By Shelcy Joseph

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Billion Dollar Boy hosted a crowd of influencers, industry insiders, and brand managers for the second event of our Fireside Chat series. Our Founder and President Permele Doyle spoke to three talented influencers Christina Caradona, Shelcy Joseph and Janelle Lloyd at our New York offices at Blender Workspace.

All three panelists have built a successful brand and influencer career: Christina is the blogger behind Trop Rouge; Shelcy co-founded NYCxClothes; and Janelle is the creator of Wait You Need This. Through their experiences as digital entrepreneurs, these speakers have gained valuable insights into social media, content creation, and brand partnerships.

Through their experiences as digital entrepreneurs, these speakers have gained valuable insights into social media, content creation and brand partnerships.

Here are the key takeaways from our conversation with them: 

On facing competition

With so many new players on Instagram, the competition has gotten fierce. But some bloggers aren’t letting that stop them from supporting others — our speakers were no exception. Janelle and Shelcy spoke about helping each other with setting rates and negotiating deals; while Christina praised the encouraging women she’s met through the platform. There are more people vying for brands’ attention, but the influencers are setting a new norm—by paying it forward and lifting each other up.

On what makes the best brand-influencer collaborations

When asked about their favorite collaborations, Janelle, Christina, and Shelcy brought up brands that trusted their vision and let them speak to followers in their own way. All three influencers stressed the importance of having creative control—from choosing their own looks to writing their own captions—it not only allows for the best content, but also optimizes for posts to perform well. 

What brands can do better to stand out on social media

By testing new ideas and experimenting with emerging platforms like TikTok, brands can step up their social media game and reach more consumers. But they should also master their strategy on existing networks like Instagram. Stories are a great way to connect with your audience and involve them in your decisions. Using the app’s features like stickers, Q&As or polls, can increase overall reach, which can translate into better engagement on feed posts.

Advice for upcoming female entrepreneurs

Being kind is extremely important in an industry where your reputation is your best asset. Focusing on your work and cultivating confidence are also key to pushing past challenges and achieving your goals. Christina summed it well: “Be kind. Focus on your work. Be confident and help other people.”

It was a great night of empowering conversations and tasty drinks! Thank you to those who came in support! Special thanks to our drink sponsors (poppi and Grand Marnier) and event partner Blender Workspace! We hope to see you at the next Fireside Chat! Keep up with future events and BDB news by joining our email list.

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