Head of Brand Partnerships at TikTok, Nikki Scott!
First there was Instagram, now there is TikTok. It’s the social media platform that has taken over the world (and our lives!) that we spend more time on then we would like to admit… But it is for a good reason. There isn’t a recipe, fashion hack or conspiracy theory that we haven’t gone down the rabbit hole on TikTok for – it’s become our biggest source of entertainment, our discovery place for new brands and influencers we love to follow and even one of Lindsay’s largest social followings today. Saying we love TikTok is putting things lightly hah!
…Which is why we were so thrilled when Nikki Scott, Head of TikTok’s Brand Partnerships and friend of Lindsay’s agreed to this interview!
Nikki’s interest in influencer marketing started before “influencers” were even a thing. While she was in college she started a fashion lifestyle blog which sparked her interest in digital advertising as well as the “creator” economy that we know today as influencer partnerships. She’s a true trail blazer.
If you’ve ever taken a job because it would “look good on paper” (or are in one) that you know isn’t right for you – then this interview is for you. Nikki shares why you should always listen to your intuition, work life balance with a newborn baby, the importance of networking and so much more.
So get ready to take notes because you’ll want to…
“My gut feeling when interviewing at this company was telling me that it wasn’t a fit, but the role looked ‘good on paper’ so I pushed myself to take it and knew immediately upon starting it wasn’t for me”
Lindsay Albanese: What is one interesting thing that people may not know about your career?
Nikki Scott: My interest in influencer marketing (I manage a brand partnerships team at TikTok and previously headed up an influencer marketing agency) was born before “influencers” were a thing! I started my first blog in college in 2009, and had a fashion and lifestyle blog for several years thereafter. I wouldn’t say I ever made it big – although I did have a few brand partnerships and banner ads on my site – but the experience launched my interest in both digital advertising and the creator economy.
Lindsay Albanese: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?
Nikki Scott: I have loved every job I ever had except for one that I stayed at for just a few months. My gut feeling when interviewing at this company was telling me that it wasn’t a fit, but the role looked “good on paper” so I pushed myself to take it and knew immediately upon starting it wasn’t for me. Since then, I have made decisions about where to work and who to hire – as well as what companies to invest in and what projects to take on – based much more on intuition than hard data – and it’s worked out incredibly well for me. Once I’m in the job, data is everything – but that initial connection is critical!
Lindsay Albanese: What are you most proud of at this moment?
Nikki Scott: I had my first baby 6 months ago and I am so proud of the transition I’ve made to being a working mom. I was worried about juggling my career and being a parent, but I’ve found that in a funny way, having to do so has made me feel like I am better at both – I am now a ruthless with my organization, I’ve become a much more skilled delegator, and I’m able to really prioritize the parts of both working and parenting that bring me joy and purpose, while working to automate and delegate the rest.
Lindsay Albanese: One thing you wish people would stop doing in business?
Nikki Scott: Only “networking” when they need something, such as when they’re looking for a job or fundraising. I’ve found the most meaningful connections I have made have formed over shared interests and mutual benefit. So many people just reach out with asks rather than offers.
Lindsay Albanese: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)
Nikki Scott: Red wine – currently a Cab Sauv! My husband and I got married at Jackson Hole Winery (I know – it’s not a region known for winemaking. The grapes are from Sonoma, but the owners ship them to Jackson Hole, and the wine is made at 6,000 feet altitude making the flavor very unique) – and after our wedding subscribed to their wine club so we always have tons of cases on hand. Their cab is called “The Sheriff” and brings back such fond memories.