The Causey Consulting Podcast

"The Influencer Apocalypse"

October 26, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
"The Influencer Apocalypse"
Show Notes Transcript

Filming in locker rooms and bathrooms? Getting mad if someone jogs by in a public park? Good grief, people. Unfortunately, what I call "scurrying mouse mode" can lead people to disreputable influencers, so-called gurus, and even cult leaders. 

Key topics:

✔️ I've given my $ to people to did eff all to actually help me. Doing that was one of the things that torpedoed my first business.
✔️ We live in a world where dietitians can be paid to recommend sugar, sodas, cakes, candies, etc. I mean... wow.
✔️ The #treatyourself mentality can lead to all sorts of unwanted consequences from ill health to debt.
✔️Be thoughtful about who you're listening to and for what reason. Are you listening to the hot air & hopium crowd because it makes you feel good?

Alarm sound by: Sound Effect from Pixabay

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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host Sara Causey.

Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to talk about the influencer apocalypse. I have taken the title of this podcast episode from the title of a YouTube video I watched by funky frog bait, and it's excellent. It actually brought up some points that I myself have not experienced. I'm an introvert and a homebody, as you all know. So some of the things that are talked about in the video, I was like, Oh, my God, people are doing this now. But I digress, I will get further into that video. And of course, I'll drop a link to it so that you can check it out for yourself. It's only about 17 minutes long and well worth watching. Especially if you feel like popping some popcorn, and almost watching it like a horror movie. Just Just be prepared to be like, Oh my god, really. If you typically spend more time at home than you do out and about if it's been years since you were in a shopping mall, or since you went to a public gym, it's it's quite eye opening. Last year, June 2 of last year, I published a podcast episode titled influencers can leave you broke. And it meant a lot to me to get on the air and talk about that topic. I know what it's like to feel taken advantage of. I know what it's like to feel ripped off for someone to come along and give you a lot of hot air and hopium and bogus promises, and take your money, but then not actually delivered the result that they promised you during the intake call. I know exactly how that feels. And I think it's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate in my blogs and on this podcast about trying as best as I can to present an alternative to the hot air and the hopium that we see and hear so often in social media and even on mainstream news. Nothing to see here. People move along, move along. Oh, everything's great champagne wishes and caviar dreams because this one person over here started a business collecting their gas and a jar and now they're a millionaire. This other guy picks his belly button lint and sells it online and he's a bazillionaire. So there's always a way that you could make it. Just bootstrap yourself by farting in a jar and collecting your navel lint and everything will be just fine. Right? Okay for John and Jane Q Public, that's absolutely solid advice. Anyway, on wanting to get on the air and talk about this. When you are in business, or you're freelancing, and you go into what I call scurrying mouse mode, you're just looking for someone to help you get out of that. I call it scurrying mouse mode, because that's what it reminds me of, if you've ever been in a room, and all of a sudden, oh, there's a mouse and you want the mouse out of the room and the mouse wants to get away from you. Maybe you're chasing it with a broom, just trying to knock it out the door and get it out of here. That's what it's like. I'm over here and I'm over there. And I'm zigging and zagging. And I'm up. And now I'm down and I'm on the left, and I'm on the right. And it's just this really intense panic of going from pillar to post trying to find some guru, some authority, some influencer, some supposedly awesome salesperson that can help you get out of the pit. Because that's how it feels like if your revenue has slowed down significantly, or maybe it's dried up altogether. In my case, I was all the time on feast famine cycles. The times when I would be in a feast, I would have to use the money I made to try to pay off debt. And I never got ahead. That's the thing. At best case scenario, I might level out for a short period of time, but then I will be right back in the weeds again. And I wanted somebody somebody who's more knowledgeable, because that's one of the things that you get hooked in by with these influencers, these gurus, these self helpers, etc. They present themselves as this paragon of knowledge. I know what you don't it's also by the way, something that happens a lot with cultists Our way is the only way our Messiah has got a one way ticket to God or a one way ticket to Jesus. And the only way that you're going to survive the end of the world is if you're with us, or the only way that you're not going to die and roast in hell for eternity is if you're with us. It's also a tactic that we see with cult leaders, I have some secret esoteric knowledge or I have a monopoly on God that you're not going to be able to experience unless you're with me. When you're in scoring mouse mode, you find people who claim to have the answers very attractive. And you just want that person to solve the problem. Tell me what I can do to increase sales. Tell me what I can do to get off the wheel of these feast famine cycles. The problem is, not everybody who tells you that they can do that for you is honest, legit, as knowledgeable as they claim to be. And some people might have really good knowledge in an area that differs from the industry that you're in. For example, maybe somebody really is incredibly knowledgeable at how to move residential real estate, even in a down market doesn't mean they know a damn bit about staffing. Conversely, somebody might be really entrenched, very knowledgeable on how to do staffing and recruiting, but might not know anything about how to sell widgets doesn't necessarily mean that these people are frauds, although some of them are. And I believe that I had dealings with people at times who were flat out frauds that just wanted my money doesn't necessarily mean that all these people are frauds. It just means that sometimes whether they want your money or they genuinely genuinely believe they can help you they're overreaching and they don't know what they don't know and you don't know what they don't know and so it just becomes a really not good situation and then they don't refund your money that's the thing they're not gonna give you a refund if it doesn't work out. So in this episode influencers can leave you broke the right upsets. People like influencers, gurus and self helpers can leave you broke even though they may promise you that if you spend money sometimes money you don't have which I did, by the way, on their programs, you will become rich and famous isn't always so what is the actual criteria of an influencer? Anyway? The barriers to entry seem pretty low all button and say they've only gotten lower since then, which I'll I'll talk about that and the funky frog video also does. LinkedIn has become a hub of fake pesos, outright lies self aggrandizement, and humble brags, I would be leery of anyone who promises to make you millions of dollars solely by using LinkedIn at that day was only gotten worse. In my opinion, psychopathic manipulators have zero issues with taking your last dollar and they will do it if you let them. Don't be blinded by a large number of likes or followers. These interactions can be bought and they can also be bots. No pun intended, exactly that. We live in this age of smoke and mirrors and mirages. In last week's podcast episode titled y'all throwing gas on an open fire, one of the things that I talk about is misinformation. Slash disinformation, including both the left and the right wing. And I talked about this article from the AP, where they referenced cyborgs trolls and bots, as well as paid shills. Now, I know there are people who will still argue the point with me that syndicates bear the daring and not really write down my mind, okay, sure, whatever Think whatever you want, just because someone is telling you that they know how to make you 10s of 1000s, or maybe even hundreds of 1000s of dollars, just using blank, and then fill in the blank how you want shopping, an online shopping platform, drop shipping, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we're X, whatever it is now, just because you're going on their pages, and they may have hundreds or even 1000s of views and likes and comments. That doesn't make it real. We have the tendency to look at that kind of stuff in the modern world. And we think that's giving some credence, that's giving a sense of credibility. Oh, well, okay, this person is saying that they can make me 10s of 1000s of dollars, just using LinkedIn or just using Instagram. I'm in the hole. I need those 10s of 1000s of dollars if this person really knows how to do it, but I mean, they're getting 1000s of followers, likes comments, people are saying this program was great. I'm so glad I did it. I mean, it sounds like they have testimonials. Maybe I can trust them. Not necessarily. Not all that glitters is gold. And that is one of the reasons why I wanted to publish that episode last year, because I know what it's like To be ripped off, and I know what it's like to when when I got to the point with that first business, I never really did like a Seth Godin the dip kind of exercise I thought that I was going to and I had some loose deadlines in mind, but I just kept pushing them back. And so what I'm talking about there is strategic quitting the at what point conversation that you have with yourself? At what point? If the business is not profitable? Do I quit? And whether that's a certain timeline or a certain dollar amount, it is important to hammer those things out ahead of time, even though sort of like going into a marriage, even though nobody wants to think about what if this fails? What if we wind up in divorce court? Or what if I start this business and six months into it? It's an abject failure, and I've made no money. What am I going to do then? I kept pushing my boundaries back. Well, I'll spend a little bit more I'll give it a little bit more time. And I had been really hung up on Kevin O'Leary's idea, you've probably heard him talk about it on Shark Tank before, you've got three years. If you cannot monetize the business and turn it into something that's paying your bills full time, then it's just a hobby, you'll have to take it behind the barn and shoot it or use it as a part time side hustle or keep it as a hobby, but it's not going to blossom into an actual business that's paying your bills full time. So I stayed hung up on this idea of three years. Well, that's what Kevin O'Leary says. I mean, he knows better than I do. I didn't want to accept defeat, I didn't want to admit failure. So I would go into scurrying mouse mode over and over again, looking for these gurus looking for people that claim they could help me. And I believe people that are of that ilk, they're like sharks that can smell blood in the water. I swear to you, it's like they can smell that desperation on you. They have honed in very well on their target market on their target audience. And they know how to select people that are in scurrying mouse mode, people that are scared people that are getting down to their last dime, they don't want to give up. So they'll go to the bank and take out a loan or they'll get on a credit card that they have no business maxing out just to afford this person's program. And some of these people when you're on a sales call with them, and they're doing the arm twisting routine, if you tell them that you need to think about it, or you need to look at the money, you need to determine where the money would come from in order to be able to afford the program, they really turn up the heat. Well, you can find a way, if this is really important to you, you can find a way people can always find a way to do what they want. Now I don't know whose sales tactics and trainings and techniques that particular technique comes from, but it's one that was used on me more than once you if you really want to do this, if you're serious about turning this business around, and you think I'm the person that can help you do it, then you'll find the money you can get the money from somewhere. Yes, you can think about it. How is half an hour? You're like what what it's, it's crazy. It is just a dog eat dog world out there with these influencers and so called gurus and so called experts, and I don't see that getting any better. I published a blog post recently titled influencers can also leave you sick, because I saw this article from The Washington Post and I just thought, oh my God does when you think it can't go lower. Like we've already hit rock bottom, surely the situation can't go lower. Oh, it can. And then this blog post I write I've warned you many times about the hot air and opium crowd especially as it relates to the job market and economy, leading you down a primrose path and telling you what you want to hear as Rome burns. Last year I recorded the podcast episode referenced above influencers can leave you broke. Yeah, no dumb and they can also leave you overweight, out of shape and sick too. And then I reference this WaPo article which was titled, The food industry pays influencer dietitians to shape your eating habits. The byline reads registered dietitians are being paid to post videos that promote diet soda, sugar and supplements on Instagram and Tiktok. What a world right what a world I plan to record a separate episode about my experiences in recent times with meal plans, with dieticians, nutritionists, et cetera. And it's not all bad. This is not going to be an episode where I'm just bashing people in Oh, let me tell you all the tales of woe. No, I have some negative stories and some negative experiences. But I have also had some positive experiences as well. And in reading this, I'm like, what, in the hell, registered dietitian would encourage people to eat things like candy, cookies, brownies, cakes and pies. I mean, who does that? It reminds me of the story of the serpent in the garden. Just do it. Just eat this. Just do it. Just do it. It's okay. Just do it. Just do it. And has that kind of sinister vibe to it like yeah, treat yourself. Go ahead. Have that cake have that pie. Have those candy bars. Treat yourself. Yeah. And then what? Maybe that person to whom you're saying just do it, just treat yourself, No food is bad, all food is good. Maybe they're diabetic. Maybe you're gonna screw up their blood sugar by encouraging them to do that. Maybe they have a heart arrhythmia, and the doctor or the cardiologists has told them, hey, look, you can't be downing sugar, you're not a hummingbird. If you do this, you're gonna screw up your heart rhythm. You don't know what the health situation is with all of these individual people who are watching that maybe they have a binge eating disorder. And if they sit down to have one cookie, one cookie is going to turn into 12 is going to turn into 20. You don't know. I can't think of any legit and this is just my opinion, which could be wrong. But I cannot think of any legit registered dietician that would encourage. It might be one thing. And I'm not a teetotaler on this issue. By the way, in my mind, if you want to have a slice of cake on your birthday, if you want to have pumpkin pie with some whipped cream on the top at Thanksgiving, okay, man. I'm not gonna condemn anybody for that. But frankly, it's none of my business. I don't know of any registered dietician, that would be like actively encouraging it every day. You should have cake every day, you should have pie every day, you should have candy bars. And all no food is bad food, just ate it. Just do it. I don't know of anybody that I would label legit. Who does that? I want to read again from my blog post. One of my grandfather's suffered from a host of what we often call western world diseases, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, etc. His doctor recommended dietary changes and regular exercise, which probably doesn't even happen much of these days. In a moment of consternation, he said, it's just food. I can't understand how food could hurt me. Sadly, the food we have in modern times isn't the same as what our ancestors had. Most of my great great grandparents were born in the mid to late 1800s. If they saw a modern grocery store, they would find a plethora of oddities. Unfortunately, yes food or as Michael Pollan said, edible food like substances can hurt you. That's something that we heard my grandfather say on more than one occasion when he would be frustrated. It's just food. How can it hurt somebody? How can it kill somebody? Unless somebody put poison in it? I don't understand how food could be toxic. And it's like, well, I mean, think about what you just said. A lot of the foods that we have in the modern American food supply are not good, nutritious Whole Foods. Yes, those foods are out there. It's just when you go in a supermarket. Think about the volume of processed and or ultra highly super processed foods that you see. I went in not long ago and saw this like insane. I'm tempted to just say abomination, but it was like oatmeal with s'mores mixed in. So it's like instant oatmeal, which already in my opinion is not going to be as good for you as the old fashioned oats. The instant oatmeal with like pieces of chocolate and graham crackers and mini marshmallows mixed in and I'm like, you know, I know this is gonna I I'm trying not to sound like a snob here. I'm gonna get hate mail but whatever. I just it's it's a struggle for me to understand how somebody could look at that and say, that must be healthy. It's oatmeal so it must be healthy even though it's got chocolate and marshmallows and graham crackers put in it and you can nuke it in the microwave for one minute and eat it like it must still be healthy. That's that's a struggle for me. Back Back during the Great Recession, I've told the story before of having to eat magic leprechaun man cereal, the generic kind that you could get on the cheap and skim milk that would was dinner one night and breakfast the next morning. I have done it. That's the thing. I'm not sitting here saying I don't understand why somebody would eat those foods. There are times economically, when things like Top Ramen, and mac and cheese, that's what you can afford. My hands in the air been there and done that. I think when we're talking about dieticians being paid to shape people's eating habits, and getting into this, just treat yourself mentality, I find that deeply problematic. And I think that we need to just call these things out for what they are. If you see oatmeal or sugary cereal, and somebody's trying to tell you that's health food. I mean, on some level, shouldn't you think, um, if it's got a bunch of chocolate and sugar, or it's got a bunch of mini marshmallows and an absolute shit ton of artificial colors and preservatives in it, perhaps it's not entirely healthy. long pause there so you can consider that for yourself. And in this WaPo article, they name names, I mean, they straight out, call these people out. And it has the same energy to it. Like the people they call out saying there's no evidence for concern. People that are worried about artificial sweeteners. It's just clickbait. It's low quality science. If you eat artificial sweeteners, it's okay because that'll satisfy your desire for something sweet, but it won't affect your blood sugar or your insulin. As I was reading on this, I was thinking and my fellow actors will remember this. I was thinking of Sir his in the Disney version of Robin Hood because there were times in the movie where his eyes would go all crazy and he would hypnotize people. It felt like the same energy to me. No reason for concern. Everything is safe. There's no reason to be afraid. It's all just clickbait. Just keep eating what you're eating. Who cares if the oatmeal has 10 pounds of sugar put in it and you're not a hummingbird? Just eat it anyway, treat yourself. How did we get here? That's a podcast for another time. But like, how did we get into this place of treat yourself? Don't have any self discipline at all. Don't deny yourself if you deny yourself anything, you will go slowly insane. And you will get to the point where you just have a binder. How can we how did we get here? That's a major point to ponder. And believe me, I'm not saying that. Life should all always be this very ascetic. Self Denial. No pleasure, no fun. no days off, you should just be on the grind constantly. That's not healthy either. I'm just thinking of like, if you're treating yourself every day, if you're eating cakes, cookies, pies, milk shakes every day. Surely, you have to know that's problematic. I mean, I'm just I'm just thinking out loud. One of the difficulties that I had in my struggles with my weight and getting on this journey towards the middle path and towards body recomp. One of the things that I would struggle with was I'm not eating those things. No, I'm not having cakes, cookies, pies and milkshakes every day, or even on a regular basis. No, I'm not going and getting fast food. I'm not getting pizzas. Like I go home and I cook and I eat what I think is healthy. But then I'm still overweight. I work out on a daily basis. Yet, I never really seem to make progress. I seem to stand still at best. Or maybe I get some of the even though I hate the term middle age I'll use it you start getting some of the middle age spread. And it just a pound here and a pound there and another pound next year. And the next thing you know you're like how did I gain 10 pounds? Like where did this even come from? I feel like it's more difficult if you're eating things that have this illusion, this health halo around them as opposed to going and getting like a big greasy cheeseburger with wads of French fries and ketchup put over them and a milkshake to drink it down with I feel like most people would have at least a basic idea that that's probably not health food. But when we do get into this area of paid influencers, people telling the public It's okay, it's okay to eat this it's okay to eat that it's not going to do anything bad just do it just treat yourself. I find that harmful and irresponsible.

From the Washington Post, the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries are paying dozens of registered dietitians that collectively have millions of social media followers to help sell products and deliver industry friendly messages on Instagram and Tiktok. According to an analysis by the Washington Post and the examination, a new nonprofit newsroom specializing in global public health reporting. In my blog in response I write I've warned you about this too. We live in an age of bots, trolls and paid shills every goofball mansplain, or who told me that paid shills are getting embarrassing very well who looks the idiot now, there are social media posts that aren't even written by actual humans. There are so called experts and influencers who are being paid to intentionally deliver a particular result for their owners. Reading again from the Washington Post, the analysis of 1000s of posts found that companies and industry groups paid dieticians for content that encouraged viewers to eat candy and ice cream. And I emphasize that let me let me read that to you again. The analysis of 1000s of posts found that companies and industry groups paid dieticians for content that encouraged viewers to eat candy and ice cream, downplayed the health risks of highly processed foods and pushed unproven supplements messages that run counter to decades of scientific evidence about healthy eating. The review found that among 68, dietitians with 10,000 or more social media followers on Tiktok, or Instagram, about half had promoted food beverages or supplements to their combined 11 million followers within the last year and quote holy crap Yeah, so not only can influencers leave you broke, they can also leave you sick, overweight with blood sugar problems, etc. Wow. Returning to my blog post I write I'm sorry, but what the f dietitian encourages people to eat candy and ice cream slips on tinfoil hat? Do you think maybe just maybe big food wants you addicted to their products? Even if it makes you sick? Do you think maybe just maybe Big Pharma wants you on as many meds as possible? Do you think maybe just maybe the body positivity movement has been hijacked by corporate entities who don't have john and jane Q public's best interests at heart? Now it seems we're getting a push towards all foods or good foods, which I'm sorry, I just don't believe to be true. I don't stand by that. I don't I don't know where all of this all food is good food. Treat yourself. If you have any amount of self discipline or self denial, you're going to explode, you will explode. If you walk past a candy bar in the supermarket and say, You know what, I'd like to eat that. But I'm not gonna it's not compatible with what I'm trying to do with my body. It will prey on your mind. In your nightmares. You'll see that candy bars and just eat it. Just do it. Just treat yourself. Wow. Wow, what what a time, what a time to be alive. Just just crazy to me. I've said it before, I will say it again. Be careful, be thoughtful, be strategic about who you're listening to. and for what reason? You'll know the tree by the fruit it bears no food pun intended there. If somebody is steering you in the wrong direction. If they're trying to part you from your money, they have a vested interest in parting you from your money, or they're shilling for some company, they're telling you Oh, it's totally fine to drink this beverage because they're being paid by the beverage company. Or they're encouraging you were using their credentials as a dietitian or a nutritionist and encouraging you to eat things like cakes, candies, cookies, pies on a regular basis. You know, if it were me, I would really question that person's motives. I would really wonder why in the hell somebody with any background at all in nutrition, or dietetics would be telling me that not saying that you should never have fun that you could never have a night out and cut loose. I think we all know at this point that if you're cutting loose and having nights out every night, that's probably not good for you, especially in the long run. We might be able to get away with that stuff to some degree We're in our early 20s. But if you give it another 20 or 30 years and you'll be feeling it. Yeah. Be careful of these influencers. Before I go, I will return to the video that inspired this, the influencer Apocalypse by funky frog bait. In this video, they talk about influencers ambushing people in shopping malls, in gyms, which I mean, I work out at home. And I feel like if you can find the right kind of equipment, especially if you can get it secondhand. It's worth the upfront investment to have the ability to work out successfully at home and to not be beholden to a gym, if you like going to a gym and there are plenty of them at low cost. Now, if you like doing that, that's cool, good for you. I'm not a super big fan of it. I want my equipment close by I want to be able to use it whenever I want to use it and to dress and look however I want to dress and look. But I have heard friends who still work out in actual physical gyms griping about what it's like when the people come in with the tripods and the ring lights and they want to film everything. And that's one of the things that's talked about in this influencer Apocalypse video. People getting ambushed in shopping malls, people getting ambushed and Walmart people just running down the sidewalk or in a park. And then these influencers getting butthurt and mad. You screwed up my shot. How dare you jog past me? How dare you walk in front of my camera in the gym? How dare you give me a weird look with side eye while I'm dancing in front of a stack of pancakes. How dare you? There were even people filming in locker rooms? To me that's really beyond the pale. It's one thing to film on a public sidewalk or in a public park isn't annoying and self aggrandizing? In my opinion, yes. But when you're talking about being in a bathroom, or a locker room, and somebody's got a camera going, No, no, no, no, no, no. And as they point out in this video, like, that's even illegal. That's considered a felony. In some states. If you've got a camera going in a restroom or a locker room where people have the expectation of privacy, they're going to be in there using the bathroom. They're going to be in there in various states of undress, maybe changing from work clothes into gym clothes. They don't want to be filmed that Wow. Again, I go back to wow, what in the hell kind of times are we living in? Be thoughtful, be strategic about who you're listening to. And sadly, we are getting to this point in time where even the so called experts whether you want to talk about economist's or whether you want to talk about dieticians, not everybody is trustworthy, just because they have some credential behind their name. It used to really mean something. But things have gotten so distorted and so warped out by corporate America and politicians and the mainstream media, that you can't just blindly trust somebody because they call themselves an expert. Stay safe, stay safe, stay healthy. And I will see you in the next episode.


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