The Hustlers Fueling Cryptocurrency’s Marketing Machine
It took only a few months for Sally, an executive assistant living in British Columbia, to become Crypto Sally, a Lambo-touting altcoin influencer who makes a living on YouTube videos. She got interested in cryptocurrencies last summer as the buzz around initial coin offerings, or ICOs, surged. She bought some ether-at the top of the market, she admits-and spent her free time researching how to trade lesser-known cryptocurrencies called altcoins, eventually making enough money to quit her job.
For someone with no tech or finance background, it was a lot to figure out on her own, so Sally (who asked that her last name not be disclosed) created a 34-page beginner’s guide to crypto investing and shared it online. “My goal was just to get some basic info out to people that I wish I would have had when I started,” she says. In January, she created a Twitter account to promote her guide, and in March she posted her first YouTube interview with the CEO of a blockchain company. Her following quickly grew to nearly 18,000 subscribers on YouTube and 14,000 followers on Twitter.
Potatoes – Beauty – Influencers – Tens – Millions
That’s small potatoes compared to, say, beauty or gaming influencers boasting tens of millions of followers. But in the burgeoning world of crypto, it’s enough to make her a star. “I’m like a nobody in traditional marketing terms, but because this space is so new and it’s so crazy right now, there aren’t a lot of crypto influencers yet, and especially female ones,” she says. As her influence grew, requests flooded in-often 10 a week-from up-and-coming coin companies offering to pay her to promote their ICOs or post a “review” of their coins.
When we speak, Sally is fighting off a cold she picked up at Consensys, the 8,500-person conference in New York City, her first crypto event….