the platform Leans into the Creator Economy Connecting Creators with Brands

the cohort powered by sweb

the platform – putting content creators center stage

Hosted by the cohort, the event featured top content creators and brands sharing a collective wealth of knowledge about the expanding influencer economy

Creating this conference to foster meaningful conversations and mutual learning between creators, their peers and brands is so important.”

— Sarah Weber, co-founder of the cohort and founder of sweb marketing

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, March 19, 2024 / — the cohort, Pittsburgh’s first and only community for content creators, recently hosted their inaugural influencer marketing conference, the platform. Joined by 100 content creators and brands including representatives from Duolingo, Chobani, and DICK’S Sporting Goods, attendees left with invaluable insights, hands-on strategies, and tangible guidance from digital trailblazers who have achieved remarkable success in the online sphere.

“Creating this conference to foster meaningful conversations and mutual learning between creators, their peers and brands is so important,” said Sarah Weber, co-founder of the cohort and founder of sweb marketing. “Collaboration between brands and content creators is more than just a partnership; it’s a way to humanize a brand through storytelling via a brand advocate who people trust. We’re proud to have convened these forward-thinking individuals and already eagerly anticipate next year’s conference.”

The event kicked off with a fireside chat featuring Global Influencer Marketing Manager at Duolingo, Hitakshi Shah. Shah provided attendees with insights she has learned from crafting Duolingo’s influencer marketing initiatives where she has broken the rules of traditional marketing campaigns to build important relationships and strong, thought-provoking campaigns.

“In a recent campaign, we were able to generate 114 million organic impressions for Duolingo working with just 10 influencers,” said Shah. Another tip she divulged to brands is the power of proactive community management. “Just showing up in someone’s comments can have a huge impact to boost engagement and credibility.”

Offering insights about content creation, branding, monetization and audience engagement, the platform featured a creator panel composed of Barbie Brignoni, Chloe Brown and Kati Nairn with moderation by Brooke Hyland. Drawing from their own experiences, the panelists discussed their approach to brand partnerships and navigating common challenges.

“I increased my revenue by 30% when I started saying no to deals that didn’t feel right,” said Brignoni, who highlights prioritization of mental health as a creator. “Your time and energy has a value and a dollar sign assigned to it, but it is important that you know your value and worth as a creator and assign a rate that feels fair. I decided to cut down on work and focus on my mental health. By saying no to 50% of brand deals, I experienced revenue growth.”

Attendees also heard from a brand panel, composed of influencer marketing specialist, Saheedat Abdul, as well as representatives from Chobani and DICK’S Sporting Goods. The brand panel was moderated by influencer marketing expert, Cooper Monroe, CEO of The Motherhood. The panelists discussed the qualities they seek when choosing creator partners, as well as their process for establishing and sustaining creator partnerships.

“There is a need to streamline communications between influencers and brands,” said Meredith Goode, Senior Manager, Influencer Strategy, DICK’S Sporting Goods. “As a brand we could be juggling 20 campaigns at a time, but I think it makes sense to pause and really engage with each influencer, even if it is for a quick focus group to gather feedback,”

Into the evening, the cohort hosted a networking happy hour providing an invaluable chance to connect and unlock potential brand partnerships.

“For brands, working with exceptional content creators isn’t just about marketing or driving sales; it’s about forging authentic, long-term partnerships that elevate brand storytelling and resonate with audiences,” said Alexander Reed, co-founder of the cohort. “Likewise, for content creators, learning from peers is indispensable — it’s a source of inspiration, innovation, and continuous improvement in navigating the evolving digital landscape.”

the cohort also announced the launch of its Slack Community — the cloud-based team communication platform — that will give the cohort a digital third space to connect with creators, brands and anyone interested in staying up-to-date on the creator economy. The cohort slack channel will post daily platform updates, tips of the trade, and give users the benefit of one-on-one connection with other creators.

“Right now newsletters or other accounts are the only source of this information, and it is spread all over the place,” added Weber. “This community will be a central hub for what you need to know, and is free to join.”

For more information, about the cohort, membership and upcoming events, please visit

About the cohort
the cohort is the first and only community for content creators by content creators. Founded in March 2023 by Sarah Weber and Alexander Reed and powered by sweb marketing. The goal of the cohort is to develop creators, help refine their skills, build their audiences and provide them with brand connections that will help further their success. To learn more, please visit

About sweb marketing
sweb marketing is all about strategic thinking for a digital age. sweb specializes in creating an authentic narrative through strategy work, design, website development and digital marketing. More information about the pittsburgh-based agency can be found at


Darice Nagy
Green Dot Communications
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