Founders Jessy & Morgan Team Up To Boost Advocacy Among Women In The Influencer Industry
Last week, we sat down with President and Vice President of W.I.I.M., Jessy Grossman and Morgan Kaye to get their take on the influencer industry, where they see it going, and how W.I.I.M. plays a key role in all of this.
W.I.I.M (Women in Influencer Marketing) is an exclusive networking group for women who are making a name for themselves in the world of influencer marketing. The group consists of key female players from various ad agencies, public relations firms, media companies, influencer networks, talent agencies, and brands. It’s central mission is to network with like-minded women, share information to make their work stronger, and create a group of leaders.
1. To begin, what’s the story behind WIIM? How did it come to be?
Jessy: Morgan and I had breakfast one morning and I shared the idea of wanting women in influencer marketing to be more connected with one another. Morgan shared the same sentiment and thought a networking group would be a great way for women in this industry to really connect with one other and share information. Overall, the topic of women empowerment and women in business has always been important to me.
Morgan: Jessy and I have been working together for a few years now and have always had such a great rapport. It was a natural fit to team up and partner on something that can hopefully help others connect and form similar connections. Having attended so many conferences, and participated on numerous panels, it all started to feel stale to me. I was really hungry for a more honest and open conversation with women in the industry who I knew were experiencing some of the same triumphs and/or struggles.
In one sentence, what would you say the central mission of WIIM is?
Jessy: It’s to network, share information, and create leadership of women in the industry.
2. What do you both feel is the biggest challenge facing women in the influencer industry right now?
Morgan: I think it’s different for every woman whether it be the influencer, the agent, or the brand. Certainly from an influencer’s perspective — they’re faced with this lifestyle that one has to portray and maintain. Living an authentic life and also maintaining this aesthetically pleasing and aspiring content is a hard balance for any creator. Personally, that’s something I struggle with — the sometimes, unavoidable superficiality of influencer marketing. If I have one particular issue with this industry as a whole, with advertising as a whole, it’s unachievable expectations especially for women. Putting pressure on women to be prettier, or to have a more expensive bag, or travel to a further destination — It’s heart wrenching. It’s our job as experts to prevent this from happening.
3. Alternatively, what do you both feel is the biggest success of women in the influencer industry right now?
Jessy: Given that the influencer community is heavily female, it’s great that women are able to have a voice here. A really large, impactful and powerful voice on a platform to be able to express whatever they want. They’re starting to talk about real and deeper topics as they evolve and as their audiences change. I always say the best part about my job is that I get to work with entrepreneurs, they’re running their own businesses, running things on their own terms — they’ve created this entire career for themselves.
4. I know you’ve both been in the industry for several years, so I’m curious, what’s the craziest thing an influencer or brand has asked for?
Morgan: I think for me, the biggest debate and/or craziest thing one has asked for always has to do with the topic of money. For both brands and influencers, know your worth. Don’t charge too much, don’t charge too little — don’t overpay, don’t be stingy. Find the happy medium that works for both parties. Ultimately, when pricing is mutually agreed upon, the content and campaign will benefit.
5. Moving forward, how do you guys feel the industry might develop? Is there a particular thing you’re interested in seeing develop further?
Jessy: The talent that I represent are very multifaceted, they all have different goals for what they want to achieve in the long run and I get excited by the unique projects that aren’t necessarily brand related. We just had a client who finished a 30 city book tour where she was speaking at different colleges, and again, it’s because these women are influencers — they’re thought leaders. That’s exciting to me, to see what all of this talent has the potential to do (and impact) outside of just influencer marketing and social media.
6. Similar to the previous question, where do you all see Women In Influencer Marketing going in the future?
Morgan: Overall, we want to continue to empower women in the industry, to spark conversation, to educate, and to do this at scale. As the industry grows, so will WIIM. New roles within influencer marketing are being created on a daily basis. We hope those broadening roles will also lead to new interest and insight. This diversity will ultimately make WIIM stronger.
With all of that being said, it’s clear that the female influencer industry is thriving. In today’s world, social media has allowed women to speak freely and with a greater capacity in whichever way they choose. For some, perhaps social media is a way to be creative, while for others, maybe social media is a way to hop onto a digital soap box. Either way, bottom line: Women in the influencer industry are able to put the spotlight on themselves. They stand at the forefront of a flourishing and prosperous industry and have the ability to change the narrative that is women in business.
For more information about W.I.I.M or to get involved you can visit their website by clicking here.
Jessy Grossman procures and negotiates opportunities for influencers to monetize their social media following with major brands and media companies. Jessy’s deals create lucrative opportunities for her influencers to create buzz worthy entertainment that engages audiences and drives profits for companies like Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Volvo and others. Since 2009, Jessy has been at the forefront of the digital content revolution. Building on her technology prowess and experience in production, Jessy’s talent representation has led to the creation of new business models and exponential revenue growth for her influencer clients
Morgan Kaye is VP of Community + Support at Bloglovin’, where she is responsible for influencer partnerships, community growth, social media, and support. She has been actively working with influencers for the last 8 years and has been working in the digital space for more than 10. Morgan has been a speaker at ALT Summit, Generation Beauty, and Simply Stylist as well as, recently hosted her own Skillshare Course, “From Blog To Business: Content Community, and Working with Brands.” Morgan’s Skillshare video is their highest ranked course for writing + blogging.