WorkParty Guests: Marianna Hewitt & Lauren Gores


This week’s episode of WorkParty is all about going from blog to business. Who better to tap to discuss the topic than the founders of Summer Fridays, Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores? The ladies dished on their social-first business model, how they started with one product, and how their blogging skills helped them land in Sephora stores. Our expert of the week is Reesa Lake, Partner and EVP of Digital Brand Architects and influencer marketing guru. Reesa breaks down how bloggers rake in cash, land big name deals, and why micro-influencers are so important in today’s digital space. Ahead, some takeaways from the conversation.

“Everyone wants to equate an algorithm and a metric to social media and to content and to influencers and it just doesn’t work that way.”-Reesa Lake (8:40)

“There’s so much that goes into it, including the out of pocket price that goes into the influencers producing the content.”-Reesa Lake (9:20)

“We have some clients with similar rates who have 1 million followers as those who have 7 million followers, because we know that one specific influencer is one of the top traffic converters and can drive a million dollars in sales for a retailer.”-Reesa Lake (9:40)

“The rates can really differ from person to person.”-Reesa Lake (10:15)

“You need to really understand the value that you bring to a brand.”-Reesa Lake (11:00)

The ladies discuss the importance of affiliate programs for monetizing content. The big winners are rewardStyle, ShopStyle, and Amazon… (12:40)

Reesa explains how bloggers and influencers can build their social footprints with sponsored content and exclusivity…(15:00)

“Exclusivity means you could miss out on other work going forward.”-Reesa (19:30)

“There’s a million women and men producing content who are looking for managers, but I think it’s really important to know your value.”-Reesa Lake (29:00)

“The traditional relationship goes a long way.”-Reesa Lake (29:25)

The ladies flip the script and discuss how small brands can reach out to influencers if they’re interested in working with them…(30:00)

Switches over to Marianna and Lauren…

“We looked at our blog analytics and were able to see who is our target consumer, where does she live, what is her age, what does she buy, what does she click on rewardStyle, etc.”-Marianna Hewitt (39:00)

“A lot of brands have to have focus groups and spend so much money to get that kind of data and they don’t even know who they’re making a product for, and I also love that we’re young female founders.”-Marianna Hewitt (39:45)

Marianna and Lauren discuss why they chose the social-first business model…(42:00)

“We wanted to concentrate and have ONE really good product and it really was unheard of especially as launching as a new brand”-Marianna Hewitt (46:00)

Lauren explains why Summer Fridays still promotes and shares other brands on its social channels and how followers have reacted to that…(47:00)

“When you can remind yourself that you actually got to a point that you were once dreaming about, it shifts your whole perspective.”-Lauren Gores (52:30)

“Google is your best resource.”-Marianna Hewitt (53:02)

“You need to make a hire before you need the hire.”-Marianna Hewitt (53:18)