I’ve been working in advertising for over 15 years, and as someone who used “influencers” (there wasn’t a name for it at the time) to sell t-shirts online for 2 years, I understand the value of an influencer.
The community is small is in Jamaica, totaling about 20-30 major influencers made up of mostly comedians, lifestyle, beauty and public figure categories.
I was nominated as a People to Watch in 2019, by Kadia Francis, aka the Digital Jamaican who scoured the internet to find micro-influencers and bloggers who write mostly for the love of it and not necessarily the recognition. A micro-influencer tends to have less than 10,000 followers but usually has an intimate community. ( I listed using micro-influencers as one of the 2019 trends in social media. Read here)
We wanted to bring everyone together to bond and network. Most of the people had the same wish–to create content (whether that be in the form of writing, taking photos or making videos, etc), and being able to travel the world while doing so.
We received sponsorship from Ion Communications and LuxuryJa.
While CPJ, our official refreshment sponsor provided us with Life Span Water and Glinter sparkling water
Snacks for the 2.5 drive from National Bakery
Sun Factory provided us with flip-flops for the beach.
Each blogger received customized mugs with their ig handle from The Label Snob , Sharmac Graphics printed the fans for each guest, Just nuff social plan (which includes data and social media) were granted by Digicel Jamaica and TCP offered the bags to carry everything in.
Watch the video of the recap.
The bloggers paid for their transportation and lunch but received reposts and comments from the sponsors, edited photos from established photographers including Machel Witter, Peter Clarke and Darren George (contracted by our partners Ion Communications), to gather content on their behalf. We were even featured on CVM Sunrise. See the full interview below.
So the most burning questions from this experience have been, why call it Love Not Likes? In April 2019, Instagram put out that they were working on changing the platform to eliminate likes, you can read the Forbes article here.
Also, as I said earlier, many of these bloggers do it because they love what they do—sharing their go-to spots in Jamaica, or their beauty secrets, etc. However, they’ve never received corporate sponsorship or even gifted merchandise.
The list of the bloggers/micro-influencers/YouTubers who attended were:
Jhunelle Jureidini: a full-time travel blogger who finds most of the unknown places in Jamaica and highlights them.
Sue-Tanya McHorgh: a website developer and lifestyle blogger who also has an online clothing store.
Diedre McLeod: A travel blogger who teaches travelers how to travel the world on a budget.
Lucienne Antonio: A blogger who also can secure your next budget vacation.
Kemar Royal: a content creator/droner who lives for adventure
Ronnia Cherry, a creative with multiple interests, all surrounding creating a platform for Jamaican creatives. Learn more about her
Tashi Grant: A media maven who started her lifestyle/travel blog called The Hopper
Rachael Campbell: a travel vlogger who likes to party.
Jehmeil Shrouder: a YouTuber on a mission to be successful.
Ornella Green: A lifestyle/beauty blogger who aspires to travel the world.
So I wanted to make them feel special, i.e. find a way to show them and the world, that micro-influencers have value. Many influencers only big up a brand because they are getting paid, which sometimes loses its authenticity.
So let’s even get more pedantic, people think influencer is a dirty/bad word. What is an influencer, really?
An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting (i.e., influencing) people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority. What’s more, this individual has a following – usually on social media – in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, photography, and so on. YouTube marketing is also quite common.Tech Jury ( see article here)
According to influencer marketing research, many companies will hire brand ambassadors to promote their products. While the most visible brand ambassadors are celebrity influencers, micro-bloggers can often get in on the action, too – they increase a brand’s visibility more locally. Another sponsored content format consists of paid for articles and blogs, which appear as editorials in an online publication.
So now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the alignment with the government’s growth strategy. Chris Dehring spoke at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference a couple of months ago and he talked about the importance of creating alternative job opportunities for young people.
The insights that came out of the trip was that most of them want to live a digital nomad lifestyle. It seems pretty simple, but when you live on an island, you tend to only think about Jamaica and even some think smaller–only Kingston and St. Andrew.
Our aim is to create a network and community with bloggers/micro-influencers who want to monetize. We’ve invited Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren to give a masterclass at CoWork on Thursday, July 18th. Lauren has been working in Silicon Valley and has been able to grow her following and monetize for the last few years. Please call 876 881-7830 to purchase tickets.
We’re also building a community of bloggers, content creators, photographers who want to collaborate. Please follow @lovenotlikesja on Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.