go somewhere and risk being seen or whatever. And so a lot of internet innovations come out of the adult industry, I don’t think they get nearly enough credit for it for lots of reasons, but they certainly deserve it.

Danielle Wiley: Right. And then one of the other things you said struck me. So back when I started doing this, doing influencer was pretty much when I was at Edelman, and we did consider… we did look at, I mean back then it was just bloggers, but we treated them at that time, like journalists. So we would send them product and expect them or hope that they would review it, and there was no money changing hands. And I think where that started to transition is that suddenly these, it was mostly moms were overloaded with CPG products and frozen food, [inaudible 00:08:59] just buried under products at their house and no one was paying them. A journalist is paid by a publication-

Jason Falls: Right.

Danielle Wiley: … to review stuff, without any payment from the brand.

Jason Falls: Mm-hmm.

Danielle Wiley: And I think that that realization that you know what? Most of these folks actually aren’t journalists, what we want them to be is a spokesperson.

Jason Falls: Right.

Danielle Wiley: And that was where it really started to become what we see today.

Jason Falls: Yeah, I think that coincided with that whole PR spam issue because as mom bloggers mostly, but certainly it bled over into other verticals as well, as they started to get more and more inundated with products and services, the issue came out, and this was 2006, 2007, the reason I know this is because this is sort of the first thing I did that made other people outside of Louisville, Kentucky pay attention to me. I actually called out Cision, which at the time was called Bacon’s. Cision and the others out there, [inaudible 00:10:03] and whatnot. I basically said, “Hey, you guys are contributing to this problem of PR spam because you’re not asking these bloggers if they even want their contact information to be listed.” You need to give them control over that because there are plenty out there who don’t want PR pitches, who don’t even know what PR people are.

Jason Falls: And it’s our job in the PR world, in the digital marketing world, the social media world, to educate those bloggers to understand, hey, PR people aren’t evil, they actually can help connect you with products and services and people for comment, quotes and interviews and things like that, they can be really useful to you.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: But if you didn’t go to journalism school, you didn’t know that. And so you just thought, this is somebody else trying to sell me something on the internet. And so I called those companies out and said, “You’re contributing to this problem, and when you guys start to take steps to make your problem go away, it gets better.” And Heidi Sullivan was a young lady who worked at Cision at the time in I think the research department. And she called me after I called them out because I was getting spam pitched too, because I had a blog and whatnot. She said, “You’re absolutely right, we need to fix what we’re doing. Can we hop on a call?” And that led to me going to, I think it was PRSA International, was the first national conference or international conference I went to.

Jason Falls: And I went basically with the Cision team to say, “These guys are screwing things up and here’s how we fix it.” And so that was the first thing I ever did that got me any attention and made me realize, hey, squeaky wheel gets the grease, let’s just [inaudible 00:11:42] about stuff and I’ll be famous.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. There was so much crazy back in those days, I still remember the going on Quantcast and Alexa and trying to figure out how many page views people had. I mean there were no platforms where you could go in and get someone’s data and understand what kind of following they had. And it was kind of awkward to ask, which is crazy if you’re paying someone, you can ask what kind of following they have, but yeah, it was the old days.

Jason Falls: Sure. This is a funny story, I was speaking to a local group of PR people here, and this was 2006, 2007. And even my understanding and facilitation of all this has matured over the years because I remember this young lady saying, “I am a PR person, I reached out to a blogger and asked them if they would like information about this event or product or service. And their response was, “How much are you going to pay me?” How should I respond to them?” And at the time, because I was a PR guy, I was trained as a PR guy, and I was still trying to figure this world out just like everybody else was. I said, “Well, I think you should respond to them that they go to hell, because you don’t pay for stuff, you’re a PR person, it’s earned media, they don’t understand that.”

Jason Falls: But it didn’t take me very long to realize that was not the way you should respond to that person. That it was more about, hey, let’s reach out to them and say, “Okay, I understand your situation’s different. I don’t have a paid budget, but let’s figure out how we can work together so that you do get some sort of remuneration for what you’re doing and you also get access to the information that I have.” And so that’s where very quickly, 2006, 2007, I started to turn around and say, “There’s a gap that we need to bridge just through education to make this whole thing work better.” And I think a lot of us… I was a part of it, I wasn’t the leader by any stretch of the imagination. A lot of us, including you, were doing that at the time, and things have certainly gotten better over the years.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. I wanted to talk a little bit about what you’re doing now because you have a new gig and it’s kind of a different type of influencer marketing, and I’m excited to hear more about it because it’s kind of, you’ve described it as inside out, which sounds exciting and fun, but why don’t you explain a little bit about what you’re doing?

Jason Falls: Sure. So I’m EVP for marketing at, and it is a community commerce marketing platform, which is a kind of a bigger category than just influence marketing. Our foundational software application that the brand started with is called our CIM platform, C-I-M, Community Influence Marketing. And you’ll notice that I used Influence not Influencer, and I can clarify that in a minute, but it’s basically an influence marketing software package. However, our perspective on the world is that instead of going outside of your brand and finding content creators and influencers that have a big following on social media and trying to partner with people who don’t know who you are or may not know who you are, and then when you find those people trying to get them familiar enough with your brand so that they can speak authentically about it, it’s probably more efficient and potentially even more cost efficient to start from the inside out.

Jason Falls: And what I mean by that is when you come to CIPIO, we plug your brand into our ecosystem and we connect your social channels and you tell us what hashtags you use and who you think your competitors are, and what are some affinity brands that are non-competitive, but share the same audience. And we basically map your community from a social perspective and identify the influential people that already know you.

Danielle Wiley: Mm-hmm.

Jason Falls: So that you don’t have to go coach authenticity, you don’t have to go buy someone who can fake being genuine. You’re actually talking to people who are your customers, people who are your social media followers, people who may be your employees, other partners that are within your ecosystem. The more data you can bring to us to map from a social perspective, the bigger your community is, and the more apt we are to be able to find influencers that already exist who are already on the positive side of your brand.

Jason Falls: And it’s amazing sometimes we’ll do this community mapping for a medium to small brand, and they’ll think, “Well, I’ll be lucky if there’s a couple of hundred people.” And we’ll map a million people within their community.

Danielle Wiley:  Wow.

Jason Falls: Largely because our definition of that is broad.

Danielle Wiley:  Yeah.

Jason Falls: People who use the same hashtags, that’s a part of your community, people who mention you online but aren’t necessarily a customer or a follower, that’s part of your community. So we’re looking at this map from an internal perspective and finding people who are already aware of and maybe even loyal or passionate about your brand and working through those influential voices, which takes away the prerequisite of they have to have a lot of followers. It’s not necessarily based on that, it’s based on who creates content? Who is influential over the people who follow that content? And are they mapped in your community and aware of who you are?

Danielle Wiley: Mm-hmm.

Jason Falls: If the person meets those three requirements, then they’re worth talking to. Now, obviously if someone has 50,000 followers versus 500, you’re going to put them at the top of the list as opposed to underneath the other person, but at the same time, it’s less about followers and more about that authentic relationship. We just think it’s a more efficient way to get there and have seen some good success with it.

Danielle Wiley: That’s really fascinating to me, especially from a B2B perspective, because I think, I mean certainly at Sway Group, we focus almost exclusively in the B2C world where I think it is typically easier to find folks to talk about it. And there’s not always as much loyalty, you can wander through a supermarket and change brands all the time. It’s not like SaaS software program where you’re in it for six figures for a year and not going around and grabbing another option off the shelf. And so B2B influencer marketing has traditionally been so much more difficult and so much more expensive and so, so tricky, I think because a lot of these influencers don’t consider themselves as such and aren’t always in… they’re not signed up in networks to get sponsored content deals, and you really are kind of out there searching and scrounging and reaching out, and it’s very, very difficult. So I love that concept for simplifying that entire branch of the marketing ecosphere.

Jason Falls: Yeah. And we look at it from both perspectives too, we’ve got our CIM platform is sort of built for B2C, but we have a B2B CIM and we also have what we call our Community Referral Automation, which sounds like you’re taking the humanity and the person out of the equation, which is not necessarily the case, but essentially what we do with our CRA application is we look at from a B2B perspective or B2C, but it’s mostly B2B. We’ll map your LinkedIn network and things like that and look at that and say, “Okay, what brands or what people are you trying to get in front of?” Are you trying to connect with a network, pitch your product, or whatever? And we will find the connections that get you to that person and then have built a mechanism to be able to lightly automate the one-to-one connection so that you can kind of scale that activity.

Danielle Wiley:  Yeah.

Jason Falls: It’s something that we’re seeing some interesting success with. We’ve been mostly B2C until recently, but have expanded out into B2B functionality as well, and it’s kind of fun to see that grow.

Danielle Wiley:  I’m glad, because that one, that’s been tricky.

Jason Falls: Yeah. It is.

Danielle Wiley:  Anything to make that easier, I am down. So talk to me about the influence marketing versus influencer marketing.

Jason Falls: Sure. So this goes back to sort of the impetus for my book, which is Winfluence, I don’t even remember the subtitle now, Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, that’s it.

Danielle Wiley:  We’ll put it in the notes. We’ll put it in the notes.

Jason Falls: That’s it. So Winfluence, the book’s a couple of years old, and when I was writing that book, I really wanted to fight the trend that I was seeing of people basically abusing influencers and turning the word influencer into a bad name, because these are people I’ve been working with for a couple of decades now, and I’m like “No, don’t let the mainstream media turn tail and make them out to be a bad word.” But what I also was seeing happening was a lot of brands were coming to the table saying, “Go find me influencers and pay them to hold my product and smile.” And that’s not how you should use them either, in my opinion. And so I got to thinking about it and I thought, “You know what? The problem is not with the word influencer, it’s with the focal point of what brands are looking for.”

Jason Falls: They’re coming and focusing on the influencer and not on what they’re trying to do, which is influence. And so my kind of hypothesis for my book was, we’ve got to get rid of the R, we’ve got to reframe how we think about influencer marketing and start thinking about it in terms of influence marketing, because if you think about it in terms of the verb, the action, the goal, now all of a sudden those blinders come off and you’re not fixated on an Instagrammer with half a million followers because that person might be influential over their audience and might help you get where you’re trying to go, but if you think about, okay, if my job is to influence, then that can imply that I’m working through the president of the local PTA group to influence local parents to shop at the parent teacher store, right? Or support a political issue.

Jason Falls: I’m going to work through lobbyists and other social and political leaders to influence that particular process. It kind of goes back to defining who and what we are as marketers in that our job is to persuade, our job is to influence an audience to take action. And that can be through online social media channels, which is where we like to play. But again, if my client is the CEO or the owner of the local parent teacher store franchise, a 500,000 follower Instagram person isn’t going to do me any good because one 10th of 1% of their audience is going to be within 10 miles of my store, right? So now I’ve got to find influence elsewhere. So if you take that R out of the word, it helps you actually think about what you’re trying to do. And if you focus on the goal rather than the channel, now of a sudden you have a much better strategic chance of being successful.

Jason Falls: So I like to say it’s all about influence marketing and Winfluence is The Influence Marketing Podcast. And I love stopping and telling that story to people to say, “Just get rid of the R.” And get rid of the R, it’s just a semantic change, it’s just one letter, but it changes the way you think about it if you really think about it.

Danielle Wiley: We actually have another guest this season, and anyone who’s a loyal listener will have already heard this, but we had a pretty interesting conversation about the terms, influencer versus creator, which I’m sure you’ve been involved in some of those discussions.

Jason Falls: Mm-hmm.

Danielle Wiley: And she has the perspective that there’s a gender issue going on too. And that oftentimes-

Jason Falls: Mm.

Danielle Wiley: And I don’t know that I’ve seen this, we kind of sparred a little bit. I mean, I certainly have seen the backlash against the term influencer. She feels that a lot of that is rooted in sexism and that oftentimes women are labeled as influencers, which is a whole other conversation that, I mean, if you have a comment, please comment, but I’m curious to know what you think just in general about the influencer versus creator debate.

Jason Falls: Yeah. In terms of the gender bias there, I guess, I mean, I haven’t thought deeply about it obviously, but I guess I could see it, but I think it’s not necessarily because the marketing world or brands are sexist one way or the other. I think it’s because when the mainstream media and when we generally talk about influencers at a high level, not specifically with the talking head people like you and me who are talking about it all the time, but when a business owner is presented with information about influencers, it’s typically through the mainstream media, maybe some trade publications or maybe they’re listening to a podcast. And in general, at that level, you’re talking about beauty, fashion, style, fitness. And the majority, I believe, and I’m sure there’s numbers out there to back this up somewhere, the vast majority of those creators are women. So I don’t think it’s a gender bias, I think it’s just math.

Danielle Wiley: Demographics.

Jason Falls: Yeah, it’s just demographics.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: I don’t necessarily disagree that that’s the case, I think when people naturally think of influencers, they probably think of a Kardashian like person posing with lipstick.

Danielle Wiley: Mm-hmm.

Jason Falls: But it’s cause that’s what has been reported as. When you hear the mainstream media talking about influencers, it’s typically the person who Photoshops clouds out of their vacation pictures and Photoshops the blemishes off their face and buys followers and things like that. And again, a lot of that activity is more style, fashion, beauty and not outdoor and home and parenting and these other verticals that have been so fruitful for many of our clients over the years because there is a superficial layer, a small layer, thin layer of quote-unquote influencers that are what I call the peace sign dark lips crowd, right?

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: There’s a thin layer of that out there, and those fall into that stereotype of, they’re superficial, they’re not real effective, there’s not a whole lot of substance to what they do, but that’s maybe 5 or 10% of what’s out there. The rest of the world of content creators slash influencers have incredible connections with their audience, they’re very influential over how their audience thinks about products and services and issues. They create fantastic content, they drive a lot of engagement. Those are the people that I work with on a regular basis, or at least I did when I was in the agency side of the aisle.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: And I think that’s lost on a lot of people because when they see influencers in the news, it’s always negative, it’s always superficial, it’s always dumb because the mainstream media, they know we’re all rubberneckers, we want to stop and look at the train wreck.

Danielle Wiley: Right.

Jason Falls: So that’s what we do.

Danielle Wiley: Well, I mean, when we started in this industry as a whole, the influencer world, which they weren’t even called influencers, but it was pretty much all very authentic.

Jason Falls: Mm-hmm.

Danielle Wiley: It was people who just had something that they wanted to share and wanted to talk about, and there wasn’t a way to monetize it, there weren’t banner ads, there weren’t sponsorship opportunities, it was just putting something out there because you had something to say and you wanted to connect with others, there was a big community element. And then I think as it became a money-making venture, people got into it just to make money. And as such, it became very highly curated and moved more towards aspirational, and I feel like I’m seeing it kind of dip back to the authentic real space.

Jason Falls: Mm-hmm.

Danielle Wiley: And I don’t know if you’re seeing that too, I love it. I’m much more down with you showing me your messy house than everything looking perfect-

Jason Falls: Yeah.

Danielle Wiley: … behind you, which is not my reality.

Jason Falls: Yeah. Oh, I’m definitely seeing that as well. I think another thing that I want to throw in here, and I’m not sure if this is going down a rabbit hole or jumping through a tangent, but I think part of the problem too with the perception of influencers is as the mom bloggers evolved into I guess the Instagram set, and that evolved into what we know as influencers. The other thing, and this is where content creators slash influencers haven’t helped themselves. As they began to get brand deals, as they began to get offers and whatnot and put pricing together and media kits and all that kind of stuff, and this is a topic that a lot of brands are, this is why they’re allergic to influencers in a lot of ways, is because their egos got the best of them, and they were like, “You know what? I have created this magical universe where I can tell all these people to go buy stuff, and they will, and therefore you have to pay me a lot of money.”

Jason Falls: To this day, I mean literally within the last six months, I reached out to someone who had maybe 45, 50,000 followers on Instagram, not other channels, just Instagram. And she wanted 7,500 bucks for one content post-

Danielle Wiley: Wow.

Jason Falls: … and I’m like, “Are you nuts? Do you understand math at all?” Yeah, and so I do think that influencers haven’t… a lot of influence, not all of them, but a lot of influencers have not done themselves any favors by overpricing what they do. And here’s where I want to say something on behalf of the creators, but also say something on behalf of the brands. The misnomer in the industry for the last 5, 10 years has been that you are paying for access to that creator’s audience. That’s only one of the three things you’re paying for, and to be honest with you, on behalf of the brands that the creators are not going to like, access to your audience is not worth nearly as much as you think it is because-

Danielle Wiley: I mean, you can get someone with three followers and put that content in front of as many specific people as you like.

Jason Falls: Exactly. You can take the content, repurpose it, et cetera, but also too, if you’re only talking about in isolation access to your audience, then you need to measure it the way other marketing channels are measured, which is through CPMs, not based on how many followers you have, based on how many actual impressions you drive. When you do it that way, the CPM rate and what you should be paid for content, the only people who are going to make thousands of dollars per post are the ones who have tens of millions of followers because the math just doesn’t work out. However, on behalf of the creators, that’s not all you’re being paid for, you’re also being paid for your time and your talent, the content that you create. So if content creators out there want to do a better job of being held legitimate in the eyes of the brands and agencies they work with, price your stuff accordingly. “This is the price for my time, this is the price for the talent, the content that I can produce for you.”

Jason Falls: Which by the way, if you went to a freelancer or a production company and had it produced, it would cost this much, right? And then, “Here’s my reasonable CPM rate to get in front of my audience.” If you offer that up to a brand, now they’re like, “Holy, this creator knows what they’re doing.” And I don’t necessarily need access to their audience, but I definitely want that content because I can put it over here to my audience or the people I’m targeting.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: So I think that’s another thing that’s held… that kind of has created tension in the industry that we can course correct if we help creators, coach them to think a little bit differently about how they price what they do and help the brands understand they’re getting more than access to the audience too, because the brands need the education of, you know what? If you had to go pay your video production company to produce this, it’d be $25,000. And this person’s asking for 4,500, so weigh the options.

Danielle Wiley: Right. I think a big culprit too, just in the inflation of prices, is management. There are certainly some amazing managers out there who are worth their weight in gold and do a terrific job. There are also a lot of influencers who are using their friend next door, their husband, some manager they met randomly somewhere. And oftentimes we’ll see someone who was great, easy to work with, made a fair amount of money, suddenly gets management, and the number just multiplies by way too much with no rationale behind it, other than that manager needs to try to make themselves seem like they’re earning their paycheck. There’s no real meat behind that increase.

Jason Falls: Sure. Yeah. Yeah. What I would say to managers and creators out there is the day that the creator hires a manager does not multiply their audience by 30%-

Danielle Wiley: Right.

Jason Falls: … or their efficiency by 30%, so it’s better damn sure not to multiply their price by 30%. So let’s keep that in mind and be reasonable. Your goal is to get it to where you increase it by 30%.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah.

Jason Falls: But let’s take them from here to here before you start asking for a lot more money.

Danielle Wiley: Right, right. Okay, there’s a ton more we could talk about, so I am sure this will not be your first visit to the podcast.

Jason Falls: Good, I’d love to come back.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah, but before I let you go, something that we ask all of our guests, at least in season one and season two is to share with us the TV commercial that has stuck with them the most from their childhood.

Jason Falls: Oh my goodness. All right, this is going to be a different answer because I grew up in Eastern Kentucky, and in Eastern Kentucky there’s both radio and television, but a really good friend of mine, his stepdad owned the local car dealerships. And so he would run local TV ads, and it was Bruce Walters Ford Lincoln Mercury Mazda was the dealership, and Jack Walters was the guy who runs it. And Jack’s almost like a second father to me, I love the guy to death, but they had a sales guy who took on this persona called BM, Big Mouth Bass, and they would do the dumbest TV commercials ever. And they always ended with Big Mouth Bass sticking his foot in his mouth and saying something a little off color. And then Jack would go, “Big Mouth.” And they were the dumbest television commercials ever, but they kept the Ford dealership in the mindset of the consumers, they were really smart.

Jason Falls: I mean the content was silly and dumb and stupid, and if you saw it and didn’t know them, you’d kind of roll your eyes, but the repetition of them worked and made people really love that particular television spot. And then real quickly, very similarly on radio, we had our little group of Circle K type convenience stores in Eastern Kentucky at one point was called Happy Mart, and they had the most annoying jingle ever. It was a bunch of kids singing, “Happy Mart, food stores we’re taking care of you. Anything for your family fill up with gas and food.” I can sing the whole thing, but again, the underlying theme in both of those is repetition, reach, and frequency worked.

Danielle Wiley: Yep.

Jason Falls: I’ve still got that stuff drilled in my head. Happy Mart, I don’t think exists anymore, but I can still sing that damn song.

Danielle Wiley: I said to my husband the other day, some dumb, not a jingle, but a dumb 80s song came on the radio, and I knew every single word. And I was like, “Can you imagine how smart I’d be if I could reallocate some of these brain cells that know every single word?”

Jason Falls: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Danielle Wiley: I think it was, We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off, that song-

Jason Falls: That’s-

Danielle Wiley: … and I know every single word to that song.

Jason Falls: That’s pretty good-

Danielle Wiley: Not helping me with anything.

Jason Falls: That’s a pretty good one.

Danielle Wiley: Yeah. Well, thank you so much.

Jason Falls: Yep. Thank you, Danielle, this has been great. I’d love to sit here and sing jingles with you all day.

Danielle Wiley: Next time. Next time. So before you go, tell people where they can find you online.

Jason Falls: I am Jason Falls everywhere.

Danielle Wiley: Okay, easy.

Jason Falls: So real easy to find,, CIPIO is at CIPIO, And yeah, reach out, let’s connect, I’d love to connect. And then of course, if you love podcasts, which you obviously do, Winfluence The Influence Marketing Podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Danielle Wiley: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, this has been terrific.

Jason Falls: Awesome. Thank you, Danielle.

Danielle Wiley: Thank you for listening, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Please check back next Monday for a new episode featuring marketing conversations through the lens of influence. I am your host, Danielle Wiley, and this is The Art of Sway.