The New Category of Creators

As Executive Vice President of Integrated Creative Strategy, Dixie has spent the last 8 years at HangarFour overseeing digital content, campaign and influencer strategy for a wide range of clients including National Geographic, Indeed, BRAGG Live Foods, Princess Cruises and Oracle. Notable career mentions include launching the L’Oreal League, a premier influencer program for L’Oréal Paris, launching eyewear brand, Zenni into the Esports arena, helming the digital rebrand of ‘90s darling, Caboodles, and building the award-winning “Soundtrack of Empathy” campaign with pop superstar, MIKA. Before joining HangarFour, Dixie spent 3 years as a copywriter at Warby Parker – her time coincided with the brand’s rise to become one of the country’s best recognized retail startups, propelled in no small part by its creative approach to the digital space.



[00:00:00] Dixie: So it wasn’t about like Gen Z, millennial, Gen X. He was like, the generation that will succeed regardless of age is generation flux, and it’s about being flexible and being able to like reinvent yourself, your product, your strategy, like on a dime, because that is the world we live in now is who is going to succeed.

[00:00:27] Jessy: Hey guys, welcome to the party. We have such a good interview for you today. We just finished recording with my friend Dixie Roberts of Hanger 4. She was one of the very first people that I hit it off with in influencer marketing years ago when she lived in New York before she had a kid.

[00:00:49] Jessy: Like time has really, has really gone by and it’s just always nice to like reconnect with her. She’s also a friend of the show cause she’s. been on the podcast previously. We’ll link to that episode in the show notes, but we talked [00:01:00] about so many things that we’re going to get into today. We talked about affiliate marketing.

[00:01:04] Jessy: We talked about her approach to working with creators, whether it’s a big or small brand, and whether they have a big or small budget. We talked about what’s it like to be a mother in influencer marketing because she does have a son of her own. She’s Oh gosh. If you are also listening to this episode, I highly recommend checking it out on YouTube only because we also talk about Dixie’s Nails guys.

[00:01:26] Jessy: She is like the queen of nail art. Her, nails are artwork. Like they’re art. You’ll see when you hopefully watch this episode, but I had to ask her about her nails because they’re always so beautiful. And she posts about it on social all the time, and she’s been doing this for years. So like.

[00:01:43] Jessy: I’m just obsessed. My nails are so basic right now. So like hers are incredible and you have to see them. So we talked about that briefly and also what she wants to see in the next five years in our industry, which is, of course, such a loaded question, but I loved her answer. So a little bit about Dixie, she is the EVP of [00:02:00] integrated creative strategy and she spent the last.

[00:02:02] Jessy: Eight years at HangarFour, overseeing digital content, campaign, and influencer strategy for a wide range of clients, including National Geographic, Indeed, Brag Live Foods, Princess Cruises, and Oracle. She’s had some notable career mentions, including launching the L’Oreal League, which is the premier influencer program for L’Oreal Paris.

[00:02:25] Jessy: She launched the eyewear brand Zenni eSports arena. She was at the helm of the digital rebrand of the 90s darling Caboodles. Love Caboodles. I have one downstairs right now. And building the award-winning Soundtrack of Empathy campaign with pop star Mika. So before joining Hanger. She spent three years as a copywriter at Warby Parker, and her time coincided with the brand’s rise to becoming one of the country’s most well-recognized retail startups.

[00:02:56] Jessy: And that was propelled in no small part by its creative approach to [00:03:00] the digital space, and she was there for all of it. So she has a cool story, which we’ll get into the episode, how she found herself from working in the arts before that as an artist. Opera singer, you guys to then working at Warby Parker and then next at a digital agency.

[00:03:19] Jessy: It’s a cool story and it’ll inspire you guys. I think those who are looking to either get into influencer marketing or switch career paths because it was not a direct line for her nor is it for most people. So I loved her story. I think you guys are going to enjoy this episode.

[00:03:37] Jessy: The day that this episode is. We are a few days out from our influencer marketing job fair, which was such a success. And we loved seeing so many of you guys there. I think we’re going to do these more frequently. Last year we did it twice, once in this winter, and spring, and once in the [00:04:00] fall. We’re at like 350 registrants for this event, which is by far the most amount that we’ve ever done.

[00:04:05] Jessy: Scene. So I think that’s an indicator that we should probably do this more often. It’s like the most rewarding work ever hosting this event. It’s like such a feel-good event for me personally because we just got to see people get hired. It’s like the coolest thing ever. It’s just like the most meaningful connections and people are going there in earnest, like ex to meet people, excited to make connections, and hopeful.

[00:04:30] Jessy: There are so many people out of work right now that like due to no fault of their own, but just like, you know, experienced layoffs, like so. many people have. And so we’re just doing our best to be able to help that. And the job fair that we just had was incredible. So last announcement before we jump into this episode, guys, we are about to start announcing all of the cities and dates in which we’re hosting our local meetups.

[00:04:57] Jessy: So I know I teased this before I [00:05:00] think on the pod, but we’re going to be doing meetups All over. So like New York, LA, Chicago, which we’ve done prior, but also Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, and other cities as well. And if you want to be notified, the first to know when we are going to be hosting these, just go to iamwim.

[00:05:25] Jessy: com slash events. And there’s a pop-up on the screen where you’ll put in your information and see. Say what state you’re located in, because these are meant to be small and intimate. So like, they’re going to reach capacity very quickly. And if you’re interested in just meeting more, more marketing friends, you know, and having some fun, casual meetups with like-minded women, then I highly encourage you to check out our site.

[00:05:52] Jessy: Sign up, put your info in, um, and you’ll be the first to know once we start announcing dates very, very soon. All right, [00:06:00] guys, I am eager for you to listen to this episode. I hope you enjoy Dixie as much as I do and, um, let’s get into it.

[00:06:11] Jessy: 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.

[00:06:32] Jessy: 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.

[00:06:52] Jessy: Make more money and have fun doing it. Visit Iamwim. com [00:07:00] slash join. That’s I A M W I I M dot com slash join today and I so look forward to seeing you more around the community. So for those who are watching this episode on YouTube or Spotify, can you just, we just need to take a moment? Respectfully show off how beautiful your nails are Because wait show them off I do I want to see what they are right now.

[00:07:28] Jessy: Oh my god, they’re always 

[00:07:30] Dixie: so good Wait, I have to tell you the inspiration behind these because I think I try not to peak because obviously like every month is a new month. But so, for anyone who doesn’t know me, I am a little infamous for my nails. I have an incredible nail artist here in Denver, Colorado, where I live.

[00:07:46] Dixie: Shout out to Rachel at Acronica. She is my queen and. When I started with her like five-six years ago, I would like to bring, you know, nail inspo like pictures off of Instagram, whatever But because we’ve been doing this for so long and I know her and I know her [00:08:00] as an artist as I’ve kind of started to try to like to challenge her a bit So I find like art on Instagram or like really weird, but this one I found this beautiful photo of um heirloom corn kernels.

[00:08:13] Dixie: Go on. And I said it to her and I was like, we’re doing, I’m going to be corn girl. We’re doing corn. And so these beautiful nails are inspired by heirloom corn. 

[00:08:25] Jessy: And what is heirloom corn? Cause that’s like no color of corn I’ve ever eaten before. So where’s this fancy corn? This is fancy corn. 

[00:08:31] Dixie: It’s fancy corn.

[00:08:32] Dixie: I mean you can like there’s heirloom everything right? There’s a heirloom. It’s like heirloom tomatoes, right? You think about like there’s like the red tomato and then like you think about the purple tomatoes and like the like really beautiful Kind of like multi-colored tomatoes corn is the same as an Iowa girl.

[00:08:47] Dixie: I feel like I can speak with some authority on corn They 

[00:08:51] Jessy: are so beautiful I’m constantly like peeking on whatever social media you’re on because you’ll keep like Everyone in the loop [00:09:00] about like the latest and greatest creation nail art and I just think it’s the coolest thing I 


[00:09:05] Dixie: it so much. I am not an influencer, but I do have a small following here in Denver I was in j crew a couple of months ago and this girl came up to me and she’s Are you Dixie?

[00:09:17] Dixie: And I was like What? It was so crazy. And she was like, I know this one’s crazy and a little creepy, but I follow you on Instagram for your nails. I was like, Oh my God, I did it. I’ve been working in influencer marketing forever and I’m an influencer. I have made it. 

[00:09:32] Jessy: Hashtag made it. No, but legit, they’re so good though.

[00:09:35] Jessy: Like I don’t feel like I’m bold enough to let, if you look at my, they’re literally like the most basic color right now, but like I go to the nail salon and I see the cool colors and stuff. And I’m like, I should, but you’re like ballsy enough to do it. And you always have like, it’s such a cool way to express yourself.

[00:09:54] Jessy: And you like to go there. Anyways, I think that I just wanted to show, it is my self [00:10:00] care nail art influencer. 

[00:10:01] Dixie: I am, I had no idea. I love it, but you always, this is, I like going into the world that we’re talking about today. This is my beef with celebrity and influencer content. If you like. All of a sudden in the press, like no shade, but Hayley Bieber is like the queen of this and it’s probably not her fault Constantly, I am seeing from Teen Vogue that Hayley Bieber is setting new nail trends like glazed donut nails yawn, but she is not doing those nails herself Like give love to your nail artists.

[00:10:36] Dixie: Always give love to your nail artists. Know them, love them, shower them Yes. 

[00:10:42] Jessy: No, I appreciate that. That’s a really good point. I wonder, yeah, I love that. Okay. So we, I just want everyone to appreciate your artistic creative side because I think that’s like very well reflected in your beautiful nails, but I think a good place to start is to go a little further back.

[00:10:59] Jessy: [00:11:00] I don’t know, maybe even do her nails forever. So like maybe that’ll be in your story. But what I want to hear is, If you could just share, you know, your professional story and, your professional history with GKC HangarFour and like how you work with influencers over these many years. Yeah. 

[00:11:17] Dixie: I have a very strange story, but I love my story.

[00:11:19] Dixie: I moved to New York. It’s been, oh my gosh. Like. Almost 20 years ago now, which is bananas to even think about as a professional opera singer and pursue my career as a singer, I had already been singing professionally for about three years, moved to the city, and sang professionally for another five years while I was in the city, but my side hustle was copywriting.

[00:11:43] Dixie: Uh, I also love writing. And so it was like the thing that didn’t feel like soul-sucking that I could do in between my opera gigs. So halfway through my time as a professional singer in New York City, I answered a Craigslist ad for a little-known startup called Warby Parker. [00:12:00] I joined their very small, but mighty copy and content team eventually during my time at Warby Parker and fell in love with social media.

[00:12:11] Dixie: So that was kind of my story of, of how I arrived in this space from being an opera singer. My incredible head of creative really kind of was such an amazing mentor to me, Molly Young. You will probably see her name in the likes of the New Yorker, and New York Times. She also like writes sometimes the New York Times crossword puzzle, which blows my mind because I can’t even do the crossword puzzle, let alone write it.

[00:12:35] Dixie: But she was like, listen, you know, I told her, I was like, I feel like I’ve written everything I can about glasses. So she had brought up agencies to me and I was like, Oh, I hadn’t thought about that. She’s like, it’s work that you will either love or hate, you know, but you should give it a shot.

[00:12:50] Dixie: Strangely, not long after we had that conversation, I met an individual at a friend’s daughter’s first birthday party in New Jersey. We were like the only people there without kids [00:13:00] who worked at DKC. We were like, you know, just. Having small talk. I told him what I did. He was like, Hey, you should send me your resume.

[00:13:07] Dixie: Send him my resume. And like two months later, I got an email from their head of social media asking, uh, if I’d like to come in for an interview. And I was like, I don’t know, what is, where did this come from? And then I remembered this conversation. So always meet those strangers at the birthday parties, y’all.

[00:13:22] Dixie: You never know who you’ll meet. 

[00:13:23] Jessy: No, but it’s so valid. It’s like a Perfect example of when real networking happens people think you have to like to go to some of like networking event and like pretend to be, you know, to be on basically and like pretend to be the professional, but like you’re just there like and you found your person.

[00:13:41] Jessy: It sounds like you’re one person because everybody else was parents and you weren’t at the time and like you’re just chatting and like it seemed like it happened super 

[00:13:47] Dixie: organically. It did. And I mean, that kind of the rest is history. I’ve been in, I just celebrated my ninth anniversary at DKC HangarFour, which is insane.

[00:13:58] Dixie: HangarFour did not exist when I [00:14:00] started at DKC. Uh, all of our creative properties were interwoven and very siloed within DKC, but not long after I started the president of our company, Sean Cassidy, really had an incredible kind of foresight. To saw how the marketing landscape was changing and he saw that the RFPs that were coming in were no longer like PR, PR, PR, a little social PR, PR, PR, like an event.

[00:14:23] Dixie: It was event-led and like, Hey, get us a little PR. So knock down the walls literally and figuratively and create our own. Agency has for, we are a full-service creative agency, very much intertwined and under the umbrella of DKC, but we are also our agency. We have our own culture, we have our own office and we have our dedicated teams and our clients.

[00:14:45] Dixie: We do share a lot of clients with DKC, but we also have a ton of our work. And it’s been. It’s been a journey. It’s been incredible. 

[00:14:52] Jessy: Beautiful office space in LA. I was there. We hosted an event there not too long ago. And like, I was like, Oh wow, it’s 

[00:14:59] Dixie: [00:15:00] beautiful. You saw that space before I did.

[00:15:02] Dixie: I just saw that space like two weeks ago. How crazy is that? 

[00:15:06] Jessy: Well, it was your connection that got me there. It was beautiful. They have this gorgeous, I mean, it’s in LA. So like, of course, you guys have this beautiful outdoor space, and like, I don’t know. Like it’s interesting. Cause I feel like. In the times that we’re in, people can be a little polarizing about like going into an office or not.

[00:15:25] Jessy: But when you have a freaking beautiful office, it certainly makes things a lot easier, you know? Yes, 

[00:15:30] Dixie: yes. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So I would, 

[00:15:33] Jessy: so I would, yeah. Right. So I would love. So like dive into a little bit. So at the party in New Jersey that you went to, you connected with this woman who was a DKC and she at the time was, or you at the time, I should say, was like, you were the two nonparents.

[00:15:52] Dixie: Oh, sorry. It was a he. And he was a parent, but we were just catching up. Like, I think me and my husband were like the only ones who weren’t parents, [00:16:00] but he was a parent. I, they’re like cute kiddo was like running around and yeah, we were just like making small talk like in the kitchen. I love that.

[00:16:07] Jessy: And so while this transition is into the fact that you’re now a parent years later, and There are a lot of members in WIM who are either like Parents trying to be parents recently become parents. And I think that it’s an interesting conversation around being a parent and also working in influencer marketing because as you and I both know, it can be very time-consuming, very manic at times, and like.

[00:16:38] Jessy: It’s just, I can imagine that it’s hard to balance your time and the needs of your kids. It’s a huge decision to have a kid. You would like to think that you’d want to be as present and as humanly possible. So I guess like my question for you is like, what is it like being a mother and an influencer 

[00:16:54] Dixie: marketing?

[00:16:55] Dixie: Such a good question., I will say I am very lucky. [00:17:00] Work remotely. I was one of DKC’s first, DKC’s first remote workers. We moved out here almost six years ago before the pandemic, and I ostensibly quit my job. I went in, I was like, we’re moving. And my boss was like, do you have another job? And I was like, no, I don’t.

[00:17:17] Dixie: We’re just moving. And so, you know, he went to our president and they came back and they were like, do you want to keep working here? I think we can figure something out. Which was so kind and so generous and truly again, I think the conversation around valuing your employees and kind of making things work when you know that there’s value there.

[00:17:37] Dixie: It felt so wonderful to feel valued by my company and them rewarding that in a way. That bettered my life. So I have a 

[00:17:48] Jessy: question. Yeah. How come you didn’t ask in the beginning? Like, did you just assume that it was going to be a no? Like what prevented 

[00:17:54] Dixie: you from, you did. Yeah. I didn’t even think about it.

[00:17:56] Dixie: Cause as I said, we had no remote workers. So I was like, can’t be in [00:18:00] office, no more job. It’s so funny to think about that now post-pandemic, right? Cause like. That is, like, not a thing anymore. Totally, 

[00:18:08] Jessy: totally. And so, yeah, to be in an environment, like, pre-pandemic, nobody was working remotely broadly in most positions, but certainly there wasn’t precedent at your agency.

[00:18:18] Jessy: So, like, they proposed this to you and pitched this to you, which is incredible. And so you’ve been, and I knew this about you, but I think it’s worth noting, like, this is, like, pre-pandemic that you have been working remotely. And so, like, Yeah, like talk to us about how perhaps that flexibility and just like being able to be at home influences 

[00:18:40] Dixie: being a mom.

[00:18:41] Dixie: Yes. That’s such a great question. And so very true. I will say that I am an extroverted extrovert. So working remotely at first was a nightmare for me. And I was like, this is temporary. I have to be back in the office. Save me, but I have come to like, find the ways that I can still interact with people, find community, and really [00:19:00] still like fulfill that and fill my cup as an extrovert, but work remotely because you are right.

[00:19:05] Dixie: Like the flexibility that I have been able to have, especially obviously when I first had Jack, I was able to take three months. And so those three months went by so fast and I’m, I will, I do want to caveat because everyone is so different. I think it’s important that. If you are thinking about having children, I think it’s important for you to identify what kind of parent-slash working person you are.

[00:19:29] Dixie: Like there are people who love to just like close a laptop and it’s like very refreshing for them, like turn on they’re out of the office and walk away. I, for better or worse, I’m not that person. I do love what I do. Not that people who close their laptops and can turn them off at the end of the day don’t, but. I also really appreciate and like my anxiety is such that like, I like to just like make sure I know what’s happening.

[00:19:50] Dixie: So there was a point in my three months being on maternity leave towards the end where I was just like, I am very ready to go back to work. It’s okay if that’s not you. And [00:20:00] some people decide the opposite. They’re like, you know what? I had a kid and this has changed my life and I don’t want to go back to work.

[00:20:07] Dixie: And I love and respect that as well. And I am the complete opposite. No, and I, 

[00:20:11] Jessy: I so love that you’re saying that though. I think that like more, for some reason, and I’m not saying this about you, but like, for some reason, a lot of women feel like hesitant to admit that as in, it’s like an. Awful thing to say I happen to air towards where your position for sure I love what I do and for me, I think it’s like especially since I have you know, a stepdaughter I think it’s like really empowering to show your kid no matter what gender of course But like to show your kid what it is to not just work a lot, but like love what you do I think it’s It’s inspiring for your kid to see that and to know that you have a responsibility and to like, I don’t know.

[00:20:54] Jessy: I, I just see a lot of pros to it, but also like, I just love work. Like I feel like my, [00:21:00] like work and what I do is such a huge part of my identity. Do you feel like that as well? 

[00:21:06] Dixie: I do. Uh, I do. And I know that that is not currently popular. opinion to have. I mean, it’s not an opinion. Like, that is, that’s who I’m in.

[00:21:14] Dixie: That’s who I am, personally, and I am okay. I have no judgment if you are not like me. I do not expect anyone at HangarFour to share my work hours, to share how I Perceive or approach my work. I just want you to do good work. And however you do that is the best way to do it Uh, so I think that’s what’s important, and again, and I this could be a whole podcast on its own But like how millennials and gen z differ there It has been as we’re starting to truly manage and work alongside gen z there have been those moments where I’m like had I’m I am old I or like I truly don’t share your like how you approach these things But what I say is I don’t share the way you approach this, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong And and I’m [00:22:00] so like working in influencer marketing and social media like we cannot function without gen z Are you kidding me?

[00:22:05] Dixie: Like we need those voices. We need that point of view So I think I also bring a unique point of view than being a millennial and being a mom. And there are clients, you know, we’ve worked with care. com, we’ve worked to fight child abuse. org. And being a mom and coming to those accounts with that kind of point of view that they don’t necessarily have makes me valuable.

[00:22:28] Dixie: And then some accounts make them extremely valuable. And it’s why it’s So great to have a diverse team and age and race and like an experience and where we come from, because there’s always, especially in an agency going to be so many different accounts that we are not all, I do not have expertise in everything.

[00:22:46] Dixie: I can’t, I can try, but I think that’s so important and that, that has been so wonderful is now like coming to my work freshly as a mom and seeing. You know, when I first came to my work, it was, you know, as a performer. And I think there’s [00:23:00] so many incredible connections and synergies between being a professional performer and being in marketing, but now being a mom and coming from it, from that perspective has, has brought something kind of new and rich to how I can interact with my clients, to how I can empathize with my clients, you know.

[00:23:18] Dixie: A lot of them are parents as well. And so it has been cool to see how that has transitioned and it keeps things interesting. You don’t want to be bored. For 

[00:23:28] Jessy: sure. No, I love that. And I think it’s like yet another tool in your arsenal, you know, to like to bring to the table because working at an agency like you don’t just have one client.

[00:23:37] Jessy: You have so many different clients, so many different stakeholders in the equation. So the more that you can relate and empathize, not relate. per se, but like certainly empathize with what they’re experiencing and what they’re going through. It’ll just make you a better partner. And speaking of partnership, I just think it’s a really, I’d love to get like a behind the scenes [00:24:00] peek at like how you and your husband manage to have a son because, you know, I don’t know what your husband does, but I’m curious.

[00:24:09] Jessy: Like. Hey, I guess what does he do? And then be like, how do you guys juggle having a son? Like are you some people interesting? Cause what you were saying before is like, you know, everybody works differently. And like, I think everyone, parents vary differently if they are also working and some people, yes.

[00:24:27] Jessy: Like you just said, like they’ll shut the laptop five o’clock put on an outer office or not. People just expect to know that they’re done at five. And then other parents are like, a little less hands-off, hire help or have family support and things like that, and are just extra present when they’re there because they’re not always around.

[00:24:50] Jessy: How do you guys parent as a unit with each 

[00:24:53] Dixie: other? Yeah, I love that question. Because we truly are like partners in parenting. And I [00:25:00] do think I mean, there’s been so many studies that have come out. That has been positive about our generation. I think that in trying to break the cycles of like generational trauma and like, and the kind of like, traditional gender roles like that is not even something that we even you know, Have to talk about like it was never something that was having had to be addressed with my husband and I like he is such an equal partner in the work that we do together as parents.

[00:25:23] Dixie: He is a software developer. So we both are like in the digital realm, which I will say we were so I can’t think of another word other than lucky during the pandemic. We both were in industries. That was booming during the pandemic which is not something a lot of people can say It was so hard to watch so many of our friends and former colleagues be laid off and go through hard times while our industry was so rock solid And we also have tons of flexibility.

[00:25:53] Dixie: He can work from home if he needs to I’m able to work from home 100 percent of the time. [00:26:00] So during the pandemic or like, we had our son in October of 2020. So definitely still very much in the thick of it. We were very blessed. We are very blessed to have both of our moms here in Denver and they came during the week, traded off days, and took care of our son during the day, which I mean, like truly we are so privileged.

[00:26:22] Dixie: I can’t of any other way to say it like that. And it was wonderful. We. Enrolled him in daycare around, like right after we turned a year and he was going three days a week and the mom still took one day a week. We always joked it’s in their rider because they, they were like, they were sad. They were like, no.

[00:26:42] Dixie: So we still, they’re here one day a week. My mom is upstairs with my son right now. And I will say it is so wonderful to be working, doing my job down here in the basement. But being able to like to go upstairs and like see, like. See my kiddo, like being able to like to see what he’s doing. Like, see, like, if he’s like making [00:27:00] crafts with my mom, like, or like, you know, help out if I need to like help with nap time or help with anything and everything.

[00:27:07] Dixie: Like I still feel very involved and yes, my work-life balance. I don’t know if you call it balance like they’re so integrated into one another. Is it right for everyone? Probably not, but it works so well for me to still be very present, but that my presence is integrated throughout the day. My husband and I do like to close our laptops around five, regardless of what’s happening, and be with Jack from five to seven, eight o’clock when he goes to bed.

[00:27:33] Dixie: And then I will tell you, I quite often hop back online and work from like eight to 10. And that is not a requirement. It is what I like to do. I am a night owl. I am creative and I do a lot of my best thinking at night. And so I love it. 

[00:27:48] Jessy: I just think it’s incredible that like you guys were so bullish in architecting this life that you wanted to live because like it all sort of sounds like it.

[00:27:59] Jessy: You know, [00:28:00] it worked out in really incredible ways, but I also think a lot of it was like your very ballsy decision to say like, we’re going to move to Denver and like, no, I don’t even have a job. I’m going to quit my job. But like, this is so important to us that we’re going to do it. And it’s interesting how things like followed that as things fell into place once you sort of made that ballsy decision, you know, like.

[00:28:25] Jessy: I can’t say that that’s going to happen for everybody. Of 

[00:28:28] Dixie: course. Yeah. But like making that leap, like just rip it, truly ripping the band-aid. So yeah, I think, I think it is important. Those like big. Those big milestones in your life and also to like not to plot them I feel like I’ve been reading so much lately about gen z like freaking out about turning 30 and not having achieved the things that they’re supposed to achieve and I was so shocked to read that because That was something that I went through As a millennial, it was for me when I turned 25, like one of my, one of my best friends who also happens to be a famous drag queen, Rose, [00:29:00] very loves to recount on my 25th birthday, he came over to pick me up so we could go out to dinner.

[00:29:05] Dixie: And I was like crying in my bathroom because I’d like found a gray hair. And I was like, I’m in grad school. I don’t have a boyfriend. I like what am I doing with my life? And like that, I felt like we were parroting off of our boomer parents. like the structure of life. Whereas I was kind of hopeful that Gen Z would like not to see that for themselves.

[00:29:26] Dixie: Like they, they have broken so many norms and I’m obsessed with how they have just like blurred the lines and, and been like we’re plotting our course. And so to read that they are constantly like now worried about what they’ve achieved, like age is not Uh like it does not matter like I had my first child at 37 like I like truly did not come into my own in my marketing career until I was I don’t know like 32 33 like even finding this career starting this career [00:30:00] I like celebrated my 30th birthday with like zero dollars in the bank because I was singing opera and like a starving artist Truly in new york city like working part-time at banana republic and pottery barn for seven dollars an hour Like life is truly insane.

[00:30:14] Dixie: And like, do not plot it by what you should have achieved by what age. 

[00:30:17] Jessy: Like, I literally think I saw like the same article, although it’s probably like, maybe it’s like a thing it’s being covered in all these like publications. But like, I thought the same thing as you, which is, Oh my God.

[00:30:31] Jessy: Like. I felt that. So like, I’m like, is that really like, a generational thing? Like, no, like maybe just people are constantly like wanting, like looking left and looking right and seeing what other people are achieving and then like naturally like comparing themselves to that. I mean, we did like, they grew up with more social media, but we are the first generation to have grown up with social media around us and like the internet at the very least.

[00:30:56] Jessy: So like, we also could just like, too, [00:31:00] You know, pretty loudly here about the achievements of, you know, people around us. And like, it’s that damn Forbes 30 under 30 list. Like, Oh my 

[00:31:10] Dixie: God. 

[00:31:11] Jessy: Yes. Where it’s like, you know, why is that the number? Like for me, that was it for me. Why 30? It was because of that stupid list and being like, what a letdown when you turn 30 and you like to compare yourself to people on this list.

[00:31:28] Jessy: And if you had asked. You’re like, well, it’s over now. Nobody looks at the Forbes 40 under 40 list. Like, why not? Like, so, you know, I, so here’s a question for you, you know, having like, Lived this really rich life thus far and you have so much more to live, you know Like being in New York being in Denver like living in multiple like really cool cities Like being in the arts like fully pursuing that too because there are a lot of people who are like I’m an [00:32:00] artist But like you’re doing it for real now like transitioning and being a digital marketing and like growing within your career like what have the different decades Taught you, like maybe like the current decade that you’re in, like when you look back, what do you wish you had known 

[00:32:16] Dixie: earlier?

[00:32:18] Dixie: That’s such a good question. I mean, I do think it’s like that age should not dictate my accomplishments and that I should not be comparing myself to others. I think we are, especially as women, but I think as a, as a human, as a whole, we struggle so hard to compete. Against everyone around us instead of just competing against ourselves and also embracing my story as it were I think when I first started in marketing like building my resume and being so Embarrassed that I felt like didn’t do an internship as I have never had worked anywhere previously, but I’d never worked in other [00:33:00] agency.

[00:33:00] Dixie: Like I was in customer service. Now I was just talking to this wonderful gal who’s about ready to graduate college and she like proactively reached out to me and we connected and she was so brilliant, but one of the things I told her was like, if you have customer service experience, like. Putting that all over your resume, like soft skills and customer service, especially if you want to work at an agency is so important.

[00:33:25] Dixie: So I think just like wrapping my arms around my journey and my own story is something that I wish I could have told myself through these decades. I think also working in digital, working in. Influencer, I remember going to a keynote at a summit that I went to years ago the keynote speaker was talking about basically generation flux So it wasn’t about gen z millennial gen x He was like the generation that will succeed regardless of age is generation flux and it’s about Being flexible and being able to, [00:34:00] like, reinvent yourself, your product, your strategy, like, on a dime, because that is the world we live in now, is who is going to succeed.

[00:34:09] Dixie: And that blew my mind, because I think, to a certain extent, I was doing that, but I never realized how imperative it was, my success, uh, in my career and my life, to just be flexible and understand that, like, what I did yesterday or what I’m doing might not be the best course. For tomorrow. It might be the best course for today, but people will come after me and they will do something better.

[00:34:34] Dixie: And that I should celebrate that my colleague and I, who are our joint kind of leadership at Hanger for now always joke, like, we want to know who’s coming to take our job. Like, is it you? Like, we want it to be you. Like, come, please come take my job. I’m so tired. I’m so tired. Like, come take my job, ask, tell me, like, you want to take my job, and I will work with you from there, but like, want, know what you [00:35:00] want, and like, and be flexible.

[00:35:01] Dixie: I think, are like the things I have learned through the years. No, I 

[00:35:04] Jessy: love that and I’ll parlay off of that too because I think like the notion that you can be the part of like generation flex, is it flux or flex? I think he 

[00:35:13] Dixie: said flex, but like flex or flux, like flexible, like everything is in flux constantly.

[00:35:18] Dixie: I think all of it, like innovation, like reinvent, like reinventing, all of it was very related. 

[00:35:24] Jessy: No, I love that because I feel like to get to that point, you kind of have to check your ego at the door because I think that that’s like one of the key things that get in people’s way where they climb up the corporate ladder and they become more senior and then they Sort of like grow a little bit of an ego-based on how people perceive them, right?

[00:35:45] Jessy: Because if you go from director to senior director to then VP to SVP and like, as you add more like letters to your name and your title as some people do like perceive you differently, but I think the, the key is like to not perceive yourself. [00:36:00] I love that. Right? Because, like, when your ego gets bigger and bigger, it gets in the way of being able to be flexible because you will fight tooth and nail to do things differently than the way that you do them because you just think that the way you do it is just so fantastic.

[00:36:19] Jessy: And, like, sometimes it is. And, like, there’s something to say for having learned from the past and having years of experience. But I think that, like, You can be that much more like, it’s a more powerful thing to like lean into the changes that are existing every day on like the younger generation, like they, they have a lot too.

[00:36:45] Jessy: Ad simply if for nothing else because of their unique perspective and there’s so much there that’s relevant, especially when you work in digital marketing, right? When you’re trying like your job is to be able to reach effectively [00:37:00] reach and influence like so many different types of people, different.

[00:37:04] Jessy: Ages of people, backgrounds, ethnicities, like everything. So it’s almost really, it’s not almost, it’s so detrimental to have your ego get in the way of that and not to listen to other people’s perspectives. Cause they literally will help you 

[00:37:20] Dixie: do your job better. Exactly. And like lifting those voices. I think something that we champion at Hanger4 is like, I don’t care.

[00:37:28] Dixie: If the janitor walks in the room and comes up with an incredible idea because they see our brainstorming happening They’re like, oh my god, I love this TV show and I had this idea Obsessed with that the most our intern our junior digital strategist our junior influencer strategist the account director on the account coming up with an influencer idea like Brainstorms are free range like everyone should contribute and the That’s the biggest idea.

[00:37:54] Dixie: I love it when it’s not mine. And like, especially if we’re talking about like TikTok, like Snapchat, [00:38:00] YouTube, like these platforms that Gen Z lives on, I am not going to be the one that knows best. I consume that content, but like not at the rate. My For You page looks very different than my colleague’s Gen Z’s for You page.

[00:38:13] Dixie: And so what kind of content are you consuming and how does that? Interpret the kind of talent we should be going after and the kind of content we should be creating because I am not, I’m not the target audience. A lot of times. Quick 

[00:38:24] Jessy: question for you guys, how much do you love redlining agreements? Yeah, me too.

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[00:38:57] Jessy: Look, sometimes you do need to hire a [00:39:00] lawyer, an expensive lawyer, nonetheless to work on an agreement because it’s over a certain threshold, and a good lawyer can be invaluable. But what about all those other partnerships, those other contracts? that are for 5, 000 or even like 1, 000. That’s where the caveat comes in to support you and your team through AI to process your contracts, to gain a competitive edge through data-driven insights.

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[00:39:52] Jessy: That’s I A M W I I M. com. slash K A V E A T. I hope you guys [00:40:00] love it as much as I do. So the newest sponsor of the WIM podcast is Zealot. So Zealot is still in beta and you guys know that I love seeing great new tools come to life and you can now be a part of this one. So Zealot helps turn brand ambassadors into a Scalable channel for customer acquisition.

[00:40:21] Jessy: What they do differently is they gamify ambassadors, which I think is super smart. They give points instead, which equates to dollars and they frame the ambassadorship in a really fun way. The platform makes it simple and easy to send what they call missions to ambassadors. And they also make it simple to acquire new ambassadors as well.

[00:40:45] Jessy: So with a zealot, you’ll get. Thousands of ambassadors driving sales and, or UGC at scale all in one place. And they’re also running an exclusive offer just for the WIM community. All you have to do is [00:41:00] head over to their website, joinzealot. com. I mentioned WHAM, that’s join Z E A L O T dot com and mention WHAM.

[00:41:09] Jessy: I think you guys are going to love this one. So let’s talk about creators because everybody works with creators so differently depending on the brand, depending on their partners, and their strategies. Like how do you and Hanger 4 approach your work with creators and does your strategy differ depending on the brands?

[00:41:29] Dixie: Yes, yes. So we are very lucky to have an incredible influencer team and also the partnership of some great platforms, which we all know we kind of can’t live without these days. And I would say the biggest thing is, is identifying right away what clients want to achieve with influencer marketing.

[00:41:49] Dixie: A lot of times It will be brand awareness, which is like a double-edged sword. You’re like, great, like share a voice, like increase of share a voice on social, but it also feels very nebulous and [00:42:00] it’s like, feels like a moving target. And so I’m always nervous to agree to that. And I like to dig in a little bit more.

[00:42:06] Dixie: I’ll say like, Oh, well let’s measure your share of voice now. And then we can measure your share of voice after this. Influencer campaign to make sure that we have shown you something you can hold onto as a success metric. And then sometimes it’s conversion, which is very different than just brand awareness.

[00:42:24] Dixie: And it’s important. That’s where those kinds of relationships with creators that we have come into play because we need to hop on the phone with the creators, with their managers, and say, talk to us about a time that your client or you. Moved units like to talk to us about how you did that and you know, do you have case studies?

[00:42:41] Dixie: Can you share some metrics? Like what can you share with us so that we can give our client tangible evidence once again? Or like something to hold on to to say this is the right creator for you because their audience Is aligned because their content is aligned with their brand and because they have proven that [00:43:00] they can move units.

[00:43:00] Dixie: So definitely like having that conversation with the client ahead of time, setting those expectations, expectation setting, KPI setting. We’ll always make sure that we are set up for success. Because if you don’t do that, your client can very easily, like, you are making yourself very vulnerable. You are putting yourself in a very precarious position because, at any time, especially senior leadership, who maybe is not involved in the day-to-day can come in and be like, why are we spending all this money?

[00:43:25] Dixie: What are we doing? I want to move units. Oh, we thought you were doing brand awareness. Oh, well, that was not agreed to. So this is not successful and we’re turning this money off and we’re redistributing it to like, you know, digital advertising, which can also be tied to influencer marketing, which is why we always try to make sure that our clients know that we also offer influence or whitelisting influence or allow listing.

[00:43:47] Dixie: So they are aware that engaging those creators is fantastic. But if you want that, like, That safety net truly like to me, like a lot of this thing is like that safety net of saying, I can take this content that feels very [00:44:00] organic, that feels very genuine, but then I can take it and fully target my exact audience with that content.

[00:44:06] Dixie: And that is a powerful tool. So a little bit of our process, you know, I think it’s, we, I don’t know how many agencies are doing this now, but I feel like we were one of the first agencies who truly integrated influencer allow listing into our influencer strategy as something, it wasn’t just like an add on.

[00:44:24] Dixie: Like we truly were like, you should do all of this. Uh, and this is how we will 

[00:44:28] Jessy: structure it. Yeah. I feel like there’s been a huge movement towards that direction as like the algorithms have just changed and it’s just like so unreliable to depend on like, you know, the organic reach that the influencers following just, you know, gets you.

[00:44:45] Jessy: And so I’ve seen more of that being the approach. I think my, follow-up question to that is like this. When you are working with a smaller brand versus a [00:45:00] larger brand, you know, who, or a larger brand that just has limited, is investing a limited amount into their influencer work. Like, what is the strategy there?

[00:45:11] Jessy: Basically, like. Do you have any, like, are there hacks or are there, are there no hacks, you know, to like stretching your money as much as humanly possible? If there was a brand that just had a very limited budget, what would you tell them to do for sure? Or would your advice be like, don’t do it yet.

[00:45:30] Jessy: Like just wait until you have more resources. 

[00:45:32] Dixie: Hmm, that’s a great question. And I think it depends on the brand. There are times when brands of a certain ilk will come to us and say, like, we don’t have a ton of money, but like, we want to do this. But like, do you think we should? And we will be honest with them.

[00:45:46] Dixie: We’ll be like, this is not going to get you anywhere. And let’s talk about this. Let’s structure it differently. We will give them maybe some other options. Or we’ll just say, like, let’s hang back. Maybe wait till next quarter. Wait to your next fiscal and let’s revisit or this is what we recommend that could be [00:46:00] useful and give them kind of fodder to take to their leadership to say we need this and here’s why.

[00:46:05] Dixie: So I think it’s important to never just say no outright. You know, I never want to take business for the sake of business and lose my shirt and put my team in a predicament. But I do think it’s important to, especially because we are in a customer service industry, be a problem solver and say, I don’t think that the way that you have come to us initially is going to be successful for you, but here is what we think could be successful for you and why, and then kind of put them back in the driver’s seat.

[00:46:33] Dixie: So I think that overall with, with the smaller budgets, with the smaller clients, I think another successful thing is pairing your paid influencer strategy with either a really important 10 pull moment that you can just blast. So you can like, let’s say you have a new product launching and instead of saying, okay, we have a new product launching in Q2, so we’re going to start our influencer efforts in Q1 and go all the way through Q4 and we have [00:47:00] 50, 000 out of pocket.

[00:47:01] Dixie: No. Ha ha ha. But you have a new product offering coming out. It’s coming out in Q2. It’s a big deal. 50, 000 over four quarters, 50, and 000 over two months. Yes, yes, yes. So helping them understand how like influencer marketing overall and strategy, we don’t love doing one-off content, but even just maybe. Um, engaging an influencer around that launch for like two to three pieces of content that then can be repurposed by the brand is still a win.

[00:47:33] Dixie: So again, just like figuring out those different ways to approach with that budget, also partnering with maybe an earned play that we can partner with the PR teams. We like to keep our earned influencer marketing within DKC and our PR teams. Creators deserve to be paid. They deserve to be paid what they are worth.

[00:47:55] Dixie: And for the time that they are spending creating content when a brand is [00:48:00] dictating the kind of content they should be creating But we also know that on the pr side of things That a lot of these creators are organic brand fans and we want to reward that as well And you know if they post about it awesome, if not We’re building a relationship.

[00:48:15] Dixie: So we like to keep those things very separate from the work that we do at Hanger 4 because we build like large scale or, you know, the small scale for smaller brands, but we build an influencer strategy that is paid, but we know that there is value in earning. And if we can partner with the PR teams to say, Hey, we can do something here that maybe will cost you product along with a small influencer out of pocket.

[00:48:40] Dixie: And you can be successful. 

[00:48:42] Jessy: No, I love that. There are so many things to like glean from that. One thing that I’m like really excited about is I’m excited, especially from the agency’s perspective, just sort of knowing how broad the landscape has become. So like you were talking about, like, obviously, you know, sponsored contact, but then like [00:49:00] allow listing, but then even broader than that, like in-person events and, you know, all these other like moments and things that you can build and create.

[00:49:08] Jessy: With creators at the epicenter, there are just so many brands that aren’t necessarily like experimenting with all that there is at their fingertips. And so one of the approaches also to working with creators, you talked about, you know, awareness and conversions, another one that could be done. As its own or in conjunction with those is affiliate marketing.

[00:49:32] Jessy: And there’s just been such a resurgence in affiliate marketing lately. I don’t know if it’s, yeah, like it’s interesting. It’s, it’s like not a new concept by any shape, like of any form of the imagination, but like people, there’s like a renewed interest in it, which is really. Interesting to me. So generally, like, what are your thoughts on affiliate marketing?

[00:49:55] Jessy: Like, do you find that creators are more receptive [00:50:00] to it than they used to be? And our brands, how do brands feel about that? 

[00:50:04] Dixie: Yeah, I love this question because we are working hard. And it’s become a priority in the last two years to start building an affiliate marketing approach. We’re working, we have a team embedded at Hanger 4 that is working on affiliate marketing from a creator perspective.

[00:50:19] Dixie: And then we also were partnering alongside our DKC analytics team, who is building in and putting together programs for affiliate marketing from like outlet and press perspective, which has also become so huge. So seeing these two trends kind of coming together and converging, we wanted to kind of share resources because there are some synergies there and some kind of similarities between how you approach, I will say that on the whole.

[00:50:44] Dixie: The creators we talked to still, like when you say the word affiliate marketing, they’re like, which is fair, which is fair. I think that. It is to me, especially like coming from an agency, it’s a different set of creators. So [00:51:00] if a client wants affiliate marketing, it is going to be very rare that we are engaging a macro influencer and building in affiliate to their contract.

[00:51:07] Dixie: It will be more often the case that we will take on an affiliate. marketing programs for them and we will build it quite often on an existing platform. There are so many great platforms to build this on and those creators are quite often like micro nano, um, some mid-tier. I mean, yes, there are some macro creators, especially God bless them.

[00:51:30] Dixie: Those like millennial gen X creators who started on blogs, love affiliate marketing. So also finding those folks like Identifying those creators who still really lean into long-form content, that affiliate is still going to be part of their bread and butter. Or if you see that they’re creating a lot of Amazon content, you, there are some identifiers.

[00:51:48] Dixie: If you’re looking for creators, you kind of have to make it a little, you have to dig a little bit, but I would say on the whole, if you’re looking to start or engage with affiliate marketing, I’ve seen most of the creators we work [00:52:00] with on a larger scale be turned off by it still, but to think about it in more like those.

[00:52:03] Dixie: smaller up-and-coming creators who are looking to like have this be something that can be an always-on income for them, but maybe feel a little more turnkey because they potentially have another job still. And that’s cool. 

[00:52:17] Jessy: Totally. I, it’s interesting. I wonder if, so I’ve seen like. On Tiktok for sure.

[00:52:26] Jessy: And like just certain platforms. It’s like a, it’s just, it’s another niche of creators who is like sort of known for recommending products and mostly products, not really services, but products and like round-up of products. 

[00:52:42] Dixie: Mom bloggers. All 

[00:52:45] Jessy: those things. Yeah. In the cooking space too, but also just like, Oh my gosh, you know, it’s a, what’s interesting.

[00:52:51] Jessy: You mentioned Amazon and I love these, like the Amazon influencers who are like the best products on Amazon right now. I love [00:53:00] those roundups and I see them repurposed on YouTube shorts, on TikTok, on Instagram reels, what have you. So Yep. Yep. It’s a little bit more of a dig of where to find them, but they’re out there for sure.

[00:53:14] Jessy: And if your product aligns, it can be a really like economical play perhaps. And if you’re looking for conversions, that’s the play, right? It’s like a straight-up conversion. That is like it. That’s it. And like, I wonder if also, I like. Also, could you identify some of those folks that then you can utilize in other ways?

[00:53:35] Jessy: Because I feel like that’s like one of the hardest things an influencer can do is convert for you. That’s one of the tallest orders for a creator. And so if you find the ones that have mastered that, I feel like the other stuff, not to say it’s easy. easy, but it’s certainly a little easier I think because conversions are just so difficult.

[00:53:55] Jessy: So I wonder if there’s more that you can like extract from those creators if you identify those [00:54:00] who are key in, in converging, converting. Okay. So my next question for you, I love that you mentioned to me before our chatting today, how ha you’ve seen an increase in the B2B and like corporate C suite sort of.

[00:54:17] Jessy: Thought leaders. And I’ve seen the same and I’m fascinated by it. I don’t think enough people are talking about it. So I don’t know, based on what you’ve been seeing, like, what do we need to know about the B2B like thought leader space in terms of influencer marketing? Like, give it school us. I 

[00:54:36] Dixie: want to hear.

[00:54:37] Dixie: Yeah. So, first of all, I want to give Full credit and praise to one colleague on my team. Um, his name is Brian. I have no idea if he’ll listen to this, but if he does, I want him to know how valuable he is because he is someone who has identified this early. He came onto our team very much from the political corporate world and is.

[00:54:56] Dixie: A huge fan of LinkedIn. I love, I love it. Like he, [00:55:00] this, like this guy loves LinkedIn and he’s so good at it. And so he has developed this scope of work and this offering from our team for a lot of executives who, I mean, quite frankly, need to clean up their LinkedIn and need to clean up their social, because what is happening is in the world of social media, of.

[00:55:22] Dixie: PR, et cetera, that world is consistently blurring, like seriously blurring between like, what is earned media? What is social media? Are they the same? And so having those executives have a sizable presence. So what they say Is influential and like can count to a certain extent for earned media or when they post about it counts as like sizable reach for an important piece of content.

[00:55:53] Dixie: And so we have started offering this opportunity for a couple of different things really kind of [00:56:00] coming in and helping executives build their profiles. Because it also makes them more attractive for speaking gigs. It makes them more attractive to be, you know, the one that comes on CNBC, that comes on MSNBC, on Fox.

[00:56:13] Dixie: Like that, that makes them more attractive because of things, again, like we are seeing constantly, thank you, Donald Trump, that people are quite literally showing tweets. On the news and they’re like, and this is the news today, like Joe Biden, Donald Trump tweeted. That’s the news. And so if you see that and you are an executive, if you are a CEO, if you’re in the C suite and you’re like, wow, my posts on social, my tweets.

[00:56:42] Dixie: X, my Instagram, my LinkedIn posts could quite literally be the news. I’m pretty sure you want that. I mean, unless it’s like bad news, um, and you’re getting canceled, which nobody wants that, but you know, and that’s the other thing also, you know, we do offer like media training through DKC, but like. [00:57:00] What about social media training?

[00:57:01] Dixie: What about making sure that the things are said on social media and your platforms because again, you are influential that you’re not causing a crisis for your brand on the content that you are engaging with on the content that you are creating? So. You know, on top of building these executive profiles, we offer, we offer crisis if it gets that far, we offer training to make sure not only executives but also like your company as a whole, like everybody talks about share a voice, share a voice, share a voice.

[00:57:31] Dixie: And this is all, especially if we’re talking about corporate communications, we’re talking about LinkedIn and building your share of voice. That is your employees, your employees need to be, like, the sound, the sounding board, and like the amplifier of your company. And how do you do that? You hand them the tools to say, this is how you make your LinkedIn.

[00:57:52] Dixie: Like content a plus, this is how you talk about the company. These are some things that like some great guidelines. So these are the [00:58:00] ways that we have started to build a really solid, like B to B program because executives want to be influencers now. And honestly. They should be. 

[00:58:10] Jessy: No, they should be.

[00:58:11] Jessy: And I’ve been seeing that too. There’s so much opportunity there. Like that’s one thing for sure. So if you are an executive or you are like just senior or just like a, a voice for a certain industry, like there’s such a white space there. So that’s one thing, but you also have me thinking, ’cause you’re talking about like employees.

[00:58:32] Jessy: Posting as well for a company and amplifying a certain message. And I’ve heard, like, I’ve been privy to a few conversations around this. I agree. Like, I think it’s like another opportunity, but our employee is going to start charging employers. to post this type of content? Like, are they going to be the company’s influencers?

[00:58:53] Jessy: Like, fundamentally, like, do you think that that should become part of their job description? Like, [00:59:00] should it be, like, mandated? Should it be a sort of, like, extra thing? Like, I’m curious, like, how, like, because, you know, you have a big company, too, and if some of your employees, like, We’re, you know, wanting to maybe be influencers for you guys.

[00:59:16] Jessy: Like, what do you think is, a good way to 

[00:59:18] Dixie: approach that? Jesse, this is such an important question. And it’s something that we have been wrestling with, not necessarily as someone being an influencer for your company, but when you work at an agency, like, and you are creating content for clients, sometimes you end up in the content.

[00:59:36] Dixie: So. Making sure this is something that has evolved in the past couple of years and understandably a lot of our Like employees are like, I don’t know if I want to be the face of insert client here so making sure again generation flex like how are you innovating your like employee agreements your employee handbooks to talk about [01:00:00] like The expectation like you are a content creator for our team and therefore you will be present and you will be like your face will be seen in client content or like you are starting at this company and there is not an expectation to be posting on social media but if you would like to be a part of Like an affinity as we have or like a group that amplifies our company That’s what a lot of the organizations that we’ve worked with and the brands that we worked with they often make it Like not mandatory and it’s more of like like an employee engagement group That is in charge and kind of with having those conversations because they want to.

[01:00:37] Dixie: But again, like as this continues to change and as like, you know, we become all of our brands, what, what does that look like in terms of conversations around contracts? Like Releases and compensation, I think the best thing to do is always build that in, but build it in with the understanding that is built into the compensation package.

[01:00:57] Dixie: I think a lot of companies are also doing this with [01:01:00] like DE& I, which I think is so important. Like there are so many like folks of color, um, who are leading these DE& I affinity groups within their organization and taking a lot of additional work on and making sure, um, that that is compensated. And I think that this could potentially be very similar, uh, depending on the expectation.

[01:01:21] Dixie: But I also think that brands need to see that this is coming and they need to like properly prepare for that. Or 

[01:01:28] Jessy: maybe this is like really thinking outside the box. Like maybe if. the piece of content that they create reaches a certain threshold or something. Like maybe that is part of their bonus structure or something, you know?

[01:01:43] Jessy: I love that. I love that. Like on the performance of the content. I don’t know. I just, love thinking about like. How influencers don’t have to be what we traditionally think of them as what we do with influencers and creators [01:02:00] doesn’t have to be what we’ve traditionally done with them. And like, but the possibilities are truly limitless given the internet and social media and the power of it all.

[01:02:11] Jessy: And I just want people to just think outside the 

[01:02:14] Dixie: box more. Yes. Yes, truly, truly. Yeah, definitely. 

[01:02:20] Jessy: So I have so many more questions that I wanted to ask you today, but we’re like, we’re kind of, I’ve been, we’ve been, I’ve been talking your ear off. So I think that maybe one of the final questions I’ll ask today is what’s like, what do you hope to see in our industry over the next?

[01:02:39] Jessy: I don’t know, say five years. What do you, what do you hope to see speaking of changes and innovation? Like what would excite you if you saw this in five years in the creator economy? 

[01:02:51] Dixie: That’s us. Wow. I feel like so many things. I think that I love that there is a renewed [01:03:00] conversation around the difference between creators and influencers.

[01:03:02] Dixie: And I think that that is a conversation that needs to continue. I think I would love to. See more protections and guardrails around creators’ content and the content that is that belongs to them, especially with this. I mean, the title wave that is coming, that is AI and, and talking about like copyright and.

[01:03:24] Dixie: Ownership and making sure that that content belongs to them. And I also would like to see continued, growth in the shared equity between brands and creators. I feel like you and I maybe talked about this a little bit last time we talked on the podcast, but I would love for there to be more of a normalcy around, not just like, we would like you to create this content for us.

[01:03:48] Dixie: And here is your fee, but like also like, here’s your fee, but also. For if your content performs like X or if you sell X units, there is like a bonus structure or like [01:04:00] payment in like equity of the company. Like things that make creators feel like they truly are being brought into the universe and the family of a brand and that the brand is investing in them as much as they’re investing their time in the brand I think is so important because again, like influencers are not going away.

[01:04:17] Dixie: And they are going to continue to permeate. Like I can’t wait to see all the articles the day after the Super Bowl of how many creators and how many influencers were integrated into the commercials because it’s no longer celebrities. Like influencers are celebrities. They are influential. They’re influencing what people buy and therefore companies need to invest in them, but like, what are other ways that companies could invest that feel financial, but it’s not just dollars, like hard dollars and cents?

[01:04:46] Dixie: Yeah. 

[01:04:46] Jessy: Again, like just like concepts are that are thinking outside the box and, and also recognizing that like, you need to keep influencers interested because the more that they grow, the more that like, they’re going to just do their own thing. They get to a [01:05:00] certain like they’re for many influencers, there’s a point where they just pass a certain threshold that they’re like, I don’t need slash to want to do branding.

[01:05:07] Jessy: Partnerships anymore. Like that’s not even their bread and butter. They’ve launched their line of this. So their product of that, or they’ve learned how to, you know, create their own, you know, membership or their own like gated content, and they’re just monetizing in so many different ways and almost like working with.

[01:05:25] Jessy: Brands almost feel like a little bit of a liability in some instances, right? Cause they don’t have control over it. They’re working for somebody else and it’s not even, you know, an employee-employer type relationship. It’s like a contractor. So there’s the contractor. Yeah. So there’s just like more at stake, more high risk.

[01:05:42] Jessy: So the point being is like, how can we continue to incentivize and excite creators to partner with you? And I think that if you talk to most creators, I will say most creators. That like they want more skin in the game, you know, they’ve been saying this for [01:06:00] years. And so like, just think like, talk to creators more and say, you know, ask them what would motivate you?

[01:06:08] Jessy: What would excite you and put. Your money is where your mouth is and not just think about it theoretically and not just talk about it in circles like a pie-in the sky type thing, but like actually do it and explore it and test and learn and see what it’s like. It might not work or maybe it just needs a little bit of tweaking to get there because it’s a new concept and that’s what it is to experiment and try something new.

[01:06:29] Jessy: I’ve loved having you on the show again, like just again, I just enjoy catching up with you and. Like learning all that you’re up to. And I just think you’re doing such cool things where you’re at. I’m super proud of you for like, just doing all the great work that you’re doing. As you have, you guys work with such great brands, you guys are producing such great work, and like, you know, to see you become a mom over the past few years.

[01:06:53] Jessy: And like, it’s just so exciting to see everything that you’re up to. And I’m just really proud of you. And I hope that our listeners reach out and [01:07:00] connect because you’ve been in the industry for so long and you’re such a knowledgeable voice. And I want our members and our community to reach out. So for those folks, what is the best way for them to connect with you?

[01:07:12] Dixie: Yeah. Um, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I think I’m like, I’m like you type in Dixie and I hopefully I’m the first one that shows up. Dixie Roberts on LinkedIn. Um, you can find me on Instagram, um, Dixie in New York. Even though I’m not in New York anymore. Can’t give it up. Um, if you want to file my follow my nail game and see lots of cute photos of my child, but you can also obviously, um, shoot me a note on DM and I need to get back into the WIM Slack channel, um, and, uh, get back into the group, uh, cause I, I miss.

[01:07:42] Dixie: Those conversations, but would love to connect with you. Um, we, I do want to give one shameless plug that we have started these fantastic gatherings that we do. Ideally, we’re hoping to do once per quarter where we bring our PR and hanger for teams to put together an event and [01:08:00] bring creators and managers.

[01:08:01] Dixie: And we literally, it just. It’s a networking event. There is no, like, no requirement. No one’s, like, talking at you. No one’s selling you anything. We usually have a nice swag bag of some of our client’s fantastic products. But other than that, like, it’s just an opportunity to come and meet us and come and meet our PR teams to talk about the clients that we have.

[01:08:20] Dixie: And like you were saying, like, hearing more from creators, like, this is our opportunity to, like, Just like have a drink and be like, what are you looking for? And we have had such great reception from creators and managers and also from our brands. And we’re so excited to continue these. We’ve been doing them kind of switching coast to coast from LA to New York and are hoping to have more of these in partnership with our fantastic platform tagger.

[01:08:42] Dixie: So it’s. It’s been a fun journey so far and a great environment, so welcoming and warm. 

[01:08:48] Jessy: And how can, how can we learn more about those if we just go to your 

[01:08:51] Dixie: website? You can go to, actually head to our Instagram for the moment at HangarFour. Um, our website is currently under construction, but we’ll be up very soon.

[01:08:59] Dixie: But [01:09:00] head to, um, head to our Instagram. You can shoot us a DM. We can get you on our mailing list because that’s where we usually send out our RSVPs. Uh, and we would love to have you there. I love 

[01:09:08] Jessy: that so much. Thank you so much for being on today and just like sharing everything and we’ll have to have you on a third time in the future because I have so many questions that I didn’t get to.

[01:09:22] Dixie: I’m always game, always game, you know it. So next time I’m in New York, Alice’s Tea Cup, it’s happening. 

[01:09:30] Jessy: That’s our go-to place. I will have to meet there next time. Thank you for coming on today. So, so, so much. And for you guys who are listening, we’ll see you next Tuesday. Bye, guys.

[01:09:43] Jessy: 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 IAmWhim. com. Leave us a review, and a rating, but the most important [01:10:00] thing that we can ask you to do is subscribe.

[01:10:01] Jessy: Transcripts provided by Transcription Outsourcing, 

[01:10:06] Dixie: LLC.

Dixie Roberts

Senior Vice President. HANGARFOUR CREATIVE

As Executive Vice President of Integrated Creative Strategy, Dixie has spent the last 8 years at HangarFour overseeing digital content, campaign and influencer strategy for a wide range of clients including National Geographic, Indeed, BRAGG Live Foods, Princess Cruises and Oracle. Notable career mentions include launching the L’Oreal League, a premier influencer program for L’Oréal Paris, launching eyewear brand, Zenni into the Esports arena, helming the digital rebrand of ‘90s darling, Caboodles, and building the award-winning “Soundtrack of Empathy” campaign with pop superstar, MIKA.

Before joining HangarFour, Dixie spent 3 years as a copywriter at Warby Parker – her time coincided with the brand’s rise to become one of the country’s best recognized retail startups, propelled in no small part by its creative approach to the digital space.

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