How to take an influencer brand to the next level
This is a repost of a post I have published on GinGinGin.de and which will be continued here on this blog. There is no defined end to it, there will be many open questions, it is a log of the things I am working on and decisions I will make. However, beyond making my intentions clear and openly accessible, it might help to read this when you are in a similar situation. This is and will not be a recipe, it is my journal. Feel free to chime in and comment at any time. I am happy to discuss things with you. There is no comment system here but feel free to get in touch whichever way you like. There are contact details on this site and on gingingin.de as well.
Without further ado here is the article:
Let's talk about business for a moment. And time. And priorities.
What's the matter? Why this post?
For the last four years (time really flies!) I have been working on GinGinGin.de, the Instagram profile @ginginginde, The Gin & Notes books, corporate and private tastings, started work on LiquorLabs.tv and got The fabulous Gin Show started. I spend about 2–3 hours a day on things related to this. Seven days a week. Sometimes it is even a whole day. Do I get any money for that? So far basically no. Can I keep this up? Yes. At no cost? No.
Many think I am doing this because I like gin and I receive free bottles. Well that is the biggest misconception of the century so far. Would you spend that much time only to get a free bottle once a week? many only every other week? I don't. I can work for an hour and buy one. That would be easier. So why am I doing this?
The initial idea: Document your findings
When I started this I simply wanted to document my findings. And why not write a blog about that. Many did that and failed. there are lots of dormant blogs about gin out there. Mine was relaunched twice since the launch in 2015. I ditched the German language and opened up to a wider audience, being a presentor of German products to the world, and yet being more open and interesting to other brands from across the globe as well. The decision to write in Englich came after I got so many great discussions on Instagram started by writing in English with people from all over the globe. I still document my findings as of today, although I have gained some experience in doing so. However that makes me a bit of a nerd and not the average consumer in terms of understanding a spirit. I am still no expert by far I would say.
Why more than one channel?
As I gained more knowledge and understanding about gin, I came across more and more cocktails, other spirits, events, and bars which helped me grow even further in terms of understanding products. So after a bit of a plateauing of my excitement for gin my idea of a wider documentation was started. If I could get to understand gin, why not take on the rest (yes, I hear you whispering "world conquering maniac"). So that is how the idea for Liquorlabs.tv was born.
What is missing?
So where is the problem you might ask. You have (good) ideas, just make things happen. Well, I need more time, liquorlabs is video, which takes a lot more time. I am not good at starting on a 20% level and improving from there on. This needs to be overcome for sure, and that is why I am writing about all of this as well. It makes myself accountable and even if it is just to … well, myself.
Now, I have ideas how a gin website should look like, what people need, what should be in there, what is not needed and whom I want to cater my content towards. But to get there it takes work on various levels:
Technology and websites
Now there is a list of things I need to tackle:
- Finishing the design for GinGinGin.de
- Choosing a content management system or a way how I want to publish (currently I am running gingingin.de and LiquorLabs.tv on Ghost)
- Developing the website templates
- Integrating the gin.show website
- Making gin.show scalable and low maintainence for as little effort as possible for now
Obstacles when choosing technology/software
Since the beginnening I am a firm believer that the GDPR is a very good thing in general. The implementation sucks though, and some things are not thought through. It is a pain to deal with it as well but I will not let my standards sink because of that. But this slows me down. I have found many solutions before which had to go because of the GDPR and things to come with even stricter rules.
Content gaps and black holes
Oh, I have dumped to much energy into a system already next to my blog: Instagram. And did it say thank you? No. Currently all things related to alcohol are severely punished by reducing reach, visibility, and even by blocking accounts. Well, that happens when you build on someone else's land. This needs to change. More original content for the blog, promoted with teasers on Instagram. The podcast will be similar, and LiquorLabs.tv is completely platform agnostic. You want to see it? Ideally it will be where you are. Any platform.
But there is a lack of content for the sites so far …
- Better profiles for mixers
- More reviews for the gins
- more tonic tastings / pairings with gin
- shooting the actual episodes for LiquorLabs.tv
- Postproduction of the videos
- Organising the guests for the Gin.Show
- Recording and editing podcast episodes
- Photoshootings for reviews and Instagram
- Cover art design for Podcasts and videos
The list is long and as you can imagine these are no little tasks. For some things I actually need a lot of preparation, a video shooting takes quite some time, so does the editing. Guess why those bigger YouTubers all have editors doing their stuff and helping filming.
Besides the fact that I have a design studio to run I cannot put more time into this. It is too much and there are too many bonfires I am trying to start up with fresh wood. It just does not work that way.
While @GinGinGinde on Instagram works, it is a time killer beyond reasonable limits. This cannot be maintained any further in the same fashion. Oh, and wait, there are friends and family. They come first, but sometimes that seems to slip away. And that should never happen. And it won't.
If I want to make this whole thing more sustainable, I need to change things or drop some stuff again. The latter is no option right now. There is so much potential and this should not go to waste I think.
Documenting like this is time consuming. But I will do it for the transparency I love seeing elsewhere, and because it might help people to learn from what I do and do wrong. It probably is not the right place to discuss this here on gingingin.de but I have a blog over on janpersiel.com where it makes sense to write about it as it fits over there since it involves discussions and topics which I document and write about over there as well.
So please feel free to join me in my thoughts over there and let me know what you think or whether you have the feeling things are just not clear, not diretled towards a goal, etc. Any constructive feedback is more than welcome.
Let the work begin!