The Influencer in Everyone

Reorganisation of Influence Series – Part 2

What do you get when you cross two young guys from the Gold Coast in Australia and global sensation Kylie Jenner?

Did anyone say, multi-millionaires?

This is the story of Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic. At 21 and 22 they launched their teeth whitening business, HiSmile. They endeavoured to create a consumer conscious teeth-whitening product that was affordable, ethical and easy to use.

They used most channels on social media (Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) to promote and market the product, and their experience guided them on narrowing their market (from anyone aged 18-35 to young women aged 15-24) and focusing their creative.

Yet there was one marketing strategy that transformed them into a global brand with over $20 million in revenue.

What created the extraordinary trajectory?

The Brands that Breathe

We all know that word of mouth works, right? When someone has a great experience and then they tell their friends and more people want the same. Imagine word of mouth spreading on a global scale… through the amplification of influence?

Early on, the team at HiSmile understood the ability to amplify this word-of-mouth through social media using people who were already popular in their own right. They’re called Influencers.

In social media terms, an influencer is a person of influence who introduces a product or service to their followers in the context and use of everyday life. So rather than acting like a salesperson, they just use the product or service and take a picture or video that is shared on their social media platforms.

The Influencer Effect

So how did they crack the global market and churn out those millions? Enter Kylie Jenner into the story.

From the Kardashian klan, Kylie Jenner is the epitome of today’s celebrity. The blended effect of reality TV royalty, a super successful model, a social media personality and an entrepreneurial empress.

When Kylie posted a photo to her 75 million Instagram fans in 2016, the business experienced exponential growth in sales and social media followers.

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Her post “smiling with @HiSmileTeeth”of her lying on a cream pillow with a HiSmile teeth whitening kit nestled against her chin (so cosy, so casual…), received over 1.5 million likes and it’s endorsement gave the Aussie brand a global platform with a whole lot of followers (they’re up to 1 million now) and a leap in sales.

Kylie doesn’t kiss and smile with every product who simply asks her. The process for her endorsement took the HiSmile team 18 months to begin conversations, and no doubt this one photo would have come with a sizeable paycheck. Kylie can command up to $1 million for being snapped with a product on her Instagram today.

There’s An Influencer in Everyone

Is it possible that there are lessons we can learn from Kylie and Hi Smile, or is it only reserved for the celebrities?

And no I’m not talking about perfecting your selfie. Whenever I try a selfie it always looks a bit weird…

Bit like this:

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Or this:

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Or this…

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In fact Aussie comedian Celeste Barber has become a stand out for parodying people like Kylie Jenner and her friends. Talk about being her best influencer… (I love her so much).

Whether you run the business or are in the business, there’s no-one that does a better job of it then you.

What can Kylie Jenner teach you and I about being your best influencer?

  1. She shows, she doesn’t sell.

You’ve got to walk the talk. How do you authentically tell the story of your business (either running it or being a part of it as a leader)? Are you using video to document the process not just the outcome? The lessons, not just the launches.

64% say watching a video can increase their decision to buy (Animoto).

2. She understands mass scale, micro relationship

Which means the One Matters. How do you speak to the one in your communication? Are you creating great content, that also has creates great interaction? And replying to comments?

3. She has become the authority in her field

We need to first become the author. In 2019 content will maintain the reign as king. So if you’re using LinkedIn over Instagram, how are you positioning yourself to get known as the best influencer for your brand? Are you creating content that demonstrates your expertise and experience, and helps you to build a case for credibility?

What Influencer strategies have worked for you?

Next week will follow Part 3: People Power: The Influence of Your Network and Customers


About Kirryn Zerna

I’m on a quest to help ideas, leaders and brands stand out (without selling out) in this age of online influence. I’m a conference speaker, a masterclass presenter and creator of the Stand Out Effect: a modern-day quest to uncover what makes brands stand out without selling out. What’s unique about me is that I understand the nuance of business from a large corporation to a small business and can translate the challenges and opportunities of the power of social media in each context. I draw on deep experience of working within corporate and public sector environments, and I also have had the privilege of working with over 1,300 small businesses and entrepreneurs through state and federal funded programs in the last year.