An English friend of mine recently shared one of the best bits of digital snark I’ve heard in years
We were talking about the state of the online world, and Instagram especially:
“Yeah, the thing about influencer culture…” I began.
“Influenzas,” she replied.
“That’s what we call those people who call themselves ‘influencers’. It works perfectly because they’re basically a sickness, and it’s exactly how the word sounds when they say it.”
Turns out, she wasn’t kidding. Say “influenza” aloud.
See? It sounds exactly like someone saying “influencer” in an obnoxious British accent.
And, while I absolutely laughed in the moment (I’m a sucker for puns and wordplay, #sorrynotsorry) I’ll be honest:
I’m also not entirely sure I agree with her.
Which is probably why our latest #HAMYAW episode seeks to answer the question:
Are influenzas and personal brands ruining the world?
…. And, tangentially related: do the Kardashians really “do nothing”?
For a fun 5-minute stretch, Margo and I dig into celebrity culture, and whether our everyone-has-a-platform era is actually the worst… or actually a really unique, awesome opportunity.
Catch today’s episode to find out:
- Why (spoiler alert) we live in the greatest age in history to be a creative with ideas
- Why “the demise of the gatekeepers” is an insane advantage for your business
- Why you gotta pay respect to those who’ve figured out how to capitalize on your attention (and how you can too)
Share Your “Influenzal” Opinion
Come on over and let us know what you think in the comments.
Are influenzas ruining the world? Or are we experiencing an era of opportunity like never before?
Or perhaps it’s a bit of both?
Click to get watching as you wind down your day, and I’ll see you over there.
First time seeing #HAMYAW? Click here to binge every episode.
Everything you do is so goddamn cool. Like you come on and you’re like, cool. (laughing)
I’m in like, my mom sweater. (laughing)
Welcome back, guys. It’s time for another episode of HAMYAW and today, we’re getting into something a little controversial, maybe around the Thanksgiving table, or the Hanukkah or Christmas table, or generally when family generations get together.
The biggest stumbling block in conversations about the state of the world is generally a little bit about celebrity culture, a little bit about personality brands, a little bit about influence online.
And today, Margo and I wanna dig into it because this era is actually the demise of the gatekeeper. We wanna talk about what that looks like, so let’s jump in.
I have a friend who’s pretty Instagram famous. I won’t say what her name is but, when she was just starting out, back in the day, like we were having this conversation, and then this was back in my early days of business, too.
She was like, “Can I just like, get paid to show up and be awesome everyday?” And I was like, “Technically, yes, actually.”
Like, if you work hard enough and you build a strong enough brand like, yeah, that’s actually part of it. Like, you have to create a lot of content and you have to be a pretty savvy business person, but the long and short of it is, that’s the reality we’re living in. There are businesses built on people showing up.
Which is technically all business, but just like, particularly now, more than ever, there are opportunities to profit off of your just, personality and vibe, like never before. What we’ve been talking about is a great example of what that looks like.
Totally, and it’s also why I will defend the Kardashians because
I dislike them as people, we can talk about that in a different conversation, but what they have created, you gotta pay respect to where respect has happened. They capitalized on the attention.
Listen, if someone came to me and was like, “Here’s 200 grand to show up at my club for 20 minutes,” I would be like, “Sold!”
I’ll be there! Do you want me to put
Don’t judge it!
(mumbles) in peoples’ mouths? Yeah, bring it!
You would actually be stupid if you said no to that. It’s 20 minutes of your time. I have done worse things for 20 minutes.
Go on. We’re getting truthy here on HAMYAW.
We’re always dropping truth. Go.
And this personality thing, too. Honestly, this is a part of why we have been able to create something like HAMYAW, as well. I think, in years past, us creating like, a local television show of us talking about marketing would never have worked.
But because we have people who know us and like what we do, they appreciate our takes on things, we’ve been able to put together this little show that’s kind of weird and kind of out there, and a lot of fun, and people are responding to it.
And that is just, the coolest thing, and there is not an era in history where this would have worked up until this one. So, I’m grateful for it.
A hundred percent, I feel the same way. And it’s the like, the other part of that of like, showing up and being awesome is like, it’s not that you don’t have to do anything, you actually have to be awesome.
Yeah, yes, that’s actually very difficult.
And there are very few of us that look like Chris Hemsworth or Kim Kardashian, where we can just show up and be like, “Look at me.” I will try, but I will fail. I will die trying! (laughing)
The Kardashians are our only living pop culture matriarchy, like that is the only matriarchy related to business that loudly in the public eye that exists, so
Totally and like, let’s think about it
The devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder.
Let’s think about it in terms of what it means for you like, instead of being cynical on what it means for the economy and how, you know, this generation has gone to shit, or whatever you parents say.
Like, let’s think a bit about what it’s telling us about people and psychology, and the attention economy, and what you can do. Imagine how powerful those skills are, if you actually have something to say.
Ah, so true.
Think about that for a second. If you are a smart person, with things to say, why are you not using these tools? Why aren’t you doing these things? Stop thinking you’re better than this. I’m pointing at you. That was an accident
I don’t think I’m better, I’m here.
(mumbles) She’s doin’ it! (mumbles) view (laughing)
But no, I’m 100% with you and that’s every single Thanksgiving table, my family brings it up, it’s like, “Kids these days,” and it’s like, because it’s just different, it’s not bad. It’s not always bad, it’s not always good.
It is different, but it provides a wealth of opportunity, and what is that Andy Warhol quote?
“In the future, everyone will be famous for exactly fifteen minutes.” That’s where we’re living and I think it’s wonderfully exciting. I think it provides opportunities that were never there before.
We have access to creative tools that we never did before and it’s up to us what we do with it, so, get out there and be great. I don’t know why this turned into an inspiring speech, but that’s where we’re at in this episode now.
Yes, that’s why we’re here, alright, you guys. To bring you pictures of Chris Hemsworth and respect the hustle, and inspirational talks, so. Alright, you guys, that’s it for this week, but, I am Margo Aaron.
And I’m Hillary Weiss.
Thank you so much for watching. Go out there, be great, this was HAMYAW.
Photo by Juliet Clare Warren