Start Ups & Influencers

Based in NYC, Lauren began her career in customer experience at Rent the Runway. After realizing she wanted to shift her focus towards Marketing, particularly within the Influencer Marketing and Community Engagement space. For over 6 years, Lauren has worked in-house with brands like Otherland & United Sodas. Working as a one-woman team, she has built & scaled Influencer & UGC Content Creator Programs, engaged via social as the brand voice, and teamed up on some fun influencer and co-branded activations.



[00:00:00] Lauren Roth: Think if you have a limited budget and you want that high-quality content, but maybe not on their channels, utilizing UGC content creators for your channels can be great when it comes to ROI 

[00:00:12] Jessy Grossman: or like even putting money behind it to run a minute as yeah, there’s so many different opportunities.

[00:00:17] Jessy Grossman: And I love that you touched on events too. Hey guys, welcome back. to the show. I’m super happy to be here. I am recording this the day that our last episode was released, which was a very personal episode. I’ve gotten some very kind messages from people, but I’m a little like, I don’t know, gun shy about it all.

[00:00:46] Jessy Grossman: One person asked her like, she said it, I think she’s purely well intentioned, but like, how do you feel about sharing some of this so publicly? And I told her very honestly, I was like, I actually just feel like I get more anxious, the more shame I feel about things and the more I keep them in. So for me, The way to process stuff that I’m going through is to just talk about it.

[00:01:13] Jessy Grossman: Of course, I don’t need to do it on such a public platform, but I think that generally speaking, I think that we would all benefit as women to talk about some of the struggles that we’re going through more because it removes the stigma. It removes any shame. It removes this preconceived, crazy preconceived notion that like, we’re all just fine.

[00:01:34] Jessy Grossman: Like we’re all just supposed to go through life and everything is wonderful and everything is. easy and everything is just a joy when it’s like, it’s just not like life happens to all of us. You will not be excluded from that. And I just think that I’ve been, I know I’ve been grateful for all the podcasts and YouTubers and Instagrammers who I follow when.

[00:01:59] Jessy Grossman: They are sharing things that are way more personal versus just all the fluff. So that’s why I did it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can go listen to last week’s episode. It’s. Incredibly personal and it’s just my life right now. So this week, however, we are very much switching gears because we have a wonderful guest.

[00:02:24] Jessy Grossman: We’ve become so friendly over the past many months and we have Miss Lauren Roth on the show. So she’s also based in New York City. You’ll hear a little bit about her background. in this episode, but she began her career in customer experience at Rent the Runway. After realizing she wanted to shift her focus towards marketing, particularly within the influencer marketing community engagement space, that’s the work So over six years, Lauren has worked in-house with brands like Otherland, a candle company, and United Sodas, a soda company.

[00:03:00] Jessy Grossman: Working as a one-woman team, she has built and scaled Influencer and UGC content creator programs. She’s engaged via social as the brand voice, and she teamed up on really Fun influencer and co-branded activations. And we talk about a lot of those examples in today’s episode. During today’s episode, we talk about the startup space, the consumer startup space in particular, tips for getting scrappy with a limited budget, what she’d like to see changed, and some of her hobbies that are both rewarding and provide a bit of stress relief because don’t we all need some stress relief when we’re working at influencer marketing?

[00:03:39] Jessy Grossman: Amen. Amen. Anyways, you guys, I’m going to keep this intro short. Thank you so much for listening to the show. As always, please leave a review if you enjoy what we’re talking about. But the most meaningful thing is if you can share the podcast with others that you think also would benefit from listening.

[00:03:57] Jessy Grossman: So this guest is fantastic. This guest is Lauren Roth and let’s chat with Lauren.

[00:04:06] Jessy Grossman: This show is sponsored by Women in Influencer Marketing, better known as WIM, 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 find a mentor. When you become a member, do not forget to sign up.

[00:04:26] Jessy Grossman: Check out all of our incredible resources. For example, we have dozens 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 FooSoo and Influencer Marketing, check out what it takes to become a member.

[00:04:46] Jessy Grossman: Make more money and have fun doing it. Visit IamWim. com slash join. That’s I A M W M. I I M dot com slash join today. And I so look forward to seeing you more around the community. So today we have a very special guest. We have a friend of mine. She is our NYC ambassador, a WIM member, and just an all-around awesome person.

[00:05:16] Jessy Grossman: So welcome Lauren. How are you? 

[00:05:18] Lauren Roth: Good. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be on and chat about all things influencer marketing. 

[00:05:23] Jessy Grossman: Totally. And we’re going to get into it today. There’s a lot of experience that you bring to the table that I think a lot of people would benefit from like learning from.

[00:05:32] Jessy Grossman: And we have a lot of like, I don’t know, we have a lot of ground to cover. So I think like a really solid place. To start, I’m sort of curious because I want to learn more about it. What made you want to get into influencer marketing in the first place? Like what’s your origin story? 

[00:05:48] Lauren Roth: So I started in customer experience at Rent the Runway and I liked the relationship part of customer experience, but not being behind the screen.

[00:05:58] Lauren Roth: And then I pivoted, I got a second degree at Parsons in fashion marketing, got some internships under my belt, and the role kind of, Within influencer, landed in my lap when I was at another land, they had an agency they worked with for influencers, but given the budget, they were working with and their overall goals for the program, they brought it in house and it just kind of made sense for me to take that over because I was doing all of their community engagement on their social channels and already knew what influencers organically liked us and posted.

[00:06:32] Lauren Roth: So it was just a great jumping-off point. 

[00:06:34] Jessy Grossman: And so there’s a bit of a transition, I guess, from like fashion marketing. Like, do you want to get back into fashion influencers in the fashion realm? Is that something that you’re still really passionate about or now you’re more into it, I know you’ve been working a lot at like startups, but what’s your ideal focus?

[00:06:52] Lauren Roth: So I do like the startup space. Just because I think there are so many cool milestones you can hit within a startup. And you see the direct impact from initiatives like influencer marketing, but I’m open. I think for me, it’s just, that I like working with a physical product when it comes to influencer marketing.

[00:07:10] Lauren Roth: And I’ve had that opportunity. I’ve worked with, uh, CPG brands, beauty space. So we’ll see, I’m kind of, I’ve run the gamut when it comes to different areas of consumer goods. Totally. 

[00:07:23] Jessy Grossman: And there is something a little different about working at a brand where there is like a physical product that you’re selling.

[00:07:29] Jessy Grossman: What is it about that that draws you? 

[00:07:32] Lauren Roth: I just think it’s cool to see the, uh, Impact the product can have with the influencer and with their audience. For example, when I was in another land, it was pretty cool how the product, was a candle candle company and how it could fit into so many different genres and testing, you know, what influencer demo kind of worked best with candles.

[00:07:53] Lauren Roth: We even tested books to grammar and saw a great response there. So just kind of interesting to see, you know, where a product can fit in, where you might not initially think it would. Yeah, 

[00:08:03] Jessy Grossman: no, that’s interesting. And especially something like a candle or like a drink company. Like, I don’t know, there’s probably some more obvious, like low-hanging fruit, like options of stories that you can tell, but then there’s also some more obscure ones, but that can make a lot of sense.

[00:08:18] Jessy Grossman: So no, that is interesting. So as you mentioned, you’ve been most recently working a lot in the startup space, like the consumer startup space, which I think is interesting. Mostly because. A lot of what we hear about publicly in terms of influencer marketing is a lot about these like Fortune 100 brands, these giant, giant companies Yeah.

[00:08:43] Jessy Grossman: Who is playing in this space and you know, can pay influencers, let’s say like a hundred thousand dollars for a partnership, you know, and drop a few of those a year. And they just have such large budgets and I hear more and more how some. Startups or just small companies, see the value of influencer marketing, but for some obvious reasons, they’re intimidated or don’t know where they fit into it because they don’t have these giant budgets that some other companies do.

[00:09:17] Jessy Grossman: So I’m curious from your perspective, like just generally, like what do you think more people need to know about influencer marketing in the consumer startup 

[00:09:25] Lauren Roth: space? Well, like you mentioned, number one, yeah, its Brands are working with a limited budget, at least for the most part. And so it’s really up to the people on that influencer team within that brand to get creative when it comes to budgets and making sure it’s mutually beneficial for the influencer and the brand.

[00:09:43] Lauren Roth: I think too, just being. Being completely upfront for both the influencer and brand side on a budget is important. It negates the back and forth of negotiations and also just negates like an automatic. No, I think influencers are a lot of, at least from what I’ve seen are a lot more willing to negotiate with brands that they love, but.

[00:10:06] Lauren Roth: If a brand’s not willing to disclose what they’re willing to pay, the relationship’s not going to go anywhere. And in terms 

[00:10:12] Jessy Grossman: of like, is there like a minimum threshold that you think is appropriate? Like, so if you were to, you know, start working at a brand and they’re like, Never done anything in the, in terms of the influencer space before.

[00:10:26] Jessy Grossman: And they’re like, well, it looks great. And it looks like it could benefit us. But like, would you say you need X amount of budget first? Would you go maybe a different, slightly different route, like the affiliate route or UGC or like, I don’t know, there are so many different directions that you can go in, but like, give me some of that, like fly on the wall, like a conversation that you might.

[00:10:47] Jessy Grossman: Prep a new brand if they just want to enter into the influencer space. 

[00:10:52] Lauren Roth: Well, number one, I think a lot of brands think, Oh, I want to be, do some influencer marketing for my company, but they haven’t researched at all as to the cost. Influencer is the different CPM rates. that are associated with influence marketing versus traditional marketing, the time it takes to see the ROI.

[00:11:11] Lauren Roth: I think patience is super key. And that’s something I like to share with brands I work with. And I think test and learn, I think you need to set aside a budget. I can’t give a specific, cause I think it’s very dependent on. On the brand, but if you’re not willing to even set aside like a thousand dollars to test, I think like you’re not open to the idea of partnering with influencers and in the best way possible, and you’re not going to get the ROI at all if you’re just gifting.

[00:11:39] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. I’d love to talk a little bit about like. UGC or maybe an affiliate, things like that. Cause like, there are different strategies. I feel like gifting is one extreme and then, you know, giant budgets being the other. And there’s a lot in between that people are exploring these days.

[00:11:58] Jessy Grossman: I’d love to hear about, like, what do you think are some of the benefits? Let’s start with UGC. Like, what are some of the benefits and what are some of the like, watch 

[00:12:05] Lauren Roth: out? Yeah. So I’ve been fortunate in my last role to help build out a UGC content creator program because the brand was lacking content there, whether it be the photography of their product through UGC or influencers.

[00:12:20] Lauren Roth: So we worked with. UGC content creators to get content with the product and with the creator in it. We wanted content that felt like that was a lifestyle. And so we started this program with the goal of it being a long-term partnership, working with these creators every month for a set number of deliverables and pricing.

[00:12:42] Lauren Roth: And what’s been cool is that these content creators like influencers, they You know how to create content that’s engaging. We let them do what they do best, which is create, but a lot of them too are influencers. They do UDC content creation on the side. And so we’ve benefited in the fact that yes, they’re producing content for us to use on our channels, but often they’re organically posting on their channels because they love the product and they love partnering with us.

[00:13:11] Lauren Roth: So you have that opportunity. To grow with them, not just through a professional relationship, but organically with their audience, which has been cool to see. It is 

[00:13:20] Jessy Grossman: cool to see. And I’m sure that like, you’ve learned a lot along the way. People don’t even know how to properly, I think, define UGC even though some people say, like, is this UGC?

[00:13:31] Jessy Grossman: I mean, user-generated content has been around for the longest time, like in its purest form. It’s just, Users of your product who happen to like, maybe post about it, but it’s so interesting that they’re like, you know, people who are making entire careers out of just producing user-generated content. I think the operative word is the user that it’s anonymous, not anonymous, but like it’s not known.

[00:13:58] Jessy Grossman: influencer face, right? It’s not someone recognizable per se. And so they’re like, you know, I just know how to create content and I can bang out all these videos or photos, whatever, mostly videos, I guess, especially with TikTok and everything. Like there’s just so much opportunity. It’s really interesting.

[00:14:19] Jessy Grossman: And so. We’re talking a bit, uh, before about budgets and having a limited budget. And look, sometimes it’s because they don’t have the budget, but I would say more times than not, it’s just that they haven’t allotted the budget to influence their marketing yet, you know, which I think is important to note because that feels to me more like an opportunity to earn money.

[00:14:43] Jessy Grossman: earn that budget, right? Like, it’s sort of like a game to me. I’m like, Oh, well, it’s there. Like, and I want it. How do I get it? So I guess like, you know, you get a trial program of sorts, so to speak. And do you have any tips for how to get scrappy with a limited budget? Yeah, 

[00:15:00] Lauren Roth: I think number one is talking to The people you work directly with and determining the KPIs, if you don’t have anything going into a program, you’re not going to be able to prove yourself when it comes to partnering with influencers.

[00:15:15] Lauren Roth: I think too, yes, like when you need to get scrappy with a limited budget, like product-only partnerships can be great. But I think for influencers, you want to make them aware that if this is a brand’s goal, that is Something they want to, you know, partner with them on once, but continue that long term.

[00:15:33] Lauren Roth: So giving, telling that influencer, you know, there is opportunity to grow with the brand. And for me, I can say like, I’ve started with product-only partnerships with influencers, and that’s grown to maybe UGC content, maybe paid, perhaps like an event that we hold in New York. There’s a lot of opportunity outside of that.

[00:15:52] Lauren Roth: And then, yeah, I think like we mentioned earlier and didn’t fully touch on, I think there’s an opportunity for brands to. to do affiliate programs if, you know, they can’t do those one-off partnerships that cost a little bit more. So yeah, definitely different ways that you can engage with that limited budget.

[00:16:07] Lauren Roth: I think too, relationship building, that’s a big one for a brand communicating with influencers is key and it will, you know, something that influencers were keep in mind when. They, you know, maybe have a giveaway or something like that. And they want to include product. If there’s someone that they had a close relationship with, whether or not it be that they had a paid partnership through it, that’s a brand that comes top of mind.

[00:16:31] Lauren Roth: And lastly, yeah, UGC content creation. I think if you have a limited budget and you want that high-quality content, but maybe not. On their channels, utilizing UGC content creators for your channels can be great when it comes to ROI. 

[00:16:45] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. Or like even putting money behind it to run them as ads.

[00:16:50] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. There are so many different opportunities. And I love that you touched on events too. I just think like, I mean, I love a good live event. I think that like post-pandemic more and more people are enjoying that, you know, it used to be a pretty common occurrence, especially in like a big city that they would.

[00:17:06] Jessy Grossman: You know, brands would host events all the time and influencers would go, but I felt like it, it got to the point that it was almost like oversaturated, and then the pandemic hit. And so now I feel like, again, like I’m always looking for the opportunities and I feel like in terms of events, like now probably is a really good opportunity to be hosting.

[00:17:24] Jessy Grossman: Um, events because it’s not quite what it used to be. And I think there’s an appetite for it. And to your point about relationships, nothing beats an in-person interaction to build that relationship. And you know, the nature of influencers is that like. If they’re doing their job right, their metrics are only just going to always increase.

[00:17:45] Jessy Grossman: They’re going to always get more followers. They’re going to always get more subscribers, et cetera. And so like to be part of that journey from the beginning is really, it’s beyond like a business relationship. It’s just like a smart relationship. Building strategy, you know, because they know you from before they were famous as you know, quote, unquote, and I think that there’s a lot of power in that.

[00:18:10] Jessy Grossman: And also like that, you know, you were you saw something in them in the beginning and you invested in them early on. Like people remember those things. And I think that’s like not to be it. undervalued. 

[00:18:23] Lauren Roth: actually, you brought up an interesting point about the events area that I wanted to kind of touch back on.

[00:18:28] Lauren Roth: So I’ve had some experience there with events. When I was at Otherland, they launched a store and we did some cool initiatives as well as a pop-up at Rockefeller. And it was, that was like the real, that was COVID like that was when COVID hit. But that summer things started because of the weather’s warmer and you know, vaccines and all that were out.

[00:18:48] Lauren Roth: People were getting out and about. And I had the opportunity after years of just talking with these influencers online to invite these influencers to this event and meet a lot of them in person. And it was just fun to be like, okay, I know about your life. Like we know about things happening. Oh, you moved here.

[00:19:02] Lauren Roth: You’re Oh, you broke up with your boyfriend. Like there’s just all those conversations. That was cool to just like put a face, a real face to a name. And I think that really like skyrocketed. Other lands event program, because these influencers were like, okay, they’re trying to get to know me outside of the platform.

[00:19:20] Lauren Roth: And they had so many other brand partnerships where influencers were involved. So it was kind of, yeah, it was great. And just a time to get creative and partner with. Other brands for influencer marketing. 

[00:19:33] Jessy Grossman: How was it though? I mean, you’re, you know, I think we mentioned that you’re also in New York. So, I mean, you’re in a huge major market.

[00:19:39] Jessy Grossman: And so how was it organizing and planning events in New York City? I can imagine that’s a big undertaking. 

[00:19:46] Lauren Roth: Yeah. So with all the teams I’ve been on, it’s just been me for influencer marketing. Like, yes, we have the social team or art director who we work with, but I kind of decided to take the initiative to do an influencer.

[00:20:00] Lauren Roth: Activation at the pop-up because we had this spot for two months and we wanted that brand awareness and we wanted to get scrappy. So I decided to reach out to NYC-based influencers and those focused on NYC content or, you know, events happening in New York. And I partnered with 25 influencers, let them.

[00:20:23] Lauren Roth: Invite a friend. And then I just organically reached out to brands within Rockefeller and asked them if they wanted to partner and just provide free coffee from Grumpy’s Cafe, some drinks at Pebble Bar, top-of-the-rock tickets, roller rank, and they were all willing. And what I found.

[00:20:41] Lauren Roth: Even more interesting was that we were talking to the Rockefeller marketing team and they’d never done something like this with the brands within Rockefeller and they’re like, this is so cool. Like, can we repost the content? Like, oh, like, and, and I saw like months later that they partnered with this influencer, Charlene, who focuses on NYC content.

[00:21:00] Lauren Roth: And they put, they’ve partnered with her later on, ’cause I think they liked her content so much. But we garnered like 50 pieces of reusable content through that. I also did some on-the-ground marketing where we created some flyers and I went around to the local hotels, and the concierge desk, and just handed them some flyers.

[00:21:17] Lauren Roth: Cause I was like, Hey, we want people, not just NYC, but tourists near Rockefeller to come. And, you know, these are people also that you’d want on your side, the concierge desk to pitch your event. And they, it was also just like a great word-of-mouth marketing moment. So that was fun. And like I said, I got to meet all of them in person, all the influencers.

[00:21:40] Lauren Roth: So I felt like that kind of bridged the gap from online to IRL. I feel like it’s such a 

[00:21:45] Jessy Grossman: a different way of working. I mean, it is such a different way of not just working with creators, but just working in marketing, you know, like more like boots on the ground and, you know, getting up behind a desk. Like, do you enjoy one over the other?

[00:21:57] Jessy Grossman: Is it a combo that you like? Like, what about you, just you personally, like, and what you enjoy? 

[00:22:02] Lauren Roth: Yeah, so I’m definitely like a people person. So I, though I’ve always kind of strayed away from like big public speaking moments. I’m better in small groups, but I like a mix of both. I love like the day of an event when you’re grabbing all the things and getting everything ready.

[00:22:18] Lauren Roth: I love, I’m weird. I like first dates. Like I love going on a date meeting new people and learning about them. Like, even if it’s not like someone you see a second date with. So, and I’m not a. To answer your question, I’m not a behind-the-desk girl. If anything, I sit on the couch, get up, do something, and come back.

[00:22:34] Lauren Roth: But yeah, I like a mix of it all. I don’t think I could be on the floor all day, but interacting with people at some point in my day is important to me. 

[00:22:43] Jessy Grossman: Definitely. And there’s. Like, I don’t know. I just, I’m inspired by you and I hope people listening are as well, because what I hear is there’s just the different types of roles within the creator economy are so vast and I feel like what we hear about is so limiting.

[00:22:58] Jessy Grossman: Like there’s so many more tight, like really interesting, dynamic type roles out there that I don’t even know that enough people are privy to. So I love you kind of sharing this experience. I don’t think enough people like it. Talk about it. I want more people to know that it’s available. It’s out there.

[00:23:14] Jessy Grossman: Like you can do this. So like shifting to just like talk about just the industry in general, what’s something that you’ve seen happen repetitively in our industry that maybe you think is change worthy? 

[00:23:28] Lauren Roth: So. A big thing that I’ve been seeing on LinkedIn lately because I’m in the job market again, is the combination of influencer marketing with other roles, whether that be social media, PR, you name it, or content creator.

[00:23:44] Lauren Roth: Those are, in my opinion, those are, Two full-time roles, two different skill sets. And, you know, I get it coming from a startup space, like, you know, the budget can be tight, but I think expectations there for both of those things have to be adjusted because it is time-consuming. I’m like right now.

[00:24:03] Lauren Roth: Helping someone with social and like kind of taking my first step, like editing videos and posting, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, this takes like so much time. How can someone like create a full content calendar? And it gives you a lot of appreciation. But yeah, for me, I think that’s something like that. I see a red flag when I see those posts and something I’ve kind of spoken to people within the community about, and they are feeling similarly, especially because jobs are so limited right now.

[00:24:29] Lauren Roth: Definitely. 

[00:24:29] Jessy Grossman: And like, is the implication that they just don’t fully appreciate what’s involved in that role or else they would see it as like its own separate thing. Cause there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything necessary to do all those things. 

[00:24:43] Lauren Roth: Yeah. I think that’s it.

[00:24:45] Lauren Roth: I think too, like, and maybe like it can just Be seen to me like they’re having their full-time roles. Maybe once talking to them, it could be like, it’s 75, 25 and they’re only wanting to do like a little bit of influencer seating and it’s mainly social, but I think that’s something that should definitely be in the job description and yeah, expectations laid out there for the applicants.

[00:25:08] Lauren Roth: I’ll 

[00:25:08] Jessy Grossman: tell you as someone who’s like had my own company and like I do recruiting as well, most companies like that I have found could just speak from personal experience, like, They don’t have those answers, like, which is shitty, like, that’s not an acceptable thing just to be like, very explicit, but like, they don’t know, like, they haven’t done the work to properly set up the JD, to properly set up their people for success, I find that they’re like, Wow, we just need all this stuff done and we want to do it with the best person, but in the more, in a more economical way, blah, blah, blah.

[00:25:44] Jessy Grossman: Like, you know, we’re talking about getting scrappy with influencer budgets. I feel like people are getting scrappier and scrappier with their people. And then you equate that to how influencers feel too. I feel like brand awareness used to be, um, All over the place. And now influencers have the bar so much higher for them to perform in every single piece of content.

[00:26:06] Jessy Grossman: I feel like there’s not even a room for them to grow. Like if they, we talk about, of course, like one-off partnership is silly and you know, we want to ideally have more partnership, like more of options and more opportunities to perform. You gotta like grow that message, all the things. But But I don’t know.

[00:26:25] Jessy Grossman: Do you find that? Have you seen that, the expectations are just like even higher for the creators to perform these days? Yeah. 

[00:26:32] Lauren Roth: And it’s interesting. Um, I mean, we’ll dive into the WIM community a little bit later, but seeing from, because I’m always on the brand side, I’ve had the opportunity though, through WIM to chat with a lot of talent managers and see their thoughts about working with brands.

[00:26:46] Lauren Roth: And well, it has helped me be more empathetic to creators and. What they’re asking for. But yeah, I see that. And I think you just never know, like how something’s going to perform. Like TikTok and Instagram, it’s not always in their favor, especially when it’s a paid partnership, that’s not something that they’re boosting.

[00:27:02] Lauren Roth: And I do feel another conversation that I’ve had with people in my community is about affiliates. And you know, it’s not fair to. Creators to just be working off of an affiliate program all the time when they can’t, that is a lot of effort. I think, you know, if the brand has the opportunity, giving them something in addition to affiliate, being a part of an affiliate program is important to incentivize them.

[00:27:24] Lauren Roth: It doesn’t have to be like their normal one-time partnership fee, but something there that’s like showing their confidence in their relationship. Totally. 

[00:27:32] Jessy Grossman: And like to piggyback off of that, I’d love to pick your brain more about like how influencers can work better with brands. You know, we’re talking about how the influencers can be compensated fairly and treated well and they always should be.

[00:27:46] Jessy Grossman: But how can influencers work better with brands? 

[00:27:49] Lauren Roth: So I mentioned earlier, uh, I’ve kind of a one-woman show when it comes to influencers at working with influencers at the brand. So one thing I get a lot of, and I try my best to respond to his emails, but there’s a lot of back and forth. And I think one thing that’s important for influencers to understand is there are a lot of loops that people have to go through to get approval on things.

[00:28:10] Lauren Roth: And I’d love to be able to just say yes to everyone or not have to ask, you know, someone may be higher up for the green light. But it does take time. So letting influencers know that I like their email scene and that I will never just leave someone unread or never reply. I will close the loop.

[00:28:28] Lauren Roth: So I think that’s important patience. I think too, speaking about marketing budgets, understanding that budgets are often tight when it comes to those startup brands or other brands. And I think negotiations are important. As I also mentioned earlier, A lot of brands don’t have a big budget, but they still want to work with influencers in some capacity.

[00:28:47] Lauren Roth: So coming in there with an open mind as to how a partnership can work in both favors is important, whether that be a long-term partnership, affiliate, something like that. 

[00:28:57] Jessy Grossman: Yeah, no. I love it, I think that’s helpful for creators to hear. Impatience is something that not enough people talk about.

[00:29:07] Jessy Grossman: I swear some of the like more impactful. Advice that’s never been given on this show. It’s like the simple things sometimes, you know, we try to, we like over complicate things, but like, yeah, if you just had some, a little bit more patience and just like empathy also for understanding that like in some of these, you know, especially in the house, like these teams are small or it’s like a one-person show.

[00:29:30] Jessy Grossman: And so like, As I, you know, the best of intentions can’t get you an answer ASAP. And so, but like, there’s just a lack of understanding and it’s sometimes it’s not due to any of their, a fault of their own. So just like having that awareness, I think it goes a long way, I can imagine, right? 

[00:29:48] Lauren Roth: Yeah. Well, and I think too, me coming from the customer experience space I was always kind of like the person that got yelled at or like got like if they were upset about an order.

[00:29:59] Lauren Roth: So that was kind of, I’ve taken not only that, my, you know when I talk to customer service people, I am very aware that it’s not always their issue. And I think that also comes into play here. It’s not always that person you’re directly speaking with. Who’s the final decision maker? Mo. Everyone 

[00:30:15] Jessy Grossman: has a boss.

[00:30:16] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. Everyone has a boss. Everyone has someone to report to. Quick question for you guys. How much do you love redlining agreements? Yeah, me too. Let me tell you about our latest sponsor Kaviat. So Kaviat with a K is an AI-powered contracting platform that simplifies and automates your contracts.

[00:30:40] Jessy Grossman: Kaviat. It’ll hugely improve the way that you review partnership agreements. So if you’re a media company an entertainment company or a management firm, it’s a must-have tool. Look, sometimes you do need to hire a lawyer, an expensive lawyer nonetheless, to work on an agreement because it’s over a certain threshold and a good lawyer can be invaluable.

[00:31:03] Jessy Grossman: But what about all those other partnerships, those other contracts that are 5, 000 or something like 1, 000? That’s where Caveat comes in to support you and your team through AI to process your contracts to gain a competitive edge with data-driven insights and automatic AI-driven headlines. It’s game-changing tech and it’s founded by three brilliant women, so you know why I’m out here supporting it.

[00:31:33] Jessy Grossman: Get time back in your day because Caveat will help you with the part of your business that may be your least. favorite. So head to our website. It’s iamwim. com slash caveat for a completely free trial. That’s I A M W I I M. com slash K A V E A T. I hope you guys love it as much as I do. Okay, switching gears.

[00:31:58] Jessy Grossman: I am privy to the fact that like, you’re also a pet lover and I love the fact that you, outside of work, you’ve told me that you go and you volunteer like a shelter here in New York. And I think that’s just like a wonderful thing. I think that like a lot of women in the industry, it can be pretty, It’s a wild, very work-heavy, time-heavy environment to be in.

[00:32:26] Jessy Grossman: We’re not saving lives, but we’re sure working a lot of hours. And so I feel like a lot of women are constantly like, I want to find, like, something where I can refresh myself, where I can, like, check out something really enjoyable, perhaps give back, whatever it is. And I think it’s really beautiful what you do, and you do it repetitively every week, right?

[00:32:48] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. So, like, I’m curious, like, how did this become important to you, and why do you prioritize it for yourself? 

[00:32:55] Lauren Roth: Yeah, so I started in the city. I fostered a few times through some local foster to adopt brands or companies, and then I realized, you know, I don’t have the time and the energy, I guess, to take on a dog, even if it was foster at the time.

[00:33:12] Lauren Roth: So I found Animal Haven, which is a New York City-based shelter. They have cats and dogs and, uh, they’re in Chinatown and they have an amazing volunteer program. I’ve been volunteering there for five years. I try to go every Monday and it’s become a ritual for me. Like, I don’t have any other plans on Monday.

[00:33:31] Lauren Roth: So it’s a good day to like, be like, okay, this is on my schedule. I clock out at five. I stay there till closing around eight, eight 30. And it just satisfies me. I get my dog fixed because I don’t have a dog of my own. And I also just love that, like, I’m that buffer between when this dog was in like a terrible situation to when they find their forever home.

[00:33:51] Lauren Roth: And a lot of people ask me like, Oh yeah, how do you go and not adopt? I’m like, well, I know I’m not in the right time in my life to adopt, but I’m giving them a little bit of joy. And I know that the shelter takes really good care of them. And through the shelter too, I’ve met a lot of amazing people, which was also one of the reasons why I wanted to join was just to meet new people in different circles.

[00:34:11] Lauren Roth: And that was pretty cool. So. COVID made it hard to interact with people because everyone had masks on. So then once that ended, I was like, Oh, that’s what you look like. Like, but yeah, they’ve done great. And they even have this, they have two things they called camp underdog, which is they have a place upstate.

[00:34:29] Lauren Roth: They bring dogs who’ve been there long term to like have a weekend away. And then they just took over a space above them that used to be a tattoo parlor, and it’s like, A space they can run around, do more meet and greets, but let the dogs like play, because a lot of them like do have issues with city noise and don’t want to go on long walks, but still need to be exercised.

[00:34:49] Lauren Roth: I can 

[00:34:49] Jessy Grossman: just personally vouch and just say, like, it might sound like from somebody who maybe hasn’t worked in a shelter or fostered like it sounds like this like rainbows and butterflies experience, but like, I can personally vouch because I’ve, I fostered. Like it’s hard, it can be really hard work. You touched on the fact that some of these dogs don’t necessarily respond well to a city environment.

[00:35:13] Jessy Grossman: Like that equates to lots of like, they can damage your apartment. They can bark and bark incessantly. Like there’s just, these aren’t like dogs who grew up in the best circumstances. And so I just bring that up to share. Like, it’s also like a hugely impactful thing that you’re doing because like these aren’t just like.

[00:35:33] Jessy Grossman: Puppies who grew up in the best of circumstances and everything is okay. So I can imagine it’s like really rewarding to do it. 

[00:35:41] Lauren Roth: It’s great. I mean, I think it’s fun, but it’s also not glamorous. I will give you that. I think people are like, Oh, it’s cute. You play with puppies. I’m like, like you walk in there and you know, there’s dogs in there.

[00:35:53] Lauren Roth: But yes, it’s really rewarding. And yeah, I mean, something, as I said, it’s just kind of part of my schedule now that I just like kind of not a second thought. So very lucky to have them. And are 

[00:36:02] Jessy Grossman: there is another. Hobbies that you’ve picked up that, like, whether it’s, you know, some people meditate every, you know, every day, every week or whatever.

[00:36:10] Jessy Grossman: Some people, like, work out religiously. Some people go for walks. Like, some people just like to disconnect by watching, like, Bravo TV. Like, what else sort of, like, disconnects you and just, like, gets you to, like, recharge? 

[00:36:23] Lauren Roth: Well, I’m a crime podcast junkie. But so I love that when I walk around, like, that’s what I’m listening to.

[00:36:30] Lauren Roth: I’m, I’m less of a music girl. I’m more of like a podcast girl. I listen to, you know, whether it be crime podcasts or like, I’m honestly, I’m listening to the WIM podcasts and listening to other influencer marketing podcasts that I find it’s easier to educate myself when I’m not like sitting in place.

[00:36:45] Lauren Roth: I’ve also volunteered at a few times at McCarran Demo Garden in McCarran Park in Brooklyn. And they, like, I harvested like. Carrots and tomatoes and cucumbers, and it’s seasonal, so they’re right now not open, but they’re now they’re working on rebuilding some stuff for the spring, and that was cool because, like, who would have thunk you could help out a garden in the middle of New York City?

[00:37:09] Lauren Roth: And then lastly, I’m, though I haven’t done as much recently, I’m really into interior design. So. When I moved into my own space, I got creative when it came to the colors I played with and the fabrics and how to make it feel less like a rental and more like a long-term home. So that was fun.

[00:37:28] Lauren Roth: So that’s something I kind of dabble in a community I’m part of is called Spoke and they have a cool platform for people who are both like interior designers by trade or do it kind of as a hobby. And they even have some fun. Challenges where they work with brands and you get prizes. So it’s a great release for me creatively to be able to kind of do that on the platform and also kind of stay on top of fun interior design trends.

[00:37:52] Jessy Grossman: I love that. I love that it’s like such a mix of different things, but I love that you found a home for all of them, like a community for all of them. Um, because I can imagine you’re meeting interesting people too, but you’re also just doing it for fun. I just think like, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but like, I feel like we all need to have a little bit more fun.

[00:38:11] Jessy Grossman: Yes. You know what I mean? Like maybe it’s just me. because like our industry could just, maybe I’m just privy to like the most stressful moments because in, you know, people come to whim when they’re having a problem in a lot of instances, but I’m just like, there’s just, especially if you live, whether it’s a big city, a small city, there’s always like opportunities to just meet people, try something new, do an activity, you know, give back whatever it is.

[00:38:38] Jessy Grossman: But I hope that you know, I have a feeling you’re probably gonna inspire someone to look into a number of your hobbies and explore them for themselves because they can be so rewarding. 

[00:38:47] Lauren Roth: Yeah, as an adult too, to like, I think, meet new people and try new things. So I think it’s just like, push yourself. The other day I went to a bar by myself and had my first beer.

[00:38:57] Lauren Roth: Drink alone. I was like, Lauren, you have to do it just because you have no one to go out with, like, just go do it. And I think that’s like a really good thing to live by is just like, don’t have it hold you back because you’re doing it alone. Go and you never know, you know, the opportunity that will present itself.

[00:39:11] Jessy Grossman: A thousand percent. Whether I’m single or in a relationship, I used to love going and I still do every so often, but not enough. But I used to love going to the movies by myself. There’s some stigma about that. I’m like, literally sitting in a dark room with like, who gives a shit? Like, even if there’s a whole bunch of people that I know, I’m not going to ever talk to these people.

[00:39:32] Jessy Grossman: And like, I just like, enjoy. I don’t know. I’m also one who enjoys some alone time. So whatever it is, whether you’re social like Lauren or more introverted like me, there are lots of things that you can just find. And I agree with what you’re saying though. It takes a bit of time.

[00:39:49] Jessy Grossman: Coaxing yourself to do it sometimes like it’s not always easy because we’ll find a million excuses not to do a thing No matter how fun it seems but like once you get there It’s like getting there is half the battle and then once you get there you can find that it’s pretty fun So you teased also you’re saying how you’re a podcast girly.

[00:40:09] Jessy Grossman: I love podcasts about true crime all the time or like pop culture one of those two topics is always what I’m listening to, but I guess you also listen to like marketing podcasts and it’s just a great opportunity for just so like everyone consumes information differently, right? And like it, that could be a more pleasurable way to like learn a thing if it’s more conversational or with a topic that you enjoy.

[00:40:37] Jessy Grossman: But I’m curious, like when it comes to the marketing, the branding, or even the advertising space, like Who do you admire the most? Are they podcasters? Are they directors at companies? VPs? Like, who are you admiring these days? Cause I want our members to learn about them. Yeah. 

[00:40:56] Lauren Roth: I mean, to be honest, I feel like I can’t pinpoint one person though.

[00:41:01] Lauren Roth: You saying the podcast thing, marketing happy hour. Like I’m just so impressed by Erica and Casey. Like they’ve now, I think they just onboarded a few more people to there, they now have like a few podcasts under their belt and they’re just like very. Easy, like very easy, relatable people, but go-getters.

[00:41:18] Lauren Roth: Um, so I love following them in terms of other people in this space. I’ve met a ton of great people through LinkedIn and the Wim community. And I just am always kind of an admiration of how. Willing everyone to share their expertise, take time to talk to other people, and also just continue to like to grow their knowledge in this space.

[00:41:38] Lauren Roth: I didn’t have like a space like I didn’t have that big of a community within LinkedIn or communities like Wim or the coffee shop with Aspire to ask those questions within influencer marketing and get advice. And now I just feel like I can go right in there and ask a question and someone’s automatically willing to help, which For me is amazing.

[00:42:00] Lauren Roth: It’s also just, I mean, 

[00:42:01] Jessy Grossman: we’re talking a lot about community, I guess, in this like conversation, and like community is just a really powerful thing. Right. And I love that you’re talking about other communities. It’s certainly not just ours. Like I’m part of, I joined a community this year called the Entrepreneurs organization because I wanted to just be in the passenger seat for a minute and like, learn about it.

[00:42:23] Jessy Grossman: a bunch of, people who aren’t even in the influencer industry, but are who are entrepreneurs. So like just finding your community, could be such a powerful thing too. And like, I don’t know about you, like when I have people who are generous to me, it’s like, it just, you feel like you want to just do the, Do it right back, you know, and pay it forward and inspires you to, you know, be that for somebody else.

[00:42:44] Jessy Grossman: So I love that you found some of those like communities that resonate with you and podcasts, the marketing happy hour podcast. So good for sure. And so speaking of also like community, we have, we have launched the like I guess I just tease this like the intro, but we launched this ambassador program this year that you are part of, and you are one of the ones spearheading our New York City events.

[00:43:10] Jessy Grossman: So I guess, like, based on our conversation about, you know, All the things today, like it kind of makes sense about why I think it’s a nice fit for you and why I think that you’re enthused to do it. But like, I just love to hear from you, what made you want to join our ambassador program and just spearhead these events in our New York City market?

[00:43:28] Lauren Roth: Yeah, I mean, yeah, as you mentioned, we kind of touched on a few of these points. But for me, I love it. Brand activations, event planning, getting creative, and this had that as well as trying new things and meeting new people. So it kind of combined all of my interests, both professionally and personally, and, um, I’m excited to kind of get creative into like the activities you plan and not just do drinks and food, but get creative in ways that we can interact with each other and not only bring in members.

[00:43:57] Lauren Roth: from the WIM community, but also other people who are interested in influencing marketing or joining as a member. So it’ll be cool to have our first event in a few weeks and hopefully, we’ll have spring weather to match, but I’m excited to see what comes out of it. Yeah, for sure. It’s 

[00:44:13] Jessy Grossman: going to be so fun.

[00:44:14] Jessy Grossman: And I guess I can share this, but the date that we’re recording this. The first event that we’re planning in New York for 2024, it’s already sold out. So exciting. And you know, we don’t want to, we certainly don’t want it to feel exclusive. That’s not why we made the headcount smaller. So we want to keep it intimate.

[00:44:32] Jessy Grossman: Like we want people to like, really have more meaningful relationships with each other. But I love the ideas that you’ve thrown out. Like we’re doing, I mean, I don’t know, do you want to share a little bit about what this event is and like what we’re thinking with the flowers? 

[00:44:45] Lauren Roth: Yeah. So I think we’re thinking about doing like a Well, flower arranging with like a kind of component of creating your floral arrangement and also kind of leaving a note with your contact info for someone else to pick up the, you know, arrangement that they love and make a further connection outside of just the networking event.

[00:45:04] Lauren Roth: Also having a. A bowl of conversation starters and just, yeah, a place to mix and mingle. But I’ve always wanted to do a floral arranging class. And I thought this is, and I did as well as the other ambassadors in the New York program thought it would just be a great spring activity. So yeah, I can’t wait to have photos and share them on social.

[00:45:24] Lauren Roth: Yeah, I’m 

[00:45:25] Jessy Grossman: super excited for it. Like I’m sort of letting all the ambassadors from different cities, like really run with whatever resonates with them. But I’m so glad that you guys were also more into a unique idea. Like you said, like other than just a happy hour, you know, that’s, that’s fun. But like, I would rather go to a floral arrangement doing some of my hands.

[00:45:46] Jessy Grossman: I mean, that’s like a little DIY or crafty, like, I don’t know, that’s more fun to me. So anyway, I’m just, Grateful that you’re part of it. I’m so excited for, um, if you’re listening and you missed that on this event, you don’t have to worry because we are doing these every quarter. So keep an eye on our events page.

[00:46:02] Jessy Grossman: And also I have a feeling that a lot of our community is going to want to just get in touch with you. Of course, you’re part of WIM. So if you’re listening and you’re on the Slack board, you can easily just send her a message there. But for those who are listening, who are not part of the community, what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?

[00:46:19] Jessy Grossman: Yeah. 

[00:46:19] Lauren Roth: So I would say the best way is on my LinkedIn, which is just Lauren Roth. You can also follow me on my Instagram. It’s living Levita Lauren, but yeah, LinkedIn I’d say is best from a connection standpoint. And I always love kind of sharing info about the community of influencer marketing. I love. Also posting a lot.

[00:46:37] Lauren Roth: I’ve built up my community there a lot. So definitely connect there. Yeah. 

[00:46:40] Jessy Grossman: And she’s got great content on there too. So LinkedIn for sure. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for industry content and it’s just a connect. So thank you for coming on today. Any parting words before we wrap? 

[00:46:53] Lauren Roth: No, I’m excited to have our first meetup in a few weeks.

[00:46:56] Lauren Roth: Thanks again for having me. 

[00:46:58] Jessy Grossman: Thank you so much for coming on. So fun. Thank you guys for listening and we will see you next week. If you enjoyed this episode, we gotta 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.

[00:47:18] Jessy Grossman: com. Leave us a review, and a rating, but the most important thing that we can ask for is your What I’m asking you to do is to share this podcast. Thanks for listening. Tune in next week. 

Lauren Roth

Community & Partnerships Manager, UNITED SODAS OF AMERICA

Based in NYC, Lauren began her career in customer experience at Rent the Runway. After realizing she wanted to shift her focus towards Marketing, particularly within the Influencer Marketing and Community Engagement space. For over 6 years, Lauren has worked in-house with brands like Otherland & United Sodas. Working as a one-woman team, she has built & scaled Influencer & UGC Content Creator Programs, engaged via social as the brand voice, and teamed up on some fun influencer and co-branded activations.

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