BSuite Podcast: The Influencer Marketplace with Kristen Standish

episode artwork Kristen Standish
When I first met my longtime friend and colleague, Kristen Standish, she was at the helm of Boston Magazine as its publisher. Now, she’s the CEO of Grapevine Logic. In this colorful episode, Kristen brings her natural spark to the BSuite as we explore how the influencer marketplace has grown exponentially over the past decade, and how diversity and social justice are reflected in the profiles of influencer creatives. We’ll look at the expectations clients bring to the table when considering an investment in influencer marketing. And finally, we’ll round out the episode with an honest chat about how she juggles the dual roles of single parent and CEO, why she took up sailing, and how I got interested in bees and beekeeping.   Thank you for tuning in!   KEY TAKEAWAYS   Make sure the influencers you’re working with are legitimate.   Most of the influencers Kristen works with have a majority of their followers on Instagram and YouTube. The most important metric Kristen considers when vetting influencers is how much of their followers are real vs. fake. They have standards in place when it comes to who they will work with, and some of this is based on past experiences they have had with the influencer and how authentic the individual is. How responsive were they? How creative were they? What was the level of engagement on their campaigns?    Brand lift, engagement, and transactions to purchase are metrics Kristen closely measures.   Set your clients up for success when navigating unfamiliar territory.   Many of Kristen’s clients were not positioned for e-commerce, so when COVID-19 hit, this was a new challenge to navigate. They helped many of their clients set up Shopify accounts.   Through navigating the pandemic, she’s felt that she’s established a deeper level of trust with her clients, and they have pivoted towards it.   A contract they earned through the US Government is responsible for more than a third of their revenue for 2020, and for that, they are grateful. Kristen knows if you lose a big client, it could be the end of your business. Being super vigilant about client follow up and paying extra attention has gone a long way in nurturing her current client relationships.   Being proactive with social justice issues goes a long way.   It’s important for Grapevine Logic to be on the forefront of social justice issues. Before Kristen was even asked by clients, she began showcasing and actively recruiting  Black and Brown creators and connecting them with brands in their region.   The influencer world is vastly different than the traditional media world. Fortunately, most are actively joining the conversation. Kristen has been fortunate to work with many different creators and has noticed an uptick in brands asking and seeking  more diversity in their campaigns. Meanwhile there are others that are shutting down and choosing not to do anything. Some may be afraid to say the wrong thing, but sometimes saying nothing is worse.   SOME QUESTIONS I ASK KRISTEN:  
  • What was your inspiration for taking up sailing and getting out on the water?
 
  • How do you go about vetting the criteria of an influencer?
 
  • What are some of the leadership challenges you’ve faced at Grapevine and what have you taken away from those experiences?
  NOTABLE QUOTE:   “The more value we add to our clients, the more loyal they are to us.”   LINKS/RESOURCES MENTIONED:   Richardson Media Group   Grapevine Logic   Kristen’s Instagram   Grapevine Village Shops   Asana   Trello   Battle of the Burger   Jermaine Moore, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Anne Richardson

​Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management and SEO.

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Richardson Media Group logo icon.
Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.