Meet the Girlboss: Lynn Quanjel, aka Who Is That Blonde
Lynn Quanjel is a woman of many talents.
Formerly a full-time content creator, she spotted a gap in the market connecting brands and influencers and decided to fill it herself. Lynn is trained in education, and so she was very aware of the misunderstandings going on when it comes to influencer marketing. She wanted to help both brands and influencers, so in January 2019, she launched Social Nomads. Social Nomads has gone from strength to strength in less than a year, and Lynn and her business partner are already looking at forming a team and taking their business to the next level.
We chatted to Lynn to find out about the challenges she’s faced with her business so far, where she gets her inspiration from, and the ins and outs of her morning routine.
Hey Lynn! Could you start off by introducing yourself in a couple of sentences, what you do, and how you got started with your business?
Sure! My name is Lynn Quanjel. I used to be full time content creator, but I felt like I wanted to take things to the next level, so right now I’m basically a content creator as a hobby. There’s so much miscommunication and misunderstandings on influencer marketing and social media marketing. I saw that companies and influencers as well are not reaching their full potential, so I wanted to help them. I started helping friends and I started helping companies as a hobby, and then it just turned into an actual business! That’s when I started Social Nomads, my social media consultancy, officially 11 months ago.
I met my now-business partner at one of my workshops, and we connected immediately. I really believe in working together and growing together, rather than competition. So then we had lunch, and that was literally the second time I met her. We had such a great connection and I was like, “Is it weird to just ask you if you want to start a company with me?” And she was like, “I love it. Let’s do it.” So that was in November. And then in January, we officially signed up at the chamber of commerce.
And has everything gone well so far?
Yes! Now we’ve got an office and tomorrow we have a huge pitch for a client that could be for a massive contract. We’re like, “what is happening?” We didn’t expect to get so many clients because we are both not necessarily salespeople. We don’t even have time to do normal daily tasks anymore, because it’s already too busy. And it’s a little bit overwhelming, to be honest. We need to care for ourselves, so we need a team. It’s a little bit scary, but it’s good scary!
What was one of the hardest things for you in setting up your business?
I have my expertise – social media and influencer marketing – but then when it comes to accounting or like things like website development, that kind of stuff… I never studied that! I don’t have experience with that. Suddenly you have to figure it out, you know. And that takes time. That definitely took me a while. I think the website is finally the way I wanted. I’m a perfectionist, and I keep tweaking, tweaking, tweaking. But we outsource a lot, so we have a web developer, we have an accountant, we have a lead generator for the sales. All the things that we’re not good at, we just decided to outsource it and that really helps us to focus on what we’re good at. But I do want to at least understand the basics so I can tell them what I want.
Right, that makes total sense. And what do you wish that you’ve learned before you started?
That’s a good question. I wish I would have chosen to outsource faster. At first, I was like, “No, first I need to know how it works. And then I can tell people how to do it.” But those people know better, so they should tell you – not the other way around!
What tips would you have for people who want to start their own company as well?
Don’t underestimate the power of storytelling. There are so many companies out there, and are so many competitors. So people are not buying products or service anymore. People are buying people. Our customers come to us because they like who we are, and what we stand for. Because if you want social media management, I believe there’s 100,000 freelancers that can do it for you and probably even cheaper, but because we really have a strong story, and a really strong team and we market that, that’s why people still come to us.
That’s really interesting to hear. Where do you turn to for inspiration?
I like to educate myself constantly, so I follow a lot of courses. I read a lot of books. I have a morning routine: I start with meditation for 15 minutes, and then I read a book while having breakfast. I always try to read like self development books, business books, that kind of stuff. I really notice that helps to keep me sharp
What are some of your favorite books?
One of the books that helped me on a personal level and also a little bit the business level was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. It really helped me personally because I am a perfectionist, and I get stressed because I want to do everything in the best way possible. I put a lot of pressure on myself. You’re also always wishing for something that you don’t have, right? The book is basically about the fact that you’re always going to have problems in your life because that’s life. The art of happiness is choosing the problems that you don’t mind.
How do you structure your day with so much stuff to do?!
Every morning I get up at 3:30… No, no, I don’t. Jesus! My morning routine is the only structure I try to have, and it doesn’t always work, but I really try to do that for me. Because otherwise I get too chaotic. So meditation, reading… I try to get up at seven every morning. Sometimes it’s earlier and sometimes later, depending on my schedule, but I tried to be consistent around seven. Then I get ready and come to the office.
Which female entrepreneurs do you look up to?
That’s a hard question – so many women! I think Jessica is great. We really connected – we are very in sync with each other and I love her energy and how she literally does everything.
I also love Charlotte van ‘t Wout. She’s a really popular Dutch female entrepreneur. She also has video courses, and she has two companies, and she’s already making millions in only two or three years time. She’s goals. She’s definitely goals!
Finally, what would you say is the most important quality you need if you work for yourself?
Persistence, persistence, persistence! If you cannot handle insecurities then it’s not for you, because sometimes there’s going to be a month when nothing is happening. There are definitely going to be times when you’re like, “Am I doing the right thing?” Yeah, you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to wonder if you’re doing things right. And at that moment, you shouldn’t get demotivated, you should stick with it and be smart about it and figure it out, instead of getting into negative circle. I think that is the real key to entrepreneurship.
Lynn is still a content creator as a hobby – you can follow her @whoisthatblonde, and her business @social.nomads