CarbonLIVE presents Anna Hart, founder of One Roof Social as a guest speaker.
Here at Carbon, in the lead up to CarbonLIVE we interviewed Anna Hart. Anna is the founder of One Roof Social, an influencer agency, as well as being an influencer herself. One Roof Social is one of the official sponsors of the CarbonLIVE and Anna is appearing as guest speaker at the soon to be announced live podcast.
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You have a large following on Instagram, was it a natural progression to set up your own company?
Perhaps from an outside view, but certainly not from mine. Yes, having the blog and social channels meant I had clients that were useful to start One Roof Social, but I try to keep the two as separate as possible. I’ve never seen my personal following as part of my career which is probably a little short sighted. I don’t have a problem with being referred to as an influencer, but I do see that as my evening-and-weekend job. My career is One Roof Social.
Why did you set up One Roof Social? Did you see a gap in the market?
Yep, in a nutshell that was exactly it. I was working in marketing, PR and social media. It was around the time we started to see the pivot from pastime “bloggers” to professional “influencers.” I wanted to run campaigns to test out the sector but couldn’t find an agency that understood that I couldn’t just spend money without an understanding of return. So, One Roof Social was born.
How do you match up influencers to certain brands, what do you look for?
Firstly, authenticity. It’s crazy to me that any brand would risk working with an influencer where that wasn’t assured. We set up a fairly simple system to make sure we never had the issue of fakery. Next, does the influencer’s content and follower match what you’re trying to achieve. Do they motivate to buy products, or inspire to visit a country? Because that’s important if you want pretty pictures in nice places. Lastly, brand alignment.
How did you make the transition from printed media to influencer marketing?
I think I did it in the same way everyone did; I just went with where the work was. If I hadn’t bothered to keep up, I’d have gotten left behind.
How did you go about securing your first client at One Roof Social?
I told myself I needed three in the bag, and a certain amount of money coming in, to quit my job. I think there is an assumption that if you start your own business, you must be this crazed risk taker. I’ve been ordering the same thing from Pizza Express since 1992. Anyway, I emailed brands I’d worked with and asked them if I could meet them because I thought I could improve what they did. It was fairly ballsy I guess but I could demonstrate how things could be done differently.
What advice would you give to those who wants to develop their social media and increase engagement?
Firstly, don’t be needy as people can see it from a mile off. Don’t litter your content with hashtags or give shout outs to others in the hope they repost your praise. Just be yourself, decide what your narrative is and stick to it. Like any other part of the talent industry, it won’t happen for everyone – but it’s most likely to if you do it in a way that you enjoy and it truest to yourself.
How do you see your business developing? Are there any projects you’d like to work on?
One thing you will find is that when you run a business, you’ll be meeting new people and they’ll ask you two questions. Firstly “how long have you been going?” and secondly “how many people do you have?” And then you watch them math-out the answer you gave them, and, in that instant, they decide if you’ve done well or not. The size of your office or the time you’ve kept going isn’t a true reflection of success, it’s whether or not you’re happy in what you do! I wrote a list of 5 clients I want to work with, and 1 remains. The honest answer is I don’t know; I just want to produce good work and have a good time. I work to live, not the other way around.
How do you get big brands like John Lewis and L’Occitane to trust you when creating content?
Both of these companies had team members that’d worked with us in different companies, so it was a bit of an easy one. But usually it comes down to your knowledge and demonstrative ability to carry out a decent campaign. Show them how and why you want to run things the way you do, and how it’ll help them reach their goal. The UK media landscape is brought up on “what the client wants, the client gets” and bends to their every move. But actually, all the client wants is to succeed. So, if they suggest something midway through a campaign that isn’t right, tell them!
People will always admire others, yet the social media industry is so saturated, what’s next for influencer marketing?
It is saturated and there isn’t room for everyone, I think we’ll see a few big names fall by the wayside because audiences have found new, savvier people to follow. It happens in every trade and I don’t think it’s a bad thing – in fact perhaps it’d be good to show the general population that *not* everyone can be an influencer.
Interview by Emily Salmon