Jenny founded Wearisma in 2015. She could see that social media was changing and that there were real opportunities to combine data with human creativity in the influencer marketing space. At first, Wearisma was a classic affiliate app that was successful in signing influencers to the platform, but Jenny quickly learned that brands needed an intelligent way to help them connect with influencers, so the influencer-focused Wearisma we know today was launched in 2018.
Before founding Wearisma, Jenny led the international digital strategy for Hearst as the company’s then youngest digital media director. Her remit was to grow and monetise the audience for iconic brands such as ELLE and Cosmopolitan across more than 50 countries outside of the US.
She found a career in media interesting due to the ability to mix data with human interest. From an early age, Jenny studied music but always excelled also in maths, so she has always had a balance of analytical and creative thinking.
In Jenny’s current role at Wearisma, she is in charge of managing and growing a diverse and international team, whilst building and nurturing a culture that helps her team to thrive. She also leads strategy and development plans so that Wearisma can continue to empower brands and marketers to forge impactful connections and grow communities. Jenny works closely with customers, partners, investors, and the wider industry to showcase how her team can support and improve influencer marketing.
Jenny provided Talking Influence with some insight into what a typical day in her life as a CEO looks like…
7:00: I wake up and check in with our APAC office, who are already up and working. It’s a good time to answer any product or customer-related questions and catch up with them before the UK opens. I often have international calls first thing – it’s not unknown for the very first thing I do in the morning to be taking sales calls in Chinese or talking to partners in Japan.
8:00: Next, coffee! A must for me in the morning – one of the perks of working remotely recently has been that I’ve learned to make really good coffee myself at home.
9:00: Depending on the day I will either head to the office or set up for my day at home. Currently, we are spending at least one day a week in the office – a day we use for the meetings where being together in person has added value, for example, creative catch-ups and planning discussions. I think working from home can be really effective for getting things done and one to one interactions, but collaborative thinking often works better in person.
10:00: I’ll check in with different teams and groups depending on the day including client services, product, sales, and marketing, either virtually or in person. We’ll review, discuss progress and make plans.
11:00: My day depends on the most pressing business priorities, so my morning focus can range from hiring to building roadmaps to returning to the office or – admittedly my favourite part – working with prospective and existing customers.
One of the most satisfying parts of my work is the conversations I have with brands about their needs, challenges, and what is going on in the industry. Sometimes they will share operational challenges, which can be very broad and relevant to the whole influencer marketing space. I love these conversations because these professionals are always offering valuable insights into their work and pushing their boundaries and it’s inspiring to work with them.
13:00: I try to break for lunch and get out for a quick run when possible. It’s amazing how much green space London has. Often I find it’s after taking a break or just getting back from a run that I have the best ideas, or can see clearer solutions.
14:00: As well as working on the day-to-day, I make time to look at the bigger picture strategy and planning. This might be reviewing our road map or quarterly goals. A key part of my job is being able to zoom in and out from the very granular, micro activity to the big picture quickly. I think this can help bring perspective, and I know that I can trust my team to deliver great work, and empower them to make good decisions.
15:00: I might catch up with the board about strategic activity, like scaling geographically or moving into new markets depending on the market signals we are picking up. Influencer marketing is fast-moving and it’s important for us to be informed and quick to act.
16:00: We have partners and clients in the US so later in the day I check in with them. Having lived and worked in the US and Canada, I am constantly updating my understanding of how the markets differ there. Having a global team means someone is always working so it’s important for us to be responsive and schedule meetings that work but also be aware of everyone’s boundaries and switch off when appropriate.
17:00: We love getting together socially as a team (when we can) – we’ve done lots of virtual socials over the last year, and I also love those serendipitous chats with people that sometimes lead to the best ideas. I often check in with people I don’t often work with directly, like some of the engineers for example, and those chats can bring up great ideas and new ways of working.
19:00: In the evenings I sometimes play the piano or cello with the others or simply catch up with friends to relax. I love reading, especially non-fiction books about interesting historical figures. I’ve just finished a book about the lives of the five female climbers who reached the summit of K2 and the barriers they needed to overcome in the male-dominated world of mountaineering. They have been overlooked but fought to claim their space – which was interesting as a female founder in the tech industry!
On an ideal evening, I might go climbing or to an art exhibition – I loved Paula Rego at the Tate Britain recently. There can be a tendency to see art as irrelevant to technology but I’m a firm believer that the two complement and support each other – and the influencer marketing space is a perfect example of technology and creativity working together.
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