ShinyThoughts

Hi, I’m Lucy and I work in Social Media

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Welcome to my Influencer series!

I count myself lucky to be both an Influencer and to work with them. The view I get looking over both sides of the fence has helped me see the Influencer Marketing industry a little more holistically (*wanky marketing speak alert*) and that makes both of my ‘lives’ easier. Having compassion and understanding for the person I’m working with from both sides of a business situation has helped me dispel assumptions, confusion and issues before they arise.

Rather than keep all my (shiny) thoughts to myself, I thought I’d talk about what I’ve learned from working on both sides to help you whether you’re an aspiring Influencer, Blogger or brand. I’m going to be talking about the main points to keep in the back of your mind whether you’re just starting out or if you’re an established Influencer. Before I launch straight into it all (and leaving you wondering who the hell I am to be throwing advice around left, right and centre) here’s a little about Miss Shiny Thoughts. Sitting comfortably?

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How I got into my career

Uni Days

University was in North London and my degree was Fashion Design, Styling and Promotion (don’t ask). The course didn’t really teach me any of those things but it DID give me lots of time to work out who I was creatively and what writing online could be.

Alongside the demanding projects, deadlines and the odd trade show trip to Paris to translate for my tutor, I was being introduced to London’s budding blogging community. I met my bestie Carrie of WishWishWish whilst making a giant map of London on our classroom wall and we clicked right away. Carrie and I became best buds, housemates and work pals. She helped me morph my creative, craft-commentary blog into the self-style and lifestyle site it is today. We were in the centre, watching the meaning and rules of blogging develop and individuals grow to become important marketing tools for brands.

For our Final Major Project, Carrie and I made and launched a lifestyle magazine called Wish featuring Influencers from all around the UK and abroad and somehow sold 1000 copies to girls all around the world. We knew how powerful at connecting people the Influencer world could be.

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Freelancing (aka winging-it)

Once I graduated, I didn’t know what the hell to do with myself but with a few blog sponsorships starting to flow into my inbox and a couple of months left on my London rent, I figured I may as well give ‘freelancing’ a go. Turns out, it was BLOODY HARD.

My biggest lesson was when I got a gig with a start-up jewellery brand. It sounded brilliant on paper and in a Shoreditch House meeting but in reality, I didn’t have the foggiest what I was doing. And I paid for it. After all, there’s only so much winging-it you can do. One of my main jobs was creating the set for a trade show. I sourced and built props and furniture, mocked up realisations on Photoshop and found out that VAT was a thing. I made mistakes that made it feel like the world was caving in. I had to cancel a holiday last-minute because I hadn’t been told prior to the job that I had to set the thing up. There were white-knuckle bus rides to B&Q, sweaty sprints to the post office praying I hadn’t missed the last post and invoices worth a pittance that I thought was a fortune (everyone under-sells themselves when they start out, right)? I was so confused, so overworked and so unremunerated. I learned so much but my mind didn’t care for that, it was too busy being stressed.

After a few months set-building for photoshoots and press days plus some fantastic stints visual merchandising at Liberty, I realised I really needed to get some experience behind me within the safety of a company before attempting to sell myself as a freelancer. I fixed up my CV and dove into applications.

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ASOS

I was lucky enough to bag a job right away on ASOS’s Lookbook-style site, ASOS Fashion Finder, a community platform I’d been uploading my Blogger looks to for a few months. I managed to pip 14 others in my interview to the post. How? There may have been a streak of skill in there but mainly because my new Manager had known me as a Blogger before I’d even applied. After spending 2 years sorting the best Blogger uploads into various trend round-ups, I knew who was who and of those, who were ones to watch. Hello – a then relatively unknown – Megan Ellaby!

Deciding to stick with ASOS following some restructuring, I moved to the Social Team where I managed the community platform #AccessAllASOS. My role was mainly to manage projects briefed in to me by the rest of the Marketing team then finding the best Influencers on our roster to take part in them. I would then ensure all of the promised outcomes were delivered. I juggled organising shoots and events with 3rd party brands, planning #AsSeenOnMe campaigns and sending girls off on trips around the world. I was basically acting as a consultant; repping the Influencers by saying what the wider business could and couldn’t expect of them and what they wanted from us.

All whilst maintaining ShinyThoughts, of course.

That last role ASOS was mad. Equally exhilarating as well as exhausting. In 8 months I grew up very fast but got crushed back down fast too. I loved some of the projects I worked on but, like many of us have or will experience our jobs someday, there were ways of doing things and personalities that weren’t for me. As the year came to an end, increasing anxiety got the better of me to a point where I didn’t recognise myself any more. Being unable to eat, bursting into tears before I even got to my desk and becoming paranoid that everyone thought I was unprofessional and going mad were not my normal traits at all. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s absolutely not ok to feel the way I did and I wish now that I’d done something about it sooner.

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Boden to the rescue!

In the middle of the mess came a shining light; an out of the gloom job offer! I accepted, hooray!

I’m now a Social Media Content Producer at Boden Clothing in a similar position (albeit far less intense and on a much smaller scale – phew). I source and commission Influencers for projects as well as organise content for the social channels (I told my pal Ella all about my day to day for her blog). In one week I might organise and go on two shoots for our blog, create an Instagram story, work with our designers to make assets for us to use on social or co-host an event. It’s such a joy to have a supportive and collaborative team and the freedom to create projects and develop myself at work. I certainly don’t take that for granted.

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Blogging and working full time

In my downtime I squeeze in working on ShinyThoughts but as my career progresses, I want to share what I’ve learned with you as well as the usual swanning around town posing posts. After 4 years being a real adult and 7.5 years of blogging, there are a few things I’ve come to realise. (Read my post on what I’ve learned from blogging here).

If you’re just starting out in Influencer marketing or you’re someone thinking of starting a blog or Instagram / have been doing this for years, I hope I’ll be able to teach you even something teeny.

Look out for my next posts in this series and if you like what you read or want to know more, gimme a thumbs up on Twitter or in a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts.

What I Wore to Work:

Roll neck jumper – Boden / Trousers – Boden / Watch – Newgate / Bag – LKBennett

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Photos by Ella H (hire her, she’s good)

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Lucy Nicholls ShinyThoughts working in social media from uni to asos to boden

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30 Comments

  • Reply Anastasia February 22, 2017 at 10:33 PM

    What a brilliant post Lucy and congratulations for finally finding a job that makes you happy!
    I feel like the person you describe when you were working for ASOS is me, at the moment I am stressed and I do not even recognise myself when I look in the mirror. So I am just trying hard to keep going forward, graduate and then hopefully find a job that will make me happy :)
    I love these series and all the advice you provide here, please keep it up!
    xo
    Anastasia
    http://www.natbees.com

    P.S: I remember Megan when she wasn’t that popular, she used to comment on my blog and now she is such a big hit it makes me feel proud of her even though I’ve never met her in real life :)

  • Reply Caro | The Twinkle Diaries February 7, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Aaah Lucy! I really, really enjoyed reading this!! I always love to find out how others got into the whole blogging/social media thing. I fell into it completely by accident — I used to be an art director and when I started my blog I had no idea at all that it was even a ‘thing’ — I just wanted to keep an online diary. But as the years have gone by, and my blog has changed and grown a little, I now utilise all the skills that I learnt in my old job. The only difference being, I don’t book photographers, stylists and models anymore… I have to do it all myself!!! LOL!! So much fun though — and a lovely way of using all the skills that I’ve learned and built up over the years. So lovely to come across this on the Blogtacular mailer — are you going this year? It would be lovely to meet you! :)

    • Reply Lulu February 7, 2017 at 10:20 PM

      Hey Caro,

      Ah SO pleased that you found me via Blogtacular, that’s amazing to hear! Thank you so much for your long and considered comment, that’s a pleasure to read. I’d love to be an Art Director, I think that would be a career I’d seriously consider!
      Lucy x

  • Reply Marianne February 6, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Thanks for sharing, this was a really interesting blog post to read. I ‘ve only just discovered your marvellous blog via Boden’s website today! I’m currently job hunting for a new marketing role after carving a rocky path in marketing for the past 4 years since my degree in Advertising/ Graphic Design didn’t teach my much of either! Your blog post was really inspiring and I found it at the perfect time when I’m starting to feel a bit downhearted career wise & not knowing what my next step is. I’ve never thought about a role getting to work with influencers but this seems like it would be a great & diverse role and a fresh start . I’m passionate about bloggers/ the blogging industry, interiors and fashion so thank you for highlighting your role/ job and career steps as it’s inspired me to go out there and try find one myself with brands I love.

    • Reply Lulu February 7, 2017 at 10:27 PM

      Hey Marianne,

      Wow this is so lovely, THANK YOU for such a sincere comment! I’m delighted that I might cheer you up or even give you a glimmer of inspiration in the career department, I’m honoured! Social Media/Influencer Marketing is still such a new industry with growing teams so now’s a great time to hop on board! Do let me know how you get on in your search! Thanks for the Boden blog post too, yay to more colour in your wardrobe! :) x

  • Reply Georgina Goodman February 3, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    This was super interesting! sounds like your current job is perfect for you!

    http://www.georginadoes.co.uk

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:03 PM

      Ah thank you Georgina! It is! Loved the projects we worked on together at ASOS :)

  • Reply Mariana February 2, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    So cool you are starting this series! I am a graphic designer just like you and I look forward to the next post 😀

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:04 PM

      Hey Mariana! Thanks for your comment, really glad you’re looking forward to it :)
      I wouldn’t describe myself as a Graphic Designer but I like to dip my toes in!

  • Reply Immy May February 2, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Oooh yay so excited for this series Lucy! Really lovely and interesting to hear about your career journey thus far – what an incredible ride you have had! Also, how blimmin’ beaut is your desk space!? V inspired. Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:05 PM

      haha hey Immy! Everyone comments on my desk being really colourful! Most of it is from Etsy 😉 Thank you for your comment, so glad you like the sound of it! I’ve not been in the game long so I’ve got lots more to experience but thought I’d share what I had for now. Glad you liked it :)

  • Reply Freya Fleming February 1, 2017 at 5:22 PM

    As someone who has only just started blogging (and making YouTube videos), I’m very interested to hear what someone with a lot more experience has to say. I can already tell I’m going to learn a lot from this series. Definitely looking forward to the next post!

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:06 PM

      Hey Freya, that’s awesome, welcome to the Blogging world! Glad you’re excited for the series, I really hope that you find it useful!
      Lucy x

  • Reply Hannah January 31, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    Hey!

    I love your blog!!! Your pictures are awesome and you’re a great writer.

    I have just started my blog up – http://www.thehopefulhitchhiker.com and I will be doing lots of posts about my upcoming travels to Bali soon, feel free to check it out

  • Reply Gem Royston-Claire January 31, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Great post, honey bun. SUCH a joy to hear how happy you are at Boden and I’m eternally awed by your ability to maintain le blog, too!

    Bravo, sister.

    Gem x

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:09 PM

      Hey Gem! Haha you’re the sweetest, thank you! Well, just about maintaining, eep! Glad an experienced lady I look up to like you thinks I’m doing ok! x

  • Reply Chris January 30, 2017 at 11:20 PM

    Good reading – thanks, Lucy!

    I’ll be interested to see what you have to say to (and about) start-up brands in chapter 3 or 4 …

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:11 PM

      Hey Chris, thank you! Excited to hear that you’re interested in my posts, looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you! x

  • Reply Laura January 30, 2017 at 8:32 PM

    This sounds like a really interesting series, I’m looking forward to reading all the other posts to come too! It was really interesting to read about what you do day-to-day too, I’ve never really thought about how social media management works but I have to say it sounds very interesting (and very hectic too!). Great to hear that you’re enjoying being at Boden – it sounds like a lovely place to work in! :)

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:12 PM

      It really is! Glad you liked hearing about it, I’m sure a lot of people are left scratching their heads wondering what on Earth it actually takes to run a social account or two. Glad you’re hyped about the rest! x

  • Reply Lucie Kerley January 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Hello Luce,

    This is such a refreshing read! I think it’s so important to be open and honest about the road to success, and the stumbling blocks along the way. I think you’ve inspired me to want to share my own journey – and I’m sure many others will want to open up about theirs too.

    Having followed you… and then having had the privilege to actually know you too… for a few years now, it never fails to impress me how hard you bloody work, and the unwavering support you have for your friends, despite your own work pressures. ! I look forward to seeing your career go from strength to strength. Shiny by name, shiny by nature. x

    • Reply Lulu February 3, 2017 at 10:23 PM

      Oh Luce! thank yoou! You most definitely should, yours would be fascinating! Oh bloody hell this comment is so darn nice. ah! Yours too, you’re increds and I can’t wait to see how you Girl Boss it. Thank you for being a great support to everyone too. x

  • Reply Mary | Hellopeagreen.com January 29, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    What a great read and I’m looking forward to the rest in the series. Saying yes sometimes when you are out of your depth can be a great learning opportunity about how you cope and how much you CAN actually do. the stress will kill you long term 😉

    Mary
    P.s absolutely smitten with yellow pink combo – colourtastic.

    • Reply Lulu January 29, 2017 at 9:02 PM

      Hey Mary, thank you so much for your comment! So good to know you’re interested to hear more. Totally agree that you need to find those boundaries to know when to say no. Like a teenager with alcohol haha
      Lucy x

  • Reply Matthew Pike January 29, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    It was really good to hear about your past experiences and how you have grown, pushed through the bad times towards the good.

    Looking forward to this series.

    Buckets & Spades

    • Reply Lulu January 29, 2017 at 11:14 AM

      :) Thanks Mat! Everyone’s going to have that at some point so it probably helps to talk about them! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply Olivia Purvis January 28, 2017 at 9:39 PM

    Loved this so much Luce- so informative and insightful! Proud pal xx

    • Reply Lulu January 29, 2017 at 11:13 AM

      Ah thanks for reading Livvo! <3

  • Reply Becky ⋮ accooohtrements.wordpress.com January 28, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    I’m so nosy and LOVE reading things like this! It’s so interesting learning about what blogging has lead to for some people—who’d have thought it when we all started setting up Blogspot accounts all those years ago?! So glad things are great for you at Boden :)

    Becky ⋮ a c c o o o h t r e m e n t s . w o r d p r e s s . c o m

    • Reply Lulu January 29, 2017 at 11:14 AM

      ah good (bad) old Blogspot. I know, there’s no way any of us knew it would help forge whole careers. Glad you enjoyed the post darl!

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