My Digital Life: Lucy Loveridge, Global Head of Talent at Gleam Futures
The industry trailblazer shares her digital life, from career highlights to Instagram brand discoveries.
When it comes to the influencer marketing space, Lucy Loveridge is the name to know. She is Global Head of Talent at Gleam Futures, the pioneering, digital-first, talent management business that was the first of its kind to recognise the power of influencers (and specifically at the time, those using YouTube). Lucy joined Gleam in 2012 as team member Number Two (the first being Gleam's Founder & CEO Dom Smales) and eight years later, helms the business's (now transatlantic) talent arm.
If you haven't heard of Gleam Futures (have you been living under a rock?), you've definitely heard of many of the names on their roster, which includes mega-influencers such as Zoella, Jim Chapman and Mrs Hinch. As well as helping their talent launch multi-million pound brands and best-selling books, Gleam also brokers some seriously impressive partnerships with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Mango, and well, virtually every brand you know and love.
Fittingly, I first met Lucy online and then IRL at various press events (at the time, we were both bloggers). On her 28k-follower-strong Instagram account, there is the quote 'Work hard and be nice to people', a maxim that Lucy very much embodies - despite her considerable industry and career clout (she was chosen by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential people in London), Lucy is one of the most down-to-earth people I've ever met. Here, she shares her career highlights, favourite new brand and more.
NH: How did you get to where you are today, as Global Head of Talent at Gleam Futures?
LL: I started my career in advertising agencies working on retail clients (ASDA and Tesco, namely). When I came out of uni, I started a blog because I was inspired by seeing others do the same thing. Through that I got to know Dom, the CEO of Gleam. When I moved to London for an agency role, I bumped into Dom at an event and he suggested that I quit my job and work for him. The rest is history, as they say. I’ve now been at Gleam for eight years and seen the business grow from two of us in a basement in Covent Garden to multiple offices globally representing some of the most exciting digital-first talent.
NH: What are the biggest ways the industry has changed during the course of your career?
LL: The ‘influencer’ industry changes every 6 months. I always say it’s what has kept me at Gleam so long. I think a real watershed moment was in 2014/15 when seemingly the media caught wind of the industry and it suddenly became more mainstream. This is when the word ‘influencer’ was really born and became more widely used – unfortunately the use of the word implies that content creators are just one homogenised group of people and of course, there is so much variety within the industry.
NH: What are your career highlights so far?
LL: So many! We’ve launched some amazing brands like Real Techniques make-up brushes with Sam and Nic Chapman, TALA activewear with Grace Beverley and jewellery with Samantha Maria. Similarly we’ve had 20+ Sunday Times bestselling books. Having something physical to hold in your hands is really special when so much of what we do is digital.
NH: You must be super busy - do you use any digital tools to help?
LL: I feel like I need recommendations here! We use WhatsApp incessantly and lots of the team use Trello as it’s a great way to keep both us and talent accountable for achieving things together.
NH: What advice would you give to those wanting to work in the digital talent space?
LL: If you’re passionate, you’ll go far. A few of the team have been so passionate that they’ve elbowed their way into Gleam as interns (even when we weren’t running internships!) and are now incredibly successful Talent Managers.
NH: What are your favourite social media accounts to follow, for work and inspiration?
LL: We’re looking to move house next year so I am overly invested in property accounts (specifically @themodernhouse). In terms of work, I follow a LOT of creators in order to keep up with what’s happening but I think a key one right now is @influencerpaygap which is shining a light on the pay discrepancies between black and white influencers (predominantly).
NH: What are your favourite brands to follow, and have you discovered any via social media?
LL: Tons! I subscribed to vegan, cruelty-free razor brand Estrid because of their IG ads (before they started all of the influencer marketing in the UK). I don’t tend to follow loads of brands though, or if I do, I often unfollow in one of my frequent culls.
NH: What was your first email address?
LL: firstname.lastname@example.org... It doesn’t even make any sense.
NH: What podcasts are you currently listening to?
NH: Are there any physical things you would never, ever swap for their digital counterparts?
LL: I’m a bit of a sucker for real books, I have a lot. But everything else digital!
Interview by Natalie Hughes