Any early-stage business will know that significant milestones occur with frequency.
Despite this, TRIBE has just reached one of the biggest ‘wow’ moments we’ve had so far.
Our very first influencer has just made $100,000+ through our platform.
On October 20th 2015, TRIBE opened for business, and on day one, the first successful sponsored post was submitted, purchased and posted through the TRIBE platform.
This influencer, who was our very first to have a sponsored post ‘approved’ with us, is now also our first influencer to have made $100,000+ through TRIBE.
That influencer is Rebecca Gawthorne of @nourish_naturally.
And yes, she pays her tax on TRIBE income.
When Jules Lund and I launched TRIBE, the influencer marketing industry was fledgling. We had no idea how people would react to our unique business model.
TRIBE was designed to challenge the status quo that existed in an industry built by bikini-clad girls adorning cheesy grins while posing with products.
The ‘shadiness’ of the category tended to alienate and deter mainstream advertisers and agencies. This was despite the incredible arbitrage opportunity that lay within it.
To raise the legitimacy to a point where mainstream marketers would consider influencer marketing as a key element of their marketing mix, we placed a very distinct twist in the TRIBE model.
Influencers would have to create and submit content to brands upfront, before any guarantee of payment.
This notion alone caused debate in the community.
We encountered many who complained or couldn’t comprehend paying for a product, or creating for a brand, without the safety of a guaranteed payday. The industry was conditioned to operate a certain way, even though it didn’t make much sense.
Nevertheless, we envisaged that success within TRIBE should be determined by genuine quality and authenticity from an influencer to a brand. If an influencer doesn't own the product, or isn't willing to buy it, we felt they had no right to recommend their audience should.
The top-tier influencers weren’t overly enthusiastic of the model. Their transactions were dependent on follower count, which was all the negotiating power they needed.
Yet, we saw tremendous traction very quickly from a different user-base. Inadvertently, we had become the champions of an at-that-time neglected army of micro-influencers.
Those everyday content creators who had built their audiences through passion and creativity; who craved the commercial opportunities their top-tier influencer counterparts often took for granted. They were continuously denied opportunities solely for their modest (yet highly-engaged) following.
Rebecca Gawthorne was precisely this; a dietitian from Sydney with an audience of under 100,000 followers.
She embraced our platform as a way to pursue her passion for spreading the love for healthy eating and fitness to great avail.
After 23 months with us, she has been duly rewarded, as you can gather from the incredible stats below:
• Rebecca’s total earnings: $114,297.70
• 245 ‘approved’ posts, at an average fee of $466.52 per post. This equates to about 3 per week, gracefully coordinated with her regular, organic content.
• 855 total content submissions to brands, with a win rate of 29%, averaging out to be roughly 10 submissions a week.
• Her consistency now provides her with a remarkable $60K annual salary on top of her full time job.
It’s also pleasing to know that since she joined TRIBE, Rebecca’s following has grown by over a massive 50%.
This is an incredible outcome that has a huge impact on the industry as a whole.
It indicates that her sponsored content has been embraced by her audience. The marketing medium once viewed with incredible suspicion is now becoming more accepted and appreciated, not just by brands, but by audiences as well.
So How Did She Do It?
It all came down to discovering the right formula for influencer success.
Bec worked out early in our lifecycle that high quality content mixed with consistency of submissions is the way to clock TRIBE.
As we now undertake on a UK and European expansion, the dispersion of payouts to influencers is becoming more and more widespread. The influencer industry doesn’t rest with a select few anymore; it is truly decentralised.
As more creators accept our business model, the dollars are being spread out across a greater number of both macro and micro-influencers.
Now, each week 80 new influencers are earning money through TRIBE, on top of those who are already making surplus income through the platform. And, each day we pay out nearly $20,000 to influencers around the world.
It’s unleashing creativity and empowering creators to earn by doing what they love.
It’s an output of our business that we never expected, but it’s also one of our proudest.