“We live in a tough world where social media can be a very toxic thing. That’s why I recommend sharing content that is genuinely entertaining, educating, and inspiring. If you are having a bad day, don’t get on a Facebook Live broadcast and blatantly complain to your followers. Instead, spin it around and share the steps you are taking to pull yourself out of a funk. If a troll leaves a nasty comment on your post, don’t clap-back with an equally negative response. Instead, simply ignore the response and focus on all of the love your other followers are giving you. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to act like everything is cupcakes and rainbows, 24/7. Just be mindful of your content, the tone, and the way your followers could perceive your post. Rise above the negativity and always be a force for good.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Margaux J Rathbun, Founder of MBM Influencer Management . Margaux is a well-known and highly respected social media influencer with over 10 years of experience in marketing individuals and organizations. In fact, she is ranked as one of the top Marketing Managers for Hire in the US by UpWork!Margaux currently works with both social media influencers and businesses from around the world, helping them with social media marketing, public relations, business development, and influencer marketing. In addition to these services, Margaux acts a mentor to her influencer clients, guiding them through the journey of becoming successful on social media. She specializes in working with “elevated influencers” or micro-influencers that are considered to be experts in their field.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
For nearly eight years, I was a successful Social Media Influencer for the health/wellness industry. I was lucky enough to have built a strong following on my Facebook page that allowed me to share nutrition information, recipes, product recommendations, and giveaways with those who were interested in living an authentically healthy life. I’ve hosted numerous nutrition workshops around the world, been featured in many publications, and partnered with various companies that sell products I personally use and love. I take a fun and authentic approach to life and business. After all, life is short and we should love everything that we do!
I have been so fortunate with the success of my influencer business that I wanted to share my professional experiences and knowledge with others. Simply put; I know what works and what doesn’t. Helping companies, entrepreneurs, and budding social media influencers succeed is my professional passion. Marketing and promotions runs deep in my veins and I want to utilize my skills and experience to help my clients succeed! That’s why I founded MBM Influencer Management. My company is a relationship-driven marketing agency that specializes in all things related to social media influencers. Not only do we coach and manage influencers, helping them to become successful, we work with corporations around the world by overseeing their influencer marketing campaigns.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
When I first started my career as a social media influencer, I was young and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy camera equipment. I knew that I wanted to film videos but living in a tiny apartment without many windows made it hard to get a good shot. It was just too dark! That was when I got creative. I went around my apartment, unplugged every lamp I owned and put them in the room where I was filming. I had so many lamps, shades and cords everywhere that it was almost impossible to move around! When I was filming, I had to stand very still so I wouldn’t knock a lamp over. Fire hazard, much? In the end, I made it work and was able to successfully start filming videos.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I specialize in working with influencers who are looking to promote positive changes in the lives of their social media followers. This is achieved through sharing content that is educational, entertaining, and inspirational. I coach my clients to see that the path to success is not just about self-promotion. Sure, we all need to make some money so we can pay the bills! There is nothing wrong with promoting your products and services. But here’s the thing; if you focus on sharing content that adds value to the lives of your followers, they are naturally going to want to engage (and ultimately work) with you. Engagement is key to increasing your following, selling your products and services, and obtaining sponsorship. It’s a good feeling to know that the influencers I coach are making social media a positive place while growing their businesses at the same time.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
If you want to make it as a successful social media influencer, you must do two things:
- Always be your authentic self — Sure, it can be scary to post content that reflects who you are as an individual. There is a certain level of vulnerability that comes with sharing your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and passions with the world! Here’s the thing: perfection is boring. Everybody is over Instagram photos of perfectly arranged avocado toast with succulent plants scattered about. Instead, post content that is real and relatable! That’s what people love and want to see. After all, you became a social media influencer to make a difference in the lives of your followers. By allowing them to get to know the REAL you (flaws and all), this not only strengthens the relationship you have with them, it positions you as somebody they will trust and look to as a source of inspiration.
- Use your social media platforms to spread positivity — We live in a tough world where social media can be a very toxic thing. That’s why I recommend sharing content that is genuinely entertaining, educating, and inspiring. If you are having a bad day, don’t get on a Facebook Live broadcast and blatantly complain to your followers. Instead, spin it around and share the steps you are taking to pull yourself out of a funk. If a troll leaves a nasty comment on your post, don’t clap-back with an equally negative response. Instead, simply ignore the response and focus on all of the love your other followers are giving you. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to act like everything is cupcakes and rainbows, 24/7. Just be mindful of your content, the tone, and the way your followers could perceive your post. Rise above the negativity and always be a force for good.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful?
Believe it or not, I owe a huge thank you to Perez Hilton and his team for giving me a chance back when I was an up-and-coming influencer! Not only did he feature my content on his websites for many years, he was always super supportive of my career. It was a real pleasure to work with him and being featured on his website opened many doors that paved the way to my success. Thank you, Perez, for taking a chance on me!
Can you share a story?
I recently learned the hard way about the importance of self-care, especially when it comes to being a busy professional. I used to overdo it with work and would not take time out for myself. I thought self-care was selfish and would actually hurt my business! As a result, I found myself getting sick all the time. I felt tired, rundown, stressed, and just downright icky. I knew something had to change or my business would start to suffer. That’s when I began scheduling a few hours each day to detox from the digital world. During this time, I don’t look at my phone, check social media, or read through emails. I use my digital detox time to take walks, work on my art, or play in the garden. It’s an opportunity for me to get away from everything work related. Since I’ve started incorporating this practice into my daily routine, I have learned that self-care can actually lead to success. In fact, my business is booming with amazing clients that I love working with! That’s because I have higher energy levels, stronger mental clarity, an improved mood, and unexpected inspiration. I can get more done during the day because I feel better! If you are like me and think self-care is selfish, think again. Try scheduling at least one hour a day to do something that isn’t work related. You will be amazed at how you will think, act, and feel!
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
I recently announced that I will be working collaboratively with Fiona Weisenberg of Firework Social (fireworksocial.com) to offer companies influencer marketing management services. Fiona and I combine over 21 years of experience in social media marketing and we will be providing companies with targeted influencer acquisition, development of influencer marketing campaign strategies, paid ad management, content creation, and insight analysis. I am also working on creating another online course to help entrepreneurs include influencer marketing in their promotional efforts.
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Create an Online Course: Are you an influencer who is considered to be an expert in your industry? Do you have a specific set of skills that you would like to share with the world? One of the best ways to engage with your followers AND earn some extra income is to create an online course. Last year, I created a course on Udemy.com called, Social Media Success: How to Become an Influencer. Not only has this course helped many aspiring influencers launch their brands, it has generated many new coaching clients for my business! Best of all? I get a nice little deposit into my bank account each month from people who have enrolled through the Udemy platform.
- Write an eBook: Not only does writing an eBook position you as an expert in your industry, it is a wonderful way to monetize your brand. There are many easy and affordable resources online that can help you through creating an eBook from start to finish. A great example of a client who has seen success with an eBook is Amie the Dating Coach (www.amiethedatingcoach.com). Not only does Amie receive extra income each month from eBook sales, it acts as a prospecting tool for her business, attracting more followers to her social media platforms and clients to her coaching business.
- Become a Keynote Speaker: Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to monetize your social media efforts is to take your work offline! Not only can you generate some pretty good income with the speaker fees that you receive, you can use these events as an opportunity to promote your products and services. One of my clients, Steven J Pinto (www.stevenjpinto.com) has seen a lot of success in monetizing his brand through becoming a well-known public speaker. Not only is he able to promote his eBook and coaching services at these events, he is able to increase his online following by encouraging attendees to like his pages on social media.
- Become a Sponsored Influencer: This was the route I took when I was working as a social media influencer in the health and wellness industry. I personally reached out to brands that were in alignment with my values and worked with them to create sponsored content to share with my followers. Not only can inclusion in influencer marketing campaigns generate a pretty penny, it’s a great way to increase your social media following!
- Create a Show: To piggy-back on my last tip of obtaining sponsorship, creating a podcast or web TV show is an excellent way to generate income through additional sponsorship dollars. Not only does this type of content boost your follower engagement, it’s an easy way to monetize your brand. When I had my wellness podcast, I was able to secure sponsorship from various companies. I would create both 15 and 30 second advertising spots and run them during each episode of my podcast. I also offered my sponsors banners on my websites for an additional fee. If you are looking for a fun way to generate some extra revenue, I highly recommend creating a podcast or web TV show!
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)
I would love to sit down and chat with Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner! Not only does she help aspiring entrepreneurs find success in their businesses, she is a strong female role model for professional women of all ages. She and I are in alignment with our belief that you should “pay it forward” as often as you can. After all, having a heart in business is the key to success. It’s all about relationships, helping others, and being true to your word! I’d also love to talk with her about some unique influencer marketing ideas I have for her products. Lori, call me! Let’s chat!
Amazon millionaire, author and business coach, Akemi Sue Fisher, has helped thousands of Amazon sellers scale and grow their businesses to six, seven and eight figures. She has quickly become one of the most trusted and sought after E-commerce consultants in the world. In only three years, her agency, Love & Launch, has helped her clients achieve over one billion dollars in sales through Amazon, Ebay and other e-commerce platforms. Her entrepreneurial spirit and direct approach continues to help elevate not only her success, but the success of her clients which range from startups to fortune 500 companies.