If you have no sense of humor, then you likely bristled at the name “Brybe,” with its literal implications of shady, under-the-table dealings. The creators of Brybe, on the other hand, very much intended some irony with the name, a kind of wink and a nod at the kinds of criticisms influencer marketing has been the subject of over the years. This is especially true of marketplaces, which can often prioritize transactions over authenticity.
Igor Fedenkoff, Brybe’s CEO and co-founder, describes the name as being more emblematic of the company culture than the services his platform offers. The team there likes to have fun—daily office pranks abound—but there’s nothing unserious or cynical about the platform itself. Brybe was born out of necessity, to solve the problems Fedenkoff faced as Marketing Director of a tech company. He found influencer marketing to be a cumbersome, overly expensive process. The best platforms were generally geared (and priced) toward big brands, while the biggest influencers price positioned themselves similarly. And while there were good platforms for smaller companies, they required an investment of time and energy that small businesses don’t often have.
For small businesses—those without big marketing departments or budgets—Brybe’s creators created something that’s more efficient. The focus is on nano and micro influencers, for whom low prices, quick turnaround, and high engagement are the main selling points. To expedite things even more, Brybe drew inspiration from the website “Fiverr,” allowing their influencer to create custom “packages.” These packages are a bundle of services for a flat fee, with all the terms, deliverables, and prices spelled out on the influencers profile page. Activating an influencer on the platform who’s offering pre-built packages can be done with the click of a button.
Brybe does things in a more traditional way, as well, with all the CRM and campaign management tools you’d expect from a marketplace. This choice of approaches means that Brybe hasn’t just attracted small businesses to the platform. The list of brands that have “brybed” influencers to work with them includes impressive names like Adidas, Pantene, Cadillac, Jeep, Samsung and more. If a platform conceived to serve small businesses attracts big names like that, you know they’re doing something right.
Pricing is as straightforward as it gets. It’s free to sign up and there’s no monthly fee to access all of Brybe’s features. The influencers themselves set their prices (or you negotiate with them) and brands pay a 15% fee on top of whatever is agreed upon by both parties. Influencers can use the service without paying a dime—Brybe takes no fee from their payments. There’s talk of moving to (or just adding) a subscription model as they develop more features. Some new features are on the horizon, so hopefully a more coherent pricing model will be established.
When you sign up for Brybe, you’re asked to put yourself in one of three buckets of users: buyers, influencers, and freelancers. The first two buckets are self-explanatory, and the third one is, also, but since it’s kind of unique to influencer platforms, I’ll go into a bit more detail. Freelancers are creators, as well, but not necessarily with influence. Maybe they don’t have big followings, or maybe they don’t want the spotlight, or maybe they’re a grumpy guy writing influencer marketing platform reviews who want nothing to do with social media whatsoever. The freelancers are strictly there for content creation of any kind: photos, videos, words, illustrations, etc. Buyers can connect with anyone on Brybe, but Influencers and Freelancers can only work with Buyers.
Another unique feature is the ability to shop the platform without even signing up for an account. You won’t see all 550k+ influencers in the searchable database, nor will you see all 13k+ influencers who’ve opted into the platform and are ready to work immediately. But you’ll see a hefty sampling of what’s available, in the name of transparency. Of course, you can just create a free account easily enough to see everything, an option that’s entirely risk-free. At least, while there are no subscription options available and access is free, you can be sure that your contact info won’t be used by salespeople to pester you.
It’s also worth mentioning that, while the focus is on nano and micro influencers, there are some big name celebrities on Brybe, as well. Here, it’s not quite as easy to get in touch or broker a deal—entirely understandable—but with the team at Brybe acting in an agency capacity on brands’ behalf, your access to people like Leo Messi or Collen Ballinger (aka Miranda Sings) is better than what it would otherwise be.
But let’s get into the meat of the software, the actual process to run influencer campaigns. Brands can either create a campaign that broadcasts out to the platform for creators (both influencers and freelancers) to apply for, or they can search for people and deal with them directly. Both methods are streamlined versions of well-worn processes. Creating a campaign is one page of fields to fill out—select the social channel(s), describe the campaign, attach images, etc. Discovery is a matter of browsing through the site’s talent pool, and refining it down through limited search criteria, like categories, followers, and geography. The search filtering is nothing compared to what other marketplaces offer, but for the market that Brybe is trying to target, what’s there is plenty sufficient.
Likewise, an influencer’s profile is also light on information. There’s a breakdown of their social channels and stats, a bio (written by the influencer or the talent agency representing them), and a list of categories their content falls in. Because the influencers themselves are responsible for filling this out, it’s not the most reliable way to find someone appropriate. Especially at the nano and micro level, influencers tend to view categories as what spaces where they’d like to be rather than where they’ve been. This make searching by category less accurate than it could be—a search I did for food influencers yielded quite a few results of people whose content were decidedly not food related. Still, Brybe makes it very easy to figure this out, providing links out to their various profiles. Or, in the case of freelancers, they can look through a gallery of their work.
If a creator is offering packages of services (called Brybes, naturally) you’d find a menu of their options on the profile, well. The tools provided to the creator to do this are excellent, with a very granular focus on the details. All the specifics of the Brybe are noted, from turnaround time, to the number of revisions, the details of the deliverable. The platform gives creators a lot of control up front, which is a really nice feature. More than any other marketplace, creators have the opportunity to find gigs on their own terms, while brands can get a sense of what kind of professional they’ll be dealing with. Someone who provides a minimal amount of information or specificity to their packaged Brybes is someone who might not take this as seriously as your brand does. A creator who can spell out clear terms and identify what they’re bringing to the table is likely going to be a lot more professional.
Brybes aren’t limited to these predefined ones; you can also send out custom requests, and use the built-in messaging system to negotiate the details.
Managing everything you’ve got going on the platform is also very well done. There’s an administrative dashboard that makes it easy to manage your orders and to see which ones are active, which are completed, which you’re waiting on, etc. From this dashboard you can also manage your “Wallet.” Brybe uses an escrow system to handle payments. You preload your account with whatever your budget is, and when you agree to terms with an influencer that amount is spent from the Wallet, but not yet given to the creator. Payment is contingent on the job being completed, and the Dashboard is where you can manage all your payments.
Finally, there’s one more feature that’s fairly unique—the Brybe Affiliate program. It’s essentially a referral program available to creators, so it’s another great way for smaller influencers to make money. They can get up to 50% of the revenue generated by any user they refer, whether it’s a creator or brand, for the lifetime of that user. This doesn’t necessarily benefit brands, except that with such a compelling incentive to join, they’re sure to attract more and more creators to the site.
Brybe is a relative newcomer to the field, and has taken an interesting approach. They’ve gone all in on the transactional nature of influencer marketing, quite contrary to the prevailing wisdom. But it’s important to note they’ve done so without promising to be an end-to-end solution. They’ve put together software that’s as much and exactly what smaller businesses need, while still holding some appeal to bigger brands as an effective complement to whatever they’re already using.
By honing in on the mercenary aspect of influencer marketing—and celebrity endorsements in general—as a matter of process, but they’ve thoroughly humanized the endeavor with their tongue-in-cheek name. It’s still authentic, because everyone involved knows what they’re their for: quality sponsored content that’s easy to procure and manage, promoted to audiences who will resonate with it. You know, that thing called “influencer marketing.” Brybe clearly knows it well, and they didn’t even have to pay me to say that.