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January 23, 2024, Pedro Trillo

The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Collaboration for Startups in 2024.

Being an influencer is much more than having thousands of followers on social media. It is to have the ability to inspire, motivate, and educate others with your content. It’s having social and ethical responsibility with your audience. It is to have a lifestyle that many envy and few understand.

I have had the opportunity to meet and work with various influencers in the Generative Artificial Intelligence market niche. I’ve seen first-hand how their day-to-day is, how they create content, and how they relate to followers and brands. I have learned much from them and want to share the experiences and learning with you.

It all started with @heyBarsee; at the end of March 2023, I identified an unusual peak of traffic on the web; it took me days to get to the source from which the visits came until I finally located a *viral on X (Twitter), spontaneously; Barsee created a simple and straightforward list of 23 new generative AI tools, and we were lucky to include @vizologi among the selected, that tweet became viral and had more than 1 million views, the number of trials doubled and the revenue grew 100% the following month, kept the momentum until reaching 200% growth at the close of that quarter of 2023.

*If you are a novice entrepreneur reading this article, please do not rely on the viral-based sales strategy; the probability that your startup becomes viral organically is very low; it is a matter of luck. There is no doubt that you also have to move and be there to get out in the photo, but my advice is that you do not build your marketing and sales strategy thinking that you will get viral the first day of the launch, Vizologi, it took years before the virus happened.

How does the influencer world work?

With the profits that produced the viral, I rubbed my hands and said this is mine, starting a new campaign project with Influencers in 2023 that I will continue to date in 2024. The market of generative AI is going ultra-fast in all respects. Those who follow in networks this movement will have identified that have been born channels and influencers specific to this topic as mushrooms, and some have managed to have 800,000 or more than 1 million followers in a matter of months, given that there is an extraordinary interest and demand.

Then it is no longer about the speed of hardware evolution, the LLMs (Large Language Models), the number of startups that have been created, more than 10,000 by 2023, but not the entire ecosystem that accompanies. The Influencers are the kings of the track at this party; without them, we would not be where we are, dynamize the market, educate and spread the good news, and then position ourselves as the keys in the distribution of startups of this technology.

I made a listing by collecting the contacts of the leading influencers in three social networks, X (Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn; against all forecasts, X (Twitter) is positioned with the gold on the podium, which has worked extraordinarily well this channel, and the virtue of X, is that it has several native organic impressions much higher than the rest of the networks.

Instagram is working quite well; the interaction and conversion are high, and it stays with the silver; how was it possible to expect LinkedIn with the copper, which has also worked but with lower conversion? Someday, I will understand how to sell something on LinkedIn and give you a sense of what this social network is for; for the moment, I continue to try B2B (business to business) between large companies with very high tickets. This channel is milk…

Usually, influencers are very busy; we think it’s an easy profession to post content on networks from their homes, but there is an essential prior preparation, and the feeling they give you when you talk to them, or them is that they are delighted, not everyone responds to the contact, and with those they respond is very short and fast the interaction.

I have been talking to about 50 influencers, and only one manages the account, a specialized agency, which is the one that speaks to customers, prepares the documentation, handles the mail, etc. The price of this influencer for working in that mode was x4 more than the higher price of influencers without intermediaries; then, I discarded it from the entry.

Prices fundamentally vary depending on the number of followers and whether you offer them the content or they have to generate it; most prefer that you deliver it, except on Instagram, which prefers to do it to them.

Depending on the types of audiences, countries, etc., various factors must be studied before hiring; in my case, the audience is global and speaks English, and then the hiring is negotiated in dollars. More or less, this is the price fork according to the number of followers in the market of Generative AI Influencers:

Up to 30,000 followers – Around $150

From 30,000 to 50,000 – Around $200

From 50,000 to 100,000 – Around $250

From 100,000 to 300,000 – Around $350

From 300,000 to 800,000 – Around $450

From 800,000 to 1,000,000 – Around $1,000

From 1,000,000 in advance – Here is already a big leap, at least $2,000 for the campaign.

The strategy I’ve used has been a mix of micro-influencers that could be considered up to 100,000 followers, along with large channels or macro influencers with more than 800,000 followers, like @chatgptricks or Alex Wang. They all worked pretty well. You can start with micros, evaluate, measure, and then go to larger channels.

On payment, it is always in advance, except for some exceptions. I recommend you negotiate the day of publication between Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, the days with the most traffic on networks. If it can be at the beginning of the month, people charge and have money in the account, it is not the same to launch a campaign on March 4th as on March 29, and the number of trials and conversions to pay down quite a bit at the end of month.

As an example of a micro-influencer, I worked with Angry Tom, who has 87,000 followers on Twitter; it worked very well and is not figurative. When you talk to him, he’s constantly crawling, and funny situations happen where you’re talking with a logo illustration, and at some point, you have to pay a bill in advance to a guy you don’t even know his name.

So, how am I not going to have fun at my work? I enjoy this Internet fauna a lot, and I’m in my sauce. These anecdotes only happen on Twitter.

The influence king that has worked me best with difference has been Hasan Toor (@hasantoxr); I obtained x5 returns with this influencer. This guy is super gifted on social networks; he has a gift to trigger his followers, an exceptional talent; when I spoke to him, I told him that I would rather pay him a thousand times before paying him to Google expensive and insulting ads of dubious conversion, that we are solopreneurs. We have to support ourselves to create economy and resilience between us.

I won it from the first day, and it did an excellent job for me in various campaigns; since then, we have kept in contact regularly and even given me some free campaigns.

It is worth noting the age of many of them; the vast majority of whom I have worked with are twenty-year-olds; if my “millennial” generation was the native with the birth of the Internet, theirs is that of social networks, they dominate the influence extraordinarily well, for them and they are a native gift that they develop, they have been raised in the networks, and they master them to perfection, the continuous exposure sees it as something very natural.

I also realized that they do not compete with each other; on the contrary, they collaborate, create networks when you finish a campaign, invite you to make another one with another influencer, connect, recommend customers among them, weaving sales networks with more significant impact.

Anatomy of a viral.

A priori, if you are not an Influencer, you will not have the slightest idea of creating a viral (the same thing happened to me). You can try a million times, and it will never come out if you do not have the gift they have; it is a mix of mastering communication, activating the most human emotions, and knowing perfectly where the rewards of the algorithms of social networks are, whether they are likes, the format of the content, number of comments, forwards, etc.

Do not expect great philosophical or intellectual discourses among influencers; usually, this type of content, although it has extraordinary value, is more difficult to digest and does not get likes or comments because it requires effort and reflection by the reader. However, you can not fall into the trap of easy content.

In my personal experience, the most significant influence or shared knowledge that has impacted me in networks does not have 1,000 likes; maybe it does not reach four or does not even have likes. There is no direct causality between the number of likes vs. influence or impact; these are two different leagues. We are human, and there is no doubt that our eyes go to what is popular or what shines on our screen instead of what is essential…

I have learned from them that if there is a mechanism to create a viral, below I show our viral on Instagram with a video of Beyoncé.

Then there are keys to reaching 6,300 likes and 1,200 comments, and this video summarizes some strategies:

1st/ The product is missing, looking for a celebrity like Beyoncé that everyone recognizes, and creates a shocking image from the beginning of the video.

2nd/ Create the feeling that you are stealing your Ivy Park clothing brand strategy (includes risk, robbery, and danger to capture attention from the second 3).

3rd/ Ivy Park bills 40 million (millionaire entry figure; ? the success awaits you, bro).

4th/ The solution: In less than a minute, you can create the same business model as Ivy Park using this AI software.

5th/ Close with a discount, causing a comment loop in the post to generate the spark of the conversation to go viral.

It is impossible to fail with this marketing campaign; it contains all the elements for it to convert, and it has a duration of less than 1 minute (it is not banal this data); preparing the script and the content with them, they always tell me, Pedro, it has to be below the minute, over the minute the video no longer works.

The future of the Influencers.

AItana López opens the cover of this article; it is the first “AI Influencer” created by an agency in Barcelona, The Clueless, a project of the most original and creative I have seen in marketing in recent years, with a viral campaign that has gone around the world.

According to its creator, Rubén Cruz, Aitana was born at a time of crisis in the agency in which they did not get customers, then sharpened the ingenuity to invent an influencer model with generative AI from scratch. Today, Aitana has more than 270,000 followers on Instagram, of which the vast majority do not know that it is a hyper-realistic, synthetic, and fictional model generated with Generative AI. However, her bio indicates that it isn’t real and is a fictitious product of AI.

A few months ago, he was billing over 10,000 €, working on brand promotions and revenues from his private fan channel. Creating this influencer model costs close to zero, and he can work 24/7. Until a profession as relatively new as the Influencers is impacted by Artificial Intelligence, in the future, it will be widespread for synthetic AIs to coexist with humans in social media environments.

AItana has opened the veil for what awaits us.


It’s not new what I’m going to tell you that Influencers have been breaking into our lives for years, but after the observation, it’s identified that online sales are progressively shifting through them as natural intermediaries that create communities in specialized market niches, is a market that doesn’t stop growing at a rate of 26% annually. Globally, it has generated more than 21 billion Americans in 2023.

In my particular experience, for every euro invested, I have recovered it multiplied by x2.75, then as the channel is sustainable for a startup, as it approaches the ideal ratio in which the cost of customer acquisition is three times lower than the total value of the customer, please take it as a reference, depends on many variables this number, among them, the market to which you are heading, and the product you have in your hands, there is no exact science until you launch your first campaigns, experiment, and measure the results.

The virtue of influencers lies in that they have created a relationship of trust with their communities, and the link they produce is much more vital than any other marketing channel; no one likes us being bombarded with emails or direct messages on LinkedIn to make a direct sale, the Influencers make the sale indirectly through the education of their community, it is that “friend” that you expect to guide and recommend before a purchase decision.

As Jeffrey Gitomer said, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy!” So, I hope my article will help you change your perspective on influencers to value their work and influence.

CEO at Vizologi | Website

Pedro Trillo is a tech entrepreneur, telecommunications engineer, founder of the startup Vizologi, specialist in Generative Artificial Intelligence and business strategy, technologist, and author of several essays on technology.


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