By Katie Stoller
I am one of those people who regularly pops up from a deep sleep and scribbles notes down. To the complete annoyance of my husband, I have to keep a pen and paper next to my bed because I’m usually too tired to get up but I know I need to get the idea out of my brain before it slips away. On one particular night in 2021, I had an idea that was so vivid, I actually got my butt out of bed and went into my home office to start writing.
That is how influencerinsiderguide.com was born!
But let’s back up and I will explain how we got here:
As someone who started their communications career in 2009, I was deep into social media and blogger culture. I feel like I grew up on the same timeline as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just as those platforms were gaining their footing and figuring out their paths forward, I was doing the same as a young professional fresh out of undergrad.
I ended up moving from my hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles. I landed a dream internship with a boutique fashion PR agency where I got to send clients’ products (mostly fashion and jewelry brands) to my favorite celebrities. I connect that role with anchoring the rest of my career in influencer marketing. This was in 2009 when the term “influencer” simply meant someone who influences others, but had no connection to social media, specifically.
After moving back to Chicago and receiving my M.A. from DePaul’s PRAD program, I started my decade long career at global PR agencies across the city. From Ogilvy, to Ketchum to Golin I was able to work on iconic, household brands. I can’t even begin to list them all here but some highlights are: IKEA, Wendy’s, Cheerios, Folgers, Nature Valley, LG, and Whirlpool.
As you can imagine, my brain was filled with so much experience working with these amazing brands and contracting millions of dollars worth of brand sponsorships with influencers. Which brings the story back to that fateful night in 2021. I started writing the process of standing up a successful influencer marketing campaign start to finish. I laid it out into four sections:
1) Research + Vetting
2) Negotiation + Contracting
3) Briefing + Content Review
4) Coverage + Metrics + Recap
As I continued to write and refine, I began building out a comprehensive framework geared toward students, newer marketers, brand managers looking to explore influencer marketing, founders and really anyone who wanted a full picture of how a program should be structured.
There are so many courses and ebooks out there from the perspective of the influencer. We don’t see nearly as much content from someone who worked on the brand side for many years. I believed I could fill this whitespace so I decided to merchandise this middle of the night project into a full fledged company. And so The Insider’s Guide to Influencer Marketing was born and along with it a website that I plan to develop with more educational content.
For all you middle of the night scribblers, please know there is nothing more beautiful than a brain full of ideas!
Check out influencerinsiderguide.com for more information. For all Culprit readers I am offering a 50% discount on the guide with code CULPRIT50 at checkout.
Katie Stoller is an influencer marketing vet who began her career in Los Angeles working in fashion PR then went on to have a decade long career working at global PR agencies (Ogilvy, Ketchum and Golin). Katie is now an independent business consultant and talent manager. She recently launched her education company called Influencer Insider Guide where she puts out valuable resources for those in the influencer marketing industry.