Abby Kutiwa on how she got her job at Depop and what it takes to be a successful Influencer Marketer

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How I got my job at Depop

Did you plan on being an influencer marketing manager? Because I guess, it’s quite a new job really, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s a pretty new space. I went to Middlesex University and studied advertising, PR and media. During college I loved Media Studies and initially, I wanted to go into production – but life doesn’t always go the way that you expect it to! But I’m really happy with where I’m at now. I graduated University with first class honours, and from there I got my first “real” job at Arcadia as an online trading assistant. 

What did that involve?
So it’s kind of like merchandising, which is not what I wanted to do at all, but because it was such a well known company I thought it was a good way to get my foot in the door and then work my way into social media marketing. I did that for about six months with the hopes of applying internally for a social media role at Arcadia, instead I was headhunted by a small agency for the role of SEO and blogger outreach assistant. The blogger outreach aspect really caught my interest, so I accepted, and that role was really when I started my career in influencer marketing.

Headhunted via LinkedIn?
It was through Indeed, actually. You can leave your CV there and create a profile.

So ‘blogger outreach’ seems like an older way of saying ‘influencer marketing’, is that what pushed you into your current line of work?
Yeah definitely. I was in that role for over a year and got promoted to a Digital PR Exec as the agency grew and we successfully onboarded more clients. With the promotion my role didn’t change that much, so I looked elsewhere and got a job at an influencer marketing platform. I was then able to work with big household name brands such as L’Oreal, Ralph Lauren and Innocent. My last role before Depop was Influencer Account Manager at The Blogger Programme, which is also an influencer marketing platform. My role consisted of but was not limited to campaign ideation, creating briefs, client management, sourcing suitable influencers, content moderation & reporting; also known as end to end campaign management.

A lot of an influencer marketer’s job is about finding the right creators for a brand and a campaign. How do you personally go about building your roster of names for that?
Because I use social media personally & professionally, I’m on my phone using Instagram and TikTok all the time. I come across so many influencers on a daily basis – if I spot someone I think would be great for a campaign I’ll give them follow or add them to my database. On top of that, I also use a variety of influencer discovery tools such as Hypeauditor. 

How does Depop compare to your previous roles?
Depop is so different but I love it. Here there’s a big focus on signups, obviously we want people to join Depop, use the app and become a member of the Depop community. I’m used to constantly explaining why follower count should not be that important to clients whereas here at Depop we know who we want to work with. Content creators who live & breathe Depop’s ethos: a conscious consumer, fashionably ethical, not your typical, you know, Reality TV, teeth whitener influencer. 

Are there any red flags that would stop you from contacting a creator?
Oh yes, anyone with multiple sponsored posts. If they’ve got three different brand posts in the same week – that’s a no go. Fast fashion influencers are also a no go. I tend to steer away from influencer by trade, very mainstream trend-led creators with no clear craft. 

It must be it must feel good to work for somewhere that is concentrating on sustainability issues
Definitely, 100%. It’s so great, because everyone at Depop genuinely cares about this. What I love the most is, yes we run influencer campaigns to gain trust and credibility within different communities, but we also really try to push our sustainability message with the hopes of changing shopping behaviours and habits. Depop’s mission is to empower the next generation to transform fashion, and I think we’re doing a great job.

Marketers usually attend a lot of networking events. Have you found that the pandemic’s making it difficult to expand your network in that way because there aren’t any face to face opportunities?
It’s not been that bad. We live in a digital age, I’ve attended a few panel talks via Zoom. The Dots platform is really good at sending notices about digital events that are happening. If anything influencer marketing related pops up, I’ll join in and then follow the key speakers on LinkedIn. I do miss the free drinks and food though!

What kind of person do you think it takes to be a successful influencer marketing manager?
You have to be “a people person” not only to work with influencers but work cross functionally with different departments within a company. Being organised is also key – one minute  you’re kicking off multiple campaigns and then you’re wrapping up all at once. You must be creative and it helps to be analytical.

If somebody wanted to get into this field of work, what kind of advice would you have for them?
Familiarise yourself with the influencer space, follow industry leaders on socials, keep up to date with influencer trends & insights. When it comes to job hunting widen your search to include influencer, digital, pr & social media related roles. And of course, be active on social media – learn how to post effectively, how to schedule content, how to grow & maintain a following. It’s easier to work in influencer marketing when you know what influencers actually do.

Finally, what are some campaigns you’ve worked on that you’ve particularly loved?
When I started working at Depop my main objective was to develop and implement a strategy to increase selling & listing with a male focus. It’s been so fun working with super creative content creators across Instagram, TikTok & YouTube, collaborating with them to push Depop’s sustainability message along with all the great perks of buying and selling on the app. Since starting this project we’ve seen a steady increase and I’m so happy with the results. 

@abzlowerxd

Reply to @depop my new lockdown hobby 🙂 thanks depop #ad #style #fyp #foryou

♬ Dancing in My Room – 347aidan

Follow Abby’s incredible sunglasses business at Flame Lily Eyewear

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