Issue No. 49
December 2018 —

the
influencer
issue

 
 
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A Digital trend publication blending a mix of culture, insights and data.

 

EDITOR'S LETTER

 
 

When you work in marketing, influencer campaigns (naturally) are a common topic of conversation.

The questions usually flow accordingly: How do we meet them? How do they hear about us? How much will it cost for them to talk about us? Why the hell are they priced that high? Are you lying to me? No? Okay, well, how can we do this for as little bank as possible?

5 years ago, influencers were easy to wrangle. They were inexpensive. They were few and far between. They usually had a blog that really “started it all.” They are the Chiara Ferragni’s and Aimee Song’s of today.

Today, everyone has the chance to become an influencer. Heck, some of the most popular influencers of today don’t even exist in the flesh. These services are sought after so frequently by brands that influencers can afford to be exceptionally picky about what they want to promote on their personal brands. Fair enough, I say.

So, how do you engage with influencers in an authentic way? In this issue, we solve this for you by speaking to Swim Social’s founder, Elena Hansen. Grant Legan (our feature photographer) is kind of an influencer himself and speaks to his journey toward success (as well as the trials that have come with our new likes-oriented world). We have tips on how to win the hearts of influencers (from influencers themselves) and a poking-fun article that speaks to all of us who are trying to create personal brands - regardless of our professions.

Scroll down. Swipe right.

 

Gaelan SIMPSON

Managing Editor

“Heck, some of the most popular influencers of today don’t even exist in the flesh.”

 

Contents

 
 
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ARTIST FEATURE

grant legan

Thoughtful, perceptive, and engaging. Talented, honest, a hopeless romantic. Super funny. Grant Legan is one of Matte Black’s favourite photographers for a myriad of reasons that we can’t even fit into this modest bio. He is also the creator of all images in this month’s issue. A pioneer of the photographer/influencer scene (he’s shot countless striking images of celebrities around the globe), Grant’s unique eye and purposeful drive stands out amongst a crowd. Read our interview with him; it’s uplifting, insightful, and oddly calming. His opinions and creative motivations are simply beautiful - just like his work.

— Gaelan Simpson, Managing Editor SSR

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FEATURES

3 TIPS FOR THE NEXT WAVE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

When I started SWIM in 2015, there were limited resources to put towards influencer marketing on social media. We work with awesome brands and it never felt right to be transactional and pay influencers for promotion. Rather, we thought about how we could develop a mutually beneficial relationship with influencers that share the same value in the brand.

— Elena Hansen, Founder of Swim Social

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FEATURES

SO, WHAT DOES YOUR INSTAGRAM AESTHETIC SAY ABOUT: YOU.

Not to be all “Jerry Seinfeld Live at The Laugh Factory” with this transition, but: what’s with Instagram aesthetics, eh? Can we even break down and rank each different one? I mean, come on, let’s be real, does your choice in Instagram aesthetic show what type of person you are, huh?  

— James Royce, Writer

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FEATURES

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT BEING AN INFLUENCER

From the actual mouths of actual Influencers: Read this article to figure out what faux-pas you can (and probably should) avoid when trying to befriend the next influencer you want to promote your brand, online.

— Anonymous

FINDINGS

APPARENTLY, NOBODY’S HAVING SEX.

The data to support these recent headlines is actually quite interesting.

THE FLOW IS FINALLY GETTING A MAIN STREAM GLOW UP

A split divide amongst the general public is apparent (to me): Those who actually may be more informed and those who think “they’re listening….”

And no – I’m not talking about anything politically inclined. I’m talking about curated Instagram ads.

Podcast

033 - are you ready for social?

You've claimed the Instagram handle, but when is the right time to go live with the first post? Listen in to our conversation with Elena Hansen, Founder of social media marketing agency SWIM Social, for her five factors that show if your brand is ready (or not) for social media marketing.

This podcast was first published in May 2018.

 
 

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colophon

 

Editor-In-Chief  
Chelsea Matthews
@chelseamatthews

 

Managing Editor
Gaelan Simpson
@gaelansimpson

 

Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop
@micahheykoop

 

SESSIONS Producer
Aria Davis
@theariachanel

 

Creative Director

Nolan Goff

@nolanwgoff

Graphic Design

Ariel Irby

@arielirby

 

Photographer

Grant Legan

@grantlegan

 

 

 

CONTRIBUTORS

 
 
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GRANT LEGAN

A midwestern boy who moved from Chicago to LA to NYC to continue his journey as a photographer. He believes in the power of saying yes, to learning more about life and people through new experiences. Finding joy in simplicity.

 

Favourite place(s) you’ve travelled: Kyoto, Lisbon, and Ischia, Mexico.

Best place to eat in DTLA? Downtown Donuts

What is your favourite colour and why? Blue - (represents) Calmness, communication, and sadness. The sky, the ocean. All things beautiful.

What is your Muse? Music.

Good luck charm: Grandfather's wedding ring

Chocolat or The Talented Mr Ripley? Hahaha. Oh wow tough one, Talented Mr Ripley. Thanks for this question, Jace.

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ELENA HANSEN

Elena is the founder of SWIM Social, a full service social media agency based in Los Angeles. Elena is passionate about bringing stories to life, creating art with people that inspire her, and making a positive impact through her work.


Greatest influencer of all time: Steve Jobs

Can't leave the house without (my iPhone and) my: Dog, Princeton.

Last book read: The Originals

Favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day, preferably single

Quote to live by: TO MAKE LIVING ITSELF AN ART - THAT IS THE GOAL. - Henry Miller


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JAMES ROYCE

Love to tell everyone everyone my core skill is “writing words” even though any goof can do that. Pretty good at surfing. Nice hair, too.

Celebrity crush: Gene Wilder (RIP)

Prized possession: Copy of Grapes of Wrath signed by John Steinbeck. 

Describe yourself in three words: Radiating nervous energy.

Vice? Overthinking everything. Oh, and dark chocolate.

Favorite swear word: There has never been a moment more exhilarating in my life than when I said “Fuck” for the first time ever when I was nine-years-old.