Day in the life of a 21-year-old CEO of an influencer marketing startup

Timothy Armoo launched Fanbytes after witnessing his 15-year-old cousin buying a stash of hats, clothes and shoes, all inspired by British YouTuber KSI.

A year after launching the platform that connects brands with social media influencers, Armoo, 21, already counts Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, Disney and Adidas as clients, and the company is expected to pull in a seven-figure revenue this year. For some, Armoo’s company plays more of an agency role, matching the client up with the right influencer to amplify their message, and working with them on the content.

“Influencers provide just another channel for you to market to your audience,” he said. “The idea that content plays such a role, I don’t believe that it does. People harp on about content because you can charge a premium for it. Marketers should look at influencer marketing in the same way they look at Facebook and Twitter: It’s just another channel.”

We asked Armoo to outline a recent day in his life. Here are the excerpts, lightly edited for clarity.

Photo of Tim Armoo
21-year-old Tim Armoo: “Influencers are just another channel.”

7:00 a.m.: Wake up, make myself a bowl of cereal with an episode of “Veep” in the background.

8:00 a.m.: Head to the office in Warren Street in London. Today, I cycled. I live quite close to the office, so I have a few minutes to catch up with emails when I arrive.

9:00 a.m.: All hands meeting with the team to look at results for recent campaigns. We are running a content campaign for the U.K. Army which will be out this October. The goal is to recruit more young males without making it seem too violent. We also find out that our campaign for an app has been going down well. The app lets you send musical emojis to your friends. We ran content campaigns with influencers on Snapchat and YouTube, and the app has been trending on the app store for 16 hours straight.

10:00 a.m.: First meeting of the day. A media agency wants to use our software to power their campaigns. Part of the appeal is that they will get more Snapchat analytics with the tool, it tracks views, retention, and lets you programmatically buy Snapchat campaigns. They love the idea of analytics for Snapchat given it’s a closed network, and we sign for a two-month campaign.

11:00 a.m.: Meeting with product team. We just hired a new programmer Luca, who’s 15-years-old. This takes the number of people in the team up to three. So far, he’s redesigned our site and built an influencer calculator; it’s similar to Klout but for influencers. I marvel at what the hell I was doing when I was 15.

11:30 a.m.: Write a blog post about the role of Snapchat influencers in powering campaigns. Takes me longer than usual because I make spelling errors pretty much every word. Caffeine rush.

12:00 p.m: Investor meeting. I update our investors with the latest monthly figures. Revenue numbers are up with repeat usage. But people don’t seem to be using our Twitter influencer feature a lot. Our main focus is with Snapchat and YouTube — this is where we see the most opportunity — but we’ve built something for Twitter where brands can easily target niche pages, so a teen female fashion app can target Taylor Swift Twitter pages.

1:00 p.m.: Lunch with the team. It’s Luca’s turn to choose what we order in. He chooses burritos. Nice one, Luca!

1:45 p.m.: Talk with product team about the latest change to make to the Twitter feature. Mainly, we want to make the user experience much more simple before you start a campaign.

2:00 p.m.: Sales call with our longer-term customers. Because of the school holidays, summer is a great time to target a young audience, so our campaigns are on the up.

2:30 p.m.: I talk with a soft-drinks company about how to drive home the message about keeping kids hydrated this summer. We settle on Snapchat being the right platform for them to reach teen girls, the messaging will be around what other things keep you going through the heat.

3:00 p.m.: I talk with footballer Ronaldinho and his agent about an upcoming campaign. We previously worked with him when he wanted to promote his golden Segways to a global audience, we teamed him up with YouTube football freestyler Kieran Brown. The video now passed the 2.5 million mark, and they have completely sold out. We knew that would do well because Ronaldinho already has the distribution, what they needed from us was how crazy we could make the content. They want to do something again. I talk with Rodrigo who then translates to Ronaldinho’s brother who then translates back. Very surreal.

4:00 p.m.: I meet a journalist at a little bar in Earls Court to go through our self-service feature. He’s interested and wants to play around with the platform. We test the platform but Wi-Fi cuts out, platform doesn’t work. Uh oh! I’ve got some serious making up to do.

5:00 p.m.: Back to the office to meet with our sales guy to see what leads we’ve generated. On a good day, we get up to 92 leads, 15 of which turn into something more.

6:00 p.m.: Tonight I do a talk titled “The no-bullshit guide to influencer marketing” at an industry event. Influencer marketing is still so young, the idea of pricing by the number of subscribers is the biggest scam. We have a lively Q&A, an older guy wonders whether this could work for an older audience. He laughs when I tell him I’m 21 and don’t know how to market to 40-year-olds. Seems like it went well.

8:00 p.m.: Get an Uber home while answering emails. A client is very interested in Snapchat campaigns and would like to run a demo. I run a demo with him in the cab, pretty sure it’s the most unconventional sales demo I’ve done.

9:00 p.m.: I’m trying to up my programming skills in Ruby on Rails and backend languages. I hate the fact that our dev team is doing stuff I don’t fully understand.

10:00 p.m.: Read my book of the week. This week it’s “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, the guy who founded Nike. This should be interesting.

12:00 a.m.: Send final round of emails to be scheduled for tomorrow morning before bedtime.

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