As I mentioned in chapter 2, the entire idea of Shoes of Prey had been born of the test, ‘Is this a purple cow?' Would people be so excited about this idea that they would want to tell other people about it? And when it came to marketing, we (ultimately) approached it with the same test.
The early days of influencer marketing
In March 2010 Shoes of Prey was all of six months old, and 200 000 people had visited the website (which wasn't too bad for a new website.) We were in the early, bootstrapped stage of the business and looking for a funnel of people who would be interested in what we were doing, outside of the traditional avenues. Read: for free.
As we brainstormed, Mike stumbled across the then 16-year-old US-based makeup video blogger Blair Fowler (known online as Juicystar07). She had more than half a million subscribers to her channel and, although her videos were inordinately long (normally around nine to ten minutes each, when the average recommended YouTube video length is just over two minutes), her videos would amass huge watch numbers that were above her subscriber numbers. This audience was very engaged, female and, it just so happened, she had just started doing fashion videos that were doing well. This was a very new and not yet common practice.
This seemed to tick all the boxes.
So he sent her an email that her Hollywood agent replied to. She said that Blair would only do positive reviews, so we should gift her the experience of ...