With over a decade of experience in a multitude of settings, Brianna Lynn has become an authority when it comes to all things social media and brand strategy.
As the founder YOUR LITTLE WILD CHILD and INTUITIVE SOCIAL, she’s worked with thousands of brands both as an influencer and agency owner. Her experience as a micro-influencer, and user-generated content creator, has allowed her to deliver innovative solutions that encompass creativity and strategic solutions for her clients worldwide.
Nowadays, Brianna has paused all influencer brand collaborations and other micro-influencer initiatives on her personal profile and is focusing on expanding her creative agency, INTUITIVE SOCIAL.
We wanted to get the inside scoop on Brianna’s experience in the industry and how she juggles her successful agency, with her micro-influencing career and global travel adventures.
Getting To Know Brianna Lynn: Influencer Turned UGC Creative Agency Owner
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we get started, our readers would love to know a little bit more about your background.
“Allow me to introduce myself as Brianna Lynn, a versatile individual who thrives in wearing multiple hats. Throughout my life, I have pursued a diverse range of passions, delving into music, photography, dance, influencing, user-generated content creation, blogging, and even modeling at one stage.
My fascination with psychology paved the path towards my journey into the realm of marketing. Combining all of my skills and talents, I have successfully established my very own agency, known as INTUITIVE SOCIAL.”
How did you become interested in pursuing a career as a social media influencer and content creator?
“It’s quite an amusing story, and to be honest, it all happened by accident. Initially, I had aspirations of becoming a writer or even a fashion photographer while pursuing my education. However, fate had a different plan in store for me when I struck up friendships with a few small business owners on Twitter. This led me to collaborate with them, capturing content for their website or social media platforms. Surprisingly, my Instagram presence skyrocketed almost overnight.
As Instagram emerged as the latest trend, I began showcasing my work on this platform, whether I was behind the camera or in front of it. This caught the attention of numerous brands, who eagerly sent me their products, allowing me to create captivating content. This unforeseen turn of events transformed me into a full-time influencer, unlocking a multitude of opportunities along the way.”
Since 2012, Brianna has been leveraging her social media and created a successful career for herself as an influencer. She’s worked with various brands and causes, and helped raise brand awareness through her engaged audience. All of the skills she acquired and mastered during her stint as an influencer have served as the foundation for her marketing career and successful UGC agency.
What have you learned from your years of experience in the industry?
“When I first embarked on this journey, one of the most valuable lessons I learned was the art of balance. I vividly recall attending an event where I had the incredible opportunity to meet one of my favorite influencers at the time. Curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn’t resist asking her, “How do you manage it all?”
Her response has resonated with me ever since. She emphasized that success requires relentless effort, finding that delicate equilibrium between responsibilities, and consistently creating content. However, she also stressed the significance of taking breaks and prioritizing self-care. This advice has remained close to my heart.
Self-care holds immense importance because burnout is a real phenomenon. In fact, I have personally experienced it multiple times, with one instance leading to a full year of no posts and a complete step back from everything. It was a powerful reminder that honoring our well-being is vital for sustained growth and longevity in this ever-evolving world.”
What sets you apart from other influencers in your field?
“Essentially, my approach as an influencer is simple: I only share content and collaborate with brands that truly resonate with me. This is something I believe is lacking in many micro-influencers today, as they tend to prioritize monetary gains above all else.
When it comes to my agency clients, I make it clear that follower count and engagement metrics hold little importance to me. What truly matters is delivering top-notch, genuine content that evokes emotions and connects with the audience. After all, it’s that emotional connection that drives product sales and leaves a lasting impact.
For me, it’s not about chasing numbers or financial gains; it’s about creating meaningful and authentic content that genuinely speaks to people.”
What do you enjoy most about working with a variety of different brands?
“Undoubtedly, what truly matters to me are the connections. I thrive on establishing meaningful, long-lasting relationships. I don’t believe in quick, one-off collaborations unless they simply weren’t the right fit.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with brands that have become like family to me. I’ve personally gotten to know the brand owners, and we share an incredible bond. I recall a touching incident when my mom had cancer, and one of the brands I collaborated with at the time sent her flowers to lift her spirits. That’s the level of closeness I’ve developed with these brands.
I genuinely care about their brand stories, wholeheartedly believe in their vision, and provide unwavering support. The beauty of it all is that this support is reciprocated, especially now with my agency. Building these genuine connections is at the core of my values, and it’s what sets my work apart.”
What kind of advice would you give to other micro-influencers who are looking to grow their platform and partner with brands?
“The key to success lies in fostering genuine connections with your audience and brands. It’s all about building relationships that go beyond a mere desire for free products or a quick payoff.
Regrettably, I come across countless pitches where creators solely focus on obtaining free merchandise, or their approach comes across as overly aggressive. It only takes a moment to read about what the brand truly stands for and craft an email that articulates why you and your audience would resonate with their product.
This kind of behavior is off-putting. Creators should strive to be more considerate, putting thought into nurturing long-lasting relationships instead of solely seeking one-off paychecks or free product collaborations. By doing so, they open the door to sustainable growth and meaningful partnerships.”
Do you think that aspiring influencers should partner with brands for free to build their portfolio and network?
“It’s understandable that smaller brands, with limited budgets, may initially opt for gifting collaborations. However, if a creator genuinely appreciates the product, consistently delivers exceptional work, and establishes a solid relationship with the brand, chances are the brand will eventually allocate a budget for future partnerships.
I’ve been involved in such campaigns, regardless of whether they had an allocated budget or not. When someone is just starting their journey as an influencer, I always recommend beginning with gifting collaborations. That’s precisely how I kickstarted my own career years ago.
By building trust, showcasing your skills, and fostering connections, both creators and brands can grow together and create mutually beneficial partnerships that go beyond just free products.”
Over the past 12 years, Brianna’s experience in the industry has allowed her to master skillsets in brand strategy, styling, production, and brand partnerships.
Her previous agency, in-house, and consulting roles are what inspired her to launch INTUITIVE SOCIAL an agency that specializes in creating inclusive user-generated content that showcases each brand’s unique story. Her main aim as a founder is to help her clients foster long-lasting relationships with their audiences and creative teams.
Could you tell us a bit about your successful UGC agency?
“In 2019, I made the bold decision to launch INTUITIVE SOCIAL with the aim of cultivating personal and authentic relationships with my clients. I had an overwhelming desire to make a meaningful difference, feeling somewhat confined in my previous in-house role at an agency.
To seek clarity and gain perspective, I embarked on a journey of travel, seeking inspiration. It was during this transformative period, reminiscent of an “eat, pray, love” moment, that I took a leap of faith and launched INTUITIVE SOCIAL.
Remarkably, things began to fall into place, and we swiftly amassed a full roster of clients. This prompted me to expand our team, bringing on board talented creatives, including photographers, copywriters, strategists, and UGC creators, all dedicated to bringing our clients’ visions to life.
Throughout the past four years, we have nurtured an extensive network of UGC creators with whom we collaborate regularly. This diverse directory of talent forms an integral part of our approach, ensuring exceptional content and powerful storytelling for our clients.”
What have been the biggest challenges in working with brands and creating content for them?
“The main challenge was working through the safety protocols due to COVID. We had to make sure that everyone was safe. Our safety was our first priority for the entire creative team and models.
But as far as a general struggle, balance. We’re so busy with constant shoots and delivering beautiful content.”
How do you ensure that each brand’s unique story is properly represented in your work?
“To ensure that each brand’s unique story is properly represented in our work, we not only prioritize open and honest communication but also actively listen to their narrative. We delve deep into the WHY behind their brand, seeking to understand the core values, passion, and purpose that drive their mission.
By truly connecting and resonating with their story, we are able to craft authentic and compelling content that accurately reflects their brand identity. This approach allows us to go beyond surface-level representation and delve into the heart and soul of the brand. Our commitment to listening, understanding, and connecting enables us to create work that captures the essence of their brand and resonates powerfully with their target audience.”
What strategies do you use for creating effective user-generated content?
“A key component of our UGC strategies is working with content creators on a retainer basis, distinguishing us from other agencies that often opt for one-off collaborations. At INTUITIVE SOCIAL, we prefer to establish three-month partnerships with our creators and influencers. This is because a single mention or use of a product by a creator may not yield optimal conversions.
Studies suggest that it takes about seven exposures to a product before a consumer makes a purchase decision. Keeping this in mind, we integrate this principle into our strategy. Some may liken our approach to having ambassadors, but it’s not quite the same. We don’t ask creators to post on our behalf; instead, they simply send us the content.
What we truly value is the content itself. We admire your unique facial expressions, vibrant energy, and authentic style of discussing various topics. By creating content specifically for our brand, we incorporate it into our social media strategy, both paid and organic. This approach has proven successful for us, as it ensures consistent exposure and resonates with our audience.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own UGC agency?
- Be unapologetically yourself and embrace authenticity to sell anything successfully.
- Radiate genuine passion and energy to attract your audience.
- Continuously learn and invest in your education, including free courses.
- Experiment, test, and refine your strategies to find what works best.
- Dedicate yourself to constant improvement and stay curious.
By following these principles, you’ll thrive.
What do you think about influencers or UGC creators partnering with brands that don’t align with their audience’s values for the sake of a paycheck?
“It’s concerning to see influencers or UGC creators partnering with brands that don’t align with their audience’s values for the sake of a paycheck. At our agency, we prioritize authenticity and alignment when it comes to brand collaborations. We believe in building meaningful connections and delivering content that genuinely resonates with audiences.
Unlike quick cash grabs, we encourage our creators to engage with products for an extended period and share their honest experiences. Maintaining professionalism while delivering genuine feedback is essential, even if a particular product doesn’t personally appeal to them.
We value quality over quick gains and strive to create impactful content that reflects our clients’ values and meets the expectations of their target audience. Our focus is on fostering meaningful connections and delivering exceptional work that resonates with both creators and their followers.”
Do you find that brands are becoming more open to constructive criticism given the cancel culture trend?
“Yes, brands are increasingly becoming more open to constructive criticism, especially considering the prevailing #cancelculture trend. They are recognizing the importance of taking comments as opportunities for growth rather than reacting defensively or getting offended. Such defensive reactions often escalate into social media trolling and potentially result in the cancellation of either the influencer or the brand involved.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that there’s a broader perspective at play, and that is the significance of diversity. Brands are realizing that embracing diverse perspectives and listening to constructive feedback from various communities can lead to positive change and improved brand reputation. By fostering an environment that values open dialogue and constructive criticism, brands can cultivate a culture of continuous improvement and inclusivity.”
So, do you think brands are missing the mark when it comes to diversity campaigns?
“In the last few years, we have witnessed significant campaigns focusing on important topics such as diversity. I recently discussed this matter on my TikTok, emphasizing the need for education while maintaining professionalism and authenticity, rather than simply creating a facade.
Sadly, many companies are jumping on the “diversity trend” for the wrong reasons. The audience can easily discern when a brand’s commitment to diversity is genuine or merely a superficial attempt for clout. Audiences appreciate authenticity and can see through inauthentic campaigns.
As both an influencer and an agency owner, I have encountered situations where I had to sever ties with clients because my personal beliefs hold greater value than a paycheck. It is essential to align with brands that genuinely embody and prioritize the principles and values we hold dear.”
What have been the biggest successes of your UGC agency?
“We have achieved remarkable results for our clients, generating over two million dollars in revenue in 2022. One standout success story involves a small black-owned business that underwent a complete rebrand in the middle of the Pandemic. This business caught the attention of notable celebrities and beauty YouTubers, including Jackie Aina and Sean Garette, who had been supporting the brand for over eight years out of genuine love for the products. Building off the organic traction generated by these influencers and celebrities, we strategically crafted a campaign on Pinterest with a modest ad spend of $300. The outcome was astounding: the client experienced a breakthrough, generating an ROI of $64,000.
This achievement was particularly significant considering it took place during the challenging times of the pandemic when many businesses were struggling. We are grateful to have made a meaningful impact by providing our expertise and assistance to this business when they needed it most.”
What kind of impact do you hope to make with your UGC agency?
“Diversity and education. We strongly believe in fostering conversations about diversity and ensuring that our team, comprising both UGC creators and in-house members, represents a diverse range of voices.
By consistently discussing best practices, sharing insights, and highlighting the importance of authenticity and inclusivity, we strive to educate brands and influencers on how they can navigate these areas responsibly. Our aim is to continue promoting awareness and fostering positive change through our work.”
What do you think are the most important skills to have for success in the influencer industry?
“To thrive in the influencer industry, there are several key skills that are crucial for success. First and foremost, it’s essential to keep creating content. Keep producing content in various forms to build an amazing portfolio that showcases your talent and capabilities. Brands want to see off the bat what you can offer, so having a diverse body of work is so important.
Equally important is the commitment to honing your skills. Strive for constant improvement by investing in your development. Stay up-to-date with industry trends, seek out learning opportunities, and embrace new techniques or platforms that can enhance your abilities.
Authenticity remains a fundamental aspect in the influencer landscape. It’s no longer about “faking it until you make it”. The newer generations, especially on platforms like TikTok, value genuine connections and transparency. Embrace your true self, be honest, and foster authenticity in everything you do. Remember, being real is the key to resonating with audiences and building a loyal following.”
Do you think that there are a lot of creators faking their engagement?
“Yes, there is a significant presence of creators who engage in fraudulent practices to fake their engagement. This observation was one of the reasons I chose to pursue a path as a UGC creator rather than an influencer. While I have immense respect for influencers, the current market is fraught with high risks, and many individuals resort to deceptive tactics to inflate their engagement metrics. But brands do this well, both big and small. Detecting such manipulation can be challenging unless you possess the knowledge to identify the signs.
This widespread faking of engagement has created a sense of disillusionment among brands, that have had negative experiences in the past. Consequently, they are now more inclined to collaborate with UGC creators, recognizing their authenticity and the genuine connections they foster with their audience.
Over the past decade, Instagram experienced a surge in popularity, leading to an influx of individuals attempting to become influencers overnight by resorting to tactics such as purchasing fake followers and engagement. However, brands have become more aware of these practices and have become savvier in identifying inauthentic influencers. Consequently, brands are cautious and hesitant to invest in influencer campaigns, particularly when they have experienced poor returns on investment due to fake engagement.
The importance of maintaining genuine engagement and transparency cannot be understated. In the long run, authenticity and building real connections with an audience are key to establishing trust with brands and ensuring successful and mutually beneficial collaborations.”
What are the dangers of fluffing your numbers as an Influencer?
“Fluffing your numbers as an influencer is a risky business. People use all sorts of tricks, like engagement pods, to fake their popularity. But guess what? The platforms are onto them! They have smart algorithms that can sniff out the fakes. So, trying to fool the system not only hurts everyone in the long run but could also get your account deleted.
Certainly, there are apps and bots out there, some good and some not so much. But seriously, is it worth it? Why take such a huge risk when you can run ads on the platform itself to get real results? It’s all about wanting instant success without putting in the work.
It’s a sad reality that we’re creating a world where your worth is solely based on your followers, likes, and engagement. But let’s be real, that’s not what really matters. Building genuine connections and sharing authentic content should be the focus, not chasing meaningless numbers. So, ditch the shortcuts and focus on being true to yourself and your audience.”
What new projects are you working on and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
“We’re expanding our services to cater to Airbnb hosts and offer specialized content creation and social media support.
We’re also preparing comprehensive live courses and consulting for social media managers, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out. Expect these courses to be available by the end of the year or early 2024.
Additionally, we’re expanding our digital product range to empower brands, influencers, agency owners, and social media managers with valuable insights and growth strategies.”
Where can our readers find you?