Our Interview with Daniel Hunley

Our Interview with Daniel Hunley
March 2, 2016 Connor Gallic

Working at HYPR you interact with influencers quite a bit. We thought it might be interesting to share with you some of the insights we come across during these interactions. Thus, we’re bringing you a new blog series where we hope give you an inside look on what influencers really think about influencer marketing and how they like to work with brands.

Recently we had the chance to chat with Daniel Hunley, you may know him if you are on Pinterest. Daniel has 1.2 million followers on Pinterest and is very active in the interior design space. He has a lot of experience working with brands which you can see in our conversation below.

Daniel Hunley - pinterest

HYPR: To kick things off, could you tell us about yourself and what you’re working on and what you do on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter?

Daniel: Ok, so I have been active on Pinterest since the platform really launched. I got involved in it because my mother actually wanted an invitation key so I dug around with some friends and ended up getting signed up. I was kind of on the platform early and I think using it correctly in their eyes and that kind of resulted in influencer networker 1.6million. That happened back towards the beginning of the Pinterest boom. I was lucky to get on a lot of top ten most followed lists kind of early on and Pinterest’s publicity. 

HYPR: Is it your full time job managing your Pinterest account?

Daniel: It’s not, no it’s not. It is a very prized freelance career for me. It’s close to being as financially successful as my regular 9-5.

HYPR: That’s awesome. You started off in Pinterest and are doing quite well, what do you feel is your main focus on the platform?

Daniel: My Pinterest shares the kinds of products and pins that people are already sharing. I think that most people that are successful on Pinterest tend to share the same types of objects. It’s the look and the feel and the niche  that are little bit different. I tend to, instead of pinning from a really artsy girl from San Francisco, I just have a completely different aesthetic that tends to be more masculine, more southern.

pinterest 2016-03-02

HYPR: I’m assuming you’ve heard of influencer marketing?

Daniel: Yes.

HYPR: What types of brands do you typically work with?

Daniel: I’ve worked with national top tier brands like Tiffany and Company, Coca Cola, and Microsoft.

HYPR: Now, Microsoft seems kind of funny to work with considering what  kind of content is on your Pinterest board.

Daniel: For sure, for sure. That’s probably not the best example. It was just off the top of my head. Happened in really the beginning of Pinterest days when people were getting into Pinterest advertising. So yeah, that one happened several years ago. It’s probably not the best example of the types of clients that I work with on a regular basis now. Martha Stewart is one of the more recent brands I worked with.

HYPR: When you work with these brands, what exactly does that entail for them and you? Is it just kind of a one-time post or do you do a whole lot more? Do you get featured on their  photo shoots? How does it work?

Daniel: Every single partnership is different and what the partner wants me to do is really different each time. I’ve produced imagery and even done photoshops for these things. Usually it’s at least curating a collection of pins to  go out over a set amount of time. The number of pins, and the amount of time that it takes to put those up there really varies with each and every client.

HYPR: Do you have any horror stories from working with a particular brand or client?

Daniel: Not really specific horror stories. I think that it’s easy when you’re a single individual working as a contractor for a really large corporation or large advertising agencies that you can often get lost in the noise and you’re not always as much of a priority on the end of things, whenyou’re trying to track down payments. I think that’s the freelancer’s dilemma in any kind of regard, so not necessarily for this.

HYPR: I can understand that. How about any good stories or any brands or campaigns that you’ve run that you enjoyed doing?

Daniel: I think my favorite campaign that I’ve ever done was actually nominated for a Webby and it was Apartment CB2. They got together, I think 5 of us pinners, and we each designed a room in a really awesome loft in New York City using our Pinterest following all on one day. We had put out options and then people would vote using the number of repins that they got. It was a really successful program and it’s a super interesting application of it and they made really cool stop-motion videos of the rooms being built throughout the entire day. I’ve just never had so much fun doing a project before.

HYPR: Generally when you do work with brands how is your audience reacting? Are they generally happy with it, unhappy, good reaction?

Daniel: I have never seen a single negative backlash from anything that I’ve ever done. That might be hard to believe, there might be something but I’ve forgotten but I cannot remember a single instance of anyone being grouchy about it. I think the real goal is to, even though it’s “advertorial content” I still try to make it the same quality of content that I would be sharing anyway. Especially, the longer that I’ve been doing it the more true I’ve been saying to having integrity with the level of brands that I’m working with. 

HYPR: Have you ever turned down brands or campaigns because they didn’t match your audience or following?

Daniel: All the time. Yes, I’ve had requests from people to work with me really, really frequently. Yesterday it was a wigs company on Pinterest that wanted me to share. A lot of it is just people that are really unaware of the process and are just trying to figure it out and I completely understand and encourage it but they don’t get that we have to have somewhat of a similar product and a vibe or else it’s just not going to work.

HYPR: From your side of it what do you wish Brands would do more? What practices do you wish they could use when they’re either contacting you?

Daniel: I mean, just send me an email. Let me know that you’re looking to do a promotion. I’m really flexible and I love fleshing out ideas of all types of different brands but if you’re a nation wide brand, Pinterest’s promotions typically don’t work for brands that are more regionally affiliated. If you’re going to be shooting pictures for your company, make sure that you’re shooting in portrait mode. I think a lot right now, a lot of the web, when people are going out and producing images they’re going and having them shot in landscape because that’s predominant for those images you have on websites but a lack of really great product pictures that are in portrait, or lifestyle pictures, more that are in portrait form. That would be great.

HYPR: So, are you strictly looking at Pinterest or have you tried to expand into Instagram or Twitter and grow in those audiences as well? 

Daniel: Not Twitter at all but I have focused a lot of energy on Instagram mainly. Apart from my own personal gratification, I’ve gotten a few small jobs that are only on Instagram  one photo at a time.


HYPR: Ok. For potential influencers out there; do you have any best practices or words of encouragement on how to get started?

Daniel: Just keep a good ratio of your own content to the Sponsor’s content. That’s what I would say.

A few key takeaways is to make sure you know your influencers audience when you contact them or else they aren’t going to work with you. Make sure you are shooting in portrait mode and don’t take the influencer you might be working with for granted.

Want to find influencers like Daniel, that you can work with on a campaign? HYPR provides in-depth demographic information that helps you align your influencer selections with the audiences you want to reach. Sign-up for a free-trial and see how HYPR can help you run your next influencer marketing campaign: hyprbrands.com