A Week in My Life: Jennifer Quigley-Jones, Founder of Digital Voices
Jennifer Quigley-Jones is the 28-year-old founder of London-based YouTube influencer agency, Digital Voices.
The agency is on track to make more than £1million this year, having only launched less than two years ago.
Since founding the company with just £500 in her business account, Jenny’s paired YouTube creators with brands across the world including Rolls-Royce, the RAF, Universal Music, the Post Office, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, London Symphony Orchestra and more.
She shares what a week in her working life is really like...
This week is a little manic, as lots of the team are out of the office. We have a team meeting to start the week and discuss what everyone’s got planned. The meeting gives everyone in the team the opportunity to explain what they’re working on so that we’re all on the same page. Every week we also ask if anyone on the team has ideas for how to do things better - I think the worst thing a company can do is stop listening to your employees or customers.
As well as having some new business meetings, we also have to start work on the largest campaign we’ve run to date. At the same time, I fly off to Istanbul later that day to speak and present an award at an Influencer Marketing conference and awards. Pete, the lead Creative Strategist on the Digital Voices team, is speaking on a panel for the first time, at the Influencer Marketing Show. He’s slightly nervous!
The conference in Istanbul is largely designed around making a positive impression on influencer attendees and showing them the best Turkey has to offer. The conference itself is hosted at the Four Seasons hotel on the Bosphorus, and my hotel (the Kempinski) down the road is stunning. I’m greeted with a whole host of tasty Turkish treats in my room.
The day of conferences… Istanbul’s starts at 8.30am, where I need to find the other people on my panel and go through the questions I’ll be asking. It is a little out of my comfort zone, as they are very creative Instagram photographers and illustrators, rather than YouTube creators. But we end up having a thorough discussion about the pressures of creativity and social media’s demand for content. You can check out Combophotos and Yehuda Devir here.
The rest of the team spent their day working on campaigns, sourcing YouTube creators and pitches. Pete attended the first day of IMS, with a title upgrade to “CEO”, as they could change the name on my attendee badge, but not the job title! He has since framed his badge in the office as a constant reminder of the two days he spent as CEO!
That evening was the Influencer Awards, so I got changed into my floor-length gown and ready to present the award for “Most Creative Content Creator”. Of course, I end up frantically working, then getting ready in about 15 min when the hotel calls my room explaining that the shuttle bus is downstairs!
After the ceremony, some of the group end up in an edgy Turkish bar until about 1.30am - not sure my gown was appropriate attire… As much as the evening was fun, I also met a potential new client who was looking for a way to include YouTube in more of their Influencer Marketing activities!
Wednesday was Pete’s big day on stage at IMS, speaking about “How to Determine the Value of an Influencer?”. His panel session addressed a lot about fees and the financial side of the industry, which is rarely discussed openly. According to both him and Twitter, his panel went well!
I spent the day working and enjoying Istanbul, before the final event that evening. A creator called me to debate contracts and fees during the event, as they were stressed about the small print.
One of the things to remember about working with influencers/creators is that they don’t have normal working hours. You’ll often have messages or calls in the middle of the night. This may feel odd to someone used to working in marketing, but that always-on approach to media is one of the reasons they have such deep relationships with their audiences and drive strong returns on investment.
I then had a brilliant conversation with Cameron James-Wilson, the creator of Shudu, about the future of virtual influencers and what they could mean for diversity, representation and the environment.
Time to fly back to the UK, whilst the team met Warner Music about an artist YouTube campaign.
Standard frantic approach to work - I had a call advising a charity on content strategy from the airport. By the time I got home from the airport, it was already 5pm and I definitely needed a rest.
I have never been so relieved to be back in the office! It was brilliant to finally have the whole team together again. We had to respond to a large brief from an existing client releasing an exciting new feature, pay creators and the team and send a contract to a new client.
After all this, one of our largest clients came into the office to feedback on our creator selections for an ongoing tech campaign and let us know about their 2020 plans (two more campaigns)! We then went out for lunch together as a thank you for getting all the legalities and paperwork over the line.
At the end of the day, the whole team went to Dinerama. We missed two staff members’ birthdays while people were off travelling, so made up for it with a night of lots of food and alcohol… It is Shoreditch after all!