It is always an honour - and a surprise - when you find yourself rubbing shoulders with truly influential personalities, when the industry you love returns your passion with accolades.
This was how I felt when I learnt that I had been honoured with a place on the Global Influencer Top 50 list for the second year in a row.
Surprised. Joyful. Grateful. Proud. Amazed. Humbled. Determined to do even better for myself, for my amazing R-Squared Agency team and for the industry to repay this honour. (Hey, maybe these are the Seven Stages of Joy to counteract the Seven Stages of Grief?).
Getting awards and plaudits is not about a pat on the back. It is not a reward. It is a challenge. It is a challenge to go further, to do better, to lift those around you. Every person on the Global Influencer Top 50 list is someone who strives to make our industry better. While a large portion of the world hears ‘influencer’ and thinks of vapid, narcissistic, self-absorbed attention grabbers, these innovators are showing the world the power of influencer marketing when it is done right. They are guiding our industry from a trendy, fast-forgotten Insta post into a truly formidable tool for change.
With great power comes great responsibility (actually Voltaire not Spider-Man
’s Uncle Ben but, whatever) and influencer marketing has certainly got great power. It is the leaders and innovators who are bringing in the great responsibility. I see it on a daily basis. I see it from the R
Agency offices in Cape Town and I see it from our offices in London. I see it as a member of the IAB in South Africa and the IAB in France. I am intimately involved with helping to formulate guidelines and best practices and ensure fair treatment for influencers and brands around the world. I see it every day with my teams and my clients.
The hunger for excellence. The thirst for distinction.
Not for any spirit of dominance or praise, but rather as acknowledgement that what they are doing – what we are doing – is the right thing done in the right way. Acknowledgement that we are accurate, factual, appropriate, correct, precise and, above all, that we are making a difference.
We all know the buzzwords: trend, influence, like, click, audience, organic, viral, but how many are willing to go further, to go beyond a quick click and engage the world for the better?
These are the ones who change our course, who chart our future.
And I am proud and honoured to be included in their illustrious ranks.