While we were working on the Future of Influence Summit last year I encapsulated the essence of what I was seeing in the space in Five key trends in how influence is transforming society, complementing our Influence Landscape.
If you’ve managed to avoid Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21 so far, your time is up. They provide a fantastic example of two of the key trends in influence. Blair Fowler (Juicystar07) and Elle Fowler (Allthatglitters21) are sisters who review beauty and fashion products on their YouTube channels, with a total of 50 million and 31 million video views respectively. The video below is a “haul” review of a sponsor’s products which was also being filmed by Good Morning America.
This is a fabulous example of the democratization of influence. They have become extraordinarily influential (custom footwear shop Shoes of Prey describes how in a few days one video from Juicystar07 beat five months of media coverage) with a zero starting base and no institutional support. By now their success is feeding into television coverage and more, but they had nothing but YouTube as an outlet to start. Of course not everyone will become as influential as they have, but it is absolutely open to anyone. No credentials or support from anyone is needed to influence how people think, behave, and spend on a grand scale.
The second key trend shown is that business models for influence are emerging. Platforms such as TweetROI and IZEA allow people with large social networks to monetize their influence. Of course a fundamental question is whether attempting to monetize influence destroys your influence. Juicystar07 shows that it is absolutely possible to monetize influence, quite possibly in the process increasing influence. The sisters openly canvas paid reviews, though only choose sponsors they are happy promoting. Whether it is their personal enthusiasm or the lack of concern of the target demographic, paid reviews are hardly detracting from their appeal and ability to impact sales.
There is no question that Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21 are in the vanguard of a wave of new influencers large and small. The reality is that traditional media channels are become a smaller part of the influence mix as new influencers rise.