Knowledge for adults: micro or macro?

The world is changing – it always has been. Horses were followed by tractors, kingdoms by democracies. Today, that means digital transformation. Agility. Network organization. Total flexibility. Only through lifelong learning can baby boomers and retro-millennials meet these new challenges and keep up professionally in the future, they say. That too – old hat.

So what’s new? The philosophical-sounding question of whether real adults should use continuing education for training or retraining!

The right model or the most beautiful modeling?

In animal films, bears, lions and whales age with dignity. They see the light of day, learn from mom, take care of offspring a few times – always satisfy their hunger, fend off attackers. Disruption in this world does not come from within the pack or because birds of prey learn new techniques in online courses; at most, it comes from humans.

Now, humans have not been animals for many millions of years and are always inquisitive. But are they learning the right things to live better – or are they just learning to fill their heads with details and take work away from others instead of creating new ones?

So I asked myself: do dinosaurs have a higher chance of survival with all the details about SEO, online advertising and graphic design – or in project management? Or is there an in-between

projektmanagement leadership knowhow for adults weiterbildung
What makes the difference for older employees who want to reposition themselves with fresh knowledge? Leadership skills or detailed knowledge?

Value creation in a generational context better not compete with AI

To anticipate the answer right away: I don’t know for sure yet, because I still feel too young. But I have a hunch! Innovation also needs progress in the mind. But aren’t those who have Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 in their DNA always at an advantage when it comes to digital topics? So what’s so special about older adults? Experience!

We will see a huge evolutionary leap in artificial intelligence by 2050. Routine tasks such as the boring (and superfluous) driving of a car, the evaluation of e-mail content, but also the creation of forecasts are increasingly being taken away from us by supercomputers.

So people who do not want to maneuver themselves into the sidelines need:

  • a craft that cannot be executed in its individuality and quality by AI and robotics
  • Leadership and decision-making authority that stands above the machine possible

Craft skills speak for the trade (unfortunately, there are too few retraining programs for office workers to become makers who deliver tangible results). In-depth knowledge of the organization of projects speaks for leadership dynamics.

Continuing education with a horizon combines the best of both worlds

My appeal to curriculum developers and the heads of leading adult education institutions is: think more about Scrum, Asana, Clickup and the rich treasure of experience that mankind has acquired with megaprojects over the past centuries, in addition to Google, Meta and Co. Success starts with understanding and being able to articulate what you want to achieve. Goals, risks, resources. Impact is only sustainable if it is traceable: analysis, continuous improvement, analysis…

We need to learn that as we age, we are challenged more as leaders. This is true in our own private environment, in our lives. But also in our world as freelancers, as team players or corporate leaders. Project management is a universal tool that distinguishes Trial & Error from Sustainability.


The brand in interactive dialogue

Recording is rewarding. That’s how it was already in 2000: I found one of my oldest specialist book publications in the field of online marketing and “online trade”. The book was published just in time for the new millennium. I think I wanted to make sure that important about digital marketing for the new millennium is available before it begins.

Events und E-Commerce - Buch aus dem Springer Verlag
A book dinosaur: “Events and e-commerce” as an e-book in Google Play

This book was first published in 2000, but it has been reprinted since then. For instance, there are some 2013 editions of the book from Springer Verlag Heidelberg still available on Amazon. Google Play also has digital copies of this if you don’t feel like turning to a traditional work for a flashback.

“Events and E-Commerce” is a summary of articles on the subject of customer loyalty and brand management on the Internet. At the time my article was published, many people called the internet “World Wide Web”. It is known today as web 1.0 because it had only very few social features.

Screenshot 2022 02 01 062848
A review of the book “Events and E-Commerce” on Amazon

What do I think about my publication today? Learn something new every day! I reread this old article of mine and have to say that it’s a lot better than I remember! It looks like a lot of people had good things to say about the book as well

Conclusion: My impression is that we’re always changing the packaging instead of trying to find something new. We could go faster, but innovation quality would suffer because it’s too hard to produce something new.

DIY - Do it yourself Social Media Marketing

Art is everything

The term “unprofitable art” is misunderstood. Artists create value, and without art life is much less worth living for all of us. No art means: no music, no Netflix, no beautiful buildings, no extraordinary designs, no book, and less interaction. No great outfits of the day, no pictures, no new impulses, no inspiration. No YouTube movies, no Instagram posts, nothing on TikTok, Snapchat. Without art, life is white to transparent.

Sascha Schulz - Coach & Artist Trainer
Sascha Schulz: “Artists need a rejuvenation in terms of digitization in order to be able to plan and implement their careers independently.”

And despite the enormous importance of art, unfortunately the self-absorbed or ignorant part of our society (and at times our parents too) still thinks that artists are profiteers instead of making profit. “Art must be subsidized!” I consider that to be a gross conceptual error. Art does not have to be subsidized, art has to find its market. Collectively or alone.

Originally, “unprofitable art” certainly did not mean that art basically does not bring any money. “Unprofitable art” meant that artists implemented “pro bono” projects, i.e. worked unpaid for once. Anyone can create art today – without formal training, without a lot of equity, without connections. That’s great, and the computer brand with the apple is a very big part of that mass empowerment. Anyone can make art, and anyone can have it custom made and shipped risk-free via print-on-demand and drop shipping. Anyone can sell digital art as NFT and plan and run their own auction rounds. In the current digital art euphoria, nobody should be confused by self-appointed prophets who explain simple “NFT manufacturing” in complicated ways. Everyone can build their own audience, maintain their own channels with relevant followers. Everyone can create additional digital products based on their art, which can be used to pay rent and much more. The spectrum is so wide – it ranges from embroidery instructions to online courses to our own color collections and macros for popular software programs (“Filters”, “LUTs”…)
Power shift in the art universe: Artist Dries Ketels explains to us why art schools no longer have to be!

Classic power relations in the art market will no longer exist in their usual form in the future, and that’s a good thing. Arrogance, artificially created barriers to market access, scarcity caused by the expensive and time-consuming mistaken belief in the fabulous quality of one’s own “vita” – proclaimed by art academies, curators, museums and galleries – will disappear. Gatekeepers in TV stations and publishers are becoming less influential. Your own audience provides the reference!

So, did we just have a little glitch that lasted a few centuries? Up until the Middle Ages, talented people honed their skills as trainees with established painters, authors, or actors. They produced for a market, for a clientele, for individual clients. In recent times, this has long been frowned upon, which has led to over-intellectualization and the hope of finally achieving a minimum income, at least after death. What the market didn’t want was delivered.

Luckily, the internet, social media, NFTs in blockchains and, in the future, the Metaverse are putting this head-sick watering can back on its feet. If you want to make art, you don’t need an expensive and long university education or external “experts”. If you want to make art, you need talent, a story, an audience, and the know-how to build your own brand. Start, go out, learn to walk, improve… keep going.

According to Forbes, Mr. Beast made it back to the top of the YouTube charts in 2021. Of a total of 300 million advertising dollars that the platform has distributed to its creators, 54 million went to the Wichita-born 23-year-old. With its 87.5 million subscribers, he has over 14.2 billion views. Jake Paul is hot on his heels with $45 million.

Content creators like Mr. Beast are artists. And art and money go together! There are far more impressive examples of this. Damien Hirst is the richest living artist and the richest artist ever, with an estimated fortune of around 1 billion euros. Art has many forms and faces: painters, sculptors, conceptual artists, film producers, entertainers, but also actors like Tom Cruise (approx. 515 million euros) and The Rock Dwayne Johnson (approx. 80 million euros annual income), musicians like Paul McCartney (approx. 1 billion euros) or Madonna (approx. 800 million euros) and of course book authors such as James Patterson (approx. 480 million euros) and JK Rowling (about 900 million euros) occupy top positions on the list of super-rich creatives.

Should we be looking at these prodigies in the top spots? Is that the yardstick we can realistically reach for – and how did they get there? Those who are up today have worked hard to get there. They were and are creative and can bring their creative products to an audience and take money home.

Don’t you understand that many kids today dream of becoming creators? You can see what you can earn with it and compare the income with standard wages and 8-to-5 jobs. As with any solopreneur, being an artist means being able to plan for success at your own risk. Whoever succeeds in this early on will never forget it!
What role does art play in society? And how can artists independently generate more income? Dries Ketels knows the answers firsthand!

Belgian artist and poet Dries Ketels shows us why Instagram, TikTok and an own artist website are more important for success than the wet dream of gallery owners and agents helping us to grow. Dries Ketels appeals to artists to market themselves pragmatically and shows how this can work. Ketels lives in Ghent. From 2011 to 2015 he studied art at the university there and at the Freie Universität Berlin.

What Ketels conveys can easily be applied to influencers, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), performing artists and DIY bloggers with an arts and crafts focus. In my opinion, it makes sense for artists of all ages to get a “digital rejuvenation” today and to be accompanied by competent coaches with online marketing competence when entering the market, growing, and marketing.

If you know the way, wear the right shoes, and dare to walk today, you own the art world!

DIY - Do it yourself Influencer Marketing

No buzz with the bullshit clicks?

The Englishman knows, “There is nothing but a free lunch!” In life, nothing is given for free. So, if you think your YouTube video doesn’t cause CO2, you’re wrong. To put this into perspective for you, every 60 minutes, a streamed HD YouTube video uses 220 to 370 watt hours of energy. That’s 100 – 175 grams of CO2 per video. In a previous interview with the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the research institute Borderstep published these values. The emissions of a film are equivalent to those from a car per hour.

Video Hosting Center mit hohem Energieaufwand
Video hosting and streaming platforms are gigantic energy consumers

That is no reason for me to get upset. An artist who does not play his music at a live concert due to the pandemic, but entertains 2.1 million people at home, somehow brings the ecological balance back into line, at least emotionally. But what about the many self-proclaimed gurus? Today, for once, I don’t mean the many top achievers who offer systemically applicable winning knowledge in all industries and areas of life for 5,000 euros per weekend course in order to give the masses access to endless happiness. I mean untalented and unqualified product testers and influencers!

Whoever is reading this may know that I have been enthusiastically photographing for over 38 years, have already bagged a few prizes and helped to create exhibitions. What ever happened to this art form? Nothing against smartphones with good cameras, I like them too. Rather, this is about all the talentless people who want (and need) to have a say in paying their rent with clicks and affiliate commissions. Ever scoured YouTube for camera and photo accessory reviews? In very few cases, you’ll find good ideas and advice on how to use the equipment being tested, or even how to compose better images. Battles to get the most out of already very good premium compacts are also hard to find. Instead: Showing off with far overpriced equipment and – sorry – shallow product reviews that the sensor shakes…

I suspect that most of the people who talk about photography products on YouTube don’t know how to take pictures themselves. Many will not understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and sensor sensitivity (ISO). And even worse, most will take photos or shoot videos with lenses and cameras that cost well over 7,500 euros, in the quality which one can also manage with 450-euro equipment or a phone.

Why am I bringing up these talent-free in this post in the context of YouTube’s power consumption? Because today it is too often simply about the quick buck! It’s about using cleverly manipulated films to keep viewers on the channel for as long as possible and thus collect advertising money without communicating anything meaningful in the slightest. And to talk people into buying things they don’t need.

This is doubly worse, because on the one hand looking at bad product tests pollutes the environment, and on the other hand the customers of pointless products or superfluous replacement purchases also cause the waste mountain to grow.

Wieviel Technik braucht man für gute Videos und Fotos?
How much technology do you really need to create good videos and photos?

It’s not the camera that takes the photos, it’s the person! Even with a 2016 smartphone, with compact cameras or simple entry-level MFT, APS-C and full-frame snaps (with the right lens – but that hardly costs anything today), fantastic photos can be created. What is crucial for this, that happens not in the body of the camera, lens, HDMI recorder or in the flash trigger, but through the understanding of movement, emotion, light, and image editing.

And I’m only picking out a small section of the vast ocean of nonsense here when talking about camera and photo accessory testers. There are excellent exceptions. But unfortunately, the number of freeloaders is growing more and more. Shame on you! “Think global” means here: Think better of the (psycho-mental and real) environment than of your account!

In my coaching sessions you’ll learn first-hand how to garnish channels with meaningful content and get rewarded by quality, how to create good photos and top selfies with almost all kinds of cameras and how to ultimate pimp photos with a tablet, smartphone, or computer and easy to use software. I’ll also teach you how to set up optimal product testing channels.

Digital future trends

Where is the Metaverse please?

My mother is 86 and visibly handicapped by pandemic malnutrition, genetics, and age. Which means: Diabetes 2 limits most of all her vision. As a child of the Second World War, she gave up an academic education, instead diligently doing her German low-wage main job all her life, plus worked in a part-time job. All this to finance the sofa and to go on vacation with us children once a year. It was foreseeable and could not be averted: her pension nowadays is not enough to pay the private contribution to her eye surgery.

Sascha Schulz, Online Marketing - Metaverse - Influencer Marketing Experte
The author Sascha Schulz has been dealing with future digital trends since the early 1990s. His current focus is influencer marketing and the metaverse.

It’s a good thing there’s Mark Zuckerberg. The father of social networks has renamed his child Meta, and now the world is as feverish as it was in wealthy Holland for tulip bulbs. The Metaverse is coming and it’s going to bring us anarchist redemption, right?!

Mark Zuckerberg and millions of others have a vague idea of what our society really needs and wants digitally in the future. My mother sees it differently. She does not want to put on augmented reality glasses to see professionally produced 3D environments, influencer content, a fictitious bank counter. She wants to see!

The Metaverse must be available on prescription! And tomorrow’s health insurance companies are advertisers. My mother would like me to invite her to Johannesburg in 2025 and have details about the route from the airport to my villa projected directly into her retina. On the way to her goal, she wants to see German-language outdoor advertising. South African English, which she would not understand even without an accent, is to be superimposed on her retina as a text translation in real time. Her personal AI assistant is supposed to remind her to take her pills, after all she’s 89, and he’s checking her vital signs so that I have a good feeling. As her son, I would like to know that she is always within reach thanks to the built-in GPS tracker, because who knows whether the driverless cars will actually work that reliably. After all, she will be able to enjoy an extraordinary car interior window projection on her journey, which I will have put together for her. Tourist highlights and her language course, which is 100% funded by the “Geman Agency for Work for the elderly”, will be incorporated and successfully completed on her way back… And all this without additional payment, because Mark’s Metaverse will be 100% advertising-financed! Never, we will then say, has it been possible to get so close to humans.

Mit Augmented Reality dreidimensional durch die neue Digitalwelt des Metaverse
The gateway to the Metaverse is currently still AR glasses. They should make it easy to experience a three-dimensional art world. What about implants?

I wish that this vision will come true. At a time when free travel and free speech are not always so free, it is good to have at least the prospect of digital freedom. I will invest in the Metaverse! But at what point?

What I read about the Metaverse today from “pundits” and media representatives is largely a representation of lack of imagination, short-sightedness, and profit-seeking. The Metaverse aka Web 3.0 can really change something, it can mean an autonomous new beginning for our society and embrace those who already lack social contacts. But please not with AR glasses, that’s so cheesy! And certainly not primarily through the acquisition of virtual properties, which can only achieve value in a reinterpretation of macroeconomic fundamentals. Because: Where there is no scarcity (=in the multidimensional virtual space), there can be no value if there is no sustained concentration of demand in salable locations.

Because of this problem of understanding, many people went bankrupt during the Dutch tulip crisis in 1637; of course, those who had little capital first, so they put their last shirt on rising prices. The 790 million people who lived on our planet in the early 17th century may have passed on the joy of speculation but did not warn against ignoring risks. Today we share the same planet with 7.79 billion inhabitants: The fantasies that Mark triggers with his meta are flatter than ever and already foretell that in the future there could be something like the repeat of the tulip crisis and the Internet bubble 2000, the bursts with a loud bang. Not because the concept of a metaverse is bad, but because the vision is too blurred and most of the big (and not bankrupt) initiators focus on money and not humanity.

The digital world is an ingenious value creation engine. Essentially, it consists of hardware (largely interchangeable these days – sorry, Apple-ians!) and software: Productivity, Science, Analysis – Creativity – Production – Surveillance – Communications – Security – Gaming – Sports – Arts – Artificial intelligence… The Web 2.X that exists today is “social”, but it is mostly only two-dimensional multimedia and by no means authentic, organic, or interactive enough. We speak, gesture, and touch our computers. But nobody feels like that!

Mark, make Meta a place of love, of discretion, of the second identity that you don’t put on, but implant yourself. My mom’s in, I’m in!

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing 20.22

“Influencer Marketing in the last and next 2000 years” – would that have been a good headline for this article? “Don’t think so,” you’re probably thinking now. “Especially the thing about the 2000 years in the past is incorrect, there was no internet back then.”

Right! But hey. Since when do influencers need the Internet? After all, influencers have always existed. And the trend to use influencers to promote your own Amazon brand or drop shipping business instead of traditional online marketing is unbroken and unstoppable.

Doubters do not change that either. Since I make money for other people with (direct) marketing, people have been trying to tell me that megatrends are overtaking themselves and that zeitgeist phenomena are completely disappearing. That’s nonsense. When it comes to influencer marketing, people get inspired by people. People also want to interact digitally with people. Influencer marketing is past and future at the same time. Direct marketing, direct sales, D2C – Direct to Customer.

Growth rates around the world speak for themselves. You were wrong, doubters! Wrong with Jesus (in my view a key opinion leader par excellence), with the Internet bubble – and nowadays with the relevance of influencers. “Vin Mariani” was one of the first examples of industrial influencer marketing. It was strong in the 19th century, a predecessor of Coca Cola. The leading “coked” red wine, which was then admixed with extract of coca leafs (0,6 milligram per 300 milliliters), was finally banned. Images and quotations of the pope and other dazzling personalities can still be seen. Mouth-to-mouth propaganda, the use of testimonials and influences lives on!

By now, every small retailer, every CEO, every association and NGO leader should be aware of it and therefore undisputed: Influencer marketing has more impact for people under 35. More impact is currently not possible with any other online tool. The buzz is increasing because it’s fun to be entertained by influencers – and people are still attracted by the fame that comes with it. In the future, influencer marketing will be further boosted by the Metaverse phenomenon. In this way, halfway democratically, more awareness becomes affordable for small, large, young and old brands; better staff can be recruited, more direct sales and appealing content for the social media channels of companies is formed.

That’s why good companies today fish for the best influencer marketing managers, influencer relations managers and influencers. For them, it is entirely logical that establishing relationships with influencers is part of the toolset in marketing departments.

And what do our kids think? It’s simply very attractive! So fast and without TV as a gatekeeper no one could build a massive fanbase and client base 10 years ago. Watch Huang Wai, 35 years young and the Chinese livestream queen. She recently had to pay 186 million Euros due to tax offenses. The supplier site of influencer marketing will never dry out. It’s about independence and about early wealth. 186 million Euros, an enormous amount of taxes that usually top league footballers pay in their entire lives.

Let’s talk about young customers: Generations Y and Z, whose eldest have just turned thirty-five, they like to enjoy lively and approachable icons instead of partying with the average people, which wobbles around in the inflationary background noise of public TV stations and streaming platforms. It’s just not as easy as it was in the good old 80’s Christmas series to set up tomorrow’s stars in sequentially programmable media. Two clicks in Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitch or Facebook – and your own crowd is there. Yes, I’m a Super Fan, and as such I dedicate part of my life to interacting, which in turn translates into monetary benefits with my online role models. Why not! Super Fans are the most valuable “commodity” for marketers, saving thousands of hours of paperwork, group mentoring and podcast creation.

And what drives marketing managers? The rules of the game for this discipline are internationally accepted, influencers can be commissioned directly by anyone. In the influencer business the middleman was dead before he really developed. Maybe that’s why influencer marketing isn’t a favorite of the agency scene everywhere. In the past, anyone who wanted to get the magic “Barbie Girl” singer excited about his graffiti shirt had to hang it on her door in the hotel; one had to know the manager to get past security. Today a private message to Sorelle Amore via Instagram is enough. She has 512,000 followers, Lene Nystrom from Aqua “only” 67.9k.

But stop! Are we actively searching on social media? No, not that much, we mainly find inspiration on IG & Co. People still search on Google, and sometimes on one of the few other search engines. With influencer marketing, we can easily build the bridge between social media optimization (MEO) and search engine optimization (SEO). Web SEO, shop SEO, social media as an SEO booster and if we want to sell, then Amazon SEO too.

How do we do it? SEO-optimized video descriptions and captions, use Facebook intensively – and with online PR. New products, services, artists, and online shops can be launched with high-quality media releases to bloggers and online editors. Skillfully written online press releases lead to journalistic contributions in portals and blog posts (which in turn improve SEO), or to a premium place in the press portal of News Aktuell and other reputable sources.

What is that supposed to tell us? We must not leave the power of influencer marketing in concert with proven online marketing tools to others. We should not underestimate the potential that can be leveraged globally, nationally, and locally in the combination of influencers and social media in 2022 either. If we are responsible for the marketing and future success of a company today, if we (still) own an advertising agency or if we want to break new ground as founders who think and act sustainably, we need an influencer marketing strategy. What can we achieve with influencers? Where can we find the right influencers? Which business models and budgets have proven themselves? Which tools help with planning and implementation? The author answers these questions in his publications, lectures, seminars and coaching sessions.

Branding Advertising Influencer Marketing

In Search of Relevance

When was the last time you had an expensive product in front of you that worked very poorly or not at all? Baby boomers like me still remember VW Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Audi 80s where there were workshop discussions about creaking dashboards, wind noise in the interior or play in the steering or whether the car would even drive.

In Search of Excellence for 202X

“In Search of Excellence,” the nonfiction book by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. was a box office hit in 1982, selling over 3 million copies. While it doesn’t come close to the 5 million copies of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (in German – Dale Carnegie made the title an instant bestseller in 1937, appearing in 31 languages).

“In Search of Excellence” quickly became the “bible” for business managers, engineers and young entrepreneurs. Japan was the model for efficiency and quality at the time.

Today “excellence” is standard, right?

We have learned over the past 30 years, set new records with our own top performances, and exported quite a bit of the excellence knowledge abroad. Today, in 202X, every craftsman can launch his own collection of drills and dowels. Having something of high quality produced in smaller quantities (or producing it yourself) is not only no longer a problem, but for certain target groups it is even highly desirable: handmade, ETSY-cool, sustainable and “from here” or from the influencer around the corner.

What matters today? My follow-up to “In Search of Excellence” I call “In Search of Relevance.” The book talks about the gatekeepers of today: algorithms behind search engines and social media, influencers (or key opinion leaders), artificial intelligence, tips, tricks and growth hacks.

For example, let’s take a look at the promising “D2C” business: direct-to-customer, what a great buzzword whose inventor probably forgot “direct sales” in his gradual digital dementia.

Direct to Customer, Dropshipping and the “Solopreneur boom”

D2C gurus are people who, after careful data analysis with or, think they have figured out which products as FBA or FBM on Amazon or in concert with a store and eBay, Etsy, and more will make them multimillionaires without further ado. Not because they are camera enthusiasts and apply the LED light they import from China. But because a sales data analysis program told them that the market could oversee even more camera lights. Therefore, they looked on Alibaba and Aliexpress for suppliers to send half a container to the rented warehouse to be re-labeled and repackaged. So, the challenge today is not finding products, suppliers or store systems! With millions of solopreneurs around the world hoping to strike it rich with drop shipping, print on demand and custom production, it’s about creating relevance for your own offering! How do you make yourself visible?

It’s no different in the entertainment business: first YouTube, then Amazon Prime, then Netflix – a gigantic amount of new streamable material has to satisfy the hunger of the providers and their subscribers; there are hardly any real new screen heroes left with a lot of choice and low impact duration, and the existing ones struggle to become or stay relevant.

Soon as book and seminar program

“In Search of Relevance” is a book proejct, a seminar program and a coaching series. It looks behind the scenes of the influencer, KOL and PR business. It examines new trends on online platforms like Amazon Live and the future metamorphosis of YouTube into a direct shopping channel. Of course, the author team also looks at the techniques that today’s relevant personalities have employed to swim above the water’s edge and break through the goldfish-like 8-second attention threshold.

Branding Advertising DIY - Do it yourself

Better first impression? Design your own masks!

Do we give up a piece of our individuality when we cover half of our face with disposable masks? Are there alternatives to the OR green or white of the standard paper versions that we get at every corner? And what is the subject of “mouth and nose mask” actually doing in my blog about digital lifestyle?

This week, the second Covid-19 wave has Europe firmly under control. Official requirements for wearing masks or protective shields that “glass in” the entire face are becoming more stringent. Even if we have been doing our coaching and consulting business more and more often via online conferences lately – Zoom & Co. does not go shopping for us, to the restaurant or even on the first date with the flirt.

As a co-founder of the Influencer Marketing Academy (IMA), I have a natural professional interest in the fields of beauty, style, personal care and travel. Even if we prepare a wide variety of business customers in our academy to make the best possible use of social media and influencers and of course not only cover B2C topics related to appearance and well-being – what we depict our customers in posts, stories, videos and live casts , should be as authentic as possible. This authenticity, and actually very practical “(self-) branding” options offered by masks, have moved me to write this article.

Standard disposable masks, designed to protect us and others, cover almost half of our face. This is the first time in our hemisphere that we are forced to adapt our appearance to a certain extent to comply with legal requirements. Masks become part of our outfits and tell others something about our style. How do masks change?

The influence of masks on the perception of others

“If the eye cannot convince, the mouth does not convince” – there seems to be something to this quote from Franz Grillparzer. As the editorial team of the “Brigitte” magazine sums up, there are six little things that others use to judge you without knowing you. The dress style comes first, according to “Psychology Today” especially the color choice. Then the eyes follows. Cobus market research confirms in a study that eyes are true “eye catchers”. Handshake, posture and voice occupy the rankings three to five. The mouth is listed #6 and was noticed by 22 percent of those surveyed. Studies have found that a smile, especially when you first get to know each other, “remembers us better and feels a little connected to us,” says Brigitte.

Make the obligation to create your own style with self-designed masks

Because masks will probably be with us for a long time, there are several aspects that stand for reusable mask products: If the functional quality and hygiene are ensured, high-quality fabric masks are certainly more sustainable than disposable ones. By far the most important aspect, however, is that designed masks – picked from artist collections or self-made – underline your own personality more strongly. Because everyone needs masks, the purchase is not only suitable for yourself, but also for family, friends, colleagues (employer branding!) And for customers, of course.

The possibility of applying individual prints to masks is a new way of adding fashionable accents to the face. DIY masks are as well suitable for abstract patterns, plain colors, but also for displaying the (own) brand, e.g. for social media personalities, influencers or “public figures”. As a small gift for customers in times when real social contacts are rare, mask presents are really meaningful and the opportunity to break new ground in marketing and advertising by connecting your own brand with something positive, useful and groundbreaking .

Where can I get individual masks?

Reusable masks are available from major sports and lifestyle labels such as Adidas and Nike. More exclusive fashion brands like Yoshi Zen offer design face masks from $ 89. Profound has a selection of colorful paper masks and more elaborate prints on washable fabrics.

In Europe, Vistaprint with it’s mask creator is certainly one of the pioneers when it comes to the quick and easy implementation of your own creations. In addition to the selection from artist collections, it is possible to upload your own graphic or photo here. There are self-designed masks for adults (in two sizes for 18 euros) and for children (14 euros). Part of this money goes back from Vistaprint to small businesses. The masks printed with your own motifs can be machine washed up to 25 times at 60 ° and then prepared in the dryer for reuse. The manufacturer writes about the product: “The new IF masks are equipped with an integrated filter so that you no longer have to worry about replacing them. By wearing a self-printed everyday mask, you can fashionably and creatively show attentiveness to your fellow human beings when you are out and about.” Order the individual, customizable masks from Vistaprint online here (no longer available).

Ethical Notice: The creation and publication of this article is aided by product placements and affiliate links. Nevertheless, this potential remuneration in no way affects the editorial independence of the author.


Brewery: emotionally charge beer with influencer marketing

Few German beer producers exploit the opportunities that social media marketing offers. Instead of using the great potential of social media channels and (live) streaming platforms to promote products with cool videos, emotional photos, podcast, we often see indoor shots from the brewery or boring to embarrassing poses.

Even the biggest companies missing their chance to create more awareness, expansion of reach and, above all, conditioning a positive attitude towards life with beer consuming. As masters of classic communication, beer marketers seem to rarely understand how to exploit their potential digitally. This is the conclusion of a market analysis, to be read in a contribution in the GETRÄNKE ZEITUNG (issue 07/2020)

“Every day, German brewers miss valuable opportunities to position their product among consumers together with influencers,” says Sascha Schulz. “Coordinated influencer and blogger programs, which also involve sales partners and inns, are the absolute exception.”

bier getraenkezeitung 1
Brewery: emotionally charge beer with influencer marketing 21

More than 120,000 influencers and bloggers can be contracted locally, regionally and nationally for collaboration in Germany. There are millions of talented international influencers. Beer as a lifestyle drink is promoted not only by “beer experts” together with partners from breweries abroad, but also finds interesting approaches in the categories of sports, food, beauty and travel.

Sascha Schulz, co-founder of the Influencer Marketing Academy (IMA), describes how modern beer marketing can be implemented with bloggers, influencers and key opinion leaders in a contribution in issue 07/2020 of GETRÄNKE ZEITUNG.

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner