How to Succeed at Freelancing in the Creator Economy

Katie Stoller is an influencer marketing veteran. She began her career in 2009 in Los Angeles working in fashion PR, dressing A list celebrities and working celebrity gifting suites at award shows. She then moved home to Chicago where she had a decade-long career working at top global PR agencies (Ogilvy, Ketchum and Golin). She then led the influencer marketing team at Fiat Growth, a fintech growth consultancy working closely with affiliate and performance marketing teams. In 2023, she transitioned to being an independent marketing consultant for businesses and talent. She also launched her education company, influencerinsiderguide.com where she puts out valuable resources for those in the influencer marketing industry. Katie is a member and mentor with WIIM as well as a mentor for DePaul University students.



[00:00:00] Katie Stoller: They’re not working themselves into, their fingers bleed like you do in an agency. They’re not working until midnight. They still have some of that flexibility, but they need a full-time load. For these companies to like, sort of like, even allow them to fit in with their schedule. Like, they need more access.

[00:00:15] Katie Stoller: Like, I will say like, my one agency client right now, I can do whatever I want. I can sign in when I want. I’m sort of independent. Like, I don’t have a team. I just kind of like, come in and do the work and make sure it’s done.

[00:00:32] Jessy Grossman: Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to the pod. I’m very excited to be here with you guys. I’m Jessi Grossman. For those of you who are new, giant, huge welcome. I don’t know about you guys, but I have like a couple of trips lined up this month, one this weekend and another for a week with family during like, like school break.

[00:00:56] Jessy Grossman: Oh my gosh. And like, I love going on a trip. Who doesn’t [00:01:00] love going on vacation? But I feel like sometimes the prep work to do so is a challenge. And I mean, not in all different aspects, like preparing for, like, just where to stay, what to go, what to see, what to do, but also just like how to wrap up your work so that you’re not Working.

[00:01:20] Jessy Grossman: I just realized today, literally today, that one of our virtual events is right in the middle of my vacation. So there’s no way around that. We have tons of people who are coming. Shout out to, uh, our Omnichannel strategy virtual event. You should come and I will be in Miami while it’s happening.

[00:01:39] Jessy Grossman: But being nimble, I guess, is important to learn. And to get better at, but also really like how those weeks before and then of course, like the time after before and after vacation could just be so stressful at work, just trying to wrap stuff up or play catch up your inbox.

[00:01:58] Jessy Grossman: Loads while you’re [00:02:00] gone. The longer you’re gone, the longer the amount of emails that you have. And like sometimes you come back and you’re like, Ooh, was it even the right decision to go away? Anyways, I like first-world problems here, right? I am excited to go away. I’m going to Nashville. I’m going to Miami and have never been to Nashville.

[00:02:17] Jessy Grossman: You guys, Miami. I’m from Miami, so like, well, it might seem exotic and so cool for some people. Like it’s cool, we’re going, we’re excited to go, but like I’m. Literally from there, I was there for 18 years of my life. But Nashville, I’ve never been to Nashville before. So we’re like, I have a Delta credit card that I’ve had for years.

[00:02:33] Jessy Grossman: And one of the many benefits, I’m like a big Delta girly. One of the big benefits of it is that you get these companion certificates every single year. But I am notorious for like. Just forgot about it until it’s like about to expire last year, the frickin thing expired because I remembered it before it expired, but there are all these blackout dates.

[00:02:55] Jessy Grossman: And I think you have to book travel at least 2 weeks before it [00:03:00] happens. So like. Long story long, I couldn’t even redeem it last year, which is such a waste, like hundreds of dollars that I could have had. But anyway, we were up to the wire of redeeming this year’s, or I guess 2023’s companion certificate.

[00:03:14] Jessy Grossman: So it was between Nashville and Austin because I wanted to go some well, you can only redeem them domestically and I wanted to go somewhere that I had never been before. And those are two on my bucket list for sure. So we’re just doing like a long weekend in Nashville. I’m so excited. I got some recommendations from people if you have any, I guess by the time this.

[00:03:34] Jessy Grossman: podcast airs. I will have been back from Nashville. So I’ll let you know how it was. It was, I’m very excited about it. I feel like there’s like, oh gosh, this is so embarrassing to admit, but like, I love The Bachelor and the Bachelorette, and like, it’s such a guilty pleasure of mine. Everyone has different tastes in reality TV.

[00:03:49] Jessy Grossman: I hate admitting that I love that show. Cause it like. Goes against a lot of things that I fundamentally believe, but like, whatever. I check my brain at the door and I enjoy it. A lot of those people like to live in Nashville. So I’m [00:04:00] secretly like, Oh, I wonder if I’m going to like run into somebody who I recognize.

[00:04:03] Jessy Grossman: How cool is that? We’ll see. I will be that girl who was like on my phone being like, Oh my God, look at so and so, will you take a photo with me? So we’ll see if that happens. We’re also there for Super Bowl weekend. So I think that’ll be a fun place to be for the Super Bowl, like going to a sports bar or something.

[00:04:22] Jessy Grossman: We like nothing planned. We have a whole list of possibilities of things to do and we’re kind of going to wing it. That’s how we travel. Anyways, excited. Okay. So this week, I haven’t even told you anything about this episode. Okay. So this week we have an interview with a friend of mine, Katie.

[00:04:38] Jessy Grossman: Stoller. She is a friend of the show. She’s been on the podcast twice before. This is her third time. Can you guys tell, I feel like this is like a trend this year, like bringing back folks who’ve been on the show who were just wonderful the first time. And I want to catch up with them and for you guys to catch up with them.

[00:04:54] Jessy Grossman: So we will link below in the show notes to her other two episodes. So [00:05:00] you guys can check those out if you so choose. But I’ll give you a little bit of a lowdown on Katie in case this is the first time you’re hearing about her or you want a reminder. So, Katie Stoller is an influencer marketing veteran.

[00:05:14] Jessy Grossman: She began her career in 2009 in LA, working in fashion PR, dressing A-list celebrities, and working celebrity gifting suites at award shows. I didn’t know that before. Now, she then moved home to Chicago where she had a decade-long career working at top global PR agencies, all the big ones, Ogilvy, Ketchum, and Golan.

[00:05:35] Jessy Grossman: She then led the influencer marketing team at a company called Fiat Growth, which is a FinTech growth consultancy working closely with affiliate and performance marketing teams. And then in 2023, she transitioned to being an independent marketing consultant. Consultant for businesses and talent. That’s when she also launched her education company, which is influencerinsiderguide.

[00:05:58] Jessy Grossman: com, where she puts out [00:06:00] valuable resources for those in the influencer marketing industry. She is a member of WIM. She’s a mentor with WIM and she’s also a mentor for DePaul University students, which I love, love, love. I think that’s amazing. We get all into the freelance life. That is what this episode is about.

[00:06:16] Jessy Grossman: about. So if you are just getting into being a freelancer or a consultant or in your early days or you have been considering it or dreaming about it, daydreaming, whatever it is, this is an episode that you’re not going to want to miss. So I’m excited for you to hear more from our guest, Katie Stoller. Enjoy guys.

[00:06:42] Katie Stoller: This show 

[00:06:43] Jessy Grossman: is sponsored by Women in Influencer Marketing, better known as WIIM, the best online community for the creator economy. You will meet fellow influencer marketers. You’ll meet brands. You’ll meet talent agencies to talk shop, get hired, and even [00:07:00] find a mentor. When you become a member, do not forget.

[00:07:03] Jessy Grossman: Check out all of our incredible resources. For example, we have 

[00:07:07] Katie Stoller: dozens 

[00:07:07] Jessy Grossman: of masterclasses from the top voices, TikTok, YouTube, award-winning agencies, and women who are paving the way for us all. So if you want the chance to network with a free school in influencer marketing, check out what it takes to become a member.

[00:07:23] Jessy Grossman: Make more money and have fun doing it. Visit IamWiim. com slash join. That’s I A M W I I M dot com slash join today. And I so look forward to seeing you more around the community. So I think. This is maybe your third time coming on the podcast right third time third 

[00:07:48] Katie Stoller: time’s a charm, 

[00:07:49] Jessy Grossman: Baby Third time’s a charm.

[00:07:51] Jessy Grossman: So I’m like do I even need to introduce you? I guess I should introduce you I mean we briefly introduced you in the intro to this episode, but Katie [00:08:00] Stoller is Super excited to have you here today. We’re just chatting like before we started recording. I’m like, it’s also just like low key, a chance for us to catch up a little bit and just like have some like catch up time.

[00:08:12] Jessy Grossman: So I’m just excited to have you on again for the third time. So welcome. And how are you? 

[00:08:18] Katie Stoller: I’m good. I know I was like, is anyone going to want to hear from me again? Like, it’s been a long time though. I will say, if you have listened to my other episodes, life has changed drastically since then. So. 

[00:08:31] Jessy Grossman: So tell us a little bit about the changes because I think that’s a great place to start.

[00:08:35] Katie Stoller: Yeah, so I think the first time I came on, it was like right when your podcast was like pretty new. I think we were, me and Molly were on together, Molly told us, and I was at Ketchum full time or almost full time. I can tell that story in a little bit. And then the second time I was on, I think was like pandemic y time.

[00:08:52] Katie Stoller: Like I was kind of between things. I think I might’ve been at the growth marketing agency I was at, but it was like that weird time warp that we all lived through from [00:09:00] 2020 to like 2023 where time made no sense. And now we’re in 2024, it’s a new year and it’s been official, officially a year since I’ve gone freelance.

[00:09:09] Katie Stoller: And I think we’re going to talk a little bit about that more today. But. It’s been a journey. 

[00:09:14] Jessy Grossman: Yes. And like that is, I don’t, it’s just such a timely topic. It’s something that I was so glad that you wanted to talk about today. Cause I was like, yes, I would love to talk about this today.

[00:09:28] Jessy Grossman: Just like the idea of going freelance, being a consultant, like whatever you refer to it as I feel like there’s like different terms, but just like not living that corporate. life. And I think this is relevant for people, whether you’re in it currently, you’re starting to do it, or you’re even just like thinking in the back of your mind, like, what if I left my job or, you know, insurance policy?

[00:09:50] Jessy Grossman: What if I get laid off from my job, which is happening left and right to so many people in our industry? And I just think it’s like a good thing to, to know about, to have an awareness of and you’re [00:10:00] a year into it. Congratulations. I think that’s like a really exciting milestone. So I hope you like Breathe that in.

[00:10:06] Jessy Grossman: And like, I love that for you. So I guess like one of my first questions is, you know, so many corporate people are leaving that corporate life. And again, like for various reasons, whether it’s on their own accord or being let go and they’re trying to do freelance work. So as someone who’s done this, like just, can you give us an insider peek into like what your experience has been like this first year?

[00:10:29] Jessy Grossman: Like maybe some of the good, some of the bad, but the realities 

[00:10:31] Katie Stoller: of it. Yeah, I’ll start with kind of like a little mini-story as to why this even like happened because I will say I’m not a big pattern on the backer of myself, but I was like ahead of the game in this because, and I just you were part of it.

[00:10:46] Katie Stoller: Like, I came to you many times to ask you questions and get your thoughts on it, but we’re talking like 2017, 2018. Was really when I started having serious, serious thoughts about it. And I’ve always [00:11:00] described myself as more entrepreneurial. I went to grad school for PR around 2012 and everyone was getting these big cushy jobs, Leo Burnett, and Ogilvy.

[00:11:10] Katie Stoller: You know, catch on these big, huge PR and ad companies, bad agencies. Some people were going in the house and I just was like, ew, like none of that sounded appealing to me. And it’s crazy because I worked at large PR agencies for over 10 years. So it’s like kind of a wild thing that that was my mentality, but it’s true.

[00:11:27] Katie Stoller: Like I always kind of was like, I want to be my boss. I don’t like the idea of the corporate structure. And I used to sort of like be almost like not ashamed, but like annoyed with myself that that’s how I felt. Cause I was like. There are amazing agencies in Chicago. And like, there’s so many opportunities that come from these agencies.

[00:11:43] Katie Stoller: Like, why are you fighting it? As I grew in my career and got higher up and had more responsibilities, I wanted it less. Like I want, I wanted the entrepreneurial thing to keep getting greater and the corporate trajectory kept getting less and like less [00:12:00] enticing. So, to me tells me that my gut was sort of right.

[00:12:03] Katie Stoller: Like my instinct has always kind of been the same. So. Then I ended up getting pregnant in 2018, and I remember talking to a friend who was also advertising, she was at an advertising agency, and she said the day she realized on her calendar that her maternity leave was going to end, she, like, horrible thoughts, she was like, I can’t go back, like, it’s just not something I physically can do, and it, like, stuck with me, because then I was going through it, like, the next thing Couple months and I was like, Oh my God, she’s right.

[00:12:29] Katie Stoller: Like, I don’t think I’m going to be able to go back, but I can’t just quit my job. That’s not an option. So I went to HR and I don’t, I will say this story comes from a place of privilege. First of all, like the ability to even request going less than full time is not. Available to people, especially with the economy these days, it was different, you know, before the pandemic.

[00:12:48] Katie Stoller: And then also, I don’t think companies are doing this anymore. So, if you’re like, Katie told me that this is a thing, like, it might not be a thing anymore. But I went to HR, I was at Ketchum, and they were so gracious. [00:13:00] They let me drop down to 30 hours a week, stay a full-time employee, and keep my benefits.

[00:13:06] Katie Stoller: Keep PTO days. I was full-time. I just didn’t work on Fridays. Essentially it was kind of how it was, or I would work like seven hours a day instead of eight. Like, but it gave me that extra freedom. And at one point I dropped down to 20 and then back up to 30. Like they were just very flexible with what I needed.

[00:13:22] Katie Stoller: And this was also pre-pandemic work from home. And they allowed me to work from home two of the days. Like it was, they were so incredibly flexible and it, it ignited this thing in me of like, this is how work should be. Work should be on your terms so you can have a handyman come. You could get your dinner prepared.

[00:13:40] Katie Stoller: You could be with your kid a little bit more than normal. Like my child was still in day, in childcare. It wasn’t like I was in a complete, you know, stay-at-home mom situation, but it just allowed me this breathing room that I created on my own because I asked for it. And that was the impetus to like what I’m doing now, which I now am my [00:14:00] own boss, but I only allow myself.

[00:14:02] Katie Stoller: in the context of my work to work in a position where I have that flexibility. And there are costs with that. Like, and we can go into this, but the grass is not always greener. I guess that’s the one thing I would say with going corporate or going freelance, the grass is not always greener and it’s just different grass.

[00:14:18] Katie Stoller: I think, I don’t think I’m the quote, the person that quoted that someone said that, but it’s true. It’s like the grass is just different on the other side. And with that grass comes positives and negatives. So it’s not perfect getting out of corporate, but it’s just. To me, the breathing space and that freedom were incredibly important and that’s literally what I strive for every day.

[00:14:38] Katie Stoller: For sure. 

[00:14:39] Jessy Grossman: So I’m going to edit this out. Speak a little bit closer so I can hear you even more. No, no, no. It’s okay. It’s okay. We’ll, we’ll edit it. We’ll make it sound perfect. But okay. So the grass is greener. It sounds like with the freedom, with the, like the flexibility and like, oh my gosh, like.

[00:14:56] Jessy Grossman: Good to your previous employer for like allowing you to be able to [00:15:00] do that back then. I feel like back then it was unheard of. So I would give, I mean, you like, you’re giving them all, it sounds like you’re giving them all the credit. They’re just so wonderful and so flexible. Like I can, I mean, there was something that they wanted in you and they were not willing to give up.

[00:15:16] Jessy Grossman: I’m sure. And they were. Probably willing to be flexible because of what you brought to the table. No, like, do you just, do you agree or 

[00:15:23] Katie Stoller: disagree with that? I mean, I do, but I feel like one of the reasons I never really felt at home at agencies is because I never really felt like anything special. And that’s no knock on any of the amazing agencies I’ve worked at.

[00:15:35] Katie Stoller: Like I owe them so much for my career, but an agency isn’t set up to make people shine necessarily. We’re like the second I started having clients of my own. Getting more involved with WIM and doing more speaking engagements and I like focusing on my brand. The accolades came like a parachute from the sky.

[00:15:57] Katie Stoller: It was like, it was like a water hose of [00:16:00] people being like, you’re awesome. Come speak. Come help me. Come consult. Like, and I had never felt like I was anything special. For the 10 years I was at the agency, I never felt like I was bad. I never ended up getting laid off through all those years. I never, you know, really had any like slap on the wrist.

[00:16:16] Katie Stoller: Like I never. Did anything wrong, but I never got awards or like, I was, you know, begging for promotions, every promotion cycle. Like that was enough. That’s a whole like kind of another part of the, you know, a separate from the freedom, but the agency world isn’t set up for people that like value works of affirmation, which I do.

[00:16:35] Katie Stoller: And I feel like I get that so much more as an independent. So I think to your point, like. I was valuable in the sense that, like, I was filling a role. I was good at my job. I was showing up to work on time. Like, I was doing all the right things, but I don’t think HR was like, this is a stellar shining star that we can’t lose.

[00:16:51] Katie Stoller: Like, I think they were just like, we don’t necessarily want to lose. This person has to fill her position. So could we dig into 

[00:16:57] Jessy Grossman: that a little bit? Because I am curious I mean if somebody who’s [00:17:00] never worked at a brand-facing agency I’ve only worked at talent agencies before like what do you think that is?

[00:17:05] Jessy Grossman: Like do you think that’s like there’s like a Purpose for them being like that or like what do you think that is in terms of culture like agency culture? 

[00:17:15] Katie Stoller: I mean, it’s crazy because it’s like the culture And all these agencies are pretty good. It’s fun. Like they make it fun. If you’re more of an outgoing person, especially like before kids, it’s really fun because you’re staying for happy hours and you like to make some of your best friends.

[00:17:30] Katie Stoller: Like I’ve had people in my wedding that I met at agencies. I’ve. been in people’s weddings. Like there is a culture, but in terms of career accolades, at least for me, this might just be my experience. I never felt special. Like I just never felt different. I never felt like my ideas were like, really like, what’s the word?

[00:17:48] Katie Stoller: Like rewarded or anything. Like I always, again, was like kind of even-keeled and doing a good job. And I don’t think it’s set up necessarily like that. I truly believe this. And I, Others might disagree, but [00:18:00] I believe that it’s just a matter of everyone’s so busy and overworked and the staffing. 

[00:18:05] Jessy Grossman: And that’s valid.

[00:18:07] Jessy Grossman: And that could be it, you know, potentially for sure. And so, okay. So like. It’s interesting. So you, you know, it, well, I heard you say a couple of minutes ago, like, so is words of affirmation, like, is that your love language? Is that important to 

[00:18:19] Katie Stoller: you? I guess. I always thought I was more of an acts of service person, like around the house.

[00:18:23] Katie Stoller: If my husband like picks something up, I’m like, yes. Like I, I’m more of my personal life, I think acts of service, but I realized now as like a late thirties person that’s been, you know, in the corporate world for a long time. And now for myself, I’m like, I like to thrive on people being like, This was great.

[00:18:41] Katie Stoller: We need more of it. Or just any type of like, feedback. I need feedback. I’m a feedback validation type of person. Okay. 

[00:18:48] Jessy Grossman: I know that’s super interesting. You’re making me think of like, I wonder if our love languages could be different, like in our personal life versus our professional life. Like, I think that’s super valid.

[00:18:57] Jessy Grossman: So it’s interesting. Okay. So perhaps in your, [00:19:00] in your professional life, like getting feedback and like getting, you know, words of affirmation is important to you. So like, It’s pretty interesting that, like, the second you start to, like, put yourself out there more in terms of, like, your brands, you’re getting all of this feedback and all of these words of affirmation.

[00:19:18] Jessy Grossman: So, like, I don’t know, talk to me about, like, how that affects you now that you’re transitioned and now you’re no longer working at another, a company, an agency of any type. Like, you are now working for yourself. I can imagine, like, at some points, it feels a little isolating working with yourself. But, you know, you have all these clients and you have all these people that you’re interfacing with, and it just, it looks different.

[00:19:41] Jessy Grossman: It feels different. Does it seem to help your morale now, now that you’re getting this feedback? Like is that like a positive loop that you’ve now, you know, subscribed 

[00:19:52] Katie Stoller: to? Oh my God, I, feel like it like changed my life. Like I was sort of more of a shy, like, I don’t know if I’m an introvert or [00:20:00] extrovert like I’m good in small groups.

[00:20:01] Katie Stoller: I’m not good in big crowds. I’m again, not someone who shined in the agency kind of bubble, but I like to kill it when it comes to like selling myself. Like, I mean, I, that’s the most feedback I get from people is like your voice on LinkedIn and we love listening to you. And like, I just, I feel like that’s just where I excel.

[00:20:22] Katie Stoller: And in the confines of corporate, it’s really hard to do that. Like, it’s hard to be like, I’m going to go, you know, on a Wednesday at two and do like a speaking engagement or be on a bunch of podcasts that, you know, 11 o’clock during the week. Like, it’s just not set up for that. And I think things are changing.

[00:20:38] Katie Stoller: Like, I think we’re in this shift where like companies are realizing human beings need their kind of like trail of. Their brand because they’re not attached permanently to the company they work for. And I think employees are realizing this, but for me, it’s like, I mean, everything has changed.

[00:20:54] Katie Stoller: Like the way I do business, who I want to do business with my ability to give back to the [00:21:00] people that have mentored me and you know, all the years of people that have encouraged me, I now can give that back to others and put more positive vibes out into the world. And I just am so much more comfortable in it.

[00:21:11] Katie Stoller: Kind of calling my shots and being my person. And I think the other, the other part of this is like, it is okay if you are great at corporate, like if you thrive and you’re getting those promotions and you’re making a lot of money and you’ve got a 401k and, and you like the, like, kind of like nine to five structure, like no one’s bugging you after hours for the most part.

[00:21:33] Katie Stoller: Go for that. I have so many friends that are just like, they’re like SVPs, EVPs at agencies are making a ton of money. They’re working on amazing brands and they’re like living the dream. And that is great, but it’s just, it didn’t work for my personality. And that is okay. Like we are allowed to go down different paths.

[00:21:48] Katie Stoller: I think the, for anyone listening, that’s like, which one am I? That’s the thing is figuring out kind of which one resonates best with you, but. And that’s also not to say that I won’t go back, like now that I know all this stuff about myself and how I [00:22:00] work best and what makes me happy, like I probably would do a lot better in an agency right now than I would have before doing all this.

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[00:22:28] Katie Stoller: It’ll 

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[00:24:01] Katie Stoller: scalable 

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[00:24:24] Jessy Grossman: And they also make it simple to acquire ambassadors as well. So with Zealot, you’ll get thousands of ambassadors, driving sales and, or UGC at scale all in one place. And they’re also running an exciting. Elusive offer just for the whim community. All you have to do is head over to their website, join zealot.com, and mention wim.

[00:24:48] Jessy Grossman: That’s join Z-E-A-L-O t.com and mention wim. I think you guys are gonna love this one. What do you think is the difference? You would just approach it very differently. You would ask for different things, like [00:25:00] what would the shift 

[00:25:01] Katie Stoller: be? I don’t know if it’s just like a mindset shift that like, I think part of it is okay.

[00:25:06] Katie Stoller: I just thought of it as I was saying that part of it is just like. I feel like I’ve already proven myself and there’s like not much more to prove. Like I’ve proven that people care about what I’m saying. So like I can take that feeling and that energy into like the confines of an agency and have a little bit more confidence, I guess.

[00:25:21] Katie Stoller: It kind of just comes down to confidence. The other thing, and this is going to sound mushy and silly, but like having a child in 2018, I had my first baby in 2018, my second baby in 2020, hashtag COVID baby. Bye. Having my kids, everything changes in terms of like, it doesn’t, nothing matters as much like other than your kids.

[00:25:40] Katie Stoller: And I don’t mean that in like a negative way, but like, so what, if I don’t get the promotion on time? Like, so what if my friend that I think is like. Shouldn’t have been promoted when I was supposed to get promoted. Like that used to gut me, I would years of my life was just feeling pissed off because I felt like, you know, I didn’t get the account I [00:26:00] wanted or I got asked to shift to an account that was like a worse account or whatever.

[00:26:04] Katie Stoller: Like these things would gut me. It was the only thing I cared about in life. Like truly, like it was bad. I was obsessed. And now it’s like this little kind of like work things, I can like to compartmentalize them as work because once you become a mom, I, at least for me, I was just like, that’s like the minutia of life.

[00:26:22] Katie Stoller: It’s not, it should not be the focus. And I think some of that was also just from, again, like the confidence I gained with having my clients, getting feedback from my clients, and just kind of like all the years culminating together of how much work I’ve done. I think we don’t, we, we, we go, go, go. I look back and I just did a LinkedIn post about this a couple of months ago that resonated with people.

[00:26:40] Katie Stoller: But I started in my Instagram stories, like sharing influencer content that I helped put out. It wasn’t like my content, but it was content influencers posted from the brands I worked on. And I started resharing it just to kind of like show my friends and family. Like, look at the cool stuff I’m working on always hashtag client.

[00:26:56] Katie Stoller: So people know that I’m not contributing to the numbers. I’m just showing something I [00:27:00] worked on. And then I created highlight reels. And I clicked through those sometimes and just, I’m like, I have done so much cool work, like that gives you a level of confidence. I’ve worked with so many brands with so many influencers.

[00:27:13] Katie Stoller: Even if my POV on things was like stupid, which it’s, you know, not, but even if it was like, I still have all this work to show for regardless of anything else. So, that’s helped a lot. I think with my confidence too, it’s just that like. No, 

[00:27:26] Jessy Grossman: I appreciate your transparency and like, that’s why I love having you on the show.

[00:27:30] Jessy Grossman: Cause you’re always very forthcoming and just like self-aware too and open about that. And I don’t think enough people are in like all of those, any of those. things. I have one, you know, it’s interesting. Like I was just having a conversation with someone yesterday about disc profiles. Are you aware of disc profiles?

[00:27:48] Jessy Grossman: G I S C. It’s so good. I won’t get into all the specifics, but it’s another type of personality test, but it’s specific to work, and you sort of like. [00:28:00] Take a very comprehensive assessment and figure out which of those letters correspond to personality traits you’re most aligned with and I relate it to what you’re just saying because the concept of it is like well I can be a little bit of a D and a little bit of an I and a little an S and a little C I can I can do all those things but some of those things are going to fill me up and energize me.

[00:28:29] Jessy Grossman: And some of those things are going to exhaust me. And like, we’re high functioning like people. And so you can, chances are you can just do any task that’s in front of you. You could work at an agency for the rest of your life. And like, Probably do well, you know, like not even like just skim by but like you could probably do well You could figure it out along the way But I think it’s important to have the awareness in yourself of like what?

[00:28:56] Jessy Grossman: Specific things fill you up [00:29:00] and energize you and others are just things that you can do But like they do exhaust you because it’s not like your natural Style of doing things and so when it comes to like neat like what is the? A term like a thief is something of comparison or yeah Like the idea of holding yourself and comparing yourself to others as you see people getting the promotions or Getting the raises or even the accounts that you might want I’m right there with you like I’ve when I worked for other people and like I would see all that happening around me and like I wasn’t involved in it.

[00:29:42] Jessy Grossman: I wasn’t getting the praise of the raises or whatever it was like, it very much affected me as well. And like, it’s not something that it’s like, easy to admit, right? Like, you don’t want to let people know that like, you are affected that much. But like, I’ve been there. I’ve been affected. I would get super salty about [00:30:00] stuff like that.

[00:30:00] Jessy Grossman: And just like, get down about it. And it’s not going to encourage me. And so like, I know that like, I work so much better more as like, In a smaller team or like on my own and pretty autonomous because the experiences that I have in those like micro situations of like working one on one with a client here or, you know, in, in sort of things that are in the control that fills me up and that really like give me the encouragement and the excitement to like to move on and not get distracted by the other things that just like, you know, Don’t do it for me.

[00:30:35] Jessy Grossman: Don’t resonate with me. And some people get motivated when they see other people getting accolades because they’re like, they’re competitive, I guess, in that way or whatever it is. But like, I’m not that way either. So, you know, I think like, I think it’s just important to like, if something’s not working, like if you’re feeling like something as intense as like, you know, this is bringing you to tears or like this is giving you so much anxiety or stress, like it’s worth [00:31:00] digging into it to say, right?

[00:31:02] Jessy Grossman: Like, Is this something, is this right for me, like, or is there a better way of doing this and not just like settling with like, well, this is just something I have to like white knuckle my way through, or this is just, you know, this is me being whatever, like, you don’t have to settle for something that makes you so uncomfortable, like there is another way.

[00:31:22] Jessy Grossman: And I think that’s like why I was so excited to have this conversation because I’m like, people, five, definitely not 10 years ago, but even five years ago to be like, Going out on your own and, like, being a consultant, like, full time, like, but, like, are you looking for a job at the same time, like, can’t, can’t even wrap their head around the fact that, like, so, like, girl, this is my job, this is my job, and, I, I’d love to dig into, like, your experience in particular, but I’ve heard from so many people that they’re, I’m making more money than I ever did.

[00:31:54] Jessy Grossman: And I have more freedom and I have more happiness and all these things. And it’s like miraculous because not [00:32:00] enough people talk about that. It’s possible, totally doable. And it could, not always, of course, but like, it could be even better than working for somebody else. It used to feel as if working for a company was the stable thing, was the reliable thing, and was like, For all, for all those reasons, the better choice and being an entrepreneur was the riskier one that like, like, you know, just a handful of people explored, but now it almost feels like it’s riskier to work for a company considering how many people are being laid off these days.

[00:32:33] Jessy Grossman: And like, you know, and then they’re laid off, and then all these other companies are also laying off. It’s not like they’re like in the silo. So like they go to look for another job and that’s like a hard. job market right now. So first of all, semantics, but I do want to clarify with you because I think some people are curious about this.

[00:32:50] Jessy Grossman: Do you personally prefer the term freelancer or consultant? And like, is there a difference in your eyes? 

[00:32:56] Katie Stoller: I mean, I’ve just sort of used them interchangeably, which is probably not [00:33:00] correct. When I first went off I wondered if people like me could resonate with this, because this is kind of what my mind was like.

[00:33:06] Katie Stoller: Thinking I said freelancer because I didn’t want to commit to consulting like a consultant to me felt more permanent. It felt like done with everything else. I am a consultant now. And like it felt more professional, which is like not my vibe. If you can’t tell freelancer to me felt a little bit more like loose, like it could mean that I do this.

[00:33:28] Katie Stoller: I could mean that I do this. What I found is I actually Uh, consulting jobs where I’m truly a consultant. So, and so like, just like 

[00:33:39] Jessy Grossman: define what that is to you. Like again, you were hired more as a consultant. What is, what is it to you? What’s the difference? 

[00:33:46] Katie Stoller: And I’m like, might be like not using the correct, their term correctly, but, cause I think it is a little bit subjective, but to me, consulting is.

[00:33:55] Katie Stoller: Someone paying for, like, my brain, essentially. They’re not paying for my work, they’re p [00:34:00] they’re paying for my brain. I’ve had a couple of these jobs where I come in, usually on retainer, and it’s usually a somewhat small retainer because I’m not outputting anything. I’m just giving them access to me, and I don’t know if that’s probably the best way I should lay it out, but It’s kind of what has been working and at least my first year.

[00:34:16] Katie Stoller: And so it’s an affordable retainer where they have access to me on a Slack channel. They have access to me to give presentations. They have access to me for their employees to tap me. At one company I sort of acted like her CMO almost, like it was sort of that fractional. Level of like, I was sort of doing everything.

[00:34:33] Katie Stoller: I did not sign up to do everything, but it just snowballed that way where she was like, can you work on my website? And I was like, I don’t know how, but I sure I can. And then the first year of freelance or independent work, a lot of people are like, you got to define your, your offerings and you’ve got to define everything.

[00:34:47] Katie Stoller: And I was like. Yes, but I don’t know what they are yet. Like I need, I need to give myself the freedom to figure it out. So I was kind of a mess. Like I was all over the place. I was literally like rebuilding websites, which I have no experience [00:35:00] doing also doing influencer marketing, which I have tons of experience doing.

[00:35:02] Katie Stoller: Like I was doing kind of everything, but back to this conversation about the consultant, my favorite ones were where it was just me showing up on a call. And I was getting questions answered. I would walk through like scenarios. One of them was with like a talent agency that was more talent-facing and I’m brand side.

[00:35:18] Katie Stoller: So it, for having access to me for a few hours a month. To be like, how do we respond to this was incredibly, incredibly valuable for that because like everything that I build is like, you know, a peek behind the curtain into brand life. Like that’s kind of what my whole brand is all about. It’s figuring out how brands think, how they strategize, and how they plan when they work with influencers.

[00:35:39] Katie Stoller: And if you’re a talent management company with a bunch of young talent managers that have never worked brand side. You have no idea who’s reading these emails and what their mindset is. So I was able to come in and be like, this is how I would have responded to your email. I would have been like, I don’t have time to address this.

[00:35:53] Katie Stoller: You’re emailing me at a time that makes no sense. Planning happened two months ago. Like, and they’d be like, oh my god, that makes so much sense as [00:36:00] as to why no one’s responding. Like, I was able to sort of crack that code. So that to me was What I considered consulting more where it’s more of the mind share over the actual like execution to me, the freelancer can kind of come in and maybe do like both or they’re like, I can pull a list of 50 influencers for you by Wednesday, and then you can pay me 20 bucks, like whatever, like, it’s more like this 

[00:36:21] Jessy Grossman: is the perfect answer, like, because I don’t, I’m asking the question genuinely.

[00:36:26] Jessy Grossman: I’m like, Oh, the difference. I feel like they’re, is kind of a difference. And it’s, it is subjective, but like, what a cool way to articulate it. Like it’s like picking your brain versus what did you say? You are like your work, like you just having you and like come in and, and do work for them, but no, that makes so much sense.

[00:36:47] Jessy Grossman: So what do you think? So, okay. So like, let’s say you decide to go either of those routes, I think for this next conversation, like. It could be either, like you decide to be a, define yourself as a consultant or a [00:37:00] freelancer, but you are like off on your own. What do you think are some of the traps that some people might fall into in terms of freelancing or consulting?

[00:37:08] Jessy Grossman: Like you named one right there, which I think is super valid, which is like, people say that I should like to define all of my services, but it’s like in your first year, like who says that? Like. I think that’s like very idealistic. I think your approach is probably what most people would experience or have experienced.

[00:37:24] Jessy Grossman: So I appreciate you saying that, but like, what other types of like traps did you maybe, if you want to personalize it like fall into in your first year that maybe like gave you 

[00:37:32] Katie Stoller: trouble? Yeah. I mean, the biggest one for me, I guess, was my goal was to make as close to my salary on my own as I could. Like, I mean, As much as you don’t wanna make this about money, it’s about money.

[00:37:45] Katie Stoller: Like at the end of the day, like this is your job course, you wanna make it about money, it’s your 

[00:37:48] Jessy Grossman: job. You should make it about Why do you, why do you say that? Why do you say that? It, it shouldn’t be about 

[00:37:52] Katie Stoller: money? Well, because for me it was so much about like the freedom and the flexibility and the like, you know, all the stuff we’ve talked about, the confidence like it was, there were so many [00:38:00] other like amazing benefits and things I was excited about.

[00:38:03] Katie Stoller: And just the time, I mean, just having time after 10 years of working more than 10 years of working. In these agencies and corporate worlds, like, time is valuable, and it was an asset I did not have, like, I was out of it every day. So, that was part of it, but at the end of the day, like, my husband’s like, you can’t get paid off, like, butterflies and rainbows, like, that doesn’t pay for food.

[00:38:25] Katie Stoller: So, my goal was to, like, approach the number, I was not, I knew I wasn’t gonna make the number, but I, that was sort of my north star. And then you sort of have to work backward. You have to like build your rate out, and figure out how many hours a week you want to work. And I’ve talked to a couple of people, one of a very dear friend from when, um, who’s also a freelancer.

[00:38:44] Katie Stoller: Who’s like, kind of like been amazing to mentor to me, but she was saying that her first year of going fully freelance, she did two full-time freelance jobs, like, like 30 to 40 hours, two of that. And she said she made more money than she’s ever made in her whole life. [00:39:00] And I looked at her like, are you kidding me?

[00:39:02] Katie Stoller: Like how? So some people are willing to like to go that hard and there’s, I mean, as long as the companies are okay with it and you’re like getting the work done, you do you, I mean, I could never have handled that, but there’s different ways to approach it. I mean, you can go that way where you’re just like, I will take on.

[00:39:17] Katie Stoller: Big projects with big price tags to get to that point fast, but I’m going to work myself to the bone, not saying I endorse that route. Then there’s the route that I sort of went, which I also don’t necessarily endorse, but it kind of just was happening as it was happening. But it was taking a lot of smaller projects and kind of getting to know how I work, and getting feedback from the people I worked with.

[00:39:37] Katie Stoller: I took on a lot and I didn’t say no a lot. And I learned that like halfway through the year, I had to start saying no more. I was getting like a friend of a friend of a friend recommended you. I. I barely knew these people. I, I was like, I don’t even like have that much of a connection to this person, but, and the amount that they’re willing to pay is like, not great, but I would just be like, okay, fine.

[00:39:55] Katie Stoller: Like, so I was doing a lot of that stuff, which like anyone would recommend not doing that. But [00:40:00] again, the first three or four months, like that is okay. Like, let’s not judge. Cause you kind of got to figure out what works, but there, I think there is somewhere in between taking on way too much pricing yourself high, and taking out every little oddball job.

[00:40:14] Katie Stoller: That you don’t want to do, but it does take time to figure out what you do want to do. Like I was saying before, I don’t, I do a lot of execution. One of my jobs is with a huge agency, so I’m doing all execution, but, and it works for that. It’s very structured. I like it because it’s a certain amount of hours a day.

[00:40:29] Katie Stoller: I’m at that computer. I get my work done. I have access to huge companies huge brands and huge budgets. Like it’s great. But I can do the consulting on the other side and I can do some of the other stuff that fills me up. So I’m very much like a balanced type of person, but then there are people that they do three clients.

[00:40:45] Katie Stoller: They charge 10, 000 per client, nothing more, nothing less, and they do X, Y, and Z, and that’s it. They will not look at your website if you ask. They will not come to speak in person. And 

[00:40:55] Jessy Grossman: what’s most important to you? And I think that like, that’s a lot of what I’m hearing you say, [00:41:00] which I think is incredibly valid and like, not enough people are probably thinking about that.

[00:41:03] Jessy Grossman: Especially in their first year. I feel like in the first year, I can imagine a lot of people are like, I need to, I need to make my salary of what I was making before, right? They need to reach that benchmark, which is smart, of course, like it’s in. And so like, they’re, they’re going at it like with nerves and nervous, you know, and approaching it that way.

[00:41:20] Jessy Grossman: Of course, it takes time to like, get over that hump. Hopefully, you do, and then you’re not. Approaching decisions based on fear, you’re approaching decisions based on what’s best for you. And that’s a big shift. And I don’t know at what point that happens. I’m sure it’s like different times, like different lengths of time for different people.

[00:41:41] Jessy Grossman: But like about a year in, which is ironically where you are now like I would assume, correct me if I’m wrong, like you’re getting over that shift. And it probably, it sounds like it might’ve even happened sooner for you, where it’s like a bit of time goes by and you’re like, Oh, I’m not going to sit around twiddling my thumbs.

[00:41:57] Jessy Grossman: Like the work is available. I am [00:42:00] hireable. And so now it’s like, Oh, well, I have, I have the option to like, sort of like architect this to work for me. You know, you don’t have to be like a slave to it. Like it almost, it can work for you. And that’s part of the freedom. Like we’re talking a lot about like.

[00:42:19] Jessy Grossman: The free, the time freedom that you have, like it as a working mom and having not just one kid, but two kids. And, you know, just wanting that freedom. Some people are childless and just want the freedom to do whatever the hell. So like, you know, wanting that freedom, but also the ability to like. Perhaps be picky about the type of work that you do, whether that’s the type of clients you work with, or you want to challenge yourself to do something new or different, like, that’s an incredible opportunity that freelancing allows you to do as well.

[00:42:53] Jessy Grossman: So like, where do you feel like you’re at now a year into it in that respect? 

[00:42:58] Katie Stoller: I still feel like I’m [00:43:00] very much figuring it out. And I do feel like I did the work the first year. I think that’s another thing is you’re doing the work of like figuring yourself out and figuring what fills your cup and all that and, you know, getting your confidence.

[00:43:12] Katie Stoller: But you’re also taking a load of calls. Like I was on, I mean, my job the first. six months. My job was just being on the phone all day. Like, my husband would walk by and be like, you have not, not been on a call since 8 am. And 

[00:43:26] Jessy Grossman: are these sales calls kind of, like, for the most 

[00:43:30] Katie Stoller: part? It was everything. I mean, it was mostly, the minute I went freelance, I emailed probably 50 people.

[00:43:37] Katie Stoller: Like, I was like, Just letting them know I’m freelance. And most of them were like custom emails. I wasn’t like, you know, mass emailing. But I was asking either like, can you talk? Can you get lunch? Some of them were just to my friends to be like, I got to fill you in, you know, whatever. But those, that was kind of like the basis.

[00:43:51] Katie Stoller: And I encourage people to like keep a Rolodex, like old school in a book, whatever, in a Google sheet. But like keep an index of these people. Cause you will forget, you will [00:44:00] forget that one person that gave you great advice once. I have a Google list of like, I don’t know, 200 names from last year. And I’d say like 50 of them ish were people that I knew, WIM people, ex-employees, co-workers, ex-bosses.

[00:44:13] Katie Stoller: And then the rest, the other hundred whatever, are just people I met through people, through people being like, Oh, you’ve got to talk to this person. I also was making a very concerted effort to grow my LinkedIn following. And through LinkedIn, I’ve made some amazing connections. You’ll make horrible connections on LinkedIn, but you’ll also make really good ones, but you have to sift through.

[00:44:32] Katie Stoller: I mean, that takes time to go on those 15-minute calls and be like, is this person like, even relevant to my life? So through those calls, I did a lot of the groundwork. So it was in January, this is like crazy, but end of December, early January, I got a call from an old boss and she was like, do I have this opening through a friend?

[00:44:51] Katie Stoller: Do you want it? And I was like, sure. I didn’t even know what was going to happen. It was around the holiday time. Everything was crazy. And within like a week, I signed a contract for a year-long retainer [00:45:00] job. And I did nothing. Like I just sat there and like received an email. And took a phone call with someone I look up to and, you know, as a mentor to me.

[00:45:09] Katie Stoller: And within a week had like a full job. But it wasn’t like it just popped out of nowhere. It was a year of me doing stuff on LinkedIn, doing speaking engagements, and being on podcasts. Like I was doing all that foundational work. And I think people either like know how to do that and are good at it or they’re not.

[00:45:26] Katie Stoller: Like, it’s not like you can’t learn, but I have a PR background that all came very, very naturally to me. And 

[00:45:33] Jessy Grossman: for yourself, because I feel like it is something that I’ve heard from people where, you know, maybe they’re good at it for other people, but for themselves, it feels different. Does it feel natural for yourself as well?

[00:45:45] Jessy Grossman: Or do you see any distinction between doing that work for someone else versus yourself? 

[00:45:50] Katie Stoller: I think I’m so much better at doing it for myself than other people. Like I wouldn’t hire me to like, I mean, I guess personal branding is different. Like, I feel like I could like, Do a good job for a person.

[00:45:58] Katie Stoller: But the reason I got out [00:46:00] of traditional PR was because I wasn’t good at it. Like I was not good at media relations. I did not, my press releases were mediocre. Like I got kind of out of the whole PR side when I became part of the influencer marketing world and like literally was one of the people that.

[00:46:14] Katie Stoller: Essentially created it along with all the other veterans and women, but I mean, I was working in it. And 

[00:46:19] Jessy Grossman: so like, what clicks with you? Like, what do you, like, if you were to have, let’s say an extra five hours a week, you know, to just spend on your branding, like, what would you focus on doing more of?

[00:46:34] Jessy Grossman: Like, where do you see 

[00:46:34] Katie Stoller: the most impact? I mean, I don’t have a strategy. Like LinkedIn once a week, which is not what they do. Recommend they recommend every day. Like, I don’t follow necessarily all the rules. I don’t have like a bustling social media presence. Like my Instagram is like 50 of my friends.

[00:46:51] Katie Stoller: Like it’s not anything special, but I, and I don’t focus on Instagram or TikTok or any of that. I like just focus on LinkedIn, but I just, like, it like sort [00:47:00] of just comes natural. Like I ask for things. I think I’m comfortable. If someone has a podcast that I love, I’m very comfortable just being like.

[00:47:06] Katie Stoller: Like, I don’t even consider it pitching myself. I just like will send the person a note and be like, this resonated with me. We should talk. And they’re like, yeah, come on my show. Like it’s, I think people are really scared to put themselves out there. And when you actually like send the email and you’re genuine about it and you have listened to what they do and can repeat stuff that they’ve talked about and tell them why it resonates, like people like that, like it’s not hard.

[00:47:30] Katie Stoller: It’s really. Promoting yourself is not difficult if you’re living in, like, your truth of doing it. If you’re square peg round holding it, it’s hard because you sound like a moron. But I go into it from a place of, like, genuine connection with people, and it’s been very easy, very fun, very exciting, kind of building this brand.

[00:47:52] Katie Stoller: And it makes the like sales process, like sales process. I’ve never really liked fully sold. I don’t have like a business [00:48:00] development strategy necessarily. But when I do get connected with people who are interested in working with me, it’s so easy. Cause I’m like, Oh my God, you should listen to this podcast.

[00:48:07] Katie Stoller: I was just on, I just talked about this or on my website. I have a guide about it. Like I’ve built the foundation that it’s easy to talk about myself and all like, no, 

[00:48:17] Jessy Grossman: that’s, I mean, that’s interesting. There’s the selling aspect of selling yourself, which can be a challenge for some people for sure.

[00:48:26] Jessy Grossman: But it’s an interesting approach, right? Like in those conversations, like to not necessarily have to hard sell yourself there, but sort of like you’ve got all the resources in the world. Like I was on this podcast, I did this podcast. blog out of this and it feels different. It feels really helpful for them to them.

[00:48:42] Jessy Grossman: It feels like really value-driven, but it’s also, of course, simultaneously showing them that like you’re sought after, like you’re a thought leader in the industry, so you have credibility. So it’s like a, it’s a smart approach. It’s really interesting. And so I think that like, I’m super curious about this.

[00:48:56] Jessy Grossman: I would love to hear from you more about [00:49:00] how you found the opportunities that you’ve landed as a freelancer and more specifically, how you determined those rates. I can imagine that it’s changed as you’ve sort of learned what the market will bear and what the market will pay. But like, and I also heard you say earlier, which is interesting.

[00:49:22] Jessy Grossman: I should have asked it when you said it, but you were like offer as I think you said, as a consultant, you offer, you know, an affordable retainer rate or something like that. You specifically said the word affordable, which is a very specific approach. So like talk to us about like, how have you learned what to charge and like, how those pricing conversations 

[00:49:43] Katie Stoller: go?

[00:49:45] Katie Stoller: I am not like an expert in this because I’ve, I have had a couple like unique situations where like I was just given projects. I will say, let me just sort of segue, and then I’ll talk about that. But the number one referral [00:50:00] person that has given me the most business has been X, oh, sorry, has been X bosses.

[00:50:05] Katie Stoller: So I know this is not possible for every job. I know some people want to never see their boss ever again, but I’ve had multiple X like direct managers or bosses. Whether they were like above my boss’s boss, whatever, who have like literally handed me businesses, handed me books of work and that I know that is not like necessarily easy, but I’ve been very blessed in that.

[00:50:27] Katie Stoller: So some of the work that I was given was just like handed to me and they’re like, this is the right take it or leave it. And it was, I don’t want to use the word decent because I was figuring out what I was supposed to charge, you know, like I, again, like you kind of back out from what your annual is.

[00:50:41] Katie Stoller: Divide it by 12 months. That’ll give you a monthly number that you want to hit. Just knowing that you might not hit it the first year. You might not hit it every month. Some months are better than others, but that’s kind of the starting point. It’s like your annual salary divided by 12. And then if you want to even granulate it more, you can divide it.

[00:50:57] Katie Stoller: You know, four weeks for a month, whatever. So I had an idea like I had [00:51:00] like a range of kind of what my hourly should be. And for like one-on-one off things, like I was doing like phone calls for an hour. Those I would charge my hourly. I was like, I only will do this for X amount of money. If it was longer term, you kind of shrink the hourly because the commitment is longer.

[00:51:17] Katie Stoller: So to your question. I think the idea is like having that range, knowing that certain longer-term things are going to maybe fall on the lower end of that range. One-off hour or two-hour phone calls aren’t worth it unless you get kind of your top dollar hourly. And that’s kind of how I approach things.

[00:51:35] Katie Stoller: And sometimes it works, like sometimes I would do a proposal for someone. Especially small businesses or like single person owned businesses and they would freak out when they saw my number. They would be like, I absolutely cannot afford that. And then it’s a conversation of like, are you willing to like to bring me on sort of as this consultant that’s not doing any work, but you pay me a smaller fee, whether [00:52:00] it’s hourly or retainer, and I sort of come on and guide you.

[00:52:03] Katie Stoller: And that worked a couple of times where they would be like, I’ll pay you, you know, X amount for two months. And I only need a couple of hours of your time. And for me, that was worth it. Cause I was like, I have the time, but I will say the best advice that I’ve gotten and I’ve gotten it over and over and over from all the people that are killing it is to not.

[00:52:20] Katie Stoller: Do everything that I just said and structure it, like think of it as two to four, maybe five clients charge them a monthly retainer that then backs out to your annual and doesn’t go below that. Like that’s the most advice that you get is like four or five, 6, 000, whatever per client per month. And you do not go below that.

[00:52:44] Katie Stoller: And those are the people that are doing well, are, you know, continuing to have the clients year over year. But at the same time. And I’m just making it kind of like a generalized statement. Those are the people that are okay with working 40 to 50 hours a week. Like they’re willing to kind of slot in those clients into almost [00:53:00] a full-time schedule.

[00:53:01] Katie Stoller: I am still not at the point where I’m ready to be fully full-time. I’m almost full-time, but right now at this point in my life, I have a three and a five-year-old. I value my time. So I. I’m still a little bit okay with some of the smaller work. I know that’s going to maybe shift this year.

[00:53:19] Katie Stoller: You guys, I’m still figuring it out if you can’t tell, but, yeah, I think, I 

[00:53:25] Jessy Grossman: mean, I’ll stop you just briefly. I don’t mean to interrupt, but like, I don’t know that like, is the goal to work 40 hours? Like that’s like, I feel like perhaps like I’ll ask the question, like, Is that just traditional work or agency mentality, you know, like, is that just because we’re so programmed to working 40 hours a week because, or because what I’ll say is like, as a freelancer, as a consultant, you do have all the flexibility in terms of what you charge in terms of how much you work.

[00:53:58] Jessy Grossman: And if you [00:54:00] like Kitty, if you want to work. 20 hours a week and you want to make 40 hours a week worth of pay. You totally can. And I think that like, and so maybe that goes to earlier. Like, I wonder if that’s a trap that some of us fall into as freelancers, right? Like, and I don’t want to speak for you. So I’m curious, like, what are your thoughts on that?

[00:54:20] Jessy Grossman: I mean, 

[00:54:20] Katie Stoller: I think you’re right, but I also think that that’s a little idealistic, especially in this environment where everyone’s going to freelance, like in theory, if you hunt. Business and find the people that are willing to pay you that much and work that little, like, I’m not saying it’s not, it’s not possible, but from my experience, like that is difficult.

[00:54:39] Katie Stoller: I think you, it can happen. I just would hate for people to think that that’s kind of the norm. Cause like, like I said, the people that are making the three, four, five. 100, 000 a year, and I know multiple of them, they are working 40, 45, and 50 hours a week. Like they are hustling. They’re not working. They’re not working themselves into their fingers bleed like you do in an agency.

[00:54:58] Katie Stoller: They’re not working until midnight. Like they still [00:55:00] have some of that flexibility, but they need a full-time load to, for these companies to like, sort of like even allow them to fit in with their schedule. Like they need more access to them. Like I will say like my one client, my one agency client right now.

[00:55:15] Katie Stoller: I can do whatever I want. I can sign in when I want. I’m sort of independent. Like I don’t have a team. I just kind of like come in and do the work and make sure it’s done. And it’s great, but like, I couldn’t do like four of those. Like, I don’t know what the answer is. I know that I know what you’re saying.

[00:55:29] Katie Stoller: And that is the beauty of this, but I also 

[00:55:32] Jessy Grossman: just wonder, like, I just want to put it out there. Like, I just, wonder if it’s possible. And the answer is that it might not. Be, or at least like, might not be in this economy that we’re in and like not wanting to sell a pipe dream and like, you know, maybe in a healthy economy sure.

[00:55:47] Jessy Grossman: But like maybe not now. And I think that’s valid and like important to say. So I appreciate you saying that a lot. I think that like, but I do think that like, regardless of like. The exact amount of money that [00:56:00] you’re bringing in. I do think that we probably could all benefit from like rewiring ourselves a little bit from like what we’re all so used to.

[00:56:08] Jessy Grossman: But I think like even just jumping into being a consultant or a free freelancer is like hugely rewiring, you know, in of itself, like we can work from home, what, like that was inconceivable. like years ago, the fact that like you can set your hours. Like you’re telling me that you have a client right now and they’re like, we’re not going to say like, you know, check in from nine to five.

[00:56:30] Jessy Grossman: Like you can set your hours. Like that’s, that was inconceivable like years ago, or even like, even currently some people think that that is inconceivable, you know? So I think it’s just like, it’s interesting to like to rethink the way that like we all. work and like, what is possible? Because if you don’t even think that it’s a possibility, how could you ever get there?

[00:56:51] Jessy Grossman: Like, how could you ever work your way there? And, and it does like it, it takes time, right? Like this, none of this stuff is going to happen overnight. I think it’s like all such a [00:57:00] journey, but I do think that it’s a really powerful thing, right? To like, have it in mind as like, this is possible. And I can get some shade of it.

[00:57:08] Jessy Grossman: Maybe I don’t get 100 percent of like, you know, I work 10 hours a week and I’m making 300, 000 a year. Like good for me. But like, maybe you get closer to that. And if it’s something that you want for yourself, like, because you know, it’s possible, you can make it 

[00:57:23] Katie Stoller: possible. Yeah. And I think it’s like the crawl, walk, run mentality too.

[00:57:27] Katie Stoller: It’s like, I started doing so much stuff before I ever left a corporate job. Like I, Was starting my LinkedIn. I was starting to go on podcasts. Like I was setting the groundwork and I’ve had people come to me for advice on leaving corporate. I never thought I was going to be like a coach, in that sense.

[00:57:45] Katie Stoller: Like that’s not my expertise, but now it kind of is by accident. And the thing that I always say to them is. Just because you’re like employed full-time doesn’t mean you can’t do all this personal branding stuff. Like if you start [00:58:00] before you take the full jump, it’s a lot easier than just going, and I know that when you get laid off, you don’t know when it’s going to happen and it’s out of your control, but start now, everyone, everyone in the world right now can start slowly building up their brand that will eventually turn into those people potentially being clients or directing you to clients when you do take that.

[00:58:17] Katie Stoller: So I think there’s this like all or nothing mentality or like misconception The reason it was kind of an easier transition for me was because I did not just snap my fingers and go independent. Like I had been building towards that for many 

[00:58:31] Jessy Grossman: years. It’s like the epitome of an insurance policy. It’s like your business insurance policy is you, you don’t have to, and that’s a good thing.

[00:58:39] Jessy Grossman: You don’t have to pay anyone for that insurance. Like it is you just putting in some work and building up a personal brand. And so like. If and when that transition happens, like whether it’s your decision or not, it’s going to be a more seamless transition because like something already is created for you.

[00:58:55] Jessy Grossman: Don’t have to like completely start over from scratch and I think it’s really, really [00:59:00] important. So maybe if like any takeaway from this conversation, like that’s the most actionable thing that like anyone can do. Just get your thoughts out there. Like, establish yourself as a thought leader and like, whatever it is.

[00:59:13] Jessy Grossman: Like, maybe it’s like more on like the social media side of things versus influencer, or maybe it’s like, I don’t know about a certain type of influence or talent. Like some people are there. I know someone in whim who’s like, focus it. Oh, some people focus on it. There’s athletes, there’s people who focus on, you know, D and I’s people who focus on all sorts of like topics that they’re specifically passionate about.

[00:59:35] Jessy Grossman: I think it’s like establish yourself as a thought leader in that area and like the more, I don’t know, what are your thoughts on like niching down in terms of what you talk about? Like, do you think that that’s a good idea or do you think that people who are hiring freelancers? Would appreciate and look for somebody who is a little bit more broad in their knowledge.

[00:59:57] Jessy Grossman: What are your thoughts on that? 

[00:59:58] Katie Stoller: I think. It’s [01:00:00] really important to have sort of like a stamp of what you’re known for. Like I think of like, I can name a billion people and I’m like, she’s the go-to for this. She’s the go-to for this. And like some of those things they didn’t even put out there. They just sort of became the go-to because that’s just how it shook out.

[01:00:15] Katie Stoller: And I have not done a great job of niching down. I think the whole like. Peek behind the curtain brand side thing is probably the most niche I get, which isn’t super, super niche. But yeah, I mean, I think we’re all a little bit of generalists. Like if you work in this industry, marketing, influencer marketing, you can be somewhat of a generalist.

[01:00:32] Katie Stoller: Like, I mean, when I worked at one of the agencies I was, I was on the digital team and I’ve never been a community manager. I’ve never run a social account, but the influencer team fell under digital. So I had to like kind of quickly figure out how to be part of a digital team. So we’re all sort of generalists to an extent.

[01:00:48] Katie Stoller: But I do think niching down having your stamp of what you’re known for is you want to be the person that they think of when they think of something, you know, like that’s the driver of becoming [01:01:00] popular in a sense, like within your industry. And I think it’s important and I don’t think you need to figure it out that that kind of goes back to my whole point about the first year of like figuring it out, taking the smaller gigs because you might realize that you’re like a really good copywriter or something like you might realize.

[01:01:15] Katie Stoller: That a skill you have from influencer marketing or PR, you’re good at like a very small piece of something that you can monetize. And I’ve seen people do that. I’ve seen people that like their backgrounds are in something random, like totally broad. And then they are good at one small piece of it.

[01:01:31] Katie Stoller: Like for instance, just in case you’re like, what is she talking about? A girl I used to work with at Ogilvy. In PR, she was like on the digital side. I do not keep in touch with her anymore, but I just saw on LinkedIn that she started a freelance graphic design business and she was always kind of the girl I would go to, like, I remember she’d created a Snapchat filter for me for my wedding because she was just good at that, like art design, but I don’t think she has a necessarily a background.

[01:01:51] Katie Stoller: She might’ve gone and gotten credentials for it, but like PR to graphic design is. It makes sense, but it’s also like kind of random. So I do think that [01:02:00] stuff is kind of important. It’s to kind of focus a little bit more on being known for one thing. And like, 

[01:02:05] Jessy Grossman: maybe that’s part of the journey too. And like finding out what you enjoy the most, you know, like me, like, cause again, like, just cause you can do something like me, I don’t know.

[01:02:13] Jessy Grossman: I don’t know this person, but like, maybe she, like, she can do PR. Maybe she grew up with two parents who are in the PR industry. And so she like went down that route cause she had the familiarity and like. That was her path. And then like, lo and behold, like she just enjoys graphic design so much more and like, it’s related, but it is very different.

[01:02:33] Jessy Grossman: And so like, it’s interesting also, right? Like being, having that broad expertise of like knowing about PR so she can infuse that into her work and have that approach. graphic design work from that lens. But like, just, I don’t know, I think we all just need to do more of what we like, genuinely really love.

[01:02:54] Jessy Grossman: And I think that like, I don’t know, I think that a lot of us like myself included for years was just like [01:03:00] going down a path like with like blinders on and be like, I don’t know, that’s the goal. This is what I’ve done. There’s so much history there. There’s so much investment of time that I’ve made in creating this life that like, how can I ever pivot?

[01:03:11] Jessy Grossman: Like, You’re almost like too deep into it. And I feel like just like going from full-time to freelance like I’ve invested so much in my career. I’m so deep into my time working at, you know, this company or that company, or even just like agencies in general, like now I’m just going to like uproot myself and like do something different.

[01:03:30] Jessy Grossman: That is like a radical thought for so many people. And so I think it’s like really. It’s cool to just like hear about your experience and I like how also have different phases of life. Like you were talking about, like, you know, you did that for a long time and then you have kids, and like it felt very different and like for some people it’s having kids.

[01:03:45] Jessy Grossman: For some people it’s just like, I don’t know, I’m 10 years removed from when I first started working at a company. I’m like. We all just like naturally evolve and change. And like 10 years later, you’re going to have different priorities. You’re going to have different things in life that are just important or fun or enjoyable to you.

[01:03:59] Jessy Grossman: I [01:04:00] like, so I think it’s important to respect that of yourself. And so I’m curious too, I would, I’d love to just dive into it briefly. Like not briefly, but I’d love to dive into it. Like. How do you manage your day as a mom and a business owner, like as a mom and influencer marketing? Like, it sounds like you want to be the type of parent, you know, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you want to be the type of parent who’s like present, who’s not just, you know, seeing them for a couple of hours before they go to bed and, you know, the weekends maybe, but like, it sounds like you want to be a more present parent.

[01:04:29] Jessy Grossman: And so like, how does that inform your work and like what any advice that you could give to other women who have young kids and, but also love their careers? 

[01:04:39] Katie Stoller: Yeah, I mean, I love my day-to-day now, like, I don’t mean to like, I’m trying not to come off as like, braggy, because I know it’s hard when you’re corporate, you can’t just do this, and even some freelancers, as we discussed, can’t, don’t have the freedom, but I’ve sort of crafted my day to day now.

[01:04:55] Katie Stoller: Where it’s pretty perfect. And that can, the other thing about freelance is it can change in two seconds. If I get another [01:05:00] amazing client, my day-to-day is not going to look the same, depending on what their needs are. So that’s the other thing. It’s a little house of cards in the sense that things can be really good for a couple of months at a card and it can sort of crumble good or bad, whatever.

[01:05:12] Katie Stoller: But right now I love my schedule. So I’ll, I’ll walk you kind of through it. Cause it’s pretty great. If someone else resonates, I’m happy to like kind of talk about how I’ve gotten here. But I, my kids are full-time daycare. They’re both. in daycare. My son will go to kindergarten next year, but he’s a deadline birthday.

[01:05:28] Katie Stoller: So he has another like year of daycare, which is great. So they can be in childcare from like seven in the morning till like six at night. We never keep them that long. They usually get to school around eight, sometimes eight 30, if we’re running late. And then we always pick them up by four. So to me, that’s like what I’m comfortable with.

[01:05:46] Katie Stoller: If I need it, we’ve kept them till five. I’ve never really kept them past five, but I like the ability to like, have them safe. They’re fed They’re taking care of, they’re having fun, they’re doing art projects all day, and going outside to play. They’re doing great things, [01:06:00] but they’re not, I’m not extending it to the max.

[01:06:03] Katie Stoller: I feel like that’s a long day, which, we go to a school at a hospital, lots of doctors and nurses, a lot of those kids are there all day, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Their parents are saving lives. I am not saving anyone’s life during this. So, my kids go to school in the morning, and then I Have learned over the last year, primarily that I only can work out around nine o’clock in the morning.

[01:06:22] Katie Stoller: I hate working out. I am not good at getting myself to the gym. The only time my brain will allow me to give an hour of my data, like physical activity is around nine o’clock. I’m fully awake. I’ve eaten breakfast. My kids are gone. The day has, and my email hasn’t started to blow up yet. So I value that like nine to 10 30-ish window.

[01:06:41] Katie Stoller: Like I literally would give up a million-dollar client just to keep that window. Like. I would, I’m like knock on everything. I would do that because I value that time so much. I do yoga almost every single day. I Zen out and that is the time that I’ve realized I need. So it’s literally like my self-care time.

[01:06:58] Katie Stoller: Then I get home around [01:07:00] 10 30. I might shower. I might not like it, depending on how fast I get to get to my computer. And then I’m in full-on work mode minus lunch or whatever. Maybe take a call. Like today I’m doing a podcast that was in my calendar for weeks. So I didn’t book around it and I am in meetings.

[01:07:13] Katie Stoller: I am doing execution work. I am finding influencers for campaigns. I am doing billing Lord knows I’m doing tons of billing. And then around three 30, my husband will send me a tax from upstairs. He works from home too. And he’ll be like, who’s getting the kids? And we’ll sort of start planning for our afternoon.

[01:07:29] Katie Stoller: One of us will go get the kids at four. Dinner’s around five and then I’m with my kids until they go to bed at like seven. So I’m working probably like a solid, like six to seven hours a day, I would say. And then if I need to finish, I have from like eight to 10. I don’t love doing that, but it’s a requirement sometimes where, when the kids are asleep to kind of finish up, especially if I’m like building out influencer lists or something and do it from bed, which is great.

[01:07:52] Katie Stoller: And then I try to get to sleep by like nine 30, 10, and then my kids come into my room 75 times throughout the night and wake me up, but. That’s [01:08:00] kind of my schedule now, and it’s so nice because it’s not like a head, butt, smack you in the face, drink, chug your coffee, start working type of life. Like, my life is a little bit more open and free.

[01:08:11] Katie Stoller: And like, that’s just how we’re balanced. Exactly. Yeah. Like the time that I’m working, I am hardcore working. Like I am in it. I have three screens up. Like I look like a. mad scientist, but I work better when I sort of have the confines of that. So yeah, I don’t know. I will protect the schedule at all costs.

[01:08:29] Katie Stoller: At this point, the, for me, the money isn’t worth my schedule. Like me, my schedule is the most important thing and it might change. And that’s okay, but for right now, it’s working. 

[01:08:41] Jessy Grossman: Yeah, and you also have, like, very young kids, so, like, I feel like as they get older and, like, just a few years, oh, my God, I can’t even think about that, though, you know, how quickly they grow up, but, like, thinking about when they’re older, like, I don’t know, I have an eight-year-old, so, like, I don’t know what it is to have, like, A 16-year-old or something.

[01:08:57] Jessy Grossman: I think their needs just change. Like, I’ve [01:09:00] also heard from some parents that like, of course, it depends on the kid. And like, sometimes they’re like very easy young kids and then they have a bit more needs later on. So like, it depends. You’re needed in different ways, I guess, as they grow up, but.

[01:09:14] Jessy Grossman: Just to like it’s so I can imagine like it’s so nice to be able to like have been able to create the you know the schedule that you that feels so good. It’s like you’re every day and being able to do all those things makes you happier in your career and knowing that you have the flexibility in your career probably makes you happier and more present.

[01:09:35] Jessy Grossman: You know, as a parent and like you only have just a limited time that we have our kids like in our lives. And again, I just want to be cognizant because like not everybody is a parent or wants to be a parent or whatever. But like, if you are, I just think it’s really important to talk about like we are a women’s focus group at the end of the day.

[01:09:51] Jessy Grossman: And I think that like it’s important to talk about it because I know like we’re trying to have our kid now. And so like right now we have Zoe part-time. She’s my step kid and. [01:10:00] So like, Oh, like it’ll change so much. Like my schedule work-wise, like having a kid full time, not used to that. And then you have two.

[01:10:08] Jessy Grossman: And so it’s like, it’s, it can feel like daunting. You can feel scary, like that schedule change, like exactly what you’re saying. And I’m sure you’ve had lots of changes on schedule from like having one kid to then having two, like, and doing that on top of having a, you know, corporate job. And now it sounds like you and your husband, like work.

[01:10:25] Jessy Grossman: from home, which I can imagine has been a game changer, you know, and flexibility. And then, I don’t know, it’s just like, it’s a lot of change. Like, are you somebody that like thrives in change? Like, do you, are you indifferent about it or do you not like change? 

[01:10:38] Katie Stoller: I would like my schedule not to change. I would like to kind of keep it how it is now.

[01:10:42] Katie Stoller: But yeah, I mean, I’ve worked from home for a long time because when I went part-time. Like I was saying earlier, they sort of let me, so the pandemic for me wasn’t that different, like I was already, people were used to like, being in a room together and then having me on the screen. I’ve sort of been part of this like, work-from-home culture for a while, but I will say we were talking about this earlier, and not to get like, [01:11:00] political or whatever, but like, Good nine to five in office schedule does not benefit mothers.

[01:11:07] Katie Stoller: And there are amazing fathers out there that do a ton of the work. I have friends whose husbands do all the cooking, and all the cleaning. Like I am not saying that this is more for women, but just in reality, we all know women technically are. Probably statistically. I’m not, you know, whatever. I’m not quoting anybody.

[01:11:22] Katie Stoller: Do the lion’s share of the work or the majority of the work in terms of the household and especially the children. Even just coordinating babysitters takes forever. Finding daycares takes forever. Just the research. And the 9 to 5, take a train for an hour. sit in traffic for two hours, whatever it is, nine to five in a five-office schedule does not work for women.

[01:11:44] Katie Stoller: It doesn’t work for men either, but it especially does not work for women. So I am very like passionate if you can’t tell about working from home and I love being in an office. I would love it, that’s part of a freelance thing. You sort of, that part of your personality sort of dies. There’s no water cooler talk, like.[01:12:00] 

[01:12:00] Katie Stoller: I try and like go to lunch with other freelancer friends here and there, whatever. But I know it’s not that I hate working in an office. It’s just you see your kids for an hour a day. You sit in a car or public transportation for an hour or two or three hours a day. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Like it just doesn’t.

[01:12:15] Katie Stoller: When we can be so virtual and that I could never go back to, like, I, for all the money in the world, maybe a billion dollars, I’d go back, but that’s pretty much my threshold at this point is the importance of being able to, like, be in your home and take care of the needs that you need to take care of in your home, regardless of kids, like, I’m, this isn’t even just for parents, like, Taking care of your plants and your pets and just being there in your house, you know, more than an hour a day when you’re not sleeping, to me is so important.

[01:12:45] Katie Stoller: Being able to take a walk at 2 o’clock if you want to just get out and have your boss be like, where the hell is she going, you know? So, I think that’s another like, important part of this whole like, conversation about the freelance is just Like, we deserve, as human beings, at this point in [01:13:00] 2024, we’ve proven that we can do it, to be able to, like, have the freedom to work where we want to, and on our terms, as long as we’re getting the work done, which I feel like COVID showed that.

[01:13:11] Jessy Grossman: I hope that like enough employers are listening to this conversation, right? Like the people who are deciding who is making these rules, cause I don’t think you’re in the minority, at all. I think that a lot of people feel like that. And like, of course, there are exceptions to the rule. It’s fine. But I don’t know.

[01:13:26] Jessy Grossman: I hear a lot more people saying what you’re saying than the opposite. I also want to like talking about personal branding and talking about additional ventures. I want to talk a little bit about you. ebook if we can, because I think it’s the coolest thing. I like it, I’m so curious, how long did it take you to write your ebook, which we will link in the show notes, by the way, if you guys are interested in checking it out?

[01:13:48] Jessy Grossman: How long did it take you to write it? Also, like, is there anything that you learned from the process of writing an ebook that You would do differently if and when you do like a second edition or a second book? 

[01:13:59] Katie Stoller: [01:14:00] Yeah. No. So I wrote the book because I had been writing these like playbooks for multiple agencies, multiple companies, like everywhere I worked, I was asked to write this like a playbook of how to do influencer marketing.

[01:14:11] Katie Stoller: And I was like, I’m not writing this and like doing a bunch of research and pulling from things. I’m just writing it from my brain. This is all stuff that I have done numerous times, negotiations, vetting influencers, casting all of that. And As I was saying earlier, like, there’s a very few percentage of us that were around when this industry was, like, literally didn’t exist, you know, 10, 15 years ago, whatever.

[01:14:32] Katie Stoller: So, the information that I had in my brain was, like, completely, like, proprietary to me. And I was, like, I can’t keep, like, giving this away to companies. Not, not that I can’t, like, contribute, whatever, but I had written these, like, long, long, long playbooks. And I was, like, I gotta, like, put this on paper on my own.

[01:14:48] Katie Stoller: So I wrote it. It took me about three months from the time I got laid off from my corp, my last corporate job in February of 2023. And when that minute that that happened, I was like, I’m going freelance. We’re doing [01:15:00] this. I started writing instantly, and I already had sort of a basis for it. I had started, but I formalized it.

[01:15:05] Katie Stoller: I designed it. I put it into more of a readable template. And now I have downloadables. I don’t know if I even have shared that with you yet, Jesse, but I have some downloadables that are free on there too, on the website. And they’re like quick, like little conversation pieces of things that are helpful for people on the talent side, influencers.

[01:15:25] Katie Stoller: I’m just like, kind of like how the brain of someone that works at the brand works to help with communication bridging. But yeah, I mean, it’s been really fun. For me, as part of my brand, I know I’m like obsessed with a personal brand, but as part of building that and becoming a thought leader, I wanted a business that like spoke just to influence our marketing.

[01:15:42] Katie Stoller: I had a website that was like katiestoller. com and it’s kind of just like a portfolio site of what I’ve done and what I can do, but I didn’t have any mindshare that lived on the internet aside from my social channels. So for me, it was just kind of like a home to home, all of the. Stuff that I’ve done and that I [01:16:00] know about from this industry and to be able to sell it to people that are interested in getting a foundational kind of course in influencer marketing.

[01:16:06] Katie Stoller: And it’s been really fun. I’ve, the feedback’s been great and I will, you know, eventually hopefully build it out a little bit more, but for now it’s sort of, what’s the word? Like hero product that I talk about when I Give speeches or whatever. 

[01:16:19] Jessy Grossman: No, I love it. I’m like obsessed. I think it’s so good. It’s so smart, like to have a hub and a place to just like put all your thoughts down.

[01:16:27] Jessy Grossman: Like, we all share on social media, but like if somebody wants to reference something specifically, or you want to be, you know, in your sales pitch to like a potential client, you can say like, Hey, it’s actually in this ebook. Like, Oh sure. An ebook. Like again, it just like adds to the credibility.

[01:16:43] Jessy Grossman: Organize your thoughts and the things that you are going to be utilizing throughout the, you know, your freelance career. So like, it’s so smart. I don’t think enough people like to go that route. So I thought it was so cool that you did that and to know like three months, like I’m sure it wasn’t just three months, like three months of [01:17:00] like actually doing the thing.

[01:17:01] Jessy Grossman: Like there’s a lot of preparation, I’m sure, but like, In three months you can, you can do that. And like, how did you publish it? Like, what are some of the behind-the-scenes, like, technical aspects of it? Well, 

[01:17:11] Katie Stoller: shout out to Sabrina Jose, if you’re listening. She, I met her through WIM, was just one of those people that was like, I’m going to figure this out for you.

[01:17:18] Katie Stoller: Like, she loved my idea. And we sort of like swapped kind of like competency competencies. I can’t say that word. And I mentored her in her career and she helped me build this beautiful website. We built it ourselves and she helped me figure out a lot of the e-commerce that I am like not a technologically savvy person at all.

[01:17:35] Katie Stoller: I’m like a grandma when it comes to that. So she helped me with a lot of that stuff that, like, I could have figured out, but it would have taken me forever to, like, research it. So she helped me sort of streamline that. And then I had all the content. I sat in a library. I went to, like, all the different libraries that are around my house just to, like, mix it up for those three months.

[01:17:52] Katie Stoller: I wrote, I would say, like, 20 hours a week. Like, I wrote a lot. I was sitting there writing, editing, changing things, you know, swapping things out. And then [01:18:00] we didn’t self-publish it. It just lives on the website. And I did some promotion of it. I definitely could have done more, but I also was trying to grow my brand in conjunction with it.

[01:18:09] Katie Stoller: If you, if you go to Influencer Insider Guide, that’s the name of it, influencerinsiderguide. com, you won’t even know it’s me. And that was, that was my purpose. I didn’t want to. The website to be Katie Stoller. I wanted it to be its living, breathing, cool thing that you could purchase or that you could, you know, partake in without being associated with me because I was simultaneously kind of building up my, uh, freelance business and it, I don’t know if the strategy was the best, but it worked.

[01:18:37] Katie Stoller: It got me to where I am, which I’m very, as you can. So I’m very happy with my schedule these days, but that was kind of the approach was, it was sort of separate from me, but then it was something I could refer back to when I was speaking to potential 

[01:18:50] Jessy Grossman: clients. I love it. I think it’s awesome. We’ll of course link to it in the show notes for sure.

[01:18:55] Jessy Grossman: Cause I think it’s definitely like a great resource, whether it’s for you or like, we all come [01:19:00] in contact with people who are like newer to the industry. Would you say it’s for it? Does it, is it? For newbies, people who are sort of like, you know, mid-level, senior level, like, who is it 

[01:19:09] Katie Stoller: best for? The book, which is the one thing that you can purchase, the downloadables are free, but the book is 28, 30 pages of resources, templates, and then just content.

[01:19:21] Katie Stoller: And I take you through sort of an example, and it’s focused on the brain. It’s like influencers 100 percent should read it and see what the brand is thinking. But for them, it’s more of a voyeuristic. Oh, what are they thinking? It was written more for the founder, small business owner, a person new to, you know, an agency or.

[01:19:39] Katie Stoller: New to PR that’s trying to figure out what the whole influencer thing is all about. Maybe like a new CMO or a more even junior marketing person who doesn’t understand our influencer marketing. That’s really kind of like who it was written for. Okay. 

[01:19:52] Jessy Grossman: Amazing. I love that. And I hope that you, you know, I hope you either add to it or like write another one.

[01:19:57] Jessy Grossman: I just think it’s a cool resource for people. So [01:20:00] we’ll link to that in the show notes. Check it out, whether it’s for yourself or recommending it to somebody else. It makes a good gift, I’m sure like it’s a cool, innovative thing to give to someone. So definitely check that out.

[01:20:10] Jessy Grossman: And then I just want our community to connect with you. I know that so many members of our community are already connected with you because you’re just like a very prominent member of the community. So of course they can just message you on Slack if they’re already a member. But for the people who maybe aren’t members or just want to connect with you in other ways on social, would you say LinkedIn is maybe the best way for them to connect with you?

[01:20:28] Jessy Grossman: Yeah, 

[01:20:28] Katie Stoller: LinkedIn for sure. I’m on there all day. And then also hello at Katie Stoller. com is my email. Feel free to reach out, just say hello, whatever. I’m very open to meeting new people and getting on a quick call, whatever, but yeah, I would love to connect with anyone. Okay. So thank 

[01:20:42] Jessy Grossman: you for coming on the third time.

[01:20:45] Jessy Grossman: Appreciate it. It’s always fun to just like catch up with you. I think this has been a really interesting conversation. I hope people enjoy it as well. As much as I have, I’m excited to see, like, you know, we’ll have you on again. Like. For sure. Like you’re five when you’re your fifth year [01:21:00] anniversary, then obviously you’ll have, you’ll come on before them, but like point being, I want to see you thrive in this environment.

[01:21:07] Jessy Grossman: It sounds, it feels like it’s right for you. And I’m just excited to see like, what’s in the future for 

[01:21:11] Katie Stoller: you. And thank you, Jesse, too, for all your support. I feel like, I mean, I’m just one of the many, many women that you’ve advised throughout the years. You’ve been such a great sounding board.

[01:21:22] Katie Stoller: I’ve called you happy. I’ve called you sad. Like you’re just there for us. And I just want you to know that like, it’s so incredibly valuable and important and we’re like, so grateful for you. So, well, thank 

[01:21:32] Jessy Grossman: you. I will also give it right back to you’ve also been a resource for me in lots of ways, both professional and personal.

[01:21:40] Jessy Grossman: So it’s just good to find people that you connect with. That’s important. So I am Thankful to you as well. And I’m thankful to all of you guys for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this conversation. Katie is the best and you should connect with her. Check out her ebook and just get to know her better.

[01:21:57] Jessy Grossman: So thank you guys so much for tuning [01:22:00] in and we will see you next Tuesday. Bye, guys. If you enjoyed this episode, we have to have you back. Check out our website for more ways to get involved, including all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at IamWim.

[01:22:16] Jessy Grossman: com. Leave us a review, or a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask you to do is to share this podcast. Thanks for listening. 


[01:22:25] Katie Stoller: Tune in next week.

Katie Stoller


Katie Stoller is an influencer marketing veteran. She began her career in 2009 in Los Angeles working in fashion PR, dressing A list celebrities and working celebrity gifting suites at award shows. She then moved home to Chicago where she had a decade-long career working at top global PR agencies (Ogilvy, Ketchum and Golin).

She then led the influencer marketing team at Fiat Growth, a fintech growth consultancy working closely with affiliate and performance marketing teams.

In 2023, she transitioned to being an independent marketing consultant for businesses and talent.

She also launched her education company, influencerinsiderguide.com where she puts out valuable resources for those in the influencer marketing industry.

Katie is a member and mentor with WIIM as well as a mentor for DePaul University students.

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