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Success Story Podcast

Gigi Robinson – Full-Time Content Creator | Body Positivity & Chronic Illness Advocacy

By August 21, 2022January 18th, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Gigi Robinson is a popular digital content creator, digital artist, chronic Illness & mental health advocate, and a Sports Illustrated Swim Model. She is known for many things. From being a finalist in the Sports Illustrated Swim Search to her advocacy in the chronic illness and body positivity spheres, all the way to NFT research and navigating life as a small business owner.

With features in Bustle, Business Insider, Forbes, and Vogue Business, Gigi combines beauty and brains as GenZ’s forefront thought leader in the content creation space. Robinson is a natural inspiration to her viewers. Having been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome at the age of 14, Gigi knows how hard it is to be different. However, her lively spirit, positive demeanor, and elevated work ethic have made her and her Spotify Live Podcast “Everything You Need Is Within” an instant hit. Listeners of her podcast have the opportunity to learn how to become their own advocates, challenge the status quo and dominate in professional settings. Gigi truly has everything you need to unlock your inner girl boss.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 03:37 — Gigi Robinson’s origin story
  • 04:53 — When did Gigi start working?
  • 10:21 — Overcoming your insecurities
  • 15:09 — How did Gigi have self-awareness and figure out her “why” at such a young age?
  • 17:32 — When did Gigi Robinson’s hobby become her passion?
  • 24:36 — Why do people hesitate to put themselves out there?
  • 29:45 — Quitting your job and starting up your own company
  • 37:52 — Monetizing your content
  • 42:10 — Gigi Robinson’s content mechanism
  • 48:42 — Opportunities on different platforms
  • 51:11 — How does Gigi navigate through creative burnout?
  • 55:46 — The biggest stress Gigi faced as a full-time content creator
  • 1:00:52 — Advice for the people who are negotiating with bigger brands
  • 1:04:43 — Where do people start with PR?
  • 1:09:18 — What advice would Gigi give to new content creators?
  • 1:13:33 — What impact does Gigi want to have on the world through her content?
  • 1:15:05 — Where can people connect to Gigi Robinson?
  • 1:15:54 — What keeps Gigi up at night?
  • 1:17:02 — The biggest challenge Gigi faced in her life
  • 1:18:20 — A person who has had a major impact on Gigi’s life
  • 1:19:21 — Gigi Robinson’s book or podcast recommendation
  • 1:20:02 — What would Gigi Robinson tell her younger self?
  • 1:21:02 — What does success mean to Gigi Robinson?

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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Machine Generated Transcript


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Gigi Robinson, Scott D Clary


Scott D Clary  00:00

Welcome to success story the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the blue wire podcast network, as well as the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now, the HubSpot Podcast Network has other incredible podcasts like the salesmen podcast hosted by wil Baron. Now if you work in sales, or you want to learn how to sell or peek at the latest in sales news, check out the salesmen podcast where host will bear and help sales professionals learn how to find buyers and win big business in effective and ethical ways. Now, if some of these topics resonate with you, you’re going to love the salesman podcast, the psychology of the perfect cold call successful cold email trends for 2022 The four step process to influencing buying decisions, or the digital sales room the future of b2b sales. If these topics hit home, you’re gonna love the salesmen podcast, listen to the salesmen podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Today, my guest is Gigi Robinson. She’s a full time content creator, meaning that she gets paid to create content and how did she start? Well, she’s a very unique and important voice, she puts out content that speaks to some of the problems and some of the issues and some of the adversity that she’s had in her life. She shares her perspective on body image and chronic illness through all her social media platforms. She also has served as an executive board member and founding member of USC reach. This is the first and only Social Media Club at USC that aims to create a community for influencers, digital marketers, and anybody interested in social media. The actual passion that got her started with her photography, so she has had her artwork displayed in galleries museums all over the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the tweed, courthouse, and many others. She’s also been named as a brand ambassador and evangelist for a wide variety of brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Boo Boo your skincare, EF college brakes, higher education, skincare, Kendra Scott, Smashbox, Tinder, and tick tock, she has done this all before she even graduated from her master’s program. So we’re going to speak about what drove her in the beginning while she wanted to create content, how she found content that worked with an audience how she was able to build an audience, how she was able to build a community from scratch and how she was able to monetize it, so she could quit her full time job. It’s very quickly, let’s talk about the fact that she does all while she’s still in grad school, she turned her content creation into a full time thing she speaks about how to land partnerships, how to land deals, how to monetize your social media following, she acts as her own agency, meaning that she represents herself. So she speaks about how to navigate the contracts with different brands and red flags to look out for how to protect yourself how to offer the most value. But most importantly, you have to get paid what you’re worth. So if anybody is ever thinking about starting a personal brand, this is somebody you should emulate also, her content creation style, that type of thing, she puts out the process that she uses to get content out there. It’s all tied back to the things that are relevant in her life. And she speaks through a content creation process. And then lastly, why it’s so important to be an advocate and to speak to things that you know a lot about, even if they’re difficult things, because you are creating a community and you’re helping people that are also suffering from the same problems. And that’s what she’s done so exceptionally well. So let’s jump right into it. This is Gigi Robinson, full time content creator, brand evangelist and social media personality.


Gigi Robinson  03:38

Wow, well, Hi, thanks for having me. So nice to be here. I love the setup you have going on the catalyst for starting where I’m at. I think just being a New York native has really shaped a lot about me. And I think people give New Yorkers a lot of shit. And they say we’re cold minded and are cold hearted and strong minded. And that’s something that a lot of the time I think can represent us in a in a negative light. But I think a lot of that attitude is this like fearless interest in doing whatever it takes to like, make it here. I’m not gonna sing the Frank Sinatra song because like, I just am not gonna, but you know, I was born and raised here. So I think I did always grow up kind of writing these just metaphorically and literally writing the skyscrapers, you know, all the way up, and then having to come down. And in that I’m talking about also like the emotions of like living in the city dealing with friendship, drama, dealing with academic drama, and I think that that is what really has set me up for success as I kind of grow into a working professional,


Scott D Clary  04:53

which is actually that’s actually mind blowing that you’re still like we were talking before like you’re finishing off the grads school right now. And you’re going to figure out where you’re going to land. But you’ve already So walk me through, like I say, like career knowing that the career has started at a very young age, right? Like, it’s not like you have 50 years of experience doing something. So as you’re okay, so your normal, normal, like, air quotes kid, like going through high school, then you go into college. When did you start building creating, like even working because even in high school, I wasn’t doing anything like what you were doing. So walk me through like when you started, like were this this passion for content creation, building your personal brand, you have an awesome site up you’ve been like, featured in publications like you teach over, you create content, like, like, honestly, I’m a content creating, like fiend. And I like respect the hustle because you’re creating content like probably that competes with how much that I put out. So where did this all come from?


Gigi Robinson  05:54

Yeah, where does it all come from? I mean, I have always been a creative person, first and foremost. And I did go to the LaGuardia High School of Music, art and performing arts here in New York City, which is a very famous art school, if you’ve ever seen the movie Fame, or the musical, it is based off of my high school, which was obviously really cool going there. I mean, looking back, I’m like, holy crap, I can’t believe that was like my life, but like, okay, like, it was really kind of wild, because they put you through everything that normal high schools put you through, which is like, you know, I don’t know, like, what normal times for high school are like 10am to 2pm, or 3pm, we have like an extra three classes a day that were dedicated to the arts. So a lot of times our gym time or elective time was taken away, so that we could do more art. And I think that that was something that really pushed me in this direction of being passionate about the arts, and being able to find a voice for myself. So by you know, 16 1516, I was enrolling in classes at the International Center of Photography, like as after school program, I was able to get scholarships to them, which was obviously really, really helpful to me financially because I didn’t have to pay for it. And on top of that, I also did theater. And I was in like my friends acapella group. So there are definitely a lot of things going on, I was being like little Renaissance woman in high school. And I, on top of that was entering my photography into these global competitions, state competitions, regional national, like whatever kind of competition it was, I was like, I want my photos to be there, like it’s gonna happen. And it was almost this, like, calling this certainty that I had that I knew that doing that would be kind of like the first I use this font for the other day, which was really silly, but it’s kind of like that first lily pad for me on my career journey. Like I think of our like,


Scott D Clary  08:01

the great analogy, metaphor.

Gigi Robinson  08:04

It’s like we’re in a pond, and you’re like a kid, like 18 years old, or 1516, whenever you start working, and the first like, there, you know, there’s mental lilypads by the end your retirement on the other side of the pond. So that’s my new metaphor that I kind of like to talk about, but that was really this stepping stone that also helped me realize like one I’m really fucking good at this and other people, like adults, people who are patrons of the arts, you know, world renowned, like galleries, like my work has been in the Met multiple times. And I say that very humbly. But with that, I was like, that was what I needed to get me inspired enough to continue creating art, not just to win competitions, but also to, you know, be purposeful and inspire people. So after I kind of did my Bout of competitions, I started shooting portraits. And the main objective was to make people feel beautiful and confident, regardless of if they looked like they were, you know, a fitting model or stereotypically, like fit into the modeling world, because I really cared about making people feel competent. That was all so I made a project called I feel like a supermodel, which is what I then used as my project to transfer into USC with and I guess, like, the rest is history. I just kind of let that ebb and flow. And when I got to USC, obviously I was in Los Angeles. So the whole idea of being like a skinny hot tan model with blond hair was like, you know, of utmost importance a lot of the time and I feel like at some points I did lose a little bit of sight, around how can I make people feel confident when I myself don’t feel competent, and I’m playing this comparison game. But unfortunately, simultaneously, I was dealing with a lot of crap On like health issues at the time, and the only way that I could articulate my experience was by making art. So that’s how I really transitioned from. I think that competence building artwork to this purpose driven image making and storytelling, and now I kind of do a combination of the both. So I hope that answered the question.


Scott D Clary  10:22

It definitely does. And I think it’s, and I want to, I want to unpack that the one point that you made about, so it’s hard to teach over and to help people deal with their own insecurities when you have these insecurities yourself. But obviously, to some extent, I’m not saying that it’s, it’s, it’s perfect, but to some extent, you’ve managed and you’ve overcome that. Because when you put out content, when you put out you have to be comfortable with what you’re doing. And if you aren’t comfortable, you’ll never do it, you’ll never you’ll never press post, and you’ll always have this, this hesitation. So how did you overcome that? Because I’m assuming the the journey to overcome that, and to and to understand that, like who you are is good enough. And then some, that’s probably what allowed you to be able to operate at the level that you’re at right now.


Gigi Robinson  11:12

Yeah, I think confidence is very subjective, and individual, it’s a journey that everyone has to come to terms with in themselves. And I think, honestly, the I’ve, I’ve always been somebody who didn’t fully care about what other people’s opinions of me were, that really was until I was in Los Angeles. And like, I joined a sorority. And it was just like this game of materialism. And like capitalism, and mean 21 year olds, and I was like, What the heck am I am like, what I need to get out of here. And although the story was good for like, networking, it definitely was damaging in terms of like, physical and psychological problems that I think Greek Life cultures can sometimes really, you know, enhance or exacerbate in a lot of ways. So it was partly living in Los Angeles, but then again, like when I did those deep internal, I think readings on myself and was like, Okay, why do you feel this way? Like, why are you insecure? Because somebody else is trying to make you feel mad, like or bad about yourself, right? Like, their opinion, or what they’re trying to projecting is not a reflection of who you are. So it’s irrelevant. And I think that it definitely took a lot of tough skin or thick skin to realize that and like set that mental boundary up, but also, again, I’m from New York City, we get, we go through a lot, we have a lot coming at us all the time, people trying to beat us down, especially when we’re successful, or we’re doing things that make them jealous or envious, and again, also at the time to start posting and to like be kind of an influencer, that people on campus knew about was something that I think in 2017 2018 2019 people thought it was like intimidating or, you know, they were jealous of or they wanted to be like an influencer. I was definitely I would say like an early adopter of Tik Tok I got on Tik Tok in early 2019. And that’s how I kind of started and I call that early because people didn’t get on it until late 2020. Really? So I think that, you know, at the time, it was like I was hosting all these pop ups on campus like, oh, come to tick tock trivia comm you know, here’s some free tick tock swag. And these people would look at me and be like, Oh, that’s so cringe. And then as soon as the pandemic started, and as soon as people started seeing, like, my account grow, they started seeing, you know, tick tock explode. It was all of a sudden, oh, my god, Gigi, I saw this job at tick tock, can you please help me out like, whoa, and I’m like, Oh, my God, this is so superficial. But now, I’m in a position of power, where, or I don’t want to say a position of power, a position where I felt empowered, is what I’ll say. Because other people were coming to me saying, Wow, sorry, I misjudged you. Let me see what I can get out of you. And I have the decision to either help them or tell them, you know, sorry, I can’t help you. But here’s what I can do. Or here’s a resource you can look at. So that was something that I dealt with in terms of competence. And then again, the pandemic really only accelerated my growth, like when I think about who I was two years ago, like who came home from Los Angeles on a plane with three masks and gloves on, like three suitcases because I didn’t know if I was going back to LA. Like, that person is so different than the person that you’re talking to today. And I think that that’s also really important because obviously growth is you know, really important as individuals but what helped me be more confident was understanding my boundaries, my place and my work and what makes me kind And if TIG on like a deep level not unlike the superficial level of like, know your why, like know your why but know it like 10 layers deep?


Scott D Clary  15:09

How did you figure that out? Like how did you have the self awareness when people when people struggle with that their whole lives like understanding your why but going 10 layers deep is an exceptional thing to do. And I think you’re 100% on point, that’s what you have to do to be confident and to excel in anything. But how did you figure that out? And like, what was the process that you went through to understand? Like your, I don’t even know what to call it like your Super Why or yeah, whatever it would be called,


Gigi Robinson  15:36

for sure I’ve talked about this a couple times, but I did grow up in a Tony Robbins household, so a lot of mindset. And, you know, motivation was always kind of of utmost importance, like do things that kind of like, make you a better person wherever you can. And also making sure that in that journey that you’re okay with iterations and you’re okay with, finessing with or adjusting that true why or like your purpose in life as you go through different things in life, like, it’s just going to change. So back to even when I’m 16 years old, or I was 16. My true purpose at the time was just to take pretty photographs and to make people feel good about themselves. In a way that is still what it is now, but it’s now about communicating and having these conversations that people can actually apply to their life, so that they can become better advocates for themselves, whether that’s in, you know, a patient setting, whether that’s in an academic setting, whether that’s in a confidence building setting, whether that’s online, I mean, there’s so many different things that I think I’ve found and simply put the way that you ask yourself, or you find out your why is literally at least my process by asking yourself, so like, what is like, you know, what is your why or why? Why do you do what you do in life? Right? So you answer it once. And then you ask yourself, why do I think that that’s important? Or why is that important to me? And then you write that out? And then whatever the answer to that is, you kind of keep going down in this like funnel until you get to like the true meaning the true way. And I try to do this once every quarter or once every six months, at least because like I said, it changes. And that’s absolutely okay. And I think we need to change to evolve.


Scott D Clary  17:32

I agree. Just many people are not as self aware as you are, I think it’s exceptional. And that and help me understand like when you started. So your your transition into like, the content creation, it wasn’t purposeful it was it was understanding the things that you were passionate about. And then you started to create content about that. And then you started to refine, and I want to, so what I want to understand is sort of like, when did the hobby become something that you double down on? When and what drove that decision?


Gigi Robinson  18:06

Yeah, I really love this question. Because it’s actually been something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Before I answered the more inspirational piece, or the more I guess, the roadmap of how it all happened. I’m kind of at this point where I’ve been doing it so successfully, that I no longer have the bandwidth to really shoot for fun. And quite frankly, I don’t like to shoot for fun because it’s far more effort and energy than hiring somebody else to do it for me or like I would rather have you know, somebody books somebody else as their photographer, unless it’s like my friend who I’m doing a favor for then go out of my way to shoot content for other people like if they’re paying me for it. Versus like, I now am in the place where I love art directing, and I want to hire a team and make it a production and like I think again like that love for photography and art making image making storytelling creating has evolved and that’s okay, that’s like the dream I think like you want to go from a freelancer to like full blown productions like that’s a lot of the time the goal so I initially started doing photography for fun, I would shoot nighttime landscapes and that’s really what started me out in the competition world and in kind of refining you know, at first it was showing how beautiful our Earth was at night because I feel like it’s often unseen a lot of people don’t really check out night work often and I just wanted to be that person that showed the world that through my lens then it moved on to fostering you know confidence for people and while I was doing all this I was posting online, not missus literally with the intention to blow up or become like an Instagram photographer, but really just to have a portfolio that I can easily access. And I guess you could say it was maybe forward thinking where I was like, I could go into a job and say, hey, look, look at this Instagram, look at where my photos up in a gallery in Athens or Portland or, you know, the Met and like have those kinds of people be like, damn, like, I want to hire you like That’s sick. So I did that, you know, in high school. And then when I got to my or when I was thinking about college and where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, I was looking at art programs that weren’t really conservatory style. I wanted a program that was based in a city so that I could capitalize off of the resources around me. So it’s not a coincidence. Like Love. Sorry,


Scott D Clary  20:50

I just want you to explain that the conservatory so I don’t understand that. Well, what does that yeah,


Gigi Robinson  20:54

I’m in art conservatory meaning like, you’re going for art, like that’s your end. Like all your classes are around art. A lot of times like musicians, dancers, singers, fine artists will go to Design School, art school, specifically that has like a very structured art regimen. Versus like, I went to USC, and I did get a BFA, but I also had Game Day and Los Angeles and, you know, general education and internships like all sprinkled in versus like conservatories, there’s not as much so. So yeah. So when I was thinking about that, again, it was no coincidence, I chose la like it was New York, LA or Miami. And I knew I wanted to get the heck out of New York one because it’s cold, and I very much dislike the cold, I prefer to be somewhere 75 degrees in sunny. And, two, because I grew up here, and I didn’t want my experience to be on one plane. Sometimes I think that, like, if you spend your whole life in one place, it can limit you from a lot of your growth. So I went out to LA, I had no family there. And that’s just kind of how I ended up there. And my goal, there wasn’t to, like produce amazing, amazing art, it was to network and to go intern at companies and meet people who had the connections in the industry that I wanted. So I thought that if I was in the entertainment world in LA, I would be able to utilize what I already had, and showcase my artwork, or my portraits online, which by proxy would get me in the spaces to potentially shoot clients that would end up on billboards or shoot social ads or shoot movie posters, like those were my goals. And I joined this social media club called USC reach, which I was a founding member of. And I honestly attribute a lot of my career decisions to that being I guess, like at the, at the foundation of what I’ve built today. And I got in because I was like, I want to use my account to showcase my photography so that brands hire me to shoot ads for their big clients. And one day, somebody called out sick for a video and I popped in and like the video popped off, and I was like, Oh sick, like, I guess I can do this. So then I started working for brands. And because I had all of this photography experience with posing with portraits, self portraiture, I would just set my tripod up, shoot self portraits with my, you know, products and submit them to the brand. And the thing that set my content apart for the most part was that all of my content was shot with my DSLR it wasn’t shot with iPhone. And I also have been recently thinking about this not that it fully matters, because I think anybody can be a creator. But the same way I think about anyone being a creator, I think about the fact that anyone can be a photographer, or like that saying, where if you have an iPhone, you can be a photographer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have this experience that’s going to put you aside or make you exceptional. So I just I think about that a lot. And it’s not 100% necessary, it’s more aesthetics for me. And in an upcharge because it’s like higher production quality, more money. And yeah, so that’s my my journey of how I fell into it.


Scott D Clary  24:35

And so it seems like like even like when you founded USC so that was like the first Social Media Club, or USC reach scuze me so that was the first Social Media Club at USC. So that was like everything you’re doing like you have so what I’m trying to unpack is that you have this Pat like everything that you put out into the world, all the content you put out it’s about your passion or it’s about your journey and your reality. And that’s the core that It has created that has been your content that sort of driven all your content. And that’s actually what’s allowed you to succeed both as a person, like a personable individual that people can, like relate to. And then also it can actually, it can actually help you grow your photography career, as well as just the stuff that you’re passionate about the you’re just like the difference between you and somebody else that also had learnings in high school and college. And also as a photographer, as you were just putting it out again and again and again. Now, I’m just thinking about why people don’t do this. Why, like, you always felt like you always felt okay, putting stuff out there. And that’s what, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like that’s what’s enabled your career. It’s just consistency. And,


Gigi Robinson  25:46

and, and the reason why people don’t is because of the fear of judgment, the fear of failure, the fear of being rejected, like, it’s very simple people, especially in the world, I like with all these studies now that are out showing that social media is something that people use for instant gratification they use for validation, they use to make themselves feel good. They get dopamine from the amount of likes coming in from a video going viral. Like none of that matters to me, I care about the community, I care about the people I serve. And the difference between people being scared to post and to put themselves out there is one they usually don’t have a community they’re serving or they are connected to maybe they feel kind of lost alone isolated,

Scott D Clary  26:32

Found yours, you found your community you created it, you didn’t have a group of photography aficionados that just followed you that wasn’t it.


Gigi Robinson  26:40

Exactly. And I think you can find and make any community in today’s day and age. I was five years ago, when I started finding my community, right? We’re five years in the future. Now, I can’t imagine where it’s going to be five years from now. So I think you can really like create anything you want. You just have to be so confident in failing. And knowing that when you fail, you’re gonna learn and you’re going to like, implement whatever that learning is to better yourself, and you’re going to fail. So many times, there’s been ads that I’ve shot that I’ve like, like they’ve completely just tanked like they didn’t perform, how they wanted how I wanted them to. But you know what exists, boosted ads, brands pay a lot of money to put money behind your ads. And with that, it reaches more people. And again, by proxy, your community gets stronger because they’re like, not only like, oh, Gigi, let’s say uses this road, Mike, I know Gigi is a podcaster. I actually really love all of her podcasting. Maybe if I need an entry level mic that’s less than $200. I’m going to use the one that Gigi uses because I like her podcast, right? Very simple example, where even if the ad organically performed not well, the brand could still promote it. And it would make sense because I’m a podcaster. So I think also a big part of people being scared to start on social media, they always say, Oh, well, I don’t know how to make money. I’m not going to make any money. I don’t have enough followers. You won’t do that. If you have the scarcity mindset that you’re always going to be lacking, right? Like a lot of my friends say this well, I don’t know. I’m like a little bit scared about starting something. I’m like, why are you scared? Times ticking honey, no. Like, nobody is your competition. You’re your only competition. And I think if you have that mindset around social media instead of everybody else is doing it better. Let’s play the comparison game. Then you will succeed.


Scott D Clary  28:41

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. Now pies, taking candy from babies, both things that are theoretically easy, but anyone who’s made a pie from scratch or attempted to pry a lollipop from a screaming toddler knows these things are in fact very difficult. But you know what is easy? Integrating automating and scaling your business with HubSpot. Now, the HubSpot CRM platform seamlessly transfers customer data into usable insights. Like what’s the average time it takes us to respond to a customer service request? Or how can we get better at it? The HubSpot service hub brings all your data and support channels in one place. So your team can spend less time hunting for information and more time delighting customers. Plus seamless connectivity with marketing and sales hubs means every person on your team has a crystal clear picture of your customer. Easy as HubSpot. Learn how HubSpot can make it easier for your business to I love that. Okay, so talk to me. So you, you quit your job and you started your own company. So walk me through that walk me through how scary that was? Or was it not scary? Was it? Was it something that you did gradually? All at once the risk the reward, how it’s gone. For sure.


Gigi Robinson  30:03

I’ll start with the reward. I mean, incredible, like, every single day. I’m exhilarated and excited and like, electrified by what I get to do and the people that I get to talk to like yourself, but I guess I’ll take you back to the spring of 2020, which you can see my nice degree hanging up here, right behind me. But I essentially was flown back home right on March 18 2020. I come back home, my brother’s back home to from college, he went to Cornell, and he was, you know, in his junior year had just come back from his study abroad trip. And we hadn’t lived together, you know, like in the same household really, for three years other than like, two week breaks and like summer, and even then I was like in LA for internships, he was an ethical, so it was like a big family adjustment to be home. And I think all everyone was dealing with this, like most people coming home from college we’re dealing with, okay, I have to live in an environment that I haven’t lived in. And all of my freedom is basically going to be taken away from me, how can I be my best self? Or how can I take care of my mental health. And for me, that was talking about what I was struggling with online, like, I couldn’t go hang out with friends because I’m immunocompromised with my chronic illness. And my friends were being a little reckless, and like that was on them. But I did my best to connect with other people dealing with what I was dealing with. And then I also, I also was like, a little bit of a workaholic during the pandemic on top of school. So I got I don’t want to call it laid off. But like Warner Bros was the internship I was working at, at the time when the pandemic got called off. So they like paid us out. And we’re like, you’re done


Scott D Clary  31:56

physically? Because yeah, exactly. Don’t know what the hell’s happening. Yeah. Yeah.


Gigi Robinson  32:00

So then I also had a withstanding internship with Paramount lined up for summer, but they were like, We don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t know how it’s definitely not going to be in person. We don’t know if it’s going to be able to be virtual, because a lot of you have proprietary materials that you’re going to have to work with. And like, how are you going to do that remotely? And is it trust? Like, can we trust you, like, we can’t send you a computer or like all those kinds of variables. And then simultaneously, when I was at Warner Bros, I was working on a project that this agency was kind of being outsourced to do. And I started attending their like live workshops, like on LinkedIn. And I guess, like the CEO, saw that I was in there and recognized my name maybe or saw I had mutual connections to the people I worked with at Warner Bros. and he like, hits me up. He’s like, hi, like, I saw you’re in our workshop. Do you have time for an interview? Are you looking for a job? And I was like, hell yeah, I’m looking for a job. So I basically get on a call with this guy. And he basically hires me on the spot, and he’s like, we need you like, you’re a Gen Z. You know, you understand tick tock right now better than most people because nobody’s been on tick tock. So I helped create a lot of really like those, those OG kind of tick tock hashtag challenge ads that that were going on. They still happen, obviously. But they’re I don’t think they’re nearly as successful as they used to be. And then I also was working with Paramount, but at night, so I was working eastern time hours for the first job with agency full time, 40 hours a week, then I was working part time with Paramount, like, five to 10 hours a week at night, like from six to nine, which was three to six Pacific. So I was again, absolute maniac, then the fall semester comes and I was doing a medically reduced course load because I was dealing with some chronic health issues. And like, I was starting to figure out like, how do I manage them what doctors do I see? So I was really planning ahead, because again, fall of 2020, like no vaccines existed, like it was still kind of like scary to, you know, go around and get outside of your house if you are immunocompromised. So I did seek work again. And I started working for this startup called likewise, which is an app that basically helps you choose and recommend podcasts, books, tv shows based on your interests. So kind of like when Netflix is like, this is what we think you would like or like Spotify is like, here’s this like, they kind of like curate it based on their algorithm. So I was creating organic ads, all of their best performing ads are from me and they paid me salary not by the deliverable, which is like really shitty if you know anything about the content industry, you know, to always ask for it by the deliverable. month by month usage rights instead of on a salary basis because you will get ripped off. Learn from my experience.


Scott D Clary  35:07

I didn’t know that. Okay, good to know.


Gigi Robinson  35:10

I got you. Yeah. So basically, I was just in this position where I was like, you know, I think I just turned 22. And I was working for this startup I wasn’t, it was like kind of like a contractor role. So it wasn’t necessarily set in stone, I wasn’t really interested in becoming a full time social media manager. So I also applied to this grad school program at USC, which is a Master’s of Science in integrated business design and technology, which is very, you know, future forward startup kind of accelerator style degree, and you have the flexibility to do it remote. So I said, you know, I’m going to apply, I don’t need the GRE, let me just jump on in. So I submit my media kit that I actually use to pitch brands, as a portfolio item, I submit my projects about my chronic illness, and I submit my projects about my body image, work and competence building, and, you know, I ended up getting in, so when I graduated on December 16 2020, my parents were like, Okay, so like, When are you getting a job? I was like, Oh, I’m, so I’m gonna go to grad school. And I’m also gonna start my own business. And they were like, what? Like, are you kidding? Like, we just like, spent all this money for you to go to undergrad, and now you’re telling us you’re gonna just like, not get a job? And I was like, No, it’s not that I’m not getting a job. It’s like, I’m making my job up. And they were like, what? And so it was, it was definitely a fun moment. And I think there’s obviously been peaks and valleys with this. This life as an independent contractor, as you know, an LLC owner. And I started off as one person. And now I have nine people on my team. And it’s just really epic, to, like, see this growth and all of 2021 and kind of focused on building out my podcast and my live show, which got picked up by Spotify Live, which is has been like, so surreal, and a goal of mine for so long. And you know, so many other things that have led me to where I am today, to being the best speaker I can be to being the best advocate I can be to literally like killing it. And did it take time? Yes. Like it literally took two years for me to get to where I am today. And even so, I want to outdo myself, like with every day that passes, I’m never content. Like, I think that’s something I have to work on. But yeah, that’s another that’s a whole other conversation.


Scott D Clary  37:52

But so no, it’s a great, it’s a great mindset to have as an entrepreneur, but I want to I want to, I don’t want to go down that path yet. I still want to understand. So as you grow out a full time business as content creator, right? People are starting this. It’s like how do I make money? Okay, so if they’ve already subscribed to the idea of I’m going to create content nonstop. And I get that and I go across all my different mediums and I’m social and and podcasts and I’m newsletter, website and whatnot. So how did you monetize? How did you grow that?


Gigi Robinson  38:22

Yeah, well, as I mentioned before, in undergrad, I was already making content for brands through campus ambassador programs. So I was working with Tik Tok Abercrombie Tinder. Smashbox timberland be your higher education like you name it, if it was, if it was a college Ambassador College, social media marketing, college, you know, rep program, I was there, like, I wanted to do it and I wanted to do it best. So that when I graduated, those companies would remember me and contract me for like more work. So I did have the advantage of being in college and starting so if there are any young entrepreneurs that are still college age, for sure, look into these college level programs because they don’t pay much but it’s enough to build up that resume of brands you’ve worked with or portfolio that you can kind of go out and then say Oh, well I’ve done work for tick tock like, pay me more like tick tock baby. So I think that’s really important. And then second to that, I mean, there’s all of these platforms out there. You know, try popular pays co holy for I mean, they don’t pay amazing, but in the beginning, you have to honestly do a little bit of work for free like you can have a killer brand and a killer audience engagement and if you have that, most of the time they will be okay and behind you if you’re sharing a product, again, something subtle that I would do the same One way that I mentioned before is I would tell my audience something like, Hi everyone, like, if you, you know, listen to my podcast, by the way, this is the mic that I use for any inquiring minds about getting better audio quality on a zoom call, or maybe it’s that you want to start a podcast, or maybe you’re being asked to be a guest on your podcast. Or maybe you just want better video audio quality, right? And giving those options. Under the umbrella of like, somebody’s incentive to using a product is the best approach. Like I think of it kind of like as an umbrella, like, the product is an umbrella, you’re like the stick and you’re like, Oh, you could use it for this and that and that. And that way, it can appeal to many more people instead of zoning in. So a lot of times people say niche down niche down, no niche the fuck up until you can absolutely like, do an ad in any category and still make it about your brand. And still make it about your purpose, right? Like, that’s really what I do. So at this point, I mainly do tech, I do skincare and clothes, like those are my three kind of buckets, but they all fall under or on top of the umbrella of me, which is chronic illness, lifestyle as a student and being a New Yorker. So, you know, there’s a lot involved and how do you really get started, you have to put yourself out there, you can DM brands, like it’s not rocket science, we can shoot our shot, we can be okay being left on red, like it’s okay. Don’t take it. So personally, we can find these people on LinkedIn and message them and ask if there’s any, you know, gifting opportunities to get out and say, I would love to make a video for you. Obviously, at a certain point you have to ask to be paid you can always lead with I would love to create some content. Is there a budget for you know micro influencer partnerships or influencer partnerships? If they say no be like, Oh, I would love to get involved with your brand. Are there any gifting opportunities, maybe post a story, maybe post a casual like unboxing? You know, there’s a lot of things that can be subtle, that aren’t an ad that can in turn, lead to an ad. So yeah,


Scott D Clary  42:10

I love that. That’s smart, very smart. And then I’m also curious. So you just shoot your shot, you DM people, you figure out how to create, you know, ads that actually resonate with your brand. And you and that’s it just testing is just testing and reaching out and testing and reaching out. And that’s how you’ve built this, this monetization has allowed you to hire like 99 people at this point. And when you think about your content strategy, so you have all these different things that you love to speak on, and you speak about, like chronic illness and you speak about, you speak about, like, sometimes you speak with photography and your passions, and you speak about like the things that are going on in your life. What’s the how do you decide the content mechanism? So like, how, what’s your content workflow, if somebody’s going to start to do Instagram, do the podcast, they do everything? Because you go everywhere I go everywhere, but I know that you probably have a well thought out process so that you can actually keep this up.


Gigi Robinson  43:04

You’re thinking wrong. I think you saw me like chuckle when you’re like, what’s your mechanism? I’m like, I am all over the place. But I’m trying to build that out with my assistant. Like, I think it’s been something where I’m like, I have to figure out a way to optimize my work so that I can like live a little that like yes, like work imitates life for me as an influencer and content creator. So how can I create content the morning where like, I get an endoscopy, which literally happened this morning, like I literally was vlogging it and I was like, This is gonna be cool. My video editor can edit this. And then I like picked up on like one of these, like, trending audios that was going around. It was like, it was like, sorry, not everyone can be a part of the bad bit genre. And it was like me in the hospital bed. And like, I think that’s funny, because I’m like, this is something that like, normally people are gonna apply this to like, competence or like, you know, whatever, like being bougie. But it’s like, no, like, this is about my life living with a chronic illness and other people who like if you look at the comments, it’s like all people with chronic illness that are like, Oh my God, wait, like, I love this. Like, this is so me, I feel seen, like all these things. And I think it’s moments


Scott D Clary  44:23

you did something there. You did something, you’re just you just you document your life. So you were laughing because like you you, you know, you’re laughing Oh, I don’t have like this, like specific process, like, whatever, that’s okay. But I mean, you still do it strategically and tactically, like you’re still documenting your life and the things that you’re living every single day.


Gigi Robinson  44:40

That’s true. Yeah. And I guess in a lot of ways, like I do have I don’t want to say I premeditate ideas, but I do have like a running list of over 200 ideas that I could just pick and choose from at any point if I want. Do I actually go into that list often now? Should I Yes. I think there was like A couple of videos going around now where it’s like if the masters are saying post six times a day post 12, right, like, do double of everything and always go like super extra. But then you run out into like burnout and fatigue. Like, if you’re just doing tick tock, I get it. If you’re just doing YouTube, I get it. But in today’s world, you cannot limit yourself to one platform. Unfortunately, you can’t. If you want to monetize, if you want to build a holistic brand, if you want to build a world around your brand, and have your hands in all these different buckets and have opportunities everywhere, you need to be known and seen everywhere, right? So I have a podcast, I go on podcast, I’ve got you know, my, my LinkedIn following. I’ve got my Instagram, my tick tock my twitter, snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, that’s nine platforms that are just me, then I also have a podcast, Instagram, a podcast, Facebook, and a LinkedIn business page. So that’s like 12 Different platforms for one person. So yeah, kinda crazy. But I think going in and doing something like recording a podcast, making it a video podcast, being able to distribute that on your personal Instagram and on your podcast, Instagram and on the Facebook’s, and pinning everything after so that you have higher exposure, doing like an artsy mood board of a photoshoot that’s coming up as a teaser. Like, there’s a lot of things that you can do. And I’m still working on like how to really zoned in on it. But I would just say


Scott D Clary  46:35

I kind of take all the you got to take everything in your head and like write it down so people can just like, because there’s I know, I know, there’s something there. There’s like some sort of like, like, like, do some sort of reason to the madness or something like just like strategy there. But I think that like probably documenting it’d be good. Because people can learn from this something you’re doing, like repeatedly, you do it, because you can see when you look at the content, you do it, but you gotta like, Yeah,


Gigi Robinson  47:00

I think I’m still figuring out what my method is. Because right now I’m just kind of like, consciously, like producing, but I’m not always like, like, I do think things through, like, I have an ad coming up. That’s a pretty big ad. And I’m already plotting, like, okay, these are the three days that I’m going to be shooting over. This is the kind of content I want to get. This is the video person I’m using, I have to sit down with my copy editor, right? Not everyone has a copy editor, we all start out scripting our own videos, when you start making content for brands, they ask for a script, why they want to make sure you’re not going to say anything crazy, right? They want a shot by shot kind of, or frame by frame. You know? What’s it called? Like? Write out the story of like a storyboard storyboard. Yes, I should know this, like, Why am I being so like, they want that so that you can have less edits on all ends. Because honestly, that would suck. If you script something out, you storyboarded it, you shoot it. And then they’re like, Sorry, we don’t like it. Like, you want to make sure that everything’s always approved. And I think being hyper aware of one, how can I outdo my last project with the brand or in general? And two? How can I make it better than any project that I’ve had? Three? How can I have fun? And for how does this represent me, my brand and the people that I work with? So those are the things that I think about when I do my process not only for ads, but with all videos. But the that doesn’t always happen in that order. It kind of sometimes just happens. And then after I can analyze it be like okay, Gigi, I see what you did there.


Scott D Clary  48:43

Do you think there’s obviously the lesson is you should be everywhere. But do you see some opportunity on some platforms more than others right now? And like 2022?


Gigi Robinson  48:55

No, absolutely. I mean, to state the obvious anything short form video. I think there was a report that came out the other day that said like Snapchat is growing faster than any of the other platforms right now. And I was like kind of bamboozled by that because I was like, I thought Snapchat was dead. Like that’s what we use 10 years ago. But obviously tick tock YouTube shorts is blowing creators up. I mean, if you zone in and you post frequently, I’m talking also like six to 10 videos a day, which is a massive amount of content. If you are posting that much you will grow like I started posting pretty consistently, I would say maybe like two ish videos a day. And I grew like 300 subscribers in a month, which is a lot for me, considering I had like 100 subscribers at the beginning of the year, and now I’m at 500. So like I’m closer to 1000 And I think, but it’s about consistency. If I’m not producing content, then I’m not going to be growing. Tick tock I think has an enormous opportunity for you to blow up. But it’s becoming harder and harder for individuals who have a viral moment to kind of have this false narrative almost kind of like a like quicksand effect where like, they walk over it, and they’re like, Oh, I could be a full time creator, I’ve created viral content, I’ve maybe made one successful ad. And then they keep walking. And they realize they’re falling deeper and deeper, because they’re going under creator burnout, because they think, oh, every single video is going to be like this, like, it’s gonna keep following when that’s not the reality. The reality is that there’s like, a lot of burnout. There’s a lot of nights where you’re just like, fatigued, and you don’t want to make a video. Maybe you’re not as passionate, maybe your hands are in other buckets, and you can’t create content, right? So I just think the Creator industry is very, very interesting. But anything short form, video is going off, but I still love photography. And I still stay true to my like, my roots, and I post on there, because also my audience knows I do photography. If I all of a sudden just like didn’t post any photos on Instagram, people would be like, What happened to you? And I’d be like, I don’t know.


Scott D Clary  51:12

How do you? How do you? How do you? How do you navigate creative burnout? How do you make sure doesn’t happen to you?


Gigi Robinson  51:19

Yeah, creative burnout is like something I think a lot of people deal with. But I’ve been dealing with for years considering I’m an artist. And same way writers get writer’s block artists get artists block. And I think what you have to do is create within the parameters that you’re given in any moment. So again, today, I literally went in for an endoscopy this morning, and I brought my phone with me like to the O R. And I like took a picture with I literally recorded a video that I don’t remember asking my doctor to record with me where I was like, Can we take a video and he was like, Yeah, and I was like, I’m here with my doctor. And it was just like a part of my like, vlog. And I made it about my journey. And me. And obviously, I’m not saying like, go into your doctor’s office and start recording things with your doctor like that is very specific to me find what specific to you and see what you can make work. Like for the rest of today, I have to write a paper. So maybe I’ll do a time lapse of me cramming on a paper and be like, This is what it looks like to be a master’s student. And you’re like second to last semester. Like on time lapse, you know, like, or sometimes I’ll do content of me taking my medication. Sometimes it’ll be of cleaning my room. And is that representative of like, our artistically like who I am and conceptually like what my work is about? Not always. But it does add in like a little bit more of that authenticity that like non curated vibe of being like, this is real life. Here’s what I’ve got going on. So if you show more of that, you will likely fall into less burnout. And part of that is because


Scott D Clary  53:03

I think you’re actually doing it to you’re actually doing it. Yeah. And then something


Gigi Robinson  53:07

another one of my friends said which again, I’m working on because you just asked me about structure and I was like structure way What are you talking about? He his theory is that the more structure you have, the less burnout you’ll have, because it’s like, you know, you’re doing certain things a certain way. And then the more you know, the more burnout you have like you’re gonna also have less structure. So anyway, not mine.


Scott D Clary  53:33

No, but it’s a good, it’s a smart idea. And I think that I think you actually touched on a lot of different points that could be useful for creators. I think that the one thing that I really do love that a lot of people have trouble with, I guess there’s like levels to how comfortable you are putting stuff out into the world. Like level one is just like talking about like, what you’re an expert in. And then like level two is like forgetting not forgetting what you’re an expert in like you put that out there. But then you like show how you’re not this like refined, perfect, polished person who only knows that one thing and you’re like so many other dimensions and that’s that’s reality, that’s an I think reality, like an authenticity, it always wins. Like always,


Gigi Robinson  54:08

even if it comes down to just something like posting, maybe maybe like, I’m not saying this would be me but like an example of a really successful business leader that I follow. His name’s Daniel G. And he posts you know, a lot of like sales, training and media, kind of marketing strategies, blah, blah, blah, and like Twitter quotes and like really shareable content, but then he’ll come on his stories and we’ll either do like a video of him in the gym or like his morning coffee or going out for a run like being super sweaty, like panting and like that is how you know that that person is keyed into their audience. They love Digi because he is into like helping them and in turn they love him regardless, you know, and that’s again this like internet phenomenon of thinking that it when you have an audience that like loves you, like, you’re being like, let in on their secret community or like you’re being let in on secrets of their life and like knowing things like, for me, it’s like going to Joe in the juice, which is a really like bougie juice bar in New York, LA and Miami. And I get like, you know, I work with them. So I post about it all the time. And I love it. Like, it’s genuinely one of my favorite spots to work remotely. It’s just something I love. People would literally message me and be like, where’s your Joe on the juice of the day? Or like, you’re in the city? Let’s see the GI Joe. And I’m like, that’s hilarious, because that’s something that my audience now knows that they can expect from me. So anyway, more authenticity, highly recommend


Scott D Clary  55:46

going into being a full time content creator. What was the biggest stress the time when shit hit the fan? That you thought like, this is not the right thing for me? What was that? How did you overcome it?


Gigi Robinson  56:00

So I never have thought that it’s not the right time for me, or that I’m not worthy or capable, or, you know, doing enough. When you hit a roadblock, and you start having these negative thoughts when you’re on this journey of entrepreneurship or being a full time creator. It’s really about refining that strategy and figuring out okay, I tested something, it’s no longer working, why? How can I change? How can I iterate? How can I move forward and create content that actually is going to reach those audiences that can convert to sales or convert to a higher engaged audience, right. So I think, also, like, when you are an entrepreneur, starting out, if you aren’t like a, if you don’t have like, a seed round, or, you know, angel investors, or whatever, you want to call it a lot of money to throw around with it, you’re starting out, as you know, an undergrad graduate, going into grad school paying for grad school, out of pocket. I think money can be liquefied quite easily, especially when deals come in. And when deals come in, a lot of the times you’ll sign a contract, you’ll do the deliverables, you’ll post them, you’ll submit the insights, you’ll submit an invoice and then 30 to 90 days later, you’ll get your money. So I think the biggest challenge is around this idea of getting paid and making sure that you can budget yourself because it’s always changing. Like there’s never like, okay, every month I’m getting a residual like 5k in and like, that’s just what I get to, like, use for my business and everything else is extra, right. It’s like,


Scott D Clary  57:46

sometimes project based.


Gigi Robinson  57:48

Yeah, It’s project based, there’s a lot of like, financial stress here and there. Because someone’s can be great, someone’s you might not get any deals. So it’s definitely a bit of a challenge, I think. But I also, like, have been lucky and fortunate that I’ve been able to manage, you know, over the past two years. And I again, like live at home. And I think if you’re young and you’re starting out and you’re able to live at home without like, you know, killing your parents, or like losing your mind a little like I think like go for that option if they let you and like I’ve been very lucky and grateful to be able to build everything from my bedroom here, which is kind of crazy bedroom office studio.


Scott D Clary  58:33

Alternatively, if you are like working a job, which is a reality for some people that they can’t just like live rent free, like, I think that maybe not jumping into it. Like full into it. They want is also an option like doing the side hustle, and then yakking after hours working weekend.


Gigi Robinson  58:49

I also think like, like, yes, but I think the downfall of that is that you might not take it seriously. So for me, it was about literally just like calling up my accountant and being like, Hi, can you set this LLC up? And then I had taxes to pay, and then I had expenses to pay. I had to figure out how to pay them. If you have something else that’s like a cushion that you can rely on. Or maybe you do want that cushion, but you also want to start something else. It’s like, okay, like I told one of my friends, start your fucking LLC, pay the bill for the LLC, right? Once you pay the bill for the LLC, you have to run money through it right if you don’t want to dissolve it in a certain amount of months. So how are you going to do that? Okay, cool. You’ve you’ve built the LLC, how about you finish your website? How about you get your media kit out there? How about you start a newsletter, right? Like there’s so many different things that you can do. But I feel like you just have to regardless of if you’re doing it full time, you have to find out what cadence works. And I think that that word is so important, because some people want to go from zero to 100 Real quick, but a lot of the times you have to say like people are like oh I just I don’t know how to do it full time. I’m like, Okay, well, you don’t have to if all you can do is post twice a week, post twice a week for a month on Instagram, and maybe post one reel. So that’s three posts a week on Instagram, two posts and a video, right. So that’s three posts a week, times, four weeks, that should be 12 posts on Instagram, you can download that video. And you can post that on tick tock YouTube shorts, Snapchat spotlight, that’s for other outlets, you can post it on, you can also take the photo and make it slightly more about your career and posted on LinkedIn and Facebook. Boom. Like, they’re, it’s like an objection that people have in their head that Oh, I can’t be good at this. It’s like, literally cross posting will take you 15 minutes total, like a week. So like, my advice is honestly to get over yourself and start posting like you will never do it if you don’t start.


Scott D Clary  1:00:52

What’s what’s some advice when people are like negotiating with some of these big brands? Are there any things that you have to watch out for that that could have screwed you over when you first started?


Gigi Robinson  1:01:03

Yeah, I mean, negotiation is always a little awkward. But I think if you handle it with this attitude of like, Hey, guys, I don’t want to you know, take up any of your time, let’s just cut to the chase, what’s your budget? Yeah, like, obviously, after you built a rapport with them, and after you’ve gone through the deliverables, they want to work with you. Like I think beating around the bush is the biggest detriment to creators, because it teaches you that the brand has like the upper hand, because they’re paying you but really, you’re the upper hand, because you’re the original content. They don’t want to do a fully produced ad anymore, they want your original content. So a lot of the times they’re willing to pay, you have to know what to ask. That’s the biggest thing that people are speculating now is, okay, well, what’s my rate? How should I know what to charge, throw a number out there, when somebody agrees to it up charge, the next time they agree to that higher number, okay, up charge, right. And as you grow, the brands that you work with, you’re also going to grow your portfolio, you’re going to grow your business, and I think they go hand in hand. But making sure that you don’t beat around the bush, like, if a brand is like, this is an example that happened last week, a brand came to me and was like, oh, you know, they’re really big tech brand, they’re like, we really want to work with you, we think it’s great, you know, it’s probably going to be about 12 Instagram stories, and to Instagram posts per month, for five months. And here’s our budget, and it was so low, I mean, less than $100 per item, which is just out of control, considering my rate is well over $2,000 per item. And it’s like a moment where I had to say, I really would love to work with you and find a way to make this, you know, happen for both of us, because the brand is incredible. I’m a huge fan. However, that budget is not going to work and transparently, it would not be worth my time. And I really again, appreciate it, please let me know, you know, keep me posted and not the moment where like, you have to be willing to lose it all. I’m okay with it because I’m not okay with producing those deliverables. So knowing that knowing also usage rights and exclusivity and exclusivity, meaning if you’re doing an ad with Starbucks, you probably can’t do an ad with pizza, or dunkin donuts or Tim Hortons, etc. And then usage rights, meaning you will post the content and the brand can use it in their own paid advertisements at their discretion. So they may pay you $5,000, but run $50,000 in ad spend behind it, right. So you deserve to be getting paid for that per month, like a residual, essentially. And then on top of that, there’s something called whitelisting, which is where the influencer will post the content. And then the brand will put also ad spend behind it and make it look like an organic post. But really, it’s a sponsored ad. You also deserve to be paid extra for that because your content is being shown to other people kind of like in a new audience and you deserve again to be compensated. So knowing about those things, reading up on the industry, something I did when I was in my internship at Paramount was called doing the daily trades. And essentially what I did was I read three articles a day, kind of did a very high level one sentence summary on what’s going on in that industry, just so I could be in the know, definitely doing that when starting out too so that you can use that to leverage with brands saying oh, well, other creators in the industry are charging this or you know, Oh, I saw this ad by them. I want to emulate that so on and so forth.


Scott D Clary  1:04:44

And and as you’re growing your own personal brand, you’re putting out content. The one thing that we didn’t touch on which I thought you’ve done exceptionally well is PR like you have publications like people have written incredible articles about you. And and I feel like Even for me, like I know content, but the PRP is like a missing piece in the puzzle that I feel like content creators, they’ve never had exposure to that world, they have no idea where to even start with PR. So where do people start with PR to start getting some third party? Because that’s really what validates, right? Like, you can put your own con out content out that you’ve worked with big brands, but when like, a Forbes or a Vogue or anything, they speak about you, they’re like, whoa, okay, so, you know, this person is onto something, they’re figuring something out, or they’re, they’re creating something exceptional. So how do you how do you get that?


Gigi Robinson  1:05:32

Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, I think, also, my, the biggest thing that I say to people around me, is why do you want PR? And what do you think you’re gonna get out of it? Right? Is it that you simply want more eyes on your content? Are you looking to generate sales? Are you looking to get like, verified to be honest? Like, what is your intention behind it? And why do you think it’s going to help you, and until you’re clear on that you’re not ready for PR? Like, that’s what you need to do first and foremost. Second of all, once you start reading the trades about your industry, you’re gonna start to get real familiar with the journalists, like reporting on it. So guess what, you can get active on Twitter, you can DM them, Hi, I’m a career in this industry, I absolutely love your article on blah, blah, blah. You know, let me know if you ever need a source in this industry, like I do, blah, blah, blah. And that’s how it relates, right? That’s a very easy way to kind of get your foot in the door. There’s also things I know it was going viral on Tiktok a while ago called Help a Reporter, which is where you can basically, there’s like open calls for, like sources needed kind of situation. And a lot of the times you can submit them and like they won’t come through, sometimes you’ll submit them and it’ll be like a cool article, like, you really never know what can come out of it. So if you have free time to kind of waste and like, submit yourself for like, you can definitely do that as well. And last but not least, is going and paying for it and like you absolutely can pay for PR and once you get to a certain level, you’ll get a certain amount. Like I started paying for PR because I was having too many inbound requests coming at me. And I couldn’t manage it. So I needed somebody to help me kind of weed through what was like good, what was bad. Also, like, even like as an influencer, specifically, attending these events that are put on by brands or movie premieres, getting out there is really important. And a lot of the times you you can also naturally get invited to those I just don’t even have like the capacity to like, what sort of like manage those those inbound, so I have


Scott D Clary  1:07:52

a ton Yeah, you have to like filter through them and see what’s good and what’s bad. Yeah,


Gigi Robinson  1:07:55

exactly. And like, that’s a cool level to be at. And I think that that’s the point where like, you’re literally paying somebody to do a job for you. So that’s, that’s, again, kind of like my journey with PR. And I think it’s been extremely beneficial for me, because not only does it validate, like, where I’m at in my career, but it validates me as like an industry leader and professional and like disruptor in the industry. And I think it’s it’s just really cool. But it’s, it doesn’t mean that I’m successful, right? Like, just because somebody has PR doesn’t mean that that’s the end all be all that they’re successful. It’s like the work that they’re actually doing that measures up to it is the success. That’s that’s what it’s really about. And it’s about, like how happy it makes me like, just because I have like a cool feature, like doesn’t mean that I am like this, like on this other.


Scott D Clary  1:08:50

Like, it’s not like another another point of happiness. Or like,


Gigi Robinson  1:08:55

verified doesn’t mean that it’s a new point of like a new benchmark, right? Like, I guess in some ways, it’s like, yeah, so you can be trustworthy, but there’s a bunch of trustworthy, like people out there that aren’t verified like you. There’s no secret club. It’s not like Soho House. Like we don’t need a gatekeeper here. So I think that yeah, that’s just some things to think about.


Scott D Clary  1:09:20

And I guess, you know, I want to I want to I guess we’ve gone through a ton of stuff with content creation. I guess any advice for you know, we’ve gone through a lot of advice too, but like, like the most important advice in your mind for somebody who’s just starting out into creating content, trying to build their own personal brand. What What advice would you teach over to them?


Gigi Robinson  1:09:41

Yeah, I would go back to what I mentioned before finding your your your why and asking yourself, why you do what you do or why you if you have an idea of writing that down and really digging deep and saying why is this important to me? Maybe the answer is because you want to make your mom and dad proud. Why do you want to make your mom and dad proud? Okay, because, you know, they you want to have a better life for your future family. Okay? Why is future family important to you because you care about, you know, family and building relationships, and you want to be available to your kids maybe in a way that your parents weren’t, okay? Why is being available important to you, so on and so forth, like, and you can do that. I know, that was like a more family focused example. But that’s like, how you kind of can go down that rabbit hole, and just not giving up on yourself and knowing that it takes a process. As I mentioned, I came home in 2020 as a very different person than the person that’s sitting on this call with you right now. And I’m extremely proud of that growth. And knowing that if you make it through like a month or a year, like even, even in January, like I was really like, I was like, doubting like doubts, like in January, I was like, What is going on? Like, am I doing this right, my health started acting up, like I started getting really like the New York City, winter blues kind of vibe, like I was not doing well. So I started a breathwork challenge with my breathwork teacher. So that was something that I focused on for my health for my mind, my body. And then I started looking and like reading a lot more motivational things around money. So like a lot of self improvement in your moments of doubt. And then I just kind of was like putting it out there. I was like, there’s no reason why I don’t deserve to be paid for the work that I do, because it’s really fucking amazing. And that’s when, like, out of the blue, the last week of January, I like entered what me and my breath teacher called like the vortex, which is just like this kind of like Portal. Like, it’s an energy portal. It’s a state of like, being, and you’re just I know, this sounds kind of witchy and crazy, but just go with me. It like, literally, it’s like, the last week of January opens. Like, I get this article up in Forbes. I was like, I think I had another article come out that I was interviewed for Fox for a second time. Then I, like submitted my Sports Illustrated video, I got that news, I landed three brand deals that were like pretty big, I got invited to New York Fashion Week, I then got COVID, which was definitely a sidebar, but that’s fine. It was not not bad at all. And then I go to Miami, I land like Sports Illustrated officially, then I like land another brand deal, then like I come home, and I’m going to all these events, and then my health stuff starts up again, which was like super shitty, but whatever. And then just like things keep coming. And I think it’s really about rewiring yourself and you can’t really work on your business until you’re okay in your mind. My art. My hierarchy is always like health, and mindset, and then business, or health mindset school, business, personal life and relationships. And then like self care, so I need to like put self care higher up, I probably need to also like, get, you know, when school is done, I’ll I’ll just bump business up. But yeah, just having a hierarchy and figuring out what works for you. And until you figure that out, you’re gonna be a little bit lost. So yeah, a lot of self reflection, essentially,


Scott D Clary  1:13:33

a lot of No, it’s very smart. What What impact do you want to have, with the work that you do the content you put out the community that you build?


Gigi Robinson  1:13:41

That is so great that you ask that because I literally wrote this down last night, so I’m just gonna it


Scott D Clary  1:13:46

was not planned. That was like, if anyone was not, I didn’t know you wrote that down last night. I asked everyone, that’s


Gigi Robinson  1:13:51

No, I love that. But I’m kind of like, I think as I evolve, I really want to be this thought leader that people can look to to see some of themselves in when it comes to patient advocacy and competence building because a lot of times, or I guess, up until recently, talking about chronic illness and mental health has been something that’s been looked down upon or not even talked about in general. But the reality is about 75% of people in the United States live with a chronic illness. And that is a lot. And as a result, I think by having these conversations, we build this extremely strong community and together, we’re the ones that can disrupt the industry, whether that’s modeling, whether that’s workplace future of work, whether that is you know, the creator economy, patient advocacy, like therapy, like there’s so many different possibilities that could come out of this and I just really want to help be that that thought leader and that kind of self starter that helps kick off and ignite the spark. work and other people so we can do it all together and get paid to do it too.


Scott D Clary  1:15:05

I love it. Okay, I want to do a couple rapid fire but most important and rapid fire. Is there. No, most I have to ask. I have to ask first. Where do people go to find you where all the socials, the website all that


Gigi Robinson  1:15:17

amazing so you can google my name Gigi Robinson, my website will come up as well as a bunch of other things. My website is just Gigi And you can find me on all socials at it’s GG Robinson. So that’s like that sign the word it’s and then my name.


Scott D Clary  1:15:34

Perfect. I actually like that better than the ER official. I like it. I like that. That’s good. That’s new. I’ve never I’ve never seen that before.


Gigi Robinson  1:15:41

The only downfall is if people are like, Oh, what’s your Instagram? I’m like, it’s GG Robinson and then they type in GG Robinson, they’re like, I don’t see you. And I’m like, you have to put the word it’s before. Anyhow. Very small detail.


Scott D Clary  1:15:54

Okay, a couple rapid fire. You’ve had a great career as a content creator. You’ve built a big brand for yourself. What’s keeping you up at night now?


Gigi Robinson  1:16:05

My chronic pain?


Scott D Clary  1:16:09

Fair, a fair, fair, fair answer their answer.


Gigi Robinson  1:16:15

Sorry, that took a downfall real quick.


Scott D Clary  1:16:19

Do you have? Do you have life or business things that are keeping you up cycled? Like things that are top of mind?


Gigi Robinson  1:16:26

I think sometimes I have too many ideas. Like I don’t want to say I’m in a state of mania. But like I’m always thinking about what kind of content that I want to produce?


Scott D Clary  1:16:34

Yeah. Okay. That’s good. And how do you solve for that? What’s like your strategy to like, still stay on track with what you’re doing while you have all these ideas?


Gigi Robinson  1:16:47

I don’t know if I have an answer to this, I write them down on my list. And I have my team hold me accountable?


Scott D Clary  1:16:56

That’s a good answer. That’s a very good answer. Yes. Which is like it’s very, very useful. It’s good advice. Um, the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome in your personal life, what was it? How did you overcome it? What do you learn from it?


Gigi Robinson  1:17:10

Probably work life balance or work, school balance, life, school balance, whatever kind of combination of all of that. And also dealing with my chronic illness in relation to running a business and dealing with also being an influencer. And like the stigmas around that and what other people my age are doing and how they don’t always realize how tough of a job this really is to not only be a creator, and like the front facing face of this, but to also be like a leader, like I have a team that I manage. And a lot of people don’t see that because they’re all remote and they’re not in New York City. So yeah, definitely. Honestly, managing a team. And it’s just been so transformational and exciting to be able to get like my whole team is like women, and we just collectively like vibe, and it’s a great environment, and everyone just gets it done. So yeah, just just dealing with all of that. And managing my health is probably the most challenging thing. And regardless of what the condition is, like, I know other people deal with this.


Scott D Clary  1:18:20

If you had to pick one person, obviously, there’s been many, but if you put one person who’s had a major impact on your life, who was it? And what did they teach you?


Gigi Robinson  1:18:28

Yeah, I would say Mel Robbins. I think she’s just an incredible like keynote speaker. You know, podcast hosts, she’s really blunt to the point. And I just admire her so much. And anytime I’m having like a intrusive thought or a block, I do her technique of like, 54321, like, how am I feeling now? Like, you know, can I do this? What is the problem that’s causing me this irrational fear? And then something else that I do? I don’t know if I learned it from her, or if it’s kind of inspired after that method, but it’s like, how is something going to affect me in six minutes, six days, six weeks, six months, six years from now? And depending on that answer, I can kind of gauge my response to any problem that comes up and turn it into kind of like a roadmap of how to get towards the


Scott D Clary  1:19:20

goal. If you had to pick one book or podcast, something that’s in influenced you impacted you something that somebody should go check out, what would that be?


Gigi Robinson  1:19:30

Yeah, I love the book, The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck. And I have dropped some F bombs in those. But I think it’s really important to like, selfishly, be so invested in what you’re doing and certain with uncertainty, especially as an entrepreneur, that you cannot afford to care about what somebody else is thinking and like let your mind set, be weak in times where you need to be like super strong and build your business. So yeah, that book too. taught me a lot about that.


Scott D Clary  1:20:03

If you could tell your 20 Well, you’re so young. Okay, well, can you tell your younger self? One thing? What would it be?


Gigi Robinson  1:20:11

Probably like, I know, this is gonna be cheesy, but like the new on my podcast is everything you need is within. And I, I truly think that a lot of times like, we like, put a lot of our we project a lot of our fears into our friends or relationships, sometimes even our work environments. And I think if we just like kind of pause and look within, and like enjoy the moment where we’re at, instead of thinking about what we’re going to do in the future. And like, why we’re having the fear, a lot of times we’re having fear, because we’re scared of something that hasn’t even happened yet. So I think instead of living in that moment, or fear based on past experience, and we live in the moment, and we just enjoy it and like smile more and be present. As challenging as that can be. That that’s that’s what we should do.


Scott D Clary  1:21:03

And then last question, what does success mean to you?


Gigi Robinson  1:21:07

I love this question. I think, you know, success is really the, the byproduct of success is the byproduct of what makes you happy. And I think that if you are able to be happy, you can be successful in any part of your life. Again, for me, today, it was a success that I woke up and I got out of bed. Like that doesn’t happen a lot of times for me, unfortunately. And I think success is just this thing that we use to like label an achievement or an accolade. But it’s not about that. It’s about like how these things make us feel. And you know, a lot of the time that is significance and we kind of need that significance to reassure ourselves that we’re doing okay, especially as an entrepreneur, especially when everything is so uncertain like we need to know things are okay and sometimes people become super like yo testicle and significance driven. So like definitely be humble when you’re reflecting back on your success.


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