About Lucy Harper
Lucy Harper has an extensive background in marketing and has always loved running businesses. She is also a content creator and has been creating relaxing ASMR content for five years.
“I’ve always loved creating content and being in this sort of marketing space, so this [Run By Influencers] seemed like the next natural step.”
Her experience as a creator led her to notice the problems between brands and influencers. For example, brands may take advantage of influencers or ask them to do more than what was agreed. She’s also had experiences where she didn’t get paid.
“Speaking to lots of my friends in the same space, we’d experienced lots of the same things, and I think during the lockdown… my friend Laura and I, who I run the agency with, thought, “you know what? No, I reckon we can do this better.”
Lauren Cassidy and Lucy Harper founded Run By Influencers, or RBI, in early 2020. Run By Influencers is a hybrid influencer management and digital marketing agency described as a “one-stop shop” for all of your digital marketing needs.
Run by Influencers’ Goals & Services
Lucy Harper shares, “We really wanted to look after who we are working with and make sure that the creators’ interests are being taken care of. As I said, coming from a marketing background, I’ve got experience working with agencies and people like that, so knowing how to manage that side of things and making sure all the organizational side was done right.”
She notes that their company was even named Run By Influencers to highlight the emphasis placed on creators’ interests and Lucy and Lauren’s personal experiences as influencers.
“[As influencers,] we know what works best when it comes to ads and sponsorships and how to interact with your audience and make it not sound salesy, and so I think it’s been a good name choice for those who can understand it.”
Lucy Harper adds that she has personally been tied into contracts before with agencies and then received no help with her channel or brand deals. So, RBI focuses on being highly flexible when they bring a creator on board and helping them achieve their goals.
“I’ve been tied into a two-year contract [as an influencer] when I initially started, and I felt really trapped by that. So, whenever we get somebody on board, and we start talking to them, we ask them their goals. We say: what do you want to do with your channel? Is this just a spare time hobby? Do you want to earn a full-time living for this?”
The RBI team also asks about the creator’s business goals and the types of partnerships they are interested in working on. For example, some creators may be thrilled by a $20,000 long-term sponsorship, but others may not want to be locked into a long-term contract like that or may be highly selective about the type of company they are working with on campaigns. As a result, everything is personalized to the creator and their goals.
“We’re making sure that it’s the right brand for them, and I think that sets us apart from a lot of different agencies.”
Successful Influencer Campaigns
Lucy Harper shares about one of their campaigns working with Skillshare and one of their talents, Michael of ASMR Zeitgeist. The primary campaign goal was to drive long-term brand awareness and sign-ups.
The campaign results include over 4,317,646 views on YouTube, as well as over 10,000 comments and 168,000 likes.
Lucy shares that one of the winning parts of the ad was Michael’s unique and natural videos.
“He drove really great results for us. Michael creates really unique videos. He’ll spend weeks creating them, so whenever he does a partnership, he’ll make sure that it’s really special and really well integrated and doesn’t feel like an ad.”
She notes that RBI focuses a lot on engagement rates and interaction within the comment sections. For example, they’ll look at if people are responding positively. They’ll also consider how many clicks on links and discount links the campaign drove.
“It’s actually engaging the viewers, and the viewers aren’t skipping the ad. They are watching the full thing, and they’re coming back again and watching it so that for us dedicates them and sort of translates into success.”
Another successful ad campaign featured sleeping masks. Lucy shares that this campaign was very subtle and just featured people wearing the masks in their content rather than a lot of call-to-action moments.
“It drew really great results, and they’re sort of a prime customer of ours now. They won’t use other ad agencies, so they were really happy with the results.”
The Creator Marketplace
Lucy shares that she would love to see more platforms, especially TikTok, increase how much creators make, as well as brands recognizing the value of more social media platforms. For example, many TikTok creators make very little money, even when they go viral.
“I think I spoke to Craig the other day. He had 10 million views on a [TikTok] video and went viral, and he made $200. I think that’s just unfair because [on] a platform like YouTube, you can make a lot of really good revenue, even with brands paying for ads on TikTok.”
Since TikToks are so short, many brands won’t pay as much as they will for other content. Lucy stresses that she would love to see more brands recognize the value of short-form content, like TikToks.
RBI’s Future Plans
Lucy shares that RBI is excited to continue expanding.
“We started out purely just working with creators and working with brands, and now we’re moving into the space where we are managing full digital campaigns. So, we’re helping with traditional marketing billboards, stuff like that. Moving forward, we’re doing sort of whole campaigns throughout, from traditional marketing to digital media, as well as managing creators.”
She adds that they are doing a lot of work in the US and Europe. RBI is even Europe’s largest ASMR agency currently.
“It’d be really good to take that global, and the sky’s the limit!”