LAB Talks: Dispelling Influencer Marketing Myths

LAB Talks Panel

Dispelling Influencer Marketing Myths / 03.14.19

Moderated By Christine Scherping of Friend of a Friend, with panelists that include: Bruno Bornsztein of InfluenceKit, Emily Richter of Fit Foodie Finds, Bjork Ostrom of Pinch of Yum, and Meghan Joy Yancy, a Minnesota based influencer.

“It’s no surprise how powerful influencer relations is. It’s estimated that brands are spending between 3-4 million dollars in 2019 in influencer marketing. The projections for 2020 are over 10 million. It has been a wild west over the last decade for both brands and influencers to learn best practices to work together.”- Christine Scherping

The internet today is full of influence. “Influencer” is a term that is known for glamor and excitement on social media. An influencer is a person that connects with a brand to sell their product through using their voice and social following. But what people don’t know is, behind the perfectly curated photo and aesthetically pleasing feed, is hard work.

The fun, and sometimes goofy panelists at our 3rd LAB Talks aimed to bust open the myths of influencer marketing. With laughs all around, a mix of both influencers and agencies within the panel gave the audience an inside scoop on the relationship between brands and influencers themselves.

Our moderator, Christine opened up the LAB Talk with staggering statistics about the growth of marketing through the use of influencers. Millions of dollars are being used to expand on influencer marketing, and the numbers are just beginning to grow. The panel then discussed four myths about influencer marketing:

Myth #1: Influencer Relations is Cheap or Inexpensive

Bruno: I saw this on a T-shirt once: Cheap labor is not skilled, skilled labor is not cheap.

Emily: Advocate for a better relationship with brands. Explain your process behind creating content to show brands what they are paying for.

Christine: For every dollar a brand puts into influencer relations, the brand gets $7.65 in ROI (Return On Investment).

Myth #2: Influence Relations is Just the Execution

Emily: We love when a brand comes to us and says: here’s our target market and here’s who we are trying to reach. How can you help us meet those goals? This is the dream scenario. More often than not, we are the ugly stepchild when it comes to the process of marketing.

Meghan: I love when brands contact me early. But I’m also a fly by the seat of your pants girl. I’m ready to go if brands need me in a short time span.

Myth #3: Bigger is Better

Bruno: It’s so important to have numbers on both sides of the relationship. But more than that its connecting to get a message across, through the voice of an influencer.

Emily: I think there is something to be said about the micro influencer. This is the person whose followers feel like they know them and have a relationship with them.

Meghan: You can tell when people do not have engagement on their profile. I would go with the person who shows up everyday to connect with their followers, even if their numbers are smaller.

Myth #4: Being an Influencer is Sexy and Easy

We start with a company/agency reaching out to us. Then we get to know the campaign. Throughout this whole process communication is key. We create content and then begin the revision process. We stay in contact with the brand after the content is posted and we send them our content report.

Meghan: I love when brands come to me and say: this is what we want to see, how do you think you are going to deliver it? I do a variety of different shoots and perspectives to deliver to a brand to avoid reshooting later.

Emily: The thing our company is working on is articulating the parts of the process and how we get there. We advocate for how much employee time and money it will take to execute. We communicate as much as possible so that everyone is on the same page. We then know what we will deliver and when we will deliver the final product. We also want to be clear with how the content will be used. Articulate this in a contract.

Doug Marshall

During the Q & A, our beloved Mindset LAB instructor, Doug Marshall (@theworldofdoug) asked the panel: How do you hold brands accountable for what they say they are going to do without ruining relationships?

Bruno: You need to know your contract. Hire an attorney.

Emily: Pick up the phone. Get a good lawyer! Be clear with the brand and explain how the content is misused or misrepresented. Ask them how they are going to fix it. Don’t worry about ruining your reputation, but go in with a respectful point of view.

Another member of the audience asked: What is your viewpoint on more traditional (magazine,news) content?

Bjork: Traditional media solidifies what we do online. There is a clear understanding of our business and brand.

Bruno: It’s an amazing opportunity to put together campaigns that blend platforms.

LAB Talks

Each LAB Talks, an Instagram Contest takes place where attendees document their experience on Instagram, whether it be on their feed or in their stories, using hashtag #LABTALKSMPLS. The giveaways for this talk were two business workshops from LAB For Business.


  • “Ask yourself how much your time is worth.”

  • “It’s really about establishing relationships, knowing your timing and doing your research.”

  • “Communicate. Get on the same page.”

  • “Build long term relationships.”

  • “Pinterest and email newsletters will continue to bring you value over time.”

  • “Don’t be afraid of phone calls.”

  • “Be kind. Be understanding.”


LAB Talks Panel

Thank your to our speakers and attendees! Be sure to check out more on our upcoming LAB Talks.

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Written by: LAB Intern & Contributing Writer
Madeline Wichterman.