Hello my name is...

Yifan Xu

Account Supervisor, Influencer Marketing @ Edelman by day ☀️
• Amateur chef, TikTok watcher, and constant list maker by night 🌙

Years of Experience:
5 years of experience
Favorite Emoji:
On the Playlist:
Spotify Top Hits of 2010 and The Morning Toast Podcast
Go-to Food:
Sushi 🍣, tacos 🌮, and basically anything with cheese 🧀

Hi Yifan, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi there, I’m Yifan! 👋🏻 I’m from upstate NY and moved to LA after college, going on 7 years now! I love to cook and bake, I’m always on the hunt for new recipes from Bon Appetit and Joshua Weissman on YouTube. I started to plant a mini indoor garden, beginning with green onions and bok choy, and just recently harvested my first lettuce crop. I enjoy skiing and love all things water, the best purchase of 2020 was probably an inflatable paddleboard which was used almost every weekend during the summer. Pre-COVID times, I loved going out to new restaurants and bars all over LA, hoping we can get back to that very soon!

Can you tell us what you do as an Account Supervisor for those who are unfamiliar?

As an Account Supervisor at Edelman, I work on the influencer marketing team on the Adobe account. I run influencer marketing campaigns for specific Adobe products surrounding product launches, ongoing Adobe ambassadorships, and events (virtual right now).

How did you decide to pursue your specific career?

I’ve had a not so cookie cutter start in the world of advertising/marketing. My plan was to become a dentist all through college, and I took a gap year after graduation to work in a pediatric dental office to really get the feel for it. It was a very difficult decision but decided that the path was not for me.

Exploring new career opportunities, marketing seemed like a great pivot and I had a lot of friends in the field to turn to for advice. I got my foot in the door at a startup doing performance marketing running CPI and display campaigns for major gaming apps. At the time, I was obsessed (and still am) with social media and I knew social media and influencer marketing was the next big thing. A friend referred me to an influencer marketing agency as a Campaign Manager where I learned the ins and outs of the industry running large scale influencer campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Taking my years of experience to Edelman, I am still learning and growing within the space with a focused perspective on a large account.

What made you interested in your field? What do you like about it?

Being a huge fan of YouTube and Instagram, it was a natural progression into influencer marketing because I would always wonder what the back end process looked like for sponsored content. It’s amazing to me that I have a part in connecting Fortune 500 companies to some of my favorite content creators. Influencers built a sense of trust with their following and have proved they are capable of creating converting content whether it drives sales to a product or awareness of a new show. The industry is just getting started and I’m excited to be a part of it!

Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?

Always ask questions, the inquisitive mind is more impressive. There are no stupid questions as long as you’ve done your homework. Come prepared with proactive questions (very common for the interviewer to ask if you have any questions for them at the end of the interview) and always ask for clarification when you don’t understand something. There’s no point in sitting back and pretending you get it, no one wins in this scenario.

Some advice for down the line if you’re thinking about a promotion. It’s easier to be considered or given a promotion if you’re already doing the work of the role above you (where possible).

What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?

1. Think outside the box - social media is constantly changing and new trends pop up overnight. How do you turn what’s currently relevant into a branded campaign?

2. Overcommunicate - when there are too many things happening at the same time, don’t hesitate to over communicate the status of your work and what your bandwidth looks like with your team.

3. Always be willing learning - technology will never be static, more and more platforms and platform features will appear in our lifetime. Be willing to take on the challenge of exploring uncharted territory.

What fuels you to continue to do what you do?

I love connecting with creators to learn about their interests and what they’re looking for in a partnership. You get to see the creator’s passion in their work when they are matched with a brand they truly connect with and want to fully support.

Most difficult thing about your job?

Within the industry you come across a lot of different personalities. There are content creators who are absolute gems where you can see and feel the passion in their work, and then there are others who are just looking for a paycheck and are likely to phone it in. You also come across different types of talent managers, some who are very on top of their talent and are good about deadlines and following creative briefs, and others who are more glorified note passers. You really learn how to act and react to all the nuances that come with the role.

What would you like to say to your younger self?

There’s always time to reinvent yourself. At the moment you may feel behind compared to your peers or you may not be happy in your current situation, but just remember if you’re willing, there’s always time to learn new skills and find your true passion.

Best advice you've received/heard?

There is no point in wondering what if. There is no point in wondering what could’ve been or what should’ve been. There is only the way things actually are. The rest is all made up in your mind. Life could’ve played out in a million different ways. But it didn’t. And now you’re here in the present. It might be painful, uncomfortable, or frustrating. But it is the way it is. The sooner you realize this, the faster you can come to terms with it and analyze your best next step.

Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn more about Influencer Marketing?

Networking in this space is very important and you’ll find out how connected everyone is. Don’t hesitate to cold call/email if necessary, worse thing that can happen is no response or they’re not interested. Take introductory calls when you can, building new relationships can sometimes lead to great opportunities.

Stay informed, whether it be world news, pop culture, or finance. I’m subscribed to many email newsletters which I’ll skim through at the start of my day to get a good pulse on what’s happening outside my bubble. General happenings - Morning Brew and theSkimm are great resources. Influencer marketing specific, I’d recommend Influence Weekly and Talking Influence.

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