When I joined Zyro’s influencer marketing team in mid-2020,
I was only its third member. In a span of almost a year, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the team grow in size and importance, to become a core focus of the company’s marketing efforts.
At the beginning I knew nothing about influencer marketing, so I was ready to embrace any kind of learning. Since then I’ve learned tons of things along the way (some I expected, some were pleasant surprises), from honing the art of negotiation and getting to grips with Google Analytics, to improving my Spanish and understanding the benefits of failure.
Here, I want to share my experience of joining Zyro, and explain what it’s like to develop expertise along with a growing team of inspirational professionals.
My thoughts about influencers: expectations vs reality
I graduated with a degree in Scandinavian studies, so that meant two things:
- I could say hello in Danish
- I came to Zyro with no experience in marketing and only a basic understanding of what influencers even were
In my mind ‘an influencer’ was as a person who has tons of followers on Instagram. When I started working with them, though, my view very quickly changed.
Influencers are just regular people who happen to have some level of expertise and authority in a specific niche – that’s where the influence comes from. Understanding this helped broaden my own horizons and changed what I viewed as possible leads for partnerships.
Looking back, it’s funny to remember another barrier I had to overcome: naturally, I was a bit shy (even starstruck) to approach very popular creators. Thankfully I had a great mentor, Ugne (Ugne, if you are reading this, eternally grateful for your mentorship!). Besides teaching me tips and tricks of influencer marketing she brought a lot of sense to my mind and showed me that it’s really a partnership of equals, which helped to change my perspective and let me ease into work.
One of the best surprises for me is how great working with influencers is for networking. It’s allowed me to meet so many creative and smart people from all over the world and discover how they work. I feel like I’m learning new things, every month, every week, and every day.
This is a really good feeling.
Paso a paso: how far can a language hobby take you
There was a point last year when we decided to expand our marketing horizons. I had two options to choose from: I could work with Poland or Spain.
‘Is this a sign?’ I asked myself. I told my team lead I’d been learning a little Spanish on Duolingo for fun and knew ‘un poco de Espanol’.
I mostly saw it as an exciting opportunity to put what I was learning into practice, so I volunteered to work with creators in Spain. Soon we started to partner with influencers from other Spanish speaking countries. It’s been around six months now since I’m working with the whole LatAm region.
Influencers there are amazing to work with. They are very friendly, kind and real team players. I also like to think that I’ve managed to build great, sustainable relationships with them.
Talking about my Spanish linguistic journey, at this point, I am not sure who teaches me more, Duolingo’s owl, Google translator, or Spanish speaking Youtube creators whose videos I watch every day. In any case, my Spanish skills are improving.
Of course, I prefer English, but if I get a reply in Spanish, that’s not a problem. Sometimes I catch myself speaking ‘Spanglish’, other times Google Translator saves the day – I had whole email threads from ‘Hello’ to ‘Okay, let’s work together’ communicated entirely in Spanish and I don’t even speak Spanish.
I love technology.
When a plan fails, it’s a lesson in disguise
Before starting this role, I had the impression that corporate values were just a decoration for companies; something they preach but don’t actually follow. I was pleasantly surprised to find that at Zyro it’s the complete opposite.
Here, values are put into practice every day, and one of my favorites are Freedom of Responsibility as well as Learn and be Curious.
I’ve come to realize that, if you’re curious in general (especially about trends in social media influence or marketing), you’re learning about the world of marketing overall. All knowledge can be useful.
I’ve also learned a lot from the influencers I’ve worked with, and to be honest, sometimes it’s more interesting when a deal falls through. You can gain a lot of experience through failure if you reflect on it.
A while ago, I was negotiating with an influencer’s manager, and had five or six different proposals rejected. In the end, we agreed on their terms, but I came away calm and happy because I felt like I learned a lot from that conversation.
At the end of that failed negotiation, I was excited and impressed. So I actually thanked that person for being a loyal and determined manager, taking good care of his clients and all the lessons I learned. We have a really good relationship with them ever since.
I don’t think I’d get hired now, but that’s a good sign
When talking about hiring standards Jeff Bezos has once said “At that point, each of us should look around and say “The standards are so high now — boy, I’m glad I got in when I did!””.
I already feel like this at Zyro.
Since the team was so new when I joined, everything was a little bit chaotic at the start. But we grew so much. Now I feel like we have really got to grips with the workflow.
This is why I feel like it would be very challenging for me to get into the team now, because we have developed so many methods, practices and flows and discovered what works for us and what doesn’t. We’re just operating at a much higher standard.
We have super smart people joining the team constantly who are amazing at what they do. I appreciate their high level of knowledge and skill, and wonder how much time it would take me to reach the same level. Rather than intimidating, it is exciting. If you want to grow, being the smartest person in the room is not a good strategy.
However, Imposter syndrome is my least favorite tendency I have. I feel like it’s in human nature to doubt yourself, but in my team there is so much support and openness to hear one another’s ideas that it makes things easier.
Even if it’s a bad day or even weeks, you always have someone who is there for you and who is ready to advise, to guide you, or to mentor you. It’s easier when you know someone’s always got your back.
In my experience Zyro overall has been an amazing entry point into the industry. Working here feels like growing up in a really functional family. Everyone supports you and is accepting of your ideas, yet also challenges you to grow in the best way possible.