Inside Influence: One On One With Shaman Durek
I spoke to social media influencer Shaman Durek about his best advice
Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Shaman: A lot of people don’t know that I can speak Turkish, Hebrew, and Italian and that I love horseback riding. Also, I grew up in Hawaii and California.
Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Shaman: Ever since I was a teenager I was an influencer. As a kid, I was always enthusiastic and had full of passion and curiosity for life which led me to share and create social circles that involved topics that I felt strongly about. This included everything from video games to music to creating new trends and understanding health and wellness. I was experimenting with herbs and superfoods and kombucha early on in my late teens before it became mainstream. People would always come over to my house to see what the newest thing was that I was involved in. It felt great to share this with people and through that, I created a lot of popularity for myself as a kid all the way into my adult life. Through my shaman training, people started to hear and experience my passion which led me into more influential circles. Along with shamanic training, I was also studying religion and other people’s spiritual practices and as I learned I gave back to the community. I believe strongly that information should not be held onto. Through that, I received more recognition in influential social circles worldwide which led to more press and allowed me to create more workshops and content for everyone. When it comes down to it, these were the actions that I took to get to where I am today but the fuel that drives me to be an influencer is the deep love I have for God and humanity and I feel I’m here to make the lives of everyone easier.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Shaman: My first tip is to know and understand your brand. What is your brand about? What kind of people would support your brand? That leads us to tip two: influencer shopping. What are the morals of the influencer you’re looking at? Are they aligned with your mission? Are they trustworthy? Read their comments and look at their engagements to see how they interact with their followers. Tip three: partnering with your influencer. When you are partnering with your influencer you want to find out their engagement rate. Having an understanding of this will make it very clear about how many people will interact with your products or company. Step four: reach out/gift giving. You want to connect with the influencer and give them your product so that they can genuinely connect and support it. This lets them speak from the heart as they are sharing it with their followers. The best marketing is when it comes from the heart.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Shaman: One of the important keys to becoming an influencer is to act now and not later. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. A key component to becoming an influencer is to embrace who you are and everything you are as a brand. Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing because when you do it will distract you from who you are. Keep in mind, that people in the world respond to authenticity and vulnerability in you, not because you can copy other people. Keep yourself original and keep everything you do in alignment with your vision. Having a clear vision of what makes you light up will make other people happy because they feel inspired by other people who have something to be excited about. In other words, when you’re excited, they’re excited. One of the rule of thumbs I like to follow, don’t be afraid. Be as wild as you want to be in who you are. There’s a market for everything. Also, what I’ve found important as an influencer is to create engagements. Get to know your audience, get to know their life. Ask them questions and answer them. Build solid authentic relationships. With a strong authentic relationship, people will trust what you say. And if people trust you, they will tell their friends and family and other people about you.
Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Shaman: I think one of the biggest misconceptions people make is that since you’re an influencer you must put up an ego to your followers, but that’s not how it is for me. I’m vulnerable and transparent with my followers. Another misconception that people have about the influencer world is that all these pictures are real life. A lot of these influencers have staged photos on their page; it’s not real. Some Influencers would like you to believe their life is fabulous and they’re living the high life every day when in actuality they are not.
Adam: What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?
Shaman: As an influencer, I learned about the depth of branding and marketing and how to really be clear about what it is I ‘m doing and why and how I bring that out to the public. Why this is important in branding is because you understand the trends and what is happening on the planet. What do people want to hear the most? What are they missing? What does the market need? I’ve learned to base my branding based on the pulse of the world market.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Shaman: I love listening to country music. It speaks from the heart and its true music. It’s about lives of the collective. To me, that’s an authentic reflection of what is real for the soul. I also enjoy traveling. Going to other countries that I’ve never been to and speaking languages and being in different cultures gives me vast knowledge of how much information is available.
Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?
Shaman: My greatest influencer is God and the artistry of God’s creation, and I pay it forward by loving what God created.