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Community Highlights: Meet Pamela Zapata of Society 18

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela Zapata.

Pamela, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I grew up in Massachusetts as a first-generation American. My parents immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic and raised my sisters and I in a low-income household. Growing up, they instilled core values in us that have been key to our accomplishments and success today.

I attended Emerson College in Massachusetts and obtained a BS in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Marketing, Advertising and PR. Shortly after college, I moved to Los Angeles where I worked for companies such as E! Entertainment, Ryan Seacrest Productions, Style Haul, and Sweety High. During that time, I cultivated valuable relationships by successfully and strategically utilizing influencers and talent for digital and on-air programming, brand sponsorships and events that supported business initiatives, drove ratings, and increased revenue.

After eight years in LA, I relocated to NYC and became the Director of Influencer Marketing at United Entertainment Group. There, I led influencer partnerships, strategy, procurement, negotiations and campaign reporting for various personal care brands within the Unilever portfolio including Suave, Dove, Love Beauty Planet, Axe and Popsicle. I eventually moved on to my role as Senior Director of Influencer Marketing at Starpower, where I oversaw multiple campaign and influencer casting initiatives for key beauty brands including Estee Lauder, Bobbie Brown, MAC, BECCA and La Mer. Within this role, I had a range of responsibilities including campaign ideation through concept execution, while also overseeing strategy, client management and talent relations.

During my years working for these companies, I saw a major gap in the industry when it came to diversity. Not only were POC (people of color) not always represented in campaigns, many diverse creators did not understand their value when comparing what their counterparts were receiving monetarily for branded projects. This gap is what fueled and motivated me to take the leap and start my own company in 2019 so that I could address that need directly.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has certainly not been a smooth road. I cannot stress enough that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. I’ve hit several bumps on this road, but the key is to take each bump as a learning opportunity. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’ll likely repeat them.

One massive struggle that comes with launching a business is trying to wrap your head around where to even start. That can lead to analysis paralysis which can prolong your start on this journey. Other major obstacles include understanding the steps to building a long-lasting profitable business, maintaining cash flow, creating scalable and manageable processes and procedures, growing a team, finding the right resources to support that growth and also when and how to scale. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs and sharing resources is crucial; it can help drastically cut down the learning curve in many areas.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Society 18?
Society 18’s mission is to represent content creators of all races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures and assure that people from all walks of life are represented in the marketing materials targeted to us daily. Our goal is to resemble what society actually looks like – hence the name.

My team and I bring over a decade of unparalleled one-on-one strategic counsel for influencers seeking a dedicated management team and brands seeking meaningful ways to incorporate diverse influencers into their branded campaigns. I leverage my unique strategic insight to maximize sponsorships and optimize campaign performance to benefit both our clients and the brands we work with. One thing we’re very proud of is being able to successfully increase each client’s revenue anywhere from 3x – 5x. Along with my team, we skillfully guide 30+ content creators through the complexities involved with brand partnerships, while also focusing on personal brand building, channel growth and optimization and new business. The creator economy is booming and talent that doesn’t continue to evolve with emerging platforms, trends and the various ways to generate revenue, will fall behind.

Not only do we support and elevate content creators, we also help businesses navigate this relatively new space of influencer marketing, and can support with strategy, casting, campaign execution and reporting. Due to the proven conversion and ROI of influencer marketing, we’ve seen it turn into a multi-billion dollar industry. There is quite literally an influencer for anything!

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I truly believe luck is the moment where preparation meets opportunity. My mantra in life is to do the best you can with the things you can control, i.e. work ethic, preparation, relationships, etc. and the rest you leave up to God or the universe (or whatever you believe in.) I believe that both in my personal life and as it pertains to business, opportunities have been presented to me and the outcome would truly depend on whether or not I was ready, willing and able to accept it and be open to all the good and/or bad that may come with it.

I view bad luck as a lesson that hasn’t been learned quite yet. I try not to get discouraged when things don’t go my way. If you get caught up in the negative, it’ll distract you from the bigger picture and all the wonderful things that are happening within your business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
First Image- Jeremy Mitchell Second Image- Simón Espinal

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