Lindsey Heppner, an enterprising Southern California native has risen to become a social media marketing powerhouse as the Founder and CEO of VAMPPED, an industry leader in influencer marketing. Her inventive projects and memorable events have completely transformed how influencers, social media, and society at large are viewed.
VAMPPED specializes in planning one-of-a-kind events, brand development and management, world-class content, public relations and representation of top digital talent with global reach.
Lindsey is constantly on the hunt for the next greatest innovation to stay one step ahead of her competition. With clients such as Shangri-La Hotels and Harley-Davidson and influencer tours and parties at Coachella and Miami Swim Week, her agency has grown to be one of the most recognized in the sector for the past seven years.
Millennial sat down with Lindsey to learn about her career as a marketing executive, the new age of influencers and what it takes to become a success in these uncertain times.
Describe what your agency does for brands and influencers, and what your specific role is within the creative process.
VAMPPED is a 360 agency; we help build campaigns/commercials, develop social media strategies, curate events, highlight international hospitality through our influencer tours, consult brands to better their social platforms and develop upcoming brands into the space.
My role in the agency is to oversee all creative strategies whether that is producing a commercial or developing a brand from scratch, I have my sticky hands on it. I don’t think a lot of people realize that everything you see visually that comes from VAMPPED had to be approved by me first. I care so much about how our content is perceived and care too much about our clientele.
What social media strategy would you recommend for someone wanting to become an influencer in 2022?
Be your authentic self. The platform is wanting to get to know “real” people. They want to have real advice and people who are raw and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Brands are also gravitating to more of those types because they know their audience believes what they’re selling.
Explain what a typical “day in the life” looks like for you and your content creators.
For me, I wake up and go to the gym to get my mindset right. Then I get home and start making a list of what I can actually tackle in one day. I have a really hard time focusing cause I want to do so many things so I need a list at all times. Then I go to my emails and make sure they’ve all been responded to. On certain days I only do creative work for my clients and other days I will have all zoom meetings with new clients. Most days, we strategize campaigns for clients and curate content with the talent.
What was the most difficult project you were responsible for, and how did you work through the challenge?
The most challenging project was maybe 6 months ago where I had to creatively direct a commercial within 2 weeks with some of the biggest talents in the scene (Offset, Travis Barker, Steve Aoki, Paula Abdul, Lana Rhoades, Rampage Jackson, The Dobre Brothers, Gabby Epstein, Brian Ortega, Joy Corrigan, to name a few). I worked all day and all night onboarding talent and made sure they could be at their time slots for LA to Las Vegas back to LA to shoot back-to-back days. At the same time, running through the script and making sure that every detail of the shoot was on point, from wardrobe styling to dance choreography to curating believable scenes. You almost just black out because the project is so overwhelming that you need to do what is in front of you and execute. Everything was changing by the hour and every day you didn’t know If the talent was showing up or there was a replacement. At one point, it was almost laughable.
Which project did you have the most fun working on, and what made it so great?
I have so many that I have enjoyed, but i think the most fun was when we put together the best singles Galentine’s event for Redbull in a matter of two days. We got 15 of the best single influencer creators paired with top creatives to make every relationship turn an eye and want to be single. It was a super magical event and the content came out like an Ariana Grande music video. We had the best night and it highlighted Redbull’s new drink in the best way.
It took me years to gain confidence and not care what others think. Even today, I still have moments of anxiety or can’t be in certain rooms with people because I don’t feel confident enough. It’s all about your mindset and training your brain not to care and be proud of who you are.
How do you measure success in your campaigns, and which metrics do you feel are the most reliable?
I measure success when I can fully execute a project. I am a huge hand-holder with my clients. I want to make sure they know exactly what they’re getting and make sure that every step of the way it’s exactly what they wanted. Execution is really big for me. If I feel like I can’t execute something, I just won’t do the project.
Who inspires you in life, and how has personal experience influenced your creativity?
I think the industry and being in Los Angeles helped. I get inspired by traveling or seeing art or checking out new music videos. Anything that is showing a window to the future. Since I grew up with two really creative parents they have inspired me to have multiple outlets to let my brain run wild.
What is the best part of owning a social media/content creation agency? What is the worst part?
I’m thankful that i created an agency out of thin air and it’s been in the direction of where the future is heading. I love meeting new people and seeing brands come to life and integrating my creative mind and strategy into brands. It’s a rush to see something come to life.
Worst part? Do you have time, lol. I think for me I don’t like highlighting the worst parts of anything because there has to be a balance in any business. I think everything is a learning experience and I’m here for it. Everything that has gone wrong in my business or that has been a struggle has shaped me into the person that I am today and has made me a better business owner.
How has social media changed since the start of the pandemic, and what do you see happening in the short and long-term future?
I think more than ever brands saw how valuable social media is. Also, it was a great way to see that employees got more done remotely. People were way more on top of their game during the pandemic. I had started my business in chaos so the pandemic for me was another pivot that I was ready for. For the short and long term, I see us just getting more accustomed to a virtual world. We are becoming acclimated to staying inside and being on our devices at all times. It’s scary but true… so that means that everything is going to exist in this world, and you better get involved and understand social media cause it’s not going anywhere. I think there will always be new platforms that will be integrated into the social space, but overall social media is here to stay.
If you were to go back in time, what “words of wisdom” would you have for your 21-year-old self?
This is a hard one, cause when I was 21 I was a very driven kid. I always chose to learn over partying and tried to integrate myself into as many different types of jobs. I wish I would have invested more time into learning how to multiply myself. There are very few people around me who have the time management and skills to accomplish as much as I can in one day. I guess I would just hug my younger self and say, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re crushing it!”