WHY I HAVEN'T BEEN WORKING A 9-5
I often get told that I'm "living the dream" here in NY, and then it’s usually followed up with, “Sooo…what do you even do though?”. Some of my most frequently asked questions are how I’m able to support myself in such an expensive city, and what It is that I actually do on a day to day basis to bring the money in; and I'm always hesitant to answer for several reasons. One, I LOVE what I do and having the freedom to be wherever, whenever. In fact thats one of my favorite parts is being able to drop things at a moments notice to take a vacation or have lunch with friends, or work from my bed all day if I want to. But its taken a long time for me to consider what I’ve been doing as a legitimate job. There are a ton of LONG hours and lots of work that sometimes goes unrewarded. Typically, society has led us to believe that we needed a traditional 9-5 to consider ourselves “employed” or successful, but bloggers and influencers came and threw a big wrench on that belief. Times are changing my friends and Im learning this traditional thinking isn't so true anymore. Just because you don’t have a 9-5 job, doesn’t mean you haven’t made it and aren’t successful in your own way (as long as your bringing in the bacon LOL). No longer do you have to be tied to a job you despise. In fact, in more ways than one I think this “modern day job” is more stressful and difficult, especially since a lot of times you’re juggling multiple roles (CEO, creative director, secretary, accountant, etc) and you’re only one person. Nowadays, Anyone can make a career out of almost anything they love, as long as they're willing to work hard for it. A lot of these new-age jobs that look extremely glamorous, are filled with just as much hard work, behind the scenes, as it is with fun times and parties. I personally put in well over 40+ hours in a week between my blog and my freelancing clients, and I know several of my other blog friends who put in just as much, if not more. It’s also pretty hard to pinpoint and narrow down exactly what I do in to a single descriptive title that makes sense to everyone, but I’m attempting to break it down a bit for you guys.
For the last year (holy crapy time flies) I’ve been freelancing as an Influencer Marketing strategist. Meaning I work with some really cool brands and connect them with other influencers and creatives to work on campaigns and attend events. I’m sure you guys are wondering how I came into this position and why I chose that over a traditional 9-5 after college, but it kind of just happened. I was interning at a PR agency during my last year in college, where I got a ton of hands on experience in campaigns and influencer campaign management.
After my internship ended I knew I had a passion for influencer marketing because of my own personal experience with campaigns with this blog. I really saw the potential in the industry and decided to immerse myself and learn as much as I could, so I researched and googled and did my best to teach myself a lot of what I hadn’t previously learned.
From there I put this knowledge and my previous experience to the test (while I was still in school) , and decided to start pitching and finding my own clients. This kind of started out more as a way for me to sharpen my skills and get more experience while I was finishing up school, then kind of transformed post graduation when I saw that I was actually successful at pitching clients and navigating their influencer needs.
Once I started working on my own, I realized that time was actually money, and the more time I worked, the more money I got, the more experience I gained, the more connections I made and the further I was going. This was an overwhelmingly scary process since I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing running my own “business”. I was working on balancing client work and executing campaign strategies from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. When I wasn’t working with current clients, I was pitching myself to clients and trying to gather up the courage to sell myself on phone interviews (something I HATE doing is talking on the phone). Any other time was dedicated to my blog and brand events, researching and googling things I needed to know about freelancing and client management and even taxes. I started out slow and learned from each client as I grew and developed. I’ve even expanded my services and now do social media account management and content creation (where i shoot content and manage the brand’s social channels) as well! I reached a point where I was definitely bogged down and overwhelmed with clients so I now I’ve tried to limit my workload just so I can make sure I have time for other things.
On the flip side of that, I’m also a “content creator”. I really feel weird calling myself that, but its the best explanation of what I do. While I help to connect brands with other influencers, as you probably already know, I also do a bit of work with brands myself. Brands or agencies will come to me with a campaign concept or product, and if its something that aligns with my personal goals and the current goals of this blog, then we discuss budget details and scope of work. Generally, I supply engaging and creative photographs that the support the brand/product, through my own social streams, as well as creating content for them to use solely on their platforms. This has resulted in so many great connections: Clinique, Dick’s Sporting Good’s, Kay Jewlers, Bose, Andre, 7-eleven and so much more! If you want to know more about how I work with brand’s be sure to read my industry advice post!
My day’s aren’t ever the same so I don’t have a typical or set daily schedule either. Some days I may not have a ton to do, and others I’ll be working literally morning, noon + night. My work days typically last around 8-10 hours. I manage my client’s influencer marketing strategy which means tons of research and list building and lots of deadlines, I run Instagram for a couple brand’s and am responsible for producing the content across their instagram channels, I have an overflowing inbox that will probably never be on 0, blog sponsorships, photo shoots, meetings, phone calls, I have multiple work events/dinners on top of these blog posts and scheduling time for friends as well as me (which usually coincide with something else on this list LOL). This all probably sounds completely crazy, but not every day is the same and I definitely do get a few “off days” here and there, but I still feel like I could always be doing more. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to spend time working on projects, and I also have the flexibility to travel, make my own schedule and take a “day off” whenever I want to (even though that’s extremely rare). This schedule/lifestyle might not work for everyone, but it works for me, at least for now. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at what I do day-day and hopefully this helped answer any lingering questions you may have had! If you have anymore, don’t be afraid to comment below or DM me! - xo