I'm a marketer whose worked at Disney + Machinima.com (Acquired by Warner Bros.) who has ran video marketing on everything from Disney's Up to Minecraft. I wrote The Influencer Economy, and mentor business owners tell stories like a badass, collaborate with influencers, to thrive in the new economy. What do you need to know about a story, pitching influencers and collaboration? AMA

Ryan Williams
Mar 12, 2018

Learn how to pitch your authentic story, collaborate with influencers, & grow your business.  Storytelling is key in the influencer economy. Everyone needs 3 authentic stories in the modern world.  Most of us need help to segue our stories from good to great. I hate how so many of us undervalue our stories, let other people tell our stories, and even let others take credit for our work. I want to help you tell stories like a badass. 

Sending "influencer emails" to pitch your business can be a challenge, and the right emails can make the difference. I want you to get "Yes's" from influencers, and avoid the "No's." I want to help you position yourself like the champ that you are.

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What is the Matthew Effect and does it also apply to creative story pitches?
Mar 15, 6:55PM EDT0
How does one go about successfully personalising their story pitch?
Mar 15, 8:18AM EDT0

Great question. I recommend three things 1) Focus on your story audience, get in their shoes 2) Tell a relevant story 3) Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Be authentically rehearsed.

Mar 15, 4:51PM EDT0

The courses you offer on your site, do they work in groups? So a number of people complete the course together? What is the interaction between the participants? Do you yourself learn things whilst teaching? Influencers can work in pretty much any field, how do you adapt?

Mar 14, 7:26PM EDT0

Yes everyone works in a group. We have weekly video chata with me and the group. The group collaborates together. Everyone gets a weekly video lesson, worksheets and is expected to present the next week. I lead the discussions and othere are free to give input as well. I work directly with people in addition to the group environment.  

When I teach I learn a lot about how to connect and collaborate with others. Instructing is a lot of fun, I love it. And people learn in different ways, so you have to find how to motivate and reach each person a little differently. True, people can work in any field, but my method and framework can be applied to a wide variety of venues.

Mar 15, 12:16AM EDT0
What was one of your worst collaboration attempts and what was it that made the attempt fail?
Mar 14, 10:16AM EDT0

That's hard to say....I've emailed quite a few people who have not responded. Rarely have I gotten a "no." What I realize is that people are super busy, and it's not always the right time to collaborate. I once emailed Seth Godin and got an "I'm busy," and then emailed him again a year later and he collaborated with me.

Mar 15, 12:17AM EDT0
If you could choose one person to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Mar 14, 8:51AM EDT0

Hello Ryan,

Tatiana has just drawn my attention to your post because I am trying to get one of my works to an agent or someone who has Disney connections. 

It is an original work which cries out for animation. 

Are you the person who can help me?

Mar 13, 6:30PM EDT1

I'd love to learn more. My contact info is on my site- hit me up. What is your work, a book?

Mar 14, 3:00PM EDT0
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Do you have any interesting anecdotes from your time at Disney and Machinima? Did you meet any famous people?
Mar 13, 9:22AM EDT0

At Machinima.com we collabed with Notch from Minecraft on an epic gaming livestream. He was just starting out with Minecraft, and obviously he's gone onto bit things. After selling Minecraft for $2.5 Billion, we realized our YouTubers helped him marketing the game earlier on. :) I've worked with a lot of famous YouTubers. :)

Mar 14, 3:02PM EDT0

Do you enjoy mentoring other business owners? Have you ever had any frustrating moments as a mentor?

Mar 13, 1:27AM EDT1

I love mentoring and run a coaching program for biz owners. It's about how to collaborate with influencers. Mentoring is frustrating when the person wants you to do all the work. You can only lead someone to the water fountain, they have to drink the water themselves.

Mar 14, 3:02PM EDT0

What advice would you give debut fiction authors trying to promote/market their books and their name/brand? 

Mar 12, 7:20PM EDT0

I would recommend you 1) guest-post on well-read website 2) appear on other people's podcasts 3) focus on growing your public speaking, webinar talks, and platforms to tell your story. What is your book called?

Mar 14, 3:03PM EDT0
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Did you face any challenges when writing a book with a background in marketing? Or did writing come quite naturally to you?
Mar 12, 2:13PM EDT0

Writing a book is a grind. It took me 2x as long to write and publish the book than I imagined. Hosting a podcast helped me to get qoutes, stories, and anecdotes for the book, which is nice. But overall, writing is about sitting down and doing the work. Rinse and repeat. What are you writing?

Mar 14, 3:04PM EDT0
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Is there a balance between businesses and influencers where you are? Or is there more of one group than the other?
Mar 12, 1:14PM EDT0

I'm not sure what you mean...Businesses are influencers but not all influencers are businesses. Does that make sense? 

Mar 12, 7:07PM EDT0
How did you get a job at Disney? Was it a competitive job to get back then?
Mar 12, 9:09AM EDT0

I joined an early stage startup called DigiSynd. We were acquired by Disney for $16 million to help with their online video creation. At the time MySpace, Facebook apps., and "viral videos" were a big part of online marketing. The job was extremely competative because we had a "big idea" that we were trying to execute. 

Mar 12, 1:43PM EDT0
How to pick the right influencer to market one’s business? How can one get a good idea on whether their following is real?
Mar 12, 7:49AM EDT0
What marketing strategies did you use to sell your own book?
Mar 12, 7:20AM EDT0

Great question. I started a podcast 2 years before my book came out. I was able to collaborate with many influential authors who helped promote it, wrote book blurbs, and were supportive of the lauch. I also booked a speaking tour around North America, which helped sell the book. And now I give a lot of webinars and appear on podcasts, which is helping to sell the book now.

Mar 12, 1:45PM EDT0
What have you learned from your time working at Disney?
Mar 11, 5:23PM EDT0
What is it about marketing that interests you? Why have you chosen marketing as a career?
Mar 11, 1:48PM EDT0
Does one have to have a big budget in order to do some effective influencer marketing?
Mar 11, 12:44PM EDT0
With emails, do you think length matters? Are longer more detailed emails preferable to short and snappy ones?
Mar 11, 12:23PM EDT0
Have you always been into marketing? How did you get into it?
Mar 11, 10:00AM EDT0
How has the sales of your book been so far? Are you getting mostly positive reviews?
Mar 11, 6:44AM EDT1

I have many Amazon reviews, over 100 so far. So if you buy my book, feel free to leave an honest review. :) The book was an Amazon best-seller in Personal Finance and Creativity. Have you read it yet? :)

Mar 12, 7:06PM EDT0
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