Who is Sarah Boyd?
Sarah Boyd has been in the PR and marketing industry for almost 20 years, originally starting her career in fashion PR in Los Angeles. In 2012, she created her business, Simply, an agency that specializes in brand collaborations and events. With Simply, Sarah created large-scale conferences worldwide.
After a few years at Simply, Sarah Boyd had celebrity-level talent approaching her asking if Simply’s team could help them with their social media platforms and monetization. In response, Sarah created the Simply Digital Network to offer monetization and partnership services for celebrities.
In 2017, Simply was acquired by Socialyte, a talent agency that manages top-tier influencers and celebrity talent. Sarah was recently named President of Socialyte and Lytehouse, a full-service influencer marketing agency and sister to Socialyte.
She shares, “It’s been really exciting to see the growth. We’ve got an incredible team and incredible roster of talent and incredible brands that we work with on the Lytehouse side. We do essentially all things influencer marketing on the Socialyte side. We have a roster of about 130 influencers that we manage, ranging from lifestyle all the way up to celebrity level.”
Changes in Influencer Marketing
Sarah Boyd has been in the influencer marketing industry for 12 years, giving her a unique perspective on the constantly changing industry.
“I remember just continuing to see them [bloggers and influencers] grow, and before you know it, they’re sitting on our panels at Simply, and they’re flying all over the world and going to fashion week, and I saw this whole trajectory over five to 10 years, and it’s been incredible to watch.”
Initially, she shares that a lot of influencers and bloggers received criticism because many people thought they wouldn’t be able to convert sales. However, this attitude soon changed as marketers realized that many people relate more to influencers than celebrities.
“It’s really a lot of people out there just finding someone [influencers] that are really authentic, that feel like their friend or they trust.”
Sarah Boyd shares that over the years, she’s seen many influencers fade into the background if they don’t adapt to changes in the industry.
“It’s not that beautifully curated photo that you post four times a day with the algorithm— in the original days of Instagram, when it was chronological order. That just doesn’t work anymore with Instagram, so if you don’t change those ways and adapt to the new algorithm and the new ways to connect with your audience, it’s not going to work for you anymore.”
Working with Brands & Influencers
“On the Lytehouse side, we are influencer agnostic. We work with brands, so brands will hire Lytehouse to put together their full strategy and casting campaign. On that side, we’re brand first. It’s really what the brand wants. [For example,] we just wrapped a campaign [where] they wanted all dermatologists across the world.”
At Socialyte, Sarah Boyd shares they have different talent manager groups that focus on different influencer niches, such as celebrity-level talent, fashion & beauty, fitness & wellness, cooking, parenting, men’s fashion, etc.
“We have a very strict vetting process that we go through for each talent. We want to make sure the connection is there between the talent manager and the talent. It’s such an intimate relationship that we want to make sure that fit is the best.”
She notes that they look at an influencer’s analytics and engagement, as well as diversity.
“[Diversity] is something we look for as well, and that could be geographically, if you’re a parent, if you’re male, female, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ etc. We look at all of those things because we really want to promote diversity. We’re actually launching a new division with our talent management agency for differently abled creators, which we’re really excited about.”
They also look for influencers willing to showcase and share their whole life openly and authentically.
When asked about successful campaigns, Sarah Boyd shares about a campaign with Jana Kramer, a celebrity actress, country music artist, influencer, and mom. She also loves wine, so the Socialyte team helped her create her own wine brand out of Napa.
“We did it from A to Z – from creating the label, the brand, the website, Instagram, the business as a whole, and together created every single wine to create what is now One Brick.”
Sarah adds, “We launched about a year and a half ago. It was all direct to consumer, and in the first year or so, we were bringing in seven figures in revenue, which is incredible. It was all her. We didn’t do any in-store promotion. We didn’t do anything else other than her promotion through her social media.”
Another interesting phenomenon that Sarah noted is when an influencer will post outside their typical niche with unexpected results.
For example, another talent of theirs, Lauren Lane, an influencer not previously considered a home decor expert, posted about planters. She ended up selling the planters out at Target and Walmart.
The Influencer Space
When asked about the most exciting part of the influencer space, Sarah explains, “I think it’s exciting because there’s always a new platform, new talent reinventing themselves and new trends, I love an industry that’s always changing.”
As for the future, Sarah shares that she anticipates seeing more creator-owned brands.
“Right now, it’s a lot of brands owned by someone else. They pay the influencer to promote it, but the brand continues to build equity, and they sell for millions, and the influencer doesn’t have a part of that, so I think kind of re-engineering that model where the influencer actually owns it or creates these brands.”
Sarah is excited about future growth and expansion, as well as the differently abled sector of new talent that Socialyte is growing. She’s also excited about honing in on more authentic and strong sales driving influencers, as well as building out their roster of influencers and employees more.
“On the Lytehouse side, we’re expanding our agency offerings so where brands can come to us for influencer strategy, casting, retainer business and experiential events. We’re becoming that one-stop shop for all things influencer marketing.”
In closing, she adds, “We’re excited to continue moving with the influencer marketing space. Please reach out to us if you’re looking to partner or collaborate, Don’t be a stranger. We are based on kindness and connecting.”