A Few Influencer Marketing Tips from the CoWork Ja Fireside Chat

Is Influencer Marketing still relevant and effective? You better believe it! It just comes down to the simple decisions that both the influencers and brands that want their services make.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to be a panelist at CoWork Ja’s Fireside Chat series discussing “Influencer Marketing: A Shift From Who to How”. Kamila McDonald, Romone Robinson, Kemar Highcon, Kristofferson Nunes and I shared some practical advice for both individuals who want to become influencers, as well as for companies wishing to engage them.

I got such great feedback from the event, I thought I’d share some of the key takeaways for anyone considering this path or already on it.

INFLUENCERS:

  •  Know who you are, what you represent and what your core values are. Authenticity is the best thing you could ever choose to operate in!
  • After having figured out the aforementioned, know who you are serving, i.e. your audience/community. Who are you talking to and how do you plan on serving them? Have a good idea of who you are trying to attract and then LOVE your tribe/niche.
  • Develop a credible reputation by being consistent with your brand messaging. You cannot be everything to everyone! You can display different things about your other interests and pursuits, but they must all be rooted in your consistent brand messages. 
  • Focus on the engagement and welcome the feedback. Don’t worry about vanity metrics such as likes and followers. Quality is better than quantity any day of the week! Often times your audience steers you in the direction and gives suggestion of how to enhance your content.
  • Show up consistently with your content. If you don’t take your content seriously, no one else will. Fans/followers unfollow, disengage and disconnect if your content is haphazard. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  •  “Be wary of the Greeks when they come bearing gifts.” As your numbers grow, you will naturally command attention (whether you like it or not) which means that brands (companies and individuals) will start to send gifts, propose collaborations, ambassadorships and possible endorsements in order to get to the captive audience you have worked so diligently to attain. Don’t be quick to accept things, don’t be quick to sell out your soul and community for brands that don’t seek to enhance your platform but rather take from it. Try to align with those who echo your sentiments or who have similar brand values. When you have a standard, your community and other brands will respect it. 
  • If you choose to engage with a company or brand, set your terms and conditions. Remember this is your audience, you stand to lose the most if the deal goes south. Don’t have companies brand all over your page and ask for ridiculous amount of posts if they are not paying for that level of access and exclusivity.

BRANDS:

Local companies are still very clueless when it comes to understanding and respecting influencer marketing. They assume that a one size-fits all non-strategy will help boost their visibility and campaign. 

Where do I even begin with the companies, let me count the ways: 

  • Actually research the term Influencer Marketing. Familairise yourself with what it actually is before engaging influencers. You look ill prepared and out of touch when you throw around words but don’t have a clue about its practical use
  • Respect others’ platforms and communities. Influencers have created content at their expense – investing time, effort, equipment, etc. to create and curate content and build their audience. Then all companies only want to do is offer them free samples or free tickets. Come again?! The same respect and budget you put into traditional marketing, make allotments for influencer marketing. Everything has a value and that value even if it can be negotiated, should be respected. Global companies do it and so should you! 
  • Research the influencer you want to engage in order to propose an effective campaign. Do your homework! You want to ensure that that influencer actually represents the company’s brand values as well. It will be a crisis management situation if you engage an influencer who might be popular but serves absolutely no purpose and might even tragically brings disrepute to your brand. 
  • Do not just look at the vanity metrics! They don’t mean a thing. Some people have bought those likes. Trust me you don’t want to spend bucks on bots (just saying). Look at engagement and actually ask for insights before you engage. Again, quality vs quantity! 
  • Be creative. Don’t stick a product in the hand of a beautiful influencer, give them a cheesy caption to copy and paste, then brand the photo with your logo. Influencer marketing is about the soft sell, organic and relatable. Please stop using hard sell tactics on digital platforms. Instead, come with a strategy based on your product/service, what you have researched on the influencer and your target audience. BTW, to “pick an influencer’s brain” to conceptualize your company’s strategy comes at a cost. You pay your agencies, so pay influencers who develop creative concepts for you. 

Take a look at some of the (hilarious) photos from the event

International Association of Gaming Regulators 2019 Gala Dinner

Jamaica was on full display at the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) 2019 Gala Dinner held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre earlier this month.

The four-day conference focused on how gaming regulators throughout the world can foster a secure, vibrant, innovative, safe and responsible industry. It sought to tackle and discuss some timely concerns in the industry such as cybersecurity, the effect of blockchain technology, and the role of artificial intelligence and big data in gaming regulation.

It was the very first time in the nine years of conducting this annual conference that IAGR, the largest international gaming regulation body in the world, selected a Caribbean territory to be its host, and I’m thrilled that they chose Jamaica as the ideal destination.

INTERVIEW: “Terri-Karelle Reid, the narrative of a Jamaican media personality” in CaraibEtude Magazine

I was recently interviewed by the CaraibEtude magazine, where we talked about my experiences being a student in Cuba, thoughts on the current state of the Caribbean, as well as my career as a media personality and influencer. We also spoke about women’s empowerment, feminism and sexism in Jamaica.

Do you think sexism exists in Jamaican media as well as other sectors and if so, how do you deal with it?

I think sexism is so deeply ingrained in our society that people disguise it as culture. This far surpasses media. It is embedded in the very fabric of our society coupled with misogyny as witnessed with the violence our women face. Murder-suicides are very frequent in cases where women try to leave their spouses. Objectification and sexual harassment are still major problems in the workplace and on the street. Even with the global recognition of the ‘Me Too’ movement, Jamaica still remains far behind.

– “Terri-Karelle Reid, the narrative of a Jamaican media personality” by Martin Klôwè and Gabrielle Buddoo-Bordeaux

CaraibEtude is a magazine written by Caribbean students, with the goal of creating an exchange space that will foster a better understanding between young entrepreneurs, academics and Caribbean students to promote a “pan-Caribbean” society.

Take a look at the interview here, and be sure to show CaraibEtude some love on Instagram.

Launch of the Caribbean School of Data

Today’s world is changing so rapidly that 65% of our children entering primary school right now will be doing jobs that don’t exist today. If we are to prepare the Caribbean region to be competitive in this landscape, we have to put significant focus on ensuring that the population is not only digitally literate, but have the technology and data management skills that will become essential to all jobs in the future. This is particularly important for our vulnerable and marginalized youth, whom often get left behind while the world advances.

It is with this in mind that Google.org (Google’s philanthropic branch) and the Caribbean Open Institute (COI) have partnered with the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) and the SlashRoots Foundation to create the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD), which aims to reduce the digital divide and empower detached local youth by providing digital and data skills, and will enable, over a period of two years, the training of at least 1,500 disadvantaged young men and women, aged 18-29 in seven countries, in data management, visualization, integration and analyses.

10 Common Mistakes Professional Brands Make on Social Media

I was invited to speak at the Sweet Art Bake Conference. My topic was “The Effect Of Social Media on Personal and Professional Brands.” There are so many professional brands that are utilising social media platforms as their exclusive sites for their brand awareness and sales but so often they aren’t maximising their opportunities. In fact, some frustrate consumers and make it very easy for competitors to build better communities. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product or service is, if you aren’t leveraging the power of social media, you are losing sales. I have looked at business pages across various industries and these are the common mistakes made by most professional brands.

1. Personal vs Professional Pages

There is nothing wrong with having a personal/private page separate from a professional one but don’t get it twisted, customers don’t just do business with brands anymore, they want to know who is behind the brands and they want to get a sense of what the person (CEO, M.D., Chairman down to the line staff) stands for personally. Do not treat your pages as if they do not affect each other. It only takes one wrong post on a private page to ruin the professional side. Therefore remember that personal views (whether political, social, racial, gender etc.) on private pages will be measured against the company’s values. Once there is an association with the company brand, you both are always on show and as such, whether private or profession, the two must speak the same brand language.

Click here to read the rest of this article on LinkedIn

Digicel Rising Stars Sweet 16

Sherlon Russell blew us all away with his amazing voice and walked away as the winner of the 16th season of Digicel Rising Stars last night.

He is also the first wildcard to ever win Digicel Rising Stars – which is no easy feat! When we bring back a wildcard into the show, they have to work twice as hard to win. They have to build that fan base others have had from the beginning and prove to the judges and fans that they can consistently perform.

Sherlon’s win goes to show that no matter how disadvantaged you think you are, no matter how the odds seem stacked against you, as long as you have the right mindset, you can achieve great things. He came in with the right mindset – staying true to himself and his authentic image, no matter how much he was told that his “boy scout” image would not appeal to the masses. And it worked!

His journey also has me reminiscing on my journey on Digicel Rising Stars thus far. Television hosting was never a part of my plan or career trajectory, but someone suggested I try it out and I loved it. Even though I didn’t have the background or the experience, I jumped in, learned on the job, kept a positive mindset and now I have been the longest running host of the show so far.

Here’s a look at some of my favourite moments on stage this season…

Miss Jamaica Universe 2019

It was such a pleasure serving as co-host at Miss Universe Jamaica 2019! We laughed, sang, teased the audience and welcomed a new Queen, Iana Tickle García, who embodies the tagline, “Enhancing Lives Through Beauty”.

The 18 ladies who vied for the coveted title brought meaning to the term well-rounded. From a police officer, farmer and teacher, to students in the areas of Psychology, Marine Biology, Economics and everything in between. Some were fluent in Spanish, Japanese and sign language and all had altruism projects, with the most outstanding being the construction of a house in 3 days for a family in dire need.

It was an absolute honour to spend the evening with you ladies and I wish you all a tremendous success in your upcoming endeavours.

PS. All our dresses were made in Jamaica! 🇯🇲 

Guess Who’s On YouTube?!

That’s right! I’ve started my own YouTube channel and I already have a few videos up (some of which were originally posted on Instagram). Check it out, subscribe and leave a comment letting me what topics you think I should discuss next!

Screenshot of Terri-Karelle's YouTube page