What is it that makes one-person influential and another practically invisible?
Written by Mitch Obatake, Focus Magazine
Dubbed “the Carrie Bradshaw of fitness”—turning exercise into a thriving lifestyle community and bridging the gap between fitness, entertainment, and personal empowerment—Amanda Russell has more strength in one well-toned arm than most people have from head-to-toe. And it’s not just the kind of strength that comes from a good workout; it’s also what comes from a life of persevering, powering through adversity, and passionately going after what you want.
Olympic-bound and at the top of her game, Amanda’s competitive running career came to a screeching halt when an injury left her unable to walk, let alone run.
Rather than be sidelined, she redirected that energy and perseverance to achieve a career greater than she could have imagined, touching millions of people around the globe.
After all, she’s a role model influencer herself, and named as one of Google’s “Next Top Fitness Personalities.” But it was neither luck nor an accident that brought Russell to where she is today. Instead, she is the epitome of a woman warrior; she is a go-getter who proves that in order to get what you want out of life—whether in health, in love, or in career—you have to go after it with gusto, and never take “no” for an answer.
Today Amanda is a leading marketer, Professor, author (with multiple national columns, and upcoming book, (The Influencer Code), keynote speaker, and the founder of Fit Strong and Sexy and right now, she’s leading a fundamental shift in the world of marketing and advertising with the birth of the Institute of Influence.
Sitting desk side after witnessing this charismatic, sassy young woman bring a lecture hall at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, to standing ovation on the very topic she specializes in: Influencer Marketing, I know one thing is crystal clear, whatever this woman does, I’m signing up for.
Amanda fills me in on her dramatic personal journey (overcoming physical debilitation that ended her professional running career), and how it led to an entire revolution and propelled her to become ‘the’ authority in the space of Influencer Marketing…. THIS is an article you won’t want to miss, and one any marketer; entrepreneur and influencer needs to bookmark and have in their back pocket….
“You can have the best product, service or idea in the world, but if you don’t have an audience, if you can’t break through the noise to garner someone’s attention, it doesn’t matter.”
This statement is the driving force that propelled Amanda Russell’s entire career. In fact, it was her thesis for her business school project….which, has now become an entire thriving brand, and Youtube Case study….(check it out: FitStrongandSexy.com).
With more passion and fire, her commentary on the current market has me jumping off my seat, “We live in an over cluttered and highly fragmented world, no one has attention spans…social media for organic reach is all but dead, digital advertising has diminishing returns (if any) – whether you’re an entrepreneur, a marketer or a thought leader in your own category (or aspiring to be), it’s never been more overwhelming….or EXCITING!
Gone are the days which you can put up a website or buy digital ads and garner awareness let alone conversion….which is why the term ‘influencer marketing’ has become all the rage. It seems as though every conversation about growth, marketing and/or social media, you will hear the term “influencer”- but what does that really mean?
And, what is it that makes one person influential and another practically invisible?
Here’s the thing, Influencer Marketing is one of the hottest topics in marketing and business, yet it is grossly misunderstood and mostly off target. BUT, when done right, it’s pure genius.
The Institute of Influence is EVERYTHING I wish I had when I first started my business. I couldn’t find anything that helped me strategize my efforts, time and money in the right direction to grow a business in this rapidly changing digital world while also allowing for customization and personal attention to my brand, audience and goals.
Here I was with a marketing MBA, having worked at a top marketing research firm in NYC, and being completely frustrated with what was out there as I built my own brand. Youtube and Digital media for building a company was relatively new, there was no book, no authority in the space, no blueprint for success, so it was a lot of trial and error, a lot of working with self proclaimed experts, and agencies that were just as new to this as I was.”
Amanda is a self-made pioneer in the space, having learned first hand what it took as she built a successful online brand, from audience creation to monetized business model.
Her success, and reputation for knowledge and genuine passion and dedication traveled and she started working with other companies (from start-ups to Fortune 500 brands) to help them navigate this new digital world to achieve their own goals.
Helping entrepreneurs, marketers and influencers turn frustration into understanding and excitement; she confidently iterates that Universe had thrown her a gift in ending her original running career.
“Distance running is so individual – it taught me the power of perseverance and hard work, but at the end of the day, no one else cares if you won a race, you don’t touch anyone –it’s a selfish pursuit. The injury forced me to see that, it was a failure that striped me of any ego and gave me a clean slate to find a higher purpose.” Amanda shines when she talks about her revelation. “This (Institute of Influence) is about something bigger. I found a greater purpose in the growth of others, and it is exactly that, working with people and brands to spread messages that matter, which became my passion and my purpose to help others Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Remembered.
Agencies and marketers tend to steer you towards a templated approach, but marketing is not a hard science; you can’t simply replicate what has worked for another person, or brand.
On the other side, there were the ‘overnight social media stars’ who happened to rack up followers on a platform and then become self-proclaimed experts, charging people a lot of money for their ‘expertise’.”
Every case is different, but having been on both sides, the influencer AND the agency, Amanda knew first hand what worked, she figured it out for herself, and she applied it to countless brands big and small.
There is a specific strategy and mindset you can use and we can confidently attest that there isn’t another course and marketing program or platform this comprehensive, or this credible!
The Institute of Influencer Marketing (IIM) is the authority in influencer marketing and education for the future. A full-service education, marketing and technology platform with exclusive courses on influencer marketing and digital brand strategy.
The Institute of Influence encompasses an educational and digital media platform featuring:
- Marketing courses taught by accredited industry experts.
- Hub of all content: Cutting edge articles, data, presentations, and case studies on all things Influencer Marketing and growing one’s brand and influence in the world the ‘go-to’ resource for all things Influencer Marketing, and the future of brand strategy and marketing.
- An innovative influencer media platform where influencers can create their own courses, hone their message, and build and grow business around their expertise (Think Masterclass.com).
- A creative marketing and consulting agency specializing in creating and executing influencer campaigns from concept to goal.
- A talent agency connecting brands to influencers utilizing a proprietary matching algorithm to generate the best outcome for both sides.
Any brand, person or organization who wants to break through the clutter, spread their message, build a tribe and become a brand so strong, the competition becomes irrelevant needs to be dialed into this.
The Institute of Influencer Marketing is shaping the direction of a world of influencers, marketers, and a growing $2 billion industry. With a track record of doing whatever it takes to get to the top of wherever she wants to go, from pounding the miles in the harsh northern Canadian winters, to becoming a Youtube case study, she confidently says “We’re unstoppable.”
And who could argue?
ORIGINALLY PUBLISED in Focus Magazine (March 2018)