The Future of Influencers in Web3

In this episode, we are discussing the current creator industry and how Web3 may change the influencer market.

Dentranland –
Roblox –
The Sandbox –


Lil Miquela –
Hummusbirrd –

Top 17 Metaverse Influencers –
Eva Herzigová –

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Show Transcription

[00:00:00] Cheryl: Welcome to Women of the Metaverse. I am Cheryl Laidlaw 

[00:00:07] Angela: I am Angela Harkness. We have been and are still on a journey to discover the Metaverse with 3.0 NFTs and anything that we are required to know to join this world. 

[00:00:21] Cheryl: From this podcast, we will help you to unlock how the metaverse is going to impact your brand.

[00:00:27] Cheryl: Your business and even your personal life. 

[00:00:30] Angela: Join us as we take the mystery out of this new digital universe. 

[00:00:38] Cheryl: Welcome to Women of the Metaverse. In this episode, we are talking about influences. How are current influences going to be affected by Web3, and who are the influencers of the future in this digital AI landscape?

[00:00:55] Cheryl: Just to show you the current position, the influencer market or, or [00:01:00] how it’s been called now, the Creator industry. We’ll talk about that a little bit more in a minute. The creator economy is a 10 billion pound plus market with apparently around 50 million creators worldwide. We are not talking small numbers and when it comes to businesses and their use of influences and how creators are impacted by the way in which products and services are marketed.

[00:01:28] Angela: You know how I started to think about this? I was watching, there’s a woman, I think she’s called Hummingbird, that comes up on my TikTok, F Y P. And she lives in this very tiny apartment in New York, but she’s made it really beautiful and it’s rented, but the landlord will let her do all sorts. She’s, she’s completely gutted this apartment and changed it.

[00:01:50] Angela: But she did a video the other day about she didn’t want a television in that, in her apartment, but she got convinced to get one, and she [00:02:00] wanted it in a specific way. And I, I watched this video. I thought, oh yeah, great. Everything looks great. And then another creator did a video about actually how she was advertising something.

[00:02:11] Angela: And I was like, no, she wasn’t. And I went back and looked at it and she was, she was actually doing like a paid partnership for something called TaskRabbit, but she did it so subtly and so cleverly. I was like, oh my God. And he was talking around how this creator economy has changed and rather than those obvious ones that you get from influence, we all know where they, but they’re so obvious in their setting, an unboxing or something like that.

[00:02:36] Angela: An unboxing, or I’m gonna, you know, I use this for my hair and I love it. And you just think, oh, you’re being paid to say that. She was so subtle in the way she did it, and I thought, this is how everything is sort of moving forward and how. Creators are starting to change the way we’re influenced.

[00:02:55] Cheryl: Definitely. You didn’t even know you were being 

[00:02:56] Angela: sold to. No, I didn’t. I just thought, oh yeah, that’s a really good [00:03:00] idea. She’s doing that with her television. It was. It was another, I’m such a sucker. So there is several ways to look at this. How can influencers transition successfully into web three? How will AI impact the influencer industry?

[00:03:18] Angela: And if you aspire to be our. Or already an influencer. How can you use Web three technologies to help your profession? As we just said, the landscape of influencers has changed. In fact, some would say the world of influencers has started to die out, and it is now about creators. However, whilst the style in which viral content has changed, those creators are still influencing people to purchase.

[00:03:46] Angela: It is just that brands are now using different styles of creators and rather than the old school influencers, it’s being done in a much more set way. So how are influencers gonna transition into Web [00:04:00] three when we are talking about web three, in this context, we’re talking about NFTs, ai, the metaverse, and all the technologies that surround it.

[00:04:09] Angela: The catalyst for this change though, has been TikTok. It has changed the game in what we like to see and who we choose to be influenced by. People don’t want to be constantly sold to. They want to feel connected. They want to be made to laugh. They want to be made to think and learn, and they want to be inspired.

[00:04:30] Angela: We have talked about this time and time again, we are moving from the obsession of followers to building communities. What about you? Has TikTok changed the way you kind of now think about like if you go into the metaverse or. What influences you? Um, 

[00:04:51] Cheryl: what, what is great about TikTok That is, at least I’m getting on my for you page stuff that I’m genuinely [00:05:00] interested in.

[00:05:00] Cheryl: Whereas before it was a complete mess of what, whoever had the most powerful influence as it were, you know? So that sort of movement from being sold to by random people rather than. Having your choice. So having about, it’s just about having choice. Have getting that choice back. Yeah. 

[00:05:23] Angela: I think influencers, you know, the sort of influencers we would watch have created a stereotype for themselves.

[00:05:32] Angela: So this kind of cheesy stuff that they do now I think has become a bit old And stale. Stale, yes. Stale. And that you get different types. I think the type of. People that are becoming creators or going viral are, are way more real. So if you think about somebody like Keith Lee doing his food reviews, or, um, Sina who’s just a mom chatting about me being a mom.[00:06:00] 

[00:06:00] Angela: Uh, it’s very real and I think it’s moving away from this constant perfection. And it’s just people who are just. Being themselves are becoming much more creative content creators, don’t you? 

[00:06:15] Cheryl: Yeah, I agree. The guy that sits in his blanket and talks about the poche. Yes, that, that he’s my favorite. He’s my flavor of the month.

[00:06:22] Cheryl: Yes. 

[00:06:22] Angela: Yeah. I mean, amazing. Just very simple content. So yeah, I think there is just a movement in change anyway, isn’t there? 

[00:06:30] Cheryl: Definitely. Firstly, this is not happening overnight. There are still some very popular influences who continue to grow. They have a market in their niche and are very successful, but in order to stay relevant, they have to evolve.

[00:06:47] Cheryl: You see, many of them realize that they had to join TikTok to reach a different audience, but how will they approach this in the new digital world? As with how influence have had transitioned [00:07:00] content to TikTok, to comp compete with the content creators, you have to be flexible and willing to adapt in this changing digital world.

[00:07:09] Cheryl: Look at how Paris Hilton is becoming the queen of the metaverse. She has been very savvy and understood the power of it. Very early on. If you are an influencer or want to be one, then all of the elements that we’ve discussed really should be a part of your plan because some brands are using AI and avatars to create digital influencers, you have to be very solid in your values, but be aware of the changing landscape of what people want, but also how they want to be marketed to.

[00:07:42] Angela: So to give you an example, I saw this is only recent. There is a model called Ava Herz. And she digitized her image so that it can be used in more digital forms, such as in the metaverse and ai. And this is such a smart move [00:08:00] because she can control her image and create a completely separate, um, stream of income from it because the problem, well, not the problem with models, but it’s a very sexist industry.

[00:08:14] Angela: So the older model gets. The kind of less work they get because they’re aging, which is terrible. More, more for women than men. But, so she’s done this with her image to be used on so many different places, which I think is really smart. That’s a great idea. How has she done that? I dunno. And the article.

[00:08:35] Angela: I’ll try and find the article, but it was, it was quite complex cuz I think she probably did it in a very 3D way so she could be choose it for clothing and her face and all different things. So it took a lot of technology, I think, to do it. But it’s smart to do it. Very smart. Yeah. But I think by influencers doing this, they’re just taking [00:09:00] control of their brand because at some point, They are gonna start losing potential income to brands going, we’re just gonna create a digital influencer.

[00:09:09] Angela: We’re just gonna use ai. So they need themselves to be proactive in this, I think. 

[00:09:16] Cheryl: Mm-hmm. Your look, you’ll feel your e you know, your, your everything what you wear, you can copyright it in some respect. 

[00:09:24] Angela: Yeah. But I think it’s also smart to go to a brand that you work with and say, oh, don’t create your own.

[00:09:30] Angela: Here’s mine. Let’s do a deal. Using my brand cuz you trust me, you know my voice, you know, I’ve already got a following. Because even if you create someone new, you’ve still then gotta create a following personality. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But for brands to do it, it’s, it kind of gives them the control to have the influencer fit their exact avatar of [00:10:00] people.

[00:10:00] Angela: Mm-hmm. So, But there’s different ways to do it. Even with like Paris Hilton where she’s brought land and you know, she’s been really smart with what she’s done in the Metaverse. The Metaverse creates its own unique opportunities and we have spoken in other ETOs about how avatars are going to become important in the future.

[00:10:21] Angela: We say this a lot. I think there’s a lot of imagination you can use with avatars, isn’t there? 

[00:10:27] Cheryl: Definitely. I mean, we had so many discussions about. The future of, you know, the future of the avatars and will probably be, have friends that I want real, I don’t know, it just sounds crazy saying it out loud, but yeah, it does.

[00:10:43] Cheryl: Um, you know, you’ll be friends with like the Gucci representative Avatar. Yes. Or you know, she’ll know your name as you walk into the metaverse. Hello George. Thank you for joining us for 

[00:10:56] Angela: your shopping trip today. Who would’ve thought two Deckers ago that at [00:11:00] this point everybody would be paying every single thing about their lives online?

[00:11:04] Angela: I’m still so Gen X Old School that I look at some people that post and I’m like, what was the point in there? Why did you need to, why did you feel the needs? But they’re out there. But for this generation, it’s just something they do. It’s just, it’s accepted. So again, that evolution of. I’m, I’m gonna talk to an avatar.

[00:11:24] Angela: I don’t know who it is. Yeah. Or just be the norm. Mm-hmm. Absolutely 

[00:11:28] Cheryl: it will. And there has been a rise in digital or virtual influences. Lee 

[00:11:34] Angela: Laquila, is that right? Laquila? I don’t know. I think it might be Lil Qua. I qua. All right. 

[00:11:40] Cheryl: Sorry. Lil Qua. What she, she? She’s digital. She won’t get, she’s a digital avatar, right?

[00:11:48] Cheryl: With nearly 3 million followers. On Instagram with a full backstory. Other brands, including Prada, Samsung, and Calvin Klein [00:12:00] either have or have used digital avatars. We’ll put a link in our show notes from the article that lists the top 17 Metaverse influencers. Influencers in 2023. Some of these are real and some of them are just avatars.

[00:12:16] Angela: Yeah, that was quite surprising, that list, cuz you got. Kathy Hackle and Matthew Ball and some others, and then a lot of them are actually digital AI advertising advantages. 

[00:12:26] Cheryl: Amazing. Yeah. The reason why brands are moving in this direction is the level of control that it enables the brand to have. They can create a perfect, a avatar that fits their audience and what they are trying to sell.

[00:12:41] Cheryl: These digital influencers can represent everything that they want to. These digital influencers can represent everything that they want without the risk of them saying anything out of line or working with competitors. There are two ways in which this can be [00:13:00] used. One is in the metaverse, so using roadblocks, the central land.

[00:13:05] Cheryl: The sandbox, you may come across metaverse influences that many other people may not even be aware of. But then there are AI influences that may be used instead of content creators to sell products through social media platforms. 

[00:13:23] Angela: I think some of these AI influences will become so real that you may not even be aware that they are an avatar rather than a real person.

[00:13:34] Angela: I think you’ll think, oh, I’m just watching somebody trying to sell me something. But I think they’ll also, because of gamification and how big these platforms like Roblox will get, there’ll be influences we won’t even be aware of. We won’t, you know, what’s this generation’s influences compared to what we consider ours.

[00:13:55] Angela: There would be vast difference and they. [00:14:00] 

[00:14:00] Cheryl: Yeah, I was gonna say, and that’s why they’ve got to have a big personality, these, these digital influencers. Really, they’ve gotta have something about them. 

[00:14:07] Angela: Yeah. Yeah. Because I, I wonder if it makes it too vanilla, if it can make it too vanilla. If you create what you would deem the perfect influencer, you know, trying to attract your perfect audience, but actually maybe that stops them having a bit of personality.

[00:14:28] Angela: You know who sits behind that character as well? 

[00:14:31] Cheryl: Yes, we’ll be AI generated, but you know, whose personality are they gonna use? Are they, you know, in the style of Dawn French, you know? Yes. 

[00:14:43] Angela: It’s, it’s all, some of it is so almost a little overwhelming that you can’t get your head around it. You know, that somebody can just, that AI is just telling you all this information and then, Can you trust that it’s true.

[00:14:58] Angela: Even are they giving it, like [00:15:00] who’s checking that actually Lil Mague is saying what she should say, you know? Exactly, exactly. It’s um, it’s very weird, but there’s also nothing stopping you from creating your own influencing avatar is there. Can’t wait. It’s, 

[00:15:17] Cheryl: you can explore it. Give me the tools. I’ve got the tools.

[00:15:20] Cheryl: I’ve been researching it all week. Yeah. But that’s a different episode. 

[00:15:23] Angela: Yeah. So what about you as a small business? How can you tap into this world and how can you make it work for you? Most small brands cannot tap into the expense of an influencer, and there is no guarantee if you send your product to an influencer that they will even use it or mention it.

[00:15:42] Angela: AI can be your new friend. The explosion of AI over the last six months is overwhelming and it’s difficult to keep up. But recently there have been a couple of AI tools that enable you to create your own influencer. Even Canva has introduced their [00:16:00] D I D AI presenters. It is a collaboration with D I D, so you, even if you have the pro version of Canva, you still need to pay for this, but it enables you to create AI presenters for your product or services.

[00:16:14] Angela: This is just the start of the journey. Everything is very new. Not even that good, but over the next few years, these types of tools will be everywhere and the technology will be way more advanced. So I think if you’re a small brand and you can’t afford Lydia Millon or Victoria McGrath or whoever, then actually.

[00:16:37] Angela: This is a good way round if you don’t wanna be front of camera to get your products out there, isn’t it? Yeah, 

[00:16:42] Cheryl: definitely. Um, and again, been researching it this week on the different tools that are available to us and they’re all, they’re all out there. Yeah. Um, you just need to have a, a day or due to actually dive in, or of course you can hire an expert that will do this for you.[00:17:00] 

[00:17:01] Angela: Yeah. But it’s, it, it is an option to. Because I think the level, I think content creation is just gonna become, just gonna grow. And you have to, so you can’t hold back from that. You’re gonna have to do something. So, you know, if, how many years ago Cheryl and I were banging on about social media, it just has got exponentially bigger.

[00:17:25] Angela: And although it’s different, you, you massive way to, you know, grow your, your business and do your marketing. So I don’t, you can opt out from it, can you? No. I can 

[00:17:37] Cheryl: remember when people used to say to me 10 years ago, what are you doing to grow your audience? Oh, post every day. And now we’re in a world where posting every day is quite normal.

[00:17:50] Cheryl: And back then they were like, I, I haven’t got time to post every day. I remember. And then was there even that much strategy to it back in the day? Either? No, just, and it was still, [00:18:00] it was still out of people’s reach. So now you have to do 10 times more work because you didn’t put the work into the beginning.

[00:18:08] Cheryl: Yeah. And same with this stuff. If you don’t jump on shit, jump on board 

[00:18:12] Angela: now. Yeah, exactly. I remember somebody saying to me, well, if I just post. A tweet a week, that should be enough. I was like, no. And I remember somebody, we both know, I won’t name names, but used to just send all their tweets out on a Saturday morning.

[00:18:29] Angela: So I’d get all these notifications like, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And I used to, well, in a few hours, those are just lost. What? What have you done? What you done there is to tell me who that is.

[00:18:43] Cheryl: I think with all of these changes, whether you want to become a content creator or you are looking to grow your business and need to become skilled at marketing through all of these channels, is to become really knowledgeable. Know how to market differently [00:19:00] through Instagram and TikTok. Understand new AI tools and how to use them for your brand or content.

[00:19:06] Cheryl: Understand the Metaverse Web three NFTs and how that has and will change digital marketing. The one thing you cannot change is change, and the more flexible and adaptable you are, but remaining strong to your values, the more you’ll be able to take advantage of all the opportunities that are coming our way.

[00:19:28] Cheryl: So we hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Join us next week as we continue our journey into the Metaverse. Bye for 

[00:19:35] Angela: now. Bye.

[00:19:39] Angela: Thank you for listening to this episode of Women of the Metaverse. 

[00:19:44] Cheryl: You can find all information, links and people we talked about in the show notes on our website. 

[00:19:50] Angela: If you have enjoyed this podcast, please comment and subscribe. 

[00:19:54] Cheryl: Join us again in the next episode as we continue this exciting metaverse [00:20:00] journey.