Episode 51 of the Influencer Marketing Lab podcast where Alice Audley, founder and CEO of bCreator talks about the importance of live events and explains why the the bCreator Awards are special

More...

The Influencer Marketing Lab is a paid partnership with Tagger by Sprout Social a global leader in revolutionizing how top brands and agencies harness data and analytics to drive creator and influencer marketing strategies.

Subscribe and listen to all Influencer Marketing Lab episodes!

Show notes

In this episode we discuss:

  • The rebadging after a decade from Blogosphere to bCreator
  • Why in-person, face-to-face events are so important to building relationships
  • How we can ensure our category is effective without losing the essence of creator marketing
  • Advice for female-founded, female-led businesses.
  • And what to expect from the bCreator Awards

Useful links

Episode summary

  • Rebranding Blogosphere to bCreator with Alice Audley. (0:00)
  • The bCreator awards become the Oscars of the industry. (3:11)
  • The value of face-to-face events for creators. (8:15)
  • The evolution of the influencer marketing industry over the past decade. (11:52)
  • Balancing effectiveness with efficiency (18:11)
  • Influencer marketing and its future with industry insights. (24:33)


Interview transcript

Scott Guthrie  00:00

This week, I am delighted to be in conversation with Alice Audley, founder and CEO of bCreator a brand you probably already know under the name of its former guys, Blogosphere.

bCreator runs premium events, bringing together brands and creators to forge direct relationships, build their networks, grow their business opportunities and have a little bit of fun whilst they're doing it. Welcome to the influencer marketing lab. Alice,

Alice Audley

Thank you very much for having me. It's going to be interesting being on the other side.

Scott Guthrie

You launched bCreator a decade ago in 2013. bCreator has recently rebranded. For the first decade bCreator was called blogosphere. Why the rebrand?

Alice Audley  03:11

I know. Well, as you mentioned, we launched 10 years ago. And we just got to the point where we felt that our name wasn't really representative of our community. We do I mean, the community is made up of Instagramers bloggers, bloggers, TikTok errs pinners. So we wanted to have a name that encompassed all of that. And I think when you're a brand and you have an abstract name, that's fine. But ours was really rooted in an era that we've sort of evolved from now people may notice that we did keep the B, so our original B. So for B creator, for us, the B is an homage to blogosphere and our legacy and where we've come, but also I think that the B can stand for being whoever you want to be. And that's really what the online world can do. You can find your tribe, simply by being yourself.

Scott Guthrie  04:08

How is the rebrand? How's it going down in the industry? It's been well received, it's

04:12

been so well received. We were a bit nervous. I mean, it all

Scott Guthrie  04:16

was a big deal. After a decade. You think it's the right move, but until you press, press go, you don't know if it is so

04:23

we've been thinking about it for a while because it is the 10 year anniversary. It felt like a good time, but when exactly it was going to happen. We weren't quite sure. But then we had the Be Creative travel show at the end of March. So it wouldn't really have made sense to have the blogosphere travel show and then move on to be creative later. So it all came together quickly. But it had been in the works and thought processes for a long time.

Scott Guthrie  04:49

And then just around the corner, you're hosting the BCAAs the beat creator awards. Tell me more about the need for creator awards and how they're being received within our Our industry.

Alice Audley  05:01

Yeah, it's been quite crazy to be honest with you, Scott. So the awards started 10 years ago we actually launched as a magazine that curated the online world. And we had cover stars such as Zola. Our first issue was with Estela blonde Casey Neistat. And what that Magazine did was rebuild out a community and the community wanted to meet. So it was launching the events branch to the business, which was now our focus was a result of being asked by the community to do it. And the natural progression from that. So we went from meetups to then we had the blogosphere Tea Party. And then it was suggested that we should do an awards. It was a lady called Albertine, who actually works at influence now. So she was part of blogosphere from the start. And I remember her saying we should be doing an awards. And we say no. I'm very glad that I decided to trust her. And it just grew massively. So the first awards was in 2017. We had 100 people by 2019. Had 250, headlined by TikTok, then we all know what happened with the pandemic wasn't great. Once you've decided to pivot to live events. Let me tell you, that came back in 21. And last year, we were headlined by YouTube shorts. We got the event audited for the first time, and launch metrics, said it had a reach of 179 million creators in the room that was million AI just sort of spiralled. And so we decided that this was the year that we need to take it to the next level, the foundations have been laid, and it had been described, it feels a bit sort of weird when you're the founder saying people call it the Oscars for the industry. But that is, you know, they've said it. So I'm gonna roll with it.

Scott Guthrie  06:55

I was lucky enough to receive an invite to your awards last year. And if last year is anything to go by, then this will be pretty special. I should declare to listeners, though, at this point that this year, I am a judge. So I have been gifted a ticket to the awards as part of that role. And I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the judging committee, but sprinkling. Now, if you don't mind a few names of the real industry titans you have on your committee.

07:25

But again, with the Oscars for creators, it was that we wanted to then take a leaf out of the academies book. And so building out this Be Creative Committee, which is our equivalent to the academy. It was very important for us to bring both sides of the industry together, we want to make sure that creators are having their say to, but also we have industry Titan. So we've managed to get some Martin Sorrell on there. So John Haggerty, creative wise, we have Nicky Lily Victoria MoGraph, we have 72 people on the committee, and it's, it's amazing, and I think is truly representative of what an amazing and diverse space, the creative economy is. So we're very happy. We announced it on the first of May to tie in with nominations opening and it snowballed somewhat. So

Scott Guthrie  08:15

it's gonna be an amazing event. So we've talked a little bit about the awards, why they were set up and their success, you've been generous enough to invite me to a few of your other events. Tell me why you think they're so special, what makes them different from other events?

Alice Audley  08:33

I think it all falls back to the trust that we have built within the community. You know, we've been around for 10 years, the team, we all started with our own blogs, mine wasn't any good, but have that knowledge of what it is like to be creating what a Creator would want. And really providing events, the answer to the things that creators want. The community is really supportive. It's friendly, you know, we're not about being Clicky. It's about all coming together, supporting each other having fun learning and creating content. I think that's the beauty of events. A good event over delivers, which I think we'll probably touch upon. But what I mean you've attended a few events, what would you say?

Scott Guthrie  09:22

I do, you're gonna throw it back on me. I'd say there are a few things the energy as soon as you go you get your your lanyard you go through the energy in the room is palpable, a lot of excitement to meet industry peers. So I love that everybody was there to learn something each session is so well attended lots of really interesting questions. You had 10 minutes for each session q&a can easily be half an hour for q&a each time and that just shows the level of engagement that there is there and I've got to say although they're not really catered for me, their goodie bags are always sudden, sensational. Obviously a lot of effort that goes into it. harking Back to that word that you've used it a few times. And it's that word of community. People want to spend their time learn from each other and hear from experts. And

Alice Audley  10:11

I'm very grateful that you mentioned the lanyards, because for those of you who haven't attended a be creator event, we have a show. We have personalised lanyards with QR codes that link directly to your social channels, whether that be your LinkedIn for industry side or your Instagram, YouTube as a creator, and they are done manually by yours truly. And I definitely got a little bit of repetitive strain injury in my left hand and from doing the clicking.

Scott Guthrie  10:46

Well, my next question is probably redundant, given you asking the question back to me what I what I liked about it, but it's about the place that face to face events have? Is there still a place for face to face events? You know, we had two years through COVID lock downs where everything was online, it's cheaper, it's faster, it's infinitely more scalable, online, do face to face events still have a useful purpose for the industry?

Alice Audley  11:13

Absolutely, we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think that that was a really important and valuable offering. I think events are the best way face to face events, the best way to build your network, to forge direct relationships. And relationships are not only very important for your well being and happiness levels, but they're also the best way to build your business opportunities. So I mean, looking at our events, we have seen so many creators that have been signed to management after their events, so many deals that have come off the back of our events. I was actually speaking to Demi Killeen. Last week, I think it was who she won our beauty creator of the year in 2021. And she is on our judging panel and put up an Instagram about how winning that award changed her life. No exaggeration, put her on the map.

Scott Guthrie  12:08

What a testimonial. That's fantastic. Yeah.

Alice Audley  12:12

Is it okay, if we put that in any case, please? Say that's just been amazing. And I think that good events and there's the caveat, good events over deliver massively, and marketers and brands should, it should be at the core of the strategy, because it's the best thing for brand building like Ben Francis, Jim Shaw. He puts down the turning point of Jim sharp to attending an event and only attending an event attending an event and bringing creators with him. And they'd gone. I mean, the stat may be slightly wrong, but it was something like 500 pounds a month, and then overnight after that event. 30,000.

Scott Guthrie  12:54

Okay. Yeah, that's phenomenal. Yeah, I had Callum Watson from didn't show up on the show was probably a couple of years ago. But that's just the meteoric rise of that brand is phenomenal. And to your point, it's about community and about creators that have elevated the brand and everything they do.

The next question I got Alice is a huge question and therefore probably unfair. But you've been in the space a decade now, how has the industry evolved in the last 10 years?

Alice Audley  16:02

It's been an absolute meteoric rise. The industry, it's, I mean, the industry actually since we launched, it launched. So you know, in 2013, that was when the first issue of blogosphere magazine came out. We had gleam that it was 2010. But if you're looking at the industry side, social chain launched in 2014. Few people came into the market in 2015. It was really around 2016, that that side started to boom. I think we were seeing it in 2013. It had been picked up by PR and it was very much a gifting wheel, maybe a bit hesitantly invite some of these bloggers to events. And then just seeing how engaged their audiences were. I remember a creator called Maria, who has been involved with the magazine she used to work in boots. Zola did a YouTube video about a product and she went to her manager said this product will sell out, and it was gone the next day. So I think people saw the power then moved from PR into a legitimate marketing stream. And then I think, really, what was sort of a learning curve. So creators hadn't professionalised yet, so there was growing pains with that. Influence marketing agencies launched, that was a new thing. So there was definitely some learnings. Then we saw some really cool campaigns, people understood that the longer term campaigns are the most authentic. And again, that goes back to what I'm harping on about all the time, but it's about relationships, real relationships. And then I think that we we've gone into a little bit of a sort of phase of trying to make create a purely performance. And I think that's to do a disservice to the Creator.

Scott Guthrie  17:55

Keep your powder dry on that one, because I've got a question about data coming up. You've mentioned that a few things there unless you've talked about the the meteoric rise and the colossal change in the size of the industry, you said 2013 probably wasn't even wasn't the thing. And by 2015, the industry was sub half a billion dollars by I think 2025 is due to be top $22 billion. So that's 40 fold plus plus growth in a decade. And if you extrapolate beyond creative marketing or beyond influencer marketing to the Creator, economy, arbitrage everybody see the recent Goldman Sachs report and if they haven't, I'll add those to the to the show notes, showing them that it's around about $240 billion now and could top 470 $480 billion by 2025. So colossal colossal meteoric rise. But again, in terms of agencies 2015 globally, there are 190 agencies that were looking to work with creators in this space. Fast forward to I think 2021, there are around 1400 So bollock from 190 to 1400, in less than a decade. So huge growth. I think you mentioned Growing Pains there in terms of professionalising. Are we moving out of, I suppose the terrible teens and into sort of early adulthood?

Alice Audley  19:28

Yes, I think we are I think there still needs to be more communication from agency to agency. I mean, you're doing a great job with IMDB. We've got the digital creator association that launched as well. It was create a union too, and I think we're definitely professionalising and it's all moving quite fast. And I don't think, you know, growing pains are natural, but I think we're in a position now where as you said, more people are starting there are more creators Never before there are more specific influence marketing agencies than ever before. I think there is room for everybody. But it is quite competitive now. And we are seeing that cost of living the budgets. There's a bit of a pinch at the moment. So what will we see this year maybe a bit of consolidation in the market?

Scott Guthrie  20:19

Do you think that holds true for both the buy side and the sell side, ie for advertisers and their agencies as well as creators? Are both professionalising the same sort of speed? Looking from the Creator point of view? Do you wish the advertiser agencies could get creative a little bit more? Or do you think they're growing up together?

Alice Audley  20:42

Some do get creative, but I think there needs to be more work from big agencies and brands to really understand creative, because it will be to their benefit. You see, like, as my rice has gone to mind sharing, influence of practice, lead worldwide, people can see the value. And it is just the education piece for creators, you we got a lot of talent managers out there. Now there are good talent managers, not so good talent managers, there are good agencies not so good agencies, but that we are in second generation creator now probably even moving into third. So you can see the first round of creatives who started as hobbyists and never knew or thought it would be a career. And now second generation realising that this is a viable career and can learn from that evolution of the era before them. So I think it is moving in the right direction. Definitely, yeah.

Scott Guthrie  21:39

range you in a moment ago, when you were gonna start talking about performance marketing. So let's talk about data. Data is obviously really important within creative marketing, it's important for creative selection, for setting goals and objectives and for measuring success. But how should we ensure our category is effective without losing the essence of creative marketing, the essence being humanity, the essence being the often intangible benefits of creating content?

Alice Audley  22:11

I absolutely agree with you that data is key. But I also think that it's important for creators not to be reduced solely into numbers, because there are so much more value out of this human industry, you know, so many different touch points, value points, the intangible that a creator has built up an audience over a period of time has that trust has a genuine interest in the brand, that there's going to be all the organic content that is created around it as well. So I think when you just see a creator, as a billboard, you're missing a trick, I can understand why there has been a bit of a push to go down to performance marketing, because it's an easier thing to sign off, isn't it? If you're speaking to a brand, I will guarantee that you will get this many clicks, I will guarantee this many impressions. They will say this, but this industry is built on creativity and going above and beyond. So I think that there's a balance to be struck. I don't think we've got it right yet.

Scott Guthrie  23:14

The key word there is the balance. I think that five or six years ago, there was insufficient data. Now there's, I believe, a day if occation of data that I think the pendulum has swung too far away from lack of data to depending too much upon data, and it has to work in balance, as you say it has to work in concert with human intelligence and creativity of the practitioner as well as the as well as the creator so that we don't go too far down the track of it being efficient, rather than being effective.

Alice Audley  23:51

Yes. But if this were to be a write up, then you've given a very good pull point there with the efficient versus effective point.

Scott Guthrie  24:00

Well, I'm getting off my soapbox and remember that it's your it's your show, not mine that

Alice Audley  24:07

I agree too much. And you're absolutely right being data lead, but when you do reduce it purely into these figures, and we get that bow as a result of you know, we'll have a brand come to us about well, if I spent X on a on an Instagram ad, I will get this many click throughs and we need to have this amount of money lead to the exact same click throughs from your event. It's like okay, but who are those people that are clicking through? Number one? Are they relevant? Are they creators? What is their lifetime value? versus you know, hard costs venue, AV production branded area, the value, you know, this intangible, what value would you put to being able to meet 200 top tier creators in one go, how long would that take you to do? Time is money. There are so many different factors. So it's quite disheartening. When you get somebody coming to you be like, well, yes, this is exactly how we will value it, because that's what finance signs off. You're wasting such opportunities.

Scott Guthrie  25:15

You mentioned that kind of the ownership for want to better phrase was with public relations, and now it's with marketing. Is that to the betterment of influencer marketing or to the detriment? Or am I? Or am I just oversimplifying it, it's not. It's not PR, marketing,

Alice Audley  25:35

nuances. I think that maybe when it fell into PR, there was a greater onus on making sure that there was an amazing story, because that's how you're going to get content created. So I think if you were to take that sort of strategy around it, and the storytelling piece and bring that into, I think it's when you're saying, I will give you x amount, and I want x posts, and there just isn't really strategy around so but then I think campaigns are improving. So it's a difficult one. I don't think it's, I don't think it's that black and white,

Scott Guthrie  26:12

probably goes back to an earlier thing we're talking about is learning from each other as well, where PR excels, and continues to excel is that it builds long term relationships with the people it's trying to influence. And I think that is an important element to building long term relationships with with creators, who then in turn, build long term relationships with their audience with their own communities,

Alice Audley  26:38

I think it's value as well, if a creator is going to know when you are trying to take advantage of them and when they should be renumerated. And if you're expecting a creator, to be doing a lot of work for you work should I'm sure it went on for a bit too long where it was. Journalists will be on a salary, we're looking at creators in the same way that we

Scott Guthrie  27:02

100% Absolutely. And yes, this will give you great exposure, or I've gifted this to you. Yeah, that doesn't pay the mortgage. Absolutely. 100%. Let's turn to the future. Alice, what's next for be creative? We got the awards. What events? Have you coming up any, any plans over the brow of the hill for the brand?

Alice Audley  27:24

Yes, so we have the awards itself in October. And I said, I hinted at this earlier, but we are scaling up. So we are actually moving the awards to the Roundhouse.

Scott Guthrie  27:37

Wow, that's amazing. That's a big jump up.

Alice Audley  27:39

It's terrifying, terrifying and exciting. We have big plans for that. And then we will be in year two of our beauty show, which will be on the 30th of November. So that's this year's plans. And the awards, just want to keep on improving it really to be the face of the space. And it deserves to be good industry supporting it, and being able to show how incredible this space is. Oh, yeah, there's lots to do.

Scott Guthrie  28:08

Obviously, be creative is female founded, female led business? Do you have any words of advice for other entrepreneurs?

Alice Audley  28:19

My advice would be to not spend too much time thinking about it second guessing yourself. And actually, you should start I think it's it can be quite a female trait, to want to have all of the information, pick out the things that you are not an expert in and talk yourself out of doing things. There are problems in the fundraising space, I actually have a we have a podcast series influenced by the Creator economy. I also have a podcast called fundraising as a female founder. Jockey is sort of one p and every pound that goes to female led companies. But I think we've had a generation before opening doors for this generation, and that we are in a position where we've just got to keep keep pushing, and you may have to fight a little bit harder, but just thinking of the next generation. So yeah, it's it's hard. And also don't invest too much of your own money, I would say, which is another trait that that women don't go out and ask and try and raise early on whereas men would and say you end up putting a lot of your own money in which definitely you should be putting some in because you believe in what you're creating, but not to to put in so much money that it's going to ruin your life.

Scott Guthrie  29:45

That's really interesting and helpful advice. I will be sure to include links out to your other podcasts in the show notes. To the end, where can listeners turn to for more information about you and about your podcasts and about to be creative the

Alice Audley  30:00

best way to stay up to date is to sign up to our newsletter which can be done when you head over to our website which is be creative.co.uk our podcast is be creative serious influence so that's on all main podcasting platforms and on socials we are now at V creator UK across everything which is great because we didn't have unity with blogosphere it's lots of different handles so now be creator, UK.

Scott Guthrie  30:31

I'll be sure to include those links in the show notes accompanying this podcast episode. Just google the influencer marketing lab for further details. Alice Audley, founder and CEO of be creative. Thank you so much for your time and for your insights today.

Alice Audley  30:48

Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. It was interesting being on the other side. I didn't go on too much.

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. THANK YOU MY DEAREST SCOTT FOR STAYING IN TOUCH WITH ME, AND SENDING ME SUCH AMAZING INFO, I AM SOOOOOOOO
    PROUD OF YOU, AND AM BLESSED TO HAVE KNOW YOU AND WITNESSED HOW YOU GREW UP TO THE GREAT MAN YOU ARE NOW. NO SURPRIZE, LIKE FATHER LIKE SON. I WILL ALWAYS TREASURE THIS FRIENDSHIP. HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT TIME I AM
    IN LONDON, I ALWAYS SEE YOUR DAD, THIS GREAT GREAT MAN, WHO ALWAYS OCCUPIES A VERY LARGE SPACE IN MY HEART.
    SEE YOU,SOON, GOD BLESS YOU, LOULA

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Episode 51 of the Influencer Marketing Lab podcast where Alice Audley, founder and CEO of bCreator talks about the importance of live events and explains why the the bCreator Awards are special

More...

The Influencer Marketing Lab is a paid partnership with Tagger by Sprout Social a global leader in revolutionizing how top brands and agencies harness data and analytics to drive creator and influencer marketing strategies.

Subscribe and listen to all Influencer Marketing Lab episodes!

Show notes

In this episode we discuss:

  • The rebadging after a decade from Blogosphere to bCreator
  • Why in-person, face-to-face events are so important to building relationships
  • How we can ensure our category is effective without losing the essence of creator marketing
  • Advice for female-founded, female-led businesses.
  • And what to expect from the bCreator Awards

Useful links

Episode summary

  • Rebranding Blogosphere to bCreator with Alice Audley. (0:00)
  • The bCreator awards become the Oscars of the industry. (3:11)
  • The value of face-to-face events for creators. (8:15)
  • The evolution of the influencer marketing industry over the past decade. (11:52)
  • Balancing effectiveness with efficiency (18:11)
  • Influencer marketing and its future with industry insights. (24:33)


Interview transcript

Scott Guthrie  00:00

This week, I am delighted to be in conversation with Alice Audley, founder and CEO of bCreator a brand you probably already know under the name of its former guys, Blogosphere.

bCreator runs premium events, bringing together brands and creators to forge direct relationships, build their networks, grow their business opportunities and have a little bit of fun whilst they're doing it. Welcome to the influencer marketing lab. Alice,

Alice Audley

Thank you very much for having me. It's going to be interesting being on the other side.

Scott Guthrie

You launched bCreator a decade ago in 2013. bCreator has recently rebranded. For the first decade bCreator was called blogosphere. Why the rebrand?

Alice Audley  03:11

I know. Well, as you mentioned, we launched 10 years ago. And we just got to the point where we felt that our name wasn't really representative of our community. We do I mean, the community is made up of Instagramers bloggers, bloggers, TikTok errs pinners. So we wanted to have a name that encompassed all of that. And I think when you're a brand and you have an abstract name, that's fine. But ours was really rooted in an era that we've sort of evolved from now people may notice that we did keep the B, so our original B. So for B creator, for us, the B is an homage to blogosphere and our legacy and where we've come, but also I think that the B can stand for being whoever you want to be. And that's really what the online world can do. You can find your tribe, simply by being yourself.

Scott Guthrie  04:08

How is the rebrand? How's it going down in the industry? It's been well received, it's

04:12

been so well received. We were a bit nervous. I mean, it all

Scott Guthrie  04:16

was a big deal. After a decade. You think it's the right move, but until you press, press go, you don't know if it is so

04:23

we've been thinking about it for a while because it is the 10 year anniversary. It felt like a good time, but when exactly it was going to happen. We weren't quite sure. But then we had the Be Creative travel show at the end of March. So it wouldn't really have made sense to have the blogosphere travel show and then move on to be creative later. So it all came together quickly. But it had been in the works and thought processes for a long time.

Scott Guthrie  04:49

And then just around the corner, you're hosting the BCAAs the beat creator awards. Tell me more about the need for creator awards and how they're being received within our Our industry.

Alice Audley  05:01

Yeah, it's been quite crazy to be honest with you, Scott. So the awards started 10 years ago we actually launched as a magazine that curated the online world. And we had cover stars such as Zola. Our first issue was with Estela blonde Casey Neistat. And what that Magazine did was rebuild out a community and the community wanted to meet. So it was launching the events branch to the business, which was now our focus was a result of being asked by the community to do it. And the natural progression from that. So we went from meetups to then we had the blogosphere Tea Party. And then it was suggested that we should do an awards. It was a lady called Albertine, who actually works at influence now. So she was part of blogosphere from the start. And I remember her saying we should be doing an awards. And we say no. I'm very glad that I decided to trust her. And it just grew massively. So the first awards was in 2017. We had 100 people by 2019. Had 250, headlined by TikTok, then we all know what happened with the pandemic wasn't great. Once you've decided to pivot to live events. Let me tell you, that came back in 21. And last year, we were headlined by YouTube shorts. We got the event audited for the first time, and launch metrics, said it had a reach of 179 million creators in the room that was million AI just sort of spiralled. And so we decided that this was the year that we need to take it to the next level, the foundations have been laid, and it had been described, it feels a bit sort of weird when you're the founder saying people call it the Oscars for the industry. But that is, you know, they've said it. So I'm gonna roll with it.

Scott Guthrie  06:55

I was lucky enough to receive an invite to your awards last year. And if last year is anything to go by, then this will be pretty special. I should declare to listeners, though, at this point that this year, I am a judge. So I have been gifted a ticket to the awards as part of that role. And I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the judging committee, but sprinkling. Now, if you don't mind a few names of the real industry titans you have on your committee.

07:25

But again, with the Oscars for creators, it was that we wanted to then take a leaf out of the academies book. And so building out this Be Creative Committee, which is our equivalent to the academy. It was very important for us to bring both sides of the industry together, we want to make sure that creators are having their say to, but also we have industry Titan. So we've managed to get some Martin Sorrell on there. So John Haggerty, creative wise, we have Nicky Lily Victoria MoGraph, we have 72 people on the committee, and it's, it's amazing, and I think is truly representative of what an amazing and diverse space, the creative economy is. So we're very happy. We announced it on the first of May to tie in with nominations opening and it snowballed somewhat. So

Scott Guthrie  08:15

it's gonna be an amazing event. So we've talked a little bit about the awards, why they were set up and their success, you've been generous enough to invite me to a few of your other events. Tell me why you think they're so special, what makes them different from other events?

Alice Audley  08:33

I think it all falls back to the trust that we have built within the community. You know, we've been around for 10 years, the team, we all started with our own blogs, mine wasn't any good, but have that knowledge of what it is like to be creating what a Creator would want. And really providing events, the answer to the things that creators want. The community is really supportive. It's friendly, you know, we're not about being Clicky. It's about all coming together, supporting each other having fun learning and creating content. I think that's the beauty of events. A good event over delivers, which I think we'll probably touch upon. But what I mean you've attended a few events, what would you say?

Scott Guthrie  09:22

I do, you're gonna throw it back on me. I'd say there are a few things the energy as soon as you go you get your your lanyard you go through the energy in the room is palpable, a lot of excitement to meet industry peers. So I love that everybody was there to learn something each session is so well attended lots of really interesting questions. You had 10 minutes for each session q&a can easily be half an hour for q&a each time and that just shows the level of engagement that there is there and I've got to say although they're not really catered for me, their goodie bags are always sudden, sensational. Obviously a lot of effort that goes into it. harking Back to that word that you've used it a few times. And it's that word of community. People want to spend their time learn from each other and hear from experts. And

Alice Audley  10:11

I'm very grateful that you mentioned the lanyards, because for those of you who haven't attended a be creator event, we have a show. We have personalised lanyards with QR codes that link directly to your social channels, whether that be your LinkedIn for industry side or your Instagram, YouTube as a creator, and they are done manually by yours truly. And I definitely got a little bit of repetitive strain injury in my left hand and from doing the clicking.

Scott Guthrie  10:46

Well, my next question is probably redundant, given you asking the question back to me what I what I liked about it, but it's about the place that face to face events have? Is there still a place for face to face events? You know, we had two years through COVID lock downs where everything was online, it's cheaper, it's faster, it's infinitely more scalable, online, do face to face events still have a useful purpose for the industry?

Alice Audley  11:13

Absolutely, we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think that that was a really important and valuable offering. I think events are the best way face to face events, the best way to build your network, to forge direct relationships. And relationships are not only very important for your well being and happiness levels, but they're also the best way to build your business opportunities. So I mean, looking at our events, we have seen so many creators that have been signed to management after their events, so many deals that have come off the back of our events. I was actually speaking to Demi Killeen. Last week, I think it was who she won our beauty creator of the year in 2021. And she is on our judging panel and put up an Instagram about how winning that award changed her life. No exaggeration, put her on the map.

Scott Guthrie  12:08

What a testimonial. That's fantastic. Yeah.

Alice Audley  12:12

Is it okay, if we put that in any case, please? Say that's just been amazing. And I think that good events and there's the caveat, good events over deliver massively, and marketers and brands should, it should be at the core of the strategy, because it's the best thing for brand building like Ben Francis, Jim Shaw. He puts down the turning point of Jim sharp to attending an event and only attending an event attending an event and bringing creators with him. And they'd gone. I mean, the stat may be slightly wrong, but it was something like 500 pounds a month, and then overnight after that event. 30,000.

Scott Guthrie  12:54

Okay. Yeah, that's phenomenal. Yeah, I had Callum Watson from didn't show up on the show was probably a couple of years ago. But that's just the meteoric rise of that brand is phenomenal. And to your point, it's about community and about creators that have elevated the brand and everything they do.

The next question I got Alice is a huge question and therefore probably unfair. But you've been in the space a decade now, how has the industry evolved in the last 10 years?

Alice Audley  16:02

It's been an absolute meteoric rise. The industry, it's, I mean, the industry actually since we launched, it launched. So you know, in 2013, that was when the first issue of blogosphere magazine came out. We had gleam that it was 2010. But if you're looking at the industry side, social chain launched in 2014. Few people came into the market in 2015. It was really around 2016, that that side started to boom. I think we were seeing it in 2013. It had been picked up by PR and it was very much a gifting wheel, maybe a bit hesitantly invite some of these bloggers to events. And then just seeing how engaged their audiences were. I remember a creator called Maria, who has been involved with the magazine she used to work in boots. Zola did a YouTube video about a product and she went to her manager said this product will sell out, and it was gone the next day. So I think people saw the power then moved from PR into a legitimate marketing stream. And then I think, really, what was sort of a learning curve. So creators hadn't professionalised yet, so there was growing pains with that. Influence marketing agencies launched, that was a new thing. So there was definitely some learnings. Then we saw some really cool campaigns, people understood that the longer term campaigns are the most authentic. And again, that goes back to what I'm harping on about all the time, but it's about relationships, real relationships. And then I think that we we've gone into a little bit of a sort of phase of trying to make create a purely performance. And I think that's to do a disservice to the Creator.

Scott Guthrie  17:55

Keep your powder dry on that one, because I've got a question about data coming up. You've mentioned that a few things there unless you've talked about the the meteoric rise and the colossal change in the size of the industry, you said 2013 probably wasn't even wasn't the thing. And by 2015, the industry was sub half a billion dollars by I think 2025 is due to be top $22 billion. So that's 40 fold plus plus growth in a decade. And if you extrapolate beyond creative marketing or beyond influencer marketing to the Creator, economy, arbitrage everybody see the recent Goldman Sachs report and if they haven't, I'll add those to the to the show notes, showing them that it's around about $240 billion now and could top 470 $480 billion by 2025. So colossal colossal meteoric rise. But again, in terms of agencies 2015 globally, there are 190 agencies that were looking to work with creators in this space. Fast forward to I think 2021, there are around 1400 So bollock from 190 to 1400, in less than a decade. So huge growth. I think you mentioned Growing Pains there in terms of professionalising. Are we moving out of, I suppose the terrible teens and into sort of early adulthood?

Alice Audley  19:28

Yes, I think we are I think there still needs to be more communication from agency to agency. I mean, you're doing a great job with IMDB. We've got the digital creator association that launched as well. It was create a union too, and I think we're definitely professionalising and it's all moving quite fast. And I don't think, you know, growing pains are natural, but I think we're in a position now where as you said, more people are starting there are more creators Never before there are more specific influence marketing agencies than ever before. I think there is room for everybody. But it is quite competitive now. And we are seeing that cost of living the budgets. There's a bit of a pinch at the moment. So what will we see this year maybe a bit of consolidation in the market?

Scott Guthrie  20:19

Do you think that holds true for both the buy side and the sell side, ie for advertisers and their agencies as well as creators? Are both professionalising the same sort of speed? Looking from the Creator point of view? Do you wish the advertiser agencies could get creative a little bit more? Or do you think they're growing up together?

Alice Audley  20:42

Some do get creative, but I think there needs to be more work from big agencies and brands to really understand creative, because it will be to their benefit. You see, like, as my rice has gone to mind sharing, influence of practice, lead worldwide, people can see the value. And it is just the education piece for creators, you we got a lot of talent managers out there. Now there are good talent managers, not so good talent managers, there are good agencies not so good agencies, but that we are in second generation creator now probably even moving into third. So you can see the first round of creatives who started as hobbyists and never knew or thought it would be a career. And now second generation realising that this is a viable career and can learn from that evolution of the era before them. So I think it is moving in the right direction. Definitely, yeah.

Scott Guthrie  21:39

range you in a moment ago, when you were gonna start talking about performance marketing. So let's talk about data. Data is obviously really important within creative marketing, it's important for creative selection, for setting goals and objectives and for measuring success. But how should we ensure our category is effective without losing the essence of creative marketing, the essence being humanity, the essence being the often intangible benefits of creating content?

Alice Audley  22:11

I absolutely agree with you that data is key. But I also think that it's important for creators not to be reduced solely into numbers, because there are so much more value out of this human industry, you know, so many different touch points, value points, the intangible that a creator has built up an audience over a period of time has that trust has a genuine interest in the brand, that there's going to be all the organic content that is created around it as well. So I think when you just see a creator, as a billboard, you're missing a trick, I can understand why there has been a bit of a push to go down to performance marketing, because it's an easier thing to sign off, isn't it? If you're speaking to a brand, I will guarantee that you will get this many clicks, I will guarantee this many impressions. They will say this, but this industry is built on creativity and going above and beyond. So I think that there's a balance to be struck. I don't think we've got it right yet.

Scott Guthrie  23:14

The key word there is the balance. I think that five or six years ago, there was insufficient data. Now there's, I believe, a day if occation of data that I think the pendulum has swung too far away from lack of data to depending too much upon data, and it has to work in balance, as you say it has to work in concert with human intelligence and creativity of the practitioner as well as the as well as the creator so that we don't go too far down the track of it being efficient, rather than being effective.

Alice Audley  23:51

Yes. But if this were to be a write up, then you've given a very good pull point there with the efficient versus effective point.

Scott Guthrie  24:00

Well, I'm getting off my soapbox and remember that it's your it's your show, not mine that

Alice Audley  24:07

I agree too much. And you're absolutely right being data lead, but when you do reduce it purely into these figures, and we get that bow as a result of you know, we'll have a brand come to us about well, if I spent X on a on an Instagram ad, I will get this many click throughs and we need to have this amount of money lead to the exact same click throughs from your event. It's like okay, but who are those people that are clicking through? Number one? Are they relevant? Are they creators? What is their lifetime value? versus you know, hard costs venue, AV production branded area, the value, you know, this intangible, what value would you put to being able to meet 200 top tier creators in one go, how long would that take you to do? Time is money. There are so many different factors. So it's quite disheartening. When you get somebody coming to you be like, well, yes, this is exactly how we will value it, because that's what finance signs off. You're wasting such opportunities.

Scott Guthrie  25:15

You mentioned that kind of the ownership for want to better phrase was with public relations, and now it's with marketing. Is that to the betterment of influencer marketing or to the detriment? Or am I? Or am I just oversimplifying it, it's not. It's not PR, marketing,

Alice Audley  25:35

nuances. I think that maybe when it fell into PR, there was a greater onus on making sure that there was an amazing story, because that's how you're going to get content created. So I think if you were to take that sort of strategy around it, and the storytelling piece and bring that into, I think it's when you're saying, I will give you x amount, and I want x posts, and there just isn't really strategy around so but then I think campaigns are improving. So it's a difficult one. I don't think it's, I don't think it's that black and white,

Scott Guthrie  26:12

probably goes back to an earlier thing we're talking about is learning from each other as well, where PR excels, and continues to excel is that it builds long term relationships with the people it's trying to influence. And I think that is an important element to building long term relationships with with creators, who then in turn, build long term relationships with their audience with their own communities,

Alice Audley  26:38

I think it's value as well, if a creator is going to know when you are trying to take advantage of them and when they should be renumerated. And if you're expecting a creator, to be doing a lot of work for you work should I'm sure it went on for a bit too long where it was. Journalists will be on a salary, we're looking at creators in the same way that we

Scott Guthrie  27:02

100% Absolutely. And yes, this will give you great exposure, or I've gifted this to you. Yeah, that doesn't pay the mortgage. Absolutely. 100%. Let's turn to the future. Alice, what's next for be creative? We got the awards. What events? Have you coming up any, any plans over the brow of the hill for the brand?

Alice Audley  27:24

Yes, so we have the awards itself in October. And I said, I hinted at this earlier, but we are scaling up. So we are actually moving the awards to the Roundhouse.

Scott Guthrie  27:37

Wow, that's amazing. That's a big jump up.

Alice Audley  27:39

It's terrifying, terrifying and exciting. We have big plans for that. And then we will be in year two of our beauty show, which will be on the 30th of November. So that's this year's plans. And the awards, just want to keep on improving it really to be the face of the space. And it deserves to be good industry supporting it, and being able to show how incredible this space is. Oh, yeah, there's lots to do.

Scott Guthrie  28:08

Obviously, be creative is female founded, female led business? Do you have any words of advice for other entrepreneurs?

Alice Audley  28:19

My advice would be to not spend too much time thinking about it second guessing yourself. And actually, you should start I think it's it can be quite a female trait, to want to have all of the information, pick out the things that you are not an expert in and talk yourself out of doing things. There are problems in the fundraising space, I actually have a we have a podcast series influenced by the Creator economy. I also have a podcast called fundraising as a female founder. Jockey is sort of one p and every pound that goes to female led companies. But I think we've had a generation before opening doors for this generation, and that we are in a position where we've just got to keep keep pushing, and you may have to fight a little bit harder, but just thinking of the next generation. So yeah, it's it's hard. And also don't invest too much of your own money, I would say, which is another trait that that women don't go out and ask and try and raise early on whereas men would and say you end up putting a lot of your own money in which definitely you should be putting some in because you believe in what you're creating, but not to to put in so much money that it's going to ruin your life.

Scott Guthrie  29:45

That's really interesting and helpful advice. I will be sure to include links out to your other podcasts in the show notes. To the end, where can listeners turn to for more information about you and about your podcasts and about to be creative the

Alice Audley  30:00

best way to stay up to date is to sign up to our newsletter which can be done when you head over to our website which is be creative.co.uk our podcast is be creative serious influence so that's on all main podcasting platforms and on socials we are now at V creator UK across everything which is great because we didn't have unity with blogosphere it's lots of different handles so now be creator, UK.

Scott Guthrie  30:31

I'll be sure to include those links in the show notes accompanying this podcast episode. Just google the influencer marketing lab for further details. Alice Audley, founder and CEO of be creative. Thank you so much for your time and for your insights today.

Alice Audley  30:48

Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. It was interesting being on the other side. I didn't go on too much.