In the second episode of the Julius Profiles podcast, we spoke to Krista Stucchio (@kstucchio) and Haley Uzelac (@haleyuzelac) from GoDaddy about Wearing Different Hats when executing an influencer marketing campaign. Haley is the Talent Desk & Social Media Influencer Lead at GoDaddy, and Krista is their Social Media & Content Manager.
What makes this episode’s guests especially interesting is that both are influencers themselves. Krista runs a successful foodie instagram, while Haley maintains a fashion blog. On top of their experience, their gravitas and humorous personalities speak for themselves. And better yet, they’re friends from way back in high school.
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Key takeaways from this podcast include:
- The many different “hats” a marketer has to wear
- The two phases of every influencer campaign: strategic and executional
- The makings of a good influencer partner
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Danny began the conversation by suggesting that influencer marketing campaigns have a lot of moving parts that force marketers to wear several different hats to pull it off. Since both Krista and Haley are influencers themselves, they have had to juggle a multitude of competing responsibilities and expectations in their influencer marketing careers.
Though Haley and Krista found different paths into the industry, they both shared the perspective that influencer marketing is a unique challenge. As Haley described it, “Each
client has different needs [and] different wants.”
Haley arrived at GoDaddy after several years in advertising, including a few in an influencer marketing department at New York City agency. Krista translated her experience from the food instagram she started in college (@hashtagfoodpic) to the world of influencer marketing, after trying several times to find the best fit for herself in the marketing industry. As an influencer, Krista learned how to appreciate an influencer’s side of a partnership. “I’m able to understand what it’s like to have a small business in that sense.”
Managing time and staying organized in the influencer industry
As Krista and Haley revealed, managing your time is key to being successful in the industry. They discussed the different ways they kept track of their workloads, from physical planners they write in to cloud-based task management app, Wunderlist.
Haley went on to describe her own process in detail:
“I have a beautiful banana leaf notebook, it’s green and pink and that’s my all-time favorite. I open it up and it’s kind of like a ritual for me, I have a planner, I have a notebook and I also have an affirmation journal and this is truly my ritual in the morning, can you tell my mom’s a therapist?”
Organizing asks, demands, and more is just one part of being a successful marketer. Managing time and staying on top of priorities is a different beast.
Haley described her process as such: “I organize my email with folders and I will go through each folder in the morning... I list everything off in terms of priority and what’s at the top needs to get done and then if I get to the things at the bottom of the list, I’m good.”
The two phases of an influencer marketing campaign
Managing your time and organizing your tasks is only half the battle in running an influencer campaign. There are so many individual tasks that go into pulling it off, that Haley divides them into two distinct phases, “the strategic and then the executional.”
“With an agency background... you’re doing all the executional stuff, you’re learning really in the weeds stuff that needs to get done in order for these influencer campaigns to happen... A common issue I face day to day is really, how do I get my mind out of those in the weeds, executional types of hats and get myself kind of in the strategic ones?”
And learning how to be strategic is what makes Haley and Krista’s job at GoDaddy so interesting.
Building relationships requires a human touch
Krista described the process of educating her stakeholders in further detail, emphasizing the need to explain an influencer ask in language they can understand: “In terms of wearing all these different hats, we’re also human. I think that my conversations with influencers, with senior execs, there needs to be a human touch to it, not just like this is how an influencer marketing campaign works. But more so, where are you coming from and how can I best address your needs and your situations... I’m a people pleaser.”
Danny agreed, citing how important it is for him to build relationships with his co-workers as well. He then shifted gears, asking how Krista and Haley apply these skills to their influencer partnerships.
Krista reiterated the importance of the human touch, especially from her perspective as an influencer: “Understanding that these people are human is huge... you can’t just throw people products and expect that they’re going to do it because they want money or just free product in general. I mean, at first it was really cool to get that stuff, but now it’s like, ‘No, I don’t want to be a fraud.’ I try to be as authentic as possible. I think authenticity is super important.”
And industry knowledge only goes as far as you can communicate it. “I think it’s kind of a mix of knowing the space to also just understanding how to communicate with a human being, even if you are doing it through the internet,” said Krista.
Balancing work with your side hustles
For Krista and Haley, balancing work and life as an influencer is a huge undertaking. Their side-hustles, as Danny describes them, are almost as demanding as their full-time jobs. Juggling responsibilities and staying persistent highlights the importance of “me time” and decompression.
Danny summed it up like so: “Honestly, juggling the professional day to day and then wearing your influencer hat at night are almost like, Bruce Wayne and batman.”
“Things can get a little bit crazy but I’m pretty organized on my phone, I obviously have a lot of photographs, I actually have a folder and it’s my food archives. It’s funny because people think I’m eating these things on that actual day that I post. I’m like, no, I didn’t have this elaborate brunch on a Tuesday morning.” To Krista, being an influencer is akin to wearing the community manager hat.
Being a professional influencer sets the bar high
Haley and Krista’s experience as influencers translates well to their jobs as marketers. But how does that alter their perceptions of the influencers they work with? And moreover, how do they advise influencers to achieve success?
For one thing, both Haley and Krista emphasized the importance of structure and routine in their lives. They cherish corporate work in that they generally know what to expect from their daily routines. And they expect the same predictability from their influencer partners.
As Haley described it, “when I’m vetting influencers and I’m reaching out, I always look for fast responders because influencer marketing can change on a dime.” To Haley, slow responders can make or break a campaign when objectives or deliverables suddenly change.
Beyond that, influencers who know their brand and know the industry have a leg up on the others. They make for good partners whose expectations can be adequately managed.
Talent managers change the influencer dynamic
Influencers who employ managers can often be easier to work with, even if the influencer isn’t necessarily professional. A manager, as Danny describes it, “If we don’t have the most professional influencer partner that can wear a lot of hats but we have a manager that is on top of them, honestly, it could really make life a lot easier.”
But on the other hand, according to Haley, “I find that if they have managers, the legal process takes a lot longer. They fight harder and they want the best deal for their client, which I understand.”
And once the legal process is underway, “It’s like a little volleyball,” said Krista. “I’m just sitting here watching like table tennis or something,” adds Haley.
Relationship building at scale
While lawyers on either side deliberate, marketers still have to do their jobs. Staying on top of influencers amid the legal process sometimes requires “tough love,” as Krista says.
Though Krista and Haley often lean on their lawyers, they also try to foster relationships with influencers throughout – and after – the campaign process. GoDaddy maintains a team of influencers they refer to as the “Bespoke Tribe.” Not only does it include influencers they presently work with, but also people they engage with on social media, whether they’re customers of GoDaddy or just fans of the brand.
Fostering these relationships, according to Haley, is vital to success. Treating them with experiences, sending them gifts, or inviting them to events helps smooth the process, even when they’re not actively running a campaign.
How many hats must an influencer marketer wear?
Danny asked the guests what a marketer has to do to find success with influencers?
Krista replied succinctly: “Influencer marketing is a complex process. I think in order to make it work, you have to have an open mind. Collaborating is different every single time.”
Haley followed up, saying, “influencer marketing is different to everyone... Opinions affect our thoughts or our vision... Influencer marketing I say is like the sea of caveats.”
And those caveats can range from the nuances of one influencer’s audience to the relative cost of using another influencer. At GoDaddy, Krista and Haley have worked with a wide variety of influencers, from macro influencers with massive followings to micro influencers who are just dipping their feet into the world of influencer marketing. Building relationships, educating higher-ups, and executing a campaign require a marketer to wear all of these different hats to address the sea of caveats.
Demystifying influencers to consumers
The final piece of the puzzle, then, is helping consumers understand influencers. In light of the Fyre Festival fallout, the public image of influencers is skewed. Many see them as “hot models on a beach,” rather than the storytellers they often are.
The Fyre Festival, according to Haley, is how her “parents see influencers,” but she brings it back to the audience. The consumer experience with influencers, as Haley describes it, comes down to who is following the influencer.
Racking all the hats
The conversation concluded with lots of laughs and smiles, as Danny commended their willingness to take on more responsibilities at work. With so many different hats to wear, it’s sometimes difficult to plan ahead.
But not for Haley and Krista. GoDaddy is always looking out for “hustlers” on social media who tell awesome stories and share compelling content. Even if they aren’t GoDaddy customers, they’re happy to share unique and interesting content on branded channels.
To sum it up, Haley described their careers as, “We’re essentially buying new hats and we are stocking that hat cabinet.” And the cabinet grows with every innovative new project they take on.
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