Influencer. a coveted title held by those who’ve figured out the trick to capitalizing on something most of us have: social media. But what makes an influencer an influencer? What separates them from the millions of people who post pictures and share stories online daily?
Here’s a hint: work. Hard work, and a lot of it.
Becoming an online presence doesn’t just “happen.” It takes careful planning, combined with an in-depth understanding of marketing and advertising. For someone like Carly Hill, a top NYC life and style blogger, it also takes years of learning, education, and experience. Not to mention a passion for fashion, food, and city living.
Carly Hill runs one of New York City’s most popular lifestyle/beauty blogs. She shares fashion tips, wellness advice, restaurant and travel recommendations, and other articles set to inspire, encourage, and uplift all NY gals.
We had the chance to talk to Carly and get the inside scoop on what it’s like being a top influencer in the city that never sleeps.
New York Gal: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Why did you decide to move to NYC? And how did you get involved in the influencer world?
Carly Hill: I’m from Traverse City, Michigan and I moved to NYC almost six years ago, the fall after I graduated from Michigan State University. In college, I studied Advertising and PR and immersed myself in extracurriculars that were relevant to my career path. I joined—and eventually became editor of—the campus fashion magazine. I became the social chair of my sorority and interned in New York City at Oscar de la Renta after my junior year. Then, I began interning for Glitter Guide during my senior year. It was hard to balance school, a social life, an internship, and a part-time job. However, I was constantly learning and honing my time management and multitasking skills; two qualities that are important in any field.
After I graduated, I spent a summer at home in Michigan saving money and working in the event planning industry. Once fall arrived, I moved to NYC to live with a family friend and I landed a position at a fashion company. Working at this company was not my ideal job, but it did help to build many of my skills. Three months into working and a week after signing a lease for my first apartment, the company I worked for unexpectedly went out of business and I was instantly out of a job. I began to reach out to my connections again to see if there were any available positions that fit my interests and experience. I connected with someone from a top PR agency and before I knew it, this scary, unexpected job loss led me to an amazing job for five years! Then COVID-19 hit…
NYG: COVID-19 brought you an unexpected new career move once again. Can you share more about that?
CH: I had always wanted to eventually be my own boss, but didn’t think I would for a few more years. I loved my role at the PR agency, where I was on the influencer team. I handled all of our paid and trade partnerships and was sadly let go due to COVID-19 budget cuts. That’s when I decided it was now or never and couldn’t be happier—definitely a blessing in disguise!
NYG: Along with your influencer marketing consulting company, Carly A. Hill Communications, you also run your own blog CarlyAHill.com. How did that come about?
CH: Since I had interned and freelanced for Glitter Guide during/right after college, I learned so much about the backend of starting and writing your own blog. As my social following began to grow, I really wanted to begin writing my own pieces. I decided to start my blog CarlyAHill.com. Balancing it along with my full-time job is something I’ve always loved. I’m not good at sitting still and it was something just for me.
NYG: So, what’s your day-to-day life like?
CH: Every day is different, which I love! Half of my clients are influencers that I manage, helping secure and manage their partnerships and then my other half is handling the influencer partnerships and relationships for a few brands.
Some days are focused on pitching my influencers, going over their posting schedules, finding paid partners for upcoming programs, and things like that. Some days I am shooting or writing for a few hours for the blog, then working on my client work later at night. I love having the flexibility now to make my own hours and work when I’m the most productive.
NYG: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
CH: The relationships I’ve made! I feel so lucky to have really great supporters and true friendships in this industry.
NYG: What have been some of your favorite experiences of having your blog?
CH: I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take some incredible trips the past few years and it’s been one of my favorite things to write and share about. Last year I took a once in a lifetime trip to Iceland, visited Nantucket and Charleston with blogger friends, and visited Paris for the first time with my family for my mom’s 60th birthday.
I also love sharing my local NYC guides, as well and finding new spots to share within the city. Even during the pandemic, there’s always something new! I share all my guides here.
NYG: Who are your biggest supporters?
CH: My family, my friends, and my clients! Sharing the news of when I went off on my own was so humbling—I was able to see how supportive the people in my life, including my followers. I wouldn’t have been able to gain so many great clients without having such supportive relationships in the industry already and I feel very grateful for that.
NYG: What are 3 things you absolutely love about NYC and why?
CH: Ah, it’s so hard to narrow down! Of course, things are a little different these days but the reasons I love NYC so much are:
1) There’s always something to do or see. One of my favorite things to do is walk around the city and explore neighborhoods. I have done that in quarantine, too. You always see something that stops you in your tracks.
2) The drive. While I’ve loved these quiet few months, I love being busy more. Most New Yorkers have this same mentality.
3) The diversity. Being able to interact with so many different people from all over the world is such a gift. It’s helped me to learn and grow.
NYG: What do you do on your days off?
CH: I love just being with my friends and family, especially trying new restaurants and spots together in the city. I also love my dance cardio classes and recently picked up needle pointing for quiet nights in.
NYG: What advice would you give to young girls looking to start their own business?
CH: Go for it! It’s a scary step, but save up and take the leap because it could be the best thing for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! That can mean getting advice from other business owners or hiring an accountant to keep you on track.