Chizi Duru on Brand Partnerships, Leveraging YouTube, and Monetization | Clout101 Podcast
Updated: Apr 19
On episode13 of the Clout101 Marketing Strategy Podcast, "Content Is Queen", I had the pleasure of speaking with Chizi Duru (Digital Creator, YouTuber, and Entrepreneur).
Chizi and I discussed so much including:
Her journey as digital entrepreneur
Marketing strategies to build a community of 750K+ online beauty enthusiasts
How to creatively monetize your influence
The challenges of being a young CEO
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About The Guest:
Chizi Duru is a Digital Content Creator born and raised in New York with strong ties to her Nigerian roots. She first gained popularity on YouTube in 2014 with her natural hair tutorials, and went viral in 2017 for her Graduation Cap Hack.
Chizi has since expanded to beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content. You can catch her making digestible, witty videos, like her popular fashion try on hauls and partnering with high-profile brands like Pantene, Walmart, Estee Lauder, to name a few.
She’s also been featured in national TV commercials, launched a merchandise line, and founded The Afro Brunch, an international event series. Chizi is proud to be a global source of inspiration for young women who aspire to be their true, authentic selves.
About Clout101 - The Marketing Strategy Podcast:
Clout101 breaks down the marketing strategies behind some of the most iconic brands, campaigns, and people in culture, giving you actionable steps to power your hustle today!
The podcast helps side hustlers, creatives, and small business owners better understand their leverage and scale their brands effectively.
About The Host (Idia Ogala):
Idia (e-dee-yuh) is a global marketing strategist and content producer based in New York. He specializes in brand partnerships & digital marketing strategy, having worked with brands like the NBA, The Walt Disney Company, ESPN, and NY Jets, managing multi-million dollar global partners for the last 7 years.
On the content side, Idia has over 14 years experience in journalism, spanning from his time as a 13-year-old junior reporter at Kids X Press magazine to content contributions for The Source Magazine, SNY and ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Prior to Clout101, Idia founded and co-hosted The Jist Podcast, a platform highlighting exceptional people and detailing their journeys towards excellence. Founded in 2016, the show featured notable guests like Davido, Chris Broussard, Mr. Eazi, Aunjanue Ellis, among others.
Idia's Digital Channels:
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the Clout101 Marketing podcast. I'm your host Idia Ogala. On Clout101, we talk to some of the most successful people across different industries and decode the marketing strategy beyond some of the most iconic brands, campaigns and moments in culture. On today's episode, we have a very, very special guest joining us.
Chizi Duru is a digital content creator born and raised in New York with strong ties to her Nigerian roots. She first gained popularity on YouTube in 2014 with her natural hair tutorials and has since amassed over 750,000 fans across Instagram, Tik, Tok, YouTube, and Twitter from the start.
It's been her mission to create a space for women to learn about and love their natural kinky coily hair. Jesse has since expanded to beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content partnering with high-profile brands like Pantene, Walmart, and Estee Lauder in the process. She's also been featured in national TV commercials.
Launched a merchandise line and founded the Afro brunch, which is an international events series. We hope you enjoy this episode. We really had a lot of fun recording it, and I think that you're going to be able to get a lot of actionable gems out of it and be able to apply, you know, some of the stuff that you learn to power your hustle today.
So without further ado, Chizi Duru.
I'm here with a very amazing guests. Chizi Duru. What's up. How are you doing today? How's your weekend going so far? How has your week been. I'm good. I'm good. I'm happy to be here. Happy to be a guest on your podcast and ready to share all this insight for sure. I've been telling you about this for a long time, right?
I think the first proposal I sent to you has it been years as them, it's been a whole year, year, one year, but listen, either way. It's been too long and I'm happy to have you thank you for taking the time and the energy on this Saturday afternoon. When you can be doing anything, you can be at brunch shooting videos, and yet you're here with me.
So I appreciate that. Of course, no problem. Okay. So the first question, and this is probably something you get a lot in conversation, so you should be a pro at this answer, but how did you get started as an influencer? Yes. The, the infamous question. So like a lot of other influences, it started off as a hobby.
I went natural back in. Ooh, well, I was introduced to my natural hair and just my natural hair journey back in 2000. When was this? Only because I had two journeys, but either way, the short answer is it started off as a hobby. And then as time went on, I really enjoyed it and I kept doing it and I just saw that I was able to monetize it after a while.
So I thought, Oh, maybe I can actually consider this as an occupation. So yeah. Was that pre college days. Was that during college or was that like earlier on, in your journey? So I made my first YouTube video in 2011. So I was a junior in high school, I believe. Yeah. It's wild to think about that now. Cause I have.
Turning 25 this year. So that's almost 10 years in it. So you definitely putting your 10,000 hours a year. You're definitely an expert in this space from all of those reps and all of the mistakes and the, the learnings and everything. So that's amazing. And that's something that people, you know, need to consider who are jumping into this space, you know, the content generation space, the influencer space that you put in time and effort to get to where you are now.
And when you ultimately get to the top of the Hill, whether that's 2 million subscribers down the road, whatever the case may be, that's you putting in more hours from this point to your next career milestone? So I think that's dope. What inspires you? That's a very broad question, but inspiration and motivation.
Just talk to me about that for a little bit. Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, what inspired me to create my YouTube channel? Cause that was my first introduction to this whole influencer thing and just social media. I started off on YouTube. So I had started my natural hair journey and like a lot of black women.
I grew up with relaxed hair, so I never knew what my actual natural hair texture looked like. So when I finally did go natural, I. Look to YouTube for inspiration and just education on how to deal with my hair type. And I just noticed over time that there weren't that many women that were showcasing, you know, their hair journeys and their hair looked like mine.
So because of that, when I did find, you know, other content creators that had hair like mine, I was so excited because it was like so rare to see. So I figured if I'm this excited to see someone that looks like me and that I can relate to, then there's probably a lot more people out there that, you know, have the same struggle.
So why don't I also contribute to this movement and, you know, start talking about my hair journey and showing my hair texture, just so that someone else can feel represented. So that's really what inspired me, just wanting to create more representation for natural hair and. As, as black women, well, it was kind of you internalizing how you feel and what you want projected on the internet.
Right. That's what I got from what you said. So were there any people who served as OGs in the space who gave you the blueprint that allowed you to be able to get a vision of what the content could look like? Or was it you just kind of trying to figure it out on the fly based on what it is that, you know, you needed, that you didn't see outside?
Oh, for sure. Definitely had a lot of inspiration from the O G natural hair YouTubers. And I think we don't talk about them enough because they really paved the way for, you know, a lot of the things that are happening now. So some of the people that I used to watch you Jomo Cola, she's still a very successful blogger now, but she also first started talking about her natural Forcey hair.
So each of them, my Cola, Juul, DSI, African export. Who else? Um, natural 85. Is it natural me for see like, Oh, Latoya Ebony. There were a lot, there were quite a few I'm over here. Nodding my head. Like I've been balked on that natural hair journey. I know nothing, but these names sound very promising. Well, whoever knows, knows, like if you know, you know, Right.
So obviously you've been killing it on social media and that's the basis of why we're having this conversation today. So Instagram think you're a little over 160 K followers, you know, uh, Twitter, 20 K YouTube, obviously that's the biggest platform that would be that people know you for a little bit under 500,000.
So half a million subscribers, you know, 40 million views. So you've done a lot of great things. You forge a lot of, you know, marketing and content partnerships with brands with big global brands and sold out events. Oh, one that I, you know, obviously was able to attend in New York, I think back in, I forgot what month that was.
And then another one you did in December in Nigeria. So clearly. You've been doing your thing. If you were to pinpoint one of the accomplishments that you're most proud of, what would that be? And this is your moment to please don't be bashful. Okay. I know you're very humble, but, but it's okay to flex because I think it's important to set that foundation for the people who are listening, who want to emulate what you're doing.
You know, thank you for calling out that I am humble. I like to think that I am a humble person. No, but I think one of the achievements that I'm most proud of is for one, just being able to go this long, like you said, it's been almost, or over 10 years. Sometimes I think about it. Like, how do I say. I still actually have ideas.
Like that's insane. So that just alone is to me a great achievement. But outside of that, being able to make a full-time living out of this, that is also a huge achievement to me. And just some of the things I've been able to do through social media. So whether that's, you know, putting on the Afro brunch, which is an event that you mentioned that you also were a part of, or, you know, launching my merchant line and just having some of the brand partners and relationships that I do have those to me are like really great accomplishments.
And I'm really proud of myself, but I need to hear some specifics. What is something that when you were able to execute that it just made you feel like you made it like, damn I'm doing what I've set my mind to do and I'm I've arrived. What was that moment for you? Or what specific, whether it was an event, whether it was a partnership, whether it was, you know, someone acknowledging you and your content.
Okay. Well, I think one of like my bigger, bigger moments one would have to be landing on national TV commercial with Burlington. I was pretty, pretty good. So yeah, just seeing me on TV, I just could not, I was like, wait, this is literally what I used to dream of as a kid. So that being able to happen was a huge accomplishment.
When I saw it, I had, I had no idea. I was like, nah, that's a cheesy look like that's not her. I was like, nah, I was like, no, that's not her. And then I saw, I think you posted it on social media, I believe as well. So that's amazing. And then sometimes when I meet my supporters, it's really amazing just to hear what their experiences and how I've.
Contributed to their life and just their self-esteem. So one time in particular, there was this one girl, she was just talking about, you know, how great my content is, but how much it really resonates with her being a dark skin, African girl. And she started crying,
cry, like cry. It's the perfect word. Powerful. So that just let me know that, okay, what I'm doing, it is reaching the people that I want to reach, and it is making an impact. So. Yeah, that's, that's a solid flag. That's a solid flag. So I feel like that's what we were all put on this earth to do, right? Like a lot of us for 30 years, 40 years, we're trying to figure out what our purpose is, you know, trying to figure out what our passion project of life was, was meant to be.
Uh, and others of us are able to figure that out earlier, you know, and get a head start. But obviously we're challenged every level to try and figure out how we pivot, how we evolve that passion. And we impact people on different levels at different phases of our lives. So I think whether you're a late bloomer, whether you, you got it early, I just feel like it's our purpose to be able to inspire as many people as possible.
So to, to be able to do that at your age, I think that that's very, very inspiring to say the least. Thank you. Okay. No worries. All right. So this is where we pivot a little bit into the case study portion of this podcast experience. So the biggest area that I wanted to focus on for sure, was a YouTube, obviously that's where your expertise lies for the most part.
Obviously you're an expert in other areas, but that's where the majority of people know you from. And I think that the growth marketing and the growth strategy that you've used to be able to get to where you are today is very encouraging and it leaves a lot for people to learn from. So to take a step back and then work our way back up just to actual strategy.
Can you just, can you just break down your first viral moment? Why, what was it? And, you know, just talk more about that initial viral experience. Oh for sure. Oh man, let's go back down memory lane. Let's take it back circa 2012. I think. So. I think I was on YouTube about a year at this point and I had gone to the salon and I recorded my experience of getting my natural hair straightened.
So that was a huge thing on YouTube back then, because obviously 2010, 2011, that's when like the, uh, the natural hair movement really started to like pick up and you saw a lot more videos on YouTube. So things like straightening, natural hair and just like all the different styles you could do, the natural hair would always blow up on YouTube.
Right? So I was like, well, I want to straighten my hair. And I might as well record it. Cause you know, I'm going to YouTube for an hour. So I recorded the entire experience. I edited it and I posted it and. It went pretty viral pretty quickly. Um, I, I don't even know how many, it definitely hit the millions.
Maybe around 2 million at this point. Um, but yeah, that was my first viral video. And I'll never forget because this was before I started getting paid for content on YouTube. And it was like, I always was excited to like, you know, have a viral video and be famous. Everybody wants to be rich and famous.
Right. So this video has like a million views and I'm like, woo. Yeah. Great. And then it's like, I look at my accounts, nothing. I'm just like, okay. There was no followup after. And, um, this is a lesson that I was actually going to end up learning multiple times on my journey, um, of just how to prepare for your viral moments.
But yeah, that was my first introduction to that. But you know, it was a nice little learning lesson. It was cute. Very, that's a very good point, right? Like a lot of, a lot of us want to go viral, but the follow-up, but one, we think that I've seen a lot of people. I don't know. I don't know if you're, if you're on Twitter.
I mean, I know you're on Twitter, but I don't know if you're on it a lot, but I see a lot of people, they have the viral tweet and then, you know, they comment maybe like two days later and it's like, where all you guys that are supposed to be following me, like we're at a followers. I only got five followers from that tweet that were seen a million times or shared a million times.
And it's just interesting because that viral moment, sometimes it's more about the content that's being put out than it is about the person who's passing the content along. So it takes a conscious effort to be prepared. To give that audience. That's happy that you share that content, some type of call to action to bring it back to whatever brand you're trying to promote, whatever product you're trying to push.
So I think people find that, that they think that once they hit that initial viral moment, it's going to lead to obviously the money, you know, the brand partnerships, you know, the followers and all that stuff. And it's like, you have to be intentional about your approach after that moment comes to be able to capitalize on it.
So you realize that, which was very good. So what came out from that moment that you feel created that situation? Like what about that video worked well? And what did you feel made it pop the way it popped? Yeah, so I do think because it was centered around a specific niche that helped a lot. So the title had to do with training.
I think the title was actually straightening, foresee natural hair. Right. So foresee. Natural hair. Well, natural hair and then foresee natural hair is a specific niche within the hair industry. And then foresee is also a specific niche within that specific niche. Right? Right. So I think be centered around that specific topic that wasn't as saturated, but was highly, highly searched, helped with the vitality.
And other than that, I mean, the video structure is pretty calm. Like regular sit down speed through video. So it's more about just titling thumbnail and just, is it trendy? Is it highly searchable? Like, are people really searching for that type of thing? And I think that's something people need to keep in mind when creating content like.
A lot of people get upset that something didn't hit and it's like, well, what are you making content about? Two people actually care about this stuff. Like, are there people that are looking for this just in business, they're always saying your business should solve a type of problem. Right? It's the same thing when it comes to content, is your content solving any problem?
Or creating more representation for something that is highly sought after, you know, so I think that's where that video fell in. You make a very good point, like it has to solve a problem because that's when you have people knocking on your door to ask you for the solution. So you're right. And a lot of your content does do that in addition to the problem, locating, identifying the niche and moving forward that way.
Was there anything else that you kind of analyze from that first moment and has been consistent over the course of your time? Creating content that you think also has contributed to your success. And I guess a couple of examples, you know, the editing style, you know, some people have a consistent cadence.
You know, some people, you know, have a specific video structure, some people, you know, distributed a certain way, send it to their, your friends list of a whole bunch of influencers in other spaces to share their content, to gain followers and, and to gain subscribers and to gain views. So what else about that specific moment, have you been able to kind of carry out throughout the course of your career on YouTube and that has, you know, contributed to that success?
Yeah. So particularly for you, tube titles are very, very important things that are highly searched on. You want to include within your title. Basically, you want to grab your audience's attention within the first few words of your title. So you always want to remember that and the thumbnails are huge.
Like, I don't think people realize just how important thumbnails are. And that is one thing I could say, just having put in so much time on this platform I've learned over the years, like just the skill required for thumbnail making, because it is not just, Oh, put a little thing together and post it. Like it is a strategic sequence of events that is meant to grab your audience or.
Grab new audience attention just from the side of it. Cause that's what people are immediately seeing before they click on your video. They're seeing your thumbnail and your title. That is very true. And obviously I'm subscribed to your channel and every time I'm looking on YouTube for something to watch, I see you making just a Nollywood as face on some thumbnail.
Like you're about to have a panic attack. I'm just like, what is happening here? But it makes sense. We want to see like, yo, is she having a heart attack? Is everything okay? Like, is she acting? So it definitely makes me gravitate towards it. And it also you're right. Visuals are very important. The consumer gravitates towards things that just catches their attention.
So I've been in situations where there are two different videos that, you know, maybe they're both nine minutes long. They both have, you know, in the title, what I'm looking for, you know, how they incorporate your business, whatever. But one just seems more inviting by the visual representation of the video.
So you're right. That's very important. And people need to take that seriously. When it comes to editing those things, editing your videos, editing those thumbnail images. Do you do it yourself? Do you outsource what's that process like? This is one thing I have not also just yet, just because it's so I don't know personal, like I think it's my essence, but in terms of editing, well, actually I've started outsourcing the editing process for my videos that I do outsource.
So I do have an editor now, which is great. I can imagine, Oh my God, I can't even believe I was editing my own videos for this long. Oh. But in terms of the software I use, I use final cut pro, but you can also use I movie Adobe premiere, but final cut. Usually it does the job for my thumbnails. I do those myself and I use PicMonkey.
And I've been using that for years and it's been working, so there's no need to change that. Sometimes I'll use Canva as well, but yeah, that's pretty much it. And for my thumbnail making process though, over the years, I've realized that I do need a second or third pair of eyes. And this is, um, I think just some advice for anyone, any creator, you always want someone else to just review and just see how people are reacting to whatever you've created.
So anytime I make a thumbnail, you know, I have my little tribe of influencers and I'll send it over and I'll say, Hey guys, what do you guys think about this? Or I'll create two thumbnails. And I go, which one are you guys more attracted to? And I just ask people that before that, before I had my tribe of influences, I would ask my family, I would call my brothers and I'd be like, which one are you gravitating towards?
That's how I would gauge which thumbnail to use and you know, which direction to go in. Okay. So you mentioned two things that are very important. The first thing you mentioned is that you've edited your own stuff for a long time and you made a comment about, damn, it was crazy that I've done it for that long, or I didn't outsource it earlier.
I think that that is important. I mean, I hope you would agree that, like you were able to learn a lot about your content, about the skillset that you need about production, you know, a flow of a piece of content that works. You know, now you're able to direct the editor to point out things that you've accrued over the years, in terms of little things that work little things that don't work.
You're a more well-rounded content creator because you have those reps. Right? So I think that that's important and that's something that, you know, you should hang your hat on. Now it's obviously. Price has gone up, you know, you, you don't have as much time and you have budget to be able to reinvest in, in yourself.
So it makes sense. But I do think that it's important for entrepreneurs, for creators to, you know, get as hands on with that process as possible in the early stages, just so that they just have a firm understanding of their product. You know? So from there they're able to instruct, they're able to lead.
They're able to build if the world shuts down and no one is available to help them, they can still get their creative ideas off. So I just want to make that point. Absolutely. And then the second thing you mentioned that I think the listeners could definitely take note. On you essentially use your family and your friends and your influence.
So context is marketing research and that right there is important. Like creators are very sensitive about this stuff, right? Like the stuff that I've created in the past, I'm not a rapper or a singer or this or that, but I'm still sensitive about the articles I used to write when I was writing with the source and the different things that I used to put out when I was producing other podcasts.
I can imagine you probably the same way, but. That initial round of feedback, especially being fixed skinned enough, to listen to people when they're giving their criticism. When they're telling you, Hey, listen, you know, you can make this adjustment. Maybe you should consider this one. I don't like what you did here.
You know, it's tough, but that gives you the context that you need to have confidence when you're putting out that final product, you know, it helps ensure it it'd be as successful as possible before we pivot to discussing, you know, some of the sexier parts of this experience, mainly brand deals, revenue, stuff like that business in terms of promoting your channel, like what other things have you done?
Like obviously you've amassed a large following, so, you know, your followers are pretty much. Supporting you and promoting your own content for you, right. Have to do as much as you probably had to do back in the day, but to kind of reach new audiences, have you tapped into a paid promotion of some of your content?
Have you done the strategic elaborations with other creators to be able to tap into their audience? You know, have you thought about that at all? So I have not done any type of paid advertisement for my content, but what I do like to do, which I did back then, and I still do now is whenever I create a piece of content, whether it's a YouTube video or Instagram, anything, but we're specifically talking about YouTube here.
Right? So anytime I create. YouTube video of some sort. Um, I like to make sure, and I learned this from Gary V he's so great. I find ways to package that content for other platforms as well, so that it always leads back to the YouTube video. So if I'm creating a YouTube video, I'm going to promote it on Instagram by maybe taking a 32nd clip of that video and posting it on Instagram.
And, you know, in the caption I'm saying, blah, blah, blah, blah, learn more on YouTube. Click the link in bio. So it's driving the traffic back to the YouTube video, same thing for Twitter. And I don't think people recognize how great Twitter is for conversion. The way people click on things when things are viral, it's insane.
So I do this a lot for the clothing hall videos that I create after the YouTube video, I'll chop it up into maybe a 32nd or one minute video, and I'll post that on Twitter. And I find I've had a lot of success in terms of, you know, those little videos going viral on Twitter. And what do I do after I follow up with a tweet right below the video, and I link the YouTube video so that, you know, drives people back to that YouTube video.
So it's the same kind of process with all social media platforms. This is just to help promote the YouTube video. Definitely. Yeah. That's a good point from what I understand from all the testing I've done with YouTube, I mean, it seems like the money that you make, the ad money that you make counts more.
If it's traffic that you directed from another source, then people discovering you from their search function. So I think it's very important. As you mentioned for people to test different platforms, you know, break up videos into little micro content pieces. To share it on their Instagram, on their Twitter, on their LinkedIn, even so that when people click that link, you're bringing unique traffic over to YouTube.
And then from there, I believe they give you a larger cut when it comes to ad revenue and things of that nature. We want to just jump right into a little bit of revenue. Talk a little bit of the money, a little bit of the business side of things. Yeah. The backtalk, the backtalk, but we're not going to get you into trouble prominent.
So in general, give us like a general understanding of, of how much money you've made to date in ad. So specifically YouTube ads. So, I mean over the course of my life, well, not my lifetime, my YouTube lifetime lifetime. I just checked the other day. I've had about 40 billion views. Total. Can you repeat that please?
I think people in the back didn't hear it. Say it again. So I've had in total 40 million views on my channel. That's over the course of 10 years. Wow. And remember, I didn't monetize my channel until, Oh my God. I don't even know what year as it was at a personal preference or was that just something that maybe YouTube wasn't monetizing certain content during that time?
Like, what was the reason behind that? So when I first started, I don't think YouTube had started monetizing just yet, but I think by the time 2012 came around 2012, 2013, I think things were monetized by then. So it wasn't a personal preference. At least I would walk. I actually just one, I didn't know. I didn't know that you could get paid through AdSense on YouTube.
And when I finally did sign up, I guess it was a bit wonky back then. So for at least two years, even after I did sign up, I still wasn't receiving any money. So got it. Yeah. Okay. That's good. That's good context. So that means that there's more to what you're about to tell us then that actually exists. So go ahead.
Oh, for sure. Um, for sure. So yeah, so with all of that, I've made around upwards of six figures and most of that came within the last three years that I've been like really consistent. That's amazing. So 40 million views over the course of the last eight years or so, and upwards of six figures from the YouTube ads specifically.
So that's amazing. That's definitely something to celebrate and that's something that we're all trying to get to and myself included. So that's amazing. Congrats. Have YouTube ads been your main source of income or are you also, you know, diversifying on the brand side? Uh, what does that look like as well?
Yeah. So YouTube ads are not my main source of income and main source of income right now are through brand deals and sponsorships. And I think that's something that a lot of people don't realize like first off, it's quite hard to make a lot on YouTube, just because of, well, one the new rules that they've set in place.
If you start a new channel, you know, you can't even start actually monetizing until you have 4,000 watch hours, but yeah, you can make quite a chunk of money through brand deals and sponsorships, but also I want to get into, you know, merge selling merchandise that can also really subsidize your income as well.
But just to answer your question. Main source right now, our brand deals. And then the secondary is YouTube ad revenue in terms of the brand deals out. Imagine obviously being on that side, the brand partnership side, I know that there are incoming deals come to you regardless. There are, you know, maybe people you work with that are actively searching for these opportunities, then there's opportunities where you might just love a brand.
And it's like a genuine association that you want to go out of your way to say, listen, I want to pitch them. So what has been the main driver of these deals amongst those three lanes? So a lot of my brand partnerships right now are through incoming cold emails. Okay. So that's the case for a lot of it.
However, there is so much, and I try to say this, maybe I'm not saying it enough, but I, I just need people to really hear this. There is so much power in a pitch. Okay. You are only getting 50% of the business that you actually can be getting from incoming emails. The other 50%, you have to go out and get AKA pitching.
So when I graduated college and decided to become an influencer full time, this was something that I really started to focus more on, and that was pitching brands. And I found the idea blew my mind because. It was actually insane to think if I hadn't sent out this email to this brand, this money would not be in my pocket.
Right. Because they weren't going to reach out to me, you know, affected, you know, my little email pitch. And there's so many resources and information on the internet. Google is truly your best friend, too. Like you can literally just Google how to create a pitch email for brands. You will see all you need to know.
And I perfected it and I started sending them out to different brands that I wanted to work with. And the great thing about this is this is curated for the brands that you actually love and that you want to work with. So more likely than not, it's really going to resonate with your audience. So I found a lot of success in pitching brands that I really enjoyed.
And I did this when I was first coming up and I didn't have any representation or management because. You know, when you first started, you got to start from the bottom, you got to do it all yourself. Now I do have representation and management, so they do my pitching for me, but you know, you have to start somewhere and it usually starts with you, for sure.
And now, you know, what the brands like, what the brands appreciate, you know, now, you know, what kind of pitches may work cause you probably had successful ones by yourself and ones that weren't successful by yourself. And also the most important piece is that you probably know more information about the structuring of brand deals, which makes you more marketable and easier to work with now that you have your own representation.
So I think that's great. One question before I ask follow ups to the initial question, LinkedIn, how much have you used LinkedIn to, you know, develop those relationships or at least like stop people from those corporate brands that you would love to align with? Yeah, for sure. So that was another point I was going to make just when it comes to creating these pitch emails and also receiving the cold emails from brands, you're creating a database of contacts for these brands and you're creating relationships with them, which is great.
That's what you want. And regarding LinkedIn. So LinkedIn, it was my best friend actually, because when it comes time to pitch these companies and brands, you need to find the right person to email. You need to look for someone that is whether they're head of influence in marketing, or they're a PR agency that represents the brand that you're looking to work with.
So LinkedIn is great for finding some of those people and connecting with them, whether it's on LinkedIn or you just kind of figure out, okay, They work there, they have this position. So now I can kind of like guess their email. There's a lot of that too. There's a lot of guesswork. I used to do that back in the day, before my time at the MBA.
And I was writing for a lot of different publications. I used to, you know, try and pitch articles and everything to report as I see on TV or read in the newspaper. And I do exactly that I sent. Three different emails. The first tool will bounce back and be rejected. The third one will land. So now I know the email is structured and I use that moving forward.
So you're right. Like you have to be diligent and creative in your outreach. So I think that that's good in 2020, you know, you don't have to do that as much the guessing of the emails, because again, LinkedIn is literally that for you. So I agree with you a hundred percent. So in general and brand deals, what are you looking for in the company?
What qualities of the brand do you need as a bare minimum before you align yourself and your brand and your reputation with that company? Well, for one, I want to make sure that I actually use the products. So it's a part of my life in some way, and I have a connection to it because it's always easier to share when I actually have a personal connection with the brand or product.
And then another thing that I look for is. Or I think about is, will my audience resonate with this? I may not necessarily use the product or whatever I'm promoting at the time, but is it something that my audience would be interested in? That's another way that I look at partnerships as well. So yeah, I mean, and generally, I mean, you want to make sure they're not like problematic and especially at this day and age, and in this current climate, you need to support people that look like me outside of you wanting to just promote your product to my audience.
Definitely. And there's a lot of platforms now, you know, thankfully that are pushing that transparency that can allow. Consumers like me or influencers like you or in, you know, potential employees like John, you know, who are all looking to see what companies are putting their, you know, their money and their resources where their mouth is.
So shout out to, uh, I don't know if you've seen pull up or shut up the IGA account. That's pretty much asking all these brands to show their representation across the board and how. Diverse there, you know, executive level offices are and all that stuff. So I think that's very important to show a brand's like true commitment to the cause, uh, beyond just like, uh, Instagram posts and stuff.
So that's a good point. Last question on this brand piece. So what's your creative process like for deliverables? So you mentioned earlier about like the whole campaign brief, and sometimes you receive, you know, explicit directions and campaign briefs, but sometimes brands might say, Hey, we don't know how to reach your audience.
You know, please help us like pitch us an idea. And we'll, you know, maybe add more money on top of this deal because you helped with the campaign strategy in addition to leveraging your platform. Right? So if a brand has ever given you that, that instruction, like, Hey, please, we don't know how to best tap your specific demo, but if you want to just like, you know, give us some ideas of what you think might work when that happens.
What's your process to figure out that video concept or that IgG post concept. Well, so it's not often that a brand will give me full creative freedom. Um, but if they do, that's always lovely. Actually, generally I like when they kind of give me some type of creative brief, because it gives me some ideas on, you know, which direction to go, and then I try and fit it in how I'm already going to create content.
So if I know for the month of, let's say August, I know I'm going to be creating a few clothing halls. I know I'm going to be creating a few natural hair videos. I know I'm going to be creating probably a few. Lifestyle blogs in there. So it depends if it's a fully dedicated video, cause this is also how I price out YouTube videos either they asked for a product integration.
So that's a, up to two minute shout out in the beginning of the video, or it's a fully dedicated video where I'm talking about the brand or the product throughout the entire video. And you know, I want us to run you some money. Wow. That's some coin some coin. So depending on what type of video that is or which one they pick, that gives me an idea.
So obviously I always like to do YouTube integrations because they're so much easier. All you have to do is. Talk about the product for two minutes and that's it, you know, so usually those are those ones that I can just stick into a video and it's not too much thought that's surrounding it. And if it's a fully dedicated video, then I'll think about a video idea that I already had in mind, because my notes section is filled with video ideas and I'll see which one would work the best for this partnership.
Essentially. I was going to say it, that's the one thing I heard or I heard obviously a couple of things, but one thing that really stood out was what you mentioned about a concept book, like a book of different video ideas. How often do you circle back to those ideas and, you know, think about how it could work throughout a specific week?
Oh, I'm so I'm always looking at my video idea. So what I like to do is at the top of each month, I'll plan out my videos. So if I want to post twice a week, that means I need eight videos for the month. Right. Yep. It's crazy. Cause I actually recently just started implementing this into my life and I don't know how I was just, just doing videos.
Anyhow. I don't know. Now I think of it that way, where I kind of just figure out the schedule that I want. And then from there, just figure out how many videos that would total out to. So right now I'm doing twice a week, but that's eight videos a month. So at the top of the month, I am just brainstorming eight video ideas now because in my notes section, I have like the million ideas already.
So I'm always circling back to this and thinking, okay, what was something that I really, really wanted to do? Is this going to work right now? You know, what's the current climate. Of the world, you know, what are some heavy hitter topics that need to be spoken about? So some things will come from the top of my mind, but I do circle back to my video ideas note section a lot, like a lot, a lot, because some of your best ideas come randomly at night.
So you just have to write them down. I have so many notes in my phone from just me waking up at four and just writing stuff down. It's about me making an intentional effort to go back though, to review them and, and everything which I have to get better at. But you're right. Having a notebook or something by your bed to allow you to be able to think about things and write it down when you're in your most creative space is very important.
So that's a very good point. Yup. And then I like to check them off as I post them so I can see, Oh, you actually did that video. Like, Oh, that's dope. It's kind of cool. Seeing it come to life. Definitely that's dope. Okay. So on the brand partnerships front, right. When it comes to structuring your deals. So whether it's the pricing structure, whether it's just like the things that you're selling to the brand and that you needed to deliver for the brand, what is that process like for you, for your past deals?
Yeah. Okay. So generally how it works for YouTube specifically, and we can talk about Instagram as well, because Instagram is like huge when it comes to influencer marketing. But anyway, so with YouTube, you can either sell a YouTube integration. So this is usually a 32nd to two minute shout out web, um, shout out of whatever product or brand that is interested.
So, these are usually like super easy, and this is going to be less money than let's say a dedicated YouTube video. So this usually is a custom price, depending on, you know, what the brand wants, how much of the product they want to be included in the video. But this is going to take a lot more work because basically this brand is buying up ad space for your entire video, essentially.
So that one's going to run you some money for sure. Okay. Okay. So that's for YouTube. So yeah, so you have a YouTube integration and then you have the YouTube dedicated video for Instagram. You know, you have your flat fee for one Instagram post. You can charge for your Instagram stories. I'm noticing a trend where one Instagram story can be one to three frames.
And then things like Lincoln bio, and also, this is the huge one usage usage and licensing. Yes. We gotta talk about that. Yeah, because this is the part that goes over a lot of influencers heads. And then you have brands using your images and the videos you created for life
100%. Yeah. So you got to read your contracts and you should not even, you can, you should be charging for usage. This is actually where you're going to get a lot of the bulk of your money. Most times a hundred percent. We had, uh, a couple of influencers that gave over their original rates for this specific deal.
We were working on very, very big, big company and they needed the rights for 12 months. The rights, obviously, after the influencer posts on their social media, they were going to take that content and put paid ads behind it. And I'm pretty much just keep running it with all their campaign for a full year and pretty much the influencer, you know, gave over their rates.
And I guess wasn't sure about what that meant, like what the licensing structure should look like and all that stuff. And we had to educate them on, you know, okay, let's get these rates are rates that you normally charge, but you need to label this as a three month window for the licensing. Let's say. And then also give, obviously you can double that or triple that whatever you want for six months and also the same for nine to 12.
So I think it's important that educational point is important for people to know. So they, they can structure their deals in a way that, you know, maybe they're not losing value because if you have a big deal on the table, for example, if you're working on a deal right now with HBO, for some talk show, right, you Chizi talk show on hair or whatever, you probably don't want the licensing from a deal that you were able to lock in the figures when you were at 400 and.
30,000 subscribers. You don't want to lock in that deal to 12 months worth of licensing. Right? Cause that, that means that if that HBO situation was supposed to start in December, it means that that brand can run those ads, you know, throughout the time where your profile is exploding, you kind of want to maintain more control in that situation so that you're not in a bad situation.
Yeah. And just also in the event that, you know, you do grow exponentially, like if a brand has rights to your images for three years after three years, you're probably tripled your engagement and your audience size by then. So your rates are going to increase. So you don't want to, like you said, lock in too little of a rate for a really long period of time.
No, 100%. Was there anything else on the pricing structure, you know, that brand structure in general, that you wanted to cover, just that most things that you think you cannot charge for, you probably can. So another thing we mentioned, uh, you mentioned was the brand putting paid ads behind your content.
That's also a separate fee. So sometimes that'll be called white listing or boosting, or they'll just say we're running paid ads behind this. You should be charging for that too. And. I'm noticing a trend now. And I don't know if it's because brands are trying to diversify their feeds, but I'm noticing that a lot of brands are reaching out and they're asking for content creators to create content, not to live on their channel, but to live on the branch channel.
So this is also something that obviously that you can charge for. And, and lastly, sometimes a brand will come back after you've created original content. So it wasn't in. Partnership with the brand, but maybe the brand got ahold of it. And you know, they really liked the content and now they want to use it for whether it's paid ads or whatever.
You can also charge for them to use the organic content that you already created. Same that a lot of people are probably missing. And I think that's very important to know, so that they're structuring their deals to the biggest, the largest benefit to them personally, especially if you're doing it by yourself.
If you don't have a brand manager representative, who's speaking on your behalf in these conversations, you definitely want to rewind that and listen to everything she said. Cause that's very important so that you can make sure you come out the best in these conversations, for sure. Okay. So transitioning a little bit to talking about your business.
Right? So business business in general and being a young boss. So young CEO, what's the biggest misconception about being a business owner that you've received to date. Oh, man. I think it's that it's easy and that you get a lot of free time to just do whatever you'd like. And while that is technically true, something is always going to suffer.
If you're not doing something, if I'm lounging around all day, that means I'm not doing work. So it hurts you in the end. What have you learned about yourself on this business process? This business journey? Oh, that's a great question. I have learned that I really thrive on structure and that is something that I really, really struggled with when I first started taking this whole thing seriously.
After I graduated from college, you know, I spent the last 20 years of my life in school and following this curriculum. Right. And then all of a sudden it's just like a free for all. Like I have to create all of the structure, figure out a schedule. There's a lot of moving parts. And trying to create a day to day structure was really difficult when there was no one to be accountable to them.
So yeah, on the topic of structure, I agree with you wholeheartedly, like it's scary, like going from corporate to being a full-time creative or going from school to being a full-time creative, or even from, you know, your parents creating that structure to you, having to figure it out on the fly. I have conversations with my friends all the time about that, where they're talking about that and how they're having difficulties figuring it out.
But I almost feel like that's it, like once you master that once you master the art of valuing your time and forcing others to do the same, I think it just unlocks a different level of, you know, fulfillment productivity, all of those buzzwords. So. How, how did you get to the point where you were able to prioritize self, you were able to understand what it is that you need to be productive to, you know, have a peaceful mind.
What was that like for you? So I realized not pretty quickly, just over the years that I've really been taking this seriously and been doing it full time. I would experience a lot of burnout. The thing about creating content is like, you're constantly going. Everything seems like content, right? You're always creating whether you're editing, whether you're brainstorming post-production is a whole thing.
And there were a lot of times where I would just like, kind of lose motivation or I just, I was so tired. Right. And in hindsight, I know, I know now that it was burnt out, so I had to create some type of. Structure and environment where it would reduce the amount of burnout I was getting. So I realized I needed a content calendar.
I needed a schedule regarding what to film, when to film, when to edit and all of that stuff so that I'm not stressed out at two in the morning thinking, Oh, I got to edit the video. Cause it needs to go out like immediately tomorrow. So a really great resource that helped me create like a content calendar and just content planning and execution is another influencer or content creator named Erin may Henry.
She's going to get the plug I written may Henry, is that what you said, Erin man. Never heard of her, but what is, what does she do? The goats. Okay. So she's like this Australian, like business owner consultant or whatever, and she like makes amazing YouTube videos, literally just talking about how she structures her online business, because she's a business coach, but she also creates YouTube videos and all of that stuff.
So she has amazing videos just helping you to create a content schedule that includes planning, brainstorming, and just execution. That's been so helpful for, you know, just keeping the content going without me feeling. Burnt-out and just overworked as a very good strategy. Content calendars are amazing.
And I definitely, you know, use that for, for clients and as well as I try and use it for my personal pages and everything, but that's very important. And as you said, provides that structure to allow you to live your life and in other areas, you know, cause you know that your free time is your free time.
It doesn't have to be occupied by your business. So I think that's cool. Are there any other people who are in like the business mentorship space or have products that are similar to Erin that you use for motivation and to help you align with your structure? So another influencer that I, or should I say influencer content creator.
I think both, if they have a following or an audience that listens to them, then they technically influence it as well. So he's a little bit different, so y'all know. Well, I'm saying y'all, but you know, I first, you know, when I graduated from college, I was supposed to go, I was on the pre-med track, so I was supposed to go to medical school.
So I would watch a lot of like med school students and also just anything related to med school, but this particular, um, creator Ali opt-out, he's a medical student. I think he graduated already, but outside of medical school, he also runs a YouTube channel. He runs several businesses and he creates a lot of great content, you know, surrounding how he manages all of that.
But he like breaks it all down into like really cool stuff, whether it's, you know, using his iPad and what using Notability to, you know, organize his entire life. So that's kind of how I learned and I use this. Kind of information and I use that within my business as well. Um, but yeah, he's dope. Yes. A great plug.
I'm going to check them out and see if I can incorporate that. That's amazing. I hope everyone who's listening that, writing down these people and they're jumping to YouTube right after to go listen to all these amazing resources to help you with your businesses. So a little bit about, you know, securing your business, securing your intellectual property.
Can you talk about that process of like incorporating in and all of that? Because some people feel like content creators just create, make their money go home. And it's like, it's not a formal business. Like it would be if you had an accounting firm or if you had a restaurant or whatever. So can you just talk about how you got started and what that legal process was to just protect yourself?
Oh, absolutely. Don't mind if I do no, because this is really, really important for anyone, right. That's out there that is looking to get into this stuff, because this was a learning curve for me. And I wish I could just turn on a podcast episode and just hear everything I need to know. So definitely you want to create a separate business, like an actual business entity.
So whether that's just, you know, creating an LLC of some sort, you want to separate the two because it can get very confusing very quickly. When I first started, I actually, I didn't become. Like an actual business until I think two, three years ago. But what I did do was create a separate bank account for all business expenses.
So that's why it didn't really matter because especially with taxes, I would follow the same or I would file as a self proprietor. So it was fine. But the more money you make, you're eventually going to want to fall as a business rather than, or fall as an LLC, rather than a self proprietor, because you're able to get a few more tax breaks.
But yeah, I think just first things first, you have to separate the business expenses from your personal period. That's what you, I understand. Yes.
Listen, it's, it's important for us to make sure we are money's right. You know, we can't want all the cloud, all the appreciation, you know, the audience and then we fumbled the bag. Right. So talk to me about your experience with taxes and what you've learned as a business owner. Yes, definitely a very big misconception is that, you know, you'll see, you know, the youth tubers and just the influencers living a lavish lifestyle, you know, they're getting paid from brands, they're getting money from YouTube AdSense and they're keeping it all to themselves.
That is not the case at all. So just like with any other type of job in America, you have to pay your taxes back. So the only difference between an influencer and someone that has, you know, a regular nine to five job, that's on payroll, you know, if you're on payroll taxes automatically come out, right? And then at the end of the year, you file for your tax returns and you get some of that money back.
Whereas if you are an influencer and you're basically, what's the word you're contracting, technically you're a contractor. Right. So that could be your contractor. So let's say I'm getting money from YouTube AdSense. I'm getting money from these brands, right? I, at the end of the year, we have to pay taxes back on that because the money was not taken out originally.
We got the full payment revenue. Yep. Exactly. So rule of thumb, I like to do is just 30% of all of my checks. I automatically put away into a high yield savings account. So I'm going to ask you that next, like, what's your, like, if you invest that money that, you know has to be back in the government's pocket at the end of the year, or if you just put it in a savings account where you make some cash, right?
Yeah. So I try to put everything in a high yield savings account, at least. And I really urge everyone to do that. It's really simple. A lot of this stuff is so simple to set up. It's actually insane, but yeah, and I just put 30% of all of my checks that I receive. I've put it away that way come taxis. And I'm not hit with, you know, I can imagine which bank do you use, which, uh, high yield savings account do you tap into?
So this is not sponsored by any means. No, I know I'm saying, I'm saying it's unfettered, but I use Marcus. Okay. From a Morgan Stanley. Right? Got it. Got it. Oh, sorry. Goldman Sachs. You're right. You're right. Yeah. Goldman Sachs. But there's also Allie, there's a few, there's a few options out there. So you just got to find what's best for you.
Yeah. I use capital one. I was the highest, excuse me. Theirs was the highest at the time. Yeah. But yeah, I think the Marcus is definitely the best. So I've been thinking about switching my money over from capital one to, to the Goldman Sachs account. So that's cool. And everyone can do it. You can dig and do it online.
Right. How, how fast was the process for you? Literally five minutes, five minutes. Got it. And what did you need? Driver's license, social security number. You know, I don't even think I needed my driver's license. You just, yeah, just the regular information. Create an account. I do think you need your social security and all of that.
And then you just make your bank accounts. And how much money did you need to start the account? Was it zero? Was it a thousand? So this depends on, you know, each type of brand or whatever it I'm Marcus, I'm not. I'm not sure if there's a minimum mature. Yeah. Typically with those high use savings accounts, they remove all of those expenses because obviously they don't have the facility costs.
They don't have all the administrative costs. It's just a very, very bare skin and bones type of platform. So they're able to save costs and, uh, and give you more money on your money. So that's cool. Okay. And two more points before we jump into the, the best practices, the takeaway portion of this conversation.
So talk to me about. How you manage people that work for you. So whether that be vendors, whether that be contractors who are doing, you know, one-off projects for you, whether it's like people who are on your staff, like interns, assistant, PR, people like what's that process. Like, again, you're a young CEO you're figuring out on the fly, you're learning a lot every day.
What's that like? And what has that process of being a leader at such a early phase in your career? What has that taught you about business in general? Yeah. Well, you hit the nail on the head. I am trying to lead a young CEO that is learning on the fly, but I have had the opportunity to bring on. Other members, a part of my team.
So like I mentioned earlier, I do have an editor, everyone that is a part of my team is actually not on payroll. I'm the only one on payroll within my business. And this is just to save money. So, yeah, so I have my editor and then I am currently looking for, but I did have an assistant because things, you know, just the emails pitching, just, you know, now that I'm on a uterine schedule and just the output of videos I need help, I can not be a one man team any longer or a one woman team.
And there's those relationships and outsource things where you need to outsource things. Does it get overwhelming sometimes? How was that workflow allows you to be more efficient with your business just in general. Yeah, it's interesting when you start outsourcing things, because I realized pretty quickly that.
I needed to have documentation of all of the processes in my business. Well, editing is a little bit different. It's more just, this is how I want it in my mind. And now I have to communicate that to someone else. But when it comes to things like, you know, having an assistant, how are we labeling and organizing emails?
How exactly does the YouTube process work? When it comes to uploading the videos, all of these things, it was a lot easier to share this information with someone else if it was already written down. So what I found that helps is little things that I'm doing currently on my own that I eventually want to outsource.
I'm just creating Google documents and I'm writing down the process. That's involved that way. When someone does come onto my team, I can go here and look, just follow this document. That's smart. It's automation and making sure that you set people up to succeed. If you can follow instructions, there's a high percentage chance that you're not going to fail at the task.
Right. So that's awesome. And that's very smart. All right. And last question for you on this piece is let's just briefly talk about reinvesting in yourself. You've made a great deal of money, upwards of six figures. You've been able to get a lot of things for free and just living a solid lifestyle.
Obviously you want to continue to increase and grow and evolve, but you're doing pretty well as is. So what has it been like for you to reinvest in yourself? How are you doing that? Where are you spending money to help improve your business or improve yourself personally, which will then pour back money into this empire.
You're trying to build. Oh, great question. So in terms of reinvesting, a lot of my money goes into tech gadgets, just, you know, I always want to up the quality of the content that I am creating. So I'll spend a little bit of change on that, whether it's for my external hard drives or just, you know, getting some new lenses, good mix or sound and all of that stuff.
What else? I mean, I recently moved into my own apartment in New York city. And to me that was a very, very big investment in myself. And in my business, I knew that just leaving my parents' house and not having that safety net would push me to work harder. Which is exactly what happened. But also my apartment serves as my office and my studio, basically not only my studio for creating YouTube videos, but for shooting, you know, lifestyle concept for Instagram.
So that's how I kind of rationalized it. And that's how I invested back into myself. That's amazing. So that's one, and then also just putting money away, like actually saving that's huge. Yeah, it is huge. That's probably the biggest part in addition to pouring back money into the business, you know, saving as much as you can is important as well.
How much do you save? Let's say every check you get or whatever, what's like a percentage. Yeah. So I'm doing 20% of my monthly income, which is, I think that's what's recommended. Yeah. 20 to 30%. I believe it was recommended by the finance folks. Yeah, and that's self is going, whether it's getting dispersed across a bunch of things, but some of that includes, you know, the high yield savings account, life insurance, retirement, putting some money into index funds and stocks and all that stuff, you know, all of that good stuff, all of that good stuff.
So, yeah, that's amazing. So now let's transition into the best practices, you know, key takeaways, portion of this discussion. Obviously everyone who's listening are going to be able to rewind and take notes and do all that stuff. But these are just high level things that we know we want you to impart, you know, from your wisdom to all the listeners so that they can take it and run with it and apply it to their businesses or to their strategy, just like their vision board, you know, immediately.
So if you can give us a couple of actionable steps that content creators can take. If they're starting from scratch, maybe, you know, two or three, however many you feel comfortable sharing. I just want to know if I'm starting from zero and I need to tap your brain to be able to help guide me, you know, give me two to three steps that I can take today, you know, to kind of get the ball rolling.
Yeah. So for one, I would say, just create and don't think or plan that's a huge thing. Just create. Everything else will fall into place eventually, but you have to start with the content. So just create and don't think don't plan. Just create that's one. I would use your resources around you. When I first started, I didn't have a fancy camera or anything like that.
I used my laptop webcam. The point is I started, if I kept thinking about, Oh yeah, you know, the bathroom, isn't great. The lighting isn't that just start. Cause what is important is the information that you're putting out. Right? So just use your resources around you also just look towards like your favorite creators and influencers and see how often are they, you know, putting out content, what exactly do you like about the content and what makes you kind of click on their content?
And then you can implement that within your strategy as well. That was something that I definitely did. And I would advise to do, because you don't know yourself. You won't really get into like, you know, a groove of things until you just kind of try different things. So you just have to try and just look towards other people and see what they're doing and kind of, you know, put your own, spin on it until you find your own kind of lane or groove or whatever, for the people who are not at zero.
Right? So let's say content, creators, influencers, whatever the phrasing is, who may be, let's say they're at 25,000 subscribers on YouTube, right? So they're doing fairly well. They've identified an audience they've identified at least started to identify a process that makes sense for them. What advice would you give to that person on how to take it from gear two to gear three?
So I would definitely say to stay trendy, I would look for a lot of the really big trends. There's always trends, you know, every few weeks really. Make sure you are creating trendy content, but obviously with your spin on it. So if you make content around hair, but there's this like really big, like trendy thing, maybe you can incorporate that within your hair content.
You know, so that's one for Instagram, specifically, hashtags are huge. That's still a big thing. So for certain posts, I've received a lot of traffic from just hashtags alone and you don't have to put them within the caption. You can put them right under in the comments within, under your post. But yeah, you definitely want to search for trending hashtags, hashtags that you can actually show up on because they really do help them share content.
Another piece of advice would be to, you know, start thinking about collabing with other influencers and other influences that may be bigger than you as well. Yeah, I think this is the point where it makes sense if you've actually been doing the work and you have, you know, a history of great content. And now you're just looking for a little bit more visibility.
Yes. Now it makes sense to maybe try reaching out to other creators to collaborate with because a lot of times people will reach out to me to collab and I'll go on their page and I'm like, no one video. It's almost like how sometimes the investors won't invest in people who are seeking, you know, some type of investment, right.
They won't do it unless you like invest 20% of their own money. Some of that you need a hundred percent of this. I'll give you 80% because I want to see if you got the 20%. So it's like put some skin in the game, you know, show the commitment that you're actually serious about this. And then I'll give you what it is that you need to get from point a to point B.
So you're right. Having one video, not having a lot of content up, not taking a lot of chances on yourself and betting on yourself. It really shows a lot and it doesn't incentivize someone like you to share your audience with that creator. So that's a good takeaway. Exactly. And the last thing I would say is if you aren't already try video, I feel like that is truly where, you know, the landscape is going for us, especially on Instagram.
You see, they just launched real, you know, what's crazy in like two years from now where there's like new stuff, like we're talking about reels and maybe two years from now, like reels are going to be such a thing of the past. Like the scary. Yeah. So just some insight. Instagram is definitely favoring video more than anything.
So if you haven't already incorporate, try and incorporate more videos into your content, because you can get a much bigger reach with videos rather than amen. Amen. Amen. Lastly, in this portion of the discussion, what's one skill. And I know there's plenty, right? There's probably 10 that we've named so far throughout the course of this episode.
But if there's one particular scale that you would recommend that everyone learn to help support their business development, what would that be? Email etiquette. A can you elaborate please? That's a good one. Absolutely. I think that is just the basis for any good business. Like it's the first thing you got to learn?
How to write good emails. Sorry. From there, a lot of influences do not know how to write good emails and you can sell. You know, it can really make or break you. Like whether you're pitching a brand or a brand has reached out to you, like just have general good email etiquette and you'll be on a good path from there.
You're the second person that I've seen say something like that. Or I've heard something like that in the last, like 48 hours and the other person deals with a lot of influencers. And I guess we're speaking from experience about the lack of professionalism in this space. You're entirely right. And it's like, you know, you can have 40,000 followers or 40,000 subscribers, less than the influencer to your left, but if you're a little more professional and easier to work with these brands and everything, it just makes life easier for them.
They're willing to compromise on the additional, you know, couple of thousand of people in engagement, right. In exchange for someone who's just easier to deal with and easier to communicate with. So that's a very good point.
So jumping right into some rapid fire questions. So what's one fun fact about chizzy I'm super private. Okay. Give me one book podcast or content series that helped you along your journey. Skillshare. Okay. I like that the best piece of life advice that you've been given so far, and it could be from anybody.
You have to do your due diligence. What's your favorite quote or mantra that helps you power through challenging time? No one is you and that is your power Kelly Lee. Okay. If you could choose anyone to be your mentor, who would it be? Beyonce. What's one resource that you currently use to become a better business owner.
So this one, I know you mentioned Skillshare, but this one is more like what magazine, digital service, just anything that helps you be more efficient in business. Well, please let me just plug Skillshare again, because it is so great, but I recently subscribed to business insider and it's been very helpful just seeing how, I don't know.
I just feel like there's a lot of wealth of information in terms of like insight on other people's careers and what they're doing. So, yeah, I've been really reading up on business insider for my specific industry inside. It is amazing. I like what they're doing with their service. So I would recommend them as well, in addition to like ad week and obviously Forbes and Harvard business review.
That's one that I'd say I have a subscription and it's pretty solid ad. Last question. Who's on your board of directors, number one. And then one B would be what's their relation to you. So if it's a college professor or whatever, just like say the person's name and then just give me how you know them. So I know my marketing strategists have to plug that real quick.
No, it is actually great. Like he has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing, so he doesn't know, but okay. Who's next. I would definitely say my mom just because she doesn't notice either, but she's a Virgo and I just feel like you've always seen a Virgo in your life. Like, Oh, she's just my right hand.
Like when it comes to like physical things that she can actually help with, she's the one there that I can call. She's going to be there, you know, creating boxes with me and all that. So she's definitely on my team. I bought a director's another person is just my tribe of like influencer friends specifically.
I can call out Kitara or Kitana on Instagram. I'm sure a lot of you guys know her as well. She's so instrumental and just like my business. Also seeing someone else that is doing a lot of the things that I would like to do, and that's open about it and shares information you need that you need someone that's kind of like a friend, but also a mentor.
She's that for me? So one who feels like there's enough to go around so I could share this information. Exactly. That's really the most important part. Not everyone gets that. Unfortunately, no. A lot of people are really stingy with information because you know, they're insecure and they think it can only be them.
And it's like, no, there's a lot of room. Okay. Is there anyone else that comes to mind? Um, I mean then there's, you know, my financial planner that actually. Helps with planning my life financially. Amazing. Okay. So you have your mom, you have your marketing strategists and you have your influencer friends.
That's dope. And as we discussed off air, I think it's very important that we normalize these, you know, these conversations about board of directors. Like I was telling you before I learned this from some people that I worked with is very important to run yourself as a corporation, to treat yourself like a business to project, manage your life, to strategize your life the same way businesses strategize theirs and analyze your strengths, weaknesses, and threats, and just do all that stuff and treat yourself the way you treat the people that you work for and the organizations that you push forward.
So I think a part of that is board of directors to just make sure you're on track. It can be a mentor. It can be a sponsor. It can be family member. It could be, it could even be a digital mentor. Like I like saying that a lot, like. Digital mentors are huge, like Charlemagne the God. And as you mentioned, Gary V and there are just certain people who I just pull things from.
Right. And I add to my toolbox and they don't know it. And I've probably met them a handful of times. They don't know the different things that I I'm able to kind of extract from them to create what it is that I'm building on on my side. And I think that you don't need to know people personally for them to be influential in your life and for you to extract value from them.
Um, so I think that's part of why we're having this conversation that a lot of people extract value from you. They don't personally know you, but that's why they'll see you. And then there'll be an emotional experience, right? For me, I've luckily been able to experience that as well, where people extract value from me and they feel good because I'm able to do that for them on a, on a consistent basis.
So I think that's the name of the game and board of directors are very important. Okay. So that is the end of the rapid fire section. Now, this is where I wanted to pivot to more of like a consulting session. Right. So five minutes, 10 minutes or whatever, and then we're, and then we're out of here. But, but yeah, so this is where I'm here to help you navigate.
If there's one, one thing that you're, you know, trying to figure out from a marketing point of view, some challenges that you need, some, some consultation on, you know, let me know what that is, and I can help you work through your challenge with some recommendations. Okay. Cause all times I have a question for you.
So I am constantly brainstorming, you know, and trying to figure out new ways to expand my impact beyond social media. So I would love to hear a few of your ideas on ways that I could successfully do that. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So we spoke about this before. I've also spoken to a couple of other people about this and when the whole Tik TOK news about it potentially getting banned, all of that noise, like when that came out and people were talking about that, I spoke to a lot of influencers who were a little bit nervous about that because obviously they're their main following their main brand partnership deals were powered by that platform.
Right. So I think in general, And I've been saying this for a long time to a lot of different people, but in general, I think it's important to diversify, you know, your, your influence, right. So right now you're killing it on YouTube. You're at a different level. You're at an, a plus level, right on Instagram and Twitter, you know, you're still trying to build up your influence to match the impact that you have on the YouTube.
Right? The YouTubes of the world. Okay. And tick tock, tick tock is in the same category as what? Twitter and Instagram, right for you. Well, it's YouTube then it's Instagram and it's at this point. Okay. Got it. So at this point, it makes sense too, to make sure that you can try and leverage as much as of the impact that you have on YouTube to pretty much point people in the direction of your other platforms.
So for me, that can look like. You know, having a YouTube video that pretty much preview something that you're putting exclusively on IETV or a YouTube video that directs people to a thread of where you were giving hair tips. You know, obviously a stack thread on Twitter. So people can go follow you there and go engage with it there and everything, or a YouTube video.
That's telling people that you're doing no, ask me anything, content series on a platform or whatever the case may be, or going on YouTube telling them that you're doing a brand giveaway. Right. So, um, you're working with a partner. And this is, again, this is an opportunity where you can get paid to essentially re target your audience from one platform to another own, the platform that you have.
So you can, for example, let's say a brand is willing to do a deal with you and within the deal willing to give you some, some product to be able to sample to them. It gives you an influencer France to be able to raffle off to your following. I would take, let's say. Whatever it is some deep conditioner or whatever.
I'd take that. I go on YouTube. I'll make a quick video, whether it's three minutes explaining, Hey, listen, you know, for all the people out there who want to have a chance to win this, go on Tik TOK, create a video, doing something specific, you know, and tag my Tik TOK account and tag, whatever the case may be with something else, right.
A hashtag or whatever. And then from there you're able to, to drive the traffic from your YouTube. So you'll take stock, you know, engage on tic-tac. Maybe you get paid for it. Plus you get obviously the samples and then you're able to kind of leverage one to power. The other, I also say that you mentioned it earlier, and I know that you obviously know that this is important, but just to reiterate the strategic collaborations with other content creators.
So. If you have a large following on YouTube, I know some other people may have a larger following than you on Instagram. So definitely doing something where you're able to hop on their IgG live, and then you're able to return the favor where they're happening on your YouTube video and they're, you know, talking to you about something or whatever.
So one hand washes the other, and then you're able to build your following there and kind of make it more expensive across the board. So that helps protect you in the event. Obviously this is not going to happen, but in the crazy event that we hear YouTube is considering getting banned in the United States or just something crazy.
They just shut down for seven days and, you know, engineers around the world that trying to figure out how to get the platform back up. It's not going to happen, but it's important to just future-proof yourself in the event that three of these social media platforms disappear in the next three years.
Right? Another thing I think is very, very important is PR right? So, um, right now, You have more social media influence than like maybe 70% of like companies out there, maybe some in the fortune 1000, but also just general companies who are doing relatively well, you have a reach this broader than there, then that's why sometimes they reach out to you, not just for your specific demo, but just because you have an audience in general.
Right. So I think that you're an expert because you built that you, so you're a business expert, you're a hair expert. You're an expert in diversity, I'd say, or reaching diverse audiences. Right. And you're a content creator, right. So it's like, there's a lot there. Right? It's some people even categorize you as a celebrity, right?
So there's, there's like five sub categories under your umbrella. The chizzy incorporation umbrella right there that allows you to be able to speak to those things. So I think that combination of maybe tapping into a PR professional. Who can maybe you pay them. This is part of reinvesting yourself. Maybe you pay them $250 a month or whatever, or a thousand dollars or whatever, 250 to a thousand, you can get a solid PR person who can sit down with you and say, Hey, how do you want to be positioned in the world?
What are your areas of expertise? Let's create a pitch, three different types of article pitches, and then just shop it around to different organizations. Right? So that's one, that's the proactive approach. There's the other approach where your, you know, just seeing what opportunities are available. So there's a tool called Harrow, hire a reporter.
I don't know if you've heard of it. Um, HR a Oh, so if you go to Google and type that in, you'll see the free option of this allows you to see three different newsletters that are filled with opportunities from major contributors, writers, reporters, whatever, from. All these different publications. So ranging from blogs all the way up to Forbes and rolling stone and stuff.
So they are writing articles, the articles already pre-written and they're just looking for a quote for a specific expert in a specific space. Right. And then these newsletters. Are pretty much organized by, let's say, you know, you know, sports, you know, technology, beauty, you know, general, whatever, and you can sift through it.
It's in there at 5:00 AM. I think one that, you know, 8:00 AM 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM, whatever. Right? So you can tell yourself that every day you're going to make sure you check at least one of those newsletters. And if there's an opportunity that you just send in a two to three sentence quote to the editor of that specific article, if you send out a couple of weeks, given you a following, given the expertise you have in certain things, there's no reason why you wouldn't be featured in those different opportunities.
So I think that that's important because it helps you leverage your impact on social media brings that impact from social media too. Impact in just like whatever you want to deem the real world or whatever. So, you know, whether it's, uh, a quote in rolling stone about how to build a social media following or whether it's a hit a video hit on CNN, where you're being interviewed by someone on how to leverage influence and XYZ, or how to help brands better diversify their campaigns through influencer marketing.
Like now you are chizzy, duru the. Social media guru, who has amassed millions of impressions and engagement from people, but you're also a CNN or a TV correspondent or a TV insider on a specific topic or featured in rolling stone, Forbes, this, that, this, that. So it just brought into your profile. And then from there, you're able to leverage your social media expertise, your PR capital, and then roll that over into speaking engagements, where you're able to, you know, get paid 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 for these organizations who are looking for credible human beings, people who have the expertise, people who will have the large profile to sell conference tickets, you know, obviously, maybe in this day and age of digital conference tickets, but you know what I'm trying to say.
It just gives you a well-rounded. Profile. So if at any event, social media disappears for a month, right? The way we didn't think COVID would ever stop the world for three months. But if social media ever disappears for a couple of months, you are now positioned in the minds of people who were not on YouTube, trying to learn how to do foresee hair.
Right now you're positioning the minds of people who are in different demographics, in different subgroups, and normally would not have cared about who you are to begin with. And then it allows you to be able to roll that over into other opportunities. So I just think in general, just being proactive about, you know, Making sure you continue to check the boxes, whether you're doing those eight videos a month and everything continuing to do that, continuing to do well, but then just like, you know, even just, you know, put your foot in it a little bit and it's just see how you feel about whether it's speaking at conferences, whether it's, you know, trying to pitch an article based on everything you've learned here, that top 10 things, every influencer needs to know before they get started that right there.
Right? Like knowing that influencer marketing is a billion dollar industry, that's not one publication and they wouldn't run that on your behalf. Knowing the following you have, knowing the expertise you have and knowing that you've made it easy for them to do their job by brainstorming in advance, coming up with a preliminary list and offering yourself to be interviewed via audio or via video.
Right. You wrote it for them. You did their job for them. I just think that that's important to consider moving forward. Wow. You see, and this is why it is on my board of directors. Yeah. So yeah, that's all, that's all I got. Of course we can continue to talk more about that offline and see what that looks like on a micro level, but there's something to consider and everyone who's listening, you know, consider that as well.
Just know that there's a new platform that emerges every day. There are new opportunities that emerges every day. So just, just be mindful, be present and be intentional with trying to expand your profile because you know, in this digital era, it's important to make sure that, that we have a presence. So I think that's the takeaway from that feedback to cheesy.
Anything else, any parting words, anything that you generally would like to plug? Just go ahead. The floor is yours. I would say just, you know, make sure to keep up with me on all my social media platforms, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. Chizzy through her across all platforms. And I would say in the know, because I do plan on launching something pretty soon.
Okay. But I appreciate you joining. Thank you very much. And we'll be in touch soon. Yes, absolutely. Thank you for having me.