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Social Influencers Are Using E-Commerce To Turn Online Fame Into A Business

A new partnership between Shopify and FameBit goes beyond social ads to help influencers sell their own products.

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In a world where becoming a YouTuber or Instagram celeb is a legitimately lucrative career path, it’s little surprise that people aspire to be online influencers. From fashion and beauty, to gaming, comedy and so much more, dynamic individuals are finding fame while talking into a camera about what they love. The Holy Grail for this new breed of media mogul is to amass followers in the multimillions because with large audiences come large paychecks from advertisers looking to connect with those same fans.

But for every PewDiePie, there are hundreds of Loey Lanes and Mark Millers, successful YouTubers with loyal followings in the hundreds of thousands. While not quite superstars—the working actor to the megawatt celeb, as it were—they’ve certainly built a great deal of equity with their audiences and would love a piece of the brand sponsorship pie.

It’s this kind of online influencer platform FameBit was designed to serve. Founded in 2014, FameBit matches social media influencers and brands, often small and midsize ones that don’t have access to or are unable to afford partnerships with the hottest talent, so they can collaborate on endorsements and product placements. With more than 31,000 influencers who have generated over 20,000 branded videos, FameBit is now bringing e-commerce into the fold with a partnership with Shopify (one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies).

The partnership effectively allows social influencers to build a business off their brand beyond ads, branded content, and social partnerships, to selling their own products. While Shopify's e-commerce platform incorporates easy-to-use buttons and other sales widgets (and these will certainly be part of the offering), with this arrangement FameBit creators will get access to Shopify VIP, an exclusive service that provides the infrastructure and customer management support for social media influencers. This includes the ability to launch a multichannel store, receive guidance from a dedicated personal concierge, and generate donations to a charity of their choice.

Agnes Kozera

Agnes Kozera, FameBit’s co-founder and COO, says that her company approached Shopify for this partnership as a way to further enable FameBit’s influencer community to financially benefit from their online efforts.

"For us, there was definitely a need for this partnership on the influencer side," says Kozera. "Influencers are the next-generation celebrities who have built out incredible personal brands and we saw that many of them want to and are trying to expand that influence into their own businesses. However, for most influencers, getting started is difficult, as most of them don't have the resources and expertise to build and manage their own multi-channel stores. Shopify VIP is structured with this in mind and can provide help at scale."

On the flip side, Kozera says FameBit will help Shopify merchants with their influence marketing needs. "We see two great opportunities here," says Kozera. "The first is to help influencers expand their personal brands and provide them with tools to further monetize the incredible influence they've built. Secondly, we see an opportunity to help even more small and mid-size brands learn about and test influence marketing at scale, which will ultimately provide even more native branded content opportunities for our influencers on FameBit."

For the creators in the middle it means they can leverage their audiences to help fuel their other endeavors, like voluptuous style maven Loey Lane who can connect her 620K-plus subscribers to her curvy fashion line Loey Lane for Society. Or Mark Miller, who can use his super cute videos of him and his boyfriend Ethan to his encourage 560K-plus viewers to buy his casual outerwear sold on everydaypro.com. It also helps underscore that in this day and age having a lot of people follow your online musings can, in fact, amount to something.

Slideshow Credits: 01 / Photos: courtesy of Famebit;

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