[00:00:00] Lindsay: The experience that you get at an agency is invaluable to be able to work across every vertical imaginable, to be able to switch your brain and say, okay, what are the goals and objectives from auto to tech, to CPG, to beauty. And I think it’s a huge asset for a brand side. You get to kind of obsess about a singular brand and understand its goals and objectives, understand their why, and understand who they’re trying to reach. And just be invested in all in.
[00:00:55] Jessy: Hey guys, what is going on? You’ve got Jessy Grossman, your podcast hostess with the most. I’m also the founder of the community that inspired this podcast, WIIM, or Women in Influencer Marketing. I’m so excited to be here with you guys today. And today is another guest episode., I know I promised you guys more solo episodes, but I want it to be a blend so I can be.
particularly selective about who we bring on here transparently like. If you’re a fellow podcaster, podcasting is a lot of work, you guys, and to keep up with these weekly episodes and have them be, guest oriented, I felt a lot of pressure and I honestly, not to knock anybody who’s been on this show, but I like the opportunity to be selective about who I bring on.
I don’t want to bring someone on just because I feel pressure to, have an episode go out the next week. I want to share a little bit more with you guys and just get personal. I want to share my experiences with you guys. I love teaching, so if I can teach you guys anything, with a solo episode about like a particular topic, then that sounds great to me.
You guys seem to like them a lot, and I think it’s going to be a nice blend. But all that being said, I’m always looking for ways to improve this show, and I love your feedback. So give it to me, whether it’s in the YouTube comments or the DMs on Instagram. We’re at IamWim on all platforms.
So find us and give me some ideas of what you guys want to hear about. Today’s episode, though, went in like a really interesting direction and, I come to these. Interviews, of course, with, some questions that have been predetermined, but I always like to tell our guests, to consider it a framework, like we’re gonna hopefully go in some unexpected directions based on where the conversation takes us.
And so. With Lindsay Calabrese, who you’re going to hear from shortly, we ended up talking a little bit about the concept of job hopping, which was not a question that I came up with necessarily, but Bye. Bye. It did come up, and it was a really interesting perspective that she has. I’m not going to give it away, but we talked about what it is to jump from job to job every year or a couple of years.
For sure, of course, it’s taboo and historically looked down upon, but we’re going to hear how Lindsay feels about it. We also talked about agency life and flaws at ad agencies and how they can do better. We also talked about missed opportunities and influencer marketing. And let me tell you, let me like set the stage for Lindsey.
She is somebody that I hugely respect. She’s somebody who I admire for so many reasons, but I love that she is not afraid. Like embraces. Just like jumping into the fire of something new. And she always seems at the forefront of innovation. When Web Three first came out, of course, Lindsay was all over Web Three, then AI was the thing.
And of course, Lindsay’s all over AI which a lot of people would like. Intimidated by those things. A lot of people certainly wouldn’t dive headfirst. That’s, always Lindsay’s M. O. And I love that. I respect that so much. And I also find that in terms of the creator, specific space, she seems like she loves creators.
And she’s not just, promoting the ones that everybody knows about, she seems to have, this deep knowledge about creators who, maybe haven’t necessarily popped yet. They’re a little lesser known, but they’re doing cool, substantive work. And I love that about her. So, for all of those reasons, hopefully, you can imagine why I was dying to have her on the show.
And it’s been a long time in the making. I’m so glad that she took me off on it. And I love that I can be so selective about our guests now, so that when I do these intros, I can make this intro, 15 minutes long, just going on and on about how awesome Lindsay is. But. I don’t want to oversell this, so I should probably stop talking so you guys can just enjoy our conversation.
But anyway, I am super excited also to sort of preview that we have a few upcoming virtual events that you guys should check out. So first of all, Please join the membership. And I’m going to say it again. You guys, if you enjoy these conversations, and I know that you do because you tune in week after week, I am so appreciative of your attention because that is a hot commodity these days.
I want you to also give yourself a gift. You’re giving me a gift by like having this show like be popular and having this show like have legs and like really impact people. Give yourself a gift of joining the membership because some of you guys. Don’t necessarily have the community that you wish that you had the network that you wish that you had or the resources or the education and that is what WIM will give you.
It is the most powerful thing to be able to have all of these inspirational, kick-ass women at your fingertips. And I just highly encourage you to do yourself a favor. It’s hard to invest in yourself for several different reasons. Everybody’s a little bit different. I want you guys to, and we’re getting to the end of the year.
So set yourself up for 2024, all that being said, I’m encouraging you to join the membership also because of these few events that we have coming up. That makes them free and includes them in your membership once you’re a member. So you have access to things like our manager meetup, and our brand meetup, which this month is all about affiliate marketing.
It’s a panel. It’s going to be so, so good. We have an event coming up also the best in influencer tech. That’s in November. It’s going to be incredible. We have who we’ve hand-selected as the best companies in influencer tech. to demo their products for you. Of course, they’re also going to give you discounts and promotions to try their products and stuff because I’m like a promo girl and I love a good coupon and discount so they’re not allowed to demo if they don’t give you one like real talk.
And I’m excited for you guys to check all of these virtual events out. But with all that being said, I’m also in 2024 planning mode. So now that, our, Chicago event is behind me and we’ve done LA, we’ve done New York this year, I’m excited to just sort of, sit with my thoughts, be able to tap you guys for your feedback, and then, go guns blazing into 2024 for you guys.
All that to be said, please give me feedback. I want to hear whether it’s in our Instagram DMs or our YouTube comments. What do you guys want more of in WIM? What do you guys want more of? Do you want more virtual events? Do you want more in-person events? Do you want… More mentors join you can have all these mentorship opportunities.
Do you want more castings? Do you want more master classes more panel discussions or more, varied podcast topics? Whatever it is I want to hear, and even if it’s something that we’ve never done before, we are building a couple of new things that I hope to preview for you here towards the end of the year.
But I want to build some stuff and I want to help you guys. So I’m excited to hear your thoughts. I’m excited for me to stop talking so you can hear Lindsay today. And let’s just get into it, guys.
[00:09:26] Jessy: First and foremost, I’m excited to have you on the show. I’ve been, wanting to get you on here for a while. For multiple reasons, I would say one is, I just always enjoy catching up with you. And then two is, I want… Our members to know more about you and I know that you’re going to be able to share your learnings and there’s just so much experience in the creator space.
I’m excited for our listeners and members to learn from you today. So first and foremost, welcome to the show. Thank you for coming.
[00:09:59] Lindsay: Thank you. I know we’ve been trying to do this for a while. And WIIM always has a special place in my heart that was, I went to the very first WIM event. In L. A.
[00:10:10] Jessy: in like maybe twenty-eight, twenty eighteen or twenty-seventeen, yes, absolutely, and I wasn’t even there, I just remember getting like photos of it and seeing photos of it and we had a whole team and very vividly remember this, like when we were putting together that panel discussion, like multiple people were oh, we gotta get Lindsay, we gotta get Lindsay.
And. I didn’t know you at the time, but I remember being very intrigued by how many people, vouched for you and, really wanted you to be on the panel. So I’m glad we connected then. And, since then, you’ve, come to other events and, just had, a whole career of your own, which I’m excited to sort of, dig into a little bit today.
But We heard a little bit about you in the intro to the show, like you on paper. Tell me what it’s like and like what you’ve learned from working at a variety of different companies in the creator economy.
[00:11:12] Lindsay: So I’ve been in the influencer space for over a decade. When we met, I was at the Amplify. I helped launch the Amplify back in 2013.
I believe we were the first influencer marketing tech company back in the day. We had tech, but we didn’t have any kind of network clients or processes. So to kind of be there from the ground up and build was incredible. We ended up working with some of the biggest brands in the world and we’re just building as we go.
And I look back and some of the work that we did, I still think is some of the best that I’ve done and some of the most innovative that I’ve still seen in the space. We got acquired in 2016 by the Brand Tech Group and then I oversaw global expansion and opened up offices in New York, London, and Paris.
So getting that type of experience early on in my career was invaluable. I mean, being trusted to do things for the first time in a big way and like make mistakes but learning from it, was amazing. We launched the World Person Influencer Chatbot in partnership with CoverGirl. We were pushing Long-term creator programs, back in 2014 and 2015, one time I did an audit of our clients, and out of all the campaigns we did, we probably had like three that were just one-offs.
The average length of our campaigns back in like 2016 was like six months, eight months in a year. So, just kind of like looking at how progressive that was back then was cool. Since then I’ve been SVP at Wailer, through their hyper-growth years. sold through the first Super Bowl campaign and Pharma campaign, and was a VP of Influencer at Cashmere, a leading cultural impact agency.
What I’ve learned at all these different places is I was meant to be there for however long I was meant to be there. I think job hopping is completely okay. Be at a place as long as it serves you as long as you’re learning, and as long as it’s the right cultural environment, and as long as there’s room for growth.
Job hopping is okay. I remember there was a time in my career when they said you’ve been here for four months and you’ve been here for six months and what’s up with that? And I never felt guilty. I was straight up with like why I left what I learned and what I brought to the table.
And so that’s like a big takeaway. I think being in the space is job-popping is okay. Do what is good for you. While at Kashmir, I mean, I just dove head in and learned all about cultural impact and understanding, to look beyond vanity metrics, right? If any creator could be on the campaign, then what are we trying to accomplish?
Right? Trying to understand, what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re measuring success. And the easier you can swap one creator out for the next, the more impact you lose. So, looking at, not follower accounts, but, people who are putting in their real work, in their community, in their subculture.
Who, when they like to speak up it makes you instantly feel something. It makes you instantly want to do something and Gen Z, like I got to really like understand Gen Z and like what makes them tick, and for brands to be relevant for years to come, like. Gen Z needs to embrace them. You need to move at the speed of culture.
You need to know how to tap into culture. And that was my big takeaway from being there. And then NIL has popped off. And so I like to get paid to learn. When I left Kashmir, NIL, there were millions of dollars funneling into that. So I got a job as head of partnerships at a NIL company where I got paid to just, obsess about that.
And then the past couple of months went brand side. After 12 years going brand side has been a dream where I get to build a creator network from the ground up, that’s powered by some pretty iconic brands. I hear
[00:15:10] Jessy: this a lot, which is, especially people who work at an agency that like the dream is to work at a brand.
Like everyone’s answer is going to be different, of course, but why was that your dream?
[00:15:22] Lindsay: Well, first of all, I think the experience that you get at an agency is invaluable. To be able to work across every vertical imaginable. To be able to switch your brain and say, okay, what are the goals and objectives from auto to tech, to CPG, to beauty, right?
To get the experience across verticals for me was like a clutch. And then you also get to know the creators, right? In each of those verticals. So for me, agency was invaluable and I think it’s a huge asset for a brand. I think where there’s kind of like tension. Is there’s agency is super fast moving.
There tends to be higher turnover. It’s super fast pace. Agency life tends to be yes. People like you just kind of churn and burn. And that leads to burnout. I think at least for me, it led to a conflict of morals. Yeah, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Brand side, you get to kind of obsess about a singular brand.
And understand their goals and objectives, understand their why, understand who they’re trying to reach, and just be invested and all in.
[00:16:33] Jessy: I hear that a lot and I have personally not ever worked at, I’ve only worked at a talent agency. I’ve never worked at like a brand-facing agency. I mean, transparently, like I’ve heard horror stories, all sorts of agencies.
I can’t even pick on one where the burnout that you talked about and just, There’s no balance, there’s no work-life balance. The yes thing resonates, I’ve heard that a ton. We’re expected to always please the client no matter what. Again, I don’t have experience at those places, but I’ve heard from enough people that it seems like it’s a fairly universal experience.
And so I’m curious, so now you have this experience where you’ve worked at quite a few agencies. I’m sure you know people, of course, who work at agencies, so you’ve gotten that feedback as well. And now you’re working, brand side, everyone’s got to survive. If they’re thinking, smart, how can agencies survive, but not just survive?
How can agencies thrive? What should they be doing better?
[00:17:36] Lindsay: Again, I can only speak from my experience. I would say a lot of it has to do with culture. Expectations have been unrealistic at times. I mean, for me those were the big things. Look, at every agency that I’ve been at, I’ve absolutely, I wouldn’t take it back.
I’ve learned so much. From Amplified to Whaler Cashmere, I take with me the best that they each had to offer. I will say that. And I left when they no longer served me. Whether it was the culture or whether it was I just wanted more. And maybe to your
[00:18:13] Jessy: earlier point, there are certain industries where the culture is just shorter lifespans.
Maybe at a brand, let’s say, and I’m not even saying that this is true, but hypothetically speaking, maybe at like a brand, that’s where you would stay for 10 years, like maybe, like as a doctor, you like stay put for a while, but maybe agencies, I don’t know, are just like set up with, with false expectations where like people assume that If you only stay there a couple years, if something went wrong, well, maybe I would challenge that.
Maybe it’s just best to set up for people to do shorter spurts there. What are your thoughts on that? Am I off base? I mean,
[00:19:01] Lindsay: a couple of years is kind of a lifetime now. It is. And you can learn so much in a year at an agency. So much. I do, it’s kind of like getting your master’s degree. You are thrown into the fire, working across, again, several different verticals, working with several different personalities that are kind of constantly changing.
You learn so much. And like I said, I mean, I take the best with me, and I do think, spending time at an agency is really good for your career if you want to get into influencer marketing and the creator economy. It’s invaluable what you learn.
[00:19:39] Jessy: So let’s talk a little bit more about, the learnings, right?
So I admire that, from my perspective, from my vantage point, I’ve always seen you digging into the new thing. And, and I’m dang, like if Lindsay’s checking out, I’m I need to check it out. Like you were so into Web3, NIL, like all these areas, like Web3, intrigued a lot of people, but very few people dug into it.
Certainly not at the level that you did. And I just think that’s an admirable quality and character trait of yours. Is this something worth digging into or is it straight-up curiosity and then you kind of see what happens once you’re
[00:20:27] Lindsay: there? Yeah, it’s kind of curiosity. If I don’t understand something, I just have to understand it.
And I do think though, it is part of our job, right, in the influencer space to check out the trends. Like we do, we do need to understand what people are talking about and how is it relevant. Can we apply it to what we do? And how
[00:20:53] Jessy: do you do that though? Because I’m yeah. But I don’t know, do I just like look at like the major trends?
Am I looking at like sub-community trends and how do you do that?
[00:21:05] Lindsay: So I learned by doing. I’m I tried to read articles about Web3, for example, and I just was so confused. And I just did some research on, well, what is fashion doing in the space? Is there CPG? Like what, what is going on? Like what are these different communities?
And I just honestly started buying, right, and NFT to get behind the curtain in their discord and their communities. And I learned by doing. Do you ever do
[00:21:32] Jessy: it? Like. 20%? Or are you always if I’m gonna do something, I’m always gonna do it at 100%?
[00:21:37] Lindsay: I don’t know if it’s a sign thing, being a Virgo, I don’t understand, astrology and signs, but I’m definitely…
I am obsessed with things for periods. Like I look back I wanted to be a photographer when I was younger. So I wore a Polaroid camera around my neck everywhere I went and just pretended to be a photographer. I wanted to be a cartoonist at one point and I got an easel and I just drew for hours and became pretty good at it and started doing murals on walls.
But then it’s like one day I wake up and I’m like. I’m over it. I even do that with food. It’s bizarre. I got really into oranges one time and I only ate for like a month with oranges. It’s just I don’t know. I have this in my personality. It’s served me well so far, but that’s just part of who I am.
[00:22:22] Jessy: Totally. No, I love that. I don’t know. Everyone’s different. Some people might say, Web 3 looks so interesting, but they struggle to keep the focus, of learning the thing. So the drive has to come from somewhere, and for people it’s different. Like. When you are most enthusiastic about whatever it is that you’re working on, I don’t know, even let’s say Web3, what other motivations were there besides curiosity?
What other things do you think, really motivated you besides being a Virgo and besides being curious? I
[00:23:00] Lindsay: mean, look, I’m 42. I’ve been in the influencer space for 12 years. I think there’s also, I don’t know necessarily it’s a fear of missing out, but I have worried about ageism. Am I aging out of a fast-moving industry?
I mean, it’s very, very different than it was back in, 2011, 2012. It’s very hard to keep up with. And I think what I’ve learned is I don’t need to know everything, but I do need to know what is worth keeping an eye on. And I also like when you, it’s all about who you hire too. I don’t need to be on TikTok scrolling all the time.
I don’t need to know what the top sounds are, but I know it’s important., I know it’s a must in this space. So let me hire someone who informs me, right? It’s just also knowing what your superpowers are, and building a team that is connected. Yeah. So it’s like ageism, that, that’s the thing that I worry about and I, now I just hire appropriately.
Well, let’s talk
[00:24:13] Jessy: about that a little bit more. I feel you on that, first of all, it’s a fear, especially in our industry, right? Cause because our industry just skews a bit young. And it’s a unique situation. I feel like in many, I would argue to say most other industries, the more senior you are, the more value you’re perceived to bring to the company.
But especially when there’s always like the next newest thing, like when TikTok like really became a thing a few years ago, like people were sought after who happened to just be younger generally because it was so natural to them and they just seemed to know more about TikTok and it was certainly like it was easier for them maybe, I don’t know, but the point is, is like I, I feel you on that and I’m curious to hear your perspective on how do you work through that?
I mean, I heard you say what you are doing at work as you hire for that, but what do you do inside your mind, the things that we like to tell ourselves, which is, I’m to this or I’m to that, or I’m scared of this. How do you sort through those thoughts of Some of those fears, one of them that we happen to be talking about is just
[00:25:36] Lindsay: ageism.
I mean, I, love research, and again, I lurk a lot on social, even if I don’t post. So
[00:25:44] Jessy: is it is it for you, is it like always being satiated and inundated with information and just like the knowing and understanding that puts you at ease about that? I guess I’m curious about like how you work through it, like how you put those fears, how you hold them at bay.
What scratches that itch for you and makes you feel
[00:26:07] Lindsay: better about it? I geek out on I mean, I learned by doing, but I. I like having a good understanding of how a lot of things work and why. Do I need to physically be the one going in and doing it myself? No. I think that’s the main thing. I mean, TikTok has been interesting to watch because it’s not like your normal social network.
It is like television. Do you enjoy TikTok personally? More and more, yes, but, in my bio on TikTok, I put, whatever I’m, in brand partnerships, just here for talent, not posting, I say, who I am. On there and that, don’t expect to see me doing anything.
I do force myself to go on it personally and scroll through it. But I do think, personally, I spend more time on Instagram because my feed is just, I’ve been on there for, what, years and years, and my feed is already conditioned about, all my interests. I happen to force myself to do that on TikTok, to try to get my feed.
I like it, but I don’t feel the need to go in and learn how to use CapCut and post videos. I don’t think that you need to learn how to know how to do that personally to be good. strategist and understand the mechanics of it. I don’t think you need to do it. I mean, there are some, marketers and social strategists who are yeah, and the best ones do it.
I don’t feel the FOMO there. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. Just rambling on at this point. No, it’s
[00:27:47] Jessy: okay. I like the rambles. I’m curious, that you have worked through so many different brands across time. I think you have a really good eye for talent. For like, the next big thing that is worth focusing on.
So I’m curious about what you think are the missed opportunities in influencer marketing. What do you think? Well, so
[00:28:15] Lindsay: I mean, just going back to like finding talent and creators and strategy, I mean, I think that a lot of brands and marketers, once they have a big idea. I think that for them that’s when strategy ends, then it just becomes pure execution and campaign management.
For me, that’s just when it’s beginning. I think finding the right creators is a heavy, heavy strategy. Again, if anyone can do the campaign, then what are you trying to accomplish? The easy, again, I say this so many times, the easier you can swap out one creator for the next, the more impact you lose. So my team and I spend a lot of time, a lot of time wormholing, on TikTok and Instagram and Google and just like finding these niche communities and fandoms and subcultures on the internet.
Like we do a lot of digging, to find the right people. And again, we don’t focus on follower count. That is something that is a missed opportunity, I think, or something that I don’t think a lot of people are paying attention to. One example is, I met this, met this young woman, Tiana Day, she had like 5,000 followers across her social, but at the age of 19, she organized the largest BLM march in the state of California, and over 50, 000 people showed up at the Golden Gate Bridge.
She impressed the hell out of me, and I was we need to get you in front of Brands. She’s, she was working like three jobs. Just to keep her head above water and go to school. And she was what brand would pay me? I have 5, 000 across social. And I was let me figure that out. I ended up pairing her with Taco Bell.
And PepsiCo and she’s incredible, like again, but like she has real-world impact, right? It’s would we have found her on Instagram? Probably not because she didn’t have a large following, but like you go, you, you just wormhole and find the people who are putting in the work in the communities.
That’s for me, just a huge missed opportunity. And, early on in my career, I just kicked myself because it was very much churn and burn. Like I would bring in big six and seven-figure dollar deals and once it came through, I just, executed the team. And I look back and I’m if, if I sell something through and we contract 15 creators, that’s 15 opportunities, right?
That is being created that could change the course of a creator’s career. So I look back and I’m I was in that churn and burn, hey, I’ve sold it through, do it. And now it’s when I talk to a brand and I understand their goals and objectives, their why, who they’re trying to reach, and again, why, how we’re measuring success, I get on lots of calls with creators, again, not just the ones who have a large following.
I get on a call and I’m just just tell me, what do you want to do? Tell me about your goals and objectives. What are your beliefs? What are you passionate about? Where do you see yourself? And so when I hear that or, a creator says what their, passions are and what they want to accomplish when I hear a brand saying the same thing, it’s we’re a connector.
And so for me, that’s, that’s the big thing is like something that I would love people to understand is like strategy does not end when you have a big idea, like you honestly, like a big part of the strategy is understanding the goals and objectives. And then I just find the right creators and I get on a call with the creator and say, here’s what they’re trying to accomplish.
And we build out the actual strategy together versus saying, here’s a strategy, it’s completely baked out, here’s a guideline, just create the content. My most successful brand partnerships are when we just start with the goal and objective and we build out the strategy with the right creators in mind.
[00:32:14] Jessy: Well, the missed opportunity, it sounds is… continuing the moment right? If there’s this beautiful momentum that’s been created, why are you going to sort of stop it in this, in this place where it doesn’t feel like it’s resolved,
[00:32:28] Lindsay: right? I also think bringing in creators too late, like not at the right point, right?
Most creators are brought in, again, when something is sold through and there’s already a creative brief, they’re brought in and just given a brief. I think creators should be brought in from the research stage. Again, from we understand, we understand, we have a goal and objective, right?
And we know what success could look like. I think bringing in creators to understand, the psychology behind everything. So for me, that’s a big, that’s a big missed opportunity. And that’s one thing that I’m excited about that I’m building, with the team. We’re building a creator network that is a creator culture-first network.
And basically what that means is partnering with creators in front of the lens, behind the lens, and the scenes, like placing creators at the heart of everything we do and how we do it. We’re hiring full-time in-house creators. We’re hiring social reporters. I mean, I even envision a world where we have like a mini like Adobe Studio and we need graphics and stop motion.
filmmaking and producing and editing and we have, and creators that we tap to help make it. Versus, again, giving a brief to traditional graphic designers and creatives. I envision, what would happen if we brought creators in from the ground, day one.
What does that output look like? So
[00:34:05] Jessy: there could be more crossover. Are you also, how do you feel about UGC then?
[00:34:11] Lindsay: Oh, I mean, I think it’s… Crucial. I think, I mean, especially we see this in DTC, right? I mean, it’s real people using your content. I think UGC is a KPI. It’s a strategy and a KPI. And, we saw a rise like during the pandemic when, we couldn’t do big productions, right?
We were getting briefs that were partnering with creators to create all of the assets for a product launch for the new build on the website. And the content ended up being more diverse than you would typically get for, a normal photo shoot. And the cost was, nowhere near as bloated.
A big production could be hundreds of thousands of dollars and they all kind of, all the content kind of looks vanilla. But by partnering with creators, you’re getting real people behind. your product so it’s more relatable and that content just converts better.
[00:35:14] Jessy: So I appreciate that what I’m hearing you is say is Almost like literally describing what UGC is, which is user-generated content, and so like in its purest form, it’s like if you’re, I don’t know, you talk about like Adobe, like it’s, it’s like real life photographers who are just saying how they love Adobe and like they’re a photographer first, not a creator necessarily.
That’s like the purest form of UGC. But I guess like what I’m seeing pop up in the last year or so like we’re seeing management companies who have UGC divisions. So they’re representing creators who are like UGC creators. And I think it’s to me at least, it’s like a little confusing.
[00:36:02] Lindsay: There’s a big difference.
[00:36:04] Jessy: Yes. Talk to me about that a little bit. I’m curious about your thoughts.
[00:36:07] Lindsay: User-generated is people who use like organically use your product. The other. The thing is content is creators for hire, right? Like you’re hiring creators to create content that don’t normally use your product to use however you want to use it.
I mean, very, very, very different.
[00:37:42] Lindsay: to describe it. There’s like a big ongoing debate on Twitter because you’ll see people. They were saying UGC, in search of UGC creators for this type of product.
And then people would say, send, then they would send them the product, they would create it. And then you have the other half of Twitter be yo, that’s not UGC. You need to change your verbiage because it’s what you’re looking for, yeah, content creators. And that is very much, you just send them products.
They’ve used it for the first time. And oh my God, I’m so obsessed with it. That’s honestly reverting to like. Influencer from like 10 years ago when it was like everyone knew you didn’t use the product. It’s kind of cringy. It’s
[00:38:24] Jessy: cringy. That’s the best word. Okay. I want to dig into salesmanship a little and like the sales process.
I’m pivoting hard, but I was, I was sort of listening to you talking earlier and you’re when I sell through a program when I sell through this and I’m asking key questions and I earn a business-like. That is a skill, I think, that no matter where you sit in the creator economy, it’s invaluable to sort of like being able to hone in on the ability to do it, to do it well, to feel comfortable with it, and just like hone that skill.
So I feel like salesmanship or sales is just different for everybody. But for you, I’m curious, how do you approach getting people excited to work with you?
[00:39:11] Lindsay: I didn’t realize that I was selling for the longest time, at Amplify. I just looked at it as having tissue sessions, we’re all educating each other.
I look at it as education and problem-solving, and not sales. And what are we, what problem are we trying to solve? Right. Let’s talk about, the goal and objective. Let’s talk about the problem. And let’s really workshop solving for it and all the different creative ways, right, that you can partner with creators to solve the problem, to bring it to life, that’s how I look at it.
I look at a brief as like a puzzle, a problem that we’re trying to solve. That’s like the, my favorite thing is like putting the puzzle together, strategizing, right? Taking all the like knowledge we have from TikTok and platform knowledge we were getting from TikTok and in Twitter and Instagram and, and all, in all the different ways that we see creators like tell a story it is just a puzzle.
And when you solve it, It sells through or whatever, and you’re able to then like bring it to life by like bringing on creators to help, tell the story and all these different ways. And, you’re looking at it from, it’s so much fun. And I had no idea that I was selling millions of dollars.
I mean, I knew I was selling, but. There was never any pressure.
[00:40:38] Jessy: There wasn’t any pressure internally, like from yourself? I mean, I’ve
[00:40:43] Lindsay: worked with salespeople and they’re I see the pressure that they’re under, I guess. I’ve always looked at it again. It’s just, that I’ve never looked at it as I need to sell this through.
Because when I did have that mindset for like a year. I don’t want the integrity of the program to be compromised because you just need to sell something to make a quota. For me, that’s when, at least me personally, I want to keep that intact and, really focus on, the job to be done.
So, I look at it as, education. I’m learning, they’re learning, and, let’s just build this together.
[00:41:21] Jessy: It’s great to have the objective be something like education or something that’s like neutrally beneficial something where like it’s, I would venture to say that you enjoy learning and probably teach it like it’s something that you can also like focus on that that’s like pleasurable for you and like enjoyable and stuff.
I’ve seen so many people who are in a sales role get wrapped up in like. Goals, the
[00:41:49] Lindsay: sales goals, looking at it as like a check mark, right? A checkbox, like you have a scope and or you have a brief and this is what they say they want. And so just give it to them when it’s let’s, again, really looking at the goals and objectives and like the why and.
And understanding, the mechanics of everything. What about
[00:42:09] Jessy: challenging the person that you’re trying to sell to? Because like maybe what if you ask a question and you get an answer that you like disagree with? Do you always feel comfortable and take that approach to challenge what they’re saying?
Or are there certain instances where like I’m just gonna let that one go for one reason or another?
[00:42:32] Lindsay: Yeah, I’ve done both. It feels incredible when you have that type of relationship and culture where you feel comfortable speaking up and offering a different perspective. I’ve also been on the reverse where I’ve felt not empowered to speak up or that the culture is right or that it was even wanted.
And then you just, right, it’s just okay, what do I need to do? And let’s do it. Honestly, that’s why, when I left the agency world in January, I didn’t want to go back. I was let me figure something out because I mean, but I’ve also been doing it for 12 years in an agency setting.
Again, I’ve seen the best and I’ve also like had my ups and downs and, not seen the best, but when I left the agency world, I just said, look, I want to. I know I want to stay in the creator economy. I know I want to build. I want to do something forward-thinking and innovative because I’m a curious person.
I want to help people, and I want to help people. That truly is, for me, what grounds me, and what drives me. And so when I do have conversations with brands, I look at it from How can I help you? Let’s do this together. When I talk to creators, it’s very much what do you want to accomplish?
How can I help you? And then it’s putting the pieces together. When brands are saying the same thing that the creators are saying, the values align, right? That’s where the magic happens. And that for me is the most important, like elevating and amplifying goodness. It’s something I won’t compromise anymore.
[00:44:16] Jessy: So like this past year has been like a wild year for a lot of companies, you’ve seen a lot of people get laid off. You’ve seen, a lot of budgets get, diminished because the economy is a little nutty yet, like the creator economy, like it’s chugging along. Like I feel like it finally did come to a point where there was impact there.
Whereas I felt like. The creator economy sort of avoided some of that, early pandemic economic impact, but I’m curious, about this. We’re like half, we’re a little more than halfway through the year. I’m curious, is there anything that sort of surprised you this year, 2023 in particular, in the work that you’ve been doing?
[00:45:01] Lindsay: I mean, surprise me particular, I would say, I don’t know if this is going to answer your question, but I think for me, again, having been doing this for a while, like what surprised me about my journey is that I was able to find, My passion and my voice again that for me like, there are a few months where I just thought I can’t imagine being passionate about You know this again.
I can’t imagine wanting to work hard. And so that’s been the biggest Surprise, it’s just finding my passion again has been key, and then to be able to Build I think something new and fresh I’ve been pitching this concept of, again, like an influencer creator agency that is built, again, with creators at the heart of everything.
I’ve been pitching it for three or four years. A lot of people, agency-wise, looked at me like I was crazy. Meanwhile, the creators were hell yeah, let’s do it. And so that’s what we’re building right now at the Arena Group building a creator culture first network and partnering with creators from day one of when we got this opportunity.
You have a seat at the table. You have a seat at the table on day one, let’s figure this out together versus here’s a brief. Do your job. That’s your job. So that’s just super exciting for me to be kind of entrusted with this.
[00:46:41] Jessy: I mean, I appreciate it because I, I don’t see that elsewhere.
Like I haven’t seen that elsewhere and I can rattle off a bunch of things. I won’t do that. But like. Of like why that would be challenging to accomplish. Like someone’s gotta be the one to like to do the innovative thing that, like pushes the envelope or else I feel I don’t know, I’ll speak for myself.
I feel like half the reason I got into the creator economy in the first place was that it was different it was new and fresh and people were innovating. And I don’t know if you’ve felt similar, so I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I have felt that over time. It has felt less than that.
It has felt more like everybody’s just trying to scale. No one’s innovating at all. Everyone’s just rinsing and repeating the same, like ridiculous.
[00:47:33] Lindsay: Oh my God. The word scale, the scale word is triggering. Me too.
[00:47:38] Jessy: Me too. I have said on the show before, even I don’t think. The creator economy is meant to be scaled at all because it’s a relationship-based business.
And so how do you scale relationships? Like you can try, but you’re going to ruin all those relationships because the relationships aren’t meant to be scaled. So. It’s like all the tech companies and stuff, they’re trying to create technology to be able to scale it, and I just think it’s like a zero-sum game.
We need to
[00:48:09] Lindsay: automate, relationships, and then it becomes transactional again, and then, then you start measuring the vanity metrics as of why to partner with creators versus understanding who they are. Yeah, that’s, that’s a big thing. And also, why aren’t creators being tapped earlier? Why aren’t they being brought into the process earlier?
They are creative people. They figured out how to do, build a community create engaging content, and build an audience. And they figured out how to do what the most, I don’t say brilliant, but what some of the most, high level. Marketing executives haven’t figured it out. They’re real people.
Like they understand how to, when they speak up, like it incites action, like they understand how to do these things and for us to just give them a brief and just say, make this video using all of these different guidelines and talking points is honestly doing it, doing them a disservice. And it’s instead of like saying money’s left on the table, like creativity like you’re just leaving creativity.
On the table. I don’t know. I agree
[00:49:15] Jessy: so much with you. It’s the bar that has become so low. The bar is way too low. And I just had, this is gonna sound so shitty, but I just had higher hopes for our industry. I feel like there are people who are certainly pushing the envelope, but it’s taking longer than I would have hoped.
And I felt I feel like a lot of people just kind of became, have become complacent. the bar is low. I feel like people have become kind of stuck in their ways. And so when you say I want creators to come in earlier in the process, I can hear in the back of my mind, and again, I’m a former talent manager, but I can hear the, all the managers being but like how you have to monetize every second of your time.
How is that worth it? Are they going to get paid for that time? And it’s There are just different ways to get to the same place. There are probably better ways to get to, a better
[00:50:11] Lindsay: place. But I want to pay them though, like in that aspect of building this creator culture first network is it is we want to bring you in on the research.
We’re going to pay you.
[00:50:22] Jessy: So is the proposal sort of having the people come in? The distinction is that they’re not, full-time employees, but they’re, doing similar, similar work, but they’re, part-time contractors because they also have their own influencer business. Is that sort of the proposal?
[00:50:42] Lindsay: I mean, I think it’s not one size fits all, right? We will have full-time in-house creators and, some might be social culture reporters, but also, we’re looking at it from three different ways, right? Like creator-led, who are the creators that we know we want to work with? And let’s build something around that.
What, we know we need evergreen content that is meant to grow social channels, build engagement, and build views. What creators are great for that in cultural moments, right? We know we need to have engaging content around cultural moments. What are the different stories that we can tell and what creators are living?
Living that life. Some might be contracted full-time. Some might be, hired as creative directors. Some might be like they’re, we hire creators just to like keep us up to date on trends and what trends make sense for our brands. There are just different ways that we’re looking to partner with creators versus hire and staff like a typical agency.
Yeah, I mean, our social culture reporters, they can still work with other brands. This is just another way that they are monetizing. There’s another, this is another way that they are. Getting paid to do what they love doing. You know what I mean? Like they’re already on TikTok, they’re already scrolling through, they’re already seeing trends and how can I use this trend for my personal brand?
We’re just at, we’re now just saying, Hey, we’ll also pay you to do that with the lens
[00:52:11] Jessy: for our brands. There are so many creators that have been like asking for that sort of a thing for years. So I’ve had a similar experience and they’re saying like creators have always been down to do that. Like I had a lot of creators that I worked with who were like.
In addition to pitching me for like the brand partnerships, can you also see if they want me to just like create content together? They’re already doing it. They have this expertise and there’s a desire there as well, additional monetization, like revenue streams and stuff. So I feel like you have like a deep knowledge about creators in a way that I don’t see in a lot of people.
And that seems counterintuitive because I talked to a lot of creator economy people, but I feel that you like. You know people who like before other people know them, you know what I mean? Like I feel like you make an effort to really sort of like find interesting people Like you said before you’re I wouldn’t have necessarily found that creator Like she doesn’t have a huge Instagram following or whatever, but like I found this person So I’m curious like with that experience Are there any women?
in particular that you think our audience should be following? And those could be creators, it could be creator economy, people that are just really interesting. Is there any women in particular that you think
[00:53:30] Lindsay: we should know about? Well, I just think it’s interesting because Tiana Day didn’t consider herself necessarily a content creator, right?
But like she creates impact with what she’s doing every day and people listen to her. And so when I did partner her with Taco Bell and PepsiCo. It actually wasn’t from a content creation standpoint. It was as a
gen Z thought leader, board of director, right? Like we brought her questions about What she cares about in, Gen Z activism. And again, this is another way to partner with someone who is creating impact in the world and influence happens from the inside out. There’s brands spending tons of money on public facing influencer campaigns, but like we need to educate them on like an influence from the inside out.
So again, it’s like looking at creators from not just you’re creating. All of these types of content, but like creating impact that was a tangent from that. But also I think I look at creators who are, who are at the intersections of culture, right? So it’s not just looking at a person who is a finance creator, but they are finance as it intersects with travel, right?
Like because finance content typically tends to be not as accessible, not as relatable, not as tangible. And so when I look at a finance creator, I’m looking at, again, finance at the intersection of travel. And then I find packs like Gabby Beckford, who is super hyper focused on travel, but it’s educated.
It’s not like you’re, I look at this beautiful place in Greece. It’s just here’s five tips on how you can apply for grants in order to, right. Do this. She very much is tangible, accessible, relatable, financial content as it pertains to travel. So that’s kind of just how I look at like wormholing and finding creators.
It’s not just like looking by category. It’s looking by like at the cross sections. of culture.
[00:55:47] Jessy: No, it’s a great way of thinking about
[00:55:48] Lindsay: that. I love that. When you look at it from that perspective, you find little pockets on the internet of people creating this super niche content versus like just mainstream by-category content.
And then real quick, I do want to give a couple of shout-outs to some women in the creator economy space that I love. I mean, Leah Haberman, I mean, who doesn’t know her? She is like the in case you missed it queen of trends. I know what I know because of her substack. I think also one that I’ve been following and devouring a lot of her content lately is Jessica Phillips.
She is the CEO and founder of Social Standard. Her and I actually briefly worked together when I was at Hello Society back in 2011 or 12 and she’s just putting out a lot of, she has a great podcast too, but she’s like a lot of things that I like. Anyway, she has my attention. And then Zoe, is it Scamon?
S C S C A M A N. She has like the most brilliant mind when it comes to innovation, metaverse, subcultures, fandoms like I read her stuff. And my mind melts like she’s able to break down these kinds of really scary, complex ideas or things and just really makes it tangible to the creator economy. Yeah, I love it.
[00:57:18] Jessy:I’m like sitting here writing down their names so I can check them out. And so I’m so curious, as somebody who was like very into Web3 myself, and I know you were very into Web3 as well, does it take up as much time as it used to? Do you still see that it’s like as viable as you thought it once was? What are your thoughts on Web3?
[00:57:37] Lindsay: I think it just goes down to the basics, it’s a community, right? I mean, I do think that technology is really interesting and actually will shape a lot of your future technology, like the whole blockchain, I think that that technology is really interesting, but I think that that was the focus of Web3 when in a successful integration, you don’t even know you’re in it, you don’t even know you’re using it, but I’m still in it as it pertains to like some of the friendships and people that I’ve met in the communities.
I’m still very much with them. But I needed to obsess about it for a good six months to better understand it and better understand the use cases. And I know we’ve geeked out a couple of times and when you actually look at the mechanics, it’s this is really interesting. Like I actually can see the use cases to build an engaged community and makes so much sense.
It’s just how can we not make it so, there’s some work that needs to be done. It’s still very interesting, and I have my eye on it. I think from then it’s shifted to AI, right? Oh my gosh, like I spent about six months working at AI startups in the creator economy space, particularly. And that foundation, again, I know it can be scary, and when you talk about does it eliminate jobs?
It really is as good as the output, and it’s not as easy as it sounds to actually give prompts and then layer on additional prompts of the prompts. Right? it’s not as easy as it sounds. I, I mean, I did see behind the curtain of the technology for some creator economy startups and it’s really impressive.
[00:59:19] Jessy: I saw a tool just the other day, that someone was demoing for me because I’m everyone’s guinea pig and I love it. She was showing me how they have these built-in AI tools just built-in with Java GBT where there’s like a couple of fields that you can customize and then it spits out like a pitch of like why you should work with this creator or why you should work with this manager’s talent.
And I was that’s useful. Like that is useful. Like I would have absolutely used that. But then I was like digging into it more. I was okay. But So from then, do you have any analytics based on, okay? So if I use this one pitch, what is the success rate from that? Can I like AB test a couple of different subject lines that it suggests?
So it’s a great start. There are a lot of use cases. I was talking to someone the other day who was you know. She’s more of a content creator and she’s I want to diversify my content a little bit. And there’s like an area that I want to get into more. And she’s it’s very time-consuming and I’ll get in my own way.
And, I’ll never start. And she’s you know what? I should just explore chat GBT for a template of sorts. I’m The thing is, people shit all over using ChatGBT to, come up with a caption or come up with content and stuff, and, the thing is, everyone, in my opinion, that doesn’t need to be the final product, but it can be an excellent starting point if you’re already just getting in your head about never starting because you have a million excuses why.
If it’s just an assist, absolutely use the assist. It’s a tool. Why not?
[01:01:05] Lindsay: Well, you can definitely tell when someone just uses it as a final product. And that’s interesting because those are, that’s very different than the three AI startups that I was looking at. One was, basically it’s taking like a longer form video and it’s identifying the most important kind of parts of the video.
And then like spitting out like three, four, five different vertical options that saves so much time and headache and money for, for content creators in general. Another one was basically you, it can create like a business in an app for you. Like if you’re a fitness creator or influencer, put your profile in this app, and you can customize your colors and things, but it basically takes your longer form, like workout videos, and creates them into mini sessions.
It’ll actually create products for you as well. It’ll have like a foam roller and to put in your color and put your logo on it. You can actually put in the type, like if you’re a vegan, it can actually, it’ll actually curate vegan recipes and then like products and you get, I mean, it was really like monetizing, doing everything for you.
I mean, I saw it and it does it within minutes. And then another one was basically pulling in all of your, like pulling their Pinterest and your Instagram and identifying which ones have affiliate programs and you can say, yes, you want to include it and it creates your own storefront. With all of the affiliate links attached.
Kind of wild.
[01:02:31] Jessy: I’ll have to get the names of all of those companies ’cause I probably would wanna drop them in the show notes for anyone who’s wait, what company is that? I wanna know what that company does. So, like explore it and stuff. ’cause like some of those are good, like they, a lot of those, I think they’re interesting in particular because they solve real problems.
It’s not just like a nice to have, like people are I want to build up my business and I’ll get in my own way. I’ll never pull all the different affiliate links and blah, blah, blah, like there’s networks, of course, tons of companies that do affiliate marketing, but I pretty consistently hear from the creator’s perspective that it’s just overcomplicated.
It’s like unnecessarily overly complicated. And it’s the goal of AI is like to sort of uncomplicate things for us, make it a little bit easier. And It’s a very practical use case for so many creators. There’s like money left on the table for them. So it’s a cool
[01:03:26] Lindsay: idea. And that was something where it’s again, like Web3, like I don’t understand it, like there was a time, right?
Like six, eight months ago. And AI was I really was I have no idea what’s going on. I need to understand it as it pertains to the creator economy though. And so for like six months, I was like fractional, head of creator, for these. AI startups, and I got paid to to learn, behind the scenes on AI because it was still leveraging relevant content creators to help grow, right, their business.
But that was if I don’t, if I don’t even try to get a grasp on this, like I was getting scared. I was so scared that I was just beyond, My ability to learn so again, I’d like to get paid to learn and I was all right, let me see if there’s some, some AI startups that need some, some growth and let’s see what I can
[01:04:22] Jessy: do.
That’s I don’t know, making a list with my best friend right now. I was this is like very personal, but I was like. Really struggling this year in particular. I was what do I enjoy? Not like business necessarily. Cause I want to be able to like do those things more. And so I’m putting together a list of things.
And one of them that I put on the other night is. About, I was I don’t know that I want to like go back to school and like get like a whole like degree, but like I enjoy learning. I enjoy the learning aspect of it. So when you’re saying like get paid to learn, I’m I mean, that fricking sounds perfect.
I’m going to like add something like that to my list of like things that I should make space for that would genuinely make me happy, like get paid to learn.
[01:05:10] Lindsay: The technology is new to everyone, right? And they’re still just trying to. Grow their company, but it’s new technology for everyone. And so, right, a growth hack is partnering with creators who could use your product to grow.
That’s the thing is I don’t know, maybe getting paid to learn kind of sounds whatever, but it’s a new technology for everyone. It’s just leveraging creators to use the product. So for us, it’s actually not, you know what I mean? Like the foundation is not new for you and me because we live in the creator economy, live in the influencer space.
And the technology is new for everyone. So when I kind of broke it down like that, like it just made, made so much more sense.
[01:05:51] Jessy: I love that. And we’re talking about like growth hacking, like I always joke around, but it’s true. I’m everybody’s guinea pig. Why? Because I love technology. I’ve always found it really, really fascinating, but I’ve ever like worked in a, like at a tech company.
No, never. I love working for myself because I can sort of some new thing that I want to learn that day and no one’s going to tell me, no, you need to be working on something else. Like it is one of the beauties of having your own business. You can learn whatever the hell you want on your own time.
But like I love being people’s guinea pigs because you get a peek behind the curtain of something that you’re really curious about that no one would necessarily hire me per se to work at one of these companies. But like. If I could be of service to you and give you my perspective, and hopefully I will give you some value by sharing feedback, but I get to have my curiosity satiated a bit and I get to learn something new.
Like it’s really a win win. So absolutely. And I know you’ve had like. passion side projects too, like I know about one in the WinWeb3 that you were working on and stuff. So, I don’t know, people don’t talk about that a lot, which is we’re joking around, get paid to learn, but there’s other things of value besides money in certain instances, and that’s a really, just asking somebody, can I help you with that?
You’d be very surprised to hear a lot of people would be Yeah, absolutely. You want to beta test this and give me some feedback? I would love that. You’d be you’re allowing me to look at this thing? And I would love to. I, can you teach me a little bit more about it in the meantime?
And it’s just a win win. So I think it’d be freaking awesome if more people did that, you know? Yeah.
[01:07:35] Lindsay: I mean, and it’s also not normal now to only have one job, to give your everything. To one place, especially in this economy where it’s you do, you give everything to a company and then it’s you maybe have been made redundant, even though you’re awesome.
And that’s not the case, right? It’s not because you aren’t amazing at what you do, but we’re not our parents, where you give 40 years to a place and you have a nice retirement, like job security now is multiple revenue streams. And I do think that being in the creator economy space volleys us up really nicely for that because we are connectors.
We are connectors. And if we’re only limiting to being a connector for one company, then we’re not helping as many people as we possibly can help. That’s how I look at it. Totally. I love
[01:08:29] Jessy: that. I’ve heard a lot of companies that are also looking, for like advisors, for example. Like that could be another interesting way to, create some more wealth, like people talk a lot about like generational wealth, which is something that women should just like be, monetize.
Being an advisor at a company, like perhaps you’re just exchanging time for equity and like that can be incredibly valuable for you to do in some instances and you’re learning along the way. So I don’t know a whole lot to talk about on that front. I have a feeling that our audience is like totally going to want to get in touch.
We’re going to drop. your social links in the show notes, but what’s the best platform for people to reach out if they want to connect with
[01:09:29] Lindsay: you? I’m an open book, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, I only lurk on Tik Tok, so don’t really hit me up there. Yeah, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, my email, like.
[01:09:43] Jessy: Pick your
[01:09:43] Lindsay: poison.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I know people are your email is it has become like your most kind of sacred. Way. I mean, I do. I give mine out because I… Just like helping
[01:09:55] Jessy: people so we will share it with your permission in the show notes So I have a feeling that a lot of people will likely reach out and for those of you guys who are listening like Lindsay Is really like a connector like truly and an open book.
It’s not just like she’s not just saying that So if anything that you heard today makes you curious and makes you want to connect with Lindsay I could personally vouch she’s awesome and you should She’s totally around the Wim community as well. So Lindsey, thank you so much for coming on today. I always enjoy our conversations.
And so for those of you guys who are listening, I appreciate you stopping by and we will see you next week. If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta have you back. Check out our website for more podcast. all the information you need about joining our collective. You can check out all the information at IamWim.com. Leave us a review, a rating, but the most important thing that we ask you to do is to share this podcast. Thanks for listening. Tune in next week.