Influencer Marketing continues to grow and become a critical part of any marketing program. Especially for brands marketing to the health conscious! So, I thought it would be interesting to share an interview my agency, Sawtooth, had with an inspiring Influencer. It may give you a peek into how Influencers get started and how they interact with brands today. After reading about Sarah Billstein of Rosé Season, it may even make you want to become one!
Sarah’s story is part luck, part timing and part hustle.
She started the summer of the famous Pink Wine Panic of 2014. And in just 3 short years, Sarah has transformed her Instagram account into not just a booming lifestyle brand, but also a consulting business. Brands are you listening? I already talked about the whole Rosé phenomenon. Now we’ll take a look at Rosé in terms of Influencer Marketing, straight from the Influencer’s mouth.
Sawtooth: Tell us how it all began.
Sarah: I started out before being an influencer was a thing. A brand reached out to me and sent me a bottle and had me post one photo. And then they were like ‘oh we want to take you on a free week vacation to San Tropez.’ And that’s when I realized that this one photo was worth a vacation. That’s incredible. Granted not every brand does that.
Sarah: I just started reaching out to brands and sending a spiel and saying ‘I’m one of the first Rosé Instagram accounts.’ That, and then, the Fat Jewish liked one of my photos in 2015. That’s huge. It was before there were plenty of influencers of that magnitude. When he liked it, I got like 1,000 followers overnight.
Sawtooth: You’re in such a niche. That must be one of the reasons you’re so successful.
Sarah: It’s a blessing and a curse. I have to pitch to brands all the time and show them why they should choose me. And show that the Rosé lifestyle is not just wine. When I show them a photo of me in my bed, I have a wine pillow. And I show them I can tag the bed, the bed frame, the sheets, the glass, anything.
Sawtooth: Tell us about the Rosé lifestyle.
Sarah: It’s pretty people, with pretty drinks, in pretty places
Sawtooth: That sums it up pretty nicely.
Sarah: I mean there’s no other wine or drink that is all over social media. People aren’t like ‘oh my god I love this tequila.’ Everyone supports Rosé with a positive experience.
Sawtooth: How does brand integration work? Does the brand give you a guideline?
Sarah: It depends on what brand. For Char Boo Boo, they know I know the brand and the brand image. They’re confident and trust what I do. And because of it, they’ve hired me to run all of their NY and Hamptons events. Brands all ask me how I work for other brands because they want to know what works and what doesn’t. Having an event and a good experience is key. With wine, if people have a good time and get a memory, that’s great.
Sawtooth: Do a lot of people ask you about posting on your other social media accounts or are they all concerned with just Instagram?
Sarah: Primarily Instagram. No one really cares about anything else.
Sawtooth: How do you create and manage your content? And keep it fresh all the time?
Sarah: It’s hard. To get more Rosé and Rosé lifestyle items is one way I create content. Like this weekend I got these Rosé ice pops.
Sawtooth: So did you create that concept of the Rosé Ice Pop yourself?
Sarah: The brand Fruitapop reached out to me and asked if I wanted to white label the pops. And then I just happened to be watching Seth Meyers and it was on there, they don’t mention my brand but it was there.
Sawtooth:. Do you have a set schedule?
Sarah: I post everyday. Sometimes I repost other people. That’s a great way to engage with followers. People tag me in photos all the time. I’ll re-purpose a Rosé drinkers photo or an editor I’m trying to reach.
Sawtooth: What’s the biggest challenge you faced in growing your brand and becoming an Influencer?
Sarah: Showing people that it’s beyond Rosé. It’s a lifestyle. And showing Brands that I have all this data. That’s where the finance side of me comes in.
Sawtooth: What’s the one thing you think brands need to know when working with you?
Sarah: I offer more than just wine. And I also have all this data. Like the Rosé drinker… I have that profile and I’ve been able to predict stuff.
We hope that peek into the amazing life of the Sarah Billstein provided some insight. We would love to give you some more. Let’s talk.