My experience in the world of influencers and influencer marketing happened like most things in life: unintentionally. I had left the trading desk at Goldman Sachs behind and was working with a group of partners managing Free DMC, a multicultural agency. We published a lifestyle magazine called Free Magazine and designed strategy and events for clients like Belvedere, Jaguar and others who were seeking access to a world they didn't quite understand. As the work multiplied and the expertise grew, I discovered there was less common ground between brands and those who were moving culture forward and pushing boundaries. These people that brands would covet would eventually become known as influencers, though back in the early days very few people used that term. Hell, we were wrestling with the definition and the meaning of influencers as a term.