Taking a Closer Look at Crypto Influencers and Determining If They're Scamming Youby@rusyasafina
409 reads
409 reads

Taking a Closer Look at Crypto Influencers and Determining If They're Scamming You

by Rusya SafinaJanuary 5th, 2023
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

A real crypto influencer makes money on crypto itself; everything else is just a hobby. Excellent crypto influencers won't be looking to get 600 bucks for the ad; they won't dm you to start collaboration offering services. Cheat subscribers are one of the most common things right now: a gazillion platforms offer such services.
featured image - Taking a Closer Look at Crypto Influencers and Determining If They're Scamming You
Rusya Safina HackerNoon profile picture

"Who is among the Top YouTube influencers?", "The best TikTok influencers are…?", "What influencer is the best fit for your product?", "Which influencer can bring you the best outcome?" — these are the questions that inevitably occur in any new crypto space dweller's head. And that's just ordinary, normal questions, not rocket science since. 

To save your money and time, let's turn on a mode called "critical thinking". In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, and learn who is a crypto influencer, and how exactly this person makes an influence.  

Let's figure out who can be a great crypto influencer.

For you, it could be your friend, maybe a co-worker, who doesn't even have social media, but he managed to gain some money from crypto, and his story has captured your mind. So, you also entered the crypto space thanks to the wave of inspiration from that person; meaning the influencer influenced you to enter the crypto. In this case, an influencer is someone you know. 

Now, imagine that this guy or a girl is creating an account. So, to influence more people, this person has to be someone who really makes money from crypto. So, this account - probably, on YouTube - is just a hobby, no more. It could be monetized, but there is no direct need for that. Why? Because this person already makes money on crypto — there is absolutely no reason to look for integrations with crypto projects. 

You started to understand, right? Excellent crypto influencers won't be looking to get 600 bucks for the ad; they won't dm you to start collaboration offering services. This is simply impossible: any influencer is in no need of that. Why? Because a real crypto influencer makes money on crypto itself; everything else is just a hobby. 

This is probably the main difference between crypto and non-crypto influencers. 

Tips that help you distinguish between true influencer and true scammer

Cheat subscribers 

Cheat subscribers are one of the most common things right now: a gazillion platforms offer such services. And yet, influencer managers are falling for that. For obvious reasons, though. 

This guy is familiar to everyone in the crypto world since he's been one of the first who would push the wheel of cheat subscribers - Professor Crypto. Despite the fact that the old crypto ones know him well, all the time he has new projects advertising coming. 

In the example of Professor Crypto, we can list all the dubious points that require triple-check. Let's unfold each of them. 

Lifehack: no one would tell you about getting cheat subscribers "busted!"

Stability of views 

YouTube is a very smart system. So, if your video for years has many views, it simply won't allow you to score such a number. 

If you see such drastic view changes, especially if the last one didn't hit certain stats, it is obvious that the previous number was due to the cheat subscribers. Something that usually makes influencers' methods transparent. 

With 409k subscribers, hitting 830 views is absolutely impossible due to YouTube's algorithms. 

Check other influencers' social media. 

If real people follow an influencer, he must have some sort of fun club. And it can't be YouTube - because it is not a platform for communication. That's why true, quality influencers have either telegram or discord community. Our insight: the best-worked Telegram channels that "borrowed" the audience from YouTube. Because there you'll see true fans - people who live to see new posts or a video from their favorite internet star. So, we recommend you get suspicious if there are no other social media. Wait, don't rush. 

Here is the thing: not always extra social media pages are a good thing. For example, professor crypto. 

There is a tool called botometr, which, as you might get, helps to find all the bots in a certain channel. If you apply it to a Professor's Twitter page, you'll see a curious thing: the number of cheat subscribers is at its most. In this case, it is 90% of subscribers and comments aren't…real.

Subscribers growth. 

It is quite easy to get mistaken here. What we see here is a seemingly smooth increase in subscribers. But the blindness problem of such tools is that they would show you the progress of the last few years, without checking what was before. 

This channel was created in 2018. Even though the tool showed us that he started from 100k followers, 150k+ growth looks dubious. 

Channel's relation to the subscriber's language. 

Let's take a look at the geo in comparison with the language of the channel. It is English. Literally, channels in English always have the first two English-speaking countries in the stats. Turkey or Spain have their own bloggers. Why would such a big number of Turkish and Russian users actively follow this channel all of a sudden? It can't be higher than the English-speaking audience. Most likely, he just uses the tool with a big number of Turkish bots. 

Notable followers. 

This section is useful to test the channels with a few thousand followers. Why? Sometimes KOLs could be in a small circle of crypto leaders, and they create channels just for fun or out of a hobby. And all these big shots from the crypto sphere start to follow them. 

In the case of professor crypto, everything's fine. His notable followers aren't bots ;) 

But 70% of these dudes are probably his students who take to the same sh*t as he does. 

But still, you can use this section to understand who you are dealing with. Most likely an influencer with a big number of KOLs just a part of a narrow circle full of crypto professionals. So, if the small channel has many notable followers, it is most likely a quality one. 

However, if the channel is huge and there are no notable followers, well, call the crypto karma police: cheat subscribers are in the building! 

Channel development. 

Every business should progress over time. So, many channels in a year or two completely change their content due to the fact that they learn a lot during this time: from the audience's feedback, from what ad managers suggest, etc. Again, in the case of professor crypto, we can compare two videos: the one posted four years ago, and the one posted now. They are practically identical. Which is impossible for the quality channel. 

The first video filmed in 2018

Another one filmed in 2022

Would you watch that content with lots of alternatives? 

A simple question that can encompass yourself in the right direction. Is this content really appealing to you? Is this better than the many alternatives you have? Believe me, that can be enough sometimes.  

Professional gathering of cheat subscribers. 

Professor crypto is the best example of how NOT to use cheat subscribers. However, many channels honestly make great content, they put a lot of time and thoughts into that, but at the same point, they go by a dubious path of getting some cheat subscribers. The reasons could be different: to hit the top list, to bear the competitors, or win out advisers. 

Sometimes, this way of getting cheat subscribers is way more subtle and hard to reveal. This is probably the main reason why you should ask for help from a crypto influencer agency. It will save you (if the agency is good) from paying for your own mistakes and paying to scam influencers. There are big chances your competitors already paid that price. 

Today, analyzing a crypto influencer without expensive tools is almost impossible. The agencies already have retrospective data, and they see real outcomes of the influencers' performances. That's why you have more than steady reasons to contact Solus.b. 

Another way is to analyze internal influencers through YouTube analytics. But to request it, you must have some relationship with a certain influencer. So… it will take resources without promising anything particularly delightful. 

Such manipulations with the influencers you already work with are vital to performing. And… could we leave you without a guide for the internal influencers' analytics? Noooo way.

Acting like a top influencer or a sheep that put over a lion's teeth. 

"Hello, I am Louis Thomas, and I am among the best influencers in crypto. I heard about your agency: top-notch, you guys! Would love to work with you". 

Now, scratch your head, and try to recall the definition of an influencer we gave you earlier.  Is it really possible that a blogger with a great demand would dm you first? Why? Why would they do that? 

Sure, there are reasons. Maybe if your product is among the first 5 on Сoinmarketcap. Okay, that could be the reason for writing to you, you deserve it, very well. 

However, even if you are an influencer manager that has been working with the projects that were in the first 5 of coinmarketcap, but your contacts don't really glow anywhere, I'll give you my word: you've been scammed. 

Louis Thomas is one of those who regularly attend crypto conferences and lectures. Before deleting all of his videos for reasons that remained dark to us, he was a really respected crypto influencer. He would never reply to email letters. We tried:) For months, from different accounts, the answer was silence. So, you see, it would be extremely weird if he would dm us by himself all of a sudden. I mean, W-H-Y? 

Now, prepare to hear the truth. Be careful — every top influencer has its own double. Someone that pretends to be this crypto influencer. 

Here's what is going to happen if you try to find an influencer just by his nickname all by yourself. 

Lifehack: no matter how high your KPI, and how many influencers you would have to attract over a period of time, NEVER communicate with influencers on pages other than officials. Even if somehow you find a telegram contact of an influencer that is not on his list of contacts on the YouTube page, we recommend you demand to confirm himself.

If he's a "real" influencer, he'll understand you. Just because he knows how many fake pages there are. 

Also, a small remark: if you get an email from an official address from the influencer, it also could be fake. How to check it? Write to him by yourself and get a "reply" form, otherwise, don't believe everything you see. 

Irrational pricing. 

It is not a question of scams, but rather the absence of rules regarding the normal pricing on the market. Since the crypto-influencing market hadn't its revolutionary times, it is entirely unregulated. Many projects just pay too much for them, without understanding the normal price. 

Let's put it this way: influencers get their prices literally from nowhere. It is not literally a scam, but it is the same as you would come to a certain platform to buy bitcoin for 20k, but they put a different price for it - 120k. But why would you buy it for such a price, if you can do it for less money with better tools? 

As an agency, we decided to change this situation and shaped basic prices. For the influencers, we usually work with, these are recommendations on pricing. If you need real market prices for influencer services that would really make a difference in the terms of ROI, download a guide and put the right price tag. 

Influencer's irrelevance to your product. 

This is not a scam at all. But sometimes even the best influencer, with the best internal analytics, just isn't on the same page with your values. 

A simple illustrative case from our experience: DataDash, who is a great, very conversion-driven influencer. We worked with him in collaboration on the one DeFi project. And… even though he's really cool, conversion was poor. Wanna know the reason? It's just that he's been talking about Bitcoin for four years. So, his audience is not interested in the exchanges, the best platforms to swap. Why? Because they are interested exclusively in Bitcoin. 

Such a subtle state of mind comes with experience. Don't spend your money when you can contact the agency and get the best from the experience that you didn't pay for. 

Who is the best influencer in the world? 

Let me tell you a bit about preaching. 

"There was a girl named Prudence. She had been wandering, indeed, in the fields for an hour in the morning, looking for the only thing she craved: a framework for life. Having not found it in her musings, she went to a palmist. He advised her to live a certain way, which she tried to do, but eventually, that framework didn't work well for her. Then she asked for advice from a fortune-teller, tried it, but also failed. Finally, she went to a witch, and said: "What is a framework for my life?" And the witch croaked a reply, "it depends ". 

So, "it depends" on who is the best influencer in the world for you. You can acquire it by testing hypotheses and scaling the best of them. But if you want more than a croaked answer, contact us - we can help you find YOUR best influencer. 


Sorry, if you were looking for a list of influencers that is easy to contact within two minutes and launch an integration that will bring you millions of followers, but found this article. Even if that was real, someone would do this before you. 

Like any worthy thing, influencer marketing requires time and effort. Finding an influencer is only part of the thing; the other part is to forge proper content. 

In the end, it is a matter of making your own list of influencers that is valid for your business. 

If anything comes up, you know where to find me.

Also published here.