My name is Pamela, and I am a NYC-based talent and marketing executive with a unique range of experience. In 2019 I founded Society 18, a bicoastal influencer management and marketing agency with a focus on multicultural and multiethnic content creators and digital strategy. Since then, I have quadrupled the agency’s client list and revenue and have hired a team to support all our business initiatives. Prior to starting my business in 2019, I garnered over 10 years of experience working in influencer strategy, integrated marketing, talent relations, casting, and production for some of the biggest networks, brands and agencies in the industry. 

I began my career in 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 relocating to NYC, I became the Director of Influencer Marketing at United Entertainment Group, where 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, Bobbi 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. 

Q: Did you start the venture alone?

So, why did I venture out on my own? During those ten years in the trenches, I saw a gap in the industry when it came to diversity. Not only were people of color not always represented in campaigns, but I found that many diverse creators did not understand their value when comparing what their counterparts were receiving for branded projects. That gap is what fueled me to take the leap and start my own company! There was a need to address the issue which pushed me to work directly with multicultural and multiethnic fashion, lifestyle and beauty influencers to help them understand their value and while also advising brands and agencies on the importance of strategically including diverse creators of all races, ethnicities, skin tones, hair textures, religions and body types into their campaigns.

Today, I leverage my unique strategic insight to maximize sponsorships and optimize campaign performance to benefit both my clients and the brands they work with. My team and I skillfully guide our influencers through the complexities involved with brand partnerships, while also focusing on personal brand building, channel growth and optimization and new business. We now represent 20+ creators such as Robyn Dixon (Real Housewives of Potomac), Lisa Ramos (Guy Code), and Jessica Lewis, Jewellianna Palencia, and Temitope Adesina, prominent influencers in the natural haircare space. Many of our content creators have worked with brands such as Sephora, Almay, Gucci Beauty, FENTY, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Macy's, Foot Locker, TRESemmé, American Eagle Outfitters, P&G, Google, Olay, and Dove. 

We have seen a shift in the industry, with more brands recognizing the importance of not only including people of color in their campaigns, but also organically implementing them into their brand strategy. I have always emphasized the importance of working with multicultural and multiethnic content creators, and as someone who is well-established in this space, I am in a unique position to advise any brand that wants to be part of the solution on how to get it right; It is something I take very seriously. 

How do you know if you are ready to take the leap away from the corporate world? If you have found what motivates you – in my case, the diversity gap in my industry – and you can create change by leveraging your skills, then do it. Put a clear strategy in place and set goals for yourself, while not losing sight of what drove you to make that change!

Pamela Zapata

Q: What is your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

As a management company, we lead all negotiations and contracting for our clients and we receive a percentage of all incoming and outgoing partnerships we secure. We’ve been able to increase our revenue in three ways. The first is by expanding our outreach initiatives and constantly pitching our clients to new brand and agency partners. The second is by growing our roster. Due to the value we have been able to bring to our influencers’ businesses, over 95% of our clients have been referral-based. Lastly, we have been able to expand our capabilities to not only include influencer management within our service offerings, but we also support brands and agencies with their diversity initiatives by consulting on influencer strategy, casting campaign management and reporting.