It’s important to be in a full-time career that you really enjoy and are able to achieve growth through. Second, is when being an influencer you have to make sure that you have a unique perspective and point of view. The influencer market is fairly saturated now, so, it is really important to have a fresh stance on what interests you most. Lastly, is that you have to be really disciplined about balancing your two careers. It is hard enough to have a full time job, but being an influencer means you have to constantly hustle and be working.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Joseph Lucido, founder of The Lucido Life. Joseph is a full-time strategy consultant who also happens to be a social media influencer for menswear, lifestyle, and travel. Besides that, Joseph work as a part-time model, GQ Insider, Vogue Insider, and Brand Ambassador. He’s been to over 45 countries, walked in several Fashion Weeks around the world, and has been featured in GQ, Vogue, and the New York Times.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Well, that’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll give the condensed version. I attended UNC Chapel Hill on a full-ride and had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in places such as Thailand, Singapore, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong. During the summer after my first year I was studying in Singapore and Thailand while also interning for GQ. I loved the experience with the magazine and stayed on for the entirety of my sophomore year in school.
All while this was happening I was also on social media, in more of a recreational capacity, and featuring my travels and the live I was living on campus, with GQ, etc. This helped to build up my following, and when I eventually left my junior year in school to study abroad for an entire year that’s when things really picked up! My Instagram got a lot larger because I was traveling every week, and this is actually when I went to 30 countries in 1 year. While I was abroad I also worked as a model, which allowed me to travel more and see different countries. I’d had experience modeling since I was a teenager and had been doing it on-and-off since then.
Once I returned from my travels I was doing a consulting internship my junior year summer and arrived back on UNC’s campus with a full-time consulting job offer after graduation, so I was very ready to enjoy senior year. Upon graduating I started working full time, and at this point my Instagram had also gotten to a great point so I was really balancing both. Now we are here today where I’m about 2 years into my full-time career as a consultant, my Instagram is growing nicely and I’m truly enjoying the opportunities I receive through the platform, and I’m about to walk in another New York Fashion Week! So that’s the quick version of me over the past 5 or 6 years!
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
· This question always baffles me because I don’t know if I should be answering based on my business career or Instagram career! I consider them pretty separate, but I’m going to choose the best story and just go with it.
One of my funniest/most interesting stories is of course from my Instagram career because I’ve gotten to do some of the most fun and ridiculous things. I was actually at New York Fashion Week a few years ago. I was in some shows this time around, but it was New York Men’s Day specifically and I was only going to attend and view the presentations. I was working with a specific brand that was showing and they dressed me from head to toe. So naturally I showed up in the designs that were from the most recent collection and the photographers there got really excited because they were like “Who is that? He’s wearing the new collection!” The PR rep I worked with came and grabbed me and introduced me to the designer of the collection. He said I looked great in the clothes and that I fit right in with the models, and I told him thank you and that I’d be in a few shows later that week. At that moment it looked like a lightbulb went off in his head and he was just like, “Go be in our presentation now! You’re already a model and you’re dressed!” I thought to myself why not and went backstage, got a few minor things done to my outfit and hair, and was in their presentation/continual runway show for about an hour!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
· I try to do so in a lot of ways. I’m one of the heads of community service for young consultants in the program that I am in at my full-time position as a consultant. We work with many national and local charities to make an impact. On Instagram and through social media I have worked with St. Jude and some other charities to raise awareness around their various campaigns.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
· Interesting question! I usually get this more in the form of “How do I become an influencer?” But if someone wanted to do what I do as a young professional but also an influencer, I would have to give them advice that is a little different. First, it’s important to be in a full-time career that you really enjoy and are able to achieve growth through. Second, is when being an influencer you have to make sure that you have a unique perspective and point of view. The influencer market is fairly saturated now, so, it is really important to have a fresh stance on what interests you most. Lastly, is that you have to be really disciplined about balancing your two careers. It is hard enough to have a full time job, but being an influencer means you have to constantly hustle and be working.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
· Without a doubt it would be my mom!
I have a million stories of all the incredible things she’s done for me, but there is one that really stands out career wise. I was scouted to go on an influencer press trip, I’m not going to say where, and was really excited about it. The destination was fun, I had a great photographer set up, and it was looking like it’d be great for gathering content. However, my photographer fell extremely ill the day we were supposed to fly out. I was really panicked because I had a lot of obligations from brands, as well as the people who organized the trip, to create content during the trip and was now without a photographer. I called my mom in a panic and she said so calmly, “Don’t worry, I’ll just go with out and be your photographer.” She bought a plane ticket that day and flew down with me. We then proceeded to have the most incredible time and create killer content, but this just shows how willing she is to do anything to help me succeed. This carries over into my business career where she is my #1 sounding board and always gives me the best advice I could hope for.
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
· I’m working on some really exciting campaigns with American Express and Delta! Then there is also an influencer conference that is taking place in NYC in September that I am one of the hosts/panelists for that I’m ecstatic to be part of!
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Creating and selling your own product line.
a. I have designed some limited edition pieces of clothing or jewelry that either I have sold through my channels/ecomm or a brand has sold as a sort of “capsule collection.” This is a great way for influencers to monetize their brand because if they have a certain logo, image, design, etc. that is associated with their brand and has a good design behind it then that can entice followers to purchase their products, giving direct profit to the influencers.
2. Selling photo content, instead of simply selling featured posts on your accounts.
a. Oftentimes, influencers work with brands and get paid for featured posts. However, a great idea is to create additional content with these products you’re working with since you’re already dressed and you have a photographer with you. This content can be re-purposed and potentially sold to brands for their own use.
3. Creative writing, blogging, etc.
a. For me, I was an English major at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as a business major. Both of these help me to accomplish my third and fourth ideas I’ve used to monetize my brand. I initially started as a travel blogger and have carried this writing, as well as my ability to write creatively, into my work with brands. Writing blog posts for brands is one way to give your followers a more detailed look into the brands you work with and is also a way for you to charge clients more since the writing of a post takes significantly more effort than 1 Instagram post. Additionally, you can offer guest blogging services if the brand has a blog or help them with some of their writing needs to provide them with a new and fresh voice for their brand.
4. PR/Social Media Consulting
a. This avenue of monetization is something that I’ve been able to do partially because of my consulting experience. However, many influencers in the industry have opened up their own PR or Social Media consulting firms, and they are able to do so because of their experience in this realm and their ability to develop a brand. I’ve worked with some clients as their social media consultant to help them develop impactful content, work on their engagement, organize their posting schedules, select influencers to work with, build their following, etc.
5. Event Hosting and Appearances / Modeling professionally
a. More recently, I have begun to host events or make appearances at events and activations that brands organize. For hosting or appearing at these events brands will pay me a fee for my attendance, which usually comes with Instagram Story posts and Snapchats while I am there, as well as a featured post about the event in the day or so after. Then for me, booking modeling gigs has been another way that I’ve been able to monetize my brand and influence. Sometimes I will even bake social posting into modeling contracts to book more jobs or increase my rates.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
· I have so many people that I admire and look up to in the business world that are based around the globe. It’d be amazing to have breakfast with Anna Wintour of course, so I can get my Met Gala invitation for next year. I’d also love to have lunch with Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH which is one of my dream companies to work for. And so I have all my meals covered, a dinner with Don Valentine, the founder of Sequoia Capital, would be incredible.
Originally published at medium.com