Published April 6, 2021

Listen to the live podcast version of this story

It’s a new week and my dirty little secret is that I actually took last week off. Basically the whole week. A good solid four days of five. Do I sound refreshed? Do I sound different? I hope I do, I hope that my little wrinkles have gone away. I hope my couple gray hairs have faded. Probably not but a girl can dream!

I just wanted to chime in and just reiterate how stinkin’ grateful I am to have this community that is WIIM. The Collective that was created back at the end of 2020, as an extension of WIIM’s five year legacy has been mind blowing. I wanted to make this into something that was taking WIIM up like 12 notches, and we’re still continuing to do it. There’s so much that still needs to be done. And I’m learning and growing and testing every single day. And your feedback is invaluable. So definitely never hesitate to reach out. In fact, please reach out. Please DM us on Instagram. DM us on Facebook, like wherever you can reach us in so many different ways. You can literally email me at jessy@iamwiim.com. I want to hear what’s missing. Like what would be ideal. What do you want for this group to be? I’ve heard from so many people that it’s incredible and lovely. And I love the compliments and I love to hear firsthand how it’s impacted your business in your life. And don’t get me wrong, but I’m also one that I’ve like… I’m like if someone’s not giving me constructive criticism, I’m like, what are they not telling me? And I just want this group to be the best that it can be. And so please reach out. Please tell me. 

If our Facebook group and the podcast and our Clubhouse rooms aren’t enough, but you want free events, you want to utilize a WIIM cast, which are castings for talent managers to pitch their talent and you want to cast your own branded campaigns and you’re looking to reach over 100 talent managers with incredible talent, new talent that you may have not been exposed to before and to just widen and broaden your net… if you want job listings because you’re looking for a job or if you want to post job listings because you are recruiting and want to recruit from this incredible group that we are, there are a number of other benefits that I can share with you guys about what winds collective is all about these days. But I also want to get into this episode. So I’m going to keep it concise and keep it short. But that being said, if you are interested, always go to iamwiim.com/benefits. You can see all the benefits there and then you can sign up.

So Regan Cleminson is the Founder of Coastline Creatives, which is a Boston based digital marketing and influencer Management Agency. On the brand side she has expertise working with a diversified portfolio across media, medical devices food and beverage, hospitality and even health and wellness. She represents influencers globally and takes a lot of pride in running inclusive influencer campaigns for her clients and featuring diverse creators. She’s super passionate about educating and advocating on behalf of creators for pay equity and fair contracting practices in the industry. And when she isn’t working, she loves to cycle, ski, and surf. You can see her outdoor adventures on her personal Instagram because girl is also an influencer herself @venturetravel. Just such a good name. Welcome to the podcast Regan. Alright, Regan, I am super excited to have you on today. I we’ve connected very recently, I’ve already had you in a few of our Clubhouse rooms. And after hearing your thoughts, your opinions and just started getting to know you. I was like, Oh, we got to have you on the show. We got to have you on the podcast. So first, thank you for coming on today. How’s it going?

Regan Cleminson:
It’s going good. Can’t complain. It’s a Monday ready to talk all the week. And excited to chat with you because I think we have some similar opinions, and maybe some different opinions that I’m excited to dive into

Jessy Grossman:
All the opinions that’s like, I don’t know, it’s like, we’ve been saying that a lot in the group lately. Like I just love like opinionated women. Don’t hold back, unapologetic. So feel free to like, give all of the opinions today in our chat for the next like hour or so. Highly encouraged. And I have no doubt that that was your intention from the beginning.

Regan Cleminson:
Clubhouse has prepared me to speak my mind today

Jessy Grossman:
Perfect. So we’re going to definitely get into a little bit of Clubhouse, a little bit of influencer marketing. But first, I just always think it’s awesome to learn a little bit about you and your own words how you even you know, started working in influencer marketing a little bit about your background. So why don’t we start with that? Do you want to just tell everyone listening a little bit about yourself?

Regan Cleminson:
Sure. So where I am now is I’m an agency owner, and I manage a roster of social media talent, I think I have a similar story into how I got here in the sense that I fell into influencer marketing by accident. And I think a lot of us have because it really just came to the surface seven or eight years ago. And even back then it was still called more advocacy marketing. And I was really fortunate to be freelancing and working for Ben and Jerry’s at the time, and traveling around the country, capturing content for them. And the word influencer started percolating in a lot of conversations. And I actually got to meet up with a bunch of foodie influencers in major cities all around the country. And simultaneously, I was flexing my photography skills backstage at New York Fashion Week in both the fall winter and spring summer seasons for a few beauty brands. So I kind of had this multi layer approach to influencer marketing one from like a really mega brand side. But being the voice of the brand, with the influencer and then kind of on this other side of capturing influencers in their natural habitat backstage at New York Fashion Week, and just traveling with them more and more and working with them in a more organic way. It wasn’t until about three years into owning the agency that I felt like influencer management was something that was right for me are something that I wanted to test. Unfortunately, by that point of owning an agency, you build some really good relationships with creators. And I had one who we still manage to this day Boston foodies. She took a leap of faith on us, and allowed us to manager and now here we are, however, many years later, five years later, I believe and still doing the same thing. So there’s a lot of other things that have contributed to my consistent interest and work in the influencer marketing space but that’s a really quick Reader’s Digest version of how I got to where I am now.

Jessy Grossman:
That’s super cool. And like and so your name, right, because I also love that we don’t get so many people who are in places other than New York or LA except now we’re getting people everywhere. And I actually think that that’s great on so many different levels. But I’d love to hear more about you know how you in Maine, and do you have Do you feel like you have an influencer marketing community out there.

Regan Cleminson:
So I lived in Boston for 12 years and went to school there, and recently moved to Maine in the middle of the pandemic as a means of getting some more space. And also saving money while I felt like Boston was a bit of a shell of itself. And it’s been tough to continue to maintain a community without having those in person interactions. And frankly, a good chunk of my business was built off of facilitating group trips for influencers and managing larger scale sponsorships through that vehicle. And not having that has definitely taken its toll a little bit on my relationships with the influencers who I do manage. And then the ones who I’d like to get to know and meet, it’s a little bit harder to grow your roster in an organic way. Now, because you don’t have the ability to face to face. And in Maine in particular, I think more of the struggle for me is just within the business community in Maine, not a lot of people up here really understand what I do, or the importance of what I do or think that it’s a quote unquote, real career. Because it’s not one of these more kind of standardly accepted career paths. And they don’t understand how I make money. And they don’t understand why influencers get paid so much. And so oftentimes, you know, I’ll be at a, my mom, we’ll have some friends over grilling at our house. And they’ll ask what I do, and it’s a 30 minute long explanation of just trying to, you know, to help them understand that there are things outside of being a lawyer and a doctor, and salesperson. So that’s a little hard for me. But I think there are vehicles like Clubhouse. And obviously, Zoom has been a bit of a lifesaver, as much as we all love to hate it. But there have been ways that we’ve managed to continue to grow and develop our community without being able to see each other in person. But man is it’s a tough spot to do what I do if you haven’t been doing it already for a long time.

Jessy Grossman:
And so fortunately, you have been doing it and like I’m sure you already have like for a while and you have a network of sorts. And and i don’t know I personally see this as a trend. And I don’t think it’s like going to be ending anytime soon. I think that I mean, I’m coming from New York City where there was a ginormous Exodus out of New York, LA the same. I read a documented that like, you know, Austin is like this new hub for so many people. But like just even Texas in general, they’re just so many other states, smaller cities, but just regular normal sized cities, where people are flocking to. I’m curious your thoughts about that, and maybe just like, maybe resources or resourceful ways that you’ve personally experienced in order to remain plugged in.

Regan Cleminson:
For me, I actually am very interested in how this trend is going to impact the industry. I hope that it promotes geo diversification within campaigns, because oftentimes, brands have always just been so focused on deploying in New York and LA. And I’ve been pushing back against that for a really long time. And from a strategic perspective, as an agency owner, I have intentionally sought out to represent influencers that were based in secondary and tertiary markets, because I think that there is such an opportunity there and continues to be. So my primary markets are not New York and LA, they’re Seattle and Charleston and Boston. And I think that I… it’s such a smart move for me, because I know that brands and agencies come to me because I represent people in those spaces. And I think that it will continue down that path and the influencers who are moving out of the cities are going to have more leverage. And I know even being in Maine and something that we haven’t mentioned yet, but I have my own personal channels. I’m a micro influencer. I’m a little under 50k on Instagram. But I know that brands have actively sought out to work with me because I’m based in Maine, and that is my point of difference. So I think that is something… that’s going to continue this Exodus is going to continue to impact the industry and the influencers who are outside of those major cities are going to have quite a bit of leverage. For me, Maine is not a permanent choice, I actually was meant to move to London last year. And then that was, I got the Heisman pretty quickly, thanks to COVID on that. But it’s still a goal. And it’s something that I’m actively pursuing to do before the end of this year. And I’m interested in seeing what that landscape is going to be like when I get over there. And hopefully, the world quote, unquote, opens up again, you know, that that phrase that we keep hearing over and over. So I think there’s going to be kind of this expansion, and then recenter-fication, that’s not an actual word. But I think you get what I’m trying to say is like, there’s going to be this expanse, and some people are going to stay out there but there are people who like myself are quote, unquote, city people, and they will come back to the cities when they feel like they’re ready. And that’s going to be really interesting from like more of an experiential marketing standpoint. Because without these centralized hubs of creators, it’s going to be harder for brands to deploy campaigns in an in person, way. And they’re gonna have to get more creative that way too. But I think there’s just such this fatigue of doing these online, experiential, like brand campaigns that they’re going to have to come up with some sort of solution. So at the risk of getting like too far into the trenches here and too much into the details, I’ll cut myself off there. But I do think it’s such an interesting component to how this industry is just going to continue to evolve.

Jessy Grossman:
Well, no, I love that because I it is, it’s like, Alright, we’re being challenged to and continuously. So that’s sort of the beauty of our industry is that we’re being continuously challenged to reach people, and people are shifting, and people are like, people are always going to be evolving, whether it’s about a pandemic or otherwise. And their changes and interests are evolving as well. And so it’s like, how do you continue to reach those people, which are the followers and their audience and, and, of course, do it in an authentic way, I hate using that word, but like, whatever, when it’s applicable, you use it. And so I love the challenge, right. And I think that’s key like to stay in this industry to thrive in this industry, you have to be up for those types of challenges, they’re gonna keep coming, it’s not one where you can really rest on your laurels, there’s always going to be things that are going to be challenging, and you sort of have to be a problem solver, what are your thoughts on that?

Regan Cleminson:
I mean, that’s just business ownership. I feel like this phrase, this turn of phrase is a little bit overused, but like, I am a firefighter, first and foremost as the owner of a business. And my job is like clean problem solver, and Queen pivoter. And if we, as business owners, and agencies aren’t constantly maneuvering, and bobbing and weaving, as we continue to be confronted with roadblocks that exists within our industry, or new challenges, you’re gonna fail, and like that’s on you. And I have no empathy for businesses who are stubborn. And I have all the empathy in the world for somebody who tries something new and fails. But the people who are doing that are usually really good at picking themselves back up and trying again.

Jessy Grossman:
That’s what it’s about, right? We actually were literally talking about this on, like, last week’s episode of the podcast, it’s just like, just talking about failure, what that means, like, how you react to it, and what you do with it. And that’s really the key, in my opinion is like what you do with it, because everybody’s gonna fail, whether it’s like micro fails, or macro fails. And especially as a small business owner, oh, my God, you have to get very comfortable with it. But you know, but what better, you know, the, it’s like, it’s equally comfortable, but also uncomfortable with it, because you got to always push through it, right.

Regan Cleminson:
It’s like this level of tension that needs to exist in order for the machine to continue to move forward. Like if that… if there’s too much slack in the rope, it’s not going to serve you. And if there’s too much tension to the rope, it’ll eventually break. But if there’s just the right amount of stress and weight on your shoulders, you’re probably going to be successful as long as you continue to maintain everything that you need to maintain in order to carry that weight and to move forward. And that that goes to a whole sense of like how do you take care of yourself as a business owner in order to continue to persevere and there’s so many different mechanisms in order to cope with that.

Stephanie Carson:
I’m Stephanie Carson, co-host of the Entreprenistas podcast. Every week, my co-host Courtney Spritzer, and I speak with inspiring female founders and leaders about how they built and scale their businesses, embrace failure, and have celebrated their successes. These women share their unfiltered views about what it takes to be your own boss. And spoiler alert, it may not be as glamorous as it looks on Instagram. You will hear the stories from some of the top female led brands including Urban Decay, Rebecca Minkoff, Lively and Beautycounter. Subscribe to the entreprenistas podcast on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Or sign up to get episodes straight to your email inbox at entreprenista.com. You can also join our Instagram community and follow us for daily business inspiration at entreprenistas. That’s entreprenistas. This will be the most fun business meeting you’ll ever have.

Regan Cleminson:
I think this pandemic has really opened the door for myself. And I can only really speak for myself but how am I coping with certain challenges that I’m facing as a business owner? And is that actually serving me? And I’m… from what I’ve heard from other fellow business owners and creators, it’s been a learning process for them to like, but COVID showed, basically, but a really big spotlight on all of ourselves. And when we look in the mirror, we really had to have some honest conversations with ourselves in the last year. And that’s, to me one of the silver linings of 2020.

Jessy Grossman:
that’s so interesting. I mean, I love that. That’s the that’s the end of your sentence. Like it was a silver lining. Because some people I mean, look, let’s be real, like it was a tough year. Like, it still is. It’s not over, unfortunately. And yeah, spotlight on the good, the bad, the ugly, all of it. But yeah, silver lining because I, in my opinion, and I am it helps you, you gotta like moving through those most difficult things and or, you know, having something whether it’s a person who will be real with you about your shit, but or a pandemic, to just shine that spotlight on it, you got to get to the core of, you know, the great pieces, the struggles, the pieces that just don’t work that don’t fit in order to make a change. So yeah, absolutely silver lining huge learning.

Regan Cleminson:
Yeah. And I will say, like, the light works both ways, like it works on it worked on myself and it also worked on my business like it shown where my weak points were in my business it also… I had creators on my roster last year that I had to let go because they were doing really shitty things like purchasing engagement on their posts when we were in the middle of a pandemic, that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. But I think at least I’d like to think that and hadn’t prior to this particular global incident. And so it forces you to also make those tough decisions about your business and trim the fat so to speak and to seal the cracks and get rid of the things that aren’t serving you even though you really want them to serve you and work for you. So it’s not just like shining a light on myself but it forced me to have some really hard conversations with people and let people go, let employees go. Obviously, that was more of a COVID financial decision but it was easier for me to do so as that spotlight continued to illuminate these kinds of glooming, issues with my business. And if somebody says that their business is perfect, they’re lying, because it’s just not that’s not how business works. Like there’s always going to be something that needs to be better that needs to be optimized that needs to be let go in order to keep moving forward and growing up as an entrepreneur.

Jessy Grossman:
So I’d love to dig into that occur open to it. I’d love to like there are just so many small business owners that listen to the show. And some you know, and we talk about in our industry that we are such a relationship driven industry. I’d love to hear from you when things aren’t going perfect. When you have to let a client go or an employee go and maybe have some of those difficult conversations. What do you hold on to? What focus do you take in order to get through those difficult situations?

Regan Cleminson:
Last year was really hard for me because I really give a shit about the people who I work with and who worked for me. I can relate I feel myself just getting misty thinking about it. I cried several days before letting one of my employees go, who I was paying out of my own personal bank account in the midst of like, nobody paying me. So it was… I think I, I approached those conversations with like a healthy amount of empathy, probably too much, maybe even someone say. And I think the frustration was sometimes I wasn’t met with that empathy on return. But the tool for me as a business owner is to go in and never expect for somebody to meet you with the same level of what you’re bringing to the table. And that is true of being a business owner in general, like, I never expect anybody to work as hard as me on my own business. And going into it, knowing that I really care about these people, and my clients and saying, hey, like, this isn’t a good fit. I’m not from a client perspective, like, I’m not serving you, in the best way possible. And that frustrates me when I come into work every day. And on the other side of it, you know, with employees, it’s like I can, I thought we were going to be out of the pandemic right now. And I can’t float this any longer. And I have to make the difficult decision to let you go. However, that in the back of my mind, the thing that I had been ignoring this whole time was like, I think I’m overpaying this person, this person isn’t actually performing at the level that I’m paying them from, like, what their salary is, and that had been ticking in my head. And I’d really wanted them to be able to rise to the occasion in the middle of a pandemic, and they couldn’t. And so it was having kind of these internal conversations with myself and saying. Okay, quantifiably, like this person isn’t performing to pay for themselves at the moment, and you are not a bank, you are a small business owner, you need to pay your own bills, you have taken on this responsibility of paying employees. And in doing so you’ve also taken on the responsibility of making sure you have enough business to keep those employees and having that very real talk with me with myself, before having those talks with clients or influencers who I let off my roster or employees was such a game changer, because it was just like, okay, reiterating myself why this decision is important. Understanding that you’re going to do everything that you can to help that person. Land on their feet. Write them the recommendation. Make sure they don’t have any issues with the head employment office, like all of those things. And that’s the best that you can do because, like, I’m not a superhero, I wish and I’m not a bank, but I wish. But I can’t, I had this realization of I can’t be all things to all people. And whether that be a client or an employee, that is just something that I think entrepreneurs who have God complexes, like myself sometimes have to have a reckoning with every once in a while. And it helped me lead those conversations from a place of giving a shit and making sure that that person is going to be okay, on the other side of the conversation.

Jessy Grossman:
How else do you feel like this, you know, 2020 in the pandemic, and all of that changed you?

Regan Cleminson:
Oh, I like to say I was pretty good at having difficult conversations before the pandemic. But now I think I’m like, top level expert, goldstar Super Queen, difficult conversation. However, it’s also allowed me to be more vocal within the industry. I think I had a lot of fear about coming out and being critical of my counterparts and peers within the industry, because I felt like that would ultimately harm my business. And so it’s having those difficult conversations in a public forum, it’s coming to the conclusion that not everybody is working in everybody’s best interest in this industry, and calling out the things that I think deserve to be called out because we need to continue to do everything that we can to self regulate as an industry, because influencer marketing isn’t very heavily regulated, like a lot of other industries are. And so it’s our job to call out and have those tough conversations with brands and agencies. I couldn’t tell you like, there was an instance where I had an agency reach out to me about a campaign that they were looking to cast and I sent them, like us shortlist of creators, and they chose all white female creators and I was like, I’m gonna turn this down. If you just… If you only have white female creators on this campaign. And I think they’re a little taken aback, because it was really good money, but I just couldn’t in good conscience be like, okay, I just sent you a list of diverse creators, and you cherry picked the few that fit into this narrative that you think is the most natural and authentic, quote, unquote, for the brand. And, yeah, it just doesn’t sit right with me. And I was worried that I was gonna lose that business. And they’re like, wow, you know what, Reagan, you really forced us to be introspective on this one. And you’re right, and we’re gonna go in a different direction, not like not work with me. But hey, we’re gonna make sure that we’re hiring some diverse creators for this campaign as well. So I think that’s definitely one way that this pandemic has changed me. And I think it’s actually garnered a lot of respect from my counterparts in the industry.

Jessy Grossman:
I mean, you have respect from a lot of people listening, I’m sure, from myself, it’s really difficult to have conversations where you hold people to account. But especially in times like this, where I don’t know the worlds a little bit on fire, I feel like people really rise to the occasion, or they don’t. It’s really a circumstance in which you really get to know the core of who somebody is. And I think that, you know, it should be really refreshing. It’s been refreshing, sort of like the release, at the end of like, a really tense period of time, where, you know, Oh, my gosh, you know, I’ve been completely changed after this year, I don’t, there’s some parts of myself that I don’t even recognize to be fully transparent. It personally, professionally, all sorts of ways. But yeah, at the end, it’s it is it’s like a breath, you could breathe for a second and just say, but look like these are moments where I was put into this pressure cooker of a situation. And like, really impressed myself with how I rose to the occasion, because some people shrink, and some people rise. And I’m really proud of you that it sounds like in these instances, you really did what you believed in and happened to get a good result from it. That’s not always the case but luckily you did, which is wonderful.

Regan Cleminson:
So just a disclaimer, for everybody listening, I have certainly tried and failed. And I’ve certainly tried and tried horribly, or given what I thought was A for effort and really delivered like a D plus. And I think that we also have to be comfortable with failing and not doing it right. And it’s not always about being like, Oh, I’m gonna rise to the occasion every time. Because that’s not a fair expectation of everyone, I think it’s, I’m gonna try to rise to the occasion, every time, I think that’s a better expectation. And by the way, like me rising to the occasion might actually be a giant fuckup I just might not do I might not have the desired outcome that I’d like to have. And I think that’s where a lot of the anticipation I think, to speak up originally came from. And then I started speaking up and I did it wrong, and people were kind enough to correct me. And I’m very thankful for those people. And that’s in a variety of different like landscapes that I’ve been corrected, whether it be our industry, or on a larger scale, talking about race. I know that I’m not perfect, and I know that I’m going to continue to mess up but like, that’s the point of advocacy at every level, and having an opinion, like you’re not necessarily going to communicate your opinion in the most eloquent and articulate way. And it might not land in somebody’s inbox the way that you had intended and you just have to be ready to have the consequences of that and if you’re not maybe you’re not cut out to own a business.

Jessy Grossman:
Or have you know, or vocalize your opinions like having opinions as we started this episode saying like I love strong opinionated women. Opinions are dangerous, right? They can be absolutely because like you said, like none of us are perfectly eloquent, none of us are going to articulate things in exactly the way that they started in our minds. It’s not because why because we’re human, but we do the best we can. And opinions can be really dangerous but again, like I don’t know, sort of like living on the edge are like the edge of where we want our lives to just expand and be better and our work to be better and our industry to be great. Like you don’t achieve any of that by existing safely in the center. You achieve those things by like being on the edge a little bit, you know.

Regan Cleminson:
And I do think there’s an interesting layer in our business because our business is so focused on social media is that this concept of virtue signaling, and that we’ve actually perpetuated, doing the bare minimum on platforms where we almost feel like posting an Instagram story slide or making a comment on Clubhouse is enough. And that’s, if I were to have one call, for call to action, I guess you could say for anybody who’s listening who does want to do something, whether it’s within their industry, or at a larger scale, or in a totally different arena, is don’t like don’t give in to the fact that you’ve checked a box by doing the absolute bare minimum, or even the worst than the bare minimum, which is virtue signaling, in my opinion, like don’t let that let you be comfortable. And it’s tough because we do live in this social media sphere all the time. And that is widely accepted as like doing, quote, unquote, doing the right thing and using our platform as business owners and creators the right way. But I think a lot of the tough conversations that happen behind the scenes, and the heavy lifting that happens behind the scenes is the stuff that actually makes a difference. And so relinquishing a little bit of fear around that and really testing the waters with some of your opinions in an actionable way that isn’t just telling people what your opinion is. That’s where the real work starts.

Jessy Grossman:
Definitely, because it’s the, like, the best part of that, like where the real magic can happen, isn’t it when you give your opinions, but then you are also saying like, and here’s what we should do about that. Like, I can’t stand when people are just spewing out, well, I hate this, or I love this even and it’s like, okay, but like now what, like, that’s just the lazy approach. Right?

Regan Cleminson:
Well, and that I mean, that talks about, or that lends itself to canceled culture to which I’m sure we could go on a massive tangent about that, specifically, and how that is very common within our industry. And something that is like top of mind and a concern for a lot of these mega influencers have, they feel like they’re constantly walking on eggshells, and well, that’s their cross to bear honey. But for me, it’s, we if we’re going to call somebody out, like let’s give them the way that they can improve, because I’m sick and tired of people kind of pointing the finger and saying what they don’t like about another brand, or another creator, or the industry as a whole and then not providing any solutions. Because there are a lot of people who sit in those big rooms around those big tables, who make all the big decisions who know exactly what to do. And they’re not doing anything about it. And they’re not providing any tools, but they’re complaining about it. And I think that’s where I struggle and why I’ve been continuing to be a bit more vocal about some of the subjects that I care about, primarily within this industry.

Jessy Grossman:
Definitely. And we are going to dive into those subjects in just a couple minutes. But before we do, I want to get to know you a little bit more. And we have these fun, like rapid fire questions that we’ve been asking some of our guests that come on. So are you ready for some of these questions?

Regan Cleminson:
No, but go ahead.

Jessy Grossman:
Love the honesty. All right. Question one. What is your favorite social media platform?

Regan Cleminson:
TikTok.

Jessy Grossman:
Awesome. See, we start with an easy ones got easy into it.

Regan Cleminson:
That was hard for me still.

Jessy Grossman:
Okay. Oh, now we’re in for it. All right. Okay, TikTok, perfect. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Regan Cleminson:
A cardiothoracic surgeon.

Jessy Grossman:
Wow, that’s awesome. Wait for those listening and myself included? Can you tell people what that is?

Regan Cleminson:
Basically, people who operate on hearts. Which is funny, it’s come full circle a little bit. I’ve actually consulted for a few medical device companies and one of them was in cardiopulmonary bypass, and they’re looking to completely revolutionize open heart surgery. So it does come full circle.

Jessy Grossman:
Oh, A hundred percent. That’s so cool. Um, list two of your pet peeves.

Regan Cleminson:
People who don’t tip. And the second people who have bad airplane etiquette.

Jessy Grossman:
Oh the worst. Oh my god. So bad. Let’s like keep your shoes on people like put your seat in the upright position.

Regan Cleminson:
When on flights that are less than two hours period

Jessy Grossman:
There are rules people. There are rules unspoken unwritten but everyone should know these rules hundred percent. What three items would you take with you if you were on a deserted island?

Regan Cleminson:
A really hot man. Does that count as an item?

Jessy Grossman:
Arm candy counts as an item. Hundred percent. Yes.

Regan Cleminson:
Perfect. So definitely a arm candy. Some sort of tool to help me get water and a hammock?

Jessy Grossman:
Those are so good all together, too. I’m like what can you do with a hot man water and a hammock?

Regan Cleminson:
Oh, like you do with a hot man.

Jessy Grossman:
I love it. And last, but certainly not least, especially because you’re in Maine. What is the most interesting thing you could see out of your window right now? Go check.

Regan Cleminson:
A chicken coop. A chicken coop.

Jessy Grossman:
I love it. That’s awesome. Welcome in Maine everyone. I love it. Um, so let’s let’s dive into some of those. Those passion points that things in influencer marketing in particular, that really drives you. My first question for you is like, what’s one of the biggest shifts that you would really love seeing in this year 2021 with in terms of influencer marketing.

Regan Cleminson:
Brands and agencies that represent brands to stop being lazy about how they cast campaigns.

Jessy Grossman:
Yes, yes, yes. So tell us more. We go through this a lot. With the WIIM cast in particular, we have our little disclaimer when you submit a casting and it says please expand your mind and think beyond the terms of you know, everything that’s written out in your, in your on your page, in terms of all sorts of, you know, race, ethnicity, age, look, feel all of that. But I’d love to hear in your opinion, or maybe even just share some success stories. Like let’s hear those people who have expanded their minds a bit. What has… what have those campaigns look like felt like and then like?

Regan Cleminson:
So, I’ll start with the ways that I think brands and agencies are lazy, and then I will present some, maybe not solutions, but we’ll call them tactics and how they can be less lazy? If that makes sense.

Jessy Grossman:
Absolutely. Let’s do it.

Regan Cleminson:
So some of the ways that I think they are lazy, is they are not appropriately vetting the influencers, who they’re casting for campaigns, and they are looking at very, very high level vanity metrics. For me, when I saw I’m fortunate enough that I work on both sides, if technically all three sides as a creator myself, as somebody who’s worked with brands and helped them cast campaigns, and then also with influencers and helping them manage their inbound and outbound campaigns as well. The first thing that I do once I find somebody who I think I like, I go to their last eight to ten posts on whatever their platform is, primarily I do this more on Instagram than anything else. And I scroll through their likes and comments and I’ve that that they’re all coming from real accounts. Because as much as we don’t want to admit it, and as much as we think that we have API integrations that track the health of a particular creators following. They’re not accurate. And I have yet to see one that is as accurate as it should be. And there are a lot of influencers who in my opinion, are committing fraud. And they are… and then the contracts that are being delivered to them have no mention of any type of clause or disclaimer where if they do commit fraud by purchasing engagement, their contract will be terminated. So it’s like incredibly lazy on the brand and agencies part to not go through and make sure that all these likes and comments are legit. So that’s number one, like, just do a little bit more digging, spend five to 10 more minutes making sure that that creator is actually boasting that engagement, and is doing so in a way that’s completely organic and real. So that’s number one. And a solution for that is just taking the extra time, I know that that’s going to be hard for some people to hear. And I know that there are people who are casting campaigns with hundreds of creators, but trust me, when I say it’s gonna be a lot easier to go back to your CFO or whoever the decision maker is when it comes to dedicating budget to influencer marketing, when you spend that extra time betting and finding influencers who have audiences that actually give a fuck about what they say. So that’s number one.

Jessy Grossman:
Hope you’ve been enjoying this episode as a special treat. And a huge thank you for being such a loyal listener of the podcast. We’re offering you 10% off your first year of a VIP membership to our collective. Essentially, it’s our Facebook group on steroids. So check out all of the benefits at iamwiim slash benefits and then use code podcast 2021 to get 10% off your first year of a VIP collective membership. Again, that’s code podcast 2021. Okay, so go sign up, but also keep listening to this episode.

Regan Cleminson:
Number two, is they go back to the same two or three management agencies and only work with those creators. That to me, it’s I think it’s great to have relationships with agencies and to continue to lean into those on both sides of the coin. However, if those agencies are not actively trying to diversify, and grow their roster, with creators who represent what the US actually looks like, um, the brands are doing themselves a disservice by kind of not going out and looking elsewhere and seeing where else they might be able to cast campaigns from. And as an agency owner, myself, like, I know that I provide a lot of value to the brands that I work with, by having a roster and a quick snapshot of information on each of those creators, and their insights handy, like, I know that this makes their life a lot easier. But I’m maybe I’m gonna shoot myself in the foot here a little bit like go past me sometimes, like go out into the universe of whatever platform it is that you’re looking to cast on, and sit and scroll through hashtags and find new creators because whether we like it or not, like there are still people growing rapidly on platforms that brands want to deploy campaigns on. So kind of lazy thing number two is brands who just go straight to the same like big agencies and just cast from there and don’t go beyond that. And the way that they can circumnavigate that. A find smaller, more boutique agencies that they can work with. B look at those platforms themselves. Or C like if these are big brands, and they have interns go and like just, I don’t know, cross examine your interns and say, Who do you like following right now. And maybe you’ll discover somebody new from there versus just getting fed a list from an agency that you trust, I think that they both have merit, do a healthy combination of both because it is great to have relationships with agencies that have established having amazing talent, but it’s also good to still go out and do your own homework.

Jessy Grossman:
Dude, I just Yeah, I just heard of another influencer that I’ve known for years at this point, who has just dropped from an agency that she was with for a year. And she was like, I had literally a, I was given a day’s notice. And like, my, like, I was just dropped and like, I can’t believe it. And like she was disheartened by it. And in my opinion, like and I just I know her content. I know I’m credible it is and I’m like, in my mind, I’m just like, they’re being so lazy. So it’s really interesting that you are bringing this up like she has great numbers, great engagement, but I would describe her content as like, it’s different. Its unique. It’s not like your type of influencer who’s going to be bringing in like five deals a week like she is probably one of those influencers who would get a handful of enqueuing deals per year. Like there’s absolutely money to be made there. She is so freakin talented. It’s ridiculous. And it… but it takes care it takes really leaning into who she is and really like advocating for her and doing more work to align her with those people that are just the right fit instead of the lazy approach, which is like, I don’t know, like, the fashion people are, you know, I just I have that roster and like that make up that sells. Like what? Like, all these big categories that are just a little bit more easy. So I yeah, I, I’ve experienced the same thing that you are, you know, the counter about the counter argument to that, because I can always play both sides is, you know, yeah, when you’re trying to do this at scale, and your client are giving you these ridiculous deadlines, and you’re just trying to, like, get shit done. It is it’s helpful, it can be helpful to tap into that network. But the issue that perpetuates itself, which I think is what you’re getting at, and we I feel it is that it essentially becomes like this inner circle of regurgitated talent. And that’s harmful. That’s dangerous because as someone who’s raising a five year old myself, like, she wants to see herself reflected in media figures, and that’s absolutely influencers these days. And if you’re just constantly showing the same people over and over and over, less kids are going to see themselves in those people and less really freaking hard working influencers, who are still very much coming up, aren’t going to get those opportunities, and it just shouldn’t be a monopoly. Which is sort of what it is. So, you know, I don’t know, what are your thoughts on like, just additional ways to get beyond that I love you know, utilize your interns, right, like, pick their brains. There’s only so many hours in the day, and you have a generation of like younger people who are on social media all the time, like tap into them who they’re following, what other suggestions would you make to people listening?

Regan Cleminson:
So I’ve been very fortunate in being able to work on the brand campaign side, and I recently got to participate in this awesome campaign that I’m super proud of. And I think the best advice that I have to give is manage the expectations of your client better. If they’re giving you unreasonable deadlines, to the extent where you can’t implement best practices to cast a diverse and high performing campaign, don’t take the job, or tell them that you can do that job but just in double the amount of time. I think this goes back to that hard conversation chat that we were having earlier, it’s really tempting to take the check to run these campaigns and cast them. But if you’re going to do so in a way that’s ultimately going to be a detriment to your agency, and the creators that are participating in that campaign, and the brand, who you’re not, you’re not doing anybody any favors, and that short game is going to come back and bite you in the ass really quickly. And I also want to encourage brands, when they are thinking about implementing these best practices and finding people that look like the children of the world. Think outside of the couple of like checkboxes that you have, like it’s not just about race. It’s about ability. It’s about LGBTQ, it’s about socio economic diversity of creators, there are, there are so many ultra wealthy creators out there, but how many creators do you see that are making less than $50,000 a year? So I think, in addition to us, as agencies, managing those brands, expectations, like also brands need to just hold themselves to a higher standard and look a little bit further than their to pass their noses of like what they think it means to like run good, diverse, high performing campaigns, period.

Jessy Grossman:
Period, I… A hundred percent. Like, it’s it’s great to be inclusive of certain people, but we just I don’t know, I think just generally speaking, in terms of influencer marketing. We just need to think bigger, because we want this industry to be around for a long time. I think too many people have sort of really gotten stuck in their ways. And I’m excited and very, like, I believe that these changes will happen. I’ve seen it already. I’m not discouraged by the handful of few people who are still doing it in old ways or who were adverse to change. I’m so motivated by the and really genuinely enthusiastic by the so many people, whether it’s a WIIM or outside of WIIM, who are just thinking so much bigger, it’s exciting to see. So I’m excited for that to happen. We asked this question of everyone who comes on the show. I’m super excited to ask you. What do you wish someone had told your younger self that would have given you a professional or personal advantage today?

Regan Cleminson:
So I’m going to preface this with the fact that my Myers Briggs is intp. And so my those middle two letters mean intuitive and thinking. And it’s a really hard combination to have. And it’s hard because you have your gut. But then you want to make all of your decisions based off logic and data. And I wish somebody had told my younger self that it is okay to just make decisions off of your gut. And you can back it up with data later. But the length of time that it takes from going from having a feeling in your gut to gathering the data to support that decision sometimes is too long and detrimental to you as a professional.

Jessy Grossman:
That’s it, that I will just leave it there. I don’t know that. It was it was said so succinctly and so well that I think that’s incredible advice. So I wish someone had told me that when I was younger, for sure. And I hope people listening who are still learning and growing, which is hopefully all of us will hear that and take it to heart Regan, I have a feeling that a lot of women listening will definitely want to get in touch. So besides our joint Clubhouses. What’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Regan Cleminson:
My DM’s are always open on Instagram and I do my best to manage those so you can find me on Instagram at venture tribalist. And if you’d like to contact me via email. It’s just my first name. R E G A N, Regan at coastline creatives dot com.

Jessy Grossman:
Amazing. And we will link all of that in the show notes. Regan, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you and I’m excited to continue too. You’re always welcome on our Clubhouse rooms and definitely on this podcast for sure. So thank you so much.

Regan Cleminson:
I appreciate that. Thanks, Jessy. It was really nice chatting with you. And I hope that this sparks more conversations in the future.

Regan Cleminson

Regan Cleminson

Owner, Coastline Creatives

Regan is the founder of Coastline Creatives, a Boston-based digital marketing and influencer management agency. On the brand side, Regan has expertise working with a diversified portfolio across media, medical device, food & beverage, hospitality, and health & wellness. She represents influencers globally, and takes pride in running inclusive influencer campaigns for her clients featuring diverse creators. She is passionate about educating and advocating on behalf of creators for pay equity and fair contracting practices in the industry. When she isn’t working, she loves to cycle, ski and surf. You can see her outdoor adventures on her personal Instagram, @venturetravelist.

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