Hi Craze Fam! Rachel here👋
Hope you all had an amazing week, and you had the chance to kick back and relax this weekend. As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since I last sat down to write a blog post on my own personal experiences in the influencer industry. I’ve been getting lots of questions on how to get started as an influencer, and also how I came to eventually launch my business Craze Collective, a social media & influencer agency. SO, with all that being said, I finally devoted some time to sit down and get it all out on paper.
Let’s get to it.
First things first, I want to take you way back to when I was working in IT recruiting. I had just graduated with a double degree in business & communications at Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I took my first corporate job right out of school and to keep it short & sweet, let’s just say recruiting was not for me. I quickly made the decision to leave my job in recruiting after six months. Keep in mind I quit with no backup plan, and no backup job. I told myself, “I have two weeks to find a new job, so I am going to treat these two weeks as if I was working full time.” I woke up every morning at 8am and job hunted from 9am until 5pm, and in two short weeks, I found a new position, interviewed for it & landed it.
Introducing Intelligent Change, founded by Alex Ikonn, a company famously known for creating the Five Minute Journal. You may have already guessed, but this is where I got my new job. They were hiring for a social media coordinator role, and with little to no experience, I emailed the founders and said I’d take any position and work my way up even if it’s only customer service. They hired me for the customer service role, and in the same breath, they took down the social media coordinator role on their hiring page to give me a shot to prove myself. We were a super small team (only 4 of us total) and I took on a hybrid role – a mix of customer service, social media & influencer relations. Surprisingly, influencer relations was not prioritized and it was my least favourite part of the role.
After working at Intelligent Change (IC) for six months, Alex and Mimi offered me the position of Influencer Manager at Luxy Hair. For those who don’t know, Luxy Hair is a clip-in hair extensions bizz and at the time, it was the sister company to IC. The girl who was previously in the position decided to leave, and Alex said the main reason he offered me the role was because of the initial email I had sent him when I was trying to land the social media role at IC six months prior. He said my reach out e-mail always stuck with him and he knew I’d be successful in the influencer industry. Also safe to say, I had little to no experience in influencer marketing, but Alex & Mimi believed in me. As mentioned, I wasn’t entirely excited about influencer marketing, but nonetheless, I took the role and hoped for the best. Flash forward to today, I am so happy I did because it’s given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and also launch my agency.
SO, three years later, I’ve been working at Luxy Hair in the Influencer Manager role and genuinely loving life. It was a cherry on top that Luxy was in the beauty industry as well, because as a lover of all things beauty, this role was a dream. During my time there, I got the opportunity to work with amazing celebrity hair stylists such as Joshua Liu, Danielle Priano, Ruslan Nureev – all famously known for working with celebs such as Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Addison Rae – you name it! I also had the opportunity to connect with thousands of influencers of various sizes, and it was during all of these conversations that I truly got to know these influencers on a personal level. Transparently, before I spoke to influencers on a deeper level, I was pretty judgmental about them and it was so refreshing when I realized they are truly kind and even though, they are big online personalities, they’re is so much more depth to them than what is seen on the surface. This led me to launch my passion project Behind the Gram Blog – a blog dedicated to interviewing influencers to reveal their depth and rawness.
While all of this was happening, I began to fall in love with content creation and since Luxy was a very young team and a lot of members on the team were personally active on socials, we all started to take content for each other during lunch breaks or whenever we had free time. Slowly but surely, I started to grow my presence online (still a baby account over here but one day!). The entire process was very organic because I was able to see the influencer industry as an “influencer” but also from the brand’s side, which definitely gave me an advantage when it came to knowing what brands want, how to reach out to them, how to properly negotiate brand deals, etc. With all of this knowledge, other brands started to approach me and ask if they could pick my brain on influencer relations and how the industry works. Little did I know, these little chats would flourish into Craze Collective, my new baby.
Now that you have a background on how all of this came to be, I’d love to dive into other topics for you. Feel free to message me with any requests and stay tuned for my blog post on my TOP TEN TIPS on how to become an influencer.
Bye Craze Fam!👋